The 5 Best Home Security Systems in 2019
#1 Protect America
Protect America is one of the most affordable home security companies offering 24/7 monitoring to your home and comprehensive packages.
- Lifetime warranty on all equipment
- Amazon Alexa compatible
- Flexible customizable plans available at all levels
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When it comes to protecting your home, there is nothing more you’d want than to be sure that all of your money and time isn’t wasted. Shopping for a home security provider can be stressful, there are plenty of companies to choose from and they are all offering basically the same thing. Basically, you’re looking to find the company that will suit your home, lifestyle, and budget the best. To make your life a bit easier, we’re breaking down just how to shop for the best home security system so that you can have a peace of mind when you’re in your home and away from it.
Editor’s Choice: ADT
Chances are you’ve heard of ADT when it comes to private and commercial security systems. They are one of the top choices and companies that provides multiple home security packages. With ADT you have plenty of plans to choose from and plenty of ways to customize your home security system to fit you.
- Don’t worry about waiting days for your ADT service to be installed. ADT is keen on providing quick service to their new customers. You can expect the same day or next day installation service with your brand new ADT plan. This way you can get protection as soon as possible.
- Our top choice won’t leave you smart home buffs hanging. We chose ADT because it also has a smart home and Amazon Alexa integration options as well. Need to check your cameras while you’re out? You can do so directly from your phone. Need to arm, disarm or turn off lights while you’re out? You can also do so directly from your phone. You can also enjoy all of the perks of Amazon Echo and Alexa while you’re in your home with an upgraded ADT plan.
- For what it offers, when compared to other smart home security systems, you’re looking at some of the most competitive prices offered with an ADT plan. You get several packages to choose from and several upgrade options to come with it.
- Since ADT is one of the original companies you have the choice to choose from a traditional wired home security system and a wireless home security system. Both systems have its own pros and cons, and after comparing the two you can decide which set up would work best for you.
- Like most home security companies you’ll have to sign on to a long term contract in order to get service. These contracts usually begin at a minimum of three years and can go up. It’s important to double check all of the contract requirements and stipulations before you sign on. If this is too much of a commitment for you, then consult with the company the cancellation policy before signing a contract.
- One of the biggest downsides to ADT is that the company doesn’t offer any DIY installation options. Most people find DIY installation systems to be convenient and less expensive, so this could be a deterrent for some. However, ADT does send a professional to come and install your new monitors and sensors for you.
Best for the Money: Protect America
Investing in a home security system can sometimes feel like signing your life away with the hefty start-up costs and long contracts. Protect America is one of our top choices for affordable packages. Starting at the Copper plan and going all the way to the Platinum plan, you can choose from several coverage levels that won’t break the bank. Their plans start as low as $19.99 a month depending on the plan you choose over a three-year contract.
Protect America Pros
- One of Protect America’s claims to fame is the fact that once you lock in your monthly price, you don’t have to expect any changes in the future. Protect America offers fixed monthly prices and no surprises. This means that what you sign up for is what you pay every month, and with binding contracts like this one, consistency is key.
- Protect America offers a lifetime equipment warranty that is included in their monthly price. Every single equipment that comes in your starter kit will include a lifetime warranty. If your monitor or motion sensors malfunction in any way, you don’t have to worry about shelling over more money to replace the expensive equipment. This keeps Protect America as the top place for most affordable home security system choice.
- You can choose between both DIY and professional installation when you sign up for your Protect America plan. If you feel up to installing the monitor and sensors yourself, you can opt for this free convenient installation plan. Maybe technology isn’t your thing and you’d rather leave it to the big guys. Choose to get a professional sent to your home who will install it for you and go over everything with you.
Protect America Cons
- Like most other home security systems, you have to opt into a three-year contract to enjoy the attractive prices. The three-year contract can be broken only with a payout of the remaining balance.
- To enjoy some of the top features offered by Protect America like the Amazon Echo Dot integration or the 24/7 video recording, an upgrade is required. The upgrade will add on more money to your monthly bill, however, you’re still starting out at a low price compared to the top home security competitors.
