The Best Home Security Systems of 2019

Safewise reviews the best home security systems available. We looked at price, features, connectivity, response time, customer service, and more to find the top home security systems of 2019.

Written by Rebecca Edwards | Updated February 5, 2019
Best Overall logo of vivint home security
5
  • Smart home tech
  • Customizable
  • Month-to-month contracts
855-374-4999 Read Review
Best Monitoring ADT logo
4.5
  • Fast response
  • Great guarantees
  • 140+ years of experience
855-374-4999 Read Review
Best Customer Service logo of frontpoint home security
4
  • Risk-free trial
  • DIY installation
  • Great customer service
855-374-4999 Read Review
Best Budget Option ProtectAmerica logo
3.6
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Locked-in rates
  • Many package options
855-374-4999 Read Review
Best Entry-Level Plan Link Interactive lgoo
3.5
  • Crash & Smash
  • Friendly customer service
  • Shorter contracts
855-374-4999 Read Review

How SafeWise Picked the Best Home Security Systems

SafeWise knows home security. Over the past five years, more than one million people have come to us for home security information and recommendations. And we’ve helped thousands of those people pick the best home security system for their homes. We test, research, and compare home security companies based on the factors that matter most when looking at security systems.

Cost
Response time
Installation
Features
Customer service
Style/design
Connectivity
Ease of use

Compare the Best Home Security Systems

Brand
4.6
ADT logo
4.5
logo of frontpoint home security
4.1
ProtectAmerica logo
3.6
Link Interactive lgoo
3.5
image of Simplisafe's logo
3.4
3.3
logo of scout alarm
3.2
image of Nest Secure's logo
3
LifeShield packages offered home security
2.6
Lowest Price$29.99$27.99$34.99$19.99$30.99$14.99$29.00$9.99$19.00$29.99
InstallationProfessional
5 stars
Professional
5 stars
DIY
5 stars
DIY or professional
4 stars
DIY
3 stars
DIY
4 stars
DIY
3 stars
DIY
4 stars
DIY
3 stars
DIY or professional
3 stars
Customer Service4 stars4 stars5 stars3 stars4 stars4 stars3.5 stars3 stars2.5 stars3 stars
Standout FeatureWorks with Alexa, NestPet-immune motion detector100% cellularFree equipment2-way voice100% wirelessPower outage backupTool-free installNo Rush arm/disarmSmoke/CO monitoring
Learn MoreView PackagesView PackagesView PackagesView PackagesView PackagesView PackagesView PackagesView PackagesView PackagesView Packages
Prices effective as of December 12, 2018. Offers and availability subject to change.

Best Home Security System Reviews

#1 Vivint: Best Overall

There’s a reason Vivint put “smart home” in the middle of its name—this relative newcomer to the security game has gone all-in when it comes to combining home security and home automation. With hands-free voice control features, you can do everything from closing the garage door to turning up the heat without lifting a finger. Read the full Vivint review.

    Pros
  • High-end technology and equipment
  • Customizable security packages
  • Short-term contract available
  • Highly-rated mobile app
  • Free in-home security consultation
    Cons
  • Higher overall cost
  • Negative customer reviews
View Packages
Price and Contract
4
Tech and Equipment
5
Home Automation
5
Customer Service
4
Installation
5
Overall Score 4.6

Our Favorite Vivint Plan: Smart Home Video

We like the Smart Home Video monitoring plan because it includes security cameras and video monitoring. For equipment, you can work with Vivint’s home security and home automation experts to put together a package that gives you the components and features you want.

 

Key Features

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Remote access and control
  • 100% cellular connection

 

Price

$49.99/mo.

$99 installation fee

Bottom Line

Even though Vivint has only been on the scene since 1999, a strong commitment to providing intelligent home solutions has made it a major player. If you’re looking for more than home security, Vivint offers the most comprehensive home automation and energy management upgrades.
4.6
dollar icon Starting at $29.99/mo.
tag icon Month-to-month contracts
Vivint provides state-of-the-art home security combined with leading home automation tech. View Packages

#2 ADT: Best Monitoring Experience

When it comes to home security monitoring, no one can beat ADT for experience. This home security company has been providing home protection for more than 140 years and serves more than eight million people worldwide. Read the full ADT review.

