The Best Home Security Systems for Burglar & Fire Protection of 2021
With all that is going on in the world, home security systems are becoming more and more of a necessity, especially in New York City.
According to CNN, murder, burglary, and grand larceny auto crimes were up 47% in June 2020 than in 2019.
However, according to a study at UNC, a security system is a huge deterrent to burglars.
The study showed that “almost 60% of burglars planned the break-in within less than 24 hours before entering” and that “83% looked for signs of an alarm first, and more than half said they’d give up if they saw one.”
If you're worried about the safety of your home and your loved ones, it might be time to take a look at some security systems that will help you sleep at night.
Not all home security systems are created equal, so let's take a look at some of the best.
Best Home Security Companies of 2021
- Simpli Safe: Best Home Security Company Overall
- Vivint Smart Home: Best Professionally-Installed Security System
- Cove: Best DIY-Installed Home Security System
- Annke Home Security: Best Liked by Customers
- Deep Sentinel: Best Protection
- ADT: Best Security System with a Money-Back Guarantee
- Abode: Best System with No Monthly Fees
- Night Owl: Best Looking Security System
- Xfinity: Best for the Smart Home
Best Overall - Simpli Safe
When it comes to home security companies, Simpli Safe has it all: wireless equipment, phone monitoring, and affordable pricing. All devices and security systems are wireless and can be used with Alexa, Google Assistant, and more.
Installation is quick and easy, and does not require any drilling or tools.
Payment for the equipment is required upfront, but Simpli Safe’s packages are all under $500 and the monthly fees are not too costly.
Self-monitoring is free and professional monitoring starts at $14.99 a month.
Simpli Safe has two options when it comes to monitoring: the Standard plan and the Interactive plan.
While the standard plan is pretty basic, it does include 24/7 monitoring on a cellular line.
The Interactive plan includes more convenient and secure options such as phone alerts, being able to arm and disarm on your phone via an app, unlimited camera recording, and more.
You also have the option to purchase equipment without a professional monitoring plan and keep an eye on things yourself.
Arming and disarming the security system is as simple at a touch of a button.
If you are being forced by a burglar to disarm your security system, you can alert nearby authorities quickly and quietly by pressing a hidden panic button.
|Conveniently offers users the option of self-monitoring or automated services.||Must purchase equipment upfront|
Best Professionally Installed System - Vivint Smart Home
Those looking for more of a professional touch with perks will appreciate Vivint Smart Home’s expert services.
The system is installed by one of their technicians, meaning less work for you. Also, included is a free home consultation with one of their security advisors prior to purchasing any equipment.
Vivint can integrate their technology into your home so that your doorbells, door locks, cameras, and more are all on one system, providing both ease and safety.
Should an alarm be set off, Vivint security professionals are made aware right away. They will then reach out to to make sure that you and everyone else are safe and will also reach out to local authorities for emergency assistance.
Their home systems start at $599 for a starter kit consisting of a touch screen smart hub, two door/window sensors, one motion and one water sensor, plus $100 to spend on additional sensors.
While Vivint is a little more expensive than most companies, they do offer a payment plan where you can make installments on a 42-60 month finance plan with no money upfront.
|Financing option available||A little more expensive than competitors|
|"White glove" service for installation|
Best DIY Installation System: Cove
Created in 2018, Cove is one of the newest companies to enter the DIY home security systems. Since then, they have quickly been gaining customers due to their customizable and affordable options.
Their home security system features a touch screen display panel with a large clear screen for easy viewing and access. Reviewers praise Cove for its easy installation (approximately a half-hour) and 60-day money-back guarantee.
Cove provides a streamlined approach when it comes to their payment options for their systems.
They have 2 plans: basic and plus. Neither requires a contract and both include 24/7 monitoring; however, there are a few differences between the plans.
The basic plan costs $14.99 a month and includes a 1-year equipment warranty. The plus plan costs $24.99 a month, includes a lifetime warranty on equipment, and includes access to their App.
