The Best Home Security System Apps

Home security apps help you protect your home when you’re not there by letting you check in on a smartphone or tablet. Read our reviews to find the best home security app.
Written by | Updated July 17, 2019
Best for Smart Security
screenshots of Vivint appVivint Smart Home
  • Controls smart home and security
  • Available with all plans
  • Controls smart home and security
  • Available with all plans
Best for Voice Control
screenshots of ADT Pulse appADT Pulse
  • Voice control arms and disarms
  • Live video feed keeps you informed
  • Voice control arms and disarms
  • Live video feed keeps you informed
Best User Interface
screenshots of Frontpoint appFrontpoint Mobile
  • User-friendly interface
  • Remote account management
  • User-friendly interface
  • Remote account management

Bottom Line: Vivint Smart Home App Delivers

The Vivint Smart Home app makes it easy to secure your home and control smart home features (like turning up the heat on the way home from the ski hill) from anywhere. Many home security system apps are compatible with smart home controls, but they usually require multiple apps to control everything.

With Vivint, you’ve got one app that does everything from arming your system to turning off the lights. And you don’t need to upgrade to a more expensive monitoring plan to get the app—Vivint includes it with every package.

  • Control your home security and smart home devices in one place.
  • Customize the alerts and notifications you receive.
  • Use the mobile app with every Vivint monitoring plan—no upgrades required.
  • Check live feed from security cameras no matter where you ar

Two Types of Security Apps: Proprietary and Alarm.com

It seems like the only types of security system apps out there would be apps for Android and apps for iOS, but it gets a little more complicated. Here’s our guide to navigating the differences between proprietary and nonproprietary (Alarm.com) home security apps.

Proprietary Home Security Apps

Proprietary apps are developed by security companies specifically for their own systems. Each company owns its app and is responsible for features, updates, bug fixes, and customer satisfaction. App quality varies by company, but the benefit of a proprietary app is that it’s tailor-made for your system. Depending on the resources of your security company, app development can be slower than with a generic, industry-wide app.

Alarm.com Apps

Many companies forgo developing their own app and partner with Alarm.com instead. Alarm.com is a home security industry leader for both security equipment and the technology that supports it—including mobile apps. The Alarm.com app is compatible with a number of security systems and generally receives high customer ratings. The downside is that updates and new features are dependent on Alarm.com and not your home security company, so some things like compatibility with new smart home devices can be delayed.

Compare the Best Home Security System Apps

Monitoring Contract Required
Available with All Monitoring Plans
Compatibility
Alarm.com
Vivint Smart Home ADT Pulse App Frontpoint Mobile SimpliSafe App
Vivint Smart Home logo ADT Protect Your Home logo Frontpoint logo logo of simplisafe home security
Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes No No No
iOS 11.0 or later
Varies with Android device
iOS 10.0 or later
Android 4.4 and up
iOS 10.0 or later
Android 4.4 and up
iOS 9.0 or later
Android 4.3 and up
No No Yes No
Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review

Top 4 Home Security Mobile Apps

Other Home Security Apps We Considered

Reviews: Best Home Security System Apps

Vivint Smart Home App: Best Smart Security

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.

Our favorite feature is the built-in AI assistant (Sky) that learns your routines and habits to help you manage your smart home right from your smartphone.

Sky uses geolocation and your home’s sensors to tell if your house is empty or full of a bunch of teenagers. It automatically adjusts the climate control to make sure the heat isn’t blasting when you’re out for the day (or when a crew of kids is upping the indoor temperature). Vivint Sky helps you conserve energy and stay comfy.

Plus, you can set up rules to automatically lock up the house at 10:00 p.m. each night and get an alert if a door or window opens after that time. If you’ve got rambunctious kids looking to exert a little too much independence, this feature could be a lifesaver.

Pros

  • Comes with all plans
  • Has seamless smart home integration
  • Uses built-in AI assistant to learn routines
  • Provides 30 days of video storage with Video Playback upgrade

Cons

  • Available only with Vivint home security system
  • Requires upgrade for continuous video storage

What Can You Do with the Vivint Smart Home App? 

  • Activity Feed
    See what’s going on with detailed reports of all the day-to-day activity in your home.
  • Family Plan
    Create and manage personalized accounts for every member of the household.
  • Smart Clips
    Save 20-second clips of security camera video to review later—whether it’s someone suspicious at the door or your dog doing something adorable.
  • Vivint Playback
    Add this feature to your app to store up to 30 days of continuous video.
  • Custom Actions
    Set up rules and routines to make life easier. Automatically turn lights on or off at the same time each day or lock the doors after everyone’s tucked in for the night.
  • Sky AI Assistant
    Benefit from Vivint’s learning technology that tunes into your family’s routines to help keep your home energy efficient and comfortable.

