Best Home Security System Apps of 2020 (Pricing & Features)
Below is a side-by-side chart that makes it a bit easier to compare and contrast the different home security apps and their advantages.
|Provider||Total Score||Upfront Cost||Monthly Fee||DIY instal||Trial Period||Warranty||Android/iPhone||Customizations||Emer. Response||Environ. Alerts||Image Capture||Integrations||Live Streaming||Remote Access||Video Storage|
|Protect America||9.7||$0||$19.99+||Yes||15 days||Lifetime||Both||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Local|
|Frontpoint||9.6||$100+||$34.99+||Yes||30 days||3 years||Both||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Cloud|
|ADT Pulse||9.4||$229+||$52.99+||No||6 mos||2 years||Both||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Local|
|Canary||9.2||$349+||$10+||Yes||60 days||1-2 years||Both||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Cloud|
|Xfinity Home||9.0||$380+||$29.99+||No||30 days||30 days||Both||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Cloud|
|SimpliSafe||9.0||$229+||$24.99||Yes||60 days||3 years||Both||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Cloud|
|Nest||8.9||$399+||$19.99+||Yes||30 days||90 days||Both||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Cloud|
|Ring||8.9||$99+||$3.00+||Yes||30 days||1 year||Both||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Cloud|
|Arlo||8.8||$299+||$9.99+||Yes||7 days||1 year||Both||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Cloud|
Top 4 Smart Home Apps
These four additional choices work just about the same as the top 10 home security mobile apps above. The greatest advantages are remote access and automation. Plus, these can all work together, depending on the surveillance brand. Here’s a closer look.
#1 SmartThings: Manage More Gadgets
Available on Android and iPhone, this automation program makes it simple to monitor high-tech appliances and gadgets, such as lights, locks, garage doors, and sensors. Customers get the convenience of managing it all in the palm of their hand. Plus, if they’re a Samsung customer, that equipment will work with this program, too. Besides that, it is compatible with Zigbee, Z-Wave, Amazon, Ecobee, Philips HUE, Arlo cams, and several other integrations.
Features & Equipment: automation, hands-free management, lighting modules, remote lock-up, trigger settings, voice commands
Trial: 30 days
BBB Rating: B+
- Automatically finds compatible gadgets
- Dozens of integrations
- No monthly fees
- Manage tons of appliances
- Step-by-step tutorials
- Voice commands
- Difficult syncing
- Disorganized interface
- For Samsung customers
This is an open software from Samsung, which is why it can sync with so many different third-party items.
All in all, it's one gadget for multiscreen management. Another cool thing is that it automatically finds compatible products to add to the system.
To take advantage of this application, clients need a Hub, which costs $69.99 and serves as a sort of base station. Another option is the Hub plus the ADT surveillance kit, which combines the two technologies into a touchscreen panel. It costs $199.99.
#2 IFTTT: One Application, Hundreds of Integrations
IFTTT embraces the concept of “if this, then that.” It works with an astounding 600+ applications and programs, such as Google, Alexa, Nest, Philips, Twitter, and many others. Individuals can catch up on the latest news and stories, read national publications (or their social media feed), and manage their household appliances. Professionals like that they can access their stored files on Google Drive or Dropbox with the push of a button. This grants them more flexibility and peace of mind.
Features & Equipment: applets, appliance management, automation, calendar, email, lighting modules, music, push notifications, two-step authentication
BBB Rating: N/A
- Free to download
- Free to download Hundreds of compatible integrations
- Outperforms expectations
- Voice commands
- Works on desktops and phones
- Could do better with more organization
- Does more than most people need
- Information sharing concerns
IFTTT works with Android phones and the iPhone, and is accessible on a desktop, too. The digital prowess on this thing is immense, and overall, it is customer-friendly. Even to those who don’t have a ton of technological experience, it’s fairly intuitive. That said, it can get cluttered and disorganized, especially for people who aren’t sure what they’re doing. Since there are so many other options out there, IFTTT is better suited to tech masters and professionals who need it for their jobs.
#3 WeMo: Beautiful Even in Beta
With WeMo, people can manage lights, locks, and other intelligent household appliances (TVs, thermostats, etc.) They can keep up with everything, even when they’re out of the country. WeMo works with Nest, Google Assistant, Amazon Echo, and others. If someone wants to turn the lights on before they get to their house, they can do it with this. If they need the living room to be toasty for guests, they can do that from their phone, too. This is one of those home security mobile apps that are worth checking out early.
Features & Equipment: automation, custom modes, intelligent appliance management, lighting modules, third-party compatibility, voice commands
BBB Rating: N/A
- Access from around the world
- Available at popular retailers
- Compatible with popular automation hubs
- Free download
- Phyn Plus water detector
- Real-time energy reports
- Works with IFTTT
- Customer reviews aren't great
- Focuses mostly on lights and outlets
- Still in beta
Even though WeMo is still in beta mode, it is widely available and free to download.
Keep in mind that it might take time for any bugs to get sorted out. Still, it does a decent job and can rival most of the similar products out there.
