The Best Home Security Systems of 2020

Looking for a home security system? To simplify your research, we’ve compared the year’s best home security systems to identify the top providers and best values. Learn about what each provider has to offer and which features will protect your family, home, and property in 2020 and beyond.

Best for Industry Experience

ADT Home Security

  • 140+ years in business
  • 6-month money back guarantee
  • $500 Theft Protection guarantee

Best for Smart Homes

Vivint Security

  • Flexible equipment configuration
  • Flexible payment options
  • Variety of cutting-edge smart home devices and features

Best Entry-Level Pricing

Protect America

  • 25+ years of industry experience
  • Low prices on entry-level systems
  • No upfront equipment costs

Best for Customer Service

Frontpoint Security

  • Month-to-month contract
  • Renter-friendly services and equipment
  • Good customer service

Best for Easy Installation

SimpliSafe Security

  • 60-day no-risk trial
  • Easy self-installation
  • Month-to-month commitment

How to Compare Home Security Systems

Home security systems are smarter than they used to be. They’re also evolving away from traditional pricing structures that required landline phones and long-term contracts. Add in new equipment options like smart locks, video doorbells, security cameras and smart home integration, and there’s a baffling number of choices. To jumpstart your research, shares this carefully picked list of the best professionally installed and do-it-yourself (DIY) home security systems.

Best Home Security Systems

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Compare the Best Home Security Systems for 2020

Vivint Security

888-688-5770 Learn more

Protect America

833-570-5661 Learn more

Frontpoint Security

888-688-5779 Learn more

SimpliSafe Security

Learn more

Guardian Protection

877-602-2432 Learn more

Brinks Home Security

Learn more

Link Interactive

Learn more

Cove Security

Learn more

Abode Security

Learn more
Monitoring starting price $35.99/mo.* $38.99/mo.* $19.99/mo.* $44.99/mo.* $14.99/mo.* $45.99/mo.* $29.99/mo.* $30.99/mo.* $14.99/mo. $16.66/mo.*
Equipment starting price $99 for the Traditional Package $650+ worth of equipment required Basic equipment included with contract $255.96 for the Safe Home Starter package $259.95 for The Essentials Package Basic equipment included with contract $199 for basic package with contract Basic equipment included with contract Varies based on payment plan chosen $199 for essentials starter kit
Installation Professional Professional DIY DIY DIY with professional option Professional DIY with professional option DIY DIY DIY with professional option
Monitoring options Professional Professional Professional Professional Professional & Self-monitoring Professional Pro for Brinks and Self-monitoring for Nest Pro & Self-monitoring option available Professional & Self-monitoring Professional & Self-monitoring
Minimum contract length 36 months 42-60 mos. or pay for equipment in full** 36 months Monthly subscription – no contract required Monthly subscription – no contract required 3-5 years 36 mos. for Brinks & Monthly for Nest 1 year No contract required Monthly subscription – no contract required
Alexa & Google Home compatibility Yes Yes Requires upgrade Yes Yes Requires upgrade Yes for Brinks and Google only with Nest Requires upgrade Yes Yes
Other smart home compatibility Z-wave Z-wave Z-wave with upgrade Z-wave none Z-wave with upgrade Z-wave for Brinks Z-wave with upgrade none Z-wave and Zigbee
Guarantee $500 Theft Protection none Low Price Guarantee none none $500 Theft Protection none none none
Warranty Option to extend limited warranty 120-day equipment warranty Lifetime equipment warranty 3-year limited equipment warranty 3-year limited equipment warranty 2-year limited equipment warranty 3-year limited equipment warranty From 1 year to lifetime depending on monitoring plan Unlimited equipment warranty with plan
Extended no-risk return period 6 Months N/A 15 days 30 days 60 days N/A 30 days 30 days 60 days 30 days
BBB rating A+ D A A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A C
Best for Industry Experience Smart Homes Entry-Level Pricing Customer Service Easy Installation Award-winning monitoring service Combination of DIY & Professional Options Building your own package Instant Text Alerts Self-monitoring

*Price shown is monthly price for entry-level professional monitoring service.
** Month-to-month monitoring plans are available if equipment is paid for in full up front.
*Information updated as of 11/1/2019.

