The best security system features are the ones that best protect your home and loved ones. That being said, rapid advances in home security technology have enabled the top security system providers to offer more cutting-edge products and services than ever before.
Back to the Basics
It wasn't long ago that the most you could hope for from home security was a system that beeped when the door opened and sounded an alarm if you didn't punch your code in quickly enough. You had a handful of magnetic sensors, miles of wire buried in your walls, and a control panel that offered only cryptic codes. The pinnacle of security technology was a system that could send a basic signal down the phone lines when an emergency occurred.
Some home security features will always be essential. Sensors, door chimes and alarms are still must-have basics, and the heart of any home security system is still a control panel that can be connected to a remote alarm monitoring service.
Some of the biggest advances that benefit home security are the developments in reliable and data-rich wireless technology. The same push that allowed smartphones and tablets to free us from desk-bound PCs now allow for home security installations without the drilling, as well as remote monitoring that doesn't depend on telephone lines. Wireless sensors and cameras are now so powerful and dependable that no major security provider lacks a wireless package.
It's not simply the sensors that have gone wireless, but the lifeline connection between the home and the central monitoring station. The most crucial and vulnerable part of a classic alarm system was the telephone line. If an intruder knew to cut the wire, they could render the entire system useless. With GSM technology, modern security systems are secure with a cellular backup, which also suits the many homeowners who have replaced their landlines with mobile phones or VoIP.
Likewise, parallel advances in video and imaging technology gave us mobile miniature megapixels in our webcams and smartphones, but also dramatically increased the role that video surveillance can play among home security system features. Instead of the grainy black-and-white "slideshows" of previous-generation security cameras, we now have vivid full-color HD camera feeds, tucked into devices small enough to blend into our home decor or completely disappear from view. High-capacity DVRs let us record and playback gigabytes of essential camera feed footage, and remote controls lets us pan and zoom individual cameras to see exactly what's going on.