Best Home Security Systems in New Jersey
Frontpoint Frontpoint is our top pick for nationwide providers. See if it's available in your New Jersey neighborhood.
The Garden State has plenty of options to keep your home safe and secure. With so many overlapping service areas along the eastern seaboard, the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. While Frontpoint is the best nationally available option out there, we compiled a list of locally-based providers and sized them up in terms of pricing, service features, and reputation among customers, right up through the much-maligned quote process.
In the end, Independent Alarm came out on top thanks to transparent and reasonable costs in addition to excellent customer service. But Omega Security Systems, GSCI, and Technocality are also great options and ready to take your calls.
The Best Home Security Systems in New Jersey
Home Security Companies
This family-run business is homegrown and proud of it. Independent Alarm serves Central and South Jersey, from the shore into Philly and Eastern PA, and its website boasts plenty of satisfied neighborhood customers like Erin K. who gushes, “On top of being local, (“mom and pop”) they are true to their word, their systems are modern, and they are unbelievably professional.” We couldn’t have said it better.
When we left a message with a real human (gasp!), Independent called back promptly and left us feeling like it work with whatever we needed. The company had among the widest variety of service options of all the local home security providers we called, including home automation and life protection features such as smoke detectors, and the best customer service experience of all.
To get a quote, you’ll have to reach out to the company directly, but this is where Independent Alarm shines. For those of you worried about the sales call run-around, meet Joe, the rep we talked to: He’s retired law enforcement, very personable, and will give you the straight talk on what you need and how much it’s going to cost you. For example, for a three-bedroom, two-exit house, Joe offered a standard kit that includes sensors for 3 windows, a state-of-the-art touch screen control pad with remote access via phone app, and a key fob. Including installation, expect to pay $625, with the option of adding door sensors for $75 each. Of companies that were willing to give us quotes without a site-visit, this came in at second lowest. And with just $25 per month for cellular monitoring (the lowest of our options), Independent Alarm had the most reasonable and transparent pricing of the options we checked.
A major drawback is that the stellar monthly monitoring price is only with a five-year contract, and one-year contracts are not offered for cellular monitoring (due to the cost of frequently changing cell providers, Joe says, and we trust him.) But we doubt that will be an issue because Joe mentioned that contracts could potentially be flexible beyond the one-year minimum, so it’s worth negotiating.
Independent Alarm will install your new system, move it to a new home and/or even try to work with your pre-existing system. With a strong customer service record on BBB, Angie’s List, and Facebook, Independent Alarm is your best bet for beating home break-ins.
Omega Security Systems
Another proudly local business, Omega topped the list of runners-up thanks to likewise stand-out pricing and great ratings from Angie’s List (A) and BBB (A+).
With a wider service area than our top pick, spanning the entire state as well as Philadelphia, Omega also delivers on customer service. Though its website funnels you towards making an on-site appointment to get a quote, we were able to get one by email after a phone call with a sales rep. While the call was very informative for a home security novice and the email quote painless, it had more of a traditional sales pressure feel, pushing Omega lower in our rankings.
That said, the estimate for a three-bedroom, two exit home was the lowest we heard, coming in at $584. The basic package includes the same equipment as Independent Alarm plus five additional window sensors for a total of eight, two door sensors and one motion detector recommended for stairs. This total will buy the equipment outright (all Honeywell) and includes installation as well as service to move it to a new home, if needed. Its Facebook page even mentions a 5-year parts and labor warranty for $20 per month. This is an all-around good deal. For instance, a similar set-up with Independent Alarm would cost you at least $200 more.
The tradeoff is a monthly monitoring rate of $45 and a five-year contract. But the main draw is that Omega agrees to keep your monitoring rate for life. You read right: Daniel the sales rep was quick to mention that customers from 30 years ago still pay $16 a month. He was quicker to point out that most companies raise their rates every 1-3 years.
If you want to score a more modest monthly rate of $30 (standard for our picks), you’ll have to scrape up an extra $400 for the start-up costs. This up-front cost could be worth it if you’re a more settled home owner: saving $15 a month with that lower monitoring rate, you’ll break even in a little over two years. This is a good option if you can afford to invest now and save more over time.
GCSI Security Group
GCSI joined our other top options in the ranks of positive, efficient customer service and transparent pricing. Its more limited service area (South Jersey only) and inability to give a quote without a site visit pushed it below the comparatively more flexible Independent Alarm and Omega Security Systems, but GCSI is still a solid local choice.
