ADT is one of the best home security providers on the market today. They offer several packages as well as customizable options for hard-wired and battery-powered equipment all installed by the pros. If you’re looking for top-notch equipment along with eagle-eyed professional monitoring, ADT is hard to beat.
ADT has been in the security business for over 140 years at this point, so they know a thing or two about keeping their customers safe. Their professionally monitored systems are among the best in the business and they’re a personal favorite of ours.
That said, when it comes to home security, there are essentially two schools of thought. There are the folks who want to pick out and install their own equipment, and the folks who want someone else to do it for them. If you’re not handy with a power drill or don’t want to climb up on a ladder, ADT’s professional installation is a great option. You’ll have the peace of mind that everything is set up exactly as it should be, and you’re not going to run the risk of electrocuting yourself. Always a plus in our book.
There are three plans to choose from with ADT. Each one can be customized to fit your specific needs, but they all include monitoring. Here’s the breakdown:
|Build Your Own||$45.99 per month|
|Smart Home||$49.99 per month|
|Video and Smart Home||$59.99 per month|
From a professional installation perspective, ADT is the best option due to its quality system components as well as its varied plan options. The equipment itself is high end, which is one of the reasons they want you to have it professionally installed. The technicians also provide excellent service when they visit, teaching you everything you need to know to get the features you want out of the system. More so, it is very easy to use. If you want home security, you don’t have to install, that’s affordable, and easy to use, ADT is the route to take.
|Monitoring Options||24/7 professional only|
|Smart Platform Integration||Alexa and Google Home|
|Equipment Cost||Starting at $109|
|Monthly Monitoring Cost||Starting at $45.99|
|Contract Length||36 months|
Vivint is another favorite of ours when it comes to professional monitoring. Known for their more advanced componentes and high-tech features, Vivint is perfect for folks with a smart-home focus.
That said, there are tons of ways to customize your Vivint system. And don’t worry – we’ve used plenty of Vivint systems and components. This system is super user-friendly and streamlines various tech components into one central hub.
Vivint consistently receives some of the most positive feedback from customers purchasing their home security system. They are one of the leaders in fully wireless systems with home automation built into it. The equipment you’ll be able to choose from is quite versatile, offering everything from high-end voice-activated home automation to thermostats and customizable remotes. Smart Drive is a type of data security protection you can add. Or, go with smart locks to minimize access to your home. Any type of doorbell camera or indoor or outdoor camera you are interested in is available here.
Vivint requires a long-term contract for most users. However, if you pay for your equipment up front, instead of using the Flex pay feature, you can choose a month-to-month contract. This still comes with the professional home security monitoring that you’ll want to purchase. There is also a $49.99 installation fee to consider.
There are three monitoring options with Vivint. The most basic Smart Security Package costs $29.99 per month, their more advanced Smart Home package — which includes video integration — costs $39.99 per month, and their Smart Home Video package — which includes actual video monitoring — costs $44.99 per month.
Pro Tip: Vivint’s pricing online isn’t exactly transparent, and it can be difficult to nail down exactly how much your system is going to cost. We recommend calling one of their security experts to discuss your options.
With excellent equipment options and really well-built systems that last for years, Vivint is an excellent choice for most users. It offers a lot of customization as well, including four starter package options for you to choose from. And, with the monthly Flex Pay, you don’t have to pay upfront for all of the equipment like some competitors require. It’s also very easy to use. There isn’t a large learning curve here, which is great for those who want a professional to install it and then start using it.
If you’re looking for a home automation-packed home security system with ample automation and professional installation, Vivint is the route to take. It provides an excellent level of functionality, but it also provides the high-end features you want to be able to remain connected to your home no matter where you go.
|Monitoring Options||24/7 professional only|
|Smart Platform Integration||Alexa and Google Home|
|Monthly Monitoring Cost||$20-$70|
|Contract Length||42-60 months|
Hang on — isn’t Xfinity a telecom company? What are they doing on this list?
You’re right to ask yourself those questions — it is odd to see Xfinity mentioned in a discussion about home security, but truth be told, they’ve been making some great strides in this industry. Strides big enough to land them the number three spot here.
A nice benefit with this company is that you can link your home security system to your television and internet package, which can help you to save money and makes management a bit easier. Its home security solutions are competitive, offering just about everything you need. The professional installation – which can happen right along with installing your home’s cable system – is very easy to use and reliable.
Xfinity is a unique company in that it is not a stand-alone home security company. Rather, the company provides professionally monitoring home security alongside providing for your cable and internet services. It also offers a wide range of ways to customize your plan based on the add-on equipment you choose.
