Best Home Security Systems
Updated: April 07,2022
You can’t put a price on safety. Fortunately, we can put a price on home security systems. These security kits don’t come cheap, which is why we’ve identified and reviewed the top names in the business.
Our list will help you make an informed purchasing decision and enable you to find the most affordable and trustworthy option. If you get overwhelmed with all the different components like cameras and motion sensors, you can turn to our methodology for evaluating the best home security systems, which will give you a better understanding of different security systems for home use.
- Quick to set up
- Wide variety of packages
- Multiple failsafes
- Lackluster camera
We’re kicking things off with one of the best home security system options around - SimpliSafe. This company provides DIY home safety systems at very affordable prices and visually appealing devices. In addition to its affordability and simple design, SimpliSafe offers no-contract monitoring services as well.
SimpliSafe only offers DIY home security packages. That means that there’s absolutely no need for anyone to install your system. When you order the equipment, you get the whole system neatly packed in a box. You can install the devices around your home by yourself using double-sided duct tape found on the back of each piece of hardware.
SimpliSafe is widely considered one of the best wireless security system companies because its products are very easy to set up and use. The packaging you receive comes with clear instructions on how and where to place the equipment. Still, if you happen to have trouble installing it, SimpliSafe can dispatch people to assist you.
SimpliSafe’s wireless home security camera systems cover a broad range of intruder prevention and anti-hazard devices. It offers both premade packages, tailored to different kinds of homes and levels of protection. It also allows you to build your own custom package.
Each package contains two core devices: the keypad, which is used for arming/disarming the system and has a panic taster, plus the base station. The base station is the heart and soul of the best DIY security system. It has voice prompts to take you through the setup process, a built-in siren, and it acts as a hub that connects all the sensors in your house - up to 100 of them. The base station is plugged into a power outlet but has a backup battery in case of a power outage.
When it comes to anti-intruder devices, these include entry and motion sensors (pet-friendly), cameras, glass break sensors, and a panic button. The hazard prevention devices include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as temperature and water sensors.
Just like with many of the best home alarm systems, you can also purchase yard signs to show you have home security protection as well as additional keypads or sirens.
Two of SimpliSafe’s main advantages are its affordability and lack of any contractual obligations. You can stop using its services at any time. There are six packages available: Video Doorbell Pro ($169), The Foundation ($183), The Essentials ($207), The Hearth ($299), The Knox ($359), and The Haven ($391).
Each of these prices includes a 20% discount that you get if you sign up for its monitoring service which will cost you $0.83 per day. The more expensive the package, the more devices and overall security it confers. You can also build your own system and see the price of each device on its site.
SimpliSafe is definitely the best security system for home use if you’re looking for affordable DIY options. The affordable devices, easy installation, no contracts, and reasonable monitoring fees make this a great offer.
- Integrates with voice command services
- Many automation capabilities
- Low installation fees
- Poor customer service
While SimpliSafe represents one of the best options in the affordable DIY sphere of home security, Vivint requires professional installation and comes with monitoring services. This is one of the home security companies that offer smart security systems, including great automation and voice command capabilities.
Many of the best wireless home security system options are DIY ones. That’s because most don’t actually require extensive work. There’s no drilling or wiring involved, and pairing devices with the hub is a straightforward process.
But smart home systems like Vivint require a team of professionals for the installation process. The company dispatches a team of certified professionals to your home to install the whole system and teach you how to use it. This guarantees that the whole system will function properly and that all devices are paired correctly. This is very important because the best home security system with cameras relies on multiple connection types in order to link to the main hub, and it can be a real pain to connect them yourself.
Vivint smart home, like most security systems, relies on a central hub that connects and controls all the devices in your home. The Smart Hub is basically a wall-mounted touch screen where you can view camera footage and where the panic button is located. The hub also allows you to change alarm volumes, arm/disarm the system, change user codes, and play around with other functions.
Vivint may very well be the best security system thanks to its ability to integrate with Google Home or Amazon Echo, enabling you to issue voice commands to the system. The system also integrates with Philips Hue for controlling lighting in the house. The integration is done by purchasing additional devices from Vivint.
The security devices include doorbell cameras, the ping two-way audio camera; glass break detectors; burglary detectors; smart locks; garage door control; CO, smoke, and water sensors; outdoor cameras; movement sensors; and car guards.