Right off the bat, the receptionist who answered our call was impressive. He was able to answer some of our basic questions about the services available – notedly the widest range of companies we looked at, offering a high water level alarm that could help lessen damage from a faulty sump pump while you’re at dinner, for example. We were likewise pleased with the sales rep’s answers to our questions – quick yet informative. These guys won’t waste your time, and they’ll be clear and professional. Their Angie’s List rating (A) and Facebook fans lead us to believe that would also be the case in the field.
However, the company was not willing to even give us a ballpark estimate without arranging a site visit, which is a bit more of a commitment than we’d like. We did find out that landline monitoring is possible for as low as $22 a month, an option that none of our other top choices offered, as cellular is pretty standard these days. Note that cellular monitoring will cost you an extra $9, however, bringing the total to $31 – a mere $1 more than our other top choices so still totally reasonable. We were a bit irked to learn that home automation via cell phone control will cost an extra $5 a month, but at least they’re being transparent about how the cost breaks down, and we appreciate transparency, especially in the ironically shadowy home security market.
Another con is that Omega seemed pretty firm on its 36-month contract minimum, which is industry standard, yet leaves us pining for the likes of Independent Alarm and Omega who seemed willing to work with us and our shorter-term needs. But if you’re looking for straightforward and seemingly reliable home security, you can schedule a quote appointment with GCSI over the phone or on their website.
Another fiercely local choice, Technocality proudly serves the entire state of New Jersey. Our customer experience is also thoroughly local – heavy Jersey accents and a little salty like that sea air, but overall, Technocality left us with the impression that they’d work with us and for us, with overall more flexible options than the main local competitors.
The sales rep we talked to was another Joe, also retired law enforcement, but whereas Independent Alarm Joe was playing Good Cop, Technocality Joe had more of a Bad Cop vibe. He definitely gave us the hard sell; his answers were short and gruff. Like GCSI, he was also not willing to give a ballpark estimate for a three-bedroom, two-exit house without a site visit, and their website has pretty pictures but offers little in terms of specific information about services.
Why choose Technocality, then? It was the only one of our top options that offered DIY installation up front as if it were no big deal. It also offers 12-month contracts which are not possible with GCSI, Omega, and most of the home security industry. Joe’s pitch emphasized his ‘doin’ this for 30 years’ and willingness to work with our situation provided more details, as if he didn’t want to waste our time or his with meaningless sales chatter without more cold hard facts, and we respect that. Given Joe’s interesting history in surveillance to spy on organized crime rings with hidden cameras and the like, his work would probably be heavily-customized to the space and the customer’s needs.
With a monthly rate of $30 for cellular monitoring that matches our other options and a solid track record among customers on BBB (A+) and Angie’s List (A), Technocality could be a diamond in the rough – a diamond that will be kept safe and secure by the plethora of security options Technocality has for home and business, including life protection. It might take more energy investment in the beginning but would be a good fit for a someone looking for a more personalized finished product.
Make Security a Shore Thing
If you’re one of the 93.7 million overnight tourists who visited New Jersey attractions in 2015, you left your home for the allure Atlantic City, the beaches of the shore, or other fun the Garden State has to offer. If you were among the 19 percent of these tourists coming from New Jersey itself, you likely left your home unattended and potentially vulnerable to opportunistic intruders, especially in high tourist seasons like summer.
The Newark Police Department cautions, “If you are traveling, ask a neighbor to watch your house. If you have an alarm system, use it!” Even if you’ve gone through all the work to invest in a home security system, something as simple as forgetting to activate your alarm can cost you an unwelcome portion of your Atlantic City casino winnings. Home automation systems can also help by turning lights on and off at regular intervals to add an additional deterrent and peace of mind so you can fully relax for your weekend away.
But it’s not just your home that may need more formal security attention. In 2000, New Jersey had 109,321 homes for seasonal or vacation use only according to the US Census Bureau, representing 3.3 percent of all homes in the state. That number is only likely to have increased, and with it, your need for security measures to protect your home away from home.
“Considerations to make when designing your video surveillance system includes the number and type of cameras and the quality at which the video is recorded.” — Newark PD
Once you’ve decided on one of our fine local providers above to watch your beach house, “You typically want to advertise via signs or window stickers that the structure is protected by an alarm system,” the Newark PD adds. You may even consider video surveillance that is remotely accessible, so that you can keep tabs yourself on your cottage in Sea Bright from your breakfast nook in Cherry Hill. Working with more flexible companies such as Technocality can make sure that you have a customized system designed specifically for your space’s vulnerabilities so that you can enjoy the sweet sense of security at home and away.