The Best Home Security Systems in Austin
Most Popular Provider
Best for Home Automation
Best Customer Support
Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, with an estimated 50 people moving to the city every day. However, that also means an influx of belongings that are ripe for the taking. Fortunately, home security systems can equip you with the technology you need to protect your homes and property.
We found three of the best home security companies in Austin, offering reliable protection for a wide range of homes. Whether you’re looking for HD cameras or home automation tools, our three picks will have a plan that suits your specific needs. Even better, our top picks will help you avoid false alarms and the city’s most common crimes, meaning you can enjoy the activities that keep Austin weird while your home stays safe.
The 3 Best Home Security Systems in Austin
Austin Home Security System Reviews
We evaluated the most popular local and national home security systems in Austin to find the three companies that offer the best professional monitoring. Each provides the home security equipment you need for four fundamental levels of protection:
Intrusion: Door, window, and glass-break sensors
Environmental: Carbon monoxide, fire, and flood sensors
Surveillance: Indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras
Life safety: Life alert and panic buttons
We assessed each company by borrowing from the methodology we used for our national review of the best home security systems. More specifically, we compared the quality of customer service, the ease of installation, and the overall features each company offers — we gave bonus points to systems with mobile or automation services for easy home monitoring on the go. We also lived with our home security systems for 8 months to ensure there would be no drop in quality over time. Simply put, all three companies excel when it comes to home security, and choosing between them comes down to a few subtle preferences.
ADT has been the largest home security provider since 1874 and has more than 6 million subscribers. But does the company actually deserve its popularity? In short: Yes. With its many years of dependable security and experience, ADT is tough to beat.
The company has knowledgeable representatives who are available via phone to help you determine the best combination of equipment for your specific home. Our tester told us “my needs drove the conversation … [the rep] explained the purpose behind each device I was receiving and what the installation might entail. He took extra time to help me weigh whether I need home automation.” We appreciate that ADT focuses on providing the best protection for our homes rather than upselling us on unnecessary add-ons. In fact, the technician performing the installation even offered a refund for unused equipment after determining our tester ordered more than they needed.
Speaking of equipment, ADT offers quality home security technology, including extensive video as well as standard home automation options. From cameras that record as soon as your door is opened to live feeds that you can view from your phone, you’ll be able to assess the situation before calling police in the event of an alarm — a good way to avoid false alarm fees. Home automation allows you to set up standard operations for additional protection such as automatic A/C shut off to slow the circulation of smoke when a sensor detects fire. In other words, ADT will have all the equipment you need to keep your home safe.
That said, ADT isn’t perfect. The company’s home automation tech is only available when you sign up for one of its top two service tiers, which start at $49.99 per month. Its customer service also isn't quite as impressive as Frontpoint's, though that may just be a symptom of ADT being a much larger company. What it does have over its competition is a century of experience providing reliable and customizable protection. In short, it’s the most tried and true provider on the market.
Compared to the competition, Vivint is a fairly new home security provider. But the company is no slouch when it comes to home security and has a devoted following due to its innovative home automation technology.
The Vivint mobile app allows you to control your home security system anywhere and anytime. Better still, the app is intuitive, which makes it easy to manage security services like HD cameras, door locks, as well as lighting and temperature controls. You can even set up mobile alerts to warn you when your house is vulnerable — no more worrying about leaving doors open. The core benefit of all this convenience? It encourages you to monitor and use your home security system, which helps you avoid paying for a service that goes unarmed.
However, Vivint requires you to purchase all of your security equipment outright for access to a monthly plan — the alternative is a five-year contract. After installation, the company only gives you three days to cancel for a refund, which is a sharp contrast to industry standard 30-day trials. In other words, a Vivint home security system is a heavy commitment. If you’re unsure about security systems, opting for a longer trial from another provider may be the better option.
The good news is that Vivint is willing to return the same level of commitment to its customers. The company has the highest ratings of all the home security companies in the J.D. Power 2017 Home Security Satisfaction Report. Every plan also includes a touchscreen control panel, which is both a nice change of pace from clunky keypads and proof that the company is breaking new ground with home security tech. It may not have the same level of experience as other providers, but the overall quality of its services makes Vivint an excellent choice.
In terms of commitment to customer support, no provider we tested was able to beat Frontpoint. From the initial phone call to help with setting up our system, we never felt a lack of guidance or pressure for unnecessary upgrades. If you’re new to home security or don’t know where to start, Frontpoint is a strong option.
A quick phone call with a sales representative is all it takes to build the security package that suits your particular needs. More impressive is Frontpoint’s mobile site, which walks you step-by-step through the installation process. You’ll receive guidance on how to set up the control panel, where to place your door sensors, and more. The mobile site is also personalized, allowing you to stop midway through and pick up where you left off. If you get confused and stall on a step, a window pops up with sales rep’s phone number, offering access to even more guidance.
During the installation process, our tester discovered her control panel was having trouble getting online. When the Frontpoint rep answered, he immediately started troubleshooting and realized the control panel was defective. To our surprise, the rep apologized and shipped a new control panel overnight. The panel arrived as promised the next day, and tester got her system up and running in about 15 minutes. We were impressed with how the company and its reps handled the situation, and liked that Frontpoint lived up to its claims of immediate customer support and solutions.
Aside from the excellent customer service, you can expect the standard cameras, professional monitoring, and home automation features that make up any well-rounded security package. The different packages offer you different options such as live video monitoring with its premium plan. Granted, Frontpoint doesn’t have the same level of tech as Vivint or ADT’s century of experience, but we’re confident its packages will offer reliable protection and even better customer support.
Compare the Best Home Security Systems in Austin
Other Austin Home Security Companies to Consider
While our top three picks will offer dependable protection, comparing quotes with local, regional, or smaller providers ensures you get the best price available. We scoured reviews on websites such as Yelp and Home Advisor to find the five best alternative providers to our top picks.
Austin Home Security False Alarm Policy
Home security systems offer protection, but they can be prone to false alarms. One survey in Boulder, Colorado found that up to 99.8% of home security alarms were false. Additional research suggests the trend is especially common for metropolitan areas like Austin. False alarms can be triggered by lots of causes, but pets triggering motion detectors are one of the most common.
While false alarms may not seem like a big deal, they require police to respond to a non-existent threat, which costs the city a lot of money. To offset the cost, many cities charge a false alarm fee, which can be quite expensive in some areas. Fortunately, Austin's false alarm policy is fairly lenient and offers forgiveness for the first three false burglar alarms and the first two robbery panic alarms during consecutive 12-month periods. However, if your home exceeds that limit, you will pay a fine anywhere from $50 to $100 depending on the number of offenses.
When you choose a home security provider, you'll want to go with companies who attempt to contact you first to verify the alarm. And having video cameras as part of your security package will allow you to assess the situation and make an informed decision about contacting the police (our top three picks all include cameras). If the company can’t reach you, its operators will send the police to your home, potentially putting you on the hook for false alarm fees.
Austin Crime Rate
According to a report from Texas Monthly, Austin actually ranks as one of the safest cities in Texas — the crime rate is relatively low compared to communities with a similar population size. Even so, a home security system can offer an extra layer of protection for your home and belongings. A survey of more than 80 burglars in Oregon revealed that home security alarms are an effective deterrent. While an alarm is the best form of protection in the case of a break-in, simply placing a home security sign in a window or on your lawn can act as a deterrent.
Most specialists agree having an alarm and video cameras in place is a smart choice. In addition to theft and burglary protection, home security systems can also protect you from dangers such as fires or carbon monoxide leaks. For those who want to protect their property, a home security system can offer overall peace of mind.