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Best Home Security Systems of 2020

Need a home security system, but not too sure where to start? We've reviewed all the major professional install and DIY security options to help you determine which is the best home security system for you.

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1100+research hours
1800+customers interviewed
33systems reviewed
12experts consulted
10systems recommended

The Best Home Security Systems Compared

  • Highest Rated

    Best Overall Value

    SimpliSafe Home Security

    9.4 / 10 SecureScore™
    SimpliSafe Home Security
    • Bottom Line: There’s a lot going for SimpliSafe, a no-contract system that simplifies home security. SimpliSafe delivers DIY protection at refreshingly affordable prices.

    View Packages
  • Best Home Automation

    Vivint Smart Home

    9.0 / 10 SecureScore™
    Vivint Smart Home
    • Bottom Line: Vivint is a high-end wireless system that offers same day professional installation. They have indoor, outdoor, and doorbell camera options and advanced smart home capabilities.

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  • Most Chosen

    ADT Security

    8.7 / 10 SecureScore™
    ADT Security
    • Bottom Line: ADT is a highly-customizable system that offers wireless and hardwired systems. We consider them the pioneers of home security and the most popular provider amongst homeowners.

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  • Frontpoint Home Security

    8.4 / 10 SecureScore™
    Frontpoint Home Security
    • Bottom Line: Frontpoint is a wireless security system that's easy to install with affordable 24/7 monitoring. Their customer satisfaction really stands out - 94% are willing to recommend them to friends or family.

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  • Brinks Home Security

    8.1 / 10 SecureScore™
    Brinks Home Security
    • Bottom Line: Sleep safe and sound with a low-cost security system loaded with the latest features. Brinks is a top contender—that is, if you can stomach the 3-year contracts.

    View Packages
  • Protect America

    8.0 / 10 SecureScore™
    Protect America
    • Bottom Line: Protect America offers reliable, low-cost home security that you can hang your hat on. But total commitment to their customers really sets them apart.

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  • Deep Sentinel Security

    7.9 / 10 SecureScore™
    Deep Sentinel Security
    • Bottom Line: Comprehensive multi-layered deterrence with robust next-generation cameras and artificial intelligence. One American home is burglarized every 9 seconds—don't let it be yours!

    View Packages
  • Nest Secure

    7.8 / 10 SecureScore™
    Nest Secure
    • Bottom Line: Already have Nest products? If so, Nest Secure fits seamlessly into your Nest ecosystem. With a mile-long list of device options, it’s time to get creative with home security.

    View Packages
  • Ring Alarm

    7.8 / 10 SecureScore™
    Ring Alarm
    • Bottom Line: Affordable, whole home, DIY security for all types of homes, including apartments and condos.

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  • Abode Security

    7.7 / 10 SecureScore™
    Abode Security
    • Bottom Line: Refined, flexible and easy DIY smart home security system that keeps getting smarter by the day.

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Best Overall Value

SecureScore™: 9.4/10
SimpliSafe is a low cost home security system with DIY setup. Their systems can be installed in minutes with no tools or drilling. Also, SimpliSafe has flexible monitoring plans. Self-monitor or choose SimpliSafe’s award-winning 24/7 monitoring. SimpliSafe is a great pick for those who value ease and affordability.
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Best Home Automation

SecureScore™: 9.0/10
Vivint is a high-end wireless system that offers same day professional installation. They have indoor, outdoor, and doorbell camera options and advanced smart home capabilities. Their highly-rated mobile app gives you ultimate control of your property. Vivint's a great option if you want all the bells and whistles.
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Most Chosen

SecureScore™: 8.7/10
ADT is a highly-customizable system that offers wireless and hardwired systems. They have indoor, outdoor and doorbell camera options with basic smart home capabilities. We consider them the pioneers of home security and the most popular provider amongst homeowners.
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The Best Home Security Systems Compared

System SimpliSafe Home Security SimpliSafe Home Security Vivint Smart Home Vivint Smart Home ADT Security ADT Security Frontpoint Home Security Frontpoint Home Security Brinks Home Security Brinks Home Security Protect America Protect America Deep Sentinel Security Deep Sentinel Security Nest Secure Nest Secure Ring Alarm Ring Alarm Abode Security Abode Security
Ranking1st SimpliSafe View Plans 2nd Vivint View Plans 3rd ADT View Plans 4th Frontpoint View Plans 5th Brinks View Plans 6th Protect America View Plans 7th Deep Sentinel View Plans 8th Nest Secure View Plans 9th Ring Alarm View Plans 10th Abode View Plans
SecureScore™9.49.08.78.48.18.07.97.87.87.7
Best ForOverall Best Home Security SystemHome Security and AutomationProfessional Home MonitoringBest Customer ServiceNest Automation and SecurityLandline Home SecurityProactive Home MonitoringGoogle Automation and SecurityAlexa Automation and SecurityAll-in-One Home Security
Equipment CostStarting at $199Starting at $599Starting at $99Starting at $130Starting at $399Starting at $0Starting at $499Starting at $299Starting at $199Starting at $199
Activation Cost$0$0$25$0$0$0$0$0$0$0
Monthly CostStarting at $14.99Starting at $29.99Starting at $28.95Starting at $34.99Starting at $29.00Starting at $19.99Starting at $49.99Starting at $24.99Starting at $3.00Starting at $8.00
Contract PeriodNo Contract42 Months36 Months36 Months36 Months36 Months12 Months36 MonthsNo ContractNo Contract
Self Monitoring OptionYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
InstallationDIYProProDIYDIYDIYDIYDIYDIYDIY
Alexa CompatibilityYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Google Home CompatibilityYesYesYesYesYesNoNoYesYesYes
Money-Back Guarantee60 DaysNone6 Months30 Days45 Days15 Days30 Days30 Days30 Days30 Days
Warranty3 Years120 DaysVaries3 YearsLifetime2 Years2 Years2 Years1 Year1 Year
Battery BackupYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Environmental SensorsYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Read ReviewSimpliSafe ReviewVivint ReviewADT ReviewFrontpoint ReviewBrinks ReviewProtect America ReviewDeep Sentinel ReviewNest Secure ReviewRing Alarm ReviewAbode Review

List of the Best Home Security Systems of 2020

Additional Home Security System Review Categories

We consistently review the top security systems to make it easier for you

When it comes to securing your home, everyone naturally wants quality and reliability, but good value is an important factor too, especially because the cost of these systems can add up over time. But nowadays, peace of mind comes a lot cheaper and easier than it used to. Not to mention, most home security companies now have embraced the latest home automation technologies and are incorporating numerous features that weren’t available to the average consumer just 5 years ago. There are a lot of systems out there, so to make it easy for you, our team has done the research across all of the top home security brands and has compared everything from their features, pricing, ease of use, durability, customer service, customer reviews, brand reputation and much more to determine which systems represent the best value.

Best Home Security Systems Featured in This Roundup:

  • 1. SimpliSafe - Best Home Security System Overall

    There’s a lot going for SimpliSafe, a no-contract system that simplifies home security. SimpliSafe delivers DIY protection at refreshingly affordable prices.

