Best Home Security Systems - Detailed Reviews and Comparisons

Comparison of Best Home Security Systems: Best Overall, Best Affordable, Best Professionally Installed System, Best DIY, Best Monitored System, Best Wireless System, etc
best smart security systems
Published: 22nd Sep 2020
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By Rohan Tandon

Rohan is a passionate tech journalist with a degree in English literature. He's worked as a commissi Read More...

Are you looking for a home security system? If so, you’ll probably be really confused by all the choices on the market. You can find dozens of brands peddling their home security systems as “THE best home security.” But which of these is truly the best home security system? Well, different home security systems come with different sets of features and benefits, so finding the “best” is really up to you and your specific needs.

You should ask yourself the following questions to figure out which is the best home security system for your needs:

  • What’s your home size?
  • Do you need environmental sensors with your cameras and motion sensors?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Are you a renter or a homeowner?
  • Do you want professional monitoring, or do you prefer self-monitoring?
  • Is budget an important consideration, or do you only care about quality?

Considering the diversity of needs and interests, we’re a little hesitant to champion one security system as the best over others. That’s why we’ve created a wide range of categories for security systems, so you can find the best one according to your interests. Having said that, Simplisafe is my personal favorite home security system — I love that it’s attractive, incredibly easy to use, and has great sensors.

Now, go ahead and dive deep into our detailed reviews and comparisons of the best home security systems out there!

  1. Comparison of Best Home Security Systems
  2. SimpliSafe: Best Overall Home Security System
  3. Ring: Best Affordable Home Security System
  4. Vivint.SmartHome: Best Professionally Installed Home Security System
  5. Frontpoint: Best DIY Home Security System
  6. ADT SafeStreets: Best Monitored Home Security System
  7. Abode: Best Wireless Home Security System
  8. Nest Secure: Best Home Security System without Monthly Fees
  9. Blue by ADT: Best Home Security System for Renters
  10. Cove: Best Home Security System for Pet Owners
  11. FAQs
  12. Conclusion

 

Comparison of Best Home Security Systems

Best Overall

Best Affordable

Best Professionally Installed System

Best DIY

Best Monitored System

Best Wireless System

Best without Monthly Fees

Best for Renters

Best for Pet-Owners

Category

SimpliSafe

Ring

Vivint.SmartHome

Frontpoint

ADT SafeStreets

Abode

Nest

Blue by ADT

Cove

Starting Equipment Price

$183

$199

$599.99

$99

$599

$379

$399

$179.99

$92

Starting Pro Monitoring Price

$14.99/mo

$3/mo

$29.99/mo

$44.99/mo

$45.99/mo

$6/mo

$19/mo

$19.99/mo

$14.99/mo

SMARTHOME News Rating

5/5

5/5

4/5

4.5/5

4/5

4.8/5

4.5/5

4.2/5

4/5

Aggregate Ratings

4.5/5

4/5

4.5/5

4.3/5

3.5/5

3.9/5

4/5

4/5

4.6/5

Specs

Free Self Monitoring

x

x

x

x

x

Installation Style

DIY & Professional

DIY

Professional

DIY

Professional

DIY & Professional

DIY & Professional

DIY & Professional

DIY

Contract

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Door/ Window Sensor

Motion Sensor

Glass Break Sensor

x

x

x

Water Sensor

x

Temperature Sensor

x

x

x

Smoke Sensor

x

CO Sensor

x

x

Multi Sensor

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Smart Lock

x

x

x

x

Video Doorbell

x

x

Indoor Camera

Outdoor Camera

x

Garage Door Control

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Range Extender

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Alexa Voice Control

x

Google Home Compatibility

 

SimpliSafe: Best Overall Home Security System

SimpliSafe is an incredibly sleek and modern security system that you can proudly flaunt in your living room. They’ve made a deliberate attempt to distinguish themselves from other security systems by integrating a modern and minimalist aesthetic. We’ve awarded them the coveted spot of the “best overall home security system” because they combine some truly special features with a beautiful design and great value.

The SimpliSafe ecosystem is compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, so you can easily combine them with the rest of your smart home and voice controls. Their monitoring services are handled by COPS Monitoring, one of the most reputable monitoring agencies with over 40 years of experience. They offer two impressive monitoring plans with visual verification, allowing the security personnel to review your camera footage when an alarm is triggered.

One of the features that make SimpliSafe stand out from the rest is its simplicity. This is perhaps one of the most DIY security systems available, and you can set it up within 30 minutes. You can create your own security system, choosing from a wide range of hazards and burglary sensors, or you can simply get one of their pre-designed packages. SimpliSafe makes the process as simple and straightforward as possible.

simplisafe security system

Key Features

  • Smash Safe: The system alarms the police if your keypad or base station is smashed, so intruders can’t simply break the device.
  • Twice Secured: Their cellular network is further reinforced with Wi-Fi to add multiple layers of security.
  • Disaster Ready: SimpliSafe has 6 monitoring centers, all of which are constantly protecting your home.
  • Power Outage Protection: If there’s a blackout, the backup battery keeps the system running for at least 24 hours.
  • Visual Confirmation: If there’s an alarm, the security personnel examines the cameras to identify the threat. The visual confirmation minimizes false alarms and increases response time.
  • Encryption: All the signals from your security system to the monitoring center are encrypted.
  • 24/7 Monitoring: The monitoring personnel are available 24/7, and they call you the moment one of your sensors are triggered. If you don’t cancel the alarm, they dispatch the police.
  • Whole Home Protection: They have multiple hazard sensors, including a smoke detector, carbon monoxide sensor, temperature sensor, and water sensor. Whatever the issue may be, you’ll be notified immediately.
  • Automatic Recording: Whenever your alarms are triggered, the cameras automatically capture and send a visual confirmation to the monitoring personnel. The videos can be reviewed anytime.
  • Advanced Motion Sensors: They have advanced motion sensors that detect heat signatures from humans — not animals or inanimate objects. As such, the motion sensors will only get triggered when there’s an actual intruder.
  • Micro-antennae: Long-range sensors usually include large and clunky antennae. However, the SimpliSafe devices have micro-antennae with long-range sensors, making them aesthetically attractive.
  • Easy Control: You can control the system anytime and from anywhere via the SimpliSafe app. The app constantly sends push-notifications to inform you of activities around your home, you can monitor the cameras, and you can also arm or disarm the system.
  • Heartbeats: The security system runs routine diagnostics to ensure the entire system is working perfectly. You don’t need to worry about the system failing you in crucial moments.

