When a bump in the night is more than just the sound of the house settling, home security monitoring companies save the day. And the best alarm monitoring companies don't even cost an arm and a leg. We've narrowed down some of the best security systems for your home using criteria like price, false alarm reduction, customer service, and brand recognition.
How did we choose the best home security systems for renters?
It's our mission to evaluate consumer services and recommend the best ones for our readers. We do the research and hard work, so choosing the right service for you is as easy as possible. When we evaluate home security systems, we look for companies with a good reputation, quality equipment and competitive pricing. To choose our top renters' security systems providers, we use a formula that considers monthly pricing, equipment costs, ease of installation, contract flexibility, and customer satisfaction.
ADT is great for people seeking a fast, professional setup and multiple levels of service. Mobile features are available, letting users easily set and monitor their home security systems from their phones.
- Trusted national name brand
- Large network of trusted agents
- Monitoring starts at under $40 per month
- Users can store video clips with the Complete plan
- Customer service reputation isn't the best
- No DIY option
ADT has three levels of monitoring service, with the Complete plan offering the most value. Users have the smartest features with this plan, and the equipment pricing is comparable to other plans.
- Secure: Monitoring from $35.99/month, equipment starts at $99
- Smart: Monitoring from $47.99/month, equipment starts at $129
- Complete: Professional monitoring for $57.99/month, equipment starts as $129
While the company has anA ratingwith the Better Business Bureau (BBB), its overall customer rating is just over 1 star out of 5. And in the 2020 J.D. Power Home Security Satisfaction Survey, ADT had the second-lowest score among professionally installed systems with834/1000.
When it comes to setting up your new systems, ADT offers professional installation for $99. DIY isn't available unless you opt for Blue by ADT. Ultimately, ADT's biggest advantage is brand recognition, making these systems a solid deterrent for potential criminal activity.
Check out our full review:ADT Review.
Frontpoint is the best option for people who want to avoid a professional installation. The DIY setup and custom equipment plans give users more control, and Frontpoint makes it easy to bring your equipment with you if you move.
- Plans include multiple cameras and signage
- 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans
- It doesn't offer professional installation -- everything is DIY
- Equipment costs are higher than average
With Frontpoint, 24/7 monitoring is charged per day -- its two monitoring options cost about $44 and $49 per month.
- Safe Home Starter: $256 for equipment and setup
- Safe Home Everyday: $296 for equipment and setup
- Safe Home Plus: $320 for equipment and setup
- Safe Home Select: $384 for equipment and setup
- Safe Home Preferred: $480 for equipment and setup
Frontpoint gets anA+ ratingfrom the BBB, but just 2 out of 5 stars for customer service. It wasn't rated by J.D. Power in the 2020 Home Security Survey.
Easy installation is what sets Frontpoint apart from the competition. From sensors and glass break detection to smart cameras, the company prides itself on simply installing its components. Still, if you need installation help, it's just a click away with theFrontpoint app.
Check out our full review:Frontpoint Review.
Vivant's home security monitoring systems offer automation and integration, letting users monitor every sensor from a single app. Customers can expect a fast response from garage door monitors, Smart locks, cameras, and more.
- Well-trained call agents
- Protection extends to porches and yards
- Poor customer service ratings
- Not easy to compare prices without calling
Vivint offers three smart home plans, all of which require professional installation. The video monitoring plan is the most comprehensive, but an agent will assess your best bet based on what you tell them about your property.
- Smart Security Monitoring: Monitoring is $29.99 per month, equipment starts at $599
- Smart Home Monitoring: Monitoring is $39.99 per month, equipment starts at $599
- Smart Home Video Monitoring: Monitoring is $44.99 per month, equipment starts at $799
Vivint is not BBB accredited and has a C- rating from the BBB, sporting just over 1 star out of 5 based on customer reviews. It ranks second on the J.D. Power survey.
Vivint doesn't offer DIY installation or monitoring options. While you can monitor cameras and sensors from theVivint appand change key system settings, all monitoring is handled by Vivint's 24/7 support.
Check out our full review:Vivint Review.
SimpliSafe is great for customers who want to choose between DIY and professional installation and enjoy the benefits of a well-known name in security -- which can help deflect would-be thieves looking for an easy target.
- Installation flexibility
- Long trial period lasting 60 days
- No contract required
- Some plans don't have professional monitoring
- Better for homes with an existing smart tech set up
SimpliSafe provides three plans that offer either DIY installation or professional installation. The Standard Plan offers professional monitoring at $15 per month. Something to keep in mind: The self-monitored plan offers no monitoring support, meaning tripped alarms make noise but won't connect with local emergency services.
