The 11 Best Home Security Systems of 2021

We’ve reviewed the top home security systems to help you choose the best one for your needs. See why SimpliSafe has the best home security system overall with easy installation and affordability.
Updated Jun 4, 2021
Written By
Dashia Starr | Home Security Writer
Evaluated over 90 safety products to help you protect what matters most. Check our Methodology
  •  We’ve updated our deals section with the latest offers and made some smaller changes throughout the page. Overall, the page should be a little easier to navigate, and our reviews should do a better job of highlighting key information about each provider.
  • Check out our latest report on safety statistics 

The best home security systems offer a variety of products and services to choose from at an affordable price. After looking at 25 of the best home security systems and over 100 features, we boiled down the various research, considerations and conclusions.

All in all, SimpliSafe is our top security pick for its affordability, flexibility, and equipment features. But traditional security providers, like ADT and Vivint, are close calls for reliability despite long-term contracts and required traditional services. No matter which provider you pick, you’re bound to have a better sense of security with our most trusted recommendations. 

Compare the Best Home Security Systems

  • Best overall DIY security system
    Monitoring starts at
    $14.99/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $229
    Self monitoring
    DIY & Professional
    Contract
    9.9
  • Best home security for industry experience
    Monitoring starts at
    $49.99/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $599
    Self monitoring
    Professional
    Contract
    9.7
  • Best smart home security
    Monitoring starts at
    $29. /mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $599.99
    Self monitoring
    Professional
    Contract
    9.7
  • Best pet-friendly home security
    Monitoring starts at
    $44.99/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $294.30
    Self monitoring
    DIY
    Contract
    9.4
  • Best for video doorbells
    Monitoring starts at
    $14.99/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $199.99
    Self monitoring
    DIY & Professional
    Contract
    9.3
  • Best for instant text alerts
    Monitoring starts at
    $14.99/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $290
    Self monitoring
    DIY
    Contract
    9.3
  • Best for Professional Monitoring
    Monitoring starts at
    $39/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $199
    Self monitoring
    DIY & Professional
    Contract
    9.2
  • Best for self-monitoring
    Monitoring starts at
    $20/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $229
    Self monitoring
    DIY & Professional
    Contract
    9.2
  • Best for flexible monitoring
    Monitoring starts at
    $19.99/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $199.99
    Self monitoring
    DIY
    Contract
    9.0
  • Best Build Your Own Package
    Monitoring starts at
    $30.99/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $229
    Self monitoring
    DIY
    Contract
    8.7
  • Best for Smart Home Integration Options
    Monitoring starts at
    $19.99/mo.
    Equipment starts at
    $229
    Self monitoring
    DIY
    Contract
    8.0
*Monitoring price shown is for entry-level professional monitoring service.

Home security deals & savings

  • Get free shipping on all LOREX on all orders. 
  • Free Vivint Installation — Get free installation on your new Vivint home security system. Enter code SAFETY at checkout.
  • Shop Cove’s Sales & Savings — Get the best deals on new systems and add-on equipment. 
  • Get FREE installation on an ADT video doorbell and outdoor camera. 
  • For a limited time, get up to $250 off a new Link Interactive security system.
  • Save up to 20% on Arlo Security Bundles + FREE ground shipping on all orders $35 or more.
  • 10% off your first Scout order.

 

Check out more home security deals and limited-time offers.

Deals from these providers are accurate as of June , 2021.

 

Which alarm system is best for me?

Your ideal home security system depends on many factors. Consider your home’s square footage, entry points, and your security needs. You should also think about your desired cost and whether you want some services, including professional monitoring and installation. There’s a lot to consider from smart home compatibility to surveillance. So, how do you decide which alarm system is best for you?

It all comes down to knowing you’re safe and feeling safe. Here are a few of our recommendations based on a few common needs.

Renters and Frequent Movers: It’s best to look for DIY options that are wireless and contract-free so you can easily pack and reinstall if you move. 

