Mobile Apps for Home Security Systems
Mobile apps represent the latest in home security system technology. Until this development, you’d have to set your alarm and "hope for the best." Now with your phone, you can arm and disarm your system, watch live security camera footage, and more while you’re away from home.
Advancements in home automation have also made it possible for you to turn lights and appliances on and off, control thermostats, and perform other handy functions through an app.
While technology is always changing, most apps are compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, tablets, and other web-enabled devices. Whether you want basic controls or complete home automation, you can read about the options below to find the right app and security company for you.
Two Types of Security System Apps: Proprietary & Alarm.com
Before we get started, you’ll need to know the difference between the kinds of apps:
Proprietary apps: These apps are developed by security companies specifically for their own systems. Each company owns its app and is responsible for updates, bug fixes, and customer satisfaction. App quality varies by company, but the benefit of proprietary apps is that each is tailor-made for your system.
Alarm.com apps: Many companies forgo developing their own apps. Instead, they make their security systems and technology compatible with an app created by Alarm.com. This is a very common practice because Alarm.com is an industry leader in making home security systems. The app works seamlessly with a range of Alarm.com compatible systems and generally receives high customer review ratings in comparison to some proprietary apps
Home Security Apps:
Take a look at top home security apps by company.
Vivint Sky App
You’ll need to have a customer account with Vivint to use its app, but once you do, get ready for a slew of home automation functions. Adjust the lights so they’re bright when you pull in the driveway, turn down the heat while you’re at the office during the day, or unlock the front door for your kids if they forget a key. Here’s a list of what you can do with the Vivint Sky App:
- Control lighting and small appliances
- Program and preset thermostat
- Lock and unlock doors
- View live video of your home
- Arm/disarm remotely
- Monitor/set custom notifications/alerts
- Review home security alert history
- Add or remove users
- Convenience. You can use this app from anywhere to keep your home under control.
- Ease of use. Vivint’s app is very user friendly, so you can learn how to use it quickly.
- Customizable. You can implement settings that will arm your system when your door is locked, lock doors at a certain time, unlock doors when a fire alarm goes off, and much more.
- It’s free. You won’t pay extra for this app.
- Four out of 5 stars on Android reviews.
- Must be a Vivint customer to use it. Unlike standard apps that you can download and program to work with multiple alarm systems, you’ll need to be a Vivint customer to use this particular technology.
- Available with all devices except Blackberry. You can get this app on Windows, Android, and Apple devices.
Frontpoint Mobile App
Frontpoint has been blazing a trail in advanced technology for years, so it’s no surprise that the company has its own home security mobile app. Compatible with Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Windows devices, it’s accessible to most users. Here’s what the Frontpoint app will allow you to do:
- Arm and disarm your system
- Get up-to-the-second email, text, or push notifications for alerts you select
- View streaming or recorded video footage
- Home automation: control lights, locks, and thermostats in your home
- Convenience. Wherever you have wifi or a cellular connection, you can connect to your home security system.
- User-Friendly. Big icons and organized topics make programming and controlling your home security system with your app easy.
- Good Reviews. The current app for Apple has 3.5 out of 5 stars and 4 for Android.
- Free to use. You won’t pay extra to download or use this app.
- Works with all devices. You can use this app with Android, Blackberry, Apple, and Windows devices.
- Doesn’t work with all plans. You might not get to use this app depending on your system and plan.
- You must be a customer. You have to be a Frontpoint customer and have a Frontpoint system to use this app.
Comcast offers more than cable, internet, and phone services. You can get home security services from the company too. Check out some of the conveniences you can enjoy while using the home security app:
- Access your system remotely to change status and view history
- Quickly arm/disarm
- View live video or clips of key events
- Automatic alerts to your phone or computer
- Schedule lighting and climate control to help save on energy bills
- Home Automation. Adjust your thermostat, lights, or door locks from your phone.
- Good Reviews. For Apple users, this app scored 4.5 out of 5 stars. It scored 4 stars for Android.
- Peace of mind. If you have video monitoring services, you can check in to see your kids walk in the door and know they’re home safe.
- Must be an XFINITY customer. You have to have either XFINITY Home's Preferred or Premier Plans to use this app.
- Doesn’t work with all devices. You can only use the XFINITY home app with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android phone/tablet.
- Contingent on service plan. You have to purchase certain services to use all of the app’s functions.
Protect America SMART Connect App
As the most advanced app from Protect America, it’s on par with others on the market. Here’s what you can do with this app:
- Arm/disarm functions
- Lock/unlock your door
- Watch live video stream
- Manage energy use with light and temperature control
- Customize alert settings
- Get email/text notifications if alerts are detected
- Home automation. Control lights, temperature, and more in your home.
- Live Video Streaming. Check in on what’s happening in and outside your home with video streaming.
- Free with service. You have to have a cellular monitoring plan, but the app itself is free.
