Find all the information you need to make an educated decision about home security products and services and how to decide which ones are best for your particular situation.
Home Security Product Reviews
There are four basic home security options to review and consider before you begin.
Home Security Cameras
Security cameras are a key component of any home security system and they come with a wide variety of available features. Most home security cameras come with an indoor and/or outdoor option.
Here are some of the features to consider when researching and reviewing home security cameras:
- Does the security camera have a wide-angle view that's clearly visible on the entire screen?
- Does the security camera have a night vision option?
- Does the camera have a low-light viewing option? The lower the camera's lux rating, the better it can see in the dark when using the night vision feature.
- How much wiring is required?
- Will the cameras be fixed or adjustable? If you want to view a large area, then you should probably opt for a camera that can be panned, tilted and zoomed in for more thorough viewing and recording.
- Are the cameras waterproof? A waterproof rating of 65 is recommended.
- Is there an available security app for remote viewing on your mobile device?
- What alerts do they offer and are they customizable?
- Is the camera always on with a continuous power supply?
- Is the recording history stored in the cloud?
Types of Home Security Cameras
There are several types of home security cameras available.
- Box Cameras. These are the most common, affordable, and visible so they are a great deterrent.
- Dome Cameras. These cameras are also popular. They vary in size and are less obtrusive than other types of cameras.
- Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) Cameras. These are more flexible as they can swivel up, down, and side to side, so they are able to cover a wider area with just one camera, and most are remote-controllable.
- Bullet Cameras. These are similar to box cameras and come in many different sizes. They also make a great deterrent and come with variable focal length zoom lenses and some even come with interchangeable lenses as well.
DIY Home Security Systems Reviews
As with anything else, there are pros and cons that come with purchasing a DIY home security system. A basic DIY home security system usually only comes with basic wireless capabilities and a limited number of features. However, DIY wireless systems are becoming more and more popular as they become more advanced and are now starting to come with more features and options.
Pros of DIY Home Security
They are less expensive, wireless, and portable. And some DIY home security systems come with available online monitoring. The monitoring options are usually one or all of the following: through a monitoring center, an online portal, or mobile app so you can monitor and operate its features remotely. Additionally, some DIY home security systems are setup to send you mobile alerts if your system is ever breached.
Cons of DIY Home Security
Many of the DIY home security systems offer you a basic package at a reasonable price, but the add-ons can be expensive. Again, most DIY systems are basic; therefore, many of them don't come with any extras. Additionally, some DIY systems don't offer any type of connection to the police, have limited warranties and support options, and you are responsible for your own installation and repairs.
Wireless Security System Reviews
Wireless home security systems use radio frequencies to communicate with the control panel and sensors throughout your home. That means there's no need for any major changes to your home and these eliminate the possibility of your wires being cut. However, a wireless system can sometimes experience signal limitations due to obstructions, but this issue can be overcome with range extenders. The wireless systems are self-contained and they won't interfere with your Wi-Fi signal because they operate on a different frequency. Additionally, they are portable so you can take them with you when you move. The only downside is that the wireless home security systems will require that you change out the batteries every three to five years or so.
Another option is to go with a wired home security system. With a wired home security system, the wires are installed throughout your home and are connected to your home's power so there are no batteries to replace. And, there are no potential signal limitations like there are with a wireless system. However, the wires for this type of home security system can be invasive, challenging, and costly.
Outdoor Home Security System Reviews
An outdoor home security system works by using a radio (RF) transmitter to broadcast the camera's video which is then detected by the receiver. The receiver is then connected to a monitor and/or recording device for monitoring. An outdoor security camera is more durable than their indoor counterparts and they're waterproof.
Outdoor security cameras are generally more expensive than indoor cameras because they have to be tough enough to withstand the elements and vandalism. In addition, some outdoor security cameras are disguised as common objects to add an element of invisibility.
One thing to note is that there are federal and state laws with their own varying restrictions and regulations; therefore, you should check the laws in your area before installing an outdoor video surveillance camera.
Home Security Company Reviews
After you've spent some time learning the basic components of a home security system, you will then need to research a variety of security companies to find one that will best suit your needs and budget.
Here are some of the most popular home security companies offering great value and a wide variety of available features and options:
- Abode – Abode offers professional grade home security in a DIY system.
- ADT – ADT is the largest home security provider in the U.S. and Canada. They offer wired and wireless systems along with a wide variety of home automation features.
- Amazon – Amazon has officially entered the home security market with a complete offering of home security products and services.
- Arlo – Arlo by Netgear offers multiple lines of security cameras to protect your home and business. Netgear is the perfect home security camera solution for apartments, condos, homes, businesses and more.
- AT&T Digital Life – Not only does AT&T offer internet and cable services, but they also offer home security packages that completely integrate into the rest of their offerings.
- Blink – Blink is a home security camera system offered by Amazon. Choose from indoor and outdoor cameras to protect and monitor your home from the Blink app.
- Brinks – Brinks, Livewatch and Moni have joined forces to offer consumers one of the most complete home security experiences available on the market.
- Canary – This well known DIY home security system can be set up in minutes while offering protection for you and your family.
- Cox Homelife – Cox offers home security services that integrate with their internet offering to provide a whole home solution for consumers.
- Frontpoint – Frontpoint offers wireless DIY home security systems. Some of their systems also include home automation features as well.
- Guardian – Guardian Protection Services is a long standing name in professional home security.
- Iris – Iris is a DIY home security solution from the trusted home improvement company Lowe's.
- Kuna – Kuna offers stylish and seamless video surveillance integrated into outdoor lighting. Cameras are hidden into outdoor flood lights and porch lights providing an all-in-one outdoor security solution.
- LifeShield – LifeShield offers great value and no long term obligations, making it a great, affordable home security option.
- Link Interactive – Link Interactive has been around since 1952 and offers several different wireless home security systems, as well as emergency monitoring for a minimal monthly fee.
- LiveWatch – LiveWatch offers DIY preprogrammed wireless home alarm systems along with several home automation features and they have a no penalty cancel anytime policy.
- Nest – Nest is a home security and home automation company owned by Google. They offer thermostats, cameras, alarm systems, doorbell cameras and more.
- Protect America – Protect America offers a variety of DIY wireless home security systems along with a low price guarantee with their three-year monitoring agreement. In addition, they also offer emergency monitoring services for a minimal monthly fee.
- Protection One – Protection One, also known as Protection1, is a division of ADT and offers a professional grade home security solution.
- Ring – Ring is the dominant doorbell camera player in the outdoor security space. With their acquisition by Amazon, they have ventured into other outdoor and even indoor home security systems.
- Samsung – Samsung has partnered with ADT to provide a simple DIY home security system.
- Scout – Scout offers a couple of very affordable wireless home security systems with attractive discounts when you sign a yearly agreement.
- SimpliSafe – SimpliSafe offers several wireless DIY home security systems along with available á la carte equipment options. You can also add emergency monitoring for a minimal monthly fee.
- SkyBell – SkyBell is a worthy competitor to Ring and offers great value for a doorbell camera.
- Vivint – Vivint offers 100% wireless security systems coupled with home automation features for added layers of protection.
- Xfinity – Xfinity by Comcast offers a completed and fully automated solution to your home security needs. Combine your Comcast cable, internet and home security services into a single integrated package.