Best Cellular Home Security Systems Guide & Reviews of 2021

Cellular systems offer many benefits in contrast to landline ones. They are more reliable and harder to hack. Yet, not all brands offer this option, as it is quite new. And among the ones who have them, it may be hard to pick which is the most suitable for each user’s needs. Those who are planning to install one of them at home, keep on reading, as here are the best cellular home security systems.

Emily Brooks

Emily Brooks - Editorial Staff

Updated: March 2, 2021

What We Did to Find the Best

When looking for the best cellular monitoring to review, the process was thorough. For example, we gauged the comments of specialists in the field and clients who used this type of service. When making a list, we thought of the best equipment we could find online. So, here are some of the metrics we used to craft this list.

  • Features

    0-10

    monitoring period, 24/7 alerts, disaster protection etc.

  • Support

    0-10

    telephone, email, chat, and other channels

  • Price

    0-10

    monthly fee, money-back, trial period

  • Ease of Use

    0-10

    installation, maintenance, service support

  • Trust Score

    0-10

    BBB.org and Trustpilot (positive, negative reviews)

So, after choosing the equipment for the review, we tested all of them to see how they went. And to see if they delivered what they promised in their listings. We only reviewed the best cellular monitoring products and not poor ones. Finally, we averaged the marks that the systems got in each category.

1. ADT: Classic Option for Traditional Buyers

Total Score 9.6/10

ADT Main
ADT Pulse System
ADT Mobile
  • Features9.0/10
  • Equipment10/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
Best for Luxury Items

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

No

ADT is probably the best-known security company in the country, and even abroad. They have built such a strong reputation over the years because of all the options they offer and how reliable they are. They were founded in 1874, and since then, their services have evolved incredibly. For example, their current basic plan includes motion detectors to be used inside the house, some door and window sensors for the entrances, a siren that will go off if anything out of the ordinary happens, plus a keypad and a siren.

And then, if this is not enough, one can keep on adding more tools as they are needed. It is possible to also buy video cams, smart locks, and more sensors from them. Bear in mind that the most advanced functions, like smart locks or live streaming from the app, will only be available for the most expensive plans.

Pros:

  • Pros install it on the same day
  • Plans can be customized for one’s needs
  • Cancellation is not that difficult
  • Very good reviews from previous users
  • Smart home compatible
  • Reliable equipment
  • Excellent service

Cons:

  • The best features are very pricey
  • App available only for premium plans
  • Long-term contracts are required

As has already been hinted, ADT is among the most expensive providers in the market. They charge an installation fee every time, and the equipment and monthly fees are quite pricey, too, especially in contrast to the competitors. To top this off, some key functions, like accessing the mobile app, are only available for those who are willing to pay premium monthly fees.

On the positive side, their team is among the best trained in the field. They know how to react to every possible situation. And the best part is that they service users through a wide variety of means, like call, chat, and email. And as most other vendors do, the team is available to answer queries 24/7.


2. Vivint: Tech Support at All Times

Total Score 9.5/10

Vivint Main
No Contract Vivint Control
No Contract Vivint Automation
  • Features10/10
  • Equipment9.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.5/10
Best for High-Level Equipment

DIY instal

NO

Trial Period

No

Vivint is a nice option for those who do not mind paying an extra dollar or two. Their cellular monitoring equipment is among the most advanced in the market. Their catalog includes all the latest gadgets, and they are among the ones of the highest quality too. Yet, this comes at a (rather high) price. Their basic plan costs as much as the most advanced one from other competitors. On the positive side, there are some nice financing options for those who need them.

It is possible, for example, to sign a contract and pay for tools in different installments each month. It usually takes between 42 and 60 months to finish with the payment. Also, those who can afford to pay for the equipment all at once do not have to get a contract if they do not want to. But, again, this is rather pricey and will cost at least $500 to get the very basics. And do not forget that only a pro can come and set everything up, and this is not free. The whole installation process will cost $99.

Pros:

  • It is possible to avoid contracts
  • Wide variety of equipment
  • High-quality devices
  • Efficient service
  • Knowledgeable technicians
  • Well-designed app
  • Cellular connection for every plan

Cons:

  • Very long contracts
  • Expensive upfront costs
  • Plans are rather pricey

One of the features that make Vivint a good option in this competitive market is that not only is all the equipment top-tier, but it is also compatible with smart home devices. All their options work with Z-Wave tech, for example. In this way, one could set all the lights to turn themselves off once there is no one at home, for example. Their customer care is also effective and easy to get in touch with. They work through calls, but also by live chat, which is a very welcome feature. And they always answer fast and professionally. And the best part is that they answer all types of queries 24/7.


