Various Types of Home Alarm Monitoring Technologies
When it comes to home security system technology today, it’s safe to say cellular technology is the quickly replacing the traditional phone based systems out there. To help emphasize the importance of cellular alarm monitoring, we should first consider the alternative home security monitoring technology available out there.
Phone Line-based Monitoring
The Phone line-based systems proved to be vulnerable when burglars started cutting phone lines and proving how easy it is to defeat even expensive security systems. The weakness here lied in the fact that in order to get a response from the central monitoring station – a signal needed to travel from the location of the burglary through a physical conduit (the phone line) to the central monitoring station. Honest homeowners who invested in the best sensors and home security system design found vulnerability in the most important part of the system. A burglar just needed to find a phone line on their way into the property, phone lines aren’t inconspicuous, so locating them en-route to the back door was somewhat routine practice. What happens next is a $2 pair of wire-cutters defeats thousand dollar security systems with a quick snip.
It took a while to educate the public about this vulnerability. With millions invested in these systems and big home security companies looking to protect their product reputations, it was definitely an uphill battle to inform users about the importance of cellular monitoring.
Broadband or Internet-based Security Monitoring
These were proposed as a solution for the issues phone line security systems faced. After all many of the major phone companies were also Internet service providers. It made sense for the security companies to attempt to convert their Control Panels and add Ethernet ports, so Internet lines can connect to them directly. With the increasing popularity of VOIP-based systems the customer base was very accepting of this proposition.
Unfortunately users faced a similar problem with this solution; a more sophisticated burglar could cut off the power to your house. Without power the routers are off, without routers there is no Internet – the same predicament, the signal wouldn’t be sent to the central monitoring station. It’s worth noting that people opted to back up one with the other. Say, an Internet based alarm system with the phone line as a backup solution. Or you had the phone line based security systems, and Internet as a backup. The idea here was a burglar defeats one of the communication methods the other would kick in. The issue with this is users became wary of response times and didn’t truly think two physical layers that were easily defeated evoke peace of mind.
Cellular-based Security Systems
Also known as cellular monitoring – not to be confused with wireless alarm monitoring, presented a more reliable way of protecting the home and family. Users who were already seeing the benefits of wireless technology in their day-to-day lives were more susceptible to embrace a cellular form of communication between the security system and the central monitoring station. Without wires to cut, cellular systems seem safer than the other options out there. The cellular service is typically included in the monitoring plan you purchase and may be at least 10% more expensive than a phone line based system in many cases.
While no home security system is perfect, a cellular based security system gives users the safest option for connecting to central monitoring, then they dispatch the police if they confirm an emergency event. Opportunistic burglars are trying to find ways to take advantage of home security technology out there, and while cellular security systems remain a target for burglars, they remain fairly difficult to defeat.
Note: Some home security companies also offer crash and smash technology in case burglars destroy the control panel.
Naturally it’s always best for home security when a burglar simply cannot find a means of gaining access to a property. While no property is ever going to be completely secure, the fact is that suitable security measures are usually enough to deter all but the most desperate and opportunistic thieves. Yet for the sake of argument, in this article we’ll approach from the assumption that the criminal has managed to breach the property and is now inside. By following the advice in this piece we’ll see that while the situation is far from ideal, there are still plenty of home security precautions that can help force the burglar to flee empty handed.
The Burglar Will Be Under Extreme Stress
Before getting into detail it’s worth taking a moment just to consider the perspective of the burglar. They have made it into the property and will be looking for as many portable valuables as they can find, before getting out and away as quickly as possible. It’s rare for an urban home intrusion to last longer than a couple of minutes. A sensibly secured home will still have a security alarm going off, potentially alerting neighbors – both of which will be adding to the stress already racing through the burglar’s mind.
Such stress is one of the main reasons why law enforcement discourage residents from engaging burglars on their property. For the sake of this article we’ll assume that the property is vacant, but you can be certain that even the most veteran of burglars is going to find stress muddling their thinking. This leads to impulsive – often illogical decisions – which is another reason for why so many home invaders cause such a mess. They are literally desperate to find their loot and get away, which is why making this difficult for them should be a matter of course when it comes to sensible home security arrangements.
