Guide to the Best Home Security Systems
Our Top 5 Best Home Security Companies of 2020
We’ve scoured the home security marketplace, rounded up the Top Alarm Companies, reviewed them thoroughly and put them through the wringer with our exhaustive HSA review and ranking program. We set out to find the Best Home Security System for a number of different categories, and are proud to announce the Top 5 Best Home Security Companies of 2020!
Frontpoint – Best Overall
- A+ BBB Rating
- 30 Day Risk Free Trial
- 100% Wireless System
- Landline Unavailable
Link Interactive – Best Tech Support
- A+ BBB Rating
- Equipment Selection
- Extensive Experience
- Self Install Only
Vivint – Best Home Automation
- Professional Install
- Top of the Line Equipment
- No Monitoring Contract
- Aggressive Door to Door Sales
ADT Monitored – Best Professional Installation
- A+ BBB Rating
- Name Recognition
- Professional Installation
- More Expensive
Can’t decide which of the Best Home Security Companies is right for you?
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Protect America – Lowest Up Front Pricing
- FREE Equipment
- Lifetime Warranty
- Best Price Guarantee
- Limited Home Automation
Best Home Security System Reviews of 2020
Top 5 Alarm Companies of 2020
Navigation TIP– To make it easier to navigate directly to the information that you find most useful, we’ve created a Table of Contents to the left which will help allow you to “jump” to the section which most interests you.
Awarded Best Overall Security System!
#1 – Frontpoint Security
|Exceptional Customer Service||No Landline or Broadband Monitoring Available|
|NO Long Term Contracts!|
|Low Pressure Sales Approach|
|Advanced Monitoring Features|
|Comprehensive Equipment Selection|
|30 Day Guarantee-No Shipping or Restocking|
Frontpoint Security Features
- Best in Class Customer Experience– While there are many companies that maintain an A or A+ BBB rating…there are few that come close to exceeding customer expectations like Frontpoint. Online reviews and feedback on review sites and consumer rating sites are overwhelmingly positive and 94% of their customers would recommend them. Unlike much of the competition, the sales approach is low key and no pressure. Like the company…we’ll as of Nov 2019, you’ll love the company’s new policy of NO Long Term Contracts! That’s right…all their plans are now month to month!
- 100% Wireless– Frontpoint offers only the most secure technology on their wireless home security systems. They are equipped standard with 100% cellular monitoring. This eliminates the possibility of cutting the phone or cable lines to disable communication to the monitoring station.
- Advanced Technology and Monitoring Features – Along with their comprehensive list of available security, surveillance and home automation equipment, Frontpoint offers cutting edge services in their Interactive monitoring packages. Powered by Alarm.com, Frontpoint systems include “Crash and Smash” protection and Geo-Location Services. The former ensures that the monitoring station is alerted even if the system is destroyed…and the latter enables advanced system automation functionality based on GPS cellular locations.
- Transparency and Integrity– With Frontpoint, WYSIWYG. (What You See Is What You Get) Unlike so many security websites, Frontpoint puts their cards on the table. Pricing is clear-and there are no tricks or hidden fees. They are so confident that they offer the best security system available that they back it with their No Questions Asked 30 Day Money Back Guarantee– with no shipping (either way) and no restocking fee!
Frontpoint offers outstanding customer service and one of the best DIY alarm programs in the industry. They back their system with a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee and has a comprehensive equipment portfolio that includes exterior cameras and energy management. Get a complete analysis in our Frontpoint Security Review or give them a call at:
Awarded Best Security System for Customer Service!
|Outstanding Reputation||More Complex Install|
|Extensive Equipment Selection||1 Year Warranty|
|Advanced Monitoring Features|
|Very Competitive Rates|
Things to Like About Link
- Superb Reputation -While they may not be a household name (yet), Link Interactive is carving out a spot in many Top 5 Best Home Security Company lists. The DIY alarm division of Mountain Alarm, a regional security company with an A+ BBB rating and 60 years’ experience installing home security systems enjoys a 98% customer approval rating.
- Extensive Equipment and Monitoring Features– Link Interactive Security systems feature the latest 2 Gig Technologies wireless equipment, paired with their own feature-rich monitoring services. Link Interactive monitoring includes all of Alarm.com’s advanced features including Crash and Smash Protection, Geo-Location Services…as well as 2-way voice monitoring.
- Simple, Competitive Monitoring Rates – In addition to very competitive monitoring rates, Link Interactive keeps it simple when it comes to their plans. Their “basic” Gold Plan includes cellular monitoring, all Alarm.com interactive services and full home automation for one low price-$39.99 a month. Want video? No Problem…just $5/mo. More.
