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.
Best for smart security
screenshots of Vivint app
Vivint
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Controls smart home and security
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Available with all plans
Best for voice control
ADT Control App 2
ADT Control
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Voice control arms and disarms
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Live video feed keeps you informed
Best user interface
screenshots of Frontpoint app
Frontpoint
  • Icon Pros  Light
    User-friendly interface
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Remote account management

The Vivint app makes it easy to secure your home and control smart home features from anywhere (like turning up the heat on the way home from the ski hill). 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. Take a peek at the rest of our top contenders to see how they stack up against Vivint's app.



Compare the best home security system apps

Smart security pick Voice control pick User interface pick Video-sharing pick
VivintVivint
ADTADT Control
FrontpointFrontpoint
SimpliSafeSimpliSafe
Requires contract
Icon No  LightYes
Icon No  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightNo
Icon No  LightYes
Available with all plans
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Minimum requirementsiOS 13
Android 7
iOS 12
Android 6
iOS 12
Android 6
iOS 12
Android 6
Learn more

Info current as of 05/04/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Two types of security apps: Proprietary and Alarm.com

You might think 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.

New and updated security system apps

Checklist
Other home security apps we considered

Reviews: Best home security system apps

1. Vivint Smart Home app: Best smart security

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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Comes with all plans
Pro Bullet Has seamless smart home integration
Pro Bullet Uses built-in AI assistant to learn routines
Pro Bullet Provides 30 days of video storage with Video Playback upgrade
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Available only with Vivint home security system
Con Bullet Requires upgrade for continuous video storage

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. Learn more in our complete Vivint review.

What can you do with the Vivint 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.

2. ADT Control app: Best for voice control

Best for voice control

The ADT Control app works with ADT 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 Control app. It allows two-way talk and it works with Amazon Alexa. You can use voice control to arm and disarm your system—an option that isn’t always available from a security system app.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Voice control with Alexa
Pro Bullet Geo-fencing services for security, climate, and privacy
Pro Bullet Live video monitoring (available on phone, tablet, TV, Apple Watch)
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Connection issues
Con Bullet Required upgrade to pricey system

Unfortunately, the ADT Control app isn’t available with every ADT home security system. You can get the ADT Control 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.

What can you do with the ADT Control app?

  • Voice control
    Use Amazon Alexa to arm and disarm your system, dim the lights, or turn up the heat.
  • Alerts
    Receive text/email alerts when a window/door is opened or when the status of your system changes (e.g. from armed to disarmed).
  • Video monitoring
    Watch live footage or store video clips to review later.
  • Apple Watch integration
    View camera footage, control alarms, and set automation schedules on your Apple Watch.
  • 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.

3. Frontpoint app: Best user interface

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.

The Frontpoint app recently 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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Easy navigation and setup
Pro Bullet Live video feed
Pro Bullet User-controlled account management
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Delays after motion detection

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). Learn more in our full Frontpoint review.

What can you do with the Frontpoint 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.

4. SimpliSafe Home Security app: Best for sharing video

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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Intuitive design
Pro Bullet Video sharing options
Pro Bullet Fire, CO, and flood alerts
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Pricey upgrade required
Con Bullet Notification glitches with latest update

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 about 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 coming from a security brand that emphasizes its wireless prowess and budget-friendly prices.

What can you do with the SimpliSafe Home Security 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.

New or updated security apps

Blue by ADT

Crime map pick

Blue by ADT is the company's new DIY security system; you get its mobile app for free. If some of its features look familiar to you, it might be because Blue by ADT used to be LifeShield Security.

After ADT acquired LifeShield, it updated and rebranded the system. In fact, you’ll still see “LifeShield Security” right under Blue by ADT in the App Store.

Here’s a look at what you can do with the Blue by ADT mobile app:

  • Arm and disarm the security system.
  • Check security camera footage.
  • Get real-time push notifications.
  • Use two-way talk with doorbell camera.
  • Receive familiar face alerts.
  • Access a crime map of your area.

Learn more in our Blue by ADT review.

Abode

Smart home pick

Abode gave its app a complete overhaul. You get free access to the Abode mobile app when you buy an Abode smart security system or Abode Iota all-in-one security camera.

On top of a slick new user interface, here are other features of the Abode mobile app:

  • Remote arming and disarming
  • Live video feeds
  • Unified dashboard for smart home and security functions
  • Full administrative access (no more need to log into the web app)
  • Single-touch quick actions to control automations for smart lights, smart door locks, smart garage door opener, etc.

ADT Pulse app

This one is an oldie but a goody. Pulse was ADT’s first mobile app for smart home automation and control. Now that ADT launched Control, ADT Pulse is a legacy app that’s still fully supported and functional for existing ADT Pulse customers.

Even though you can’t get the Pulse app as a new ADT customer, here are a few highlights for current Pulse users:

  • Arm and disarm security system
  • Control smart home devices
  • Access from your smartphone, tablet, or smart watch
  • Lock and unlock doors
  • Review and organize activity logs
  • View and archive live camera footage, snapshots, and video clips

Final word

Vivint is the best smart security app on the market. We love that you can control your home security and smart home devices in one place and customize the alerts and notifications you receive. But perhaps the best part is that you can use the Vivint app with every Vivint monitoring plan—no upgrades required.

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.

Checklist
What should I look for in a home security app?

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.
Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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