Best Home Security Systems of 2020

Every home needs protection in the best possible way and ideally should have a security system in place.  Investing in a home security system is a great way to protect your home and family.  Nowadays, security systems have become more accessible to the average customer thanks to the many security companies in play, with equipment packages designed to fit your security needs.  Equipment and services are available at more affordable prices, making this luxury a thing of the past.

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Home security systems complete guide:

To get you started with the essential knowledge about home security systems, you should know that two core parts make up a system: equipment and monitoring. Many companies have preset packages to make the equipment selection an easy process. The Equipment often includes devices like motion sensors, door/window sensors, and a centralized Hub or panel.

The total cost will vary depending on which company you choose, and some companies even offer financing plans.

Some companies now offer Do-It-Yourself (DIY) installation to lower the initial cost for its equipment. With a DIY installation, you will be in charge of placing all the devices in the best location around your home. The components are usually wireless, with a peel-and-stick adhesive or freestanding for a straightforward installation.

Many companies provide professional installation (extra cost) for those customers who prefer everything set up by professionals or don't have a lot of technological experience. With professional installation, a trained expert will come to your home and set up all the equipment and make sure that everything is up and running by the time he is finished.

When it comes to monitoring your security system, many companies today offer either one of two options (sometimes both): self-monitoring or professional monitoring. With DIY monitoring, you will have to oversee your entire security system: when an alarm triggers, you are responsible for contacting the authorities in case of a crime in progress. It is a less secure option, but it will lower your monthly costs while on the other hand, with a professional monitoring service, trained professionals will be watching your home 24/7, ready to respond to possibly dangerous situations.

With today's busy schedules, things happen fast, so we recommend to have someone watching over your system 24/7, ready to contact the proper authorities if needed. A more in-depth of how security systems work, go to our Home security for beginners article.

The decision to choose which security company suits you better can be overwhelming, confusing, and can come across as demanding. In this article, we will try to make your decision simple by reviewing each home security system across some fundamental factors, including features, equipment, installation process, monitoring services, cost, and more.

In the segments below, you will find a list of the best home security systems in the market today. The list is in alphabetical order, for a more objective point of view without endorsing any home security system in particular.

Abode

Abode Home Security System is a newcomer to the home security industry, with innovative, modern devices. It is an affordable DIY security system, offering impressive home automation capabilities, and outstanding third-party integrations. It provides an extensive product catalog that you can add on to your security system as you see fit, making Abode a very flexible customizable experience.

Abode does not have the best reputation when it comes to customer service. The company has an unusual ranking-type method for contacting customer support, giving priority over other calls to customers subscribed to the professional monitoring service. On the other hand, the company’s website is extremely user-friendly, easy to navigate, and has a comprehensive support section that includes related articles, user manuals, videos, and more.

Abode is an affordable DIY security system, being one of the least expensive starter systems in the industry. By bundling your equipment kit with a monitoring plan, you get a discount on your equipment purchase. On the downside, you will have to purchase the equipment upfront, making it a little pricey, especially if you decide to add on more devices to your system. Abode offers financing plans so you can spread out the initial cost throughout monthly installments.

Abode has no contract requirement, giving the customers the freedom to cancel at any time. This lack of commitment is pretty rare in the security industry. You can subscribe to monthly or annual monitoring fees for a substantial discount.

One truly unique feature is Abode’s On-demand professional monitoring service, with three-day or seven-day options, perfect for someone going on a vacation or a trip. This on-and-off monitoring service is something we haven’t seen from any other company in the security industry.

Another cool feature is the Abode Custom Engine (CUE), the home automation platform that powers all of abode’s smart home devices, and customizable features. With CUE, you can create automations for all the components connected to the abode system, and set up all connected devices in the system to respond to each other. Abode is an amazing customizable DIY system, with an excellent reputation of being one of the most flexible home automation integrations in the market today.

Abode Highlights:

  • DIY or Professional Installation
  • DIY or Professional Monitoring
  • On-Demand Professional monitoring
  • Wi-Fi with optional Cellular backup
  • Powerful Home Automation
  • No contract required
  • App-dependent system
  • Poor customer service reputation

Abode is an easy DIY installation system that delivers low-cost preset equipment kits that come with the essential security devices. With a modern design, the equipment comes in a slick black-and-white pattern that is very aesthetically pleasing. You can select an equipment package that comes with a traditional Hub or choose an All-in-one device that comes with a built-in HD camera, motion sensor, and two-way audio. Both equipment packs include a mini door/window sensor and a key fob.

The equipment is vastly expandable, giving you the flexibility to add as many components as you need. You can add more security devices, like indoor cameras, motion sensor, and more. Abode does not have video doorbell cameras or outdoor cameras in their product catalog. But with its home automation capabilities and outstanding third-party integration, you can add them to your system. The system is compatible with Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wi-Fi, If This Then That (IFTTT) products and services. It integrates smoothly with many smart home devices from renowned companies like Nest, Yale, Philips Hue, Kwikset, Ecobee, LIFX, First Alert, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home.

One minor setback is that Abode is app-dependent. It could be irritating to some customers who don't like to be glued to their mobile phones. Abode does have a keypad (added cost) to quickly arm/disarm your system, lessening a little the use of the mobile phone. Abode’s wireless equipment is a simple DIY installation process; but if you would rather have a professional installation, the company offers the service, at an extra cost.

Abode brings three monitoring possibilities: two self-monitoring options and one professional monitoring service, features that are pretty rare compared with other security companies. The first plan is a free DIY-monitoring plan; then there is a second option for DIY-monitoring, but this one comes with cellular backup and an extra monthly fee. The third option is a 24/7 professional monitoring service with cellular backup included (recommended) for a more reliable connection. All three plans use Wi-Fi coverage, and professional monitoring is available as an option but not vital to run the system. The system works regardless if you subscribe to a monitoring contract or not.

Abode Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost $0.00 $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee $0.00 $0.00
Professional Installation Fee Starting at $99 Starting at $99
Equipment Kit Starting at $189 Starting at $289
Monthly Monitoring Fee $0.00 $20.00
Contract Length 11 Yes
Prices may vary No Contract No Contract

Abode is an excellent choice for first-time buyers looking for an affordable DIY system, giving the flexibility to add more devices over time. The company has remarkable home automation features and great third-party integrations so that you can build your system up. The On-demand professional monitoring service is an exceptional feature, perfect for customers who like to take vacation trips. With no long-term commitments, Abode is ideal for renters, small apartments, or larger homes.

ADT

ADT is a renowned home security company with decades of experience, being one of the largest providers of hardwired and wireless equipment and monitoring services. It provides a dependable security system backed by outstanding service, with a simple equipment kit that you can customize, extending to many smart home automation devices.

As a whole, ADT has a respectable customer support reputation, with more monitoring centers than any other security company. It could be slightly inconsistent depending on where you are located, but in general, ADT is committed to providing excellent customer service. One drawback is the lack of access to pricing or specific system features; you need to schedule a meeting for an ADT technician to come to your home and offer information. It could get a little annoying if you are only interested to know about equipment packages and to check if ADT is right for you. On the plus side, ADT has an extensive online help center, with lots of articles and FAQ section, and you can place a call or live chat with an ADT representative.

ADT comes with a preset equipment package that you can purchase upfront or spread it out through the first three months; There is no other financing available. ADT works as a lease-based system, so you don't own the equipment; The cost is embedded in your monthly monitoring plans. You can also bring your previously owned security equipment and subscribe to a monthly monitoring plan, as long as it is compatible with the ADT system.

ADT comes with a strict three-year contract that includes the preset equipment set; if you want, you can add more devices to your package, for an extra cost. If you wish to opt-out early from your contract agreement, prepare to pay a steep termination fee.

ADT system offers some cool features, such as the ADT medical alert. This device helps senior citizens keep up with an independent life while staying safe in their own home. The services come with 24/7 Professional Monitoring, fast medical response time, and an extended range that works inside or outside your home.

Another exceptional feature is ADT Go: A real-time GPS location service app that helps to keep track of your family. It comes with SOS emergency response and Crash Detection features. One last detail worth mentioning is the Theft Protection guarantee that ADT offers its customers. It covers up to $500 of your insurance deductible in case your home gets broken into while you have ADT monitoring installed.