    SimpliSafe Equipment Bundle
    9.4 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    8.8
    Value
    9.7
    Equipment
    9.5
    Features & Technology
    9.4
    Ease Of Use
    9.7

    If you want one of the best home security systems on the market but don’t want a contract, SimpliSafe may be the right option for you. It’s less of a traditional security system and more of a monitoring system for people who understand the value of simplified home security. For people who are looking for monitoring systems to be used in an urban or suburban location, SimpliSafe has a lot to offer. Here’s a quick summary of their pros and cons:

    PROS
    • Low Monthly Rates
    • Easy DIY Installation
    • Award-Winning Monitoring
    • No Long-Term Contracts
    • Wireless Equipment
    • Cellular Alerts
    • Environmental Disaster Protection
    • Indoor Video Security
    • Alarm Works Without Monitoring
    • 60-Day Equipment Trial

    CONS
    • Proprietary Equipment
    • Equipment Expense Up-Front

    It’s a DIY installation system, so you don’t have to take the time out of your busy life to wait for someone to come hook things up for you. Instead, you can just get the equipment and set everything up on your own. It’s great for people who are on a budget, and it’s also great for people who rent—You can take the equipment with you when you move, and won’t have to worry about being charged another installation fee for setting things up in your new location. If you choose SimpliSafe, you also won’t have to worry about canceling a contract and paying a high fee if you move to an area where a service provider doesn’t operate this system.

    You have to buy the equipment upfront, but that means you own it, and it reduces the monitoring costs every month. That can make things easier for anyone who’s on a monthly budget and don’t want to spend a lot of money on monitoring. You can pay as little as $15 a month for SimpliSafe monitoring, depending on whether mobile access is important to you. That’s about half of what you would pay with some of the other best home security systems, and it can be well worth it for budget-conscious people who still want a good system.Read more about what our team found with Simplisafe here.

    Learn more about SimpliSafe »
  • 2. Vivint Smart Home - Best Home Security With Automation

    It’s sleek. It’s contemporary. And it’s stacked with advanced technology. When you want total home protection and smart home automation, Vivint has you covered.

    Vivint System with Accessories
    9.0 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    7.8
    Value
    8.4
    Equipment
    9.6
    Features & Technology
    9.8
    Ease Of Use
    9.5

    With Vivint, there’s a lot of great things to say about this company, and definitely enough to make it stand out as our number two pick for the best home alarm system, particularly for its technology and home automation options. The company’s customer service has seen vast improvements in recent years, and it has helped the company come a long way. Here’s a quick summary:

    PROS
    • Sleek Contemporary Equipment
    • 100% Wireless Systems
    • Available ASAP (Same-Day Installation)
    • Lifetime Warranty
    • Cellular and/or Landline Connections
    • Remote Access (Mobile App)
    • Indoor/Outdoor Video Cameras
    • Doorbell Camera with Two-Way Voice
    • Environmental Disaster Protection
    • Home Automation

    CONS
    • Requires Pro Installation
    • Above-Average Monthly Cost
    • Long-Term Contract
    • Trial May be Short

    Unlike Frontpoint, Vivint requires professional installation and doesn’t offer a DIY option. It’s important to focus on the overall value you’re getting for your money, instead of just the cost of the setup. There are even flexible financing options for the equipment, in case you need more than what your budget is comfortable with.

    Although the technology is very advanced, it’s also very user friendly too, so it’s easy to get started once the system is installed, and then working your system is generally quite intuitive too. There’s also cellular monitoring and two-way voice communication too as nice touches. The equipment is efficient, and if you choose their premium service, you’ll also receive a lifetime warranty on the equipment itself. That can go a long way toward protecting your budget and ensuring that you’re making the right investment. All of this means you can have peace of mind that you are well protected. The monthly monitoring cost is around $30 to $50 per month, and Vivint customer service will be excited to sell you their latest and greatest options. The system is a good one for the money spent. See a more in-depth Vivint review here.

    Learn more about Vivint »
  • 3. ADT Home Security Systems - Best Brand

    Reliable systems backed by outstanding service. It’s no wonder ADT is a household name with 7 million customers and counting. When you’re ready for the big guns in home security, you go with ADT.

    ADT System and Accessories
    8.7 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    8.1
    Value
    8.4
    Equipment
    8.7
    Features & Technology
    9.1
    Ease Of Use
    9.2

    ADT is a well-known household name, but what makes it one of the best home security systems? It’s the service and availability, along with the reliability it provides. There are multiple centers for monitoring ADT alarms all over the country, so the chance of an outage is very low. There’s also 140 years of experience backing the company, so you know it has been around long enough to know how to provide customers with what they want and need. Phone and email support are provided on a 24/7 basis, and it’s possible to get an installation completed on the same day. You can also expect $500 off your insurance deductible in case you get broken into while you have ADT monitoring installed. Here’s a quick summary of their pros and cons:

    PROS
    • Competitive Monthly Rate
    • Wireless or Hardwired
    • Cellular and Landline Connections
    • Indoor Cameras
    • Devices Work at Home and Away
    • Home Automation
    • ADT 6 Month Money-Back Guarantee (certain restrictions apply)

    CONS
    • Long-Term Contract
    • Technician Visits Your Home
    • Customer Service Varies

    ADT is traditionally just a little more expensive than other options, but most people who have the system can expect to pay between $29 and $60, depending on what plan and equipment they choose, along with some other factors. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad value, because the company has a lot to offer. For instance, the activation fee is as little as $25. That can help people who really want an ADT monitoring system to get what they’re looking for without having to break the bank.

    You can control your garage door, lights, locks, and more right through your cell phone. There’s no relocation option if you need to move, so ADT works best for established homeowners who are going to be at the same location for a longer period of time. The franchise nature of ADT can also mean that you’ll find a somewhat inconsistent level of customer service and support depending upon where you are based, and that can be frustrating when you are used to receiving good service, but move somewhere else, and suddenly have poor service. On the whole, though, most ADT franchises are very good with customers, and are committed to providing a high level of quality and value for everyone who contracts with them.

    As the nation’s most popular provider, it definitely makes the list of our best home security companies, but it’s not a perfect solution for everyone. It’s important to remember that all people are different, and what’s right for one might not be the best for another. With that in mind, consumers love ADT for the most part. Read more about our ADT review here.

    Learn more about ADT »
  • 4. Frontpoint Home Security - Best Customer Service

    Frontpoint delivers a serious one-two punch in home security. A robust feature set and a dedication to customer service puts Frontpoint in a class all its own.

    8.4 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    9.6
    Value
    8.2
    Equipment
    8.0
    Features & Technology
    7.8
    Ease Of Use
    8.3

    When it comes to having a good experience with a security company, Frontpoint really stands out as the clear winner. Other security companies can’t even come close! Not only does it provide very good value for money, but it also offers a level of customer service that no other company can match. Their customer service is concierge level, and it’s second to none. No matter what time of day or night a customer calls in with a question or concern, Frontpoint will be ready to answer with knowledgeable, capable, and polite customer service representatives who are keen to help. Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the positives and negatives with Frontpoint:

    PROS
    • Competitive Price
    • Great Customer Service
    • Wireless
    • Do-It-Yourself Installation
    • Sends Cellular Alerts (No Landline Required)
    • Optional Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
    • Environmental Disaster Protection
    • Home Automation
    • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

    CONS
    • Long-Term Contract
    • Credit Check Might Raise Prices
    • No Landline Option

    Their dedication to customer service is one of the biggest reasons why Frontpoint is on our list of the top 10 highest ranked security systems. They offer something that other companies just can’t compete with, and they do it in a way that makes customers feel as though their business really matters. People like to be appreciated, and they like to feel that a company cares about them. Frontpoint gives them that, and then some.

    Most likely, a homeowner with an active security system will never actually experience a break-in, so they will hopefully never need the full service functionality these systems provide. However, the value of customer service is so helpful to ensure proper setup and to answer any questions you might have along the way.

    With prices for monitoring from $35 to $50 for most, the company is just a little more expensive than some. But, with superior quality and value, customers are happy to pay that little bit more for the added peace of mind. That’s one of the biggest advantages of dealing with the company and everything it offers, and it’s clearly worth the price.

