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By Danika Miller, Staff Writer

The Best Home Security Systems in Cincinnati

After hitting a peak 30,000 serious crimes in 2002, Cincinnati’s crime rate is finally decreasing. That doesn’t mean they’re low, however: According to Neighborhood Scout, Cincinnati residents still have a 1 in 19 chance of being a victim of property crime (double the national average). If you live in the city, a home security system can make all the difference in ensuring that you’re one of the lucky 18. To find the best home security systems in Cincinnati, we dug into the nation’s largest providers and compared customer service ratings, technology offerings, and ease of use. All three of our top picks are safe bets, but choosing the best security system for you will depend on your personal priorities. If you’re looking for a company that can ward off criminals on brand reputation alone, ADT is for you. Vivint is our pick for smart homes and high-tech automation. And if you prioritize customer service, or if you require lots of information and support, we recommend Frontpoint.

The 3 Best Home Security Systems in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Home Security Reviews

Best
for Home Automation

Vivint
Vivint
Vivint's affordable smart tech options and à la carte equipment pricing make it great for home automation.

For affordable smart homes and high-tech fanatics, we recommend Vivint. Automating your home is cheaper with Vivint than both Frontpoint and ADT, since you won’t need to upgrade to more expensive tiers to freely customize your equipment. Because of Vivint’s dedication to innovating technology (it even has a solar panel division of the company), its equipment and integration is best for customers who want advanced home automation.

Vivint’s one downside is that you’re forced to make a choice between two extremes when building your equipment package. Either buy all of your equipment upfront (a charge that can ring near $500) and enjoy a month-to-month contract, or sign a five-year contract to save on immediate charges. Five years is a long time if you aren’t living in a home you’ve purchased. If you’re still just shopping around and considering a home security system, we’d recommend Frontpoint instead, which allows you the luxury of a trial period before you commit to equipment or long contracts.

Like ADT, Vivint requires professional installation, and we were impressed at the expertise and thoughtfulness of our tester’s technician: He got the whole system up and running in two hours, cleaned up all debris, and even wore protective shoe covers. To top it off, the technician noticed that our tester had ordered more equipment than necessary and lowered our tester’s price. It’s not surprising that Vivint ranked 5/5 in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey, with helpful representatives and sleek technology to boot.

Best
Customer Support

Frontpoint
Frontpoint
Standout customer care and educational resources offset Frontpoint's unique DIY installation requirements.

For customers still shopping around and unsure if a home security system is for them, we recommend getting a quote from Frontpoint first. Unlike any of our other picks, Frontpoint offers a 30-day trial, perfect for anyone hesitant to commit to a home security system.

That customer-first approach was evident throughout our experience. Every interaction we had with Frontpoint was informative and made us trust our home’s security. When our tester first called to order, the representative asked detailed questions about the home’s layout, any safety concerns, and budget constraints. The entire conversation assured our tester that the system was customized to their needs.

This detailed level of customer service is especially important considering that Frontpoint is the only one of our top picks to require DIY installation. This may be a daunting proposition for less tech-savvy homeowners, but Frontpoint makes it as easy as possible: It only took us about thirty minutes using the mobile site. Frontpoint carefully walks you through every step of the process, and if you stumble at any step there are extensive online guides, tutorial videos, and help lines.

Like ADT, you’ll have to upgrade to the “Interactive” mid-tier plan to unlock home automation features and the “Ultimate” plan to get video surveillance. After a $150 false alarm fee, our tester wished they’d sprung for Ultimate — with video cameras, they could have seen if the alarm was real and deactivated it remotely. If video surveillance is one of your main priorities, you may find it cheaper with Vivint, although you’ll sacrifice some of Frontpoint’s excellent customer care.

Guide to Cincinnati Home Security Systems

Research your neighborhood’s crime profile

Though large cities like Cincinnati tend to mean steeper crime rates, it’s possible your local neighborhood is much safer. Doing some research on local crime profiles can help you make informed decisions when designing your home security system. Certain parts of the city are safer than others; you can use this local crime map to check your neighborhood for reports of theft, violence, traffic incidents, and registered sex offenders.

Register your security system

If you have an alarm system in your home, the city of Cincinnati requires you to register the system. This is a requirement in pretty much every city, and you could face steep fees for avoiding it. Simply fill out a form and contact the department for further instructions. There may be a registration fee of about $50 — a fair price in the face of a $800 fee for a false alarm on an unregistered system.

Consider a local company

Your options don’t end with the nationwide systems; there are many local companies that offer great security. Typically, a smaller corporation has the resources to provide exceptional customer care and quality control. Since these smaller companies typically aren’t rated by J.D. Power or other independent ratings agencies, we’d recommend asking neighbors, family, and friends about their security systems to gauge satisfaction. To start your search, we found the four most popular home security companies in Cincinnati from consumer reviews on Yelp and Angie’s List.

Dial One Security
Mr. Lock Locksmith & Security Systems
Guardian Alarm of Cincinnati
Cincinnati Alarm Systems

Cincinnati Home Security FAQ

How much does a false alarm cost in Cincinnati?

In Cincinnati, 95% of burglar alarms are false. According to city records, each false alarm call takes about three and a half hours for officials to deal with, which wastes time and resources. As such, the False Alarm Reduction Unit has implemented a new system in an attempt to crack down on costly false alarms and repeat offenders.

First, you must register your security system with the False Alarm Reduction Unit. The application fee is $50, and all that’s required is a simple form that you fill out and mail in. The small fee is worth it: If there are any false alarms on an unregistered system, the fine is $800.
Once your system is registered, you’ll get two false alarms without penalty. The third will be a $50 fine, though that can be waived if you attend an Alarm User Awareness School.

Subsequent offenses, however, are less forgiving, and the $50 fine increases incrementally from there. If you have 11 or more false alarms in one year, you’ll be fined $800.

What is Cincinnati’s crime rate like?

Cincinnati’s crime rate is far above the national average, although this isn’t surprising given how large the city is. The good news is that the city is getting safer. Between 2002 and 2016, the City Data crime index dropped significantly from 777 to 570. About 90% of these crimes are forms of theft and burglary. In light of this, we highly recommend Cincinnati citizens consider home security systems with video surveillance and doorbell cameras to catch and deter theft.

Within Ohio itself, Cincinnati isn’t even the most dangerous city, coming in ninth after big cities like Springfield and Cleveland. This is an impressive feat, especially considering Cincinnati has the second-highest population.

The Best Home Security Systems in Cincinnati: 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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