Best Home Security Systems (2022): Reviews Of 16 Top Companies

To keep the lights on, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. Our review process.

Home security tablet showing security feeds in persons lap
This home security system sports a lot of cameras – but is it as secure as the company advertises? We show you how find the best home security provider at the best value.

Do you need help finding the best home security system but are overwhelmed with your options? Our team of experts has over 75 years of combined experience researching, testing, and using home security systems. We’ve reviewed the top professionally monitored security companies to help you choose the most reliable system at the best price.

Top 3 Home Security Systems & Category Winners

FrontpointLink InteractiveSimpliSafeRingADTVivint
 Frontpoint LogoLink Interactive LogoSimpliSafe LogoRing Alarm LogoADT Authorized Dealer LogoVivint Logo
Ranking1st2nd3rdLow Cost, No ContractProfessional InstallSmart Home
Total Score4.704.184.154.003.302.75
Customer Service & Reputation4.84.34.54.02.01.0
Equipment4.83.83.83.34.34.0
Technology4.84.03.54.33.53.0
Value4.54.54.54.03.02.0
Ease Of Use4.84.34.54.53.83.8
 Read
Review
Read
Review
Read
Review
Read
Review
Read
Review
Read
Review

How do we arrive at the rankings above? Our researchers consider the following review criteria: customer service, equipment, technology, ease of use, and value. A weighted average score is then calculated to arrive at a total score our experts use to rank the companies relative to one another. For a full explanation of our review criteria and how we calculate the final score, we invite you to visit our home security systems guide.

Winner: Frontpoint

Frontpoint logo

Visit Website | 833-654-0225

Frontpoint wins this year for the overall best home security system. It’s one of the few home security companies that offer cellular monitoring for every single one of its monitoring packages.

Did You Know…

We consider cellular monitoring to be the most secure form of monitoring because it’s the most challenging communication signal to break.

Frontpoint’s equipment design is appealing and fits nicely into many home design styles. From an equipment perspective, there are many security and smart home options from which to choose. Their app is comprehensive and makes it easy to control the system while away from home, and their pricing is in line with competitors.

However, potentially most important is that the majority of Frontpoint’s customers rave about their customer service. This is true for new customers, as well as existing customers. We called in as a new customer and found the sales experience more informative than pushy, which was refreshing. There was no urgency to close the sale, so we had time to sit back and consider our options before committing.

From an existing customer perspective, we found the technical support experience to be top-notch as well. Wait times were generally short, and the few calls we made to get troubleshooting assistance were answered professionally and in a way that made us feel like we could make the changes ourselves the next time. I should point out that since COVID-19, wait times have gotten longer, but there is a callback option, and in our experience calls, were returned within the next hour or two.

Frontpoint no longer requires a contract. This is a significant change as professionally monitored companies will typically lock you into one to three-year contracts to recover equipment expenses. In the past, no-contract systems tended to be pretty bare-bones, but with Frontpoint’s extensive equipment lineup, you can now get a full-fledged home security system without the worry of having to pay off a large balance if you decide to cancel early.

Our Experience

Alex has protected his family’s home with Frontpoint for over a decade. Here is his experience:

We were unwittingly drawn into home security when our neighbor’s house got broken into. At the time, not many DIY solutions existed, and the customer service experience in the industry was akin to going to a used car dealership.

Frontpoint was literally a breath of fresh air because we felt no sales pressure. We called in probably half a dozen times with questions, and they answered them with no strings attached. That was the beginning of a harmonious relationship. Their customer service has always been there for us, and they’ve done multiple equipment replacements at no additional cost to us.

Their monitoring fees may not be the least expensive, but in our experience, a long-term relationship with Frontpoint more than makes up for it. Not to mention, they have some of the more cutting-edge technologies on the market.

Alex S.
Frontpoint home security equipment from left to right: motion sensor, keyfob, premium indoor camera, smoke detector, door/window sensor, keypad, hub, doorbell camera, glass break detector, night vision camera, and indoor camera.
Frontpoint equipment from left to right: motion sensor, keyfob, premium indoor camera, smoke detector, door/window sensor, keypad, hub, doorbell camera, glass break detector, night vision camera, and indoor camera.
ProsCons
  • Has 2 monitoring stations
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • All plans have cellular monitoring
  • Known for its superior customer service
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation
  • No long-term contract (you pay month-to-month with no cancellation fee)
  • Higher monitoring fees

Discounts And Promotions

New customers receive 30% off sitewide. Click here to take advantage of this offer or visit our Frontpoint promo codes page to look for additional discounts.

