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Most Trusted Name
ADT is a pioneer in home security with highly customizable wireless and hardwired security options. ADT’s indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras are all smart-home ready, which can lower your home insurance premium. Grab a 36-month ADT video plan today and get a Google Nest Outdoor Camera and Video Doorbell for free—or try one of their brand new DIY packages with pro monitoring.
Best DIY Pick
SimpliSafe is a low-cost, DIY home security system with both professionally monitored and self-monitored options. SimpliSafe’s monitoring plans are affordable, starting at a buck per day, and now allow emergency services to see and speak to intruders. Pick up a complete SimpliSafe package today for 45 percent off.
Smart Security Pick
Vivint is a top–of-the-line wireless security system with advanced smart home features and indoor and outdoor cameras designed to detect and deter crime before it happens. Their 4-star-rated mobile app lets you monitor all your connected smart devices — cameras, locks, lighting, and heating — from one place.
Most Trusted Name
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.
Best DIY Pick
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.
Smart Security Pick
Bottom Line: Vivint is a high-end wireless system that offers speedy professional installation. They have indoor, outdoor, and doorbell camera options and advanced smart home capabilities.
Bottom Line: Alder offers a “Total Life Safety System” with environmental monitoring, emergency alerts for seniors, and easy DIY home protection.
Bottom Line: Cove provides 24/7 monitoring in a DIY, easy-to-use security system.
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.
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.
Bottom Line: Affordable, whole home, DIY security for all types of homes, including apartments and condos.
Bottom Line: abode is a smart home security system with an impressive CUE home automation platform.
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!
|System||ADT Security||SimpliSafe Home Security||Vivint Smart Home||Alder Home Security||Cove Security||Frontpoint Home Security||Brinks Home Security||Ring Alarm||abode||Deep Sentinel Security|
|Best For||Most Trusted Name||Best DIY Pick||Smart Security Pick||Best Cellular Monitoring||Fastest Response Favorite||Custom Features Pick||Google Home User Favorite||Budget Buyer’s Pick||Top Innovative IoT Hub||Best Professional Monitoring|
|Equipment Cost||Starting at $99||Starting at $240||Starting at $599||Starting at $0||Starting at $99||Starting at $150||Starting at $399||Starting at $199||Starting at $199||Starting at $399|
|Monthly Cost||Starting at $28.95||Starting at $17.99||Starting at $29.99||Starting at $34.95||Starting at $49.99||Starting at $17.99||Starting at $29.00||Starting at $3.00||Starting at $6.00||Starting at $60.00|
|Contract Period||36 Months||No Contract||42 Months||36 Months||Multiple Options||No Contract||36 Months||No Contract||No Contract||12 Months|
|Self Monitoring Option||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Google Home Compatibility||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Money-Back Guarantee||6 Months||60 Days||None||30 Days||30 Days||60 Days||45 Days||30 Days||30 Days||30 Days|
|Warranty||Varies||Lifetime||120 Days||Lifetime||3 Years||3 Years||Lifetime||1 Year||1 Year||Lifetime|
|Read Review||ADT Review||SimpliSafe Review||Vivint Review||Alder Review||Cove Review||Frontpoint Review||Brinks Review||Ring Alarm Review||Abode Review||Deep Sentinel Review|
|Test Duration||14-21 days|
ADT leads the pack with high-quality home security equipment and monitoring, whether you’re going for a basic security system or a secure smart home. While ADT’s best-in-class equipment doesn’t come cheap, there are ways to save, like ADT’s new partnership with State Farm Insurance, which lowers insurance premiums for customers with smart homes.
ADT is a household name, so we frequently try out their systems to ensure they’re still up-to-task. In our latest round of testing, we realized that ADT home security systems are so popular for a reason. We think their home protection + home automation + video packages are top-notch. That is, they made us feel secure in our home and kept us plenty busy with nifty smart home features. We especially liked the ADT Control App and how much more accessible it made our home security system.