4 Questions To Find Your Home Security Provider

Select the features you want and we’ll match you with the right home security provider.

The Best Home Security Systems: Full-Details

  1. Best for Industry Experience

    ADT Home Security

    Our rating 8.8

    Starting at $35.99/mo

    Our take on ADT Home Security

    ADT Inc. stands apart as the home security company with the most experience and the best guarantee in the industry. That’s on top of certified monitoring centers and a competitive equipment lineup that includes intrusion protection, environmental monitoring, video surveillance and smart home automation.

    What we like

    • 140+ years in business
    • 6-month money back guarantee
    • $500 Theft Protection guarantee

    What we don’t like

    • Contract required
    • No self-installation option
    • Mobile app access not available in basic package

    ADT Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    ADT offers one of the largest sets of equipment options on the market. Higher-tier packages include smartphone apps, smart home integration, camera options and more. We appreciate how ADT’s Command panel (available in the Control package and higher) doubles as a Z-wave smart home hub, so you can configure compatible devices from other manufacturers.

    ADT Monitoring Services

    ADT does not outsource its monitoring, like many smaller security providers do. It has six monitoring centers with 7,000 trained operators. These centers are certified by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and The Monitoring Association (TMA). They’re also fully redundant, meaning that connectivity has plenty of checks, balances and back-up options so you can count on 24/7 service and quick response time.

    Professional Installation

    ADT Home Security systems require professional installation.This can save you a headache, since it ensures everything is set up correctly and includes one-on-one instruction. If you plan on moving in the near future, know that ADT offers a discounted Mover’s Package to qualified existing customers.

    ADT Pricing & Value

    To determine the price of your ADT system and service, add the costs of equipment, monitoring service and applicable taxes and fees. Note that ADT requires a long-term contract. Installation and early termination fees apply. You may also qualify for ADT specials and promotions.

  2. Best for Smart Homes

    Vivint Security

    Our rating 8.4

    Starting at $38.99/mo

    Our take on Vivint Home Security

    Vivint offers all of today’s must-have home security features (professional monitoring, top-of-the-line equipment, home automation, mobile app access) with the added benefit of extensive smart home options and flexibility with your equipment and payment plan.

    What we like

    • Flexible equipment configuration
    • Flexible payment options
    • Variety of cutting-edge smart home devices and features

    What we don’t like

    • Long contract if financing equipment
    • Expensive equipment cost
    • No DIY installation option

    Vivint Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    Vivint doesn’t limit your starting point to pre-selected equipment packages. Instead, build your own system from an extensive equipment lineup, which includes intrusion protection, environmental monitoring, security cameras and smart home devices. Vivint’s alarm panel doubles as a smart home hub, so it’s compatible with home automation devices from other manufacturers as well.

    Vivint Monitoring Services

    Vivint performs its monitoring in-house at its UL- and TMA Five Diamond-certified monitoring center. You can be confident that the responding agent will be a trained professional experienced with Vivint systems. Vivint offers two levels of monitoring service, and with Vivint cameras, you can also opt into video monitoring to allow agents to visually investigate alarms.

    Professional Installation

    Vivint requires professional installation. This service is a major benefit when dealing with new-to-you technology, but it is an additional expense (usually around $50).

    Vivint Pricing & Value

    Vivint systems can be expensive– a minimum of $650 worth of equipment is required to start service. Monitoring is also a necessity and it starts at at $38.99/mo. Financing is available for equipment, and service contracts match the length of financing terms. If equipment is paid for up front, there’s no long-term service contract required. If you’re serious about Vivint, call about current deals and promotions.

  3. Best Entry-Level Pricing

    Protect America

    Our rating 7.2

    Starting at $19.99/mo

    Our take on Protect America Home Security

    Protect America stands out for its low starting prices, over 25 years of award-winning service and monitoring plans that are based on connectivity type. If you’re looking for a capable no-frills home security system you can install yourself, Protect America might have the best priced option.

