The Best Home Security Systems in Dallas
Property crime rates in Dallas are on the decline, thanks in part to concerted policing efforts — but recent FBI data suggests they’re still higher than the national average. If you’re looking for ways to protect your assets, a home security system offers another layer of protection.
Of course, the right home security system for you will depend on your preferences. If you’re into smart technology, you might prefer a tech-oriented company like Vivint. If you value personalized customer support, Frontpoint might be a better fit. For straight-up name recognition (and burglar-deterrence) you might prefer a highly recognizable company like ADT. Finally, if you want an inexpensive, no-hassle security option, we recommend SimpliSafe. We look at the best home security providers in Dallas to help you find the fit that’s right for you.
How We Found the Best Home Security Systems in Dallas
To find the best home security systems, we spent several months researching and testing the eight most popular nationwide providers. All of our top picks guarantee 24/7 professional monitoring. They also use cutting-edge technology to monitor the four biggest security concerns:
• Intrusion: Sensors for doors, windows, and broken glass
• Environment: Carbon monoxide, flood, and smoke detection
• Surveillance: Indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras
• Life Safety: Life alert and panic buttons
But equipment is just part of the package. You’ll get the most out of your home security system if it’s also user-friendly, and you’ve got the support of helpful, knowledgeable customer service reps. To evaluate user experience, we installed each system in our own homes and spent eight months living with them. Our favorites — Vivint, Frontpoint, ADT, and SimpliSafe — made us feel secure and cared for. Their equipment is high-tech and intuitive, and their support staff is, well, supportive.
The 4 Best Home Security Systems in Dallas
Dallas Home Security Reviews
Vivint prides itself on offering top-notch smart home technology — and we found that it lives up to its claims. All of its equipment links up to a central hub, which can also be connected to any smart home device, making for a truly seamless monitoring experience.
Vivint calls its central hub the ‘SkyControl Panel,’ and despite the sci-fi name, our testers fell for it right away. SkyControl uses an intuitive touch screen interface to manage all your home systems. With it, you can lock and unlock doors, control your garage doors, check your security camera feeds, and arm or disarm your whole system. If you’re interested in setting up smart home controls, SkyControl also hooks up to lights, climate control, A/V, and more. It even works as a two-way video phone through your cameras (letting you monitor security and call your kids to come for dinner).
Our testers also loved the Vivint mobile app, rating it “easiest to use” out of those we tried. Like the ADT app, Vivint’s app lets you monitor your video feeds remotely. You can also use it to automate home systems to fit your preferences: You could toggle your doors to lock automatically when you go to bed, or your lights to shut off when you’re at work.
If you’re committed to building a complete smart home, then Vivint should be an easy first choice. If not, consider your options carefully before jumping in. To be eligible for a month-to-month contract, you’ll need to purchase all your equipment (other providers rent it to you). You do have the flexibility of purchasing only the equipment you want, as opposed to pre-determined packages, but Vivint still represents an investment. The other option is to forgo equipment costs, but commit to a five-year contract right away, with only a three-day trial window. For those on the fence, we suggest starting with Frontpoint (which offers a 30-day trial period) or ADT (which has a six-month money-back guarantee). When you’re ready to make the commitment, though, Vivint is an excellent provider — and its equipment can’t be beaten.
Frontpoint offers many of the same benefits as our other top picks: leading security tech, 24/7 professional monitoring, and home automation options. But we found it to be a cut above the rest in the customer support department.
From the first call, Frontpoint’s customer service reps outperformed those at ADT and Vivint. Instead of leaping straight into the sale, our Frontpoint rep took the time to ask for personal details. She wanted to know more about the layout of the house, what kind of equipment our tester preferred, and what their specific safety concerns were. At the end, our tester was confident that they were ordering exactly the right package for their home and needs.
The second big difference between Frontpoint and our other picks is that it’s the only DIY installation kit. (Vivint and ADT need professional installation). That might sound intimidating, but Frontpoint turns it into a smooth process: The company will help you patiently through each step. Its website tells you where (and how) to install sensors, how to get your control panel online, and everything in between. Once you’re through, just call the customer service line for confirmation that your system is up and running. All told, set up only took us about 30 minutes. It was also completely free of installation charges — which can be $100 or more.
If you’re considering Frontpoint for home security, please note its three different package tiers: “Protection,” “Interactive,” and “Ultimate.” These start off with very basic monitoring services. Only the top pier (‘Ultimate’) includes video surveillance and other full-scale features. If you live in one of Dallas’s safest neighborhoods — suburbs like Lakeview Heights or Campbell Green, for example — a more basic package might be all you need. But we’d recommend talking with a Frontpoint rep for suggestions.
Studies suggest that just displaying a security logo on your house can deter up to 60% of break-ins. Of course, that means would-be criminals need to recognize the logo — and name recognition doesn’t get any better than ADT. This home security provider is the oldest and biggest in the business. It’s been around since 1874, and serves more than 6 million subscribers. (Vivint, by comparison, has about 1 million.)
But name recognition isn’t all ADT has to offer. Like our other picks, ADT sets up your home with an array of high-tech gadgets. HD security cameras take clear pictures both day and night; designated sensors tell you exactly which doors and windows are open or shut. ADT’s key fob also comes with a panic button for immediate emergency response.