Some may be interested in getting a plus plan just for the app alone as it allows you to check in on your system at any place or time.
|Installation is simple.||Required to purchase higher plan to access app|
|60-Day Money-Back Guarantee|
Best Liked By Customers - Annke Home Security
With 4 1/2 stars out of almost 1,500 reviews, Annke’s home security system is a favorite among Amazon customers for its ease of set up, high quality images, and affordable cost.
Reviews mention that Annke’s customer service team has a quick response time and provide a great amount of help. It is important to note however, that most of the correspondence is done via email and can be hard to reach by phone.
For approximately $250, you get 8 different weatherproof, water resistant cameras and 1 TB hard drive to save your recordings on. However, these cameras are not wireless and do not run on batteries, so in order to take advantage of the systems waterproofing, it must be connected to a power source.
This CCTV system records in 1080p and provides 100 feet of night vision view. The system can be adjusted during the day or night to constantly provide clear, balanced images no matter the time.
For systems that use the 5MP PIR cameras, a built in bright white light turns on to help stop intruders from trespassing and identifies their image in clear light.
|Responsive Customer Support||Cameras are not wireless|
|Package includes 8-weatherproof cameras and CCTV system|
Best Protection - Deep Sentinel
While most companies have alarms that sound off after an intruder has entered, Deep Sentinel uses artificial intelligence to prevent a crime from happening in the first place.
Deep Sentinel focuses more on being proactive rather than reactive. One way they do this is by using artificial intelligence to pick up any intruders. If they do sense a break in, an alert is sent to a live security guard who can then view the feed.
If the security guard believes the property is in danger, they can communicate with the perpetrator via the camera’s speaker, sound an alarm, or contact your local police department. One thing to keep in mind is that only the guard can sound the alarm and not yourself, should you be home when a crime is being committed.
Due to the heightened sense of protection, the cost for monitoring is higher than most security camera systems. While the standard package isn’t much more expensive than most (about $500 for three cameras, four batteries, the hub, and a sign that your property is protected), their monthly monitoring fee is $50.
|A live person reviews all footage of intrusions/emergencies.||The monthly fee is on the high end.|
|Invasions can be reported right away even if you are not home.|
Best Money-Back Guarantee - ADT
With over 140 years of experience in the home security industry, ADT is arguably one of the most well known security system companies. They bring trust and reliability to the table which gives them an advantage over lesser known or newer companies.
ADT’s reliability even shows through in their response to COVID-19 as they continue to provide response services and resolve customer concerns. They will address any issues through the phone as much as possible, but will send out a technician to your home if necessary.
Customers can also depend on ADT’s 6 month money-back guarantee. Should your system stop working for any reason within the first 6 months under contract, ADT will refund all installation and monitoring fees if they are unable to resolve the issue.
|Long-trusted company and reputation||Monthly fees are in the high end.|
|6-month money-back guarantee|
Best For No Monthly Fees - Abode
Abode is a great option for those looking for customization and control. Unlike most security companies, Abode is basically an open platform for third party services so you can pick and choose to cater to your needs.
You can integrate your system with products from their list of third party companies such as Nest, Phillips Hue, and Schlage.
The basic essentials starter kit is sold for $229 and includes one Gateway hub device, one mini door/window sensor, one motion sensor, a key fob, and a sticker that says “Secured by Abode”.
With the basic essentials starter kit, you can avoid monthly fees by self monitoring without cellular backup. This is one of the best perks about this system, especially for those on a budget. This includes three days of recorded camera clips from the motion sensor camera.
|System can be integrated with other third-party companies||Some components can be pricey|
|Free option to self-monitor|
Best Looking - Night Owl
Night Owl’s home security system has several perks, and being good looking is one of them. Their sleek and modern looking camera system comes with a color choice option of black and white.
These wired systems are able to record 24/7 in several different modes and you can view remotely on their free app.
