I guess some of the criteria... and then what level of importance those criteria is for you.
Hardware: Wired or wireless.. wired don't have to worry about batteries, etc.. but can be more difficult in a finished house sometimes, etc.
Hardware: 'Other' compatibility. If you want it to be able to be usable possibly on another companies system later on (assuming you buy the hardware)
Connectivity: How the system connects. Just via basic phone line, internet, cellular.. failovers if it does.
Connectivity: How/IF it is internet connected. If you want to be able to use a phone, etc as a arm/disarm thing, or any other features.
Other features: If it can include security cameras, light controls, thermostat, etc... and if that is wanted to tie in / or necessary.
Other features: What sort ADDITIONAL things the system can do.. if its just basic arm/disarm, and contact on alarms, etc.. or if you want more programmability on triggered events, etc (like when the alarm goes off, record X many seconds, etc)
Price: look at what your AFTER promo monthly pricing will be.
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