One of the most basic human needs, behind only food, water, warmth, and shelter, is the feeling of security. No matter where you live in the world, people want to feel safe in the area where they are most vulnerable: their home. People from safer countries often don’t have their home’s security at the top of their mind because danger doesn’t seem very imminent (especially for people in suburban areas).
While people from safer countries have to worry less about people breaking in to their home, that doesn’t mean that bad things will never happen. Often times, it can take just one bad incident to happen to you personally, or to someone that you know, to completely change your perspective on how much security you think your home needs.
The good news is that there are many companies out there looking to help you with just that: protecting your home. Advancements in technology have led to more options than ever for people to have control over the protection their home. Things like small security cameras, motion sensors, glass break sensors, and the ability to monitor your home from your smartphone are all much more affordable for people than they have been in the past.
Home security companies offer a wide range of products and services to protect your home: from basic home monitoring services to advanced home automation. While it is important to invest in your own protection, it is also important to find a good mix of quality and value in the service that you are getting.
You just need to find the level of security that you feel is right for your household. If you are new to home security, it can be pretty daunting to pick from all the different options out there. We have created this guide to help you begin your search for the right home security option for you.
If you are not sure what to look for when picking out a home security system, make sure to check out the Home Security Buying Guide at the bottom of this article. This guide will help you find out the top things that you should be considering when picking out which company to go with.
How to Choose a Home Security System
Everybody wants to keep their home safe, but choosing how to best protect your house can become overwhelming once you realize how many options for security you have to choose from. Here is a buying guide to help you focus on the most important factors when picking out a home security package for your family.
Home Security System Buying Guide
Here are some important things to consider when choosing a home security system:
What are you looking to accomplish with your home security system?
Which home security company you choose depends on what you are looking for in a home security system. Are you looking for a simple home monitoring system that allows you to check in on your house while you are away, or are you looking for a more complex home automation system?
Different home security companies are better at certain aspects of home security then others. If you are looking to invest in a great home automation experience, try either Vivint or Nest. For a simple home monitoring system: try SimpliSafe or Frontpoint.
What level of security are you looking for?
There are a few different aspects of home security to consider when looking for a home security company: First off, how do you want to monitor your home? Some companies will offer you a professional monitoring service to watch over your home for you.
This is a great option for those who are often busy or live in an area where they feel they need a constant watch over their house. This often costs extra, but the extra security may be worth the price for those looking for it.
Next, how much does good customer service matter to you alongside your home security system? If you are looking for a do-it-yourself budget option, then customer service might not matter as much.
But those looking for extra peace of mind should search for a company they know will give them a good experience in their time of need should a problem with their home ever arise.
Finally, what type of security equipment are you looking for? Some companies will allow you the ability to pick and choose which security equipment you put into your house, while others will offer you a range of equipment packages per price.
The equipment packages offered might be satisfactory for most people, but those who want who want absolute control over their home security system should look for companies that offer the flexibility to choose the exact equipment that you want. Check out Link Interactive for a great option for that type of flexible service.
Is a DIY installation possible for you or will you need help from professionals?
Do you think you would be able to install a home security system by yourself? Most DIY home security systems, like SimpliSafe and Frontpoint, have developed a very easy setup process for new users.
DIY setup is great for customers looking to save money and time by not having to use a professional installation service and also have the flexibility to take their security equipment wherever they move.
On the flip side, if you are someone that doesn’t trust themselves to install a home security system correctly, then look for a company that has a professional installation service. There are some security companies, like ADT, that even offer same-day installation services.
For more complex home automation systems, professional installation will likely be your only option. Professional installation should be a relatively low-cost hurdle for those that will be living in one place for a long time.
However, if you are planning to move a lot (I’m looking at you, renters), then having a DIY option could save you a lot of money on installation fees.
- Best Choice – Frontpoint
- Dedicated Customer Service
- DIY setup
- Equipment starting at $130
- Contract period 36 months
- Monthly cost starting at $34.99
Frontpoint is first and foremost known for its exceptional customer service. Their dedication to the customer experience makes them the top choice of home security for many reviewers out there.