3. Frontpoint: No-Hassle When Hiring

Total Score 9.4/10

FrontPoint Main
FrontPoint Cameras
Frontpoint Apps New
  • Features10/10
  • Equipment9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
Best for Easy Installation

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

No

The feature that makes this vendor stand out is how simple it is to install its systems. They all have DIY wireless setups, so there is no need to pay expensive fees for a pro to come and do everything. What is more, its upfront costs are not that high when taking into account the industry’s standards. So, it is possible to save some money with them.

It also integrates easily with smart devices, especially with Z-Wave compatible ones. This means that it is possible to use voice commands and automation. Plus, the user can choose that when something happens, it should trigger something else. For example, the entrance lights can turn one when someone presses the doorbell. Also, Frontpoint does not ask its users to sign long-term contracts. In this way, it is up to them to decide when to start using the service when they can stop without having to pay any extra fee.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Very efficient support
  • Compatible with smart homes
  • Affordable prices
  • No contracts
  • High-quality equipment
  • No activation fees

Cons:

  • No pro monitoring
  • Could be compatible with more devices
  • Only the emergency line works 24/7

After some time, the Frontpoint team managed to reduce the prices to try to attract more clients. First, they started by cutting off installation fees by offering only a DIY wireless setup. This means that they had to simplify the whole process. Also, they significantly reduced the up-front costs of buying the equipment.

Another interesting measure for this was offering five different plans to ensure that there was one for each different budget. The most basic one includes some sensors, a keypad, and a panel. But as prices go up, it is possible to add indoor and outdoor video cameras, doorbell cameras, and more sensors.

To help clients, the Frontpoint team offers two support lines. One is the emergency line, which is available at all times, every day of the year. It should be used for major issues only. The other one is for all types of problems and queries. It works from 8 am to 11 pm (ET) during the week and from 10 am to 7 pm (ET) on the weekends.


4. SimpliSafe: Flexibility for Clients

Total Score 9.4/10

SimpliSafe Main
SimpliSafe Camera
SimpliSafe Build My System
  • Features9.0/10
  • Equipment9.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease Of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score10/10
simplisafe-logo-sidebar
Best for Customized Packages

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

No

Since it was founded in 2006, SimpliSafe has gotten quite a good reputation. Their services are efficient, but they are, most of all, cheap and flexible. They have prepared everything to cut down unnecessary costs and fit to what their users need. For example, they do not ask for long term contracts, and the whole setup process can be carried out entirely by users without the help of a pro.

Also, they do not charge any type of fee to activate the system and get it running. And their monitoring service has a quite low price too. Clients also have the option to choose which devices they want. In this way, if one has a lower budget, he can decide to get only the basic equipment and avoid the most expensive tools. Yet, bear in mind that, though everything works fine, it does not feel as high-end as with other brands, like Vivint.

Pros:

  • No contracts
  • DIY wireless setup
  • Low monthly fees
  • Flexible plans
  • No activation fees
  • Affordable equipment
  • Suits different needs

Cons:

  • No premium feel
  • Almost no smart home support
  • No mobile access for the basic plan

One of the aspects the SimpliSafe team should keep on working on is how their devices integrate with smart home systems. It does work with Alexa and, to some degree, with August and Nest. But it is not compatible with Z-Wave tech, for example. And this is becoming an industry standard that this provider has not been able to keep up with yet.

Nonetheless, they make up for this with how flexible they are. And this is not only in terms of equipment. But it also regards their monitoring service. As there are no contracts involved, users can decide to use it for one month and not the following if they need to make ends meet.

Their customer care team is effective and works through email and calls. Most previous users review the team to be helpful and fast to act. Yet, they are only available from 9 am to midnight (ET). So, those looking for 24/7 support will probably want to look elsewhere.


5. Protect America: Safe Homes in All the Country

Total Score 9.3/10

Main Protect America
Reviews Protect America
Home Automation Protect America
  • Features10/10
  • Equipment9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease Of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score9.5/10
protectamerica-logo-sidebar
Best for Smart Homes

DIY instal

NO

Trial Period

No

This luxury system aims at protecting Americans with a large budget. But what they offer is worth what it costs. Their equipment is of the highest quality, and it works very well with other smart gadgets. Their prices will vary depending on what the client decides to include. The more sensors one needs, the higher the monthly plan will be.

