Home Alarm systems

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Topic: Home Alarm systems

Home and Garden June 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Home Alarm systems


We’re thinking of getting an alarm system for our house and are looking for recommendations for companies. Also, how much is installation and the monthly bill? Thanks.

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My wife and I did this when we bought our Petworth rowhouse. We use ASG (based in Beltsville MD) and have been pretty pleased. We have two glass breaks, motion detector, and three door contacts. Our installation was $275, negotatied down from somewhere around $400+ (it IS negotiable!) and our monitoring service is $32.95. We signed a three year deal.
One thing to keep in mind, they have tried to raise my price by a coule dollars twice, I looked at my contract and it says they can raise my price by inflation and no more, and if they raise it by more, I can get out of my contract. E-mails telling them if they continued with the price increase, I expect my contract to be voided and go month-to-month quickly had them roll back the price increase, and I had a rep call me and tell me she would note that my rate cannot increase for the duration of the contract. Just something to be aware of.
Other than that, they are a local company, installation was good. We had an issue with the back door, as it was a bit too far off, they had to come out a few times to fix it, but added a repeater, and no more issues. We have the $5 service plan (included in the $32.95) and it makes it so all the visits are free. Sorry for being so long-winded. In summation, they have done a good job, and I would definitely recommend 🙂

That’s a little cheaper than ADT ($43.62 for monitoring, including tax).  We’ve been happy with the service – we’ve had false alarm problems (cats plus motion detectors), and they’re good about working with us; we’ve also gotten service charges waived pretty easily when something breaks.  Fully agree that these things are negotiable.

Can’t speak to installation; most of the system was already there when we bought the house.

We use Ackerman Security, and we are very happy with it. I forget how much the installation is, but it wasn’t anything crazy. If you sign a three year contract, monitoring is $25 per month. You also own the equipment instead of leasing it, so you can switch it to a different monitoring company later.


 Thanks, ya’ll! ADT has an online special with $99 for the installation. Still checking to see if it’s a trick!


Go the self-install route (they make simple to install wireless kits; see here: http://www.homesecuritystore.com/c-73-wireless-alarm-systems.aspx). Then have Watchlight do the monitoring ($9/month). You may spend a little more upfront buying the alarm kit yourself, but you’ll save hundreds in the longrun. When I moved into my place, I fell for the same $99 ADT deal and it was a disaster (those are usually from “ADT authorized installers” not actually ADT).

We use Petitbon, which is also a local company. The system was already installed when we moved in, and I don’t remember how much the initial service visit was to check on things & get us set up from there. Our bills come every three months, and it’s about $33 per month. We’ve been very happy with their assistance anytime we’ve had a question or wanted to check on something.

I used Alarm.com and loved it.  Easy self install – $39.99 month monitoring fee.  No fees for false alarms. Sensors included door, window and motion.   This included a key fob – so I could disarm/arm when leaving and didn’t have to push the buttons on the panel – this was great when hands were full of groceries, etc. Best feature – REMOTE monitoring.  So – if  I could check to see if I armed it if I thought I forgot – or could arm/disarm to let in workers, or a friend or whomever.  You can also set up multiple codes – so I had one for my GF and one for the contractor and one for the catsitter – and one for the tenant – so super useful. I’ve also been able to reset the alarm when, for instance, my tenant’s BF accidentally set it off.   IIRC they go through Frontpoint – but just look at the Alarm.com website – I can’t believe more ppl don’t use this.

I’ll echo the praise for Frontpoint (available directly or through Alarm.com.  Self-install is super easy.  And one attribute that I don’t think anyone’s mentioned yet is that the system is completely wireless . . . meaning the principal alarm unit communicates with the monitoring service wirelessly.  Most systems communicate via a phone or tv cable wire.  I don’t have a landline phone, and my tv cable wire is easily accessible from by backyard . . . meaning it could easily be clipped by a burglar, completely disabling the system, before the burglar enters the house.  Beware, nearly all systems today are advertised as “wireless” because the individual sensors communicate with the main unit wirelessly . . . but the main unit is then connected via wire to the monitoring service.  And yeah, as others have mentioned, Frontpoint’s remote monitoring via phone app is great.  Cheers. 

I had ADT for 2 years (the Norm is to make you sign up for 3 years, but I negotiated it to 2 years). After that I switch to Protect America, they are cheaper than ADT and provide 10 sensors (3 doors and 7 windows). All free and you install it yourself, not a rocket science. If you get confused about the installation, you can call them and they will walk you step by step. I got the wireless system, which runs around $45/month including all taxes. They even gave me $250 gift card for radioshack as a new customer (was an offer through Costco), but I really don’t know what to spend the radioshack money on.
I am happy with their system, they have the 10 sensors (vs 3 sensors with ADT), two remote controls (vs 1 remote with ADT) and two control panels (one keypad and one touch screen), also you can get the wireless plan and the cell phone app to control your system. They have many adds on such as glass brake sensor, light control, AC control, CO2 and fire alarm control, but in each service they are about 15-20% cheaper than ADT.

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