    There are no hidden fees, and with a DIY installation, you won’t be paying a lot of money for someone to come to your home to hook up your Frontpoint system for you. The value of this is in not needing to worry about whether you can be at home when the installer comes by to hook up the system. Instead, you can easily set it up on your own schedule and timetable, and then you can just sit back and enjoy the benefits of one of the best home security systems on the market today. Setup is incredibly easy, even much easier than we had anticipated.

    There are also a lot of options that go with Frontpoint, too, including door and window sensors, great keypads and control panels, and more. If there’s something you’re looking for in a home security system, you can probably get it with Frontpoint. You can also expect excellent customer service, an installation that’s fast and easy to setup, and a very low-pressure sales approach that keeps you from feeling bothered about upgrade or additional purchases when you call in with questions or concerns. It’s a great way for the company to keep their customers feeling happy with their choice of security system.

    Also, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, smash and crash protection that sends out a distress signal to Frontpoint in the event of a burglar trying to destroy the panel, and technology that’s compatible with Z-Wave. As part of the group of best home alarm systems, Frontpoint has the distinction of being our #4 pick.

    Frontpoint is, in our opinion, a great all-around system for most individuals, families, and lifestyles. It has a robust feature set that serves most people’s purpose, without being too advanced. It’s incredibly easy to install and can be moved from home to home, making it suitable for both renters and owners. For a more in-depth look, see our editors Frontpoint review here.

    Learn more about Frontpoint »
  • 5. Brinks Home Security - Best Google Nest Integration

    Sleep safe and sound with a low-cost security system loaded with the latest features. Brinks is a top contender—that is, if you can stomach the 3-year contracts.

    Brinks Home Complete with Video Package
    8.1 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    6.2
    Value
    8.3
    Equipment
    8.7
    Features & Technology
    8.3
    Ease Of Use
    8.9

    Three of the most reputable names in security have merged to provide a personalized, reliable and affordable home security solution. By combining Livewatch’s DIY home security systems with Moni’s professional monitoring, Brinks Home Security is striving to compete with other major names in the industry by providing unparalleled brand recognition and competitive value. The company’s system is both affordable and loaded with features, which is why Brinks Home Security makes our list. Two monitoring options are available from the company. Here’s some pros and cons of the Brinks Home Security system:

    PROS
    • Rate-locked contracts
    • 24/7 monitoring
    • Smartphone control of the system
    • 30-day return policy
    • Home automation features
    • 2-year warranty

    CONS
    • Most plans require a three-year commitment
    • Professional installation costs extra

    Brinks Home Security offers three options. The Smart Security Essential model is $29 per month and the equipment is $199. An upgrade to the Smart Security Complete provides access to more advanced solutions including Cloud Video Storage and Live Video Streaming. This monitoring service charges $39 per month and equipment costs $499. Lastly, their Smart Security Ultimate package throws an outdoor camera and doorbell camera into the mix for $1099 plus $39 a month for monitoring.

    This is a do-it-yourself system, which means most homeowners will be able to install the Brinks Home Security system on their own, though there are multiple steps to doing so. First, a few key benefits – it comes with a 30-day risk-free offer and a 2-year warranty.

    The basic plan provides users with three wireless door sensors and one wireless motion sensor. It also includes the Brinks Home Touch display and a yard sign.

    Key features of these packages include the smart home hub, which can connect to most home automation devices. This includes Amazon’s Alexa. It allows users to link all of their necessary smart home features in one place. There is also a Hacker Protection feature which encrypts sensor signals. This helps protect your home from those trying to gain access. The system also uses an LTE cellular signal to send alarms over. This helps to ensure fast response times.

    The system uses wireless door sensors that are very discrete. They have a 200-foot communication range. One of the nice features is the Hands Free Alarm. The system detects a homeowner’s approved access through their phone and immediately unlocks the door for them.

    The Video upgrade component also features an HD video doorbell and an indoor camera with night vision. This amplifies security throughout the home. It can help to provide access to video footage in real time so a homeowner can tap into an app and see what is happening around the home especially when an alarm is triggered. The entire system is easy to use and designed to be highly effective. Head on over to our more extensive review of Brinks here.

  • 6. Protect America Home Security - Best Landline Security System

    Protect America offers reliable, low-cost home security that you can hang your hat on. But total commitment to their customers really sets them apart.

    Protect America Package
    8.0 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    8.1
    Value
    8.2
    Equipment
    7.8
    Features & Technology
    7.5
    Ease Of Use
    8.2

    Protect America is another one of the best home alarm systems, and definitely makes our list. Some of the perks of using this system include a rate that’s locked in for life and a lifetime equipment warranty. Those are both great ways to provide strong customer service, and to show that the customers matter to the company. Additionally, you don’t need to pay an activation or installation fee with this DIY option security system. It’s great value for the money, and you can even try it for free for 15 days to see if you like the equipment, monitoring, and service. Here are their pros and cons:

    PROS
    • Low Price Guarantee
    • Wireless Equipment
    • DIY Installation
    • Cell, Landline or Wi-Fi Monitoring
    • Indoor Video Cameras
    • Environmental Monitoring
    • Home Automation
    • Smartphone Control
    • Equipment Replaced as Needed
    • 15-Day Trial

    CONS
    • Three-Year Contract
    • Cellular Monitoring Costs More
    • Starter Fees

    One thing this company offers that many others don’t is the option for broadband and landline monitoring. That can help customers in rural areas who might have trouble getting other companies to cover and protect them. In fact, on Protect America’s lowest priced package, landline monitoring is what’s automatically offered. In a rural location, you could be covered by this company and still not have to pay a lot of money every month. There are mixed home security system reviews on both the company and the mobile app, but most customers seem to really love what they’re getting through this company.

    If you’re on a budget, it can be well worth trying Protect America, since the company offers landline monitoring packages starting at only $19.99 per month. That makes it very affordable for a lot of people, and can help ensure that everyone who wants to have a security system can get one they can afford to pay for. The peace of mind that comes with a security system is important, and that value shouldn’t be overlooked.

    Protect America is going to stay firmly on our list of best home security systems, even with some negative reviews from customers, because they are exactly what some people need: a low-cost option that works well and that can be used even in rural areas. Without expensive monitoring every month, and with choices that work with a lot of different locations, this company is on the right track toward providing a strong, high-quality experience for the end user. See our more comprehensive review of Protect America here.

  • 7. Deep Sentinel - Most Proactive Security Monitoring

    Comprehensive multi-layered deterrence with robust next-generation cameras and artificial intelligence. One American home is burglarized every 9 seconds—don't let it be yours!

    7.9 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    8.1
    Value
    7.2
    Equipment
    8.9
    Features & Technology
    7.4
    Ease Of Use
    7.9

    Deep Sentinel is the clear winner when it comes to proactive home security because they have layered deterrents to help stop a crime before it happens. Unlike other home security companies that only react after a crime is already in progress. They do this using a combination of live surveillance and their transformative AI technology. With the use of two-way talk speakers, flashing lights, an extremely loud siren, Deep Sentinel’s surveillance agents proactively monitor your property to deter a home burglary or package theft to catch them before they happen.

    PROS
    • 24/7 human surveillance
    • Proactively addresses crime
    • No false alarms
    • Maintains your privacy
    • Locally processed artificial intelligence

    CONS
    • High-end price
    • Lack of smart home integration
    • No door or window sensors

    Deep Sentinel is the only all-in-one home security system that blends next-generation wireless HD cameras with predictive local artificial intelligence and real-time human intervention to prevent a crime before it happens.

