Best Home Security Systems in San Antonio
Frontpoint Frontpoint is our top pick for nationwide home security providers. See if it's available in your San Antonio neighborhood.
San Antonio is home to four main home security companies that are vying for your business. But how do you choose the right one? We thoroughly evaluated each company’s plans, pricing, and more to see how they stacked up against our national recommendation, Frontpoint. While we can safely recommend all four as a viable option, Central Security was our favorite thanks to its affordable cellular monitoring package and month-to-month service commitment.
The Best Home Security Systems in San Antonio
Home Security Company
Upfront Equipment Cost
Aegis Security and Surveillance Solutions
Central Security serves the greater San Antonio area with its “DSC PC1616” alarm system that will set you back $100. This package includes window and door sensors, a pet-immune motion detection, a touchscreen control panel, and an additional hardware control pad. However, if you want cellular connectivity (which we recommend) expect to pay an additional cost of $120 for the cellular module.
In addition, Central also offers three different camera security packages that can be added to your alarm system. The camera surveillance packages are quite affordable, ranging in cost from $220 for a single high-definition camera to $500 for four cameras with night vision. For no additional monthly charge, you get cloud storage for seven days of surveillance footage, but you have the option to upgrade the cloud storage for an additional monthly fee.
Unfortunately, the Central Security website lacks a quote tool, so we had to leave a message with a representative to get a quote. We got a call back later that afternoon and got a quote for our hypothetical home (2,200 sq ft with two exits) in less than five minutes.
Many competitors outsource monitoring services. That’s not so with Central Security; it provides in-house monitoring via two extremely competitively-priced plans. The first option is $20 per month or $220 per year and requires a phone line installation for live monitoring, which the company can install if needed. The second plan, however, is cellular rather than through a landline; this plan costs $30 per month or $330 per year.
There are a couple of caveats to Central Security. First, it doesn’t offer anything in the way of home automation — something offered by all its competitors. Second, it is the only company that requires an activation fee. However, the activation fee consists of two months of service — the first month and your final month — which might be forgivable since Central Security doesn’t require you to sign a service agreement. This means that you’re safe from any cancellation fees in the event that you’d want to end your service. Overall, Central Security is the best option when it comes to bang for your buck and because of they offer flexible, month-to-month monitoring services.
What the customers are saying...
With a five-star rating on Yelp, an A from Angie’s List, and an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, the feedback from Central Security customers is very positive. Many of the reviews lauded the fact that Central Security doesn’t require customers to sign contracts, affording them peace of mind on a month-to-month basis. And thanks to our pleasant phone call with a rep, we can also attest to the company’s attention to personable customer service.
The centerpiece of a True Protection home security system is a touchscreen, cellular-connected control panel with two-way voice, which means you can listen to what’s going on in your home if the alarm gets tripped when you’re not there.
The system can also incorporate Z-Wave-compatible home automation devices, giving you the option to control lighting, your thermostat, and any other connected devices from the control panel or from Alarm.com’s free smartphone app. (True Protection’s 24/7 monitoring service is powered by Alarm.com.) Another impressive feature is the optional medical pendant, which serves as a panic button that you can push in the event of an emergency; this is ideal for households in which there are senior citizens or individuals with disabilities.
Another thing to love about True Protection is its selection of all-in-one systems and monitoring plans:
- Basic: $35 per month
- HomeTouch Plan: $45 per month
- HomeTouch Premier: $55 per month
The Basic Plan costs $35 per month and consists of the touchscreen control panel, pet-sensitive motion detectors, door and window sensors, and a portable remote control that allows you to arm or disarm your system from anywhere in your home. In addition to these safety features, the Basic Plan includes carbon monoxide monitoring, smoke and fire monitoring, water detection, medical monitoring, and optional two-way voice.
The mid-tier HomeTouch Plan ($45 per month) includes everything offered in the Basic Plan plus the option of a single indoor surveillance camera, the ability to arm and disarm the system when you’re not at home, and alerts for weather and natural disasters.
Finally, the top-of-the-line package is called HomeTouch Premier ($55 per month); this includes everything offered in the HomeTouch Plan, but with the surveillance camera included by default and the inclusion of smart home technologies. Specifically, the package includes a smart thermostat, door locks, lights, appliances, garage door, and it upgrades the surveillance camera to offer both live and recorded video.
True Protection offers security services in San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. The up-front cost of an installation is $99 for the equipment, but the company frequently has promotions to make the cost less or that will give you additional features at no extra cost. Fortunately, there’s no activation fee or installation fee beyond the cost of the equipment, but True Protection does require that new clients sign a two-year agreement. This means that you’ll be subject to a termination fee if you were to cancel your service prior to the end of your contract. Despite the contract, we believe that True Protection is a close second to Central Security in terms of value; however, getting your quote may require a little patience.
We had to fill out a form on the company’s website in order to receive a call back for a quote. And once we got on the phone, some of the reps didn’t seem very knowledgeable or were uncertain about things like warranties and the cost of certain plans. However, when we were transferred to Brett, the sales manager, the quote process went much more smoothly.
Law Security is one of the oldest and most well-respected home security companies in the state of Texas. It received high praise on Angie’s List and Yelp and was awarded an “A+” from the Better Business Bureau. What’s more, a number of government agencies and businesses count themselves among the thousands of Law Security customers in the San Antonio area. In addition to its tenure, the company offers a wider variety of services than most of the companies we reviewed, including home automation systems, wiring for telephone and data lines, and video surveillance. It’s also the only company around that builds home theater systems from the ground up.
