How to Tell When It’s Time to Update Your Security System
Is it Finally Time to Update Your Security System?
Like any technology, home security systems become somewhat obsolete over time. Like the Black and White TVs, 8-track tapes and VCRs…home security technologies become obsolete over time.
While they may continue to function…(Yes, technically, you can still listen to the Doobie Brothers on an 8-track tape….or watch reruns of the 1971 Stanley Cup playoffs on a 19” B&W Magnavox TV…but, would you really want to?), they won’t necessarily provide your family with the level of reliable protection they need and deserve.
Many people don’t bat an eye on spending hundreds or even thousands on the latest fashion. They spend hundreds of dollars a year so that they can have the latest I-phone or have to have that state-of-the-art 4K 75” flat-screen TV to watch The Walking Dead. Ironically, some of these same folks may be using 15 to 20-year-old technology to protect their homes and families.
Now I know seeing Zombie movies on a super high-definition 75” OLED screen is important…but, let’s take a look at some of the signs that it might be time to enter the 21st century of security and home-automation technology.
You will likely be pleasantly surprised at affordable it can actually be.
Top 5 Reasons to Update Your Security System
Avoid Unexpected repairs and reduced performance
Smoke Detectors should absolutely be updated every 7-10 years from the date of manufacture. (It should be labeled on the device) They lose effectiveness over time…and may put your home and family at risk.
As far as systems are concerned, even if you aren’t one for having the latest, greatest technology, you should be taking a hard look at updating a system after 15 years. While I have seen systems still up and running at 25 years…the older systems will become a maintenance liability at some point. Parts may become difficult to come by and technicians will typically bill out at $85-$135 an hour.
Many companies offer a “take-over” device that enables you to utilize much of the existing equipment and connecting it to a brand new control panel and keypads that are fully warrantied.
Updating your system will eliminate the risk of unexpected and costly repairs.
If your system still looks like this…
2000 Era KP
Outdated Keypad Circa 2000
… or this. It may be time to upgrade.
TO THIS! The State of the Art 2GIG GC2E by Link Interactive!
State of The Art - Link Interactive!
State of the Art – Link Interactive Control Panel
A technological Tour De Force…but so simple to operate!
You still depend on Landline Systems
A Burglars Dream
While landlines may have been the only affordable communication technology in your area 20 years ago, landlines or cable communication can be easily defeated by even the most unsophisticated thief with a $5 pair of wire-cutters.
It doesn’t matter how good the security system is (or was, when you bought it), if the signal doesn’t get transmitted to the monitoring center, your once state-of-the-art security system is reduced to an expensive noisemaker.
Virtually all newer systems are wireless and have cellular systems that send a signal no matter what.
with a Cellular Plan!
Someone with an older system might be paying only $20/mo. for the security monitoring, but, when you factor another $25-$30 a month for the landline, the real cost is $45 to $50/mo.
With a $35 Cellular Security Plan, the cellular service is built right into the monitoring rate. So, the plan with cellular service can actually be cheaper than the old monitoring plan.
In addition to providing more reliable security and saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of the system, the cellular service opens up a whole new world of benefits.
Smart Home Automation
Take Your Home Security to the Next Level
Twenty years ago home automation was something you saw in sci-fi films or The Jetsons.
Now technology makes the smart home a reality. Home automation can be easily integrated into the modern home security system through Z-Wave technology. This enables one to control thermostats, lighting, small appliances, and door locks through the home security system.
Mobile Apps such as Alarm.com, (used by Link Interactive and Frontpoint)Total Connect, ADT Pulse, and Vivint Control enable you to manage your home security system and control any of these functions on your web-connected computer browser or an iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
Most systems can now be managed with voice commands using Alexa or Google Voice Control.
Ease of operation!
It’s a breeze…
I’m often asked…isn’t all of this technology difficult to operate?
A lot of people think those gorgeous full-color touchscreen control panels must be expensive and complicated to operate (with all that fancy new technology). In reality, quite the opposite is true.
In addition to being far more powerful and aesthetically pleasing, they are actually infinitely more user-friendly than the standard pushbutton control panel. They are as easy to use as the I-phone – with intuitive menu-based screens that walk you through everything.
Ok…so maybe it makes sense to update….Who do I choose?
Well, that depends on a number of factors…but, in my case, we selected Link Interactive. And we’ll get into that in our next section.
This is the first in an ongoing series of posts about how we updated an aging alarm system and converted it into a full-scale modern home automation system. Be sure to check back frequently for updates.
Feel free to share your best reasons to upgrade an outdated home security system, below. And don’t forget to share with the people you care about most!
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Last Updated on May 11, 2021 by The Home Security Advisor