While Night Owl security cameras provide full-color footage during the day, they smoothly transition into night mode.
Certain cameras can provide views to as far as 100 ft.; ensuring that both you and your family are protected at all times.
Prices start between $60-$100 for battery powered and Wi-Fi cameras but can go up to $1,500 for a 16 channel 14 camera NVR kit. They also offer 12 different add on cameras, including a smart doorbell option.
|Sleek and professional design of cameras||Some equipment can be pricey|
|Facial recognition technology||Live-streaming not available for battery-powered cameras|
Best For the Smart Home - Xfinity
Advanced technology can be an important benefit for home security systems as it can provide more protection and help make life easier.
Xfinity works with multiple third-party companies and provides services for many devices such as locks, lights, thermostats, garage door openers, and more.
Xfinity’s systems are compatible with August, Hue, Kwikset, GE, Ecobee, LIFX, Yale, and more.
Packages start at $30 a month and all systems come with round the clock professional monitoring as well as cellular backup. There is a user-friendly app that allows you to access live-stream footage, receive alerts/notifications, view recordings, and more.
|Compatible with many third-party vendors||Two-year contracts|
|Bundled services available||Only available where Comcast is|
|Good option for Comcast customers|
Best For Renters - Link Interactive
Those living in an apartment will appreciate Link Interactive’s DIY installation system to save time, money, and hassle.
By installing the equipment yourself, you are able to avoid any additional installation fees and can install it on your own time without having to work around someone else’s schedule.
It also allows you to have full control of installation so you can rest assured that your walls will not be damaged.
Instead of getting stuck with a prepared package with items/services you may not need, you only need to pay for the home security and automation features.
However, expect a 1-3-year contract as this is the standard with Link Interactive; unless you are able to negotiate for a shorter term with the sales team.
|Competitive pricing||Must sign a service contract (1-3 years)|
|DIY installation saves money|
|Easily customizable to customer's needs|
How We Decided
We know that security for you and your loved ones is extremely important and a high priority for most.
That is why we valued systems who had high quality and could provide the maximum amount of coverage needed.
Safety was our number one importance when looking for home systems, even more so than an affordable price.
We liked systems that provided secret panic buttons in case of an emergency where you are being forced to turn the alarm off.
We also preferred systems that would alert homeowners/renters of an intrusion, before the crime actually happened.
Home security review websites were looked at such as Consumer Voice, security.org, and Consumer Affairs.
We made sure that the company had a high review of the system as well as rave customer reviews.
We focused on looking for security systems that received 4 stars or higher or those who had more than a 7 (for those rating on a scale of 1-10).
While safety was our priority, we still kept affordability close on our minds. We favored DIY installation over professional due to the savings it provided on installation.
We also looked for companies that provided options to avoid monthly installation fees to cut costs even more.
Those who provided equipment warrantees, money back guarantees, and finance plans scored extra points.
Installation and Monitoring
To save costs, we looked for systems that were more DIY than not in order to avoid additional fees.
Those that were DIY but provided professional installation for an additional cost were also favored.
DIY installation systems were also looked at more due to the amount of control it provided to the consumer.
The customer is able to install the equipment on their own time, on their own terms, without worrying about a novice accidentally smashing through their walls.
However, we did include a few professionally installed systems for the not so handy.
What Do Home Security Systems Cost?
The cost of home security systems depends on various factors such as location, whether or not the system is being professionally installed, monthly monitoring fees, the plan you choose, and more.
Even basic equipment packages containing a control panel, sensors, and a siren can cost up to $600 and that’s before the installation. Wireless systems are easy to install and can usually be set up by the homeowner for no additional fee. Wired systems typically require professional installation which can cost anywhere from $100-$400. If financing your hardware, you will see a monthly fee on your bill for around $10-$70. Some companies will offer a discount on the equipment if a 3 year contract is signed.
