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There are some specialized sensors and video cameras that weren’t common in the past and window and door contact switches have gotten a lot smaller, but the basics are the same: a control panel or console, magnetic contact switches, motion sensors, a siren. The new systems may also be connected to central monitoring stations, as do many old style security systems. The big difference, however, is the degree of interactivity. New software platforms, such as alarm. com and iControl allow you to send commands, program home systems, view surveillance video, and receive alerts on a smart phone or computer—whether you’re at home or away. When shopping for a system, review software platforms first.

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That’s about half of what you would pay with some of the other best home security systems, and it can be well worth it for budget conscious people who still want a good system. Read more about what our team found with Simplisafe here. Protect America is another one of the best home alarm systems, and definitely makes our list. Some of the perks of using this system include a rate that’s locked in for life and a lifetime equipment warranty. Those are both great ways to provide strong customer service, and to show that the customers matter to the company. Additionally, you don’t need to pay an activation or installation fee with this DIY option security system. It’s great value for the money, and you can even try it for free for 30 days to see if you like the equipment, monitoring, and service. Here are their pros and cons:One thing this company offers that many others don’t is the option for broadband and landline monitoring. That can help customers in rural areas who might have trouble getting other companies to cover and protect them. In fact, on Protect America’s lowest priced package, landline monitoring is what’s automatically offered. In a rural location, you could be covered by this company and still not have to pay a lot of money every month.