what do you look for in a good home security system?


New Member
[SIZE=18.6667px]I'm looking at getting set up with a home security system and not sure which one to choose from . My main concern is the security of my wife and our 2 kids while we are home or/and while I'm away. I came across certain layouts of  website called[/SIZE][SIZE=18.6667px] Good Alarm Bad Alarm. [/SIZE][SIZE=18.6667px]There I viewed   best reviews and experiences that the consumers had while using home security system[/SIZE] .What company do you guys suggest and what do you look for in a good home security system?
The first question you have to ask is do you have the time and experience to install a DIY system yourself, or do you want a turn key system.

If the latter, then call a reputable company to install and monitor the system. Your homeowners insurance company may give you a discount for a professionally monitored system.

If the former, buy a security system that will protect your family and home, and will provide the capabilities you want.

In both cases, make a list of what existing infrastructure you already have (wiring, sensors, etc.), what capabilities you want (alarm, lighting, cameras, etc.), and set a realistic budget. Don't go cheap where your family and property are concerned.

In my case, I went the DIY route. I prefer being able troubleshoot and tweak the system myself vs someone else who will overcharge me and try to upsell me every chance they get. I had an existing cheap builder installed security system with hardwired sensors/keypads. I replaced the security panel with a DIY Elk M1 Gold system and added Universal Devices ISY-994i Insteon/Zwave lighting and lock control over time. Cameras and a NVR added later.
Honestly, for home security I look for big teeth and a loud bark.
I live in a rural area and had my home broken into 3 times even though
I had an alarm system. My home has never been broken into since I got my dogs.
ditto on the dog thing. Even the police around here say "the best security system is a dog".  We have an 18 pound terrier mix (who thinks he's a pitbull). Eats very little, so not an expensive pet by any means. But man he barks his head off if someone even walks up the 5 stairs to the front door. Heck half the time he starts barking when he hears someone approach the stairs.
But for the OP, I want one where A) I can inexpensively run motions to EVERY room and wire every door/window, B) Check on it from both inside/outside the house (not just armed status, but where is there motion, what doors are open), and C)integrate with the home automation system so I can re-use the motions as occupancy sensors for lighting / equipment shutoff in empty rooms.