Best DIY: Link Interactive
Every home has different needs and Link Interactive is one of the home security companies that perfectly understands that. Some may need more sensors, more cameras, and different options for monitor programming. With Link Interactive you can be sure that your needs are taken into account. Link is one of the most customizable plans out there, their system is based on a DIY model. Design your own home security system with some of the top technology and protection out there.
Link Interactive Pros
- ‘Do it yourself’ is the overall vibe of Link Interactive, meaning that you are the author of your own home security system. Every package that Link offers is DIY installation only. The installation process can be pretty straightforward and you can set it up your security camera and sensors in no time.
- Link Interactive is also a wireless only company, meaning that no landline is required to install your security system. This is what makes the DIY installation process a lot smoother for the customers. Instead of worrying about messing with wires and landlines you can just use your existing wireless connection to set up your devices.
- Link Interactive is the only home security system in our list to offer takeover plans. A takeover plan comes in handy when things change and you need to cancel a previous contract with another company. Link offers you a financial plan to help pay off a previous contract and transition to their new, upgraded plans and devices.
Link Interactive Cons
- While Link does offer tons of choices when it comes to customizing your packages, their equipment start-up costs can be rather pricey. Instead of paying for your equipment over the course of your contract, Link makes you pay for your equipment up front. Depending on the technology you need, this could add up. The good thing is, however, that the equipment is yours to own.
- Equipment warranty only 1-2 years. The warranty that comes with the equipment is only available for up to 2 years. Compared to other companies which offer 3 years or even lifetime warranty, this isn’t so reassuring.
Best Wireless: Frontpoint
If you’re set on choosing a wireless smart security system for your home and want avoid landline installation then we recommend Frontpoint as the top choice. As one of the top home security companies out there, Frontpoint makes sure that you and your home are well-connected and prepared for whatever. You can enjoy their high tech monitoring systems and a myriad of smart home automation features for a reasonable price, and you don’t have to sign a 3 year contract to do so.
- Frontpoint is the best wireless choice because of their simple, DIY installation process. As mentioned before, Frontpoint is a wireless-only company so they cater to providing quality service through cellular monitoring. The connection doesn’t rely on the internet, but a cellular connection is made through a strong cellular signal.
- Frontpoint brags about their award-winning customer service from their products to their professional monitoring response teams. If you need anything you can expect them to respond within a reasonable time. They also have a fully updated, user friendly website with plenty of information available if you have any questions. Their customer service line is also available 24/7 if you ever need anything.
- Being the best in wireless home security means that Frontpoint’s home automation features are up to par. If you’re a smart home owner and want your home security system to work well with the rest of your smart home gadgets, the Frontpoint hub has all of the tools to do that for you. The Frontpoint hub is also great for encryption, backups and other special customizations.
- Unlike most other home security companies, Frontpoint gives you the option to sign up for a 1 year contract if you want to. But before you sign your name on the dotted line, the 1 year contract significantly increases the monthly costs. So you’ll be paying a higher bill in exchange for your short commitment.
- If you have an existing home security system installed with Frontpoint that won’t be possible. Frontpoint has no landline installation, they are wireless only company.
Best Self-Monitored: iSmartSafe
For those DIY gurus who want to take their home monitoring into their own hands, iSmart Safe is here to save you. iSmart Safe gives you all of the perks of home security systems, but without the monthly bills and long term contracts. Their business model is to set you up to where you’re fully equipped to self-monitor your home. You choose the right package for you, purchase the equipment and install it yourself. Then instead of having a company monitor for you, you receive alerts anytime an alarm or movement is detected. You then can contact the authorities yourself.
- iSmart Safe stands out for their unique no contract or monthly fees business model. This could be great for people who are wary of signing long contracts for whatever reason. You may be a frequent mover and who doesn’t want to get into any binding contracts. Or maybe you want to be able to monitor your home but don’t want to pay another monthly bill, iSmart Safe gives you this option with their comprehensive packages.
