The 10 Best Home Security Systems of 2020

We’ve reviewed the top home security companies to help you choose the best one for your needs. See why we chose SimpliSafe as the best home security provider overall for easy installation and affordability.

Best Overall DIY Security System

SimpliSafe Security

Starting at $14.99

9.3 out of 10

Best features

  • Inexpensive professional monitoring
  • Wireless equipment
  • Cellular monitoring

Best for Industry Experience

ADT Home Security

Starting at $45.99

8.3 out of 10

Best features

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

Best for Smart Homes

Vivint Security

Starting at $29.99

7.7 out of 10

Best features

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

Best for Customer Service

Frontpoint Security

Starting at $44.99

7.6 out of 10

Best features

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

Compare the Best Home Security Systems

Overall DIY

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at


Self Monitoring

DIY & Professional


All-In-One Security System

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at


Self Monitoring

DIY & Professional


Google Assistant Functionality

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at


Self Monitoring

DIY & Professional


Traditional Home Security

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at


Self Monitoring



DIY and Pro. Monitoring

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at


Self Monitoring

DIY & Professional


Free Month of Monitoring

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at


Self Monitoring

DIY & Professional


Product Lineup and Features

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at


Self Monitoring



Locked Monthly Rates

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at

Request a quote

Self Monitoring



Good Customer Service

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at


Self Monitoring



Payment Options

Monitoring starts at


Equipment starts at

Around $290

Self Monitoring



*Monitoring price shown is for entry-level professional monitoring service.
**Nest – Contract is required for $19/mo. monitoring plan with Brinks
***Cove – Warranty is based on the monitoring plan chosen.
– Please note that BBB ratings, plans, pricing, and other details can change without our knowledge.

Best Home Security Systems for me

Which home security system is best for me?

Overall, Simplisafe is the best home security system in our opinion, but below are some additional recommendations for specific customer needs:


If you’re looking for affordable home security system:

We recommend SimpliSafe, Ring and Blue by ADT. These affordable home security providers have lower upfront costs for equipment packages. Ring currently offers the cheapest professional monitoring.


If you rent an apartment or townhome:

For renters, we recommend SimpliSafe, Cove and Ring. The best home security systems for renters offer wireless security systems that you can set up yourself to avoid any installation fees.


If you are looking for the highest camera resolution:

We recommend the ADT Indoor Camera as the best for monitored security, and the Nest Cam IQ as the best smart indoor camera. Nest also offers the best outdoor camera with the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Camera, known for its AI features.


If you want the best smart home integrations with Google Home and Alexa:

We recommend Nest Security, which works seamless with Google. Ring Home Security pairs well with Amazon products.


If you want the best reliability and customer service:

We recommend ADT for their industry experience in Home Security. Frontpoint Security is recognized for their customer service and overall value packages. 


If you want a security system best protects your pet:

Some of the best home security systems for pet owners are Cove, Simplisafe and ADT. Each of these providers will have a professional install your system for you, and offer pet-immune sensors to avoid false alarms.

You can also use our recommendation tool below.

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Guaranteed Service, Contracts required, Low upfront costs

Good for renters, No contract options, Higher upfront costs

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What home security equipment are you interested in?

Motion Sensor, Door/window Sensors, Control Panel, Alarm

Everything in Basic, Mobile App, Remote arm/disarm, Smart Home Automation, Smoke detector, Carbon monoxide detector, Flood & water detector

Everything in Extra, Video camera (indoor/outdoor), Doorbell camera, Video Streaming, Video Record

Top Home Security Deals This Week

Top Home Security Deals This Week

Best Home Security System Reviews

Best Home Security System Reviews

  1. Best Overall DIY Security System

    SimpliSafe Security

    Our rating 9.3

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our Take on SimpliSafe Home Security

    Keep those pesky burglars away with a SimpliSafe security system. Choose from a range of packages and equipment, and get inexpensive professional monitoring.