#4 Wink: Quick & Simple Connectivity, Notifications
Wink is perfect for building the ideal intelligent ecosystem. It offers remote monitoring and appliance management, from lights to locks and everything in between. Customers will receive notifications of event-triggered motion detection and sensor alarms, so they’ll always be in the loop. They can also see their front door visitors and the status of their environmental sensors. It’s available on Android and iPhone and works with hundreds of intelligent gadgets and appliances.
Features & Equipment: environmental sensors, event-triggered detections, hundreds of integrations, lighting modules, push notifications
Trial: 30 days
BBB Rating: F
- Custom modes
- Emergency response
- Event-triggered notifications
- A good alternative to more expensive brands
- Real human support
- Voice commands
- Works with environmental sensors
- Average customer reviews
- Poor BBB rating
- Troubleshooting issues reported
The Wink Lookout and automation security system apps work together. The Lookout Hub costs $199 and doesn’t come with any monthly fees. This makes it a decent choice for families that are on a stricter budget. With the phone program, they can monitor their energy usage, water leaks, and compatible thermostats, locks, and cams.
Two Types of Security Apps: Proprietary & Alarm.com
Even though most of these security system apps are compatible with iPhone and Android phones, things aren’t as clear-cut as they may seem. It turns out there are two supreme types of programs: Proprietary and Alarm.com. Here’s the breakdown of the two.
Security system apps in the proprietary category are owned by the individual surveillance companies themselves. Hence the word proprietary, or proprietor. For instance, Ring and Nest have their unique phone programs, as do other brands. This can be confusing, but it also means that the system is custom-made for those particular products and services. It may take longer to learn, but it will also be tailor-made for better customer experience.
For brands that don’t go for proprietary, they simply choose the alarm app from Alarm.com. This company is a nationally-known business and utilizes a proven model of customer care and support. The system is compatible with many surveillance providers, so even if a person switched brands, they might still end up utilizing the same interface. This is great, but can also be an inconvenience if it isn’t tailored to special services.
Features of Home Security Mobile Apps
Before jumping into any plan, customers should check out what the best home security system apps have in common. Below is a look at the top benefits to pay attention to. While not every provider may offer all of them, the more, the merrier.
Any decent alarm app is going to offer the ability to lock/unlock the system with the touch of a finger. That’s the beauty of touchscreens and handheld gadgets. Plus, it adds another element of convenience and trust.
Before signing up for an alarm system, shoppers should make sure that it can function with any other gadgets or services that they have in their house. For instance, if the company’s products won’t work with their Google Assistant, then it may not be a wise choice.
Even though lots of families have an alarm system, the odds are that they uniquely utilize their products. The ability to personalize one’s gadgets and services makes a huge difference in how safe a person feels.
A bit of automation can go a long way in cutting energy consumption and utility bills. Being able to turn down the lights or thermostat from a phone can be a huge advantage, so shoppers should be sure to look into that.
Smoke detectors are becoming more modernized, thanks to automation and remote access. Now clients can look on their phones and see if the CO2 monitor or water leak sensor went off. This allows for faster reaction times and potential monetary savings.
Another way to automate the household is by using intelligent lighting modules. For instance, people can manage LIFX bulbs from their phones, which is perfect in case they accidentally leave them on while running out the door.
Remote-Controlled Door Locks
Many individuals are familiar with the constant worry of wondering if they left the open windows while on vacation. It’s time to put an end to those nagging thoughts. Remote access and management via phone can help people lock up and keep things secure while they’re away.
This is one of the most popular perks for customers. They love being able to playback recordings, and image captures, all from their phones. It's great when they want to check up on things while at work or on vacation, too.
Finally, if the system is too complicated to put to work, then there’s no point in paying for it. Brands put a lot of work into creating something that anyone can operate, from the kids to grandma.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Devices Can a Smartphone Security Mobile App Manage?
This depends on the type of plan and provider the user chooses. Even this list of the best home security system apps will have differences and gaps in terms of how many gadgets clients can utilize. For instance, some Canary cameras only work with one piece of equipment, but adding a higher-tiered plan bumps that up to six gadgets. Consumers need to research their options and what kind of functionality they want at home.
What is the Best Home Security App?
The bad news is that there is no one definitive answer. The good news is that several home security apps will do a great job of protecting consumers’ properties and families. Rather than focusing on the perfect one, they should check out what each brand has to offer. They can also identify their specific requirements so that they aren’t distracted by benefits or smart tech they don’t even need.
Can I Customize Smartphone Security Mobile App Permissions & User Access?
Yes, most of the time, this is possible. It might require a different process depending on the company or video camera, but many brands allow users to personalize their settings to make things more comfortable and convenient. Clients can play around with the customization so that they get just the right amount of notifications and updates in a single day.
How Much Do Smartphone Security Apps Cost?
Again, different home security apps will vary in their pricing and benefits. To make things even more confusing, some businesses only offer access to these phone tools if clients sign up for higher-tiered plans. Again, it depends on the service, so doing research is crucial. For reference, monthly fees range from a few dollars to $50 or more. Upfront costs for cameras and equipment can cost a couple of hundred dollars.
Make 2020 the Safest, Most Connected Year Yet
It’s clear to see that the world of home security apps is vast and varied. This is great because it means there are more options than ever before that consumers can explore. However, it can also be daunting and require lots of time and effort to research each choice. This top 10 list should make it easier for homeowners to spot a good match for their property, family, and safety needs.