In-Depth Frontpoint Review

For in-depth equipment pricing, details on monitoring plans, a video on installation, a deep dive into the website portal, a tutorial on how to use the app, user reviews, and more, read our dedicated Frontpoint review.

Runner-Up: Link Interactive

Link Interactive logo

Visit Website | 877-826-5443

Link Interactive has a three-year equipment warranty, a great customer service team, and its battery backup is shorter (only eight hours) for one of its control panels.

However, its monthly monitoring cost is less expensive than Frontpoint, which puts it right in the running behind our leader. Another advantage that Link Interactive has going for it is its customizability. There are no equipment bundles (everything is à la carte), so you can build your own system and only pay for the equipment you need.

Link Interactive equipment from left to right: control panel, smoke/fire/carbon monoxide sensors, keyfob, keypad, smart bulb, outdoor and indoor security cameras.
Link Interactive equipment from left to right: control panel, smoke/fire/carbon monoxide sensors, keyfob, keypad, smart bulb, outdoor and indoor security cameras.

We also like that Link Interactive has many camera options. So you can keep an eye on your property, family, and pets all through the app.

ProsCons
  • Has 2 monitoring stations
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • All plans have cellular monitoring
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation
  • 1, 2, or 3-year monitoring contract required
  • Customers report some installation hiccups
  • You must pay 75% of the contract even if you cancel

Discounts And Promotions

Our readers are able to take advantage of a special promo by clicking here. Get $100 off any system + a free indoor camera.

In-Depth Link Interactive Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, geofencing capabilities, and more, read our dedicated Link Interactive review.

Third Place: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe logo

Visit Website | 888-910-1458

SimpliSafe stands out as another option for those who want to avoid a long-term contract (Frontpoint and Ring Alarm are the only other companies in this article to offer a similar feature). You can pay month-to-month for professional monitoring, and if you decide to stop service, there are no contract restrictions or early termination fees.

However, the website, overall functionality, and especially the app are fairly bare-bones (“simple” if you will, pun intended) when compared to a company like Frontpoint, and the equipment lineup isn’t as extensive. Their long-awaited camera (the SimpliCam) is finally available as well, and according to them, you will receive priority police dispatch with video-verified events.

But their monthly monitoring price is very affordable, and they offer environmental sensors (smoke, carbon monoxide (CO), water, freeze, and leak detection) to protect you from invisible threats. Keep in mind that there are other threats to your home besides an intruder. Installing environmental sensors can save you thousands of dollars in home repairs, and these types of sensors are becoming more available by many home security companies.

Our Experience

Michelle has a SimpliSafe security system. Below are her thoughts on it.

This is installed in our vacation home, so we’re not in it year-round. Thus, SimpliSafe offers us a lot of peace of mind for potential criminal acts and environmental alerts from flood and temperature sensors. When temperatures drop too low, we need to ensure that our heat is working to prevent frozen/burst pipes.

Michelle S.
SimpliSafe home security equipment from left to right: door/window sensors, keypad, motion sensor, and hub.
SimpliSafe home security equipment from left to right: door/window sensors, keypad, motion sensor, and hub.
ProsCons
  • Has 6 monitoring stations
  • Excellent customer service
  • Self-installation
  • No contracts
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Self-monitoring functionality is tied to a monthly payment plan
  • Equipment costs are higher than competitors
  • Website and app don’t indicate low battery alert
  • No outdoor security cameras

Discounts And Promotions

40% Off New Systems Sale

Get 40% off any new system by clicking here and entering your email. This promo code is time limited and could expire any day.

In-Depth SimpliSafe Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated SimpliSafe review.

Comparison Table (Winners)

If there are any terms that you don’t understand, we have a terminology section in our home security systems guide.

