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Compare Home Security Systems

Posted by on 8:48 pm in Blog, Home Security, Security Systems | Comments Off on Compare Home Security Systems

Compare Home Security Systems

When you compare home security systems, you want to look at several different factors to ensure an “apples to apples” comparison. The type of security equipment, the form of alarm communication, and included features are important to evaluate. In addition, you should compare the companies offering the equipment and services for reputation, experience and customer service. Finally, price should be a factor as well. To aid in your decision-making process, I will briefly discuss the options for each of these categories. Compare Home Security Systems Equipment There are only a handful of alarm system manufacturers. The most popular in the U.S. are DSC, Honeywell, GE and Nortek (2Gig). Any system manufactured by one of these companies is acceptable, although older systems may not be as reliable or compatible with modern features and communication. Specifically, older house alarm systems are probably not wireless. Continue reading for more specific information about wireless versus hardwired, and wireless versus landline transmission. Wired or Wireless? The term wireless can refer to either the equipment or the method of communication. A wireless security system means the components (door sensors, motion detectors, etc.) don’t need to be hardwired to the master control panel. Wireless communication means a standard home phone line is not necessary to send alarm signals to the central station monitoring the home. Wireless equipment is more for convenience of installation and a clean appearance, while wireless monitoring is actually a more reliable and secure way to protect your home. Learn more about wireless alarm monitoring. Security System Features In the past, alarm systems were only useful when there was an alarm. Now security systems can do some truly amazing things! Monitor when doors and windows (even overhead garage doors) open and close, even when the system is not armed. Control locks, lights, appliances, thermostats and more. Include video and still images – with image sensors, doorbell cameras, indoor/outdoor cameras, and lowlight cameras. Transmit alarm signals when the power is out, internet is down, and even when the entire system is disabled or destroyed. Learn about Crash & Smash Protection. Use a mobile app to monitor and control the whole system, including real-time notifications and text alerts.   Compare home security systems features for basic and smart alarm systems. Comparing Home Security Companies Tools like Google reviews, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau can help distinguish a great company from a terrible one. A few bad reviews are okay (nobody’s perfect) but what were the negative comments? Did the company respond? Does the same problem keep coming up again and again? Friends and family can be a great source for recommendations, and even a quick post on Facebook asking for referrals can be helpful. Call the company you are evaluating to get a feel for their customer service. Make sure the company you choose has fair prices, a good selection of high quality equipment, and highly rated monitoring service. The U.S.A.A. rating of 5 Diamonds is the highest rank for alarm monitoring companies. Comparing Prices An exact price can be hard to find on the internet. Because there are so many options and each home and family is unique, costs can vary significantly. Make sure you know what is included in your price so you can compare apples to apples. Alarm monitoring of...

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Scenes | (Another) New Home Automation Feature

Posted by on 2:49 pm in Blog, Home Automation | Comments Off on Scenes | (Another) New Home Automation Feature

