Home security is an increasing concern in modern times, and it’s a system which you absolutely must be able to count on when the chips are down. There are a ton of companies out there offering their own flavor, of course, but it can take a lot of time to sift through the debris in order to figure out which is the best.
That’s why we’ve done the research for you, bringing you the ten best security systems around to help make your decision easier.
Best Overall !
Where Frontpoint really shines is in their amazing customer service, they’re professional and the sales people know better than to push too hard on their customers which makes for a great experience overall.
Top 10 Home Security Systems
|Name||Plans Start At||Best For|
|Link Interactive||$35.99/month||Complete Transparency|
|Protect America||$19.99/month||Overall Value|
|Scout||$9.99/month||Well Designed Equipment and Low Monthly Rates|
|LiveWatch||$29.95/month||Warranties and Money Back Guarantee|
|Moni||$19.99/month||Highest Amount of Options|
|ADT||$36.99||Most Trusted Brand|
Why You Need a Home Security System
Home security systems are a top priority for many homeowners due to one simple fact: even an alarm can deter a thief. With more advanced set ups you even stand a pretty good chance at being able to identify who was causing the problem and increase their odds of getting caught.
- Top 10 Home Security Systems
- Offering the Best Customer Service
- Completely Transparent Pricing
- Best Overall Value
- Best Comprehensive System for a Smart Home
- Best for Renters
- Best Equipment Design and Lowest Monthly Fees
- A Versatile Home Security System Solution
- Best Warranties and Money Back Guarantee
- Tons of Options with a High Price
- Most Trusted Home Security System Brand
- Why You Need a Home Security System
- What Comprises a Modern Home Security System?
- What to Look for in a Home Security System Provider
In fact, just possessing and advertising the fact that you have a security setup can greatly decrease the odds of a burglar picking out your house for a target. Advertising the fact that you’re set up to handle a break-in makes the burglar much more likely to move on to a softer target.
Of course, there’s a ton of different systems out there, so you need to make sure that you have just what you need when you need it, rather than just putting a sticker on your window.
What Comprises a Modern Home Security System?
There are a lot of different factors that go into newer security systems. You’re no longer just going to be paying for an alarm that goes off and alerts the local PD. Weigh your options carefully, as each will add a bit more cost to the system, but all of them can offer some pretty big advantages.
Any home security system is going to have an alarm. The types vary pretty widely, but a loud and audible alarm is usually your best defense. Even if someone ignores the sticker and breaks in, chances are the alarm is going to scare them off or at least keep them within your home for a smaller amount of time.
If you’re in the home at the time it can also give you a better chance to wake up and escape or defend yourself as the case may dictate.
One of the main advantages of paying for a monthly service is the fact that often these alarms can also alert the local PD.
Cameras are pretty much a basic feature these days. With a cellular connection you can usually monitor your cameras at any time as well, which is a definite bonus.
Some companies also have packages which can alert you when someone is at the door or moving in an area with motion detectors so you can check out what’s going on even if you’re not constantly monitoring your cams.
The more of them the better, in most cases, but primary points of entrance and exit should be covered in any case. Higher resolution cameras will cost more, but also stand a better chance at identifying the person attempting to gain access to the house as well, which can be useful when it comes time for justice to be served.
Motion sensors can be placed both inside and outside the home in order to be linked to alerts or alarms. This makes them pretty useful overall and placing them carefully should be a high priority.
The placement will boil down to personal preference, but hallways and windows are common locations for them since these are features that nearly any visitor, wanted or unwanted, will be moving through.
The Control Panel
The control panel is going to be the heart of your setup. It makes the centralized system which makes everything else work. It pays to use a company with a simple setup, since a false alarm can range from irritating to embarrassing depending on how it happens.
Many modern control panels can be automatically turned off by a key-fob as well, which means you won’t have to rush to the panel to shut things off in case the alarm system gets set off by accident.
Each company uses their own setup, and it can pay to look into how simple it is to use or whether you can access it from a cellphone app before you make the investment.
What to Look for in a Home Security System Provider
Most of us are only tangentially aware of this kind of technology. We understand alarms make noise, cameras take a look at things, and that most modern systems can be accessed through our cell phones. The nuts and bolts of the matter get a little bit more complex, however, so you need to make sure you’re covered in a way that you find suitable.
Since a home security system is, at its core, a customer based business it makes sense to gravitate towards those who offer only the best for their clientele. Really the only way to glean just how good someone is with their customers is to read experience reports where folks have actually had to deal with them.