You can control the whole system via smartphone app and use Vivint’s drive storage for saving and reviewing camera footage.
Our home security system reviews of Vivint reveal that it’s pricier than many of its competitors. While you can build your own system, its Basic package, which includes the smart hub, smartphone app, two window sensors, water sensor, and movement sensor will set you back $599. Individual components are also pricey, with sensors going for around $50 each.
Vivint doesn’t display prices on its website. You’ll have to call the company to get a quote. You also have the option of using the service without a contract. We learned that the monthly fee is $39 and includes professional 24/7 monitoring. Installation is also included in that price.
Vivint is considered to be one of the best home security companies for good reason. The level of security and professionalism it offers is tough to match, but be ready to spend a hefty sum of money for this level of protection.
- High-end security devices
- Great technicians and customer support
- Great camera quality
If you’re not on a tight budget and you’re in need of a top security system, you can’t go wrong with ADT. The company has been in business since the 19th century, far longer than its competitors. Although ADT home security systems don’t come cheap and you can’t install them by yourself, it’s a strong contender if you’re looking for the best home security system on the market.
ADT’s equipment requires extensive work that’s best left to professionals, especially when it comes to wiring. If you decide to sign up for the service, you’ll get two visits from the ADT team.
During the first visit, the team scouts your home and consults you about where you want the equipment placed. During their second visit, the technicians install everything and teach you how to use the system. This will take several hours, but that’s not unusual for the best rated home security camera systems.
ADT systems monitor your sensors and cameras and immediately reports any breaches to the emergency services. This is better than self-monitoring for a variety of reasons. You won’t always be able to keep an eye out for notifications - especially when you’re away or sleeping. But commercial security systems with monitoring give you round-the-clock protection.
The equipment ADT offers is costly but impressive. The whole system can be controlled either via the command panel or through their proprietary app, which performs really well. Like with most of the best security home systems, the equipment includes cameras, motion sensors, anti-hazard hardware, glass break sensors, and more.
The HD cameras have great features like night vision. Also, outdoor cameras turn on only when their motion sensors detect activity, which conserves energy. The motion sensors are fine-tuned to ignore small animals.
ADT services don’t come cheap. There are four pricing tiers: Traditional ($28.99/mo), Remote ($47.99/mo), Control ($49.99/mo), and Video ($59.99/mo.) The last one doesn’t include the upfront installation costs, which go from $50 to several thousand dollars - you need to contact ADT to get an exact quote.
ADT is one of the best in home security systems because all of its plans come with 24/7 monitoring and support. The cheaper packages include anti-burglary measures, while more expensive ones add anti-hazard protection and video.
When it comes to in-home security systems, ADT is of the highest quality. The level of security it provides is tough to match, but it comes with a hefty price tag.
- No-contract option
- Very affordable
- Equipment fully relies on cellular connections
- Obligatory professional monitoring
DIY systems were traditionally the easier and more affordable option but lacked the monitoring services and some of the security equipment found with high-end systems that require installation. Thankfully, this changed in recent years, and DIY systems are now more advanced. Frontpoint is one of those DIY systems that changed for the better with time, adding professional monitoring and allowing you to sign up without a contract.
As with any best home security camera system that’s DIY, Frontpoint aims to make the installation process as simple as possible. When the Frontpoint package reaches your home, you’ll also receive an email with an online setup manual for unpacking and mounting your equipment.
Much of the equipment is already paired, saving you precious time. None of the equipment requires any extensive work that you’d have to put in with wired home security systems. Most of the devices have double-sided duct tape on the back, and all you have to do is peel off the protective layer and firmly place it on a dry surface. And don’t worry, the duct tape will keep your equipment in place.
These cheap home security systems and the do-it-yourself options generally don’t require you to do anything other than install the doorbell camera, which you can set up in a few minutes.
You start off by unpacking the hub - the central part of the system - and add each device onto it. All in all, it’s a fairly quick and simple installation process, as one would expect from DIY systems.
The Frontpoint system is fully reliant on cellular technology. This means that the system cannot be disabled by someone shutting down your power or cutting a cable. All of the equipment runs on energy-conserving batteries. The hub, which is plugged into the electrical grid, has backup batteries in case there’s a power outage.