Available Products

Packages

  • The Haven (for Environmental Protection): Ideal for those concerned about environmental hazards like fires and water damage. It’s a 14-piece set, including 4 entry sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 water sensor, 1 temperature sensor, 1 smoke detector, and 1 SimpliCam.
  • The Knox (for Large Homes): Ideal for large homes with multiples doors, windows, and entry points. It’s a 13-piece set, including 6 entry sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 SimpliCam, and 1 smoke detector.
  • The Hearth (for Mid-Sized Homes): Ideal for mid-sized homes, it’s a 9-piece set, including 3 entry sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 SimpliCam, and 1 smoke detector.
  • The Essentials (Mid-Sized Homes): Ideal for mid-sized homes, it’s a 6-piece set, including 3 entry sensors, 1 motion sensor, and 1 SimpliCam.
  • The Foundation (for Small Homes): Meant for smaller homes with limited entry points. It’s a 4-piece set, including 1 entry sensor, 1 motion sensor, and 1 SimpliCam.

simplisafe best overall security system

Pros

  • Reasonable professional monitoring packages.
  • Completely wireless equipment.
  • Attractively designed.
  • Cellular monitoring is available.
  • Extremely easy installation and setup.
  • Wide range of sensors.
  • Can return within 60 days for a full refund.
  • No contracts.

Cons

  • Most of the attractive features, including mobile alerts, visual verification, and smart home integration, are only available in the advanced monitoring plan.
  • There’s no option to self-monitor the home without paying a subscription fee.

Buy if you…

Want an extremely simple, attractive, and intuitive security system for your home.

Don’t buy if you…

Don’t want to pay a monthly subscription fee.

Cost

  • The Foundation: $183
  • The Essentials: $207
  • The Hearth: $299
  • The Knox: $359
  • The Haven: $391
  • SimpliCam: $99
  • Standard Monitoring Plan: $14.99 per month
  • Interactive Monitoring Plan: $24.99 per month

SMARTHOME News Rating: 5/5

Aggregate Rating: 4.5/5

 

Ring: Best Affordable Home Security System

Ring is the best home security system for those who want no-frills and basic alarm systems at a reasonable price. Ring’s most advanced monthly plan costs only $10, while most other home security systems start their monthly plans at a higher price. Ring home security system basically costs peanuts compared to all other home security systems. It’s not one of the many affordable options; it’s THE cheapest home security you can find.

However, the cheap price tag doesn’t mean it’s ineffective either — sure, it’s not as advanced as some of the other home security systems, but it provides all the essential features. The Ring security system includes the essentials, such as motion sensors, entry sensors, cameras, and alarms. Unlike most other security systems, you can also use Ring without a monthly subscription, but then it will simply act like a standard burglar alarm, without links to professional monitoring.

You can also download a Ring Neighbors app to access footage from your camera. However, the app can also be used without a Ring product — you can simply receive updates and videos from your neighborhood. However, you should be careful while linking your Ring products to Ring Neighbors — there has been recent controversy about Ring’s collaboration with police departments to clam down on peaceful protests.

ring security system

 

Key Features

  • Smart Home Integration: You can connect the Ring devices to other smart home devices, including Alexa, and you can monitor all doorbells and video cameras from the same app. It also works with Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols.
  • Self-Monitoring: You can use Ring security system as a standard burglar alarm without paying a monthly fee.
  • DIY Installation: Ring is extremely easy to install without professional assistance. It takes less than 15 minutes.
  • No Contract: You can cancel your membership whenever you want, and you don’t need to take extended contracts.
  • Warranty: You get a one-year warranty with your Ring devices. However, you can extend the warranty by subscribing to the Protect Plus plan.
  • Return Policy: You can return the Ring devices for a full refund within 30 days.

Available Products

  • Base Station with an inbuilt siren and a backup battery for up to 24 hours.
  • KeyPad arms and disarms the entire security system.
  • Motion Detector triggers the alarm whenever it detects motion in the room.
  • Contact Sensor triggers the alarm when someone breaks in through the doors or windows.
  • Range Extender increases the network range to cover more devices in a large home.
  • Smoke & CO Listener send push-notifications and alerts when they detect smoke or carbon monoxide.
  • Flood & Freeze Sensor detects water leaks and low temperatures to protect your home from water damage and frozen pipes.
  • 6 Video Doorbells with different features, including HD cameras, motion sensors, inbuilt intercom, etc.
  • Indoor Camera with 1080p HD video, two-way intercom, and Alexa compatibility.
  • Outdoor Spotlight and Floodlight Camera with a wide-angle lens, 1080p HD video, inbuilt intercom, infrared night vision, and advanced motion detection.

ring affordable security system

Packages

  • 5-Piece (up to 1,000 sq. ft.): Includes a contact sensor, a motion detector, and a range extender.
  • 8-Piece (up to 2,000 sq. ft.): Includes 3 contact sensors, 2 motion detectors, and a range extender.
  • 14-Piece (over 2,000 sq. ft.): Includes 8 contact sensors, 2 motion detectors, and a range extender.

