If you own a business, a top-quality security system is not an option, it is a necessity. The market is full of business security systems that offer a wide variety of features and options designed for functionality and convenience. Here are the top three business security systems that are highly rated by our researchers, testers and consumers alike.
1. ADT – Best Overall Business Security (Editor’s Choice)
ADT has been in business for over 140 years and offers a number of business security options. Additionally, they have over 200 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, not to mention they have over 7 million customers. ADT also offers a free security risk assessment for your business. You can select one of their security packages or customize a security solution of your own.
- Free Security Assessment
- Add-Ons Available (cyber security, access control, video verification)
- Automation Features Available (on upper tier package only)
- Environmental Controls Included on All Packages (climate, flood)
- Remote Control Features (access, arm, disarm)
- Hold-Up Alarm Monitoring Included on All Packages
- Multiple Location Functionality
- 36-Month Contract Required
- Installation, Activation, and Early Cancellation Fees
- Interactive Video Only Available on Upper Tier Packages
ADT offers flexible solutions and affordable options for businesses. They also offer incentives, guarantees, and access to experienced experts in the security field. ADT has a wide variety of features including door and window, sensors, motion detection, glass break sensors, hold-up button, temperature controls, flood monitoring. They also offer video surveillance cameras with on-site or cloud-based video storage and business automation features which include climate controls, smart plugs, and lighting controls. And for your entry and exit security, ADT offers smart locks, keycard readers, and two-way communication intercoms. ADT’s security systems allow you to schedule your automation features, and they come with a cellular backup system to keep your security system going if you ever lose your landline connection.
2. Vivint – Best for Small Business
Vivint has been in business for 20 years and has a wide variety of awards from well-respected companies such as J.D. Power, PCMag.com, U.S. News, Forbes, and more. They also offer more than just business security systems and are always adding new facets to their service lineup such as Vivint Car Guard, high-tech housing for adults with autism, and they have been added to the 2019 Forbes list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity.
- 100% Wireless Security System
- Automatic Updates
- Automated Sensors and Detectors
- Powered by Vivint Sky
- Low Monthly Starting Price
- “Plug and Play” Security System
- Smart Automation Features Available
- Customer Service Experiences Vary
- Cellular Only Connection (could be problematic in remote areas)
- Professional Installation Fees
Vivint has smart security, energy, and other smart controls that are 100% wireless. These features enable you to access, monitor, and control your security system remotely from a mobile device. This will allow you to make sure your employees are on-task and that everything is running according to your plans and goals. They also offer motion-activated video which helps you monitor sensitive areas such as safes, your office, and the sales floor. If someone enters a sensitive area, the cameras will start rolling.
Vivint’s smart features will also enable you to unlock your doors remotely with their electronic locks, which means you can avoid expensive key cards, traditional keys, and lockouts. With a Vivint system, you can program individual key codes for each employee so you will know who’s coming and going at all times.
You will get all the equipment you need such as touchscreen panels, window and door sensors, motion detectors, non-emergency alerts, 24/7 monitoring, and Vivint has a wide variety of optional equipment as well.
3. Frontpoint – Best for Home Business
Frontpoint has extremely popular security equipment. They have been in business for 11 years and currently have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Frontpoint has been nationally recognized for best customer service and they include smart security in every system they offer.
- 100% Customization
- Environmental Sensors (carbon monoxide, flood, smoke/heat)
- Advanced Technology Systems
- Smart Automation Features
- Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
- Professional Monitoring
- No Dedicated Business Plans/Packages (you customize your own)
- Build Your Own Business System Can Get Pricey (if you need coverage for a large area)
- Camera Costs Higher Than Most (but they are quality cameras)
Since Frontpoint doesn’t offer specific business plans, you are able to customize one to suit your particular business needs. Frontpoint prides themselves on producing high-quality security systems, and they go into great detail on their blog explaining how you can customize one specifically for your business. They state their systems are 100% wireless, they are easily customizable, portable and can be moved around to grow with your business.
Their indoor cameras have a range of up to 50 feet, include infrared technology, and record motion-activated clips. They also offer pan and tilt cameras, as well as outdoor cameras that can be synced with a smartphone app with a live feed so you will always be able to see what’s going on day or night.
The Frontpoint equipment components combine security and automation features and come in a variety of price ranges with their most expensive premium indoor and outdoor cameras costing $199/ea.
Why a Security System is Important for Your Business
If you have a business, installing a top-quality security system is not optional. There are a number of reasons a security system is necessary; otherwise, you could risk losing everything.
