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Find the Best Home Security System of 2021

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    by Ben Mannes Home and Personal Security Expert

    Investing in a home security system is a smart way to protect your home and family. Our research team vetted 28 home security companies that have been reviewed by more than 68,000 customers. Read our guide to choose the best for you by comparing equipment features, monitoring services and overall costs.

    Take a Home Security Systems Quiz

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      Our 7 picks for top home security systems

      To narrow it down to the companies listed on this guide, we first eliminated those with an overall satisfaction rating below 4 stars, leaving 12. To stay on the list, we required companies to have at least a 2-1 ratio of 5-star to 1-star reviews over the last year. The ConsumerAffairs research team also considered availability of monitoring services and selection of security equipment when making the final selections.

      • Our pick overall: Vivint
      • Our pick for systems upgrades: Vector
      • Our pick for easy DIY installation: Ring
      • Our pick for ongoing professional monitoring: ADT
      • Our pick for customer support: Link Interactive
      • Our pick for optional installation services: Brinks
      • Our pick for professional installation: Guardian Protection
      Our pick overallVivint Smart HomeAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Smart video monitoring features
      • Contract-free option available
      • Military discounts
      Read Reviews
      vivint security panel

      All Vivint packages come with the smart hub, app, burglary detection and 24/7 professional monitoring services, which means first responders are automatically dispatched if an alarm is triggered. Camera options include a doorbell camera and outdoor cameras. You can also get smart locks, thermostats, garage door controls and car guards. New systems require professional installation.

      System packages and pricing
      As of publishing, monitoring services start at $19.99 per month plus equipment purchase. Vivint Smart Home packages cost between $29.99 and $44.99 per month.

      New customers must meet a minimum purchase of $599.99; if you don’t want to pay for equipment upfront, financing is available with approved credit. Financing terms are 42 or 60 months.

      • Vivint Smart Security Monitoring: For $29.99 per month, you get mobile access, entry and environmental detectors, medical pendant support and 24/7 professional monitoring. The installation fee is $99.
      • Vivint Smart Home Monitoring: For $39.99 per month, you get everything in the Security Monitoring plan, plus smart home integration features. This package’s installation fee is $149.
      • Vivint Smart Home Video Monitoring: For $44.99 per month, you get everything in the plans above, plus video surveillance. You might have to pay more if you require more video surveillance storage. The installation fee for this package is $199.
      What to consider
      It’s not the cheapest company on this list, but we think Vivint is a good pick for those who don’t mind paying a little extra for quality products and extensive integration features. You do have to contact the company directly to get the most accurate pricing information in your area — some companies offer greater price transparency. Note that Vivint doesn't have a free trial period, and be aware that a monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee also applies.
      What we like
      Vivint Smart Home systems are both high-tech and easy to use. We also like that Vivint makes it easy to switch over if you already have an existing system with another company.

      Positive Vivint reviews frequently mention the company’s customer service representatives. People seem to like that reps take the time to explain everything and answer all questions. Happy customers also highlighted the video quality and range of cameras.

      Our pick for security system upgradesVector SecurityAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Free professional installation
      • Integrated video monitoring
      • Home automation features
      Read Reviews
      vector security home package

      Vector Security offers monitored security systems for residential and commercial properties in most states. You can customize your system with smart lights, doorbell cameras and smart video surveillance. It’s easy to start with the basic package and then add more equipment later if you like the company.

      System packages and pricing
      Vector Security home security packages start around $40 to $50 per month when you sign a contract. Professional monitoring services are included in the monthly fee. However, costs vary by location, so it’s best to contact a rep for the most accurate estimate.
      • Essential Security: Vector Security’s starter package comes with a wireless control panel, three door and window sensors, the Vector Security app, yard signs and window decals.
      • Home Automation: This package incorporates video surveillance. The footage is streamable through the app.
      • Connected Home: This includes standard starter equipment, an indoor camera, a smart thermostat and a smart door lock.
      What to consider
      Vector Security services aren’t available nationwide. Because options vary by location, new customers have to contact the company directly for an accurate estimate. Keep in mind that Vector Security has a relatively strict cancellation policy and doesn’t offer a free trial period.
      What we like
      Vector Security systems are highly recommended by existing customers. Positive reviews frequently highlight the company's helpful customer service and knowledgeable alarm technicians. One customer said they chose Vector Security “because so many police and firefighters use them.”
      Our pick for easy DIY installationRing
      • Quality video surveillance
      • No contract required
      • Optional monitoring plans
      Read Reviews
      ring security kit

      Ring systems are highly customizable, with equipment options including alarms, cameras, smart lighting and other home automation accessories. It automatically records and sends notifications when activity is detected, making it great for catching porch pirates. Affordable professional monitoring plans are available but not required.

      System packages and pricing
      As of publishing, Ring alarm kits start between $200 and $300. Total costs are higher if you customize the system with more cameras and smart accessories. Those who qualify can take up to 12 months to pay without interest.

