Author Topic: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style  (Read 12558 times)

Mega

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Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« on: September 24, 2013, 09:17:35 AM »
Hi Folks,

Given the large number of brilliant engineers on this site, I expect a number of you have implemented / investigated home security / surveillance systems. I would like to setup such a system, as my wife and her family have become quite insistent about having one. I am not willing to pay someone $30 + a month for such a system.

What have you setup? Did you setup automatic text messages when motion is detected? Did you go with a brand for the gear, or assemble it yourself? Are there any really good guides on how to set it up?

What I am looking for is likely outdoor hidden cameras (disguised as actual functional motion detecting lights) at the primary entrances to the house. Motion detectors are not a great option inside the house, with young children / restless spouses. I can take care of the wiring myself (with my father, a licenced eletrician).

Thanks

Mediocre Blackjacker

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2013, 09:10:32 PM »
I am also considering getting or making a home security/surveillance system.  Myself, I don't know where to start.

One thing I particularly don't want is a lot of false alarms.  I've heard that 99%+ of the time the police go to a home because of the security alarm, it's just a false alarm.  And the police are not well disposed to frequent offenders...I hear they give out pricey tickets.  So alarms aren't so great IMHO.

I'm also nervous about having a wireless camera system.  That would make one vulnerable to tech-savvy and bored teenagers, would it not?  Making the system hacker proof just so you can see vague footage while you're on vacation (maybe ruining your vacation) sounds like a perpetual set of problems I don't want to chase down.

I have a couple of motion sensor lights, which I'd like to set up near basement windows.  If smalltime prowlers come by the windows when it's dark, a flash of light could deter many of them, I'd think.  Of course an adequately bold thief could still break and enter that way.

Generally I like the idea of a surveillance system.  The ones they sell at Costco look interesting, but I don't want to buy one without a clear idea of how it'd work for my family first.

So if anyone has any lessons learned they'd like to share, I'd love to know.

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 09:17:10 PM »
My current system: an old ADT sign
To be added: a dummy camera by the garage

I choose not to live in fear. I don't have much to be stolen, and whatever I have is insured. Sure, it's a pain to have to repair damage from burglars or have to deal with removing graffiti, but right now I'm ok this way.

Home Stretch

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 08:55:16 PM »
Wow, you're in luck since I literally just set up the first bit of my free home security system last week!

I (like many mid-20's Americans) had an old Android phone laying around after recently purchasing a new one. I figured, "hey... here I have a tiny computer with a built in camera and network interface... why can't I just use it as an IP camera?". Sure enough, 30 seconds of Googling lead me to this:

http://www.howtogeek.com/139373/how-to-turn-an-old-android-phone-into-a-networked-security-camera/

15 minutes later and I had a fully functioning streaming video feed that I can access from anywhere in the world from my new phone. The $4.50 motion tracking app would be useful for actual security, but I was just doing this more as an experiment so I opted to get a different app just to view the stream any time I want. I even have ANOTHER old Android phone laying around that I'm considering placing in another room.

The video feed is username/password protected, so nobody else can view what is going on inside my house.

Let me know if you want more details and I'd be happy to walk you through it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 05:37:11 AM »
I keep a crowbar in our bedroom just in case.  Low initial cost (20$), low monthly fees (0$).  Coupled with door locking, that completes our home security strategy.


Oh . . . I guess we also have a dog, but I'm not sure about the deterrence value of a 20 lb beagle . . .

Cromacster

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 06:40:16 AM »
Lock windows, if you want to leave them open make sure they have some sort of stop so they can't be pushed open (20-40$?)

Lock doors, depending on your neighborhood investigate anti-kick systems.  Myself, I have www.doordevil.com (60$ per door)

Don't keep valuables visible from the street (free)

Use motion sensor exterior lights (25$ a light)

If you own a handgun, know how to use it (15-30$/month for range and ammo)

Overall this is my personal go to (my average is around 90$/month.  Only food is about 42$, but you must include vet bills)


Though he was much scarier here
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 06:47:23 AM by Cromacster »

Ottawa

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 06:54:02 AM »
I keep a crowbar in our bedroom just in case.  Low initial cost (20$), low monthly fees (0$).  Coupled with door locking, that completes our home security strategy.


Oh . . . I guess we also have a dog, but I'm not sure about the deterrence value of a 20 lb beagle . . .