- Self-Monitored: $0/month for DIY monitoring
- Standard: $14.99/month for professional monitoring
- Interactive: $24.99/month for professional monitoring
SimpliSafe has been accredited with the BBB since 2013 and enjoys an A+ rating with 1.5 stars out of 5 based on customer reviews. The company is ranked first in the DIY category of the J.D. Power Home Security Satisfaction Survey with a score of 899/1000.
SimpliSafe offers substantial plan flexibility, which allows you to choose the equipment, installation, and monitoring options that best fit your needs and budget. You can opt for professional installation services or do it yourself. Customized equipment packages come with anywhere between 3 to 12 devices, including base stations and keypads, entry sensors, motion sensors, and sirens.
Check out our full review:SimpliSafe Review.
Brinks requires a lot of equipment investment, but customers benefit from a national brand that may intimidate unwanted visitors. HD cameras are available for those who are worried about video quality.
- Professional and DIY installation options
- 30-Day trial with a money-back guarantee
- Limited contract options
- Hefty equipment costs upfront
While the Brinks Smart Security Essential plan is cheaper than some competing plans, it only offers a smart hub, wireless motion sensor, and wireless door sensor. The Ultimate Plan is the best long-term investment.
- Brinks Smart Security Essential: $29/month for monitoring, plus $499 for equipment
- Brinks Smart Security Complete: $39/month for monitoring, plus $799 for equipment
- Brinks Smart Security Ultimate: $39/month for monitoring, plus $1,099 for equipment
Brinks gets an A+ rating from the BBB and has been accredited since 2011. However, they only rated 1 out of 5 stars on customer reviews. However, it ranks third-highest for professionally installed home security systems in the J.D. Power survey with a score of 842.
You can choose to install a Brinks Home Security system yourself or have Brinks professionals take care of the setup. While the DIY option comes at no cost, professional install pricing isn't quite as consistent and isn't clearly laid out on its website.
Check out our full review: Brinks Home Security Review
How to select the best home security system
You want a home security monitoring system that is reliable, affordable, yet built for the long haul. After reviewing available options, here are some of the top factors we recommend looking into before you make your choice.
- Long-Term Investment:Check out equipment quality and customer reviews, so you're not replacing cameras often.
- Coverage:A good home security monitoring system should offer 24/7 coverage and support.
- Reliability:Look for an alarm system that isn't known for false alarms.
- Installation:If you aren't comfortable with technology, avoid a DIY system.
- Transparency:Be on the lookout for hidden fees or installation costs that aren't advertised prominently on the website.
Pro-installed vs. DIY home security systems
A DIY installation saves hundreds of dollars in most cases, and many systems are manageable for anyone comfortable with Smart tech. On the other hand, professional installations may result in fewer errors and a labor warranty that won't leave you on the hook for a poorly installed camera or sensor issues.
Can I install my own security system?
It depends on your provider. Some offer professional installation only, while others are entirely DIY and yet some companies let homeowners choose what works best for their budget.
How much does home security cost?
The average cost for home security monitoring typically falls between $20 and $40/month, but this price varies based on the equipment you have installed and the monitoring package you choose.
How can I find the best home security monitoring companies?
To find the best home security monitoring companies, it's critical to consider more than just per-month pricing and equipment costs. Smart home automation matters, along with top-tier customer service and the ability to easily add (or remove) components as necessary.
Vivint is the clear winner when it comes to automation and smart home integration. Their devices easily connect to Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant and, unlike ADT, don't require an upgrade to your monthly payments.What is the best home security camera without monthly fee? ›
Our four top-rated no-monthly-fee home security systems are SimpliSafe, abode, Ring, and Arlo. Do no-monthly-fee security systems offer video recording? They all offer real-time viewing for free, but most require a monthly fee for video recording.Who is ADT biggest competitor? ›
Answer: ADT's main competitor is Vivint. The two companies are the largest in the security industry, and they have been competing to gain a larger share of residential customers for several years. Other competitors include Comcast Security, Frontpoint Security, and SimpliSafe.How do I choose an alarm monitoring company? ›
Check with your state or local alarm association for reputable home alarm monitoring companies in your area. Explore online reviews on sites like Yelp to get the opinions of others about their monitoring services. Use the internet and explore the websites of companies.What is the #1 rated home security? ›
Vivint is our pick for the best overall security system. With an average rating of 4.6 stars across numerous customer review forums, Vivint reaches a wide range of customers through its system's compatibility with many smart home products.What is the number 1 home security system? ›
Our pick for best overall home security company is Vivint. Their wide assortment of available, high-quality equipment and affordable monitoring options allow their customers to experience highly customizable security that can be optimized for individual needs.What is the easiest and best home security system? ›
Ring Alarm Pro is the most comprehensive DIY home security system we've tested. It's easy to set up and use, can be customized with a large selection of compatible add-ons, and features an optional, affordable monitoring plan ($20 per month or $200 per year).Who is better SimpliSafe or ADT? ›
ADT and SimpliSafe are both excellent choices for home security. SimpliSafe may be best for people who want a DIY, portable security system, those who are on a budget, or renters, considering the company has a la carte options and requires long-term contract.What is better Vivint or ADT? ›
Bottom Line. ADT and Vivint have comparable hardware packages and services, such as professional installation and monitoring. However, Vivint does offer cheaper monthly pricing and includes certain features with its lower-priced plans that ADT does not, such as video recording and mobile app access.What can I replace ADT with? ›
- Vivint: Equipment alternative. Smart home alternative. Vivint. 4.5. Starting from. $29.99. ...
