Best Home Security Systems of 2019

Best Overall
  • 100% wireless
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Mobile app control
Best Budget Option
  • Affordable professional monitoring
  • Easy installation
  • All-in-one app control
Best Industry Experience
  • Long history of reliability
  • Home automation
  • 6-month money back guarantee
Best DIY
  • Easy DIY install
  • Competitive rates
  • Good customer service

Quality and security are the most important things you should consider when looking at purchasing a home security system. But there are other things to look at, too. 

For example, value for money should come next, and the peace of mind that the best home security systems bring is more affordable than ever.

The thing is, there are a lot of systems out there to sort through – how do you choose the best one for you and your needs? To make it harder, a lot of companies have also upgraded their equipment and options, so you can’t always trust the opinion of your neighbor who got her system 3 years ago – it might not be the best option in your area anymore. 

To that end, we did the hard work of digging through the many systems out there and developed our own list of the best home security systems for 2019. Whether you just want a cheap option or you’re looking for one with an established reputation; or you want the best, highest-tech offering available – we’ve got you covered.

The best home security systems of 2019

Vivint – Best Overall

Ring – Best for those on a budget

ADT – Most industry experience

Frontpoint Security – Best for do-it-yourselfers

SimpliSafe – Best for no contract

Protect America – Best for rural homes

Deep Sentinel – Best for preventing burglaries from happening

Abode Security – Best for home automation

Nest Secure – Best for low-maintenance monitoring

Brinks Home Security – Best customer satisfaction

Comparing the top home security systems

Provider Price (monitoring) Installation Home automation integration View plans
Vivint $29.99-$44.99/mo. Professional Yes View plans
Ring $0-$10/mo. DIY Some View plans
ADT $58.99-$59.99/mo. Professional Yes View plans
Frontpoint Security $34.99-$49.99/mo. DIY Yes View plans
SimpliSafe $14.99-$24.99/mo. DIY Some View plans
Protect America $19.99-$54.99/mo. DIY Yes View plans
Deep Sentinel $49/mo. DIY View plans
Abode Security $0-$20/mo. DIY Yes View plans
Nest Secure $0-$29/mo. DIY Some View plans
Brinks Home Security $29-$39/mo. DIY Yes View plans

The Details: Our Top 10 Home Security Systems

Best Overall - Vivint

Plans Monthly price Camera Support View plans
Smart Security $29.99/mo. No View plans
Smart Home $39.99/mo. No View plans
Smart Home + Video $44.99/mo. Yes View plans

We chose VIvint as the best security system overall because they have high-quality, high-end equipment, lots of smart home devices, and modest professional monitoring prices. 

Although Vivint only offers professional installation, they do so for a reason: once your system is in place, it’s not going anywhere, and it’s not going to smash easily, either. Plus, if you want your whole home to be automated – Vivint’s got you covered. You’ll be able to control everything from the lights and window blinds to the thermostat, outside lights, and garage door – all from your phone. 

Professional monitoring is affordable, too – although surveillance camera support isn’t available in the lowest-tier plan.

Stats

  • Prices starting – $599
  • Contract – Optional; 42 months
  • Monitoring options – No self-monitor; professional starts at $29.99/mo.
  • Installation options – Professional only
  • Voice assistant compatibility – Yes
  • Battery backup – Yes
  • Environmental sensors – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best Budget - Ring

Plans Monthly price Mobile app control Camera Support View plans
Self monitor $0/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Professionally Monitored $10/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans

We chose Ring Alarm for our budget security system option, because you can self-monitor for free, or grab pro monitoring for just $10 bucks a month. Plus, its comprehensive DIY installation makes it easy to quickly install and be up and running within literal minutes of opening the box. 

Plus, you can customize your package - either choose from a 5-, 10-, or 14-piece kit, or build your own. You’ll also get real-time alerts to your mobile device and a fast 30-second response time from the pro monitoring center. 

And another cool feature? Ring’s Neighbors App creates a virtual “neighborhood watch”-style program that allows your neighbors (who also have Ring Alarm) to watch any suspicious activity in real time. So you can watch each other’s backs. 