There are a few things that make it different. First, this company offers just a single plan option, and it requires a two-year contract. The basic package includes professional monitoring, motion detectors, window and door sensors, and a control panel with a keypad. From there, you can make it your own by adding additional features and equipment options such as environmental protections. For this reason, it’s quite customizable (and it works with a number of third-party home automation providers as well).
There is a battery backup available to manage any power outage, but the system runs on a power supply and your 3G cell service (or better). Of course, what you use depends on what is available from Comcast for your area.
There are two monitoring plans, Pro Protection, and Pro Protection Plus. The former offers professional monitoring, real time alerts, and cellular backup. The latter covers all of that while adding a week of cloud video storage, and a search function that allows you to find particular moments faster. Pro protection starts at $30 per month, and Pro Protection Plus starts at $40.
There are some big pros to choosing Xfinity, including the potentially lower cost depending on your area. The company’s home automation is competitive. And, when it comes to the professionally monitored service, it’s well known to be reliable. The company requires professional installation, but the process is no different than having your cable person come to the home. What makes it ideal is that you can add-on a lot of equipment options, which makes it possible for you to really choose something that works for any need and stays within your desired price range.
Home security shoppers have a choice of DIY and pro installation for their alarm systems. Pro installation is required with hardwired security systems but not necessarily with wireless. Here are points to consider about choosing pro installation.
|Peace of mind knowing it’s done right||Higher costs|
|Optimized placement of equipment||Might require permanent installation|
|Expert assistance in selecting equipment||Limited options|
|No time wasted installing it yourself||Have to coordinate with technicians|
|Dedicated systems||Usually hardwired|
|System is designed to be comprehensive||Might have to wait for weeks to have it installed|
There are certainly some options to weigh here, but consider that without doing the research yourself, you’re not likely going to know right off the top of your head how to properly install a security system in your home. Security camera placement alone is pretty difficult, and when you consider the intricacies of hardwiring certain components, you might be better off leaving it to the experts.
Professionals install home security systems with many different components.
Here are the essentials and some popular extras.
A professionally installed home security system comes with one or more quality Control Panels. These devices come in either wireless or hardwired options, and the best panels on the market today boast full-color, wide-window, touchscreen technology. Consider it the nerve center of your home security system. Access, monitor, and control your system with a professionally installed control panel.
Cellular Monitoring is the way to go. When you choose a security system that requires professional installation, your home security expert will configure your system with a cellular radio network. That’s right, cellular monitoring is powered by cell towers (like your cell phone), so you can expect reliable coverage day and night. Cellular monitoring does not require a landline or Wi-Fi hookups.
Every home security system comes stacked with an assortment of Entry Sensors. A professional alarm technician installs these sensors on doors and windows around your home. Now sit back and rest easy, as the magnetic devices work 24/7 to ward off burglars. When the magnets separate, the alarm sounds and alerts are sent. You simply cannot go without this simple but powerful feature.
Motion Detectors leverage infrared technology to stop burglars in their tracks. Your alarm technician will place the devices around the interior of your home. The moment the detectors sense motion or movement, they sound the alarm and send mobile alerts. Many detectors can even distinguish between people and pets. Have a professional install your motion detectors — you can trust their placement of this important feature.
Placement is everything, especially when it comes to Glass Break Sensors. That’s why professional installation is a wise move. These devices use sound-sensitive technology to protect your home. When the sensors pick up on the sound frequency of glass breaking, they trigger the alarm and send mobile alerts. Get outfitted with this impressive feature, and burglars will have to find another hobby.
Professional installation of Panic Buttons means you’re guaranteed to have round-the-clock protection from day 1. Both hardwired and wireless systems often include panic buttons, an especially helpful home security feature for the elderly. Your security technician can place these devices on shower walls, in the bedroom, near stairways, you name it. Help is always close at hand with panic buttons.
When you choose professional installation, the alarm technician shows you the ropes of your new home security system. This includes configuring any Remote Control devices and explaining how they function. Remote control lets you arm and disarm your system, call for help via panic button, and more. The best part about these devices — they’re small enough to fit on a keyring.
Mobile Access is a value-packed feature that comes standard with most professionally installed alarm systems. Want to arm or disarm your system on-the-go? Simply open your companion app to access, monitor, and take total control of your home security. The technology is user-friendly, but you’ll have a professional in your home to field any questions.
The more powerful the technology, the steeper the learning curve. Not to worry. With professional installation, you’ll have a helping hand to explain every last feature and function. Home Automation integrates seamlessly with many home security systems. This feature allows you to control your garage door, door locks, lights, thermostats, and other appliances from virtually anywhere in the world.