 

ADT Highlights:

  • Cellular or landline connection
  • Hardwired and wireless equipment
  • Medical response to medical alert devices
  • GPS location app to track family members
  • Full Home Automation capabilities
  • Integration with third-party brands
  • No DIY installation or monitoring option
  • No easy access to pricing
  • ADT pulse required for home automation
  • Long-term contract

ADT has a preset equipment package, with the flexibility to customize it with plenty of home automation components. It makes it easy to upgrade it or keep it simple to adjust to your security needs. Nothing stands out in ADT's simple equipment design; The high-quality devices are very discreet that won't clash out too much with your home décor. The equipment kit comes with a Control panel, Door/window sensors, Motion detector, and a Key Fob.

With ADT, you can lease your equipment, or bring your own. The company requires that certified professionals install all its equipment; It has no DIY installation option. It comes at no extra cost, but they do have an activation fee embedded.

ADT has an extensive product catalog, with many home automated devices that you can add to your preset package, at an added cost. You can purchase indoor/outdoor cameras, smart locks, thermostats, video doorbell cameras, and many more. ADT is compatible with many Z-wave devices but does not support ZigBee. It does integrate smoothly with Nest, If This Then That (IFTTT), Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. The ADT Security System has complete home automation capabilities; the only setback is that you have to go along with an ADT Pulse plan to get the full experience. ADT Pulse is the home automation app that lets you manage and monitor your devices, even when you are away.

ADT carries three simple, professional monitoring plans that include the starter equipment package; there is no option for self-monitoring. The plans come with small variations, one of them does not have access to the ADT Pulse app, while the more expensive comes with indoor/outdoor cameras. If you bring your previously owned security equipment and want to subscribe to the monitoring service, you can apply for a monthly fee. ADT monitoring plans connect using a landline or cellular coverage for the professional service.

ADT Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost Not Available Starting at $99
DIY-Installation Fee Not Available Not Available
Professional Installation Fee Not Available $0.00
Equipment Package Not Available $125
Monthly Monitoring Fee Not Available Starting at $28.99
Contract Length Not Available 36 Months
Prices may vary    

ADT may not be the best match if you are on a tight budget because of its monitoring fees. It is also not recommended for renters since it has a long-term commitment. ADT does offer a Mover’s Discount Guarantee to help with the expenses of moving, but you have to be an active customer for two years. ADT is an excellent option for small apartments and bigger homes, with a trouble-free professional installation and an excellent reputation for its monitoring service.

Brinks

Brinks is a well-known name in the security industry, with the latest in protection technology. All Brinks equipment and mobile app are powered by the innovative Alarm.com, notorious for its Skybell video doorbell, indoor and outdoor cameras, and many other devices. Brinks gives the flexibility to customize your equipment to meet all your home automation and security needs.

Brinks has an excellent reputation when it comes to customer support, allowing you to contact them via live chat, over the phone, and an online help center.

Brinks Home provides a couple of options to acquire your equipment: you can pay an upfront cost or finance it through monthly fees. Brinks financing plan will increase your monthly payments but will benefit you by avoiding any upfront costs. The system is a DIY-installation that comes at no charge. The company provides a Professional install service that comes with a one-time upfront fee that you can also dilute throughout your monthly expenses to avoid an upfront cost altogether.

Brinks Plans include the equipment to lessen the cost but requires a long-term commitment. The equipment packages come with a strict three-year contract. If you cancel your contract before time is up, you will be responsible for any pending balances, including financed equipment.

Brinks key monitoring feature is a live messaging system called ASAPer, allowing real-time communication with a personalized list of your contacts. When an alarm triggers, ASAPer provides a chatroom for the listed members to interact, so you can get a hold of family members and verify who hasn’t responded. The ASAPer messaging feature is a quick way to avoid false alarms or check if there is a real dangerous situation taking place at your home. Another cool feature that Brinks has is the LiveVoice assistance, two-way communication with the Monitoring center at all times, right from the hub itself. One last feature worth mentioning is the Alarm.com App that lets you monitor your security system. What makes this app exceptional is its availability to access so many platforms, powering loads of security systems in the home automation industry.

Brinks Highlights:

  • Cellular and Wi-Fi connection
  • DIY/Professional installation
  • ASAPer messaging system
  • Two-way audio with Monitoring center at all times through LiveVoice Assists
  • Great Home Automation capabilities
  • Alarm.com’s application support.
  • No DIY monitoring option
  • Limited equipment packages
  • Long-term contract
  • High-cost cancellation fee

Brinks is a simple DIY installation system that comes with only two preset packages that combine service and equipment. It offers a clean, modest equipment selection for a fresh aesthetic design. The equipment packs include an LCD touchscreen, motion sensors, and door/window sensors. The main difference between the two packages is that one comes with the SkyBell Video Doorbell and an indoor camera, and the other does not have any video devices. Brinks wireless equipment is a straightforward DIY installation system; if you prefer a professional installation, the company offers the service, at an extra fee.

Brinks Home can be customized to suit all your security needs, with excellent home automation capabilities. You can purchase more components to complement your system, such as indoor/outdoor cameras, glass break detectors, environmental sensors, and many more.  The system integrates well with Z-wave technology and If This Then That (IFTTT), Amazon's Alexa, and Google Home. The panel acts as a Hub for up to +100 smart home components, granting plenty of third-party integrations.

Brinks Home system brings only two professional monitoring plans to the table; With Brinks, there is no option for self-monitoring. Both packages come with a 24/7 professional monitoring service, and the ASAPer advanced monitoring technology. The monitoring plans include the respective equipment package, being the main difference the added camera devices and the video streaming feature that comes with them. Brinks use cellular-based and Wi-Fi coverage for a more secure connection.

Brinks Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost Not Available $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee Not Available $0.00
Professional Installation Fee Not Available $199.00
Equipment Package Not Available Starting at $399.00
Monthly Monitoring Fee Not Available Starting at $29.00
Contract Length Not Available 36 Months
Prices may vary    

Brinks is a great middle-of-the-pack choice for home security and automation protection. Brinks sticks out from other security companies with its live messaging ASAPer feature. It instantly connects your emergency contacts for group chat the moment your alarm is triggered. The system may not be the best choice for renters since the equipment comes with a long-term commitment that the company requires of its customers. Brinks is a fantastic choice for small apartments and larger homes, meant for easy DIY installation with high-quality equipment and excellence coverage.

Deep Sentinel

Deep Sentinel is the newest company in play today, bringing an innovative approach to home security. Its unique security system blends real-time human monitoring with Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), and state-of-the-art surveillance cameras to provide a proactive response to alerts. Thanks to its A.I. technology, trained experts can react to a possible crime in progress, defusing the situation or contacting the local police right away.

Deep Sentinel’s customer support reputation is growing strong, thanks to its surveillance agent’s interactions. The LiveSentinel agents are subject to on-going training programs, designed to improve their performance as trained security experts.

Deep Sentinel is a high-end price range security system that offers a single starter package. You will have to purchase the equipment upfront, making it a little expensive to attain; Deep Sentinel has no financing plans at the moment. On the plus side, the system is a straightforward DIY-installation that comes with no extra charges, such as activation or installation fees.

Deep Sentinel requires a one-year contract agreement; you may opt-out early, but prepare to pay a high termination fee. After the first year, you can subscribe to monthly/yearly monitoring fees that you can cancel at any time, or choose to self-monitor your system for free.

Deep Sentinel’s prime asset is its preventive system, designed to combine camera surveillance, artificial intelligence (A.I.), and real-time professional monitoring, something truly unique in the security industry. The A.I. technology filters out all different types of motion outside your home. It makes the system smart enough to focus its attention on real potential threats, such as a person lingering suspiciously on your front porch. It will send a live feed to the monitoring agents to review and take action in real-time on the possible threat. Using the camera’s built-in speakers, the LiveSentinel agents can communicate with the person triggering the alert, and defuse the situation or deter the intruder. If it escalates to a crime in progress, the center will contact proper authorities to bring instant support.

