The Awards of 2021 is committed to researching and sharing the best product and service recommendations to protect those you love. For our inaugural Awards, we feature some of the best mobile apps, browsing applications, and products for your family. Here are our top picks for 2021 based on their ratings, unique features, and affordability.

Best Home Security Devices & Apps

Best Home Security System for Value - SimpliSafe

It’s no secret that SimpliSafe makes home security affordable with its DIY security systems. One of the biggest perks the brand has to offer is flexibility, giving renters and homeowners alike the chance to choose the products they want, whether or not they want installation assistance, and whether or not they want monitoring. That’s why we’ve named SimpliSafe our top choice for value.

Innovative Indoor Security Camera - Wyze Cam V2

Get continuous recording through local storage and no monthly fee with the Wyze Cam V2 indoor camera. Its 24/7 recording allows you to see what has happened over the course of the day beyond just recorded clips. The Wyze Cam V2 also features end-to-end AES 128-bit encryption for your recordings in the cloud, offering you more security. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also get alerts in the event a smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm goes off at home. For those reasons, the Wyze Cam V2 is a top indoor camera on our list.

Innovative Outdoor Security Camera - Swann Enforcer 4K HD DVR Security System

If you’re looking for security cameras with deterrence features, the Swann Enforcer 4K DVR Security System is an innovative option to look into. This system features red and blue lights, a siren, and color night vision. You’ll be able to take home security a step further with deterrence that’s why we recommend this outdoor camera system.

Best Video Doorbell - Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free

Arlo’s Essential Video Doorbell sets the standard for the category. Smart home compatibility comes standard, as do features like two-way audio and recorded messages. Users who want more can get continuous recording, video storage and advanced object detection for $2.99 per month. A wired option is also available.

Best Home Security Mobile App - Neighbors by Ring

Neighbors by Ring helps to bring together members of communities by providing a space for updates and alerts. App users receive real-time alerts for crimes in their neighborhood through members of the community and public safety. Ring also notes that the app has helped with locating a lost pet and during a time of disaster. The Neighbors app is available for Android and iOS devices.

Best Smart Home Devices

Best Smart Speaker - Alexa Echo Dot (3rd Generation) Smart Speaker

For a great all-around smart speaker, the Alexa Echo Dot (3rd Generation) stands out. This speaker is operable with many IoT products on the market, plus you can also turn off the microphone when you don’t want Alexa to listen. We like the 3rd generation Alexa Echo Dot for its ease of use and the convenience it can provide with everyday living.

Best Smart Light Bulb - Sengled Smart Light Bulb

Do more than dim the lights with the Sengled Smart Light Bulb. This smart bulb allows you to change its color, create light schedules, scenes, and much more. Plus, it works with Alexa and Google Assistant so you can set up your own morning and evening routines. Together, these features make the Sengled Smart Light Bulb s a top pick for us.

Best Smart Lock - Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

Ever heard of a smart lock with an alarm? The Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt packs a punch with this unique feature that you won’t find with many smart locks. If you like a combination of old and new school features, the Schlage Encode lets you use a key instead of going completely keyless.

Best Smart Plug - Kasa Smart Plug

We like that the Kasa Smart Plug allows you to jumpstart your day or end your day by automating certain appliances in your home. You can create a schedule for the lights, a coffee machine, or even a slow cooker. Plus, you can set up the smart plug to trigger a light to turn on if your security camera detects motion.

Best Digital Safety Services & Products

Best Web Browser - Vivaldi

If you find yourself running out of “tab room” on a frequent basis, then Vivaldi is a web browser you’ll definitely want to take a look into. You can stack tabs and be able to enjoy less intrusive browsing through the app’s ability to block ads and trackers. Additionally, you can pick or create your own theme and add shortcuts to enhance your experience. 

Best Mobile Browser - Firefox

Made for iOS and Android, the Firefox mobile browser combines speed and privacy for a nice browsing experience. Firefox blocks ads and trackers while also making it easier to find what you’re looking for through a smart search bar. Sync the things that matter — like your history, bookmarks, and passwords — so you can access them on your tablet and computer.

Best VPN - Hotspot Shield

Named the “World’s Fastest VPN” by Ookla, Hotspot Shield is free to use but also has several paid plans that are packed with more features. Your internet browsing is secured by a military-grade encryption, and you’ll have access to 3,200 servers. We also like that the paid plans allow you to connect multiple devices simultaneously and stream shows across a number of networks. Additionally, the paid plans provide up to 1 Gbps of connection speed, giving you more bandwidth for your browsing, streaming, and gaming.

