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The best home security systems of 2020

A home security system can help protect your family and possessions. There are a number of home security system providers today with a variety of features and perks. The options might feel overwhelming, but don’t be discouraged. 

To simplify your research, we’re presenting the best home security companies of 2020 and comparing them side by side. Find out all you need to know about each home security provider and what types of devices and monitoring they offer. 

Top features of the best home security systems

Compare the best home security systems

Protect your home, family and property (and protect your budget too!) by learning more about the best home security systems and the providers that offer the solutions you need.

ProviderProfessional monitoringStarting monthly price* for professional monitoringInstallation typeMotion detectionSecurity camerasSmart home devicesTrial period
abode✔️$10.00DIY✔️✔️✔️30 days
ADT✔️$36.99Professional✔️✔️✔️Six months
Frontpoint✔️$44.99DIY✔️✔️✔️30 days
Guardian Protection✔️$45.99Professional✔️✔️✔️Three days
Link Interactive✔️$30.99DIY✔️✔️✔️30 days
Protect America✔️$19.99DIY✔️✔️✔️30 days
Scout✔️$19.99DIY✔️✔️✔️60 days
SimpliSafe✔️$14.99DIY or professional✔️✔️✔️60-day money-back guarantee
Vivint Smart Home✔️$39.99Professional✔️✔️✔️Three days

Important factors to consider when choosing the best home security system

Total costs

What can you afford to spend on a home security system? Consider your budget before selecting the features you want in a system. Some home security companies have higher up-front costs and higher monthly fees than others. Some home security systems allow the option of DIY install if you need to spend less on installation. There may be other features you can concede to accommodate your budget. 

Installation requirements

Are you the DIY type or do you prefer to hire a professional? Some home security providers offer both DIY and professional installation, while others only provide one option. Be sure to check out the installation options available on each system you consider.

Monitoring

If you are away from home a lot for work or travel, you may want to consider a home security company that offers 24/7 professional monitoring. Though there is typically a cost associated with central monitoring, you may find it worth the peace of mind. However, if you or someone else is home at most times you may decide not to incur this extra fee. 

Size of your home 

If you live in a 600-sq. ft. apartment, your home security system needs will differ from someone who lives in a four-bedroom home. Depending on the size of your place, the equipment needed will vary and so will the features. Consider your square footage as well as the number of entry doors, windows and other areas of the home that will need to be monitored before making a decision on the best home security system for your needs.

Wired vs. wireless

Are you in a home with a pre-wired security system? If so, having a hardwired security system installed may be an easier and more affordable choice. But if your home currently has no pre-wired security system, a wireless one eliminates the need for drilling into your walls and also gives you the option of a DIY install. While wireless home security systems are popular and known for an easier, more streamlined installation, hardwired systems are more reliable because they aren’t subject to interference.

Type of security systemProsCons
Wired✔ More cameras can be added to extend the system
✔ No interference from nearby objects
✔ Better solution for permanent locations
✘ Difficult to install
✘ Less portable
✘ Affected by power outages
Wireless✔ Quicker installation
✔ Easier to transport to new locations
✔ Extended life during power outages with battery backup
✘ Can encounter signal interference from other devices
✘ Can be vulnerable to power outages if a wired power connection is needed
✘ Can be hacked if signal is jammed

Cheapest security systems 

There are a number of home security system providers today that have affordable options so you don’t have to sacrifice other expenses for protection. With these providers, you’ll get protective measures like motion sensing, carbon monoxide detection and even smart home features, all while staying within budget. 

Best cheap home security systems for 2020

  • abode – Best for custom automations
  • Cove – Best lifetime warranty coverage
  • Ring – Best camera and smart light options
  • Scout – Best for unique arming and disarming
  • SimpliSafe – Best for package variety and options

Best security systems for renters

As a renter, you may need a different type of security system than a homeowner. Landlords may not want renters drilling holes in their walls – and you may not want a contract that lasts for several years if you plan on moving before then. Even if you’re not a homeowner, you want to protect your home from intruders, and you want to know what’s happening in it when you’re not there. Here’s the best security systems for renters. 

The 5 best security systems for renters

Best security cameras for 2020

Want to avoid paying a monthly monitoring fee, but still want to keep an eye on your home? Purchase and set up security cameras to deter and identify intruders, at a fraction of the cost of a subscription security service. Here are our top three security camera recommendations.

CameraKey featuresBest forCost
Arlo Pro 2‣ Smart siren
‣ Three-second lookback
‣ Cord or battery power option
Outdoor monitoring$$$
Nest Hello Doorbell‣ Facial recognition
‣ Pre-recorded responses for visitors
‣ 24/7 live video feed and recording
Doorbell surveillance$$$
Wyze Cam Pan‣ Inexpensive
‣ 360º rotation
‣ Free 14-day cloud storage
‣ Wireless
Indoor monitoring$

Wireless security cameras 

Looking purely for a wireless security camera option? Here’s more top-rated wireless security cameras for indoor and/or outdoor use.

Best DIY home security systems

DIY home security systems let you focus on building a home monitoring system that is right for you. What do customers like most about DIY security systems?

Highly customizable packages — Select a basic plan with a single camera or add extra features, like smart home devices.

Pre-programmed features — DIY set up is easy thanks to pre-loaded features, such as sensors that are already paired with the main hub. 

Top DIY home security systems at a glance

  • abode – Best inexpensive, no-fuss system
  • Frontpoint – Best for package customization
  • LifeShield – Best for smart home connectivity
  • Link Interactive – Best value in home security
  • SimpliSafe – Best for money-back guarantee
  • Wink – Best for no monthly fees

The best home security companies

abode – Best for DIY

Founded in 2014 by a former ADT executive, abode is devoted to creating technologically advanced yet simple home security solutions. With a consumer-centric focus, they strive to give customers the freedom to decide exactly how their system will look and function. 

