Home security systems have become an increasingly integral part of being a homeowner over the past decade. From smart home integrations that allow you to control your thermostat, lights and garage doors from your phone to HD cameras with live-stream functionality, getting connected to your home and keeping it protected is easier now than ever before.

Our Advisor team has compiled a guide to the best home security systems on the market to help you decide which one is best for you. In this review, we’ll discuss each company’s technology, equipment and services, highlighting the unique features that make each company stand out.

Our Top Picks for Home Security Systems

Best Overall: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe scored the highest in our review with a 96 out of 100 for its exceptional performance across multiple categories in our rating methodology. It provides top-of-the-line security equipment that’s easy to install and use at affordable rates, it doesn’t require a contract to get started and it offers 24/7 professional monitoring at $24.99 per month.

It also features a user-friendly mobile app to help manage your connected devices, which are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri for voice control. However, SimpliSafe’s software relies heavily on smartphone use and might not be the best option for homeowners who aren’t tech-savvy.

Here are a few other benefits of SimpliSafe:

  • Offers a 60-day, money-back guarantee with all orders to ensure customer satisfaction
  • Includes a three-year warranty with all products
  • Provides a professional installation option for $79

Visit SimpliSafe’s website to compare its home security products and place your order.

Most Trustworthy Provider: ADT

ADT scored well in our review, earning a 95 out of 100. It’s been in the home security industry for over 130 years and is the most well-known home security provider across the country. We recommend its products and services to homeowners who want a trustworthy and experienced home security company that has an impressive reputation with its customers.

Its reputation as a top home security brand is proven by its years of experience as well as its accreditation and A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, customers looking to avoid long-term contracts, professional monitoring monthly rates or installation fees should look to other DIY home security companies.

Here are a few other reasons ADT stands out from the competition:

  • Has one of the largest professional monitoring networks in the industry of nine open monitoring centers
  • Offers a six-month, money-back guarantee with all of its service levels*
  • Includes a user-friendly touch screen base station with the Secure service level or higher

Get a quote from ADT on its service and professional monitoring options by calling 888-285-6952 or visiting its website.

*Certain restrictions apply

Best Starter Package: Frontpoint

If you’re looking for your first home security system, Frontpoint offers some great options. Scoring a 95 out of 100, this home security provider offers all of the equipment you need to get started, including sensors, motion detectors, cameras and an easy-to-use keypad. It also stands out for its DIY-friendly installation and in-depth online resource with instructions on how to set up each element of your security package. Additionally, Frontpoint doesn’t force customers into any long-term contracts, offering month-to-month, one-year and three-year options.

Frontpoint may not be the best option if you’re not confident in installing a home security system yourself, since it doesn’t offer an option for professional installation.

Here are a few additional benefits to choosing Frontpoint:

  • Has an online chat function on its website that’s available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST
  • Offers a 30-day free trial and a three-year warranty
  • Connects to Wi-Fi and Z-Wave for optimal smart home functionality

Call 833-823-5612 or visit the Frontpoint website to shop its products, get started with your first home security system and receive a free doorbell camera with your purchase.

Best Customization: Abode

Scoring a 93 out of 100 in our review, Abode is the most impressive for its customization options and overall equipment value. In addition to a handful of home security bundles and packages, Abode has an option to build your own system. With this option, customers can pick from a wide range of devices, such as motion detectors, cameras, smoke alarms, sirens, different types of door and window sensors, body heat sensors and smart home power outlets.

Abode is also great for those looking for a more affordable home security option. It has a refurbished equipment store on its website with certified-refurbished starter kits that are offered at price points lower than its original packages of the same value. One downside to Abode is that it currently doesn’t offer a standard doorbell camera, which is a popular item provided by other home security providers.

The following benefits are a few more reasons why we picked Abode as one of the best home security companies available:

  • Offers smart home automation connectivity through Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and Zigbee
  • Doesn’t require contracts with its home security systems
  • Provides short three- and seven-day professional monitoring plans for those who only need monitoring when going out of town

Visit Abode’s website to build your own package and get fitted for the home security equipment you need.

Best Cellular Connection: Cove

Cove Security scored an 88 out of 100 in our tests and we love that it runs on 100% cellular signal. This means you and or your professional monitors will never lose communication with your device due to a loss of Wi-Fi signal. 

In addition, Cove offers direct two-way communication from its Cove Panel through LiveAssist. This allows you to speak directly to one of Cove’s 24/7 monitoring stations from your home security system’s base station. Cove also uses InstaText. This is a smartphone application that provides text alerts and notifications for fast response when your system is triggered. 

Cove packages don’t include a video doorbell and the company doesn’t offer self-monitoring options. Also, additional functionality such as voice control and monitoring from your smartphone costs an extra $25 per month via the Cove Plus plan. However, Cove systems involve a simple DIY installation and include affordable monthly monitoring plans. 

Here are some of the major reasons we found Cove to be one of the best home security systems on the market:

  • Allows you to avoid monthly fees with affordable professional monitoring plans charged per day rather than per month 
  • Uses a pre-installed cellular connection for faster alert times and functionality without Wi-Fi
  • Useful smartphone app for instant text alerts
  • Alexa and Google Assistant integrations for voice control through the Cove Plus plan

When we listened to sales and customer service calls from multiple home security providers, we noticed the strength of Wi-Fi signals was a commonly neglected concern that users had to be reminded of. Most home security cameras are dependent on Wi-Fi, but Cove’s cellular network allows your security cameras to function even if your Wi-Fi is spotty.