Pros

  • Cheapest smart security system available.
  • Wide range of security cameras and doorbells.
  • No contracts.
  • Can be used as a free burglary alarm.
  • Clever smartphone app.

Cons

  • Minimalist features.
  • Concerns regarding Ring providing video footage access to the police without consent.

Buy if you…

Want an incredibly cheap security system with no contracts or monthly membership fee.

Don’t buy if you…

Want advanced features like glass break sensors and advanced motion sensors that track heat signature.

Cost

SMARTHOME News Rating: 5/5

Aggregate Rating: 4/5

 

Vivint.SmartHome: Best Professionally Installed Home Security System

Vivint.SmartHome was the winner of the 2020 IoT Breakthrough Award, which is won for its exceptional outdoor camera. Vivint’s monthly monitoring fee is slightly higher than other smart security systems, but it’s worth it because you gain access to professional monitoring, professional installation, and lie support. The Vivint Starter Kit comes with a touchscreen base station, a motion sensor, two entry sensors, and a $100 credit to add additional sensors of your choice. This setup provides all necessary sensors and gives you the flexibility to add more.

Most people get the smart hub attached to their walls, a setup that requires minimal drilling and wiring. You can also opt for a tabletop setup instead, using stands to place it on your countertop. All of the other devices in the system communicate wirelessly, so you don’t need to worry about wires going all over the place. Furthermore, each Vivint security system comes with a complementary Vivint Smart Home Pro installation service, so you don’t need to worry about installing the system yourself. The professionals will set it up for you.

Vivint also provides 24/7 cellular smart home monitoring services, operated by their own Five-Diamond-certified monitoring center. The monitoring services start at $29.99 per month, making it a little steep. Furthermore, 24/7 monitoring is available with all packages, and there’s no option for those who prefer to self-monitor without paying for monthly monitoring fees. But if you want a standard home security system that’s completely monitored and installed by professionals, so you don’t have to do anything, Vivint is the way to go.

Key Features

  • 24/7 Security: It’s a wireless security system with 24/7 continuous monitoring services.
  • Smart Home Compatibility: It’s compatible with smart home devices, and it can be controlled with Google Home or Alexa.
  • Smart App: You can control the entire security system, and all its features, using the mobile phone.
  • Greater Control: You can control your smart home through the mobile app, voice control, or the smart hub.
  • Professional Installation: All Vivint security systems come with professional installation.
  • Advanced Cameras: The outdoor and indoor cameras are equipped with advanced motion detection features, wide-angle lenses, and inbuilt intercoms.
  • Smart Sentry: Available in the doorbell camera, this feature activates the camera’s LED ring and 65 dB speaker to inform individuals they’ve been spotted.
  • Surveillance Zones: You can create surveillance zones in the cameras to demarcate the specific areas you want the camera’s motion sensors to focus on.
  • Easy Customization: To customize and curate a security system, you have to call Vivint at 844.489.0590. Once you call them, their personnel will help you customize the ideal security system.

Available Products

  • Smart Hub with an elegant user interface, two-way communication, 7” HD touchscreen, and a backup battery.
  • Burglary Detection includes doors and window sensors, glass break sensors, and motion sensors that trigger an alert whenever someone breaks in.
  • Smart Locks allow you to lock or unlock the door via the smartphone app from anywhere in the world.
  • Garage Door Control allows you to open or close the garage door remotely from anywhere in the world.
  • Smoke Alarm triggers the fire alarm whenever it detects excessive smoke or heat.
  • CO Detector has electrochemical sensors that trigger the alarm when CO is detected.
  • Water Sensor includes moisture and temperature monitoring, so it alerts you when there’s a leak or when the temperature drops to critical levels.
  • Outdoor Camera with true night vision, HD wide-angle lens, advanced motion detection, automatic video recording, and the ability to warn lurkers they’ve been detected.
  • Ping Indoor Camera with an inbuilt intercom, HD wide-angle lens, infrared night vision, and one-touch calls.
  • Doorbell Camera with a 180° x 180° lens to detect tall people, Smart Sentry alerts, custom surveillance zones, and an inbuilt intercom.
  • 1TB Smart Drive stores up to one month of video footage from up to four cameras.

Packages

  • Smart Security Service: The cheaper of the monitoring plans, it provides everything you need for basic intrusion detection and home security, including the Vivint starter kit, burglary detection kit, smoke alarm, CO detector, and water sensor.
  • Smart Home Service: This is an advanced monitoring plan. It includes a smart lock, garage door controller, thermostats, doorbell camera, outdoor camera, indoor camera, and a smart drive.

Pros

  • Wide range of smart home devices.
  • Great compatibility with other devices.
  • Seamless mobile app integration.
  • The starter kit always comes with complimentary professional installation.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • It comes with a 42-60 month contract that’s almost impossible to get out of.
  • There’s no DIY option.
  • The monitoring plans are costly.
  • Most of the information is only available through a call.

Buy if you…

Want one of the most advanced smart security systems, complete with integrated professional monitoring, professional installation, and live support.

Don’t buy if you…

Dislike contracts, prefer DIY installations, or are on a budget.

Cost

  • The Vivint Starter Kit: Starts at $599.99
  • Smart Home Service Monitoring Plan: $29.99 per month
  • Smart Security Service Monitoring Plan: $39.99 per month

SMARTHOME News Rating: 4/5

Aggregate Rating: 4.5/5

 

Frontpoint: Best DIY Home Security System

Frontpoint is the best home security system for a DIY installation experience. You don’t need to have any tech expertise to install the system because all the devices come pre-programmed. All you have to do is peel the devices, stick them in the right places, and handle the setup through the smartphone app. The smartphone app takes you through the entire process within 30 minutes. There’s no need for professional installation, no programming, no drilling, and no wiring.