Winner of Top Alarm Companies for Home Automation!
|Best Home Automation||Aggressive Door To Door Sales|
|Professionally Installed||More Expensive Add- Ons/Monitoring Rates|
|No Monitoring Contract|
Vivint- a Leader in Security and Home Automation
- Top Notch Tech – Professionally Installed -While they may not be as large as ADT, Vivint has become a dominant player in the security and home automation industry by offering cutting edge, professionally installed technology across the nation. the Vivint Sky panel is a technolgical tour de force…and the Vivint Sky App gives Vivint owners full control of their system at their fingertips. Their technicians ensure that it is installed right and that you able to use all that technology.
- Superior Equipment with a Laundry List of Monitoring Features– Vivint systems are built to their demanding standards by 2Gig and is paired with their own feature rich monitoring services. Their cellular only monitoring eliminates the chances of phone lines being compromised and ensures lightening fast response rates and trouble free communication with their Vivint Sky App.
- No Contract Monitoring Rates – Vivint has recently introduced their new Flexpay structure which provides better transparency and simplifies the security and home automation purchasing process. Monitoring is competitively priced and does not require a contract. Equipment is purchased separately and can be financed over a 42 or 60 month period- with NO interest!
Vivint Security provides state of the art security and home automation equipment and the most advanced home management app in the market. They have recently restructured their entire marketing strategy to eliminate lengthy monitoring contracts and create a program which is more transparent by separating equipment and monitoring fee structures.
Customers now have the option of financing the equipment or purchasing it outright without being tied down to long term monitoring contracts. This should eliminate the vast majority of customer complaints which have plagued them over the years.
To make sure that you get the best deal and have a clear understanding of their program, we recommend that you call in at 855-695-1727 and speak directly to an in-house Vivint representative at the number listed above rather than relying on verbal assurances of a highly commissioned door to door representative.
They offer an extensive equipment selection and competitive monitoring packages which feature the top rated Alarm.com interactive services with Crash and Smash protection and 2 way voice authentication. Check out our in depth review of Vivint Home Security.
Awarded Best Alarm System for Name Recognition!
#4-ADT Monitored System
|Best Name Recognition||$99 Activation Fee|
|Professionally Installed||More Expensive Add- Ons/Monitoring Rates|
|6 Month Service Guarantee|
ADT Monitored Security- Best Home Security Company for Me?
- Best Name Recognition – When it comes to name recognition, ADT is virtually synonymous with home security. They have been the #1 name in home security as long as most people can remember.
- Professional Installation – If you are concerned about installing it yourself, no one has been providing professionally installed home security systems longer than ADT….and they even come with their exclusive 6-month service guarantee. (certain restrictions apply)
Or Call for FREE Quote
Awarded Best Alarm System for Low Upfront Costs!
|$0 Up Front Costs||Limited Video Equipment|
|Low Entry Level Monitoring Rate||14 Day Return Policy/ Restocking Fee|
|Locked In Rates|
|Lifetime Equipment Warranty|
|Best Price Guarantee|
The “Pros” in Protect America
They separated themselves from the rest of the pack of our best alarm companies by eliminating the most common barrier for the average homeowner (or apartment dweller) to protect their home and family- the upfront costs.
Protect America has over 20 years of experience and has helped over 500,000 customers get affordable protection by offering:
- $0 Up Front Pricing – Protect America makes it affordable for virtually anyone to get a comprehensive security and home automation system, by eliminating the financial impact of a large initial investment. They offer everything from a basic security package to their Platinum Package with up to $1400 worth of equipment with no upfront costs! Price Guarantee.
- Low Basic Monitoring Rates– If you are on a budget, and don’t need all the bells and whistles, Protect America has monitoring rates as low as $19.99. Their Copper Plan gives you their lowest monitoring rate, with landline service, and includes a basic security system with no upfront equipment costs.
- Lifetime Equipment Warranty – The equipment is warrantied as long as you remain a Protect America customer.
- Rate Lock – Unlike most companies who include escalation clauses that allow them to raise the rates after the first year, Protect America guarantees that your rate will remain the same.
- Best Price Guarantee – Protect America guarantees that you get the best security system at the best price. Find a lower price on the same system and they’ll meet or beat it!
Protect America pioneered the DIY Security System model.
They offer FREE equipment packages, with no upfront equipment costs, a variety of monitoring options, Best Price Guarantee, Lifetime Warranty, and top-notch customer service. Protect America is clearly a leader in overall value.
Best Home Security Systems
Side by Side Comparisons of the Top Security Companies
Best Home Security Companies by Category
The HSA Awards
Never mind the Oscars, the Emmys, or the Golden Globes….The Home Security Advisor has awarded the prestigious HSA awards for the most outstanding home security company in each of seven different categories. While only one company can become the #1 overall pick as the Best Home Security Company of 2020, each of the following has been chosen as the top alarm company in their specific category.
