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. If you’re in a hurry go right to our winner Frontpoint. 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.
Please note that all of the plan prices in the following table are only for the most basic plans with extended contracts and also do not include equipment costs.
But 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|
|Frontpoint||$34.99/month||Customer Service||Check Price|
|Link Interactive||$35.99/month||Complete Transparency||Check Price|
|Protect America||$19.99/month||Overall Value||Check Price|
|Vivint||$39.99/month||Smart Homes||Check Price|
|Scout||$9.99/month||Well Designed Equipment and Low Monthly Rates||Check Price|
|Armorax||$24.95/month||Versatile Plans||Check Price|
|LiveWatch||$29.95/month||Warranties and Money Back Guarantee||Check Price|
|Moni||$19.99/month||Highest Amount of Options||Check Price|
|ADT||$36.99||Most Trusted Brand||Check Price|
1. Offering the Best Customer Service
Frontpoint isn’t the most widely known company when it comes down to home security systems, but they’re definitely starting to make waves by offering very reasonable prices and superior customer service. Most people will find the whole process of signing up with them to be pretty much seamless.
They offer 100% cellular service, meaning that you can access the whole system quite easily with your cellphone. Unfortunately, this also makes them not the most suitable brand for those who are out in the sticks, where a landline or broadband is a better option.
They’re not the cheapest around, but they do offer a remarkable amount of transparency around their prices. Hidden fees are pretty much unheard of here.
Pros and Cons
- Excel at customer service
- Easy to install system
- Cellular access
- Great control panel
- Offer a wide range of high-end equipment
- No landline option for rural areas
- No professional installation offered
2. Completely Transparent Pricing
In addition to offering some of the best equipment around, and a surprising amount of features even with their lower priced plans, Link Interactive offers a huge advantage over the competition for those who don’t want to bother haggling: 100% price transparency.
This means that you can pick and choose your equipment and plan in order to know what the actual costs are right up front. That’s a win for everyone involved and means you can often safely ignore any proposed upsells.
They also offer excellent customer service, the main problem with it is the fact that there isn’t someone manning the phones 24/7, so you’ll have to call during business hours if you need technical advice.
Link Interactive offers a high end service, competitive pricing, and best of all a complete overview of just how much your system is going to cost you without any chance for surprises.
Pros and Cons
- Complete pricing transparency
- A full range of high-end equipment
- 30-day risk-free trial
- Contracts start at one year in length
- Pick only the equipment you need
- No landline options
- Limited customer service hours
3. Best Overall Value
Protect America is a huge company which offers an amazing variety in their plans. Good news for those who live in rural areas as well: they’re one of the few big companies that still offer landline based plans.
Of course, they’re definitely not perfect and a lot of their infrastructure could use a bit of an upgrade. As a solid company that’ll provide need, they basically work, but their plans are priced about the same as any other high end company and their reputation isn’t quite as sterling as some of the others when it comes to customer service.
One nice thing: they lock in your rates and all of the equipment is permanently warrantied. This means you can easily get it replaced if something breaks down the line.
For those in a rural area, Protect America can be perfect, and they offer pretty good value for the money. Those looking for the best tech and service may be better served paying a mildly higher price with a more specialized company.
Pros and Cons
- Offer landline service
- No activation or installation fees
- Rates are permanently locked in
- Equipment is warrantied for life
- Lowest priced plans for landline users
- Not specialized in high-tech equipment
- App can be a bit spotty in service
4. Best Comprehensive System for a Smart Home
Vivint isn’t the cheapest around, but they offer a ton of extras which can help you to get a full smart home going. Their app and equipment can let you change thermostats, monitor cameras, or even use a doorbell camera with a surprising amount of ease.
Their focus is mainly on the high-tech end of things. We’re talking about energy-efficient equipment and some of the newest stuff like two way communication for your front door so you can give instructions to delivery and maintenance people even when you’re not home.
You can also finance your equipment over an extended period with them, adding it to your monthly bill instead of paying a huge cost right up front.
Vivint isn’t the cheapest around, but they do offer some unique services which will help you make sure that you can get the most out of modern technology and there’s some flexible plans available to boot.
Pros and Cons
- Free professional install for indoor equipment
- Flexible pricing on security systems
- Two-way communication available
- Lifetime warranties on equipment
- Advanced and easy to use
- Can be a bit pushy about sales
- No DIY install options available
5. Best for Renters
SimpliSafe is a bit of an oddball in all of these great companies. Instead of you having to call them up and haggle and hash out a contract, you’re looking at a company which sells you the equipment and then allows you to choose whether to purchase some automation.
For $14.99 per month they offer monitoring to help keep your home safe, but even if you opt not to use it they have a ton of different options available. For renters this can be a huge plus since there’s no need to get locked into another year of lease.
The systems themselves are pretty basic. This isn’t really your full high-tech, smart home program with the attendant conveniences that can be offered but at the end of the day it does allow you a simple and cheap way to make sure your home stays protected.
For renters, or just those who want to avoid complications involving contracts entirely, SimpliSafe offers a fantastic solution.