Deep Sentinel Highlights:

  • Unique proactive surveillance system
  • DIY installation
  • Built-in Artificial Intelligence
  • Real-time intervention
  • Professional Monitoring Combined with Predictive A.I.
  • DIY monitoring optional after the first year
  • Only outdoor cameras available
  • High upfront equipment cost
  • Steep cancellation fee
  • No Home Automation capabilities

Deep Sentinel brings only one straightforward DIY-installation equipment kit that is sold along with the professional monitoring service, with outdoor cameras as its core component. The cameras are bulky and robust, built this way to serve as deterrents for intruders. The system is meant for outdoor residential use, so you don’t have to worry about the not-so-aesthetically pleasing cameras blending in with your home decor. The starter kit has a Hub with built-in Artificial intelligence, three next-generation wireless outdoor cameras, and four rechargeable batteries. The system is easy to install, but if you prefer, Deep Sentinel recommends a third-party company for a professional installation service, at an extra cost.

Deep Sentinel has no add-on devices, such as access sensors or indoor cameras, as many other security companies do. You can add a fourth camera to your system, but it comes with an extra monthly fee. This limited selection is directly linked to how the system operates: the outdoor cameras will provide surveillance of your home’s outside perimeter, combined with 24/7 human intervention, and the A.I. Hub. The company’s primary objective is to prevent crime before an intruder gets a chance to get close enough to your home to break in. Due to its combined security system and monitoring service, Deep Sentinel has no smart home capabilities or third-party integrations.

Deep Sentinel provides only one unique professional monitoring service: a combination of A.I. technology with live surveillance monitoring, to bring a different security service to the table. After the one-year contract, you can continue with the monthly monitoring fees, or choose to self-monitor your system at no extra charge. The monitoring plan only has Wi-Fi coverage, with no cellular backup, unlike many other security companies that offer the extra layer of protection in connectivity.

Deep Sentinel Details DIY Monitoring (After 12 months) Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost $0.00 $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee $0.00 $0.00
Professional Installation Fee Starting at $110 Starting at $110
Equipment Package $499.00 $499.00
Monthly Monitoring Fee $0.00 $49.00
Contract Length No Contract 12 Months
Prices may vary    

Deep Sentinel is a one-of-a-kind home security system, with an innovative professional monitoring service and DIY-installation equipment package. The blend of real-time human monitoring, outdoor cameras, and predictive A.I. Hub is what makes Deep Sentinel a system like no other in the security industry.

The system is designed for residential outdoor surveillance only; it is not meant for apartments or businesses within a building. The one-option style is perfect for first-time buyers, with no overwhelming equipment packages or monitoring plans to choose from. With the lack of home automation or third-party device add-ons, Deep Sentinel is perfect for the customers who desire a unique approach to home protection.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint home security is best recognized for its exceptional customer service and response times. This innovative security company has its equipment branded by well-known General Electric, which allows the system to be monitored by other companies. Frontpoint is not the most cost-efficient system in the security industry, but the DIY installation system is easy to set up, with a lot of flexibility to customize each package. Frontpoint equipment and monitoring plans are considered a world-class service, with a wide selection of home automation devices to add on.

Frontpoint has an outstanding reputation when it comes to customer service. The only way to contact the support team is by phone; There is no live chat available. The company likes it best to have direct human contact with its customers, aiming for a pleasant experience. Frontpoint delivers comprehensive user guides, video tutorials, and FAQs on its website. The reputation extends to the sales tactics, without trying to oversell more equipment than you need and an upfront approach to pricing.

Frontpoint does not come cheap: you have to pay for the equipment upfront, which could get a scratch the high-end price range. To compensate for this initial cost, Frontpoint offers a substantial discount off its equipment packages when you subscribe to the three-year contract. There are no financing plans available, but you will save money with the no activation or installation fees since the equipment is designed to be a simple DIY-installation. The company does not provide any professional installation services.

Frontpoint offers the option between a one-year or three-year contract, but to qualify for the hefty equipment discount, you will have to sign for the longer three-year commitment. If you cancel the deal before it ends, Frontpoint charges a high termination charge for the remaining balance on your contract.

Frontpoint has a couple of cool features, like the Geolocation service that comes with the mobile app. When you enter the “Geo-fence,” an invisible zone around your home, the geo-service settings you programmed will automatically kick in. Geolocation is a handy feature to have: for example, you can disarm the system if you are approaching the front door with hands full of grocery bags. It can remind you to arm the system, turn the lights off, and many other home automation actions when you leave the geo-fence. Another nifty item is the Frontpoint Panic Pendant, a portable device that can instantly trigger a panic alarm. It comes with customizable notifications, so you can contact the police, hospital, sound the alarm, or trigger it to be silent.

Frontpoint Highlights

  • Equipment branded by GE
  • Broad third-party integrations
  • Geolocation service
  • Remarkable customer service reputation
  • High upfront cost for equipment
  • No DIY monitoring option
  • Long-term commitment
  • Must be a homeowner to qualify for equipment discounts.

Frontpoint has a simple DIY installation that brings six equipment packages for you to choose the one that best suits your security needs. The equipment comes in matte white, giving it a slick look for pleasant aesthetics. Each pack comes with a Hub, keypad, door/window sensors, and motion sensor. From there, the packages vary with different components, like glass break sensors, cameras, and smoke sensors. Frontpoint is designed to be a simple DIY install process, so there is no professional installation service available.

Frontpoint has a wide range of home automation products that you can add to your system, like video doorbells, smart lights, indoor cameras, and smart locks. The system integrates smoothly with many smart products, due to its excellent home automation capabilities. Frontpoint integrates effortlessly with Z-wave products, thanks to the fact that GE manufactures its products, and it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance. Frontpoint works with Google Home and Nest, but some integrations are still in the works, like with Amazon Echo.

Frontpoint offers three professional monitoring plans; there is no option for self-monitoring. All plans come with a 24/7 monitoring service with cellular coverage, and Wi-Fi as a backup connection. For the user to enjoy the home automation features, you will need to subscribe to the most expensive monitoring plan.

Frontpoint Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost Not Available $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee Not Available $0.00
Professional Installation Fee Not Available Not Available
Equipment Packages Not Available Starting at $99.00
Monthly Monitoring Fee Not Available Starting at $34.99
Contract Length Not Available 36 Months
Prices may vary    

Frontpoint is a renowned security system, best known for its outstanding customer service and high-quality equipment. If you are the type of buyer that values customer service quality above any other feature, then Frontpoint is the company for you. It is an excellent option for customers looking for an easy DIY installation system, with superior customization upgrades so that you can build your system over time.

Frontpoint is not necessarily the best option for renters due to the contract length, but it is a superb choice for homeowners, with big or small homes.

Honeywell

Honeywell is making its way into the DIY marketplace with the latest system called Honeywell Smart Home: A complete DIY from start to finish, perhaps one of the most simple to set up in the market today. Combined with many innovative features, Honeywell Smart Home is extremely easy to use, with the freedom to customize it to suit all your security needs. Along with the new DIY system, the company provides the popular Honeywell Home products sold by authorized dealers, with professional installation included.

Honeywell has an upstanding customer support reputation; the support team is available through live chat, Twitter, or by phone. The company has an incredibly user-friendly website, with an extensive selection of user manuals, videos, guides, and related articles. Honeywell has a vast product catalog that covers basic security devices, to more advanced ones for a great customization experience. The website has easy access to equipment packages and products that have a general description for each one.

Honeywell Smart Home is a cost-effective system that you will have to purchase upfront. If you don't want to spend too much money on initial payments, Honeywell offers financing plans through a third-party company. This way, you can spread out the cost throughout monthly installments, to lessen your expenses. And since it is a full DIY system, with no activation, installation, or monitoring fees, you will save money in the long run. Honeywell does not supply professional installation for its DIY system.  Nevertheless, if you prefer, you can opt for the Honeywell Home products that offer equipment with professional installation through its authorized dealers.

Honeywell Smart Home is a DIY system, from top to bottom. Hence, the company has no contract requirements, something very unusual in the security industry. The company does offer, as an added cost, a monthly/yearly membership subscription for extra cloud storage that you cancel at any time.

Honeywell Smart Home has a one-of-a-kind feature that stands out from other companies: The Enhanced Deterrent option. If the system detects someone approaching your home, the base station will play sounds to scare possible intruders away. It can play sounds such as a dog barking, a vacuum cleaner, or party sounds, to make it seem like someone is home while you are away. Another unique element that comes with the Honeywell system is the Smart Scenes feature that allows you to schedule “scenes” that trigger specific home automation activities throughout the day.

