The Best Home Security System of 2023

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  • ADT continues to revolutionize home security to this day, over a hundred years after it introduced telegraphed security alerts. Today, ADT security systems offer automation and hands-free control with the help of Alexa and Google Assistant.

    Beyond voice control, ADT offers convenient home security in the form of an intuitive smartphone app (ADT Control) and its touchscreen control panel that comes with most ADT systems. Together, ADT equipment guards against burglaries, provides environmental alerts, and offers home automation features, all from the app and the control panel.

    ADT control options Uses
    ADT Control app At home or on-the-go
    Alexa/Google Assistant Voice control at home
    Key fob Quick arm/disarm at home
    Panic button Emergency help at home

    If you’re worried about the price, we can say from experience that ADT is more affordable than most people think. It may not be as affordable as a SimpliSafe system that starts at about $250, but ADT frequently offers discounts or free equipment to offset the slightly higher equipment cost. For example, ADT systems are 40 percent off right now and could come with a free Google Nest Cam if you purchase the right package. If you want the absolute best deals from ADT, though, check our page on ADT deals – they usually peak around the holidays starting on Black Friday.

    >> Related: ADT Black Friday deals

    What We Like
    • 145+ years of security innovation
    • Professional installation
    • High-quality equipment
    • Reliable monitoring with multiple centers
    What We Don’t Like
    • Professional monitoring is more expensive than others
    • Customer service is hit-or-miss
    • Requires long-term contracts
    • Installation Technician must visit your home
    ADT Home Security Equipment
    ADT Home Security Equipment

    Professional Installation

    This is an example of why it matters to make your security system buying decision a personal choice. While some users prefer a DIY installation, there are those who prefer professional installation. If you’re the latter, you’ll like ADT.

    Professional installation is required for every ADT Control security system. That’s non-negotiable. ADT has a reputation to uphold – one that it built over the past 145 years. As such, it wants to ensure that system installations are done right. You’ll get a trained technician who will assess your home, provide suggestions on where to best put sensors, and then install the entire system for you.

    The downside is that it’s not free. When we tested ADT, professional installation cost us about $100, but with that came a lengthy six-month money-back guarantee. ADT essentially assured us that they did the install job correctly and if any issue arises, they’ll fix it. Otherwise, if they can’t fix it, they’ll give us our money back. All ADT systems are covered by this guarantee.

    All in all, the ADT equipment we had installed was valued at around $850, but thanks to their flexible payment options, we didn’t have to shell out that amount upfront. ADT chopped up our equipment fee into easy-to-pay installments.

    World-Class Professional Monitoring

    In addition to professional setup, ADT Control security systems need professional monitoring. This simply means that whenever your system’s sensors are triggered, ADT will be there to check on you and your home.

    ADT combines a number of technologies to make its professional monitoring service as reliable as possible. For instance, if your internet is not working, ADT systems are designed to switch over to cellular networks. If there’s a power outage, the system also has battery backup.

    Even ADT’s monitoring centers are prepared with contingencies. All nine monitoring facilities have backup servers and generators. Yes, ADT has nine facilities, each of them mirroring the others. That’s called redundancy, and it ensures that ADT has facilities running no matter what.

    Lastly, ADT utilizes advanced technology like SMART Monitoring to improve response times. SMART Monitoring is a text-based communication technology that connects family members more efficiently during emergencies, allowing for faster coordination.

    Continuous Innovation

    The home security market is always evolving, but ADT manages to keep up all the time. In fact, it’s leading the charge of innovation by continuously developing new security technologies, including a security robot for business establishments.

    For homes, though, ADT’s latest innovations include smart home automations, a high-tech touch screen hub, and high-end security cameras. These things are included in ADT’s most advanced packages, and you’ll be able to reap their full benefits with an ADT professional monitoring plan.