Scenes | (Another) New Home Automation Feature

As you probably know, we at DFW Security LOVE to add value for our customers, and are regularly improving our already award-winning mobile application. Last month we added Scenes – another new home automation feature. What are Scenes? Scenes are little buttons that make managing your home faster and easier. They are pre-programmed one-touch buttons that control multiple home automation devices from your mobile app. For example, you may choose to have an Away button. When you press that one button, it turns off all the lights, locks all the doors, turns the thermostat to an energy-saving temperature, closes the garage door and sets the alarm.  You can customize your button(s) with any title, and specify any associated actions you choose. How do they work? Since our home automation system already has the ability to control so many devices in your home (thermostats, lights, cameras, garage doors, locks, alarm, etc.) from the same app, the addition of Scenes simply makes it even easier to control those devices with the touch of only one button- instead of multiple buttons in the same app. Because they can be customized, they make managing your home as easy as you want it to be. What are some examples? The 4 pre-built buttons are Home, Away, Sleep and Wake Up. In my home, I added a Mom button and a Dad button. I like the house a certain way (warm, bright and locked), and my husband likes it another way (cold, dark and unlocked). We also use a Bedtime button that turns off our son’s TV, turns off all the indoor lights, locks the doors, arms the security system in Stay mode and adjusts the thermostat to nice and cool. We’ve been thinking about adding a TV or Movie button that sets the lighting just right and locks all the doors. How do I get it? If you already have a smart security system with home automation from DFW Security, all you have to do is update our app on your mobile device. If you have your apps set to automatically update, you may already notice the 4 pre-set buttons on your home screen. Scenes are also already added to the website if you login from a computer. To program your buttons, simply click on the > by Scenes on the home page of your home automation app. Click on + to add a new button, or to edit an existing button, click on the one you want to change and select Edit. The arrows are to re-order how the buttons appear. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to call and ask. We are here for you! To learn more about Smart Security and home automation, visit these other helpful pages. Home AutomationCompare Basic vs. Smart Security100 Ways to Customize Your Home Automation...

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Doorbell Camera

Posted by on 1:29 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Doorbell Camera

Doorbell Camera

You may have seen some ads lately for a doorbell camera that you can view on your smart phone. This post will tell you more about what it is and isn’t, how it works, and what it does. DFW Security is currently in the testing phase of this device, and we are not yet offering it to our customers. We like to stay on the cutting edge of technology, but we believe in making sure a product is absolutely fantastic before we start putting it in hundreds of homes. The SkyBell The SkyBell is the doorbell camera we are currently testing and will soon offer to our customers if we determine it is worthy. It integrates with our current all-in-one mobile app – so you won’t need a separate app (unlike most other companies). What it is… The SkyBell is a doorbell, camera, microphone, speaker, and motion sensor all in one. If someone rings your doorbell, or if there is motion in front of the doorbell, it allows you to see, hear, and talk to, whoever is at your door. It is customizable, so you choose when and how you want to be notified. What it isn’t… So far in our testing, we have discovered it is not instantaneous or automatic.  You still have to click at least one button to view the camera, speak and listen. The sound and image quality could be better, but it does the trick. While it is a cool gadget that does increase your security and awareness, I would not recommend it as a replacement for full size cameras and a home security system. But again, it is definitely better than nothing, and is a great enhancement to a smart security system. How it works… The doorbell camera is wireless, and uses your home’s wi-fi to connect to your mobile device. You specify the devices (smart phone, tablet, etc.) that you want to notify when someone rings your doorbell. You can choose a push notification, a text message or even an email. You also determine if and how to be notified when there is motion in front of the doorbell. If you want to respond, you click open on your mobile app to listen, speak and view the video. If you have our smart system, you could also unlock the door remotely. Note: Other doorbell cameras from other companies may not offer all these features and customizations. What it does… The doorbell camera offers convenience. You don’t have to get up to see who is at your door. You can see and talk to them, even if you are not there. Because it can record video based on motion or the doorbell being pressed, it adds security just like a traditional camera. At DFW Security, safety and convenience is what we are all about. We hope to conclude our testing of the SkyBell soon; and will let you know when/if it is available. And because we are known for value, you can be sure it will be at a great price. Check back soon!...

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Is Home Automation a Luxury or a Necessity?

Posted by on 1:31 pm in Blog, Home Automation | Comments Off on Is Home Automation a Luxury or a Necessity?

Is Home Automation a Luxury or a Necessity?

