Investing in a home security system can improve home safety and protect your home from break-ins and theft. Keep reading to learn about the best home security companies on the market and how to find a company that’s right for your home.
Best Home Security Companies of 2020
- ADT-Monitored Home Security: Best Overall
- Vivint Smart Home: Best for Smart Home Integration
- Alder Security: Best for Medical Alerts
- SimpliSafe: Best for Easy Installation
- Frontpoint: Best DIY Home Security
A home security system can secure entry points, like front doors and windows, and improve overall home safety, protecting you and your family from potential home intruders. Having a home security system not only protects you from unexpected break-ins, it allows you to manage your home remotely and alert the proper authorities when necessary.
Because there are numerous home security systems and providers on the market, it can be challenging to determine which is the best for you and your home. That’s where the This Old House Reviews team comes in—we’ve reviewed some of the best home security companies in the industry and compared packages, pricing, contract lengths, installation options, and warranty information to help you find the best security solution for your home.
5 Best Home Security Companies
The top-rated home security companies have years of industry experience, provide comprehensive security solutions at affordable prices, and offer lengthy warranties and trial periods. Take a look at the best home security companies on the market.
1. ADT-Monitored Home Security from Protect Your Home: Best Overall
ADT is one of the best home security options in the industry, providing home security systems for over 140 years—longer than any other home security company—and servicing millions of customers worldwide. Protect Your Home also provides 24/7 professional monitoring, giving customers peace of mind that their home is protected at all times.
ADT-Monitored Home Security from Protect Your Home offers a variety of plans to help homeowners feel safe—these include home protection, home automation, and video surveillance. Not to mention, these packages come with an app that allows customers to monitor their home from their phone. Protect Your Home plans start at $99.00 for installation and monthly monitoring from ADT ranges between $36.99–$59.99. Note: upgraded packages require an additional installation fee.
Compare the advantages and disadvantages of ADT-Monitored Home Security from Protect Your Home below:
To learn more about ADT-Monitored Home Security, contact the company at 888-285-6952 or view plans and packages here.
*Certain restrictions apply.
2. Vivint: Best for Smart Home Integration
Vivint has over 20 years of experience in the home security industry and has a special emphasis on smart home integration and automation. It’s ideal for homeowners who want to integrate their security system with existing smart home technology gadgets.
Vivint offers several different home security plans that involve 24/7 professional monitoring, mobile app access, and monitoring for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Pricing for Vivint packages range between $599.00–$1,789.92 and monthly monitoring fees range between $29.99–$49.99. The more expensive packages will include features like video monitoring, outdoor security cameras, and recording storage.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages to installing a Vivint home security system:
To learn more about Vivint Home Security, view plans and packages here or contact the company at 855-740-4217.
3. Alder: Best for Medical Alerts
Alder Home Security is a basic home security system that’s ideal for people who are brand new to home security systems. Instead of providing pre-packaged security plans, Alder works with you to help you customize your home security based on the size and needs of your home. Customers can add indoor and outdoor security cameras, door and window motion detectors, medical alert buttons, doorbell cameras, and other items for comprehensive home security.
Monthly monitoring starts at $39.99 per month and equipment pricing will vary depending on the security features you include in your plan.
To learn more about Alder Home Security, view plans and packages here or give the company a call at 844-431-0264.
4. SimpliSafe: Best for Easy Installation
SimpliSafe is an affordable alternative to traditional home security systems—it’s easy to install on your own, offers 24/7 professional monitoring without any long-term contract, and integrates with a variety of smart home devices. Not to mention, SimpliSafe is ideal for renters or homeowners who don’t want a complicated installation process that requires drilling into walls and doors.
SimpliSafe offers a variety of security packages from basic packages that have entry sensors and motion sensors to more comprehensive packages that include motion sensors, smoke detectors, panic buttons, sirens, and temperature sensors. Package prices range between $229.00–$489.00 and monthly monitoring fees range between $14.99–$24.99.
Compare the advantages and disadvantages of SimpliSafe below:
To learn more about SimpliSafe, view plans and packages here.
5. Frontpoint: Best for Smart Phone Integration
Frontpoint Home Security is one of the best DIY home security companies in the industry. It comes with 24/7 professional monitoring and no long-term contracts—a benefit in the home security industry. The company sends the security equipment straight to your door, and all you need to do is connect the monitoring hub and sensors to your Wi-Fi. You will also get the benefit of highly customized smartphone notifications.