Best Home Security Overall Value
Frontpoint has distinguished themselves year after year with an A+ BBB rating by offering best in class customer service.
Their low key sales approach combined with flexible billing options, a 3-year equipment warranty, and an unconditional 30-day money-back return policy (which even includes return shipping) ensures complete customer satisfaction.
Call For FREE Quote- 844-688-2894
Best DIY Alarm Company Tech Support
The parent company of top-rated DIY alarm company, Link Interactive is Mountain Alarm. They have been professionally installing home security systems for over 60 years. Consequently, they know a thing or two about installing a wide variety of security equipment.
This kind of in the field, hands-on support, ensures that Link Interactive customers get the very best tech support when installing their systems.
Call For FREE Quote- 866-302-6138
Best Professionally Installed Home Security
ADT Monitored Security
When it comes to professionally installing home security systems, ADT has been helping to protect homes and families for over 100 years. The ADT name can be found in millions of homes across the country. The ADT brand is virtually synonymous with home security and has held the #1 spot in the SDM rankings since 1991.
An ADT monitored system includes relocation assistance, $500 Theft Protection and a 6 Month Service Guarantee (certain restrictions apply)
Call For FREE Quote- 888-495-9434
Best Home Automation
Vivint Security and Home Automation
Vivint offers state of the art security and home automation equipment installed by trained professionals.
They have earned the #3 spot on the SDM Top 100, by staying at the forefront of the industry and providing the latest technology controlled by their award-winning Vivint Sky App.
They provide a nationwide footprint and back their equipment with an industry-leading Lifetime Warranty!
Call For FREE Quote- 855-695-1727
Honorable Mention- Lowest Upfront Costs
Protect America offers the best combination of overall value by eliminating costly upfront equipment expenses and making quality home security affordable to virtually anyone. They offer monitoring plans with $0 upfront costs-as monitoring rates as low as $19.99/mo.
The GE Simon XT has earned a reputation for reliable performance and they back their equipment with a Lifetime Warranty… with a Best Price and Rate Lock Guarantee.
Call For FREE Quote- 888-951-5140
Top 5 Alarm Companies – Video Summary
2020 Q3 Update Coming Soon
Who We Rated
While the majority of time on this review has been spent our Top 5 Best Home Security Companies, there were many other security companies worthy of consideration, which fell into a variety of categories.
National Home Security Companies
- Alarm Grid – A Honeywell and 2 Gig Technologies dealer selling DIY equipment with month to month contracts.
- Monitronics– The second-largest security company with professional installation exclusively through their dealer network.
- Protection One – 6th largest national home security provider with both DIY and professionally installed alarm systems.
- SimpliSafe – Massachusetts based DIY alarm program with proprietary equipment and optional monitoring.
- SkyCover- Newcomer to the DIY home security market with 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee and standard Simon XTi panel.
- Vivint Security – Rebranded APX security company that specializes in home automation with 2GIG technology.
Regional Security Companies
- Ackerman Security – Southeastern Honeywell security dealer with low entry-level installs..and premium pricing.
- ADS Security – Southeastern security company with 60-month contracts.
- Alarmforce– Canadian based security company with limited US availability. Leased and proprietary equipment.
- Bay Alarm – California based security company with premium-priced professionally installed equipment.
- Guardian Security – Provides professional installation through a combination of corporate and local authorized dealers.
- AT&T Digital Life Digital Life Security systems can be bundled with cable or sold as an independent system.
- Cox Homelife – Homelife Security – SMC control panel is leased and requires a 24-month contract.
- TWC Intelligent Home – Intelligent Home Security systems are leased and require bundling and an 18-month contract.
- Xfinity Security – by Comcast, is proprietary equipment that is professionally installed-with customer service that is much maligned.
….and others such as SafeTouch Security, CPI Security, Vector Security, etc. The list will continue to grow, as we continue to evaluate security providers in our quest to identify the Best Home Security Companies of 2020 …and beyond!
Each of these companies has strengths and weaknesses…like any company but has proven to be a reputable service provider.
How We Ranked The Best Security Systems
While there are hundreds of variable taken into consideration, the HSA Rating System is based on 5 main criteria:
Reputation and Credibility– We look at how companies are rated by the BBB, online customer feedback,how long they have been in business, customer base, SDM ranking etc.
Monitoring – Factored in are the monthly monitoring costs and length of contracts, the credentials, caliber and redundancy of the monitoring stations-as well as the services that are available.
Customer Service – We consider factors such as the ease of communicating, BBB ratings, online ratings, equipment warranties and return policies to determine the quality of the customer experience after the sale.
Equipment and Technology -…are a primary consideration. Do they use name brand equipment, offer home automation, video surveillance, remote access and interactivity and the latest hardware and home automation services?
