The Best Home Security Systems of 2021
It’s never been easier to find a home security system. Sure, you can go the DIY route and spend hundreds of dollars on the equipment. But if you want a guaranteed premium service without spending a fortune, there are also a number of options you can choose from … everything from starting out small with a monitored security system to going all in with a top-of-the-line system that includes everything under the sun.
Comparison of the Best Home Security Systems
To help you decide which security system is best for your needs, we’ve put together a comparison comparing 10 of the most popular home security systems. We’ll share what features make these the best of the best and why each is a best seller in its category.
We’ve divided the comparisons into two parts; DIY and non-DIY options. Both DIY and non-DIY home security systems will be discussed below, in separate comparison tables. If DIY systems interest you, check out the DIY section below. If you prefer you security system to be installed and monitored by a professional security company, you’ll want to to check out the non-DIY systems.
To get a better idea of what system you may need, read the summary table of the different security system options.
A Detailed List of the Best Home Alarm Systems
Many homeowners go through the tedious process of trying to find the best home security system. Well, check out this article as well as the reviews below, to get a full list of the best home security systems!
SimpliSafe – Best Home Security System Overall
How we tested: We researched and evaluated 108 home security providers based on customer satisfaction, equipment reliability, communication reliability and value. As this is a paradigm shift in how home security is purchased, we determined the importance of selecting and installing your own equipment to be paramount. We explained the equipment installation process as clearly as possible, and solicited feedback from installation experts to ensure our instructions were clear and concise. In addition, we factored in equipment costs, special features and home automation compatibility. Once all the data was collected, we evaluated each company's equipment and customer service experiences, and their online reliability.
What we liked: The security provider is owned by the same company that makes the equipment; installation is simple and does not require any construction; many integrations with popular 3rd party products; availability of professional and monitored services; standard equipment includes a hub and keypad for a basic DIY system; free access to the SimpliCam DIY camera system; international monitoring; fire and environmental protection; wireless outdoor siren; flexible cancellation policy; even more discounts for bundling equipment.
What we didn't like: The entry-level system includes only a keypad and not a hub; there is a minimum contract period; professional monitoring is extra-cost; equipment requires AC power.
Overall Rating: 4.4 stars
Why SimpliSafe Was Best for No-Contract Home Security
There are many reasons to get a home security system. They help you feel safe and secure and they can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with living in an area where there are high-crime rates. People who live in areas that experience severe weather or a lot of theft and those who travel often for long periods of time are some of the most likely people to invest in a home security system.
While there are many options for home security, SimpliSafe stood out as the best for no-contract. This is because the cost of the system is spread out over a few financial years. This can give the buyer more freedom to invest in a security system without having to carry that cost for an entire year.
SimpliSafe also has the greatest amount of security. SimpliSafe is an all-in-one security system with smoke and carbon monoxide sensors.
Low Prices for Equipment & Monitoring
When looking for a security company, it's best to forget price comparisons with 'conventional' businesses because the price of home security equipment and monitoring can be significantly lower than you may think. Homeowners have an opportunity to save even more money by adding home security equipment to their current utility company bill, or as a bundled service. The price of the equipment needed to start monitoring your home is also much cheaper than in the past. Security companies no longer need individual boxes for each sensor for example. This means that many of the basic pieces of equipment needed to keep your home secure are even more affordable than ever before.
As more companies start monitoring their equipment remotely and online, the need for an in home security console is no longer necessary. This means there are now even more cost savings opportunities for home security companies to offer. Many companies now offer a 'fixed monthly rate' for all equipment, monitoring and service needed. Some companies even offer an all in one package that includes monitoring of fire, smoke and CO2 detection, which can allow homeowners to protect their family from some of the most dangerous threats to their health and security. In addition to saving homeowners money, some companies offer a free home security system when you switch providers.
When you're researching potential home security companies, ask a lot of questions about what kinds of equipment they use, how they keep the service up and running 24/7 and how they are reimbursed by insurance companies for false alarms.
If a system uses old equipment that can't be accessed remotely, this means someone has to go into your house by cutting through a lock, breaking a glass window, or jiggling the doorknob to get your attention. This is what happens when an alarm company sends a security guard out after an alarm goes off.
If you're considering a contract, you're probably going to give that company a chance to work out the rough spots and tell their side of the story. But if you're working with a company that installs a wireless system and uses cellular technology, they're out of excuses.
The quality of your home security system and what it offers will always be important, but the technology that drives it will change in the years to come. New equipment will be the reason your alarm company doesn't charge you a fee when an alarm goes off. Smartphone technology and personal home security apps will replace old-fashioned security guards.
Simple to Install and Move
Homeowners looking for an affordable security solution as opposed to a full on home surveillance system need to consider a few things in the line of home security, particularly in the placement of the camera and a wireless outdoor security camera system that can be easily moved and is simple to install. More importantly, it should be fairly easy to set up and move around and not visually detract from the aesthetics of the home once it has been installed.
Vivint – Best Home Security and Automation
Let's take a closer look at this home security company and why we chose to list them as one of our favorites. After all, who doesn't want a home security system that sets itself up for you and sends you notifications when doors or windows open if you're not at home?
They're based in Utah, their headquarters and call center is completely wireless, they believe in sustainability, and they've saved the lives of their customers who interact with their security systems. These qualities are what make Vivint our choice.
