A Comparison of the Top Two Home Security Systems

FrontPoint Security vs. SafeMart

In the security industry being on top means providing superior security and using new technology all without ripping people off. So I’ve whipped out my old detective skills to test out two of the top rated new school security companies. Spoiler Alert! I’m not going to pick the best company for you. I am going to give you the facts and then let you decide which company is the best. After you read the facts, be sure to leave me a comment below to let me know who you think should be the heavy weight champion of new school home security.

Old School vs. New School

I need to give you a little background on old vs new school before we get started so you know why I picked Frontpoint and Safemart. Old School companies lock you in to long contracts, they require installation of proprietary equipment, they send hard core sales reps to your front door, and they even reserve the right to jack up your monthly rate as they see fit. New school companies like FrontPoint Security and SafeMart are bringing the cost of home security down because they don’t have egos. Instead of focusing on bringing new innovative technology to the market they focus on security and service. Instead of making their own equipment they use technology that others have already made well which also means that should you decide to breakup with your provider you can start a new relationship with equipment you already own.

Test #1: SOCIAL MEDIA

So many companies shy away from social media by locking down the ability to comment or worse they let you comment but don’t respond. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Social media is a crystal ball that allows you to glance into your future. Does the company respond to all complaints by cutting and pasting, “Hi this is Tom. I’m sorry to hear that. Please email us at… ” Guess what? That’s a really bad sign. You just glanced into your future and your future with this company sucks. Both SafeMart and FrontPoint lead the way with social responsiveness. I monitored both pages for a week and checked responses dating back a couple months. Both companies handled customer questions and concerns quickly online. They gracefully answered everything from where’s my app, to how do I secure my garage, to why should I choose you. Their answers were presented independently without cutting and pasting a redirect to customer care hell.

Test #2: ONLINE RANTS

I’m not sure which online review site is the best so I scoured them all for hours. I read through the BBB, Yelp, PissedCustomer, I fell asleep, then I read through Consumer Reports and just when I thought I was done I looked for claims of fraud or lawsuits. Luckily for FrontPoint and SafeMart I didn’t find anything major. Both companies are extremely clean compared to other home security companies. One major company has hundreds of complaints on PissedCustomer compared to FrontPoint that has 11 complaints. FrontPoint has a healthy B+ rating with the BBB and SafeMart is screaming can’t touch this with an A+.

Test #3: TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

Now this is where you and I might differ. To you it might be more important to get the system in the door for the lowest possible upfront cost or you might want the lowest monthly fee so just in case your priorities are different than mine I am going to give you the golden nugget and by golden nugget I actually mean just a bunch of numbers.

FrontPoint

Monthly Fee $34.99
Equipment, Activation, Installation $374.95
Instant Online Savings ($25)

TCO $794.83

SafeMart

Monthly Fee $19.95
Equipment, Activation, Installation $299.00
Instant Online Savings ($300)

TCO $538.40

The TCO. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is the sum of the equipment, activation, installation added to the outcome of the monthly fee multiplied by the required contract length (12 months) subtracted by the spectacular online specials. If SafeMart wasn’t running a $300 online sale during my secret shopping extravaganza these two companies might have come out about the same but there was a sale. With that said both companies offered me a low commitment period of 12 months. That is extremely competitive in the industry as 36 months is the minimum length required by many home security providers.

Test #4: TECHNOLOGY

I put my secret shopping hat on and called both companies to see what the absolute bottom of the barrel equipment package would include. Both companies offered me a GE Control Panel with battery backup, both companies offered a key fob, both companies offered multiple door/window sensors, and both companies offered me a large room sensor that was “smart enough to ignore small animals”. In addition, both companies use multiple locations for their monitoring services which provide extra redundancy and security.

Test #5: Cancellation Policy

Both companies offer 30 day return policies and both companies require that you stick with your contract. If you cancel your SafeMart contract you will be responsible for paying the remaining balance. If you cancel your FrontPoint contract you will be responsible for paying 80% of the balance. Why the difference? I don’t really know but it’s probably due to the fact that you pay a little more upfront for FrontPoint so they have less at risk when you cancel your contract early.

Bonus info! Both companies have a customer friendly moving policy. However, FrontPoint pulls ahead a little in this department. FrontPoint allows you to move the system from one home to another and they only require a phone call. If for some reason you can’t move your system to your new home they also provide flexible options like transferring ownership of your system. SafeMart will allow you to move the system but if you can’t move it then your screwed.

THE BOTTOM LINE

You forgot didn’t you? Like I said in paragraph one, line 3, I’m not going to pick the winner for you. If it’s all about cost than SafeMart might your winner, if you are planning to move soon than FrontPoint might be your winner but I really don’t think you can go wrong with either company.

My biggest complaint with FrontPoint? Their base package fire monitoring isn’t smart. You have to physically walk over and push the fire button on your panel to get help. They have technology that can monitor for fire and smoke but it’s an upgrade.