Protect Your Property from Crime
A security system will help protect your business and your employees from crime. If you were to encounter a break-in it could cost you thousands of dollars in stolen assets which could take time and money to recover and/or recoup the losses if you are able to at all.
Protect Your Business from Fraudulent Lawsuits
Unfortunately, there are people out there who make a living at suing businesses for money. A well-placed security camera will serve as undeniable proof of the staged “accident.” The same goes for employee/customer accusations of harassment, discrimination, etc.
Monitor Your Inventory
The best way to make sure your customers and/or employees aren’t making off with your inventory is to use a security camera. A surveillance camera will help you monitor and control what comes in and what goes out of your place of business and whether it’s being paid for…or not.
How Much Do Business Security Systems Cost?
As you could imagine, there is a broad spectrum of costs associated with a business security system. Some systems are available as package deals and others can be built and customized to fit your specific needs.
Business security systems come two different ways—a DIY installation or a professional installation. The DIY systems are usually wireless and fairly easy to install. A hardwired security system will almost always require professional installation due to the complexity of the electrical factors and wiring of the components.
Unfortunately, most business security system providers don’t disclose the associated costs upfront which means you have to request a quote before you will even know if any given system will fit your budget. However, the overall costs will depend on how large of a coverage area you have. A top-quality DIY business security system can generally be purchased for less than $500. A professional installation will usually range somewhere between $100 for small business spaces all the way up to $2,000 or more for larger business spaces.
You can also expect an annual cost for your security equipment to run you about $300-$500. And the monitoring costs will generally run somewhere between $50-$300+ per month depending on the service plan you selected.
Features of Business Security Systems
Here are some of the most common business security system features and how they are used.
Specialized Alert Zones
A security system will protect your business, but oftentimes a security system will also enable you to protect micro-areas of your business as well. These are called specialized alert zones and this feature will alert you when any pre-determined "guarded" room is entered or the door is opened. You simply program your business security system to cover any micro-area where you want an extra layer of security. And not only will your system alert you of any activity in those areas, but it will also record what's happening in real-time if you have the proper type of video camera and the associated mobile app. This will allow you to access, monitor, and immediately control the intrusion and to help avoid a negative outcome.
There are a wide variety of available door lock options when it comes to business security systems. However, one of the most popular options is electronic door locks and their associated keypads. This will allow you to do away with the hassle that comes with changing the locks such as is the case with traditional keys. It will also save you from the expense of having to buy expensive magnetic keycards. With an electronic door lock, you simply assign each employee a key code and delete if and when necessary. And most electronic door locks will also provide you with a lock history report that includes code numbers, dates, and times the lock was used.
If you own a business, your security/surveillance cameras will be your main source of protection from crime, fraudulent lawsuits, safety, security, and employee/customer harassment, discrimination, and other disputes. There are several different types of security cameras such as indoor and outdoor, and those come as a static camera or with pan, zoom, and tilt features. Additionally, most business security camera systems come with a video recording storage option that is either included with your plan or requires an extra monthly fee for using the service.
Security systems and their mobile apps are setup to send you text alerts if activity or other pre-determined alerts are requested. This will enable you to react immediately and accordingly to any given situation. However, keep in mind that a Wi-Fi connection isn't as stable as a monitored system that uses a cellular signal to communicate.
Almost all of today's security systems come with an associated mobile app. These mobile apps will give you the ability to access, monitor, and control your business remotely and in real-time using that app on your smartphone or mobile device.
Entryway sensors use magnetic strips that will trigger an alarm if any window or door is breached. These work regardless if you have a monitored or unmonitored alarm. The only difference is that a monitored alarm system will send the authorities if an alarm goes off and an unmonitored system won't, it is just an audible only alarm.
Motion detectors work similarly to entryway sensors except a motion detector will trigger an alarm if motion is detected in any protected area as long as the alarm is on. Whereas, an entryway sensor triggers an alarm when someone enters through a protected window or door. Motion detectors are often used as an extra layer of security to the entryway sensors.
Security lights come in a variety of advanced, sophisticated forms such as indoor/outdoor light bulbs only, indoor/outdoor security lights, flood lights, motion, photocell sensitive lights, and more. Having security lights as part of your system is generally a huge crime deterrent, not to mention enabling you and your employees/customers to properly see in the dark.
While home security systems that are used to protect your personal property are not tax-deductible, but fortunately, with the new tax law in place, small- and medium-sized businesses can write off 100% of their security system purchases on an existing commercial building. This is predicted to lower your cost of installing a security system by 25-30 percent.