When you're ready to choose a new alarm system for your home, you may wonder if the cheapest model will offer the security you need, or if the most expensive model has unnecessary features that you don't need. Rather than choosing by price alone, you might note a few terms you'll encounter when shopping, so you better understand the differences between systems and can choose the best one for your home.
This refers to how many devices can be used to arm your system; for example, you might be able to download an app that allows you to control the alarm from your Smartphone or tablet, or use a key fob or a remote control that you keep with you. Knowing your choices for arming components can tell you how easily you can work the system even when you're not right in front of the panel.
This type of system alerts when a window or door has been opened. You may need several contact detectors to monitor all your windows and doors, as well as a garage door and other such entryways.
Glass breakage detector
As the name implies, these alarms sound when a window or glass door is broken. However, be sure you opt for a system that can differentiate between what is called active and acoustic breakage. Acoustic breakage refers to the echo of glass breaking inside the house, such as if you should drop a drinking glass. Active breakage picks up the sound of a window being broken from outside the home.
Many home alarm systems come with interior motion detectors; if you have pets, be sure you choose one with a pet immunity feature. This keeps the alarm from sounding if motion happens under a certain height, or if the motion sensed is from something under a certain weight. This will keep the alarm from sounding every time your dog or cat walks across the floor.
Programming means that you can set the alarm for various features and functions, rather than simply turning it on and off. Programming can get very complicated, so you need to choose this feature carefully. Note if you need control over zones, so that you can keep the alarm off in certain areas of the home, or if you want to program the cameras to come on at certain and then switch off at other times. This will ensure you can control the alarm system without getting overwhelmed with details you don't really need.