    What we like

    • 25+ years of industry experience
    • Low prices on entry-level systems
    • No upfront equipment costs

    What we don’t like

    • Contract required
    • Must upgrade to get video surveillance, smart features and smoke detection
    • Cellular monitoring is the most expensive plan

    Protect America Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    Protect America’s equipment and plans center around simple and affordable home security systems, with upgradeable capabilities that include smart home automation, video service and smoke and fire monitoring. It doesn’t offer the same variety of smart home devices as some other top providers, but it does offer fundamentals like app control, smart lighting and locks

    Protect America Monitoring Services

    Protect America subcontracts its monitoring services to COPS Monitoring, an award-winning, UL-certified company with six nationwide monitoring stations and a 16.2-second average priority alarm response time. It also offers different monitoring plans based on the desired connectivity – landline, broadband or cellular.

    DIY Installation

    Protect America does not offer professional installation. Customers must set up their own equipment (no tools required, according to the provider) with the help of the online Quick Install Guide, or request help by phone through the customer service line

    Protect America Pricing & Value

    In our opinion, Protect America’s biggest downside is its three-year minimum contract. But there’s a plus side: Once you enter the contract, Protect America provides the essential home security equipment for free without additional upfront costs. You’re only responsible for the monthly monitoring fee and any optional upgrades. There’s also a price match guarantee.

  4. Best for Customer Service

    Frontpoint Security

    Our rating 7.2

    Starting at $44.99/mo

    Our take on Frontpoint Home Security

    Frontpoint offers a competitive range of security equipment and monitoring services with the freedom of do-it-yourself installation and month-to-month contracts. We also appreciate their straightforward pricing and solid customer service reputation.

    What we like

    • Month-to-month contract
    • Renter-friendly services and equipment
    • Good customer service

    What we don’t like

    • Outdoor camera, doorbell camera only available as add-ons
    • Limited home automation devices available
    • High monitoring starting price

    Frontpoint Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    Frontpoint Security doesn’t offer the largest spectrum of equipment on the market, but its product lineup still includes everything you need for modern smart home security, including activity detection, cameras and mobile app access. Choose a starter package or build your own system from scratch. The Frontpoint alarm panel also serves as a Z-wave smart home hub, but its ability to integrate with some top smart home brands (like Google Nest) is limited.

    Frontpoint Monitoring Services

    Frontpoint outsources its monitoring to Rapid Response Monitoring, a multi-award winning monitoring center with two central stations. Rapid Response is UL-certified and approved by the New York Fire Department (NYFD), which is one of the strictest certifications in this field.

    DIY Installation

    All of Frontpoint’s equipment is intended for simple do-it-yourself (DIY) installation. This saves money on installation fees, avoids the hassle of appointment scheduling, and makes it easier to take the system with you if you move. On the other hand, it’s up to you to make sure the system is set up correctly.

    Frontpoint Pricing & Value

    Frontpoint equipment pricing is on the low end, but its monitoring services start at a slightly higher price point than the entry-level services of its competitors. However, Frontpoint offers all customers benefits that are often only available through higher-tier plans at other providers, such as complete mobile app access and “Crash & Smash” protection. Overall, Frontpoint pricing represents a good value as long as DIY installation works for you (and it’s even better if you can score a seasonal discount). There’s also a 30-day no-risk trial period.

  5. Best for Easy Installation

    SimpliSafe Security

    Our rating 8.4

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our take on SimpliSafe Home Security

    SimpliSafe could be considered a disrupter in the home security industry, because it was among the first to provide forward-thinking customer benefits like self-installation, self-monitoring, video verification and month-to-month pricing. Its generous 60-day risk-free trial helps ensure long-term customer satisfaction.

    What we like

    • 60-day no-risk trial
    • Easy self-installation
    • Month-to-month commitment

    What we don’t like

    • Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
    • No selection of smart home devices
    • Smart home capabilities not available in basic monitoring plan

    SimpliSafe Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    SimpliSafe equipment is attractive, modern and easy to install, and it launches new products all the time. SimpliSafe systems work with Alexa and Google Assistant, so it supports voice commands through Amazon Echo and Google Home devices (sold separately). Note that the system doesn’t include a Z-wave or Zigbee smart home hub.

