The Best Home Security Systems in Houston
How We Found the Best Home Security Systems in Houston
8 National Providers
8 Months of Testing
3 Top Picks
The Best Home Security Systems in Houston
Houston is renowned for its diverse cultural scene and dynamic businesses. But as with all large cities, Houston’s crime rate is high, especially when it comes to property crime. Fortunately, there are plenty of security companies well-versed in keeping your home safe.
Three home security providers — ADT, Vivint and Frontpoint — stand out for their comprehensive support, home automation features and variety of plans. If you’re looking to comparison shop, we’ve also listed the most highly-rated local home security providers in the Houston area.
How We Chose the Best Home Security Systems in Houston
Level of protection
We evaluated Houston home security systems with the same criteria we used for our national home security review, assessing popular providers on the level of protection they offered. Each of our three top picks provides 24/7 protection, with comprehensive equipment offerings that range from window sensors, cameras, and panic buttons to environmental protection like fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
Customer service and extra features
Our picks performed well during customer service calls and installation: we wanted patient, helpful service that extended beyond just the sale. We also favored companies that offered extra features like automation and mobile services, which can help you manage your home security system remotely.
8 months of testing
As with all products, it’s important to test a security system’s durability and performance over an extended period of time. We spent eight months living with our picks to make sure they worked just as well after months of use as they did on day one.
The 3 Best Home Security Systems in Houston
Houston Home Security System Reviews
Why we chose it
If you love smart devices, we’d suggest looking into Vivint, which stands out for its user-friendly app. Our tester was so taken with it that he reported barely using his main control panel. We weren’t alone in loving it: on the Apple App Store, Vivint boasts an impressive 4.5 out of 5-star rating. The app allows for easy remote control over your home automation system and, like ADT, the app is free no matter your plan’s price.
User-friendly home automation
Vivint’s smart home technology is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. Its app allows you to control your systems, activate smart locks, view and record live camera footage and customize situational operations all from your smartphone. If you’re a Houstonian dealing with a stressful commute, you’ll love being able to remotely adjust the temperature on your thermostat, open your garage door or turn off the lights after you’ve already left the house.
When it comes to overall customer satisfaction, it’s hard to beat Vivint. J.D. Power gives the home security company a perfect 5 out of 5 Power Circle Rating in overall satisfaction — higher than any other provider. J.D. Power evaluated four factors (customer service, billing, enrollment and usage), and based its study on “3,134 customers who own a professionally installed and monitored home/residential security system”, to determine the score.
Points to consider
This high-tech convenience does come at a price. If you want a month-to-month contract, Vivint requires you to purchase all of your equipment outright. Purchasing equipment upfront can get expensive — especially if you include home automation features and video cameras in your package. If buying thousands of dollars worth of equipment at once fits into your budget, then this won’t be an issue for you. However, it’s pricey the only way to be eligible for Vivint’s no contract option.
Vivint will let you pay off your equipment over a period of time, except this means you’ll be locked into a long-term contract. These contracts range from 42 months to 60 months — longer than the typical 36-month contract. This option is best for those intending to live at their current address for at least five years. But you also want to be absolutely sure Vivint is the right home security provider for you — because if you decide to cancel before your term is up, you’ll have to pay out the account balance in full or find a “qualified candidate” to take your contract.
Why we chose it
Frontpoint has only been around since 2007, but we were pleased with both its excellent tech offerings and stellar customer service. Our first phone call was particularly impressive. The Frontpoint representative asked detailed questions about our home layout, gave thoughtful suggestions for our security concerns and didn’t try to push a sale at all when we told her we wanted to shop around more. With customer service this easy, it’s no wonder Frontpoint has become a major home security provider in a little over a decade’s time.
If you prefer guided support every step of the way, Frontpoint is our pick. Its do-it-yourself installation process was a breeze to complete and meant we didn’t have to spend our day waiting for a technician to come and install our home security system. We received a pre-labeled setup kit with a link to a personalized mobile website, which walked us through the 15-minute installation process step by step. If you decide to take a break at any time, the website will pick up where you left off, or automatically display a helpline if you get stuck.
Easy-to-understand package tiers
Frontpoint’s services are tiered according to how intensely you want your home secured. The lowest tier, Protection, offers basic monitoring, while the second, Interactive, includes home automation and mobile access. The highest-level security plan, Ultimate, comes equipped with live, night-enabled video monitoring and motion-triggered photos.
