help selecting a security system

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Old 12-21-14, 12:08 AM
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help selecting a security system

A couple times, I've come home and noticed that my door is unlocked when I always make it a point to lock the door. I've also noticed that the garage door keypad was flipped up a time or two and I never leave it up on the very rare occasion that I use it. Nothing that I know of is out of place inside though, which is nice, but it's still a bit unnerving coming home to find evidence that someone has been trying to get in, or has gotten into my house, so I'm looking for a solid DIY system with a couple requirements. The house already had an ADT system installed when I moved in, but that's just stupid expensive with their monthly fees.

Here's what I'm shooting for with budget of preferably under $300 and certainly under $500:
- 4+ door sensors
- 3+ motion detectors
- 1+ camera that doesn't have to trigger the alarm. Just record 5 minutes prior to the alarm and 10 minutes after the alarm has been tripped
- audible siren
- some sort of notification system or even real-time camera streaming via the internet

I've looked at AAS Alarm systems (specifically the S400, which has everything except the camera), but reviews and credibility for AAS Alarm seem a bit sketchy, so I might pass on them.

Another system that caught my eye was the Simplisafe system. Pretty much everything I read and research about their system seems pretty solid. I'd have to customize one of their packages a little to my situation, but that shouldn't be a big deal. The only real problem is that a camera has been "coming soon" since 2011.

If anyone knows of a solid system that fits my requirements better than then Simplisafe with a DVR CCTV system, feel free to let me know. Thanks!
 
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Old 12-21-14, 05:14 AM
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What model is your existing ADT system? Most of them are simply re-labeled standard systems that can be made operational without ADT involved.

For the camera, a couple of IP cameras would probably fill your bill.
 
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Old 12-25-14, 07:30 AM
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Hello kcducttaper and Welcome to the Do-It-Yourself Web Site.

First things first, in my opinion. Change locks on all doors!

Based upon what you posted in the first few sentences of the first paragraph, secondly, I'd suggest the camera(s) as a first priority. Any brand of your choice. Even if not combined with a security system. It would be comforting to know who or whom is at the house when you aren't!.. Who is unlocking the front door and leaving open the garage door key pad lid???

Does seem rather strange or odd someone would unlock the front door and maybe not even enter? Likewise, lift keypad cover and leave it open or lifted up? If you get either or both of those recorded, not only you'll know whom it is but good evidence to give to local police if it's an unknown person or non family member.

I too, like make others have had several security individual door and window devices many years long ago and wired or partially wired systems over many years. Some good and some not so. Best DIY system I have found, use and recommend is the SimpliSafe security system. It works, easy to install and comes with a no haggle long term warranty. Monitoring is very low monthly cost without any contract involved. Ad for it appears on this site too!

Once the camera(s) from another provider of your choice are installed and you then know who or whom is around when you are not, install a security system of your choice...
 
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Old 12-25-14, 10:19 AM
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my very first thought was -- re-key your doors or change the locks [depending on your budget].

next was -- you have a system [that you rarely use] -->> why not?

remove any extraneous codes [and change your code] and also remove the programmed communication info. this site has numerous references to others doing that very same thing.

then make sure you test the system

as for cameras, they don't need to be tied into the alarm system[per se] just get a wireless cam and an app [if you have a smart phone and want to see it, remotely].
 
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Old 12-28-14, 08:30 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys!

I'm not sure on the ADT model off of the top of my head and it's super hard to read because it's shoved in a corner. Is it about the same procedure to activate an ADT system without the monthly fees for most any ADT system, or does it very greatly on the model?

I don't want to just activate the ADT system because they charge about $30/mo for it. $30 a month comes to $360 a year, so I'm basically buying a new security system every year if I do that. I don't want any monthly costs - just the up-front purchase price. Plus, I'm currently renting for a year or two and I would have my own system to take with me when I move out and buy a place of my own.

When I moved in, I asked the management company when the locks were changed and they didn't really know. I asked them if they could change the locks and they were muttering about something or another. I'm not sure, but I wonder if it's illegal for the management company to refuse to change the lock upon request with a new lease.

It sounds like the general consensus is to get at least a camera system and either activate my ADT system, or get another DIY system. SimpliSafe seems to be everyone's favorite - now if they'd just come out with that camera as promised in 2011.

Any thoughts on a good, relatively cheap camera system? There are so many camera brands out there, it's not even funny. Zmodo seems to have a lot of cameras per dollar as does Sannce, but are they any good?
 
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Old 12-28-14, 10:21 AM
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How easy it would be to reset the system for local use without ADT involved is highly dependent on which actual model you have. ADT doesn't make hardware; they pay to put their logo on slightly modified versions of industry standard hardware.

Most apartment complexes change their locks routinely on turnover; with rental houses and things like duplexes; the management companies are less consistent. If it's a standalone house; I would simply change the lock; put their lock in a box; and re-install it when you move out. Your lease may or may not require you to provide the management with a copy of the key (read your lease).

With camera hardware, you really do get what you pay for. Cheap cameras generally have worse resolution and lenses than more expensive ones. Those mid-range ones sold by Logitech, Linksys, etc. are actually fairly effective for the price, and can generally be viewed via smartphone app.
 
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