To see how Cove’s cellular backup provides extra security for your home, fill out this easy-to-use form

Compare Specs & Features

SimpliSafe

ADT

Frontpoint

Abode

Cove

Requires Contract

Doorbell Camera

Mobile App

Two-Way Audio

Smart Home Integration

Amazon, Google

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Amazon, Google

Indoor Camera Resolution

720p HD

1080p Full HD

1080p Full HD

1080p Full HD

1080p Full HD

Included Warranty

3 years

6 months

3 years

1 year

1 year

DIY vs. Professional Home Security Systems

One of the benefits of how home security systems have evolved over the years is that most providers give you the option of either DIY system installation and monitoring or relying on professional on-site technicians and monitoring centers.

Through integrations, connectivity and mobile apps, home security providers give each homeowner control over their system, including live video streaming, recording, two-way audio through a phone and security camera and general device management. Because of this, many customers choose to set up and monitor their home security systems without the help of the provider.

Compare the benefits and drawbacks of DIY and professional installation and monitoring below.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

Most home security companies give you the option of installing the equipment yourself or hiring a professional home security technician to perform the installation. Setting up your system on your own can save you money and time, but it could result in improper installation.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding between DIY and professional installation:

  • Mounting: Home security equipment like cameras, smoke detectors and sensors have to be attached to walls, doors or windows, which can make for a difficult installation. Luckily, many of these companies’ sensors and indoor cameras can be installed without screws or tools and only require adhesives that often come with the purchase. However, other devices like smoke alarms or outdoor cameras may require screws and brackets.
  • Wires: Similar to mounting, wiring can make for a complicated installation process. If you’re learning toward a DIY installation and don’t want to deal with installing wired devices, consider purchasing equipment with wireless capabilities and lithium battery power that can last up to five years. Otherwise, wired equipment may require a professional to help drill through walls and extend any wires or cords to the nearest power outlet.
  • Placement: Whether you’re installing a motion sensor, an indoor camera or a glass break sensor, you’ll need to know the best places to install them if you’re opting for DIY installation. Hiring an expert to perform the installation for you is a great way to ensure your cameras cover the best angles and your sensors pick up the movement or frequencies needed to trigger the home alarm system. Many DIY home security providers also offer resources and instructions to help homeowners determine where exactly to place their equipment. For example, Frontpoint’s website features an extensive guide for installing and setting up each product.
  • Cost: A major benefit of performing the installation yourself is avoiding the cost the provider charges for sending a technician to your home. Typically, professional installation can cost between $50 and $150, depending on the size of your package.

DIY vs. Professional Monitoring

One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make when purchasing a home security system is whether or not you want a professional monitoring service, which comes with a monthly subscription. Many homeowners choose this option because it gives their home 24/7 security surveillance, with immediate communication from the monitoring center if an emergency occurs in the house, such as a break-in, fire or flood.

Some homeowners may choose to forego professional monitoring and monitor their home on their own with the provider’s software and equipment. Here are some factors to think about when choosing your monitoring options:

  • Monitoring center: Home security companies that offer professional monitoring services have monitoring centers with a staff of people watching for alert signals in your home, contacting you and calling the authorities when necessary. The best home security companies have multiple monitoring centers across the country and employ a full staff of professionals ready to handle emergency situations at a moment’s notice.
  • Technology: Companies offering self-monitoring options should have the proper technology included in their equipment to send alerts to your phone or other connected smart devices. They should also offer live-stream functionality and video recording capabilities so you can check in on your home through the installed cameras when you’re away.
  • Notifications: Whether you go with DIY monitoring or professional monitoring, make sure you’ve properly set up your devices to receive notifications. The last thing you want is to miss a call from an operator or a notification sent from the system’s hub during an emergency. If your phone isn’t accessible while you’re away from your home, you may want professional monitoring to ensure the authorities are called when they’re needed.
  • Monthly cost: Depending on the home security provider and level of service you choose, professional monitoring can cost anywhere from $15 to $55 per month. Choosing to monitor your home on your own through the provider’s equipment can be a great way to save money on your overall home security package.

Methodology for Rating Home Security Systems

Our Advisor team has spent dozens of hours analyzing home security brands on their products, services and reputation to provide the most comprehensive analysis for our readers. To ensure each company meets the required standards to make our rankings, we have created an in-depth rating system.

Below is a breakdown of the factors we consider when rating companies, along with the weight of each factor. The best companies score highly across these categories.

Factor

Score

Description

Equipment

25

This factor is scored based on the equipment offered by the provider and its overall cost. Top providers offer a range of products, such as outdoor cameras, sensors, video doorbells, control panels, wireless remotes and smart home technology, at affordable prices.

Monitoring

15

Monitoring is an important part of home security for many homeowners. We rated companies on the types of monitoring plans they offer, including professional and self-monitoring options, in addition to their monthly costs.

Company Reputation

15

We scored companies on their customer reputation by looking at their complaint indexes and ratings by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We also scored them based on their years in business and trial periods, which prove their experience in the industry and their trustworthiness.

Contracts

15

Getting locked into long-term contracts is a top complaint for many home security customers. With this factor, we scored companies based on the length of their contracts. Companies with longer contracts lost points, while companies with shorter contracts or no contracts at all received more points.

Warranty

10

Home security systems that come with a warranty are especially valuable to homeowners, since this ensures the repair or replacement of the equipment after a breakdown or malfunction. We scored companies based on the length of the warranty included in their packages.

Connectivity and Integration

10

The best home security systems can integrate with connection services like Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and Zigbee. They are also compatible with popular home automation systems, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri.

Usability

5

This factor represents each company’s devices’ overall usability. We looked at any technology and software that offers the best experience for customers, such as mobile apps, touch screen hubs or control panels and two-way audio.

Installation

5

Installing a DIY home security system from a top provider should be easy and straightforward. Top brands also offer professional installation as an option for homeowners at a reasonable rate.