Price and Value – And finally, we evaluate the overall value proposition based on up front equipment and add on component costs, activation fees and installation costs, monitoring rates and extended service and warranty considerations.
For more complete details on our rating criteria visit How We Rank.
Is Home Security Worth it?
While most people reading this article are already convinced a home security system is a smart investment, there may still be some that are still on the fence…or perhaps not aware of the many benefits of owning a security and home automation system.
While most folks still think of them as burglar alarms….the best security systems include tons of features that you might not have considered or been aware of. There are lots of creative uses for contacts that you may not have considered, such as:
- Monitor Gun Cabinets
- Medicine Cabinets
- Sensitive File Drawers
- Pool Gates
Although the primary motivation for purchasing a system is usually to protect against break ins and provide addition protection from fires…the best alarm systems can help
- Prevent Frozen Pipes– with low temperature sensors that detect when the temperature drops below 45 degrees.
- Water Damage and Flood Detection– Sensors can be incorporated into the best home security systems that will detect the presence of water in time to take steps to prevent or mitigate water damages.
Most of the best security companies include mobile applications such as Alarm.com and Total Connect that enable you to control the not only the security system, but also a number of Z-Wave home automation components on any Android, Apple IOS, Pebble, IPad, Blackberry or Windows based device.
- Lighting – Can be controlled through Z-Wave modules that interface with most of the top alarm systems.
- Thermostats- Save energy and money by programming the system to reduce the heat when the system is armed.
- Door Locks– Can be automatically set to be locked when arming the system at night…and controlled remotely to allow someone access.
Financial Benefits of Owning a Security System
- Reduce Insurance Costs – The best home security companies will provide you with a certificate of installation which may save you from 5-20% on your homeowners insurance. Make sure that they know that you have a professionally monitored security system…and let them know if you have monitored fire protection as well.
- Lower Energy Cost and Consumption– Top alarm systems can incorporate energy management capabilities and enable you to optimize Z-Wave lighting and thermostats to reduce your energy consumption.
- Increase Resale Value– Security and home automation systems are some of the “bells and whistles” that appeal to buyers and add to the perceived value of a home.
In summary, a modern security and home automation system in today’s best home security systems can provide dozens of features and benefits that can easily justify the investment. We hope that you have found this guide helpful in your search to find the best home security system to help protect you and your family.
Please feel free to share The Top 5 Best Home Security Companies of 2019 and let us know about your experiences with any of our top alarm companies.
How to choose the BEST Home Security System?
The first step in selecting a home security system is assessing your needs, priorities, and budget. While each of our Top 5 Best Home Security Companies is worthy of your consideration, your situation and individual preferences are unique.
To find the security system and company that is best for you, it is important to determine your priorities.
DIY Home Security Systems vs Professional Install Home Security Companies?
One of the first considerations is whether or not you want to install the system yourself or pay for a professional installation. Historically, systems had to be hardwired into the home. This would involve drilling and cutting holes in the walls, fishing wires, and complicated mounting and extensive programming.
But…times have changed. Even the companies that professionally install the systems are now using primarily wireless equipment.
The technology has been greatly improved over the years to make the equipment extremely user friendly…and the more experienced DIY alarm companies have greatly streamlined the installation process to make it simple for even the most technologically challenged homeowners.
The better companies will pre-program the entire system before sending it out so that all the end-user has to do is mount the devices and call in to have the system activated. Over 90% of homeowners found our best DIY alarms systems easy to install!
Advantages of Home Security Companies that offer DIY Alarms
Potential benefits of getting Best Home Security System with DIY Install
- Cost Savings– Installing a DIY security system from one of the best home security companies can mean big savings. Top security companies that sell self-installed DIY systems don’t have to factor in expensive professional installation. The cost savings with the DIY best security system can be substantial when compared to the top-ranking professionally installed home security companies.
- No Contracts – If you were to invest in one of the top choices in the professionally installed best home security system category, it would likely involve a 3-year contract. But, some of the best home alarm systems that offer DIY install, such as Frontpoint, which earned our award for the best security system for customer service, now provides state of the art equipment with only a month to month commitment.
- No Waiting– One of the big advantages of buying a DIY alarm listed in our top home security companies is that there is no need to take time off from work or schedule an installation time. The DIY installation option available on the best home security systems means you can install the system when it is convenient for you.
- Enhances Familiarity– Home security systems reviews indicate that homeowners and renters who set up DIY alarms that are ranked among the best home security companies become more familiar with all the features and operation of their systems. Let’s face it, the best security system is the one that you will be comfortable using, and is armed all the time!
- Portability– With the best DIY security systems, when you move, your alarm system moves with you. Many home security system reviews from some of the owners of the best home security systems that need to be professionally installed complain that service is not available in their area when they relocate. Home security is important no matter where you and your family may live. The best home security system is that one that protects the things that are most important to you no matter where life takes you.
