Whether you should install your system yourself or get a pro to do it depends on your personal preferences and your business situation. DIY installation is usually cheaper, while pro installation saves you time.
Consider how you spend your time: Would it disrupt your business if you took the time to install your equipment personally? Or do you have enough downtime that you can take an hour or two to do that work yourself without it causing an issue?
Likewise, ask yourself if you’d feel more secure knowing that a professional had installed your business security system. If you would, go with the pro.
To be clear, we think that just about anyone can install their own system; it mostly comes down to peeling the backs off stickers and then sticking equipment where you want it. And if you run into any problems, companies like Frontpoint will walk you through the process over the phone if you need help.
So while our top pick is DIY-install only, some of our other picks offer pro installation. It’s up to you which works better for your business.
We have a stronger opinion about this question: we recommend professional monitoring—not DIY monitoring—for pretty much all businesses.
That’s because pro monitoring offers more security than DIY monitoring can. DIY monitoring depends entirely on you, the business owner, to work. When your alarm gets triggered, you get an alert, at which point you can call the authorities.
So what happens if something triggers your alarm but you’re in a meeting with a vendor and you don’t get the alert? Or what if you’ve finally gone on a much-needed vacation and your spotty cell service means you don’t get alerted until the next day? If your system equipment includes an audible alarm, the noise might scare off would-be intruders—if you’re lucky. But the police won’t come until you personally call them.
While pro monitoring costs more, it’s more secure. When something triggers your alarm, your monitoring company will get the alert and then notify the authorities for you. Seems like a safer bet to us.