DSC Security System
What is DSC?
Digital Security Controls (DSC) has been in the security business since 1979, starting out with small security keypads and micro-processor alarm panels. DSC went on to acquire Sur-Guard, a central station monitoring equipment company, in 1990 followed by Bentel, an Italian manufacturer of security products, in 1998. In 2002, DSC was bought by Tyco International, and individualized the three brands in their fire and security portfolio. Later in 2007, Tyco split into three companies and DSC remained under the international banner. In current times, Digital Security Controls is based in Toronto and works within the areas of security monitoring, internet security communications, and wireless security products. Producing control panels, communication products, and detection devices for homes and businesses in 140 countries out of their Canadian and Italian facilities.
DSC’s affordable range of products include panels, keypads, modules, sensors, accessories, and communicators. The product page allows you to choose between three categories of products, or sort by product group or collection. Each product name is a link to a page with a little information on the product and some have videos about the product. They have both push-button and touchscreen panels, CO, flood, and smoke detectors, as well as motion, glass break, and door sensors. DSC also provides wired and wireless options on some of their products. The DSC website even has a page where you can search through user manuals, installation guides, product approvals and more.
What do they offer?
Digital Security Controls offers a number of panel and module options that integrate into your system. You can get panels such as the Power Series Neo Control panels, the Alexor 2-way Wireless Panel, or the MAXSYS Control Panel. They also offer different keypads for you to choose from. One such option is the Power Series Pro Hardwired Touchscreen Keypad; this is a 7-inch touchscreen with full color display. It offers a customizable home screen so that you can select your most commonly used commands to display. If touchscreens are not the way you want to go, DSC also offers push button keypads such as the PowerG 2-way wireless arming station. This keypad has a 2 x 16-character display screen, automatic clock programming, a door chime, temperature display, and tamper switch. It can display one of three languages, English, Spanish, and French, gives you 5 preset function keys, and of course allows you to arm and disarm the system.
DSC also has a range of sensors such as the PowerG wireless shock detector. This sensor provides early detection of attacks or low-level shocks while maintaining a high tolerance for background vibrations to avoid false alarms. It can be used to protect your doors and windows as well as walls and your roof from forced entry. It has a battery life ranging up to five years and comes with a low battery indicator. They also offer their PowerG wireless glass break detector; it has an acoustic pattern recognition with 360 degrees of coverage to minimize the rate of false alarms. The sensor has a 25-foot range for detecting a variety of glass types breaking, whether you have plate, coated, or tempered windows.
They also offer a wireless motion detector with a built-in camera as one of their sensor options. This sensor provides day and night visual alarm verification with full color, high resolution images that are transmitted over cellular and ethernet connections. The normal camera range is 39 feet with the IR illumination being 32 feet. You can adjust the brightness and contrast on your control panel, and it has a 3-to-5-year battery life. If you have pets, you can activate the pet-tolerant mode for any pets under 85 pounds. The batteries are easy to replace, and it tells you when they are low.
In terms of cameras, Digital Security Solutions has three options of 720 P HD IP security cameras. The first one it the one labeled SN-629F1, it does not say whether it is for indoor or outdoor use but based on the design it appears to be for indoor use. It has a fixed camera lens, with a microphone and speaker, and Wi-Fi support. It has a port for a micro SD card, and 4 LED infrared lights with a 5 meter distance. The SN-750EF1 camera is for indoor or outdoor use and offers a lot of the same specifications as the one listed prior. The main difference is that is has 24 infrared LED lights with a 20 meter distance. The third camera option is the SN-631PT1 camera, it offers a pan and tilt lens, a 3.5mm audio out interface, and 12 LED infrared lights with an 8 meter distance.
What do customers think?
When you look for reviews on DSC and their products it can be a bit difficult to find any but thankfully one website called alarm reviews made a posting about the company back in 2017. While this may be an old posting, in the comments for the post were a number of DSC customers sharing their experiences. Like most company reviews there were mixed feelings about the security systems, everyone has different needs so some felt like they had what they needed, and others felt as though they were missing something. One comment from 2019 sates that they had bought their system over 10 years prior and love it. They have gradually updated pieces of equipment over time and are happy with the alert notifications. Although they do agree that self-installation can be a bit difficult but doable and that they recommend finding a monitoring company not tied to any specific brands or equipment.
Another commenter from 2019 states that the system is highly technical and difficult to manage and has to be handled by a technician which is okay if you have a contract with a monitoring company. However, they warn that if your monitoring company goes out of business you will not be able to resolve any problems with your system as the installer will have implemented a code that you do not have. Most commentors seem to agree that you should obtain DSC systems through a dealer, so you get what you need and some feel as though their systems outdate quickly. Overall, the reviews seem to be mostly positive.
Is there a downside?
Despite being an international company that promotes itself as industry leading, DSC seems to be a bit behind in some aspects. They offer a range of products, a number of which look outdated, but come in wired and wireless options and some with or without a camera feature. They do have touchscreen keypads available but most of their options are old-school push-button keypads. DSC does offer three camera options, but only one of which specifies that it can be used inside or outside. The quality of these cameras comes in at a 720p resolution, and the products that have a camera option, such as motion sensors, do not specify what quality the cameras are other than “high”.
While not actively promoted on the website, DSC does have an app for your phone to access your security system. However, based on the page for the app, it is unknown how often it is updated and what features come on the app. It is also a bit difficult to easily browse the products offered. The products tab brings you to a page that shows you a list of products, but not all of the products. At the top of the page are three category buttons for you to choose from based on what you would like to look at. There are also two drop down menus to filter product results such as product groups, like their Power Series, or product collection, such as motion detectors or business security. Certain products will only show up under certain selections making it easy to miss something you might be looking for.
