When it comes to shopping for home security systems there are so many brands and features available that it’s sometimes hard to weigh your options. Everyone wants the best possible quality and as many features as they can get for their money. That’s why we have taken the time to research, test, and compile this information for you. Having all your options presented in an easy to read and digest format will save you loads of time. It will also make it easier for you to see all your choices side-by-side along with the pros and cons of each and detailed reviews you can use to make an educated decision about which one is best for you and your particular situation.
Frontpoint has been in business for 11 years and currently has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Additionally, Frontpoint was the first nationwide security company to include smart security with their systems. They offer a 30-day risk-free offer and their systems don’t require you to have a landline to use them because all the equipment is 100% wireless and it’s easy to install. They also offer 24/7 professional monitoring and each system can be easily integrated with your home automation equipment. And, every system you order is customized, integrated, and tested so it works right out of the box.
- Price-lock guarantee
- Limited lifetime warranty
- 30-day risk-free trial
- 24/7/365 professional monitoring
- Competitive prices
- Wireless DIY installation (no landline required)
- Exceptional concierge-level customer service
- Some offers subject to credit approval (this could raise the price)
- 36-month monitoring agreement required
Frontpoint has five equipment package options or you can build and customize one of your own. Each package comes with varying equipment and varying numbers of equipment options and the price will depend on the package you choose. The equipment packages feature a Frontpoint hub, keypad, door/window stickers, glass break sensors, yard sign, window decals, door stickers, motion sensors, smoke/heat sensors, indoor/outdoor cameras, and/or a doorbell camera. Their packages start at $99 for the Safe Home Everyday option and the Safe Home Plus option. The Safe Home Select option is $251.90, the Safe Home Preferred option is $384.88, and the Safe Home Elite is $882.84.
Every package comes with 24/7/365 professional monitoring, uses a dedicated cellular connection, and could save you up to 20% on your homeowner’s insurance. Additionally, Frontpoint offers a wide variety of cameras, home automation features, intrusion sensors, hazard sensors, and accessory options.
ADT has over 140 years of experience in home security and has been protecting homes longer than anyone else in the business. ADT also has more than 18,000 employees and 200 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. And, they have been nationally recognized by Mashable, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and more.
ADT also has redundant monitoring centers so if one monitoring center goes down, there will be another one available to answer calls. Additionally, your ADT purchase comes with a 6-month guarantee (some restrictions apply) and you can usually have your new system installed at no charge on the same-day or next-day so there’s no waiting.
- Same-day or next-day installation
- Six redundant monitoring centers
- Wireless and hardwired systems
- Cellular and landline connections available
- Home security and home automation features available
- 6-month money-back guarantee
- More experience than anyone else in the industry
- Long-term contracts
- Customer service experiences vary
- More expensive than other brands
- Activation fee
ADT has a variety of options available, including home security, home automation, fire and life safety, identity theft protection, and an ADT Go plan you can use at home or on-the-go. The Go plan includes a mobile app, family location sharing, SOS emergency response at the push of a button, and crash detection with emergency notification, multi-point safe driving report, 24/7 roadside assistance, and live agent access. Some of these features are included for free for existing customers; otherwise, they are $9.99/mo. plus tax.
ADT has three other packages. The Traditional package, Control package, and Video package. They all come with a digital panel, entryway contacts, wireless keychain remote, motion detector, yard signs, window decals, 24/7 monitoring, a high-decibel alarm, and a backup battery. They also offer a mobile app, email and text alerts, and Z-Wave technology. The ADT monitoring packages range from $29/mo. to $60/mo. depending on the plan you choose, as well as a few other determining factors.
SimpliSafe has been in business since 2006 and was founded by two Harvard Business School students and is most commonly known for its DIY monitoring option that provides you with an affordable no-contract security system. And, with SimpliSafe, you can choose either a bundled kit or customize an equipment package of your own. Additionally, SimpliSafe is the fastest growing home security company in the industry and protects more than 3 million Americans.
SimpliSafe continuously ranks highly with their customers as can be seen by their more than 40,000 Five-Star Amazon and Google reviews and their A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- Easy DIY installation (open the box and plug it in)
- No long-term contracts and a 60-day free trial
- No middlemen means less markup
- Six redundant monitoring centers (no single point of failure)
- Cellular connection with Wi-Fi backup
- Deeply encrypted signals
- Alarm still triggers even if keypad is damaged by criminals
- Proprietary equipment (limited integration with third-party components)
- Upfront equipment purchase required
- No outdoor cameras available (but coming soon)
SimpliSafe manufactures and sells their own equipment, which means they can cut out the middleman and offer their products at a lower cost than other security companies. They have six equipment packages and multiple sub-package options that build on each of their six bundled packages.
