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Home Security with Monitoring
Old 01-24-2016, 09:24 AM   #1
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Home Security with Monitoring

We are seeking a home security system that Nationwide will give us a discount for having. NW requires proof of active monitoring. Yes, I have read the posts about the relative uselessness of active monitoring. Yes, guns, dogs, and signs in your yard can be great deterrents. Nevertheless.

I've read the threads on home security systems. It seems to boil down to:

1) A big company like ADT installs the system at low cost or free, then charges $30 a month and up to monitor. We have an older ADT installation (2000's) that hasn't been monitored in ~10 years.

2) Buy and install system components from a company like Simplisafe, then pay the company around $15 a month for monitoring. For our house, components would be $450.00, plus another $15 each for more sensors. There's another company, alarmrelay.com that advertises cheaper monitoring, but I figure you get what you pay for.

Just wondering if it would make more sense to have ADT update the existing system and sign a contract with them, or do the Simplisafe thing.

Thanks,

Amethyst
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:58 AM   #2
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How much of a discount would you get on the home insurance?
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:49 PM   #3
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Hard to tell since they keep changing the numbers every time we turn around. 20% is batted around. That would be about $400.

I'm also wondering if anyone has had an existing alarm service re-activated after a long gap.

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How much of a discount would you get on the home insurance?
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:08 PM   #4
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Hard to tell since they keep changing the numbers every time we turn around. 20% is batted around. That would be about $400.

I'm also wondering if anyone has had an existing alarm service re-activated after a long gap.
In our neighborhood which the homes are all about 15 years old, they were wired with analog security systems that work off a landline for monitoring. A local service offered upgrading to digital if you went with their monitoring service fee. We didn't go for this and I installed a SimpliSafe system but many folks had their old system upgraded. The upgrading included adapting a digital system in place of the analog central unit and using the installed trigger devices so it was pretty easy to upgrade to digital.
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:23 PM   #5
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Also consider the communication cost. Many people want to drop the land line but you will need to keep it or buy their cellular upgrade option . For mine the cost of the monitoring plus landline was more than the discount. May be an issue if you are already keeping a land line.
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:31 PM   #6
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Yes, the current system is linked to the landline phone, which we plan to keep. We also have a router for Wi-Fi for other devices...which is close to being overloaded as it is. Certainly would not want to add yet another device (alarm system) to its load.

Are folks saying we would be expected to purchase an additional cellular connection?
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:38 PM   #7
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NextAlarm.com converts old analog system into internet using a custom voice over IP module. I'm pretty sure they will work with an ADT system. You can call them and talk to the tech people on hooking your old system up. I've used them for years although not their monitored option. They work for me. I think their monitored option is about $17.00/mo. and no long term contract.
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:38 PM   #8
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If you keeping your land line, then it will use that. They will try and upsale the cell option.

simplisafe uses its own wifi ( really a cell uplink ).

I wanted to drop the landline, a went with VOIP based system. http://info.nextalarm.com/shop/
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:50 PM   #9
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If you've already got an ADT system in place, there's no reason to buy new hardware. But don't use ADT for monitoring. They're too expensive and the contract only benefits them. There are any number of local, regional, or national firms that can monitor your existing system for $10-20/mo with no contract.

We had an old proprietary Brinks system with tons of hard-wired sensors. We used ADT for monitoring for a while, but they were quite expensive, around $35/mo with taxes/fees/etc, IIRC. We had a regional (Texas-based) company change the main box and keypad to a modern DSC system. They also converted it to a cellular-based communication system and added 6 wireless sensors to complement our existing hardwired sensors. Total upfront cost was about $225 and monthly monitoring is now $16.95. This also enabled us to drop the landline.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:43 PM   #10
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I use Simplisafe. It costs 24.95 a month. I get a discount from AmFam. I did not have a hardwired system.

I would use what is already there, depending in the monthly fees.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:26 PM   #11
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I think you are doing the right thing to have an alarm system in place Amethyst.

