How We Review Home Security Companies
We believe that home security is best approached in layers. One layer crucial to total home security is a home security system. In general, most companies are alike when it comes to the equipment they use to protect your home. In fact, many major companies choose equipment from GE or Honeywell and services from vendors like Alarm.com. So how can you determine who is the best when so much is the same?
We’ve decided to review home security companies using three primary categories: protection and equipment, home automation, and customer service. Scores from each of the three categories are averaged together to award a total score.
1. PROTECTION & EQUIPMENT
Protection and equipment encompasses six checkpoints that take into consideration what the company provides from an equipment and monitoring perspective and also how they price their service. For example, a company that charges thousands of dollars for a basic equipment package isn’t going to score as high as a company that provides basic equipment for free.
2. HOME AUTOMATION
Home automation is a vital component of any modern home security system. And for this catagory, we use an eight-point checklist. Though you may not be interested in a smart home now, you might be in the future. We want to make sure you are buying a system that is future proof. And if you are buying a smart home system, we want to ensure it is a system that can deliver light automation, small appliance control, temperature control, and lock automation. Within the home automation category, we also look for the ability to add both indoor and outdoor security cameras as well as the ability to connect to other third-party devices. Finally, we dig into mobile app performance including available platforms and user reviews.
3. CUSTOMER SERVICE
The final piece of the pie: customer service. When reviewing a company’s ability to provide service, we start with their BBB score. Over the years we’ve learned that it is a telling indicator but doesn’t tell all. We’ve found that what really matters is a company’s willingness to employ customer friendly policies. We look at the company’s minimum contract length, their return period, their moving policy, and their renewal policy for starters.
MEET OUR EDITOR
Rose has worked in the technology and security industry since 2003. She works with a team of three including Carlos, who specializes in home security.
Researching home security companies is not an easy task. It’s a constant process. It’s talking to homeowners, testing the equipment, visiting trade shows, scouring websites, and occassionally it involves going undercover (secret shopping). Using the aggregated score from the three categories above, we rank the companies from best to last, but the list is ever changing. As companies improve (or deteriorate) we revisit our appraisal. Over the years, we’ve been able to create a factual database and we strive to “tell it like it is”, glitches and all. ~Rose
Currently, we have hands-on experience with five of our nationally ranked companies. These hands-on experiences provide invaluable experience. There is no substitute for experience. We hope our expertise makes your home security buying experience the best it can be.
Feel free to contact us should you have any questions.