1) Consider Interior Locks
Not many people like the idea of having locks installed within their home. It hardly generates the most ‘homely’ of feelings, yet in some instances it can be a good idea. Remember that these locks needn’t be used every day – they are best intended for when the property is vacant for a long period of time. Excellent examples of this would be:
Garages & Basements. Homes with either of these ought to have provision for keeping them locked. This is primarily because in many cases they will contain tools and a surprising amount of other miscellaneous valuables. Tools are the major concern as these can be used to help gain entry to other secured rooms – and even in the worst case scenario be employed as weapons.
Home Offices. Plenty of people work from home nowadays and often will have plenty of high value equipment in home offices or studios. It’s a sensible precaution to ensure that these rooms have high quality lockable doors as you can be sure they will be one of the highest priorities on any burglar’s wish list.
2) Hide Essential House Keys
It’s amazing how many people keep all the keys for their home conveniently right next to their alarm keypad. Convenient as it might be for day to day living, doing so is basically opening up the entire property to the intruder. Rather than keep essential keys clearly visible, consider instead placing a key rack on the inside of an innocuous kitchen cupboard. These are the last places most burglars will ever consider looking for any valuables.
It should go without saying that under no circumstances, ever, should keys be left under any doormats. Emergency keys should be left with a trusted neighbor or if absolutely essential somewhere incredibly obscure and distant from the property itself. Remember that should a burglar gain access via lock and key, there’s a high chance it will invalidate home insurance policies.
3) Car Security
This rolls on from the point above but under no circumstances should car keys be kept alongside other domestic keys. Assuming that the family resident in our compromised property have gone on vacation and left their second vehicle at home, if a burglar finds that car key it’ll be like hitting the jackpot. Not only a high value asset – but also a ready made method quick escape!
Vehicles left in garages or even outside/under tarp should always be secured with disabling devices or at the very least wheel locks. A stressed out burglar won’t look twice at trying to operate a demobilized vehicle – and considering how cheap these devices are they should really be employed in daily use anyway.
4) Secure The Home Alarm System
Should the burglar hail from the more professional end of the spectrum, there’s a good chance that they’ll try and disable the alarm system. Performing this can be either amazingly easy or next to impossible – and 90% of determining this comes into how the system has been installed. Home security alarms should:
Be situated within a cabinet, not wall mounted. This makes them far more difficult to break or isolate.
Where possible literally installed into the wall. This helps make wires much more awkward to cut.
Have multiple sirens positioned way out of easy reach.
As an incidental note on home alarm systems – trust no-one! The code should only be known by the residents and changed on a very regular basis. A good method of doing this for families is to change the code by rotating their dates of birth on the first of each month.
5) Make Escape Difficult
The vast majority of home intruders exit the property the same way that they got in. This is unless there is a much more convenient exit available – such as windows and doors with keys kept in their locks. Knowing that there’s multiple easy means of escape will give the burglar more confidence.
Keep all keys for all rooms hidden. Try not to label keys for specific doors or windows – basically make everything as ambiguous as possible.
6) Home Safes
This is worth an entire article on it’s own, but all families out to consider picking up a good quality family safe. There’s a huge range on the market nowadays and even reliable bio-metric models can be picked up surprisingly little. It needn’t be necessarily large but it ought to be secure. By this we’re not talking so much about it’s ability to stand up to a crowbar – but rather it should be secured to a wall or floor so that the burglar cannot simply throw it in a bag and run away with the whole safe.
The best location for a family safe is at the back of a closet and attached firmly to the floor. Unless the burglar has plenty of tools and time there’s next to no chance that they’ll be able to remove it.
On another note – gun safes. These have become really popular of late for people not just to transport their firearm safely but also their valuables. The problem is that keeping valuables inside a carry case is a recipe for disaster – the burglar will again just take the entire unit and worry themselves about gaining access later. Domestic gun safes should be also secured to a solid surface. A popular option is to attach it to the underside of a heavy duty piece of furniture where not only is it out of sight but also very awkward to detach.
Hopefully we’ll take from these pointers the simple lesson that even when a burglar has broken into the home, all is still not lost. People should expect home entertainment consumables such as games consoles, stereos and such like to be targeted but the real prize – money, jewelry and high value items – can be easily secured with little in the way of compromise. Anything that slows a burglar down is an advantage.
Now more than ever, people’s minds are on keeping their families and belongings safe from harm. There is no better way to achieve this than to have a good, reliable home security system in place. There are many different types of home security available and many companies that offer this peace of mind. It may be difficult to sort through all of the options and know which company provides the best home security system for your needs and preferences.