 1st: Frontpoint2nd: Link Interactive3rd: SimpliSafeLow Cost, No Contract: RingProfessional Installation: ADTSmart Home: Vivint
Equipment Starting Cost$99Customizable$229$179Free With Contract$599.99
Pro Monitoring Starting Cost$44.99/mo$30.99/mo$14.99/mo$10.00/mo$36.99/mo$29.99/mo
Contract LengthNone1-3 YearsNoneNone3 Years3.5-5 Years
InstallationDIYDIYDIYDIYProfessionalProfessional
Installation Fee$0$0$0$0$99-$199$49-$199
Money-Back Guarantee30 Days30 Days60 Days30 Days6 MonthsNone
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years1 YearLifetime (Must Pay Additional $)120 Days
Battery Backup24 Hours8 or 24 Hours24 Hours24 Hours24 Hours4 Hours
Self Monitoring Option  Green checkmarkGreen checkmark  
Third Party MonitoringGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark  
Main Form Of MonitoringCellularCellularCellularBroadbandLandline & CellularCellular
Backup Form Of MonitoringBroadbandBroadbandBroadbandCellularCellularBroadband
Amazon Alexa CompatibilityGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Google Home CompatibilityGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark

Our Category Winners

Low Cost, No Contract: Ring

Ring Alarm Winner 2020

View on Amazon | Visit Website

Ring uses the same company as Frontpoint for its monitoring (Rapid Response), and it’s offered at a very affordable price. It has Z-Wave and Zigbee connectivity but only a one-year equipment warranty.

Ring is the only company in this comparison to offer solar-powered equipment (available for outdoor cameras and yard signs). We love that Ring is leading the charge on this and hope to see more companies providing solar-powered home security equipment in the future.

While Ring was close to making our top picks, their system and app have limited functionality because they offer fewer equipment options than competitors. However, lower equipment fees, an affordable monthly monitoring plan, and lack of contract make it our best pick for our low cost, no contract category.

Our Experience

We purchased a Ring Alarm system for Kimberly to test out, so we could share firsthand experience with you. Her system includes a base station, keypad, motion sensor, six door/window sensors, range extender, smoke/CO listener, and a Ring Video Doorbell. Here’s her experience:

I’ve been thrilled with the performance of my Ring Alarm security system. It’s easy to operate via the keypad or through the app. I’ve had zero false alarms, and the equipment has functioned properly for me.

The value of this system is incomparable. You can’t find a security system with this quality of equipment and professional monitoring at such an affordable price. It’s an excellent solution for those who want a security system for their primary home or vacation home.

Kimberly A.
Ring home security equipment from left to right: doorbell camera, outdoor floodlight camera, keypad, doorbell camera with monitor, yard sign, and keyfob.
Ring home security equipment from left to right: doorbell camera, outdoor floodlight camera, keypad, doorbell camera with monitor, yard sign, and keyfob.
ProsCons
  • Has 2 monitoring stations
  • Attractive equipment design
  • If your equipment is stolen, Ring will replace it for free
  • Professional monitoring is optional
  • No contracts
  • Self-installation
  • 30-day returns
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Option to add emergency contacts
     
  • Limited equipment reduces system’s capabilities

Discounts And Promotions

Ring products are generally discounted from MSRP on Amazon.

In-Depth Ring Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a firsthand installation video by Kimberly, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Ring security system review.

Professional Installation: ADT

Professional Installation: ADT

Visit Website | 833-276-1428

ADT is the name that comes to many people’s minds when they think about home security. It’s one of the oldest and most well-known companies in the arena. But because of the professional installation, it’s more expensive than much of the competition. In addition, customer service varies by location, and ADT has a long list of customer complaints.

On the plus side, it’s available nationwide, is professionally installed by a local authorized dealer, has a solid app, and allows many equipment options. If you want a big-name company that will install the system for you, ADT fits the bill. But you can get cellular monitoring with similar equipment for a lower price from other providers by installing yourself.

Authorized Dealer vs DIY Installation

Professionally installed systems, like those provided by ADT, tend to be outsourced to local authorized dealers. This means your installation and customer service experience may vary greatly depending on whom your local ADT provider is.

Wondering how difficult it is to install your own system? Our experts answer the top DIY home security questions.

ADT home security equipment from left to right: smoke and CO sensor, door/window sensor, security camera, touch screen control panel, smartphone app, doorbell camera, hub, and motion sensor.
ADT home security equipment from left to right: smoke and CO sensor, door/window sensor, security camera, touch screen control panel, smartphone app, doorbell camera, hub, and motion sensor.
ProsCons
  • Has 10 monitoring stations
  • 6-month guarantee
  • Can be professionally installed in your home within 1 to 2 days after ordering, in most cases
  • Includes basic equipment at no additional cost
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • 3-year monitoring contract required
  • Requires a technician to visit your home and install
  • Cameras have 720p resolution, not 1080p
  • Many customer service complaints about ADT including extra charges on bills, incomplete installations, high-pressure sales tactics, and more
  • Among the most expensive compared to its competitors
  • May charge 75% of the remaining contract if you cancel early

In-Depth ADT Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into ADT Connect, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated ADT review.

