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Pro. monitoring starts at
|Professional||Professional||Professional||DIY or Professional||DIY|
|Not required||36 months||42-60 mos. or pay for equipment in full||None||None|
Smart home compatibility
|Limited equipment warranty, varies per product||Option to extend limited warranty||120-day equipment warranty||3-year limited equipment warranty||3-year limited equipment warranty|
About Madison, WI
Madison isn’t just the capital city of Wisconsin, it’s also home to the University of WIsconsin-Madison. In addition to the vibrant energy of students, Madison also has more than 250 parks where people can jog, picnic or stretch their legs. Other points of attraction in the capital of Wisconsin include the Henry Vilas Zoo, Frank Lloyd Wright Estate and state capitol building. While the summer months are lovely, winter time can be brutally cold; residents will want to hunker down at home. With a crime rate that is higher than the state average, investing in a home security system is a good idea.
Madison Crime Stats
Madison isn’t exactly the safest place to live in Wisconsin, with crime tracking website Neighborhood Scout giving the city a score of just 14 out of 100. Still, when compared to cities of the same size nationally, it has about the average level of crime per 1,000 residents. Property crimes far outweigh violent crimes, with an average of 26.96 per 1,000 people. Your chances of being the victim of a violent crime here are 1 in 243.
According to the 2018 FBI Uniform Crime Report, the following major offenses took place in Madison over the course of the year.
- 5,129 incidents of larceny-theft
- 1,061 incidents of burglary
- 682 incidents of aggravated assault
- 532 incidents of motor vehicle theft
- 240 incidents of robbery
- Best for Affordable Coverage
J&K Security Solutions is a part of the Madison Area Builders Association and has a great rating from the Better Business Bureau. They’re a good option for people who want affordable smart technology included in their home security solutions, including iOS supported control panels. The company also offers home automation services, so users can lock and unlock doors and windows from outside the property.
- Affordable security monitoring
- Variety of available smart security options
- No contracts ever required
- Limited warranties
- Fire protection only available for commercial properties
- Not ideal for renters
- Best Home Security for Industry Experience
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
- 6-month money-back guarantee
- $500 theft protection guarantee
- High-quality equipment
- Must pay for an extended warranty
- Lengthy contracts
- More expensive than competitors
- Best Smart Home Security
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.
- 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
- Long contract if equipment is financed
- Installation can take 3-4 hours
- Short (120-day) equipment warranty and service guarantee (unless you purchase Premium)
- Best Overall DIY Security System
SimpliSafe Home SecurityOur rating9.9Starting at$14.99/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
- 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 the basic monitoring plan
- Best Pet-Friendly Home Security
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.
- No lengthy contracts
- Excellent customer service
- Variety of equipment to choose from
- Monitoring fees are relatively expensive
- Short (30 days) trial period
- No professional installation option
Other Local Providers
- Per Mar Security Services: Customize a home security package with Per Mar Security Services, which offers security protection for home and office settings.
- Fearing’s Audio Video Security: This home security company has earned 5/5 stars on Google Reviews and has offices in Madison and Milwaukee.
- Capital Fire & Security: Capital Fire and Security specializes in smart home security equipment and fire safety.
- Mid-Wisconsin Security: Mid-Wisconsin Security is a member of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and has been in business since 1969.
Additional areas covered
Madison home security providers also offer services in the surrounding areas, including:
- Sun Prairie
- Cottage Grove
Common Home Security Equipment and Features
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 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.
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
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.
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.
Can’t decide? Compare top providers side-by-side: ADT vs. SimpliSafe, Vivint vs. Frontpoint, and more.
Since property crimes are more prevalent in Madison, visible home security cameras are a vital investment. They show potential thieves that you’ve protected your property and signal that any attempts to break in will be recorded. Automated locks are also a good choice, allowing you to remotely lock doors from afar should you forget to do it on your way out.
Most of Madison’s home security providers require customers to call for a custom quote. This makes it harder to compare equipment and monthly service prices, but local providers Per Mar and J&K Security Solutions offer monthly monitoring at under $20. Blue by ADT and SimpliSafe are two affordable national provider choices.
Given the cold winters, outdoor monitoring is a must-have. Video cameras that transport footage to a laptop or tablet allow homeowners to see what’s going on outside without stepping through the front door and into the frigid night. Automated home temperature controls are another nice add-on considering the region’s climate.
Most home security providers, including J&K Security Solutions and ADT, offer customizable home security plans for almost any type of home.