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Home Security Systems: Compare and Review


Why Burglars Single You Out


Prevent Home Burglary


Are Home Security Systems Worth It?


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Top Home Security Systems

Thinking of home security? Here are our top picks. Read our expert review to find out why they are the best in class.

Here are the top security systems you should not ignore:

In this article, we will detail about what homeowners like you need to know when shopping for home security and alarm systems and compare the top systems so you know what’s best for protecting your home.

What to Look for in a Home Security System

Security systems come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which one is best for you. Here are the key areas to pay attention to when evaluating your options.

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 Protect AmericaFrontpointADT
Discount
Home Security
Customer Service
Equipment
Mobile App
Packages
Cancellation
Installation
Yard Sign
Home Automation

Price

Like most other things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to home security systems. A simple alarm setup could cost you just a hundred dollars upfront if you are up to doing the monitoring from your own smartphone. On the other end of the spectrum, a complete security system with cameras, sensors and around-the-clock monitoring will require a monthly investment and possibly a multi-year contract.

Tip: If your biggest consideration is price, consider a provider like Protect America, our top choice alarm system for value. Plans start at just $19.99/month. You install the system yourself, receive a bunch of equipment upfront at no cost, and your monthly bill can be significantly lower than their competitors.

    Protect America

    Protect America: Get Free Home Security Quote

    Get up to $1,400 in free equipment with Protect America, a CreditDonkey #1 recommended partner for the best home security system for the money. Includes 24/7 professional monitoring, easy setup, and no installation fees.

Customer Service

Online customer reviews can help you find out how the alarm company you are considering stands up to the competition. You can also check with your local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been complaints filed. Be sure to ask friends and neighbors about their experience, too. Word of mouth goes a long way towards getting a sense of how a company operates after you have become a customer.

Tip: Check out our FrontPoint review to learn why we think their customer service is outstanding.

Installation: Professional vs. DIY

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Some home security providers offer wireless do-it-yourself systems. You will save money since you won’t need a professional to come to your house to get your system up and running.

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If a self-install does not sound like your thing, do not fret. Many companies will come out and install your system, but it’s probably going to cost you more.

Tip: If you want professional installation, ADT or Vivint will send a technician to your house to install your system. Otherwise, many consumers now opt for the do-it-yourself route, which is usually wireless and requires no drilling.

Types of Monitoring Connections

Most home security systems include 24/7 monitoring that notifies law enforcement at the first sign of a potential emergency, even if you are unavailable. However, it’s up to you to choose the type of connection that’s best for you. Your options include:

  • Landlines (popular but risky because thieves can cut the cord, leaving you unprotected)
  • Broadband (uses an Internet connection so it’s safer than a landline)
  • Cellular (uses cell towers and is comparable in price to broadband)

Did you know: FrontPoint is 100% cellular while Protect America lets you choose the technology to match your budget.

Security Cameras

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Whether you are home or not, video surveillance ensures no activity goes unnoticed. You can see if the cat has knocked your plant off the table or if a bad guy is the culprit.

Did you know: You could always skip the cost of live security cameras and install fake ones. The appearance of a surveillance system, even if it is just a camera showing a red dot, can be a huge deterrent for would-be intruders.

Mobile Access

Modern alarm systems allow you control many aspects of your system from your mobile device – you can arm and disarm, receive alerts, and even control lights, small appliances, and locks remotely. This means that no matter where you are, you will have control and a connection to your home.

Make sure you look over all the details as this is one area where many fancy marketing words can become confusing. Make sure you know what your actual system capabilities will be. If a home security system will be a big priority for you, make sure you understand what you’re getting and how much control you’ll actually have.

Home Automation

If you’re always on the go, home automation may be ideal for you. This technology allows you to schedule and remotely manage your thermostat, lights, small appliances and locks.

This is a recent offering in the home security realm and one way companies are trying to set themselves apart. First, figure out what you want to be able to control when you are away and then see which companies most closely align with what you are looking for.

Contract / Terms and Conditions

It’s easy to get excited at the idea of not having to pay for equipment. But watch out for hidden terms and conditions in your contract. Most companies lock you into a 3-year contract. SimpliSafe, on the other hand, requires no contract and lets you cancel anytime.

However, if you plan to stay in your house for at least 3 years, it might not be an issue for you.

Tip for renters: A wireless system means it can move it with you. If you decide to go with a hardwire system instead, make sure to check with your landlord to see if it's OK before installing.

Watch Out for Scams

Beware of fraudsters who travel from door-to-door posing as sales representatives. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), common signs of a security system scam include:

  • High-pressure sales tactics to get you to “act now”
  • False claims about recent burglaries in the area
  • An offer to upgrade your existing system
  • An invitation to continue coverage because your company recently shut its doors

If faced with any of these scenarios, shut the door and immediately notify your security provider.

Bottom Line

Deciding on a new home security system is a balancing act between what you want and what you can afford. What are your priorities and what are just nice-to-haves? And what things you don’t want anything to do with (for many, multi-year contracts hit this mark)? Can you handle a DIY installation or would you rather leave it to the pros? Are you determined to have round-the-clock monitoring (the costliest option) or could you make do with other ways to deter would-be intruders?