    Pros
  • Fast response times
  • Outstanding customer guarantees
  • 140+ years of experience
  • Free whole-home risk assessment
  • Six redundant monitoring centers
    Cons
  • Long contracts with no trial period
  • Expensive early termination fees
View Packages
Price and Contract
3.75
Tech and Equipment
4.5
Home Automation
4
Customer Service
4
Installation
5
Overall Score 4.25

Our Favorite ADT Package: ADT Pulse®

We recommend the ADT Pulse® plan because it includes home automation technology and wireless equipment. These features make home security easier for renters and people who may move before their contract is up.

 

Key Features

  • Wireless security monitoring
  • Cell Guard®
  • Mobile access and alerts

 

Price

$52.99/mo.

$99 installation fee

Bottom Line

ADT is the most experienced security monitoring company in the country. Even though prices are on the higher end, years of experience combined with the most monitoring centers in the land assure ADT customers get fast response times and helpful service when they need it most.
logo of ADT home security
4.25
dollar icon Starting at $27.99/mo.
tag icon Free risk assessment
ADT has more monitoring centers and more experience than any other home security company. View Packages

#3 Frontpoint: Best Customer Service

In addition to having the best DIY installation option, Frontpoint blows away the competition when it comes to taking care of customers. Frontpoint has an “A” rating from the Better Business Bureau and is one of the few security companies we’ve found that puts its money where its mouth is—you can try out the system risk-free for thirty days. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll get a full refund. Read the full Frontpoint review.

    Pros
  • No-cost DIY installation
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Smoke, CO monitoring in basic plans
  • Works with Alexa, Google Home
    Cons
  • No professional installation option
  • Higher monitoring fees
View Packages
Price and Contract
3.25
Tech and Equipment
3
Home Automation
4
Customer Service
5
Installation
5
Overall Score 4.05

Our Favorite Frontpoint Package: Interactive Plan

The Interactive Plan provides a variety of equipment, remote access, and plenty of home automation options—all for under $50 per month.

 

Key Features

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Remote access and control
  • Crash & Smash protection

 

Price

$44.99/mo.

Bottom Line

Frontpoint puts the customer first. From transparent pricing to knowledgeable customer service help, this security company does everything it can to make sure you get the residential security features you need without any hassle or extra costs.

*Holiday Offer subject to credit approval; homeowners only; $99 minimum security system purchase required; offer requires a three (3) year Frontpoint monitoring agreement; taxes and fees may apply and be due earlier depending on jurisdiction; valid for new customers only; cannot be combined with any other offer; void where prohibited; offer available as long as supplies last; offer valid through 11:59PM ET 1/3/19

Frontpoint logo
4.05
dollar icon Starting at $34.99/mo.
tag icon 30-day risk-free trial

Holiday Offer: $300 off + Free Doorbell Camera!

Get $300 off Frontpoint Smart Home Security plus a Free Doorbell Camera* through January 3, and save up to $489.99 on your new home security system.

View Packages

#4 Protect America: Best for Your Budget

Protect America is the most affordable residential security company to make our top five. It has the lowest monthly monitoring fees, starting at just $19.99 per month—but that price is only for standard, landline monitoring. You can also lock in your rate, which means that your monitoring fees will never increase as long as you don’t interrupt or cancel your plan. Read the full Protect America review.

    Pros
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Many packages to choose from
  • Three monitoring options
  • Customer-first policies
    Cons
  • Cheapest packages require a landline
  • Package and upgrade options can be confusing
View Packages
Price and Contract
4.5
Tech and Equipment
3.5
Home Automation
3
Customer Service
3
Installation
4
Overall Score 3.6

Our Favorite Protect America Package: Silver Package

This isn’t the cheapest package Protect America offers, but we think it provides solid home security that’s still affordable. And if you choose DIY installation, you’ll save money up front, which helps with the higher monthly fee.

 

Key Features

  • Professional monitoring
  • Mobile app with broadband and cellular
  • Professional installation available

 

Price

$37.99/mo.

Bottom Line

If you have a limited budget but want to give your home and family the extra protection of a home security system, Protect America is a good place to start. Just know that if you want extra features like smart locks, you’ll end up paying more.
ProtectAmerica logo
3.6
dollar icon Starting at $19.99/mo.
tag icon Locked-in rates for life
Protect America’s affordable rates make home security accessible to nearly any household. View Packages

#5 Link Interactive: Best Entry-Level Plan Options

This security company provides some of the most comprehensive basic plans we’ve seen. Link Interactive’s mid-level Gold package offers everything except video monitoring and live streaming. That includes 24/7 professional monitoring, mobile access and alerts, home automation, and Crash & Smash protection, which keeps your system active if a burglar tries to damage and disable it. It’s rare to get all of that without having to upgrade. Read the full Link Interactive review.