    SimpliSafe Monitoring Services

    SimpliSafe’s monitoring services are handled by COPS Monitoring, a proven leader with 41+ years of experience serving over 3 million customers. It offers two tiers of 24/7 monitoring plans (one with expanded app functionality, one without) with a Visual Verification option for customers with cameras. Visual Verification lets monitoring personnel review surveillance footage if an alarm is triggered, which SimpliSafe says speeds response time and reduces false alarms.

    DIY Installation

    Customers must set up their own equipment, but according to SimpliSafe, it usually takes less than 30 minutes. The ease of self-installation makes SimpliSafe a go-to choice for renters, homeowners and frequent movers alike.

    SimpliSafe Pricing & Value

    SimpliSafe pricing is very competitive. The main question is whether or not the DIY model and pricing structure work for you. With SimpliSafe, equipment packages start at $229 and must be paid for upfront (or financed through PayPal Credit) and monitoring fees are billed monthly. Long-term contracts not required.

  6. Best for Award-Winning Monitoring

    Guardian Protection

    Starting at $45.99/mo

    Our take on Guardian Protection Security

    Guardian offers three professionally installed home security packages with a range of modern options, from the basic to the fully equipped. All packages have fairly low upfront costs and are backed by guarantees. Drawbacks? Guardian doesn’t operate nationwide, there’s no trial period and a long-term contract is required.

    What we like

    • Award-winning monitoring
    • Guardian Edge™ home automation
    • $500 Home Theft Protection Guarantee

    What we don’t like

    • Service is not available in every state
    • Touchscreen panel not available in base package
    • May have to pay an installation fee

    Guardian Protection Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    Guardian offers three equipment packages. The Standard package covers basic intrusion protection, the Essential package includes basic protection plus smart home automation, and the Premium option includes devices for intrusion protection, home automation, and video surveillance. Most households start with a package and add on additional devices as needed.

    Guardian Protection Monitoring Service

    Guardian owns and operates its own monitoring centers, which are UL-certified and have TMA Five Diamond accreditation. In 2019, Guardian Protection earned the TMA Central Station of the Year Award and the Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s Police Dispatch Quality Award.

    Professional Installation

    There’s no do-it-yourself option with Guardian Protection. You’ll have to pay for installation, but Guardian backs its work with a Quality Home Installation Guarantee. It promises a full refund if equipment operational issues are not resolved within the first six months post-installation.

    Guardian Protection Pricing & Value

    Guardian Protection’s pricing structure offers low initial costs, since at least some of your necessary equipment will be included with your contract. Monitoring is competitive, starting at $45.99/mo. for award-winning service. You may also be able to save through Guardian’s referral program or home relocation program.

  7. Best for Flexible Installation

    Brinks Home Security

    Starting at $29.99/mo

    Our take on Brinks Home Security

    Serving over one million customers, Brinks Home Security bridges the gap between do-it-yourself smart home security and traditional professionally monitored systems. Whether you want flexible monitoring for a Google Nest system or a long-term plan with extensive equipment, Brinks has a plan for you.

    What we like

    • Flexible pricing and installation options
    • Award-winning customer service
    • Works with Google Nest

    What we don’t like

    • Contract required for top tier packages
    • Environmental monitoring not included in packages
    • Only top tier packages feature the smart home hub

    Brinks Home Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    Brinks lets you choose between the Google Nest Secure Alarm System or Brinks’ own equipment packages. The Nest system (purchased through Brinks or major retailers like Google and Walmart) integrates with the entire lineup of Nest products and Google Assistant. Brinks equipment options include basic home security or home security with video, and the alarm panel is also a smart home hub compatible with Z-wave and Alexa devices.

    Brinks Home Security Monitoring Service

    Brinks owns and operates its own US-based monitoring center. Its monitoring service includes a benefit called ASAPer, which simultaneously messages a group of pre-set contacts to determine whether alarm activity is a true emergency or false alarm. Most monitoring center call household members one at a time, which can slow response times.

    DIY Installation with Professional Options

    Brinks security packages are meant to be self-installed. Optional professional help is available through a Nest Pro or Brinks Customer Care for an additional fee.