  • 2. SimpliSafe – Best No-Contract Home Security System

    A popular choice for no-contract, easy DIY setup, and refreshingly affordable home security. (Right now you can get 50-percent off a new system with a free first month of professional monitoring.)

    Product Specs

    Equipment Costs Starting at $250
    Monitoring Options Professional and DIY
    Monthly Monitoring Costs Starting at $20
    Contract Lengths Single month only
    Installation Options DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home

    For those who are leaning more towards DIY setup than professional installation, SimpliSafe is a smart choice. After living with it for a few weeks, we can say that it’s a versatile system that can work for renters (no drilling and permanent installation) as well as homeowners (scalable security system). It’s also quite affordable.

    SimpliSafe security systems start at $250. If you read our breakdown of security system costs, you’ll see that that’s below the industry average, especially with providers that charge $500 or more for a basic system. Here’s where it gets even better: If you time your purchase right, you might be able to get up to 60-percent off, especially around big shopping days like Black Friday. Those special offers can drop the prices down to below $150.

    >> Check Out: SimpliSafe Black Friday Deals

    Then, there are the options SimpliSafe provides. You can choose from a wide variety of equipment, you can DIY the installation process or hire a professional, you can self-monitor for free or pay for professional monitoring, and there are no long-term contracts for the monitoring plans should you choose to get one. You’ll pay month-to-month and you can stop anytime.

    Lastly, SimpliSafe is user-friendly, from the simple installation process that often takes less than an hour to the functional app and keypad that comes with the system, almost everything about SimpliSafe is simple. (Not perfect, but simple.)

    Read on for our reasons why SimpliSafe was best for no-contract home security.

    What We Like
    • No long-term contracts to sign
    • Easiest installation of any system
    • Incredibly affordable monitoring plans
    • Award-winning professional monitoring
    What We Don’t Like
    • Pricey up-front equipment costs
    • Limited home automation capabilities
    • No outdoor security camera options
    • May be too simple for some homes
    SimpliSafe Base Station
    SimpliSafe Base Station

    Low Prices for Equipment & Monitoring

    SimpliSafe has always been one of the cheaper home security solutions. You can buy a starter kit for about $250, and once the system is in place, you won’t have to pay a monthly fee. That is, if you’re okay with monitoring the system yourself. Otherwise, professional monitoring will cost you $19.99 to $29.99 monthly, which is still well below the average cost of security monitoring.

    Additionally, SimpliSafe offers discounts almost the entire year. It’s usually around 20- to 40-percent, but you can get higher than that during peak holiday seasons starting November (Black Friday) until January (New Year). SimpliSafe Black Friday deals last year dropped the price of its security systems by up to 60-percent.

    You can time your purchase to enjoy the biggest savings, but even without these deals, SimpliSafe systems are among the most affordable ones around.

    Quality Equipment

    Although affordable, SimpliSafe’s equipment is far from cheap in terms of quality. SimpliSafe manufactures and develops its own equipment, and every piece goes through rigorous quality testing.

    One example that shows SimpliSafe’s hardware quality is the base station that comes with the SmashSafe anti-tampering feature. If someone makes an attempt to disable the base station – either by smashing it or tampering with it – the base station will sound an alarm and let you and the monitoring center know. It also has a 24-hour battery backup so even unplugging it won’t work.

    Similarly, there’s a feature called Heartbeat that checks every connected component and alerts you when one gets disconnected. We accidentally moved one door sensor out of the base station’s range, and before we knew it, we got an app alert telling us that a door sensor had been disconnected.

    SimpliSafe also offers a good variation of security cameras, consisting of the SimpliCam indoor camera, the new Smart Alarm smart indoor camera, the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera Pro, and the SimpliSafe video doorbell. All of these devices work together to help ensure your home stays intruder-free. The Smart Alarm camera can even be monitored by live agents for more robust intruder protection. And like any SimpliSafe hardware, these security cameras aren’t expensive at all.

