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Last updated on Sep 17, 2020

The Best Home Security Systems

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    The right home security system delivers peace of mind without breaking your budget. It offers features and functions—such as home automation, high-quality image capture, or easy DIY installation—that match your preferences and protection priorities.

    But with so many options on the market, how do you pick the best home security systems? Start by comparing key components, from contract lengths and equipment costs to monitoring prices and packages, installation options, smart home compatibility, and warranty coverage. For example, Ring Alarm offers customizable security options while Nest provides a sleek design and ADT offers national brand recognition.

    At Reviews.com, we’ve done the in-depth research for you to create a list of the best home alarm system providers—where they excel, where they struggle, and where they fit into your home security landscape. Let’s dive in.

    The Best Home Security Systems

    • FrontpointBest for DIY Installation
    • ADTBest for Brand Recognition
    • SimpliSafe -Best for Plan Flexibility
    • Ring Best for Ease of Use
    • AbodeBest for a Self-Monitoring Solution
    • Nest – Best for Cutting-Edge Technology
    • Scout Best for Basic Security Protection

    Other options to consider


    Requires a Contract?Equipment starting costMonitoring prices starting atDIY or Pro Installation?Pro Installation CostSmart Home CompatibilitySecurity CameraWarranty
    FrontpointNo$320$44.99DIYN/AYesYes3 years
    ADTYes$599$45.99Pro$99 but it may varyYesYes Extended Limited Warranty/Quality Service Plan for $7 a month
    SimpliSafeNo$229$414.99DIY & Pro$79YesYes3 years
    RingNo$199$3DIY & ProMay vary per contractorYesYes1 year
    AbodeNo$199$6DIY & ProStarter Kits: $991-5 Additional Devices: $25YesYes1 year
    NestNo$399$29DIY & Pro$99 for the first device and $64.99 for each additional deviceYesYes2 years
    ScoutNo$229$9.99DIYN/AYesYes3 years

    Information accurate as of: 08/18/2020

    How did we choose the best 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 home security systems providers, we use a formula that considers monthly pricing, equipment costs, ease of installation, flexibility of the contracts, and customer satisfaction.

    Frontpoint: Best for DIY Installation

    Best for DIY Installation
    Frontpoint

    Frontpoint

    Frontpoint is all about easy DIY installation. Equipment includes wireless functionality and adhesive strips to make installation simple, and the Frontpoint app not only offers comprehensive advice for DIY installers but also provides a helpline to call if you run into problems. Customer service is also above average and the company’s full-featured mobile app comes with every plan. On the downside, however, video streaming options are only available with the company’s Ultimate plan and monthly rates are much higher than other DIY competitors, often reaching $50.

    Pros

    • Easy DIY install with peel-and-press, wireless devices
    • Great customer service
    • Well-reviewed and full-featured app

    Cons

    • Higher-than-average monthly rates compared to other DIY providers
    • Home automation is only available for the most expensive plans
    • Video streaming capabilities are limited

    Contract and Price

    Frontpoint offers month-to-month contract options along with a three-year warranty for all devices and a 30-day trial period for new users. The company also offers five system packages that range in price from just over $250 to nearly $500 upfront, plus monitoring costs. While the package options and pricing are clearly listed on the company’s website—a rarity among home security providers—its monitoring costs are well above average.

    • The Safe Home Starter plan is ideal for entry-level security but doesn’t include glass-break or smoke sensors
    • The Safe Home Preferred package costs almost $500 and includes a complete safety system, plus a smart camera and video streaming.
    • Professional monitoring typically starts at $45 a month even for basic plans.

    Frontpoint’s Equipment Packages

    PackageCostWhat’s included
    Starter$991 Frontpoint Hub & Frontpoint Keypad
    2 Door/window sensors
    1 Motion sensor
    1 Yard sign
    1 set of window decals (3 units)
    1 Door sticker
    Everyday$295.941 Frontpoint Hub & Frontpoint Keypad
    3 Door/window sensors
    2 Motion sensors
    1 Yard sign
    1 set of window decals (3 units)
    1 Door sticker
    Select$383.921 Frontpoint Hub & Frontpoint Keypad
    4 Door/window sensors
    2 Motion sensors1 Yard sign
    1 set of window decals (3 units)
    1 Door sticker
    1 Glass break sensor
    1 Smoke and heat sensor
    Preferred$479.901 Frontpoint Hub & Frontpoint Keypad
    5 Door/window sensors
    2 Motion sensors
    1 Yard sign
    1 set of window decals (3 units)
    1 Door sticker
    1 Glass break sensor
    1 Smoke and heat sensor
    1 Indoor camera