Video is King. Based in South Jordan, Utah, Vivint was founded in 1999 by Todd Pedersen, David Navetta, Jason Pedersen, and Phil Holmes. Their mission was to replace the old-fashioned security systems and open a new world of home automation possibilities. Our world has changed a lot since then, and thankfully Vivint is keeping up with it.
As far as home security and automation companies go, they've got the growing pains under control and want you to know that they are dedicated to helping their clients have an improved life. Video is their king, and it's easy to see why. With the option of ONVIF-certified cameras that are IP-based, you can monitor all of your cameras and devices from one app or panel. They pride themselves on being a full home security and home automation provider.
How Vivint Was Best for Home Security with Automation
Vivint, with its home security and automation services, was able to impress the judges the most. It includes items like multi-sensor monitoring, the ability to set home and away modes, and remote-controllable lights and climate controls. Plus, you can control the system from your smartphone and smartwatch. Going beyond the basics was one of the main reasons the judges felt Vivint was best for home security.
But Vivint isn’t just about security. The name also stands for a top-notch home automation system. As a package, it's not just about locking your doors while you're out of town. Instead, Vivint offers functionality like turning your thermostat up before you get home, and turning lights on at set times each day. You can also set your home to self-secure mode, in which only doors and windows with alarms will close and lock.
Many of the wireless systems allow you to put in a street address or GPS coordinates to view a map of where your sensors are located. This can show advanced systems that integrate with other devices and your home automation system. Some of the high-end systems even have voice command features to allow you to arm or disarm your system without using any touch controls at all. You may also want to look for a system that has the option to add sensors and maybe an option to add more cameras down the road.
Home Security with AI
We are aware that we live in a world where technology is going pretty fast and you have to get used to the fact that you also need to keep up. Lots of companies are making their best to take care of that with some interesting smart devices, which are supposed to make your life easier, but what if that’s not the case?. Some of the most popular smart devices, like the Amazon Echo, Microsoft Cortana, and other voice assistant devices, are considered to have a pretty bad security flaw that proves that any hacker can get into your device just by saying a simple command in their own voice.
Despite this, if you are looking for a home security system that you can install without anyone’s help, a home security system that can answer your voice commands, then you have found the perfect product. Meet Oomi, one of the most interesting smart home products (if not the most interesting) that is currently available on the market.
Security cameras are a solid security investment. A good and reliable camera setup will last you for years, and if you get one that uses hard-wired Ethernet, will usually require little or no maintenance. Never underestimate the importance of a good quality image. A lot of robbers are deterred, because they can't tell if they're recognized, and most cameras can be set up to record to a hard drive, so you don't have to worry about removing tapes or storing them.
Some cameras have night vision, which allow you to see in complete darkness. Many of these cameras are infrared, which means they can't record in the dark. By day, they record into black and gray images, and at night, they switch into a synthesized green or black and white mode. These cameras still use IR lights to illuminate things in front of them, so your own eyes won't be blinded at night. No longer do you need to worry about replacing tapes in surveillance cameras.
ADT – Best Home Security System with Pro Installation
ADT is a trusted name in home security and their security services and equipment are known for being reliable and easy to use. As a brand that has been with us since 1874, it is also one of the oldest security companies in the country.
Based on how modern and streamlined ADT’s design is, though, it’s hard to believe that the company was first founded in 1874 in New York City. At the time Wiliam and Andrew Dodge first started the company, they were known to provide their customers with a simple device that could alert them to a fire or a burglary. One of the founders’ wives actually came up with the idea of an alarm box for home security, after a jewelry store broke into her home and stole a precious necklace.
The first company, known as the New York and Boston Steam Signal Company, had a very simple premise. It offered customers two options: Automatic Fire Signals and Burglar Alarms. The company later changed its name to ‘The American District Telegraph Company’, which was picked because of its ability to offer a communication service around the entire continent. In 1881, the ADT name was finally adopted, with the founding of the American District Telegraph Company, which is still active today as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tyco International.
How ADT Was Best for Pro-Installed Home Security
ADT remains the security provider of choice for many home owners because of its product offerings. ADT stands for American Digital Technologies, a company that has since been absorbed into the residential alarm giant it is today. ADT’s main premise is to provide home owners in the US with new and used security systems.
The company has been around for nearly a century, providing a wide range of services to millions of customers. It was one of the first to offer home security to customers in the US, and it is the oldest and largest personal security company in the country. Families depend on the company’s services to protect them from home invasions, natural disasters, fires, and other perils the come with living in various parts of the country.
ADT’s services are available nationwide, and it acts as a home security provider to over 4 million customers in the US. In addition to security services, the company also provides monitoring. Consumers are still turning to the company for security services.
One of the benefits of buying a DIY home security system is that you can install it yourself. You can start by buying one of the most popular DIY home security systems, which has everything you need to protect your home, including a camera, motion detector, sensors, and live video streaming technology. This type of system also comes with a base station that acts as the central hub of your security system. It will alert you if it detects motion, sounds, or if anything happens while you’re away.
The trade-off with self-installation is that you have to set up your system on your own. Another potential downside is that in some cases, you may have difficulty installing a DIY system. It’s important to look for a system that comes with instructions and if the set up seems too difficult to do on your own, then it is best to hire a pro to do it for you.