    SimpliSafe camera options Price
    SimpliCam $99
    Smart Alarm indoor camera $139.99
    SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera Pro $189.99
    SimpliSafe Video Doorbell $169.99

    FYI: Due to a global computer chip shortage, the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera is in limited supply. For now, you can buy it with a SimpliSafe system, but not individually.

    Simple to Install and Move

    One of SimpliSafe’s major selling points is its easy setup. The entire process took us just 20 minutes, although we estimate it would take someone inexperienced about 30-40 minutes to manage.

    The equipment is either freestanding, as is the case with the base station, or wall-mounted using peel-and-stick adhesive, which is the case for the motion and entryway sensors.

    SimpliSafe is just as easy to dismantle, which comes in handy if you ever have to move. Combined with no-contract professional monitoring, that makes SimpliSafe a favorite for both renters and homeowners.

    That said, if you prefer professional installation, that’s also an option. SimpliSafe partnered up with OnTech to provide installation services. The price starts at $124.99, but it may increase depending on the size and complexity of your system.

  • 3. Vivint – Best Pro Installation

    An intelligent approach to home security with an impressive lineup of home automation features.

    Product Specs

    Equipment Costs Starting at $600
    Monitoring Options Professional only
    Monthly Monitoring Costs Starting at $40
    Contract Lengths 42-60 months
    Installation Options Professional
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home

    Vivint is a far more advanced security system than the ones we usually test. It is stacked with home automation features, plus it offers video monitoring driven by artificial intelligence. Vivint is not something an average user can and would want to install themselves, but fortunately, it is a professionally installed system. And based on our experience, they have the best installation service around.

    Better still, you can get professional installation for free (normally, it’s $199) if you find a Vivint special deal. That’s more than you can ask for from a smart security company with some of the best home automation features and security cameras on the market.

    Vivint is a little more expensive than some DIY security options. The thing is, when you sign up with a company like Vivint, you know your home is protected 24 hours a day. We understand some home owners prefer to do things themselves, mostly to save a little money. But when you have a DIY system, and you happen to be getting your teeth cleaned, or seeing a movie, or just–you know–sleeping, no one has eyes on your property. We’re big proponents of paying the extra money to let the professionals handle our security with professional monitoring.  And that’s Vivint.

    Of course, the other aspect of Vivint’s pricing plans is that they require a three-year contract. Not everyone wants to be locked into three years. For those home owners who are looking for a premium, substantial system, though, a three-year plan actually makes a lot of sense.

    What We Like
    • Best smart home automation features available
    • Well-designed, modern equipment
    • Lifetime warranty on equipment/devices
    • Free professional installation
    What We Don’t Like
    • Long-term contract is required
    • Equipment and service is more expensive than most
    • Costly to move equipment to a different home
    • Equipment pricing can be confusing
    Vivint Entry Sensor on Door
    Vivint Entry Sensor on Door

    Voice Commands

    Vivint combines the latest in smart home technology to deliver one of the most convenient to use home security systems in the market. Voice control is a pretty big selling point for Vivint, enabled through its Alexa and Google Assistant integration.

    Through either of the two voice assistants, you can command Vivint to arm your security system, control smart home devices (“dim the lights,” “close the garage door,” etc.) and report sensor status.

    Of course, more traditional control options are also available. There’s an app that compiles all the controls you’ll ever need to manage your home, as well as a touchscreen control panel. Control key fobs and panic buttons are also available.

    Home Security with AI

    Vivint systems are built around a control panel, called the Vivint Smart Hub, and boy is it really smart. Automations make life easier for Vivint users, as the hub can perform certain actions based on a number of inputs. For example, it can arm on its own at night, making sure you don’t leave your home unattended when you go to dreamland.

    Other examples of automations we had set up were:

    • If our security system detected that nobody was home, it could set our thermostat to conserve energy.
    • If it learned that we usually returned home at a certain time, it would reset the temperature in time for our arrival.

