Best Home Security Systems of 2020 (Pricing & Features)
Below is a side-by-side look at what each supplier has to offer in terms of pricing, equipment, and customization. This helpful visual can be useful in pinpointing which brands best suit individuals’ needs, be it remote access, smart home integration, or protected entryways.
|Provider||Total Score||Price||BBB Rating||Contract Length||DIY instal||Trial Period||Warranty||Equipment Cost||Monitoring||Installation||Battery Backup||App||Smart Integration||Motion Sensors||Doorbell Cam||Smoke/CO Alarm||Video Surveillance||Smart Locks||Best For||Connectivity|
|1. Frontpoint||8.9/10||$34.99-$49.99||A+||36 months||YES||30 days||3 years||$130+||Pro/ Self||DIY||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Custom Packages||Wireless|
|2. Protect America||8.8/10||$19.99+||A||36 months||YES||15 days||2 years||$0+||Pro||DIY||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Budget-Friendly||Landline/Wireless|
|3. Vivint||8.6/10||$20-$60||–||0-60 months||NO||NO||120 day||$599||Pro/ Self||Pro||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Automation||DVR/Wireless|
|4. ADT||8.3/10||$27.99-$59.99||A+||36 months||NO||NO||Varies||$99+||Self||Pro||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Rural||Hardwired/Wireless|
|5. SimpliSafe||8.2/10||$14.99+||A+||No contract||YES||60 days||3 years||$229+||Self||DIY||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Family||Wireless|
|6. Abode||8.2/10||$3 – $8||C||No contract||YES||30 days||1 years||$199+||Pro/ Self||DIY||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Smart Device Syncing||Wireless/Ethernet|
|7. Brinks||8.0/10||$29.9-$52.86||A+||36 months||YES||45 days||Life time||$399+||Pro||DIY||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pro Monitoring||Wireless|
|8. Guardian Protection||8.0/10||$30 -$56||A+||3-5 years||NO||NO||None||$199+||Pro||Pro||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Pick & Choose||Wireless/Cellular|
|9. Nest||7.8/10||$24.99+||A||36 months||YES||30 days||2 years||$299+||Self||DIY||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||All in One||Wired|
|10. Ring||7.8/10||$3-$10||C||No contract||YES||30 days||1 years||$299+||Self||DIY||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Integration||Wireless|
Key Features of the Best Home Security Systems
These options will offer a few key features to combat common safety issues. While different individuals and families are going to have their specific preferences, there are some things that most people can agree on.
For instance, automated tools around the home are a tremendous help, especially for busy parents. Not having to worry about locking up or arming the system can make a huge difference. Also, lots of people prefer security products that sync up with other smart devices like Echo and energy-efficient lighting.
Even if automation isn’t a must-have, most consumers would agree that they need a control hub or keypad that is intuitive, quick to respond, and reliable. Most companies opt for a touchscreen panel because it’s easier to use and gives off a modern look. Regardless, this tool needs to be straightforward and capable of handling a variety of tasks, from arming and disarming the system, activating sensors, and more.
Installation is another important factor to consider. Customers can often save money with DIY installment, but it can also take more time. Professional services ensure that everything is taken care of, but often at a higher price.
Finally, connectivity can make or break a business. Mobile access, remote control, and a variety of hardwired and wireless gadgets should be available.
Below are the most crucial aspects to look for in any security arrangement:
- Automation options
- Control panel
- Installation (DIY or Pro)
- Hardwired or wireless connection
- Mobile app/compatibility
- Motion detection
- Quality of cameras
- 24/7 monitoring
Installation Types of Home Security
When it comes to installing one of these kits, some people opt for DIY home security systems while others prefer professional services. There is no right or wrong answer here, as it depends on the client and what they want. To make the decision a bit easier, here are some insights into both types of arrangements.
DIY Wireless Home Security
First, these security systems are great for avoiding hefty labor fees and hidden charges. It’s not uncommon for a professional set-up to come with upfront costs or a contract agreement. Plus, technicians and salespeople are good at piling on additional products that the customer might not need. For reference, Abode and others rely more on the growing tech skills of today’s consumers. Therefore, these brands offer more DIY options, which also helps them cut down on costs. At the same time, these systems can also come with downsides, such as a lack of customer service and trained agents.