ADT Pulse App: Best for Voice Control

The ADT Pulse app works with ADT Pulse home security systems and monitoring. It boasts a full lineup of home automation controls so you can remotely let the kids in after school or check to make sure you didn’t leave the coffee pot on.

We especially like the voice control options that come with the ADT Pulse app. It works with Amazon Alexa and Siri, so you can boss around your alarm system and tell your smart thermostat what to do. Best of all, you can use voice control to arm and disarm your system—an option that isn’t always available from a security system app.

Unfortunately, the ADT Pulse app isn’t available with every ADT home security system. You can get the ADT Pulse app only with some of ADT’s pricier packages. But it does get high customer ratings in both the App Store and on Google Play, so the high price tag seems worth it to most users.

Pros

  • Voice control with Alexa and Siri
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Live video monitoring

Cons

  • Connection issues
  • Required upgrade to pricey system

What Can You Do with the ADT Pulse App?

  • Voice Control
    Use Siri or Amazon Alexa to arm and disarm your system, dim the lights, or turn up the heat.
  • Alerts
    Receive text or email alerts when a window or door is opened, or when the status of your system changes (e.g., from armed to disarmed).
  • Video Monitoring
    Watch live footage at your front door or store video clips to review later.
  • Smart Home Control
    Turn lights on and off, change the thermostat, or see if you left a small appliance on in your rush out the door.
  • Custom Automation
    Set up schedules for everyday life or program a vacation mode to keep burglars fooled when you’re frolicking on the beach.

Frontpoint Mobile App: Best User Interface

Frontpoint is the only security company on our list that uses Alarm.com technology for its mobile app. But Frontpoint has put in a lot of time to customize the app to best serve its customers. A great example of this is the company’s DIY installation guidance. Frontpoint was one of the first home security companies to automate installation through a mobile app.

Recently the Frontpoint app got a facelift, and users are raving about the simple, intuitive interface. The navigation menu is easy to follow, and the company has given more power to the individual user.

It used to take a call to customer service to change user settings, update login information, and make other standard changes. With the latest app update, those calls are no longer necessary—which is great news if you hate having to make phone calls (like me).

Pros

  • Easy navigation and setup
  • Live video feed
  • User-controlled account management

Cons

  • Upgraded monitoring plan required
  • Delays after motion detection

What Can You Do with the Frontpiont Mobile App?

  • System Setup
    Follow the prompts for quick, easy setup of your Frontpoint security system.
  • Notifications
    Get real-time alerts via text, email, or push notifications.
  • Video
    Check in on your home, kids, or pets with live video or recorded clips.
  • Smart Home Control
    Turn up the heat, dim the lights, or unlock the front door from your office or a ski slope.
  • Account Management
    Edit users, link multiple systems to a single login, and increase app security with extra features like two-factor authentication. No more need to call customer service for these housekeeping issues.

SimpliSafe Home Security App: Best for Sharing Video

SimpliSafe has taken the home security world by storm, and its proprietary mobile app is one reason why. Just like every other part of a SimpliSafe security system, the app is easy to navigate and intuitive for the user.

But that doesn’t mean SimpliSafe skips all the bells and whistles. The latest app update lets you share video from your SimpliCam or Video Doorbell Pro on social media. We like this feature because we pick up more antics from our kids and pets than from potential intruders. Plus, all the best videos happen when the kiddos or puppies think we’re not watching.

But there are some quirks in the latest update that are frustrating—users complain of Push notifications that won’t turn off and restrictions that let only one user receive alerts.

We are frustrated, though, that you can’t use the SimpliSafe app unless you opt for the company’s more expensive monitoring plan. This is an industry trend, but it feels extra-stingy from a security brand that emphasizes its wireless prowess and budget-friendly prices.

Pros

  • Intuitive design
  • Video sharing options
  • Fire, CO, and flood alerts

Cons

  • Pricey upgrade required
  • Notification glitches with latest update

What Can You Do with the Frontpiont Mobile App?

  • Alerts
    In addition to the usual notifications, you get updates about fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, and water leaks.
  • Event Log
    See who’s coming and going from your home. This is a great way to keep tabs on dog walkers and other household helpers.
  • Smart Home Control
    Incorporate third-party smart home devices like Amazon Alexa, August door locks, Google Home, and the Nest thermostat.
  • Video
    View live or recorded video, and share clips with friends and family on social media.

Conclusion

When it comes to apps that give you remote control of your home security system, it’s important to determine your needs.

  • For homes with children: If you have children who walk home from school, you’ll probably want a video doorbell camera with live streaming and two-way communication that lets you check in so you know they got home safe.
  • For families with fur babies: If you like to check in on your pets, live security camera screening is something that will help you keep an eye on them.
  • For smart home aficionados: 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.

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

Share this article.