Their knowledgeable customer service agents make people feel valued and makes equipment setup smooth.
Mixed with their dedication to customer service is a good mix of security options for a great value. Frontpoint gives you a range of security packages, with each higher option including more features. The only issue that people might have with Frontpoint is their long-term contracts.
The good news is that you have a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you don’t like the service then you can always back out before being locked into the contract.
- Outstanding customer service
- DIY setup is very easy
- Lots of great extra features
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- Contract is long-term
- A lot of specific features aren’t available until higher tiers
- Premium Pick – Vivint
- 100% Wireless
- Smart capable
- Lifetime Warranty
- Equipment starting at $599
- Contract period: 42 months
- Monthly cost starting at $29.99
For those people looking for a system that is more than just home security, I would suggest taking a look at Vivint: an industry leader in home automation. This home security company has a range of high-tech security options: from simple monitoring features to full control over your home.
Vivint’s wide range of equipment options – wireless door locks, outdoor cameras, window sensors, and more – all seamlessly work together through wireless connection that you, the owner, have control of through the Vivint phone app.
The full experience of Vivint is top-notch, which is why we rate it as our “Best Quality” option. But Vivint’s services don’t come cheap. Their initial equipment cost begins at $599, which is their most basic package, and it only goes up from there.
Vivint also has higher-than-average monthly cost, along with a long contract period. Vivent is definitely a steep investment, but with this high cost comes one of the highest quality home automation experiences on the market. It will certainly be worth the price for those looking for a futuristic home experience.
- Wireless systems offer increased options for security
- Very high-tech systems
- Smart home compatibility (Alexa, Google Home)
- Equipment looks very modern
- Lifetime warranty
- Home automation
- No DIY: Need professional installation
- Long contract
- Very expensive
- No money back guarantee if you don’t like it
- Best Value – SimpliSafe
- DIY Installation
- Indoor video security cameras
- Wireless equipment
- No contract
- Monthly cost starting at $14.99
- Equipment cost starting at $199
SimpliSafe earns the title of our “Best Value” home security company because of their easy, do-it-yourself installation, their low monthly cost, and the fact that you don’t need to sign a contract for their services.
SimpliSafe is a great choice for those on a tight budget or want the freedom and flexibility of no contracts and DIY installation.
It is hard to understate how convenient the do-it-yourself aspect is for those with busy schedules or are looking to save money. It is never fun to take time out of your day to wait for a professional installer to come over to your house.
Moreover, you have to pay an installation fee every time you move for the professional comes over to install it. SimpliSafe’s DIY installation is a great cost-saver for renters that frequently move to new spaces.
SimpliSafe’s security system is not going to be as high-tech as something like Vivent, but it’s monitoring technology should do the trick for those looking for a no-frills security service.
If you don’t like what SimpliSafe is offering, you have 60 days to return it with a money-back guarantee.
- No contract
- Easy DIY installation
- 60-Day Equipment Trial
- Award-winning monitoring
- Equipment is on the expensive side
- Best Security Features – ADT
- Wireless or hardwired
- Indoor cameras
- Home automation
- Contract length: 36 months
- Monthly cost starting at $28.95
- Equipment cost starting at $99
ADT is a home security company that has been around for well over 100 years and is the most-widely used home security system in the US. But does that make it the best home security company out there for you? Well, just like with any other home security company, it depends on what you are looking for.
ADT’s extensive experience (140 year’s worth) has allowed it to develop a very dependable track record with their customers. Their locations all over the country allows ADT to offer features like 24/7 email and phone support and same-day security installation into your home.
One drawback of their customer service, though, is that they franchise their customer service centers. This can lead to inconsistent customer service experiences: some areas offering a good experience, other areas offering a poor experience.
However, most ADT franchises are very good at taking care of their customers.
When it comes to costs, ADT comes in above-average compared to the competition. It offers a range of features: including things like wireless door locks, security cameras, and the ability to control your house via the ADT app while you are away.
Need to let your dog-walker into your house while you’re at work? No problem.