Frontpoint offers two monitoring plans that start at $44.99 per month. However, the company offers flexible payment options that fit most budgets. For example, you can start with $0 down on equipment and pay month-to-month, or you can pay for your home security system upfront.
Here are a few benefits and drawbacks of choosing Frontpoint as your home security provider:
To learn more about Frontpoint, view plans and packages here or give the company a call at 833-823-5612.
Do I Need a Home Security System?
According to SecurAmerica, a leading contract security service solution across the U.S., there are over 2.2 million burglaries in the United States—home burglaries account for 70% of those crimes and typically increase during the summer months, specifically July and August. Victims of break-ins and theft not only have to deal with the loss of property and other valuables and belongings, they may have an uneasy feeling that this type of event could happen again.
Home security systems can help keep you and your family safe from unwanted intruders. Other benefits of having a home security system may include receiving discounts on home insurance and being able to monitor your home 24/7, either through a mobile app or a professional monitoring center. Additionally, if you’re a senior, you may find a home security system helpful, as some include medical alert emergency features and panic buttons.
How to Buy a Home Security System
Before buying a home security system, consider the following factors:
- How much protection you need—Determine the parts of your home that you want to protect and the levels of crime in your area. If you just want to monitor your home while you’re away, you might need a few door and window sensors or motion detectors. If you want to help protect your home against break-ins, you may want a more comprehensive system that covers all entry points and includes glass break sensors, camera, and motion detectors.
- How much you’re willing to pay—Home security system pricing is typically broken down into two costs: equipment and monitoring fees. Equipment costs range between $250.00–$1,000.00, with more comprehensive packages costing more. Monthly monitoring fees may range between $10.00–$35.00, but some providers like ADT will cost more.
- Installation—Most home security companies offer the option for professional installation, DIY installation, or both. Professional installation is when a technician from the company comes out to install your system for free or for an additional fee. DIY installation is when you install the system yourself without the help of a professional.
- Smart home automation—If you have smart home items like thermostats, Amazon Echo Dots, or Google Home devices, it may be worth it to find a home security system that can easily integrate with these items.
- Contract length—If you’re a renter or someone who is constantly moving around, you may want to consider a home security company that doesn’t require a contract. The average contract length is 36 months. Companies like ADT require three-year contracts, while companies like SimpliSafe don’t require any long-term contracts.
- Trial period—If you want to test out your home security system, consider a company that has a long trial period like Brinks Home Security.
- Customer service—A professional security company will have quick response times if an alarm is triggered and get help to your residence or business as quickly as possible. Additionally, having helpful customer service is important if you’re opting for DIY installation and have questions about the setup process.
Types of Home Security Systems
There are four major types of home security systems: monitored, unmonitored, wireless, and wired.
Monitored Home Security
A monitored system is one of the most popular home security options on the market. There are two major forms of monitored home security: company-monitored and self-monitored. Company-monitored systems work by an alarm alerting a call center, security team, or emergency responder whenever a system detects a break-in, fire, or other emergency. Self-monitored systems allow for you to monitor and control the security system yourself.
Unmonitored Home Security
An unmonitored security system can consist of items like motion sensors, control panels, glass-break sensors, sirens, smoke detectors, and door sensors that can be installed by yourself or by a professional. It works by setting off a siren or alarm whenever the system is triggered.
Wireless Home Security
As its name suggests, wireless home security doesn’t require wiring and could be a great option for renters or people who move on a regular basis. Most wireless security systems include motion detectors, sensors, cameras, alarms, and a main control panel. Unlike wired systems, wireless home security systems can be much harder to interfere with, as there are no wires for burglars to cut.
Wired Home Security
A wired home security system connects to an alarm panel with low-voltage wiring that then connects to the entry points around your home that are synced with the main control panel. Wired systems are thought to be more reliable than wireless systems because the main panel delivers real-time information for each device connected to the system.
How Much Does a Home Security System Cost?
The cost of your home security system will depend on the provider you choose, the types of equipment you invest in, and the monthly monitoring fees. On average, a home security system will cost between $250.00–$1,000.00 for upfront equipment costs and around $10.00 to $40.00 per month for monitoring fees. This price may change depending on how many additional security features you add to your package, whether or not the company charges for professional installation, and if there are seasonal deals available.
Which Home Security System Is Best for Me?
If you want to narrow down your home security choices, think about why you’re buying your system.