While some cheap home security systems might have keypads or other devices that could be damaged by intruders, Frontpoint’s equipment is smashproof, preventing burglars from bypassing security.
The hub and the keypad are the core of every package, which is generally the case when it comes to DIY home security systems with cameras. Frontpoint used to have a touchscreen in place of the central hub, but has recently altered its package. The touchscreen is still available for purchase.
The rest of the equipment consists of the usual combination of burglary-prevention and anti-hazard devices, including smart locks, indoor and outdoor cameras, doorbell cameras, motion sensors, and smoke detectors.
Home security camera system reviews reveal that Frontpoint recently began offering users the option to get equipment and monitoring services without a contract, which is always a plus.
Frontpoint is a bit more expensive than its DIY competitors. The cheapest seven-piece package that includes the hub, keypad, two door/window sensors, and one motion sensor is $99. Package prices go up to $474.90, each offering more equipment and increased smart security capabilities. You can also build your own system. Professional monitoring costs $1.48/day or $1.64/day. The equipment can also be paid off monthly instead of paying upfront.
Frontpoint is one of the most advanced DIY home security systems around. While its smart capabilities aren’t on par with some of the professionally installed systems, the security it provides, the ability to sign up without a contract, and its great monitoring services make it a good option if you’re looking for a reliable DIY system.
- Excellent setup tutorial
- Equipment comes pre-paired
- Great mobile app
- Basic package inadequate
If professionally installed home security systems are too expensive for you, you should consider another great DIY option - Ring Alarm. The company has everything you would look for in a DIY kit - easy-to-install equipment, optional monitoring services, and no long-term contracts or cancellation fees. For those looking for the best self-install home security systems, Ring Alarm is definitely worth checking out.
Getting professionally installed equipment is both costly and time-consuming. Upfront costs can go up to several thousand dollars, and the installation can easily take up your whole day.
Ring Alarm offers easy-to-install packages that you can set up yourself in a short period of time. Once the package arrives at your home, you should immediately install the Ring app which will take you through the setup process.
Simplifying the process further is the fact that all the devices come pre-paired. This is what makes Ring Alarm one of the best smart home security systems. You just need to connect your phone to the base station through your Wi-Fi or Ethernet and then start adding all the devices you’ve purchased. Most of the equipment gets recognized automatically as soon as you turn it on.
Most of the time, you’ll be using your app to fine-tune and review your security system. There’s also a keypad and three different modes: Disarmed, Home, and Away.
The Disarmed mode disables all sensors and is usually used during the day when the entire family is home, enabling everyone to move around freely without triggering alarms. During our best home security systems reviews, we found that the Home mode activates only outdoor cameras and alarms, preventing intrusion from outside. As you can probably guess, the Away mode turns everything on, as is best for when no one is home.
When it comes to equipment, Ring Alarm includes the usual combination of anti-intruder and anti-hazard devices. Among those are motion sensors, cameras, and CO and smoke detectors.
Ring Alarm is sold in packages, but you can freely add additional devices. The pricing structure for those devices is fairly similar to that of SimpliSafe.
The cheapest five-piece kit costs $199.99, while the 14-piece security kit is $329.99. On top of that, you can get a 24/7 monitoring service for $10/month. Like with many of the best no-contract home security systems, the devices can be paid off monthly with no interest.
There are no notable downsides with Ring Alarm. It’s affordable, easy to use, requires no contract, and you’re not obligated to use the monitoring service. On top of that, it interacts with many other Ring products that you might already have.
Top Home Security Systems - Our 5 Picks
- ADT Security
- Ring Alarm
Our Home Security Systems Evaluation Method
Before you begin searching for home security systems with cameras, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. First, how much money are you prepared to spend? Security systems come at different prices. DIY packages without live monitoring services usually have a smaller one-time fee, while those that require professional installation and come with monitoring tend to cost thousands of dollars.
While browsing through a selection of top home security systems, it’s important to figure out what sort of protection you need. Smart locks, doorbell cameras, as well as motion and temperature sensors are just some of the components available, and identifying what your house needs is absolutely crucial.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a number of other aspects to consider when exploring smart home security systems. Below is our evaluation methodology, which makes it easier to navigate this market.