Paying a professional to monitor your home will cost you an additional $20-$60 per month. Some companies allow you to monitor your home yourself which won’t cost you anything.
Additional costs may be applied if you are looking for specific coverage such as more cameras or surveillance cameras, the installation of a panic button to press during an emergency, emergency response plans, and more.
Which Security Systems Are Compatible With Smart Devices?
Having a security system that ties in with Alexa or Google Home can be very beneficial.
For example, you can arm your security system for “Home” or “Away” mode and may be able to disarm it verbally as well by saying a PIN number.
Some of the most popular companies that are compatible with Alexa include: SimpliSafe, ADT, and Vivint. Other home security brands that are compatible with Alexa include Ring and Frontpoint.
Security systems that are compatible with Google Home include Vivint, SimpliSafe, and ADT as well as Scout and Nest.
Are Home Security Systems Worth It?
In order for a home security system to be worth it, you must first find out what you are looking to get out of it.
You can put thousands of dollars into a home security system, but it won’t do you any good if no one is paying attention to it.
While self-monitoring may seem like the best cost-efficient option at first, it may not be the best bet if you are not home a lot or are used to traveling frequently.
If you find this being you, then you may want to invest in professional monitoring to make the system worth your money as the home security company will take care of everything for you at an additional cost.
Also, you may want to consider certain factors such as would you know what to do if someone broke into your house while you were away?
What about if you were on the other side of the country or in a different country? These questions may help steer you to the equipment and monitoring packages best suited for you.
Can Home Security Systems Lower Your Insurance?
Installing a home security system can lower your homeowner’s insurance premiums by as much as 20%.
This is because insurance companies know that monitored security systems provide extra protection for your home and will help reduce the chances of your property being burglarized.
It also helps protect your home from extensive water and fire damage which means you will be less likely to file a claim with your insurance company.
Since the insurance company saves money this way, they return the favor and give you a discount.
Not Having a Security System Might Even Increase Your Insurance
On the other hand, if your property has been broken into several times, there is a high chance that you will see your insurance premiums go up.
Some insurance companies may also offer discounts when it comes to purchasing security equipment, so make sure to look into this with your insurance provider before purchasing home security items.
Additional security features such as smoke alarms and deadbolts can also help lower your premiums.
You and your neighbors can also save money by limiting the total theft claim quota for your area, as long as your neighborhood has not already reached the maximum amount of thefts.
Can Home Security Systems Get Hacked?
Unfortunately, even the most elaborate security system is susceptible to getting hacked.
Similar to a computer, a burglar can hack into the system, deactivate the alarm, and break into your house without you even knowing.
The good news is that you can help prevent your system from getting hacked by taking pre-cautious safety measures.
One way to do this is to immediately change the default password and make sure that you are using a secure password; not a generic one.
Using a combination of symbols, letters, and numbers is the best way to ensure that your password is secure, and stay clear of names, birth dates, or anything personal.
If using a Wi-Fi network for your home security system, always keep it protected with a secure password as mentioned above.
When accessing your home security system remotely, make sure to use a secure network, and never use a public Wi-Fi network.
Doing so can increase your risk of getting hacked as hackers can access personal information such as passwords and account information via a public network.
Which Home Security System is Best For You?
You may already have decided that you need a home security system, but how do you pick the best one for you?
There are a few things you may want to consider, such as cost, how much security you may need, if you are looking for additional security services, if you would like wired or wireless, profession or DIY installation, etc.
Take the time to figure out what you are looking to get out of your security system and make a list of the top qualities you want.
Once you have a list of what you are looking for, it will make it easier to narrow down the companies.
To narrow the list even more, you may want to consider choosing companies that have at least 10 years of service.
This helps prove their reliability and should provide you with plenty of customer reviews to look at.
You may also want to take into consideration the amount of distance between you and the monitoring location. If the location is more than 250 miles away, it can take longer for the alarm to relay, delaying the response time if there is an emergency.
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