To determine the best home security system on the market, we spent more than 100 hours researching and testing professional tracking systems and monitored by the top rated professionals.
And after thorough testing, our # 1 choice for the best home security system is FrontPoint. Frontpoint not only offers all the latest security features required by a family, but includes 3G connectivity in the event of landline breakdown, HD cameras, glass cut-off sensors, high-end customer service, an ultra-simple installation and a 3-year warranty on all equipment.
Table of Contents:
- Home Security Systems Cost Comparison
- How We Choose
- How We Tested
- Why You Should Buy a New Home Security System
- Our #1 Pick (and other top 4)
- Features Comparison
- Features to Look For
- Mistakes to Avoid
- What Else to Think About
Home Security Systems Cost Comparison Table
|Activation + Installation Fee||$0||$0||$19.95||$0||$0||DIY|
|Monthly Fee||$34.99 –
|$29.95 – 49.95||$0-25||$9.99||$0|
|Contract Agreement||1 or 3 Year||3 Years||1 Year||None||None||None|
|Equipment Cost||Starts at $99||$0||Starts at $99||Starts at $184.99||Starts at $129.99||$349.99+|
|Refund Policy||100% money back, 30 days||100% money back, 30 days||Up to 1-Year on equipment (doesn’t include the monitoring fee)||100% money back, 60 days||30 Day Return + 10% Restocking Fee (if bought from Scout direct)||30 days|
|Warranty||3 Years||Lifetime||Lifetime (must ask)||3 Years||1 Year||1 Year|
|30 Day Trial with No Fee||30 Day Return + 10% Restocking Fee (if bought from Scout direct)||NA|
|Cancellation Policy||Early Termination Fee||15 days||Anytime, no fee||60 days, free return shipping||n/a||NA|
|Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now|
We realize that not only will the specific features dictate your decision on the home security system to buy, but also the cost of monthly monitoring and equipment. For this exact reason, we have reflected in advance and we have established a comparison table of costs, so you know what to anticipate different monthly tracking prices. Differentiated by costs and benefits, this table will help you compare and contrast our best rated residential security systems. Here you will see a side-by-side evaluation of five different price points, so you can easily see what each of these security systems will provide depending on your budget.
In the next section you will find our evaluations, detailed reviews and features offered by national home security systems companies that we believe are the best of the best. A list of advantages and disadvantages is also available, which determines what we believe to be the strongest and weakest points of each home security system.
How We Choose the Best Home Security Systems
With regard to the best home security systems, we have not wasted any time trying to evaluate these products from all angles and have spent about 100 hours collectively reviewing all of the choices that have been made, have done in the annual cycle. When looking for systems to analyze, we examined a wide variety of factors – how they arrive at your door, what type of warranty they offer in case the unit that appears disagrees.
The great trend with do-it-yourself home security configurations is that with your smartphone you can configure and manage almost all the same aspects of a security system that required entire teams of people to manage (before the magic of technology does participate in help). This means that all sensors, cameras and additional devices that normally reinstall a network to a monitoring station can all be returned directly to your pocket, giving you a level of control over your home security, above.
What We Looked For to Make Our Top List
To get more specific on what we were looking for in creating this list, we wanted to include various styles of security at home; a different system for all types of houses or apartments. The best security systems in the home have three essential components: an excellent smartphone application, the integration option with intelligent hosting hardware and a large amount of customization available in creating the perfect system for your situation.
All systems that include cameras with a resolution of 720p or more had at least one door / window sensor to communicate with the base station, a motion sensor, Crash-n-Smash protection and allow you to streaming live video to your phone has been considered part of this list.
Other essential components include (but are not limited to) a 24/7 monitoring option that does not lock you in an annual contract, night vision on IP cameras, a variety of different sensors (motion, image and environment) ) as well as the option to add friends or family to the Trusted Circle of people who should be notified when an interruption is in progress.
Where’s Bay or ADT?
The most influential readers among you may have noticed that in all these discussions on home security systems, so far no mention has been made of why large companies like Bay or ADT have not done this listing. To begin with, since Bay and ADT have massive amounts of listeners to support their security style at home (they own their 24/7 monitoring centers, rather than renting the service to a third party), much of that cost is charged to the customer and the eventual cost of his contract.