Why Not Both? When you pair home automation with home security, you combine the safety and peace of mind of knowing your home is protected, with the luxury of the latest wireless technology to manage your home efficiently. Why our Home Automation is a Necessity While other companies offer complex home automation systems costing thousands of dollars, they rarely integrate with your security system. Our systems are able to do more (for less $), because they work hand-in-hand with our smart security system. With the alarm system as the center, security becomes the primary focus, and allows the automation features to perform better. Just in case you were wondering, home security IS a necessity. If you are already going to pay to protect your home, shouldn’t you have the best protection? Our smart system uses dedicated wireless two-way communication and patented technology to ensure the best protection available. Now for the Luxury Part Just because it offers the best protection, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Our award-winning app makes controlling your home easy, and the technology really is amazing. For example, you can program a specific scenario like this: When your kids get home and open your garage door, your door automatically unlocks, the alarm disarms, the hallway light goes on, the thermostat locks on a temperature, and your cameras take a video and text it to you. Your smart thermostats can be linked to your cell phones to automatically adjust based on your location, so you aren’t paying to heat or cool the house when you aren’t even home. That’s just the beginning of all this extremely affordable home automation system can do. Learn more about it here. Combine luxury and necessity with a smart home automation system from DFW Security. Call today for details. Get Started...

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Brinks Security System | What are my Options?

Posted by on 9:09 pm in Blog, Security Systems | Comments Off on Brinks Security System | What are my Options?

Brinks Security System | What are my Options?

Do you have a Brinks security system in your home, and are wondering about your options? Brinks Home security became Broadview Security several years ago, and was then bought out by ADT. But just because you have a Brinks system in your home, doesn’t mean you have to use that company for alarm monitoring.  In fact, you can save money by switching to DFW Security – whether you keep your existing Brinks Security system components, or upgrade to our Smart Home Security System. Free Equipment, Installation and Activation If you have a Brinks security system in your home, I can guarantee it is outdated. Why not bring your home protection into this century? (Without breaking the bank.) You may be surprised to know, a brand new state-of-the-art smart security system with a mobile app, wireless monitoring and more, could cost less with us than monitoring your old-fashioned Brinks system with ADT. Pay nothing upfront for your equipment, installation and activation except your first month of monitoring.  Note: Please make sure you have fulfilled your agreement with any other home security company before switching to DFW. Why is Smart Security Better? For many years, all home alarm systems were just like your Brinks security system. If an alarm was triggered, the monitoring center was notified via home phone line, and the police were dispatched after a phone call to the homeowner for verification. If a burglar cut the phone line outside the house, the system didn’t work. If you forgot to set your alarm, it did no good. Smart security systems provide all sorts of information, even when they are not armed. Thanks to two-way communication, they know when a door or window is opened, know when you’ve left the area without arming the system, and even detect when someone disables or destroys the control panel. You can operate the system from your mobile device via our award-winning  mobile app, and its easily upgradeable to include home automation. If you want to keep your Brinks security system and get it monitored by their successor, you certainly can. But why would you want to? Who wants to pay more for a sub-standard product? Upgrade to DFW Security and allow us to make your life simple, safe and smart. Get Started...

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Home Alarm System | And Then Some

Posted by on 1:20 pm in Alarm Systems, Blog | Comments Off on Home Alarm System | And Then Some

Home Alarm System | And Then Some

Don’t You Want More? When you think about a home alarm system, do you think about a box on the wall that only helps when someone tries to break in, and only if you remember to set it? Over 20 years ago, when DFW Security first began protecting homes, a basic alarm system with basic landline monitoring was all we had to offer. Fast forward to today, and we have a wide range of security products to not only protect your home, but also to make life a little easier and help you manage your home more efficiently. In fact, that’s our slogan: “Making Life…Simple, Safe, Smart.” A Better Home Alarm System and a Great Price Don’t worry, all these advancements don’t cost a fortune. You’ll probably be surprised at how affordable these space-age sounding features really are. Home automation integrated with your home alarm system means you can use one mobile app to control your lights, thermostat, cameras, door locks, garage doors and more. You pick and choose which features you want, and we help you create the perfect package at the perfect price. Many other home security companies charge more for their basic alarm monitoring than we do for our smart security. Smart Security It’s 2016! Don’t settle for an old-fashioned home alarm system. With smart security, you get built-in dedicated wireless monitoring – no home phone line needed. Our 2 way connection means you can talk directly to our 5-diamond rated alarm monitoring station through the loudspeaker in your home. Again, no need for a phone. Our award-winning mobile app means you can arm and disarm, get text alerts and arming reminders and view history with your smart phone – no matter where you are. Our patented Crash & Smash Protection even protects you from the dreaded “crash and smash” burglary where an intruder damages or destroys your security system in attempt to prevent alarm transmission. Whether you choose a basic home alarm system, or one with all the bells and whistles, you can depend on DFW Security to provide the best value – and the best service. Call for a quote today. Get Started...

