It is no secret that everyone wants their home and family to be safe and secure. It can be not easy to choose the right home security system. This is true even if you aren’t prepared.

Knowing more about security systems and their technology will allow you to make an informed decision when purchasing one. Learning the ropes can save you time, money, and hassle.

This guide will give you an overview of the current home security market and help you understand the factors you should consider when choosing the right security system.

This guide includes information on everything, from the features and accessories of a home security system to payment options and contractual obligations. You may not have considered certain factors, but they are critical. We break it down into easy-to-understand language, and easy-to-reference sections. Enjoy!

What is a Home Security System?

Your home security system protects your home. It includes motion, entry, base stations, and security cameras. If professional monitoring is available, the system will notify emergency services if a burglar attempts to enter your home.

These are the components of a security program:

Sensors for entryways

  • Core Function- Also known as door and window sensors, they form the backbone of your home security system. When a window or door is opened, they sound an alarm. This alarm deters criminals as well as alerts homeowners of security breaches.
  • What it Does – Entry sensors are made up of a magnet as well as a sensor. When they are in close proximity, the two components create a magnetic field. The magnetic field becomes disturbed when the door or window is opened and the sensor signals the base station for the siren to sound.
  • Tech Features and Key Features –DIY offers easy-mount (Velcro-adhesive) entryway sensors that are set up in minutes. The best adelaide security systems will send mobile alerts when an entry sensor is activated. This allows homeowners to take immediate action.
  • Integrations and Add-ons –Some systems let you automate IoT devices by analyzing the status of your entry sensor. The base station can send smart lights on when a door opens. You can also purchase additional entry sensors to protect every window and door in your home. It would be best if you placed an entry sensor at every first-floor entranceway and any easily accessible second-floor windows.

Motion Sensors

  • Core Function-Motion sensors sound an alarm or trigger mobile alerts when there is motion inside the house. These sensors are intended to provide an additional layer of protection.
  • How it works – These devices emit an invisible laser/light that when disturbed sounds an alarm. Infrared technology can detect body heat in some motion detectors, such as the one shown below. These motion sensors are called PIR sensors and only trigger when the object emits heat.
  • Tech & Key Features – The best motion detectors can distinguish between pets and people, limiting false alarms. Many motion detectors, especially those integrated into security cameras have facial recognition technology. Others can shine a floodlight when movement is detected.
  • Integrations and Add-ons – Some motion sensors can be integrated in smart home ecosystems. They can also be programmed to perform a variety of commands.

Security Cameras

  • Security cameras are installed inside and outside the house to ensure safety. Many cameras continuously record and notify homeowners when there is activity. Sometimes, just the presence of a camera can deter criminals.
  • How it works – Today’s cameras can either record continuously or are motion-activated. They can record video and send out real-time alerts. You are the first to find out if a pizza delivery man or porch pirate is visiting your property.
  • Tech Features & Key Features – The best cameras offer HD image quality, mobile accessibility with live-streaming and two-way voice. You can also tilt and pan the camera.
  • Integrations and Add-ons – Some cameras can be used with home automation systems. This allows users to set up different rules such as pre-set to record at to ensure that the children arrive home safely from school.

Video Doorbells

  • Core Function- As a first line of defense against burglars and package thieves, video doorbells can help protect your home. Many doorbell cameras allow you to see and speak with visitors and friends from the front of your home.
  • How it works – These DIY video doorbells can replace your current doorbell. These devices come with a tiny camera that records activity and can take still photos to be shared and seen. It also acts as a doorbell.
  • Tech Features & Key Features – Access, monitoring, control, and control via a mobile app are some of the most important features to look for when purchasing a doorbell camera. Other features include HD image quality and cloud storage, night vision, two way talk, and many more.
  • Integrations and Add-ons –Some doorbell cameras can be integrated in home automation ecosystems to make them more useful (and smarter) than home security cameras. controls.

Home Automation Controls

  • Home automation automates daily tasks to make life easier and more efficient. Smart controls enable users to control and automate everything remotely, from lights and thermostats to garage doors and cameras to coffee makers.
  • How it works- Depending on the platform, smart home automation controls can be used via voice commands or mobile commands. The house will follow your instructions. Reduce the lighting!
  • Tech Features and Key Features – These features and tech can be as simple as turning on a light or an alarm. They also include powerful AI-driven surveillance technology. The user can decide how futuristic their home should be. Smart home automation controls are limitless.
  • Integrations and Add-ons –Many platforms can support hundreds of smart devices. Users can personalize their systems as they wish. Many hubs can be used with devices using Z-Wave and Zigbee. Many hubs can also be used with voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant for hands-free voice control.


  • Core Function –Floodlights are used to illuminate suspicious activity. Floodlights are essential to protect your home from intruders.
  • What it does – These motion activated devices flood a yard with bright light. Floodlights are a great way to expose criminals and remove the darkness from a yard or driveway.
  • Tech and Key Features – It is possible to mount many floodlights in a matter of minutes. Many floodlights have bright LEDs and others include a siren that activates when there is motion. The best floodlights of today double as security cameras.
  • Integrations and Add-ons – Depending on your platform you can set custom motion zones, schedules, integrate into a smart home system with mobile controls and many other features.

