Unless the perfect alarm system comes pre-installed in your house and someone has offered to pay for a lifetime of monitoring services, then there is no such thing as a “free” alarm.
Many systems are advertised as “free” e.g., “a $750 value – yours for free,” yet when you look more closely at the smaller font (hopefully before you complete the purchase), you will see the actual terms of the contract. Usually the actual equipment is free if and only if you agree to several years of monitoring at a set monthly fee. Even DIY monitoring, which would alert you via VoIP, cell phone or text and leave it up to you to contact the authorities comes with a price tag, which is usually less than $20.00 per month, and go be as low as $7.00. DIY remote/ web-based monitoring can be a valuable option for some home owners, as most “free” home security systems charge double that for monitoring.
Perhaps a greater reason to remain alert when researching the most economical home security system is that “free” or very cheap systems are often extremely basic (one alarm and 2-3 sensors), which means that to be sufficiently protected, you would have to purchase additional equipment, if not upgrade completely. Some even charge you when your alarm is triggered because you are using their phone line. In addition, these less expensive systems might be incompatible with any additional components or services that you desire. If they are compatible, then the fees might be exorbitant. For instance, if you want your monitoring agency to use ECV to avoid false alarms, to respond to panic buttons or to monitor more than one camera, the additional services (which are standard to most monitoring agencies) might come with a hefty price tag. Since a good home security system can be a lifelong investment, and especially since it’s not only responsible for protecting your assets but also the lives of your loved ones, it’s especially critical to make a wise choice.