Frontpoint is also known as its exceptional customer service staff — if you have any concerns, they’ll guide you through the process, which isn’t much of a process. Its incredible DIY experience makes Frontpoint the ideal home security system for renters who move places frequently and for individuals who aren’t savvy with technology.

Besides an incredibly easy installation process, Frontpoint also has an incredible array of products and sensors. They have a wide range of intrusion systems, environmental sensors, cameras, home automation systems, and other accessories necessary to protect your home. You can choose the ideal combination of sensors and devices to compile your security system.

Finally, Frontpoint doesn’t tie you down with contracts. Yup, there are no contracts at all, so you can quit your membership whenever you want — but, it’s worth noting, their membership costs are significantly higher than most other security systems, starting at $44.99. You do get superior features, high-quality products, exceptional customer service, and great smart home compatibility, but it’s your call whether those benefits are worth the steep price tag.

frontpoint security system

Key Features

  • 100% Cellular: The entire system is wireless and cellular, so there are no cords that burglars can cut to disarm the system.
  • Fail-Safe Backups: In case there are any technical issues, they have three fail-safe backups to the dispatch center, so you don’t need to worry about losing data.
  • Smash-Proof: The system works perfectly no matter how much burglars smash it.
  • Battery Backup: The system has a 24-hour battery backup, so it continues running even when the power is out.
  • Complete Home Protection: Frontpoint includes a wide array of sensors to protect the home from all kinds of environmental factors, including floods, freezing, carbon monoxide, fires, etc.
  • Unexpected Activity: Most home security systems only trigger alarms when something goes wrong. However, Frontpoint learns your daily schedule and sends an “unexpected activity” push notification whenever it notices something unexpected, such as a door opening at an unexpected time.
  • Custom Schedule: You can set custom and advanced schedules for the arming and disarming of your system.
  • Cast to TV: You can cast the security camera’s feed to your large TV via Apple TV or Roku.
  • Voice Control: Use Alexa or Google Assistant to control the security system with your voice commands.
  • Guest Codes: Create temporary codes for guests and housekeepers, only valid during specific times or for specific periods.
  • Smart Home Integration: You can control your entire smart home remotely via your smartphone app. You can control the lights, garage doors, locks, etc.
  • Easy DIY Installation: All devices come 100% pre-programmed. All you have to do is peel the sticker and attach them to the correct spots. The Frontpoint app will guide you through the setup step-by-step, which shouldn’t take any more than 30 minutes. That’s it!
  • Risk-Free Trial: You can return it within 30 days for a complete refund.
  • Automatic Checkups: The security system automatically tests all the sensors once an hour to ensure they’re all working correctly.

Available Products

  • Frontpoint Hub and Keypad with 24-hour battery backup.
  • Extra KeyPad.
  • Frontpoint Touchscreen provides an LED screen to control the entire security system.
  • Door/ Window Sensors alert you when someone opens the door or window.
  • Motion Sensor triggers an alarm when it detects motion from a human, not pets.
  • Glass Break Sensor triggers an alarm when glass shatters somewhere in your home.
  • Garage Door Tilt Sensor sends a push-notification if your garage door is open at odd hours.
  • Smoke/ Heat Sensor detects high temperatures or small amounts of smoke at the early stages of a fire.
  • Carbon Monoxide Sensor sends an alert when it detects dangerous levels of the gas.
  • Flood Sensor informs you if there are any leaks in your home.
  • Indoor Camera captures high-resolution videos with motion sensors.
  • Doorbell Camera with motion sensors and a two-way intercom.
  • Outdoor Camera with impressive motion detection range and infrared night vision.
  • Premium Indoor Camera with an inbuilt Bluetooth speaker, echo-canceling microphones, advanced zoom features, intercom, wide-angle lens, and pan-and-tilt features.
  • Smart Door Lock with a key-free touchscreen.
  • Wireless Light Control lets you remotely control your lights, lamps, and appliances.
  • Smart Light Bulbs with remote control and auto-scheduling features.
  • Keychain Remote lets you arm and disarm your entire system from up to 100 feet away.
  • Panic Pendant lets you send custom alerts to the monitoring team.
  • Yard Sign, Window Decals, and Door Stickers keep burglars away.

Packages

  • Safe Home Starter (7-Piece Set): It includes 2 door/ window sensors and 1 motion sensor.
  • Safe Home Everyday (9-Piece Set): It includes 3 door/ window sensors and 2 motion sensors.
  • Safe Home Select (12-Piece Set): It includes 4 door/ window sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 glass break sensor, and 1 smoke/ heat sensor.
  • Safe Home Preferred (14-Piece Set): It includes 5 door/ window sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 glass break sensor, 1 smoke/ heat sensor, and 1 indoor camera.

Pros

  • Extremely simple DIY installation.
  • No wiring or drilling necessary.
  • Brilliant customer service.
  • A broad range of sensors for complete home protection.
  • Great smart home integration with lights, garage doors, etc.
  • Intuitive smartphone app.
  • No contracts.

Cons

  • Professional installation isn’t available.
  • Costly monitoring fees.

Buy if you…

Want the simplest and most seamless DIY experience, a broad range of sensors, and no contracts.

Don’t buy if you…

You’re on a budget.

Cost

  • Safe Home Starter: $99
  • Safe Home Everyday: $295.94
  • Safe Home Select: $383.92
  • Safe Home Preferred: $479.90
  • Indoor Camera: $99.99
  • Interactive Monitoring Plan: $44.99 per month
  • Ultimate Monitoring Plan: $50.99 per month

SMARTHOME News Rating: 4.5/5

Aggregate Rating: 4.3/5

 

ADT SafeStreets: Best Monitored Home Security System

ADT SafeStreets is one of the most reputable and established companies for home security, especially since they’ve been in the home security business for over 140 years. ADT is certainly one of the most expensive home security systems on this list, but you can’t do better if you want the highest monitoring services quality. Besides incredible monitoring services, ADT also provides a wide range of home security sensors, devices, and smart home capabilities.