Stats

  • Prices starting – $199
  • Contract – No contract
  • Monitoring options – Self-monitoring; Pro monitoring for $10/mo
  • Installation options – DIY
  • Voice assistant compatibility Yes
  • Battery backup – Yes
  • Environmental sensors – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best Industry Experience - ADT

Plans Monthly price Camera Support View plans
ADT Pulse $58.99/mo. No View plans
ADT Pulse + Video $59.99/mo. Yes View plans

Everyone knows ADT – they’ve been around for more than a hundred years. So yeah, they know what they’re doing. That said, you’ll pay a little more for that experience. 

Yet ADT is worth the extra price – they have 2 packages (one with video, one without), but their monitoring in either case is ridiculously reliable; as one of the oldest security companies around, they have more monitoring service centers than any other company in the States. 

So unlike other providers, who’s fewer service centers could be knocked out by a freak storm or accident, you’ll be just fine with ADT. 

You can also easily integrate with smart home features, so your home can be smoothly automated with complete security.

Stats

  • Prices starting – $99 + $25 activation fee
  • Contract – Required; 36 months
  • Monitoring options – Professional only; starts at $54.99/mo.
  • Installation options – Professional
  • Voice assistant compatibility Yes
  • Battery backup – Yes
  • Environmental sensors – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best DIY Installation - Frontpoint Security

Plans Monthly price Mobile app control Camera Support View plans
Protection $34.99/mo. No No View plans
Interactive $44.99/mo. Yes No View plans
Ultimate $49.99/mo. Yes Yes View plans

Frontpoint offers some solid monitoring options, although unfortunately only the 3rd-tier offers camera support. But customer satisfaction is good, taking a solid 4/5 stars from Consumer Affairs

Even more importantly, Frontpoint’s DIY installation process is fantastic. To begin with, it’s wireless – so no drilling or electrical expertise is required. Next, a mobile website takes you through setup – from the smallest details like sensor placement, to the largest like connecting your control panel and getting up and running. 

But coolest about this website is that if you spend a lot of time stalled on one step, you’ll get a popup on your chosen device that offers a number to call to help you troubleshoot through your problem. 

And if you close out and walk away, when you come back the program remembers where you left off. 

Pricing and ordering online is super straightforward, too - all prices are clearly listed on their website. That’s refreshing in an industry that likes to force you to call a sales rep just get a simple quote.

Stats

  • Prices starting – $69 with contract
  • Contract – Optional; 36 months
  • Monitoring options – Professional only; starts at $34.99/mo.
  • Installation options – DIY
  • Voice assistant compatibility Yes
  • Battery backup – Yes
  • Environmental sensors – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best No-Contract System - SimpliSafe Home Security

Plans Monthly price Mobile app control Camera Support View plans
Standard $14.99/mo. No Standalone device View plans
Interactive $24.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans

SimpliSafe gives you a great home security system for affordable rates (although no self-monitoring option) – and best of all – no contracts. Although that means you have to buy the equipment upfront, it’s yours to own to take with you. 

And since it’s also DIY, you can put it together and take it apart yourself with ease. That also makes monitoring costs cheaper, and the whole system very affordable.

SimpliSafe also recently update their equipment, creating a very sleek, streamlined design that’s also much faster than its old stuff; plus, the cellular backup system is more secure than ever. 

Stat

  • Prices starting – $199
  • Contract – No contract
  • Monitoring options – Self-monitoring; Pro monitoring starts at $14.99/mo.
  • Installation options – DIY
  • Voice assistant compatibility Yes
  • Battery backup – Yes
  • Environmental sensors – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best System for Rural homes - Protect America

Plans Monthly price Mobile app control Camera Support View plans
Copper Landline $19.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Copper Broadband $41.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Copper Cellular $41.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Silver Landline $37.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Silver Broadband $49.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Silver Cellular $49.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Platinum Landline $42.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Platinum Broadband $54.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Platinum Cellular $54.99/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans

Protect America gives you 3 plan options: Copper, Silver, and Platinum. But within the brackets of those tiers, there are 3 more options to choose from - including landline ones. This is especially great for people who live in more rural areas where other companies may not be able to protect them. 

