The Best Home Security Systems in Atlanta
How We Found the Best Home Security Systems in Atlanta
8 National Providers
8 Months of Testing
3 Top Picks
The Best Home Security Systems in Atlanta
Atlanta has become increasingly safe in recent years, but several thousand homes are still burglarized annually, contributing to the city’s reputation for being more dangerous than average. If you’re looking for peace of mind, we found the three best home security companies in Atlanta. All offer professional monitoring, and each provides a variety of services so that you can create a package that’s right for you, whether that involves flood sensors or video cameras. We dive into each provider’s details to help match you with the right fit — then take a look at Atlanta’s current crime statistics, and discuss additional steps you’ll need to take in light of Atlanta’s False Alarm Reduction Program.
The 3 Best Home Security Systems in Atlanta
Atlanta Home Security System Reviews
To find the best home security systems in Atlanta, we focused on the eight most popular nationwide providers that offer professional monitoring. ADT, Vivint, Frontpoint, GetSafe, SimpliSafe, Link Interactive, Protect America, and LiveWatch advertise their presence on millions of lawns across the country. All eight offer intrusions sensors (door, window, and glass-break), environmental sensors (like smoke, carbon monoxide, and flood), a range of video surveillance options (indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras), and can provide life safety features like life alert and panic buttons. Their equipment offerings aren’t identical — for example, GetSafe doesn't offer a carbon monoxide detector — but each provider has something to offer in all four categories.
To find our top picks, we evaluated each home security company based on the quality of their technology (read: sleek and up-to-date as well as easy-to-use) and their customer service. We gave points to equipment that was easy to install, and apps that were intuitive from the first click. To dig deep into whether a company's customer service held up in the long run — or if they were only being nice to us because we were new subscribers — we tested each company for eight months. During that time, we kept an eye out for systems that required a lot of maintenance or set off false alarms, and gave extra points for those which we could incorporate seamlessly into our everyday routine. (You can read more about our methodology in our review of the best home security providers nationwide.)
Whether wandering through Buckhead Forest or Ansley Park, you're probably familiar with ADT's small blue octagon sign. There's a good reason for this sign's ubiquitousness: founded in 1874, ADT now protects more than 6 million homes. Part of ADT's popularity is due to its experience — it's been in the home security business for 75 years longer than even its closest runner-up (Link Interactive) — but ADT’s ubiquity is also due to the fact that it simply offers great home security coverage.
Depending on your home, ADT offers three customizable packages: Traditional, Control, and Video. A great perk off the bat: ADT bundles your smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and home security monitors into one system, so you only have one piece of equipment to install (and you won't have to change three different sets of batteries).
The Traditional package is the most basic, with window and door sensors and 24/7 monitoring of your home. Upgrading to the Control package puts you on the road to automating your home, and gives you access to the ADT Pulse App, which lets you turn lights on or off, lock and unlock doors, and adjust your thermostat, all from your phone, no matter how far away you are. If you want your home to be at the perfect temperature when you get back from work, or you want to activate ADT's "vacation mode" to make it look like you're home when you're relaxing on the beach, you can. If you're interested in video monitoring, just know that ADT only offers security cameras for its highest "Video" service tier.
ADT’s traditional monitoring starts at $37 per month, and will increase if you upgrade your account to a higher service tier, or if your home needs more than the basic number of sensors to secure it. If you call for a quote, your rep will also be able to fine-tune your package to your needs — without selling you video equipment if you don't need or want it.
If you read about ADT's smart home features and wanted more, Vivint is the company for you. In addition to great all-around home security features, we love Vivint for its emphasis on home automation. With Vivint’s equipment, you can lock your doors, manage your lights, and change your home's temperature manually, or you can let the SkyControl panel learn your habits. After some manual adjusting from you, Vivint's system can learn at which temperature you prefer your house when you get home, when you’re at work, or when you’re not using a particular room. (All especially helpful for keeping energy bills low.)