Stand-out features include:

  • No monthly fee for text and email alerts
  • Third-party integrations at no cost
  • HelloTech partnership offering professional installation help

ADT – Best for industry experience

ADT is a household name with over 145 years in the industry. It has built a reputation as the top of the line in reliable home security. ADT has over eight million customers across North America, highlighting a level of trust that has been earned over the course of many years in business.

Stand-out features include:

  • Six command centers monitoring 24/7 every day of the year
  • Six-month money-back guarantee* 
  • The ADT Pulse app is pairable with many other smart home devices

Frontpoint – Best for overall system

Frontpoint strives to offer customers an affordable DIY home security system. Founded in 2007, Frontpoint is now considered one of the most competitive home security systems on the market.

Stand-out features include:

  • Easy DIY installation thanks to thorough instructions and additional helpful resources on the mobile app
  • Transparent pricing in five clear package options without the need to hunt for add-on fees, equipment charges, etc.
  • The Frontpoint app gives you remote control of your home and features a user-friendly and intuitive interface

Guardian Protection – Best for business security

Guardian Protection has 70+ years of experience bringing practical security systems to homes and businesses in cities across the U.S. By creating expert, customized security solutions, Guardian Protection ensures you get the equipment and monitoring plan that best fits your needs. 

Stand-out features include:

  • Home and small business security solutions
  • Professional installation for a hassle-free install and assurance equipment is working properly
  • Free personalized plan quotes

Link Interactive offers simple pricing with low upfront costs to get started. Their easy DIY installation lets you set up your home security system on your time, but you don’t have to do it all on your own because tech support is there to help you every step of the way. Choose a monthly monitoring plan or self-monitor sensors and home security cameras via the Link Interactive app.

Stand-out features include:

  • DIY installation, saving you time and costs on install
  • No-surprise pricing with no added costs for installation, activation or hidden monthly fees
  • Switch to Link Interactive with compatible home security equipment you already own

Protect America – Best for locked-in rate

Protect America has 25 years of experience supplying and monitoring home security systems. With their DIY installation and locked-in rate, you can enjoy low upfront costs and the same rate month after month. Customize your home security system with video cameras, lighting control, thermostat control and garage door controllers, all remotely accessible from your smartphone.

Stand-out features include:

  • Price match guarantee
  • Locked-in rate on monthly professional monitoring
  • 24/7 professional monitoring by triple redundant monitoring stations nationwide

Scout – Best for mobile app-based system

Beginning in 2013 with a crowdfunding campaign, Scout’s simple and affordable smart home security solution quickly gained in popularity. Their unique focus on third-party integrations makes Scout one of the most versatile home security systems on the market. 

Stand-out features include:

  • 60-day return policy and three-year hardware warranty
  • No strings attached, month-to-month service
  • Third-party integrations available at a cost

SimpliSafe – Best for money-back guarantee

SimpliSafe’s whole-home protection helps guard every entrance point and room against intruders and threats such as fire, water and medical emergencies. To further give you peace of mind, SimpliSafe offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, more than double the time you get with many other home security services.

Stand-out features include:

  • HD indoor and outdoor security cameras with live remote viewing from your mobile devices
  • Smart motion sensor technology detects people while ignoring pets
  • Seamless integration with smart home devices including Alexa and Google Assistant

Vivint Smart Home – Best for full-service home security and automation

Vivint prides itself on being known as the leading smart home company in North America. Their smart home savvy is evident in the integrated home automation offered in their packages. Vivint’s commitment to innovation is second only to their commitment to providing amazing customer experiences.

Stand-out features include:

  • Using Z-Wave technology, Vivint offers a seemingly endless selection of integration options 
  • The Vivint Smart Home app offers the basics, but also some extras like being able to schedule door locks/unlocks and set permissions for app use for anyone in the house
  • A free in-home consultation is offered for anyone who wants help customizing a system to best fit their home

Frequently asked questions about the best home security systems

Can I install my home security system or do I need to hire an installer?

This depends on the home security system you select and your experience level. Many home security systems today — like Frontpoint, Scout and abode — offer DIY options that require no previous installation experience. Others like ADT and Vivint offer professionally installed systems only but typically provide their own installers.

If I move, can I take my home security system with me?

Unless your system is hardwired into your home, you can take your home security system with you when you change locations.

What does it cost to get a home security system?

This depends on what type of security system you need for your home. Ask the home security company for an itemized breakdown of all charges, which may include equipment costs, installation fees, monthly monitoring charges and more. 

Do I have to sign a contract for a home security system?

Frontpoint and ADT require contracts. Scout and abode do not require contracts and offer month-to-month plans. Vivint offers a no-contract option where you can purchase your equipment upfront or a contract option where the cost of the equipment is spread over the duration of the contract. 

What is the best security system for business?

According to Johnson Controls, business alarm systems can reduce the chance of your business being burglarized by 4.5 times. The best business security solution for you depends on the features you need for your business. 

  • SimpliSafe – Best for multiple package options
  • ADT – Best for longevity in industry
  • Vivint – Best for advanced security features
  • abode – Best for low-cost monitoring
  • Frontpoint – Best for easy customization

Is equipment included when I sign up for professional home security monitoring?

Some home security companies do offer free home security equipment, such as control panels, home security cameras and motion sensors, when you enroll in a professional monitoring plan. You may be required to sign an annual agreement to qualify for free home security equipment.