    With Deep Sentinel’s DIY installation, there are no wires, one single screw, one-step camera mounting, and zero Wi-Fi configuration. Real human guards watch your cameras in real-time so there are no false alarms. And 100% video verification means the police will respond immediately, unlike traditional alarm calls. Their equipment has 2-way communication capabilities and long-lasting batteries (up to two months on a single charge).

    The Deep Sentinel artificial intelligence can distinguish between suspicious and non-suspicious behavior such as pets, animals, swaying tree branches, etc. to eliminate false alarms. And their smart AI recording feature only records when necessary which eliminates storing hours of useless footage. It will then store all saved recordings for up to six months.

    Deep Sentinel only has one equipment surveillance package and it is priced at $499.00. Additionally, they only have one monthly surveillance subscription package as well and it’s priced at $49/mo. Unfortunately, there is some fine print which states they require a one-year contract and that you will be billed monthly. Read the full Deep Sentinel review here to learn more.

    Learn more about Deep Sentinel »
  • 8. Nest Secure - Best Google Automation

    Already have Nest products? If so, Nest Secure fits seamlessly into your Nest ecosystem. With a mile-long list of device options, it’s time to get creative with home security.

    Nest Secure
    7.8 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    7.0
    Value
    8.3
    Equipment
    7.9
    Features & Technology
    7.4
    Ease Of Use
    8.3

    Nest Secure makes our list of best home alarm systems partially due to all the neat gadgets that come along with it. While it’s definitely not the least expensive of the DIY installation home security options, at $399 there’s a reason why the starter kit is listed at that price. If you’re someone who’s already using Nest for your home, and you’re heavily invested in what that home automation system can offer, this is probably the perfect security system for you. You’ll even have the choice of whether you want to pay for professional monitoring or whether you’d prefer the self-monitoring option that won’t cost you as much.

    PROS
    • Wide variety of home security and smart home devices available
    • Integration with third-party devices
    • Subscription plans are inexpensive and feature rich
    • No contracts
    • System works well even without added subscription plans
    • Easy installation
    • Professional installation service available
    • Centralized app control

    CONS
    • High upfront payment
    • Nest Aware is priced on a per-camera basis
    • May be overwhelmed with product selection

    The security sensors for this system are called Nest Detect sticks, and they pack motion sensors, window sensors, and door sensors all into one device. You can also use QuietOpen, so you can let the dog out without a problem by only deactivating that one door, or you can select Pathlight motion sensors to light up as you move to help guide your way. This is all part of an overall move toward home automation that many people are starting to explore and enjoy. The app is easy to use, as well, and of course the integration with other Nest products is seamless.

    There are multiple entry options to protect everything that’s important to you, and the customer service from Nest is among the best. But that doesn’t mean Nest is perfect, and there are certain add-on subscriptions that you have to have if you want to do specific things with the system. These include T-Mobile cellular backup and Nest Aware, both of which can be costly. That’s especially true for people who are just starting out with Nest. The other concern that some people have with Nest is that they’re owned by Google, which is notorious for collecting data on users. If you’re someone who doesn’t want something in your house that may be recording your personal data, like when you’re home or away, when your home is armed or unarmed, and might possibly use that for advertising purposes, it might be best to look elsewhere.

    If you’re not sure if Nest Secure is for you, or if you don’t already have a growing Nest ecosystem at your home, this might not be the right option for you. But for people who love what Nest has to offer, or who have always wanted a security system with these types of extra features and home automation compatibility that is sure to expand, then Nest Secure could be exactly the right choice for you. Read our entire Nest Secure review here.

  • 9. Ring Alarm - Best Alexa Home Automation

    Affordable, whole home, DIY security for all types of homes, including apartments and condos.

    Ring Alarm
    7.8 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    8.0
    Value
    8.3
    Equipment
    7.4
    Features & Technology
    7.6
    Ease Of Use
    7.9

    For those looking for comprehensive DIY security packages, Ring Alarm has plenty of options that can be installed within minutes. Additionally, they have monitoring plans that have free to extremely low monthly fees. And talk about helpful, Ring offers a Neighbors App that is set up like a neighborhood watch program. This feature enables any of your neighbors that also have a Ring to watch in real-time any suspicious or criminal activity that might have occurred. Ring offers all this and more without requiring you to sign a long-term contract and without any hidden fees.

    PROS
    • Easy installation process
    • App control for all Ring products in one panel
    • Instantly receive alerts through your mobile devices
    • Affordable paid pricing tiers with a free option

    CONS
    • Upfront payment required for equipment
    • Per camera pricing model for lower tier plan may add up quickly

    Ring security systems come in 5-piece, 10-piece, and 14-piece kits. Alternatively, you can build your own to meet your specific needs. And, since these are wireless DIY home security systems, they are portable, which means they are perfect for any size home, apartment, or condo.

    They also offer an app with real-time mobile alerts, a 24-hour battery backup, an optional cellular backup, and optional 24/7 professional monitoring. Additionally, their monitoring centers have an impressive 30-second average call response time, and offer coverage in all 50 states.

    Ring Alarm’s 5-piece kit is $199.00 and covers approximately 1,000-feet, which is perfect for an apartment, condo, or small home. This kit comes with a base station, 1-keypad, 1-contact sensor, 1-motion detector, and a range extender.

    Ring Alarm’s 10-piece kit is $259.00 and covers approximately 1,000-2,000 feet, which is the average of a 1-2 bedroom home. This kit comes with a base station, 1-keypad, 5-contact sensors, 2-motion detectors, and a range extender.

    Ring Alarm’s 14-piece kit is $329.00 and covers approximately 2,000+ square feet, which is about the average of a 3+ bedroom home. This kit comes a base station, 2-keypads, 8-contact sensors, 2-motion detectors, and a range extender.

    Read our full review of Ring’s security offerings here to learn more.

  • 10. Abode Security - Best Value

    Refined, flexible and easy DIY smart home security system that keeps getting smarter by the day.

    Abode Security Kit 2
    7.7 SecureScore™
    Customer Service
    7.3
    Value
    8.3
    Equipment
    7.4
    Features & Technology
    7.8
    Ease Of Use
    7.9

    If you want value, this is it. Abode is a top-rated DIY home security system without contracts. They offer professional 24/7 monitoring and their equipment is on the lower end of the price scale compared to other security systems on the market. Additionally, their equipment is compatible with a wide variety of smart home automation equipment that uses Z-wave and ZigBee, including Google Assistant. And, Abode offers three monitoring plans, one of which is a free self-monitoring option.

    PROS
    • CUE home automation platform
    • Extensive home automation possibilities
    • Z-Wave compatibility
    • 24/7 professional monitoring available
    • Support for many third-party home automation devices
    • 30-day return policy

    CONS
    • May need to purchase many add-on items to get full home security coverage
    • Can get pricey over time due to equipment pricing

    Abode is a relative newcomer to the home security industry as they opened their doors about three short years ago. Their main goal is to provide quality home security equipment at affordable prices. With Abode, you can easily customize a home security package that suits your particular needs because they offer a wide variety of add-ons. Abode’s home security equipment is extremely easy to install, and they offer a self-monitoring option if you don’t want to or don’t have the money to pay for a monthly monitoring plan.

    Abode has three monthly plans. The Basic Plan comes with 3 days of timeline and media storage, unlimited self-monitoring via the App, and IFTTT Channel Access. The Connect Plan comes with 14 days of timeline and media storage, unlimited self-monitoring via the App, IFTTT Channel Access, and 4G cellular backup. The Secure Plan comes with 90 days of timeline and media storage, unlimited self-monitoring via the App, IFTTT Channel Access, 4G cellular backup, 24/7 professional monitoring, extended 2-year warranty, free shipping, and premium customer phone support.

