The Best Home Security Systems in Charlotte

Crime rates in the Queen City are about average for a city its size, and most property crimes here aren’t robbery-related. But home break-ins are a risk in any city. The right home security system will stay vigilant so you can sleep (and work, shop, travel, leave the kids with the sitter, run errands) in peace.

For this review, we took a deeper look at the three standout providers that won our praises in a nationwide review of home security providers. We consider them from a Charlottean’s perspective, with Charlotte’s unique property crime profile in mind. They’re all solid choices, but depending on your home security priorities, one will likely be best for you.

The 3 Best Home Security Systems in Charlotte

  • Vivint -

    Best for Home Automation

  • Frontpoint -

    Best Customer Support

  • ADT -

    Most Popular Provider

Charlotte Home Security Reviews

Best for
Home Automation

Vivint
Vivint
Vivint's high-tech home security system allows you to control and monitor your home from your smartphone.

Vivint’s customizability and easy-to-use tech make it the perfect system for anyone interested in automating their home. The mobile app makes functions such as arming and disarming the system, or turning your lights on or off, simple and intuitive to adjust from afar. In fact, our tester reported hardly even using the base system (a slick, modern wall-mounted tablet). The app’s mobile alerts came in handy too, reminding him to close his basement sliding door when he left it open by accident.

We like that Vivint lets customers pick and choose the gadgetry and features they want a la carte — flexibility most providers don't offer. It’s no problem if you want to control your garage doors from afar, for instance, but don't see the need to automate your light switches. A professional installs that equipment, and the person who installed our tester’s system got nothing but glowing compliments from our tester. He even reported that the tech felt more like a houseguest. Case in point: The pro dropped a charge from our tester’s bill after figuring out one camera wasn’t actually needed for full coverage.

With Vivint, the one downside we found was its rigidity when it comes to contracts. You can buy all your equipment up front and enter a month-to-month plan, but if you can’t foot that bill at the offset, you’re looking at a five-year contract with only three days to test the system. If you’re not totally sure you want to buy a security system yet, check out Frontpoint for maximum flexibility.

Best
Customer Support

Frontpoint
Frontpoint
We were impressed with Frontpoint's thorough and thoughtful support from installation to daily use.

Frontpoint excels in an area that’s paramount in home security: customer service. We felt that Frontpoint really took care of us from start to finish. Its website offers a wealth of helpful resources, we never felt pressure to commit when we were on the phone with a rep, and our tester’s DIY system setup went smoothly and felt intuitive. Even its contracts are realistic and flexible.

If you go with Frontpoint, you’ll choose among three service tiers; your features and monthly fees will range from $35 to $50 accordingly. The lowest-level plan offers basic monitoring, while the middle tier adds on some home automation features. The only plan that offers video coverage — a must, according to our testers — is the highest-priced plan. So if you go with something more basic, we recommend purchasing a separate video camera.

What sealed the deal about Frontpoint’s exceptional customer experience was its long trial period (30 days!) and flexible contracts, which can either be one or three years long. If you’re in the decision-making process, it’s a great opportunity to test the waters without fully diving into home security.

Guide to Charlotte Home Security Systems

Research your neighborhood’s crime profile

NeighborhoodScout’s data analysis – a good place to start researching your local crime profile – found that Charlotte’s crime rates are average for a city its size. While it’s rare on both the national and state scale to actually be a victim of a break-in, it’s good to know what to expect if you find yourself in that position. One crucial piece to that is police response time.

A February 2018 investigation by local NBC affiliate WCNC found that police response times differ in Charlotte depending on where you live in the city. If you live in the department’s North Division, where police response times are slowest, you might wait eight and a half minutes for a response to an urgent call. The fastest response times are in the Eastway Division, where emergency calls get a police response within five minutes. Police cited construction as a principal cause for the northward slowdown, according to the WCNC report.

The slowest response times have historically been to rural, unincorporated areas outside Charlotte, which the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) has served since 1996. Mecklenburg County and CMPD reached a deal in October 2017 to let Huntersville, Cornelius, and Pineville police serve areas just outside their limits, rather than paying to rely on CMPD’s force — hopefully those wait times will be shorter from here on out.

Register your security system

Ninety-eight percent of home alarm calls to the CMPD are due to false alarms. When the police respond to fake emergencies, it wastes time and money — many cities enforce fees to make up for it and encourage behaviors that reduce false alarms. In Charlotte, the Alarm Ordinance means you have to register your system with the city.

Anyone with an “electronic burglar alarm system” in Charlotte and the surrounding area has to register their system, then renew that registration yearly. Registration docs are available online, but your company may supply you with the paperwork when they install your system (at least one of our top picks, Frontpoint, does).

Compare quotes

We looked into local alternatives to the nationwide providers we recommend, and cross-checked for high ratings across Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List. These five Charlotte home security providers got high reviews consistently:

Anchor Security & Locksmith
CPI Security Systems
Queen City Security
Phoenix Custom Systems
Norsec Smart Systems LLC

Charlotte Home Security FAQ

How much does a false alarm cost in Charlotte?

After your first two false alarms, you’ll face fines. You get a free pass for the first two false alarms (per year), then you’ll pay $50 for the next three, $100 for the two after that, and $250 each time for the next two. Once you hit 10 false alarms, you’re looking at paying $500 each time

You can repeal those fines if you feel they’re unwarranted. If the police department determines there was no emergency, but you disagree, you can file an appeal within 30 days of receiving your fine notification.

What is Charlotte’s crime rate like?

Good news: Property crime in Charlotte is on the decline as a whole — it decreased by 5.3 percent last year. Putting that trend aside, though, property crime rates in Charlotte are higher than the national average, at roughly 39 per 1,000 residents (as opposed to the national median of 24). Just keep in mind that property crime encompasses a lot more than just home break-ins. In 2017, residential burglaries made up just 12 percent of Charlotte’s property crimes.

The Best Home Security Systems in Charlotte: Summed Up

Vivint
Frontpoint
ADT
Prices start at
$39.99/mo.
$34.99/mo.
$36.99/mo.
Contract length
Month-to-month
42 months
60 months
12 months
36 months
36 months
Cameras
Indoor
Outdoor
Doorbell
Indoor
Outdoor
Doorbell
Indoor
Outdoor
Doorbell
Sensors
Intrusion
Smoke/flood/CO
Panic button
Intrusion
Smoke/flood/CO
Panic button
Intrusion
Smoke/flood/CO
Panic button
Smart home features
Lights
Locks
Thermostat
Garage door
Lights
Locks
Lights
Locks
Thermostat
Garage door
Control panel
Touchscreen
Mobile app
Touchscreen
Mobile app
Touchscreen
Classic keypad
Mobile app

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