Beyond its basic monitoring services, ADT offers various home automation packages. It can be linked to smart home devices like garage doors or thermostats, allowing you to manage your systems remotely. You can also remotely monitor your video feed using ADT’s mobile app. This means that if your alarm does go off, you have a way to assess the situation and decide whether there’s a real threat before contacting the police. Just be aware that most of these additional functions are only available through ADT’s upper service tiers — if you’re looking for à la carte home automation options, take a look at Vivint, below.
We’ll note that ADT doesn’t have the strongest customer service record; customers have logged over 3,000 complaints on its Better Business Bureau page. That’s only a 0.05% complaint ratio when spread across 6 million customers, but if support is your top priority, you may want to look into Frontpoint instead.
Overall, ADT offers the best name recognition, combined with tried-and-true monitoring services on par with our other favorite providers. Plus, with more than 10 authorized ADT dealers in the Dallas area, you can work with an installation team that is familiar with your neighborhood and your specific security concerns.
“SimpliSafe is quickly carving out a name for themselves in the home security industry. Its flexible no-contract options and updated home security hardware, and competitive pricing make them a perfect jumping-off point for those new to home security space. Simplisafe does its best to eliminate common barriers to entry into the home security space, offering monitoring that starts at $15 a month, the option to buy refurbished systems, and a full refund if you don’t love your first 60 days with any of their monitoring packages. If you think you’ll want to be more hands-on and craft your own security lineup one day, be aware that while Simplisafe offers custom plans, its security camera lacks a bit of the bells and whistles you can find Indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras However, its cam does feature 30-day clip storage, HD video and audio, and night vision.
Guide to Dallas Home Security Systems
Research your neighborhood’s crime profile
Before calling for a home security consultation, we recommend considering your neighborhood’s security concerns. If you live in a safe area, you may only need basic monitoring. If your neighborhood is higher-risk for theft or burglary, you may prefer a more robust package. Not sure what you need? Check out SpotCrime.com, which uses an interactive map to display crimes in Dallas by neighborhood, so you can feel out what features might be best for your home.
Register your security system
Note that all home security systems in Dallas must have a valid Security Alarm Permit, renewed annually for $50. If your system isn’t registered, the city will “refuse police response” to any alarms from your home. The purpose here is twofold. First, keeping your registration information up-to-date ensures that police know where to reach you if an alarm goes off when you’re not home. Second, it lets the city track false alarms.
Consider a local company
Our top picks are tried-and-true national favorites. The technology is comprehensive, and its resources have been thoroughly vetted. We would (and already have) entrusted them with the safekeeping of our own homes.
That said, there are benefits to working with a local provider, too. A Dallas-based home security company may provide a more tailored service, or be extra familiar with the safety concerns in your neighborhood. We cross-referenced customer ratings from Yelp and Google to find the top five home security systems in Dallas. We suggest comparing them with our top picks to see whether a national or local company provides the right security service for your home.
Reviews.com Home Security Survey
Dallas has made considerable strides over the last several years to decrease crime rates; although it’s been quite successful, they still rank above the national average. Unfortunately, a city can only devote so many resources into policing efforts before the people have to step in to ensure their own protection. A Reviews.com survey found that 78% of U.S. adults say they are at least “a little concerned” about being burglarized (or other crimes taking place on their property). That same survey also found that 59% of Americans said they have never owned a home security system. With this statistic in mind, it makes sense that the overwhelming majority of Americans are worried about break-ins. Having a home security system can alleviate these concerns, serving as an extra pair of eyes for your home. Most brands even allow you to customize your system, giving you the freedom to choose what you want to pay for. As the security landscape continues to grow and evolve, home systems are becoming more accessible, all while providing more protection than ever before.
Dallas Home Security FAQ
How much does a false alarm cost in Dallas?
Many sources estimate that more than 90% of home security alarms are false. While the precise number is up for debate, no one’s arguing that it’s a very high number. And false alarm responses are a strain on emergency responders by taking up money and manpower that could be spent responding to real emergencies. To make up for these costs, the city of Dallas will fine security system owners for having multiple false alarms. Here’s how those fees stack up:
• First, Second, and Third false alarm: Free
• Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth false alarm: $50
• Seventh and Eighth false alarm: $75
• Ninth false alarm and above: $100
Your false alarm record also resets annually, making Dallas’s policy fairly forgiving (accidents do happen). To read the False Alarm Ordinance in full and register your system, visit the city’s Alarm Administration Site.
What is Dallas’s crime rate like?
In early 2016, the Dallas Police Department created a Property Crime Task Force aimed at reducing burglaries, auto theft, and other non-violent crimes in Dallas neighborhoods. The officers of the PCTF are working to prevent crimes: they responded to over 1,400 calls and made more than 300 arrests in the first three months alone.
That said, Dallas’s crime rates have to be kept in perspective. It’s one of the biggest cities in the nation and isn’t exempt from the higher crime levels that come with that status. According to NeighborhoodScout.com, Dallas still has burglary and motor vehicle theft rates about twice the national average.
For homeowners, this means it’s a smart idea to consider a home security system. The PCTF currently only has about 100 officers and limited resources, which makes professional monitoring a fast and dependable way to get help if a crime does occur. Any of our top picks is a solid choice.
The Best Home Security Systems in Dallas: Summed Up