- OUR TOP PICK
ADT Home Security
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Highly TrustedADT is one of the most established and respected home security providers out there, with over 140 years of experience. They offer an impressive array of home security products, including cameras, smart home automation, innovative motion sensors, and more. ADT’s monitoring rates start at $45.99 per month.
Low-Cost Professional InstallationVivint Security is another great home security company, and its monthly professional monitoring prices start at just $29.99. Instead of choosing from a selection of packages, Vivint allows you to build your own package to suit your individual home security needs. Like ADT, Vivint doesn’t offer DIY installation, but their professional installation fee of around $50 is pretty affordable.
Huge Variety of FeaturesFrontpoint Security offers a great selection of home security systems and related products which you can install yourself. Frontpoint professional monitoring service starts at $44.99 per month, and you don’t have to commit to a multi-year contract, as their plans run month to month.
Best PriceSimplisafes’ professional monitoring fee is the least expensive of all of our top picks, starting at just $14.99 per month. They also offer a fantastic 60-day money-back guarantee to give you a chance to try out their home security system before sticking with them. Their systems don’t have to be professionally installed, and they offer month-to-month contracts that allow you to cancel at any time.
- 300×300 pixel touchscreen display
- 5 days of battery life
- Water resistant up to 50 meters
- Ambient light sensor
- Vibration monitor
- Optical heart rate monitor
- Voice assistant which allows you to perform commands hands free
- Has a 40mm or 44mm display
- A pricier LTE variant can be bought
- Lightweight, thin and sleek design
- Uses real-time data to monitor your workouts
- Made of aluminum and has a silicone strap
- Made of stainless steel with a two-tone design
- Can receive app alerts, social media alerts, emails and more
- Heart rate tracking and built-in GPS
- Google Pay compatible
- Has an always-on retina display
- Comes with an ECG app
- Built-in GPS
- Fall detection and elevation monitor
- Fully compatible with iPhones
- Comes in various designs and colors
- No built-in GPS, so you’ll need to carry your smartphone during workouts
- Not integrated with Google Fit or Apple Health
- Although you can customize the appearance, some men may find this watch to have a feminine look.
- Not as multi-functional as some other smartwatches
- Apple products are known for being very expensive. Not everyone is willing to spend this much on a smartwatch
What is a Home Security System?A home security system is essentially a network of electronic devices and components that are installed in and around your property to detect intruders and alert you or the authorities. Home security systems consist of cameras, motion sensors, and other devices to keep your property safe and secure. Most home security systems also come with a high decibel alarm and signs to display on your property to warn criminals and would-be intruders against breaking into your home.
Why Do I Need a Home Security System?As already mentioned, home security systems are bought and installed to protect you against criminals. In addition to protecting you and your property in the event of an attempted burglary, home security systems also serve as a deterrent and significantly reduce the risk of your property being targeted by burglars, according to research. Even if some stubborn criminals aren’t put off by the presence of a home security system and are successfully able to pull off a burglary, the systems are still valuable, as the cameras may help police identify, find and prosecute the perpetrator. Many security experts argue that a home security system is an essential purchase for your home, not a discretionary one, regardless of whether you own your property or rent it out. Boomers living areas known for a large senior population should strongly consider buying a home security system, as such communities may be singled out and targeted by opportunistic criminals who target the more vulnerable residents.
How Can I Tell Which Home Security System is Best For Me?There are several different types of home security systems and many different individual systems in today’s market. For the uninitiated, it can feel like trying to navigate a minefield of technical information. Following our four-step process will simplify the process and put you well on your way to finding a great home security system to protect your property, its contents, and your family members. We will explore each step in more detail below, but here are the five steps for you to see at a glance:
- Determine what level of protection you need
- Research the market
- Pick DIY or professional installation
- Set a budget
- Shortlist systems and make a selection
Determine What Level of Protection You NeedAs outline earlier in this guide, there’s a wide array of home security systems out there, offering varying levels of protection against intruders. Some of the simpler systems consist of a few motion sensors and a high decibel alarm, while other more complex and expensive systems also have cameras, loads of motion sensors to give you comprehensive coverage in and around your home, and may also have an external light which turns on when it detects movement. Factors such as the crime rate in your area and what kind of valuables you store at home should influence what type of system you end up buying. However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t buy a sophisticated system if you live in a neighborhood with a peaceful reputation. Many Americans – seniors in particular – still opt to spend a considerable amount of money on such a system even if they live in a safe area simply for peace of mind.Ultimately, it all comes down to your personal preference and what you think will give you a sufficient amount of protection while still being cost-effective.
Research The MarketOnce you have an idea of how much protection you’re after, you can begin browsing individual home security systems. At this point, you’re not necessarily looking to find the best system for you. Instead, you’re looking to get a better understanding of the features and benefits of the different types of systems out there and a rough idea of how much you’ll really need to spend. However, if you do find a home security system that you think is well suited to your needs and represents good value for money, it’s a good idea to shortlist it for later on in the research and buying process.