    Pros
  • Crash & Smash protection with all plans
  • Friendly customer service
  • Home automation capability
  • Up to 48 window and door sensors in basic package
    Cons
  • High termination fees
  • Confusing DIY installation
View Packages
Price and Contract
3
Tech and Equipment
3
Home Automation
4
Customer Service
4.5
Installation
3
Overall Score 3.5

Our Favorite Link Interactive Package: Gold Plan

This mid-tier plan offers security you can rely on plus home automation and energy management features. We also like that fire and CO alarms are included.

 

Key Features

  • 100% cellular connection
  • Home automation
  • 24/7 professional monitoring

 

Price

$35.99/mo.

Bottom Line

Link Interactive offers basic packages that are anything but basic, which means you can end up with more security for your money. The company also knocks it out of the park when it comes to taking care of customers.
Link Interactive lgoo
3.5
dollar icon Starting at $30.99/mo.
tag icon Shorter contracts
If you’re wary of long contracts, Link Interactive offers contracts as short as 12 months. View Packages

#6 SimpliSafe: Best for Avoiding High-Pressure Sales

SimpliSafe has set out to change the home security industry. It doesn’t employ any salespeople and lets you choose the equipment and monitoring level you want. SimpliSafe equipment is modern, sleek, and easy to set up. Best of all, you don’t have to sign a contract. Read the full SimpliSafe review.

    Pros
  • Lifetime equipment warranty
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Customizable plans and equipment
  • Great options for renters
    Cons
  • Limited home automation options
  • Higher up-front costs
View Packages
Price and Contract
4
Tech and Equipment
3
Home Automation
2
Customer Service
4
Installation
4
Overall Score 3.4

Our Favorite SimpliSafe Package: Hearth Package

SimpliSafe’s Hearth Package includes all the home security essentials you need, plus fire and smoke detection. This isn’t the cheapest SimpliSafe package, but we think the addition of smoke protection is a plus worth paying for.

 

Key Features

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • 105 dB siren

 

Price

$14.99/mo.

$374 equipment package

Bottom Line

SimpliSafe has some of the cheapest monthly monitoring fees available, plus high-end equipment that comes with a lifetime warranty. Best of all, this security company doesn’t use high-pressure sales, so you won’t end up paying for more security than you need.
image of Simplisafe's logo
3.4
dollar icon Starting at $14.99/mo.
tag icon No contracts
SimpliSafe does home security on its own terms, which means no sales people or long contracts. View Packages

#7 Brinks: Best Money-Back Guarantee

This is the only residential security company we’ve found that gives you a full three months to decide whether or not you like your system. This 90-day money-back guarantee makes it easy to try out a Brinks alarm system—but if you cancel after the trial period, you could owe up to 80% of the remainder of your contract.

    Pros
  • Locked-in rates
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Power outage backup
  • Wireless door and motion sensors
    Cons
  • High early termination fees
  • Expensive monthly monitoring
View Packages
Price and Contract
2.75
Tech and Equipment
3.75
Home Automation
3
Customer Service
3.5
Installation
3
Overall Score 3.25

Our Favorite Brinks Package: Home Complete with Video

This package will run you about $40 per month, but it comes with impressive extras like a doorbell camera and an indoor security camera with night vision. You also get 24/7 live streaming video, which provides peace of mind whether you’re at home or on the go.

 

Key Features

  • Smart control panel
  • Hacker protection
  • Hands-free disarm

 

Price

$39/mo.

Bottom Line

Brinks offers cutting-edge technology that won’t let you down during a phone or power outage. Plus, the company’s money-back guarantee makes Brinks a solid choice for the commitment-averse that want to try out a home security system before signing a long contract. Just make up your mind before the trial period ends to avoid termination fees.
3.25
dollar icon Starting at $29/mo.
tag icon Money-back guarantee
Brinks has customer-first policies that make it less risky to try out a home security system. View Packages

#8 Scout: Best for Staying Out of a Long Contract

Scout is a flexible, entry-level home security system. You build your own system, which gives you control over how much protection you have. But options are limited, and vital equipment (like security cameras) isn’t available.

    Pros
  • Low monthly monitoring fees
  • Tool-free installation
  • Multiple colors and finishes
  • Smart home capabilities
    Cons
  • No security cameras
View Packages
Price and Contract
3.5
Tech and Equipment
2
Home Automation
3.5
Customer Service
3
Installation
4
Overall Score 3.2

Our Favorite Scout Package: Always On+

The Always On+ plan from Scout costs a little bit more, but it includes 24/7 professional monitoring, which adds extra peace of mind.