- Must be a customer. This app is for Protect America's customers only.
- Not compatible with all devices or plans. You have to have an Android or Apple device to use this app and certain service plans.
SimpliSafe Security Systems App
SimpliSafe is an award-winning security company. Over the years, it’s kept up with the industry by creating and updating its own home security app. With its most recent app, you can:
- Get flood, fire, and carbon monoxide alerts
- Check into your event log to see who has come and gone from your home
- Monitor access to sensitive areas (liquor, gun, medicine cabinets)
- Arm/disarm your system from your smart device
- Alerts anytime system is armed/disarmed
- Control your thermostat
- Get text alerts. Set alerts for what you want to be notified about and you’ll get them through text and email.
- Home Automation. Control your thermostat when you’re away to prevent bursting pipes, extreme temperatures, or inefficient energy usage.
- App is free. All you have to do is purchase the interactive plan.
- Must be a customer. You must have an interactive plan to have this app.
- So-So/Inconsistent Ratings. Apple users gave this 2.5 out of 5 stars, but it received 4 from Android users.
- Only available on Apple and Android devices.
LifeShield Interactive App
This DIRECTV® home security company has its own app you can use to control your security system. While it doesn’t have home automation features that can control lights and thermostats in your home, it does allow you to check in on video footage and arm/disarm while you’re away. With this app, you can:
- Set and manage unique access codes for babysitter, workers, etc and track arrival times
- Check still camera shots
- Remote access anywhere
- View system history of activity in your home
- Custom alerts
- Arm/disarm remotely
- Watch Video. Use the app to watch live video camera footage from around your home.
- App is free. You must have certain security packages for it to work though.
- Demo Video. You can see what this app is like before you commit to a package from LifeShield with their demo.
- No Home Automation. You won’t be able to control lights or thermostats—only monitor your home and watch video footage.
- Must be a customer. LifeShield encourages you to download its app and sign in as a guest to try it out.
- Not compatible with all devices. You can only use this app with Apple and Android devices.
AlarmForce has been around since 1988 and has come a long way with emerging technology. With its very own app, it’s made it possible for customers to control basic functions of their homes while away. With this app, you can:
- Remotely arm/disarm your home’s system
- Check in on your alarm status
- Read your alarm history
- Get or send email notifications
- Basic Home Security Controls. You can have peace of mind by checking in on your home with standard functions.
- Good Reviews. Android app users gave AlarmForce Connect 3.5 out of 5 stars.
- Only available for AlarmForce customers.
- Only available with certain plans. You have to have an interactive AlarmForce service plan and corresponding equipment to use this app.
- Only available on Android and iPhone.
- No Home Automation. You won’t be able to control lights and thermostats from this app.
This add-on from AlarmForce is really cool. Through an app, it connects your phone and home security system. Customers may then communicate with people at your front door through 2-way audio and video technology. Complete features include:
- Alerts that tell you when the doorbell rings or cameras detect movement around home
- Ability to communicate with guests at front door through audio and video
- Downloadable video files you can save to your smartphone
- Ability to access technology via app or secure internet portal
- Use any compatible system. You don’t have to use AlarmForce system. Whatever you have just has to be compatible.
- Can log in from a computer through secure portal. This means you don’t have to have a compatible phone.
- Only compatible on some devices. If you want to use this app on your phone, you must have Apple or Android device.
Alarm.com is a leading provider of home security equipment. While it’s not a home security provider, it works with independent home security companies to develop new technology—including apps. Unlike independent security company apps, Alarm.com’s app is designed to work with a range of companies and their equipment. This is what you can do with Alarm.com’s app:
- Watch live video streaming and recorded clips from security cameras
- Control lights and thermostats
- Lock/unlock doors
- View important images captured by Alarm.com image sensors
- Search event history
- Arm/disarm the security panel
- Receive alerts from flood sensors
- Compatibility. You can use this app with a number of security companies and different equipment.
- No Contract. If you switch home security providers, you may be able to use this app with another company (if compatible), so you won’t need to download something new.
- It’s free. Security companies pay for this app, so you don’t have to.
- Access from multiple devices and secure website. This works with iPhone, Android, Windows phone and any computer connected to the internet.
- Good ratings. Alarm.com is a big provider of home security equipment, so its products are reliable.
- Not tailored to your system. Unlike Frontpoint’s app for Frontpoint customers or other privately owned apps, Alarm.com’s technology isn’t made specifically for your exact home security system.
When it comes to apps that control your home security system, you should determine your needs. If you have children who walk home from school, you’ll probably want a video feature or arm/disarm alert that will let you know when they get home safe. If you like to check in on your pets, live security camera screening is something that will help you keep an eye on them. If you want to be able to control your lights and thermostat while you’re away, look for a plan and technology with home automation capabilities. If you’re ready to purchase or upgrade your system, read more about top home security providers to find the best match for your lifestyle.