Pick DIY or Professional InstallationHome security systems can either be installed by a technician or by yourself. In most cases, it’s best to have a professional install the home security system and double-check that all components are working as they should. However, in some cases, you may prefer to install the system by yourself. For example, if you’re buying a simple home security system which only has a few components – for example, just a few motion sensors and an alarm – you may be able to easily do this yourself, so a professional installation might not be worth the extra cost. On the other hand, some seniors may prefer to simply put their feet up while a technician installs their systems, configures it and ensure it’s working properly. You should bear in mind that opting for DIY or professional installation usually has cost implications, not just with regards to installation fees. With DIY installation, you don’t have to pay a monthly monitoring fee – though it’s strongly advised that you do opt for a professional monitoring plan – and you don’t have to pay an installation fee. However, the cost of purchasing equipment is typically higher. In contrast, if your system is professionally installed, you usually are charged an installation fee and have to pay a monthly monitoring fee, sometimes on a pretty long contract. But, there are many benefits, including peace of mind that your system has been installed properly, reduced up-front equipment costs, and the technician can conduct a security assessment of your property. We’ve touched on fees and how some plans may be structured, but now let’s take a closer look at packages and how much you can expect to pay…
Set a BudgetCost is an important consideration even when it comes to making a purchase as important as a home security system, as you don’t want to spend more than necessary and overlook systems that offer better value for money. Most systems charge an initial fee for the various component, a monthly monitoring fee, and also an installation fee if you want the system to be installed by a professional. Initial fees for some home security systems are less than $100, and you’re generally looking at spending anywhere from $15 to $60 per month on the monitoring fee. Manufacturers tend to offer a range of different levels of monitoring with tiered pricing, so it’s important to read and understand what is provided in each package and decide which is best for you. You should also bear in mind that some companies don’t charge a fee for the system itself and also offer free installation, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for such deals and give them some thought. But, you should note that such deals may charge higher monthly fees and, therefore, be considerably more expensive in the long run. It can be useful to set a budget to prevent you from looking at systems that cost far more than you’re willing to pay. Still, it’s advisable to be a bit flexible so you’re not overly restricting yourself from models which are a better fit for you and may even be better value for money.
Shortlist Systems and Make a SelectionNow that you understand the different types of home security systems out there know what level of protection you’re after, and have a rough budget in mind, you can browse individual systems and begin making a shortlist. Once you have narrowed your list to a few suitable systems, you can compare them more closely and slowly narrow down your final choice by the process of elimination. You can compare factors such as price and the level of monitoring provided when trying to size up different systems against one another.
Top PicksAs promised, here are our top four picks (in no particular order), which you can order today to protect yourself against intruders and immediately feel safer in your home.
Frontpoint SecurityFrontpoint Security offers a great selection of home security systems and related products which you can install yourself. Their professional monitoring service starts at $44.99 per month, and you don’t have to commit to a multi-year contract, as their plans run month to month This makes them an excellent choice for seniors who are unsure about what kind of monitoring they want, as they can first try professional monitoring and cancel it if they decide it’s not required. Unlike many other companies, Frontpoint does allow DIY installation. The downside is they only offer outdoor cameras and other extra features as optional extras, which can increase the amount you are charged.
ADT Home SecurityADT is one of the most established and respected home security providers out there, with over 140 years of experience. They offer an impressive array of home security products, including cameras, smart home automation, innovative motion sensors, and more. ADT’s monitoring rates start at $45.99 per month. They offer a 6-month money-back guarantee on their home security systems and have a $500 theft protection guarantee. However, some buyers may be put off by the fact they don’t offer DIY installation, and they don’t offer month-to-month contracts, though their money-back guarantee makes the second point less of an issue.
Vivint SecurityVivint Security is another great home security company, and its monthly professional monitoring prices start at just $29.99. Instead of choosing from a selection of packages, Vivint allows you to build your own package to suit your individual home security needs. Like ADT, Vivint doesn’t offer DIY installation, but their professional installation fee of around $50 is pretty affordable.
SimpliSafeLast but not least, we have SimpliSafe. Their professional monitoring fee is the cheapest of all of our top picks, starting at just $14.99 per month. They also offer a fantastic 60-day money-back guarantee to give you a chance to try out their home security system before sticking with them. Their systems don’t have to be professionally installed, and they offer month-to-month contracts that allow you to cancel at any time. However, they don’t provide smart home devices and don’t offer mobile alerts in their basic monitoring plan.
A Quick Summary
- A home security system is a great and necessary purchase, regardless of what crime stats your neighborhood has.
- In addition to helping the police identify and catch an intruder, home security systems also protect you and your belongings against intruders in other ways, such as by deterring them from targeting your property in the first place.
- A home security system consists of a network of electronic devices that are installed in and around your property to detect intruders and alert you or the authorities. Such components usually include high-decibel alarms, motion sensors, and cameras.
- Our five-step process aims to simplify the research and buying process.
- You should first figure out how much protection you need, carry out some initial research, and decide if you want DIY or professional installation.
- Then you can set a rough budget and begin browsing and comparing individual home security systems.
- To save you time, we’ve reviewed several different home security systems and have outlined our top picks, which you can order today.