- No strangers in your home – The best home security companies take great care in hiring technicians. Nevertheless, even the best home security companies that must be professionally installed sometimes have to use 3rd party sub-contractors. Often times the best security system might be getting installed by a technician that might not be thoroughly vetted. You can assure your family the best home security by having complete control over the entire process. Why share sensitive information with a complete stranger? With DIY home security companies, this is never a problem.
Benefits of DIY Home Security Companies
Advantages of Home Security Companies with Professional Install Services
- Less Effort
- More Expertise
While a professionally installed system might involve less effort, the vast majority found that the systems provided by the best DIY alarm companies were easy to install, user friendly, and saved them a substantial amount over a professionally installed system.
(And I venture to say that they got a certain amount of pride and self-satisfaction in having done it themselves…)
Tips for the Best Home Security System with Professional Install
Not everyone is comfortable with technology. We get it.
And many of the best security systems are still being professionally installed. But if you are scheduling a technician to come into your home, make sure to follow these best home security practices:
For those who choose a professionally installed security system from among the top-ranked home security systems, make sure that you determine how experienced the installation technician is. The best security system companies will require that all technicians are background checked and have undergone drug screening.
Be sure to ask whether or not the company is using its own employees or uses 3rd party subcontractors. Alarm companies that are working with subcontractors often have less control over the vetting process.
And finally, make sure that installers have proper ID and have gone through extensive vetting before allowing them into your house.
Landline vs. Broadband vs. Cellular
When selecting the best home security system to help protect your home and family, one of the most important criteria to consider is how the system will be communicating to the central monitoring station. Historically, it wasn’t that long ago when the only way to send a signal was through a landline. Fortunately, technology has developed faster, more efficient, and more secure methods of communication that afford additional options to meet the demands of security-savvy consumers.
The basic landline connection is typically the most affordable means of communication. However, it has limited capabilities and is more susceptible to potential security threats. Landlines can be compromised by simply cutting the phone line. This eliminated the means of communication and reduces the security system to nothing more than a noise-maker.
Additionally, landlines cannot transmit the data signals that power the mobile applications which play such an important role in today’s best home security systems. Today’s consumers are looking to be able to monitor and manage security and home automation functions from anywhere through apps on their mobile devices.
Broadband is certainly the fastest means of communication a signal and excellent data bandwidth transmission capability but suffers from the same security vulnerabilities as the landline. It can be defeated with a $5.00 set of wire cutters. Additionally, broadband communication is susceptible to local power and cable outages.
Consequently, in most situations, we recommend a system equipped with a cellular connection (or a system with multiple, redundant capability). It operates on its own independent cellular communicator which is typically incorporated into the main control panel. It cannot be cut by intruders and is not affected by local phone, cable, or power outages…as the system has a battery backup. Most companies offer both CDMA and GSM cellular technologies which afford coverage in the vast majority of the country.
Of course, the exception might be if one resides in an area where there is no cellular coverage or cable service. (or if there is no interest in interactive apps and services) In this case, we highly recommend that exposed phone or cable wires on the exterior of the home are protected with conduit, to protect against the potential for line cuts.
Hardwired vs. Wireless
Back in the ’80s and ’90s when wireless security systems were first introduced, the technology was far less reliable than it is today. There were many security purists who insisted that hard-wired systems were the only way to go. Of course, this required professional installation, cutting holes and fishing wires…and, of course, the typical installation would cost thousands of dollars.
However, as the industry has evolved, technology has improved…and costs have come way down. The batteries that power wireless sensors last for many years and the systems employ learn mode technology to ensure that the sensors communicate properly with the control panel-eliminating the possibility of wireless interference.
As a result, even the “professional installation” companies install wireless alarms systems…almost exclusively in residential applications. While hardwired systems are still used in certain commercial applications…it is unusual to see modern systems being hard-wired in a residential system.
Local vs. National
When it comes to choosing a security company to help protect your home and family, we recommend selecting a national home security company that has a stable history and specializes in home security….across the nation. In a mobile society, who knows when you may need to relocate…and need to secure a home in another part of the country.
The last thing you want is being tied to a contract with a cable company that doesn’t service that area or a small local security company that only provides service in a limited geographical market. Over the years, I have seen countless local security companies go out of business or sell out to national companies because they could no longer compete….leaving their loyal customers confused, unprotected, or at the mercy of their new service provider.
Arming Modes of the Best Home Security Systems
OFF — Many of the alarm features are still active even when your home security system is switched off. Your alarm system will still alert you if a doorway or window is opened. The smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors and environmental and life safety systems (i.e. water or low temperature) are still active. So, even if the system isn’t armed, if a fire breaks out your system will still alert the central monitoring station.
