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Best Home Security Systems in Charleston, SC

Updated Jan 26, 2021

Compare Top Providers

CPI Security


simplisafe-logo

SimpliSafe Security


Frontpoint Security

Pro. monitoring starts at
$45.99/mo.$29.99/mo.$29.99/mo.$14.99/mo.$44.99/mo.
Installation
ProfessionalProfessionalProfessionalDIY or ProfessionalDIY
Contract
36 months39 or 60 month agreement42-60 mos. or pay for equipment in fullNoneNone
Smart home compatibility
YesYesYesYesYes
Video surveillance
YesYesYesYesYes
Warranty
Option to extend limited warrantyNot specified120-day equipment warranty3-year limited equipment warranty3-year limited equipment warranty

Home Security in Charleston

If there’s a place where history lives on, it’s Charleston, South Carolina. This historic city is home to Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Charleston is also home to America’s first museum — the Charleston Museum — and America’s first playhouse, Dock Street Theater. Visitors and residents who want to explore the creepier side of Charleston’s past can take a ghost tour of the haunted Old City Jail, while others might prefer a tour on the Schooner Pride — an 84-foot-tall ship that operates out of Charleston Harbor. While you’re out and about enjoying all Charleston has to offer, make sure your home stays protected by finding a home security system that fits your needs.

Charleston Crime Statistics

Neighborhood Scout puts Charleston in the 20th percentile when it comes to the safest cities in the U.S., which means that it’s more dangerous than 80% of U.S. cities based on crime data. Still, the crime rate within the Charleston city limits is lower than it is in the rest of the state of South Carolina, and average burglary rates are lower in Charleston than in the rest of the country. Theft rates, on the other hand, are higher in Charleston than the U.S. average. In Charleston in 2018, the FBI reported:

  • 2,163 incidents of larceny-theft
  • 360 incidents of burglary
  • 259 incidents of aggravated assault
  • 325 incidents of motor vehicle theft
  • 89 incidents of robbery

Local Spotlight: CPI Security — Local Security Provider

CPI Security is licensed to serve the southeastern states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. CPI’s website calls it the “largest privately held security provider” in the region, and the company strives to be active in the communities it serves, participating in projects supporting the YMCA, local police organizations, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the American Heart Association, Ronald McDonald House Charities and more. CPI has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

CPI offers three home security packages, with monthly monitoring fees starting at $29.99 for the inTouch Essentials package. This starter package includes a control panel, three door and window sensors, a motion detector and mobile app access. The inTouch Essentials Plus includes a panel upgrade to a SmartHub for home automation devices, and adds on a video doorbell and a smoke detector to the inTouch Essentials equipment. CPI’s highest-tier plan is the inTouch Edge, which adds an outdoor camera to the inTouch Essentials Plus. Package pricing varies, so you’ll have to contact CPI directly for a quote. All of CPI’s home security systems are professionally installed and professionally monitored through its award-winning UL-listed central monitoring station.

  • Southeastern Provider

    CPI Security

    Our rating
    7.4
    Starting at
    $29.99/mo

    Our take

    CPI offers a wide array of equipment packages, award-winning professional monitoring and the personalized customer support you want from a local company. Month-to-month plans are available with an upfront equipment purchase, and all CPI systems are cellular-based.

    Recommended Plan: inTouch Edge features the most of CPI’s intelligent video alert notification cameras, as well as fire detection and full security features.

    Pros

    • Month-to-month contract option
    • Can use existing equipment
    • Intelligent video notifications

    Cons

    • Contract is required if equipment is not purchased upfront
    • Must call to find out specific pricing
    • No DIY installation option

    Research CPI

  • Best Home Security for Industry Experience

    ADT Home Security

    Our rating
    9.7
    Starting at
    $49.99/mo

    Our Take on ADT Home Security

    ADT’s a well-recognized name in the home security industry. It offers traditional security that requires professional installation and monitoring at a steep price.

     

    Recommended Plan
    Complete

    Pros

    • 6-month money-back guarantee
    • $500 theft protection guarantee
    • High-quality equipment

    Cons

    • Must pay for an extended warranty
    • Lengthy contracts
    • More expensive than competitors

    Research ADT

  • Best Smart Home Security

    Vivint Home Security

    Our rating
    9.7
    Starting at
    $29.99/mo

    Our Take on Vivint Home Security

    Vivint has an extensive line of smart security equipment that you can expand over time. The downside is that you’ll have a long-term contract if you finance your equipment. 