One last detail worth mentioning is the base station: an all-in-one device with built-in Amazon Alexa, a motion-sensing camera, integrated speakers, and smart home integrations.

Honeywell Smart Home Highlights

  • DIY Installation/monitoring
  • Enhanced Deterrent feature
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa
  • Face Recognition technology
  • Outstanding home automation capabilities
  • One of the most user-friendly DIY systems in the market
  • No cellular backup available
  • Extra fee's for cloud storage
  • No keypad or control panel option

Honeywell Smart Home is one of the most manageable DIY systems in the market today. It brings three preset equipment kits for you to choose from, or the option to build your system from the ground up, picking components á-la-carte, for more personalized security setup.

The starter kit comes with the all-in-one base station, access sensors, and a key fob; the other packages vary with different components, such as cameras, and environmental sensors. The system is a very simple DIY installation process; Therefore, the company does not offer any professional installation service for the Honeywell Smart Home system.

Honeywell Smart Home is a system that works mainly using the mobile app; it has no control panel or keypad for easy access. This app-dependent route may be a little inconvenient to some customers who don’t like to keep a close eye on their mobile phone, its battery status, and whereabouts. Honeywell does provide a key fob with its system for quick arming and disarming. You will still need the app for installing and managing all your security systems.

Honeywell has an extensive home automation product catalog that you can pick for your system, like thermostats, indoor cameras, Indoor/Outdoor MotionViewers, and more. The system comes with outstanding home automation capabilities, integrating smoothly with Z-Wave and If This Then That (IFTTT) products and services. Honeywell’s base station comes with built-in Amazon Alexa & voice control, to manage your system’s modes with simple voice commands. It also supports Google Assistant and Apple’s Home kit to integrate with your security system.

As mentioned before, Honeywell Smart Home is a total DIY system, including monitoring; there are no professional monitoring plans available. You will be in charge of overseeing and controlling your security from your mobile phone.

You can subscribe to monthly/yearly memberships to get extra cloud storage for the cameras or stick with the free 24hr cloud storage included with the system. Honeywell uses Wi-Fi as its sole connectivity, with no cellular backup, a feature that many other security companies offer nowadays for a more reliable connection.

Honeywell Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost $0.00 Not Available
DIY-Installation Fee $0.00 Not Available
Professional Installation Fee Not Available Not Available
Equipment Packages Starts at $449 Not Available
Monthly Monitoring Fee $0.00 Not Available
Contract Length No Contract Not Available
Prices may vary    

Honeywell is a well-known company, notorious for its high-quality security products, now making its way into the DIY industry with the latest system: the Honeywell Smart Home. It is a full DIY experience; From installation to monitoring, you will be solely in charge of every aspect of your security system. It is one of the most user-friendly systems in the market today, with a simple installation setup and effortless app-managing control. This keypad-less system may be a little irritating for customers who don’t want to be app-dependent or glued to their mobile phones. However, it is perfect for first-time buyers that wish to build their system over time.

Honeywell is extremely flexible when it comes to add-on devices and home automation integrations. Honeywell Smart Home is also an excellent option for renters, small apartments, and customers who want to avoid long-term commitments. If you prefer, Honeywell offers a more robust solution through its Honeywell Home product line that includes professional installation services.

Link Interactive’s greatest strength is its flexibility: from choosing all the components á-la-carte to adaptable monitoring services. Link Interactive equipment is manufactured by 2GIG who has an excellent reputation on high-quality security systems. Also, it has partnered up with Alarm.com, providing the mobile app to power all Link Interactive’s equipment. Link Interactive delivers an excellent, personalized DIY system that lets you tailor every detail to your security needs.

Link Interactive has a strong reputation when talking about customer service. You can contact them via phone call, e-mail, Skype, live chat, or filling out a form on the website. The website is reasonably easy to navigate, with plenty of user guides for Link Interactive equipment, quick start guides, and more. Link Interactive takes pride in being a very transparent company: You can browse the catalog that comes with each item's explanation, with accessible price tags.

Link Interactive has incredible flexibility that allows you to pick your security devices as you seem fit. It has no equipment bundles, unlike many security companies that offer rigid preset packs. But even with its competitive prices and flexibility to choose components, the upfront equipment cost can get a little pricey; no financing plans available.

Link Interactive allows new customers to bring previously owned equipment and subscribe to the monitoring service without having to buy any new products (restrictions may apply). It is mandatory for the user to Check first with customer support to see if the old equipment is compatible with the Link Interactive system. Also, there are no activation or installation fees, giving you some savings on initial costs.

Link Interactive’s outstanding flexibility extends to its commitment agreements: You can choose a month-to-month subscription, or select the one-year, two-year or three-year plans. If you pick the three-year plan, Link Interactive will lock in the monthly rates for the duration of the contract.

Link Interactive stands out from other companies with its well-earned reputation of being the ultimate customization system, from equipment selection to monitoring plans, something quite different from many security companies in play nowadays. One handy aspect is the “2 Way Voice on All Panels” feature, allowing you to speak with Link Interactive’s monitoring center directly.

Another cool feature that stands out is the temporary bypass that comes with the micro-size door/window sensor. This feature allows you to bypass sensors on a zone with the push of a button, rather than disable and enable your security system. It is perfect for letting your pet out in the middle of the night without waking your whole family up. Another device that is worth mentioning is the Panic Button, a portable device that can send an emergency alarm from within a 350 feet range of the control panel. It comes with multiple wearable options and can be programmed to connect with police or medical help, whether the system is armed or not.

Link Interactive Highlights

  • DIY Installation
  • Powered by Alarm.com
  • One of the most flexible system in the market
  • Massive product selection
  • No preset equipment bundles
  • Panic/Medical Alerts
  • High upfront cost
  • DIY monitoring comes with a Monthly fee for app access.

Link interactive is a DIY installation system, with outstanding flexibility for equipment selection. It has no preset equipment packages; you will pick each item based on your security needs. The devices are not the most aesthetically pleasing, having a simple, boxy-looking design, but makes up with its high-quality, affordable pricing and broad product collection. The system comes with a core item: The Go! Control Panel, included in all Link Interactive monitoring plans. The panel will help you control and manage all the add-on products to your system, such as motion sensors, environmental detectors, smart locks, and many more.

Since it is a straightforward DIY-installation system, the company does not provide professional installation services.

Link Interactive has excellent home automation capabilities, integrating smoothly with Z-wave technology, allowing your system to link with other smart home products. The system works great with Nest thermostat products, Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple TV. Since Alarm.com makes many of Link Interactive’s products, the system automation and voice-activated commands will work with selected products.

Link Interactive brings a couple of choices for its monitoring plans: self-monitoring or professional monitoring plans. If you go the DIY monitoring route, you will still have to pay a monthly fee to get access to the App that manages your system. If you choose the professional monitoring path, the company offers three professional monitoring plans for you to choose what’s best for your system. All Pro-monitoring plans include 24/7 professional monitoring and have cellular coverage for its connections.

Link Interactive Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost $0.00 $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee $0.00 $0.00
Professional Installation Fee Not Available Not Available
Equipment Packages Starts at $250 Learn More
Monthly Monitoring Fee $30.99 Starts at $30.99
Contract Length Monthly Contract Monthly Contract
Prices may vary    

Link Interactive has well-earned fame of being one of the most flexible security systems in the market today. Its flexibility is reflected in all the company’s aspects, from the á-la-carte equipment selection method to its contract commitment options. Link Interactive offers an array of high-quality equipment products so that you can build your security system, tailored to your needs.

Keep in mind that the equipment is paid upfront, and with so many products to choose from, you could go over your budget with components you might not need. Link Interactive is an excellent choice for customers who are looking for a lot of flexibility from their DIY-installation system. However, it may not be a good fit for first-time buyers: from the overwhelming product catalog selection to the lack of preset equipment packages to help the customer narrow down the options.

With its fantastic flexibility, Link Interactive is a perfect option for renters or homeowners, from small apartments to larger homes.