Hardwired, Wireless & Hybrid Security
The first and most important thing to think about when choosing a security system is the specific components that you need. There are three primary types of home security systems: hardwired, wireless, and hybrid. Each type has its own pros and cons, but security professionals recommend the hardwired system as the best overall home security system.
A medical alert system is an easy to use, portable and practical tool for monitoring the health of seniors.
A medical alert system will allow you or your loved one to be safe while living alone or after an accident or medical emergency, and you can always be reassured that help is on the way.
If you are caring for a senior citizen, talk to them about medical alerts to ensure they get the help they need in case of a medical emergency.
Alder – Best Security System for Response Times
The Alder Alarm is a great DIY alarm that has solutions for almost any home issue. The Alder works on a hub system, so you can play in different location combinations.
You can add up to eight motion and entry sensors as well as cameras and connecting to door locks and garage door openers, to make the alarm system really personal. For instance, you can open the garage door with the included transmitter from the inside and then have the alarm go off if it senses someone has entered in when you were supposed to be away from home. Not only does it alert you, but you can see it in a live stream.
The alarm comes with wireless entry panes and a wireless panic button. This unit is a great option for those who want to do their own installation and for those who are looking for the very best in terms of response times. Alder also has an existing price match guarantee.
Why Alder Was The Best Security System for Response Time
One of the reasons I know the Alder system is the best for response time is because of the technology behind it, but also because of the entire security system itself. The system has a temperature and motion sensor built into the main panel, so you don’t have to add additional sensors for this purpose.
It allows you to see what is going on within your home through its Live View streaming capabilities. You can check in on any video footage from your smartphone. Record the footage or save it to your smartphone’s memory card, if you need to. It also has night vision capabilities.
So how do you get started with a free security system? First, you’re given a starter kit when you sign up for an Alarmed account. It includes the Alder system, one window or door sensor, and one motion sensor. If a window or door opens unexpectedly, or a motion sensor is set off, you will be contacted through one of two ways. It will send an alert via a text message to your smartphone or you can opt instead to receive it via email or both.
The vast majority of home security systems on the market today come with trial periods. This gives the homeowner an opportunity to evaluate their security system to see if it works for them, find the type of monitoring that works best, and ensure they feel comfortable with how it works.
A lot has changed in the years since home security systems first came onto the market. People have come to expect a great deal more than a simple alarm system. Your home security of today provides remote monitoring and control features, mobile and web access, and a host of other features that deliver convenience and peace of mind.
The amount of time that the average homeowner spends evaluating their security system can vary quite a bit. Some people may simply plug in the system and never look at it again after the initial set-up period. Others may monitor their system daily and look for any reason to call the service and say they do not want to continue with the contract.
Though other DIY security systems have the Alexa integration on lock, Vivint Smart Home has a more robust version than most. With a TrueSmart hub that can add an extra zap of connectivity to your household, you can wrangle Alexa to set your alarm, control your home's temperature, and even speak to video cameras.
Why You Should Care
Amazon's Alexa has become a must-have for smart homes. With Amazon Alexa-enabled devices (like the Echo), you can control your household devices, set timers, and do hundreds of other things you never thought you'd ask a computer to do. Vivint Smart Home has taken this bit of hip tech and integrated it into their security system so you don't have to endure another cliff-hanger.
When you're on the other side of the country, it's not invaluable to be able to yell at your phone to lock your door. Having a smart house is great, but you need security that works 24/7. Vivint Smart Home secures your home and family, and keeps you connected to your home while you're at work or out on a vacation. The roof-mounted cameras come with free cloud storage and a sentry feature that notifies you if something is going down, ensuring your home is safe wherever you are.
Do-it-yourself security cameras are more popular than ever, and the reason why it’s used by most of the people is because of the online access live video feeds from anywhere in the world. This technology has evolved so much that you can even access the live video feed from your smartphone.
You may be surprised to know that most of the camera manufacturers are developing their hardware with an online access in mind. Now you can stream live feeds from your favorite cameras right onto your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Here are the password-free cam solutions for you which you just need to set up your security camera at your home and you can watch live feed via your smartphone on an Android or iOS device.
Arlo pro 2 Wireless Home Security Camera System
Arlo Pro 2 is the most advanced camera solution for monitoring your home from anywhere. The camera makes use of motion sensors that detects any motion that is close to the camera and records the footage. All of your recorded footage will be stored in your Arlo cloud. Also, you can set various recording modes on the Arlo Pro 2 for a more complete security system. An Arlo Pro 2 camera can see a 180-degree view, including areas that are near the camera. The camera can also send you alerts of any detected movement.
Frontpoint – Best DIY Home Security System
Why Frontpoint was the Best DIY Security Company
Frontpoint has won the award of best home security of 2015 for a reason. They offer a wide range of home security options, offer top of the line security features, and they have a great annual monitoring plan (you can read a full review of their monitoring plan here).
So if you're looking for the best home security system of 2021, you're in luck because Frontpoint is still at the top of the list. They offer three self-install packages and my favorite is their self-install kit with Pulse. Not only does this package offer 3-4 times more protection features than the competition, but the self-installation is so easy a kid could do it.
What does Frontpoint offer?
In the Frontpoint system, you'll get Frontpoint home automation, which allows you to manage just about everything in your home from your phone. You'll also get a Frontpoint security system which uses 6 different levels of protection to keep your home and family safe.