ADT has six monitoring centers that ensure your home never experiences an interruption in services. If you do experience an interruption, they automatically and immediately transfer your home’s protection to one of their other centers. The 24/7 ADT monitoring is one of the best, fastest, and most reliable in the industry. The security personnel constantly track your home, and they dispatch agents from their command centers whenever the alarms go off, without delay.

ADT SafeStreets also provides a Theft Protection Guarantee with up $500 of coverage if there’s a burglary while your security system is armed. They also provide a six-month full-refund guarantee, but only if they’ve been unable to resolve some issues you’ve had with their security system. While they provide brilliant monitoring services, ADT is also known for incredibly difficult contracts, tying you down for at least 36 months, with steer termination fees that prevent most people from quitting the membership.

adt safestreets security system

Key Features

  • 24/7 ADT Monitoring: The ADT security personnel monitors your home carefully to dispatch monitoring agents whenever your alarms go off.
  • High Decibel Alarm: The ADT alarm is loud enough to be heard by the entire neighborhood if there’s a break-in or intrusion.
  • Battery Backup: You get up to 12 hours of battery backup even when there’s a blackout.
  • Professional Security Camera Installation: ADT sends security experts to install the security cameras in optimal angles to ensure there aren’t any blind spots around your home.
  • Security Cameras: ADT provides security cameras with advanced motion sensors for outdoor use, indoor use, and doorbells.
  • Home Automation: ADT smart security system interacts perfectly with other smart home products, including smart plugs, door locks, smart lights, smart thermostats, and video doorbells.
  • ADT Go: The ADT Go system is an all-encompassing smartphone app that facilitates remote video surveillance, communications with live ADT monitoring agents, and complete control over the security system. You can also trigger the SOS button during emergencies.
  • ADT Pulse: The ADT Pulse smartphone voice app allows you to interact with the security system through voice commands and voice recognition.
  • 36-Month Contract: The ADT security system comes with a tight 36-month contract.
  • 6 Month Money-Back Guarantee: You can return the system for a full refund within 6 months if you’ve had an issue that the ADT team has failed to resolve.

Available Products

  • Touchscreen Control Panel is the central hub, controlling the entire security system.
  • Door & Window Sensors trigger an alarm when someone breaks in.
  • Glass Break Sensor triggers an alarm if someone shatters glass.
  • ADT Video Doorbell Camera with 720p HD video, inbuilt intercom, and motion sensor.
  • Outdoor Security Camera with weatherproof design, motion sensors, infrared night vision, and HD video quality.
  • Indoor Security Camera with 720p HD video, 360 views, infrared night vision, and motion sensor.
  • Flood Sensor triggers an alarm when it detects water leaks or floods.
  • Carbon Monoxide Sensor with electrochemical sensors that trigger an alarm when it detects harmful levels of CO.
  • Smoke Detector triggers an alarm when it detects even small fires.
  • Smart Door Lock allows you to lock or unlock the door remotely.
  • Smart Plug allows you to control other household appliances remotely.
  • Smart Light allows you to control the lights when you’re on vacation, making it seem like you’re home.
  • Smart Thermostat allows you to control the temperature in your home remotely.

Packages

  • Traditional Plan (For Essentials): This is the most basic monitoring plan, suitable for those who want all the essential features, including burglary alarms, 24/7 monitoring, environmental sensors, etc.
  • Remote Plan (For Remote Activation): This is a step above the basic plan, allowing you to remotely arm or disarm the security system via the smartphone app.
  • Control Plan (For Remote Monitoring): This package allows you to monitor your home through real-time video footage via your smartphone app.
  • Video & Automation Plan (For Smart Home Automation): This package allows you to combine your smart security system with other smart home products for overall home automation and advanced security.

Pros

  • Well-established company with over 140 years of experience.
  • Incredibly fast response time.
  • Six monitoring centers.
  • Professional installation of cameras in optimal locations.
  • Free home risk assessment.

Cons

  • Extremely long and tight contracts.
  • Costly contract termination fees.
  • The money-back guarantee comes with various terms and conditions.
  • Not suitable for DIY needs.
  • Professional installation costs over $199.

Buy if you…

Are a home-owner looking for the best and most experienced professional monitoring services.

Don’t buy if you…

Are a renter, prefer DIY systems, or prefer avoiding contracts.

Cost

  • Equipment Cost: Starts at $599
  • Installation Cost: Starts at $99
  • Monitoring Cost: Starts at $45.99 per month

SMARTHOME News Rating: 4/5

Aggregate Rating: 3.5/5

 

Abode: Best Wireless Home Security System

Abode is a great choice if you want a completely wireless and DIY home security system. The greatest advantage of using an Abode security system is that it has compiled several different functionalities within a single device. The smart hub is equipped with a security camera, motion detector, siren, and intercom, so you don’t need multiple devices to fulfill all these functions — the smart hub handles everything. Furthermore, the smart hub is also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, making it suitable for smart home automation. Since the entire setup is wireless, you can pick it up and move it wherever you want, making it ideal for renters.