    Abode offers free and low-cost plans with on-demand monitoring. Additionally, they have plenty of add-on equipment so you can easily customize a home security package of your own. And with their 30-day money-back guarantee, you really have nothing to lose! Read the full Abode review here to find out more.

Best Home Security Systems of 2020 Need a home security system, but not too sure where to start? We've reviewed all the major professional install and DIY security options to help you determine which is the best home security system for you.

Features of the Best Home Security Systems

Now that you’ve read about why we love these 10 security systems more than others, it’s time to consider what you should really be looking for in a security system. Some things are definitely going to matter more than others, and when you know what you want from the system, you’ll be better able to select the right home security system that’s suited to your needs.

One of the most important issues when taking a look at a security systems is what kinds of features are offered. The features provided can be all important, but not all of them are utilized at the same rate and frequency. In short, customers want certain features more than others. The easier something is to use, and the more application it has to daily life, the more likely it will be that homeowners will want it in their security system.

Those kinds of features have greater weight in ranking systems, mostly because they show that they are the things that consumers care about. Whether something offers a DIY or professional installation, the quality of equipment offered, and the value of customer service all ranked highly in our list, since homeowners are focused on these things. Additionally, what could be controlled through a smart phone app and whether there were false alarms and fast response times were deemed important as well.

When shopping for a home security system, these are the most popular features and services most people look for when deciding which system best suits their needs. Any given home security system will have one or more of the following features:

  • Professional or DIY Installation
  • 24/7 Monitoring
  • Wired or Wireless System
  • Security Cameras
  • Motion Detection Sensors
  • Home Automation
  • Keypad or Touchscreen Panel
  • Mobile Apps and Remote Controls
  • Home Security Company Reputation

To learn more about each of these features, we have provided more information about each of them in the paragraphs below.

What to Consider When Looking for a Home Security System

Let’s be honest, purchasing a home security system is a BIG deal. There are countless options on the market, and each company promises to transform your house into the safest home in the neighborhood. So how do you hone in on the perfect system for you and your family? Well, you start right here with our expert insight on exactly what to consider when looking for a home security system.

We’ve distilled the most important factors of the home security buying experience and created this easy-reference section: Six critical things to consider before you take the plunge and purchase a home security system. This will help you narrow down your choices and find the alarm system that best suits your needs.

DIY Home Security Systems or Professional Home Security Systems

If you’re handy, go with a DIY system. OR… if you’d prefer a visit from a technician, go with professional installation. This consideration matters. And there are advantages and disadvantages to both. DIY systems typically offer fast and easy setup, but hiccups and roadblocks can occur. So if you absolutely loathe rolling up your sleeves, consider a home security system that offers professional installation. Our pick: DIY home security systems

Professional Monitoring or Self-Monitoring

One is free. The other one costs you month after month. If you like the idea of a monitoring center keeping a close eye on your home — ready at a moment’s notice to dispatch police, fire, or EMS — consider 24/7 professional monitoring. Sure, it comes at a cost (anywhere from $10-$55 per month), but it also comes with peace of mind. Your other option is to self-monitor your own system. Consider going the self-monitor route if you really don’t want another monthly payment (it’s free!). Our pick: Self-monitoring

Contract Length

If you don’t mind signing on the dotted line, then consider a home security system that requires a contract. This option generally does not come with a steep up-front cost. So a contract-based system is also a smart choice for those who are cash-strapped and don’t have the resources to pay for the equipment up-front. Which brings us to no-contract security systems. If you don’t love the thought of being locked into a long-term agreement (and who does?), then go with a no-contract system. But keep in mind, you’ll have to pay for the equipment at checkout. Our pick: Depends on your situation

Smart Home Security Systems and Automation

Alexa, lock my front door! Smart home automation is the 21st century way to do, well, everything. If you like the latest and greatest technology, consider a security system with smart home automation features and compatibility. It should only set you back an extra $10/mo. at most (plus the cost of smart devices), and you’ll be able to control your smart lights, garage door, smart door locks, and so much more — all from the convenience of your phone. However, if you like to keep things simple (and cheap!), then consider a home security system without smart home automation. Our pick: Smart home automation

Wireless Home Security Systems and the Size of Your Home

You absolutely must consider the size of your house when looking for a home security system. Let’s say you live in a 3,000+ sq. ft house with 30 windows and 10 doors. If that’s you, you’ll need to purchase additional door and window sensors with your package. Most companies only offer 5-piece, 10-piece, or 14-16 piece kits. Now, if you live in a one-bedroom apartment, you should consider buying a base package and upgrading from there. Our pick: Depends on your home size

Home Security Systems with Cameras

Some companies do not offer home security cameras, while others offer both indoor and outdoor cameras. So if you have visions of equipping your home with video surveillance, you must consider this when looking for a home security system. The last thing you want is to purchase a system that you think checks all the boxes, only to later find it’s not compatible with security cameras. And remember, many of today’s cameras come stacked with 1080p HD image quality, night vision, motion detection, the works. So they serve as a great first line of defense to safeguard your home and family. Our pick: Home security cameras

So there you have it! The most important things to consider when looking for a home security system that suits your needs. If you keep these six considerations in mind before you pull out your pocketbook or purse, you’re much more likely to make a wise home security purchase. After all, a little planning and forethought goes a long way — especially when it comes to protecting your home.

Is DIY Home Security or a Professional Home Security Installation Right for You?

Among the biggest decisions to make when deciding which home security company to choose is whether you want to install it yourself or have a professional do it. Some people love the idea that they can install the system themselves, while others are concerned about being able to do the installation correctly. Additionally, some people want a professional to come to their home and show them how the system works, while others want to figure things out on their own. Which kind of person you are and what you can accommodate in your daily schedule are both going to matter when you are considering the installation options.

Generally, having a professional come and do the installation means they can also teach you more about the security system you’re going to be using. But it can also be frustrating if you need to take a day off work in order to be there for the installer. Also, most companies will only specify a day, but not a time for the installation or may specify a several-hour window when the installer will arrive—and of course, it will take some time for the actual installation too. Being aware of all of this beforehand can help you make the right choice.

With a DIY installation, there’s no need to worry about the timing: You simply get the equipment and hook it up when it’s convenient for you. That makes it a lot more convenient for people with busy schedules. But one problem with this kind of installation is that no one is there to walk you through how the system works. You also don’t have someone to help you get it hooked up, and if you have to work with customer service over the phone, it can become stressful. Still, there’s something that feels quite nice about being able to install the system yourself and to get it working right.

Professional vs DIY Home Security Systems

The truth is, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options. A professionally installed home security system is great for those who hate fussing with new gizmos and gadgets. These folks often pay a one-time setup fee of $100-$200 for a turnkey home security solution. Just schedule an appointment for a technician to drop by, then sit back and relax, and voilà! It’s home protection without the potential problems.

On the other hand, DIY home security systems are perfect for those who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves and performing some light troubleshooting if needed. It’s normally fast, easy, and dare we say… fun! Once the system is up-and-running, DIYers can take the money saved on installation fees and have a nice dinner on the town, or save it for a rainy day.

Whether you go with professional install or DIY home security, it really depends on the type of person you are. Our home security experts put together the following ‘pros & cons’ list to help you along.