The SimpliSafe equipment packages range from $169 (video doorbell) to $417. The Foundation, which is their base package is $196 and comes with one base station, one keypad, one entry sensor, and one motion sensor. Each package and sub-package builds on this base package. They also have a SimpliCam which is one indoor camera and it is $99.
Landlines No Longer Required
The old security systems from years ago used to rely on a traditional landline to communicate with a monitoring center. However, today, that has all changed. Wireless monitoring was originally developed as a backup to the landline connections. Some security companies still use a Wi-Fi only connection in place of a landline. However, most of them are now using cellular technology that communicates with a cell tower, just like your mobile phone, which is significantly more reliable than any other communication option. Additionally, with a cellular connection, you are able to receive text alerts and remotely access your security system from anywhere there is a corresponding cellular signal.
The Benefits to Wireless Connectivity
There are many benefits to wireless connectivity versus a wired system.
- With wireless connectivity, there is less chance your system could be compromised because there are no wires that could be cut.
- No drilling through walls and ceilings for hardwiring, which also means a much quicker and easier installation process.
- No wires means easier portability.
- A wireless system is easier to upgrade and/or modify.
- Wireless systems allow for remote controllability using a mobile app.
- With wireless connectivity, you can more easily sync to home automation and other security features.
Features of Security Systems Without Landlines
Here are the most common features found in security systems without landlines.
Wireless connectivity is the transfer of information or power from one or more points that are not connected by a conducting wire. So basically, wireless connectivity is a computer network that is not connected by cables of any kind. For example, a wireless computer network, telecommunications, high-speed internet, etc. Wireless systems use radio waves to establish a connection and communicate with devices such as your computer and laptop, etc.
Cellular monitoring is the wireless method of communication used to monitor your security system and it doesn't require a landline. Cellular monitoring works by inserting a cellular chip into the alarm's control panel. This chip acts as a communicator between the alarm and the monitoring center. No wires are needed because the chip sends a signal to a cell tower and this signal works just like it does for your mobile phone. It transmits data to a monitoring center quickly and without disruption.
Home automation is what gives you remote access to and control of various home security devices and a variety of household equipment using a mobile device. Home security capabilities include installing a base station or hub that can be controlled by your voice or remotely using a mobile app. Then you can sync a variety of smart devices wirelessly to the base station. This will allow you to remotely turn on/off your lights, lock/unlock your doors, turn on/off your small appliances, open/close your garage door, arm/disarm or access other functions of your security system, control your thermostat, and much more. Most home automation systems can be built-out to as large and elaborate a system as you'd like.
Using a mobile app, you can remotely access, monitor, and control your home security and home automation equipment. Most security systems come with an associated mobile app that will provide you with a wide variety of functionality. This will enable you to remotely access your home's security video to watch for unusual activity, respond to an alert, or to check on your kids and/or pets, etc. and respond accordingly.
Most security companies offer 24/7 monitoring usually for a monthly fee. The 24/7 monitoring feature will monitor your security system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The monitoring is generally performed by a trained professional located in either a local or remote call center from which they can immediately respond to a triggered alarm and either contact you directly or dispatch the proper authorities.
Motion detectors use infrared energy to detect motion in a protected area. Humans and animals give off infrared heat signatures. So, when there is a sudden increase in infrared energy in the protected area an alarm is triggered. Motion detectors are usually placed around the home and are activated when someone sets the alarm system.
Wireless security cameras transmit a video and/or audio signal to a wireless receiver through a radio band. A security camera can then live stream and/or record any given activity within the camera's range. Video surveillance cameras are what enables you to see what's happening in or around your home at all times, usually through the use of a mobile app. And, many security cameras are equipped with night vision so you can easily monitor those areas at night as well
Many security systems can be installed yourself versus having to pay for professional installation. This is commonly referred to as a DIY installation or do-it-yourself installation and is sometimes referred to as self-installation. Generally, a DIY installation is very easy and usually only requires you to unpack your equipment and plug it in. And, most of the components associated with a DIY installation usually use a peel and stick adhesive as their method of application.
Some security companies offer a mobile app as part of your alarm system. This mobile app will send text alerts to your mobile device if activity in the protected area is detected. When an alert is received, you simply tap the app to either read the alert or to access your video's live stream depending on which options are included in your plan.