The Best Home Security Systems in New Jersey
According to the FBI’s annual crime report and U.S. News & World Report’s annual listings, New Jersey is one of the safest states in the country to call home. New Jersey’s property crime rate has been steadily declining since 2011, and this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the second-safest state (behind only New Hampshire) for crimes like burglary, theft, and larceny. In addition to low property crime, it’s also one of the least violent states, recording the twelfth-lowest violent crime rate in the country.
New Jersey homeowners should feel good about these statistics, but a home security system can still help make peace of mind a “shore” thing. Our picks — Vivint, Frontpoint , ADT, and SimpliSafe — offer 24/7 remote monitoring of entrances and rooms, easy-to-use equipment, and the most helpful customer service around. It still pays to get quotes from a few companies to see what’s the best fit for your needs, but all four of these systems have their place in the Garden State.
The Best Home Security Systems in New Jersey: Summed Up
How We Found the Best Home Security Systems in New Jersey
In our national home security system review, we spent eight months testing the eight best security companies around.
Each company had to offer four basic types of protection:
- Intrusion — door, window, and glass-break detectors
- Surveillance — indoor and outdoor cameras
- Environmental — fire, carbon monoxide, and flood detectors
- Life safety — panic and life alert buttons
With sensors around doors and windows to alert you of any glass breakage, extensive camera systems that monitor every corner of your home, and panic buttons to quickly alert police in case of an emergency, these companies had every security feature we were looking for (and plenty we’d never even thought of). They even provided some added protection outside of the home security realm, with extras like fire and carbon monoxide protection.
The eight companies we tested all covered the basics of home security well, but only ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint planned for every conceivable situation. ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint all stood out for meticulous attention to detail in their security features, intuitive controls, and empathetic customer service.
The 4 Best Home Security Systems in New Jersey
Vivint offers a robust lineup of automated home security and the most flexible automation options out of our four favorite companies. Perfect if you want to bring home next-level automation and intuitive controls but in just the combinations you choose.
One comment we heard over and over from our testers was that they loved Vivint’s mobile app. Like the ADT app, it lets you do things like lock and unlock doors, view smart cameras remotely, change the temperature in a specific room, or even arm and disarm your entire system.
With all of those options, we expected it to be one of the more confusing systems to navigate. But our tester reported the opposite, saying the app was so intuitive that they found themselves using it even when they were inside the house, ignoring the sleek command center. And they’re not alone: Vivint has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating in the App Store, compared with 2 and 2.5 stars from ADT and Frontpoint, respectively.
As much as we love Vivint’s high-tech equipment, it does come at a price. While ADT and Frontpoint rent their equipment out to you, Vivint pushes you to purchase your equipment outright. The advantage to going this route is that your contract is month-to-month, and your bill won’t be inflated by a rental fee. But it does require an initial investment that’s much higher than most home security companies. On the bright side, you only purchase the equipment you want, so you aren’t forced to pay for expensive gadgetry you’ll never use.
If you choose to rent the equipment, you’re locked into a five-year contract with a tiny three-day trial period. Vivint’s advanced technology also requires professional installation, unlike ADT and Frontpoint, which both offer DIY installation packages. If you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, we recommend checking out Frontpoint.
If you’re not comfortable making the substantial financial commitments that ADT and Vivint both require, Frontpoint is a great way to test the home security waters without necessarily diving in headfirst.
Where ADT and Vivint only offered measly three day trial periods, Frontpoint went for a comparative eternity: 30 days to decide if you want to commit to a longer contract. It is the only company that doesn’t offer any professional installation — you’ll have to do it all yourself — but our testers generally found that this wasn’t too much of a hassle.
Its website is personalized to guide you through your specific package’s installation with thorough guides, video tutorials, and a detailed FAQ section that helps you quickly solve any problems that pop up along the way. If, for some reason, you’re still having issues, we’re confident that Frontpoint’s customer service will have your back.
From our first phone call, Frontpoint’s reps made us feel taken care of in a way that ADT’s and Vivint’s didn’t quite manage. They patiently answered all of our questions and asked a lot of smart ones themselves, helping us to get the best security for our home’s unique layout. We never felt like they were pushing us towards a specific package, either. Frontpoint’s reps come off as invested in helping you find what fits your needs best.
Home security is an industry where name recognition matters. According to a study from the University of North Carolina, over 60% of potential home intruders are deterred by a security sign or sticker. That’s good news for ADT customers, as its blue shield is by far the most well-known in the home security world. There’s a reason the brand enjoys such instant recognition: It’s been defending homes since 1877, and it has the largest customer base of any company we saw, with over 6 million active subscribers.