    Recommended Plan
    We recommend The Barrington if you’re interested in SimpliSafe. This package combines intrusion detection and video surveillance. Equipment starts at $388.93. Professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month.


    • Inexpensive professional monitoring
    • Wireless equipment
    • Cellular monitoring


    • 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 also offers professional installation starting at $79.

    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 $183 and must be paid for upfront (or financed through PayPal Credit) and monitoring fees are billed monthly. Long-term contracts not required.

    SimpliSafe’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    SimpliSafe is continuing to provide 24/7 alarm response for customers. This includes responding to alarms triggered for break-ins, fire, carbon monoxide, and medical assistance. SimpliSafe is also continuing to provide technical support by phone and ensures that they are following federal safety guidelines. Learn more here

    Compare SimpliSafe

  2. Best for Self-Monitoring

    Abode Security

    Our rating 9

    Starting at $20/mo

    Our Take on Abode Home Security

    With an all-in-one home security system and lots of smart home compatibility, Abode is an innovator, giving you the ability to choose between self- or professional monitoring.


    Recommended Plan
    The Iota All-In-One Security Kit combines motion detection, video surveillance, and two-way audio into a single hub for your home. Equipment starts at $299. Professional monitoring starts at $20 per month.


    • Flexible monitoring plans
    • Option for short-term professional monitoring
    • Access to an all-in-one security system


    • 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

    Abode Home Security 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 $8.33/mo., and you can even get on-demand short-term professional monitoring for if you only need it now and then.

    Why Abode is the Best for Self-Monitoring

    Many people who are looking for DIY home security solutions want systems that they can install and monitor themselves. Because of its range of self- and professionally monitored plans, Abode is our top pick for the diehard DIYer.

    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.

    Compare Abode

  3. Best Smart Integrations


    Our rating 8.8

    Starting at $19.00/mo

    Our Take on Nest

    Access Google smart home technology with a Nest security system. Even better, Brinks will protect your home with Nest for as low as $19 per month.


    Recommended Plan
    Keep things simple with the Nest Secure Alarm System. You’ll get two Nest tags for easy arming & disarming and access to Google Assistant features. Equipment starts at $399. Professional monitoring starts at $19 per month.


    • Reasonably priced DIY option
    • Contract for professional monitoring is optional
    • Easy to use


    • No variety of preset hardware packages you can purchase
    • The cost of month-to-month professional monitoring is higher than contract option
    • Could lose one of the arming/disarming tags

    Nest Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    Nest Home Security Equipment

    Nest currently has one home security system you can purchase, and that’s the Nest Secure System. It comes with the essentials you need for basic intrusion detection like a base station and sensors. You’ll also be able to use Google Assistant for voice control and additional Google smart devices with the Nest Secure System. Feel free to add on devices as you see fit for your home.

    Nest Monitoring Services

    Brinks Home Security provides professional monitoring for the Nest Secure System. Brinks’ monitoring service for Nest starts at $19/mo. Professional monitoring is optional with Nest – you can opt to self-monitor your home instead. If you choose professional monitoring for Nest, you’ll have access to Brinks’ fast response services.

    Best Smart Home Integrations

    It’s no secret that with Nest you’ll get access to some of the best smart home integrations with Google. If you have a Google smart device such as the Nest Hub, Google Home, and more. For voice control, simply ask Google Assistant to help.

    Nest Pricing & Value

    Nest’s security system is competitively priced compared to other DIY providers. Retailing for $399, the Nest Secure System gives you access to unique equipment like the Nest Guard Hub, two Nest tags for easy arming/disarming, two Nest Detector sensors, two open/close magnets, a power adapter, and additional items for getting started.

    Compare Nest

  4. Best for Industry Experience

    ADT Home Security

    Our rating 8.3

    Starting at $45.99/mo

    Our Take on ADT Home Security

    ADT is known for its longevity in the industry and its certified monitoring centers. Choose from one of ADT’s four packages or customize to fit your needs.


