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How to Decide on a Home Security System

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$50 visa gift card with the purchase of a Vivint system


When you are deciding which home security system is best for your home, you need to choose a system that deters threats and makes you feel safe. You don’t want something that will simply record crime. You need a home security system that helps prevent lurkers from entering your home.

The answer to the question “which home security system do I need?” depends on a number of factors including the size of your home, the number of entry points, how much you travel, whether you own your home or rent it, how many pets you have, and whether you have kids living at home.

This resource will walk you through the factors that you should consider when deciding on a home security system.

Amount of space needed to secure and number of cameras

Before you talk to a home security specialist, it’s important that you know the details about your home. Jot down the answers to following questions and then you’ll be armed with specific numbers when you call Home Guardian and you’ll be able to get the right home security system at the lowest price.

• What is your home’s square footage?
• What about entry points? How many doors does your home have? Number of windows?
• Will you need to monitor your garage?
• How many vehicles are usually at your home?
• What is the proximity of your home to the road?

You’ll want to consider whether you want motion sensors for every window, door and entry point. You may only need to monitor the premises, in which case you’d only need cameras. However, if you want to customize your system, it’s best to talk to a home security professional.

Do you have pets or kids living at home that could trip the alarm? Will you want to monitor activity inside the home as well as outside? Most of the home security providers in our network offer pet-friendly adjustable sensors to reduce false alarms from pets walking around. For parents, knowing what is happening both inside and around the home can help you rest assured that your kids are safe. Our network of home security providers can help decide the best system for your needs.

Family, kids and pets

If you rent the home where you live, you may consider opting for the DIY installation method because you can keep the home security system when you leave and take it with you to your next home. The DIY home security system options are easy to pack and reinstall. Whether you own or rent, it’s a good idea to test that your system is working properly so that you don’t have a false sense of security.

Rent vs. own

How much do you travel per year? If you’ve got a busy year planned ahead, or simply spend a lot of time away from home, you’ll need a home security system that gives you full control with your mobile device.


There are professional monitoring options available. With reliable equipment, you’ll be able to set up medical alerts for senior safety.

Senior citizens

Do you love the newest tech gadgets? Do you use Google Home, or Alexa, any smart climate controls in your home? You can get home security systems that integrate with your favorite home assistant devices. You’ll enjoy being able to lock your house, arm your alarm system, monitor activity, or contact law enforcement all from your mobile device, or by voice activation. If you’re enthusiastic about these types of features, your home security specialist will be able to help incorporate them into your package.

Smart technology enthusiasts

Do you prefer to have a professional team install your home security system? Or are you envisioning setting up your home security system yourself? If you’re pressed for time, or if you want the comfort knowing that the system has been installed correctly, you may want to inquire about deals with professional installation. You could also save money by going the DIY approach. The advantage here is that you get the same products included in a home security system at a lower price.

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Alyssa DiCrastro

Editor at Smarter Home

Alyssa is a writer and editor who has spent her entire career making complex topics easy-to-understand through clear, unbiased writing. With a degree in Professional Writing and Information Design, she specializes in creating content about a variety of technical products and applications. Alyssa has been with Smarter Home since it’s beginning, helping develop our rigorous editorial policy. At the end of the day, she hopes she is able to help readers find the information they need to make the right security and smart home choices for them.

$38.99/mo for Pro Install* 

Requires 36-month monitoring contract starting at $38.99/mo. without QSP (24-month monitoring contract in California, total fees from $935.76) and minimum installation amount of $599 for professionally installed systems OR month-to-month monitoring contract for ADT Self Setup systems starting at $24.99 without QSP (one month minimum) and minimum purchase amount of $194.98.    Professional monitoring required for ADT to notify emergency contacts or services on your behalf. Service and installation charges vary depending on system configuration, equipment and services selected. For reactivations of professionally installed systems, a $99 test and inspect fee applies  . Upon early termination by Customer, ADT may charge 75% of the monthly service charges due for the balance of the initial contract term. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT’s Extended Limited Warranty and is available for additional fee. Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Professionally installed system remains property of ADT. Local permit fees may be required. Prices and offers subject to change and may vary by market. Additional taxes and fees may apply. Satisfactory credit required. A security deposit may be required. Simulated screen images and photos are for illustrative purposes only. For Self-Setup Systems, cancel by calling 888-392-2039 or by following the instructions in your order confirmation email. To avoid contract termination charges, cancellation must occur no later than 30 days after the contract date. Contract termination charges may be applied for cancellation after the initial 30-day period. Equipment must be fully removed and returned before a refund will be processed. Any shipping costs previously paid are non-refundable. Google and Nest Doorbell are trademarks of Google LLC. Some features, including mobile notifications, remote control, video streaming and video recording, require working internet and Wi-Fi. Minimum OS requirements are available at iOS is a trademark of Cisco and is used under license. Google Nest products and services featured are designed to make life easier and to build a helpful home and were not designed specifically for life-sustaining or safety-critical use cases. These products and services are compatible with the ADT Self Setup System, and depend upon working internet, Wi-Fi, and, in some cases, the service availability from ADT and/or Google. To learn more, please visit

6 Month Money-Back Guarantee*

Money-back guarantee only applies after ADT has made attempts to resolve a system-related issue and has not been able to resolve that issue within the first six (6) months of your original activation. ADT Money-Back Guarantee is not transferable. Equipment must be returned before a refund will be processed. Conditions preventing normal system operation cannot be caused by the customer. For professionally installed systems only.


Theft Protection Guarantee**

Customer may receive reimbursement of up to five hundred dollars ($500) of Customer’s homeowner’s insurance deductible (if any) if, and only if, ALL requirements for Theft Protection Guarantee are met to ADT’s reasonable satisfaction. Customer must request reimbursement within 60 days of property loss. Request must be mailed to ADT and include: Theft Protection Guarantee certificate signed by Customer, a letter from Customer requesting reimbursement, a copy of the police report, and a copy of the accepted insurance claim. ADT reserves the right to reject any application for reimbursement that does not comply with all of the requirements. For professionally installed systems only.