    Brinks Home Security Pricing & Value

    Brinks provides value by offering a choice of pricing agreements. The Nest option starts at $399 for equipment, and customers can choose between $29.99/mo. no-commitment monitoring or $19.99/mo. with a three-year contract. Brinks equipment packages require a 36-month contract. Equipment starts at $199 for the most basic package and monitoring starts at $29/mo.

  8. Best for Instant Text Alerts

    Cove Security

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our take

    You’ll find the basics you need for intrusion detection with Cove Security. Cove stands out with locked monitoring rates, a lifetime warranty, and a $5 credit each month that can be used towards any future equipment purchases. While Cove does not offer any preset home security packages, you can easily build your own online. With Cove, you also get access to features like Cove InstaText™ for fast notifications on activity in your home and voice control when you choose a Cove monitoring plan. Cove monitoring ranges from $15/mo. – $25/mo.

    What we like

    • Custom packages with low-pressure sales
    • Easy cancellation
    • 60-day money-back guarantee

    What we don’t like

    • Premium app subscription required for many features
    • Relatively new company
    • Lack of smart home integration and camera options

    Cove Security Packages & Equipment

    Cove doesn’t offer preset packages you can choose from, but you can easily put together your own security system online. Cove focuses on providing the essentials you need for protecting your home with intrusion detection equipment and an indoor security camera for monitoring your home. Cove’s Touch Alarm Panel boasts two-way communication and Smash & Grab Protection for additional security against intruders.

    Cove Security Monitoring Services

    You’ll get 24/7 professional monitoring with Cove through either the Cove Basic or Cove Plus plans. Cove provides this service through COPS Monitoring, an organization that has 6 UL-Listed centers. Your home will be monitored over a 100% cellular connection for greater protection against power outages or Wi-Fi internet issues.

    DIY Installation

    Cove Security’s system is designed for DIY installation. The provider claims their system can be installed in as little as 30 minutes. Cove’s equipment is pre-configured so that when it arrives, you’ll simply follow the provided instructions for setup.

    Cove Security Pricing & Value

    With Cove, you have greater control over the cost of your security system by choosing the devices you need and want online, no up-selling involved. Compared to other DIY providers, Cove’s equipment is less expensive, and you may be able to find the devices on sale during any promotions.

  9. Best for Self-Monitoring

    Abode Security

    Starting at $16.66/mo

    Our take on Abode Home Security

    Abode is a budget-friendly option for tech-savvy individuals who are comfortable setting up and monitoring their own security systems. Its ample smart home integrations provide a good foundation for uniting all of your home automation devices.

    What we like

    • 30-day return policy
    • Option for short-term professional monitoring
    • Two self-monitoring plans

    What we don’t like

    • Professional monitoring only available in highest tiered monitoring plan
    • Cellular backup not available in basic monitoring plan
    • Understanding custom home automation features could be difficult for some

    Abode Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    In terms of equipment, Abode offers the typical do-it-yourself selection of intrusion protection and alarms, plus a few different indoor camera and home automation options. It doesn’t have a carbon monoxide detector or an outdoor camera, which might be dealbreakers for some people. However, the Abode hub supports Z-wave, Zigbee, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can find plenty of compatible third-party devices.

    Abode Monitoring Service

    Abode offers affordable plans for both self-monitoring and professional monitoring. Self-monitoring through the mobile app is free, which is unusual. Many security providers will charge at least a nominal fee for full access to mobile app monitoring. There’s also a $7/mo. self-monitoring plan that includes cellular backup if the home wifi network goes down. Professional monitoring starts around $16.66/mo., and you can even get on-demand short-term professional monitoring for if you only need it now and then.

    DIY Installation

    Abode devices are designed for self-installation, but there is a professional installation option for those who need help. Professional installation starts at $99 for a basic starter kit plus $25 for up to five additional devices.

    Abode Pricing & Value

    Abode is a budget-priced option for tech-savvy people who want to set up and monitor their own system. Equipment and/or monitoring are often steeply discounted if you bundle them together. We’ve seen professional monitoring start as low as $8.33/mo. with the purchase of a starter kit.

