Best Wireless Home Security Systems of 2021

As we enter a new decade, it’s a great time to take a second look at how secure your home is. No matter the property type, size, or location, security should always be a top priority. As residential surveillance equipment and technology have transformed, more and more people are finding affordable plans and gadgets. To help you decide which wireless home security option is right for you, check out these top five picks.

Brad Smith

Brad Smith - Editorial Staff

Updated: April 20, 2021

What We Did to Find the Best

It took countless hours of going through wireless home security customer feedback, tech reports, and scoring mechanics to find the best wireless alarm systems. Below are the five key metrics that we considered.

  • 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)

These five categories are a solid representation of what consumers look for in wireless home security. The best system needs to offer smart video monitoring, customer freedom, and of course, affordability. We graded each of these home security metrics and found the overall average values to compile a new list of the ultimate winners.

Turn to our review for the latest information and details. We scoured the Web for all the dirt so you can spend more time enjoying your protected property.

1. Vivint: A Leader in Smart Tech Solutions

Total Score 9.3/10

Vivint Main
Smart Home App Vivint
No Contract Vivint Control
  • Features10/10
  • Equipment10/10
  • Price8.5/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.0/10
Best for Smart Automation

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

3 days

Vivint has long been a top player in the wireless security system niche. Its basic package is $38.99 per month and includes round-the-clock monitors, motion detection, and environmental alerts. The recommended plan costs just a dollar more and comes with recording options and automated integrations.

Plus, Vivint’s products and technological solutions are ahead of the pack. Consider, for example, the SkyControl panel. It serves as the nucleus of the entire ecosystem and has a touchscreen interface, a clean layout, and updates clients of any safety alerts. Consumers can expect to find all of the latest devices here, such as doorbell cameras, media file storage, learning thermostats and lighting modules, and various third-party integrations.

Pros:

  • 24/7 monitors
  • Battery backup
  • Custom notifications
  • Financing & payment options
  • Large selection of equipment
  • Remote access/control
  • Smart technology & automation

Cons:

  • Financing requires a contract
  • Higher equipment costs
  • Short trial period

Set-up costs start at $44.99 but might be higher if the property is particularly large. On the plus side, this allows clients to speak to a trained agent one-on-one for more knowledge and advice on how to use the devices. It’s also worth noting that Vivint’s mobile app access is one of the most convenient features. It allows customers to check in on their camera feeds as well as review recorded footage and alert updates.

While Vivint’s tech is impressive, its policies leave a lot to be desired. Customers have just a three-day trial period to decide if they like their kit. Also, a contract agreement is required, which may turn some people off. That said, clients get perks like battery backup, 24/7 monitors, custom notifications, and one of the largest collections of automated equipment.


2. ADT: A Rich History & High-Tech Gadgets

Total Score 9.2/10

ADT Main
ADT Package
ADT Pulse System
  • Features9.0/10
  • Equipment9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease Of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score10/10
Best for Certified Monitors

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

6 month

One of the things this company is known for is its excellent money-back guarantee. However, ADT does require a contract of three years, which isn’t the greatest. That said, it has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and over 100 years of history in residential and commercial surveillance. Customers will feel good about being able to contact one of ADT’s certified monitoring centers about any of their issues. There’s even a Theft Protection Guarantee.

Getting to know ADT’s wireless security systems can be a bit confusing. The essential kit starts at $35.99 per month and comes with professional monitors and basic surveillance equipment. There are two higher plans which will offer more in the way of video recording, file storage, and additional accessories.

Pros:

  • Competitive pricing
  • Ease of use
  • Extended warranty available
  • May work with existing surveillance equipment
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Quality camera options
  • Video plan

Cons:

  • Contracts required
  • Expert installation only
  • No mobile control on the basic plan

Exploring the ADT website, consumers might get a bit confused. It’s hard to find pricing and policy information. What we found is that the company offers a 90-day warranty on products, but customers can extend this on some of the packages. On the plus side, since this brand has such a long money-back guarantee, there is time to avoid cancellation fees.