In addition, they offer a virtual plan to expand your home security protection to the places outside of your home where you spend most of your time. Add outdoor cameras so you can catch a burglar in the act even if you don't hear your security system alarms. This is a great way to get the most out of your home security system while saving a little money, but it does work on a 30-day-record basis.
Rapid Response Emergency Monitoring
Almost all home security companies have an associated monitoring service based in the United States. This is very important because it means that someone can be dispatched immediately if alarm is triggered. You can find a monitoring service where you live and lock down a contract with a local center too. Pay close attention to the distance that security monitoring companies operate. If you move to another city or half-way across the country, then it's important that the service has a good reputation and many local monitoring centers.
Always ask about the response time of each provider. If a burglar notices the alarm and takes off before help arrives, you need to make sure that there are plans in place to catch them before they get away.
The response time is usually less than the total amount of time it takes for the security system to detect a threat, alert the homeowner, alert the homeowner to contact the monitoring center, and for the monitoring center to dispatch help.
If you a remote for the security system and personal control panels, then consider the distance of their reach. Commonly, security systems have remotes that can control the system from any location within the range of their reach. If you want your security system to be smart enough to sense what indoor and outdoor sensors are out of sync, then don't buy a unit with limited reach.
Many Features Were Available
Prior to 2015, many home security systems were battery powered and had limited features and functionality. This is due to a technology called Z Wave, which was introduced to many of these home security systems.
Z Wave is a wireless technology that is based on the 802.15.4 standard. It allows for home security systems to function much more efficiently.
A great example of a security system that has great home security features is Nest. This has been one of the few security systems to incorporate Z Wave technology into its security system.
Nest has been able to take full advantage of the features of this enhanced technology and has enabled its security system to:
Brinks Home Security – Best Home Security System for Renters
If you rent a home and are looking for a home security system that will actually work with your home, one of the best options out there is the Brinks Home Security system. It offers a wide range of home security features that are suitable for both apartment and single home dwellers, including a variety of options in response to different types of problems, like floods or fires, so you not only have a home security system, but a way to deal with problems that may occur in your home like those listed above.
In addition though, the Brinks Home Security systems are very easy to set up and use, you can install yourself, and the company will even provide you with free installation for some of their entry level systems.
How Brinks was Favorite Wireless Home Security for Renters
A recent survey of renters conducted by The Home Security Advisor found that 82% would like to see more home security options for renters without a landline into the house, and Brinks Home Security is the answer to those renters pleas.
Brinks Home Security is the rental division of Brinks Home Security that provides reliable home security services to renters and homeowners wanting to break free of the expensive monthly cancellation fees charged by most monitored home security companies.
What's more, Brinks is the only company in the U.S. that will never charge you for moving your service into a new residence. There are no cancellation fees and no contracts, so when you move, you won't pay anything to switch your Brinks Home Security service to your new home.
The Brinks service is easy to set up and you can avoid the hassle when you choose the Brinks Wireless Alarm System, which works with a landline and is the preferred introduction system for the Brinks Home Security Service.
Owners and renters alike can connect to their home security through a smartphone with the Brinks App. They can also fully automate their property with the Brinks Connect, which can integrate with Alexa and receive notifications, scans, and video feeds from a smartphone.
Wireless Security Systems
Having a security system is becoming a necessity, you never know when you may need it most.
Your concern for personal security just got easier, more affordable and flexible than ever before.
All systems of this nature will vary in price, depending on a number of factors including, size, materials, the number of sensors, wireless or other and the overall complexity. Here are some factors you should consider before deciding.
On the lower end, you will find that systems can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. All things considered, if you’re in this price range, you will likely find that a wireless system is usually the best option.
With a wireless system, you won’t have to worry about putting extra holes and wires into the structure of your home and negating the value of your home or the selling price of your home.
The benefits of wireless systems are tremendous. Depending on the design of the system, you don’t have to worry about running wires through your home, directly connecting the sensors and other security components to a central unit.
Instead, the system wirelessly communicates with all of the devices in the system, allowing you to receive a signal from anywhere within or without the home when there is an alert or problem.
Fastest Alarm Response
In a home security system, the alarm system is perhaps the most important component because when it delivers an alarm signal to the central station, the security company sends the security guards in minutes.
This is their common response time, but the fastest home alarm response time to this author’s knowledge is 1 minute. Honeywell has this record for the fastest alarm response time in history. All thanks to the wireless security system that they developed. The possibility is there for other companies to achieve the same.
Central station accuracy matters because they will be sending help for you. Thus it is important for the security company to direct the guards to the place of the emergency so that they can easily solve the problem. A real-time tracking system would be nice, but that may be expensive and beyond the reach of the common people.
The smart security industry has always been available to people with ample funds to spend. It's a business that thrives on being able to afford the newest technology, and therefore, takes advantage of the small percentage of the population that can pay a hefty price. That all changes for 2021, and in a great way.
Abode – Best No Monthly Fee Home Security System
Abode is feature packed DIY solution that uses a stick up cam on a magnetic base, a key fob, Z-wave plus hub to control PIR motion sensors, door/window sensors, and a siren, all hardwired into a professional level panel that can send notifications to your phone when an alarm is triggered or use your phone as a remote.