From a price standpoint, ADT tends to be on the higher end. It’s not over-the-top expensive, but it costs more than security systems from newer DIY brands. Part of the reason is the $99 installation fee, which users must pay since traditional ADT systems require professional installation. That said, what you’re paying for is the service, so if your heart is set on the best security system there is, ADT’s pricing won’t disappoint you.
That being said, we’ve experienced inconsistencies in customer support. ADT operates a franchise business with dealers all over the country. That means you might have to deal with local dealers in your area instead of ADT directly, and that understandably creates differences in quality of customer service.
Even still, ADT once again makes our list of best home security companies. Read our full ADT Review for more
Editor’s Note: ADT recently launched a new DIY security system, which replaces the Blue by ADT brand. The security system, dubbed the ADT Self Setup, uses wireless sensors from ADT and smart security cameras and doorbells from Google Nest. It also uses a new app, the ADT+ app, that ties the system together for seamless and worry-free monitoring. It also taps into the ADT’s expansive monitoring network for professional monitoring.
DIY security systems have hit the market in droves in the past few years, but SimpliSafe, one of the most well-established DIY brands, still leads the pack. SimpliSafe is so popular partly because of how easy it is to set up their equipment, a big perk if you’re installing your home security system yourself.
SimpliSafe came into the market over a decade ago with a groundbreaking new breed of security systems: One that users can install themselves and that doesn’t require professional monitoring. Remember, at that time, the market was full of professionally installed and monitored security systems, so SimpliSafe was a breath of fresh air.
We think it’s also a great option for people who rent. You can take the equipment with you, and you don’t have to worry about penalties or installation fees at your new place. So if you want home security — without the steep prices or long-term contracts — we highly recommend looking into this provider. We have more covered with our full SimpliSafe review.
FYI: All told, we’ve spent over 1,000 hours actively testing SimpliSafe security systems.
Vivint is loaded with advanced features and tech, yet somehow, it’s intuitive and very easy to use. All that added tech, however, makes Vivint a bit more expensive than your typical security system, but when you think about what it offers — total home protection and advanced home automation — there’s no question that you’re getting the better end of the bargain. Vivint’s latest generation cameras, for example, can pick out a porch pirate from the UPS man, and identify lurkers with a high degree of accuracy.
There’s a certain feeling that comes with using Vivint. We can’t put our finger on it, but this intelligent home security system did leave us feeling pretty secure, and even a little smarter! The home automation options were the most impressive we’ve seen from any company.
FYI: Vivint’s pricing for its new cameras are as follows: The Vivint Indoor Camera Pro sells for $199.99, the Outdoor Camera Pro for $399.99, the Doorbell Camera Pro for $249.99, and the Spotlight Pro for $249.99.
Keep in mind though, Vivint is not a DIY system — it does require professional installation (pro tip: it never hurts to ask your sales rep to waive the installation fee). Also, the equipment is a bit pricey, but you certainly get what you pay for; it’s the smartest security equipment we’ve ever tested. And even though the equipment prices are steep, Vivint’s monthly monitoring cost is on-par with other top brands
Overall, we think Vivint is a great fit for folks who want it all, but in one fully-integrated and streamlined system. See if it’s the right fit for you in our Vivint review.
Alder offers a “Total Life Safety System” with environmental monitoring, emergency alerts for seniors, and easy DIY home protection. And last we checked, Alder was offering up to $850 of free equipment (with three-year professional monitoring agreement), as well as 50-percent off an outdoor camera with the purchase of a new system.
We liked Alder security systems for their fast response times and overall versatility. And controlling our system with their touchscreen panel was effortless and pretty darn sleek. Otherwise, this company offers a similar feature-set as brands like Frontpoint and Brinks.
Where Alder really impressed us was with their sub 5-second response times. Compared to the industry average, that’s lightning fast! They use 4G LTE cellular monitoring, which is the gold standard for monitoring these days.
That said, we didn’t love the high prices, lack of camera options, and the required professional installation. (Note: Professional installation is free with Alder, but for DIYers like us, we hope there’s an option to self-install the system.) But overall, we think this up-and-coming security brand is a safe bet.