Starting at just $19.99 a month, monitoring is super affordable – especially since you don’t have to buy any equipment or pay any activation fees – score. The main downside with Protect America is that the broadband and cellular versions of each plan are more expensive to purchase, and you need to add on cameras for each.  

Stat

  • Prices starting – $0
  • Contract – Required; 36 months
  • Monitoring options – Professional only; starts at $19.99/mo.
  • Installation options – DIY
  • Voice assistant compatibility Yes
  • Battery backup – Yes
  • Environmental sensors – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best for Proactive Security Monitoring - Deep Sentinel

Plans Monthly price Mobile app control Camera Support View plans
LiveSentinel $49.99/mo. Yes Yes View plans

Deep Sentinel only offers one plan, but that plan is solid. Other home security providers only react after a crime has happened; Deep Sentinel reacts proactively to stop burglary or other property crimes before they even occur. 

It works like this: they use a combination of live human surveillance of your home coupled with predictive AI technology that sounds loud sirens, sets off flashing lights, and utilized a two-way speaker to deter theft.

And there’s no chance of all that being set off accidentally – that live human surveillance of your video cameras  is 24/7. And the artificial technology is super-advanced so it can tell the difference between a branch moving in the breeze and person sneaking up on your back door. 

Stat

  • Prices starting – $499
  • Contract – Required; 12 months
  • Monitoring options – Professional only; starts at $49.99/mo.
  • Installation options – DIY
  • Voice assistant compatibility Yes
  • Battery backup – No
  • Environmental sensors – No

Pros

Cons

Best for Home Automation - Abode Security

Plans Monthly price Mobile app control Camera Support View plans
Basic $0/mo. Yes Standalone device, no plan necessary View plans
Connect $8/mo. Yes Standalone device, no plan necessary View plans
Secure $20/mo. Yes Standalone device, no plan necessary View plans

Abode Security is our pick for home automation simply because you can integrate it with so many different 3rd-party devices. That’s because it’s can communicate on pretty much all the different waves: Z-Wave, Zigbee, as well as broadband and Wi-Fi. 

So just about any smart device can be worked into its system, blending your entire entree of smart home devices together seamlessly. 

Plus, their self-monitoring and even professional monitoring monthly plans are crazy affordable. And although you have to purchase cameras separately, you can access everything for free form you phone app and store it for up to 3 days. 

Stat

  • Prices starting – $199
  • Contract – No contract
  • Monitoring options – Self-monitoring; Pro monitoring starting at $8/mo.
  • Installation options – DIY
  • Voice assistant compatibility Yes
  • Battery backup – Yes
  • Environmental sensors – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best Low-maintenance System - Nest Secure

Plans Monthly price Mobile app control Camera Support View plans
Self-monitoring $0/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Professional Monitoring (no contract) $29/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans
Pro monitoring (with 3-year contract) $19/mo. Yes Standalone device View plans

Nest Secure gives you a simple, smooth, easy-to-use system. The most basic package gives you 2 key fobs, a hub, and 2 sets of motion detectors. The hub itself is just a few inches wide and high, allowing it to fade into the background of your home.

And once you get setup, you can just leave it be, swiping your key fobs in front of the center to enter your home.

Plus, the Nest family of products includes many other smart devices, so you can easily turn your home into a fully-automated, low-maintenance smart home with ease. They also happen to have the best night vision security camera in the biz – if you’re into that kind of thing. 

Stat

  • Prices starting – $299
  • Contract – No contract available; contract length = 36 months
  • Monitoring options – Self-monitoring; Pro monitoring starts at $19/mo. with contract.
  • Installation options – DIY; professional
  • Voice assistant compatibility Yes
  • Battery backup – Yes
  • Environmental sensors – Yes

Pros

Cons

Best Customer Satisfaction - Brinks Home Security

Plans Monthly price Mobile app control Camera Support View plans
Home Complete $29/mo. Yes No View plans
Home Complete with Video $39/mo. Yes Yes View plans

Last to grace our list is Brinks Home Security – their packages are basic and modestly-priced for professional monitoring, and you can easily integrate your home security with other smart devices, like the Nest family of products. 