Nest

Nest is a well-known company thanks to the popular smart thermostats that took home automation into the mainstream. Nest brings a full range of home security products, allowing its customers to customize their homes the best way possible. The company's foremost attention is to bring user-friendly devices, with its intuitive hardware and learning capabilities, for an ultimate home automation experience.

Nest is a DIY system, from installation to monitoring. Nest partnered up with the renowned Brinks company to bring the Nest Secure service plan; Nest carries the products while Brinks delivers the home security monitoring plans.
Nest has been in the smart home industry for quite some time now, building a respectable customer service reputation. The company has plenty of resources available for its customer support, with a website full of self-help articles, guides, FAQs, and a Nest community. You can contact them via phone or email, but it does not have a live chat, something that has become more common with other companies.

Nest brings first-class equipment and services that unfortunately come with a higher price tag compared with other DIY systems in the market today. You will have to pay for the equipment upfront. To make the system more accessible, Nest redesigned its sensors to be multifunctional, so you need fewer devices to start building your security system. But if you want to avoid the upfront cost altogether, Nest offers financing plans so you can spread out the cost through monthly installments.

Nest is a complete DIY system, so you are not obligated to subscribe to a lengthy contract. You can self-monitor your system, with no contract commitment, or opt for a more secure plan. If you choose to subscribe to professional monitoring, Nest offers plans that come with a monthly fee with no contract, or a three-year commitment that comes with a discount.

Nest is designed with the customer's comfort in mind. It integrates home security and smart devices throughout your home, with unique features such as the voice response feature that allows you to get updates by a human voice. Nest’s exceptional features are reflected on the top-of-the-line products the company has to offer. One of the most famous is the Nest Smart Thermostat, with learning features that pick up on your temperature preferences and schedules, to make your home more comfortable.

Another nifty device is the Nest Detect Sensor that changes functionality depending on the location it is installed. When installed on windows or doors, it works as a contact sensor; if you set it up on the wall, it operates as a motion sensor. These sensors come with original features, such as Pathlight and Quiet Open. The Pathlight feature uses movement detection to trigger a night-light to guide the way; the Quiet Open allows you to choose a sensor to deactivate, leaving the rest of the system armed.

The Nest Hello Video Doorbell is another remarkable device, with an intelligent identification feature that can distinguish between a person and a thing. It can even recognize friends and family, sending you a special alert to let you know they are at your front door.

Nest Highlights

  • DIY installation and monitoring
  • Optional Professional monitoring through Brinks®
  • Integrated Smart Home Ecosystem
  • Multifunctional Detect sensors that change how they work depending on placement
  • User-friendly system
  • Extensive product catalog
  • Expensive equipment cost
  • Some Nest products need professional installation, like the thermostat.
  • Cameras smart features are only available when subscribed to video plan

Nest comes with a basic equipment package that you can customize by adding many other home automated products. Nest has a modern, sophisticated design, making for an exquisite aesthetic look. The equipment pack comes with essential devices that include the Nest Guard base station, detect sensors, and nest tags. The set does not include cameras, thermostats, or locks, but you can easily add them to your bundle, at an extra cost, to adjust to your security needs.

Nest is a DIY installation system, but they provide a professional installation service for their more complex components, like the smart thermostats and cameras.

Nest system uses its proprietary communications protocol called Weave, allowing a wide range of equipment to be added on to your system as you see fit. Nest has excellent home automation capabilities and integrates well with Yale locks, Philips-Hue lightbulbs, and Chromecast. At the moment, there are some compatibility issues between some of Nest equipment and Z-Wave products. The company states that the problems can be worked around by using a standard wired installation. Nest does not support Amazon Alexa or third-party devices that use If This Then That (IFTTT) integration.

Nest is a straightforward DIY system that allows you to self-monitor without any monthly fees. But if you prefer, you can choose a professionally monitored plan called Nest Secure. The company offers this 24/7 professional monitoring service through the renowned Brinks company. You can choose between monthly fees without a contract or a three-year contract commitment that has a significant discount. These plans have a cellular backup for a more reliable connection. Nest has an optional monthly subscription plan for its cameras and video surveillance called Nest Aware. It is based on a per-camera basis and offers video history, continuous recoding features, and intelligent alerts.

Nest Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost $0.00 $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee $0.00 $0.00
Professional Installation Fee Starts at $99 Starts at $99
Equipment Packages Starts at $399 Starts at $399
Monthly Monitoring Fee $0.00 Starts at $19
Contract Length No Contract / 36 Months No Contract / 36 Months
Prices may vary    

Nest is a very easy DIY system, from installation to monitoring, bringing lots of smart home automation possibilities to your home security system. It is on the high end of the price range, but with its multipurpose sensors, you can save money by purchasing fewer items to monitor your home.

Nest offers professional installation for its more complex products, for customers with less technological experience. The system is designed for simple, user-friendly self-monitoring control; but if you prefer, Nest offers professional monitoring plans.
 
Overall, Nest is an excellent choice for renters as well as homeowners living in small apartments to larger homes. It may not be the best fit for first-time buyers since some of Nest products can be a little challenging to set up. But this issue can be quickly resolved by buying the starter set and build the system over time.

 

Protect America

Protect America has been delivering home security systems for decades, being the first company to produce a monitored DIY installation system. Since then, this model has been replicated by many other security companies in play today. It is an extremely affordable DIY installation system designed for customers seeking long-term solutions. It has the additional benefits of no upfront costs for the equipment, delivering an excellent home security system with many customizable options.

Over the years, Protect America has built up an excellent customer support reputation. You can contact the support team by placing a call or live chat; no forms or email contact available. Also, appointments can be scheduled with a Protect America representative to walk you through the entire installation and activation process.

Protect America is a low-cost DIY security system, offering free equipment packages with its monitoring plans. With Protect America, there is no upfront expense, installation, and activation fees; hence, there are no financing plans available. The catch: you have to subscribe to a long-term commitment.

Protect America comes with a strict three-year contract requirement since the cost of the equipment is embedded throughout the monthly monitoring fees. On a positive note, Protect America backs up all its gear with a lifetime guarantee, something pretty unique in the industry.

Protect America stands out from other companies with its unique three connectivity options: landline, broadband, and cellular. These coverage choices give the customer the freedom to select how they want to connect to the monitoring center, fitting what is best for them and their current location.

The company sets its customers with a moving kit that includes tools and instructions for the reinstallation process. One more exceptional feature worth mentioning is that Protect America offers free equipment and no upfront cost with its monitoring services.

 

Protect America Highlights

  • Landline, broadband, and cellular connectivity available.
  • Lifetime warranty on equipment
  • Free equipment with no upfront cost
  • Excellent customer service reputation
  • DIY installation
  • Additional fee for Video and Fire monitoring
  • High cancelation fee

Protect America is a simple DIY installation system that offers free gear with its monitoring plans. The equipment has a compact, simple design, not the trendiest and aesthetically pleasing devices in play today. But the company makes up with its affordable package combinations and high-quality products.

All Protect America equipment packages come with a control panel, a motion detector, door/window sensors (the amount varies depending on the plan), and a keychain remote. You can add many smart home devices to your system, like doorbell video cameras, smart locks, thermostats, and more, at an added cost. The system is intended to be a straightforward DIY installation system; the company does offer a professional installation service, for an extra cost.

Protect America has excellent home automation capabilities and extensive third-party integrations. The system works with Z-Wave technology, If This Then That (IFTTT) scenes, and the X10 standard, the most common ways of connecting home security equipment.

Protect America does not operate with Nest products but has recently added Amazon Alexa to its home automation devices. It does support Google Home and Alarm.com products since this last one is the leading provider for Protect America’s equipment.

With Protect America, you will have three 24/7 professional monitoring plans to choose from; there is no self-monitoring option. The plans include different equipment packages, at no extra cost. With each monitoring plan, you can select which way you want to connect: landline, broadband, or cellular coverage. With broadband and cellular plans, there is no price difference; it is just a matter of the connection reference you would like for your system.

Protect America Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost Not Available $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee Not Available $0.00
Professional Installation Fee Not Available $199
Equipment Packages Not Available $0.00
Monthly Monitoring Fee Not Available Starts at $19.99
Contract Length Not Available 36 Months
Prices may vary    

If you are looking for a very affordable DIY system without spending a fortune in upfront costs or products, then Protect America is the company for you. The free equipment that comes with professional monitoring delivers an excellent alternative for first-time buyers that don't want to spend too much money.