We also love that Vivint offers multiple camera options to capture all angles of your home, including a smart doorbell camera as well as indoor and outdoor cameras. You'll be able to determine whether your USPS package has arrived at a glance, as well as do a quick visual check if your home alarm is triggered to see if your dog knocked over a dining room chair or if the police need to be called.
Vivint is the only one of our top picks to offer a month-to-month contract, rather than the standard year or multi-year contract offered by most home security companies. However, this requires you to purchase your equipment outright. The upfront cost is more expensive, but it also means you won't have to pay rental fees, or return the system if you ever discontinue service — it’s yours to keep. Vivint’s monitoring starts at $35 per month, and your final price will depend on your particular needs.
If you're new to owning a home security system, or if you'd like a guiding hand in setting up and protecting your home, we recommend Frontpoint. In addition to its user-friendly equipment, Frontpoint impressed us with its consistent attention to detail. When we called to ask about service options, our sales rep patiently went through the layout of every room of our tester's home, listened to her safety concerns, and answered questions about all of the different packages.
DIY or Professional Installation?DIY systems are easy to install (testers were done within 30 minutes), but might not give you the peace of mind from seeing a professional install your monitors and sensors. A professional installation costs money and takes longer (2-3 hours), but they know where to position each sensor for maximum benefit, and can answer your security questions on the spot.
We were further impressed when Frontpoint continued to excel at customer service during the installation stage. Frontpoint is the only one of our top picks to require DIY installation, which means that all of your equipment is shipped directly to you, and you'll set it up on your own. Frontpoint creates a personalized tutorial that walks you through each stage of your installation. If you're stuck on a particular stage, the tutorial notices, and asks if you would like to call technical support. Once you're ready to activate your system, a simple phone call to customer service will both finalize the process and confirm that everything is in working order.
Note that, like ADT, if you want video monitoring, you’ll need to opt for Frontpoint's highest service tier, the Ultimate plan. Lower-tier pricing starts at $39.99 per month.
Compare the Best Home Security Systems in Atlanta
Other Atlanta Home Security Companies to Consider
Our top picks help protect your home, whether you’re looking for a full-service system or simply a few security cameras. But if you want to be certain you’re getting the best rate for the equipment and services you want, we’ve also found five local, highly-regarded Atlanta home security companies, based on consumer feedback from Yelp and Angie’s List. These providers are a great place to start comparison shopping.
- Link Interactive
- NorthStar Security, Inc.
- SimpliSafe Home Security
- Williams AV & Security
- Alarm Monitoring Service of Atlanta
Atlanta Home Security False Alarm Policy
False alarms are serious business. Outside of the annoyance to you (whether enduring a beeping alarm or figuring out whether you need to call the police), false alarms cost police and fire departments time and money — to the tune of $775,000 per year in Sandy Springs. Coupled with the fact that, in 2017, the Atlanta Police Department was alerted to 38,705 false alarms and only 730 "true" alarms, Atlanta has instituted a false alarm policy to educate the public (and to recoup some of the cost for sending the police out to check on your cat).
When you install a home security system in Atlanta, you're required to register the alarm system with Cry Wolf Services (the company Atlanta hired to manage its False Alarm Reduction Program). Registration is free, but failure to register will cost you a $75 fine.
If you incur a false alarm, the good news is that Atlanta allows you two freebies within a 365-day period (rolling year). For the third false alarm, you'll be charged $50; for the fourth, $100; for the fifth and sixth, $200, and for any alarms over the sixth, $500. There's only one exception: if you want to skip paying the $50 fine for your third false alarm, you can take an alarm user awareness class.
Atlanta Crime Rate
Despite being ranked as the sixth most dangerous city in the nation by Forbes, Atlanta has a decreasing crime rate — and it’s declining across several categories, including burglary. You can check out current crime rates for yourself through the Atlanta Police Department’s weekly reports. So far, 2018 is on track to see another drop in total burglaries: January through March of 2017 saw 616 reports of burglary in Atlanta. Over the same time span in 2018, only 474 burglaries were reported.