Pet OwnersSome security providers, like Vivint and ADT, offer pet-friendly adjustable sensors to reduce false alerts from pets wandering your home.

Senior Citizens: ADT is one of the best options for senior citizens thanks to its professional monitoring, reliable equipment, and access to medical alerts for senior safety. 

Homeowners with Kids: Vivint, SimpliSafe, and  ADT are the best options for parents thanks to their sturdy equipment, convenient control options, and professional monitoring plans. 

Homeowners with Smart Home Integrations in Mind: If you’re looking to connect dozens of smart devices and connect them to your home alarm system for smart security, we recommend Scout, Link Interactive, Ring, or Vivint.

Travelers: If you’re always on the go, you’ll need a home security system that gives you full control with your mobile device. We recommend Vivint, Ring, SimpliSafe, and Frontpoint.

What are the best home security systems?

  • Best overall DIY security system

    Simplisafe Home

    Our rating
    9.9
    Starting at
    $14.99/mo

    Our take

    SimpliSafe is our top home security pick for its reliable equipment at a cheaper price than most competitors. Even though smart home equipment isn’t offered, you’ll have the flexibility to customize the wireless system you want within your budget. But keep in mind that you’ll need to pay for equipment upfront. 

    Pros

    • Equipment and monitoring plans are cheaper than competitors
    • Optional professional monitoring and installation
    • Customizable packages and easy add-ons

    Cons

    • Upfront costs are more expensive than competitors
    • No smart home equipment available
    • Must upgrade to plan for remote and smart home control
    Research Simplisafe

    SimpliSafe pricing and packages

    SimpliSafe has five packages to choose from, or you can build your own system tailored to your security needs. Here’s a glance at the packages, costs, and equipment included. Each package comes with a base station and keypad.

     

    Foundation Essentials  Hearth  Knox Haven
    Cost $229 $259 $374 $449 $489
    Entry sensors  1 3 3 6 4
    Motion sensors 1 1 1 2 2
    Siren X X 1 1 1
    Temperature sensor  X X X X 1
    Smoke detector X X 1 1 1
    Water sensor  X X X X 1
    Panic button  X X X X 1
  • Best home security for industry experience

    ADT Home

    Our rating
    9.7
    Starting at
    $45.99/mo

    Our take

    ADT is a well-known home security provider with traditional services, like professional monitoring and installation. Choose from three packages, but keep in mind that you’ll need to upgrade if you want smart home or surveillance features. ADT also requires long-term contracts, but equipment financing is available. 

    Pros

    • 6-month money-back guarantee and theft protection guarantee
    • Wide variety of smart home equipment
    • Over 140 years of experience with award-winning professional monitoring

    Cons

    • Must upgrade plan for smart home or surveillance features and equipment
    • Professional installation and monitoring are required
    • Long-term contract required
    Research ADT

    ADT packages and pricing

    You’ll need to call for ADT package pricing and special offers. Each package includes these features: 

    • Intrusion detection
    • Fire, CO and flood monitoring 
    • Touchscreen control panel 
    • Voice control integration 

    Here are the big differences to expect between ADT’s packages. 

     

    Secure Smart Complete 
    Mobile app control  X
    Smart home automation X
    Surveillance  X X
    Video storage  X X
  • Best smart home security

    Vivint Home Security

    Our rating
    9.7
    Starting at
    $29.99/mo

    Our Take on Vivint Home Security

    Vivint is our top choice for smart home security with an extensive line of equipment filled with smart features. The control panel also doubles as a smart hub. The only downside is that Vivint requires a long-term contract if you finance the equipment. Professional monitoring and installation are also required. 

