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      June 20, 2018

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Live Watch vs Alarm Relay

Best Home Security Systems

To help you find the Best Home Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Live Watch and Alarm Relay.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Home Security Systems, please Click Here

Home Security Systems are more important than ever before. Crime is on the rise in many areas of the country. Over 2 million burglaries occur every year, with the average dollar loss over $2,000 - not to mention the potential harm to personal safety. Many experts point to the nation's current economic troubles and high unemployment as leading indicators for a continued rise in the crime rate.

Safeguarding your home is vitally important to the protection of your property and family. Properly placed exterior lighting and good dead bolts can help reduce your odds of being a victim - but unfortunately, an experienced criminal can generally get through nearly all locks within 60 seconds. As a result, most experts suggest investing in a home security system - preferably one that is monitored by a live service for the utmost protection.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2018

Home Security Systems Reviews

3 stars
Live Watch

LIVE WATCH Visit Site

Features:

Monitoring starts at $29.95/month

Live Watch is a home security company that has been in business since 2002 with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Live Watch offers a very robust menu of modern home security and monitoring services, however their website makes it very difficult to tell what kind of value the consumer is receiving.

Live Watch isn't short on accolades according to their website. Besides the A+ rating from the BBB, they have received a gold medal "Stevie Award" from the Stevie Customer Service review company for superior customer service, as well as numerous positive reviews in publications such as Inc.500 and Tech Crunch. They have also been featured on NBC, CNN, CBS, Fox News and even the Oprah Winfrey Network.

The technology that Live Watch offers is all wireless and self-installed. As mentioned with other home security systems that feature self-installation, this can be a positive or negative depending on the individual consumer. On the one hand, there is no additional installation cost. On the other hand, you are your own service person in the case of technical problems with the system. The security system seems easy enough to install; Live Watch calls it "plug and protect". All a consumer needs to do is contact a security advisor at the toll free number, create a custom security system for their home based on individual needs, and the equipment is pre-programmed and shipped. You simply follow the instructions to set up and activate the totally wireless home security system.

Regarding the equipment and services, everything offered by most of the other advanced home security companies is available. 24/7 dedicated monitoring, alerts for burglary, smoke and fire, carbon dioxide, flooding, as well as remote access through laptop or smart phone so customers can monitor everything from wherever they happen to be. For additional fees you can add options that control the lights, heat and locks in the house remotely as well.

The main issue we found with the Live Watch website was that they make it very difficult to tell how much all of this will cost you. Many of the other home security websites very clearly define what their various packages are, what options each one has, and what the monthly and up-front costs will be for each. Live Watch is quite the opposite. Each link on the website that promises details about the various options instructs the consumer to enter a zip code or phone number or to contact a customer service representative for a quote. We're always wary of companies that refuse to give transparent cost structures. The only details we were able to find was a page with a limited time offer that included a home security system with only 2 door/window monitors and no cameras for $149. The basic monthly alarm monitoring is $29.95/month and the more advanced option that includes text/email alerts, lights and lock remote control is $35.95/month. Presumably any additional equipment or services would increase this cost.

Live Watch has a good reputation and it may very well be a good option for home security systems. However it doesn't appear to be any great bargain compared to other similar services, and we can't give a higher rating to a company that isn't forthcoming about their costs to the consumer.

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2 stars
Alarm Relay

ALARM RELAY Visit Site

Features:

Monitoring starts at $8.95/month

Alarm Relay offers remote home security alarm monitoring services at rock bottom prices. However a less than informative website makes it difficult to tell what you get for your money, and most additional services above the standard monitoring seem to cost extra.

The Alarm Relay website looks professional enough at first glance. Highlighted on the main page is the very low monthly monitoring cost of $8.95 a month, along with some industry accreditations including an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Alarm Relay has been in business since 1987 so their high rating and longevity lends credibility to their business model. However there are some other things we didn't love about the presentation of their home security products and services.

We wanted to review the various home security plans available to the consumer, so we navigated to the "monitoring solutions" page where there are options for residential plans or commercial plans. Clicking on the residential plans we expected to see choices between various levels of home security systems and services available, and the cost of each, like we do on many other home security websites. Instead there is a just a paragraph explaining that "our monitoring packages will bring you peace of mind". Nowhere could we review the actual monitoring packages to determine what services or equipment was included.

We figured we might find more information on the pricing page, but when we went there it gave us only one pricing structure, which is the $8.95 per month plus a $35 one-time administration fee. The only real piece of information we could find on this page was in the form of an asterisk which tells us that a requirement of the home security service is that it needs to be connected to a land telephone line. So we were able to figure out that the home security system is not wireless like some of the other systems we reviewed.

We then navigated to the "additional services" page where we found a list of services such as e-mail notifications, cell phone monitoring, internet monitoring and fire alarm services. None of these options say how much they cost, although there is a note that instructs you to call the folks at Alarm Relay to find out about adding these features to your monthly alarm monitoring package. With that said, we know that none of these options are included in the $8.95 per month fee.

As mentioned, Alarm Relay has a high rating from the Better Business Bureau and has been in business for a long time. It's entirely possible that a consumer could find a good home security system with Alarm Relay. However with no wireless home security option, no good information on their website to provide details on their services or technology, and an a la carte list of options that come standard with most other home security systems, we find it hard to give Alarm Relay a very high rating.

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Continued from above

Statistics show that the majority of criminals will choose a home without a security system and bypass those better protected. Home security systems can vary greatly in protection and cost. Some home security systems provide free equipment along with a monthly monitoring contract, while others charge hundreds of dollars for installation as well as monitoring services. The best home security systems are flexible with or without home phone line requirements.

Before reading any home security systems reviews it's important to be familiar with some important home security aspects and features. These include:

  • Equipment and Installation Costs.  What does the company charge for the home security system equipment? How many sensors does that include? Is installation a separate charge?
  • Monitoring Service.  Does the company provide a 24 hour, 7 day a week, live home security monitoring service that will quickly contact authorities in the event of a break-in?
  • Guarantee.  Does the company provide a money back guarantee for their home security systems, or a warranty for faulty equipment?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best home security systems available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the right home security system to keep you and your family safe for years to come!

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