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How Do We Rank the Best Home Security Systems?

At, we continually refine our lists in order to provide up-to-date, well-researched insights. When ranking home security providers, we consider value, availability, brand reputation, trustworthy reviews, popularity, warranty and other reliability indicators. Learn more about our reviews and rankings methodology.

8 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home Security System

  1. 1


    Price is the top consideration for most shoppers. You can typically expect to pay two separate costs: the price of your equipment and monthly professional monitoring. Additional costs could include installation and or activation fees depending on the provider. Both of these costs tend to increase with security systems that feature security cameras, smart home devices, and home environmental monitoring devices.

  2. 2


    Some home security providers require a service contract. The average contract length is 36 months (three years). The plus side of contracted systems is that they often come with perks like professional installation and discounted equipment. However, they’re not very mover-friendly and may come with early termination fees. If you need to avoid a long-term commitment, choose a provider with month-to-month plans.

  3. 3

    Monitoring Options

    Home security systems may be professionally monitored or self-monitored. Professional monitoring means that a team of trained professionals is on call for alarm response 24/7. If an alarm is triggered in your home, the monitoring agent will asses the situation (usually by calling you) and dispatch emergency services if necessary. Self-monitoring can save money, but you’re responsible for monitoring your own system, either through smartphone notifications, activity alerts, or security camera footage.

  4. 4

    Connectivity Options

    Most providers offer a landline, Internet, or cellular connection for the security system and its components. A home security system with a cellular connection is more secure than one with just a landline or home Internet connection since the system remains linked to the provider’s monitoring center over cell tower signals. This is an advantage in the event of power outages. A landline connection, although less secure, is usually the least expensive option.

  5. 5


    Do you want just the basics for intrusion detection, or additional protection through devices like security cameras, smoke detectors, and smart home automation tools? With most providers, you can select a package and customize it to fit your needs. Some providers may require you to pay for all of the equipment upfront or allow you to finance it over a contract.

  6. 6

    Smart Home Integrations

    Most of the top home security companies offer some form of smart home compatibility. You’ll find security providers that offer smart home devices, and those who mainly offer integration, meaning that the security system will work well with devices from different manufacturers. Security systems that support home automation tend to be more expensive than simpler ones, so don’t feel compelled to purchase a security system with features you won’t use.

  7. 7

    Mobile App Access

    Today’s home security systems let you arm and disarm your system without laying a finger on a keypad or control panel. Thanks to mobile apps, you can view live video with security cameras, check notifications, and even create custom actions for your security system and smart home devices. Be aware, however, that many providers require a more expensive monitoring plan to access all app features.

  8. 8

    Trial Period

    No-risk trial periods should give you enough time to meaningfully test out your new security system. Most home security providers offer a trial period of 30 days, but it’s much shorter in some cases. You’ll need to be knowledgeable of what to expect in the event you’re unsatisfied with your system.

Security System Cost Breakdown

The cost of your home security system can vary based on the price of equipment, alarm monitoring, installation and more. Security system equipment is a large portion of what you pay for, with products including security cameras, motion sensors and additional smart security options.

  • Home security equipment typically costs about $200 in upfront costs or $25/month in fees.
  • Professional alarm monitoring should also factor into your security costs, with most monitoring services ranging from $15 to $35/month. Having a monitored home security system allows you to have greater piece of mind knowing that your security company is watching over your home 24/7.

You will also need to choose which installation option you prefer for your alarm system: professional or DIY. Professional installation can cost over $200, but the benefit is you ensure your home security equipment is properly functioning in your home. While home security systems are a big investment, there is a great payoff in feeling safe and secure in your own home.

DIY or Professional Home Security?

Professional home security refers to packages that are professionally installed and professionally monitored. DIY stands for do-it-yourself. DIY home security refers to systems that are self-installed by the owner. These may be professionally monitored or self-monitored.