See more in our full review of Alder.
Cove secures your home with a no-contract DIY system and monitoring that truly works. And right now, Cove is running a pretty generous sale: Get 60-percent off equipment + a free indoor security camera. The deal ends soon.
Cove flies under the radar, but it offers exactly what many homeowners and renters are looking for. It’s an affordable home security system with simple setup and monitoring that you can rely on.
After taking it for a test ride, we can even say that it has the potential to give industry giants like SimpliSafe and Frontpoint a run for their money.
So why isn’t it any higher on this list? For one, it could use a boost in terms of what hardware and features it offers. Adding a few more selections to its product line and improving its home automation offering could really take Cove to the next level. Also, we do think Cove’s smartphone app experience could be improved. We cover more of this in our Cove review.
Overall, though, we think Cove has a lot of staying power — especially with their generous 60-day money-back guarantee and month-to-month service starting at only $17.99.
Frontpoint DIY home security systems offer a fairly robust app experience and innovative features like geofencing and custom “Scenes.” Its smart home offering is also among the best. We particularly love that it’s a DIY system, which makes it future-proof (in a way). You don’t need a new system everytime Frontpoint comes out with new products. Usually, you can just purchase the new device and add it to your system.
Frontpoint DIY home security systems offer a fairly robust app experience and innovative features like geofencing and custom “Scenes.” And the best part is that it offers all that without breaking the bank. You’ll usually find online deals, and the most basic Frontpoint system starts at just $129.
What you see is what you get with Frontpoint. There are no hidden fees, and their GE devices are high-quality and reliable. But Frontpoint does lack some of the best features that companies like Vivint and ADT bring to the table. It’s not as streamlined on the home automation front as Vivint, for instance. All in all, we think Frontpoint is a great system for most families and lifestyles. Get more info with our 2023 Frontpoint review.
FYI: Frontpoint has launched new custom packages, namely, The Family Lookout, The Home Shield, and The Safehouse. For a limited time, these packages are up to 67-percent off.
Brinks offers low-cost home security with a decent lineup of features. We don’t love their long-term contracts, but we still think Brinks is a top contender.
The Brinks home security brand was revived by the merger of LiveWatch and Moni, both home security brands with a checkered past. That being said, the new branding is working, and Brinks is off to rebuild its reputation. From a user standpoint, Brinks is easy to set up and use. It may not be quite as simple as SimpliSafe or Cove, but the system works efficiently.
Overall, we have to tip our hats to Brinks for making a comeback after falling off the map for a while. Based on our experience, we think their affordable DIY security systems will find a nice home in the market. But time will tell if they can compete with other low-cost providers out there.
Discover more in our Brinks home security review.
Ring offers extremely affordable DIY security for all types of homes, including apartments and condos. The fact that it also offers dozens of security camera and video doorbell options is another huge plus.
Ring might not be the most advanced system on our list (Vivint takes that prize), but it sure has gained quite the fanfare over the years. We’ve been testing Ring Alarm quite a bit lately, and we actually like the system for what it is. So what is it? Well, it’s a prepackaged security kit that offers basic intrusion protection with super-low monthly monitoring fees. Or… no monitoring fees at all if you choose the free “self-monitor” option.
Did You Know: The Ring Always Home drone camera is now available for pre-order, although by invitation only through Amazon. If you want cutting-edge flying surveillance, you’ll want to take a look at these all-new drone cameras.
That being said, there is one type of Ring security system that can give your smart home a serious upgrade: The Ring Alarm Pro. Ring teamed up with the connectivity wizards over at eero to give the Ring base station Wi-Fi router capabilities and cellular connectivity. With the Ring Protect Pro plan, the Ring Alarm Pro base station gains 3 GB of backup cellular data to give connected devices — be that smartphones and laptops or smart home security devices — internet connections when your home internet is down.
Don’t forget to check out our Ring Alarm review for more information about features and pricing.
Abode is a feature-packed home security system with a built-in camera and impressive CUE home automation platform, and it’s impressively affordable. You can buy a security system for just under $200, and there are plenty of online deals to enjoy particularly around the holidays.