    Frontpoint’s Monitoring Plans

    PlanCostWhat’s included
    Interactive Plan$44.99/month100% Wireless & cellular connection
    24/7 Professional monitoring
    Automated system check
    Crash and smash protection
    Expandable and portable
    Geo-location services
    Mobile alert and notifications via email and text
    Remote access and control
    Sensor history
    Unique user codes
    Ultimate Plan $49.99/monthEverything in the Interactive Plan
    Motion triggered alerts
    Night vision enabled
    Light control
    Live video streaming
    Smart lock control
    Video and image history

    Customer Service

    Frontpoint’s customer service is generally considered above average. The company’s included app not only helps homeowners install their system, but makes it easy for them to get in touch with support if they encounter issues by monitoring their setup progress. The company’s customer service representatives are also outstanding—agents ask detailed questions about home layouts, specific needs, and current security concerns to design plans and equipment packages that work best for homeowners.

    • Frontpoint has been accredited with the BBB since 2009 and earns an A+ rating with 389 customer complaints and a customer review score of 2 stars out of 5.
    • On J.D. Power’s 2019 Home Security Satisfaction Study for DIY installed security systems, the company ranks fourth—behind Ring and SimpliSafe—with a score of 872 out of 1,000 and 3 out of 5 Power Circles.
    • Frontpoint not only offers robust support through its mobile app but also via its website, which includes an in-depth knowledge base along with live chat options.

    Ease of Installation

    Easy DIY installation is Frontpoint’s biggest selling point. The entire process is simple and straightforward, and Frontpoint offers both in-app tutorials and a direct support line to help homeowners get their system up and running. 

    • If the mobile app notices that you’re having trouble with a specific installation step, it provides a support number to call for direct help.
    • Frontpoint’s online resources include video guides and digital manuals to help answer any of your questions during the installation process.
    • No tools are required for installation—all peel-and-press devices make it easy to find ideal locations for sensors and cameras.

    Check out our full review: Frontpoint

    ADT: Best for Brand Recognition

    Best for Brand Recognition
    ADT

    ADT

    ADT comes with the benefit of brand recognition; the company is known nationwide for its security systems and has some of the best technology and network infrastructure available. It’s been in operation for more than 140 years and has over six million subscribers worldwide. What’s more, ADT’s recognizable logo can act as a deterrent even before cameras snap pictures of would-be criminals—they’re often scared off by the notion that homes are protected by ADT systems. Where the company sometimes suffers, however, is in the area of customer service and support; many reviews are critical of these aspects. In addition, ADT systems are often more expensive than those of close competitors.

    Pros

    • High-quality, professional installation and monitoring
    • Comprehensive instructions on system use
    • Superb name recognition can help deter crime

    Cons

    • Systems are pricey—ADT charges for equipment upfront or rolls this cost into your contract
    • Installation may not happen right away
    • Customer service is not always on par with other providers on our best home security systems list

    Contract and Price

    ADT offers three professionally monitored home security plans: Secure, Smart, and Complete, each with different per-month costs. Equipment isn’t included as part of the monitoring price—homeowners can expect to pay at least $600 for initial equipment purchases plus $99 to $199 for installation.

    • ADT contracts are 36 months long and come with a penalty for opting out early. While the company does offer a six-month, money-back guarantee, this only applies to problems with the system itself, not to any customer service or support issues.
    • While ADT pricing starts at $29 per month, homeowners often pay upward of $45 or even $55 per month depending on their plan type—and if they choose to finance their equipment purchase rather than pay for devices upfront.

