Best Home Security Systems in Minnesota
Frontpoint is our favorite national security provider, but what about the local options in Minnesota? We found the 12 biggest home security companies in the area and evaluated each of them on the quote process, pricing, and home automation features.
Akers Home Security was our pick for the best home security company in Minnesota thanks to its no-contract policy and super affordable monthly monitoring — the only catch is that you’ll need to put up an initial investment of around $1,020. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to get started, Frontpoint and Floyd Total Security are your next-best alternatives. Each requires a 36-month monitoring contract, but costs significantly less to get up and running.
The Best Home Security Systems in Minnesota
Akers Home Security
Akers Home Security doesn’t play by the same rules as most of the big companies – you don’t ever need to sign a contract for its monitoring services. In fact, if you are unhappy with your service and want to switch to another company, you get to keep your equipment and the monitoring cost for the remaining months of the year is returned to you (Akers charges monitoring costs upfront annually).
When we called, we didn’t have to navigate a confusing phone tree. Instead, we spoke with the straight-shooting owner of the company, who didn’t subject us to a high-pressure sales pitch. He quickly provided us with a quote for a hypothetical three-bedroom, two-exit, single-level home in the Minneapolis area. The cost was $1,020, and that included a Honeywell wireless system with three door contacts, a motion sensor or glass break sensor, and a touch screen panel, as well as the installation. While this seems pretty steep, cellular monitoring would only cost us $18 a month — that’s almost half the cost of the next cheapest option, Frontpoint.
While some people might prefer a lower initial cost, remember that it probably means you’re only leasing the equipment, and your monthly monitoring payment will be much higher. So if you plan on staying in your current home for a good while, Akers could come out as your least expensive option in the long run.
For example, ten years with Frontpoint will cost you $4,300, while your investment with Akers will cost $3,060 — and you own the equipment outright after day one. And having a ready-to-go home security system can be a great selling if you ever have to leave.
Frontpoint has the cheapest startup costs of all our top picks: For $100 upfront (with a three-year contract), you get the “Secure” package, which includes four sensors, one motion detector, and a cellular control panel. The flip side to Frontpoint’s affordability lies in the fact that is leases its equipment. So unlike with Akers and Floyd, Frontpoint requires that you return your system if you ever cancel your monitoring plan.
Another big plus with Frontpoint is that pricing is completely transparent, and all three of the company’s packages are customizable. On top of that, its systems are self-installable, which is more convenient than Akers and Floyd — they require in-home evaluations and A professional installation.
Monthly cellular monitoring starts at $34 per month, but in order to take advantage of home automation features, you’ll need to upgrade to the $45-per-month “Interactive” monitoring plan. That’s quite a bit more expensive than Akers’ $18 payment, but Frontpoint’s home automation technology is far more smartphone friendly.
Floyd Total Security
Floyd Total Security has stellar BBB and Facebook ratings, and it is the only one of our picks recommended by Angie’s List. Our personal experience with the company was characterized by a great mix of friendliness and professionalism — of all the websites we looked at, Floyd’s was the highest quality, and most informative.
When we got a quote for our hypothetical home (the same setup that was mentioned above), we were pleased with the lower initial price point of $300; though, it did come at the expense of a three-year monitoring contract. The equipment package we were offered included the same devices as Akers and Frontpoint, but Floyd also threw in a wireless smoke detector. Cellular monitoring was not as cheap as Akers, but at $31 a month, it is still more affordable than Frontpoint, Bradley Security, and Minnesota Security.
The company’s three-year commitment and higher-than-average monitoring payment are notable downsides. But if that doesn’t scare you off, and if you don’t have more than $300 to invest right off the bat, then Floyd is your best option.
What happens if I accidentally set off my alarm?
Most cities (or counties) will charge homeowners a “false alarm fee” if the police are dispatched to your home when there is no actual emergency. The policies vary depending upon where you live, and some charge a fee for the first offense, while others don’t charge a fee until the fourth false alarm in a year. Either way, you can be almost certain that if police are mistakenly dispatched to your home multiple times, you will pay a fee.
If you do experience a false alarm, do not call 911 to alert the dispatch center. Instead, call and notify your monitoring station. Some systems are set up to proactively call you if an alarm is tripped — it just depends upon which provider you have. That said, it’s important to jot it down somewhere the whole family can access. (If you don’t have that information, call the company that installed your system to find out.)
In addition, it’s wise to make sure your alarm monitoring company has your up-to-date emergency contact names and phone numbers so they can reach you. If you comply with these suggestions, you should be able to limit the number of false alarms that occur at your residence.
Do I need an alarm permit?
Some cities (like Saint Paul) and counties require homeowners to register their monitored burglary alarm with the appropriate authorities. Below is a partial list of the cities and counties that require home burglary alarm permits in Minnesota.