Unfortunately in this day and age, alarms are becoming more and more necessary. Whether on vacation for a few weeks, or just at work for the day, your home is at risk of a break-in. Without an alarm system there is just no way to know what is happening until you get home.
Alarm systems have come a long way in recent eras. Previously requiring lengthy installs with miles of cables laid throughout your house, expensive monthly subscriptions, new products are making it cheaper and easier for anyone to get started.
Offering low monthly costs for private monitoring, without contracts. Easy to install systems are wireless, not requiring professional installation. In this review we take a look at some of the top products in the alarm system market.
SimpliSafe Alpha is SimpliSafe’s original product. With over 10 years of experience, they’ve built a solid product that is reliable and a good choice for protecting your home. Selecting dependability over raw functionality, SimpliSafe offer a product and service inline with previous alarm solutions.
SimpliSafe’s biggest pitch is allowing you to sign up for their monitoring services without signing a contract. The monitoring makes use of a built-in cellular module, so you don’t have to worry about WiFi connectivity. Be warned though, if you choose not sign up for them, or only choose their $15 pm option, you don’t get any access to the mobile app benefits.
If you opt for their more expensive monthly option, you get the benefits one comes to expect from a smart home experience, allowing you to have remote control and monitoring of your alarm system through their provided app. However there is little existing integration with voice assistants.
What you do get is an easy to install and simple system that is expandable as desired. The entry package comes with limited sensors, but can be sufficient for small houses or apartments. If you want additional sensors, they can be purchased independently.
Prepackaged sensors come already paired with the system, so installation is as easy as choosing a location to place them. And if you ever move house, the whole system can be taken down and moved without fuss, due to the wireless nature of the sensors.
A solid offering, with the only downside being the required monthly subscription, regardless of if you want external monitoring or not.
If you’re looking for a more modern look, Simplisafe have just released a new model which brings minor improvements to all components, mainly from a style perspective, but achieving the same functionality. Along with this they’ve also released standalone doorbells and cameras.
All the same benefits of the old system, easy installation, the monthly monitoring and ensured connection. It has it all.
The new alarm system’s biggest improvement is the addition of a WiFi connection which permits control of your alarm system from associated Alexa devices. If this is important to you, then it’s worth the price hit you take getting the new system. Keep in mind that you still need to pay the advanced monthly subscription fee to get this functionality.
Ring are newer to the market than SimpliSafe. Initially making a name for themselves with their series of doorbells, they have slowly started expanding their product offerings to encompass various security related components, always with an eye on the smart-home.
The Ring Alarm has many of the features that makes SimpliSafe such a desirable product. Easy installation, battery back-ups and an optional cellular connection to 24/7 professional monitoring.
The problem for SimpliSafe is that Ring appear to be pricing them out of the market. To start off with, their entry level products are cheaper than even the older generation of SimpliSafe products. All their devices connect over WiFi, and the killer is that if you don’t want the 24/7 monitoring, you can opt to not pay any monthly fee. If events arise at your home, your Ring app will still notify you via your home WiFi, and you can still have full personal monitoring. Free of Charge.
You can read more about Ring’s different subscription options here. But to top it all off, the Ring range of products receive on average better customer reviews than the SimpliSafe system.
Initially this review was going to evaluate several other alarm systems such as those provided by Fortress Security and LarmTek. However on reviewing their products, it’s difficult to suggest them over the already covered products.
Current alternatives offer various functionality that one may desire, remote monitoring via a mobile app, notification of events, web camera integration etc. but the companies don’t have the reputation that one may want from your alarm provider.
If you are looking for a low-cost solution with no monthly costs and no private monitoring, they are worth looking at, but remember that (along with SimpliSafe and Ring), if the company goes out of business, your devices will no longer work.
At the end, the decision is fairly straightforward. Ring offers the cheapest product, lowest monthly costs, best product selection and best integration. It has only one shortcoming over the SimpliSafe offering, and that is a lack of Alexa integration.