    Vivint reported that intelligent energy management saved customers about 10 to 15% on home heating and cooling.

    We could control Vivint Sky’s adaptation. Under our direction, our security system gradually transitioned along a three-point continuum:

    1. Only taking orders
    2. Making suggestions based on our previous interactions
    3. Taking actions on its own

    High-Quality Cameras

    Vivint made cutting-edge security cameras for our indoor and outdoor use. We could record video anytime with cloud storage and remotely adjust each camera’s settings.

    We were most impressed by the newest Vivint security camera, the Outdoor Camera Pro with night vision. It provided 24/7 “lurker detection,” thanks to artificial intelligence.

    Vivint’s security lineup also includes the Ping indoor camera and the Doorbell Camera Pro which features a 180-degree by 180-degree field of view.

  • 4. Alder Security – Best Security System for Response Times

    With response times 10 times faster than the rest, the professional monitoring from Alder was top-notch.

    Product Specs

    Equipment Costs Starting at $0
    Monitoring Options Professional only
    Monthly Monitoring Costs Starting at $35
    Contract Lengths 36 months
    Installation Options Professional or DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home

    Every second counts during a security breach, and with Alder, we had peace of mind that help would come ASAP if we were ever in a dire situation. Alder boasts a response time that is 10 times faster than the average alarm company, and we saw what it can do during our numerous test alarm calls to the company.

    Alder’s reputation for being one of the companies with the fastest response times started in 2017 when the company notched a 3.7-second average response time. Since then, Alder never looked back and kept up its excellent alarm response performance.

    Read on for more Alder features that made us consider it an elite security system.

    What We Like
    • Quick installation
    • 30-day trial period
    • User-friendly mobile app
    • Free equipment
    What We Don’t Like
    • Three-year contracts
    • Not many equipment options
    • Pricing isn’t listed on website
    • Expensive monthly fees
    Alder's Motion Sensor
    Alder’s Motion Sensor

    Trial Period

    The first thing you should know about Alder is that it requires a three-year agreement. That’s an awfully long time, especially for renters such as ourselves. It’s also a huge risk even for homeowners to sign a contract without knowing if the system works for their needs.

    There is a silver lining, though. Alder comes with a 30-day money-back trial period. The contract doesn’t fully kick in until the 30th day, giving you enough time to try Alder first-hand and see if it works for you. If you cancel within the trial period, you’ll get a full refund less the shipping cost, which is a pretty fair deal.

    Alexa Integration

    We’ve been slowly building up our Alexa smart home over the last several years, adding devices one at a time. So we were pretty excited to find how well the Alder system integrates with the Echo station and our other smart products. In addition to checking the Alder system status, we were able to use Alexa to arm and disarm our security. We even connected our security to our thermostat so that when we arrive home our house is the perfect temperature, no matter the season.

    Note: Alder’s newer control panel didn’t work with smart thermostats that connected over Z-Wave, unlike the older systems with GC2 panels.

    DIY Installation

    It literally took us less than 15 minutes to install our Alder security system. All we had to do was plug in the control panel and set it up on the screen, stick the sensors on our walls, doors, and windows, and download the Alder Security app to our iPhones and Androids. Alder also offered us professional installation on the house!

  • 5. Cove – Best for Installation and Convenience

    Cove is a newer security company that’s disrupting the market by providing self-installed home security with professional monitoring and equipment. If you want a quick and easy setup, it’s one of the best security systems around.

    Product Specs

    Equipment Costs Starting at $87
    Monitoring Options Professional and DIY
    Monthly Monitoring Costs Starting at $50
    Contract Lengths Single month only
    Installation Options DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home

    Cove is another DIY option that rivals SimpliSafe in terms of simplicity and budget-friendliness. Cove’s monitoring plans start at $17.99 per month, and you can get started on a system for under $200.

