High monitoring fees are often considered the bane of home security services. Although the effectiveness of the professional monitoring team is beyond dispute, homeowners lament the mandatory monthly charges they must undertake just to gain access to the alarm system. Luckily the security industry is a competitive field and companies are more than willing to provide alternatives. Their flexible approach has eventually led to the realization that customers should be allowed to switch from professional monitoring to self-monitoring if it better fits their needs. There are several routes for doing so: choose a barebones mode and avoid any sort of commitment to a particular company; monitor your system yourself using the dedicated smartphone app; or occasionally rely on professional monitoring while on vacation.
The biggest hindrance in switching between monitoring plans is the obligatory contract. If you are locked-in for a certain amount of time then there is little you can do about it; even canceling the subscription won’t help, since you’ll typically have to cough up a fee for doing so. It’s always worth reading the fine details of the contract before you commit yourself, and there are other things you can consider instead. You can try self-monitoring by purchasing the equipment separately from another source. Armorax, for example, sell their basic alarm kit on Amazon. Circumventing the system in this fashion means no papers to sign, as well as waving goodbye to any sort of subscription fees. But keep in mind that cutting ties with the HQ also means that you must monitor your alarm system yourself. If an alarm is triggered and you aren’t at home, your only hope is that the neighbors have noticed and called the police in time. Still determined to choose self-monitoring? Then here are a few companies who meaningfully support their customer’s effort.
Scout Alarm is a big fan of slick design, as well as customization of its solutions. They present three options: professional monitoring, self-monitoring through its app and no monitoring at all. The second one still requires a monthly payment, but on a very affordable level. App-based monitoring means that the base station stays in touch with your smartphone and you’ll receive instant notifications when the system is set off. Scout Alarm is lenient when it comes to switching between the different formulas, giving you extra peace of mind if you’re not certain on which level of service you actually need.
GetSafe encourages customers to experiment with its different plans. On one hand, there is the month-by-month subscription that doesn’t hold you back and can be canceled anytime. On the downside, you must pay upfront for the basic home security kit. On the other hand, you can commit yourself for a whole year where, in exchange, the equipment is free of charge. But no matter which one you pick, it’s possible to switch between professional and self-monitoring with or without a contract.
Lastly we have abode, which provides two subscription plans. The less expensive option is the app-based self-monitoring, while the other is the good-old professional monitoring. However, for a one-time fee it is possible to temporarily upgrade to professional monitoring. This is naturally not a permanent solution, but it’s worth considering if you are planning a vacation and wish to outsource the watchdog role to their trained agents.
Best Home Security Systems of 2020
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