On the other hand, if an individual is uncomfortable with these types of household projects, they could be setting themselves up for disaster. In this case, it may be better for them to pay a bit extra for proper installation the first time.
- Avoid hidden contracts
- Lower costs
- No home visits
- More difficult
Professionally Installed Home Security
As for professional installs, this method ensures that the device is in the proper place, it’s hidden from plain view, and it is secured and hooked up correctly. Having a trained team member come out to the property gives clients a chance to ask any questions they may have and get a better feel for the business.
People should keep in mind that some of the so-called best security systems require their agents to come to the property and install the products. In this case, the buyer wouldn’t even have a choice. The good news is that lots of companies are changing the game and offering DIY home security systems to grant buyers more freedom and choice when it comes to service and management.
- Chance to ask questions
- Qualified help
- Proper set-up
- Higher costs
It might not seem obvious at first, but the size of the property will dictate the provider a person should choose. Even the best home security systems can fall short in supplying enough cameras and motion detectors for large homes. Be sure to check how many devices are included in a kit, so all the windows and doors are covered.
Professional Monitoring or Self-Monitoring
This is another important consideration to make. Expert monitoring may cost more, but in many cases, it also comes with greater peace of mind. Systems that clients monitor themselves allows individuals to keep an eye on their household without the added monthly fee.
The benefits of this option include a team of trained experts who can dispatch police and local authorities at a moment’s notice. This adds greater assurance that the property will be safe and protected in case of an emergency. Of course, it also means that buyers will be spending more money each month. Depending on the provider, this type of monitoring can cost $10 or $60 per month.
Homeowners who are handy and like having control of their security devices will lean more towards this arrangement. The best self-monitored home security systems allow for flexibility and freedom in terms of where clients can access the camera and video footage. Ideally, this would include a smartphone app, as well as access via the control panel. Some do-it-yourself brands don’t have a mobile app, so it’s important to shop around.
Lots of consumers are hesitant about signing their name on a years-long contract. On the downside, it means no switching to another company. The plus side is that it usually locks in the monthly rate and includes updated gadgets and maintenance. The best security systems with no contracts will still provide cutting-edge tech and customer support.
Basic Security System Sensors & Components
As this review shows, not all suppliers offer the same devices and perks. That being said, some basic components make up the framework of most safety systems.
For instance, a control hub serves as a sort of nucleus for the entire arrangement. It receives signals from the different alarms and sensors and can communicate with third-party devices or professional monitors. This piece is crucial to any security bundle.
Moreover, things like detectors are included in just about any package. They’re incredibly useful for windows, doors, and other entryways. A variety of indoor and outdoor cameras allow clients to choose which gadgets suit their needs. Wireless connection and battery backup ensure that there are no gaps in footage or protection.
- Automated tools
- Battery/cellular backup
- Doorbell cams
- Environmental Disaster Protection
- Motion/contact sensors
- Panic button/siren
- Smartphone access
- Station base/control hub
- Two-way audio
- Wireless connectivity
- 24/7 monitors
Sometimes they’re tacked on to an existing offer and other times they’re a bonus on larger packages. Either way, add-ons can bring even greater assurance and safety to a family. The great thing about these accessories is that they’re often optional, so people can decide which ones suit their property. Consumers will find many of these features as part of the best home systems on the market.
- Environmental sensors
- Garage door control
- Glass break protection
- Medical bracelets
- Video doorbells
- Wireless cameras
Options for Every Client & Lifestyle
A family is going to have different needs from a bachelor. Moreover, someone who travels a lot might prefer one gadget, while a person with a house full of pets would want something else. Below is a look at the best home security systems for certain demographics.
Look for something that comes with expert monitors and a convenient mobile app that everyone in the family can use. Keep an eye on monthly rates and things like custom motion detection, live video, smart lighting, and no contracts.
It can be hard to find security systems for apartments. Opt for locked-in rates and companies that don't have upfront costs. Some companies have bundles specifically designed for renters that still include prime features like integration and automation. Plus, clients can connect via landline or wireless access.