DIY Home Security Systems

Pros

  • Simple setup without drilling into walls or messing with wiring
  • No need to pay a steep installation fee
  • Either self-monitor or (usually) get professional monitoring
  • Satisfaction of installing your own home security system

Cons

  • DIY can become a bit technical at times
  • Requires 30 min. to an hour of focused time
  • You may install your system incorrectly
  • Can be frustrating talking to techs on the phone

Professionally Installed Home Security Systems

Pros

  • Installation experts get it right the first time
  • The installation tech will educate you on the system
  • Any maintenance or repairs are often included
  • You don’t have to lift a finger, it’s that convenient

Cons

  • Often requires an expensive installation fee
  • Must bring a stranger (technician) into your home
  • Typically requires a contract on leased equipment
  • Not easy to move the equipment when you move

The best way to determine whether you want your home security system professionally installed or if you would rather do it yourself is to ask yourself the following questions.

Who would make the top 10 home security systems list?

It’s a valid question — do you really know your options? It’s not important that you know the best home security systems like the back of your hand. But it is important that you understand the basic rundown of the industry leaders. We’re talking brands like SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, Vivint, ADT, Deep Sentinel, Abode Security, Ring Alarm, Protect America, Nest Secure, and last but not least, Brinks Home Security. Our home security experts found these top 10 home security systems to be “best by test.” That means countless hours of researching, testing, and reviewing.

Now again, you don’t have to concern yourself with every little detail (that’s what we’re here for!). But you do have to understand the critical categories, like features and tech, plans and pricing, installation, customer service, monitoring options, home automation, etc. This way you’ll have the confidence to make an educated purchase when the time comes. And don’t worry, you’re in good hands. We created this top 10 list for that very reason — to help you on your way!

What are some of the best DIY home security systems?

DIY home security systems are exploding in popularity, and for good reason. Most people don’t want to wait around for an installation tech, or drill holes and mess with complicated wiring. After all, it’s the 21st century, and we can now purchase DIY home security systems that can be installed in just minutes. The best DIY home security systems are pre-configured at the factory and ready to perform right out-of-the-box. Some companies, like SimpliSafe for example, make it so simple to set up and use that you’ll be wondering what to do with all the extra time on your hands. At any rate, be sure you know what the best DIY home security systems are, and what they offer in terms of protecting your home and family.

Do I have the skills required to install a home security system?

Having some basic electrical or home repair knowledge about how things work will ensure you are able to tackle a project such as this without professional assistance. If you don’t even have a basic idea about home repairs and how things generally work, you might consider having your security system professionally installed. Especially if wiring is involved.

However, with that being said, there are some wireless DIY home security systems that are simple plug-in and use installations. So if you choose to do the installation yourself and you are not technically inclined, you might specifically look for a security system that is wireless and known for being easy to install.

If I choose to install a security system myself and I run into problems, am I capable of troubleshooting the issues to fix those problems, or will I end up doing more harm than good?

Even if you know a thing or two about home repairs, you could still run into problems when attempting to install your new security system. So, if you have the slightest doubt about being able to do the install as well as troubleshoot any issues that might arise, you might want to go with a professionally installed security system.

Do I have the necessary tools to install a home security system?

Some security systems require incorporating your new system with your existing wiring which means you will need to have the right tools for the job. Anytime you’re dealing with wiring and electricity, you really need to know exactly what you’re doing and have the tools to do it properly. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your new equipment, your existing wiring, or creating a fire hazard if it is not installed properly. So unless you truly know what you’re doing, you should probably opt for professional installation, especially if your new security system will need to be hardwired. If you choose a DIY wireless security system, most on the market today are fairly intuitive and easy to install. And, many of them don’t require any special tools or knowledge to get the job done.

Can I afford to have a new home security system professionally installed?

A security company will make more money if you opt for a professionally installed system. Generally, in this instance, a security company will oftentimes give you the equipment for free and provide you with a free installation. However, in exchange, they will require you to sign a long-term monitoring agreement. Therefore, you will need to be willing to sign a long-term contract and pay for that service.

Will I be able to take time off work or arrange for someone to be at my home if I choose to have a security system installed?

If you have your security system professionally installed, you will need to be able to take time off work or arrange for someone to be at your home while the system is being installed which could take a few hours or more.

Will I be moving anytime soon? If so, do I want to take my new security system with me or leave it? If I take it with me, can I afford to pay to have my system reinstalled at my new location?

If you don’t plan on staying in your home for an extended amount of time, you might want to consider a DIY wireless security system so you can easily take it with you when you move unless you are willing to pay to have a wired system moved and reinstalled at your new location.

As a renter, will my landlord allow me to install a hardwired security system or will I need to choose a DIY wireless installation?

Generally, most renters choose a DIY wireless installation because their landlord won’t allow holes to be drilled in the ceilings and walls. And because most landlords don’t want a third-party contractor tapping into the existing wiring which could create a liability for them should a fire occur.

If I choose a professionally installed home security system, am I willing to wait for an available installation appointment?

If you opt for a DIY wireless installation, you can immediately install your new system when it arrives. However, with a professional installation, you might have to wait a week or more for the next available installation appointment. Although, there are some security companies who offer same day installation, but those are few and far between.

Would I be more comfortable having someone install my new home security system so I can be there for them to show me how to set it up and use it?

When you have your new security system professionally installed, the technician will be there to help you set everything up properly, show you how to configure it and pair it with your internet and mobile devices, then show you how to use everything. However, if you opt for a DIY installation, you will have to learn how to do those things on your own.

What is the Right Fit for You and Your Family?

Buying a home security system is a personal thing. A system should fit you and your family’s needs and home. Our guides are useful and fitting for a majority of visitors, but everyone’s situation is unique, so it’s important to do your own research and diligence to  ensure you’re making the right choice. Consider the following questions:

Am I comfortable with the ongoing costs of a monitored security system?

Many families prefer a system with 24/7 monitoring so if the alarm is tripped, there is peace of mind knowing that an expert emergency response center can respond and dispatch authorities. Generally speaking, most major security companies offer (and even require) monitoring, which comes at a cost. If you just want to know if your alarm has been triggered through either alerts or the sound of the alarm, an unmonitored system may do the trick. However, if you want the authorities to be alerted if you’re not around, can’t get to the phone or you’re in trouble, having 24/7 monitoring is crucial.

Is it necessary to have 24/7 monitoring?

Most monitoring that is offered is 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. If you find a company offering paid monitoring systems that don’t have around the clock monitoring, we would suggest shopping around to learn more about your options.

Is professional installation necessary?

Professional installation was practically the only way to put in a home security system 15 years ago. Technology has come such a long way that DIY systems can offer the same level of security (and often more) with a self installed system. Further, there can be additional benefits to a DIY system because they’re typically much easier to transfer to another home if you move. For someone looking for a more complex setup like home automation, or someone that wants a trained expert to make the recommendation for the setup, expert installation is a great option. We’ve found that most people that were apprehensive about self installing a home security system actually ended up finding the process very easy. There are companies out there like Frontpoint that are known to be particularly helpful in this stage.

Should I have a wired or wireless system?

There are many different ways to answer this questions, but we’ve found that it generally boils down to this: If your home is already wired, it may be the easiest option. If your home is not pre-wired for security, a wireless system is perfectly fine. If you do have a wired system, while not imperative, we would recommend having cell communication with the monitoring company so your system could send a signal to them even if there is a power failure or a burglar cuts the phone line.

Do I need cameras, or will sensors be sufficient?

It depends on the size and layout of the home and the monitoring goals. The benefits of cameras are that you can get visual confirmation of any activity happening inside or outside the home. If video is part of your monitoring package, it can be a huge advantage in the event of a break-in because the monitoring company can report visual confirmation of the activity directly to the police to expedite the dispatching of personnel.

Should I get a system with home automation features?

Many of today’s most popular security systems come equipped with home automation features right out of the box. Furthermore, they often can be expanded on as you get comfortable with your system and your families needs. Some people will start with a basic setup that has the ability to upgrade, but then add additional cameras, home thermostats, sensors, voice controls etc. We recommend doing some research on what’s available in today’s home automation ecosystem and finding out what you desire to have and what can fit inside the current budget.