Ha! 
We have a cat.  Don't laugh - it has claws. 
We also lock doors.
I have a large heavy potted plant near the bed...will that work?
But the best thing?  We live in a townhouse with at least 10 other homes around us who know us and the people that walk around our 'hood. 

Cromacster

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 06:56:26 AM »
We live in a townhouse with at least 10 other homes around us who know us and the people that walk around our 'hood.

This.

pirate_wench

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2014, 08:50:06 AM »
We leave for months at a time every year. Our best defense so far has been lights, and making friends with all our neighbors.

The porch light is always on, our kitchen lights come on with timers every day, and when we leave for longer we put the living room lights on timers. The neighbors regularly take flyers down, etc... so they don't stack up while we are gone. The "no soliciting" law only applies to knocking on the door, not to flyers :( Even when we are home, our neighbors will call if they see something suspicious, and we do the same.

Unfortunately, property crime is increasing in our neighborhood, so much so that the local police held a neighborhood meeting about it. The police said the above (along with locks of course) are the best defense and that security systems don't work. Also, they said to always have somebody live in your house if you go away on vacation. We don't have pets or any plants to take care of, so paying a house sitter is an outrageous expense for us.  We once asked our neighbor's college kid (who was stuck living at home) to stay at our house for free for a few months, and that worked out great. She isn't available for this anymore though, so our house just sits empty most of the time.

One last thing, Seattle police have a program where you notify them if you will be gone for a long time, and they will cruise by your house occasionally. They even call with updates, i.e. "everything looks ok" We've done this once. Maybe other cities have this program?


b4u2

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2014, 09:30:44 AM »
I was thinking about cameras as well but haven't bought any. My main reason my costs for one year due to theft/vandals. 6 slashed tires at roughly $75/tire plus a delayed and frustrated camping trip. $500 for a rear busted window in my vehicle. $100 for a stolen face plate for car stereo. This was August 2012 to August 2013 it was very frustrating and costly.

*Slashed tires was found to be a group of "kids" running through neighborhoods puncturing tires. 

Cromacster

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2014, 09:36:31 AM »
I was thinking about cameras as well but haven't bought any. My main reason my costs for one year due to theft/vandals. 6 slashed tires at roughly $75/tire plus a delayed and frustrated camping trip. $500 for a rear busted window in my vehicle. $100 for a stolen face plate for car stereo. This was August 2012 to August 2013 it was very frustrating and costly.

*Slashed tires was found to be a group of "kids" running through neighborhoods puncturing tires.

Ouch, bum streak you got going there.  I don't usually think of this type of activity when I think of Iowa, except the bored kids slashing tires.

Is there anyway you can park your car inside?

If you do end up going with camera's and depending on their purpose....I would advise locking away the storage device (probably a computer).  That could be in a secure cabinet, separate locked room in your house etc... the idea being the a person robbing your house can't just snatch the storage center as well.  But if they are only to prevent vandalism and what not, this may not be necessary.

Devils Advocate

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 09:41:48 AM »
Simplisafe

$15/mo

No contract

You are welcome

DA

Spork

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 10:29:31 AM »

I've considered a build-it-yourself video system several times....  But when I've priced cameras that handled:
* outdoors
* low light
* good enough picture to actually be of use
* POE

...I've always come up with "well... I am not spending THAT." ... and stopped.

I'm a ways out in the country.  Nothing monitored would help me as Sheriffs are spread a little thin.  I am probably going to do something very low tech like "sensor on the driveway that rings the doorbell".  It wouldn't help when I am not home, but it would at least give a small alert.  (My driveway is a couple hundred feet long and the house is back in the woods.  It's possible to approach from other angles, but seems less likely.)

Daley

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2014, 10:42:28 AM »
Simplisafe

$15/mo

No contract

You are welcome

DA

DIY install, 100% wireless, and still $15 a month? *facepalm*

BUT THERE'S NO CONTRACT! *shakes head*

BUT DAVE RAMSEY! *rolls eyes*

If you're going to cave to the whole "I need a monitored alarm" fear-driven mindset, but cheap out and go with a system that does battery operated sensors and a DIY install with GSM monitoring... might as well save the costs on the markup of the equipment being sold and monitor yourself for far less and buy from Fortress Security or PiSector instead, and stuff in an Airvoice or Spot Mobile SIM card on a PAYG account. Half to 2/3rds the cost for the same hardware, $2-50-3.33/month for "monitoring", plus the same recurring cost for those 23A batteries. Added bonus? Fortress and PiSector sell models that you can actually tie into existing hard-wired sensor systems.