Cameras, automation, and more make up the safety packages at cutting-edge suppliers, so they're a perfect match for tech lovers. Take advantage of various smart devices, such as locks, lighting, and thermostats, plus 24/7 professional monitoring. Also, look for alerts that indicate smoke, heat, intrusion, and glass breakage. These people are a good match for DIY home security systems.
These people want round-the-clock professional monitoring to ensure greater peace of mind. Moreover, medical pendants are good for older veterans or those with physical disabilities. Video surveillance and a range of high-tech cameras can help to put worries at ease, especially among military members who may be prone to post-traumatic stress.
For those who treat their pets as part of the family, they need something that can keep them protected while taking into account pets' little pitter-patters around the house. Look for motion alarms that are sensitive to small animals to avoid false alarms. At the same time, keep an eye out for 24/7 security and smash protection.
The simple yet robust system is perfect for those who are frequently out of town. Try a 2-in-1 set-up that comes with smart functionality and premium safety automation. No contracts and an intuitive app are other appealing details that are useful when out of town. No one wants to pay for features that they aren't using.
These clients prefer a brand that comes with a long history of professional monitoring. Even so, these companies still grow with the times and will keep older clients safe and sound. Outdoor cameras, video doorbells, and smart locks are great for people with memory issues. Compatibility with Alexa helps, too.
Something that has plans that are compatible with landline connections is good for rural clients. The property can be monitored around the clock by trained agents who can quickly respond to emergencies, perfect for those in less-populated areas. Harder to find, but worth it.
How to Choose the Right Monitored Security System [Infographic]
While Internet ads and word-of-mouth are a couple of ways to learn about the options out there, shoppers should do some research on their own. Below is a step-by-step guide to figuring out security needs at home and finding the best home security systems.
With a list of potential providers in hand, begin by researching each one individually. Look for things like contract terms, monthly rates, and the different equipment available. Think about the most pressing needs. Some people might have a house with lots of doors and windows, in which case they’ll want high-quality sensors. Others might not be home often, so mobile access would be important to them.
Price is one of the most crucial details and can make or break a deal. Be aware that the costs should reflect what’s included in the plan, as well as the convenience of 24/7 monitoring, professional installation, and additional equipment. Be sure to read the fine print, so there aren’t any surprise charges or hidden fees to deal with.
For handy people, DIY systems might be just fine. However, others might prefer to have a technician come out, assess the property, and properly install everything. Just remember that it often costs a bit more for that kind of convenience. The accessories can also add more simplicity and ease of use. For instance, things like smart integration and automation are worth checking out.
Control & Connectivity
When looking at different options, consider how much control the consumer has. Does the provider require an agent to come out and set everything up? Are certain devices included in every package even though they might not be essential? Also, consider the connectivity. Maybe the cameras are hardwired, or perhaps it’s all wireless. This will play into the convenience aspect as well as how much control clients have.
System Safety & Reviews
Finally, don’t forget to check out what previous or current customers have to say about the company. It’s a good idea to look at multiple sources and review sites since some businesses post fake feedback. Taking the time to do this can give shoppers a better feel for the corporation, their practices, and their sincerity.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Security Systems Cost Per Month?
This depends on the type of arrangement a person buys. Generally, there is a monthly fee to consider, although some places opt for an annual cost instead. Other things that contribute to the price include activation fees and upfront costs for equipment and installment. Some folks choose to go with a DIY kit so they can avoid labor and hardware charges. On the other hand, some people have large properties, so they need lots of security cameras and door sensors, which can get expensive. When thinking about pricing, remember the size of the house, the level of safety, and whether or not it’s DIY.
Can You Use a Security Camera Instead?
Of course, a family could choose to purchase a hidden camera and call it a day, but the best home systems come with cameras anyway. Again, individuals should think about the size of their property and their specific needs. If someone is renting an apartment, then they might be fine with a single cam because the building is probably secured. Plus, some of these products come with sensors already, so there’s the potential to save lots of money. On the other hand, homeowners or commercial clients have a larger area to worry about, so a camera or two isn’t going to cut it. They need a more secure system that can keep entryways and inconspicuous areas safe.
Are Video Doorbells a Suitable Alternative?
