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The 4 Best Home Security Systems | 2021

Learn more about highly rated home security systems to find the right solution for your family’s safety.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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Investing in a good home security system doesn't have to be confusing or difficult. With the right research of different providers and the coverage each offers, you can find a comprehensive package for your home at the right price. Ultimately, knowing that your home and belongings are protected creates peace of mind whether you're a renter or a property owner.

Home security systems are useful when alerting property owners, and frequently, the proper authorities that something is amiss. In 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported a total of 2,109.9 property crimes per 100,000 people in the U.S. 

The Home Service research team has reviewed highly rated home security companies to show you how different providers excel (and how they don't), so you can effectively invest in home protection services. Keep in mind that most security packages, whether DIY or professionally monitored, are compatible with smart home features such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and others, but it's important to double check before you commit.The Home Service research team hasWe have reviewed highly rated home security companies to show you how different providers excel (and how they don't), so you can effectively invest in home protection services. Keep in mind that most security packages, whether DIY or professionally monitored, are compatible with smart home features such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and others, but it's important to double check before you commit.

Based on our analysis of customer service and sales calls, we recommend that you set aside roughly 30 minutes to talk with a home security provider to properly set up your services. We noticed that many customers were not aware of how long it would take to create the right security package for them.

Best Home Security Systems

  1. ​Best Overall: ADT
  2. Best DIY Option: Simplisafe
  3. Lowest Monitoring Fee: Abode
  4. Most Mobile Friendly: Frontpoint
  5. ​Honorable Mentions: Ring and Nest

#1 Best Overall: ADT

American District Telegraph (ADT) has been in the home security system business for over 140 years. Initially, the company designed call-boxes for homeowners to seek emergency assistance. Today, it is well-known for cutting-edge advances in the way people protect their properties.

Best Overall
ADT

When considering ADT, customers can choose from three packages, which are outlined below.

The Secure Plan includes the following:

  • Intrusion Detection 
  • Fire, CO, Flood Monitoring
  • Touchscreen Panel
  • Voice Control Integration

The Smart Plan includes everything in the Secure Plan, plus:

  • Remote Access App
  • Smart Home Automation

The Complete Plan includes everything in the Secure and Smart Plans, plus:

  • Video Surveillance
  • Stored Video Clips

ADT offers a worry-free professional installation, so homeowners are uninvolved during the setup process. However, we listened to several ADT sales calls and learned the company tailors systems in accordance with a home's daily activity. For example, ADT asks whether or not customers own pets so they can program the system's motion sensors around the daily activity of a household pet.

Once the system is installed, the technicians are well-versed in answering questions and showing how to use the included features and functions. ADT telephone sales reps also take the time to alert customers to its nine national call centers that are operated entirely within the company.

In addition to an included installation, ADT users are provided with a six-month, money-back guarantee and theft protection program. If a home is compromised while the system is active, the company promises to pay up to $500 toward an insurance deductible. We find ADT to offer the most comprehensive coverage at valuable prices. With its customer service team's support and the alerts sent to connected smart devices, you can find comfort that your property is safely managed.

To get started with our highest-rated home security system, sign up for a free quote. Or, you can call 855-388-0208.

#2 Best DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe

Simplisafe offers a fresh perspective on home security by providing a sleek design on its sensors and security cameras as helpful watchdogs. The group should be considered if you want to avoid a professional installation or drilling holes to set up the system. Instead, customers choose from a list of optional equipment that is ready to use on arrival. 

Best DIY Option
SimpliSafe

Since packages are built to a customer's specifications, here are a few items you can use to protect your home.

Entry Sensors

  • Purpose: Detects movement at doors and windows.
  • Average Cost: $14.99 each

Glass Break Sensors

  • Purpose: Alerts users when the sound frequency of shattering glass is detected.
  • Average Cost: $34.99 each

Video Doorbell

  • Purpose: Keeps an eye on the front porch and yard.
  • Average Cost: $169.00 each

Panic Button

  • Purpose: A wireless alarm that contacts authorities during an emergency. 
  • Average Cost: $19.00 each

Simplisafe also offers optional hazard finding devices like temperature and water sensors and smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. 

DIY users can easily install the system on their own or by contacting the company for instructions. The base station, or brain, can be pre-programmed by Simplisafe before it's shipped, making it ready to use out of the box. 

We understand that finding time for a professional installation doesn't fit with every homeowner's schedule. Simplisafe makes it easy to perform the initial setup and receive support remotely. Find out more about the easy-to-use system by visiting the company website.

#3 Lowest Monitoring Fee: Abode

Abode is a provider that offers a one-time purchase for their system with no monthly contract. When choosing the self-monitoring package, users gain access to watching live video captured on a camera remotely and can receive alerts for predetermined events. For those who merely want to know what is happening on their property while away, this can be a valuable option. However, for more effective security and professional monitoring, Abode offers two plans that cost less than a dollar a day in operating fees.

Lowest Monitoring Fee
Abode

The Standard Plan, which costs about 20 cents per day, covers the following:

  • Unlimited Users
  • One-Touch Arm/Disarm
  • Push Notification Alerts
  • Email Notifications
  • Customizable Notifications
  • Video Storage
  • Home Automation
  • In-App Panic Alarms
  • Smart Home Integrations
  • On-Demand Monitoring
  • Premium Monitoring

The Pro Plan, which costs about 66 cents per day, includes everything in the Standard Plan, plus:

  • Professional Monitoring (includes break-ins, fire, and medical emergencies)
  • Free Shipping and Exclusive Discounts
  • Homeowners Insurance Discounts

Abode offers two premium systems that are designed to work with different sized properties. The iota is intended for smaller buildings or apartments. It works as an all-in-one device that includes an HD streaming camera. Abode recommends the Gateway unit in larger homes, as it serves as a central hub but connects to add-on devices to cover the entire area. Either system is easy to install and does not require an on-site professional.

