A Basic Home Security System Can Still Be Effective

A Basic Home Security System Can Still Be Effective

A Basic Home Security System Can Still Be Effective


‘You get what you pay for’ is a common idiom expressing the idea that you get more when you’re willing to pay more. Sometimes it is true while other times it’s not. Take home security. It’s possible to spend thousands of dollars on a high-end system with all the bells and whistles. But spending a small fortune is not required. Even a basic home security system can still be quite effective.

A basic system generally includes the following:

  • Window and door sensors.
  • One video camera.
  • Interior motion sensors.
  • A central hub.

Basic systems can be purchased as DIY packages or through professional alarm companies that offer installation and remote monitoring. Remote monitoring does not have to be expensive, by the way. Affordable monthly subscriptions are not difficult to find.

Window and Door Sensors

Also known as entry sensors, window indoor sensors are magnetic contact sensors that trigger an alarm when unauthorized entry is made. These are two-piece sensors that are typically installed on first floor windows and doors. One piece is attached to the door or window and the other to the frame. Once armed, a home security system will trigger an alarm if contact is broken on any one of the sensors.

Vivint Smart Home offers an additional type of entry sensor known as the break glass sensor. This is a device that is attached to a pane of glass. Should a burglar attempt to break in by smashing a window, the sensor will trigger an alarm.

Window and door sensors are among the oldest devices in the modern home security space. Back in the 1970s, when home security was restricted to the wealthy, these sensors did the majority of the work. They remain home security workhorses today because they still get the job done.

Video Cameras

Video cameras were also part of the equation in the seventies. Back then, they were wired CCTV cameras connected to some sort of centralized recording system. Their big downside was cost. Home security cameras were very expensive. That is not the case in the 2020s.

Thanks to advances in digital technology, wireless surveillance cameras are extremely affordable these days. You can buy several high-end cameras for the same price you would pay for a single CCTV camera. Even better, today’s security cameras tend to be wireless. They don’t require any construction work to install.

As for their effectiveness, video cameras accomplish a lot. First and foremost is the fact that they act as deterrents to crime. Simply put, criminals don’t like video cameras. They do not like surveillance techniques capable of providing evidence police can use to track them down.

Above and beyond deterring criminals, video cameras offer homeowners the opportunity to keep an eye on their properties whenever they are away. They can watch to make sure the kids arrive home from school on time. They can keep an eye on their pets. They can check in on contractors who are supposed to be handling home improvement projects, not sitting around and watching TV.

Interior Motion Sensors

Entry sensors and video cameras do a very good job of deterring criminals. However, they are not perfect. Sometimes they fail. In the event a burglar does make it into the home, interior motion sensors can indicate where in the home he might be. Keeping track of motion censored data can help security experts track a burglar’s movement throughout the house.

Motion sensors were more popular when homeowners could not afford video surveillance. But with video cameras as popular as they are now, motion sensors have lost some of their appeal. Home security companies still include them because they provide a bit of backup protection. If cameras or entry sensors fail, motion sensors are there to pick up the slack.

The Home Security Hub

Tying everything together is the home security hub. This is a centralized control panel through which the entire system can be accessed and controlled. A hub is usually mounted just inside the front door. If a family is more likely to enter the home through a garage or side door, the hub will usually be mounted at that location.

Home security hubs can be enhanced with companion mobile apps. With both, a homeowner has multiple options for accessing his system. The benefit of the companion app is being able to access the system remotely. And in fact, remote access is one of the biggest differences between modern security systems and their old school counterparts.

Home Security Gets Smart

A basic home security system can be remarkably effective at preventing burglary and home invasion. Home security systems act as deterrents, especially when they are monitored around the clock. But let us go one step further. What happens when you combine home security with smart technology? Security gets smarter and more convenient.

Wireless video cameras with remote access capabilities are a perfect example of marrying home security and smart technologies. With a remotely accessible camera, you’re never in a position of not being able to monitor your home. As long as you have a mobile device and an internet connection, you have access to real time video feeds.

The only thing about making a home security system smart is that it’s a rabbit hole of additional costs. Smart devices tend to cost more than their traditional counterparts. There is also a temptation to continue adding devices once you start down that path.

A System for Every Budget

The good news in all of this is that there are home security systems for every budget. If you are limited in the amount you can spend on home security, that’s okay. You can get a very useful and effective DIY system for a few hundred dollars. But you can also spend thousands if your budget will support doing so.

Just remember that a basic home security system can be quite effective. If you are not sure about how much to spend, start small and build from there. There is nothing wrong with saving a little money on home security.

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