Professionally-Installed Home Security Systems


  • Greater assurance the system is properly installed
  • Maintenance typically handled by the provider
  • Technician can answer questions you may have


  • Usually requires signing a contract
  • Usually requires an installation fee
  • Could end up purchasing more equipment than needed

DIY Home Security Systems


  • Most do not require a contract
  • Monitoring is usually cheaper
  • More accessible for people who rent or move frequently


  • May have to pay for equipment upfront
  • Could improperly install the system
  • May be responsible for repairs

Which home security system is best for me?

Everyone has different needs and living situations that need to be taken into consideration before choosing a home security system. Here are some recommendations we’ve put together based on different customer needs:


If you’re looking for affordable home security systems:

We recommend SimpliSafe, Protect America, Abode, and Scout Alarm. These affordable home security providers have lower upfront costs for equipment packages. Abode currently offers the cheapest professional monitoring out the four.


If you rent an apartment or townhome:

For renters, we recommend SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, Abode, and Scout Alarm. The best home security systems for renters have wireless security systems that you can set up yourself to avoid any installation fees.


If you want a security system for your vacation home:

Some of the best home security systems for vacation homes are ADT, Vivint, and Guardian Protection. Each of these providers will have a professional install your system for you, and you can opt for cellular monitoring, which is the most reliable monitoring connection.


If you want a security system for your small business:

For small business owners, we recommend ADT, Vivint, SimpliSafe, and Abode. With each of these providers, you’ll have access to video surveillance, smart devices, and remote management by mobile app for convenient control.

Common Home Security Equipment and Features

Control panel/hub

Motion sensor

Door/window sensor

Indoor security camera

Outdoor security camera

Video doorbell camera

Smart thermostat

Smart lock

Control panel/hub

As the brain of your security system, the control panel allows you to arm and disarm your security system, manage smart home devices, and in some cases, speak with a monitoring center specialist via two-way communication. Learn more about the control panels offered by ADT, Vivint, and Brinks.

Motion sensor

As one of the sentinels in your home, the motion sensor captures unusual activity, and your system lets you know. Some providers have motion sensors that are designed to be pet-friendly, avoiding pets under 80 pounds to help prevent false alarms. Learn more about motion sensors here in our post.

Door/window sensor

Door/window sensors are sentinels for your entry points. Most have a discreet profile so they’re not easily seen, but once an entry point is breached, your control panel sounds an alarm to let the intruder know they’ve been caught. Learn more about the door/window sensors offered by Frontpoint, Protect America, and SimpliSafe.

ADT Indoor Camera

Indoor security camera

If you want to be able to monitor the interior of your home, communicate with family members, and check in on pets, then choosing an indoor security camera is a great option. Most indoor cameras feature HD video, come with night vision, and have two-way communication. Learn more about indoor security camera options offered by SimpliSafe, Vivint, and Abode.

Outdoor security camera

Keep tabs on your property no matter your location with an outdoor security cameras. Most outdoor cameras have weatherproof features, night vision, and some even have deterrence features. Learn more about the outdoor security camera options offered by ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint.

Video doorbell camera

Check your front doorstep without having to leave work with a video doorbell camera. Most video doorbells have built-in two-way communication and night vision. Learn more about the video doorbells offered by Guardian Protection, Vivint, and SimpliSafe.

Smart thermostat

With a smart thermostat, you can potentially improve your home’s energy efficiency. Most smart thermostats allow you to program them, creating a schedule for when your home’s heating and cooling system turns on. Some will also automatically adjust themselves based on certain conditions. Learn more about the smart thermostats offered by Vivint, Frontpoint, and ADT.

ADT Smart Lock

Smart lock

Go keyless with a smart lock, designed so you can easily lock or unlock your door via app. Some smart locks have a keycode feature, allowing you to set unique PINs for family members and or professionals who may need to access your home. Learn more about the smart locks offered by Guardian Protection, Protect America, and Scout.

Home Security Stats conducted a home security survey to find out more about security system ownership and the motivation behind security alarm purchases. Here’s a few insights about home security systems:

  • Just 38% of Americans own a home security product.
  • Of respondents who don’t own a home security product, 33% choose not to because they can’t afford it.
  • 50% of respondents who own security products wanted to add extra security to their home.
  • Home security product ownership is most popular amongst 18-34 year olds, with 41% of this demographic owning a security product or system.
  • Video doorbells are the most popular security product owned (18.2%) with a professionally monitored home security system (16.2%) as 2nd most popular.
  • 74.3% of survey respondents said their new home security system or product makes them feel safe.