 

Key Features

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Email and text alerts
  • Cellular and battery backup

Price

$19.99/mo. (equipment must be purchased separately)

Bottom Line

Scout lets you control your home’s level of protection. You also control how much you spend because you build the system yourself. But equipment options are limited, and Scout doesn’t offer any security cameras.
logo of scout alarm
3.2
dollar icon Starting at $9.99/mo.
tag icon No contracts
With Scout, you control your home security—from picking components to adding monitoring. View Packages

#9 Nest Secure: Best DIY Self-Monitoring

Nest Secure provides innovative home security that’s designed to be self-monitored, although you do have the option to add on professional monitoring. You can add other Nest products like a camera or thermostat to make your home both smart and secure—but it will cost you. The starter pack is around $400, and that doesn’t include any security cameras.

    Pros
  • Easy DIY setup
  • Responsive door and window sensors
  • Stylish design
  • Free Nest App
    Cons
  • Expensive up-front costs
  • Skimpy starter package
View Packages
Price and Contract
2.5
Tech and Equipment
4
Home Automation
3
Customer Service
2.5
Installation
3
Overall Score 3

Our Favorite Nest Secure Package: Starter Pack with Nest Cam Indoor

This expanded starter pack bundle includes the Nest Guard hub and multiple Nest Detect sensors, plus one indoor Nest Cam to help you keep an eye on your home. You’ll save money by purchasing the bundle instead of adding on cameras later.

 

Key Features

  • Remote arm/disarm
  • Live video with free Nest App
  • Optional professional monitoring

Price

$498 for bundle (add 24/7 monitoring starting at $19/mo.)

Bottom Line

If you want to be in charge of your home’s security, Nest Secure is a good choice. Through the Nest App, you can monitor your home, watch live video, and arm or disarm your system. And if you decide you need more protection, it’s easy to add professional monitoring to your Nest system.
image of Nest Secure's logo
3
dollar icon Starting at $19/mo.
tag icon Month-to-month options
Nest Secure is smart and it helps protect your home with DIY or professional monitoring. View Packages

#10 LifeShield: Best Smoke and CO Monitoring

LifeShield is one of the only security companies to provide smoke and CO monitoring in every package. It’s also known for high-quality equipment that’s manufactured in-house.

    Pros
  • Smoke and CO alarms in every package
  • Apartment-friendly options
  • 3 layers of monitoring
  • Mobile access
    Cons
  • No home automation
  • Weak warranties
View Packages
Price and Contract
2.5
Tech and Equipment
3.5
Home Automation
1
Customer Service
3
Installation
3
Overall Score 2.6

Our Favorite LifeShield Package: Security Advantage

The Security Advantage package provides all the basics you need to keep your home secure, plus video monitoring.

 

Key Features

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Free mobile app
  • 30 days of video storage

Price

$39.99/mo.

Bottom Line

LifeShield provides more than security from intruders. Every package also includes fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide protection. You also get three levels of monitoring through broadband, cellular, and landline connections.
LifeShield packages offered home security
2.6
dollar icon Starting at $29.99/mo.
tag icon Free equipment deals
LifeShield provides a lot of options to help you find the right residential security system. View Packages

What to Consider When Choosing a Home Security System

What are the differences between landline, broadband, and cellular monitoring?

The main difference between these monitoring options is the way the security system is connected to the monitoring center. Landline monitoring uses a home phone line, broadband uses an internet connection, and cellular monitoring uses a cellular uplink. The next significant difference is how susceptible each connection is to tampering. Landline monitoring is most vulnerable because a phone line could be cut, and cellular is least vulnerable because there are no wires.

 

Learn more:

Can I get a home security system without a phone line?

Can I afford a home security system?

A home security system is an investment, but it’s one that can be worth it. To put it in perspective, the average loss to burglary victims was $2,361 in 2016.1 In our research, most residential security systems cost less than that for the whole term of the contract, which is typically thirty-six months.

 

Keep in mind that the more features and extras you add to your system, the bigger the price tag—some top-tier packages come in around $60 per month. Take the time to figure out exactly what you want from a home security system to make sure you don’t end up paying for extra bells and whistles that you don’t need.

 

Learn more:

How much does a security system cost?

What’s the initial cost for a home security system?

Are home security systems and alarm monitoring worth it?

How much is alarm monitoring each month?

What is the difference between professional monitoring and self-monitoring?