Protect America has the flexibility to expand to video surveillance and many more home automation features, adding more components to your system as you see fit. Protect America is the only one company we’ve seen that offers all three ways of connection: landline, broadband, and cellular coverage. The company’s major drawback is the strict three-year contract that locks you down for a long-term commitment.

Protect America is a perfect choice for small apartments or larger homes, ideal for first-time buyers or customers who want to build their system over time, without breaking the bank. But with its long-term commitment, it may not be best suited for renters; but then again, you can take the system when you move.

Ring Alarm

Ring is a household name thanks to its top-rated Ring doorbell video camera, now making its mark into the home security industry. Drawing from the video doorbell experience, Ring has used its understanding of the need for protection to create an exciting new home security system and has expanded to many other smart devices and home automation to offer the Ring Alarm security system.

When it comes to customer support, Ring has built a solid reputation. Their website is filled with lots of resources, such as articles, setup guides, and an FAQ section. You can also place a call to customer support, available 24/7, something uncommon in the industry.

Ring Alarm has high-end costly equipment packages that you have to purchase upfront. If you don’t want to spend too much on the initial payment, Ring provides financing plans to spread the cost over monthly fees. Since Ring Alarm is a DIY installation system with no activation or installation fees, you will save money that you can put towards the upfront expense.

Ring comes with no contract requirements, something pretty rare in the security industry. You can subscribe to monthly/yearly monitoring plans that you can cancel at any time. Ring will even refund a prorated amount based on how much time you have left on your annual subscription.

Ring stands out from other companies by offering dual power options for its equipment. You can choose between hardwired devices or battery-operated ones, depending on your preferences and needs. Their best seller product is the famous Ring Video Doorbell, a high-quality camera that allows you to see who is at your doorstep. It comes with adaptable motion sensors that let you set ideal zones, alerting you even before a person rings your doorbell.

One truly unique feature is Ring’s Neighbors App, a social space where neighbors can share relevant security information about activities in their area. The free app allows users to share recorded events, post videos and images, and text message alerts, aiming for a more secure community. This one-of-a-kind app is something we haven’t seen from any other security company out there.

 

Ring Alarm Highlights

  • No contract required
  • DIY Installation
  • DIY/Professional Monitoring available
  • Affordable professional monitoring plans
  • Neighbors app for sharing security information on your area
  • Advanced indoor/outdoor cameras
  • Restricted third-party integration
  • Expensive upfront equipment cost

Ring offers several preset equipment packages that come with recommendations for which one is best suited in terms of your home’s nature and square footage. Ring Alarm’s equipment has a subtle, modern design that is aesthetically pleasing, blending smoothly with your home. All packages have the Security Kit as its core base: an equipment pack that comes with a base station, a keypad, a contact sensor, a motion sensor, and a range extender. The rest of the preset equipment kits are variations of this set, incorporating devices such as Flood & Freeze sensors, video doorbell cameras, and more. You can also build your system from the ground up, for a more customized security system. And even though the Ring Alarm is mainly controlled through its mobile app, all equipment kits include a keypad for easy access to your system. Ring Alarm is a simple DIY installation system; therefore, they don’t provide a professional installation service.

With its “Works with Ring” program, Ring connects to many smart home products, using the base station as a bridge. Ring has Z-Wave and Zigbee connectivity, but it is not compatible with many smart home platforms and products outside its program. There is no integration with Google Assistant or Nest products either, but the system does integrate with Amazon Alexa. Unfortunately, the Ring cameras don’t connect to Alexa; you won’t be able to connect voice commands to the cameras.

Ring Alarm offers two monitoring paths: self-monitoring or professional monitoring service. The company provides two options for self-monitoring. One is free, and the other comes with a low monthly cost with extra features like the ability to review, share, and save your Ring videos.

Ring Alarm system uses Wi-Fi coverage for all its monitoring plans. With the 24/7 professional monitoring plan, Ring includes free cellular backup, a feature that usually comes with an extra cost from other companies. Ring Alarm brings incredibly affordable monitoring services, one of the most economical plans we have encountered in the security industry.

Ring Alarm Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost $0.00 $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee $0.00 $0.00
Professional Installation Fee Not Available Not Available
Equipment Packages Starts at $199.99 Starts at $199.99
Monthly Monitoring Fee Free of charge $10.00
Contract Length No Contract No Contract
Prices may vary    

Ring is a well-recognized company thanks to its popular Video Doorbell Cameras, entering the home security industry with its new DIY home security system. Ring Alarm brings affordable DIY equipment, with the flexibility to add many home automation components. One area that needs improvement is the system’s integration with third-party devices, which the company has taken under advice and states that it is in the works.

The system is managed through its app; it can be slightly irritating for those customers who don’t want to be aware of their mobile phone at all times. But every equipment kit comes with a keypad to lessen the use of your phone. Ring Alarm stands out with its adaptable and economical monitoring plans, making a perfect fit for renters, frequent movers, and customers who run away from long-term commitments.

Ring Alarm is ideal for small one-bedroom apartments to larger homes with numerous rooms and entry points. It offers a vast selection of equipment kits adaptable to any home, small or large.

Scout

Scout security system is a relatively new company, with affordable, well-made equipment, with a reputation for being the ultimate customizable system in the industry. Even though Scout has a limited equipment catalog, it makes it up with extraordinary third-party integrations and home automation capabilities. Scout’s DIY installation system offers equipment packages for you to choose from. The company also has the flexibility to custom-build it by selecting every item á-la-carte to best suit all your security needs.

Scout has a reputation for having reliable customer service, offering a couple of options to contact them. You can talk to them over the phone, email, and fill an online form; The company does not have a live chat, unlike most other companies nowadays. Scout’s website has plenty of resources to help customers, from general questions to troubleshooting, as well as video tutorials, an extensive knowledge base, and a community forum.

One drawback is the limited product catalog that Scout has to offer. They rely on its extensive home automation integrations to give you the freedom to add many third-party devices to your system.

With Scout, you purchase the equipment upfront. If you want to avoid this steep upfront cost, the company offers financing plans so you can distribute it through monthly installments. With Scout, there are no activation or installation fees embedded, so you will be able to save some money that you can put up towards the initial equipment costs.

Scout has a no-contract policy; instead, you will subscribe to monthly/yearly monitoring fees that you can opt-out early at any moment. Scout offers a prorated refund, even if you sign up for annual monitoring and cancel midway. The drawback: You need to subscribe to at least one plan to have mobile app access.

One unique feature that stands out is the Scout’s Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sticker. You can adhere it to any random object at home to work as a secret key fob so that you can grant access to family members in case of an emergency. This one-of-a-kind RFID sticker is a fantastic alternative to arming/disarming your system, something we haven't seen from any other security company. One unusual aspect that Scout brings to the table is the free cellular backup, combined with its Wi-Fi coverage, making an incredibly reliable connection to your system.

 

Scout Highlights

  • DIY installation
  • DIY/PRO monitoring available
  • Free cellular and battery backup included
  • Extensive third-party integrations
  • Massive customization skills
  • No keypad or control panel available
  • System won’t work without at least one active subscription

 

Scout manufactures its well-designed equipment, creating affordable devices for its customers. The company delivered a slick, modern aesthetic to its products, with the option of picking Arctic White or Midnight black as colors for a better blend with your home décor.

With Scout, you can choose from four preset packs or have the freedom to build your system á-la-carte by handpicking every component. All Scout equipment packs need the centralized Hub to connect all other devices to your security system. The preset packages also include a door panel with an RFID sticker, motion sensors, access sensors, and key fobs. Other kits consist of environmental sensors, while others have door locks or glass break sensors.

Scout depends solely on its mobile app for working all your systems components; no keypad or control panel available. It is a cost-effective system since you don’t have to purchase any additional devices to manage it. But for some customers, this app-dependent method could be irritating: You are the sole responsible for overlooking your monitoring. When you receive a notification on your mobile phone that an alarm has triggered, you will be in charge of contacting the authorities. Scout is a simple DIY installation system, planned for easy setup; there is no professional installation service available.

