Security system questions for a new home

Jun 21, 2020
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Hi all,

My entire circuit breaker box was stolen from the back of my new house ("new house" = new construction and it's not prewired). Since we just moved in, I still have not had a chance to install any security system. I have called around to get quotes from different local companies, including ADT. I got completely different quotes and suggestions. It has got me a tad bit confused.

I am asking people who are knowledgeable in this field to help me in understanding which features are useless and which features are necessary to keep my family and my home safe.

1) For instance, there are various video cameras: cheap wireless, hardwired, professional, sold at big box stores, etc.

a. When it comes to video cameras, is it worth it to get them professionally installed or DIY will suffice?

b. I got a quote for 4 hardwired professional cameras for $1500. Is it worth it?

2) There are DIY kits, like the popular Ring or SimpliSafe. Are they worth it?

c. I got a quote from a few local ADT retailers, some charge upfront fees for equipment ($500- 800), some do not, but charge more a month. In addition, they lock you in a lengthy contract.

In general, what do you guys recommend: getting video cameras and alarms, or just one or the other? And do you recommend specific brands, products, or companies?

Thank you!
 

sonofjesse

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Depends on what you want. What are your needs?

If building a house you can easily run hard wires, if the house is built you have to run them in the attic/crawlspace. This can save you a lot of money!!

Do you want it monitored?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Excellent questions above.
Also, inside or outside?

I have 2 of these Reolink:
https://www.amazon.com/Reolink-Security-Optical-Outdoor-RLC-423/dp/B016UCNP08

Record directly to my QNAP NAS.

Thinking of adding 2 more, one on each corner.

I've had a couple of inexpensive 4 camera/DVR setups. The image quality is astoundingly better on the Reolinks.

For me, "wireless" is the very opposite of "security". Hardwired all the way.
 
Reactions: kanewolf

punkncat

Honorable
Ambassador
Hi, past security professional and current fire safety professional.

If you have no issues with wires I think the Nest camera system is possibly one of the best systems on the market for cost, feature, and resolution. Super easy to work with and inexpensive.
You can purchase wireless security systems of the likes of GE and such, I think even through Wal Mart.....

So with that said:

The ONLY thing that a monitored system will benefit you from is having monitored smokes, such that the FD can (hopefully) be there quick enough to put out a fire. Also typical homeowners discount. Otherwise, a security system lets you know you got robbed. IMO the value of the sign in the yard is FAR greater than the value of the system. Just the same, it's great to have a simple system on your accessways and an indoor motion detector. Even if not monitored you can use it in conjunction with a horn to make loads of noise. This will alert neighbors if close enough and scare off most troublemaker type robbers. Professionals will know they have some time.
The Nest system can be set up to alert you even for noises. So, have one on the front, on the back at the main entry points or such, I also like to have a cam inside or two in the main throughways. If the system gets set off, you get alerted by Nest and you can determine if the police need called.

A stand alone security system is just about a waste for a standard home user. Cameras are the wave of the future, even if some of them give poor resolutions and detail. Just the same, good cost effective method above.

I highly suggest you avoid doing business particularly entering contract with ADT. They ARE the devil. You will regret it.

Home monitoring, if you insist, should be available for ~$25 a month.
 

punkncat

Honorable
Ambassador
For me, "wireless" is the very opposite of "security". Hardwired all the way.

For perspective, among the reasons for so many "wireless" solutions in the market is this.

A company cannot sell a system that requires ANY termination of devices (in many US areas) because to do so requires a low voltage license. Companies CAN sell "plug and play" options that are wired and terminated ready to just plug and go. In order to cut down on even the low amount of possibility for error on that, many have chosen to go wireless, which also bypasses the licensure requirement.

There are plusses and minus to both ways for sure. In particular I prefer wired because it eliminates the battery equation. Just the same, having wires introduces a path for lightning/static, open to damage by squirrels and other pests, and honestly the installation obstacles and challenges themselves can be a lot for even professionals.
 
Jun 21, 2020
9
2
15
0
Depends on what you want. What are your needs?

If building a house you can easily run hard wires, if the house is built you have to run them in the attic/crawlspace. This can save you a lot of money!!

Do you want it monitored?
Excellent questions above.
Also, inside or outside?