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Cheap Alarm Monitoring in Frisco

Posted by on 2:04 pm in Alarm Monitoring, Blog | Comments Off on Cheap Alarm Monitoring in Frisco

Cheap Alarm Monitoring in Frisco

We prefer the term “inexpensive” or “affordable” over cheap, but there’s no denying we have a great rate for top-of-the-line home security system monitoring in Frisco, Texas. We know you work hard for your money. With our cheap alarm monitoring in Frisco, you don’t have to worry about wasting it on home protection. Cheap Doesn’t Mean Crappy You’ve probably heard the term, “you get what you pay for” referencing products or services with low prices that turn out to be worth less than zero. With DFW Security, we believe in offering VALUE – that is, a great price with great quality. Our alarm monitoring is 5-diamond rated by the C.S.A.A. and is U.L. listed. In other words, it is the same or better quality service you find with other companies for more than twice the price. In fact, for what you pay for basic monitoring with other home security companies, you can have smart security with a mobile app, home automation and more with us! Levels of Monitoring We have cheap alarm monitoring in Frisco, and we also have cheap smart security systems and cheap home automation. Our first level is landline alarm monitoring, which requires an existing system and a standard home phone line. The next level is wireless alarm monitoring which is a bit more secure, thanks to a dedicated cellular communicator. Another level is Smart Security. These state-of-the art systems include wireless monitoring, a mobile application, patented Crash & Smash Protection, 2 way communication and more. The final level is Home Automation, where you can add control for lighting, door locks, garage doors, thermostats, cameras and more. Compare levels here. No matter which level you are searching for, you can surely find cheap alarm monitoring in Frisco right here at DFW Security. Call today! Get Started...

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House Alarm System

Posted by on 2:52 pm in Alarm Monitoring, Alarm Systems, Blog, Home Security | Comments Off on House Alarm System

House Alarm System

House Alarm System While you may hear people say their dog (or their gun) is their security system, a professionally monitored house alarm system is still the best way to protect your home. If you are looking for a high quality home alarm, at a price that won’t break the bank, you’ve come to the right place. Great Value Alarm monitoring of existing systems starts at just $12.95 per month, with new smart security systems starting around $35 per month.  You can also enjoy free equipment, free installation, and free activation. Don’t pay someone else too much for an old-fashioned house alarm system, when you can have the latest and greatest smart system from DFW Security for the same or less money. And definitely don’t rely on your dog to protect your home. Your Dog Can’t Do This While Fluffy might be a ferocious attack dog, there are still a few things she can’t do to protect you from burglary, fire and medical emergencies. A whistle, a treat, or a swift kick (oh no!) can take a dog off track, but our smart home security system works even if a burglar rips it off the wall or smashes it with a hammer. A dog can’t…but an alarm system can: Call 911 to notify Police of an attempted burglary Record video of a possible break-in Dispatch the Fire Department in case of a fire Save you up to 20% on your homeowner’s insurance premium Be controlled by your mobile phone Make noise that your neighbors will actually pay attention to Send you a text message when there is an emergency at your home Getting Started Getting started is easy. Just call! One of our knowledgeable and friendly experts will help you design a system that is perfect for your needs and budget. We can help you walk through all the options to find the right house alarm system to protect your home and family; and we can even protect your dog! Get Started...