    ADT’s Plans

    PlanMonitoring costFeatures includedEquipment costEquipment  included in starter kit
    Secure
    $29 but cost may vary by region
    24/7 alarm monitoring
    Security monitoring equipment
    Monitored fire, flood and carbon monoxide detection
    Professional installation
    $599Digital panel
    Entryway sensors
    Keychain remote control
    Motion sensors
    Yard signs and window decals
    Smart$45 but cost may vary by regionIncludes everything in the Secure package
    Remote arm and disarm
    Smart home controls
    Customizable alerts, schedules and automations
    $599It’s the same for all the plans
    Complete$55 but cost may vary by regionIncludes everything in the Smart package
    Security cameras
    Live stream from mobile devices
    Record and save video clips
    $599It’s the same for all the plans

    Customer Service

    ADT’s customer service puts it in the middle of the pack in some instances and near the bottom in others. While the company’s reputation makes it a great investment for homeowners, a lack of personalized support and challenges in getting immediate responses to system issues often frustrate users.

    • ADT has been accredited by the BBB since 2013 and enjoys an A+ rating, but the company earns only 1 star out of 5 based on customer ratings and has had more than 1,300 complaints closed in a 12-month period.
    • The company ranks second on J.D. Power’s 2019 Home Security Satisfaction Study for professionally installed systems with a score of 847 out of 1,000, but earns only 3 Power Circles out of 5.
    • ADT’s support page includes answers to common questions along with a robust search feature and the ability to contact the company directly via live chat.

    Ease of Installation

    System installation from ADT is all done professionally—no DIY options are available. While this streamlines the installation process, costs can quickly add up. For example, if connections can’t be established with ADT’s network via Wi-Fi, systems may be set to use cellular data, which is much more expensive.

    • Installation costs typically range from $99 to $199, but customers who qualify after a soft credit inquiry may be eligible for free installation.
    • Because ADT systems are in high demand, there may be a wait for installation. Unlike some of its competitors. ADT doesn’t typically offer same or next-day installation.
    • Installers may recommend additional equipment during install, which comes with additional costs. Homeowners should always double-check exactly what they’re installing and how this impacts their original system quote.

    Check out our full review: ADT

    SimpliSafe: Best for Plan Flexibility

    Best for Plan Flexibility
    SimpliSafe

    SimpliSafe

    SimpliSafe offers multiple plans to make it easy for homeowners to find exactly what they need. Combined with reliable home automation integration, extensive hardware options, and competitive pricing, SimpliSafe is a great choice if you’re looking to create a best-fit system that’s ideal for your home, rather than paying for a one-size-fits-all option that may offer more (or less) than you need. It’s worth noting, however, that while SimpliSafe earns a spot on our best home security systems list for its equipment, monitoring, and installation options, its customer service isn’t quite up to par, with many consumers complaining about the company’s lack of response to system issues.

    Pros

    • Multiple plan options and equipment types to help homeowners find the best fit
    • Budget-friendly pricing with one of the lowest professional monitoring costs available
    • Easy DIY installation or professional installation for just $79

    Cons

    • Customer service isn’t on par with other popular providers
    • Plan add-ons can quickly get expensive
    • All equipment must be purchased upfront

    Contract and Price

    SimpliSafe doesn’t require any contracts and offers a three-year warranty on all of its equipment. The company also offers five packages: Foundation, Essentials, Hearth, Knox, and Haven, each with different equipment options and overall costs. Monitoring is available for $14.99 or $24.99 per month, with the more expensive plan including mobile app control, unlimited video recording, and faster police dispatch times.

    • Homeowners have the option to purchase a new SimpliSafe system or spend less by opting for an older model or refurbished system at 25 to 30% less.
    • The company’s Foundation system comes in at just over $180 upfront, plus $15 a month for monitoring and offers great coverage for small homes. Other options, such as the Knox, cost over $350 and are designed for larger homes with four or more bedrooms.
    • With no contract obligations, users can cancel anytime without penalty.

    Simplisafe’s Equipment Packages

    PackageCostWhat’s included
    Foundation$229 or $183 with Interactive monitoring1 Base station
    1 Wireless keypad
    1 Entry sensor
    1 Motion sensor
    1 HD Camera
    Essentials$259 or $207 with Interactive monitoring1 Base station
    1 Wireless keypad
    3 Entry sensors
    1 Motion sensor
    1 HD Camera
    Hearth$374 or $299 with Interactive monitoring1 Base station
    1 Wireless keypad
    3 Entry sensors
    1 Motion sensor
    1 HD Camera
    1 105dB siren
    1 Smoke detector
    Knox$449 or $359 with Interactive monitoring1 Base station
    1 Wireless keypad
    6 Entry sensors
    2 Motion sensors
    1 HD Camera
    1 105dB siren
    1 Smoke detector
    Haven$489 or $391 with Interactive monitoring1 Base station
    1 Wireless keypad
    4 Entry sensors
    2 Motion sensors
    1 HD Camera
    1 105dB siren
    1 Smoke detector
    1 Panic button
    1 Freeze sensor