Pros and Cons
- No contract required
- Basic equipment at a low price
- Ideal for those renting a home
- Easy installation
- Monitoring available for a monthly fee
- Requires cellular service to work
- Equipment isn’t high tech
6. Best Equipment Design and Lowest Monthly Fees
While Scout’s service, in and of itself, doesn’t offer the best customer service or any real frills they have one decided advantage: their equipment is top notch. They allow you to build a comprehensive system using some of the newest technology and then only charge you a minimal month-to-month fee.
Their basic plan starts at $9.99 a month and will allow you to receive alerts through your phone and other devices when something triggers an alarm. For another $10 per month, you can get awesome 24/7 monitoring as well which makes for the complete package.
There are some issues, however. They don’t actually offer cameras or smart thermostats directly. Instead you’ll have to integrate the system with existing Nest products which you’ll buy separately from everything else.
Their equipment selection is also pretty basic. It’s well-designed, but there’s just not much of it there.
For awesome equipment integration and super low fees, Scout may be the home security service that you’ve been looking for.
Pros and Cons
- Super cheap monthly fees
- Well-designed equipment
- Integrates with Nest smart devices
- No contract
- Build your own systems available
- Motion sensors trigger too easily
- Limited selection of equipment
7. A Versatile Home Security System Solution
Armorax offers some pretty impressive versatility when it comes to their plans as well as the best tech around to make sure you can take advantage of all of the modern features available. They’re not the cheapest, but at the time of this writing they’re offering a special at $24.95 per month that’s going to go back to their standard $44.95 per month soon and they’ll lock in the rate for life if you act fast.
If you’re into being able to pick and choose the features which go into your security system, then you’re in luck. If you go with their comprehensive plan, they’ll also offer you the basic system itself for free which is pretty impressive overall.
They support Z-wave technology as well, meaning that you can use your own add-ons that you can buy pretty much anywhere and aren’t limited to just what they offer. This makes them an attractive choice for the DIY inclined homeowner.
For a versatile plan with third party equipment integrated into your home security, Armorax is a super attractive option.
Pros and Cons
- Easy integration with third party devices
- A ton of monitoring options
- Mobile access is easy and fast
- Quick response time
- Fast to get up and running
- Extra fee for mobile access
- No central monitoring on cheaper plans
8. Best Warranties and Money Back Guarantee
LiveWatch is pretty middle of the road when it comes to features and the equipment they offer but they’ve got an advantage for the homeowner who isn’t quite sure of what they want: they offer a money-back guarantee for a full year after you sign up with them.
They also offer lifetime warranties on their equipment, but you’ll have to make sure you ask for it otherwise the equipment will only be covered for a couple of years.
The system itself is excellent and can be integrated with Z-wave technology so you can run your smart devices as well as making sure that your home is protected.
If you’re unsure if a plan is right for your home, LiveWatch offers a long time to make sure it’s right for you as well as some impressive integration. You’ll just have to purchase most of your smart home devices from a third party to get a full automated system going.
Pros and Cons
- One year money back guarantee
- Lifetime warranties… if asked
- Z-wave compatible
- Redundant monitoring stations
- Flexible contracts available
- Have to request lifetime warranty
- Can only handle four cameras
9. Tons of Options with a High Price
Moni is ranked a bit lower on our list than it sometimes feels like they should be, they truly do offer one of the widest arrays of options on the market after all. They’re also super expensive and often the same technology can be had for a cheaper price.
If you’re not worried about high monthly costs and activation fees, however, they’re a solid choice to make. Their supply of products relies mostly on local, licensed dealers to sell the equipment to you and they really do have a metric ton of stuff available.
The only problem is you’re going to be paying a higher price than much of the competition. Their contracts also tend to be longer than many of the other companies out there, but they have a relocation option available if you do decide to move before things have ran all the way up.
Moni offers a lot of options straight from their licensed dealers, but these come at a pretty high cost. Thankfully, it’s a system you can easily relocate so the length of the contracts isn’t as big of a deal as you’d think.
Pros and Cons
- Lifetime equipment warranties
- Large amount of options available
- High-end equipment
- Great customer service
- Home automation options
- High priced
- Varying prices on pretty much everything depending on location
10. Most Trusted Home Security System Brand
ADT has been in the game for a long time and they’re one of the biggest names around when it comes to home security. Of course, numbers aren’t the only thing involved when it comes to being a great company, and they’ve got high prices that keep us from recommending them as the first option for most people.
ADT isn’t super transparent about their pricing either, only the most basic plans can be seen without making a call and figuring out what exactly they can do for you at the end of the day.
Their equipment is solid, however, and their monitoring services are pretty much top notch. There’s just some odd inconsistencies when it comes to customer service and they use authorized equipment dealers which means you’ll pretty much have to buy their stuff to use them.
If you’re uncomfortable using a newer company, however, ADT has a long history of being in the field and they offer solid plans you can pick from with little thought.
Pros and Cons
- Huge, trusted company
- A+ rating with the BBB
- 24/7 support offered
- Same day installation is offered
- Solid equipment
- Extended warranties are charged for
- Authorized dealers have varying equipment
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.
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.