My biggest complaint with SafeMart? They put me in email jail! To write this extremely riveting article for you, I had to subject my personal information to multiple sales people. After I told SafeMart I wasn’t interested they called me two more times then sent their sales manager in for the hard close. I’ve also received 11 emails in one week.

So tell me, who is your winner?

Wireless Home Security Systems – Pros & Cons (Part 1 of 2)

The main thing to remember about a wireless home security system is that its greatest advantage is also its greatest weakness — there are no wires.

On one hand, it means that you can place your control panel and any or all of your sensors, cameras and keypads anywhere you please. It also means that it is very easy for an intruder to disable the system…and there is also a greater likelihood of false alarms.

First let’s take a brief look at the science

Wireless home security system does not use wires to connect the control panel to hit any of the door or window switches or any other device in the system. In a wireless system, the devices send radio signals to a receiver in the control unit, which then processes that signal.

Advantages of wireless

A wireless home security system is generally easier to install. You can put the devices anywhere you want — you have ultimate flexibility. Also, there is no labor time spent in stringing wires. Lastly, if you already have a hardwired system, you can even add a wireless receiver at any time, which will give you a double layer of protection.

Disadvantages of wireless

A wireless home security system is not always as dependable. Copper wires will always be more reliable when sending a signal from point A to point B. For example, if a burglar snips the wires on a door or window sensor, that is usually enough to set off the alarm. The same situation does not necessarily apply with wireless systems. For example, if a wireless transmitter is knocked out of commission, you may never know that something is wrong.

Be aware that a wireless system is more expensive than a hardwired system. This is because each device has a radio transmitter built into it or attached to it so that it can send the signal back to the control panel.

Because of this extra expense, some consumers tend to cut corners to save costs. Don’t do it. If anything, spend some extra money to get the highest quality radio transmitter available.

After all, you know what it’s like when you buy a cheap cordless phone. You save some money but you get some problems in return: interference, static, dropped calls, and you might even pick up your neighbor’s calls — and vice versa.

The same things apply with wireless home security systems. By spending more money you get better quality and reliability. The high-end wireless equipment is very dependable, and so you should be prepared to spend some more money to make sure that you get that reliability. After all, who needs a lot of false alarms?

(End of Part 1 of 2)

Burglar Alarm & Home Security Systems – The 4th Basic Essential Of Life

We live in a dangerous world. Poverty, drugs, and fractured families contribute to a general sense of unrest and violence. Widening social and economic gaps create suspicion and distrust. As economies evolve from industrial to communications and high-technology, many lack the skills to adapt and keep meaningful work. A college education may be out of reach for the people who need it most. Crime becomes increasingly violent, and it spreads from inner cities to suburbs.

Every day, the news confirms that homes and families are not safe, no matter where they are. For many, their home and property are their biggest assets, and the threat of break-ins and burglary are threats to their overall well-being. Protecting home and family is a major concern for homeowners today.

Traditional precautions – locking doors and windows, installing a fence, or getting a guard dog – simply aren’t enough anymore. Burglar alarms and home security systems are an effective tool for keeping your home, possessions, and family safe.

If you have any doubts about burglar alarm and home security systems, it’s time to get over it. Criminals are not discouraged by locks, fences, or dogs. They are smart and experienced. To protect your home and family, you need a reliable burglar alarm and home security system that will discourage break-ins and get quick action when they do happen.

The technology for home security systems has advanced rapidly over the last decades, and today’s burglar alarms and home security systems are more sophisticated than ever before. Designed to monitor your home for unwelcomed intruders and to immediately alert law enforcement of intruders, a good home security is your best home insurance.

A home security system’s main parts are a central control unit and interconnected sensors that monitor specific areas in your home. Sensors can distinguish between a break-in and fire or gas leaks, so your security service can get the appropriate help to you quickly.

Alarms range from simple whistles to elaborate sirens and even silent alarms that alert the security service without any noise at all in your home. When a sensor detects a problem, it signals the service provider, law enforcement, or emergency service and alerts the home occupants by alarm of possible danger.

Burglar alarms and home security systems on the market today come with a wide range of equipment types, configurations, and prices. You can purchase a security system kit for a few hundred dollars. Or you can buy and install expensive and sophisticated automated systems that allow you to automate your home and monitor vulnerable spots with cameras.

In order for them to be effective, you must still take common-sense precautions to protect your home and family. You must remember to lock your doors and windows. You must keep spare keys in unusual and innovative hiding places. You must remember to turn the system on when you leave!

No one wants to fall victim to crime, and homeowners don’t want to lose valuable possessions and precious heirlooms to home intruders and vandals. Burglar alarms and home security systems are the basic and most important tool in protecting your home and family.

If your home is not protected by a burglar and home security system today, then get busy. Inspect your house for vulnerabilities, research system types and options, compare prices and value, talk to experts in home security, and install a reliable burglar alarm and home security system to keep your loved ones and property safe. There are no good excuses for postponing action to fight crime and protect your home. Act today and rest better tonight!