For people who want professional monitors and high-tech camera options, ADT is a provider to check out. They’ve got interior and exterior cams, as well as doorbells that can live-stream and store media files. While there’s no DIY installation option, clients can be sure that their products will be set up correctly the first time.


3. Abode: A Good Compromise For Cash-Strapped Consumers

Total Score 9.2/10

Abode Main
Abode Security Device
Abode Cameras
  • Features9.0/10
  • Equipment9.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.0/10
Best for Cheap DIY

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Abode has climbed the ranks in recent years to become one of the most popular wireless security systems on the market. The Abode Iota, in particular, has a lot to offer. This camera doubles as a base station and comes with two-way talk, superb motion detection, and video recording capabilities. Customers can opt for self-monitoring or a professional service. The plans don’t require a contract and start at just $20 per month, a huge deal.

The equipment from this provider works with other third-party devices, including products from Amazon, Apple, and Google. There’s mobile access to the hub, but it tends to glitch out from time to time. While the Iota starts at $229, the basic smart surveillance kit is only $199.

Pros:

  • Built-in siren
  • Custom automations
  • Environmental protection
  • Expert or self-monitored
  • Free cancellation
  • Life safety
  • Low monthly rates

Cons:

  • Glitchy mobile app
  • Limited activation range
  • Speaker quality

Abode has all of the equipment that new customers need to get started on protecting their properties. The most basic package comes with the hub, a motion and contact sensor, and a key fob. Plus, there’s free shipping. The two higher-tiered plans come with more devices as well as an extended warranty.

All of the products are self-installed, but don’t worry because it’s very intuitive. Even those who aren’t good with their hands should have no trouble. As for customer service, it’s fine, but it could be better. Especially for people on the more basic plans, it can be hard to get in touch with an actual representative. Overall, this provider is great for those who want a do-it-yourself kit on a budget, but its offerings aren’t as extensive as some competitors.


4. Frontpoint: Customer Care & Supportive Technology

Total Score 9.1/10

FrontPoint Main
FrontPoint Cameras
Frontpoint Monitoring Plan
  • Features9.0/10
  • Equipment9.5/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease Of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score10/10
Best for Customer Support

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

When thinking about wireless security systems, take a look at Frontpoint. The business has excellent customer service reviews, but it is also a high performer in terms of equipment and technology. This includes Crash-and-Smash protection, temperature and heat alerts, and the Slimline doorbell with recording features. The comprehensive mobile app allows for remote arm/disarm and cam feed views anytime.

This provider does have contracts, but they’re on a month-to-month basis, giving clients more freedom and zero cancellation fees. Keep in mind that video streaming and file storage is only available on the highest plan and costs $49.99 per month. Also, some accessories are add-ons only, so that can hike the price up. Even so, Frontpoint has a range of camera options and 24-hour battery backup, making them a solid competitor.

Pros:

  • 24-hour battery backup
  • Comprehensive mobile app
  • Customer care & support
  • Good for renters
  • Month-to-month contracts
  • Range of camera options
  • Room for customization

Cons:

  • Limited integrations/automations
  • Higher monthly fees
  • Some accessories are add-ons only

Frontpoint has one of the most impressive collections of wire-free camera options. There are interior and exterior cams as well as the Slimline doorbell. These products feature Bluetooth speakers for clearer two-way audio, HD image quality, and wide-angle lenses. Moreover, clients can see more and explore the surroundings with digital pan-and-tilt and enhanced zoom.

Besides that, the company offers intrusion protection with the hub and keypad, two devices that come with every plan. There are different packages depending on the property size and family needs. Custom kits are available, too, making this a good choice for renters. These equipment packages alone vary from $69 to $480. Add on $44.99 for the monthly rate, and this is an affordable solution for many customers. Other perks include a panic button pendant and modern automation with smart locks and lights.