    Pros

    • Smart Hub to connect and control smart home and security devices
    • Extensive smart features for security equipment including package detection and Smart Deter
    • Wide range of security and smart home equipment

    Cons

    • Contract required for service and financed equipment.
    • Professional monitoring and installation required
    • Expensive equipment compared to other providers
    Research Vivint

    Vivint packages and pricing

    Rather than offering standard packages, Vivint prides itself on custom building your home alarm system. You’ll be able to choose the number of sensors, cameras, and smart home equipment you need. Here’s a look at Vivint’s product prices for some of their most popular products. Keep in mind that you can finance your equipment over 42 or 60 months.

    Product  Pricing 
    Smart hub  $399.99
    SkyControl panel  $399.99 
    Smart sensor  $50
    Motion sensor  $100
    Doorbell Camera Pro  $249.99 
    Ping Camera  $199.99 
    Smart Drive  $249.99 
  • Best pet-friendly home security

    FrontPoint Home

    Our rating
    9.4
    Starting at
    $44.99/mo
    1-888-688-5779

    - or -

    View Packages

    Our take

    Frontpoint offers wireless security solutions and smart home equipment. It’s a close runner-up to SimpliSafe. You’ll have more surveillance options with two indoor cameras, an outdoor and doorbell camera. Professional monitoring is required, but you can save money with DIY installation. 

    Pros

    • Smart home equipment available
    • Financing available to lower upfront cost
    • Mobile app and video surveillance included in monitoring cost

    Cons

    • No professional installation option
    • Expensive professional monitoring
    • Trial period is only 30 days
    Research Frontpoint

    Frontpoint packages and pricing

    Each Frontpoint package comes with a hub and keypad. You’ll also get a yard sign and three window decals. The best package for you depends on your equipment and security needs. Frontpoint sometimes offers promotions for package discounts and free equipment.

     

    Safehouse Bunker  Fortress 
    Cost  $294.30 $475.44 $598.41
    Entry sensors  2 3 6
    Motion sensor  1 1 2
    Indoor camera X 1 1
    Smoke and heat sensor  X 1 1
  • Best for video doorbells

    Ring Home Security

    Our rating
    9.3
    Starting at
    $10.00/mo

    Our take on Ring Home Security:

    Ring is a popular DIY camera choice, especially for those that aren’t looking for whole-home security quite yet. Its security systems and cameras can give you affordable security, monitoring, and surveillance without a contract.

    Pros

    • Standalone equipment and whole-home systems available
    • Professional and DIY installation and monitoring available
    • A wide range of comparatively cheap equipment

    Cons

    • Paid Protect Plan required for video storage and smart features
    • Only works with Amazon Alexa
    • Cellular backup only available with a Ring Protect Plan
    Research Ring

    Ring packages and pricing

    Ring offers a wide range of equipment to protect your home. You can choose standalone products or a Ring system to connect your favorite Z-wave or Amazon Alexa-enabled devices. Ring offers three security systems to choose from. Your ideal package will mainly be decided by the number of pieces of equipment you need. Each alarm system comes with a base station.

    5-piece  10-piece  14-piece 
    Cost  $199.99 $259.99 $329.99
    Contact sensor 1 5 8
    Motion detector 1 2 2
    Range extender 1 1 1
    Keypad 1 1 2

Other home security systems to consider

  • Best for instant text alerts

    Cove Home Security

    Our rating
    9.3
    Starting at
    $14.99/mo

    Our take

    Cove has one of the easiest setups. It’s newer compared to others, but two features set it apart. Cove InstaText sends a text message if an alarm is triggered, and LiveAssist uses two-way audio for emergency help using the control panel. You’ll need to build your own package, but it’s one of the ways Cove keeps security affordable.

     

    Recommended plan: Cove currently doesn’t offer any plans, but its website helps you select the equipment you need depending on whether you need security for a home, apartment, or business. Then, Cove will share its best recommendations and you can adjust the equipment selection based on your security needs.