    Our favorite thing about Cove is the installation process. When we ordered a system, Cove sent us pre-programmed equipment that was ready to work out of the box. We simply plugged in the control panel and pulled out the battery tabs out of the sensors and they paired right away. To activate the system, we just called Cove’s customer support. All in all, including the customer support call, we spent less than 30 minutes installing Cove.

    What We Like
    • Integrations with Google Assistant and Alexa
    • No long-term contracts
    • Can choose to pay nothing upfront
    • Battery backup
    What We Don’t Like
    • Professional monitoring required
    • Monthly fees required
    • Relatively new company
    • Doesn’t sell home automation equipment
    Cove Motion Sensor
    Cove Motion Sensor

    24/7 Professional Monitoring

    Being a newer company, we were surprised that all of Cove’s systems require 24/7 professional monitoring for either $17.99 or $27.99 a month, but since we prefer professional monitoring over self-monitoring anyway, it wasn’t a big deal. That extra $10 a month got us remote control, Alexa and Google Assistant integrations, a lifetime lock on our monthly rate, plus a $5 monthly credit if we wanted to buy extra equipment. We think that’s worth it for the remote control and smart home integrations alone!

    Text Communications with Cove Plus

    It might seem counterintuitive, but we found Cove’s text communications to be quite useful. Whenever the system gets tripped, Cove sends a link to a text-based communication system, where everyone in your family circle can communicate. Unlike traditional alarm systems that only call one member of the family to verify alerts, Cove’s InstaText system allows for a more efficient and faster emergency response. That’s one of the reasons that Cove’s response rate is three to four times faster than its competitors.

    The InstaText system also reduces false alarms, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars in false alarm fees. If the alert turns out to be a false alarm, you and your family circle can easily waive it off through InstaText. In a traditional system, if you miss the call, the cops might be called to respond, which could lead to false alarm fees from your city or local police department. In a way, Cove is also helping the government reduce unnecessary spending due to false alarms.

  • 6. Frontpoint – Best Home Security and Automation

    DIY home security systems offering cutting-edge technology, outstanding service, and total home automation.

    Product Specs

    Equipment Costs Starting at $99
    Monitoring Options Professional only
    Monthly Monitoring Costs Starting at $18
    Contract Lengths 1-36 months
    Installation Options DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home

    Frontpoint finds the sweet spot between DIY and professional. Setup is DIY, which saves us money. And the process isn’t just DIY: it’s simple and straightforward. Monitoring, though, is professional, which we always advocate. Plus, each system supports burglary prevention, environmental protection, and home automation.

    Another great thing about Frontpoint is that you can order a system hassle-free online or by phone, and Frontpoint’s sales agents were refreshingly low pressure in our experience. The cheapest package costs $129, and they even pointed us in the direction of the online deals they were running at the time.

    What We Like
    • Full home security and automation solution
    • Easy DIY installation takes only minutes
    • Impressive smart home features and capabilities
    • High-quality equipment
    What We Don’t Like
    • Requires a long-contract
    • Can be prone to false alarms
    • Requires a credit check if you finance your system
    • No other monitoring option besides the $49.99 a month plan
    Frontpoint Security System
    Frontpoint Security System

    Rapid Response Emergency Monitoring

    Frontpoint is a DIY system, so we installed the equipment ourselves. However, we did leave the monitoring of the system to the pros by enrolling in a professional emergency monitoring service. With this service, we can rest assured that someone will be there to help us or call for help on our behalf during alarm incidents.

    Additionally, for the $49.99 monthly fee, we’d get professional monitoring, access to the app, home automation, and video monitoring — basically every feature in Frontpoint’s arsenal. It’s the only subscription plan they offer, so we’re glad it has everything.

    A Frontpoint rep explained that Frontpoint won’t be monitoring our system themselves, but rather a third-party partner takes care of 24/7 monitoring. The company is called Rapid Response Monitoring Services.