- Frontpoint: Value alternative. No contract alternative. Frontpoint. 4.25. Starting from. ...
- SimpliSafe: Budget alternative. Budget monitoring alternative. SimpliSafe. 4.25. Starting from. ...
- Brinks: Almost ADT. Almost ADT. Brinks. 3.5. Starting from.
Security cameras range from $20 to around $400, but on average, indoor cameras cost around $100 and outdoor cameras cost around $200.What's the best and cheapest security system? ›
- Ring Alarm. : Best overall.
- SimpliSafe. : Best monitoring.
- Wyze. : Budget pick.
- Kangaroo. : Hub-free pick.
- Abode. : Best for smart homes.
A fiber optic cabling company is suing ADT in connection with a 2021 Connecticut burglary, claiming ADT deactivated its security monitoring system without authorization the night of the theft, allowing thieves to steal thousands in material in what is a nightmare scenario for security providers.What is the most popular security company? ›
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In our opinion based on our testing, ADT is better than Brinks. It includes 24/7 professional monitoring on all of its systems, while Brinks gives an option to self-monitor only. Similarly, while ADT has professional installation, Brinks is DIY. ADT is also easier to use remotely via its iOS and Android apps.Can I switch alarm monitoring companies? ›
The number-one reason people overpay for alarm monitoring services is… They don't know other companies can monitor their alarm system.Is it worth paying for security monitoring? ›
Most security experts recommend professional monitoring because self-monitoring poses significant safety risks, primarily because it's impossible to monitor your own security system 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Is it worth paying for alarm monitoring? ›
Most people will agree that a monitored alarm system provides greater response and protection for their homes and loved ones. And for that reason, many people consider the cost of a monitored alarm system well worth the money.What security Cannot be hacked? ›
Local alarm systems, for instance, aren't connected to the internet and thus aren't hackable. Smart home security systems, on the other hand, are connected to the internet, so there is a possibility of hacking, like any other internet-connected product.What is the average cost of ADT per month? ›
The total cost for the ADT Smart Home Package starts at:
$919 to $1219 upfront + $49.99/month; or. $65.31 to $70.31/month.
Because ADT has extensive security experience and a large network of monitoring centers, both homeowners and renters trust it to keep their homes safe. Forbes Advisor picked ADT as the Best Pro Monitoring security company on our 2021 list of Best Home Security Companies.Which is the most powerful home automation security system? ›
Vivint: Editor's choice
Our top choice, Vivint, offers the best in home automation and security technology. Plus it has a no-contract option. Vivint's mobile app lets you add some mood lighting, turn up the heat, or lock your front door—all from your smartphone.
- ADT Home Security: Best Overall.
- SimpliSafe: Best for Easy Installation.
- Vivint: Best for Smart Home Integration.
- Abode: Best for Customization.
- Frontpoint: Best for Smartphone Integration.
- Alder: Best Medical Alert System.
- Canary: Best Two-Way Audio System.
- Scout: Best for Disaster Prevention.
With SimpliSafe's professional monitoring and police dispatch, they call you when the alarm is triggered. If you don't answer, they contact the backup number. If the secondary contact doesn't answer, then a SimpliSafe representative calls 911.Which is better wired or wireless home security? ›
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but here's the gist: Wired security systems have more reliable signals, whereas wireless systems provide a more streamlined installation and can be used in places where wired systems can't.Which sensor is best for motion detection? ›
Passive infrared (PIR)
A passive infrared sensor detects body heat (infrared energy) by looking for changes in temperatures. This is the most-widely-used motion sensor in home security systems.