Abode is also great for self-monitoring because you don’t have to subscribe to a monthly professional monitoring plan. If you choose self-monitoring, you’ll be able to access live footage from the smartphone app, but you won’t be able to contact monitoring personnel or access stored videos. You can also add 24/7 professional monitoring whenever you want, without the hassle of contracts. The professional monitoring service is fairly reasonable, and you can end the subscription whenever you want, without any contracts or termination fees. However, if you opt for professional monitoring for a complete year, you won’t get a refund for canceling halfway through; you’ll have to stick with professional monitoring for the complete year.

abode security system

Key Features

  • DIY Installation: You can install all the sensors, cameras, and devices without professional assistance and within minutes. There’s no need for drilling or wiring. However, if you can’t handle that, you can also opt for professional installation.
  • Remote Monitoring: The smartphone app gives you access to 24/7 monitoring and live footage from anywhere in the world.
  • Professional Monitoring:  Abode provides professional monitoring overseen by a US-based and award-winning monitoring center. Opting for professional monitoring gives you access to a panic button that instantly calls 911.
  • Smart Home Automation: The  Abode security system works with other smart home devices for optimal home automation.
  • Smartphone App: The smartphone app has an extremely intuitive dashboard that allows you to arm/disarm your system, trigger quick actions, view live footage, check a timeline of events, etc.
  • Cellular Backup: If you lose WiFi connectivity, the cellular backup keeps you online.
  • Battery Backup: It includes battery backup in case there’s a blackout.
  • Warranty: The entire security system has a 1-year warranty.
  • Return Guarantee: You can return the security system within 30 days for a full refund.

Available Products

  • The Gateway is the central hub, and it includes a security camera, motion detector, siren, and intercom.
  • Mini Door/ Window Sensors are sleek and minimalist sensors that trigger alarms during break-ins.
  • Recessed Door/ Window Sensors are installed inside the doors and windows to hide them from plain view.
  • Slim Strip Sensor is a door and window sensor that discreetly fits within the gaps of doors and windows.
  • Vibration Glass Break Sensor triggers an alarm when there’s significant vibrations or glass breakage.
  • Acoustic Glass Break Sensor triggers an alarm when there’s the sound of breaking glass.
  • Abode Cam is an indoor camera with 1080HD video.
  • Wide Angle Motion Camera automatically takes photos or videos when it senses motion.
  • Motion Sensor accurately detects motion based on human body temperatures and heat signatures.
  • Multi-Sensor detects motion, light, temperature, and humidity changes.
  • Outdoor Smart Camera is a weatherproof camera with infrared night vision for outdoor use.
  • KeyPad arms and disarms your system.
  • Key Fob is a portable device that arms and disarms your security system remotely.
  • Water Leak Sensor triggers a warning when it detects water leakage.
  • Smoke Alarm Monitor triggers an alarm when it detects smoke.
  • Indoor Siren supplements your gateway siren with an additional 95dB alarm.
  • Outdoor Siren triggers an alarm that can be heard across the neighborhood during emergencies.
  • System Status Indicator allows you to get instant updates about the system’s health and status.
  • Panic Button triggers an alarm and calls 911 with the push of a button.
  • Smart Home Power Switch allows you to remotely control your lights and appliances.
  • Yard Sign & Stickers ward off burglars.

Packages

  • Iota Kit Elite (For Large Homes): Includes the all-in-one gateway, 4 mini door/ window sensors, 1 keypad, 1 key fob, and 1 motion sensor.
  • Iota Kit Middle (For Mid-Sized Homes): Includes the all-in-one gateway, 3 mini door/ window sensors, 1 keypad, and 1 key fob.
  • Iota Business Bundle (For Large Businesses): Includes the all-in-one gateway, 5 mini door/ window sensors, 1 keypad, 1 key fob, 2 motion sensors, 1 wide-angle motion camera, and 1 acoustic glass break sensor.

abode security system packages

Pros

  • No contracts.
  • Free self-monitoring available.
  • Reasonable professional monitoring plans.
  • All-in-one smart hub.
  • Great smart home compatibility.
  • Wide range of sensors.
  • Easy DIY setup.

Cons

  • Expensive equipment costs.

Buy if you…

Want an extremely convenient, wireless, and DIY security system with a wide range of sensors and smart home capabilities.

Don’t buy if you…

Have an extremely large home with multiple floors, doors, and windows.

Cost

  • Iota Kit Elite: $445
  • Iota Kit Middle: $379
  • Iota Business Bundle: $609
  • Abode Cam: $139
  • Motion Sensor: $39
  • Multi-Sensor: $39
  • Standard Monitoring Plan: Approx. $6 per month
  • Pro Monitoring Plan: Approx. $20 per month

SMARTHOME News Rating: 4.8/5

Aggregate Rating: 3.9/5

 

Nest Secure: Best Home Security System without Monthly Fees

Nest Secure is the best smart security system for self-monitoring without monthly fees. It’s a Google smart security system and has Google’s typically minimalist and attractive aesthetic, complete with an incredibly intuitive smartphone app. However, its greatest feature is its incredibly smart home integration with other Nest devices, like Nest Learning Thermostat and Smoke Alarm. If you’ve already got Google Home and Nest devices, then this is the ideal home security system for you.

The Nest Secure system is fairly expensive, costing around $400 upfront. If you don’t opt for professional monitoring, you don’t have to pay any monthly fees, so it ends up being pretty reasonable in the long run. While you can use this security system without monthly fees, you may find its features limiting. For example, you have to add a monthly monitoring plan to record videos or access live streaming through the Nest cameras.

nest security system

Key Features

  • Optional Professional Monitoring: Nest Secure is a self-monitoring security system without monthly fees. But you have the option of including professional monitoring from Brinks, available at $29 per month without a contract.
  • Optional Contract: Without a contract, you’ll have to pay $29 per month. But with a contract, you’ll only have to pay $19 per month for a three-year agreement. The choice is yours.
  • Easy Setup: You don’t need professional installation services. You can install all the Nest devices on your own.
  • Smartphone App: It comes with an incredibly intuitive smartphone app that gives you access to live footage, video recording, push-notifications, and other features.
  • Smart Home Integration: Nest Secure works brilliantly with other smart home devices, including other Nest devices, Google Home, LIFX Smart Lights, Philips Hue, Lutron Dimmers, Chamberlain Garage Door Openers, etc.
  • No Rush Arm/ Disarm: You can choose how long you have to arm or disarm the security system before the alarm goes off.
  • Remind Me Alerts: Push-notifications inform you if you’ve forgotten to arm the security system.
  • Quiet Open: Keeps the alarms silent when you open or close doors while they’re still armed.
  • Pathlight: Produces light to help you find your way in the dark.
  • Dog Pass: Prevents pets from triggering the alarm.