If you live in a quiet Houston suburb, you may prefer a lower-tier plan, but if you’re settled in the bustling heart of Montrose, it may be a better idea to invest in Ultimate. With Frontpoint’s exceptional hands-on service, it’s your best bet if you’re unsure of where to start with a home security system.
Points to consider
We weren’t impressed with Frontpoint’s so-so app: ADT and Vivint both have all-inclusive, well-designed apps for remote home automation. Frontpoint’s app isn’t as impressive, with only 3.2 out of 5 stars in the Apple App store. All the same, if home automation isn’t a huge priority for you and you care more about great customer service, Frontpoint has a lot to offer.
Why we chose it
Over 60% of potential home intruders are deterred by a visible security logo — and if we had to pick one company with enough name recognition to serve as a consistent burglar deterrent, it would be ADT. The company has been in business for over 140 years and has the largest customer base on our list, with more than 8 million customers across North America.
ADT’s Essentials package starts at $36.99 per month, but it’s easy to customize your package. You can discuss your needs with a representative to get a quote for a fully customized plan that fits your home and budget. ADT’s offerings are on par with our other top picks: you can choose between keyboard or touchscreen control panels, motion-activated cameras and remote live feeds viewable from mobile devices.
You can also sign up for higher-end home automation options, which come with ADT Pulse. If you’re away often, you can switch your system to “vacation mode,” which can regulate temperature and turn lights off and on to suggest you’re still home. Features can also be set to automatically trigger in the case of specific emergencies — like setting doors to unlock automatically in case of a fire. Live video monitoring is available, and if you download the free ADT Pulse app, you’ll be able to monitor and control your system remotely.
Points to consider
ADT’s customer service reputation isn’t as strong as providers like Frontpoint. It’s also worth noting that its MyADT management app only has a 2.1 star rating on the Apple App store (in comparison, its ADT Pulse app boasts a 4.7-star rating on the Apple App store).
That said, our customer service experience with ADT went well. The reps we spoke with online and over the phone were uniformly polite and knowledgeable. Given the fact that ADT has the most customers out of any home security system company, we weren’t overly worried about its customer service rating and it wasn’t a dealbreaker.
Other Houston Home Security Companies to Consider
Our three featured home security providers are nationally recognized and offer a comprehensive range of services. But don’t discount local providers: we recommend comparing them as well to see which prices and protection features best suit your needs. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 local home security providers in Houston based on consumer reviews from Angie’s List and Yelp:
Houston Home Security FAQs
What can cause a false alarm?
False alarms can happen when you forget your security code, a pet triggers a sensor that isn’t pet-friendly or when the batteries are old. They’re a major headache across the country and Houston is no exception. In 2014, the Houston Police Department responded to 77,000 alarm calls. Of those, 74,000 — 96 percent — were false alarms. Those calls waste valuable public resources and cost taxpayers a lot of money. In 2014, the city spent an estimated $10,113,000 responding to them.
What is Houston’s false alarm policy?
You are required to register your alarm system annually with the city. Fees currently range from $38 to $50, but starting February 2019, permits will be $50 across the board. You can fill out the yearly application here. Compared to other major cities, Houston is still pretty lenient. For your first three false alarm occurrences, you’ll just receive a warning — but after that, you’ll be fined $50-$100 for each subsequent false alarm. You, not your security company, is responsible for registering your security system. Most companies will inform you of the need to register, but if they don’t, you can still be held liable.
What is Houston’s crime rate?
As one of the largest cities in the country, it’s no surprise that Houston has a relatively higher crime rate: Neighborhood Scout ranks it as safer than only 4% of all U.S. cities. And while the national average is roughly 31.9 crimes per square mile, Houston comes in at 203 crimes per square mile.
Property crime — which includes break-ins, burglary, theft or vandalism — is much more common in Houston than violent crime. But that doesn’t mean you should stay up every night worrying. Crime rates in Houston vary widely between neighborhoods — you’re much less likely to experience property crime in a suburb like the Woodlands than you are in the Houston Heights or other downtown neighborhoods.
It’s always a good idea to get familiar with your area to learn what you should expect, and how to stay safe — you can do so by checking the Houston Police Department’s crime stats, or exploring the Houston crime map on Neighborhood Scout.