      All packages come with access to the Ring app and the option for professional monitoring for an extra $10 per month. Some of the best-selling Ring kits include:

      • 5-Piece Security Kit: For $199.99, this base kit comes with a base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector and range extender.
      • 8-Piece Security Kit: For $249.99, this package comes with everything in the base kit plus three extra contact sensors.
      • 10-Piece Security Kit: For $259.99, this package comes with everything in the base kit plus four extra contact sensors and an extra motion sensor.
      • 14-Piece Security Kit: For $329.99, this package comes with everything in the base kit plus one extra keypad, seven additional contact sensors and another motion detector.
      What to consider
      While base alarm kit packages are relatively inexpensive, some of the add-on accessories can get pricey. The majority of Ring customers we talked to said that they would recommend the company to a friend, but there are still a few complaints. Specifically, one reviewer said they had trouble connecting to the network where they live.
      What we like
      The happiest Ring customers consistently mention that the systems “work great” and are “easy to install.” People seem to like getting real-time notifications through the app and appreciate the straightforward pricing structure. Plus, Ring offers free two-day shipping on all orders over $49.
      Our pick for ongoing monitoring serviceADTAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Wide selection of security cameras
      • Smart home automation features
      • Theft protection guarantee
      Read Reviews
      adt home security package

      ADT plans come with professional monitoring and a theft protection guarantee. Depending on your needs and budget, you can customize your system with different security cameras and emergency alarms. Packages also include a six-month money-back guarantee.

      System packages and pricing
      As of publishing, ADT packages start at $28.99 per month. All packages include a digital keypad, high-decibel siren, wireless keychain remote, backup battery, yard signs and decals. Installation fees range from $99 to $199.
      • Essentials: For around $36 per month, you get three window and door sensors, an infrared motion detector and 24/7 professional alarm monitoring.
      • Total Protection: For around $44 per month, you get everything included in the Essentials package plus Safewatch Cellguard, which lets you connect the system through a landline.
      • Premium Protection: For about $56 a month, this comes with everything in the other packages plus ADT Pulse, which includes home automation. You can monitor and manage the system and smart devices through the app.
      What to consider
      Professional installation is required, and a three-year contract is required for monitoring services. You should also be aware that termination fees apply if you want to cancel before the contract expires. Check out Blue by ADT for a DIY option with fewer contract obligations.
      What we like
      Many customers who left 5-star reviews mentioned that they'd used the monitoring service for years. Happy reviewers often had positive things to say about the company’s customer service representatives. Those who said they would recommend the system to a friend frequently referred to ADT’s helpful sales staff and smooth installation process.

      We also like that ADT provides free equipment when you purchase a monitoring package. Plus, if a burglary occurs while the system is armed, ADT will pay $500 of your insurance deductible (terms and conditions apply).

      Our pick for customer supportLink InteractiveAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Good value for renters
      • Free trial period
      • Flexible contract terms
      Read Reviews
      link interactive security package
      Our pick for optional pro installationBrinks Home Security™AUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • DIY or pro installation
      • Free trial period
      • Comes with product warranty
      Read Reviews
      brinks home security package

      Brinks systems are customizable and expandable, making them suitable for both houses and apartments. Through the app, you can monitor activity, arm and unarm the system, control lighting and communicate with people at your front door.

      System packages and pricing
      Brinks packages start between $199 and $699. Systems are customizable, so expect to pay more if you want additional equipment or upgrades. Monthly monitoring fees range from $39.99 to $49.99 per month.

      Systems come with battery backup and 4G LTE cellular backup to ensure monitoring is uninterrupted. The hub is compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple TV and more.

      • Smart Security Essentials: For $199, the Smart Security Essentials package includes a control panel, wireless motion detector, two door sensors, a yard sign and window stickers. Monitoring services are $39.99 per month. This system is designed for DIY installation.
      • Smart Security Complete: For $349, the Smart Security Complete package comes with everything in the Essential plan plus a doorbell camera. Monitoring service with this plan costs $44.99 per month.
      • Smart Security Ultimate: For $699, the Smart Security Ultimate package comes with everything in the Essentials and Ultimate packages, plus an extra door sensor and an outdoor camera. Monitoring services are $49.99 per month. Professional installation is required for the camera.
      What to consider
      Some Brinks reviews mention it’s hard to cancel the service. Additionally, video monitoring is only available through the more expensive packages. For more information, compare Brinks vs. ADT.
      What we like
      Brinks provides straightforward pricing and a two-year warranty on all equipment. Happy Brinks customers frequently mention the company’s helpful customer service. People also seem to like the doorbell camera and the app. Unlike with some security companies, you get a whole month to decide if the system meets your expectations.
      Our pick for professional techniciansGuardian ProtectionAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Advanced encryption technology
      • Military and first responder discounts
      Read Reviews
      guardian protection panel

      Guardian Protection specializes in smart security for homes and small businesses. