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      January 19, 2019

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Link Interactive vs iSmart Alarm

Best Home Security Systems

To help you find the Best DIY Home Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Link Interactive and iSmart Alarm.

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Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, no matter how big or small the residence. In the United States, there are over two million burglaries every calendar year, with losses averaging at least $2,000 per crime. Home security systems are the most popular, reputable way to deter would-be criminals and to catch them in the act.

However, many consumers are turning away from traditional home security systems which often involve lengthy service contracts, not to mention the installation of equipment and wiring that can leave unsightly holes in the walls - and that might not even be allowed by a landlord for those who are renting an apartment or house.

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Best Reviews

2019

DIY Home Security Reviews

4 stars
Link Interactive

LINK INTERACTIVE Visit Site

Features:

Monitoring plans from $30.99 to $40.99 per month

100% cellular monitoring

Contracts ranging from 1-3 years

30-day money back guarantee

3-year warranty on all equipment

While do-it-yourself home security systems may all start to sound alike, the service provided by Utah-based Link Interactive stands out in three ways.

First, they are one of the only systems on the market that is 100% cellular. You can connect your system to your home WiFi, and any alerts or alarms will be sent through both pathways - whichever one is fastest at the moment the system is triggered. But, if you live in an area where the WiFi is not the most reliable, knowing that your system will function and send through the same 4G LTE network as your cell phone if needed may give you peace of mind.

Next, Link Interactive offers two main control panel options that both offer two-way voice connection with the monitoring service. In other words, if an alarm goes off, the central station can talk to you through the panel to make sure you're safe and to call an ambulance or police department if you fail to respond.

Finally, all of the components sent by Link come preprogrammed. While that may not sound very do-it-yourself, this could be a lifesaver if you're good at the installation part and not so handy with the technological side of setting up a home security system. If you later add components to your system - maybe you start with basic sensors and motion detectors and then install video cameras a few months later - you can easily get them integrated into the new system through the equipment's serial numbers.

There are three options for monitoring with Link Interactive's systems:

  • Standard: for $30.99/month, you'll get the basics covered, including intrusion/fire/crash & smash alarms and life safety (smoke, fire, carbon monoxide)
  • Gold: for $35.99/month, you keep all the features in the Standard plan, plus today's top home automation options via online dashboard or mobile app (such as lights, thermostats, locks, and energy management)
  • Elite: for $40.99/month, you can add HD video monitoring to your coverage, including motion-activated, scheduled, and on-demand options

So, what are the drawbacks, if any, of using Link Interactive for your DIY home security needs? While this may not be an issue for you, many customers don't like to be locked into a contract; Link requires a minimum contract of a year, and their monthly monitoring costs are based on a three-year obligation. Also, you may find their equipment to be on the spendy side: $450 for their top touchscreen panel, the IQ2, plus 3 door/window sensors and a motion sensor, just to get started. It's not going to be cheap to get your equipment, but we were offered a discount once we built a package on the site - though we had to enter all of our information, including address and cellular coverage preference, before we got to the end.

On the other hand, Link Interactive gets extremely high marks from customers when it comes to the company's attention to detail. The representative we spoke with was friendly, knowledgeable, and was also based in the US. Many people compliment Link for being very on-the-ball with responding to any glitches with installation or integration of components, and the company's 65+ year history in the business includes an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

If you like to do-it-yourself when it comes to installation but want a little more hand-holding on the technology side, Link Interactive may be a good choice for your home security system. Just be prepared for it to cost you a little extra, especially when it comes to buying the equipment - but know that you're covered by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on the service and a 3-year warranty on the components.

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3 stars
iSmart Alarm

iSMART ALARM Visit Site

Features:

Equipment packages start at $249.95

No contracts or monthly fees

No monitoring services available

If you're looking for a high-tech home security system that is legitimately do-it-yourself, you may like what iSmartAlarm has to offer. Created in 2012 in Silicon Valley and a regular darling of publications like CNET and PC Mag, this company has a laser-sharp focus on using technology to its utmost when protecting homes and families.