    We checked out the company and found pretty interesting things about them. They have a great reputation and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. What impressed us the most, however, was the robust backup measures they have in place in case of power outages and national crises.

    The company has two monitoring facilities, each at different locations. The two are redundant, which means they have exactly the same resources and setup. If one goes down, the other can easily take over. This ensures that the monitoring centers never go offline. That’s a setup we’d gladly put our trust in, and we did.

    Rich In Features

    Frontpoint is one of the leading security systems thanks in part to its feature-rich security systems. As stated, the Ultimate plan includes everything from home security to home automation and video monitoring. To complement it, Frontpoint offers basic and advanced systems that are not only scalable, but also offer a wide range of features.

    Just look at the mid-range equipment package from Frontpoint and what it includes. It has the usual home security components such as motion sensors and entry sensors, but you can also get an indoor security camera and a video doorbell for monitoring your entryway. Mid-range packages also include a heat and smoke sensor to protect your home from fire.

    Even if you buy a pre-set bundle, you can still add components to your system. Your options include glass break sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, garage door sensors, CO and flood sensors, and a whole lot of home automation devices. And remember, you can use all of these devices without having to pay any more than the $49.99 monthly fee.

  • 7. Brinks Home Security – Best DIY Home Security System

    Easy to install home security system that works with Google Assistant and Alexa.

    Product Specs

    Equipment Costs Starting at $199
    Monitoring Options Professional only
    Monthly Monitoring Costs Starting at $29
    Contract Lengths 36 months
    Installation Options DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home

    Not only do we love DIY installation because it’s free, but with Brinks, we got help over the phone anyway, without having to pay. Plus, if we had signed up for the Smart Security Ultimate Package, we could’ve gotten professional installation for free! But we digress.

    When we set up our Brinks security system, we talked on the phone with an installation expert who helped us every step of the way. After we set the system up, we did a test medical alarm call (with the guidance of the support agent we were on the phone with) and talked more about how the system worked. The entire process took us 35 minutes and was actually, dare we say, pleasant, as far as home security installation goes.

    What We Like
    • DIY installation with free phone support
    • Google Assistant and Alexa integrations
    • Affordable professional monitoring
    • Easy-to-use Alarm.com app
    What We Don’t Like
    • No proprietary Google Assistant action
    • Three-year contracts
    • Pricey professional monitoring
    • No proprietary app
    Brinks Glassbreak Sensor
    Brinks Glassbreak Sensor

    Smart Home Integrations

    We controlled our Brinks system using Alexa and Google Assistant, because who doesn’t love a good voice command? After figuring out that Brinks only works with the Alarm.com Google Assistant action, we used Google to:

    • Arm our system
    • Control IoT devices
    • Ask if our system was armed

    Alexa had one more capability, disarming the system as well. We had fun telling our voice assistants to play our live footage on the big screen, as Brinks works well with Echo Shows, Fire TV Sticks, Nest Hubs, Apple TV, Chromecast, etc. In fact, Brinks systems can act as a hub for up to 119 smart home devices.

    Brinks Home Panel
    Brinks Home Panel

    Professional Monitoring

    Brinks doesn’t allow customers to self-monitor, but that’s not a turn-off considering Brinks’ relatively affordable pricing. We say “relatively” because it’s more expensive than monitoring from the likes of Cove and SimpliSafe, but Brinks is on the cheaper end compared to brands like Vivint and Frontpoint. And unlike Frontpoint, Brinks lets its customers decide the level of protection and amount of features they want with its three-tiered monitoring plan pricing.

    Package name Cost per month Description
    Smart Security Essential $39.99 Basic home security with smartphone access
    Smart Security Complete $44.99 Home security plus home automation features
    Smart Security Ultimate $49.99 Home security, home automation, and video monitoring

    While these aren’t the lowest prices for monitoring we’ve ever seen, they’re also not the most expensive, and for 24/7 protection, we felt that the monitoring plans are worthwhile. Plus, the plans include cellular backup, which kept us connected to the monitoring center even during a neighborhood blackout.