     

    Pros

    • InstaText and LiveAssist for emergency assistance
    • Three-factor communication if an alarm is triggered
    • 60-day risk-free trial

    Cons

    • No smart home equipment or compatibility available
    • Professional monitoring required
    • No professional installation option
    Research Cove Security

    Cove adds to equipment lineup

    Cove recently added to its security solutions with its own indoor and outdoor security cameras. Previously, Cove used YI’s Indoor Camera with its system, but the new cameras are a step above the rest. You’ll get features such as dual storage options, enhanced privacy, and night vision. Check out what we think about Cove’s Indoor Camera and Outdoor Camera for more details.

  • Best for Professional Monitoring

    Brinks Home Security

    Our rating
    9.3
    Starting at
    $29.99/mo

    Our Take on Brinks Home Security

    Brinks has a lot of similarities with ADT: required professional monitoring, smart home equipment, and required contracts. The big difference is that you can cut costs with DIY installation, or you can leave it to the pros. If you want traditional home security, but can set it up yourself, Brinks is the best choice.

    Pros

    • 2-year equipment warranty
    • Impressive industry experience and reputation
    • Flexible installation options

    Cons

    • No equipment for environmental monitoring
    • Touchscreen control panel not available in all packages
    • Lengthy contracts for some equipment packages
    Research Brinks
  • Best for self-monitoring

    Abode Security

    Our rating
    9.2
    Starting at
    $6/mo

    Our take on Abode Home Security:

    Abode offers plenty of features in your security equipment. It offers DIY smart security that gives you more than expected. Abode’s Iota Security hub has a built-in siren, HD camera, two-way audio, and can connect up to 160 smart devices. You’ll have to set up the system yourself, and Abode requires service, but it’s worth every penny.

     

    Recommended package: The Iota All-in-One Security Kit Elite is our favorite pick. We love the built-in hub features. Plus, you’ll still get the security essentials for $292. If you’re looking for an option with more cameras, we recommend the Smart Security Kit Complete for a solution that has two Abode Cam 2 cameras. This provider also offers price match. If you already have a quote from a different provider, make sure to send it to them to see if there’s an opportunity to save extra money. 

    Pros

    • Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit
    • Smart hub with built-in security with smart home features
    • Camera that doubles as an indoor, outdoor, and doorbell camera

    Cons

    • Warranty only lasts one year
    • Requires paid plan for service and most features
    Research Abode

    Abode’s new camera

    The Abode Cam 2 doubles as an indoor and outdoor wifi camera. It has a compact design, but is filled with the best surveillance features, including person detection, color night vision, and two-way audio. The Abode Cam 2 is one of the least expensive cameras on the market, only costing $35. Look for our in-depth review about Abode’s newest addition soon.

  • Best for flexible monitoring

    Blue by ADT

    Our rating
    9
    Starting at
    $19.99/mo

    Our take on Blue by ADT:

    Get trusted professional monitoring and an easy-to-install security system with Blue by ADT. Even better, your first month of monitoring is free. As a Blue by ADT customer, you have the option to choose a no-contract plan. By doing this, you can purchase the equipment and skip the professional monitoring. You can always go back and add professional monitoring to your system if you decide you need it later down the line.

     

     

     

    Pros

    • Standalone and whole-home security solutions
    • Optional professional monitoring by ADT’s award-winning specialists
    • Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

    Cons

    • No professional installation option
    • No smart home equipment offered
    • Cloud storage costs extra
    Research Blue by ADT
  • Showing 5 of 6 items

How much does home security cost?

The best home security systems are affordable and offer flexible payment options. But there are several costs to add up when buying home security. You may not have to pay a few of these costs depending on your home security provider’s available services and equipment. The average cost of home security is close to $300. Most families pay between $10 – $35 for professional monitoring and between $100 – $250 for equipment. Here’s a breakdown of costs to factor in. 

Professional monitoring: Some providers, like ADT and Vivint, require professional monitoring. The cost will depend on your package, but most providers charge between $10 – $35. But you may be able to cut this cost with DIY monitoring for free with providers, like SimpliSafe and Blue by ADT. 