    Recommended Plan
    ADT’s Video Lite Plan is nothing minor — you’ll get motion detection, smart home capabilities, and video surveillance. Equipment starts at $599. Professional monitoring starts at $54.99 per month.


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


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

    ADT Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    ADT Control Package

    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 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.

    ADT’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    ADT is continuing to provide 24/7 alarm response and is working to resolve residential customer issues by phone as much as they can. If a customer’s issue cannot be resolved over the phone, ADT will send out a technician to help. The company is taking additional steps to ensure their technicians are well and safe by performing wellness checks and making sure each household is healthy before sending help. Learn more here

    Compare ADT

  5. Best for Flexible Installation

    Brinks Home Security

    Our rating 8.2

    Starting at $19/mo

    Our Take on Brinks Home Security

    Awarded no. 1 in customer satisfaction for professionally installed systems by J.D. Power, Brinks is a top contender. Choose from three Brinks packages or the Nest Secure System.


    Recommended Plan
    Get a touchscreen control panel, sensors, and mobile app access with the Smart Security Essential Plan. Equipment starts at $199. Professional monitoring starts at $39 per month.


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


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

    Brinks Home Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    Brinks home complete video package
    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.

    Brinks’ Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    In addition to providing 24/7 alarm response, Brinks is continuing to provide on-site service for its customers. Brinks technicians will check in with customers to ask about symptoms before an appointment to protect themselves and those they serve. If you or a family member are ill or are experiencing illness symptoms, Brinks asks that you reschedule your appointment. Learn more here

    Compare Brinks

  6. Best for Flexible Monitoring

    Blue by ADT

    Our rating 8

    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.


    Recommended Plan
    For front-door protection, we recommend the Blue Doorbell Camera System. You’ll get the essentials and a doorbell camera for your home. Equipment starts at $109.19. Professional monitoring starts at $19.99 per month.


    • Smart home compatibility
    • 7-Day Practice Period
    • 24/7 professional monitoring available


    • Limited Blue by ADT equipment
    • No smart home add-ons
    • Cloud storage costs extra

    Blue by ADT Security Packages and Smart Home Equipment

    Blue by ADT Indoor Camera-miniBlue by ADT has a collection of cameras that connect to LifeShield security systems wirelessly. Their equipment is easy to install and connect to smart home equipment including voice assistants. Their devices can be controlled used the Blue by ADT mobile app for modern home security.

    Blue by ADT Monitoring Services

    Blue by ADT offers self-monitoring for free and professional monitoring for $19.99/mo. The first month of professional monitoring is free and comes with one free month of cloud video storage.

    DIY Installation

    Blue by ADT is completely DIY for an easy, free set-up that doesn’t require a professional. Their videos and technical support make it easy to set up your cameras and connect them to your smart home devices for whole-home smart security.

    Blue by ADT Pricing & Value

    Blue by ADT has cameras and monitoring services – all at an affordable cost. All cameras cost $199 each and the monitoring service is $19.99/mo. on a month-to-month rate for more flexibility.

    Blue by ADT’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Blue by ADT is continuing to provide 24/7 monitoring and customer support during normal business hours from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST on Saturdays and Sundays. Learn more here

    Compare Blue by ADT

  7. Best for Smart Homes

    Vivint Security

    Our rating 7.7

    Starting at $29.99/mo

    Our Take on Vivint Home Security

    Winner of the 2020 IoT Breakthrough Award for its outdoor camera, Vivint is a leader in home security with its expansive equipment lineup and features.


    Recommended Plan
    Vivint’s Smart Home Service has a ton of features and devices to help you protect your home to include the basics plus home hazard monitoring devices. Equipment starts at $599.99. Professional monitoring starts at $29.99 per month.


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


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

    Vivint Security Packages & Smart Home Equipment

    Vivint Home Security 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 $599.99 worth of equipment is required to start service. Monitoring is also a necessity and it starts at at $29.99/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.