Some home-based security systems are easier to install than others. Some don’t require anything more than double-sided duct tape that you can plaster on your wall, while others need drilling and wiring work.
Hence, the top-rated home security systems are usually divided into two categories: DIY and those that require professional installation.
With do-it-yourself home security systems, you can install everything on your own. The pieces of hardware are packaged in simple boxes and you can plaster the device wherever. There’s no drilling involved or any required complex work. The best DIY home security systems are mostly battery-powered, meaning no wiring work is required either.
The other category of security systems requires professional installation. A team of experts is dispatched to your home to take care of the entire installation process. The systems that require professional installation are usually more sophisticated than the DIY packages. More often than not, these require drilling, electrical wiring, and other work.
These robust systems usually include more types of sensors, such as heat or smoke detectors. The systems also provide better and faster communication with the hub and/or professional monitors as well as emergency services. Of course, the best-rated home security systems that require professional installation are significantly more expensive than their DIY counterparts.
Home security is a pretty broad term that covers many different pieces of hardware aimed at providing better protection for your home. Most people think about motion detectors, cameras, and smart locks when talking about home security monitoring systems. These are integral parts of all home security systems - hardware that detects any sort of intrusion and promptly notifies you and the authorities.
However, protection against intruders isn’t the only kind of protection offered by advanced security systems. Safeguards against fires and leaks are also part of many home security packages. These are as important as intruder protection features and shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing the right system for your home.
In our reviews, we examine the different types of security offered by home systems. Furthermore, we look at whether additional protections can be added onto existing packages and compare the features on offer.
Home security system reviews wouldn’t be complete without taking the price into account. Most of your purchasing decisions come down to price especially with home alarm systems because some of the more advanced packages can cost thousands of dollars in the long run.
First, you’re paying for the security devices themselves. The cost varies depending on how advanced the devices are. Simpler DIY hardware costs less, while advanced systems that require professional installation are more costly.
The best home security camera systems that require professional installation can further inflate the total price. You can pay for the hardware through a single fixed fee or split the cost into multiple monthly fees. But installation and similar costs have to be paid upfront.
Monitoring, which involves professional agents that keep an eye on your camera feeds and sensors 24/7, is also becoming increasingly popular. Previously this service was only offered by high-end systems but is now available with home security systems that are DIY. The monitoring service is paid through a monthly fee.
With DIY home security systems, there are no monthly fee agreements if you decide to self-monitor and pay for the hardware upfront. However, in most cases, you’ll have some sort of monthly cost to cover.
Lastly, we should mention contracts. Many security system providers require you to sign long-term contracts, especially for high-end equipment. In some cases, these contracts have hefty termination fees. If you feel uneasy about contractual obligations, there are providers out there that offer their services without any contracts.
Alarms and motion sensors can notify you and the emergency services of any potential break-ins or fires, but you won’t always be around or awake to catch these notifications. Furthermore, sensors might not catch intruders that your camera will.
Hence, many of the best buy home security systems offer professional monitoring services for a monthly fee. This service includes a host of agents monitoring your home security systems 24/7. This offers several advantages. First, the agents can notify you as soon as they notice anything suspicious. Of course, most home systems have automatic push notifications that come to your phone when something happens. However, you might not hear the notification, so having agents keep an eye on your security is an invaluable asset.
Ease of Use
One metric that shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re checking out different home security camera system reviews is ease of use. Even the most robust systems aren’t worth it if it takes ages for you to learn how to use them. Making mistakes while using complicated security systems can easily lead to you locking yourself out of your home or similar complications.
Therefore, we always recommend home security packages that are easy to master. Furthermore, features that prevent you from locking yourself out and similar options are always a plus in our book.
Frequently Asked Questions
That depends on your needs. If you’re not on a budget, we suggest going for Vivint or ADT.
Like most best home security surveillance camera systems, ADT does not come cheap. The monthly price ranges between $28.99 and $59.99.
If you’re looking for the safest and cheapest option around, we recommend SimpliSafe or Ring Alarm.
These two options aren’t really comparable because SimpliSafe is a cheaper DIY system, while ADT is a fully-fledged security package that requires professional installation and monitoring.
While most home security systems can theoretically be hacked, SimpliSafe and other companies rely on encryption technology and additional security measures to prevent hacking.
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