While ADT’s logo is ideally the only deterrence you’ll need, it’s backed up by truly cutting-edge home security technology. It has motion sensor video cameras, remote control options, and a command layout that was simple to use at every step. We loved how we could monitor all of our cameras remotely using the app. That way, if an alarm is triggered, we’d be able to tell which one specifically was set off, check the live feed, and begin taking next steps immediately.
We were also impressed by the level of customization that ADT boasts in both its plans and technology. If you only want basic home security features like 24/7 monitoring by ADT professionals, plans start at $37. You can go up from there, adding extras like smart thermostats and remote light controls in its most expensive plan.
That range of options carries over to your equipment, too — ADT lets you choose between a sleek touchscreen control panel or a classic keypad command center for your system’s primary hub. We also loved the attention to detail in things like vacation mode, which adjusts your room temperature and lights while you’re away for maximum protection. You can even program your system to react to specific situations, like having your doors unlock automatically if a fire is detected.
The main downside to ADT is that you’ll be locked into a three-year contract, and you’ll only get three days to try it out before making your decision. If you’re not comfortable making that kind of commitment, consider Frontpoint’s annual contract or Vivint’s month-to-month plan.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of SimpliSafe in the home security space. Its no-contract options and updated equipment get it on the podium with industry leaders like Frontpoint and ADT. A Reviews.com survey found that 46% of U.S. adults cite the cost of home security as their main barrier, and Simplisafe seeks to eliminate that. Simplisafe users interested in DIY monitoring need only purchase their equipment and tackle a the straightforward drill-free setup, while those who opt for the professional monitoring and 24/7 live alarm service can choose from six package options, starting at $15/ month. You can cut your startup costs even further by opting for a refurbished Simplisafe system. If you aren’t happy with your Simplisafe system after 60 days, Simplisafe will issue you a full refund, complete with return shipping costs.
One caveat to bear in mind when choosing Simplisafe: their included security camera can fall a little short when it comes to indoor and outdoor cameras but it still provides free streamable HD video and audio, 30 day-storage, and night vision.
How to Find the Right New Jersey Home Security System for You
Research your neighborhood’s crime profile
The problem with most statistics is that they are overly broad — lumping together diverse areas and populations to create numbers that may be mathematically true but paint a less-than-accurate picture of any individual’s reality. The answer is… more statistics? Yes, but get granular. Check out the crime map of your New Jersey neighborhood to get a sense of historical disturbances in your neck of the woods. Use that information to build a more informed security system for your home.
Register your security system
False alarms are a significant drain to police resources and also desensitize residents, neighbors, and burglars to alarm systems. To cut down on the noise, most states and municipalities across the U.S. institute home security system policies to keep homeowners accountable for their alarms. New Jersey doesn’t have any statewide laws dealing with false alarms, so you will need to check with local government. New Jersey municipalities that hold a formal false alarm policy require you to register your security system. You’ll pay a hefty fee if you don’t register your system before it summons police to your door.
We focused our search on companies that operate nationwide, and we believe they’re the best choice for New Jersey homeowners, too. But it’s always a good idea to compare offers with local providers so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. We found five local companies in New Jersey that have high ratings across Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List:
- A.C. Daughtry Security Systems
- American Knight Integrated Systems
- Beacon Protection
- Expert Tech Inc.
- True Value Security Systems
New Jersey Home Security FAQ
False alarms happen, and they’re a major problem for New Jersey’s police departments. Police are required to respond to every call as though it’s a legitimate emergency — lights and sirens ablaze — but the fact is that false alarms are more common that true ones. In Bridgeport alone, officers respond to over 4,000 alarm calls per year, most of which are accidental or due to malfunctioning equipment.
You will be fined for every false alarm the police have to respond to, with fees typically escalating for every occurrence. In Hampton Township, for example, the first false alarm merits only a warning, but the second one will set you back $50. After that, the town can choose to issue a fine between $100 and $250 for every subsequent false alarm. You’ll also be required to have a licensed technician come by to make sure your system is functioning properly.
Since policies and fees differ so much depending on where you live in New Jersey, you’ll need to check your city government’s website for specific laws after you purchase a home security system.
By any measure, New Jersey is one of the safest states in the country: According to the FBI’s most recent crime statistics, only about one in 66 New Jersey residents were the victims of a property crime in 2017. New Jersey boasts one of the lowest violent crime rates in the country, too, at one in 438.
But New Jersey homeowners are particularly vulnerable in one area: vacation homes. The 2010 census (the most recent available) estimated that New Jersey had 109,321 houses that were classified as “vacant for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use,” representing 3.3% of all homes in the state and the 10th-highest number in the country. Because New Jersey has an inordinate number of houses that are vacant for some portion of the year, its neighborhoods at particularly at risk for home invasion.
If you want to learn more about the crime in your specific area, you can check out the New Jersey State Police crime stats page, as well as Neighborhood Scout’s county-by-county breakdown.