    Vivint’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Vivint is still providing 24/7 alarm response and on-site service for customers. Vivint technicians are utilizing best practices for safety when they visit customer homes such as cleaning the areas they touch. Vivint is asking customers who are sick or experiencing symptoms of illness to reschedule their appointment for the health and safety of their technicians. Learn more here

    Compare Vivint

  8. Best for Customer Service

    Frontpoint Security

    Our rating 7.6

    Starting at $44.99/mo

    Our Take on Frontpoint Home Security

    Nationally recognized for its customer service, Frontpoint is a top contender in home security with a range of packages you can choose from.


    Recommended Plan
    For the basics—a hub, sensors, and signage—Frontpoint’s Safe Home Starter plan comes at an affordable price. Equipment starts at $319.95. Professional monitoring starts at $44.99 per month.


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


    • 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 Preferred Package

    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.

    Frontpoint’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Frontpoint is also continuing to provide 24/7 alarm response and customer service by phone, chat, and email. You can rest assured that a Frontpoint monitoring associate will be available to help. For security system setup, you can visit Frontpoint’s support page to view their user guides and videos for help. Learn more here

    Compare Frontpoint

  9. Best for Instant Text Alerts

    Cove Security

    Our rating 7.4

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our Take on Cove Security

    Get an emergency text within 2 seconds of your alarm with Cove Security. Cove offers inexpensive monitoring and a $5 monthly reward towards new equipment.


    Recommended Plan
    Choose Cove Plus for access to smartphone control, a locked monitoring rate, and Cove’s $5 per month equipment reward. Equipment starts at $290. Professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month.


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


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

    Cove Security Packages & Equipment

    Cove Security equipmentCove 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.

    Cove’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Cove is continuing to serve its customers with 24/7 alarm response and newly added 24/7 customer support. Additionally, Cove also understands the financial impact the pandemic is having on customers and has stated that the company will work with them to create a plan for keeping their monitoring service. Learn more here

    Compare Cove

Showing 5 of 10 providers

Showing 10 of 10 providers

How Do We Rank the Best Home Security Systems?

How Do We Rank the Best Home Security Systems?

Learn more about our reviews and ranking methodology here.

Common Home Security Equipment and Features

Common Home Security Equipment and Features

Best Home Security Systems by City

Best Home Security Systems by City

Home Security Stats

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

  • About 74% of survey respondents say their home security system or product makes them feel safe.
  • 50% of respondents who own security products wanted to add extra security to their home.
  • 38% of Americans actually own a home security product.
  • 33% of those who don’t own a home security product said they couldn’t afford it.
  • 41% of 18-34 year old respondents (Gen-Z and Millennials) own a home security system or product.
  • About 18% of all respondents own a video doorbell.
  • About 16% of all respondents own a professionally monitoring security system.
Bottom Line: Our Top Pick – SimpliSafe

Bottom Line: Our Top Pick – SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe Sign

SimpliSafe stands out as our top alarm security provider overall because of their affordable house alarm systems and professional monitoring. 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 around $230 and monitoring at $14.99 per month, renters and homeowners alike are more able to make SimpliSafe part of their home.

Home Security FAQs

Home Security FAQs

How much does a home security system cost?

Home security equipment can cost as low as $99 to over $1,000 depending on the provider.

What should I look for when buying a home security system?

  • Price  – You can expect to pay for equipment and professional monitoring. Additional fees for installation and activation may apply.
  • Contracts – The average contract length is three years, but there are many home security providers that have no-contract options.
  • Monitoring Options Choose between professional or self-monitoring for your system.
  • Connectivity Options – Choose between a landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring connection.
  • Equipment – Basics like a control panel or hub and sensors come with every security system. Additional equipment can include cameras, smoke detectors, and smart devices.
  • Smart Home Integrations – Products like smart lights, locks, and more are generally offered. Integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and other technologies can be found as well.
  • Mobile App Access – Get remote access and control by mobile app, allowing you to arm, disarm, and manage smart devices.
  • Trial Period – Typically, providers give you 30 days to try out your new security system, but the trial period can vary.