Scout system has impressive smart home integrations with the most popular products in the market today, living up to its reputation of being the ultimate personalized system. Scout has Z-Wave and Zigbee integrations, embracing many smart home devices that use these frequencies. It is also compatible with Nest equipment, Philips Hue smart lights, and LIFX smart light bulbs. It also connects to Amazon Echo devices and Alexa, as well as Google Home so that you can control your system using voice commands. Scout connects with over 175 smart home partners using If This Then That (IFTTT) integration recipe, giving you the flexibility to customize your security system with a massive selection of products and services.

Scout security system brings only two monitoring plans. The first one is self-monitoring, granting you access to Scout’s App. The second option is a 24/7 professional monitoring service that includes free storage for your indoor camera. Both plans use Wi-Fi for their connectivity, and come with free cellular coverage as a backup, for a more secure connection. But remember: Scout equipment system won’t work without at least one active monitoring plan in play.

Scout Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost $0.00 $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee $0.00 $0.00
Professional Installation Fee Not Available Not Available
Equipment Packages Starts at $229 Starts at $229
Monthly Monitoring Fee $9.99 $19.99
Contract Length No Contract No Contract
Prices may vary    

Scout is a relatively new company that offers affordable, straightforward DIY security systems. The company has built an outstanding reputation of being the quintessential customizable security system in play today. And even though Scout comes with a limited proprietary equipment catalog, it makes up with massive third-party integrations and home automation capabilities.

The keypad-less scheme could be a little irritating for some customers; Scout tries to minimize this inconvenience by providing key fobs and RFID stickers for quick access to your system.

The no-contract policy makes Scout system perfect for renters as well as homeowners. And with its powerful third-party integrations and flexibility, it is ideal for small apartments, to larger homes, meeting all your security needs.

Simplisafe

SimpliSafe home security is one of the most affordable and flexible systems in the security industry today. The company manufactures its home security equipment, bringing its customers competitive prices as well as top-quality services. SimpliSafe delivers an assortment of newly redesigned equipment packages to cover all your security needs, from the essential components to the more advanced and robust sets. For a more economical option, SimpliSafe offers its Original Equipment and Refurbished Equipment packages that come with a hefty discount.

SimpliSafe has a decent customer service reputation, with somewhat limited ways to contact them. You can place a call to the customer support team or contact them via email; there is no live chat, something unusual for today’s standards. SimpliSafe’s website is very user-friendly, easy to browse around at all the equipment bundles and their price tags. One cool feature is the simulated blueprints that are shown with the equipment packs, to give the customers a better idea for placing all the components.

With SimpliSafe, you have to purchase all the equipment upfront; the company has no financing plans available. On the plus side, SimpliSafe brings very affordable equipment packs with competitive prices. If you want to save some money, take a look at SimpliSafe’s Original Equipment or the Refurbished Equipment packages that come with substantial discounts.

SimpliSafe has no lengthy contracts; it is on a monthly fee basis. You can turn the monitoring on and off, giving you the freedom to cancel at any time. Take into consideration that you have to subscribe to the more expensive monitoring plan to gain access to the SimpliSafe app to manage your system.

SimpliSafe system comes with a pretty cool feature called Secret Alerts: Private notifications sent by specific sensors you select to be on an alert-only setting. These alerts will discreetly notify you when a sensor is triggered, without sounding the alarm. You can secretly keep an eye on places where you don't want people snooping around, such as liquor cabinets, safes, or hidden drawers.

One device that stands out is the SimpliSafe Panic Button that immediately triggers the alarm at the push of a button. It will notify the monitoring center of a possibly dangerous situation, and they can alert the police to come to your home. A unique feature that comes with the panic button is the Silent Panic, programming your system to activate to signal for help without sounding the alarm. This feature is excellent for businesses, to avoid alerting the intruder that help is on the way.

 

Simplisafe Highlights

  • Affordable Original and Refurbished equipment packs available
  • DIY installation
  • DIY/Professional monitoring available
  • On-demand enabling and disabling monitoring
  • Inexpensive, customizable systems
  • No contract requirement
  • App-only available in Pro monitoring
  • Limited Home Automation capabilities

SimpliSafe brings an array of proprietary equipment packs for you to choose. They recently redesigned its new equipment line, giving it an elegant and modern look, for a more refined aesthetic. SimpliSafe offers 16 newly redesigned equipment packages, varying from a 4-piece set perfect for small apartments, going up to a 16-piece kit meant for larger homes with multiple entryways. Each equipment package comes with a base station and a keypad as its core items. From there, you can select the pack that best matches your home’s layout and security needs, including motions detectors, entry sensors, and more. You can also choose to build your system from scratch for a more tailored security system.

SimpliSafe gives you the flexibility to add other devices, like indoor cameras, environmental sensors, video doorbell cameras, and many more, at an added expense. And don’t forget, if you what a more economical option, don’t hesitate to take a look at SimpliSafe’s Original systems and Refurbished equipment packs. SimpliSafe is a simple DIY installation system, but for those customers who want to avoid the hassle of doing all the work, the company offers professional installation, as an added cost.

SimpliSafe is designed to be, for lack of a better word, simple. Its simplicity is reflected in its home automation features. The company is a little behind on home automation capabilities or third-party integrations, with no Z-wave or If This Then That (IFTTT) technology. It does, however, have a couple of smart home integrations, like August Smart Locks, Nest Thermostats, Apple Watch, and Amazon Alexa; It does not integrate with Google Home. To have access to home automation features, you will need to subscribe to the more expensive monitoring plan.

SimpliSafe offers two professional monitoring plans that provide 24/7 expert protection. You can go the self-monitoring way to avoid any monthly monitoring fees but is a less effective way to protect your home. Both professional monitoring plans come with cellular coverage and Wi-Fi connection as a backup, creating more secure connectivity with the monitoring center.

Simplisafe Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost $0.00 $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee $0.00 $0.00
Professional Installation Fee $79.00 $79.00
Equipment Packages Starts at $229 Starts at $229
Monthly Monitoring Fee $0.00 $14.99
Contract Length No Contract No Contract
Prices may vary    

SimpliSafe is an affordable DIY install system with plenty of equipment packages to choose from, with the flexibility to add more devices over time. The system is a little behind home automation capabilities or integrating with third-party companies, but SimpliSafe rewards its customers by providing an affordable and flexible home security system.

The no-contract policy makes SimpliSafe ideal for renters or second-home owners who don’t want to spend a fortune on security systems and monitoring plans. SimpliSafe is an excellent choice for first-time buyers looking for an inexpensive security system.

Choosing an equipment kit could become a little overwhelming for inexperienced buyers, with its ample bundle selection. But then again, with its wide range of components, SimpliSafe is a perfect choice for either small one entry apartments or even larger homes with multiple entry points.

Vivint

Vivint is a world-class home security company, known as a pioneer of home automation technology, still leading in smart technology with its innovative smart home devices and features. It carries state-of-the-art equipment and protection driven by smart technology. The company’s drawback: it is one of the highest-priced companies in the industry today, but delivers top-notch products and services.

Vivint does not have the best reputation when it comes to customer service. Their overly aggressive sales tactics earned the company a negative reputation, especially on the door-to-door sales pitches. But over the past years, Vivint has vastly improved their tactics and customer services, thanks to its more structured pricing plan. You can contact customer support by placing a call or live chat with a representative.

Vivint offers a couple of options on how to obtain your equipment: you can pay the full price upfront or finance using their Flex Pay plan. Being one of the most expensive systems in the market today, opting to fund your equipment through monthly installments is a great way to go. The only catch is that you will have to sign for a long-term commitment to get the financed monthly fees.

With Vivint, the length of the contract commitment will depend on how you acquire your equipment. If you purchase your equipment upfront, you will have the advantage of a no-contract monthly monitoring fee that you can cancel at any time. But if you choose to finance your equipment package, you will have to sign up for a 42 or 60-month contract that comes with a steep cancelation fee.

When you talk about Vivint, you can’t avoid thinking about top-class equipment and advanced automation technology; it is what makes the company stand out from all the others. Vivint's mobile App has a status of being the highest-rated app for security systems, quite a remarkable achievement. This fine-tuned app lets you handle your smart home devices all in one place, remaining extremely easy to use.

