Vivint is doubling down when it comes to smart home security—emphasizing both smart home features and state-of-the-art security tech.
SafeWise Rating: 4.8
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For a limited time, get 25% off a refurbished SimpliSafe system + a free refurbished SimpliCam (refurbished packages start around $210 with deal).
Frontpoint packages start at $99 + get 20% off add-on products and a free doorbell camera (value $149).
For a limited time, get up to $250 off a new Link Interactive security system.
Cove is offering 50% off sensors plus a free indoor security camera ($59 value).
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Deal current as of 3/05/21
|Luxury smart home pick||High-end DIY pick||Reader favorite||Pro monitoring pick||No-contract DIY pick||Customer-focused pick||Smart-home-compatible pick||Budget pick||Most safety sensor options||Simplest package options|
|Brand||Vivint||Frontpoint||SimpliSafe||ADT||Blue by ADT||Cove||Abode||Ring||Link Interactive||Brinks|
|Lowest monthly monitoring price||$29.99/mo.||$44.99/mo.||$14.99/mo.||$27.99‡||$19.99/mo.||$14.99/mo.||$20/mo.||$10.00/mo.||$30.99/mo.||$39.00/mo.|
|Starter equipment price||$0.00*||$0.00*||$229.00||$0.00**||$199.15||Quote required||$279.00||$199.99||Quote required||$299.00|
|Smart home compatibility||Amazon Alexa|
|Learn more||View packages||View packages||View packages||View packages||View Packages||View packages||View packages||View on Amazon||View packages||View packages|
|Read review||Read review||Read review||Read review||Read review||Read review||Read review||Read review||Read review||Read review||Read review|
Info current as of 02/25/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Amazon.com List Price as of 01/29/21 9:05 a.m. MST. (Full disclaimer)
*$0 due up-front with consumer financing.
†No-contract options available with outright equipment purchase.
‡Landline monitoring only. Some restrictions apply. (Full disclaimer)
**With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See full disclaimer for full offer details, terms, and conditions.
Vivint is doubling down when it comes to smart home security—emphasizing both smart home features and state-of-the-art security tech.
SafeWise Rating: 4.8
Vivint is known for its home automation technology, but it’s Vivint’s new innovative home security features that really have us excited. Plus, Vivint recently told us that you can put $0 down with consumer financing. That makes this high-end security system more accessible to more people.
Marrying smart AI tech and high-end security equipment launches Vivint beyond the average home security system to tackle today's most pressing security concerns. Vivint aims to thwart would-be porch pirates and other home marauders before they get to your front door—and that’s taking home security to the next level.
See everything that’s got us revved up about Vivint in our full Vivint review.
If you’re a homeowner on the hunt for a high quality security system that doesn’t require you to lift a finger, Vivint is the best of the bunch.
Vivint delivers luxury home security with all the full-service support you expect—professional installation, in-home home security consultations, and 24/7 professional monitoring. But like any luxury item, it comes with a luxury price tag.
While Vivint’s monthly monitoring fees remain in line with other top security companies, higher equipment prices launch it to the top of the list when it comes to overall price. For those looking for pro install and the coolest technology, Vivint’s bigger price tag shouldn’t be a deterrent.
Plus, Vivint offers multiple ways to get a system up and protecting your home. You can buy equipment outright and avoid a contract or finance your equipment over 42 to 60 months.
Vivint’s new outdoor security cam and updated video doorbell are designed to deter package thieves and other bad actors bent on things like breaking into your car or swiping a bike left on the front lawn.
Both the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro and Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro start recording when they pick up motion, but it’s the audible whistle (or tone) that sets them apart. It's called Smart Deter lurker detection—and we love the name just as much as the function of this industry-leading feature.
We’ve seen these cameras in action, and it’s a hoot to see prowlers jump out of their skin and scurry away when they hear that whistle.
Learn more about these AI-infused outdoor cameras in our Vivint Cameras Guide.
We think security cameras and video monitoring offer the best home security protection for your whole property.
The Smart Home Video monitoring plan delivers that plus smart home control and integration.
Vivint costs more but is stepping up its home security tech and features. High-end equipment paired with advanced smart home perks makes Vivint the best full-service security system available—complete with pro installation and 24/7 monitoring.
Curious about Vivint? Read our full Vivint review.
Frontpoint delivers all the home security bells and whistles of full-service professionally installed systems but puts all the control (and installation) in your hands.
SafeWise Rating: 4.5
These days, it’s easy to find a DIY home security system—but it’s harder to find one that can compete with home security titans like ADT or Vivint.
Frontpoint delivers all the perks you want from home security: indoor and outdoor security cameras, smart home integration, mobile app control, and 24/7 pro monitoring. And you get it all without pushy sales, in-home consultations, or exorbitant equipment prices.
With two monitoring plans to choose from (and just a five-dollar price difference between them) Frontpoint makes it easy to pick the right plan for your home and family.
Get all the details about Frontpoint’s plans and equipment in our full Frontpoint review.
For a limited time, Frontpoint is offering new customers 20% off add-on equipment, a free doorbell camera ($149.99 value), and security packages starting at only $99!
Terms and conditions apply.
For those who like the independence of DIY but don’t want to compromise on equipment options or features, Frontpoint fits the bill.
Unlike other DIY home security brands that have limited options (like no outdoor security camera), Frontpoint offers just about every component you could want in a security system. And it includes extras like CO and smoke detector monitoring in its entry-level plan.
Granted, Frontpoint’s entry-level plan costs more than many others, but it also delivers more. You get full access to the mobile app and life safety monitoring—plus you’ll never pay for installation.
Best of all, there are no contracts and you have full control over when, where, and how your security system is installed.
See how easy Frontpoint is to install in our complete installation guide.
One of the downsides to DIY home security is the hefty up-front payment for equipment. While you can buy your equipment outright with Frontpoint, you don’t have to.
To make home security as accessible as possible, Frontpoint gives you options. You could get a Frontpoint security system for as little as $99 or $0 down if you go with its third-party consumer financing.
Financing will put you in a contract until the equipment is paid off, but there’s no penalty to pay it off early, and Frontpoint doesn’t even run a credit check.
For just five dollars more, we recommend going for Frontpoint’s top-end Ultimate plan. It includes video monitoring and smart home controls.
Find out all about Frontpoint security cameras in our comprehensive guide.
You’ll pay a little bit more for Frontpoint, but it’s at the top of its class for full-service DIY home security. Frontpoint’s advanced security system options set it apart from other simpler DIY options.
Curious about Frontpoint? Read our full Frontpoint review.
Check out our other home security system guides.
Our readers have spoken—and they love SimpliSafe’s affordable, straightforward home security system.
SafeWise Rating: 4.3
SimpliSafe does home security on its own terms. That means ditching some of the things that turn customers off about security companies: brash salespeople and long contracts.
With SimpliSafe, you get to choose the equipment and monitoring level you want. It offers no-pressure online shopping and provides professional monitoring service on demand (that means no contracts).
Straightforward pricing makes it easy to know what you’ll spend out of pocket, but it can be challenging to shell out a few hundred dollars up front. The good news is that once you buy your SimpliSafe security system, you don’t have to spend another dime if you don’t want to.
Get the rundown on SimpliSafe’s home security offerings in our full SimpliSafe review.
We like SimpliSafe for smaller homes and apartments. The simple packages are perfect if you have less square footage, and wireless installation makes SimpliSafe a no-brainer whether you own or rent.
SimpliSafe equipment is modern, sleek, and easy to set up. Plus, it’s a cinch to reconfigure your system or move it into a new house or apartment.
SimpliSafe is also budget-friendly. If you’re ready to try out home security, but aren’t sure you want to take the full plunge, SimpliSafe is a great way to test the waters. And its 60-day money-back guarantee takes some of the sting out of the initial investment.
Find out why we picked SimpliSafe as the top system for renters in our full roundup of renter-friendly home security systems.
The Interactive Plan gives you mobile app control of your SimpliSafe security system, including email and text alerts. You can also access live video coverage of your home if you add the SimpliCam to your equipment package.
Learn all about the SimpliCam in our full SimpliCam review.
SimpliSafe’s name says it all. Its security systems are simple and straightforward—and so is its pricing. SimpliSafe has some of the cheapest monthly monitoring fees available, and you can start or stop it whenever you want to.
Curious about SimpliSafe? Read our full SimpliSafe review.
ADT delivers expert security consultations and pro installation. Plus, it has the most monitoring centers and more experience than any other home security company.
SafeWise Rating: 4
When it comes to home security monitoring, no one can beat ADT for experience. This home security company has delivered top-notch home protection for nearly 145 years and looks out for more than 8,000,000 people across the globe.
What really stands out is ADT’s nine professional monitoring centers—that’s more than any other security company. That number means your pro monitoring never goes offline, even if a monitoring center faces a power outage or natural disaster like a hurricane.
If one monitoring station goes down, your home’s protection is instantly transferred to another center. That’s 24/7 protection that you can rely on, even when Mother Nature does her worst.
Learn more about what ADT has to offer in our full ADT review.
If you want a home security sign in the front yard that makes burglars think twice, you can’t do better than the ADT name.
But ADT’s experience and reputation don’t come cheap. It’s been said that you get what you pay for—and with ADT you get high-end home security equipment, professional installation, and the benefit of more than 140 years in the business.
Plus, ADT is known to offer deals that help cut down on equipment costs, which makes the overall expense for a 36-month contract a lot easier to swallow. If you’ll sleep better knowing that a well-known, tried-and-true security company is watching over your home, ADT is worth the money.
Learn the ins and outs of ADT’s contracts in our complete ADT contract guide.
If you’re going with one of the best home security companies out there, you may as well go all in. The Command Tier III plan includes home automation controls, wireless equipment, and video monitoring.
ADT is the most experienced security monitoring company in the country. If you can look past higher monitoring fees and long contracts, its years of experience combined with the most monitoring centers in the land deliver fast response times and reassurance when it matters most.
Curious about ADT? Read our full ADT review.
Blue by ADT offers the best of both worlds—easy DIY home security backed by trustworthy pro monitoring from ADT.
SafeWise Rating: 3.85
Blue by ADT is the latest release by security leader ADT. Unlike traditional ADT offerings, you can get Blue without an in-home visit or a long-term contract.
This system launches ADT into the 2020s with smart cameras, optional self-monitoring, a free mobile app, and reasonable pricing. Our only real complaints are bulky equipment and a glitchy app.
Read more in our full Blue by ADT review.
This isn’t the cheapest security system from Blue by ADT, but we think it’s worth it for the convenience and security that come with a camera.
For less than $400, you get two door and window sensors, one motion detector, and a video doorbell with two-way talk.
If you like the reassurance of a name like ADT but don’t want the hassle of a three-year contract, this is the flexible option you’ve been waiting for. Blue by ADT is a refreshing addition to the DIY home security landscape. We especially like that you can choose 24/7 monitoring by ADT’s monitoring centers or monitor it yourself through the app.
Cove delivers the basics at a price you can afford—and its flexible policies put customers first.
SafeWise Rating: 3.75 stars
Cove told us its policy is to be “more than fair” with its customers, and if its customer ratings are any indication, this home security newbie is coming through.
On top of offering affordable monthly monitoring prices—that you can get without a contract, btw—Cove makes it painless to cancel if you decide the system isn’t for you. Unlike other security companies that charge anywhere from 75% to 100% of your remaining contract, Cove sets you free without punishing penalties and fees.
Dig into more of what Cove has to offer in our full Cove review.
Cove’s Plus monitoring plan lets you control your security system with the mobile app, and it includes video monitoring and smart device integration. Plus, you also get a lifetime extended warranty.
Cove may be the new kid on the block, but it’s learned what customers want from DIY home security and this security company aims to please. We’re encouraged by its customer-first practices and look forward to seeing how Cove smart security evolves.
Abode is the only security system on our list that works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
SafeWise Rating: 3.5
Take your Abode security system outside with the new Outdoor Smart Camera. Right now the camera is 23% off—on sale for $199.99.
Order today and get a free Echo Show 5 (while supplies last).
Deals current as of 2/25/21.
Abode can protect your home with its more traditional Smart Security Kit or its sleek all-in-one Iota security hub.
Whichever way you go, Abode adds smarts to your home security setup with voice control through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit. In fact, it’s one of the only security systems out there that caters to Apple devotees.
On top of voice control, you can add smart lighting, smart locks, smart speakers, and smart smoke and CO detectors to your Abode security system. Plus, pro monitoring starts at a mere $20 per month.
Get the total rundown on Abode home security in our full Abode review.
Abode is one of the only systems out there that truly lets you monitor your home’s security yourself, but we think pro monitoring is the most secure choice. That’s why we recommend upgrading to Abode’s Pro plan that provides 24/7 professional monitoring.
Abode is a smart choice if you want to max out your home automation options. It’s also ideal for a smaller home or apartment. All packages come with free mobile app access, and you can choose self-monitoring or pay the pros to watch over your home.
For standard home security on a budget, it’s hard to beat the no-nonsense Ring Alarm security system.
SafeWise Rating: 3.25
You can buy Ring’s five-piece security kit and add monthly monitoring for a year for right around $300—that’s cheaper than buying only equipment with most other DIY security companies.
Keep in mind that this is no-frills home security, but if all you’re looking for is intrusion detection, Ring Alarm will give you a solid start. That said, it does deliver reliable, basic home security that will detect motion, sense if a door or window is opened, and sound an alarm.
Read all about Ring Alarm equipment and prices in our full Ring review.
You can add the Ring Protect Plus plan to any Ring Alarm security kit. It gives you 24/7 pro monitoring, smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring, mobile app control, and video monitoring if you add a Ring doorbell or security camera.
Ring Alarm is a bare-bones home security system that delivers protection at an affordable price. If you want to add extras like cameras or security lighting, the up-front equipment price gets steeper—but Ring’s $10 a month monitoring fee is hard to beat.
Link Interactive goes above and beyond when it comes to security equipment and sensors. You can protect everything from the front door to your backyard grill.
SafeWise Rating: 3
Unlike most other home security companies, Link Interactive provides up to 48 sensors in its basic package, including both smoke and CO alarms.
Link Interactive also offers extra sensors that many security companies don’t. We like the grill guard that protects little fingers from getting burned on the stove or the backyard grill and the gun lock that has both a tilt sensor and a three-digit lock to help prevent accidental discharge.
On top of its dizzying array of sensors, Link Interactive also makes home automation accessible in its lower-tier monitoring plans.
Get the full lineup of Link Interactive’s security options in our complete Link Interactive review.
The Gold Plan offers security you can rely on plus home automation and energy management features. We also like that fire and CO alarms are included.
Link Interactive offers basic packages that are anything but basic, which means you can end up with more security for your money. We also like that Link Interactive aims to protect your whole home—not just your front door.
Brinks has straightforward pricing and equipment packages that make it a good choice for home security newbies.
SafeWise Rating: 3
Brinks offers only one professional monitoring plan and three equipment packages. You don’t have to worry about getting overwhelmed or confused about all the choices—and that can make it easier to pick the right system for your home.
Its pricing is also straightforward, so you won’t have any nasty surprises when the bill comes. Brinks’s security system packages range from $200 to around $1,100 and include everything from basic window and door sensors to smart doorbells and outdoor security cameras.
Check out all the details in our full Brinks review.
The Smart Security Complete equipment package works with Brinks’s Smart Security pro monitoring plan but kicks it up a notch with a night vision indoor camera and an extra motion sensor.
Brinks offers simple home security options and straightforward pricing. 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.
Landline, broadband, and cellular monitoring are different ways your home security system can be connected to the monitoring center. Landline monitoring uses a home phone line, broadband uses an internet connection, and cellular monitoring uses a cellular uplink. Landline monitoring is most vulnerable because a phone line could be cut, and cellular is least vulnerable because there are no wires.
That depends on your budget and comfort with risk. At first glance, a $40 or $50 per month monitoring fee can seem steep, but that adds up to $600 or less per year. Keep in mind that the more features and extras you add to your system, the bigger the price tag. Some top-tier packages cost upward of $60 per month. That’s still significant, but it’s a lot less than the average loss of a break-in. While the rate of burglaries nationally has decreased, the average loss remains high—in 2019, that number was more than $2,600 per incident.
A professionally monitored security system has trained professionals keeping an eye on your home 24/7. Monitoring centers contact you if the alarm is triggered, and they can dispatch emergency services to your home. We recommend professional monitoring because it’s your most direct line to help if something happens.
With a self-monitored system, you and other authorized household members are the ones checking in to make sure everything’s okay at home. Depending on the security system you choose, that may or may not include motion detector alerts, outside security camera alerts, and life-saving alerts like notification that your smoke alarm went off. 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 around the clock.
“Wireless” refers to the use of wireless technology like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for monitoring and to connect the components of your system. “Wired” refers to a home security system that is hardwired into your home’s electrical system.
Both protect your home just fine, but wireless systems have more flexibility if you may move or don’t want to put holes in walls. A hardwired system could be the perfect option if you want a complete smart home and you’re able to incorporate the installation into a renovation or new construction.
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 with 24/7 professional monitoring. When you’re looking for the best home security system to buy, be sure to verify that you’ll get a certificate to submit to your home insurance company after installation.
Yes. Thanks to wireless technology, it’s now easy to add security to your home—whether you own, rent, or live in a dorm or with roommates. Many of our top home security systems have packages that meet renters’ security needs. To make it even easier, we also ranked the best security systems for renters.
Possibly. It depends on which security company you choose. Many professionally monitored home security systems require a contract, and contract length can range from three to five years. But today you’ll find more home security options than ever before that offer shorter contracts and month-to-month (contract-free) terms—especially if you can pay for equipment up front. Most home security companies will charge you around 75% of the remaining term of your contract if you cancel early—and some require 100%.
The best home security systems use tools and technology to help keep you, your family, and your property safe—think burglar alarms, security cameras, door and window sensors, motion sensors, and reinforced door locks. Home automation uses technology to automate everyday activities like locking the doors, turning up the thermostat, or starting the coffee pot.
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.
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.
Many home security systems offer extra sensors that provide protection beyond keeping out intruders. These sensors help you protect your home from things like floods and freezing temperatures. Smart sensors take information from the physical surroundings to detect changes in the environment that could signal trouble. Some security systems also use smart sensors to “listen” for CO and smoke alarms. When those sensors hear an alarm, both you and the monitoring center are notified and emergency help is dispatched if needed.
Home security systems that are 100% DIY let you pick the security products, set them up, and monitor them—all on your own. Brands like Frontpoint or Link Interactive offer DIY installation with professional monitoring. Find some of our favorites on our full list of the best DIY home security systems.
Sometimes you don’t have a choice. High-end home security companies like Vivint and ADT offer only professional installation. But most other companies on our best home security systems list give you a DIY option.
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. But there are some downsides to a pro install—primarily the necessity to schedule an appointment and have someone come into your home.
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We’ve spent seven years and hundreds of hours testing, researching, and comparing home security systems based on the factors that matter most when it comes to protecting your home and family:
Every month, more than one million visitors look to us for home security information and recommendations. Our honest reviews and expert insights come from hands-on tests, interviews with real customers, and meetings with technical pros, owners, and CEOs of large and small home security companies.
See our rigorous testing process in our full methodology.
Amazon.com list price as of 02/25/21 09:05 a.m. MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links. Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.