    Simplisafe’s Monitoring Plans

    PlanCostWhat’s included
    Standard$14.9924/7 Monitoring + dispatch
    Built-in cellular connection 
    24/7 Fire monitoring & Fire Department dispatch
    Interactive$24.99Everything in the Standard Plan
    Unlimited camera recording & evidence capture 
    Emergency medical response & dispatch
    On-Demand video recording  
    Visual alarm verification with priority Police Dispatch
    Advanced phone alerts & family/friend alerts
    Private notifications for access to cabinets, safes and more
    Arm your system with Alexa or Google Assistant
    Water damage detection & monitoring
    Dangerous temperature detection & monitoring
    Better Home insurance discounts

    Customer Service

    In some areas, such as DIY install satisfaction, SimpliSafe offers better-than-average customer service. In others, the company is criticized for its lack of response and limited efforts to help resolve specific issues.

    • SimpliSafe has been accredited with the BBB since 2013 and enjoys an A+ rating, but earns only 1.5 stars out of 5 based on customer reviews. The company also has more than 300 listed complaints.
    • According to the J.D. Power 2019 Home Security Satisfaction Study, SimpliSafe ranks just below Ring for the best DIY installed security system with a score of 900 out of 1,000 and 4 Power Circles out of 5.
    • SimpliSafe does offer an online help center that includes answers to general questions and details about specific products, but it lacks live online chat and only offers phone support from 8 a.m. to midnight EST.

    Ease of Installation

    Only the Foundation plan is entirely DIY—all other SimpliSafe offerings include DIY or professional setup options. The company doesn’t handle professional installation itself; instead, it puts you in touch with a certified technician in your area.

    • Installation costs $79, but there’s an additional fee if you want a doorbell camera installed. Payment is due when you schedule an appointment.
    • DIY installation, meanwhile, is typically straightforward thanks to the included user manual and simple plug-and-play technology.
    • If you do encounter problems with installation, however, SimpliSafe support schedules a professional installation—install help isn’t available over the phone.

    Check out our full review: SimpliSafe

    Ring: Best for Ease of Use

    Best for Ease of Use
    Ring

    Ring Security

    Ring makes our list of the best home security systems thanks to its simple installation and ease of use. Following the company’s video tutorials helps most homeowners get the system up and running in less than 20 minutes. The only exception is the Ring doorbell camera, which is more complicated to install. Also worth noting? Ring technology feels and looks cheaper than competitors such as Nest.

    Pros

    • Easy installation in less than 20 minutes
    • Affordable, basic package
    • Includes support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Home

    Cons

    • Technology looks cheaper than competitors
    • Keypad and base station are separate
    • Google support is finicky

    Contract and Price

    Ring alarm contracts and pricing are all about keeping things simple and straightforward for users.

    • Contract lengths for all three plans—the 5-piece, 10-piece, and 14-piece alarm security kits—are one month, which makes them substantially shorter than similar competitors and makes it easy for homeowners to find other options if Ring isn’t a good fit.
    • The cost for professional monitoring is $10 a month, or $100 for a yearly subscription. This will also activate video recordings for all the Ring cameras in the home. 
    • If you have cameras, you can also opt for self-monitoring with video recordings for $3 a month per camera.
    • Ring’s pricing starts at just under $200 for a 5-piece technology kit, and coverage is available nationwide.

    Ring’s Equipment Packages

    PackageCostWhat’s included
    5-piece Alarm Security Kit$199Base Station
    Keypad
    1 Contact Sensor
    1 Motion Detector
    Range Extender
    8-piece Alarm Security Kit$249.99Ring Alarm Base Station
    Ring Alarm Keypad
    4 Contact Sensors
    1 Motion Detector
    1 Range Extender
    10-piece Alarm Security Kit$259.99Base Station
    Keypad
    5 Contact Sensors
    2 Motion Detectors
    Range Extender
    8-piece Alarm Security Kit + Indoor Camera$299.99Ring Alarm Base Station
    Ring Alarm Keypad
    4 Contact Sensors
    1 Motion Detector
    1 Range Extender
    1 Indoor Cam
    14-piece Alarm Security Kit$329.99Base Station
    2 Keypad
    8 Contact Sensors
    2 Motion Detectors
    Range Extender