- If you want to protect against break-ins—For comprehensive home protection, consider a company like Protect Your Home, an ADT Authorized Premier Provider, that has years of experience in the home security industry and has one of the largest sets of equipment options on the market. Higher-tier packages include items like smart home integration and miscellaneous camera options.
- If you want to integrate your smart home devices with home security—Vivint provides professional monitoring, top-of-the-line equipment, home automation, and the opportunity to sync the security system with existing smart home devices.
- If you’re worried about environmental disasters—Frontpoint includes smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, and flood monitoring without any extra installation fees, making it a good option if you’re worried about these events occurring.
- If you’re looking for affordable home security systems—Alder is one of the most basic home security systems, providing 24/7 surveillance and customized home security solutions to customers. If you’re looking for a customizable starter kit and want a system that fits within your budget, Alder may be a good option.
- If you’re a renter—For those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up and breaking down a security system, SimpliSafe is a great option.
Frequently Asked Questions about Home Security
What is the difference between professional monitoring and self-monitoring?
Professional security monitoring involves a security team, typically from the home security provider you bought from, watching your home 24/7. Self-monitoring involves you watching your home yourself from a computer or smartphone app. Self-monitored systems will send you an alert after an alarm is triggered and you can decide whether to alert the authorities or not.
What is the difference between wired and wireless home security systems?
Wired home security systems require cable connections for internet and recording and may be a better option for permanent locations like a business or single-family home. They’re difficult to install and can be affected by power outages.
Wireless home security systems offer a more streamlined way for homeowners and renters to monitor their home, are typically faster to install than wired systems, and are easy to transport between locations. However, they can encounter signal interference from other devices and may be easier to hack than wired systems.
What’s the difference between DIY and professional installation?
DIY installation is cheaper than professional installation and involves the customer installing the security system without the help of a professional. Professional installation is typically easier and faster but more expensive. Additionally, most professionally installed security systems typically require contracts.
What are the differences between landline, broadband, and cellular monitoring?
Landline monitoring involves a hardwired system which uses the home’s phone line to connect to a security provider, broadband monitoring involves a system connected to the internet, and cellular monitoring typically involves a wireless system that uses a cellular signal and network to connect to a security provider.
What are renters’ options for home security?
If you’re a renter or have a short-term lease, you may not want to sign up for a system that requires a lengthy contract. Instead, consider home security companies like Alder, SimpliSafe, and Frontpoint. Alder offers DIY systems that are 100% wireless, SimpliSafe has no long-term contract security system and provides packages for small and large apartments, and Frontpoint has one of the easiest security systems to set up and install.
Do I have to sign up for a contract with a home security provider?
Most home security providers require three- to five-year contracts, but not all home security companies require one. For example, SimpliSafe doesn’t require customers to enroll in a long-term contract with them.
Are there pet-friendly home security systems available?
There are some systems that have motion sensors that can detect pets up to a certain weight or aren’t as vulnerable to sensing pet movement. Many providers have sensors that can avoid movements from pets that are under 80 pounds, thus preventing false alarms.
What’s the difference between home security and home automation?
Home security protects your home from unwanted intruders, fires, and other emergencies, while home automation refers to automation of the technology in your home. Home security involves items like door and window sensors, motion sensors, security cameras, and video surveillance, while home automation includes items like your thermostat, smart locks, smoke detectors, and smart lights. It can also include miscellaneous items like your oven, refrigerator, garage door, blinds, and other household items.
What equipment typically comes with a home security system?
Basic home security systems will come with one or two motion sensors and a security camera, while more inclusive packages may include multiple alarms, sensors, lights, motion detectors, security cameras with night vision, and video surveillance. In general, here are some basic features and components that come with a home security system:
- Control panel
- Base station
- Window and door sensors
- Motion detectors
- Mobile app controls
- 24/7 cellular monitoring
- Smart home automation features
Our Home Security Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:
- Number of systems (5)
- Special features (10)
- Installation options (5)
- Connectivity and smart home automation (15)
- Pricing (15)
- Contract period (5)
- Warranty (15)
- Trial period (15)
- Usability (5)
- Trustworthiness (10)
Our Reviews Team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing out products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.
*Money Back guarantee only applies after ADT has made attempts to resolve a system related issue and has not been able to resolve that issue within the first six months of your contract. Equipment must be fully removed before a refund will be processed. Conditions preventing normal system operation cannot be caused by the customer.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at email@example.com.