A professionally-monitored security system has trained professionals keeping an eye on your home 24/7. Monitoring centers can also dispatch emergency services to your home when an alarm is triggered. With a self-monitored system, you and other authorized household members are the ones checking in to make sure everything’s okay at home. You can save money with self-monitoring by avoiding monthly monitoring fees. But that can leave your home more vulnerable because you won’t have experts watching your home around the clock.

 

Learn more:

What is the difference between monitored and unmonitored security systems?

Why should I choose a company with professional monitoring services?

Can I have my existing security equipment monitored?

What are the differences between wired and wireless home security systems?

A wired home security system is hardwired into your home’s electrical system. Wireless security systems use wireless technology (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) for monitoring and to connect the components of the system. Wireless systems have more flexibility, but wired systems are considered more reliable because they don’t depend on internet or cellular connections.

 

Learn more:

What are the pros and cons of wired and wireless security systems?

Does a home security system give me a discount on homeowners insurance?

Yes. Most insurance companies offer a discount when you install a security system. Depending on your insurance, you may qualify for as much as 15% off your premium.²

 

Learn more:

Can purchasing a home security system decrease my homeowners insurance?

Can I install a home security system if I rent?

Yes. Many of our top security systems have packages available to meet renters’ security needs. To make it even easier, we also ranked the best security systems for renters.

 

Learn more:

I rent an apartment. Should I still consider a home security system?

Will I be stuck in a long contract?

It depends on the security company you choose. Nearly all professionally monitored home security systems require a contract, and the most common contract length is thirty-six months. But you can find security options with more flexible terms. Just be sure to read all the fine print, because most home security companies will charge you around 75% of the remaining term of your contract if you cancel early—and some require 100%.

 

Learn more:

What type of contract length can I expect from security providers?

What’s the difference between home security and home automation?

Home security uses tools and technology to help keep you, your family, and your property safe. Home security is made up of many tools and resources including burglar alarms, security cameras, door and window sensors, reinforced door locks, and more.

 

Home automation uses technology to automate everyday activities like locking the doors, turning up the thermostat, or starting the coffee pot. Home automation is what makes smart products (like a smart thermostat) smart. When combined with home security, home automation can help increase your home’s energy efficiency, remotely control your alarm system, and let you check in on kids or pets when you’re away from home.

 

Learn more:

What is home automation and how does it work?

What is a security system and how does it work?

What are the benefits of home automation?

Is home automation worth it?

What makes a home security system smart?

The difference between a traditional alarm system and a smart one is that different components within the system can communicate with one another. Not only does smart technology give you the ability to control and monitor your home alarm system from anywhere—it also makes your system able to respond to your habits and routines. The most common elements of a smart security system include a control panel (or hub), an app for remote access and monitoring, environmental controls, and smart accessories like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

 

Learn more:

Which devices are most commonly controlled in a smart home?

How can I save energy with home automation?

Can I control my home security from my phone?

What is do-it-yourself home security?

If you like to sling a sledgehammer, then DIY home security might be right up your alley. Home security systems that are 100% DIY let you pick the security products, set them up, and monitor them—all on your own.

 

Even better, you can go hybrid—opt for full-on professional monitoring with DIY installation. This can save you money and give you the satisfaction of upgrading your home’s security with your own two hands.

 

Not every company gives you that option, but three of our favorite home security systems do: Frontpoint Home Security, Link Interactive, and Protect America. You can also check out our full list of the best DIY home security systems of 2018.

 

Learn more:

Is a DIY security system better than a professionally installed one?

Installing a home security system is easier than you think

What are the advantages of installing a do-it-yourself security system?

When should I go with a professional installation?

Professional installation of alarm systems and sensors for your home can make things simple. You’ll have an expert by your side who understands the best setup for your home security system. Alarm systems that require wiring and sensor or camera placement benefit from professional installation companies—especially if an incorrectly placed motion sensor, door sensor, or security camera could lead to false alarms, or worse, an intruder.

 

Professional installers assess the layout of your home to determine where to place sensors, cameras, and devices for optimal performance. They can also resolve any issues with the alarm system along the way. And because the installer is certified and likely has years of experience on the job, you have added reassurance that the installation was done right. But there are some downsides to a pro install, primarily the up-front costs and the necessity of scheduling appointments and waiting around for techs to get the job done.

 

Learn more:

Should I have my system professionally installed?

What should I consider before having an alarm system installed?

 

Sources:

  1. FBI, Uniform Crime Reporting, “Burglary

2. Allstate, “Home Insurance Discounts