DSC has a number of communicators to add to your system. One such communicator is their cellular universal wireless alarm communicator. This communicator runs off an LTE network, or 3G if LTE is not available, to communicate with your IP receiver. It provides full event reporting, is activated from a web browser or mobile interface, and its status can be viewed from your phone. The sensor also allows for SMS commands and gives control for arming and disarming the system. DSC offers to select a cellular carrier for your that will provide the best and most secure connection for your area.
Is there a better option?
If you are looking for home or business security, then look no further than Vivint! Vivint prides itself in offering a range of high-end, American made products to the United States. With sleek, modern designs, an easy-to-use app with a variety of functions, and smart home automation, you can set up your security system to fit your needs. The indoor and outdoor cameras boast a 1080p video resolution, built-in motion sensing, differentiation between people, pets, and cars, and lurker detection and warnings for the outside cameras. Manage your system from the app or touchscreen panel which offers two-way communication so that our monitoring service can get ahold of you to verify alarms and send emergency services your way. You can set your system to arm and disarm at certain times, automatically adjust the thermostat and lights, and detect your vehicle pulling up with car guard. Vivint also lets you connect your system with Alexa and your Google home for hands-free control.
Let us take a look into some of the specific products that Vivint has to offer you for your home security system and home automation. First off, we will take a look at the smart lock that Vivint offers. This lock ensures that you and your loved ones never leave home with any unlocked doors. You can program your system to lock the doors at certain times or you can lock it manually from your phone or panel. Have friends coming over or children that come home to an empty house? Give them their own code for keyless entry anytime they need it. Pair it with the door sensors and you will never have to worry about a door being left wide open either since your system will alert you to the risk.
If you are someone who exits the house through the garage the most, the garage door opener is your friend. It will allow you to open and close it from anywhere which is helpful when you want the delivery driver to leave your package safely in the garage. It will even alert you if you forgot to close the garage door, so you do not have to turn around to check when you are already a few minutes down the road. It can help keep your car safe, especially when paired with Vivint car guard. Car guard is a small product that plugs into your car for easy location tracking, tamper alerts, and maintenance updates. Know where your teenager is at, if your car is being broken into, or if there is an engine problem that your car needs to be serviced for.
Vivint also has the inside of your house completely covered with a multitude of sensors and indoor cameras. Know when your doors to the outside and your windows are opened or left opened with the door and window sensors. Best used on the first floor, you can also use window sensors on the second floor to protect against thieves with ladders or to see if your teenager uses the window to sneak out. If you like to open the windows on a nice, cool night simply access the system from your phone or panel and tell it to bypass certain sensors so it will not alert you to a window you want open.
Have a lot of windows in one room or an open floor plan in your living space? Glass break sensors can be an easier to monitor these windows, especially if you keep your windows closed and locked at all times. With a 20 foot radius, three sensitivity levels, and 360 degree horizontal sensing you will be alerted immediately to any glass breaking within its range. You can mount it to your wall or ceiling and the battery last between 3 and 5 years. Pair it with a motion detector for added protection in the event that someone manages to get in, whether it is through an unprotected door or window. The motion detector has a 40 foot by 50 foot protection range, 75 degree field of view, and pet friendly settings up to large dogs.
For those who would like to have eyes on the inside of their house, Vivint offers an indoor camera. Whether you want to check on your pet or kids or take a peek at everything while you are on vacation. It comes with 1080P resolution, 155 by 80 degree field of view, small size, night vision, and two -way talk. With a button on top, your kids can easily contact you if they need you, and if someone is in your house it has LED lights and an 85 decibel siren. And for the outside of your house is the outdoor camera. The outdoor camera boasts 1080P video resolution, a 4k ultra HD image sensor, a 140 degree field of view, and night vision. With two-way talk, LED lights, and an 85 decibel speaker with warning tone for spotted lurkers, this camera can help you feel safe and secure.
With Vivint you can buy your equipment, get it installed by their technicians, monitored by their team of professionals, and get equipment upgrades all with one company. There is no need to buy your equipment from one company, try to install it yourself or pay someone to come out and do it, and then pay another company to monitor it. You get 24/7 monitoring and support for your system to help give you peace of mind. You can check in on your system anytime with the Vivint mobile app or the control panel in your home. If the alarm is triggered they will try to call you and reach you through the panel, if you give them the go ahead or they can not contact you, Vivint will dispatch emergency services to your home. At Vivint, your protection is what matters the most.
For more information, on the Vivint website click the home security tab or the smart home tab to see our available products that you can choose from. Or if you just want to look at cameras you can use a drop-down menu at the top of every page to select the camera type you want to look at and see all of its specifications, so you know you are getting a leading tech device. Vivint offers a number of products unavailable through DSC, such as smart locks, garage control, car guard, and a smart thermostat. And there is only one version of each product listed as Vivint keeps all products up to date with the best technology and the only product with any wiring is the doorbell camera. With wireless technology that runs off of Wi-Fi and cellular connections, you never have to worry about someone cutting your system off or losing connection from bad weather, especially since Vivint products are designed to withstand high heats and extremely cold temperatures. There is so much more to Vivint and how you can customize the system you need to keep you and your belongings safe, so browse the site and give Vivint a call to get started or if you have any questions.