I have 2 of these Reolink:
https://www.amazon.com/Reolink-Security-Optical-Outdoor-RLC-423/dp/B016UCNP08

Record directly to my QNAP NAS.

Thinking of adding 2 more, one on each corner.

I've had a couple of inexpensive 4 camera/DVR setups. The image quality is astoundingly better on the Reolinks.

For me, "wireless" is the very opposite of "security". Hardwired all the way.
Thank you both very much for your replies. I'm mostly interested in outside security since, after the theft of the circuit breaker box, it has made me a little bit uneasy about leaving the outside of the home unmonitored. Regardless, you have provided some great information -- cheers!
 
Jun 21, 2020
9
2
15
0
Hi, past security professional and current fire safety professional.

If you have no issues with wires I think the Nest camera system is possibly one of the best systems on the market for cost, feature, and resolution. Super easy to work with and inexpensive.
You can purchase wireless security systems of the likes of GE and such, I think even through Wal Mart.....

So with that said:

The ONLY thing that a monitored system will benefit you from is having monitored smokes, such that the FD can (hopefully) be there quick enough to put out a fire. Also typical homeowners discount. Otherwise, a security system lets you know you got robbed. IMO the value of the sign in the yard is FAR greater than the value of the system. Just the same, it's great to have a simple system on your accessways and an indoor motion detector. Even if not monitored you can use it in conjunction with a horn to make loads of noise. This will alert neighbors if close enough and scare off most troublemaker type robbers. Professionals will know they have some time.
The Nest system can be set up to alert you even for noises. So, have one on the front, on the back at the main entry points or such, I also like to have a cam inside or two in the main throughways. If the system gets set off, you get alerted by Nest and you can determine if the police need called.

A stand alone security system is just about a waste for a standard home user. Cameras are the wave of the future, even if some of them give poor resolutions and detail. Just the same, good cost effective method above.

I highly suggest you avoid doing business particularly entering contract with ADT. They ARE the devil. You will regret it.

Home monitoring, if you insist, should be available for ~$25 a month.
You're amazing - thank you so much for your detailed and informative post! It definitely gives me a lot of food for thought and Nest appears to be rather promising. Once again, thank you so much for taking the time. :)
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
141,058
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Thank you both very much for your replies. I'm mostly interested in outside security since, after the theft of the circuit breaker box, it has made me a little bit uneasy about leaving the outside of the home unmonitored. Regardless, you have provided some great information -- cheers!
2 of my cases:

1. Identify who knocked over and broke the neighbors bird bath. Sometime between 11PM and 2AM.
It was a racoon.

2. Discover the source of an iPhone that appeared on my back porch.
Looping back through the camera vid, 6:28AM, a mid 30s woman walked up my back yard and deposited it on a workbench.

Turned it in to the police the next day, with a color printout of her doing it.

A week later, cop, this woman and her BF knock on my door. "Have you seen...?"
'Yep, turned it into the police station last week.'
Apparently she was having an 'episode', and was trying to divest herself of all worldly goods (or some such).
 
May 7, 2021
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Hello. I'll start by saying that you can install an entire security system along with smoke detectors, leak detectors, and cameras, which will be much cheaper. For example, you can look at ajax, which has the ability to control all sensors and cameras from a smartphone using a special application. Answering the other questions, I can say that it will be easy to mount such cameras without specialists and without DIY. Double-sided tape or three self-tapping screws should fit. It's extremely easy, friend. Read more about it on the Internet.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
My former boss had a great story. Just an internet enabled web-cam type system that you could access on a mobile device. Would alert you to movement.

He watched as people broke in, was able to call the cops, and had them apprehended before they could leave. We worked in a different city then he lived in too. (It helped that he mentioned he kept loaded guns in the house, had half the department there in under five minutes as they started wheeling out his gun safe) Helped that it wasn't a smash and grab, they knew exactly what they were after.

Very topical to me. Just bought a house myself and need to start looking at minimum a water/level sensor for the sump pump and a power outage notification of some sort. At least until I get a proper backup power system. Right now just relying on a 12V battery backup sump. (Going to replace that whole thing this weekend as well, get me a nice deep cycle marine battery)

And while I am at it, some cameras.
 

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