Equipment: Depending on your provider, you may have the option to pay monthly installments of your equipment with your other service costs and usually requires a contract. On the other hand, some DIY home security systems must be purchased upfront and may not offer financing options. But you’ll still have the flexibility to buy what’s within your budget for now and add-on later. 

Installation: Traditional home security systems require professional installation for a proper setup. Installation averages $100, but DIY installation eliminates this cost. If you’d like professional installation for your wireless system you’ll likely use a third-party installer, and costs will vary depending on your equipment.

Video surveillance and storage: You’ll need to factor in the cost of cloud storage if you add security cameras. Some providers, like Ring, require separate storage plans for each camera. You can expect to spend at up to $10 per month for video storage if it’s not included in your monitoring plan. If you’d like continuous video recording (CVR) you’ll likely need to pay extra, like the Nest Aware Plus plan for $12 per month. 

Smart home features: If you’d like smart home features like voice control and automated routines, you may need to upgrade your home security package. For example, both SimpliSafe and ADT require an upgraded monthly plan for smart home features and mobile app control. 

Remember to always look for home security deals and savings to help lower the cost. Some providers may offer free installation or waive fees with certain packages.

More home security systems options

What are the best home security system equipment and features?

Most home security systems come with security essentials such as motion detection, door and window sensors, a control panel, and yard signs. Some even come with a keyfob to easily control your system with a handheld device. But nowadays, home security has more to offer, with smart security devices that can be controlled using your smartphone. 

 

Smart lock: The best way to upgrade your door security is to add a smart lock. Use a mobile app, voice assistant, or pin code to lock and unlock your door. You can also easily check the status of your smart lock using a mobile app and see the history of its status. Smart locks are popular for homeowners interested in creating a full smart home with the latest smart gadgets. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about forgetting your keys. Our favorite smart lock is the Yale x Nest Smart Lock for its backup battery power, 20 unique codes, and Google Nest compatibility. 

 

Video doorbell: Video doorbells are popular standalone security cameras, and some wirelessly pair with their compatible security systems, such as SimpliSafe’s Video Doorbell Pro. A video doorbell gives you a better view of what’s happening outside your door from your smartphone. You can also speak to guests using the doorbell’s two-way audio feature. When motion is detected, you’ll receive a mobile alert to monitor activity and see recorded clips from your phone. We love SimpliSafe’s doorbell, but the Arlo Video doorbell is our top choice for its Amazon Alexa compatibility, custom activity zones, and object detection for fewer false alerts. 

Security camera: There are plenty of security cameras to choose from depending on your surveillance needs. The best security camera is the Arlo Ultra 2 because of its long-lasting battery, noise-canceling audio, and object detection, just like its video doorbell. If you’re looking for a security camera, make sure you choose one that gives you the best features to keep an eye on your home on the go, including mobile app control, custom activity zones, and digital zoom for a close-up view. Most importantly, don’t forget to look into privacy features to keep your footage safe from hackers.

Do I need a home security system?

If you already feel safe in your home, you may wonder if you need a home alarm system. Safety.com conducted a home security survey to find out more about alarm system ownership and the motivation behind security alarm purchases. Here are a few insights about home security systems:

  • About 74% of survey respondents say their home security system or product makes them feel safe. A security system gives you peace of mind knowing that your provider has equipped you with the right equipment to get help quickly if something unexpected happens.
  • 50% of respondents who own security products wanted to add extra security to their homes. Security systems should give you the flexibility to easily add equipment based on your security needs. You should have everything you need to feel safe. Providers like SimpliSafe and Scout make it easy to add security equipment whenever you need it.
  • 38% of Americans own a home security product. And 41% of 18-34-year-old respondents (Gen-Z and Millennials) own a home security system or product. Did you know that installing a home security system can help deter burglars? Starting with standalone security such as a Ring video doorbell or camera can help keep you safe and increase preventative measures.
  • 33% of those who don’t own a home security product said they couldn’t afford it. Fortunately, DIY home security systems that don’t require a contract let you start with the essentials and expand over time. Systems like Cove and SimpliSafe allow you to build your system based on your budget. And some options like Frontpoint let you finance your equipment so you can pay over time without breaking the bank.
  • About 16% of all respondents own a professionally monitored security system. 24/7 professional monitoring can alert emergency responders whether you’re home or away. You’ll have a fast emergency response to catch intruders or respond to an emergency while you focus on staying safe from harm.