  • 8. abode – Best No Monthly Fee Home Security System

    Get home security and smart home automation without all the contracts and monthly fees.

    Product Specs

    Equipment Costs Starting at $199
    Monitoring Options Professional and DIY
    Monthly Monitoring Costs Starting at $20
    Contract Lengths Single month only
    Installation Options DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit

    Abode was one of the best security companies that allowed us to monitor activity for free; we loved that we could access all features of their mobile app without paid service. We had the options for long-term and very short-term contracts, too. If we were away for a long weekend, for example, we could order three days of professional monitoring.

    Pro Tip: It’s always rewarding to shop abode systems around special days, like Black Friday, Christmas, and New Years. Abode offers huge discounts around the holidays, sometimes up to 50-percent.

    We bought our equipment through the Abode website, the only place it was available. We built a high-quality Abode system for security alerts, environmental monitoring, and home automation. Additionally, we used the option for voice commands with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit. Read on for details about why Abode security was one of our favorites.

    What We Like
    • No contracts, with flexible monitoring options
    • All-in-one CUE smart home automation platform
    • Compatible with both Zigbee and Z-Wave
    • Extensive equipment and device offerings
    What We Don’t Like
    • Requires up-front equipment purchase
    • Add-ons and equipment upgrades get pricey
    • No outdoor security camera options
    • Limited support with base security plan
    abode Motion Sensor
    abode Motion Sensor

    DIY Monitoring and Control

    For DIY monitoring our Abode security system connected to a mobile app. Without paid service, we could arm our system, watch live video surveillance, adjust lighting and temperature, and use all other app features.

    For three days, the Abode app stored our system activity for free. Longer storage was available to us with paid contracts.

    Professional Monitoring

    We could select professional monitoring by Abode, which added emergency dispatch service and kept a 90-day log of our system’s activity.

    We could easily switch from one monitoring plan to another within the billing section of our app. The best Abode monitoring deal we found required one year of prepaid service.

    Advanced Equipment

    Abode’s high-quality sensors detected movement and environmental threats in and around our home. For the ultimate simplicity, we could have chosen an all-in-one security tower with a video camera. We chose the following components as part of our Abode set:

    • Motion sensors that take pictures
    • Glass vibration sensors
    • Acoustic glass break sensors
    • Wide-angle video cameras

    In addition, we were able to add an Abode Cam 2 indoor/outdoor camera for just $27.00. We splurged and bought a couple of the company’s smart light bulbs as well.

    One of our favorite aspects about Abode, was the Abode home security app also integrated automation devices from third parties. Hue lights, Kwikset locks, and Nest thermostats were some of the options we had.

    We could use voice control integrations with both Amazon and Google through Abode. These let us get hands-free help around the home. All we had to do to adjust our home’s lighting, blinds, temperature, and more, was talk.

  • 9. Deep Sentinel – Best Security System for Artificial Intelligence

    Deep Sentinel’s cameras can distinguish suspicious behaviors from non-suspicious behaviors, the only AI of this type in the home security industry.

    Product Specs

    Equipment Costs Starting at $399
    Monitoring Options Professional and DIY
    Monthly Monitoring Costs Starting at $60
    Contract Lengths 1-12 months
    Installation Options DIY
    Smart Platform Integration None

    While other security cameras can simply distinguish people, pets, vehicles and packages from other moving objects, Deep Sentinel is designed to detect suspicious behaviors. That includes attempted robberies, vandalism, car theft and burglary, making your notifications matter more.