5. SimpliSafe: Simplicity At Its Finest

Total Score 9.1/10

SimpliSafe Main
SimpliSafe Camera
SimpliSafe Build My System
  • Features8.5/10
  • Equipment8.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
simplisafe-logo-sidebar
Best for Surveillance Newbies

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

SimpliSafe is another worthy competitor in the world of wireless security systems. The brand offers affordable plans as well as the option to self-monitor the property or have professional assistance. Plus, there aren’t any contracts required. This company has worked with millions of customers and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Its do-it-yourself plans ask that clients pay for the equipment up-front. Even though the kits are typically self-installed, customers have the option of having a technician come out and set things up properly. This costs an additional $80.

SimpliSafe’s basic package costs $229, but it doesn’t include mobile alerts. Individuals can check out the higher-tiered plans or create a personalized kit. Also, there are often bundle deals, such as the current 2021 promotion, where clients can get a SimpliCam at no extra cost when they build their custom kit.

Pros:

  • 24-hour battery backup
  • Affordable prices
  • Bundle deals
  • Choose between pro/self-monitored
  • Emergency response
  • No contracts
  • Pet-friendly sensors

Cons:

  • Gets expensive with add-ons
  • Lack of automated features
  • The basic plan doesn't have mobile alerts

SimpliSafe’s devices and base stations are compatible with Apple, Amazon, and Google products. Customers can set up custom notifications, too. That said, the company lacks integrated, intelligent gadgets that other brands may have.

Also, consumers should be careful when shopping around with this business because the add-on accessories can jack up the costs in no time. For example, an extra keypad costs $70, the sirens cost $60 apiece, and a spare motion detector goes for $30. Of course, the devices that SimpliSafe does have are high-quality and will keep families safe and sound. The emergency response is impeccable, and there are various environmental sensors for things like freezing pipes, leaks, high temperatures, and smoke.


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

Check out this table to see a side-by-side comparison of the wireless security systems in this review. Whatever metric you’re most concerned about, here is an easy way to see how each company fares in each category. This should make it easier to find the most suitable fit.

Provider Total Score Upfront Cost Monthly Fee DIY instal Trial Period Warranty Cloud Storage Custom Kits Environmental Sensors Indoor/Outdoor Cams Integrations Night Vision Remote Control Siren Two-Way Talk
Vivint 9.3 $599+ $38.99+ No 3 days 120 days Yes Yes Yes Both Yes Yes Yes No Yes
ADT 9.2 $99+ $35.99+ No 6 months 90 days Yes Yes Yes Both Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Abode 9.2 $199+ $0-$20 Yes 30 days 1 year Yes Yes Yes Both Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Frontpoint 9.1 $256+ $44.99+ Yes 30 days 3 years Yes Yes Yes Both Yes Yes Yes No Yes
SimpliSafe 9.1 $229+ $14.99+ Yes 60 days 3 years Yes Yes Yes Both Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Wired Vs. Wireless Home Security

Sometimes, customers might wonder about the differences between hardwired and wireless security systems. Below are some of the defining features. This should make it easier for people to decide which route is a good fit for their property and needs.

Wired

A wired set-up is preferable for people who want to ensure a more stable connection and heavy-duty integration with the rest of the house. While this option won’t be as affordable or as easy to install, it may provide added peace of mind thanks to its hardwired capabilities.

Pros:

  • Integrates more with the property
  • More stable connection
  • Powerful control panels
  • Won't glitch out as often

Cons:

  • Takes longer to set up
  • Usually more expensive

Wireless

Wireless security systems come with added convenience and flexibility, at least for the most part. Installation is much easier because there aren’t any wires to deal with. A stable power source like WiFi or batteries keeps everything running smoothly. Plus, today’s models have crystal-clear pictures, night vision, sensitive motion detection, and more.

Pros:

  • Easier to use
  • Faster installation
  • Greater placement flexibility
  • Tends to be more affordable

Cons:

  • Image quality might be lacking
  • Requires a stable Internet connection

How Wireless Home Security Works

How Wireless Home Security Works

Essentially, these devices and bundles work by using cellular connections. While hardwired products need to connect via something like an Ethernet, these kits use WiFi and cellular connectivity. Most brands offer a base station or control hub, which serves as the brains of the entire network and communicates with the other gadgets. The station receives a signal from a sensor or surveillance camera, and then sends it to the user’s phone for instant updates and alerts.

