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Posted: 10:16 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9, 2013

Best cheap home security system?

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By Joel Larsgaard

ClarkHoward.com


Do you have a home security system? If you do and you aren’t using Simpli Safe I can almost guarantee that you are paying too much. There are way too many problems with the traditional players in the home security industry. So first, here’s a list of the the most maddening practices of many home alarm monitoring companies (then we’ll get to the solution).

Contracts. Most home alarm monitoring companies will make you sign a contract for the honor (sarcasm intended) of doing business with them. Some have even unwittingly duped consumers into signing contract terms of 3 years or longer! And the worst part is that some of these companies insert even worse things into the fine print of these contracts. “Zombie contracts” has become the term of choice for perpetuating terms that are nearly impossible to opt out of. I really hope you aren’t in one of these as it is incredibly difficult to kick them to the curb. They keep you locked in at painfully high monthly service rates with almost no hope of ever leaving.You seriously almost need to hire a lawyer to get rid of these creeps. So never sign a contract. Never.

Expensive systems. This is actually a double edged sword. You’ll get screwed either way it's sliced. Many home alarm companies charge a lot to put a system into your home and the equipment isn’t cheap either. Sometimes it is even a proprietary system (think ADT) that won’t allow you to switch providers without having to resort to purchasing all new equipment from your next provider! And if the company doesn’t charge a lot for equipment and installation they’ll roll it into the cost of monitoring. That means greatly inflated monthly costs. It’s basically a lose/lose situation.

High monthly fees. Most major home monitoring companies have rates that start in the $30 a month range and can shoot even higher than that pretty quickly. Some people pay upwards of $600 a year for alarm monitoring at their home. I cringe at that thought.

Landline monitoring. It’s a thing of the past. But many home alarm companies quote rates based on you having a landline in your home. If you have cut the local phone at your home (and you probably should) then the rates will jump up for their cellular or wireless monitoring packages. So that advertised rate of $18 a month suddenly becomes $30+ when you tell them you don’t have a landline.

Are there any good options?

I know I’ve just painted a bleak picture of the industry. There are some decent local services out there providing home alarm monitoring. There are some that won’t make you sign a contract and won’t hit you over the head with ridiculous fees. Those are not the majority though and many people sign up with either the largest companies that charge the most or the companies with the pressure tactics and awful business practices.

That is why my recommendation has been and continues to be Simpli Safe. They are bar none the best value for home alarm monitoring out there. The cost? $15 a month for cellular monitoring. No landline needed. Simpli Safe is using modern technology to monitor your home which cuts down on your incurred costs. You buy your own equipment and install it at your home yourself. It takes about 15 minutes and the equipment cost is very low. Simpli Safe isn’t taking you to the cleaners for the system you are purchasing. You can also move equipment from home to home easily. This gives you incredible flexibility.

You can also buy refurbished systems on their site to save even more money. Basically, if you want the whole package, go with Simpli Safe. They are the best and cheapest home security system. There’s a low upfront cost to you. The flexibility is fantastic. The monthly price is the lowest I’ve ever heard of. Oh, and the customer service is awesome too!

Disclaimer: I am a customer of Simpli Safe. I am writing this only because I actually use them and really enjoy their service. I have been paid nothing for this post and have received nothing free because of it. I just love Simpli Safe!

Check out more money saving tips from Joel on his blog SaveOutsidetheBox.com or follow him on Twitter.

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