Smart Home: Vivint

Vivint Alarm Winner 2020

Visit Website | 833-277-6361

Vivint is another company that offers cellular monitoring for all of its plans. But it comes with a high price and a lengthy contract. Also, its control panel only has a four-hour battery backup, which is minimal compared to other companies.

Vivint equipment from left to right: smartphone app, doorbell camera, smoke/CO sensor, keyfob, and touchscreen control panel.
Vivint equipment from left to right: smartphone app, doorbell camera, smoke/CO sensor, keyfob, and touchscreen control panel.

Vivint wins the best smart home award because its app allows users to control its extensive smart home equipment lineup, and it’s very user-friendly.

ProsCons
  • Has 2 monitoring stations
  • All plans have cellular monitoring
  • Excellent smart home options
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • If you pay for the equipment upfront, a month-to-month monitoring plan is available
  • Requires professional installation
  • 3.5 to 5-year contracts if you finance equipment
  • If you want cameras, you must purchase the highest monitoring plan
  • Expensive
  • 4-hour battery backup
  • Has one of the shortest equipment warranties we’ve seen (only 120 days)
  • Must provide written notice 30 days before your desired cancellation date, and you’re responsible for paying the remaining balance in full

In-Depth Vivint Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, coverage of their extensive smart home capabilities, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Vivint review.

Reviews Sorted By Company Name

The company you were looking for may not have landed in our top 6 this year, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the company best suited to your needs. Here’s 10 more providers reviewed. Don’t see your company reviewed? Let us know in the comments!

Abode Review

Abode logo

View on Amazon | Visit Website

Abode has a fair number of equipment options, but its app is pretty basic. It only offers a one-year equipment warranty, has six to seven hours of battery backup, and lacks two-way voice. However, if you’re looking for a self-monitoring option with basic equipment, Abode is a solid choice.

Abode Equipment
ProsCons
  • 30-day returns
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation
  • No contracts
  • Little customer feedback online
  • Limited customer support
  • Complaints of camera footage being low resolution
  • No outdoor security cameras
  • 6-7 hours battery backup
  • No 2-way voice

Full Abode Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Abode review.

AT&T Digital Life Review

AT&T Digital Life logo

Visit Website

AT&T Digital Life isn’t available everywhere in the U.S., so be sure to check the availability in your area before you set your heart on this system. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with many of the standard smart home devices and technologies, making this system a poor choice for home automation lovers.

It only has one monitoring station (and the monitoring is performed in-house), so it’s not as well equipped as its competitors. In fact, you could be left to fend for yourself if that single monitoring station experiences a power outage.

AT&T Digital Life also has higher prices and requires monthly add-on fees for items that are included for other competitors. You may be able to get a slightly better price by bundling it with other services but, overall, it’s not among our top picks.

AT&T Digital Life Equipment
ProsCons
  • Conversion Kit available to reuse existing wired door and window sensors in your home
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa (but not Google Home)
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
  • Only available in select locations
  • Smoke sensors not available for apartments, townhomes & duplexes
  • Active Doorbell doesn’t include a camera
  • Website has limited information compared to competitors
  • Up to $99 restock fee on returns made within 14 days
  • 2-year contract required
  • No Z-Wave or Zigbee compatibility
  • Only one monitoring station
  • Requires professional installation
  • Early termination fee is up to $640, and an additional $50 applies for incremental automation packages

Full AT&T Digital Life Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated AT&T Digital Life review.

Brinks Home Security Review

Brinks Home Security logo

Visit Website | 833-327-4657

Brinks is one of the few security companies to offer connectivity with both Z-Wave and Zigbee devices, enhancing your home automation possibilities.

Unfortunately, it only has one in-house monitoring station and a two-year equipment warranty (most competitors offer a lifetime warranty). You can get home security systems from competitors at a similar cost with better monitoring and warranties.

Brinks Home Security equipment
ProsCons
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation (professional available for $199)
  • Z-Wave and Zigbee connectivity (most competitors only connect to one)
  • Only one monitoring station (and not third-party)
  • 3-year contract required
  • Self-installation cannot be done independently (requires a technician to walk you through the process over the phone)
  • You must pay 100% of the contract amount, even if you cancel
  • Only has 8-hour battery backup (standard is 24 hours)

Full Brinks Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Brinks review.

