We have evaluated and tested 14 top home security systems, undergone 72 hours of research, and interviewed seven experts to help us sort out the best home security system. Our evaluation process was based on some crucial parameters like usage, battery backup, connectivity, monitoring services, support, warranty, and installation.
After the evaluation, SimpliSafe Wireless Professional Monitoring outscored all the other security systems. If you like to know our testing process, you can navigate to a section describing our test process. You can also read our detailed Buyer’s Guide to make a wise decision.
Best Home Security Systems
1. SimpliSafe 24/7 Professional Monitoring – Best As Starter Kit
We know how complicated the process of installing a security system is. The SimpliSafe kit makes the process easier. Probably, it is the easiest to set up home security system we have evaluated. There is a voice as well as text form of prompts to help you through the installation.
The system has a testing mode that allows you to check if all the devices are connected. After you are sure of connections, you can arm the device with a simple “away” button. Moreover, to disarm the system, there is a separate “home” button like most of the home security devices.
Once the system was installed, our team checked how it responds to intrusion. However, we cannot trip an alarm knowingly. We had to rely on the information offered by the manufacturer.
The most significant positive side of the system is that it is invisible. Hence, chances are intruder won’t even notice. On intrusion, the alarm is triggered, and a base station is notified and which further notifies monitoring devices like your phone. However, our team did felt that if the WiFi or the GSM connectivity is weak, the signal might have a higher response time.
With basic configuration, you can only monitor and manage the account. For more services like the 911 police response, you require SimpliSafe subscription that starts for $15 per month.
2. Abode Essentials Starter- Best For Multi Device Setup
The Abode has a wide range of hardware, which includes sensors, power outlets, cameras, alarms, and many more. Well, buying the complete range will break your bank. So Abode has introduced a starter kit that makes you familiar with the Abode home security ecosystem.
The starter kit includes a gateway, a 2-door or window contact sensor, a remote key fob, and a motion camera.
Though the gateway looks like an old router without antenna, the system’s best quality lies under the hood. It supports WiFi, Abode RF, Z-Wave, and Zigbee, which allows the gateway to connect a wide range of sensors, controllers, and power outlets. It can compare up to 155 devices, and also, it supports Google Assistant and Alexa.
Upon intrusion, the notification is almost instantaneous. We tested its motion sensors with a different array of light conditions. They are equally sensitive to any light conditions. The camera captures good quality pictures that can be easily used as proof in case of intrusion.
It is among the top home security system that offers professional monitoring services. They have a variety of plans that start from $30 per month. You can also get an optional cellular connection worth $10 per month for better connectivity.
3. Ring Alarm Professional Monitoring – Best For Budget Conscious Users
Buying a home security system could be expensive, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have it. A system like Ring Alarm professional monitoring system gives you all the essential services of a security system but at reasonable prices. It can be a good system for rental properties.
Overall it is an attractive package; it includes a base station, a motion sensor, a contact sensor, and a range extender. Even the tools required for mounting are included in the package. Our team was able to set the Ring Alarm security system within half an hour. We felt that the base station has an excellent looking design. It can either be fixed on the wall or can be put on the table.
Using the Ring Alarm app, you can see how many times a door has been opened, or you can monitor the camera feeds. The interface of the app is elegant. All the information is color-coded. For our team, it was effortless to tell which sensor was working or was tripped without reading the manual. That’s how easy it is to understand the app.
You are required to pay $10 per month for professional monitoring services, which also includes access to camera feeds.
4. Wink Lookout Starter Kit – Best System Under $200
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Wink Lookout Security Starter kit is one of the top affordable home security system. However, it doesn’t have the professional monitoring system that you get with say a SimpliSafe or Abode. Another way to look at it is you don’t have to pay an additional cost for any monitoring services.
As far as the built quality is concerned, it is ok. It could be better. But sensors are on par with the other kits. The package itself is basic, which includes a base system, an alarm or siren, a motion sensor, and two contact sensors. It uses an app to monitor the devices. However, the devices cannot be controlled by the app. Setting up the system is easy. It hardly takes more than 30 minutes. Our team followed the instruction, and the system was ready to be used within 20 minutes.
Next, we tested the device for integration using smart devices like Alexa, Google Home, Ecobee, Ring, Nest, etc. It works with every smart device.
If you are looking for a system that does not come with monthly charges and also doesn’t cost you much upfront, then just go for this product. But we believe it is not as good as other dedicated home security systems.
5. Scout Alarm – User-friendly System
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We cannot for sure say it is best among all but based on our experience with the system, we found that it was easy to set up system among all. And we know not everyone is tech-savvy, if you are spending your hard-earned money on something, it should be easy to use. Hence, we thought this product should be on our list.
