The Best Home Security Systems in San Antonio
Most Popular Provider
Best for Home Automation
Best Customer Support
Property crime is fairly large concern for San Antonio citizens: According to the FBI, San Antonio has the highest number of “part one” crimes of the fifteen largest US cities. Though it’s known for its small-town feel, San Antonio is large, and it falls victim to the typical big-city perils. As such, we recommend prioritizing professional monitoring and video surveillance when shopping for a security system — the chances of stopping or preventing a crime is much higher if you catch the criminal on camera.
To find the best home security systems in San Antonio, we tested the nation’s largest security companies and found three favorites. All of our top picks have the top-notch technology and reliability to fit seamlessly into your home. To choose your provider, you’ll need to consider your home security priorities: whether that’s ADT’s established reputation, Vivint’s smart home features, or Frontpoint’s exceptional customer care.
The 3 Best Home Security Systems in San Antonio
San Antonio Home Security System Reviews
In our search for the best home security systems in San Antonio, we took a close look at the eight most popular home security systems to find those that made home security easy, affordable, and customizable. As in our full review of the best home security systems, we prioritized four levels of protection: intrusion, environmental, surveillance, and life safety. After finding systems that offered all four, we vetted providers for customer service — looking for reps that are polite, trustworthy, and informed — and ordered up our eight remaining contenders to install in our own homes. We wanted security systems that could integrate into our lifestyle, blend in with our homes, and make monitoring effortless. After living with our security systems for eight months, we found three favorites that excelled in different areas.
ADT’s simple blue octagon sign is universally recognized and an instant warning to criminals. Because ADT has been around since 1890, it’s developed a legacy unlike any other home security company — its logo alone signals that a home is well-protected. If you feel most secure with a tried and true security company, ADT is a veteran worth your consideration.
Whether you want to keep it simple with the classic keypad control panel and a few door sensors or get techier with a tablet-turned-touchscreen and surveillance cameras, ADT has a wide range of equipment options that let you customize your home security system. These equipment pieces match Vivint in terms of home automation, although you’ll have to upgrade to ADT’s top tiers to enable the smart home features that come standard with Vivint. You’ll also need to have this equipment installed professionally for a fee that ranges between $99 and $199, depending your package.
Unfortunately, ADT’s customer service fails to live up to the company’s powerhouse technology and legacy. ADT scored 3/5 in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey, and the company has racked up more than 3,000 complaints on the Better Business Bureau website (for comparison, another top pick, Frontpoint, has a measly 100 complaints). Although much of this can be credited to the fact that ADT has more customers than other companies, there are still some concerning trends. Customer complaints report misleading representatives, confusing billing practices, and equipment failure. If customer service is important to you, we’d recommend looking at Vivint or Frontpoint.
Vivint is all about advancing home automation. If you’re working on building a smart home, this is the system for you. Our tester found Vivint’s technology simple to use, especially through its highly-rated mobile app. Vivint’s smart home capabilities can now connect with artificial intelligence like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, and you can control you system through the device (ADT only connects with Alexa).
While ADT offers nearly all the same home automation capabilities on a functional level, it’ll cost more to upgrade to them: Vivint’s monitoring is $39.99 with no live video feed and $49.99 with live video, whereas ADT’s home automation starts at $49.99. Vivint also offers a la carte equipment pricing, so you can choose exactly the equipment you need without anything extraneous tacked on.
The only catch? It can be an expensive initial investment, and declining to purchase your equipment upfront locks you into a five-year contract. That’s a couple years longer than our other picks and may be daunting for customers who aren’t in a semi-permanent home. If you’re unsure about a home security system in general, we recommend Frontpoint, because it has a 30-day trial. With Vivint, you only have three days after installation to cancel.
If you value good customer service first and foremost, we recommend Frontpoint. Every interaction we had left us assured that we could trust Frontpoint to secure our home. During our initial purchasing call, the representative was impressively informed. In order to give detailed recommendations, she inquired about the layout of each room, any personal safety concerns, and the state of our tester’s neighborhood.