Cove Security Review

Cove Security Logo

View on Amazon | Visit Website

A relative newcomer to home security (Cove Security opened for business in 2018), they offer fully customizable DIY security systems. Their equipment lineup is fairly barebones compared to the competition, but their equipment and monitoring fees are competitively priced.

Since Cove is so new to the home security space, it’s hard to get a full picture of what you can expect in regard to their customer service and reputation. But they appear to be gaining some good ground in the highly competitive DIY market.

Cove Security
ProsCons
  • Has 6 monitoring stations
  • 60-day risk-free trial
  • All plans have cellular monitoring
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation (DIY)
  • No contracts
  • No self-monitoring option
  • Must pay extra for smartphone access
  • Live chat is 9am to 6pm MST, which is less convenient for EST and CST customers
  • No backup if cellular goes down

Full Cove Security Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Cove Security review.

Guardian Security Review

Guardian Protection logo

Visit Website

Guardian Security offers a good lineup of wireless security and smart home equipment, and they have overall impressive customer reviews. However, their pricing is higher than many of their competitors, and they require professional installation and long-term monitoring contracts. Guardian is also only available in select cities in eight states in the U.S.

ProsCons
  • Has 2 monitoring stations
  • All equipment is wireless
  • All plans have cellular monitoring
  • Overall good customer service
  • Compatible with Z-Wave and Alexa
  • 3 or 5-year contract required
  • Requires a technician to visit your home and install
  • Among the most expensive compared to its competitors
  • Hefty early termination fees
  • Limited availability in the U.S.

Full Guardian Security Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Guardian Security review.

Kangaroo Review

Kangaroo Home Security Logo

Visit Website

Kangaroo is unique since it doesn’t require or offer a hub. You can purchase one device and begin monitoring through the app immediately. For example, you can buy a motion and entry sensor to monitor your dorm room, office, or other space and know when someone is entering the area.

Additionally, you can use Kangaroo to monitor an entire home or business. Simply purchase the motion or entry sensors you want for the whole area, install it, and be ready to go. There is no hub or control panel to sync it up with.

Kangaroo Starter Kit
ProsCons
  • Has 6 monitoring stations
  • Hub free
  • Excellent option for monitoring a single room
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation
  • No long-term contract
  • Broadband (WiFi) monitoring with no cellular backup
  • Not the safest option for a whole home security system
  • Newer so there’s little customer feedback
  • Few equipment options
  • No BBB page

Full Kangaroo Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Kangaroo review.

Nest Secure Review

Nest logo

Visit Website | 855-224-6378

Nest has a three-year contract or a month-to-month option. However, it’s $10 extra per month for the monthly option, so signing the three-year agreement can save you money. Nest Secure wouldn’t be our top pick, though, because it only has one monitoring station operated by Brinks. You can also self-monitor with Nest Secure.

Nest Secure product on table
ProsCons
  • Stylish design
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Professional monitoring is optional
  • Self-installation
  • No-contract option available
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • More expensive than competitors
  • Not compatible with as many devices as competitors
  • Only one monitoring station (run by Brinks)
  • You must pay 100% of the contract, even if you cancel

Full Nest Secure Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Nest Secure review.

Ooma Home Security Review

Ooma logo

View Ooma on Amazon

Ooma offers very basic home security equipment — we’re talking a few security and home safety sensors and no video camera options. But the system is an affordable option if all you want are the basics. The company also has super competitive monthly monitoring fees (with a highly-reputable professional monitoring service), or you can opt for self-monitoring.

Ooma security app
The Ooma home security app
ProsCons
  • Has 2 monitoring stations
  • Affordable pricing
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Professional monitoring is optional
  • No contracts, month-to-month
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Extremely limited equipment – no cameras or home automation
  • Limited integrations
  • Professional monitoring not available in all states
  • Motion sensors aren’t pet-friendly
  • Customer service is hit or miss

Full Ooma Home Security Review

For in-depth equipment pricing, pros & cons, details on monitoring plans, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, and more, read our dedicated Ooma Home Security review.