We sleep a lot better knowing the alarm system is set when we go to bed. This is because our bedroom is upstairs and so we can set up the motion sensor downstairs when there are no guests visiting. Our alarm company put in new keypads and updated the main board for free. They are much better and the keypad is lit up for easy reading in the dark. We pay about $23/mo but we've been with the same company for 19 years.

Basically I'm a little paranoid about some of those bad guys out there. We live on the edge of town. No problems but it only takes one bad guy.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:38 PM   #12
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WD got ADT soon after we moved here, 16 yrs ago. Went off land line to Ooma this year. We saved $50/mo and going cellular with ADT cost $5/mo additional-/net$45/mo in our favor. Few of our neighbor's have any alarm system. I think the ADT sign is a major deterrent since we are a corner house (a burglar magnet.) The alarm system has a remote which is at my bedside. It's major peace of mind, at home at night or when we travel.


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Old 01-24-2016, 07:09 PM   #13
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We had ADT in South Carolina, and when I called them to shut it off and start it back up at our new duty station they said I had to give a 60 or 90 day notice. That tiny tiny print ended up costing them a customer for life. I asked them to waive it, and they refused, so I went on ebay and bought some ADTsigns and stickers for a few bucks. Big dogs and Simply Safe seems the way to go.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:11 PM   #14
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My new house has ADT hardware installed, and they're going to come out and get it going--give me the passcode. I may have them monitor our system a month @ $43.

$15 is reasonable for monitoring fees. $43 is not.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:05 AM   #15
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Wow, just hung up on ADT after going over costs, etc. I explained that I was just doing initial research and not ready to make a decision. They wanted to set up a technician appointment; I said OK, which was a mistake.

Then they requested my birthdate and SSN to 'do a credit check' for the 3-year agreement. I said no, I would pay via credit card.

OK, then give us your CC # now, so everything will be "ready to go" when the technician arrives. If you decide not to go with us, just tell the technician. We cannot send a technician unless we have your CC.

I said thank you, I'll call again later.

This is exactly the hard-sell approach that turned us off ADT in the past!
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:33 AM   #16
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Hard to tell since they keep changing the numbers every time we turn around. 20% is batted around. That would be about $400.

I'm also wondering if anyone has had an existing alarm service re-activated after a long gap.
monitoring will cost about 400 a year, maybe a bit less

yes, we had ours re-activated once - they will just need to come out and check the system - it may require an upgrade
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:17 PM   #17
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After being slightly intrigued by the interest in alarm monitoring services in this thread I decided to do a google search. I found this near the top of the list:
http://www.alarmmonitoringservices.com

They are advertising a basic service at $5.95/month (assumes land or Voip phone line is available). They also charge about $20/year extra for providing "insurance certificates"

Has anyone ever considered an outfit like this? I never considered myself a candidate for alarm monitoring but at that price level it becomes potentially interesting.

FWIW I have lived in house for ~ 16 years and an analog alarm is installed. I never have had it monitored. I have always relied on the exterior site lighting (industrial) provided by my neighbors driveway as a deterrent.

-gauss
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:31 PM   #18
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As with all contracts, read down far enough to see how termination will work when the time comes to drop the service. Some alarm companies are known for requiring several months of notice, charging a disconnect fee and other tricks.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:18 PM   #19
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I looked up ADT systems that are compatible with NextAlarm.com:

Quote:
Manufacturer: ADT

Compatible Models: Safewatch Pro Series

Incompatible Models: Safewatch Plus, Safewatch RF Series, Safewatch Entrepreneur, Safewatch Custom
Other places on their web site they seem pretty confident that an ADT system will work. You should be able to order the Broad Band Adapter (~$70) from Amazon or Home Depot, but call NextAlarm first and make sure everything will work.
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Home Security with Monitoring
Old 01-31-2016, 07:48 PM   #20
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Home Security with Monitoring

There's an out fit advertising in the DC area 18.95/mo for monitoring but I have no first hand knowledge of the service.
Ackerman Alarm or whatever.

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