Range of costs
Professionally installed security systems can cost several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the components included, plus monthly monitoring fees.
For those looking for less expense, there are basic burglary alarm systems available, which usually include sensors and alarms attached to ground-floor doors and windows, wall-mounted keypads, and remote-control devices that can be activated with key fobs.
The cost is significantly less for these simpler systems. The starting price of ADT’s most basic burglary alarm system starts at $49 to $99 dollars, with monthly monitoring fees ranging from $30 to $60. Prices climb depending on the number of window and door sensors and motion-detection devices that are added to the system. One bonus: many homeowners’ insurance plans will provide insurance discounts, often ranging between ten to 20 percent, for homes with monitored security systems.
Wireless cameras today
Cameras play a big role in deterring criminals from breaking into your home, and they also are available as wired and wireless.
“So much has changed,” said Gilad Epstein, vice president of product management and marketing for Lorex, a manufacturer of security systems. “Seven years ago, people didn’t have smart phones, or at least not phones that were that smart. Now, if you don’t have that connectivity, you’re not in the game.”
Keep tabs of who is at your front door with a wireless camera and intercom. DoorBot ($199) is a do-it-yourself, Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell that lets you see and talk with visitors through your smart phone or tablet. At just 5.68 inches in size, it has a brushed aluminum faceplate, and a camera that transmits video day or night to your DoorBot phone app.
The DoorBot can be wired through a home’s existing doorbell and uses a lithium battery that gets recharged annually.
Place a camera at the garage to deter criminals who may be poking around parked cars, and install another at the backyard and at any other entry point to keep tabs on the sliding-glass doors. Just like a point-and-shoot camera, Epstein said, you want to position your video cameras so that they are not facing directly into the sun, which will saturate the image with light and limit your viewing range.
For anyone with an extensive backyard, look for high-resolution cameras with long-range night vision. Standard night-vision cameras will let you see 90 to 150 feet, while the long-range ones will give you 660 feet of range. Similarly, if you have a swimming pool, choose a camera with wide coverage so that you can see the entire pool area in one shot.
“You want a system with playback capability, so that you can back up your footage onto a USB flash drive or tablet and play it back for the police,” Epstein added.