Customer service is necessary for pretty much every part of smooth operation. From calling things in if there’s a fire or break-in to just handling a false alarm. Things being easy to deal with will keep you secure and make sure that your system doesn’t turn into a burden over time.
While most modern systems will allow you to monitor things from your cellphone, there are a select few that still allow landline access for those who haven’t upgraded.
Cellphone monitoring is extremely advantageous, as the apps associated with your security system can allow you to do a whole bunch of stuff like monitor your camera or even change your thermostat while you’re out and about.
If you are going to make a choice, just remember that most features are only available through a cell phone app, so you’ll need a smart phone to take advantage of them. Landlines can be handy, especially since they’re less prone to being shut down temporarily, but in most cases a cellphone is just going to be the superior solution.
Landline monitoring is also usually less costly, but keep in mind it doesn’t come with all of the advantages. Those in rural areas may want to take advantage of it, however, as cell reception can be spotty in some parts of the world.
Wireless or Hardwired Systems
Wireless systems are the newest thing and for the most part they make it so that pretty much anyone can ignore installation costs by setting up the device themselves. Pretty much any modern system will be wireless in nature, since it cuts down on company involvement on the client end.
In many cases, if you’re technically inept, you can still opt to have a technician come out but most people will be fine with installing the system and perhaps calling the company’s tech support line to make sure they’re doing everything correctly.
DIY vs. Technician Installation
Do-it-yourself install is usually preferred by both the company and the client. You’ll be able to save on fees and the company will save on labor costs. It’s pretty much a win-win for everyone.
Of course, in most cases you can still opt to have a technician come out and install everything for you. The fees for this can reach up to a pretty high price however and most people are quite content saving themselves some money by not opting for this process.
Technicians can be something of a pain as well. Nothing against techs, but for most systems it will take them several hours to properly configure everything and make sure it’s up and running. If the option is offered it’s really a choice in whether or not you have the time to monitor them or feel comfortable letting them in.
It can also keep you from being upsold on features you don’t really need, since most technicians also work to sell more of the company’s services to you.
One of the final deciding factors is just how much control you want out of your security system. Features like wirelessly viewable cameras and smart activation of different features within the system itself can be super awesome if you’re of the right mindset to take advantage of them but can also raise the monthly fee that you’ll be paying.
We’ve gone over the features which are usually offered already and each company’s plans will work on a different scale. Just make sure that you’re actually going to use all of the extras that you’ve decided to pay for instead of letting a sales person upsell you on things you really won’t use.
Your best defense, in this case, is to make sure that you know what you want before you even call and make it clear that you’re not interested in any upgrades. Even temporarily free upgrades can add up if you forget to turn them off before the trial is up.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Signing a Contract
Signing the contract can be a little bit scary for some people, and it pays to make sure that you keep the following in mind before you decide to sign up:
- Is the equipment exclusive to this manufacturer? If you’re unsatisfied with their service will you be able to move to someone else without having to install a whole new set of equipment?
- Is there a guarantee on parts which will last the duration of the contract? You don’t want to be left holding the bill if something breaks due to no fault of your own.
- How long will you be on this contract? Many companies offer lower cost contracts for a few years, but you’ll generally have to stay in the same home for the duration or keep paying without benefit when you move. If you’re planning on moving before the contract is up, can you move your service?
- Is the equipment yours when the contract runs out or do you have to return it? Returning it can be a pain if you’re staying in the same home but wanting to switch providers.
- Get your quote in writing, make sure it includes all of the equipment that you’ve decided on as well so there’s no surprises when it comes time to start paying.
- Does the company do a risk assessment to tell you what and where you’ll want to place things? Risk assessments are generally free of charge and they can be extremely useful for those of us who aren’t sure which areas are high priority.
- Does this company offer everything that you think you’ll need to make your home secure? Do they offer the extras, like smart thermostats, that you want?
- Lastly, does the service you’ve decided on fit in your budget?
As usual, you’ll need to be shrewd in your dealings with salesmen. While they may genuinely want to help, you have to keep in mind that it’s still their job to make sure that you buy the company’s products.
It’s always a trying process to hash out prices and things over the phone when you call in. Set aside some time, particularly if you’re looking to get a quote from multiple service providers before you make your final choice.
Getting into buying a security system can be a big deal when you’re doing it the first time. A service which is designed to keep your home safe and sound while you’re away is definitely one of the harder things you may have to engage in. Spend some time at it, however, and you’ll be able to end up with increased peace of mind and maybe even some awesome features which you’d never before considered.