Best File Storage - Google Drive

The biggest drawing factor for us with Google Drive was that you can get 15GB of data for free — considerably more than the 2GB and not 5GB as you’ll find with some competitors. Additionally, business teams can optimize Google One for additional storage and use of Google’s productivity apps. We also love that this drive is compatible for PCs, Macs, Android devices, and iOS devices.

Best Ad Blocking Extension - Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus can help you keep pesky pop-ups, video ads, and flashing banners at bay. Plus, this extension prohibits tracking, protecting your information from marketers. This free ad blocking extension also allows you to create filter lists and disable tracking on your phone.

Best Private Search Engine - DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo protects your internet browsing by blocking trackers on desktop and mobile. There’s no trade-off in search result quality either — you’ll still be able to see relevant sites for your searches. And like Google, DuckDuckGo can help you find the information you’re looking for, with search features like a knowledge panel and location information.

Best Password Manager - LastPass

LastPass makes password storage and use convenient while keeping confidential information safe. We like that passwords stored in LastPass are accessible across multiple devices. Additionally, LastPass can generate passwords for you for enhanced security, which is always a plus. In the event your personal information is at risk, LastPass can let you know through its dark web monitoring.

Best Personal & Family Safety Products

Best Personal Safety App - bsafe

The safety app, bsafe, acts as an extra layer of security for when you’re traveling solo. The app is impressive with voice activation (no button press needed), fake calling, live streaming, recording, an SOS button, and more. Receive a fake call from your phone as a distraction or even activate the alarm with your voice. Bsafe has been featured on popular media like NBC, Forbes, CNN, and more.

Best Teen Safety App - OurPact

Keep your teenager in line with OurPact, a mobile app that allows you to see screen limits, block or grant internet and app access, keep tabs of their whereabouts, and more. One of a parent’s main concerns is the safety of their child, and while teenagers are seeking independence, it’s important to also protect them. OurPact helps parents do just that by staying connected.

Best Family Safety App - Life360

Keep everyone in-sync with the Life360 . This app allows you to keep tabs on family members’ locations and offers additional features like roadside assistance, ID theft protection, and more. You can save up to two days of location history, get two place alerts, have automatic crash detection, and automated SOS alerts — all without having to pay.

Best Women’s Safety App - Circle of 6

Circle of 6 makes it easy for women to stay connected with emergency contacts by text, call, GSP, help hotlines and more. If you need help, you can show your emergency contacts your location, tell them you need to talk, or call for emergency assistance. This app has been featured in popular media like The New York Times, ABC, NBC, Cosmopolitan, and more.

Best Elderly Safety App - SeniorSafety App

Staying in touch with elderly loved ones is essential, and the SeniorSafety App can help family members and caregivers do just that. This app provides 24/7 location monitoring, alerts through an SOS feature, automatic all detection, inactivity alerts, Geo-location fences, and more. If an elderly loved one leaves their home, you can keep an eye on their location.


Best Pet Wearable - Whistle Go Explore Pet Tracker

Keep your pup safe with the

Best Pet Wearable – Whistle Go Explore Pet Tracker

. Set up a designated safe location, and if your pet wanders outside the boundaries, you’ll get a notification and can track their wanderings over AT&T’s network. Additional features include health monitoring for behaviors like licking, scratching, and sleeping, as well as goal-setting and meal portion recommendations. Whistle Go Explore retails for $129.95 and has several subscription options with additional features.

Best Weather App - The Weather Channel

Stay up to the minute on weather with the Weather Channel’s mobile app. Check out the radar map to see if any precipitation is headed your way and get alerts. You can also see forecasts down to the hour or as far out as a few weeks. We really appreciate that the app is available for iOS and Android devices.

Best Earthquake App - My Earthquake Alerts App

The My Earthquake Alerts app provides earthquake notifications for anyone across the globe. Data for the app is provided by both the U.S. Geological Survey and Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center. You’ll be able to see a live feed and look back at history records as well. We like that this app is available for both Android and iOS users. Awards Methodology

For our Awards, we researched and reviewed products and services across several categories to determine the criteria for our methodology: Ratings, Unique Features, and Affordability. We found that consumers base their decision on these factors.

  1. Ratings – We know that many consumers look to customer reviews and ratings before they make a purchase, and that’s why we’ve highlighted products and services with excellent ratings.
  2. Unique Features – We like things that catch our eyes and know how important usability is to our readers. That’s why we’ve chosen services and products with unique qualities that make them stand out from the competition.
  3. Affordability – Keeping in mind that we are going through a pandemic, we know that affordability matters. Choosing the right service or product to enhance your safety needs to attainable and sustainable for your budget.


For more details on the Awards, contact Ivey O’Neal at

Home Security Experts

Safety Team

The Safety Team is a group of experts that handle provider research, product reviews and recalls to make your home safety and security search as easy as 1-2-3.

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