Stay– You can arm only the perimeter protection at the doors and windows by arming your system in the “stay” mode. This will enable you to move about the home freely and still have a certain degree of protection.
Away – The away mode will trigger any interior motion detectors in addition to the doors and windows.
Instant — You can eliminate the entry delay on your home security system by arming it in instant mode.
Duress – You can set up a special duress code that will notify the monitoring center that there’s a potential hostage situation.
Panic – The best home security systems are also equipped with an emergency panic button. These will alert the central monitoring station that there is an occupied panic scenario. They will typically dispatch the proper authorities immediately…and then contact the home to verify the signal.
Best Home Security System Arming Options
When evaluating the top security systems, make sure that each of these arming modes and features are available.
The Best Home Security Systems
Things You Can Do With Their Mobile Apps
The Best Home Security Systems have begun to incorporate many new capabilities in recent years. Top alarm systems typically provide a central hub that gives you the ability to control virtually any connected device that is compatible with the system.
- Arm/Disarm System – All home security apps let you arm and disarm your alarm from any mobile device.
Lock/Unlock Doors – With the best security systems, you don’t have to worry if you forgot your keys. Mobile Apps featured by the top alarm companies enable you to unlock compatible door locks.
- Best Security Company Cameras – Best Home Security Compatible Cameras allow you to record video or watch in real-time- right through the app. A security camera from one of our best alarm companies lets you oversee your pets and observe the children as they arrive home from school.
- Real-Time Alerts – Mobile apps from the best alarm companies allow you to set real-time alerts that will notify you via text or e-mail when the kids get home, there is an intrusion, fire or any event you wish to program into the system.
Thermostat Control – Top Home Security systems mobile apps can even serve as a home energy management hub. They allow the user to control the thermostat and…
- Turn Lights On/OFF – ensure that you never have to walk into an unlit home. The best home alarm systems can be equipped with smart lighting which is controlled through the mobile app.
- Control Appliances – With most of our top home security systems, you can even start the coffee maker or an air conditioner from the office. wouldn’t it be great to come home to a warm cup of coffee and/or a cool house?
Mobile Apps – Benefits of the Best Security Systems
Unique Sensor Uses Available in the Best Home Alarm Systems
You can use door or window sensors to safeguard many areas of your home with most of the best home security companies.
Most home security reviews don’t mention it, but basic magnetic contacts can be configured so that they don’t actually activate the alarm. A sensor can be set up so it will chime and send a notification alert through your mobile app. Once you receive a signal, you can observe your home security camera right on your smartphone.
Door or window contacts have a number of alternative uses:
Gun Safe – Place a sensor on your gun cabinet for an extra layer of protection. While most people know enough to lock their gun safes, the best home security companies can provide a second layer of protection with the addition of a magnetic contact- set in “report-only” mode. That way, if someone finds the code or key, your alarm system will send an e-mail notification via SMS or e-mail to alert you when your cabinet is accessed.
Liquor and Medicine Cabinets- You can even monitor the contents of your liquor and medicine cabinets. The best security systems will allow you to set schedules in your app and notify you if a cabinet was not opened by a certain time. This can be useful to ensure that someone is taking medications on a timely basis.
Hazardous Materials- The best home alarm systems can even help protect against accidental poisoning. Install contacts on any cabinet within a child’s reach that might contain harmful or toxic materials. Then program the sensor to in report-only mode.
Tool Shed- If the tool shed is located within the range of the hub of your system, a sensor can be placed on the door of your tool shed as well. In some situations, it may require special outdoor sensors to deal with extreme temperatures and the elements.
Mailbox- Wondering if the mail has been delivered? Door/window sensors can be placed on the mailbox to let you know.
Pool Gate -It is especially important for families with young children to be aware of the status of a pool gate. The best home security companies have outdoor sensors that can be placed on the pool gate. Check with customer service to find out what sensors are best suited for your situation.
Keep in mind that outdoor applications may require more robust sensors. Mounting on some surfaces can be difficult and the distance to the sensor from the main hub of the wireless security system can be a limiting factor.
The best home security system for some people is the company which can provide the most variety of equipment sensors to accomplish specific tasks.
Best Home Security Sensor Uses – Infographic
Other Security System Considerations
Once you’ve narrowed things down a bit, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to choosing the best home security company and putting together and security and home automation system that will meet your needs.
Before making a decision…ask yourself:
- What is your budget for a home security system?
- While home security systems used to be only for the well off, technological advances have brought prices down and made home security affordable for almost anyone. Systems that used to cost many thousands can now be purchased for little or nothing upfront…or a few hundred dollars.
- Are the upfront costs or the monthly costs more of a challenge?
- Some companies now include the costs of the equipment in the monthly monitoring…increasing the monthly cost a bit, but making the initial investment affordable for almost anyone!