- Customizable packages. Because you are purchasing their equipment outright instead of leasing it, it is easy to add on extra equipment. Maybe you want to add a video doorbell into your package? You can do so easily, and the best part is you own it.
- Indoor smart camera. Think video doorbell, but inside your home. iSmart Safe’s packages come with an indoor smart camera that comes with two-way voice communication and HD video recording so that you can talk to whoever is in your house even if you’re not there. This can also be accessed via the control panel and the mobile app, regardless of where you are.
- The major downside to self-monitoring services is that, you have to stay on top of your alerts should something happen. If you aren’t near your phone when an alarm is breached then you won’t have an automatic emergency service notified. So it’s best to stay vigilant and always make sure your alerts are turned on.
Why Should You Get a Home Security System?
Let’s go over the top reasons why you need to consider investing in a home security system. Of course, the obvious answer is to protect from break-ins and to keep yourself safe from burglary. But for some people, those simple worries aren’t enough to get them to sign the contract. So why, exactly should you protect your home?
The Statistics Say So
There are about 2,000,000 home burglaries reported a year and unfortunately, that number isn’t changing anytime soon. More and more American homes are being attacked as the years go by and in turn are looking for better smart home security. Statistics also show that the probability of burglaries is not always necessarily dependent on where you live or what type of home you live in. Anywhere, whether house or apartment, gated community or not, is vulnerable to an attack at any time, so it’s best to be prepared.
Your Home is More Vulnerable When You Aren’t There
Home security systems are not only good for protection while you’re in the home. Most burglary attempts take place when no one is in the home. The statistics show that most break-ins happen during the daytime when the inhabitants are at work or school. You home is more vulnerable to being attacked while you’re gone, so having security cameras that pick up any unusual activity could save you and your home.
Peace of Mind
It offers peace of mind. Even with all of the statistics on burglaries, when you have a home security system, there is always a sense of security in the back of your mind. You know that should the unfortunate happen, the home security company and technology will have your back. That could be in the form of an alert to your phone or alerting the authorities. Most importantly, with 24/7 video monitoring, at any time you could check on the live feed directly from your mobile app. It’s always better to be safe and in the know than sorry.
Deter potential burglaries
Let’s say a robber is scoping a neighborhood to rob. Statistics show that 90% of home burglaries are prevented by a visible monitor. This tends to deter them from attacking your home. Also if the sensors are triggered and an alarm is set off, this could startle and hopefully scare the robber from continuing the attack. Basically, your system is working for you when you’re not there.
Things to Look for When Shopping for a Home Security System
While it may seem that all of the best home security systems offer the same thing, they are not all created equal. As you can see from above, different companies have different features that make them stand out from the rest. In the same way, every home and family has different needs when looking for a security system. There are a few things you should look for and questions to ask yourself when it comes to choosing a company that’s right for you.
Size of Your Home
The amount of cameras and motion sensors you need depends on the size of your home. Therefore, the size of your home could change the type of equipment package you choose. You don’t want to leave part of your home vulnerable to attacks or blind spots, so consult with the home security company about what package would be right for your home size.
Home security providers typically offer tiered packages. The premium level packages usually come with more cameras and motion sensors for the home. The number of sensors and cameras you need may depend on the windows and access points you have in your home. For the most flexibility, choose a company that lets you customize or upgrade easily so that you are not charged too much out of pocket.
Your package usually comes with a control panel and a mobile app with several home automation features. Technology is only as good as its user-friendliness and some are better than others. If your devices are complicated and frustrating to use, this could make for unpleasant user experience. You should be able to arm, disarm and view your footage easily and quickly. Reading our detailed reviews will tell you some of the best home security companies with user-friendly software.
Big names like ADT | Protect Your Home and Protect America are some of the top names in home security. Their reputation alone precedes them and attracts plenty of customers to their services. If company reputation is important to you, then choosing one with a good rating is the way to go. There are positives and negatives to choosing a well-known company, like customer service and word of mouth reviews. But more importantly, researching details like response times and customer service are what attracts customers.