Is a keypad or touchscreen control panel better?

This is based on user preference, but many security systems are most commonly controlled by a smartphone app, so often times it is sufficient (and easier for guests) to just have a keypad and then utilize the app for controlling the system on a day-to-day basis. If you prefer a fancy experience and easier control right on your wall (or wherever the base is located) then a color touchscreen is a great option.

How important/convenient would it be to control your security system from your phone?

Many people don’t realize how easy and convenient it can be to control their alarm system from their phone. If you’re smartphone savvy, we highly recommend looking more into the app of the security system to make sure there is a good user experience and full control from the app.

How important is a company’s reputation for customer service?

Customer service is often overlooked in an industry like this where people don’t think they’re ever going to talk to their alarm company. We have first hand experience dealing with these companies (as customers ourselves) and firmly believe that customer service is very important. Especially for a DIY install system, having the ability to pick up the phone and get a security consultant on the line quickly to help you get setup or troubleshoot a problem, is critical.

What issues do I need to consider if I have pets?

Having pets means you will need to consider their size, movements, and any other factors that could cause problems. For example, if you have pets that are over 30 pounds, you will need a security system whose motion sensors can be adjusted or a system that can be installed in such a way that your large pets won’t cause false alarms to be sent every time your pet moves. If you have large pets, you might want to consider skipping the motion sensors and rely more on the window and door sensors which aren’t triggered by movement but are triggered when a window or door is opened.

Do I need a system that has a medical alert option?

If you have a family member or loved one who needs a medical alert option, such as a senior member of your family, or one with a disability, you might want to consider a system that includes one or more medical alert options so you can monitor their movements. You might also want to look for one that has a panic button and a two-way talk feature so they have access to immediate assistance whenever they need it.

Do I need a two-way talk feature?

Most people who purchase a home security system want a two-way talk feature included. This feature allows you to communicate with the monitoring center through the keypad or other home automation feature should the need arise.

Should I get a video doorbell?

Video doorbells, which generally come with a two-way talk feature, are important for any number of reasons. If you want to be able to see and communicate with someone at your door before you open it. If you want to have a recording of who’s coming and going from your property while you’re not there, to help protect yourself from porch pirates stealing your packages or other belongings, to have a video recording to give to the police if your home is broken into, to keep an eye on your kids and/or pets while they are in your front yard area, etc.

Do I need any handsfree features?

Handsfree features usually work in conjunction with your mobile device and/or your home automation system. Of course, you know you can use the voice option with Alexa and other home automation systems to control your equipment. But some security systems also have a handsfree feature that will work with your mobile device or a key fob to detect when you are within range of your system. And when you are within that range, it will automatically unlock your door and disarm your security system for you, handsfree. So if this is a convenience factor you’d like to have, then yes, you do need to look for a system that has handsfree options.

Do I need geotracking?

Geotracking works similar to the handsfree feature. When geotracking is included with your home security system, it works with the GPS feature on your smartphone, as long as you have the location services enabled. This feature will detect your location (as long as you have your phone with you) and you can preset rules as to how you want to use that feature. You can lock/unlock your door, arm/disarm your security system, turn your lights on or off, set the preferred temperature on your thermostat so it’s comfortable when you arrive. You can even preset it to close your garage door if you forget and it will do so once you’ve traveled beyond a certain range.

Basic Features That You Need in a Home Security System

While considering which home security system you should buy, there are some basic features most people find necessary. Here are the most common features people look for when buying a new home security system.

  • Control Panel
  • 24/7 Monitoring
  • Window and Door Sensors
  • Motion Detectors
  • Wireless Technology
  • Video and/or Doorbell Cameras
  • Two-Way Talk Communication
  • Panic Button
  • Cellular Backup
  • Environmental Disaster Protection
  • Home Automation Features
  • Mobile App

What home security features and options you need will depend on your particular situation. For example:

Home Security Needs for Homeowner’s with a Family

If you own your own home, have a family, and enough money in your monthly budget, you’re probably going to want the works. Your entire family, their security, their individual needs, and the control and convenience factors could leave you needing every security/home automation feature available.

You will probably want good security cameras and/or doorbell cameras so you can see who’s coming and going, as well as what’s happening in and around your home at all times. You might also want the panic button and the two-way talk feature so your family can instantly call for help when needed. Window and door sensors and equipment that offers a cellular backup option so you don’t have to worry about the loss of security if any lines are cut or you lose power. Perhaps some environmental sensors to protect you and your family from fire or water intrusion events. And, of course, the convenience of home automation features so you can control and manage your home handsfree and/or remotely.

Home Security Needs for Renters

If you are a renter, your needs will be a bit different. For example, you will probably need a portable security system. A portable system is one that is wireless and usually a DIY installation. This will keep you from having to drill holes in your landlord’s walls, which could cost you in repair damages when you move out. Additionally, you will only need indoor cameras versus outdoor and doorbell cameras (in most cases). You might also consider window and door sensors, environmental sensors for smoke and water intrusion, a control panel with a panic button and two-way talk feature, and any home automation equipment you choose.

Home Security Needs for People Who Travel

If you travel often, your needs will focus more on being able to remotely access, monitor, and control your home security and home automation features. For example, if you travel, you might need to remotely unlock your doors for family or guests, turn your lights on and off to make it look like you’re home, turn your thermostat up if an extended freeze is expected, high-quality security cameras and doorbell cameras to monitor your home and property while you’re not there. You will also want all the basic security equipment as well, such as a control panel, window and door sensors, motion detectors, environmental protection sensors to protect your home from intruders or potential disasters such as a fire or pipe break, etc.

Home Security Needs for Seniors

If you are a senior, there are some extra security and home automation features you might consider in addition to the basics. For example, if you have mobility issues, you will probably want as many home automation features as you can get your hands on. These will allow you to remotely access, monitor, and control your entire home security system and much of your home’s equipment such as door locks, window blinds, small appliances, thermostat, garage door, and more. Having such features will enable you more flexibility with remote or voice controls and without having to physically handle these systems manually.

Another feature most people, not just seniors, love is the medical alert device. While this is called a medical alert device, it can also be used as a personal protection device because it uses GPS tracking and a connection to a monitoring center to locate and communicate with anyone who’s wearing one. All you have to do is push the panic button and you will be connected to someone who can help with any emergency you might be facing.

There are also some other unique features available that you might have never heard of before, but they really do exist. For example, you’ve probably heard of the Jitterbug cellphone for seniors and it’s great! But you might not have heard of anti-scald attachments for your faucets, the MD2 Plus Pill Dispenser (which is a locked automatic pill dispenser), a security pole to help you stand up from lying or sitting, location tracking devices to help if you ever get lost or disoriented, health and activity monitors, and more!

Why Are You Buying?

Oftentimes the home security system and home automation system you choose will greatly depend on the reason you have decided to buy one in the first place. For example, you might need one or more of the following, depending on the reason you’ve chosen to buy a home security system.

  • Home Security with Video Surveillance
  • Home Automation Features with Remote Controls
  • Cameras with Wide-Angle Lenses and Night Vision
  • High-Quality Doorbell Cameras
  • 24/7 Monitoring Services
  • Video Recording with Cloud Storage Services
  • Nanny Cams
  • Remote Pet Monitoring with Interactive Features
  • Geotracking Features for Handsfree Control
  • Environmental Disaster Protection
  • Cellular Backup

There are plenty of events that cause people to want home security and home automation systems. For example:

Do you want peace of mind?