- Do you need to have the system professionally installed, or are you comfortable with installing a wireless, self- installed system?
- Most systems are now completely wireless and require no drilling or cutting holes in the walls. The Security system is typically pre-programmed and very simple for virtually anyone to install. No longer is it necessary to wait days or even weeks to schedule a professional installation or allow a stranger into your home.
- How good is the installation support you’ll receive?
- A quality company will ensure a simple, streamlined installation experience by providing quality installation instructions, video tutorials, and e-mail, chat, and phone support with experienced installation personnel.
- Is name recognition important to you?
- Certainly, a company’s length of time in business, reputation, and name recognition are important considerations.
- Do you own your home or rent?
- Some companies require that you own the home, or secure permission from the homeowner before installing a system.
- Are you looking for the latest, cutting edge technology or proven, reliable equipment that has stood the test of time?
- As with any industry, there are always new players introducing new technology. While some people are comfortable with a company with little or no track record, many people prefer equipment that is proven and has stood the test of time.
- Is it important to you that external video cameras are incorporated into the system?
- Not all companies offer external or “pan and tilt” cameras. If you are looking for advanced video capabilities, you might also consider an independent, 3rd party video solution to complement your security system. This would require a separate user interface, but, might be more cost-effective.
- Do you live in an area where cellular service is a challenge? If so, does the company offer landline and/or broadband connectivity?
- Cellular communication provides security against having the phone lines compromised, but, if you live in an area where cellular service is questionable at times, a landline connection may be preferable.
- Are you looking to include home automation features and energy management into your home security system?
- Most of these features can also be run independently of your security system, but many people prefer the convenience of an integrated, all in one, solution.
- Does the company guarantee your monthly rate won’t increase in the future?
- While some companies may offer low initial rates, in the fine print, they reserve the right to increase those rates…even during the term of the initial contract.
- How important are customer service and the length of the warranty?
- Most of the time, you will be committing to at least a 3-year agreement. Shouldn’t your equipment be guaranteed as long as you are a customer?
- Is the convenience of “bundling” worth the less than stellar customer service associated with some of the telecom providers such as TWC Intelligent Home and Cox Homelife?
Once you have a good idea where your individual priorities lie, one of our Top 5 Best Home Security Companies of 2019 will likely fit the bill!
Beyond Choosing The Best Home Security System
Top 10 Home Security Tips
The following some easy steps to protect your property from intruders.
1. When you are going to sleep in the evening, or just going to be out of the house, close and secure all windows and doors.
2. Strengthen entrance doors by using deadbolt locks with high-quality strike plates that have a minimum one-inch throw.
3. Secure sliding glass doorways. Place some sort of metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts. These will help protect against potential thieves from forcing the door open or lifting it away from the track.
4. Get rid of hiding places by continuing to keep shrubbery trimmed near entrance doors as well as windows.
5. Make sure that the outside will be properly illuminated. Motion floodlights for the outdoors really are an inexpensive deterrent.
6. Create the illusion that you are currently home simply by employing timers with lighting, stereos, and TVs. Helping to make the residence seem to be occupied, even when nobody is home, should deter crooks.
7. If you plan on vacation, suspend newspaper and mail delivery service, and also make preparations to have the lawn freshly mowed.
8. Have shades drawn in areas with especially high-priced equipment.
9. You should not leave a key under the doormat, plant pot, etc. near the doorway.
10. You should never announce that you are going on vacation on social media, e-mail autoresponders, or answering machine messages. This informs criminals your property is unoccupied.
Get yourself a professionally monitored wireless home security system. You should sleep a lot better knowing your home is safeguarded.
Home Security Tips from Owners of The Best Home Security Systems
Designing the Best Home Security System
Of course, the best home security system is the one that meets your individual needs at a price point that you find acceptable. However, the best home alarm systems contain many of the following features.
- Perimeter Protection – When it comes to putting together a security plan, the first consideration is setting up a perimeter. Top security companies will usually recommend that you do everything possible to discourage potential intruders with yard signs, window stickers, and security cameras. Beyond that best home security practices dictate that sensors be installed on all doors as well as any vulnerable windows. Many of the best home security systems will also integrate door locks which can be controlled through the smartphone app.
- Interior Protection – A good security system will also include a second line of defense, to detect an intruder if they get past the perimeter protection. Even the basic packages from the best home alarm systems will include motion sensors to be strategically positioned. This is a great way to protect high-value items and/or larger areas with lots of windows. For additional protection, you can also install keypads or panic buttons in an office or bedroom. Many of the best security systems even have voice control or work with Google or Alexa so that you can control the system with voice commands. Additionally, security cameras can be positioned anywhere where one might want to record or view activity.