    Information accurate as of: 08/18/2020

    Ring’s Monitoring Plans

    PlanCostWhat’s included
    Free$0Motion-activated notifications 
    Real-time video with Live View Two-way talk 
    Lifetime theft protection
    Basic$3/month per cameraEverything on the free plan plus:
    Video history for 60 days 
    Video saving and sharing Snapshot Capture 
    Plus$10/monthEverything on the Basic plan plus:
    24/7 professional monitoring for Ring Alarm
    Extended warranties for all devices
    10% off select products at Ring.com

    Information accurate as of: 08/18/2020

    Customer Service

    Ring has only been in business for about a decade, giving it less time to accumulate robust customer service ratings like long-standing competitor ADT. Nonetheless, Ring is generally well-reviewed by both users and independent market evaluators.

    • Now accredited by the BBB (as of April 2020), Ring has an A+ rating. It’s worth noting, however, that the average customer review of Ring comes in at just 1.25 stars out of 5.
    • Ring earns top marks on the J.D. Power Home Security Satisfaction Study with a total score of 904 out of 1,000 and 5 Power Circles in the self-installed category. This puts it above competitors such as SimpliSafe (900 and 5 Power Circles) and Frontpoint (872 and 3 Power Circles).
    • Ring offers both in-depth system help with its online knowledge database along with web-based chat support if homeowners have more specific questions about the use and care of their alarm systems.

    Ease of Installation

    Ring is one of the easiest systems to install for homeowners thanks to in-depth online video tutorials that walk users through the DIY installation process.

    • Installation is straightforward with peel-and-stick options for most cameras, sensors, keypads, and base stations. The Ring doorbell camera, however, requires more in-depth electrical work for which you may want to get the help of a professional.
    • Setup can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes if homeowners follow the video tutorials provided by the company; online chat is also available to help users solve install issues.
    • Ring doesn’t offer any professional installation options, meaning that more complicated system issues may require homeowners to hire an independent contractor to identify and resolve any problems.

    Check out our full review: Ring

    Abode: Best for a Self-Monitoring Solution

    Best for a Self-Monitoring Solution
    abode

    abode

    Abode earns a top spot as one of the best home alarm systems because of its low-cost, no-contract, self-monitoring solutions. Abode is a great choice if you’re looking for home protection but don’t want to spend too much upfront—the company’s basic plan and customizable technology packages make it easy to get exactly what you want. The caveat? Cost starts to increase as your system expands, and not all of its devices work equally well with popular home automation assistants.

    Pros

    • Affordable security solutions for both self and professional monitoring
    • Installation is easy and straightforward
    • No contracts required

    Cons

    • System gets expensive with each added device
    • Unreliable integration with home automation assistants
    • One-year warranty on technology and limited refund options

    Contract and Price

    Abode security systems have no contract obligations, and the basic self-monitoring plan is included at no cost when you purchase a system.

    • Even the basic self-monitoring plans include push notifications for mobile devices, live camera feed viewing, and Abode home automation integration.
    • There are two no-contract paid plans from Abode: Standard and Pro. Standard is also self-monitored but lets you add on-demand professional monitoring, which is a feature unique to Abode. The Pro Plan upgrades this service with cellular data backup.
    • The Standard Plan comes in at approximately $0.20 per day, while the Pro Plan costs $0.66 a day. Abode plans are available in both the United States and Canada.

    Abode’s Equipment Packages

    PackageCostWhat’s included
    Smart Security Kit$199Gateway hub
    1 motion sensor
    1 key fob
    1 mini door/window sensor
    Smart Security Middle$299Gateway hub
    3 mini door/window Sensors
    1 keypad
    1 key fob
    1 motion sensor
    1 sticker
    Smart Security Elite$340Gateway hub
    4 mini door/window Sensors
    1 keypad
    1 key fob
    2 motion sensors
    1 sticker
    iota Security Kit$279iota hub (motion sensor, camera and alarm are built into the device)
    1 key fob
    1 mini door/window sensor
    iota Kit Middle$335iota hub
    3 mini door/window sensors
    1 keypad
    1 key fob
    iota Kit Elite$389iota hub
    4 mini door/window sensors
    1 motion sensor
    1 keypad
    1 key fob