Will Vivint buyout my ADT contract? Vivint does not buyout contracts from any company. They can offer free install, free equipment, or discounts on monthly service to help offset the cost of you paying for your early termination fees.Why is vivint better than SimpliSafe? ›
SimpliSafe is much cheaper than Vivint and offers a much longer trial period. However, Vivint provides more technologically advanced equipment and more opportunities for smart home integration than SimpliSafe.Is SimpliSafe owned by Amazon? ›
SimpliSafe was acquired by Hellman & Friedman on Jun 29, 2018 .Does ADT have crash and smash? ›
Most alarm systems don't have it. ADT doesn't have crash and smash protection. That's right, if you have an ADT security alarm then you do not have crash and smash protection.
ADT would be a good option for families who prefer to have a professional touch with their home security system. Ring is a much cheaper option for the do-it-yourself customer. Their monitoring costs range from $0-10 per month, and there's no installation fee or contact.Who is better Brinks or Vivint? ›
|Security Product Comparison:||Brinks||Vivint|
|Features & Technology||8.7||9.5|
Todd Pedersen is the founder and CEO of Vivint, a public company that installs smart home security systems, mainly through door-to-door sales. Pedersen's entrepreneurial journey began when he started his first businesses right off of an LDS mission as a full time BYU student.Does ADT give senior discounts? ›
ADT Senior Discounts
ADT offers a 20 percent discount on installation and $2 off monthly costs for AARP members.
ADT's three home security system packages all have high base prices and higher monthly fees than many of its competitors in our Best Home Security Systems of 2022 rating. Compared to other home security providers on our list, ADT's prices are some of the highest – even for its most basic plan.Does ADT want their equipment back? ›
With ADT, you lease the equipment. The price of the equipment is rolled into your monthly monitoring payment. When we spoke with an agent from ADT, they said that once the contract is up, they will not take their equipment back—so you can either leave it in the home or throw it out.Is it better to have a security system or cameras? ›
While a security camera can display exactly what occurred during a break-in, it typically doesn't alert you of the crime as it happens. In contrast, an alarm system alerts you when a burglary occurs but can't give you video footage of the actual break-in.How many cameras do I need for home security? ›
For a home video surveillance system, most people need between 2 and 6 security cameras. If it's for a business, you may need anywhere from 16 to 64 cameras, depending on the size of your property. Clearly the answer to this question is going to depend on your personal needs and preferences.What's the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras? ›
Surveillance cameras use digital signals to transmit recorded video to a NVR via a single cable, eliminating the need for multiple power cables. Security cameras, however, require cabling to transmit video feeds to a limited number of monitors, and the cameras must be strategically placed in a single location.How much should monthly security monitoring cost? ›
Home alarm monitoring is what most homeowners think of when they're considering the monthly cost of a security system. While there's a significant variance in cost, a general rule of thumb is to budget about $30 to $60 per month, although the cost can run as low as $20 and as high as $100+ per month.
Our four top-rated no-monthly-fee home security systems are SimpliSafe, abode, Ring, and Arlo. Do no-monthly-fee security systems offer video recording? They all offer real-time viewing for free, but most require a monthly fee for video recording.Can I use an ADT security system without a subscription? ›
You don't need a subscription plan. The Blue by ADT offers a video doorbell without subscription that works for you and your family.How can I protect my home without a security system? ›
- Install Motion Detector Lights. ...
- Leave a Few Lights On. ...
- Lock Doors and Windows. ...
- Ask Your Neighbors for Help. ...
- Keep Valuables Out of Sight. ...
- Keep the Garage Door Closed. ...
- Be Careful with Spare Keys. ...
- Don't Leave Notes.
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Home alarm monitoring is what most homeowners think of when they're considering the monthly cost of a security system. While there's a significant variance in cost, a general rule of thumb is to budget about $30 to $60 per month, although the cost can run as low as $20 and as high as $100+ per month.What does ADT charge for monthly monitoring? ›
The total cost for the ADT Secure Home Package starts at:
$599 to $899 upfront + $45.99/month; or. $55.97 to $60.97/month.
Because ADT has extensive security experience and a large network of monitoring centers, both homeowners and renters trust it to keep their homes safe. Forbes Advisor picked ADT as the Best Pro Monitoring security company on our 2021 list of Best Home Security Companies.How much does SimpliSafe charge per month for monitoring? ›
Choose from two month-to-month monitoring plans: the Standard plan at $17.99 a month or the Interactive plan at $27.99 a month, which includes remote arming/disarming through the SimpliSafe app, app alerts, secret alerts, video alarm verification, recordings from up to 10 SimpliSafe cameras, and smart home integration.