Daleth

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2014, 10:50:08 AM »
I keep a crowbar in our bedroom just in case.  Low initial cost (20$), low monthly fees (0$).  Coupled with door locking, that completes our home security strategy.


Oh . . . I guess we also have a dog, but I'm not sure about the deterrence value of a 20 lb beagle . . .

I took concealed-carry lessons from a sheriff who had seven small dogs. At night before bed he put three by the front door and four by the side door. They all slept where he put them and would awaken and yap insanely if disturbed. Great early warning system, though admittedly not ideal for vacations.

WageSlave

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2014, 12:07:29 PM »
There was similarly-themed thread on here not too long ago, where FakeTV was mentioned.  I don't have one, but it seems like a reasonable idea if you're going to be out of town.

I was thinking, I believe I read somewhere that a dog is a great deterrent... seems like it would be fairly easy to make a "FakeDog" product that is similar to FakeTV.  Just get a nice database of barks (from the same dog or maybe two dogs), a simple (loud) playback mechanism, and some way to trigger it.  E.g., motion-activated from cameras or old Android phones (as mentioned above) or touch-sensitive (someone touches your door knob), tied into motion-sensing lights.

I'd be surprised if there isn't already a pre-packaged product you can buy that does that, but it seems fairly easy to cobble together.

Fake cameras are a cheap, one-time cost, so if you don't want real cameras, why not fake cameras?

I agree with other posters who talk about lights on timers and such when away from the home for extended amounts of time.  Look into "Z Wave" or "X10" for really geeky home automation... you can tie your lights, FakeTV and FakeDog all together!  I haven't used these things myself, but it's on my ever-growing "FIRE list".

One thing that could potentially offset the cost of an actively monitored security system is homeowner's insurance: some policies offer some discount if you have a monitored security system.  If you do it as cheaply as possible, you might be able to "profit" based on net savings (don't hold me to this, I haven't run the numbers, just throwing out ideas).

sol

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2014, 06:24:36 PM »
We replaced several of our light switches with programmable versions, to trigger the lights when we're away.

We had an old IP camera that cost me $100 a few years back, but it never worked very well.  Any old android or iphone would work just as well.  There are apps out there that will do motion detection and send you texts, if you want.

For a while I had a webcam on our living room htpc set up to do motion detected recording.  I used an app that scheduled when it would detect, so it never recorded anything between like 5pm and midnight when we're typically home but was always on from 9am to 5pm.  I set up dropbox synced to the image folder to have offsite backup of the recordings (also free).  It worked fine for a year or two, but eventually the image backlog will fill up your hard disk if you don't get in there to clean it out periodically.  As an added bonus, we could video conference with family on the big screen.

It's easy to forget it's there after a while, and it was weird to go in and see pictures of yourself watching tv, from the tv's perspective, from like a year prior.   Apparently we all look really stupid while watching tv.

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2014, 06:39:35 PM »
The only time we ever got robbed was when we had a home security system. Cancelled that thing as soon as we got out of the contract. Not a deterrent at all.

It only takes 5-10 minutes for thieves to get in (door, window, whatever) grab the fenceable electronics, and get out. In my city, police response for burglaries is at least 30 minutes.

Insure your stuff. Backup any important documents online (I use Google Drive). Nothing valuable in sight. I typically close my curtains before leaving.

With vacations, we're not great friends with any neighbors, but my parents are close by and check on the house.

ritchie70

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2014, 08:45:07 PM »
I was thinking about cameras as well but haven't bought any. My main reason my costs for one year due to theft/vandals. 6 slashed tires at roughly $75/tire plus a delayed and frustrated camping trip. $500 for a rear busted window in my vehicle. $100 for a stolen face plate for car stereo. This was August 2012 to August 2013 it was very frustrating and costly.

*Slashed tires was found to be a group of "kids" running through neighborhoods puncturing tires.
Wow, I'm glad I live in my Chicago suburb instead of apparently crime-ridden Iowa.

I routinely forget to lock the back door. My car often sits in the driveway with the doors unlocked and valuables on open display. Sometimes the garage door sits open all night, although I've been better about that since I had to chase the biggest raccoon I've ever seen out of it. Packages delivered may sit on the front porch for a day or two if I forget about them.