But while comprehensive in security options, Brinks’s best quality is their customer satisfaction rating - J.D. Power gave them 1st place in customer satisfaction in2018, which is a great indicator of their value and quality. 

Stat

  • Prices starting – $399
  • Contract – Required; 36 months
  • Monitoring options – Professional only; starts at $29/mo.
  • Installation options – DIY
  • Voice assistant compatibility Yes
  • Battery backup – Yes
  • Environmental sensors – Yes

Pros

Cons

Recap

Let’s review the systems we chose: 

  • Best Overall: Vivint
  • Best for Budget: Ring Alarm
  • Best for Industry Experience: ADT
  • Best for DIY Installation: Frontpoint Security
  • Best for No Contracts: SimpliSafe Home Security
  • Best for Rural Homes: Protect America
  • Best for Proactive Security Monitoring: Deep Sentinel Home Security
  • Best for Home Automation: Abode Security 
  • Best for Low-maintenance: Nest Secure
  • Best for Customer Satisfaction: Brinks Home Security

How we chose the best home security systems

With all those features and plans, how did we choose the best home security systems? We relied on some basic features: 

  • Comprehensive security
  • Smart home capabilities
  • Wireless/landline capability
  • Easy-to-use equipment + apps
  • Customer service/satisfaction

Each of those has more detail to it, though – so let’s explore each in separate sections. 

Comprehensive security

To feel completely and totally secure in your home, you should be able to monitor for anything you worry about. That means not only do you need motion sensors and alarms, but you should also be able to monitor for other hazards, as well. 

So we looked for solid combinations of these different features when we dug through the security systems out there: 

  • Break-in features: window, door, and glass-break sensors; motion detection sensors
  • Environmental monitoring: Fire, flood, and carbon monoxide sensors
  • Surveillance: Indoor and outdoor cameras, and doorbell cameras; 24/7 monitoring by humans
  • Personal safety: Panic and life alert buttons

Smart home capabilities

In addition, we also considered home automation capabilities – or the ability for you to remotely lock and unlock doors, open windows, and turn on lights, for instance. 

How well does the system integrate with these features, if you have them? Which features are needed to keep your mind at peace? What will flow with your existing daily routines easiest? 

On the one hand, technology is becoming increasingly do-it-yourself, allowing you to put together a security system that integrates into your existing smart home; on the other hand, the more your home becomes automated, the more vulnerable you are to breaches through the Cloud. 

The best security system companies are quick to leap on any hacks or data breaches – and/or update their software often enough to stop any breaches from happening in the first place. That keeps you safe.

Wireless protocols

Along the same vein as smart home integration is the use of wireless protocols for different devices to communicate with each other. The most common names in home automation are Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Bluetooth. We tried to make sure each system we named included at least one of these options. 

We also took a look at landline options as well – because in some regions those wireless protocols don’t work as well. 

Easy-to-use Equipment + Apps

All other details equal, your home security system should be easy to use. If it’s a 10-minute task to set your alarms before you leave everyday, are you really going to use your system? 

Likewise, having the ability to control your entire system from the palm of your hand – via a smartphone app – may be essential. We checked things out to make sure a mobile app was included in at least some of each provider’s plans. 

Customer service + Satisfaction

Most home security companies actually require you to call to order your service. Surprised? That’s actually a good thing – not only can the system be a major purchase, but you may be able to get lower prices, discounts, or even advice on customizing the system for your home. 

It’s pretty helpful to have some attentive sales reps on hand when making such a major purchase – installation fees, activation fees, and equipment fees might not be clearly outlined online, plus you may be able to get them waived. 

And again: the sales rep may actually be able to provide you advice on which products may be best for your home - real advice, not sales pitches.

So we checked online reviews to make sure customer service on par, and we dug into J.D. Power rankings to see what their large-scale customer satisfaction surveys turned up. 

How to Choose the Best Home Security System for You

Now that you’ve scrolled through our top 10 providers, how do you actually go about choosing the right one for your home? Trying to decide can be overwhelming – there’s so many features and options to look at. 

We outlined how we broke things down for this review, but you may still have questions before you start calling providers for quotes: What’s right for your situation? What should you expect over the phone? What features are essential? 