Both companies must also send a live representative to your site to install their systems, while alternatives like LiveWatch or FrontPoint can be installed by the user. Again, these technologies cost money, which ends up being bent to the amount you pay the company for your subscription or your contract. The old ways of doing home security are not as effective as usual, which means they are too expensive and also limited to all functions of this year’s list.
Other DIY companies like Like Interactive are also missing from this list, mainly due to equipment malfunction and non communicative customer support.
What Is A Glass Break Sensor Or Motion Detector?
For those who are curious with questions like “What is a motion detector” or “What is a glass breakage sensor”? The answers are basically the same. Each is designed to monitor different areas of your home – the corridor and bathroom window, for example – and use proprietary technology to communicate any movement or sound to the base station when an intruder tries to enter.
We Found the Systems that We’re the Easiest to Setup
Finally, we took a special moment to see how “DIY” these DIY systems are. I have personally examined all the systems seen on this list and I know the ins and outs of how it is streamlined (or frustratingly hauling hair) by putting them to full capacity. Although some systems like FrontPoint nail the installation process, others, such as LiveWatch, might be slightly prohibitive for users who are not as knowledgeable about technology or who do not understand home networks, between us.
How We Tested
To test each security system after it was installed in our homes and apartment testing grounds, we went through a series of withdrawal scenarios to which the average customer tries to protect themselves.
This includes standard tests such as opening / closing windows and doors with sensors installed, as well as evaluation of response times and how support staff has processed each call. The characteristics of each system vary slightly, which means that we can not keep all our tests 100% consistent across the board (the Scout alarm does not have glass break detectors to test, for example), but for all the holes that we have marked in our table above.
Other tests included the quality of the cameras used to capture the faces of a burglar during an interruption (for all systems that could support one), as well as smaller notes, such as how high was a siren (could one hear from the door next to? street?), and how easy it was to arm / disarm the system in a minute or less. Motion sensors were triggered at distances varying from 5 to 30 feet apart, while all cameras that had night vision sensor capability were tested with different types of clothing ranging from orange to neon to black brilliant to evaluate how far it could be ideal in non ideal conditions.
Why You Should Buy a New Home Security System
If none of the names in this list seem familiar to you regarding the best home security systems, do not worry, the last few years in this category have been a whirlwind for everyone.
Today DIY Security Is Cheaper and Just as Effective as the Big Guys
In a market that used to dominate some dominant companies such as Bay, Brinks or ADT in recent years, the advent of smartphones has opened the playing field to dozens of young and hungry businesses, including many are innovative old guard circles and adding new features daily.
All this means that at the moment, DIY home security systems solve many of the same problems as large ones, while integrating much of your security and your smart home in one place, allowing total control on your home or apartment like never before. Home security was a privilege reserved for people who could afford the high cost of having someone come into their home and professionally install a range of cameras and sensors but now with our smartphones the price has been reduced and all the benefits have remained exactly the same.
Our Top Five Home Security Systems Reviewed
#1 Pick Frontpoint Security System Review
Price: Check Price | Read Full Review: FrontPoint Home Security Review | Features: Intuitive DIY setup, 30-day trial, smoke and heat monitors
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: An extremely simple setup process and stellar customer service set FrontPoint head and shoulders above the rest.
Overall, Frontpoint is our first choice for the best home security system of 2017. It has good ratings with Consumer Affairs, Yelp and Angie’s list, and the features offered by this security system are so spectacular it is difficult to list them all here.
Its smoke detector monitors a sharp increase in room temperature and smoke associated with fires. In addition, its carbon monoxide detector will protect you from damage and loved ones. In addition, the Frontpoint system offers Crash And Smash protection, used by Alarm.com. This means that even if someone breaks and breaks the GE Simon XT control panel, the alarm does not stop working: once the active sensor has been activated, the monitoring station is alerted.