A business is only as good as its customer service, and with home security, this aspect is extremely important. Since most of our best home security companies offer video monitoring, it’s important that the company has a good customer service reputation. When an alarm is breached or the motion sensors detect something wrong, most companies immediately contact you. Choosing a company with fast response times and helpful representatives is crucial when dealing with security.
In addition to the representatives, a company’s warranty policy is also apart of customer service. If a company does not prioritize its paying customers by giving them a good warranty policy then this could become a frustrating experience for the customer is any of their equipment fails or malfunctions in any way.
Monthly Cost and Contractual Commitments
Four out of the five home security systems we’ve discussed all require that you enter into contractual obligations. When shopping for home security, it is common to have to sign a long term contract. The normal minimum length of a contract is 3 years. However, some companies like Frontpoint do offer a 1-year contract option. This route can be rather costly though, the monthly bill comes out cheaper when you sign a 3-year contract. This is something to keep in mind when you’re choosing which to go with.
Unfortunately, if you have to break the contract for any reason, then most companies will make you pay a lump sum of the remainder of the contract. A cancellation fee may also be added on.
On the other hand, other companies like iSmart Safe work on a no contract, no monthly cost basis. Instead, all of the home security equipment such as the camera, the sensors and lights are purchased in a package up front. If you are wary of signing big contracts for whatever reason, this may be a better option for you.
Prices vary when it comes to choosing a company. Some of the more established companies with newer technology may cost more per month, while others may have good package deals that average out the cost. In addition to the monthly fees, it is also important to check if the company has these fees:
- Installation fee- If you are choosing a company like ADT then you must get your system installed professionally. Other companies allow you to choose from. Check with the company to see if there is any additional cost for this service.
- Equipment costs upfront- Some companies make you buy the equipment up front, this means you own them instead of paying for them monthly.
Whether or not a company has these fees varies, so it’s important to weigh your options.
DIY vs Professional Installation
Before the proliferation of wireless connections, getting home security meant having a technician come to your house to install a complicated system. This could cost money and time. While this method has its benefits and is still an option, there are tons of DIY home security companies out there. DIY home installation isn’t as scary as it looks. Most come with all of the equipment you need, a manual and a customer hotline if anything goes wrong. DIY home installation also avoids those pesky installation fees.
Smart Home Automation Features
Smart homes are all the rage nowadays. Having control of your home from your mobile device is such a convenient feature to have. Most home security companies offer home automation integration with their control panels and video cameras. You can enjoy arming and disarming your devices from the palm of your hand. You can also view the video footage of your home whenever you want, as well as receive alert text messages to your phone.
So now that you have all of the information, you have just what you need to find out the best home security provider for you. We’ve listed below some of the top home security companies out there and what we think about them.
Wired vs. Wireless? Which is better?
Before looking for the best home security company for you, you need to acquaint yourself with all of the different types of systems available. Technology is ever-evolving, and it’s important to know what on the market to make sure you’re getting the best value.
Wired home security systems refer to those which require a landline connection. So, this means that to install one you’ll need to drill holes to run the cables through the walls or floors. Sounds complicated? It can be, and that’s why knowing which of these systems will be the perfect fit for you is better. Wired systems biggest weakness is requiring the landline connection and rely on electricity. Either way, you can assure that your house will be protected by connection of video cameras and motion sensors.
A wireless system essentially does the same thing that a wired system does, but it operates from a battery or cellular connection which doesn’t require hardwiring. This can seem like the better, more modern option, but there are pros and cons to both wired and wireless systems. It is important to ask your home security company the questions about them to know which one would work better for your home.
Home security system vs. Security Cameras
An alarm system is a basic, sensor-based system that you’re able to arm and disarm when you leave. These systems usually don’t offer any type of high definition video monitoring or home automation features, but they do have sensors that go off if they are triggered. The plus side to alarm systems is not paying a monthly fee to companies, and they tend to be pretty inexpensive. Choose wisely.Read More