Best Home Security Systems in Chicago
The Greater Chicagoland area has no shortage of home security companies, including Frontpoint, our national top pick. But how does each one stack up against the rest of the competition?
We thoroughly researched the plans, pricing, and installation costs of Chicago’s home security companies to find out which one took the cake. By the end of our evaluation, Alert Protective Services stood out as the best home security company in Chicago due to its breadth of service and reputation. However, those who want to automate their homes with smart thermostats and smartphone-connected lighting will have to go with Frontpoint — none of our local recommendations offer home automation.
The Best Home Security Systems in Chicago
Alert Protective Services
Vintech Security Solutions
Stealth Security Systems
Alert Protective Services
After speaking to the representatives at Alert Protective Systems, it’s easy to see why the company earned an A+ from the BBB and an A from Angie’s List. The associates we spoke to easily answered our questions and informed us that the company’s central monitoring facility, (which is Underwriter Laboratories-approved) has the ability to track any model of alarm. What’s more, Alert Protective Systems will monitor an already existing system, even if installed by another provider.
While Alert Protective System’s most common contract length is 36 months, the representative assured us that the company will work with residential customers to customize a plan. The 36-month contract starts at $30 per month, which is about $10 cheaper than most of the plans we encountered in the Chicagoland area. Furthermore, the company provides an extensive array of other services and devices, including life protection devices such as medical pendants and home automation devices. Consultants will travel to your home to provide a quote for your installation and plan and discuss smart home add-ons. “Think of us as your electronics interior designer,” the website says, which makes sense considering Alert Protective Services offers everything from the design and installation of home cinemas to remote lighting control.
We are also fans of its warranty, which is four times longer than the standard 90-day guarantee. That fact, along with its extensive service offerings (which include installation and maintenance, and its in-house monitoring facility) Alert Protective Services was the easy choice for best home security company in Chicago.
Vintech Security Solutions
Vintech High Tech Security Solutions is specializes in both residential and business monitoring systems, and services include an emergency call box, video surveillance, burglar alarm monitoring, and access control. The company also has exemplary ratings on BBB (an A+, to be exact) and solid Facebook reviews.
When we attempted to get a quote for equipment and installation costs over the phone phone, we were greeting with a prompt, friendly voice who explained that contracts are drawn up on a case-by-case basis and require a detailed analysis of the property in question. However, she was able to tell us that if we signed the traditional 36-month contract, our cellular monitoring rate would start at $39 per month. There is also an option to negotiate a shorter agreement, but the monthly payment will go up.
What we really liked about Vintech High Tech Security Solutions is its dedication to equipment maintenance. No one understands how the effects of inclement weather more than Chicagoans, and the company backs up all its installations with regular check-ups and preventative maintenance services. Vin tech also offers life alert devices and home automation, so you can customize all your major home electronics through them. We recommend Vintech for non-residential or temporary monitoring needs, as it specializes in construction sites and works often with property managers to design systems customized to individual needs.
Stealth Security Systems
Stealth Security doesn’t offer the same level of home automation services as our other picks, and the representative we spoke with informed us that the company’s website is not up-to-date in regards to available services. That being said, the home security company’s monitoring and alarm services for both residential and business needs are comprehensive and well-vetted.
Stealth Security offers all sorts of high-tech gadgets, with particular focus on cameras and video monitoring. Services include CCTV surveillance cameras, home security systems, and home theater systems. So, if video surveillance is something that is a non-negotiable to you, definitely talk to the folks at Stealth Security Systems to learn more about the variety of options available to you. The irony here is that Stealth Security doesn’t offer home automation services. So if a WiFi-connected thermostat is a must in your eyes, check out Frontpoint.
Basic cellular monitoring starts at just $30 per month, which is significantly cheaper than the most common price point we encounter, which was $40 per month. The thing we liked about Stealth Security is that it doesn’t require you to sign a contract. Associates will work with you to develop a monitoring system and maintenance plan that works for you. Operating out of Crystal Lake, Illinois, Stealth Security primarily serves the Greater Chicagoland area suburbs.
We couldn’t get Security Doctors on the phone, so automatically that exempts the company from placing in our top spot. Regardless, Security Doctors has strong reviews, an A rating on Angie’s List, and a breadth of services, so it’s still worth your consideration.
Security Doctor’s home security systems not only protect against burglary, home invasion, and fire but also include devices to monitor medical emergencies and home automation needs. A specialized mobile app means you can access your system anytime, any place for easy peace of mind.
Another factor we liked about Security Doctor’s is its willingness to reactivate existing systems, meaning you don’t have to buy all new equipment should you want to use its services. Packages include bronze, silver, gold, and platinum options, with only the gold and platinum options offering GSM wireless cellular communicator capabilities. The company is prominent across Illinois, serving all of the Greater Chicagoland area.
Chicago Crime Rates & Trends
Chicago is home to more than its fair share of theft and burglary, particularly in the city proper. The property crime rate, according to Neighborhood Scout, is five points higher than the national average. Now, that shouldn’t scare you into buying a system, but it does mean you live in an area that is prone to burglary. Above all, home security is about your peace of mind. So before you buy a security system, consider whether having one would actually make you feel safer or not.
If you don’t have a security system, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to make your home safer, like keeping your yard tidy and using motion-sensing outdoor lights. We’ve also mentioned before that even the visible and audible signs of an alarm system are enough to stop burglars in their tracks. Nothing is ever a 100 percent guarantee, but prevention is often the most effective course of action, particularly in a city with a higher than average crime rate. Burglars are more likely to skip a house with even a security system sign in the yard, making the implementation of some sort of home security more than worth it.
The Bottom Line
Out of our three top local picks, there’s only one we can recommend over Frontpoint: Alert Protective Systems. Alert may cost more upfront depending upon the needs of your home, but it is going to give you the best service, hands down. And on top of that, its monthly cellular monitoring payment is $5 cheaper than Frontpoint. However, if you want any sort of home automation features, Frontpoint is the only company that can offer them. Either way, you’ll have put pay at least $100 up front and sign a 36-month contract.
Call Alert Protective Services at (773) 922-6920 to set up a home analysis, or visit Frontpoint’s website for an online quote.