Home Security Systems

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by rdowns, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I'm about to move into a new townhouse and have been investigating home security systems. I've looked at X10, GE, Brinks, Slomins and a few others.

    Anyone have suggestions or experience with any of the above or others?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    I have ADT and have been pretty happy with them. My system is custom and has some features that most do not (cellular backup, special detectors, etc.) and they seem capable in setting up and maintaining all that.
  3. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    We have ADT. It was installed in our house when we built it but we never activated it so we eventually dropped the service.

    A while back my neighbors house was broken into and they stole a plasma TV, paintings, and some other valuables so since then we've reactivated it.

    I don't think its really that great of an asset though. Anyone braking into my house with any knowledge of where i live would know it would take the police like 15 minutes to respond. It does however give you the security of know that if you have a fire and you're away the fire dept will be notified.
  4. c073186 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    We have Per Mar and it's okay. We have never had to actually use it so I cannot speak in those terms. In terms of deterring criminals I do not think they are that useful because even after the alarm is tripped then they still have to call, ask if things are okay... etc. etc. which all takes time. But I do think it's nice to have your house wired so that if there is a fire or in our case we have it set up so that if the basement floods or something it will alert the fire department. That to me is more comforting than the actual security system part.
  5. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
  6. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    I had Monitronics for years, and I do not recommend them at all. They were fine when I didn't know any better but canceling them was a royal pain in the arse.

    I had them for 5 years and had a co-worker mention that he had a smaller/local company for less than half the price (90% of the reason to have the system is the monitoring sign in the front lawn and the insurance discount since any really good thief is going to kick the door in, and be out of the house long before the cops arrive). When I tried to cancel they didn't cancel with the letter I sent because the signature didn't match the contract I had signed 5 years prior (I had decided that I didn't like the palmer cursive letter for my formal first name and made a slight modification to my signature), and they didn't bother to inform me of this in any way other than sending me another bill. Never mind the fact that I knew the system password, and had all of the billing details and they had cashed checks for the last year or so with a signature that matched the letter. Somehow knowing the password was enough to keep the cops from coming but to cancel my monitoring practically requires DNA proof of my identity, because thieves will take the time to learn the password, and then they will evidently try to cancel your monitoring rather than just break in and answer the phone with the password to keep the cops away.

    I don't think I've ever been as pissed off at customer support as they made me. Of course when I mentioned the new rate I had they offered to lower their rate, not matching but quite a savings, but that does nothing to endear me to the company either, since they had a slight rate increase at yearly intervals, but somehow can manage to lower their rate by a substantial margin when I'm ready to jump ship?

    I'd recommend my current service highly, because they are quite affordable, but unfortunately you are not in their service region. My biggest recommendation would be to rate shop yearly once you own the equipment (if they will be installing it since most will give you the equipment for free after a certain number of years being monitored) and call your service to see if they can't reduce your rate at all.
  7. thesdx macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2007
    I would recommend checking out www.homesecuritystore.com. They've got a bunch of wireless and hardwired DIY kits that can be used with their inexpensive monitoring service. For a small to medium-sized townhome, a wireless kit may be good for you. Some of the best wireless kits are the Ademco Lynx and the GE Simon. However, hardwired and hybrid systems offer the best protection, expandability, and power. DSC and Ademco make excellent hardwired systems. If you use the hardwired option, you'll want to make sure to get some good Rokonet sensors and a powerful siren. I think that purchasing a DIY system can save you a lot of money and trouble. ADT's prices are insane.
  8. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
    Might not be what your after but I have cameras linked to my Mac running SecuritySpy. Its got ok footage of a few garage breakins. It does all the usual stuff like email, audio and screen alarms, FTP, remote access etc.
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Same with me.
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    The battery of our old security system went out in our last place, called up maint. said it would be hours before somebody could come out and look at it.

    I ask if unplugging the unit would set off their main board, after a couple hours i got tired of the damn thing.

    Took 5 seconds to fully disable the thing without alerting the security company -- unplugged it and yanked the battery. They lock on the box was pointless.


    Sure made me feel better about those monitored alarm systems. :(

    If you know where the box is, it isn't hard to take it out before the code entry window ends.
  11. Buttercookie macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2007
    I'm a dispatcher and the worst service in this area is ADT. They call the wrong jurisdictions, are rude, and take the longest to make the initial call to law enforcement.
  12. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    I can pretty much say that about all of the home security units out there. Trust me dealing with them is a pain. You should also check in your area to see if fees are imposed on the home owner if the alarm goes off to much and the police are summoned for false alarms. In some cities the home owner is left with a bill from the local pd or sheriff. ALA Los Angeles City and some of the out lying cities in Los Angeles County. And if you have an audible alarm make sure your HOA allows it. You can also get fines from them if to many people complain etc.

    To me they are a waste.......... If this was something that went straight to the police or fire without having to go through their dispatching unit then maybe. But there is a delay in getting the information from one to the other.
  13. fleshman03 macrumors 68000


    May 27, 2008
    Sioux City, IA
    Best security system:

    Beats the other one by far. But if you combine the two...

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