Wireless Security System Equipment

Some people might not realize how many gadgets and services come with one of these surveillance bundles. In today’s world, clients can get just about anything they want in a monitored plan, whether they’ve got a small apartment or a larger property. Here are some of the most popular devices.

Security Cameras

These gadgets make it simple to see what's going on in and around the property, even when you're away at work or on a trip.

Indoor Cameras

These gadgets make it simple to see what's going on in and around the property, even when you're away at work or on a trip.

Outdoor Cameras

These products are weatherproof, durable, and have cutting-edge features like LED night vision, pan-and-tilt, and digital zoom. Customers can mount them to the house's siding or a porch column.

Doorbell Cameras

These fun gadgets keep an eye on any suspicious passersby. Specs like two-way audio and facial recognition add a layer of safety and assurance.

Motion Detectors

These can work inside or outside, and many brands even have special technology that can differentiate between people and pets.

Door & Window Sensors

Ensuring that all of the entryways are protected is crucial. These sensors will trigger an alert any time they're opened or left ajar.

Smoke & Fire Alarms

Protecting against potential fire hazards and rising temperatures is part of keeping the house safe. Some brands offer intelligent smoke detectors that sync to a mobile app for instant updates.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

CO2 poisoning is a real threat. Since this gas is odorless and colorless, a dependable detector is essential. Look for one that can sync to the rest of the ecosystem for better communication and instant notifications.

Floodlights

These lighting features work spectacularly with motion detectors. The sensor triggers the flood of light whenever someone passes the threshold into your yard or driveway, scaring them off.

Wireless Keypads

These convenient devices allow for quicker and safer access to the property. No more getting locked out of the house. These keypads also make it easy to arm and disarm the services.

Features of Wireless Home Security Systems

Take a quick peek at some of the most essential aspects of a household surveillance kit. Customers should make sure they have all of these features so they can keep their loved ones and property safe, even when they’re away.

Control Panel

A touch screen base station or control hub is ideal for any surveillance package. It links the entire network and allows for consistent communication between the gadgets and the client’s mobile device.

Entry Sensors

These are usually small, magnetic items that go on the inside of the doors and windows. They sync with the base station and will trigger an alert whenever they’re opened. This is crucial for kids’ bedrooms, garage doors, and other areas that are attractive to burglars.

Motion Detectors

Most providers have motion detection devices, although they vary in how well they work. Some of the high-end ones have infrared night vision and can decipher a vehicle from a person or animal. These convenient gadgets can be placed inside and outside, creating a more secure perimeter.

Glass Break Sensors

Many burglars try to get into a house by breaking some windows. Glass break protection means that there are little contact sensors that will trigger whenever they hear the sound of broken glass.

Remote Control

Being able to access the base station, media files, and other updates is a given these days. Clients must have full control of their surveillance network, even if they’re away from their property. Remote control means they can arm and disarm the locks at the push of a button, or turn on the motion sensors, or open the garage door.

Panic Buttons & Pendants

These life safety devices are great for families that have an elderly loved one. Pendants or bracelets that have panic buttons allow customers to feel better about their loved ones being alone. In case of a trip or fall, they can press the button to signal an emergency response.

Mobile Access

This is one of the most popular features that clients look for in a provider. With mobile control, they can watch live recordings from their cams on their phones. Or, they can use two-way talk to greet guests at their front door, if they have a doorbell cam.

Home Automation

Automated gadgets run the gamut of household convenience, safety, and entertainment. For instance, clients can control the lights, locks, thermostats, or turn on their appliances.

Cellular Monitoring

This is the cutting-edge of surveillance plans these days. It works similarly to a mobile phone in that cell towers supply power to the network of devices and gadgets. Plus, there are no wires or cables to worry about, no drilling or hardwiring. Just reliable, full-service coverage.

