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Home security / alarm services - Summer 2021

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 3rd, 2021 7:13 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2015
1056 posts
1276 upvotes
NB

Home security / alarm services - Summer 2021

I recently bought a house with a well configured Vivint security system already installed. The equipment is about 6 years old, so I am thinking we might as well get a new contract with another provider.

Needs: centrally monitored fire and intrusion detection. The are 2 storeys and 3 doors, which means at least 1 smoke sensor on each floor, plus a combination of door and motion sensors to protect the perimeter.
Wants: ?

Looking at plans from Bell and Telus - they both offer $10 off per month for existing customers if you have internet or cell with them. Telus further sweetens the deal with $300 in bill credits if you install yourself.

Bell: $50/month, 2 motion sensors, 3 doors, 1 smoke, 1 camera, 1 smart lock OR 1 thermostat
Telus: $45/month, flexible config. Looking at 2 doors, 1 motion, doorbell cam, smart lock, 2 smoke

With Telus, you are renting the equipment and it will have to be returned when the services are terminated. The number of devices is limited by the plan.

With Bell, you can buy additional devices, but the website doesn’t say if adding extra sensors will affect the cost. If it doesn’t, I could probably get a lower cost plan with Bell and reuse some of the Vivint sensors if they are compatible.

Bell and Telus are 3-year contracts, with Vivint I could probably go month to month and the equipment is owned.

What is your experience with either?
Is smart lock / video doorbell worth it?
How much is a discount on home insurance typically?
"Stuff should not be multiplied without necessity"
8 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
3234 posts
2079 upvotes
Markham
Have you looked into DIY monitoring (i.e. Blink, Arlo, Nest, etc)?
At $50 + tax a month, you are paying close to $700 a year. In 3 years, you will have paid $2100!!!
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
3234 posts
2079 upvotes
Markham
carbide wrote: Is smart lock / video doorbell worth it?
How much is a discount on home insurance typically?
Any deterrent to crime is worth it.
The discount isn't much. It was very small.....like a few dollars each month.
Member
Nov 13, 2019
315 posts
104 upvotes
Toronto
BDSL wrote: Any deterrent to crime is worth it.
The discount isn't much. It was very small.....like a few dollars each month.
Had no idea about this, what about stuff like hardwired security cameras around the house?

When we moved into our new place, we just went with a recommended home insurance company but I always found it weird that they didn't ask anything about the house (to further refine the premium). All we gave them was the address
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
3234 posts
2079 upvotes
Markham
timofeewho wrote: Had no idea about this, what about stuff like hardwired security cameras around the house?

When we moved into our new place, we just went with a recommended home insurance company but I always found it weird that they didn't ask anything about the house (to further refine the premium). All we gave them was the address
You will have to call your insurance provider to find out. YMMV.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2015
1056 posts
1276 upvotes
NB
cba123 wrote: Are you trying to reuse the existing Vivint security system with a new monitoring company, or removing the existing system and replacing with new equipment?
Exploring all options: $/quality.
The Vivint panel is locked to them, I believe, but the sensors should be generic Z-Wave
"Stuff should not be multiplied without necessity"
Jr. Member
Oct 31, 2014
131 posts
178 upvotes
Toronto, ON
My experience with Telus in Toronto:

  • Installation was very good. I've had a lot of service/tradespeople come to my new home as I get things set up, and Telus's remain the most professional. I'm far from 'handy' so I'm really glad I didn't have to deal with the smart thermostat, smart garage door opener, video doorbell, and smart lock myself. One month in, no problems with anything they installed (except as noted below). They even threw in a couple of wi-fi extenders for free.
  • Pricing was significantly better than Bell or Rogers for comparable service. (I have a Koodo phone so that helped too.)
  • The app and online system is not terribly polished. There's a system called 'scenes' that seems like it's supposed to automate everything, but I have no idea how to use it. I've also failed to figure out the geofence system, and the system for adding additional users doesn't work well. But controlling the system generally is easy, i.e. arming and disarming the system, and that's most of what I need from it.
  • The video doorbell is a bit sluggish to view on a phone, and sometimes there's a long delay (minutes) between a doorbell press and the phone notification. The motion detection function was uploading video every time a car drove by my house which was a bit annoying, but this was completely solved by switching to the "2.0" (from 1.0) motion detection algorithm in the settings.
  • I've only actually used the video doorbell (i.e. to talk to someone at the door) once, so the jury's still out on whether it's worth the additional cost.
  • I regret not getting a smart lock for my interior garage access door. It's nice to not have to carry keys around but that's the one weak link in my setup.

Overall I'm a happy customer.
Newbie
Oct 11, 2021
14 posts
3 upvotes
Coquitlam, BC
Any telus home security rep? please PM me.

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