Even with such a large repertoire of services, keeping your home safe is where Law Security really shines. For one thing, the company is family-owned and family-operated, which means that Law Security team has decades of experience in designing and installing home security systems comprised of cutting-edge technologies. Wired devices; wireless devices; home automation; video surveillance — you name it, Law can incorporate it into your security system.
We had to call for a quote, and all in all, it was a great experience. The representatives were extremely friendly and knowledge about the company’s services and equipment. What they were less familiar with, however, was specific details about pricing. But, with just a few seconds on hold, we were able to get all the information we needed.
A residential system through Law Security (a 2GIG Go Control panel, sensors for three doors, one pet-immune motion detector, and a backup battery) costs $149 with a free installation and no activation fees. Although many of the other San Antonio security companies we reviewed could activate pre-existing systems in lieu of installing new equipment, Law Security representatives really emphasized that this was the cost-effective option. With cellular plans starting at just $28 per month, Law Security’s monitoring payment is two dollars cheaper than our top recommendation, Central Security.
The company’s three-year service agreement seems to be par for the course as well, equal to the agreements required with most other security providers. One key difference, however, is that the termination fee is prorated — that means the termination fee is adjusted according to the amount of time left in your contract. Despite the low starting cost of monitoring services from Law Security, there are shorter service agreements and/or less expensive equipment packages available from Central Security and True Protection.
Aegis Security & Surveillance Solutions
Like Law Security and True Protection, Aegis Security & Surveillance Solutions (what a mouthful) requires three-year service agreements with new installations, which means you will be expected to pay a termination fee if you end service prior to the end of those three years. The base security system starts at $149 and includes a touchscreen panel, door and window sensors, pet-immune motion detectors, remote controls, and an additional keypad. The system can also be expanded to include network-connected surveillance cameras, home automation technologies, and additional carbon monoxide sensors if your home is on the larger side.
To get a quote, you’ll call the company to speak with a representative who will ask you a series of questions to qualify your needs — after you navigate the phone tree, that is. (It’s actually the only company from our study that didn’t immediately have a real person on the other end of the line.) During our call we learned that the cost of the base security plan with Aegis is $30 per month, which is right in line with other San Antonio home security companies we reviewed. And like Law Security, Aegis requires a 36-month service contract.
San Antonio’s Crime Rates and Trends
San Antonio currently has a population of just over 1.4 million people, which is higher than both Dallas and Austin. What’s interesting is that while San Antonio has significantly lower rates of violent crimes (murder, rape, assault, etc.) than Dallas, it has higher rates of property crimes.
Let’s break down the property crimes into three groups: burglary, theft, and vehicle theft. Per 100,000 San Antonio residents, only theft is higher in San Antonio than Dallas while burglary and vehicle theft are much lower. It’s good that burglary rates are lower in San Antonio than in other major cities in Texas, but it’s important to be aware that it’s about 1.5 times the national burglary rate per 100,000 people. In terms of property crime, the biggest problem in San Antonio is theft, which is the unlawful taking of someone else’s property, but without breaking into the individual’s house. Moreover, the annual rate of property crimes in San Antonio has seen a 6 percent drop year over year, so even those crimes that are higher in San Antonio than other areas are on the decline.
These crime statistics speak to a couple of important conclusions. First, burglary isn’t a major problem for San Antonio residents. The main issue appears to be the theft of property that’s located outside of one’s home; fortunately, this is a mostly preventable crime. Additionally, a city-wide push for home security and safety has resulted in property crimes continuing to drop each year. Even rates of violent crimes have become much lower in San Antonio than in Dallas.
San Antonio City Policies
The City of San Antonio requires residents to notify the San Antonio Police Department Alarms Investigations Office within twelve hours of commencing operation on a newly-installed home security system. By providing notification within this window of time, a homeowner or resident is granted four days during which to obtain a permit for his or her alarm system; without notice, the permit must be obtained immediately and the resident is subject to penalties and fines.
The process of obtaining a permit for a home security system in San Antonio is very straightforward. All necessary forms can be downloaded directly from the City of San Antonio website where you’ll also find a chart outlining what costs you’ll be expected to pay to have your home security system permitted.
The cost of a new permit is $40 for residents, but can be reduced by as much as ten dollars for seniors aged 65 or older. Businesses and gated communities are provided separate rates for permits while government agencies aren’t required to pay for permits or renewals. For residents and seniors, the cost of permit renewal — which is required annually — is the same as the cost for the initial permit. As a courtesy, renewal notices are sent to residents thirty days before the date of expiration, ensuring that residents have plenty of time to get their alarm permits renewed.
The Bottom Line
Frontpoint Frontpoint won the top spot in our review of nationwide providers. Check to see if it's available in your San Antonio neighborhood.
For $100 upfront, Central Security a full-blown home security package with no contractual obligations. The only downside is that if you want a cellularly connected system (not a landline or broadband system), you’ll need to drop another $120, bringing your total out-of-pocket expense to $220. In that case, Frontpoint is still the cheapest at $100 for a cellular system. Just remember that you’ll need to sign a 36-month contract.