Nothing ever happens. My "security system"? Umm, nothing at all. We have a lamp on a timer that is on for a few hours a day. The outside lights are on a timer that knows the seasons so they're on from five minutes before sunset to five after sunrise. But like I said, I can't even manage locks that well.

Devils Advocate

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2014, 07:35:31 AM »
Quote
If you're going to cave to the whole "I need a monitored alarm" fear-driven mindset, but cheap out and go with a system that does battery operated sensors and a DIY install with GSM monitoring... might as well save the costs on the markup of the equipment being sold and monitor yourself for far less and buy from Fortress Security or PiSector instead, and stuff in an Airvoice or Spot Mobile SIM card on a PAYG account. Half to 2/3rds the cost for the same hardware, $2-50-3.33/month for "monitoring", plus the same recurring cost for those 23A batteries. Added bonus? Fortress and PiSector sell models that you can actually tie into existing hard-wired sensor systems.

IP

You obviously know a whole lot more about this wireless shit than I do...

But $15/mo for real monitoring (they will call your local po po) is pretty damn reasonable.

Having your system and me monitoring it is kinda unhelpful if I am not available to take the call, AKA "vacation". Which is why I would have the damn system in the first place.

DA

http://reviews.cnet.com/smart-home/simplisafe-home-security-ultimate/4505-9788_7-35833123.html

Daley

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2014, 08:09:17 AM »
Having your system and me monitoring it is kinda unhelpful if I am not available to take the call, AKA "vacation". Which is why I would have the damn system in the first place.

Except the systems I've linked can call/text up to five people, including doing an automated call to 911. Make a couple contacts neighbors and local family you trust (and would be watching the house for you during your "vacation" scenario anyway) and leave the 911 page as a last resort if nobody answers. The cops will sock you a fine for a false alarm whether your alarm company dispatches them for you or your automated system dispatches them for you.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 08:13:45 AM by I.P. Daley »

Devils Advocate

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2014, 08:23:18 AM »
Fair enough

 There is some savings monthly on homeowners insurance as well. So the cost is really feeling negligible at this point.

giggles

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2014, 09:52:29 AM »
Do any of you know about hacking an existing system?

We bought a house with an ADT system.  The previous owners bought the system, and we did not up the contact when we took over.  I have heard that we can still get the system to work, without calling out to ADT.  Bascially it would alert us if someone tried to break in, and it would be free since we own the equipment and there is no more monitoring service.  Has anyone tried this?

Greg

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2014, 11:23:09 AM »
This is a bit off topic; I'm wondering what the value of a "security" system is. 

Alarms don't seem to do much but make noise.  Neighbors hate them slightly more than police do.

It seems like a video monitoring system is useful just for seeing if you can see who stole your stuff after the fact.  I haven't met anyone who was able to benefit from this, i.e. got their stuff back due to CCTV.

If I got some sort of alert while away from home that there was a break in, what good would that do?  It would just ruin my time while I was away.

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2014, 11:54:00 AM »
This is a bit off topic; I'm wondering what the value of a "security" system is. 

Alarms don't seem to do much but make noise.  Neighbors hate them slightly more than police do.

It seems like a video monitoring system is useful just for seeing if you can see who stole your stuff after the fact.  I haven't met anyone who was able to benefit from this, i.e. got their stuff back due to CCTV.

If I got some sort of alert while away from home that there was a break in, what good would that do?  It would just ruin my time while I was away.
+1. This is why I think when something acts as a deterrent it is enough, anything that would make potential intruders think twice or slow them down will help make them pick an easier target.

Edited to omit state security secrets. ;)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 11:43:17 AM by worldstrad »

Insanity

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2014, 12:10:31 PM »
Btw:  Telling someone how to do it is good…  Telling someone how you do it.. Not so good…


:-)

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2014, 12:55:59 PM »
It seems like a video monitoring system is useful just for seeing if you can see who stole your stuff after the fact.  I haven't met anyone who was able to benefit from this, i.e. got their stuff back due to CCTV.

I actually have.  But: he had good video.  He had multiple angles.  He had HD video of the car/license and a really good close up of the guy's face.  Add to that the fact that the metro area TV and radio stations picked it up and ran with it and: busted. 