Protection 1 Review

Protection One logo

Visit Website

Protection One Equipment

Protection 1 (aka Protection One) has outdated looking equipment compared to other home security companies, which may lead you to question its functionality as well. The equipment warranty length is only 90 days, and you have to upgrade plans to get basic features that others offer in their base packages. Protection 1 isn’t quite up to par with what we expect from a home security company.

ProsCons
  • Has 5 monitoring stations
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa (not Google Home)
  • 3-year monitoring contract required
  • Live chat doesn’t let you talk back and forth with a person; instead, it sends an email
  • Has one of the worst warranty lengths we’ve seen (only 90 days)
  • Wireless doorbell doesn’t have a camera
  • 2-way voice isn’t available with the basic plan
  • Equipment is not modern looking
  • Requires professional installation
  • Canceling early may result in paying the remaining contract term
  • No money-back guarantee

Full Protection 1 Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Protection 1 review.

Scout Alarm Review

Scout Alarm

View on Amazon | Visit Website

Most of Scout Alarm’s equipment has a contemporary design, and you can even choose the color. But the sensors are rather bulky. It doesn’t offer an extensive list of equipment options, and the technology isn’t as advanced as its competitors.

Scout Alarm
ProsCons
  • Has 6 monitoring stations
  • 60-day returns
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation
  • No contracts
  • Door panel sensors are large and conspicuous
  • Self-monitoring functionality is tied to a monthly payment plan
  • No outdoor security cameras
  • Only 12-hour battery backup (competitors average 24 hours)
  • The hub doesn’t have 2-way voice

Full Scout Alarm Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Scout Alarm review.

Comparison Table

If there are any terms that you don’t understand, we have a terminology section in our home security systems guide.

 AbodeAT&T Digital LifeBrinksCove SecurityGuardianKangarooNest SecureOomaProtection 1Scout Alarm
Equipment Starting Cost$199$549.99$199Starting at $0Unavailable$7$399$126.18N/A$229
Pro Monitoring Monthly Starting Cost$20$39.99$39$15 or $25$45.99$10$29$14.99$34.99$19.99
Contract LengthNone2 Years3 YearsNone or 3 Years3 or 5 YearsNoneNone or 3 YearsNone3 YearsNone
InstallationDIYProfessionalDIY or ProfessionalDIYProfessionalDIYDIYDIYProfessionalDIY
Installation Fee$0$99.99 1st Hour + $65/Extra Hour$0 or $199$0$99$0$0$0$99$0
Money-Back Guarantee30 Days14 Days45 Days60 Days6 Months30 Days30 DaysUnavailableN/A60 Days
Warranty1 YearLifetime2 Years1 Year1 Year1 Year2 Years1 Year90 Days3 Years
Battery Backup6-7 Hours24 Hours8 Hours24 Hours24 HoursN/A12 Hours10 Hours24 Hours12 Hours
Self-Monitoring OptionGreen checkmark    Green checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark Green checkmark
Third-Party MonitoringGreen checkmark  Green checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark Green checkmark Green checkmark
Main Form Of MonitoringBroadbandBroadband & CellularBroadbandCellularCellularBroadbandBroadbandBroadbandLandline & CellularBroadband
Backup Form Of MonitoringCellularBroadbandCellularNoneBroadbandNoneCellularNoneCellularCellular
Amazon Alexa CompatibilityGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Google Home CompatibilityGreen checkmark Green checkmarkGreen checkmark Green checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark Green checkmark

Review Criteria

How do we arrive at the rankings above? We take into account the following review criteria:

Customer Service | Equipment | Technology | Ease Of Use | Value

Customer Service

Customer service rep at home security company

We conduct anonymous phone calls and test out customer service quality at the point of purchase. Here’s the top three criteria we’re after:

  1. Friendliness – When you’re trying to find out about a new system, are the sales representatives pushy or hands-off, giving you the space you need to make an informed decision?
  2. Informed – Are they able to answer all of your pre-purchase questions and concerns? We also call into tech support in post-purchase scenarios on systems we physically test at different locations to see how good they are at troubleshooting existing customer issues.
  3. Accessible – Can you get to them off-hours, on weekends and through what contact points (e.g., phone, chat, email, etc.) and how responsive are they?

We also consider any type of guarantees a company may offer (e.g., money-back guarantee, free trial, return period, price match, etc.) as well as the cancellation policy details and how easy it is to cancel with the customer support team.

Equipment

First, we begin with the company’s equipment lineup. Does the company offer the basics that most consumers expect in a home security system? What about home automation options, so you can control your system through the app?