The biggest drawback we found with it is, it cannot be activated until you sign up for a monthly monitoring service. However, the service is outstanding. And it gives several modes of operation. When our team was going through the app control, we loved the fact that we were able to set the door or window sensors active when the home was occupied without triggering the alarm.
Buyer’s Guide – What To Consider?
Before you start searching for the security system, there are several aspects y. You’ll have to know what your needs are. What kind of security do you want for your home? How much money are you willing to spend monthly as well as upfront?
And to understand these needs, you have to know the factors that differentiate one home security system from the other.
There are different types of security system just based on the type of installation. There are two types of installation:
DIY is suitable for renters as they are easy to uninstall and shift it to a new home. And professional installation is right for those who are owners and do not plan to move any time soon. SimpliSafe Wireless Professional Monitoring is one of the best DIY security systems.
Connection refers to how the home security system is connected to your monitoring devices. They are two types of connections:
3. Monitoring service
When you buy a security system, you have two types of monitoring services to choose from.
If you are more concerned about the security of you and your family, always choose professional monitoring services. However, they will charge you a monthly fee. Ring Alarm Professional Monitoring has some of the lowest subscription plans. However, if you are confident enough to manage any kind of intrusion on your own, feel free to self monitor the security system.
4. Smart Device Integration
All the home security systems are easy to integrate with popular smart devices like Alexa or Google Home. The advantage of incorporating a security system to smart devices is that it allows you to synchronize other smart devices with the security system. For instance, you want individual lights to stay on when there is breaking or if you’re going to open the smart lock remotely.
These all can be done by simple voice command. The security system that uses smart devices is more energy efficient. You can save batteries of individual sensors. When you are buying the system, check if the security system is compatible with your smart device. Also, make sure it follows the same wireless protocols like Z-Wave, Zigbee, or WiFi.
Usually, a security system as main base station or hub which connects to several devices. These devices include contact sensors, motions sensors, a video doorbell, environmental sensor, medical monitors, Geotracking, back up the battery, monitoring operator, etc.
You don’t have to get all the devices. If your requirement is essential and needs a security system just for surveillance, go with a starter kit. Starter kits include a couple of contact sensors, a motion sensor, or a video camera. However, if you want to make your home intrusion proof and also want to monitor your kids or loved one, be it their health condition or movement, then you must get a full-blown security system. You can also get a basic station and then get the devices individual based on your need.
If you want a system that can support the maximum number of devices, then you can go for Abode Essentials Starter.
6. Service Contract
With a purchase of the system, many home security brands make you sign a service contract of a few years or may charge you a monthly subscription fee. And others may just provide you with equipment only. So, be aware of it while buying a home security system. Read the terms and conditions thoroughly or ask the seller specifically about the contract. If there is a contract, also check what are the cancellation terms before you sign up for it.
How Do We Conduct The Tests?
To create a list of the five home security systems, we had to test and evaluate almost 14 top systems. A big challenge for us was to test the system without actually triggering the alarms for the system. However, the first-hand user reviews helped us to understand its working.
Even though there was a limitation in testing the models to the full extent, we managed to check them on some key parameters like expansion, battery, smart home integration, light, and climatic conditions, etc. We continuously tested these systems for over 72 hours and scored them.
In addition to testing, our team personally installed and managed the device to get hands-on experience. We also reached out to 12 experts on home security. They helped us to understand the smallest details of the product. We also reached out to the brand managers to know how their products were manufactured and how they worked.
Here are the scores of the five systems based on our tests and evaluations:
|Scout Alarm||98.2||95.3||94.8||96.10||No products found.|
|Wink Lookout||97.4||95.8||95.6||96.27||No products found.|
|Ring Alarm||96.8||96.4||95.8||96.33||Check Price|
|Abode Essentials||96.8||97.2||97.1||97.03||Check Price|
|SimpliSafe Wireless||97.3||96.8||98.2||97.43||Check Price|
1. Do I need a it?
Home security is not only for keeping criminals away, but it can be used to monitor your pets, kids, or to feel secure if you have PTSD. Also, home security helps you alert you in case of natural disasters like floods or fires.
2. Where do I place the cameras?
If your house has many entrances, it is best to place the cameras at entrances. Also, keeping cameras in the drawing-room of the backyard will be a good idea. In case you want to keep an eye on someone who is suffering from a medical condition, place one in their room. For security, always put a camera where valuable items are stored like a locker or closet or place where you keep your jewelry and cash. Besides, make sure you fix the cameras high enough so that they cannot cover it or damage it.
The home security system is becoming an integral part of an average house in the US. As the homes getting smarter, these devices are also getting far compatible and easy to use. Even the prices have come down to a great extent because of the new technologies being introduced. While you are looking for the home security system for your sweet home, first understand your need. You have to know the size of your house, entry points, smart devices you use, internet connection, and budget. You don’t have to get every device that can be accommodated in the security system. Use the necessary one and add if the need arises in the future.