The coverage was a big part of it, but one of the reasons it got coverage is that it was such damn good quality video.   Most of the stuff I see (even from a lot of businesses) is so grainy that you would be hard pressed sometimes to tell race and/or sex of the offender, much less actually identify them.

WageSlave

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2014, 01:11:11 PM »
The only time we ever got robbed was when we had a home security system. Cancelled that thing as soon as we got out of the contract. Not a deterrent at all.

In our previous home, we had a break-in while we were out of town.  I believe the alarm system acted as a deterrent for any theft or vandalism.  What appears to have happened is this: bad guy broke in through the basement window (right at kicking level).  We had open/close sensors on the windows, but not glass breaks.  So no alarm at this point.  It looks like the bad guy went upstairs and opened the rear slider (presumably to let his fellow crooks in).  Rear slider is on a sensor, so at that point, the time-based warning alarm went off (not the "real" alarm, the quiet one that lets you disarm the system before real one goes off).  I believe the thieves heard this and immediately left.  (They were nice enough to close the rear slider so the cats didn't get out!)  But since the entry/exit delay wasn't ended by disarming, the real alarm went off, and the cops were called.

That was the first break-in I've experienced, and definitely felt violated.  Nothing was stolen, and, other than the window, the only damage was the baby gate to the basement was busted off the wall.  It's not my stuff I care about, it's the idea that an unsavory person is willing to break a window to intrude into my home.

It seems like a video monitoring system is useful just for seeing if you can see who stole your stuff after the fact.  I haven't met anyone who was able to benefit from this, i.e. got their stuff back due to CCTV.

Another anecdote: my friend and his dad run a small business.  Their office neighborhood had been experiencing a string of break-ins and thefts.  So his dad bought one of those motion-activated cameras ($100ish), and set it up to send text/email alerts.  No monitoring service, just auto-notification of all family members.  Shortly after he set that up, my friend's brother got a text message along with a picture in the middle of the night of the thieves in action.  He promptly called the police, who showed up and busted the criminals.

A side benefit of cameras: dealing with delivery services.  I can't remember where I saw this now, but I read an account of someone dealing with FedEx or UPS.  Basically, the delivery service was giving him the runaround, unwilling to believe his side of the story, until he said, "Look, I have motion-activated cameras, and the footage clearly shows that this is what happened."  He said that the tone of the representative changed immediately, to one of complete and total accommodation.

I wouldn't call this story alone justification for a camera system, but it's a nice perk if you're going down that road.  Even a fake camera on your front door might help keep the delivery guys in line.

Daley

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2014, 04:21:25 PM »
There is some savings monthly on homeowners insurance as well. So the cost is really feeling negligible at this point.

And anyone who actually needs an honest to goodness alarm system isn't going to use a wireless unit with sensors dependent upon batteries and held in place with 3M adhesives.

The alarm discount for most people isn't sufficient to offset the cost of the alarm, even Simplisafe. They're unnecessary and it's nothing more than the illusion of safety.

Devils Advocate

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2014, 09:20:39 PM »
I.P.

You and I will have to disagree. Lithium batteries last a long time. Plus the keypad alerts you when there is a dead battery.
If the unit falls off the wall it will go off. (there are screws included too).

I don't NEED a system. I don't really have anything I can't replace. However I work nights and it does offer some protection for my wife and 1 yr old IMO.

I believe it is a deterrent. Let's be honest. Most criminals aren't real bright. They break in my unit blares a 100 db alarm. They leave.
Not only do criminals break and steal "stuff" they also ransack your home. It's a huge fucking hassle. My friend just had a break in and he's still dealing with insurance company.

This is just a small part of my security. I have 2 dogs. I have a gun. I have lights and radio on timers.

I also bought a freezer sensor for my vacation home. The cold midwest winter could cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage if my furnace turns off (happened once this yr at -20 below). That alone is worth the pittance of cost.

DA




« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 09:22:47 PM by Devils Advocate »

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2014, 11:44:40 AM »
Btw:  Telling someone how to do it is good…  Telling someone how you do it.. Not so good…


:-)
I have deleted the secrets. ;)

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2014, 09:14:04 AM »
You and I will have to disagree.

And nothing you've cited is anything that requires a $15/month monitoring subscription, or doesn't apply to the self-monitoring solutions as well.

At the end of the day, it's the illusion of safety. It's a noisemaker designed to alert you directly of non-break-in property damage issues with the added burden of the monitoring fees and the increased risk of false alarms.