It is important to bear in mind that the tools are not paid upfront. Instead, they are included in the monthly fee. The most basic plans have only essentials. This is a control panel and some sensors for the inside of the house together with others for the entrances. Then, users can add what they need, but remember that the prices will go up as one adds more devices. Some other options are smoke detectors and video cams.

Pros:

  • Equipment included in the plans
  • No up-front fees
  • Compatible with third-party smart devices
  • Advanced tech
  • Works with Alexa
  • Z-Wave compatible
  • Customizable

Cons:

  • Not the best cellular connection
  • Fewer customer service hours than competitors
  • Poor customer service reputation

All the Protect America equipment is compatible with Z-Wave tech and Alexa. This means that one can control it with voice commands and set it so that actions are triggered when something happens. On the negative side, many users have reported problems with their customer care team. For starters, they are available only during limited hours. They work by chat and calls. But not 24/7 and on weekends they work even fewer hours. To top this off, some previous clients claim that they were not as efficient as expected when it came to solving problems.

Though their cellular connection is decent and it delivers, its landline surpasses this service by far. They do not have the best cellular monitoring yet. This is something that those who are not sure if wireless systems are for them should consider.


Best Cellular Home Security Systems of 2021 (Pricing & Features)

There are so many things to bear in mind when picking the best cellular monitoring that doing so may get confusing for many users. This is why we have reviewed each vendor with these categories. Read on to see what they have to offer!

Provider Total Score Price DIY instal Smart home compatible Flexible plans 24/7 support Chat support Self-monitoring App Smart lock Doorbell camera Live streaming Contract
ADT 9.6 $48.99 No Medium No Yes Yes No Prem. Plans Only Yes Yes Prem. Plans Only Yes
Vivint 9.5 $29.99 No Superb No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Optional
Frontpoint 9.4 $44.99 Yes Medium No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
SimpliSafe 9.4 $14.99 No Minimal Yes No No Yes Yes Third-party Yes Yes No
Protect America 9.3 $41.99 No Medium Yes No Yes Yes Yes Third-party Third-party Yes Yes

Cellular Alarm Systems vs. Phone Line Alarm Systems

These are the two main options in the market right now. But which one is the most suitable? It will depend on what each user needs, as both of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Read on to find out which one is better for each type of client.

Cellular Alarm System: The Most Advanced Option

These are the new kids in the block. This means that they are not as popular as they could be. Yet, they are making their way through people’s homes because of how useful they are. They are convenient because they require no wires and are hard to hack. Also, they end up being cheap in the long run.

Pros:

  • Not possible to cut wires
  • Hard to hack
  • Do not break the walls
  • Easy to install
  • Can be moved to another home easily

Cons:

  • A bit pricier upfront
  • Not as popular yet

Phone Line Alarm System: The Most Popular Choice

These are the most typical systems that the majority of brands offer. They depend entirely on the phone connection. This is a drawback, in part, because it makes it easier to hack them. They are also a bit more difficult to install because these devices require drilling the walls and connecting them. On the positive side, some of these have a more stable connection.

Pros:

  • The connection may be more stable
  • More popular
  • Easier to find
  • Cheaper upfront
  • More compatibility

Cons:

  • Easier to hack
  • Needs to pay for the phone line

Features of Cellular Based Home Security Systems

Features of Cellular Based Home Security Systems

Each home security system has something different to offer. Depending on how new or luxurious they are, the features will vary. But here are some of the basics. When looking for an option to take care of the house, users should make sure that the chosen one has at least most of these.

Motion Detectors

These little devices detect and track movements. They can be placed anywhere in the house, but it is recommended to put them in corners so that they cover an ampler space.

Mobile Alerts

The great majority of home security systems include an app that is in constant communication with the other devices. In this way, when they notice something strange, like a movement, the user receives a notification on their phone instantly. This means that the client can know what is going on at home at all times. Often, they can also access a live feed at any moment.

Arm/Disarm Security

This function refers to turning on and off the cellular home security service. This is to say that when it is armed, it starts working and monitoring if an intruder is trying to break in. And when it is disarmed, it stops checking for possible burglars. It usually gets in the latter stage when the owner of the house arrives.

Wireless

Most of the best cellular monitoring systems have this feature. Having this means that the equipment is not connected with wires. Instead, it connects through a network.

Entryway Sensors

These tools should be placed on all the possible entries. They are made up of two parts. The first one is stuck to the frame and the other one to the door or window. They are connected through a magnet. In this way, when the parts are separated, the home security systems send an alert to the user and the monitoring center.