- Asset Protection- Sensors can also be installed to protect other areas of interest such as gun cabinets or an office that contains sensitive information. Top security systems let you configure individual sensors as “non-reporting. That way, if they are triggered, the system will send a notification through the smartphone app, without setting off the alarm.
- Environmental Protection – The best home security systems can also be set up to help you protect your home and family from environmental dangers such as fire, carbon monoxide, flooding, or freezing. Top-rated security systems have different sensors for each of these applications.
- Home Automation- The best home alarm systems can also serve as the primary hub for home automation. This enables one to manage lighting, cameras with night vision, heat, and air conditioning, doors, and garage door openers- all in one place. Top security systems control essentially any home automation function at the touch of a button.
So, what is the best home security system for you? That depends on your priorities and budget. But follow these tips and best home security practices… and regardless of which company you might select from our list of best home alarm systems, you will be taking many steps to provide your family with the best home security available!
Protecting the Best Home Alarm Systems from Hackers
With the development of the modern IoT (Internet of Things), top home security systems let you manage almost any aspect of your home right from your smartphone or office computer. However, this level of convenience can produce vulnerabilities that can be exploited by potential internet invaders.
If you are thinking about purchasing smart home devices to add to any of the DIY home alarm systems, you want to be sure that you are taking sufficient measures to secure your home network properly.
Tips from Home Security Companies to Keep Top Security Systems Safe from Hackers
Research the Device
When adding smart home equipment to even the Best Home Alarm Systems, be sure that you are dealing with a well-known company that follows standard security protocols and best practices. The best home security companies will require password protection, one or two-step authentication, and will frequently update the firmware.
Register the Device
Always register your equipment. This does a couple of things:
- Activates the warranty
- Qualifies you for any firmware updates.
It is important to stay current with the latest versions of the software. Firmware updates typically address any known vulnerabilities.
Most of the best home security companies have equipment that is capable of over the air updates.
But, even the best security system can’t keep your network secure. That is up to you.
Pay Attention to Passwords
Don’t forget to change the default passwords. Use a mixture of letters, cases, numbers, and symbols that would make it hard to guess.
Each smart device on your home alarm system needs a unique password. This way, if your password for one is compromised, you are not permitting access to all your sensitive accounts.
It is easy to find default passwords online with just a few clicks. This makes even the top home security systems from the best home security companies vulnerable.
If keeping track of a growing number of secure and unique passwords is becoming cumbersome, you may want to check out LastPass.
More Tips on How to Make the Top-Rated Home Security Systems More Secure
Design a Secure Wi-Fi Network
To ensure that hackers can’t easily just disarm your security system, it is important to protect your entire home network.
The best home security companies recommend that you immediately change the name of the network and default password. Be sure to choose a network name that doesn’t give away your location or private details.
Most of the routers that the top security companies recommend allow you to set up a Wi-Fi network specifically for your smart home appliances. This isolates your “smart home” network and prevents hackers from entering the network where you do your banking and store your sensitive information.
Consider Professional Installation
To some people, this might sound a bit complicated.
Keep in mind that some of the best home security companies provide professional installation with built-in smart home integration. Top Security companies have installers who should be well versed in optimizing the security of your network.
Even some of our best DIY security companies can help provide in-home installation services for more advanced security situations.
Reset to Factory Default Settings
Before you dispose of, sell, or give away any smart devices, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remove all of your data. Top home security companies will have clear instructions on how to do a factory reset.
Best Home Security Systems Equipment
Top Security Companies Commonly Used Sensors
Best Home Security System Door Sensors
The best wireless security systems have sensors that will notify you when a door or window is opened.
Best Home Security Smoke Sensor
The Best Home Security monitoring should include fire protection.
Best Home Security System Smart Thermostat
When you compare top security systems, make sure they accommodate smart thermostats.
Top Security Companies Motion Sensors
The best home security includes pet-friendly sensors that detect movement of objects that exceed 40 lbs.
Indoor Video Camera
Best Home Security Systems Camera
Top-rated home security systems must have security cameras.
Best Home Security Companies of 2020 Summary
Why we chose Frontpoint as our #1 Pick
Frontpoint Security…now available without signing a long-term contract!
Perhaps you want Alarm.com interactive services like “Crash and Smash” and Geo-Location or external cameras incorporated into your security system. These were just a couple of reasons that we chose Frontpoint as our top pick .
They offer a comprehensive equipment selection with the latest military-grade encryption.
All of this backed by the best customer service in the industry and an iron-clad, no questions asked 30 Day Return Policy, which includes shipping and no restocking fees!
AND…new for 2020- Frontpoint no longer requires a contract!
Whichever company you choose from our Top 5, you can feel confident that you have made an outstanding selection …and you and your family will enjoy the peace of mind and comfort and convenience that comes with owning one of the best security and home automation systems of 2020!