But what makes FrontPoint really stand out from the competition is not only its excellent customer service and its streamlined configuration process that has been refined to a T. They have also perfected the art of mixing 100% wireless and cellular connection, which means that, irrespective of whether the landline phone is down, the system can still send a distress call to the authorities, making it one of the best home security systems without 2017.
In addition, you can easily connect to quality home automation equipment, allowing you to control your door locks, thermostat and lights. And if, for some reason, the alarm goes into a “non-responding” state, Frontpoint will send an alert to your device.
The Frontpoint home alarm system is relatively inexpensive because it is a DIY device, which means there is no setup fee. Although Frointpoint does not offer a lifetime warranty on its equipment or a two-way intercom, they remain our first choice as we know that their customer service is equipped to help you solve any problem you may have.
- Amazing customer service
- Smoke and heat monitoring
- Carbon monoxide monitoring
- Customizable alarms
- 100% wireless home surveillance
- Pets under 40 pounds will not trip the alarm
- Live streaming to your device
- 30-Day Risk-Free trial
- Automation capabilities
- Opt-in Geo Services
- “Crash and Smash” protection
- DIY system
- Compatible with smart locks
- A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
- No snapshot pictures or recording available
- Monitored outsourced though one company (Rapid Response)
- 2-Way intercom not available
- Contract must be at least three years
- Doesn’t work if you live in a rural area with no wireless reception
- Only a 3-year warranty
- Service isn’t offered in Las Vegas, NV; Henderson, NV, and Quebec, Canada
#2 Pick Protect America Home Security System
Price: Check Price | Full Review: Protect America Home Security Review | Features: No upfront cost for equipment, smash-and-crash protection, HD camera
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Protect America is a budget-conscious home security option – with a catch.
Protecting America is not necessarily the best choice for everything, but what it does, it works well, with an attractive price structure that is unique to this industry to safeguard it.
See, unlike most home security solutions on this list, which may have some type of activation fee or initial cost for equipment attached to their overall price, Protect America adopts a more “Netflixian” model, where everything you need to get started is included directly in the cost of the subscription.
The company has three levels of subscription, which include varying amounts of equipment depending on the size of your home. The basic option of $ 19.99 includes 3 door / window sensors (more than enough for an apartment or 1 bedroom house), 1 motion sensor and the control panel. Available options and equipment increase to $ 37.99 / month and $ 42.99 per month, respectively, but whatever package you carry with you, you will never have to cover the initial cost of the equipment or installation in your home (excluding the $ 99 charge for the control panel).
The capture is that of all subscription models here Protect America has the longest contract to lock you up: 3 years minimum. If you know you want to keep your security solutions at home for a while, it’s a good option, but for the more transitory buyer, a 36-month commitment could push the limits of acceptability.
- No activation or installation fees
- Lifetime Warranty
- Little upfront cost for equipment
- Easily to relocate with the help of Velcro backing
- Backup 3G network
- HD camera has great quality
- Integrates with Alexa and home automation software
- Great customer service
- Money back guarantee
- Not many equipment options
- Three-year contract commitment is lengthy
- No glass break detectors
#3 Pick LiveWatch Security System Review
Price: Check Price | Read Full Review: LiveWatch Home Security Review | Features: Android-enable touchpad, image and motion sensing, Crash-n-smash protection
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Live Watch makes it simple for you to protect your whole home from the comfort of your smartphone.
Previously known as SafeMart before 2013, if you like DIY systems, LiveWatch can be a perfect home security system for you. One of the reasons that LiveWatch made it to the top five is that it is an all-wireless system, more affordable than other home security surveillance services.
LiveWatch provides cheaper surveillance services than other home security systems, but it costs more for the equipment. But, ultimately, this compromise is more profitable. There are four monitoring packages ranging from $ 19.95 to $ 49.95, and each package includes a connection to up to 40 smart detectors, sensors and appliances.
Related: Canary Home Security Review
Besides the affordability of LiveWatch, what sets them apart from the competition is that the system allows you to monitor your children or family members with medical conditions. It also has its own original feature, called ASAPer, which can be the key to protecting you from your family and your family.
In an emergency, ASAPer quickly sends notifications to the contacts of your choice all at once, instead of one at a time as other home alarm systems. LiveWatch is a leader in “Plug and Play” devices, and these devices offer both ASAPer and Crash and Smash protection. LiveWatch is rapidly gaining fame as a private security system company, and it’s no wonder why, when it offers all these outstanding features, that’s why it has made our list of the best security systems at home of 2017.
- Foolproof setup process
- Lifetime Warranty (you must ask for this)
- Nest integration is enabled
- Performance was solid during break-in scenarios
- Mobile app is missing functionality
- Self-installation only
- Expensive to buy additional equipment
- Minimal equipment included
- Website isn’t super user-friendly
- Confusion around the consistency of the LiveWatch brand name
- 2-year warranty (but we hear if you ask, they’ll offer a lifetime warranty)
#4 Pick SimpliSafe Home Security System Review
Price: Check Price | Read Full Review: SimpliSafe Home Security Review | Features: Manual keypad and keychain, smoke and motion alarms, USB key
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: If you want as simple as simple home security gets, SimpliSafe is the one for you.
SimpliSafe, as its name suggests, is really on a simple system to set up. SimpliSafe is a hybrid of old and new, featuring big gray / blue / red buttons (no different from what you might see in a Life Alert advertisement), and no touchscreen to talk about.
Even the application is painfully simple, with only three buttons that allow you to activate the alarm (at home or outside), or disable it – that’s all. SimpliSafe then takes all the complicated technological jargon and is limited to simple and simple protection, a feat that can not be overestimated alone. This industry is full of startups that use the functionality of their systems left and right, almost as if they were trying to “stand out” to each other up.
SimpliSafe is moving in the other direction, rationalizing all steps from installation to live monitoring in 15 minutes or less (depending on the length of your connection to download the new firmware).
It is a system that also has a physical element, thanks to the addition of the base station and the USB deactivation key ring. In case you do not remember your code, you can simply insert the USB key to disable all alarms. If you are older or technically skilled with your phone, trying to turn off your alarm while you crash is much better handled by a physical key than pressing a virtual button on your phone.
SimpliSafe is an excellent system if you have elderly parents who wish to retain some of their independence without having to worry about running their Touchpad Android OS properly or launching a confusing app for smartphones. Everything here is straight and precise, which is very good for their home and yours.
- Simple setup and operation
- $24.99 24/7 monitoring plan
- Customizable setup
- Excellent customer service
- Expensive for a complete system
- IP Camera is $99 extra
- App is too simplistic
- No friends and family Trusted Circle options
#5 Pick Scout Security Review
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Scout is simple to setup and comes with an intuitive mobile app.
With a stylish and modern design available in three aesthetically pleasing color options: “wood”, “arctic” and “midnight”, Scout is one of the best DIY home security systems to date and does not require any activation or installation fees . What makes this Chicago-based company stand out is that they used crowd financing and pre-order to offset the initial cost and production. Although it is less expensive than other home security systems, it still works exceptionally well for the price. It should also be noted that they use professional monitoring, but do not require contracts, which is rare in other domestic alarm systems on this list.
If you are concerned about the question of “how much does a home security system” you will be happy to know that to soothe your needs and meet your preferences you can create your own equipment, a scout alarm package, and there are two follow-up plans that you can choose from. The first package is $ 9.99 per month and offers email notifications, a Scout mobile application with push notifications, a 3G cell with a battery backup and text alerts. The second plan is $ 19.99 per month and offers all the features in the foreground plus 24/7 professional surveillance with UL-certified surveillance centers that will send the font to your name.
- No activation or installation fees
- Easily to relocate
- Backup 3G network
- Integrates with Nest and Nest Cam
- Excellent customer service
- Money back guarantee
- No contract despite using professional monitoring
- Not many equipment options
- Upfront payment for equipment
- Does not include cameras, flood, break glass, or temperature units
- Not registered with the Better Business Bureau
- Limited motion sensor range
- Inadequate battery life
#6 Pick Piper nv Home Security System Review
Price: $349.00 | Read Full Review: Piper nv Home Security Camera Review | Features: 720p 180° night-vision enabled recording,
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The Piper nv is perfect for small owners of houses or apartments that have only one or two entrances to cover
The Piper nv may not be one of the more conventional classic home security solutions but this does not mean that two or three of these base stations around your home will not keep you as safe (if not the case) than any other system on this list.
The Piper nv is a secure IP camera for 180 ° nighttime security, with the ability to connect to one or more door sensors of your choice. By combining only two elements of an otherwise complete system (door / window sensors and camera), the Piper relaxes your security to the basics, but still protects most apartments at a fraction of what you should pay for the competition.
I would not recommend using the Piper nv for a complete solution for the house, especially if you have two or more floors of potential entrances to protect. Although you can add an unlimited number of additional sensors, Piper sells them for $ 39.95 per card, a price that can quickly add up if you add multiple windows and doors at a time.
The Piper nv is a 720p HD camcorder that records clips on your phone whenever an intrusion is detected and will sound a 105dB siren if triggered by an event. You can also configure it to send a text message to someone in your Trusted Circle, as well as call them and leave voice messages if something changes while the system is armed. Unfortunately, all checks must be done via your smartphone as there is no 24/7 option, so if you are interested, you may want to look elsewhere.
- High quality IP camera
- Both live and recorded video monitoring available
- No monthly subscription
- No contracts
- Intuitive mobile app
- Unlimited door sensors
- Night vision
- Crash-n-smash protection
- Power outage protection
- Excellent customer service through forums, videos, phone support, and live chat
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Not a full-home solution
- No 24/7 monitoring
- No cellular monitoring option
- Cancellation policy with a $79 restocking fee
- Video streaming only available on wireless and broadband monitoring
|Door or Windows Sensors|
|Smoke, Carbon Monoxide|
|Mobile App/Remote Access|
|Crash and Smash Tech|
|Power Outage Protection|
|Pet Friendly||Up to 40 lbs||Up to 40 lbs||Up to 40 lbs||Up to 50 lbs|
|Take It With You|
|Warranty||3 Years||Lifetime||Lifetime||3 Years||1 Year||1 Year|
|Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now|
What is more important than cost is the safety of you and your loved ones. Do not let your budget dictate your decision: your family’s life may depend on this. When you decide the desired features – whether these features include a lifetime warranty on equipment, or “Crash and Smash” protection, you can decide if a particular home security system is the right price for those needs. Many home alarm systems offer several packages, and all have different facets, this choice is easier than ever.
It is a choice that should not be rushed, but thoughtfully considered. Your sense of well-being and the protection of your family are controlled by this result, so make sure you feel “at home” with this decision.
Features You Should Look for on the Best Home Security System
Wireless Versus Cellular Monitoring
- Wireless monitoring in a home security system indicates the constant wireless communication between the security system panel and the sensors in your home. This form of monitoring is used in the place of wired monitoring, where the signal travels through wires, which are connected through the security panel, sensors, and power supply.
- Cellular monitoring in a home security system refers to the constant wireless communication between the security system panel and the home alarm monitoring center. This wireless communication is implemented through cellular technology, instead of landlines or broadband Internet connections.
- Wireless and cellular monitoring can be used together, and compliment each other . Additionally, wires cannot be cut if there are none, and if there is a power outage, your home security system will not be affected.
“Crash and Smash” Protection
- Even if an intruder breaks into your home, smashing the security system panel, your home alarm monitoring center will be alerted of the emergency.
- This protection is utilized when an intrusion sensor is triggered, sending a notification to the monitoring center, and instead of the alarm being turned off from the security system panel, the intruder smashes it altogether.
- However, smashing the panel will not withdraw the alarm notification. And until the authorities arrive to investigate, the intruder will believe that they have disengaged the alarm system because it will stay silent.
Home Automation Technology
- Through a mobile device, this type of technology allows you to have control over your home alarm system, and any sensors or devices you have hooked up to it. These sensors and devices include, but are not limited to: door and window sensors, temperature and water sensors, smart locks, security cameras, and smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and glass break detectors.