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2014, 02:19:03 PM »
I believe you probably can construct a system that will do everything simplisafe does (and possibly better).

However you are a techno nerd.(I mean that as a compliment) I am not. I don't have the time or inclination to reinvent a new wheel. There is one that is reasonably priced and does everything I think an alarm system should do.

False alarms aren't that big of a deal. My city PD gives your first 2 false alarms freebies. second thru 4 are 5o bucks.

So far no dispatched false alarms.

$15/mo monitored alarm with NO contract? Illision of safety perhaps but I view it as insurance and insurance costs money. I make $15 in the time it takes me to take a quick dump at work.

:)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 02:36:11 PM by Devils Advocate »

Daley

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2014, 04:03:49 PM »
I don't have the time or inclination to reinvent a new wheel.

[snip]

I make $15 in the time it takes me to take a quick dump at work.

My point was, you don't have to reinvent the wheel with self-monitored solutions. Self-monitored wireless and Simplisafe are nearly identical systems with the same installation and setup, and they're equally shoddy with the same problems in relation to real wired alarm systems which can be monitored for nearly half the price per month if you're out of contract or bought your own equipment up front.

The only difference between Simplisafe and self monitoring? You have to install the SIM card and manually program the numbers. Hardly techno nerd wizardry or rocket surgery. This boils down to opportunity cost, and you forget where you are. You may be able to "make $15 in the time it takes to take a quick dump", but this is the MMM community. This is a place where the value of saving $10 a month, no matter how much money you make, still has value. It's even in the title of this thread, "Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style." You are basically claiming that it's superior to overpay for wireless monitoring equipment and to be locked into an overpriced vendor and spend $15 a month just to avoid spending an hour reading an instruction manual and push a handful of buttons.

People who need real security systems have break sensors on every window and motion sensors in every major entry and traffic point, as well as open door and window sensors, and those sensors aren't wireless. People with real security systems who pay for monitoring can take their equipment to be monitored by any licensed alarm company they choose, and aren't locked into a single provider (unless they're under contract). People who need real security systems are going to have 0-1 lux HD cameras located in similar places to the motion sensors.

You agreed yourself. You don't NEED the alarm. Its the illusion of safety. You are willingly throwing your money away every month on a service for equipment that doesn't or shouldn't require actual monitoring just so you can sleep better at night, and worse, you're claiming it's a frugal approach to home surveillance. Safety is a mindset, not a $15/month subscription to a toy alarm system.

Quote
Simplisafe is a waste of money

Self monitor for nearly free

No contract

You are welcome

Daley
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 04:19:23 PM by I.P. Daley »

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2014, 04:29:26 PM »
I do have motion sensors at every traffic point. I don't really think I need sensors on every window.
 I guess I'm just willing to throw away around $10 a month. If I could do it over perhaps I would go your route. I am NOT saying that someone else should not take your advice. At this point I am happy with the service I am receiving for approximately $120 a year. That is such a small small amount of my monthly income that it is simply not worth any more of my time. However I do think that someone else in my position may benefit from using your advice.
 Good day sir.

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2014, 04:32:27 PM »
I mean if I want to spend $10 a month on the service then what is the big deal? I mean I could ask you if you re use all of your Zip locks bags or reuse toilet paper. At my income level 10 dollars a month is not that big of a deal. I love to save money but at this point I don't feel that it is necessary to change.

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2014, 04:57:51 PM »

Longwaytogo

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Re: Home Security/Surveillance Systems - Mustachian Style
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2014, 02:40:55 PM »
My detached Garage got robbed last summer to the tune of a 5K loss (bikes, lawn equipment, construction tools) which I only got about half back from insurance. During this robbery my 26$ a month piece of shit alarm did me no good (garage not wired). I also realized I would be hard pressed for someone to steal 5K of stuff from my house (everything expensive in garage). So my options were-

1.Add garage to the alarm
2.Drop alarm altogether saving me $26 a month or approximately $2700 over the 9 years I had it which incidentally would have made up the difference between my loss and insurance payout.

I chose 2 and dropped my home phone for another $24 a month savings (only had it for alarm). I still set my alarm at night so if someone did break in I would have a 30 second wake up call to grab my aluminum baseball bat and wait at the top of the stairs for them. When I'm not home I just don't even bother with it anymore.