If you simply want to protect your home and family and want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can monitor them at all times and react immediately if necessary, there’s nothing better than buying an advanced home security system with multiple home automation features. Features such as high-quality video surveillance cameras, doorbell cameras, a mobile app, environmental disaster protection (for fire and water intrusion), an advanced control panel with a panic button, loud siren, and two-way talk, etc.

Do you want to feel more secure?

Perhaps you have been exposed to a traumatic event such as being stalked, attacked, or cyber-bullied, etc. at some point in your life and you just want something to make you feel more secure. In this case, you will probably want a security system that has a quality control panel with a panic button, loud siren, two-way talk feature, high-quality surveillance cameras with real-time recordings and cloud storage, a doorbell camera, and some home automation features that will enable you to monitor and control your system remotely. These will also give you the backup and proof you need if for any reason you have to get the authorities involved.

Have there been recent break-ins in your neighborhood?

If your neighborhood is experiencing car break-ins, home invasions, burglaries, or other property crimes, you might consider home security systems that have high-quality outdoor HD video cameras. You will probably want high-definition video and doorbell cameras with wide-angle lenses, night vision, a two-way talk feature, loud siren, and cloud storage for the recordings. Additionally, you will probably also want to monitor your home and property in real-time via the mobile app.

Another great feature, in addition to the basic home security equipment, is the array of home automation features that allow you to remotely access, monitor, and control your security system and other equipment in your home.

Do you want to keep an eye on your nanny?

If you have a nanny, it’s natural to want to have the capability of watching over your kids when you’re not home.  So in this case, the most important thing you will need is some high-quality nanny cams with cloud storage for the recordings. You might also need to be able to remotely lock and unlock your doors, etc. Just remember, that every state and municipality has different laws regarding privacy; therefore, you will need to make sure you know exactly where you can and can’t record your nanny.

Are you a senior who wants to live at home longer?

If you are a senior and want to live at home longer, but your children are worried about your health and safety, a home security system might be just what you need to keep both of you happy.

A home security system with medical alert options would provide you with a way to immediately reach someone if an emergency were to occur. Many home security systems with medical alert options come with medical pendants, 24/7 monitoring, a control panel with a two-way talk feature, panic buttons, etc. And, the home automation equipment has voice controls so you can lock/unlock doors, turn lights off/on, open/close blinds, work small appliances, control your thermostat, and more.

So needless to say, if you had all that, your family would feel much more comfortable knowing you had everything you needed to live alone including immediate access to assistance at the push of a button.

Do you want to keep an eye on your pets?

If you are a pet owner, then one of your needs might be to keep an eye on your pets. So if you’re shopping for a security system, you will also want to make sure you buy one that has great cameras and the right motion sensors, especially if you have any pets that are over 30 pounds. In addition, making sure you have environmental sensors for smoke and water intrusion will give you an extra layer of protection for your pets while you’re not home.

Are you a single parent?

As a single parent, having a security and home automation system will provide an extra layer of security you wouldn’t otherwise have. However, there are certain things you might consider before deciding which system to buy. For example, a two-way talk feature, whether that be on the control panel or the doorbell, allows your kids to communicate with you and the monitoring center should the need arise. And they will never have to open the door without first knowing who is there.

Additionally, having quality cameras so you can check-in on your kids via a mobile app to make sure they’re doing their homework, chores, or just to make sure they’re OK is an invaluable feature. Then there’s 24/7 monitoring that will give you an extra set of eyes, environmental sensors that will alert you if smoke or water intrusion is detected, a loud siren on the control panel that will give you a little extra time to react, as will sensors for your windows and doors, not to mention that  having an alarm is a huge deterrent in itself.

Have you experienced an environmental disaster in the past?

If you’ve ever personally experienced an environmental disaster first hand, you know it’s something you’ll never forget. Something that never completely leaves your mind. If this is you, getting a home security system with environmental disaster protection is priceless. The fire and water intrusion sensors will alert you immediately, whether your home or not, if smoke or water is detected. This will enable you to respond quickly and could help save your life!

Are your hands always full with kids, groceries and pets?

If your hands always seem to be full, then home automation is something you will probably want to consider. When you have kids, pets, or are generally just a busy person and your hands are always full, having smart locks and lights will give you a handsfree feature you probably need. Many home automation features work remotely with your smartphone or a key fob and will lock/unlock your doors, turn your lights on, open/close your garage door, and even arm/disarm your alarm system once you come into or go out of range. Once you’ve experienced this kind of convenience, you’ll probably wonder how you ever lived without it!

Are Home Security Systems Worth the Price?

In the vast majority of cases, home security is undoubtedly worth the price. Crime can happen even in the nicest and most secure of neighborhoods, although it’s much less likely to occur there. In truth, no matter where you live, there’s always a chance your home could be broken in to. But it’s not just about crime. There are fires, floods, and other kinds of natural and man-made disasters that a security system can alert you to. That’s true whether you’re in the home or somewhere else at the time, and it’s important that you know what’s going on.

Some people think that the cost of home security isn’t in their budget. But there are so many good choices on our list that really don’t cost a lot upfront or monthly. Most people can at least afford a monitoring system, and that can give most the peace of mind they’re looking for. If you want to have a good home security system you can trust and rely on, the above list will give you plenty of great options to choose from.

At the end of the day, the best home alarm system is the one that covers your needs and meets your requirements. If it gives you security, protection, and peace of mind, then it’s the right choice.

Still undecided? Take a look at the below categories to further narrow down your choices by the type of system.

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14 Comments

  1. Avatar Chuck Hammer says:

    If you rank Brinks anywhere near the top of anything your system needs an overhaul. When it was LiveWatch it was fantastic, now however the call wait time is exceptionally long, even longer is waiting for an e-mail response to a yes or no question. My father used to say “If you can’t say something nice,etc” I have nothing anywhere near nice to say

    1. Avatar SafeHome.org says:

      Thanks Chuck! We’ll definitely keep our eye on this as it’s not the right way to run a business these days.

  2. Avatar Margaret says:

    I found this information helpful but observed you did not include Ring in the list of companies reviewed. Is there a reason why they were not included?

  3. Avatar Sharon F says:

    I have ADT I think they are the best

  4. Avatar Billy says:

    I didn’t see Abode. From what I’ve been reading around the inter-web, they’re product has been around a bit and is quite solid, affordable and upgradable for DoItYourselfer’s. Why aren’t they on the list?

  5. Avatar chad says:

    How does CPI rank? I notice they are not on your list for being such a big name. I’ve heard only good things from people who have it but it seems to go against online reviews. Just curious what the cons are. Thank you.

  6. Avatar Elliot says:

    I think you need to add Deep Sentinel to your list. I just installed my system today and it’s phenomenal. It was easy to install, intuitive to set up and use, and I’m amazed that actual trained agents review activity to ensure all is legit. The cost is not at all unreasonable for the level of service. Anyway, thank you for listening!

  7. Avatar Pat says:

    Do you have a rating for Xfinity Home Security? Also, how do the Smart Locks work with any home security system?

  8. Avatar Donna Berges says:

    Do you have a rating for Digital Life? We are looking for a home security system, but we are not DIY’ers. According to what I’ve read, Vivint, ADT, and Digital Life are the only companies, in our area, that has professional Installation.

    1. Avatar Vern Pflieger says:

      We have the Digital Life security system thru AT&T and so far very pleased with it. One outdoor HD camera on front porch, 3 outside door entries, 10 window sensors. Has alerts for Alarm, Fire and Emergency EMSA. Installation cost was $100-200. Monthly $54. Also a tablet devise next to our bed. Camera notifies both our cell phones with text message.

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