One exceptional feature is the Voice-activated home automation skill, enhanced with Amazon Echo voice technology. It uses biometric voice recognition, making your Vivint system respond to commands that govern all your home automated devices. An unusual feature that Vivint presents with its video doorbell cameras is the smart visitor detection, an artificial intelligence feature rarely seen in video doorbells. It sends alerts only when people are standing at your front door while ignoring objects like your neighbor's dog chasing its tail on your front yard.

 

Vivint Highlights

  • Fantastic home automation skills
  • Top-quality equipment and service
  • Cutting-edge Home automation technology
  • Vast smart home product catalog
  • Financing plans available
  • Strict contract agreement
  • Steep upfront equipment costs

Vivint Home Security brings high-end products, with exceptional security devices and home automation technology to fulfill all your security needs. The equipment comes with a clean, sophisticated design, giving the products a modern aesthetic that you can easily incorporate with your home décor. Vivint provides four equipment packages that you can always customize to your liking. The basic starter kit includes a control panel, door/window sensors, a motion sensor.

You can add many home automated devices like indoor cameras, environmental sensors, smart locks, video doorbells, and many more. Just don’t lose sight of your overall expense, because anything extra you decide to purchase will increase your total pretty fast.

Vivint does not give the option of DIY installation but instead provides a professional installation service to guarantee a proper setup. All you have to do is choose your equipment pack and monitoring plan, and Vivint will take care of the rest. The downside, it comes as an extra cost that you can’t dodge.

Vivint has outstanding home automation capabilities (probably one of the best in the market), being one of the first pioneer companies to embark on this technological field. The equipment uses Z-Wave technology, with exceptional control over your household. Vivint works great with Philips Hue, Nest products, If This Then That (IFTTT) technology and Amazon Echo, for a smooth integration to your security system. It lets you manage all of these third-party devices right from your Vivint App. And last but not least, Vivint works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, providing control over your system using voice commands.

Vivint offers three professional monitoring plans; there is no option for self-monitoring. The plans include 24/7 professional monitoring service and access to the mobile phone app. If you pay in full for your equipment, you won't need to subscribe to any lengthy contracts, giving you the freedom to sign up only for monthly fees. All Vivint monitoring plans come with cellular coverage, the most secure and reliable connection available.

Vivint Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost Not Available $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee Not Available Not Available
Professional Installation Fee Not Available Starts at $49.99
Equipment Packages Not Available Starts at $599.99
Monthly Monitoring Fee Not Available Starts at $29.99
Contract Length Not Available 42-60 Months Contract
Prices may vary    

Vivint is one of the more expensive systems in the security industry; but in exchange, the company delivers first-class smart home products and features. The equipment, even though it is on the higher price scope, provides high-tech smart home devices, like smart thermostats, doorbell cameras, smart locks, and more, to have a full automation experience.

Vivint is not a great fit for small apartments or renters, due to its costly equipment, installation fees, and long-term commitments. It is ideal for homeowners with small to large homes that aren’t afraid of lengthy contracts. If you are a tech-junkie and are not too preoccupied on expensive gear and services, Vivint will be a perfect choice for you, with its top of the line products.

Xfinity Home

Xfinity-Comcast is a renowned cable company that has branched off into the home security industry with its new home security service. The Xfinity Home security system offers a simple solution for home security; its simplicity is displayed in the single monitoring plan that includes one essential equipment bundle. With Comcast’s wide-ranging home integration, security and smart automation, you can merge internet, television, home automation, and protection, all under one roof. When you bundle up the Xfinity Home security system with other products and services, the company offers a hefty discount.

When talking about customer service, Xfinity Home has a weak reputation. The more common complaints are that getting in touch with customer support takes a long time, and the professional installation takes a considerably long time to complete. On the plus side, the company provides several options for assistance, like email, live chat, phone call, or help communities through its social networks. Xfinity Home website has a full collection of articles, videos, and an extensive knowledge database. Xfinity sales tactics are not excessively aggressive, but they do try to bundle up other products and services when inquiring about the home security system.

Xfinity Home’s equipment is on a lease basis; you don’t own the equipment. As a result, there are no financing plans available, since the kit comes included with the monitoring plans at no extra charge. If you subscribe to Paperless Billing and Automatic Payments, you get a $10 discount on your monthly fees; if not, the monthly monitoring service fee automatically increases.

Xfinity Home straightforwardness runs into its contract requirements: It has only one contract agreement that lasts two years. You can cancel at any time, but be ready to pay a steep termination fee, paying in full the remaining contract.

The one attribute that sets Xfinity Home apart from other companies is the ability to bundle up different services into one plan. You can combine many Comcast's devices, controlling them over the mobile app, web portal, or even with your TV (if you have Xfinity TV and the X1 DVR).

Another cool feature with Xfinity’s equipment is the handheld touchscreen panel, giving you the freedom to change its location according to your needs. This handheld experience makes the panel a more user-friendly device, compared to the more traditional wall-mounted ones that are fixed to one place.

The Xfinity indoor/outdoor camera is the one device that stands out the most from the company’s product catalog. This indoor/outdoor camera lets you move it around your home, setting up where you need it the most at the time. This feature is handy, for instance, if during weekdays you prefer to have the camera indoors to keep a close eye inside your home while you are at work. Then during weekends, if you stay home, you can move it outside, since it is weather-resistant, so you can see who is approaching your house.

 

Xfinity Home Highlights

  • Wi-Fi connection with free cellular and battery backup
  • Professional Installation and Monitoring
  • Free equipment with a monitoring plan
  • Outstanding home automation capabilities and third-party integrations
  • Two-hour window for installation or a credit guarantee
  • Minimal equipment package selection
  • Steep cancelation fee

Xfinity Home is a bit lacking when it comes to package selection, delivering only one equipment starter kit. The equipment comes with a much bulkier design, making it a not so aesthetically pleasant system. Xfinity Home starter kit comes with a touchscreen panel, a motion sensor, three door/window sensors, and a keypad. The equipment is free of charge; you don’t own it, you lease it.

The Xfinity Home system can become as robust as you want, with the flexibility to add extra components to make your home safer or as automated as possible. You can purchase cameras, smart thermostats, and many third-party devices like smart lights and locks, for a well-rounded customization experience. Xfinity Home system requires a professional installation that comes with an extra fee; there is no option for a DIY-installation.

Xfinity Home is a very flexible system that comes with outstanding home automation capabilities. The company’s “Works with Xfinity” program provides extensive integration with the most popular third-party devices in the market today. Xfinity partnered up with renowned companies such as General Electric, Philips Hue lights, Nest, Kwikset, and many more, to enhance your smart home experience. The system fits in smoothly with If This Then That (IFTTT) technology, but unfortunately has no Z-Wave integration. Also, it does no integrate with Google Home or Amazon Alexa, so there is no voice control over your home’s automation experience.

Xfinity Home simplicity is reflected once more on its sole professional monitoring service. It has no self-monitoring option or any other monitoring plans for that matter. The company offers a 24/7 professional monitoring service that includes the equipment starter kit at no extra cost. Xfinity Home has Wi-Fi coverage and comes with free cellular backup.

Xfinity Home Details DIY Monitoring Professional Monitoring
Activation Cost Not Available $0.00
DIY-Installation Fee Not Available Not Available
Professional Installation Fee Not Available $99.99
Equipment Packages Not Available $0.00
Monthly Monitoring Fee Not Available Starts at $29.99
Contract Length Not Available 24 Months Contract
Prices may vary    

Xfinity Home is an affordable lease-based security system that comes with a hassle-free selection process. It offers only one equipment starter kit in combination with a single professional monitoring plan. The company provides an extensive collection of home security products for you to add to your system for a complete smart home automation experience.

With its professional installation and essential component kit, Xfinity Home system is ideal for first-time buyers that don’t have too much technological expertise. Because of its steep cancelation fee and long-term commitment, Xfinity may not be the best option for renters.

Xfinity Home it’s an excellent choice for customers who want the flexibility to build their system over time, either living in small apartments or larger homes. Xfinity and Comcast are all about bundling up, with plans that include cable, internet, and home security, perfect for customers who want to keep it simple, all under one roof.

 

Monica Quiros

Article Author

Last Update

December 29, 2019

Blog Vivint Home Security Overview