This is most evident in their approach to monitoring: completely DIY via smartphone app, with notifications of alerts and alarms sent to you by text, email, phone call, and push notifications. The advantages are many - you can control your system from anywhere you can use your phone, there's no middleman to deal with (which also eliminates false alarm calls to the police or EMS), and, most appealing, you don't pay any monthly fees. Ever. Once you buy the equipment, it's yours.

But, that same advantage may also be a drawback for customers who have a need for third-party, round-the-clock monitoring. Most of iSmartAlarm's competitors offer it, even those companies that also have a do-it-yourself monitoring option. If you have users in the home who aren't comfortable with using a smartphone (such as elderly, young children, and so on), you might be looking elsewhere for your home security system. Also, because the system is completely dependent on your home's power and internet connection, you'll be out of luck if either one goes down because of a storm or service outage. Sometimes, technology is not our friend!

On the other hand, because there are no monitoring fees, you're only on the hook for the purchase price of the equipment. What will that run you? Take a look and some of the packages and bundles offered by iSmartHome:

  • Plus Package: 1 CubeOne hub, 3 contact sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 remote tag, and iSmartAlarm window decals for $199.99
  • Deluxe Package: includes one CubeOne hub, 4 contact sensors, 1 motion sensor, 2 remote tags, and iSmartAlarm window stickers for $249.95
  • Pan & Tilt Smart Home Video Bundle: 1 CubeOne hub, 2 contact sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 HD iCamera KEEP, 2 remote tags, and 4 window decals for $349.99
  • Shield Package: the most comprehensive package available, this includes i CubeOne hub, 8 contact sensors, 7 motion sensors, 3 remote tags, and window decals for $613.90

Every package is expandable; you can buy individual components and add them to your home security system as needed. All equipment sold by iSmartAlarm comes with a one-year warranty. Unfortunately, the company does not appear to offer any kind of customer satisfaction guarantee, though they do allow customers to return equipment within the first 30 days if it is unused.

iSmartAlarm is the home security system of choice for many technologically-savvy individuals who don't want to pay monthly fees for monitoring. But, for those who want a company with a longer history, third-party monitoring of systems, or a reassuring customer satisfaction guarantee, they'll likely have better luck with one of the other services in our review.

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Continued from above

Instead, customers are opting to use DIY home security systems, which gives them the convenience of setting up their protection equipment exactly the way they choose and taking it with them when they move to a new home.

Of course, every good DIY home security system should be paired with common-sense protective measures, such as using top-rated deadbolts on all entry doors and making sure all doors and windows are secure before leaving home or going to bed in the evening. Home protection experts strongly prefer security systems that include 24/7 monitoring as well, for added coverage and peace of mind particularly when people are at home. Using live monitoring has been demonstrated to greatly reduce the likelihood of burglary or invasion, as most criminals want to avoid being caught red-handed.

An added perk to taking the DIY approach to home security is saving money. These systems tend to be less expensive to purchase and set up, and yet they are usually eligible for the same premium discounts on homeowners insurance: up to 20%.

When considering the various do-it-yourself home security systems on the market, what should you keep in mind? Each company differs when it comes to the type of equipment they sell and service, the ease of installation, and whether or not they offer live monitoring of your system. Keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Equipment Costs. What does the company include with its home security packages? How many sensors will you need, and what will you be charged to get the level of coverage you want? What will you have to spend to get any additional equipment that you need for your particular living arrangements?
  • Monitoring Service. Will your DIY home security system include any kind of monitoring, or is that left as your responsibility through online apps and other features? If 24/7 live monitoring is available, how much will it cost per month? If there's a break-in or other emergency at your home, will the service contact local authorities on your behalf?
  • Reputation. What do other customers have to say about the business, the equipment, and/or the service received? How easy is it to get help, either with your do-it-yourself installation or with the service? Can you expect a satisfaction guarantee or refund if you are unhappy with the home security service?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best DIY Home Security Systems available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best do-it-yourself home security system that will keep you and your family safe for years to come!

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