We aim to answer those questions in the form of a guide here. 

To start with, decide what features you need most before you call.

As you work through these steps, take note of the features and situations that most match you – make a list of priorities so you can compare your list to each company you consider

Step 1: Know the Basic features to look for

We talked a little about this already, but here’s a more comprehensive list of the things you should be comparing when researching providers: 

  • Window + door sensors
  • Motion detection sensors
  • Video cameras
  • Doorbell cameras
  • Two-way talk capability
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Panic button
  • Cellular backup
  • Home automation
  • Environmental disaster sensors/protection
  • Mobile app 

The key thing about this list, though? Exactly what features you need most will vary depending on your situation. 

Step 2: Ask yourself, “Why am I buying home security?”

If you’re looking for home security, you’re obviously concerned with the safety of your home. But unless you’ve had a break-in or other traumatic event causing your worry, it’s important to take note of the facts: a property crime probably won’t happen to you. 

According to the FBI, property crimes continued to decrease in 2018, which continues a 25+-year trend. 

But of course: you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. 

Your exact situation will vary, but we’ve found that most people fall into one of these categories: 

  • Families
  • Renters
  • Travelers
  • Seniors

Families

If you have a family to keep safe, and you’ve got the money to do so – go with the whole shebang. 

That means you’ll likely want a doorbell camera with a two-way talk function so you can see who’s coming up to your door and talk to them if necessary. A mobile app that can access this function can be especially helpful for when you’re out of the home. 

You’ll likely also want a panic button so you or your family can instantly call for help if need be. 

Window and door sensors can help you detect any break-ins, too – and cellular backup capability, or at least battery backup, can keep you and yours secure even if the power goes out. 

Environmental sensors can keep you safe from fire, water, or other events. And home automation brings everything seamlessly together so you can easily control everything – down to as little as unlocking the door hands-free when you’re arms are full of groceries.

Renters

As a renter, rather than a homeowner, your needs and abilities will be a little different. For starters, you’ll want wireless systems that don’t require drilling – so DIY with portable equipment is going to be a higher priority.

You’ll also probably only need indoor cameras and a doorbell camera – but no outdoor cameras otherwise. 

But like homeowners, window and door sensors and environmental features will be good, too; as would a panic button, two-way talk functions, and any home automation equipment you feel inclined to add.

Travelers

If you travel often – whether for work, leisure, or otherwise – your biggest priority will likely be remote access, monitoring, and control of everything in your security system and home.  Essentially, home automation with remote access and control. 

For instance, being able to unlock and lock doors for any (invited)  guests, change the thermostat if you’re going to be gone for extended periods, as well as HD security cameras to be able to monitor things. 

That’s all in addition to basic security features, like window and door sensors, motion detectors, etc. 

Seniors

For seniors, you might want to add some more smart home features, especially if you have poor or limited mobility. Being able to unlock doors, open window blinds and garage doors, turn on – and off – appliances, and more without doing so manually gives you a lot of flexibility. 

Instead, you can use a remote or voice control to do all these things. 

Plus, you should also make sure to have a medical alert device (think Life Alert) included for emergencies. 

Step 3: Next, consider the details

Now you’re getting into the nitty-gritty of deciding. Now that you have a general idea of what features are most important to you, it’s time to take a look at some logistical things that can make the difference when deciding between 2 (or 3) different systems. 

DIY vs Professional installation

How handy are you? How willing to do the work? Or, would you prefer to just hand the process off to a pro? Check out our Q&A below for some more questions to ask yourself. 

Pro vs Self-monitoring

Self-monitoring is typically free. Professional monitoring is always a monthly. Having pros monitor your home 24/7 can be incredibly freeing, but it does have a price tag that ranges from $10-$55 or so per month. 

But if you’re happy to check in yourself – then go with self-monitoring. Some systems don’t have that option, though, so you’ll have to choose one that allows it.

Contract options

Does the company require that you sign a contract? If so, then for how long? Many have 3-4-year contracts. The nice thing is that these often have lower upfront costs than no-contract or shorter-contract providers. 