     

    Recommended Plan

    Vivint’s Smart Home Service is our recommended plan because it unlocks a larger selection of smart home devices, as well as video monitoring.

    Pros

    • Month-to-month contract option if equipment is purchased upfront
    • Backup battery included with the Sky Control panel
    • Extensive equipment features, including Vivint Car Guard

    Cons

    • Long contract if equipment is financed
    • Installation can take 3-4 hours
    • Short (120-day) equipment warranty and service guarantee (unless you purchase Premium)

    Research Vivint

  • Best Overall DIY Security System
    simplisafe-logo

    SimpliSafe Home Security

    Our rating
    9.9
    Starting at
    $19.99/mo

    Our Take on SimpliSafe Home Security

    SimpliSafe is our top pick for inexpensive monitoring, durable equipment and reliable services that simplify home security. You’ll have all the right devices and features to give you peace of mind — even when the unexpected happens.

     

    Recommended Package
    Barrington

    Pros

    • Inexpensive professional monitoring
    • Wireless equipment
    • Cellular monitoring

    Cons

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

    Research SimpliSafe

  • Best Pet-Friendly Home Security

    Frontpoint Home Security

    Our rating
    9.4
    Starting at
    $44.99/mo

    Our Take on Frontpoint Home Security

    Frontpoint lets you choose both your package and monitoring plan to help build the perfect home security system for renters and homeowners alike. Monitoring can be costly, but free DIY installation helps lower costs without reducing reliability or protection.

     

    Recommended Plan

    Our recommended Frontpoint plan is the Safe Home Starter equipment package combined with the Ultimate monitoring plan, which will give you access to a smartphone app for monitoring your security devices.

    Pros

    • No lengthy contracts
    • Excellent customer service
    • Variety of equipment to choose from

    Cons

    • Monitoring fees are relatively expensive
    • Short (30 days) trial period
    • No professional installation option

    Research Frontpoint

Best Home Security Systems of 2020

Other Local Home Security Providers for Charleston

Charleston has a wide selection of quality local home security providers for residents to choose from.

  • Sonitrol Security: Founded in 1978, Sonitrol Security is run by a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and offers burglar alarms, smoke and fire protection for homes and businesses throughout the state.
  • Charleston Security Systems: Home security packages from Charleston Security Systems start at $99 for a basic system with a touchscreen keypad, three door and window sensors, a motion detector and a key fob.
  • Coastal Burglar Alarm: Coastal Burglar Alarm was founded in 1959 and claims to be the oldest locally owned and operated home security company in Charleston.
  • QEI: QEI has offices in Columbia, Bluffton, Charleston, Greeneville and Myrtle Beach, and its five-diamond rated monitoring center boasts an average response time of 45 seconds.

Surrounding Areas for Charleston

Charleston home security providers also provide service to the following Charleston areas:

  • Cranston, South Carolina
  • Warwick, South Carolina
  • East Charleston, South Carolina
  • Pawtucket, South Carolina
  • Kingston, South Carolina
  • Central Falls, South Carolina
  • Westerly, South Carolina
  • Johnston, South Carolina

Factors to Consider When Buying a Home Security System

  • Price & Contracts

    Are you looking to pay for your equipment upfront or finance over a period of time? You’ll also need to decide whether you want to commit to a contract or have the freedom to cancel your provider’s service without penalty.

  • Monitoring

    Choose between 24/7 professional monitoring or self monitoring. Both have its perks – with professional monitoring, a specialist is available around the clock to help, and with self monitoring, you’ll be in charge and can avoid a monthly fee.

  • Installation

    Want a professional to install your security system for you, or would you rather install it on your own? Most providers either require professional installation, DIY installation, or offer a choice of both.

Common Home Security Equipment and Features

  • ADT Control Panel

    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.

  • LifeShield by ADT Motion Sensor

    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.

  • Frontpoint Door and Window Sensor

    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.

  • Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

    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.

  • SimpliSafe VideoDoorbell

    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.

  • Vivint Element Thermostat

    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.

Head-to-Head Comparisons

Can’t decide? Compare top providers side-by-side: ADT vs. SimpliSafe, Vivint vs. Frontpoint, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions for Charleston


Kasey Tross avatar
Kasey Tross

Kasey Tross has been researching home security and writing about it for the past three years. When she’s not writing about security, she’s taking care of her four

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