Most people know that "DIY" stands for "Do It Yourself," but the term has many meanings. You may think of DIY as adding a deck on your house, or tiling a bathroom. Many DIY projects involve tools, at least some mess, and at least a modicum of understanding what it is you are trying to accomplish. But not every DIY product or service has to be that complicated: in fact, DOY in some areas has evolved to the point where some of these solutions are downright easy.
DIY Catching On
For example, if you go back a few years, nobody thought that we would be setting up our own routers, computers, in-home cameras, and other technological home enhancements. But the smart companies made it easy for even the most inexperienced person to take on these tasks. And consumers adapted. As a concept, DIY has really caught on across a very broad range of consumer products and services. And one of those areas where DIY is increasingly accepted – especially when done well – is in monitored home security.
DIY & Home Security
As one might expect, protecting the home and family is a priority for many homeowners. But for decades, the traditional approach to home security was based on a business model that included door-to-door salespeople and installation technicians. In fact, most alarm companies still operate that way. Happily, the trend is increasingly moving in the direction of highly sophisticated systems that can be purchased online, and easily be set up by just about anyone. And that is much more convenient for you.
What Makes This Possible?
One of the biggest shifts in home security has been toward safer cellular monitoring: you really don't want your alarm system using a vulnerable phone or Internet connection to communicate to the monitoring center. The best DIY alarm system use a built-in cellular radio for this purpose, so you never have to worry about hooking anything up – or about that connection being severed by a burglar with a $3 pair of wire cutters.
Wireless Sensors are Key
Another important development that helps make DIY home security so attractive is the wireless sensor. Now there are no wires to run, and no mess: the system can be set up by simply mounting the sensors wherever you need them, using industrial grade "peel and stick" adhesive. It's easy – and the sensors can be easily moved or replaced, as necessary. Even when you move, your system can move with you!
Interactive Services Help, Too
Today's alarm systems can do a lot more, such as informing you by text or email about that’s going on in your home: when the system is armed or disarmed, when a door opens, and even when you lose power, to list a few examples. And that same technology can help the alarm company confirm that you have set up all the sensors correctly – and that they are all working.
All about the User Experience
There is one note of caution, however: not all DIY alarm systems are created equal. Here are a few areas where significant differences can exist between one system and another:
- Is it monitored? If the authorities are going to be notified in the even in event of an alarm, what's the point of that?
- How easy is it to hack the system? This is a big issue, and is getting more attention, as some system are far more susceptible to hacking than others.
- How are the sensors programmed, and how easy are they to put up? The best one are remarkably simple. At Frontpoint, we like to say that it’s like putting magnets on a refrigerator.
- What interactive features are offered? Think notifications, alerts, remote control of the system.
- Is there a built-in cellular radio? There should be!
- Can the system also support video services? In-home cameras are becoming more common – and they are not complicated to use.
- Does the system also provide home automation options? These may include the remote control of lights, locks, and thermostats.
That is just a partial list: there are many more elements to compare. When you start shopping, make sure you do all the research you need to feel comfortable about your decision – and that includes reading reviews about any company you consider. After all, it's your peace of mind that is at stake, and that's important.