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      June 19, 2018

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SimpliSafe 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 SimpliSafe and Alarm Relay.

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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.

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Best Reviews

2018

Home Security Systems Reviews

4 stars
SimpliSafe

SIMPLISAFE Visit Site

Features:

100% wireless

Do-it-yourself installation

Monitoring starts at $14.99/month

SimpliSafe is a relative newcomer to the home security field, but they are rapidly gaining traction through positive word of mouth and recommendations from many well-known sources including NBC, Fortune Magazine and the New York Times. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, a no-contract policy, and good customer service, SimpliSafe is rapidly gaining a good repuation in the home security business.

In order to separate themselves from the pack, the SimpliSafe website highlights some major differences between them and some of the larger home security companies. One of the main differences is that SimpliSafe claims no hidden fees and requires no commitment or service contract. As highlighted in the New York Times articles on SimpliSafe, many home security systems require up to a three year contract that can cost thousands of dollars, and often have add-on fees that raise the actual cost of the service from what is stated as the monthly home security monitoring fee. SimpliSafe requires no such contract and no auto-renewal fees.

Another important difference between SimpliSafe and some of the more traditional home security systems is that SimpliSafe is 100% wireless. Not only does that mean a less expensive and difficult installation process, but more importantly the system cannot be shut down by a clever thief with wire cutters. In fact, the home security installation is so simple that the customer can begin installing the system in as little as 5 minutes, as shown in a helpful video on the website. This is a nice incentive for those folks who don't want a hefty installation charge or permanent wiring added in their home. Of course, it could also be a negative for people who don't trust themselves to install the system on their own.

SimpliSafe advertises low costs as well. From a monthly home security monitoring fee standpoint, they are indeed among the lowest priced services we found. SimpliSafe's monitoring starts at $14.99 per month for dedicated 24/7 professional monitoring and police dispatch service. However, unlike some other home security systems we've reviewed, the equipment is not free. Depending on the size of the system you want, the initial package can cost anywhere from $229 to $539 and up.

SimpliSafe does offer advanced options in their home security system. In addition to 100% wireless security system, they also offer wireless monitoring and control through a smartphone or other wireless device. SMS text and e-mail alerts can be sent notifying the homeowner of any disturbance - including a window opening, fire, carbon monoxide, or even if the liquor or gun cabinets have been opened.

SimpliSafe offers a state-of-the-art home security system with good customer service. While they're the new kid on the block, they're gaining a good repuation. We wish their initial equipment cost was more affordable. Still, this is a home security company worth keeping an eye on.

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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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