Glass Break Sensors

These detectors go on all the doors and windows that are made out of glass. So, if someone breaks them to try to get in, the system triggers an alarm that will notify the user, the center, and sometimes even the authorities.

Control Panel

Such panels are usually placed on a wall near the main entrance. They can be digital or manual, and they are used to arm and disarm the system or to control some of its main functions. Nowadays, most brands have an app with the same functions.

Home Automation

This is a way to make managing cellular home security easier and simplifying one’s own life. This function can be usually controlled only with one’s voice. It works by understanding how the user liked things and adapting to that. For example, it can detect at what time one leaves from work and comes back to arm and disarm the alarm accordingly.

Remote Access

Most new home security systems will have the option to control everything from a distance. This is generally done through a mobile app. In this way, the user can disarm the alarm when he is approaching the house, or access a live feed of what the cameras are seeing, even when on vacation.

How to Choose the Right Cellular Security System

When choosing the best cellular monitoring in the market, there are lots of things to bear in mind. In case this is getting overwhelming for some, here is a checklist with the steps one has to follow to make sure that the vendor is worth one’s money.

1. Reviews

It is vital to check out what previous users experienced when they used these cellular security systems. In this way, one can avoid those brands that sell devices that break after a few months. Or those that have subpar customer care. This can be done in sites like TrustPilot, for example.

2. Functionality

The second step is seeing what each one of the cellular security systems has to offer. Most of them include almost the same devices in their catalog, like sensors and cameras. But they usually differ in how compatible they are with smart devices. And also in how useful their apps are. Make sure to check this when considering getting anew system.

3. Brand Reputation

Over the years, each company builds its reputation. Generally, those that do not offer a good service do not last much. So, when one brand is rather old, and they have a good rep, this is a good sign that they work well and deliver what they promise.

4. Self-Monitoring or Professional Monitoring

These two options are equally valid. It will all depend on what one is looking for. Those who want to cut down costs and do not mind some extra work will probably choose self-monitoring home security systems.

5. Affordable Plans

In this last step, one should check out which cellular security systems offer all the previously mentioned features. And then, see which of their plans are the ones that best suit what one needs. The most affordable ones will be the ones with DIY installation, self-monitoring, and no contracts. But also check out what the upfront cost of the equipment is.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are the Differences Between Landline, Broadband, and Cellular Monitoring?

    Clients can link their home security system in three ways:

    • Landline System. The control center uses a wired-phone line. This connects to the home security system. It is more stable and common than a wireless connection. But it is easy to cut. It can leave the house with no protection
    • Internet System. This system uses a broadband internet connection. It is four times faster than a landline system. Thieves can cut the connection. Companies can offer a 24-hour battery for power emergencies.
    • Cellular monitoring. The home security system uses a cellular uplink. It sends signals to the watching center. This system does not use wires that thieves can cut. It is more secure than other options. Clients can track their homes through cell phones and laptops.

  • Do I Need a Phone Line to Have a Cellular Alarm System?

    No, clients do not need a phone line to have a cellular home security system. This is not as easy to hack as a landline or broadband connection. Thieves cannot cut the line. It is reliable, and it offers protection 24/7 from remote devices. Some examples are laptops and cell phones. A cellular alarm system does not interfere with the internet connection or a wired-phone line. It does not depend on them either

  • Why Is a Cellular Alarm System the Most Reliable?

    A cellular home security system is the most reliable. This happens because there are no lines that a thief can cut. Cellular alarm systems do not depend on a phone line or broadband connection. Power cuts do not affect them. This type of tech allows clients to control their alarm systems from far away places.

  • What Are Service Providers Offered for Cellular Alarm Systems?

    A cellular home security system is a cheap option, though not free. More service vendors offer them these days. Using mobile signals is a good choice to change the Internet and landline systems. Many clients use it as an aid tool when the power goes out. There are five well-known suppliers. They are: Frontpoint Security, Protect America, ADT, SimpliSafe, and Vivint. Providers need to check the cellular signal in the area. It is safe when there is a strong signal.

Cellular Systems Nowadays

These home security systems are new, even for 2021. They are a great option for those who are looking for reliable and cheap monitoring, almost free. Their wireless connection makes them a great option for those who do not want to have a landline at home. Though their popularity still has to grow, these devices are making their way in the market and will hopefully keep on growing.


Emily Brooks

Editorial Staff

As a journalist, Emily draws on her rich experience in home safety and seeks to research more on the topic. She is truly passionate about her interests. Emily is knowledgeable about security systems due to the in-depth studies that she has conducted for Securing Home.


Comments