Available Products

  • The Nest Guard is the central hub, keypad, motion sensor, and alarm rolled in one.
  • Nest Tag arms and disarms the entire security system.
  • Nest Detect serves as a motion sensor, door sensor, and window sensor, depending on where and how it’s placed.
  • Nest Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in one.
  • Nest Thermostats allow you to remotely control the home temperature.
  • Nest Hello is an HD doorbell camera with a 160° field of view and night vision.
  • Nest x Yale is a remote-controlled smart lock.
  • Nest Cam and Cam IQ are indoor and outdoor cameras with HD recording, motion sensors, and night vision.

Packages

  • Nest Secure: Includes the Nest Guard, 1 power adapter, 2 Nest Detects, and 2 Nest Tags.

Pros

  • Great for self-monitoring without monthly fees.
  • Optional professional monitoring.
  • Optional contracts.
  • Simple DIY installation.
  • Stylish and attractive.
  • Extremely responsive and advanced devices.
  • User-friendly and intuitive smartphone app.
  • Brilliant integration with smart home devices.

Cons

  • Costly equipment.
  • Self-monitoring offers limited features.
  • Not compatible with Alexa.

Buy if you…

Don’t want to pay monthly monitoring fees, prefer DIY setups, and have other Nest or Google smart home products.

Don’t buy if you…

Want Alexa compatibility.

Cost

  • Nest Secure Package Cost: Starts at $399
  • Nest Cam Indoor: $129.99
  • Nest Cam IQ Indoor: $299
  • Nest Hello: $229
  • Nest Protect: $119
  • Nest x Yale: $279
  • Self-Monitoring: $0 per month
  • Professional Monitoring: Starts at $19 per month

SMARTHOME News Rating: 4.5/5

Aggregate Rating: 4/5

 

Blue by ADT: Best Home Security System for Renters

Blue by ADT is developed by the same company that’s brought us SafeStreets. However, the two go in different directions — while we labeled SafeStreets the best security system for professional monitoring, we believe Blue is the best security system for DIY setups for renters. Blue by ADT is the best home security system for renters because it provides easy DIY features with the expertise of a security company with over 140 years of experience.

Most ADT products come with long and ironclad contracts. However, Blue by ADT doesn’t necessitate at-home visits or professional monitoring, and it doesn’t come with contracts. You can compile your security system online, and then assemble it yourself within a few short minutes. Like other DIY security systems, you can add as many accessories as you want, and then control them with your smartphone app. Installing the system is easy — there’s no drilling or wiring necessary.

Besides the easy installation, Blue by ADT is ideal for renters because you don’t need a professional monitoring plan. You can choose to self-monitor your home via the smartphone app, without paying any monthly fees. However, if you’re interested in professional monitoring, you get 1 month of free monitoring services, after which you can easily discontinue the service. When you decide to change homes, you can easily pack up all the devices and move — you don’t need to inform anyone, look into anything, or worry about contracts.

blue by adt security system

Key Features

  • Personalized Security System: You can build your own security system by choosing the accessories and devices you want, based on your specific home size and needs.
  • Free Month of Professional Monitoring: You can avail of a free month of professional monitoring for no additional fees. You can cancel the service anytime.
  • Smart Home Automation: Blue security system easily integrates with most smart home devices, including Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
  • DIY Setup: You can install the entire security system on your own without professional assistance. There’s no need for drilling or wiring.
  • No Contracts: You don’t have to sign any contracts. You can cancel your professional monitoring subscription anytime.
  • Smartphone App: The Blue smartphone app allows you to monitor your home with live footage and push-notifications.
  • Battery Backup: The security system includes up to 24 hours of battery backup.
  • Cellular Backup: If you lose WiFi signals, the system automatically starts running on cellular signals to ensure it doesn’t go offline.
  • Advanced Motion Sensors: It includes advanced motion sensors with facial recognition, minimizing false alarms.

Available Products

  • Smart Home Hub + KeyPad.
  • Blue Outdoor Camera with motion-activated recording, 2-way intercom, and alerts.
  • Blue Indoor Camera with HD visuals and an inbuilt intercom.
  • Blue Doorbell Camera with motion-activated notifications and an inbuilt intercom.
  • Flood & Temperature Sensor triggers alerts when it detects water leakage or low temperatures.
  • Motion Sensor detects motion using heat signatures and facial recognition.
  • Window Sensor triggers an alert if someone opens the window.
  • Door Sensor triggers an alert if someone opens the door.
  • Blue Extender + Chime extends the security system’s WiFi range.
  • Wireless Battery Pack for the outdoor camera.
  • Yard Signs & Window Stickers ward off potential intruders.

Packages

Pros

  • Extremely portable.
  • No contracts.
  • DIY installation.
  • Self-monitoring possible.
  • Affordable monthly plans.

Cons

  • Limited sensors and accessories.
  • No CO and smoke sensors.
  • The smartphone app is glitchy. 

Buy if you…

Are a renter in a small or mid-sized apartment, and you have to change places frequently. 

Don’t buy if you…

Are a home-owner with a large home with multiple rooms and windows.

Cost

  • Starting Cost: $179.99
  • Starter System: $219.99
  • Starter Plus System: $299.99
  • Blue Indoor Camera: $199.99
  • Blue Outdoor Camera: $199.99
  • Self-Monitoring Plan: $0 per month
  • Professional Monitoring Plan: $19.99 per month

SMARTHOME News Rating: 4.2/5

Aggregate Rating: 4/5

 

Cove: Best Home Security System for Pet Owners

Cove is the best home security system for pet owners because they provide incredibly affordable motion sensors that don’t trigger false alarms because of pets. Most security systems are notorious for false alarms because their motion sensors constantly get triggered by pets and other non-human movements. However, Cove has an advanced yet affordable motion sensor that costs only $15 each and successfully avoids getting triggered by pets up to 45 pounds. Furthermore, you can also customize the motion detector’s alerts and options to tailor it to your household and lifestyle.