We’ve done extensive research on the top home security systems that are currently available since 2009. We’ve worked with professionals in the industry that are experts as well those who are currently in the security field as well as getting the opinions of customers who use these systems to bring you the most up to date and accurate information available.
We have narrowed the choices down to three top picks for 2016 and provided you with detailed reviews on each of these top picks. In addition we have provided information on what to look for when you are looking for a home security system for your home. Our information is up to date and will give you the knowledge you need to make the best choice for your home and family.
We have taken our own detailed research and added customer feedback to bring you these three top choices for home security. In using our review we suggest that readers do the following:
Look over the handy comparison table while you are reading about the different choices to see how they rate in the different areas they have been compared to each other in.
Look at the deals that are being offered for each company
Compare the three top choices we have featured and compare them to others that are available
Understand our review process so you can get a good feel for what we offer and why you can trust these reviews.
Read more about home security so you understand how it works and how you can become an expert for your own home security.
Our #1 Choice: Frontpoint Security
Our 2015 winner is Frontpoint Security. One of the initial points that made Frontpoint stand out is the exceptional customer service that they provide their customers. They have the strongest customer service of any company and have maintained that since they entered the home security market. With numerous positive reviews, it’s easy to see that their customers appreciate their dedication and focus on customer service.
In addition to iron clad customer service, you will find that Frontpoint also offers their customers an option for self-installed home security that includes cellular alarm monitoring by Rapid Response and interactive monitoring and home automation that they partner with Alarm.com to provide. There is also a free relocation kit that is offered to anyone that is moving to a new residence.
Why Frontpoint Is Our Top Choice
Several factors were looked at in determining which home security system would take our top spot. We have provided you with these factors so you can learn more about Frontpoint and understand what you get when you purchase a home security system from them.
Exceptional Customer Service with No High-Pressure Sales Tactics – Our team called Frontpoint to ask their customer service questions about their home security system. Their representative was friendly, ready and willing to answer all our questions without making us feel hurried or rushed. Unlike others we have talked to, the representative did not act like they were on a mission to secure a commission from us. No matter what the customers’ needs are when they call, whether it’s an emergency or just a sensor that has fallen, they are there to make sure that they do all they can to help that customer and solve their problems.
Dedicated Cellular Service Connection– Frontpoint is one of the few companies that offer their customers a dedicated cellular connection that runs from both the sensors and the control panel. It also offers a dedicated cellular communication that runs between the control panel and the station that provides the monitoring. A lot of companies only offer the connection between the sensors and the control panel and leave out the latter. One of the major benefits to 100% cellular monitoring is that the signal to emergency responders cannot be halted or cut in any way ensuring that a burglar can’t stop the signal from being sent. If the signal is triggered you can rest assured that the proper emergency personnel will be alerted no matter what.
Protection from Destruction – One of the best features of Frontpoint is the protection they provide against an intruder damaging the system or trying to, so they can enter the premises without triggering the alarm. Through the interactive level an above with alarm.com there is a patented ‘crash and smash protection’ that is offered. What this does is prevent the system from being disarmed by being damaged. If an intruder tries to smash the system an active sensor will be tripped and a signal is sent to the monitoring station. Once that happens, your system is placed in a special ‘watch’ status. If the monitoring station does not get the proper disarm notice it will treat the situation like an intrusion and will alert and dispatch the proper authorities. It’s a great way to provide even more peace of mind for their customers.
Upfront Pricing, No Hidden Fees – Too many companies add hidden fees and instead of putting their pricing on the website, they make a potential consumer have to call in. All of the pricing is posted right on their website and what you see is what you’re charged. You won’t choose one plan and suddenly there are hidden fees added on. Another plus is the 30 day money back guarantee they offer that does NOT charge a restocking fee or any other hidden fees. The majority of home security companies have trial periods or fees that go along with their money back guarantee. Frontpoint is offering up to $300 savings if you qualify and sign up for a three year agreement. To find out more about this deal just give one of the helpful representatives a call and they will explain it to you in detail.
Our #2 Choice – ADT Security
ADT has been a security provider for more than 100 years. They are well known and established and they are serious about providing home security you can trust. There are many different features that come along with a home security system from ADT. These include a money back guarantee, theft protection guarantee, a relocation discount guarantee and they also offer a Homeowner Insurance Discount certificate that consumers can present to their insurance companies.