    What We Like
    • Advanced AI
    • 24/7 professional monitoring
    • DIY installation
    • Month-to-month contracts
    What We Don’t Like
    • Pricey systems
    • Expensive professional monitoring
    • No self-monitoring only option
    • No smart platform integrations
    Deep Sentinel Hub
    Deep Sentinel Hub

    DIY Installation

    After we watched the instructional video, setting up our Deep Sentinel system took about half an hour. All we had to do was plug the cameras in and sync them with our mobile app and the hub. Of course, we had to mount the cameras as well, but we loved the fact that Deep Sentinel gave us a screwdriver plus step-by-step instructions in the app.

    Fast Response Times

    In 30 seconds, we would have gotten alerted of any robbery attempts, break-ins involving our doors or windows, violent behavior, package theft attempts and more. Within 60 seconds, we would’ve gotten confirmations of packages deliveries, notifications that someone was standing at our front door or that police were on our property. Leveraging advanced AI capabilities with 24/7 professional monitoring, Deep Sentinel has some of the fastest response times in the business, next to Alder of course.

    Advanced Equipment

    Deep Sentinel offers some of the best equipment in the business, packed with all sorts of AI technology. The system hub can process more than fifty images a second and label each one with a security classification. In addition, Deep Sentinel offers both wireless and PoE options. With Power over Ethernet, you don’t have to connect your cameras to an outlet. Just plug in the ethernet cord, and you’re all set.

  • 10. Ring Alarm Security Kit – Best Alexa Home Security System

    The Amazon-owned Ring Alarm plays well with Alexa and offers 24/7 monitoring for just $10/mo.

    Product Specs

    Equipment Costs Starting at $199
    Monitoring Options Professional and DIY
    Monthly Monitoring Costs Starting at $20
    Contract Lengths 1-12 months
    Installation Options DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home

    We were obsessed with our Alexa, so we were thrilled to test out Ring, which is owned by Amazon and was compatible with Alexa. When we did our shopping, we found out Ring also sold high-decibel alarm systems compatible with video cameras, environmental monitoring, home automation, and voice control.

    This system allowed us to self-monitor or pay for an affordable month-to-month monitoring service. Note that Ring now has the Ring Alarm Pro system available, which is a security system with a built-in router with extra features built for digital safety.

    What We Like
    • Highly-affordable professional monitoring at $20 per month
    • Advanced home automation features and Alexa integrations
    • No contract required on Ring Alarm systems
    • Simple DIY setup takes only minutes to install
    What We Don’t Like
    • Requires up-front equipment purchase
    • Premium cameras are expensive
    • Ring Alarm is a relatively new product offering
    • System is not as comprehensive as professional offerings
    Ring Alarm Keypad
    Ring Alarm Keypad

    Low-Cost & Free Features

    Our most affordable option was Ring’s simplest home security package, which cost $199.99 retail. Optional monitoring started at just $20, and we could cancel anytime without penalty. Another option is to self-monitor for free, but if you have Ring cameras as well, we recommend paying for cloud storage, at least, which starts at $3 a month for one camera or $10 for unlimited cameras. Exclusive Ring security discounts were available to teachers, military members, and first responders.

    We were able to self-monitor our home with Ring’s free mobile app. Ring also developed a free Crimewatch app, Neighbors App that we could choose to join or not join. In our area, it added community power to home security with safety alerts from neighbors, police, and Ring.

    Video Security with Low Bandwidth Demand

    Our Ring video security cameras were high definition, but they were set to record only when motion was detected. This put less demand on our home Wi-Fi service compared with popular competitors systems which recorded constantly. This would have mattered a lot to us if we didn’t have an unlimited Wi-Fi data plan or were concerned our home security would slow down our other online activity.

    Third-Party Integration

    Ring was so easy for us to use because its security hub was compatible with devices from so many brands. Some examples included:

    • First Alert smoke/carbon monoxide detector
    • GE light dimmers
    • Schlage smart deadbolts
    • Chamberlain garage door openers
    • Honeywell thermostats

    However, not all our third-party gadgets could be monitored by emergency dispatchers. To save us time, we found a list of certified products that were available on the Ring security website.

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