What is do-it-yourself home security?

Do-it-yourself home security gives you the option to self-install and or self-monitor your alarm system, cutting out additional fees for installation and or alarm response.

When should I go with professional installation?

Choose professional installation when you’re not confident with properly installing your security system. A professional can ensure everything’s set up so you’re ready to go.

What is professional monitoring and do I need it?

Professional monitoring ensures that an agent is standing by ready to respond to your alarm. Typically, an agent will contact you if your alarm system is triggered and ask if the authorities or emergency services are needed.

How much does professional monitoring cost?

Professional monitoring can cost as low as $14.99 per month to around $60 per month depending on the provider.

Do all home security systems come with a security camera?

No, all home alarm systems do not come with a camera. You’ll usually pay more for a system that includes an indoor, outdoor, or video doorbell camera.

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

Yes, we recommend purchasing a security system even if you rent an apartment for added safety measures. There are a number of do-it-yourself options with affordable prices that you can choose from.

Will I be stuck in a long contract?

Signing a contract will depend on the provider. Most local and traditional providers require a contract for their services.

What makes home security systems smart?

If a home security system comes with a smart device or home automation capabilities, companies may deem that system as “smart.” This is because you’ll be able to set up custom automations or manage smart devices while using your control panel and mobile app.

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

Most security alarm systems come with a mobile app, giving you the ability to arm, disarm, manage smart devices, and more by the touch of a finger.

Are permits required for home security systems?

The need for a permit will depend on the provider. Some local areas require permits to help reduce the number of false alarms and unnecessary emergency response.

How to choose the best home security system?

The best alarm system will fit your budget and also include the devices and features you need and want to help protect your home.

Who has the best home security system?

We chose SimpliSafe as our top pick for its easy-to-install and affordable home security systems. The other security systems we recommend are also great options that might work well depending on your home security needs. When choosing a home security system, always consider what you need first and then go with the provider that aligns with what you’re looking for and can afford.

What is the most affordable home security system?

The most affordable providers from our list are Cove and Ring. With Cove, you can choose additional equipment as you need it, allowing you to purchase a security system for less than $150 based on your selections. Ring’s least expensive security system costs around $199, and you can get professional monitoring for as low as $10 per month.

What was the best smart home security system?

For home automation combined with home security, we recommend Vivint or Nest. Vivint’s price tag is higher, but there’s a wider selection of smart home devices you can get with a Vivint security system. These include a lamp module, the Nest Learning Thermostat, a garage door controller and a Kwikset Smart Lock.

Like Vivint, with the Nest Secure System you can also use multiple home automation products like the Nest x Yale Smart Lock, Nest Hub, Google Home and much more.

What is the best home security system without a monthly fee? 

If you’re looking to avoid a monthly fee, SimpliSafe is our top pick. We also recommend Abode, Nest and Ring as additional self-monitoring options.

Which is better, wired or wireless security cameras?

The best security camera for your home will depend on your home. If you’re renting, we recommend choosing a wireless or completely wire-free security camera that runs on battery power or has a power cable. Additionally, choose a camera that doesn’t require any drilling for installation. 

If you’re a homeowner, we still recommend a wireless or wire-free camera, but if you need multiple cameras, a wired option would be better. Wired security cameras are better for larger homes and facilities since they run on wired power, like a Power over Ethernet (PoE) connection.

Are wireless security cameras worth it?

Yes. Even if you can’t afford a full home security system, we still recommend adding a wireless security camera to your home. It will allow you to monitor the interior or exterior of your home and receive notifications.


Safety and Security Reporter

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa is one of's staff experts on home security, natural disasters, public safety, and family safety. She's been featured on and elsewhere.