What I like about this system is the fact it is DIY based. You can literally just toss the sensors on the wall and plug the system into your outlet and you are done. Even the Key fob is battery operated and can let you easily arm or disarm, you can't beat that. And the sensors don't even require any new tools to install. Just a screwdriver! So you can do everything yourself.
The significant downside to this system is that it relies on Z-Wave Plus for the sensors and the hub has limited features and is nothing to write home about. The other downside is that it only works with their cameras, so you would have to pay a lot of money for 4-5 cameras for this system to really be worth it. The other downside to this system is it does not support IFTTT or the if This Then That.
How Abode Was Best for No-Monthly-Fee Home Security
DIY Monitoring and Control
Some security systems are very expensive, and some are not so expensive. But oftentimes, monitoring via a 3rd party is very expensive. So you need buy a security system that is not too expensive up front, but you need to be able to monitor it yourself, at a fraction of the cost.
Some systems require a monitoring device, to be plugged into your Internet router. They actually plug directly into the wires of your Internet router or network, and work like a network bridge. Some even have buttons you can press to instantly initiate an alarm. Some will allow you to press a button from anywhere in the world, to trigger your alarm. This is especially good if you have a significant amount of security equipment. Now you can trigger your alarm from anywhere. This can be a feature that is hard to find in systems.
Some security systems work on the same principles as a DIY system. But instead of you having to go running around the property, checking everything, looking for the source of an alarm, you get an alarm directly on your cell phone.
The way some systems also work is you buy a starter pack of sensors and control panel. Some include a display screen. The sensors detect motion. The alarm control panel detects the sensors. Either one will determine if the alarms are real or just a false alarm. The control panel, then sends you an alarm message on your smartphone.
Short-Term Pro Monitoring
When you have a scare in the middle of the night, it’s hard to be objective. With panic, confusion, poor lighting, and your adrenaline pumping, it’s no surprise that you’re not thinking clearly. The first thing that you need to do is call the police and let them know that there is an issue. If you have a monitored system, then you will get a notification either on your smartphone or a pager.
This can give you the time to grab your phone, log in, and watch the live video while you wait for the police to arrive. However, even the best security systems can have false alarms. The numbers are low, but they exist. If you don’t have a professional monitoring company, your home security system will send out a notification when your alarm goes off, and then you have to call the company to confirm that it’s an actual break-in. This can take a while during which time you have to be prepared to defend yourself until the issue is resolved. You can’t expect the police to arrive moments after a break-in is detected to be waiting when you come back from vacation, so you should invest time and money into a monitored system to give you an advantage while you wait for them to arrive.
With the emphasis on safety and security in the United States and around the world, it's becoming common for home owners to install security systems.
For easy and efficient monitoring, many homeowners opt for technologically advanced security systems that use cameras, GPS tracking, and more to improve the safety at homes and businesses.
Here are the current top home security systems for 2021:
Protect America – Most Affordable Home Security with Landline
Keep in mind, that the Protect America system can be expanded with optional equipment. For example, you can upgrade to a video touch screen panel or add a motion detector or security camera. These are all available for order online on Protect America's website.
Protect America offers a wide variety of security devices in the package. Among the accessories are:
- a touch panel.
- a siren.
- wireless motion detector.
- smoke detector.
- a GSM backup.
- two window/door contacts.
- a keychain remote.
- a control center with an AC/DC adapter.
- a telephone landline power adapter.
- a cellular backup power adapter.
How Protect America was Best for Landline Home Security
Protect America has been providing a home security system for their customers since 2003 and is quickly on it’s way to being an industry leader. With them being around so long, they have a very reliable track record. They’ve been paid out on a whopping 91% of their claims over the last two years. It’s very rare to find a company that has their customers’ safety as the top priority. Many companies rely on reputation, but it’s great to have a company that relies on results and customer satisfaction.
Free Security Equipment
If a person wants to purchase a high-quality home security system today, it will be very expensive. But there is a solution to this problem. The solution is to get free security equipment. This solution is not available for everyone, because it requires some work. It is important to remember that the work is worth it. This article is going to provide a step-by-step guide on how to install free security equipment. This includes personal home security cameras, a water sensor, a motion sensor, and a cell phone. Let’s get started!
Low-Cost Landline Monitoring
You can order home security systems for less than a phone call these days. And the good news is that there are numerous respectable companies that provide reputable product support. The best home security systems for the average homeowner these days are completely wireless, and you don’t have to be high-tech savvy to set them up.
Most of the systems use a small alarm box that scans your home for weak points. Then it beams that information back to the monitoring station which uses computers that employ mapping software to provide a layout of your home with boxes that show where sensors are tripped.
When the security system is triggered the sirens or tones alert the authorities and the homeowner. The signals are sent to a monitoring center where operators can make sure that it’s a bona fide intruder that has triggered the alarms. Many companies give warnings to the burglar and some companies even allow you to talk to the burglar over the intercom while the operator talks to the authorities.
Because cell phone systems tend to screw things up, the best home security systems don’t use your cell phone as a component. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about cell phone hand-offs or dropped signals.
Next-Day DIY Installation
On each of the top 10 systems listed below, DIY installation is an option. All of the installation services on offer are supplied and installed by professionals. The professionals will act as an intermediary between you and the manufacturer, to provide the fastest service possible. Where necessary, the installation pros will explain the system and get you up and running in an incredibly short time. This means that you can be enjoying the features of the systems, only a day after setting up the hardware.
