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A self-monitored home security system provides home safety without the high prices and lengthy contracts that often accompany professional monitoring. We compared six security companies based on contract and price, customer service, and installation to recommend the best options for you.
The 6 Best Self-Monitored Home Security Systems
- SimpliSafe: Best Overall Wireless Home Security
- Abode: Best for Self-Monitored Security Solutions
- Vivint: Best for Home Automation
- Ring: Best Wireless Security Camera Options
- Arlo: Best No Monthly Fee Security
- Blue by ADT: Best for Smart Home Integration
|Provider||Reviews.com score||Requires a contract?||Length of contract||Upfront costs||Professional monitoring option?||Installation options||Smart Home Compatibility||Camera||Trial period|
|SimpliSafe||4.2||No||N/A||$229+||$14.99/mo – $24.99/mo||DIY or professional installation||Yes||Yes||60 days|
|Abode||3.4||No||N/A||$229+||$4/mo or $20/mo||DIY or professional installation||Yes||Yes||7 days|
|Vivint||2.9||Optional||42-60 months||$599+||$29.99/mo, $39.99/mo, or $44.99/mo||Professional installation||Yes||Yes||3 days|
|Ring||4.2||No||N/A||$199.99+||$10/mo||DIY or professional installation||Yes||Yes||30 days|
|Arlo||3.2||No||N/A||$499.99+||N/A||DIY or professional installation||Yes||Yes||3 months|
|Blue by ADT||3.4||No||N/A||$179.99+||$19.99/mo||DIY installation online||Yes||Yes||30 days|
Information accurate as of: 11/19/2020
SimpliSafe — Best Overall Wireless Home Security
SimpliSafe is our favorite option for wireless home security. The company offers flexible packages with excellent devices and a helpful app. The company also boasts top-rated customer satisfaction.
- Top in customer satisfaction
- Optional professional monitoring
- Excellent devices and app
- Self-monitoring requires their top-tier monthly plan
- No standalone smart home products
Contract & Price
SimpliSafe’s equipment prices start at $229 for its basic packages and go up to $489. The company offers two wireless home security plans:
- Standard – $15 per month for 24/7 monitoring and dispatching along with a built-in cellular connection
- Interactive – $25 per month for unlimited camera recordings, on-demand video, and automation integration with Amazon Alexa or Google Home
SimpliSafe doesn’t require contracts — all plans are month-to-month and you can cancel anytime. SimpliSafe offers a generous 60-day trial period during which you can return your equipment for a full refund.
SimpliSafe offers both DIY and professional installation. The systems are designed for easy DIY installation, but customers can choose professional installation for a one-time fee of $79.
Check out our full SimpliSafe review.
Abode — Best for Self-Monitored Security Solutions
Abode is the top home security system for self-monitored security. For $6 per month, you get access to the company’s full monitoring capabilities. Abode offers customizable equipment kits with no contracts.
- Low-cost monitoring solutions
- Lifetime warranty for professional monitored systems
- 7-day trial period
- No smart doorbell
- Cellular backup not available for basic monitoring plan
Contract & Price
Abode’s equipment prices start at $229 for the basic package. For its monitoring option, Abode gives customers two plan options:
- Standard – $6 per month for self-monitored systems, includes one-touch alarm/disarm, video storage, and smart home integration
- Pro – $20 per month for access to professional monitoring services, includes free device shipping and discounts
Abode’s website makes it easy for customers to contact the company via chat or use the online knowledge base. However, Abode isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and it has a C rating with the organization.
Abode is designed for easy DIY installation. Customers can also opt for professional installation for a one-time fee of $99.
Check out our full Abode review.
Vivint — Best for Home Automation
Vivint offers highly-rated home security with lots of smart home and home automation technology. The company’s contracts are flexible, as customers can opt to pay for their equipment upfront to avoid a contract.
- Flexible contract options
- In-house smart home tech
- Professional monitoring option
- More expensive than the other options
- Have to pay for equipment upfront to avoid a contract
Contract & Price
Vivint’s equipment prices start at $599 for a basic package. You can either pay for your equipment upfront or finance your equipment, but the latter requires a contract. Vivint provides three home security packages:
- Smart Security Monitoring – $29.99 per month for 24/7 professional monitoring and mobile alarm access, along with entry, smoke, and fire detection
- Smart Home Monitoring – $39.99 per month for the above features, plus smart home integration
- Smart Home Video Monitoring – $44.99 per month for video surveillance to enhance home security
Vivint customers can reach a company representative via online chat or get answers to their questions in the company’s digital database. However, the company only has a C- rating with the Better Business Bureau and it isn’t accredited.
Vivint offers DIY installation. Professional installation costs between $49 and $99 depending on the system.
Check out our full Vivint review.
