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Do you need help finding the best home security system but are overwhelmed with your options? Our team of experts has over 65 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.
Ranking 1st 2nd 3rd Most Customizable Low Cost, No Contract Professional Install Smart Home Total Score 4.70 4.35 4.15 4.10 4.00 3.30 2.75 Customer Service & Reputation 4.8 4.3 4.5 4.3 4.0 2.0 1.0 Equipment 4.8 4.3 3.8 3.5 3.3 4.3 4.0 Technology 4.8 4.0 3.5 4.0 4.3 3.5 3.0 Value 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.0 3.0 2.0 Ease Of Use 4.8 4.8 4.5 4.3 4.5 3.8 3.8 Read
How do we arrive at the rankings above? Our researchers take into account 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.
Frontpoint wins this year for overall best home security system. It’s one of the few home security companies that offers 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 difficult communication signal to break.
Frontpoint’s equipment design is modern, and 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 equipment pricing is in line with competitors.
Potentially most important, however, is that the majority of Frontpoint’s customers rave about their customer service. This is important because if a sensor fails or you have a question, you want to know the customer support team will answer quickly and is knowledgable about your concern.
A big update to Frontpoint is that they no longer require a long-term contract. This is huge for the home security industry. Other no-contract systems can be pretty bare-bones, but Frontpoint has a substantial list of equipment, dependable monitoring and excellent customer service, which sets them apart from the competition. Frontpoint is a well-rounded home security company with extensive cutting edge equipment options, which makes them hard to beat.
Alex S., Safe Smart Living, has protected his family’s home with Frontpoint for over a decade. Here is their 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.
Full 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.
Protect America is one of the few companies that lets you choose between landline, broadband and cellular monitoring. This allows them to offer some of the lowest prices for professional monitoring, earning them a top spot in our comparison. That being said, we recommend choosing cellular since it’s the most secure option.
If you live in a remote area where cell service isn’t reliable, you can still secure your home thanks to their landline and broadband options, a feature that’s not available with most other providers. This is why it’s also our pick for best landline system. Protect America offers reliable customer service and has a variety of home security and automation equipment to choose from.
For in-depth equipment pricing, pros & cons, details on monitoring plans, their SMART Connect app, smart home features, user reviews and more, read our dedicated Protect America review.
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 go month-to-month with your 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 when compared to a company like Frontpoint, and the equipment lineup isn’t as extensive. But if being locked into a multi-year contract is a deal-breaker, this could be a good option for you if you’re looking for simplicity.
Michelle S., Safe Smart Living, has the SimpliSafe security system. Below are her thoughts on it.
This is installed in our vacation home, so we’re not in it year-round. Because of this, SimpliSafe offers us a lot of peace of mind for potential criminal acts but also with environmental alerts from flood and temperature sensors. When temperatures drop too low, we need to make sure that our heat is working to prevent frozen/burst pipes.
Full 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.
If there are any terms that you don’t understand, we have a terminology section in our home security systems guide.
|1st: Frontpoint||2nd: Protect America||3rd: SimpliSafe||Most Customizable: Link Interactive||Low Cost, No Contract: Ring Alarm||Professional Installation: ADT||Smart Home: Vivint|
|Equipment Starting Cost||$99||Free With Contract||$229||Customizable||$179||Free With Contract||$599.99|
|Pro Monitoring Monthly Starting Cost||$44.99||$19.99||$14.99||$30.99||$10||$36.99||$29.99|
|Contract Length||None||3 Years||None||1-3 Years||None||3 Years||3.5-5 Years|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 Days||15 Days||60 Days||30 Days||30 Days||6 Months||None|
|Warranty||3 Years||Lifetime||3 Years||3 Years||1 Year||Lifetime (Must Pay Additional $)||120 Days|
|Battery Backup||24 Hours||18-24 Hours||24 Hours||8 or 24 Hours||24 Hours||24 Hours||4 Hours|
|Self Monitoring Option|
|Third Party Monitoring|
|Main Form Of Monitoring||Cellular||Landline, Broadband & Cellular||Cellular||Cellular||Broadband||Landline & Cellular||Cellular|
|Backup Form Of Monitoring||Broadband||None||Broadband||Broadband||Cellular||Cellular||Broadband|
|Amazon Alexa Compatibility|
|Google Home Compatibility|
- Most Customizable: Link Interactive
- Low Cost, No Contract: Ring Alarm
- Professional Installation: ADT
- Smart Home: Vivint
Link Interactive has a 3-year equipment warranty, a less-esteemed customer service team than Frontpoint and its battery backup is shorter (only 8 hours) for one of its control panels.
However, its monitoring is less expensive than Frontpoint, so it may be worth considering. Link Interactive has no starter plans and everything is à la carte style, so its plans are completely customizable and you only pay for what you need.
Full 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.
Ring Alarm 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 1-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 offering solar-powered home security equipment in the future.
Ring was close to making our top picks, but its system and app have limited functionality because it offers fewer equipment options than competitors. However, its low equipment fees, affordable monthly monitoring plan and lack of contract make it our best pick for our low cost, no contract category.
Safe Smart Living purchased a Ring Alarm system for Kimberly A., the author of this article, to test out, so we could share firsthand experience with you. Her system includes: 1 base station, 1 keypad, 1 motion sensor, 6 door/window sensors, 1 range extender, 1 smoke/CO listener and 1 video doorbell 2. 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 a great solution for those who want a security system for their primary home or vacation home.
Full Ring Alarm 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 Alarm review.
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 as a result.
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.
Full 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.
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 4-hour battery backup, which is minimal compared to other companies.
Full 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.
|Low Cost, No Contract|
When shopping for a home security system, there are several factors to consider. It’s important to find a company that fits your lifestyle and home layout. It’s easier than ever to install your own system, but that doesn’t mean picking a company is as simple.
If smart home features or customization is a priority, then we shared our favorites for those categories above. If you prefer reliability, you’ll need a monitoring plan you can trust. Frontpoint comes out on top for that reason with its commitment to offering cellular, worry-free security. If you want more flexibility for monitoring, i.e., a company that supports more traditional means (landline) at a lower price, our runner-up Protect America might be a good fit. And if you’re looking for a low-commitment plan with affordable monthly monitoring, SimpliSafe may be your best bet.
This article covers companies that have an established reputation meeting our high standards and rigorous review process. However, there are dozens of other providers, and quite a few new ones taking advantage of the latest technologies the smart home revolution has to offer. You’ll find many of these and more in our comprehensive home security systems reviews.
And if there’s home security lingo or concepts you’re still murky on, check out our comprehensive home security guide for the lowdown on how security systems work, explanations behind the different types of monitoring and more.
Which system are you leaning towards?
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