The most useful thing about the post-purchase installation services, especially if you've chosen a DIY system, is that they're free. You won't have to pay for the professionals to come to your home and make any changes that you may require. This makes the most difference, if you did opt for a DIY system, as most can't be changed once they've been set up.
Nest Secure – Best Google Home Security System
When looking for an easy to install DIY home security system for your home, then look no further. Google’s brand new system, Nest Secure has everything you would look for in home automation. Nest offers end-to-end encryption for all communications between devices and to the cloud, and has a unique feature. Nest Guardian, a smart doorbell that speaks with Nest Secure to alert you of activity happening at your door, for a wide range of threats. All of this is available to you within the Nest ecosystem, where you already have access to intelligent IoT products that keep you connected to ensure you are the best version of yourself.
The installation hardware includes a keypad, a contact sensor and a motion detector. The Nest app lets you add extra motion detectors, and control the system from the home screen. When you walk away from your home, it senses that and locks all your doors, and turns off all your lights and other appliances. When you come back, it unlocks for you. These features not only make you feel safe, and secure inside your home, but it gives you a piece of mind knowing that when you leave your home your house is locked up for you, and when return it will open up, without worry that you forgot to lock the door.
How Nest Secure was the Best Google Home Security System
While the Google home integration gets a lot of the spotlight on the Nest Cam IQ indoor security camera, there are a few other features to consider. The Nest cam IQ indoor shipped with free cloud video storage for everything recorded in your home for the first five days of the month.After those first five days, you had to pay for the storage service. The cloud storage is obviously the best choice and it is nice that it was free for five days a month.
Now the second aspect we really liked for Nest cam IQ indoor was the 5X zoom included in the camera. As you can see from the image below, Nest cam IQ was able to pick up on most of our entryway and stairs, despite being several rooms away. This is really an awesome way of keeping an eye on your front door. If you have a large foyer, you can zoom in even further than we zoomed in below if you desire. What makes the zoom even more impressive is that it retains the great image quality you would expect from Nest cam IQ.
As you have no doubt noticed in the image below, we have also included the Nest cam IQ outdoor in this comparison as well. That camera has an 800X zoom but you see just how highly we rate the Nest cam IQ indoor above.
Basic and Expanded Setups
For the most basic setup, LiveWatch utilizes their proprietary Cellular Network, which means no landline is needed. They also utilize cellular landline backups in the event of an emergency, which enables you to stay in touch with your loved ones or police while the intruder is still in your home. As for wireless security cameras, there are two standard types, WIFI and Cloud based. Most cameras utilize the latter, which means what you see is what you get. LiveWatch cameras offer both options, meaning your videos can be stored in the cloud or on your machine, as well as both.
In the expanded setup, a two-way audio unit, such as the LiveWatch Video Doorbell, can be added to cell phones, so that you never have to worry about missing what’s going on outside your front door. A more expansive setup includes indoor and outdoor security cameras for the ultimate in home security and peace of mind. If you would like to add a security system to an older home, LiveWatch security systems can integrate most legacy systems, allowing you to put your home in order with a single phone call.
Arlo Q Plus Arlo Q Plus HD combines HD video with some of the best features you can find in a home security camera and the result is great. When combined, it gives you smooth 1080p HD video, two-way audio, and more.
One of the features that really stands out is the 120 degree lens. It enables the camera to capture wide scenes and a great area. Even better, it can automatically rotate based on motion or sound so that it’s configured to look at the right place for activity. That means maximum area coverage and the ability to ignore areas that are of no concern.
Another nice feature is the two-way audio. It allows you to, not only obtain audio from the environment, but also to communicate back. Say that you see a package was left at the door and you want to leave a note for the delivery person to come back for it. Or, say you are home alone and you need to call for emergency assistance. Two-way audio is a nice feature that gives you flexibility in your camera use.
The Arlo Q Plus camera is also well integrated with an Arlo Q security camera, providing you with great wireless system. It’s well positioned to take advantage of the features you can get with an Arlo Q security camera as well as provide you with an excellent, easy to use, home security set up.
Free DIY Monitoring, or Paid Pro Monitoring
Monitoring an alarm system is a necessary expense in keeping the alarm system going and running. It is not expensive but it is a necessity, and if you would like to have the option to monitor your system remotely yet still have the option of simply picking up the phone to alert someone in case of an emergency then it is well worth paying for.
Some systems give you the option to do both. Having monitoring may sound like a good thing, but it’s all in your budget. If you needed a system for home security you would want something that is installed in a place that you can see, like on the upper part of your home and that has a loud enough alarm if you ever needed it.
It helps to have the choice to call the authorities if you feel they need to be alerted. It’s very important to know where you are going to install your home security system.
Ring Alarm – Best Alexa Home Security System
Ring Alarm, a battery-powered 2GIG motion and door/window sensor, a keypad and an Alexa-enabled hub. (Alexa-enabled, Z-wave and Zigbee devices required; sold separately).
The hub is well supported by integrating well with IFTTT, Google Assistant, Wink, SmartThings, Apple Homekit, Logitech Harmony and Nest.