One downside to ADT’s equipment is that you will need a professional installer to install everything for you. There is also no relocation option for your security system, so ADT would not be a good option for you if you are planning to move in the short term.
Overall, ADT offers a great range of options for customers that are willing to pay a little bit more for a security company that is backed by 140 years of dependability.
- 6 month money-back guarantee
- Competitive Prices
- Cellular and landline connections
- Long-Term Contract
- Professional Installation
- Customer service isn’t the best
- Best in Customization – Nest
- Centralized app control
- Professional installation service available
- Wide variety of product choices
- No Contract
- Monthly cost starting at $24.99
- Equipment starting at $399
If you someone who already has Nest products in your home, then it would be a great idea to add Nest’s home security services on top of that. Nest offers some high-tech security options that fit seamlessly with the rest of the Nest ecosystem.
It is definitely not the cheapest option for DIY installation, with the starting kit priced at $399, but those looking for a smooth home automation system experience won’t be disappointed by what they are getting. Nest offers some very cool gadgets to go in your home.
One example is their Nest Detect stick, which fits the features of a motion sensor, a window sensor, and a door sensor into a single device. Another great example of a cool Nest gadget is the Pathlight motion sensor, which lights up your path as it detects you walking through your house.
Nest offers the usual home security features too, like glass-break sensors, outdoor and indoor cameras, keypads, and more. You should be able to find a solution that fits your home security needs in the Nest ecosystem.
When it comes to customer service, Nest comes in as one of the best. Their customer service agents make the customer experience very easy. Nest allows you to choose if you want to have a professional monitoring service or if you want to self-monitor your home.
One aspect about Nest that might be a negative for some customers is that they are owned by Google, a company that is known for possibly monitoring the personal data of their customers to sell off to advertisers.
If you are someone who already has Nest technology in your home or are someone who is looking to dive into the cool home automation features that Nest offers, then Nest home security would be a good option for you.
- Easy DIY installation
- Lots of options to choose from
- Customization possibilities
- Cheap options for plans
- Great centralized app control
- Equipment is expensive upfront
- Best Do-It-Yourself – Link Interactive
- Wireless equipment
- Wearable Panic Button
- Indoor and Outdoor Cameras
- Monthly cost starting at $30.99
- Contract period: 12-36 months
Link Interactive Review
Link Interactive presents another good option for an easy do-it-yourself home security system. This home security company is well-liked by its customers because of the amount of control they give people in customizing their home security experience.
They offer a range of contract prices and lengths, so customers can choose how much they want to commit to. Flexibility with both your contract and the contract length is pretty unique in the home security industry.
Instead of offering pre-selected security equipment packages, Link Interactive gives you the flexibility to choose which devices fit best for your household. Their equipment is high-quality and completely wireless, so you can expect a seamless home security experience.
The upfront equipment cost is a bit expensive, but installing the devices by yourself is pretty simple – no need to wait for a professional installation service (because Link Interactive doesn’t even have one). Look for Link Interactive if you value flexibility in your home security setup.
- Easy DIY installation
- Wireless equipment
- Monthly rates competitive with others
- Long-term contract
- High up-front cost for equipment
- No long-term warranty
Frequently Asked Questions: Home Security System
What is home automation?
Home automation is an ecosystem of devices that all work together in your house to make your house “smart”. This ecosystem gives you full control over things that you normally would have to do manually. This includes things like turning on lights, unlocking doors, or checking who is in your yard. Home automation systems let you accomplish all of those tasks from your in-house control pad or even from an app on your smartphone.
Want to unlock the door for your son who forgot his key again? Use your smartphone to unlock the door. Want to check your front yard while you are away on vacation? Use your smartphone to check your security cameras. Home automation offers users control over their home like never before.
Will my location affect which company I can use for home security?
Yes, not every company will offer their services in your location. To check if a company is available in your area, follow the link to their website and enter your location. Customers in rural locations may have a limited selection for home security companies.
Are home security systems worth the price?
Home security systems are not one size fits all, so the value of a certain home security system will be different for different people. Whether you are looking for a simple home monitoring system or a complex home automation system, you should be able to find a home security system that is worth the price for you.