    Abode’s Monitoring Plans

    PlanCostWhat’s included
    Standard$6/monthPush and Email customizable notifications
    Video storage
    Timeline of events
    Home Automation
    In-app panic alarm
    Geofencing
    Smart home integrations
    Premium Support
    On-Demand Monitoring
    Pro$20/monthProfessional monitoring for break-ins, fire and medical emergencies all the time
    Everything on the Standard plan
    Cellular connectivity
    Free shipping on all orders
    Access to exclusive deals
    Homeowners insurance discounts

    Customer Service

    Abode was founded in 2014 by a former ADT executive and originally launched on Kickstarter. Today, the alarm company offers services nationwide and enjoys generally favorable reviews from customers.

    • Abode earns a C rating from the BBB, but isn’t accredited. It averages 3.5 stars with a limited number of customer reviews.
    • On Trustpilot, Abode earns an average of 4 out of 5 stars with 60% of reviews rating the company as “excellent.”
    • Abode’s website offers a host of online support options for clients to help them solve equipment issues, track orders, or get device assistance.

    Ease of Installation

    Abode is designed for DIY installation, but if you rather have a pro do it, they offer the option. Professional installation cost for a starter kit is $99, and $25 extra for one to five additional devices. 

    Overall, the system is easy to install, since homeowners don’t need to bother with a base station—instead, any Internet-capable device can act as the security dashboard.

    • Devices are simple to install and set up with minimal effort.
    • Any mobile device can act as your security system dashboard.

    Check out our full review: Abode

    Nest: Best for Cutting-Edge Technology

    Best for Cutting-Edge Technology

    Google Nest Secure

    Nest is Google’s first foray into the home security space, and (not surprisingly) offers some of the best cutting-edge technology on the market. The company offers four security packages at varying price points, all of which include self or professional installation and monitoring. Worth noting? Solving in-home issues is costly with Nest Smart Home Diagnostic ($99 for the first hour) and resolution is not guaranteed. In addition, while Google supports professional monitoring, it doesn’t offer it directly—homeowners must find their own monitoring provider or self-monitor their systems.

    Pros 

    • Expert installation makes setup easy
    • High-quality technology improves monitoring and system management
    • Troubleshooting help is available directly from Google

    Cons

    • Systems must be self-monitored or homeowners have to find their own third-party monitoring service
    • Installation fees are per device
    • In-home troubleshooting is costly

    Contract and Price

    Nest’s basic equipment package starts at $399, but it doesn’t offer the same range of equipment as comparable security providers. The benefit here is in the quality and reliability of devices, which builds on the company’s experience with Nest smart thermostats.

    • Equipment costs $399 upfront, plus approximately $30 per month for monitoring with Google partners such as Brinks Home Security.
    • No contract is required for Nest security systems, but the same may not be true of professional monitoring providers, making it worthwhile for homeowners to do their research before committing to any agreement.
    • In-home troubleshooting can quickly get expensive, with costs of $99 for the first hour and $64.99 for every hour thereafter—in addition, successful problem resolution isn’t a guarantee.

    Google Nest’s Equipment Packages

    PackageCostWhat’s included
    Nest Secure Alarm System$399Nest Guard
    2 Nest Detect (door/window/motion) sensors
    2 open/close magnets
    2 Nest Tags to arm/disarm system
    Mounting hardware for all devices included

    Google Nest’s Monitoring Plans

    PlanCostWhat’s included
    Nest Monitoring Plan by Brinks$19/month with 3-year contract or $29/month without a contractAround-the-clock professional monitoring

    Customer Service

    With Nest, you get significant name and brand recognition thanks to support from Google. When it comes to customer service and support, however, reviews are mixed for this home security system.

    • Nest Labs (which handles Google’s security system development) isn’t accredited with the BBB, but it has an A- rating. The company also has more than 4,000 complaints closed within a three-year period.
    • On Trustpilot, Nest scores below average with just 1.3 out of 5 stars. Only 7% of all reviews rate the company as “excellent,” while 83% consider it “bad.”
    • Google does offer a robust online help site along with the ability to describe specific issues in more detail, but responses can take days or weeks.