 

 

Latest Safety survey statistics

Where Did Our Sleep Go? Up to 61 Million U.S. Adults Lost Sleep in 2020 From Feeling Unsafe

A survey conducted by Safety.com reveals that 1 in 4 Americans lost sleep in 2020 due to concerns about their security.

Key findings:

  • 1 in 4 (24%) U.S. adults lost sleep in 2020 for safety-related concerns.
  • Gen Z and Millennials were most likely to lose sleep.
  • Women were found to lose more sleep than men
  • More than half of U.S. adults surveyed don’t have a home security system.
  • Most admit that locking their doors and windows made them feel safe during the night.

1 in 4 Americans Weren’t Planning to Protect Their Homes From Burglary in the 2020 Holiday Season

A Safety.com survey found that nearly 1 in 4 Americans (24%) weren’t taking any steps to protect their homes from break-ins during the 2020 holiday season — not even if they were traveling away from home. While almost half of Americans (48%) were planning to rely on home security features they already own (like door and window locks), our survey results also indicate 54 million U.S. adults planned to leave their home unattended for more than a few hours during the 2020 holiday season, leaving them more vulnerable to burglaries.

 

Key findings:

  • An estimated $57 billion in packages will be delivered during the holidays.
  • 54 million US adults will leave their homes unattended this holiday season.
  • Only 38% of Americans have a home security system.
  • 44% of Americans plan to rely on door and window locks, but 1 in 4 Americans don’t plan to proactively prevent burglaries this holiday season.

Baby Boomers seem to be the most concerned about burglary, while Millennials seem to be the least concerned.

  • A number of cost-effective home security devices could deter burglars.

Read More: Tips & Tools for Preventing Package Theft

What are the best home alarm systems in my area?

Before you choose your favorite home security system, there are a few points to keep in mind. 

 

  • Alarm system choices: Some security systems are only available based on your location. Some providers may not be available in your area, but you’ll have more options when ordering DIY systems that can be used almost anywhere.

  • Wifi range: Most alarm systems rely on wifi and cellular connectivity to enable features and connect to monitoring centers. If you live in a rural area or where wifi and cell service can be spotty, you’ll need to ask about range extenders or other available equipment for a better connection.

  • Local vs. national security companies: Local security companies often have a better understanding of the latest local crime statistics and your neighborhood. But national companies are just as helpful and may have more industry experience and resources at their disposal. Regardless of the provider, make sure you have the service and system that makes you feel safe. 

 

We chose some of the top home security companies, crime statistics and safety findings in a few cities to help narrow down your search. 

 

Bottom line: Our top pick - SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe gives you affordable home security with several products and services to choose from — all without requiring a contract. It’s a top pick for many because of its preventative features, including a ‘smash safe’ base station, and cellular connectivity with a back-up battery for your system to continue to work during a power outage. Of all the providers we looked at, SimpliSafe does the most comprehensive job of keeping customers safe and making them feel safe. 

SimpliSafe doesn’t hold customers in a contract but gives them the freedom to decide between DIY and professional installation, as well as self or professional monitoring. SimpliSafe isn’t in the Dark Ages with its technology either — you’ll find a security camera, smart door lock, and video doorbell among the provider’s lineup. With packages starting at less than $200 and monitoring at $14.99 per month, renters and homeowners alike are more able to make SimpliSafe part of their home.

How Do We Rank the Best Home Security Systems?


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Home Security FAQ's









Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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