Ring — Best Wireless Security Camera Options
Ring offers affordable and flexible home security options. The company is best known for its cameras, but it also offers comprehensive security systems.
- Low-cost system
- Optional professional installation
- Packages for any size home
- Mediocre app
- Cellular backup and video recording only available with paid professional monitoring
Contract & Price
Ring’s equipment prices start at $199.99 for the basic package. The company offers two paid wireless home security plans:
- Basic – $3 per month for snapshot capture, video history for 60 days, and two-way audio
- Plus – $10 per month for professional monitoring and extended warranties on all devices
Ring customers don’t have to opt for a monthly fee. The company offers free self-monitoring, which provides motion-activated notifications, real-time video with Live View, and two-way talk.
Ring is intended for easy DIY installation. Customers can also choose to have their Ring system professionally installed for a starting price of $99.
Check out our full Ring review.
Arlo — Best No Monthly Fee Security
If you’re looking for a free or low-cost home security option, Arlo might be right for you. The company offers free self-monitoring and extremely low-cost professional monitoring plans.
- Optional free self-monitoring
- High-quality video capability
- Low-cost monthly plans
- Extra cost for 24/7 recording
- Most expensive camera on the list
Contract & Price
Arlo’s camera kits start at $499 and go up from there. You can also add individual cameras onto the package for anywhere from $100 to $200 per camera. Arlo offers three plan options:
- Arlo Smart – free for 1080p resolution and push notifications. Doesn’t come with cloud storage
- Arlo Smart Premier – $2.99 per month for 2K resolution, 30 days of cloud storage, artificial intelligence, push notifications, custom activity zones, and advanced object detection
- Arlo Smart Elite – $4.99 per month for 4K resolution, 30 days of cloud storage, artificial intelligence, push notifications, custom activity zones, and advanced object detection
Arlo is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A rating. Customers can get support through the Arlo community, through live chat, or by calling the company.
Arlo customers can choose between DIY and professional installation. While Arlo doesn’t actually offer professional installation, it partners with HelloTech for installation services for U.S. customers.
Blue by ADT — Best for Smart Home Integration
Blue by ADT offers some of the best smart integration for home security systems. It also offers customizable packages and the option for self-monitoring.
- Customizable packages
- Optional self-monitoring
- Advanced smart home integration
- No professional installation option
- Mixed customer service reviews
Contract & Price
Blue by ADT’s equipment starts at $179.99. The company offers two plan options:
- DIY monitoring – free for self-monitoring, mobile alerts and notifications, and wifi connection
- 24/7 professional monitoring – $19.99 per month for professional monitoring by ADT, mobile alerts and notifications, wifi connection, cellular backup, alerts to authorities in an alarm event, and no long-term contract.
Blue by ADT has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, but it came in last place in a 2020 J.D. Power home security study for overall customer satisfaction. Customers can contact Blue by ADT for help via phone or email.
Blue by ADT doesn’t offer professional installation. Its products are only intended for DIY installation.
Pros & Cons of a Self-Monitored Home Security System
- Low or no monthly fees: Self-monitored home security systems come at a far lower cost than professionally monitored plans.
- No long-term contracts: Self-monitored home security plans typically don’t come with long-term contracts; instead, they operate on a month-to-month basis.
- Easy to install: Most self-monitored home security systems are designed for easy DIY installation.
- Homeowners are on their own: When you have a professional monitoring service, then professionals will monitor your home and call the police if an alarm is triggered. With self-monitoring, it’s on you to call the police.
- Limited connection: With self-monitored security systems, you’re entirely dependent on your smartphone. If you don’t have phone service, you don’t know the status of your alarms.
How Did We Choose the Best Self-Monitored Home Security Systems?
Here at Reviews.com, it’s our mission to evaluate consumer services and recommend the best ones for our readers. We do the research and hard work so choosing the service that’s right for you is as easy as possible. When we evaluate home security systems we look for companies with a good reputation, quality equipment and competitive pricing. To choose our top self-monitored security system providers we use a formula that considers monthly pricing, equipment costs, ease of installation, the flexibility of contracts and customer satisfaction.
FAQs about Self-Monitored Home Security Systems
If you opt for a self-monitored home security system, you’ll need access to a smartphone or tablet to do your own monitoring. Keep in mind that if your system sends alerts, you’ll need one of these devices to receive them.
Self-monitored security means that no professional team is watching your video stream in case of an emergency. You’re responsible to call the authorities after receiving an alert from your system.
If having a professional team makes you feel safer, consider paying for a professionally monitored system. Self-monitored security offers the same security equipment and many benefits but without monthly fees.
Self-monitored home security systems are a good option if you’re looking for quality security equipment to monitor your home without a monthly fee. If you wish to upgrade, most companies offer advanced features with a monthly subscription.