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SimpliSafe is Reviews.com’s top pick for best home security systems, earning a 4.4 out of 5.
The best home security systems combine high-quality devices with a variety of both self-monitoring and professional monitoring options.
Starting monitoring prices range from just $2.99 per month to $19.99 per month.
A home security system can help provide the peace of mind you need to know that your family and your belongings are safe. But with so many systems to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve rounded up the seven best home security systems of 2021 to help make your decision a bit easier. We’ve looked at factors such as monthly price, equipment cost, contracts, home security system reviews from customers, and installation to find the best home security companies.
The 7 Best Home Security Systems of 2021
SimpliSafe: Best Home Security System for Customer Satisfaction
Abode: Best Home Security System for Self Monitoring
The type of home you live in will be a factor in determining the type of home security system you need. First, consider that some apartments don’t allow tenants to install home security systems. In that case, you may have to either skip a security system or install one that’s easily uninstalled. Apartments may also require fewer features. For example, many apartments don’t have private entrances or ground-floor windows, making certain security devices less necessary. On the other hand, someone with a house with many doors and windows may want a more robust system.
Certain home security systems either come with their own smart home features or can easily integrate with others in the home, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. As smart home devices become more popular, it’s important to consider how valuable this feature is. If having a smart home is crucial be sure to shop for those providers that allow for many integrations or have many smart home devices of their own.
If a home security system includes cameras, be sure to understand how videos will be stored. Many companies don’t allow for video storage on their free self-monitoring plans. Instead, users may have to upgrade if they want local storage, cloud storage, or cellular storage. Additionally, each company will have a certain amount of time it will save stored videos before it deletes them, usually two weeks or 30 days.
Traditional home security systems were wired, so they didn’t need to be connected to the internet. Today, many systems — especially DIY systems — are wireless. While this offers many advantages, it also means that devices require an internet connection. And since video feeds and other features will be housed in a smartphone app, it’s critical that you have a reliable internet connection. If you don’t have a reliable internet connection, you may be better off shopping for wired security systems.
There are many devices that may come with a home security system. First, there are sensors for doors and windows to detect if someone has entered the home, as well as motion detectors to sense movement. Other sensors can sense environmental factors, such as temperature, smoke or carbon monoxide, and water leaks. Finally, there are many cameras, such as indoor, outdoor, and video doorbell cameras. Cameras may come with floodlights, sirens, two-way audio, motion sensors, and more.
Some companies, such as Arlo, are well-known for their high-quality cameras. On the other hand, some may have lower-quality cameras that just don’t give as clear of a picture. Features to look out for include video resolution of at least 1080p, night vision, waterproofing, and more.
Burglary Facts and Statistics
Part of keeping your home safe is knowing the crime stats in your area so you can properly protect your home and family. Here are a few statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program:
There were 1,117,696 burglaries in the United States in 2019.
Burglaries make up roughly 16.1% of property crimes.
Burglaries have been steadily decreasing. The 2019 rate is down 9.5% from the previous year, 29.6% from four years earlier, and 48.5% from nine years earlier.
It’s also important to pay attention to local burglary statistics. Data shows that states such as New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have the highest rates of burglary, while New Hampshire, New York, and Virginia have the lowest.
Researching the crime trends in your area can help you decide the best way to protect your home with a security system.
DIY vs. Professional Home Security Systems
When purchasing a home security system, you can choose between a DIY or professional monitoring plan. Both come with pros and cons, and it’s important to understand them before choosing the best home security system.
Pros of DIY Monitoring
Cheaper monthly cost No contracts or commitments Free DIY installation
Cons of DIY Monitoring
No one monitoring your home Less responsive customer service Difficult to install for some people
Pros of Professional Monitoring
Professional installation done for you 24/7 monitoring of your system Responsive customer service
Cons of Professional Monitoring
Most expensive monthly cost Often a long-term contract Installation may not be free
Permits may be required for home security systems in some cities. Check with your local government to determine if a permit is necessary.
We evaluated home security system companies based on equipment cost, monthly costs, contract options, installation and customer satisfaction to determine Reviews.com scores and create our best home security reviews. To compare home security companies with other providers across the board, we calculate each Reviews.com score based on the following:
Monthly Price: The lower the cost of a home security company’s monthly contract, the higher the score. Inversely, the higher the cost of the monthly contract, the lower the score in this metric.
Equipment Cost: Affordability is important with home security, so we awarded higher scores to home security companies with lower prices on equipment.
Contracts: Reviews.com reviewed the flexibility in contracts of the home security companies. The more flexibility, like having no contracts to bind customers for long periods, the higher the score.
Erin Gobler is an insurance writer for Reviews.com. Over the past three years, she has covered personal finance topics such as insurance, banking, mortgages, and more. Her work has been featured in sites such as The Simple Dollar, Bankrate, and Coverage.com. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oskosh. Erin’s favorite Reviews.com article is the State Farm Renters Insurance Review.