How to Choose the Right System

How to Choose the Right System

Besides the question of whether to choose a wired or cellular kit, there are other options and solutions to consider. Below are some tips for figuring out if you’d prefer professional or do-it-yourself service, as well as how to find a brand you can trust.

Look For Fair Pricing

Affordability is at the top of everyone's list. Fortunately, many providers offer month-to-month payment plans and forego the contracts altogether. Others have customers pay for the equipment upfront, so they pay just a few dollars per week for service. Remember, do-it-yourself surveillance and set-up will also cut costs.

Check System Compatibility

For those who already have intelligent devices or automated services, it's important to check that the provider's equipment is compatible with it. Check for third-party integrations like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Z-Wave products. This will ensure that all of the gadgets work together seamlessly, creating a comprehensive ecosystem.

Choose a Trusted Brand

Some people are loyal to one brand, while others like to switch it up. Whatever you do, ensure it's a company that you can rely on. It helps to research the business online. You can also check sites like Trustpilot and BBB.org. The more you know, the more confident you can be with your purchase.

Professional or Self-Monitored?

For individuals who aren't very tech-savvy, professional installment might be worth the extra money. There's also the question of expert monitoring or do-it-yourself surveillance. It depends on what you want and is willing to pay for, although many brands have great deals on pro monitor and response services.

Automated Equipment & Perks

Most people will want some variation of automation. This could be as simple as being able to use a voice command to arm the locks and sensors. On the other hand, it could be an extravagant set-up of lighting modules, thermostats, and surveillance cams that you control via Alexa or another integrated service.

Client Feedback & Reviews

You never want to buy something without checking on what previous customers have to say about it. People aren't shy about giving their opinions, so read some feedback to see where the brand flourishes and where it falls short. Pay attention to what they think of the maintenance, ease of use, and overall value of the products.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will Wireless Systems Still Work if the Internet or Power Goes Out?

    Yes, in most cases, it will be fine because many providers have some form of backup. This may be cellular, or it could be battery backup. Usually, there is at least eight hours of juice left to power the devices until the power comes back on. Others have a full day of energy supply to keep the gadgets up and running.

    With that said, keep in mind that most of these plans require a strong Internet connection since they are not hardwired.

  • Is a Wireless Home Security System Reliable?

    Yes, of course. This is a niche of household surveillance that is growing day by day. Some of the latest safety technology occurs in this niche, helping to keep residents protected from intruders, environmental threats, and nighttime burglars.

  • Are Contracts Required for These Systems?

    No, in many cases, consumers can buy one of these kits without committing to a long-term agreement. This is great news for renters or people who don’t want a multi-year contract. The different plans vary, but most have clients pay month-to-month and purchase the equipment upfront.

  • Can Renters Still Install a Wireless Home Security System?

    Yes, most of the time. As long as they look for a provider that doesn’t require long-term contracts or that clients be homeowners, there shouldn’t be any problems. Paying on a monthly basis and purchasing the equipment from the start ensures that you own the devices and only pay for the service you use each month.

  • How is Client Information Protected With Wireless Systems?

    Most providers use end-to-end encryption and other authentication processes to keep client information safe. This goes for all surveillance kits, whether they’re hardwired or not. Password protection keeps everyone but the customer out of the device network, including the base station, keypad, and mobile app.

Make 2021 the Year of Greater Safety & Assurance

Now that you’ve read about the best wireless alarm systems and what to look for in a trusted provider, you can shop with confidence. Make this the decade of greater protection and peace of mind with devices and services that keep your property and family safe from burglars and environmental risks.

There are ample options out there, whether you want a no-contract plan, full-service automation, or a no-frills safety package. A bit of an investment now can make a huge difference in an emergency.


Brad Smith

Editorial Staff

Brad has worked as a sales manager in the security sector for 10 years. He is curious, attentive to details, and hard-working. He has dedicated several years to helping customers with their safety and protection. His background has helped Brad to write comprehensive security and life safety materials, which he has been writing for about 4 years. Brad has contributed work to The Washington Post, DailyJournal, Los Angeles Times, and many others.


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