Panic Buttons

  • Core Function – These wall-mounted devices include a help button. This button can be pressed in the event of an emergency or home invasion. They immediately summon help.
  • How it works – Most control panels include a panic button. This can be used via Wi-Fi, landline or cell to send a signal (if professional monitoring is available) to the monitoring center. Press the panic button to get help in times of crisis.
  • Tech Features & Key Features – These devices are very simple. When precious seconds can save lives, simplicity is what you need. Many panic buttons on control panels have two-way voice so that you can speak directly with responders.

Glass-Break Sensors

  • Core Function- Glass-break sensors detect glass cracking. Alarms sound and alerts are sent when there is a security breach. Although these sensors are sold separately, they are highly effective and can be used in conjunction with magnetic window sensors.
  • How it works – Place them near a window as they have microscopic microphones that detect high-frequency sounds of glass breaking. The sensor activates an alarm when glass breaks. This alerts the burglar and hopefully makes him run.

Keychain Fobs

  • Core Function –Keychain fobs enable users to arm or disarm their system remotely. A panic button is included in many keychain touchpads, giving you peace of mind while entering and leaving the dark.
  • How It Works – Attach the small device to your keychain or carry it around in your purse or pocket. You can always grab your keychain fob to remind you to arm your system before you leave the house. These devices can be powered by batteries and are useful if your system does not offer mobile access.
  • Tech Features – The best keychain fobs are compact enough to be easy to use and have a long life battery. Although most keychain fobs have remote arm/disarm buttons they do not include panic buttons.

Smart Smoke Detectors

  • Core Function – Fires can often occur while the homeowner is not home, making the traditional smoke detector ineffective. A smart smoke detector does more than sound the alarm; it sends real-time alerts directly to your smartphone.
  • How it works – The app-based device is easy to install in minutes. The app is available anytime you need access to, monitor, or control your smoke detector.
  • Tech Features –Smart smoke detectors send low-battery alerts straight to your phone, integrate with IFTTT, provide helpful voice instructions, and much more.
  • Integrations and Add-ons –All smoke alarms can seamlessly integrate with third-party platforms. Consider water leak sensors and CO detectors (see below).

Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Core Function – These life-saving devices send real-time notifications and alerts to your mobile phone. This way, you won’t be able to walk into a house with a CO leak and potentially die.
  • How it works – These devices are pre-configured and ready for use, similar to smart smoke detectors. Simply plug it in, and follow the instructions in the companion application. It will alert you immediately if it detects CO.
  • Tech Features – Users need to look for long battery lives and an app that can be used as a companion app.
  • Integrations and Add-ons –Connect your smart CO detector to a home automation system for easy access to all of the information on one dashboard.

Water Leak Detectors

  • Core Function This device is well worth the price of gold. Water damage can be very costly. Don’t panic if your home leaks while you are away. A water leak detector will alert you and allow you to contact the plumber immediately.
  • How it works – Place the sensor near any faucets or other fixtures that could leak. If, or when! If (or when!) there is a leak, the sensor will sound an alert and send you a text message.
  • Tech & Key Features – Some water detectors communicate with smart valves to shut down your water at the source (if necessary), thus limiting and even eliminating damage. Smart! Many water leak sensors have integrated flood, freeze, and humidity sensors.
  • Addons and Integrations – Same as the smoke and CO detectors mentioned above.

A home security system, in other words, is a collection of electronic devices that protect your apartment or home from burglars, thieves, or home intruders.

How do home security systems work?

With a security sensor, you will first need to secure all of your entry points (doors or windows). Once the alarm system has been activated and set, the control panel will notify any door or window that is opened by the sensors. The siren or alarm will sound when the sensor is activated. If indoor motion detectors detect activity, they send the same signal as the alarm panel.

The control panel will notify the monitoring station immediately if the security system has professional monitoring. The monitoring station personnel will notify the homeowner of any security breaches. They will then take the necessary actions. They can, however, communicate with homeowners through the control panel if there is 2-way talk. We will discuss this later.

False alarms are most common. These include someone forgetting to set their alarm and opening a window, or the dog invading a motion detector. However, break-ins and burglaries do occur. The monitoring staff will contact you within one minute of the breach and call the police or emergency responders if necessary.

Remember that we are constantly testing home security systems to determine how they perform. Check out our guide to the fastest home security company response times to see our results.

However, systems that do not have a professional monitoring center linked to them are considered non-monitored or self-monitored. The homeowner is responsible for monitoring alerts. In the event of a security breach, they will be the ones who contact emergency personnel or police.

Many great DIY security systems can be installed in your home. One feature they all have in common is the ability for homeowners to be notified remotely. This allows the homeowner to take immediate actions.

Self-monitored security systems use email and text alerts, but the immediate rise to popularity of smartphone-controlled security systems paved one more avenue of sending alerts: push notifications. You can receive alerts straight to your smartphone. From there, you can open your home security app to investigate the incident.

The home security system works differently. The homeowner can deter burglary attempts by displaying the sign of the security company in their front yard or the sticker of the company on their front windows. Many potential burglars are discouraged by a security systems. They work! Keep the stickers or signage of your security company prominently displayed.