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Smart Thermostats | Managing our Crazy Texas Weather

Posted by on 4:05 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Smart Thermostats | Managing our Crazy Texas Weather

Smart Thermostats | Managing our Crazy Texas Weather

Welcome to Spring in Texas! It’s cold in the morning (sometimes), and hot in the afternoon (sometimes). Hot one day, cold the next. How is your thermostat keeping up? Is it driving you crazy switching it from heat to cool and back again? Are you always just a bit uncomfortable? Simple and Comfortable Weather fluctuations can be trying on your sanity and hard on your thermostat – IF you still haven’t upgraded to a smart thermostat. With a smart thermostat that is connected to your security system, you can blow cold or warm air, without blowing your budget or blowing your brains out. Our home management website makes it easy to designate a temperature range in which you feel most comfortable. For example, you could say you want the A/C to turn on when it gets to 76 degrees, and the heat to come on when it gets to 67. You can also set schedules so different ranges apply based on the day of the week and time of day. Because you can make changes right on your smart phone, you always have the power to control your home’s energy usage. Smart Thermostats Meet GEO Services Thanks to a revolutionary new technology called GEO Fencing, your thermostat can make smart decisions based on your location automatically. For example, if all your home’s occupants are more than 10 miles away, your home’s temperature can automatically adjust to an energy-saving setting, and then re-adjust to a more comfortable temperature when you get within 5 miles of home. It could also know that Mom likes it warmer, while Dad likes it cooler, and adjust based on who is home. Extreme Temps Before long, it will be hot all the time in Texas. Our smart thermostat knows the weather forecast and when it is crazy hot outside, your thermostat can automatically adjust a couple degrees so you’re A/C doesn’t run all day in an uphill battle. You are smart…Why isn’t your thermostat? Stop wasting energy with an old-fashioned thermostat. Upgrade today! Get Started...

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Wireless Alarm Monitoring or Landline: Which is Better?

Posted by on 1:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wireless Alarm Monitoring or Landline: Which is Better?

Wireless Alarm Monitoring or Landline: Which is Better?

The wave of the future seems to be wireless alarm monitoring. But is it really better? Let’s take an in-depth look at the old tried and true landline monitoring compared with the increasingly popular wireless option. If you’re reading this blog and considering a home security system, you’re already on the right track to protecting your home and family. Now let’s see if we can refine the best way for you to do that. Old School vs. New School Just because something is new, doesn’t mean it is better. Of course, sometimes outdated can be a problem too. For more than 30 years, alarm systems were monitored through a standard home telephone line, also known as a POTS or landline. If an alarm was detected, the system would seize the phone line and send a signal to the security company. An agent would then call you back to alert you to the emergency. Wireless alarm monitoring has been common for less than 10 years. In this case, when an alarm is detected, the system uses a dedicated transmitter to send a signal over a cellular network. An agent then either calls you or speaks into the home over a loudspeaker.  You can also receive notifications by text message with some plans. Pros and Cons The problem with the landline method is that the phone line can be cut. It takes only 1 second to cut a phone line outside the home, allowing a burglar to enter without the alarm company being notified. A wireless connection cannot be cut, and it is able to transmit even when no landline is available. It is unaffected by power outages, internet downtime and even cell tower failures. The only drawback to wireless alarm monitoring is that it is a bit more expensive. While landline monitoring starts at $12.95 per month, wireless begins at $16.95. Spend just a few more dollars per month and you can have crash & smash protection, which ensures alarm transmission even if your home security system is damaged or completely destroyed. My Choice For protecting my home and family, I selected wireless alarm monitoring. I believe it is a much more secure and reliable option, and the price is still extremely reasonable with DFW Security. Specifically, I chose a smart security system with home automation so I can control my locks, lights, thermostat, garage door, cameras and alarm with my phone. I love it! Whether you choose landline or wireless alarm monitoring, you’ll get the highest quality and the best price at DFW Security. If you would like more information on either option, call today! Get Started...

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