It is quite simple to set up. Just plug in the hub, add the included devices, charge the keypad with 4 AA batteries, download the app, plug in the keypad's power adapter, register your account with Ring, connect it to your Wi-Fi and you're ready to go!
Ring is able to communicate with all the devices in your smart home. You can use your devices individually as you normally would, like if you have a smart lighting system, you can use it normally, with Ring.
If you have a Ring device, such as a contact sensor for your back door, you can have those devices communicate with your Ring hub and then Ring would be able to communicate with other devices in your smart home, like your smart lighting system, motion detector, cameras or other Ring devices.
Why Ring was the Best Alexa Security System
One of the best home security systems of the year is Ring. By combining a reliable camera system, security features, and Amazon Alexa integration, they are at the top of the list of best home security systems.
With Ring, you are able to monitor all of your security features through their mobile app or build your own security system with the Ring Stick Up Cam. This camera is ideal for homeowners because it is a completely wireless system with no wires or complicated hookups needed. With a 1080p HD camera and night vision capabilities, watching your home won’t be a problem.
Another great thing about Ring is that they are constantly adding updates to their product line. You can always stay up to date with your Ring system. The integration with Amazon Alexa is another feature that makes Ring one of the best home security systems of the year. Integrating Alexa with the camera allows the camera to be activated by either the sound of your voice or by the press of an Alexa button.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is one of the best versions of the Ring. The updated version includes many features that make it even more beneficial to your home surveillance security features. With a 1080p camera, dual-powered battery, a 95dB siren, up to a 3,000 foot range, and the ability to connect to other smart devices, it is a great choice for best home security systems.
Low-Cost & Free Features
One of the best features of Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is its variety of free and low-cost features. As stated by the manufacturer, there is no activation or annual fees. Some other brands may offer free services for a short period, but require you to sign up for at least one year. That is not the case with Qolsys IQ Panel 2.
Home automation (using your smartphone’s app) and security monitoring are both available to you for free. In addition, you will receive e-mail or text alerts if you set up Qolsys IQ Panel 2 to send them. You can opt out of these alerts if you prefer; all you have to do is change the settings in your account.
You may be wondering if the free features are limited or inferior in some way, when compared to other systems. However, that is not the case. Everyone will receive the same free services, so there is no reason to worry about becoming another sale on the company’s books.
Video Security with Low Bandwidth Demand
If you are looking to make the leap and purchase a security system for your property then you need to know some of the challenges that you will face. Over the years, home security systems have evolved significantly, but they have also changed the way that we look at our own personal safety.
It is important that you do not rush into making a purchase. Instead, you should spend some time reviewing your needs and finding the right system for you. Video security systems of the future will change the way that we monitor and protect our homes, communities and countries.
If you are planning to implement a video security system in your home or business then you may want to ensure that you have the right equipment. Some systems can work well with a low bandwidth, so that you can review the footage at your own convenience.
Security is more important than ever before and it is important you look hard at how you are going to implement your system. There are plenty of business options in place, and it is worth spending some time research these find out more about your specific needs.
So, you've bought your own security system, but you don’t think it is enough. Normally, you'd be right. In this modern era, there are plenty of good security solutions that you can buy yourself. However, if you're really concerned about complete safety for your home and family, you're going to need help. The absolute best home security systems out there are going to integrate with other systems.
The first thing you need to do is integrate with your mobile phone. This offers you the most scalability, and can give you the best ways to monitor everything. The same home security system we’ve been talking about could get even better when you use it alongside apps on your phone. Instead of just getting notifications, you can log in to see what’s going on in your house right then and there.
The last thing you need, and the best thing a home security system should offer, is support for third-party devices. A good security system is going to offer multiple ways to monitor your home and that's not only the security system itself. Ideally, your home security system should integrate with other smart devices you have in the home, as well as support video recording and smart home devices. A separate thermostat, smart appliance, or smart door lock should be no problem for your security system.
Our Video Review
For a list of our current top ten picks for best home security systems of 2021, click the “Best Home Security Systems of 2021 Banner” link above.
Below is the full video review of the top ten home security systems we chose for 2021.
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Security System Buying Guide: How We Determined The Best
After carefully analyzing various home security systems and comparing them against each other, we came up with a list of the top 20 systems. We compared them against 10 criteria to measure the overall quality of the systems. We then took the top five points from each category and averaged them together. All products in the table above met the minimum criteria to be included as part of this list.
Why Buy a Home Security System?
If theft isn’t enough to make you want a video security system, at least consider the growing number of crimes committed against your home and the safety of your family. In 2017, more than 5.2 million homes were burglarized and 2.7 million were from forcible entry. Regardless of whether you’re renting or own a home, you are entitled to the same standard of law enforcement. Any security upgrade that helps you feel safer and more secure in your personal space is worth thinking about.
A security system can’t physically act in your defense; at least not yet. But a well- installed and properly maintained system can deter criminals from attacking your home. Take a look at the crime rate in your neighborhood. If you’re nervous about walking around your neighborhood at night, imagine how much more nervous an intruder must feel. A security system can make a major difference in how you feel about leaving your home unattended.
What can a home security system do for you? In addition to adding security to your home, a video security system adds a layer of protection that no neighbor, homeless alarm, or visit from the local police can match. Say bye to the constant peeping-tom anxiety and get back to living life.