These little gadgets are one of the coolest and most convenient additions to modern security systems. They are sleek and visually appealing, and oftentimes visitors and intruders don’t even notice them. Having a video doorbell can help to keep parents and elderly family members at peace because they can see who’s at the door without having to open it. This is especially good for kids.
As with other products, these cameras and video recorders can be hardwired into the existing doorbell, or they may require a completely new one. Sometimes a package will come with this feature. Other times, it is an add-on that costs at an extra cost. Overall, these gadgets are useful for preventing intrusions as well as capturing images and recordings for authorities.
Can Home Systems Be Hacked?
Anything can be hacked these days, and that includes security devices. Consider that people can sneak onto the Internet and WiFi networks at a business or home. Lots of the providers in this review also rely on WiFi and other wireless connections, so the threat of hacking is always there. That said, it’s not as if companies aren’t doing anything to combat this. These suppliers have policies and technology put into place so that clients aren’t susceptible to hacks. Consumers should always look for corporations that encrypt information so that strangers can’t access the IP address or intercept wireless signals.
Besides that, there are common-sense steps that customers can take to keep these intruders away. While most systems come with a passcode, be sure to change it right away and opt for something complex. Avoid passwords that anyone could guess, such as the address or birth date. Also, make sure that the house is connected to a private network rather than public WiFi.
How to Decide Between DIY or Professional Home Security Installation?
Choosing between professional or DIY is one of the most important decisions for customers. It’s good to remember that just because a client needs to set up the equipment on their own, that doesn’t mean that the business just leaves them for dead. Rather, the support team will always be there to answer any questions, providing it’s a decent enterprise.
This question is more a matter of how much control consumers want. If someone is particularly handy, then installing everything by themselves might not be a problem. However, an older client or a busy family may prefer to have someone come to the house and get everything in order. One’s not necessarily better than the other; it just depends on what the clients need.
Who Has the Best Home Security System?
It’s not very fair to choose an overall winner because each client has different needs and expectations. Rather, it’s better to think about which systems cater to specific demographics. For instance, some can be good for those who rely on a landline or want a company with a trusted reputation. On the other hand, others may be ideal for tech-savvy DIYers.
What Are Some of the Best DIY Home Security Systems With No Contract?
When looking for a DIY package, remember that add-ons and hidden charges can drive the price up. The most popular and well-received do-it-yourself providers offer a range of items and services along with affordability. Some cost around $10 per month and comes with premium accessories like video doorbells, a full app, and cellular backup.
What’s the Best Cheapest Home Security System?
While some kits are super inexpensive, others have more competitive pricing. There are brands that don’t lock clients into contracts, and the prices are only a couple of dollars more. Customers pay for what they use and need. Plus, the control center is compatible with third-party devices and automation features for greater ease of use.
What’s the Best Wireless Alarm System on the Market?
As more and more people want to go wireless, there’s an increasing number of providers offering these services. Some of the most promising systems are contract-free and wireless. Around-the-clock expert monitors are available for less than $10 a month, and clients get perks like remote access, glass break protection, and lock compatibility.
Home Security Facts & Stats
Some might think that more mature people are most likely to purchase one of these kits. However, it turns out that many of these clients are millennials. Furthermore, those who are on the fence about buying one of these packages should know that about three-quarters of buyers are satisfied with their system.
- Half of those with a safety system say they want additional security measures for their properties.
- Less than 40% of Americans secure their homes with a surveillance system.
- Nearly a third of unprotected homeowners say that price is their biggest deterrent.
- Out of all home surveillance customers, over 74% say that they feel safer at home with their system.
- The majority of household protection customers are between the ages of 18 and 34
- The most commonly-purchased surveillance device among homeowners is a video doorbell (18.2%).
Is Home Security Systems Helpful or All Hype?
This may still seem like a superfluous concept for some homeowners, but the truth is that surveillance cameras and other products are well worth it. It doesn’t matter where a person lives or how much money they have because crime and danger can happen anywhere, anytime. Some will say that they can’t afford it, but more companies are coming out with highly affordable and contract-free plans and equipment. The peace of mind of 24-hour monitoring and preventative measures is definitely worth $10 a month. Hopefully, this review shows that there is a product or bundle out there for everyone.