You do not want to spend more on your new system than you have to. Do some comparison shopping - we recommend comparing at least three providers—and it’ll become clear which one deserves the right to watch over your home.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.


Compare Home Security

    Protect America
    Read ReviewVisit Site

    Protect America

    • Home Security: Plans start from $19.99/month to $54.99/month. All plans include free equipment, no installation fees, and 24/7 monitoring.
      $54.99 Cellular Monitoring Plan includes cellular connection, smartphone control, automated door locks, and lighting control.
    Pros:
    • Plans start at $19.99/month
    • Free equipment with contract
    • Easy installation
    Cons:
    • 3-year contract
    Our Review: (4.4) Protect America offers home security starting at a jaw-dropping $19.99 per month. But it has limitations you need to know. Find out if it's right for your home... Read full review

    Get Free Home Security Quote

    Frontpoint
    Read Review

    Frontpoint

    • Home Security: Plans start from $34.99/month to $49.99/month. All plans offer 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring. $49.99 Ultimate Plan supports video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
    Pros:
    • Excellent customer service
    • Easy installation
    Cons:
    • Plans start at $34.99/month
    • Equipment cost
    Our Review: (4.3) Frontpoint is one of the top DIY home security system on the market. But is it right for your home? Read on for the pros and cons... Read full review
    ADT
    Read Review

    ADT

    • Home Security: Plans start from $28.99/month to $58.99/month. All plans include 24/7 monitoring for burglary.
      $58.99 ADT Pulse Video Plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
    Pros:
    • Brand recognition
    • Professional installation
    Cons:
    • Long-term commitment
    Our Review: (4.2) ADT is certainly the most popular name in home security, but is it really the best? Our in-depth review will give insight into its pros and cons... Read full review
    Vivint
    Read Review

    Vivint

    • Home Security: Plans start from $39.99/month. All plans include 24/7 monitoring, remote access, and touchscreen control panel. Smart Protect Plan starts at $49.99/month and Smart Control Plan starts at $60.99/month.
    Pros:
    • High-tech system
    • Professional installation
    • Comprehensive features
    Cons:
    • 42 month contract
    Our Review: (4.2) Vivint offers high-tech features that set it apart, but is this home security system worth the high monthly fee? Read this in-depth review to learn if Vivint is any good before you commit... Read full review
    SimpliSafe
    Read Review

    SimpliSafe

    • Home Security: $14.99 Standard Alarm Monitoring
      $24.99 Interactive Alarm Monitoring includes SMS/Email Alerts and Smartphone Control
    Pros:
    • No long-term commitment
    • Low monthly fee
    • Easy installation
    Cons:
    • Limited technology
    • Equipment cost
    Our Review: (3.8) SimpliSafe has low costs and no contract. But how good is this DIY home security system? Read on for the pros and cons and see how it compares... Read full review
    LiveWatch
    Read Review

    LiveWatch

    • Home Security: Plans start from $19.95/month to $49.95/month. All plans include 24/7 monitoring.
      $29.95 Mobile Pro Plan includes smartphone control.
      $39.95 Total Home Plan includes home automation.
      $49.95 Total Home+Video Plan supports video streaming.
    Pros:
    • Plans start at $19.99/month
    • Cancel anytime
    • Easy installation
    Cons:
    • Equipment cost
    Our Review: (3.9) LiveWatch offers home security at a low monthly fee. You can cancel anytime, so what's the catch? Read this in-depth review for the pros and cons... Read full review

Articles on Home Security

    Prevent Home Burglary

    Tips
    Must-read guide to prevent home burglary. Protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property with these 10 simple steps to secure your home.

    Are Home Security Systems Worth It

    By Rebecca Lake - Tips
    Want a home security system, but not sure if they are worth the cost? Read on for the pros and cons and things to know before you sign up.

    Why Burglars Single You Out

    By Rebecca Lake - Tips
    Avoid becoming another statistic by knowing what types of homes burglars like — and behaviors they're looking for. We have 23 reasons you could become the next victim of a home burglary.

    Best Home Security

    September 10, 2014 - By Cynthia Cohen - Reviews
    Some people rely on their dog for security (a pit bull, yes but a toy poodle, not so much). Others feel a deadbolt offers enough reassurance when they turn in for the night. But many of us need to feel safer at night and when we're away from home.

    Home Security Mistakes

    Tips
    Are you making these home security mistakes and don't even know it? Here are the 10 most common mistakes — and how to fix them.

    Why Dogs Fail as Home Security Systems

    By Allison Martin - Tips
    Your dog's bark may be fierce, but it's probably not enough to stop a burglar.

    Home Invasion Statistics

    August 5, 2017 - Tips
    Home invasions aren't always violent. 11% of burglars even remove a door or window while the occupants are home. The average loss is around $2,000 per home invasion.

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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a home security comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.