This level of customer care extended to our installation experience. Frontpoint is our only pick that doesn’t require a professional installation, making it slightly more inconvenient than our other picks at the outset. The DIY install can feel intimidating at first; however, its detailed mobile site walked us through the entire process in about 30 minutes. If you run into any issues, you can call Frontpoint or use their vast online catalogue of guides and tutorial videos.
While all plans come with professional monitoring, they significantly vary in equipment offerings. With the first of three tiers, the Protection plan, you receive basic door and window sensors. The Interactive plan enables access to many home automation features and remote access to the system via mobile app. The Ultimate plan welcomes video surveillance, motion-triggered photos, and night vision. Our tester went with the Interactive plan but sorely felt the absence of video surveillance when her alarm was triggered on vacation. She had no way of checking to see if someone was breaking in or if her cat had tripped the sensor, and the consequence was a $150 false alarm fee. If you’re choosing Frontpoint, it’s wise to spring for the Ultimate plan or purchase a third-party video camera to supplement your system.
Compare the Best Home Security Systems in San Antonio
Other San Antonio Home Security Companies to Consider
Our tops picks have earned their nationwide renown, but that doesn't mean you have to count out the little guy. Smaller businesses tend to provide better customer service, as well, since they have a more manageable customer base on which they can focus their resources and attention. We found the five most popular companies in San Antonio, sourced from consumer ratings on sites like Yelp and Angie's List. Any of these are great options as you shop around for a company that will give you a great price for the equipment you need.
- Fort Knox
- True Protection
- Central Security
- Law Security
- Longhorn Smart Home Solutions
San Antonio Home Security False Alarm Policy
Though resolution usually only takes an apology and a quick phone call, false alarms are a serious and expensive issue. False alarms waste resources and impede officials. The San Antonio PD reported that in 2015, about 91% of alarms were false, and these can rack up costly penalties.
In order to avoid fines, you’ll need to acquire a valid permit from the police department for your alarm system and report it within 12 hours of installing. To get a permit, download the application or call the Alarms Office at (210) 207-8282 and request the application be mailed to you. The permit fee, $40, is due at the time of submission.
An alarm system in San Antonio without a permit is a city ordinance violation, and you’ll be fined $125 for any false alarms, compared to the $75 false alarm fee for systems with a permit. This fee is waived for the first few false alarms, but if it’s a common occurance, the fee escalates. Ten or more false alarms, for example, will tag you with a $500 fee.
However, regardless of outstanding fines or the existence of a permit, you can rest assured that the San Antonio Police Department will respond to all alarm calls.
San Antonio Crime Rate
Unfortunately, San Antonio tops the FBI’s ranking of serious crimes among the 15 largest cities in the US. Keep in mind that statistics don’t always reflect the truth perfectly; if you increased that pool with 100+ smaller cities, San Antonio would no longer be near the top.
And even though it ranks number one, San Antonio isn’t necessarily the most dangerous city. The vast majority of its crimes are property, not violent. In fact, in 2017, San Antonio had seven times more property crimes than it did violent ones. Neighborhood Scout reports that the chance of a San Antonio citizen experiencing property crime is 1 in 19 (double the national average of 1 in 41), while violent crime is a much lower 1 in 139. Based on this information, we’d recommend home security systems with ample surveillance capabilities and on-the-go access. It’s also essential you opt for professional monitoring, so officials are dispatched automatically.
Take Action in Your Own Neighborhood
If you’d like to get involved in making San Antonio a more secure city, there are a few ways you can join the San Antonio community in keeping it safe.
One relatively simple way is to join a neighborhood watch Facebook group, where the community shares local warnings about porch theft, lost and found pets, and calls from officials to help identify suspects. It’s also a good idea to follow your local police department and news stations. Using social media to spread the word is a great way to help keep the community safe.
For those feeling called to more active protection, the San Antonio Police Department asks residents to be the eyes and ears of the community with its Citizen on Patrol program. Residents patrol their own streets and use cell phones to report crimes. To officially join, all that’s required is a four-hour class.