- You can also program the lighting in your home, thermostats, and electrical outlets, to name a few, to run on a schedule to fit your lifestyle. This will not only help to conserve energy, but help you save money on your gas and electric bills. Through your remote control or mobile device, you have complete control these sensors or devices even if you’re not at home.
DIY Home Security Systems and “Plug and Play” Sensors
- If you are willing to install a top rated home security system (and all its included sensors) on your own, these devices can be more cost-effective than spending money on a home security system that requires professional installation.
- Many of the sensors included with the picks on this list only have a sticky-backed adhesive to apply, however others like FrontPoint‘s in-line bolt system will take major power tools in order to get installed properly.
- These sensors can be controlled through a smart phone app, are generally easy to relocate, and will protect you regardless if you live in an apartment or house.
- In case of an emergency, an ASAPer system allows you to customize who you want contacted in case of an emergency and how you want those people to be contacted—through phone call, text, or email.
- These people, as well as the central monitoring station, are contacted all at once instead of one at a time.
- Typically, a home alarm system works with a centralized monitoring station that is constantly communicating with your home security system’s control panel to ensure your safety. If something were to go wrong, whether there’s evidence of a fire or intruder, both the station and the authorities will be notified.
- Being able to access the live monitoring through a centralized monitoring station ensures that any video of a break-in will always be saved to the cloud immediately, so it can’t be tampered with after.
- If the power goes out, and your home alarm panel is unable to communicate with the centralized monitoring station, a back-up battery can be utilized to ensure that you and your loved ones will continue to be protected.
- These back-up power supplies usually last at least 24 hours, and will often be rechargeable AA or AAA batteries that can be replaced at your local hardware store.
- Many DIY home security systems these days (inluding the majority of those on this list) use centralized systems and apps like Alarm.com to help you remotely manage your security needs at home.
- A good app will let you pipe into the IP camera, trigger/set/disarm your alarm, and keep a detailed timeline of events in case the system is disarmed or tripped without your knowledge.
- Certain apps will even directly connect you to the authorities from your smartphone in case of an event, which can shave critical seconds off their reponse time during an emergency.
- If the home alarm system is triggered by an intruder, or another emergency, an operator from your central monitoring station can listen inside your home, and intimidate the intruder into leaving.
- You can also speak to the operator directly if an alarm is triggered—they will initiate the 2-way monitoring in order to make sure you and your loved ones are safe, and ask if there is anything more they can do to assist you.
Mistakes to Avoid
Do not install if you do not know what you’re doing: it’s important that when you install your DIY security system, it’s done by someone who understands enough about technology to say that nothing slips through the first time . Many of these systems come with sensitive sensors that will not work unless they are perfectly placed, and the last place you want to encounter a “defect” system is when your home is in the middle of an intrusion.
Add only a family or close friends to your Trusted Circle: this is for several reasons, especially if you forget to disarm your alarm late at night, or your dog will stop it and each of your family members and half your neighborhood will send you messages to see if you are okay. Look for alarm systems that allow you to customize exactly how the system reacts to different circumstances, that is, you only make texts when motion is detected, but sound the actual alarm if a loud noise goes out (the Piper nv is perfect for this kind of thing).
Get the right system for your home: there is such a thing as being “too secure” in terms of home security, and overloading more sensors and gadgets than you want. Respect the protection of areas in your home or apartment that you know will be vulnerable. For example, if you live on the fifth floor of your building without access to the fire evacuation, you probably will not need to buy a window sensor, unless your burglars have very large scales and of a real sense of bravery.
What Else You Should Think About
Although the search for the best home security systems in 2017 may seem daunting, knowing what each home alarm system offers is an important precautionary measure. Choosing the right home security system is choosing the highest form of security. If you want a system that will lead you to protect yourself in a way adapted to your lifestyle, you must first know all the facts and features offered by the various home alarm systems.
Of course, you may not even have to use a full-fledged security system if you do not want (or do not have a lot of money to spare). There are other home security options that can be less expensive to use and easier to use, such as Netgear Arlo Q or Canary, both of which have the same features as the house security options above one-quarter price.