While Cove is certainly ideal for pet owners, it’s suitable for non-pet-owners as well. Cove is an effective DIY home security system with professional monitoring by RapidSOS. According to emergency dispatchers, RapidSOS is an incredibly effective security company with a response time of less than 3 to 4 minutes. Furthermore, the professional monitoring plans don’t necessitate signing ironclad contracts — you can leave the subscription whenever you want, without hesitation. Unfortunately, once you leave the professional monitoring plan, your security system will essentially be useless because it doesn’t include self-monitoring capabilities.

cove security system

Key Features

  • Touch-Screen Panel: The central hub has a touchscreen panel to control your entire security system.
  • 24/7 Monitoring: The professional monitoring plans include 24/7 monitoring with RapidSOS, ensuring rapid dispatch.
  • Cove LiveAssist: The touchscreen panel turns into a two-way communication device with which you can instantly talk to the security personnel, police, medical, or fire services.
  • Cove InstaText: You can respond to emergency alarms directly through instant texts.
  • Easy DIY Installation: You can install the entire system on your own without professional assistance.
  • No Contracts: You can leave the professional monitoring plans whenever you want.
  • Lifetime Warranty: Your Cove equipment is backed and protected by a lifetime warranty.
  • Full Refund: If you don’t like Cove, you can return it within 60 days for a full refund, including the cost of return shipping.

Available Products

  • Cove Touch Alarm Panel with a 7" touchscreen, two-way intercom, and an 84 dB siren.
  • Door Sensor triggers alarms when someone opens the door.
  • Window Sensor triggers alarms when someone opens the window.
  • Glass Break Sensor is fine-tuned to detect the sound of shattering glass.
  • Pet-Friendly Motion Sensor detects motion in a large room.
  • Smoke Detector triggers an alarm when there’s smoke.
  • Flood Sensor triggers an alarm when there’s water leakage.
  • CO Detector triggers an alarm when carbon monoxide levels reach dangerous levels.
  • Key Remote arms or disarms the system.
  • Medical Button instantly triggers an alarm for the medical, fire, and police services.
  • The Indoor Camera provides 1080p HD video footage with a wide-angle lens, 4x digital zoom, night vision, and a two-way intercom.

Pros

  • Ideal for pet-owners.
  • No contracts.
  • Fast response time.
  • All-inclusive touch panel.
  • Extremely reasonable.

Cons

  • Not as established and reputable as other security systems.
  • No outdoor cameras. 

Buy if you…

Have pets or small children in your home who are likely to trigger most motion sensors.

Don’t buy if you…

Need self-monitoring or the ability to monitor outdoor areas.

Cost

  • Cove Touch Alarm Panel: $92
  • Door & Window Sensor: $7.50
  • Motion Detector: $15
  • YI Indoor Camera: $59 (sometimes free)
  • Professional Monitoring: Starts at $14.99 per month

SMARTHOME News Rating: 4/5

Aggregate Rating: 4.6/5

 

FAQs

Who installs security cameras in a home?

If you’re a skilled DIYer with a basic understanding of electrical wiring, you can install security cameras yourself. If you’re not skilled at wiring and drilling, you can opt for the security system’s professional installation services. Most security systems provide professional installation, usually at an additional cost. If you don’t want professional monitoring, you can also get a security system with DIY installation that doesn’t necessitate wiring and drilling, like Frontpoint or Abode.

Where to place home security cameras?

The optimal places for home security cameras are usually the front door, back door, and the first-floor windows, since these are the most common entry points for burglars, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. 

Are home security cameras worth it?

Yes, home security cameras are completely worth the cost because they help prevent burglaries. Even if a burglary occurs, home security cameras — especially advanced cameras with motion-activated video recording — can store video footage for the police. As such, having home security cameras significantly improves your chances of catching the burglar.

Is SimpliSafe better than ADT?

Both SimpliSafe and ADT have their unique advantages. SimpliSafe is the best choice for those who prefer DIY installation, without pesky contracts and exorbitant monitoring fees. ADT is a professional security firm providing high-end security systems for over 140 years, making it the ideal choice for those who want the best professional monitoring services, even if that means signing a long-term and ironclad contract with a high termination fee.

Is Ring better than ADT?

Ring is an entry-level and budget-friendly smart security system with self-monitoring capabilities, no contracts, and basic features. It’s the ideal choice for those who want cheap DIY security systems. ADT is a high-end system with advanced features and the best professional monitoring services, which puts them at a significantly higher cost bracket.

Will home security systems work without WiFi?

Most of the advanced home security systems come with cellular backups. As such, if you lose WiFi connectivity, they automatically start running on a cellular connection, ensuring you’re never left without security.

What’s the average cost for a house alarm?

A home security system's cost depends on several factors, including the home security brand, professional monitoring packages, additional accessories, etc. In 2020, the cost of smart security systems ranged from $313 to $1,118, with a national average of $685.

 

Conclusion

There are a whole lot of smart security systems to choose from, but it’s crucial that you make an informed decision. When selecting a home security system, you should assess your needs to determine the type of features you need the most.

What’s the level of threat in your neighborhood? Do you need environmental hazard sensors? How many doors and windows do you have? Do you need a security system for your home or business? Do you need professional monitoring? Are you a renter or a home-owner?

If you answer all of these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of what you need. In this article, we broke down our selection of home security systems according to specific categories to help you make the correct decision. I hope it helps you find the ideal security system to protect yourself and your family!

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