    Ease of Installation

    Homeowners can either install Nest themselves or pay for professional installation through Google partner OnTech Smart Services.

    • DIY installation is straightforward with instructions directly from the Nest app. Compatibility with both Android and iOS makes it easy to connect each device with QR codes.
    • While you can often book professional installation the same or next day, it’s not cheap. Install costs $99 for the first device and $64.99 for each additional device.
    • Reliable adhesive backings make it easy to install Nest technology wherever it works best for you.

    Check out our full review: Nest

    Scout: Best for Basic Security Protection

    Best for Basic Security Protection
    Scout

    Scout

    Scout plays well with other security system products to offer a cost-effective, basic security solution. Homeowners can easily mix and match the technology they want and opt for either a professional or self-monitoring solution—though both come with a cost. It’s worth noting that Scout can’t compete when it comes to the variety of equipment types offered. However, Scout easily supports robust home automation.

    Pros

    • Solid security system for the price
    • Easy for homeowners to build the system they want
    • Superior warranty and return policies

    Cons

    • Limited equipment selection
    • No professional installation
    • Self-monitoring still comes with a monthly cost

    Contract and Price

    Scout offers homeowners total control of their security system with no contracts. Its basic self-monitoring plan starts at $10 per month or $107 a year, while cameras come in at $99 and the basic “Scout Pack” of equipment is just over $220. The company also offers cloud storage at $2.99 per camera.

    • There are no contracts with Scout, allowing you to opt out of your monitoring plan on demand.
    • Even if you opt out of the self-monitoring option, you’ll still need to pay $10 per month for system upkeep, but you do get the benefit of cellular backup in case your home network goes down.
    • Scout offers a three-year warranty for all of its hardware, plus a 60-day money-back guarantee for homeowners, making it easy to cut ties with no costs if the Scout system doesn’t work out.

    Scout’s Equipment Packages

    PackageCostWhat’s included
    Small Pack$2291 Hub 
    1 Door panel
    1 Motion sensor
    2 Access sensors
    2 Key fobs
    1 Yard sign
    Large Pack$3191 Hub 
    1 Door panel
    2 Motion sensor
    5 Access sensors
    2 Key fobs
    1 Yard sign
    Elements Pack$3491 Hub 
    1 Door panel
    1 Motion sensor
    4 Access sensors
    2 Key fobs
    1 Yard sign
    Smoke alarm
    Water sensor
    Architect Pack$5491 Hub 
    1 Door panel
    1 Motion sensor
    4 Access sensors
    2 Key fobs
    1 Yard sign
    Smart lock
    Glass break sensor

    Scout’s Monitoring Plans

    PlanCostWhat’s included
    Always On (self monitoring)$9.99/month
    4G LTE cellular and battery backup
    Scout mobile app for iOS and Android devices
    Email notifications
    Push notifications to mobile devices
    SMS and phone call alerts
    No annual contract
    Add camera cloud storage for $2.99/month per camera
    Always On+$19.99Everything above plus:
    24/7 professional monitoring
    Police and fire dispatch
    Free cloud storage for your first camera or doorbell

    Customer Service

    As a mix-and-match, basic security system provider, Scout’s customer service is hit or miss. The company isn’t accredited with the BBB and while its crowdfunding gained substantial support, some users are not happy that the company transitioned from promises of free monitoring for life to a monthly fee-based structure.

    • On Amazon, reviews are a mixed bag. While 27% of reviewers gave it a 5-star rating, 23% only gave the company a single star.
    • Scout does have a fairly robust online knowledge base, with access to tutorials and answers to common questions. Unfortunately, there’s limited phone support and the company doesn’t offer online chat services.

    Ease of Installation

    All Scout systems are DIY, and the company’s online tutorials make their equipment relatively easy to install. Pre-built “packs” offer basic equipment and Scout makes it simple to add extra technology.

    • The company offers only a small selection of security cameras, making it easy to choose your setup, but it lacks the more robust features of some competitors.
    • While Scout doesn’t have diverse product offerings, it’s easy to integrate its systems with other products from Google, Amazon, and Phillips Hue. In addition, Scout offers robust IFTTT support.

    Check out our full review: Scout

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    About the Authors

    Doug Bonderud is an award-winning freelance writer with the unique ability to translate complex financial concepts into approachable, actionable content that both captures reader interest and delivers key brand messaging.

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