What is home security, exactly? Many people view it as a product in the sense that they go purchase home security equipment and install it in their homes. But here is a question: can home security ever be a service rather than a product? Absolutely. It can even be both.

Classifying home security as a product or service boils down to how a homeowner obtains security equipment and how that equipment is ultimately used. There are essentially three models that consumers can choose from:

1. Rented Equipment, Professional Monitoring

The first model is the original model for the home security industry. It involves renting home security devices from a company that also provides professional installation and 24-hour monitoring. This particular model presents home security as a service.

It is a service because the home security company comes to your house and installs the equipment for you. Their technician also tests the equipment and gives you basic instructions. If you ever have trouble with the system, you simply call the company and have them send out a technician.

Obviously, 24-hour professional monitoring is a service as well. Companies like Vivint Smart Home provide monitoring packages coinciding with the hardware they install. Both hardware and monitoring are bundled together.

2. Purchased Equipment, Professional Monitoring

The second model is a hybrid model. It is one in which the homeowner actually purchases security equipment but then pays for professional monitoring. In most cases, this model is implemented through the use of DIY home security systems.

DIY home security manufacturers tend to work out partnerships with monitoring providers. In some rare instances, a manufacturer’s monitoring partner may be a subsidiary. The one thing that remains static is ownership of the equipment. Once a homeowner purchases a system, it is theirs for as long as they want to keep it.

In that sense, the actual hardware constitutes the product portion of the equation. Monitoring represents the service portion. Here you have a hybrid model.

3. Purchased Equipment, Self-Monitoring

The final model is a pure product model. It involves a consumer purchasing, installing, and monitoring home security equipment without any assistance from a service provider. This is the only true DIY model out there. It is also pretty popular in the modern era of wireless home security.

There are benefits to the DIY model including lower upfront costs. But there are also downsides. Both DIY installation and self-monitoring require a considerable amount of effort. It is not like you can pull a few devices out of a box, plug them in, and forget about them.

On the other hand, homeowners who choose the DIY model are not locked into lengthy contracts. They are not forced to purchase new equipment because their service provider requires mandatory upgrades. The DIY homeowner is in complete control of their security system.

Integrating Smart Home Automation

One final thing to consider is that smart home automation can be integrated with home security under all three models. Vivint Smart Home says that this is actually the current trend. People looking to invest in home security cameras and motion sensors are also investing in smart thermostats, video doorbells, smart lighting, and so forth. They are tying everything together to maximize the benefits of each device.

You might normally think of home security as just a product. But it is also a service. When you combine home security equipment with 24-hour monitoring and smart home automation, you end up with a complete package that can be both a product and a service at the same time. Welcome to the new age of home security and monitoring.