We appreciate the fact that Abode offers its home security system without a monthly plan. However, for more optimal coverage, the premium services make sense even for tight budgets. Learn more about the options by calling 650-443-7834 or visiting the site.

#4 Most Mobile-Friendly: Frontpoint

Frontpoint combines epic home security and smart home controls that are controlled at your fingertips. The company offers an intricate system that works seamlessly with app-supporting devices. With technology provided by Frontpoint, you can check on the kids in another room or open a live video to see what's happening while you're away.

Most Mobile Friendly
Frontpoint

In addition to allowing clients to build their own plan by choosing system components, the group also offers four pre-packaged options. Each package includes yard signs, window decals, and a door sticker but varies based on the included equipment.

Safe Home Starter ($99.00)

  • Frontpoint Hub & Keypad
  • Door/Window Sensor (2)
  • Motion Sensor

Safe Home Everyday ($295.94)

  • Frontpoint Hub & Keypad
  • Door/Window Sensor (3)
  • Motion Sensor (2)

Safe Home Select ($383.92)

  • Frontpoint Hub & Keypad
  • Door/Window Sensor (4)
  • Motion Sensor (2)
  • Glass Break Sensor
  • Smoke & Heater Sensor

Safe Home Preferred ($479.90)

  • Frontpoint Hub & Keypad
  • Door/Window Sensor (5)
  • Motion Sensor (2)
  • Glass Break Sensor
  • Smoke & Heat Sensor
  • Indoor Camera

Frontpoint systems are easy to install and don't require a technician to visit your property. Once established, customers can choose from two options for 24/7 monitoring. The Interactive Plan costs about $1.48 per day, while the Ultimate Plan, which includes advanced features like motion-triggered alerts, is about $1.64 to begin.  

We find that Frontpoint offers excellent entry-level value for their service and affordable pricing for top-tier packages. The ability to protect your home while controlling smart home technology like lighting, door locks and thermostats make Frontpoint a good option for both property owners and renters. 

Find out how to get started here or by calling 833-823-5612.

Honorable Mentions

If you don't feel that a dedicated security system is needed for your home, there are some providers who offer basic protection equipment without long-term contracts.

Ring

Entrusting Ring to protect your home can be an affordable decision. With various products like the Ring alarm, security cameras, video doorbells, and alarm systems, you can ensure your property is looked out for efficiently. Once you acquire the preferred components, Ring offers two packages to extend the coverage. Here is what you can expect between the plans

Ring includes the following for free with its equipment:

  • Motion Activated Notifications
  • Real-Time Video
  • Two-Way Talk
  • Lifetime Theft Protection

The Basic Plan ($3/month or $30/year) includes everything above, plus:

  • Video History of 60 days
  • Video Saving & Sharing
  • Snapshot Capture
  • People Only Mode

The Plus Plan ($10/month or $100/year) includes everything in both plans above, plus:

  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
  • Extended Warranties for Devices
  • Exclusive Discounts

The accompanying services included with the premium packages can make Ring an affordable option for total-home security.

Nest

You may think of thermostats when you hear this company's name, however, it also offers Nest Secure to boost property security. It provides various equipment to keep an eye out for trouble and alert customers through a dedicated app. Here are a few items to include in your system if you invest in Nest. 

  • Nest Guard: The hub of the system that communicates with connected devices and triggers alerts. 
  • Nest Detect: A category of sensors that indicates movement near doors, windows, and rooms. 
  • Nest Tag: This is a simple fob that arms or disarms the Nest Guard as you come and go or remotely.
  • Nest App: The app will send security notifications directly to a smart device when motion is detected.

While the Nest setup can provide some basic additional security, you can add 24/7 monitoring through Brinks Home Security for an additional fee.

Home Security Rating Methodology

The Home Service Research Team at Better Homes & Gardens strives to provide unbiased and objective reviews to readers by compiling relevant information on home security companies and products. We rate the companies and their equipment on a variety of factors.

Here's what our review process looks like:

  • We examine each provider's offerings to determine plan details, package deals, monitoring plans, customer service offerings, and other benefits. We also conduct secret shopping and speak with company representatives to get more insight into their products and services. 
  • We analyze each home security company's service guarantees and warranties to evaluate and compare coverage and limitations. 
  • We research the performance, resolution, and capability of each provider's products.
  • We read hundreds of third-party customer reviews to better understand the pros and cons of the consumer experience.
  • We simulate the quote process online and by speaking with representatives over the phone to gather cost information.
  • We listen to dozens of sales call and customer service call recordings to gain insights into the sales process and understand which companies most effectively resolve issues.
  • We revisit each company's offerings on a seasonal basis, ensuring that we include the most up-to-date information in our reviews, including deals, sales, and new offerings. 

We also created a 100-point rating system to score companies based on objective factors, such as equipment cost, monitoring options, installation options, and customer service:

Factor

What we consider

Equipment Cost

The starting cost of the equipment with the company, ranging from $0 to more than $400, as well as any activation fees

Monitoring Cost

The cost of monthly monitoring plans with the company, ranging from less than $25 to more than $35

Package Options

The total number of packages the company offers

Installation Options

The installation options available to consumers, whether it be DIY, professional, or both

Contract Length

The length of a required contract or the absence of a required contract

Warranty

The length of a warranty on purchased equipment

Customer Service

How the company is perceived through ratings on third-party review sites and what contact methods are employed by the company

Trial Period

The length of a trial period for the company's services or the absence of one

Convenience

The tools provided to the consumer, such as a mobile app and self-monitoring options

Overall, the Home Service Research Team has reviewed over 15 home security companies to select the top-rated providers in the industry.