Home automation/Smart home integration

If you have smart home features already, you’ll want a home security system that integrates smoothly into it. But that usually comes at a slightly higher cost per month in addition to the smart devices themselves. 

So if you want to stick the simple-and-cheap, pick a system that skips the home automation features. 

The size of your home

Most companies provide 3-4 options for their security “kits” – typically 5, 10, and 14 or so piece kits. So which size you go with depends on the size of your home. An especially large home may require the largest kit plus extra add-ons for full coverage. 

And a smaller home or apartment may only require the smallest package. 

Indoor + Outdoor surveillance cameras

Some providers include HD security cameras in their base packages, some in their higher-tier packages, and still others as standalone add-ons. If you want video surveillance (whether indoor or outdoor), then you’ll need to watch for this. 

Putting it all together

To recap those 3 steps: 

  1. Start by knowing the basic features - comprehensive security + extras. 
  2. Continue by asking yourself why you’re buying home security, and consider what your situation is - is it for your family? Are you a renter or frequent traveler? Are you purchasing for yourself as a senior or for an elderly family member who wants to stay at home longer? 
  3. Finally, start considering the last little details that can separate the winning security system from the rest. 

As you go through these steps, create a list of priority items for your situation and needs. Then, once you have that list completed, compare it to each provider you’re considering until you’ve pared down the list to the right one for you. 

Once you have it narrowed down, you’re ready to call. Just make sure you use your knowledge and test the rep on the other end of the line – chances are you’ll get more informative and detailed responses because you know what you want. 

Q&A

Should I DIY my home security system or have a professional install it?

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Do I have the skills and tools necessary to install the system, and troubleshoot later if necessary?
    • You may need some basic electrical and home repair knowledge to install many systems without a pro helping you out. That also means you may need tools to do some wiring without starting a fire. Some DIY systems, however, are “plug and play” style, which means you may not need much knowledge at all – it’s best to ask. 
    • If you’re unsure whether you can troubleshoot any problems that may arise along the way or after your DIY install, it may be better to have a pro do it. 
    • In either case, it’s a good idea to ask about your options and the difficulty of the install when you speak to a sales rep on the phone. 
  • Can I afford a professional to come do the installation? 
    • This can easily be your deciding factor – if it costs too much to have the system professionally installed, you may have to consider doing it yourself or choosing another system. 
    • But, many companies will waive an equipment and installation fee if you sign a monitoring contract with them. Are you willing to do so?
  • Can I get time off from work to be around for a professional come do the install?
  • Am I willing to wait for the professional installation appointment? 
  • Am I planning on moving soon? Do I want to take my system with me?
    • If you are planning on moving in the near future, can you afford to have a professional uninstall and reinstall your system? If not, choosing a DIY system may be the better option. 
  • Am I more comfortable having a pro set it up so they can show me how to work it? 

Of course, there are many more questions that can arise from these. If you have one you can’t answer yourself, drop a comment in the box below and we’ll answer back. 

How long does it take for a home security system to contact the police?

This will vary, depending on a few factors. 

First, your system’s monitoring center has to respond to the alarm – this is usually within seconds or minutes. They will then attempt to contact you to see if it’s a true emergency or an accident. If they can’t get ahold of you, they’ll reach out to your backup. 

In any case, once the alarm has been verified or you have not answered, the center will contact emergency services. 

Finally, the police will respond as soon as they can – this will depend on how busy they are and the distance of the closest available unit. 

Is a home security system worth the cost?

In most cases: yes. No matter where you live, there’s always a risk that your home will be broken into. Plus, there are natural disasters like fires, floods, and bad storms to watch for.

It doesn’t have to be expensive, either – you can buy cheaper options upfront and self-monitor, or grab one of the cheaper monthly monitoring options, as well. There’s an affordable option for nearly everyone – so if the option you’re looking at gives you peace of mind, security, and protection, then it’s the right one for you, no matter its price tag. 

Luke Pensworth Written by: Luke Pensworth

Luke is the managing editor and site manager of Dailywireless. As a wireless enthusiast/consumer, he reviews a lot of services based on his own experience. Disgruntled as he may be, he tries to keep his articles as honest as possible.

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