ADT uses authorized resellers in the consumers’ area to sell and install their products. Specials such as installation discounts will vary depending on the individual resellers, but the features and consistency of reliable home security will remain regardless of where you live.
Special Features that ADT Offers
24/7 Customer Support via Email and Phone – Customer service is always an important factor to consider when it comes to a home security system. ADT offers their customers two ways to contact them should they need customer assistance: email and telephone. It’s always reassuring to know that no matter what time of day or night it is, someone will be there to answer your call and help you resolve your problems.
Same Day Installation Available – Having the opportunity to have same day installation is one of the things that customers love about ADT. People are busy and they have hectic schedules. Knowing that they can cal and possibly get their system installed that same day can bring a lot of peace of mind as well as being very convenient.
Cellular Monitoring Available – ADT offers the option of CellGuard which is cellular monitoring that protects your system from being damaged or ruined by intruders trying to bypass the alarm. It is available for an additional charge but provides an additional level of security that many home owners want.
Professional Installation Service – DIY is big nowadays but many customers are just not comfortable with installing their own home security system. AST offers installers that come out, install the system, make sure it’s working properly, and explain to you how to use it. It provides the customer with a lot of confidence that they know how to operate their system and that it is installed correctly and will work if they need it.
Several Monitoring Stations Increase Reliability – Outages happen but AST has this covered for their customers by having more than one monitoring station available for their customers. This prevents no disruption in services in the event of an outage at one location.
Offers ADT Pulse to Customers – Customers have the option to purchase ADT Pulse which is a program that allows customers to control their home’s lights, locks on the doors, the garage doors and more all through their cell phone.
There are a few things that ADT doesn’t offer that, depending on the customer’s needs, could be a deterrent. These include offering no self installation option, and no specific relocation option. They do offer a mover’s guarantee that allows existing customers to get a new system at no charge. If any hardware is not included, customers have the ability to get any of that hardware for 25% off. A new contract must be signed to take advantage of the mover’s guarantee and it is only offered to customers that have been with ADT for 2 years or more. A manufacturer’s warranty is in effect and customers can purchase an equipment warranty for an additional cost.
Our #3 Choice – Protect America
Visit Protect America888-305-0285
Protect America is a great choice for the budget conscious and offers some of the lowest prices in the industry. They use equipment that is equivalent and in some cases the same as our #1 choice, Frontpoint. Their central monitoring station, Criticom, is extremely reputable and is the station that Protect America uses for their customers. They also offer internet based controls and alerts that can be accessed on their own devices such as their cell phone and computer.
Like Frontpoint, Protect America also offers their customers a DIY installation kit if they want to install their system themselves and there is a relocation kit that is free as well.
Special Features that Protect America Offers
Every home security system offers features of some kind to their customers. Some companies’ features are very slim for entry level customers, but others offer a great value even if customers choose not to get all the “extras”. Some of the features that Protect America customers will benefit from include:
Get Started Economically – For being in the top three home security systems, Protect America offers a very low entry price point comparatively to our #1 and #2 choices. Regular monthly monitoring for your security system with Protect America starts at a reasonable $19.99. Start up equipment is free, so getting started with a home security system is inexpensive and very easy on the wallet.
Price Lock – One of the features that Protect America offers its customers is called price-lock. This gem of a feature ensures that the monthly monitoring bill stays the same. Customers have no worries about thinking their bill will be one price and it shows up a different amount altogether.
Equipment Warranty Lasts a Lifetime – Protect America is one of the rare companies in home security that offers their customers a lifetime equipment warranty. They also offer free equipment on the initial set up for their standard contract customers. Customers need to be sure that they read the requirements of the contract which may include monthly testing and other requirements. If you follow all of the warranty instructions carefully from the very first day the equipment is installed, it is very unlikely you will even need the warranty for a few years.
Protect America does have cellular monitoring, and while they don’t actively market it or include it in their $19.99 per month monitoring package, we highly recommend it to all customers for that additional peace of mind and reassurance. The only reason that Protect America did not make it to the #1 spot is because of their customer service. While it is not bad by any means, it is not the exceptional customer service that Frontpoint has. Customer service IS important and when most other points match, customer service will tip the scales. It is still an excellent company for those looking to get started with home security even if they don’t have a lot of money to work with.
