The Best Home Security Systems in Seattle

Seattle ranks 6th on the U.S. Census list of cities with the largest population gains. It falls directly behind LA for the number of new faces it welcomes every day. Of course, with such an influx come the statistical dangers of a big city, including higher crime rates. Rest easy by installing a home security system to monitor your home, whether you’re there or not.

Our three favorite nationwide providers — ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint — all have their place in the Emerald City. We dug into what each provider has to offer, and put those services in the context of Seattle crime and home security trends. You can use our breakdown to figure out which is the right fit for your home.

The 3 Best Home Security Systems in Seattle

  • Vivint -

    Best for Home Automation

  • Frontpoint -

    Best Customer Support

  • ADT -

    Most Popular Provider

Best for Home Automation

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

Seattle is home to tech leaders, as well as thousands of techies who keep those companies’ engines running. If you’re looking for home security that leads the way in gadgets and home automation, then Vivint is your best bet. This company’s tech is truly best-in-class, and we were impressed by its feature integration and usability.

Vivint also gives you the freedom to advance your home's automation at your own pace. Unlike most other providers, you can mix and match equipment à la carte — a big plus if you know exactly what you want. (Maybe you're into automated light switches, but not so worried about flood monitoring.) Plus, Vivint makes it easy to control the features you do choose through either its intuitive mobile app or the low-profile, wall-mounted SkyControl tablet.

The only part of the Vivint experience that isn’t automated is installation — that’s left to the company’s courteous, knowledgeable professionals. Our tester felt that the pro who installed his Vivint system was polite, timely, and honest (even reducing his bill after realizing they didn’t need to install one camera).

Vivint also allows you month-to-month flexibility (as opposed to ADT’s three-year contract), but only if you buy all the equipment upfront. If you don’t buy the equipment, you’ll be locked into a five-year contract with Vivint. That’s a big commitment, especially considering that once you’ve got everything set up, you have just three days to test things out and make a final decision.

Best Customer Support

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

If you’re looking to dip your toes into the home security world without going all-in, Frontpoint can support you. With unmatched customer service and a comparatively long trial period, you can get a sense of Frontpoint’s services and features without feeling the pressure to commit.

We had consistently pleasant, informative interactions with Frontpoint’s customer service, and were especially happy about its simple DIY install. After a grand total of half an hour, we were able to get our control panel connected and online, place our door sensors, and activate the system. Our tester did hit a roadblock when his control panel wouldn’t connect, but a service rep addressed the issue right away and new equipment arrived the next day.

Customers can choose among three package tiers, each of which offers a different set-up of features, from basic monitoring with the Protection package to live video streaming with the Ultimate plan. We recommend either going with the Ultimate package, or buying a standalone security camera to supplement — our tester found the video component to be indispensable for home security.

If you end up loving Frontpoint after your 30-day trial period, you’ll have the chance to opt into a one- or three-year contract. This relatively flexible contract option makes Vivint a good choice for renters and home security beginners.

Guide to Seattle Home Security Systems

Research your neighborhood’s crime profile

Seattle suffers a high number of property crimes every year, but how concerned you need to be will depend on the particular neighborhood that you live in. Browse the city’s crime maps to identify the rates of incidence in your area and tailor your security measures accordingly.

Register your security system

Over 97% of home security alarms in Seattle wind up being false. That’s why the Seattle Police Department (SPD) introduced its False Alarm Program in 2004. It uses fees and alarm registration to reduce the number of false alarms to which the department needs to respond. The main intent of the program is to save the city money and time. Both fees help the city make up for that loss, and penalize your company when police are dispatched to your house only to find there’s no emergency. Register your system as soon as it’s installed.

Compare quotes

We can vouch for the national providers we feature, but it’s always worth shopping around locally for the best prices and features. Here are five Seattle home security providers we found that consistently get rave reviews on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List:

Seattle Home Security FAQ

How much does a false alarm cost in Seattle?

Seattle home security companies are legally required to attempt to contact you before dispatching the police to your home. If the SPD are dispatched and get to your home to find no emergency, your alarm-monitoring company will be charged a fee that they can legally pass on to you. Your decision about whether or not police should be dispatched is crucial, since fees change based on when an alarm is canceled:

  • For alarms canceled before police are dispatched: $0
  • For alarms canceled after police are dispatched, but before they reach your house: $30
  • For automated burglar alarms to which police respond and find no threat: $115
  • For activated alarms (panic/ duress/ robbery) to which police respond and find no threat: $230

Pro tip: Go to the SPD’s free home security workshops. You’ll learn how to avoid false alarms and get a free one-time fee waiver to use if you accidentally set off your system. You can attend a workshop and get a waiver once every seven years.

What is Seattle’s crime rate like?

As The Stranger put it, “Comparing crime rates between cities, and drawing the right conclusions from them, is complicated.” There’s no way to tell how many crimes go unreported, and crimes of varying severities may be lumped together. That said, caution is a good policy as Seattle’s property crime rate is on the high side.

While it’s not the highest in the country, Seattle’s rate is still about twice the national average. The SPD has been pushing to hedge those high numbers in recent years, with some success: In 2017, car prowls, auto theft, and burglaries were all targeted and the number of incidences decreased. If you take a look at SPD’s crime dashboard, the breakdown shows that the vast majority of property crimes in 2017 were larceny (a.k.a. theft of personal property), with burglary a distant second.

If you’re concerned about break-ins, take a look at this Ask Me Anything feed from 2017 on Reddit. Scotty Bach, a member of SPD’s Major Crimes Taskforce who focuses on property crime, gives tons of insider knowledge and advice — like tidbits on the value of home security videos and tips for where to place your cameras, among other things.

The Best Home Security Systems in Seattle: Summed Up

Vivint
Frontpoint
ADT
Prices start at
$39.99/month
$34.99/month
$36.99/month
Contract Length
Mont-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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