2 products help you set up security by yourself, even without a land line
If you’re thinking about installing a security system, you might be weighing the pros and cons of contracting with a security service or hiring a professional to install a system. The editors at Engadget came up with another option — a DIY security system that requires no strangers fiddling in your home and no ongoing contract costs. In fact, you don’t even need to have a land line in your home to have a reliable fire and burglary monitoring system.
Monitoring and Eyes, or Eyes Only?
For full-on fire and burglary monitoring, complete with Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) certification, the Engadget folks found LifeShield. If you’re looking for stand-alone video monitoring, they suggest DropCam.
You Need Good Cellphone Coverage
If you live in an area with spotty coverage, or find yourself leaning out the bathroom window and angling your head just so to keep your connection on your cell phone, this solution might not be for you. If, however, you have strong and consistent coverage in and around your home and throughout your area, there are UL certified wireless security systems available.
You Really Can Do It Yourself
The editors had this to say about installing the LifeShield system: “Installation and setup couldn't have been easier. From unboxing to having the system in test mode, it took me right around an hour, and a lot of that was me walking around and deciding where I wanted to stick things. Each piece of hardware could be stuck onto walls and surfaces — no need for drills, screws or holes.” LifeShield also offers cameras that can be added onto its system — and included in its monitoring for free.
As for setting up DropCams? The USB-powered 720p WiFi cameras are “shockingly easy to setup. It's actually comical how easy it is.”
You Don’t Need to Sign Your Life Away or Empty Your Wallet
Traditional security systems, such as ADT and Protection 1, generally quote a bare-bones installation fee that can ratchet up quickly and almost always require a multi-year contract — usually three years. At a minimum $100 installation and $50/month fee, that comes to about $2,000. LifeShield offers you the option of leasing its equipment (around $5/month) or buying it outright (around $1,000) and provides all of its monitoring services for one monthly fee ($37.99/month). LifeShield also offers broadband solutions (landline based) — for which both the monthly fee and equipment fee are lower (about $30/month and $900 respectively), the equipment lease fee is the same.
There’s an App For That
Both LifeShield and DropCam offer mobile phone apps (iOS and Android) that allow remote monitoring and alerts.
If your current security contract is coming up for renewal, or you’re contemplating installing one for the first time — thanks to modern technology, DIY home security has come a long way. It’s worth considering when you are weighing your options.