Compare Security Features, Different Levels and More with Our Comparison Table
We have provided our readers with this detailed comparison table that will compare the different systems available by price. Our top choice, Frontpoint, is always in the same top position as our winner, but the others will have different winners for the different price points that we cover. The reason the home security systems have been separated by price is to help those that are operating within a specific budget to easily find the choices that fit what they want to spend. It is important to remember that home security is not an area that you will want to cut corners on. The old adage you get what you pay for is definitely applicable in this instance. This does not mean go for the most expensive, but price should not be the sole deciding factor in which company you choose.
You will notice that as price increases, so will security levels and features such as video cameras and home automation. You will also find varying degrees of customer service that will be enhanced with the more expensive systems as well. Our comparison table includes features that each system offers, warranties that are available, the ability to move the system to another home if necessary and other important factors.
Best Security System Promotional Deal: Protect America
In addition to being out third choice out of all the home security systems available, Protect America also beats the pack when it comes to the best promotional deal as well. They only charge $19.99 per month for standard monitoring and they give you the equipment for the initial installation for free. Other companies may offer a similar monthly fee but there is usually an installation fee.
One caveat to the standard $19.99 monitoring package is that it requires a landline phone which not all customers have anymore. Be sure to ask about this and see if there are alternatives if you do not have a landline. The number to call to take advantage of this promotional offer is . You can also get the discount by going to their website.
2016 Top 3 Home Security Systems Video
Watch our video to learn about the winners we’ve chosen for the current year. We also invite you to subscribe to our Secure Life Video YouTube channel for more security videos with valuable tips, tricks and more reviews.
Other Home Security Companies
The multi-billion dollar home security industry has many companies that are all competing for your business. They compete by offering promotional deals, special features, and other things that you can easily compare one to the other, to see which one fits your needs and preferences the best. The list below is the companies that have been included.
Link Home Security
But that is not all. The list below is companies that are available for home security systems, but were not reviewed due to a lack of sufficient data to provide you. We only want to feature those companies where we can give you detailed information that will help you understand what you are getting if you purchase from them. The list above and the list below are all national companies. We did not include any regional companies in our reviews.
Telecom companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, etc
What Makes Our Security Reviews Trustworthy?
It is our goal to provide all of our readers with reviews that can be trusted. Many reviews on the internet have vested interest in one or more of the companies listed in some way or receive monetary compensation from the companies themselves. This is not what we do. The reviews we offer do not have any monetary affiliations with the companies in any way.
There are affiliate links that are provided after the reviews that if they are clicked on, we’ll receive a commission if you decide to buy from that company’s link. It doesn’t change the quality or products that you receive from the company at all. These affiliate links are how we are able to continue providing you with high quality, detailed reviews that you can count on to be up to date and accurate. We appreciate your understanding that this is how we are able to keep bringing you these detailed reviews.
You can learn more about our policies on integrity, see how we complete our reviews and see how we are able to keep our business running by reading our review process.
Read More Information about Home Security
We have done a lot of research in the home security industry. We’ve got information about many different related subjects that may be of interest to you. If you would like to know more then click on any one of the links below. They will provide you with even more knowledge about the home security industry so you can get the most out of your own system and get that protection you want for your home and your family.
Which is Better, Wireless or Cellular?
There are many companies out there that really push their wireless abilities. The ideal and most comprehensive form of protection is in having a dedicated cellular connection. This prevents a security breach from hacks, cutting the wires or breaking the system. If any of these things happen, the system sensor will still send the alert and appropriate steps will be taken dependent upon whether the monitoring station gets a disarm notice or not. Read more about it here.
Are Equipment Warranties Important?
Home security companies offer a lot of different types of warranties. Some are just manufacturer’s warranties, others are equipment related. Some companies offer lifetime warranties on their equipment and others offer none. Read this article to learn whether these equipment warranties are worth getting and how important they are in choosing a company.
Is DIY Home Security Installation for You?
Many home security companies offer their customers a self installation option. Although the main reason is because it saves the company dollars in cost and overhead, the customer can benefit as well. Something that may not be known by the DIY-er is that the customer can customize the DIY system more than a professional installation will do. This more detailed level of customization means your home is even more secure. The other benefits include being able to do the installation on your own time table. In today’s busy world, that is a major plus. Read more about it here.