It’s small, it’s smart, it’s functional. Abode has two types of security systems. The Classic abode Kit includes a hub and a bunch of sensors, while the upgraded iota Kit uses a hub with a built-in HD camera. We think it’s the best option, considering the very small price difference (around $30). Whichever you choose, though, installation is simple enough, and you can’t go wrong with the black and white equipment design that really adds a modern touch anywhere you place them.
All things considered, it’s not a flawless system, but we think abode works great for home protection and automation. Read more about their offerings in our abode review.
Deep Sentinel’s camera-based systems use artificial intelligence and real human guards to proactively fight crime. But starting at $100 per month for monitoring, it’s certainly not cheap.
From what we’ve seen, Deep Sentinel is a clear winner when it comes to proactive home security and putting a stop to crime before it happens. They secured our home by using a high-tech combination of live surveillance and AI technology. With flashing lights, two-way talk, and a blaring-loud siren, Deep Sentinel’s human guards proactively monitored the perimeter of our property.
Deep Sentinel is quite effective, and we’ve found it to be a whole lot cheaper than setting up private home surveillance and monitoring. So if you don’t mind paying high monthly monitoring fees, or signing a 1-year contract, we recommend what Deep Sentinel has to offer.
Read our full Deep Sentinel review to learn more.
Curious about how we ranked our top 10 list? Well, we personally unbox the security systems and try them out to see how they measure up against the competition. With thousands of hours of hands-on testing under our belts, we have a proven process of getting to the “who’s who” in home security. Have a look for yourself!
We use a proprietary ranking system to give every home security system a numbered score, from 1 to 10. We call it the SafeHome.org SecureScore™, and it takes into account all of our research, testing, and a handful of other important factors. We think you’ll find our SecureScore™ to be a simple way to compare your options. It also helps you to see our research at-a-glance.
So why does Vivint get a 9.0, but Ring only gets a 7.8? And why don’t any of the systems get a perfect 10 SecureScore™? Keep reading to find out!
Pro Tip: We don’t recommend trusting any “expert” industry site that doesn’t readily share their editorial guidelines or ranking methodology. Remember, not all advice is created equal.
Keep in mind that a whole range of factors goes into narrowing down and ranking the best home security systems out there. Our SecureScore™ ranking factors include:
Our team of security experts has over 75 years of combined experience and 10,000+ hours of research under their belts. We’re in the industry trenches every day, learning about new security products and other ways to protect your home and family.
Wireless vs wired security systems: which is better?
It really depends. Wireless home security systems are nice because they are simple to set up and there are no wires for criminals to cut. On the other hand, hardwired security systems don’t rely on batteries, so you’ll have a more stable power source.
Can I afford a home security system?
We think many Americans can afford a home security system. They start at only $150-$200 for a basic system, and you can even self-monitor for free (no monthly payments). It used to be that home security systems cost $500-$1,000 or more — but these days companies are offering affordable DIY systems to stay competitive in the market.
Do I have to sign a long-term contract?
Not at all! While some brands require a 1-5 year contract for monthly monitoring, others let you pay month-to-month. SimpliSafe and Ring are two such companies that don’t require a contract. But keep in mind, a contract can actually be a great tool to help lower costs. For instance, if you want Vivint’s equipment but don’t have the cash, you can finance it over time (contract) and pay as little as $10-$20 per month for equipment.
Are they difficult to install?
Do-it-yourself (DIY) systems are very simple to install and set up. They typically take about 10-30 minutes to get going, and most companies offer an app that guides you through the step-by-step process.
Should I go with professional installation?
Some people get overwhelmed with new technology. If that’s you, no problem, we recommend checking out ADT, Vivint, or Xfinity — all of which offer a professional installation service.
Do I need 24/7 professional monitoring?
While we recommend signing up with professional monitoring, it’s not always necessary. Note that most security brands make it ultra-easy to self-monitor using their mobile app. But if your home is targeted by porch pirates or burglars, just know that it’s up to you to call the police.