State Level Crime Data

Utilizing the latest data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, the reports below showcase the trends in property crime, burglary crime, and motor vehicle theft per U.S state.

Home Security Frequently Asked Questions

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How much does a home security system cost?

The cost of a home security system varies by provider. Some providers allow you to pick from preset equipment packages while others work with you to build a customized security system. Some security systems don’t require any equipment payment upfront, while others may cost up to $1,300.00 to get started. Providers differ in their payment structures, so it’s important to understand how you’ll be expected to pay for your system.

What equipment typically comes with a home security system?

The equipment that you’ll generally find with a home security system includes a control panel or hub, a keypad, motion sensors, door/window sensors, and signage. You can usually expand your security system with additional equipment like security cameras, smart home devices, and home environmental monitoring devices like smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors.

What is professional monitoring and do I need it?

When your home is professionally monitored, it means that monitoring specialists are standing by ready to dispatch emergency services in the event an alarm is triggered. Professional monitoring generally carries a monthly cost on top of your equipment cost. We recommend having your home professionally monitored because of the extra layer of security that’s in place should you be away from home when something happens. Without professional monitoring, you’ll be responsible for monitoring your own home, usually with a mobile app and activity notifications.

How can I monitor my own home?

When a provider allows customers to monitor their own homes, this is called “self-monitoring.” Customers can monitor their homes with the help of motion detectors, sensors, and security cameras. In this case, the provider usually has a mobile app that customers can use to get alerts on their phones. In most cases, customers can also check the app to view live footage from security cameras.

How much does professional monitoring cost?

The price of professional monitoring varies from provider to provider. Typically, DIY providers (those who offer home security systems that can be self-installed) have cheaper professional monitoring prices. As a range of what you could expect, professional monitoring could cost as low as $8.00/mo. and as much as $55.00/mo.

Will I have to sign a contract?

This also depends on the provider, but you can anticipate signing a contract with providers who require professional installation of their systems. The average length of a home security contract is 36 months or 3 years. On the higher end, some contracts could span up to 60 months or 5 years. If you want to avoid having to sign a contract, we would recommend considering a DIY home security system instead.

Do all home security systems come with security cameras?

No, not all providers offer security cameras in their equipment packages. In some cases, you may have to purchase any security cameras separately. Generally, if you want to have a security camera for your home, you’ll end up paying for a more expensive package.

Can I get smart home devices with my home security system?

In most cases, yes. Many providers offer smart home devices and or integration features that you can purchase as part of a security system package or as a standalone product. Most home security providers do offer common smart security tools such as smart thermostats, smart lights, and smart locks.

Should I purchase a home security system if I rent an apartment?

You should check with your leasing department or landlord to make sure it’s okay to install a home security system in your apartment. There may be rules in place prohibiting you from installing a security system in your unit. If you are able to purchase a home security system for your apartment, we would recommend choosing a DIY security system. These systems are typically wireless and don’t require long-term contracts.

Will I be able to control my home security system from a mobile app?

In most cases, yes. Many providers have a mobile app that you can install for remotely managing your home security system, checking cameras, and checking notifications. Some providers may require you to purchase a more expensive monitoring plan in order to access all features.

Are there pet-friendly home security systems?

Yes, some security systems have motion sensors that are designed to avoid detecting pets up to a certain weight. Many providers have sensors that are built to avoid pets under 80 pounds. One of the benefits of these types of sensors is that they can prevent false alarms.

Are permits required for home security systems?

Often, local municipalities require home security alarm permits. These permits are said to help reduce the number of false alarms so that emergency services aren’t unnecessarily taxed. In some cities, the police are not required to respond to unpermitted alarms. There may also be false alarm fees in your city that are higher if the system isn’t properly permitted.

Jalesa Campbell

Written by your home security specialist

Jalesa Campbell