What if You Have to Move?
One of the biggest concerns that home security system buyers worry about is if they have to move. Most companies take care of this one way or another by offering relocation packages or moving offers. Some companies will offer to give you new equipment at the new location as long as you sign another contract and others will simply give you a relocation kit that may include the equipment you are currently using. Read this article to make sure that you’re covered when it comes to contracts and moving.
Which is right for you, Pro Installation or DIY?
Two out of three of our top picks offer DIY options to their customers. Home security systems are easy to install so if you can follow directions, you would not have a problem. Another benefit is that the companies that offer DIY options will walk you through the process over the phone so you are really not alone and on your own completely. They are right there to help if a problem arises. If DIY is just not your thing, our second pick, ADT, offers professional installation so you don’t have to worry about it at all.
Which is Better, National or Local Home Security Companies?
If you are looking into local home security system companies it isn’t easy to have the same level of information available that you can find about national companies. We want our readers to have as much information as possible about ALL their options, so we have taken the time and done the research to provide you with extensive reviews on home security companies in many different cities and states. We are continually adding to this list of local companies so check back often to what we’ve added. Check here to see if we have covered your city or state in our current listings.
The news is filled with incidents involving robberies and home invasions. Even smaller towns in friendly communities have growing concerns over protection from break ins and unwelcome intruders. The majority of home security systems feature motion sensors that trigger alarms when there is a potential threat. These devices can help to create a more secure environment for you and your family. Here is a description of how motion sensors work.
The Function of Motion Sensors
Motion sensors are the components in a security system that detect movement and send a signal to the control panel of your security system. They are sensitive to even the slightest movement in an area and will be activated by a person walking by them, so you will know if there is someone in your home who shouldn’t be. Motion sensors are perhaps the most important part of your security system.
How Motion Sensors Work
They can work in a variety of different ways depending upon the type of system you have installed and where you place them. They can be connected to a set of floodlights that come on when there is movement near your front or back door or windows. This gives you early warning if there is somebody outside of your home. Because a stray dog, skunk, cat or other animal can activate these sensors, most homeowners prefer to set the sensors to merely activate the floodlights. These sensors can be set to trigger an audible alarm in addition to light activation. For example, when an intruder attempts to open a window or door, or is walking through the home, an alarm may sound along with notification that there is a break in at the monitoring center. They may also be used to activate surveillance cameras that monitor and record all activities within the range of their viewing area, so you will have a clear picture of who or what has tripped the alarm.
Types of Motion Sensors
There are a few different types of sensors that are used in home security. These devices are typically installed to cover a large area as they commonly cover up to 40ft with a 135° field of vision. Microwave sensors send pulses that detect movement by bouncing off of objects as they move. There are pros and cons to this type. They generally are capable of covering a larger area, but they can be set off inadvertently by electronic signals and they cost more.
Passive infrared sensors, the most common, are used to detect movement and heat in multiple zones of an area.
Dual technology sensors combine features of the passive infrared and microwave sensors to limit the number of false alarms that occur.
Ultrasonic sensors send out ultrasonic wave pulses that measure reflections off of objects that move.
Vibration sensors detect vibration. Wireless motion sensors are used to communicate with the security system without the need for wires. Area reflective type sensors emit infrared rays from an LED. Objects and movements are detected within specified parameters of an area.
Contact motion sensors are used to detect activity near doors and windows. An alarm is triggered when a window or door is opened. You will be alerted if someone attempts to break into your home through your windows or doors.
Final Thoughts About Motion Sensors
There is a wide range of motion sensor types and they all work with cellular home security systems. Each is designed to provide a specific type of function in order to keep your home safe from intruders and unwanted guests. When installing a home security system, it is a good idea to consider which areas of the home need to be covered and which type of sensor would provide you with the best security. One type is not necessarily better than the other, but they do work in different ways, so it pays to be aware of this when you prepare to have your new system installed.
A few things to keep in mind include choosing the best sensor type for each area of the home that requires security measures. Microwave sensors cover a larger area and may be the best choice for front and back door areas. Contact motion sensors can help to keep your doors and windows secure. If you are on a budget, passive infrared sensors, which are the most common, are the less expensive option that still perform well in securing your home and giving you added peace of mind.