We get our hands on all the equipment we can and conduct extensive testing in real-life environments. Does the carbon monoxide (CO) sensor actually sense CO? Does the smart thermostat respond remotely, and how long does it take to warm up your house? We run as many test cases as we can think of and report back on your home security equipment’s reliability and effectiveness.

Having a thorough and dependable equipment lineup is great, but sometimes equipment malfunctions and a warranty needs to be put into use. How long is the company’s equipment warranty, and how does it compare to its competitors? We also take into account user feedback to determine our Equipment score.

Technology

We look carefully at the technology each company offers and how cutting edge it is. We analyze the types of monitoring available, wireless communication protocol compatibility (e.g., Z-Wave or Zigbee), battery backup, app features, smart speaker compatibility and more to arrive at our Technology score.

Ease Of Use

How difficult is it to install the system? Does it require a professional to come to your house, or is it DIY? Is it easy to relocate if you move homes, rent a house or live in an apartment? We test actual systems and install them ourselves to see how easy the process is.

Once your system is up and running, how easy is it to operate? How user-friendly is the app? These are all critical considerations we take into account in our Ease Of Use score.

Value

We may have just tested the system from the company with the best customer service, the latest technology and the easiest to use equipment and app. But are you getting what you’re paying for?

And is it in line with the competition? We consider contract length, installation and equipment fees, number of monitoring stations, monitoring company and more to arrive at an overall Value score.

Terminologies (Explained So You Can Understand Them)

  • Equipment Starting Cost – The cost of your system’s equipment can vary based on the devices you select, but these are the base prices for each company. They can go up from there.
  • Professional Monitoring Monthly Starting Cost – This is the lowest monthly fee you should expect to be charged for professional monitoring. The monthly fee can increase depending on the type of monitoring (landline, broadband or cellular) you want and the devices in your system (e.g., cameras and home automation equipment typically result in higher monthly fees). Check out our detailed home security system cost guide and the cheapest security systems.
  • Contract Length – This is the standard length of the contract you’ll be required to sign to maintain monitoring for your system.
  • Installation – Many companies offer do-it-yourself (DIY) type installation, which is fairly simple since most sensors attach with peel and stick (similar to a sticker). Some companies still offer professional installation if you’d prefer that. If you’re worried about purchasing a DIY security system, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions in our DIY frequently asked questions article. We can help you put your cameras, control panel, sensors and other equipment in the perfect spots in our home security installation guide.
  • Installation Fee – DIY installation typically means there is no installation fee. If you opt for a company with professional installation, you’ll commonly be charged for it.
  • Money-Back Guarantee – The time you have to return the system for a full refund without being locked into a contract. Be sure to read how each company defines its money-back guarantee before signing a contract.
  • Warranty – This is the amount of time your equipment will be covered for any defects. Each company has exclusions in its warranty — make sure you read carefully, so you understand what is and isn’t covered.
  • Battery Backup – This is the amount of time the control panel will operate on battery power during a power outage. Power outages are popular times for burglars to break into homes, so the longer the battery backup time, the better. Learn more about battery backup options for security systems.
  • Self Monitoring Option – If you’d prefer to monitor your system yourself and avoid a professional monitoring fee, you can select one of these companies. Keep in mind, a self-monitored system means if an alarm goes off, you’re responsible for contacting the appropriate authorities. So, if you’re often away from or mute your phone (including air travel), this may not be a great fit.
  • Third-Party Monitoring – We recommend companies that use a third party for their monitoring needs because it’s challenging for a company to specialize and excel in both security equipment and 24/7 monitoring.
  • Cellular Monitoring – Cellular monitoring is more secure than landline and broadband (internet) because there’s no risk of any wires being cut.

Learn more about central monitoring stations and monitoring types, so you know what to consider before making a purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s questions we frequently get asked by our readers regarding home security systems. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments.

Who Regulates Home Security Companies?

On the national level, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) provides consumer protection by monitoring companies and looking for misleading advertising, aggressive sales tactics, and deceptions and scams. They have a published a guide on avoiding security system scams specifically.

Regulation on the state level depends on where you live. In California, for instance, The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (part of the CA Department of Consumer Affairs) licenses and regulates businesses and professionals in security, including alarm companies. In Florida, meanwhile, the FDACS (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) licenses and regulates the private security industry.

Tagged With:

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Subscribe
Notify of
20 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments