Can I Control My Home Security from My Phone?

Many modern home security systems are controllable via smartphone apps. Systems with app compatibility are known as smart home security systems. Just don’t confuse a system’s smart capabilities with the method of professional monitoring it uses—the two are different. You can, for instance, have a smart security system and still get professional cellular alarm monitoring.

There are several components in a security system that might be controllable with a smartphone or tablet. Here are some of the most popular smart security elements.

Mid adult hispanic man looks at smart phone for instruction as he learns to use thermostat in his new home. He is touching the digital termostat with his finger. He is standing in front of the stairs leading to the second floor of his home. He is wearing a blue sweater and glasses and has brown hair and a beard.
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Smart lighting

Smart lighting is becoming increasingly common, and it isn’t just convenient for everyday use—it also has major implications for home security. Gone are the days of having to worry about whether you forgot to leave a light on to make your home look occupied. With smart lighting, you can turn any light you choose on (or off) from your phone, no matter where you happen to be. You can also set and adjust timers for your lights remotely.

You can achieve this with smart light bulbs or smart light switches. Both are great options, but installing a smart switch is a little more involved than screwing in a smart lightbulb.

Smart smoke detectors

The humble smoke detector benefits quite a bit from smart technology. Not only can the individual alarms communicate with each other to notify you of fires faster, but many models also use voice alerts to let you know exactly which room the smoke is in. Depending on the model you get, you can also silence the alarm from your phone and receive alarm notifications while you’re away.

Check out our roundup of the best smoke alarms—look for options marked “smart.”

Smart cameras

Smart cameras allow you to remotely activate and view your security camera feeds right on your phone. Some smart cameras can also detect movement and send alerts to your phone when a person enters a room.

Explore our picks for best home security cameras.

Smart door locks

Smart door locks let you lock your doors from anywhere, and certain models can unlock automatically when they detect you approaching. Some locks feature keypads and backup key slots just in case the electronic element isn’t working, while others are completely wireless and work exclusively via smartphone apps.

Look through our guide to the best smart locks.

Smart burglar alarms

Many home security systems allow you to arm or disarm the burglar alarm from your smartphone, so you never need to worry about forgetting to set the alarm when you leave. Most providers have their own home security apps, and some are also compatible with the universal apps from Alarm.com.

Take a look at our home automation guide to get a better idea of just how many security devices you can control via your smartphone.


Compare the best home security systems

Brand
Best for
Monthly costIcon Tooltip  Dark
Starter equipment price
Contract required
Smart home compatibilityIcon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
Read review
Best overall$599.00
Icon Yes  LightNo *
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Budget pick$245.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google
Quality DIY pick$129.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Most experienced$0.00
Icon No  LightYes
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Best DIY automation$279.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon, Apple, Google, Z-Wave, Zigbee

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

*$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.

Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help everyone find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. In her free time, she volunteers at the local botanical garden and writers for the community newspaper.

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