Burglary Facts and Figures
Top Three Advantages of Home Security Systems
For many, the question of whether or not they should install a home security system is one they think about long and hard. There are many advantages to having security internally, as well a fair share of reasons against it as well. To help you make a better decision of whether or not you need to invest in a home security system, here are some of the advantages of home security systems.
It Can Deploy Detection Options
One of the major advantages of home security systems is that they can install detection options. The detection of your home could be activated by smoke, sound, or by movement. With a home security system, you can have your home monitored by the security company and receive text message notifications if the warning signals were activated. If you are concerned about whether your home is safe, this is an ideal way to keep track of your home virtually.
Monitored Home Security Systems
Another advantage of home security systems is that they can offer you monitored home security services. This means a trained and experienced security guard will be reviewing the security systems in your home, 24/7. Home security systems can offer you this option, but you have to pay extra for this kind of service.
Home Security System Buyer’s Guide
Before you start doing any serious research or shopping, you have to decide what you want to get out of your security system. Do you want to keep tabs on your pets while you're out of town or want to have a peace of mind in case of fire or theft? It's impossible to say which system is the best, until you determine your specific needs. Questions include: What will you be protecting? How many doors? How many windows? Is the house occupied or will you be monitoring your possessions when you're away? Do you have a job that requires you to travel back and forth? Do you need remote access access to your security system?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, remote monitoring might be your best option. However, if you're only concerned about your home's security, door sensors and smoke detectors offer peace of mind for a low budget. If you're looking for a system that can protect your house while you're out, a live video camera system might be a good option. There are a lot of cameras on the market and they each have their own features and drawbacks. Review each one carefully and choose the one you think suits your house and needs best.
How To Buy
The best home security system is one that suits your specific needs. You can select what is best for your home – whether it is a professionally installed system or a DIY system. There are several steps to look at when purchasing a home security system.
The Security Needs of Your Home
Before you start investigating home security systems you should determine whether your home needs additional security. If you have a goldfish in a bowl, maybe a video camera and motion detector isn’t necessary. But if you stay at home with a pair of guard dogs, then you would probably benefit from a system that has pet alerts.
The Available Security System Technology Options
There are three main options that you have available to you for home security systems: DIY, professional, or a hybrid system. DIY systems are ones that are pre-packaged kits, bought at a retailer, and installed myself. While professional systems are ones that come with a contract and an installation fee. Then there is a hybrid system that can be a mix of both options.
The peace of mind you get from a professionally installed system is security. All connections are tested and all components are verified to be functioning. A home security system is more than just the installation. The overall service contract and how you are treated when you call to make changes or report an outage is what helps give you peace of mind.
Methodology: How We Ranked Security Systems
Each year we tackle a new challenge: find and vet the best home security systems for consumer use. This year we've updated our methodology to reflect the importance of multi-device connectivity, overall system design, skillset, and responsiveness of support. We compared selected talent against a new set of different criteria. We also brought in our new panel of experts.
All products work with a mobile app so we focused on apps that are easy to use and test them thoroughly on a wide range of phones. Our experts used the mobile app to interact with each security system, testing common features like arming and disarming the system, adding new devices, and operating home automation devices.
We also had them test each security system's voice command feature for controlling the security system with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatible smart speakers. We also evaluated how well each security system works with other home automation products.
We compared each security system against a new set of criteria that reflect the changing role of the security system in the home. First, we included a more comprehensive feature list that was tailored to the specific needs of today’s homeowners. We also gave more weight to the types of communication that happen between the various components of the system and the responsiveness of the systems overall.
Next we considered the availability of those features and the skillset of the support team because having a highly integrated panel of features that can't be activated until three hours after installation is just frustrating.
Our Security Experts
Disclaimer**: The awesome images below are generic stock photos and are not the actual systems reviewed.
If you're looking for home security options, you have quite a few to choose from. As a note, most of the systems below have been reviewed by reputable sources and most of them have stellar reviews, so you won't have to waste your time with the also rans. Here are a few of our more serious contenders.
Editors' Choice: Frontpoint Security
Frontpoint currently has the best security reviews out of all of the home security options that we have reviewed, including Vivint and ADT. The name itself is a double entendre, because the company "fronts" customers a lot of great features. The company has a 24/7 monitoring team, a tracker which sends you a text message when a door or window is opened, it has a sensor which is set up on your property and sends an alert if your home is ever invaded and it has a temperature monitor placed near the thermostat to send you a text message if it detects a temperature change in an area that shouldn't fluctuate (like your living room windows being smashed in during a burglary). Frontpoint was the first company to offer their customers the option to add a video camera to their monitoring package for very little extra money.
FAQs About Home Security Systems
How Do I know when to replace or upgrade my home security system?
If you know the reason such as you bought a new house, the cost of a home security installation just became too expensive or you feel like you've been outsmarted by your current home security system, it's the right time to change or upgrade your home security system.
What are the Best Home Security Cameras ?
All the best security cameras for your home should have an HD camera, which will not only capture the image but will also provide the clearest picture to make sure you can recognize the intruder.
It should as well have features such as motion detection. It would work great if the camera will have night vision so that you could capture photos of your uninvited guests even at night.
You can choose not to purchase a security camera if you are going to have a wired one then consider purchasing HDCVI cameras as they are the best home security cameras for this particular purpose.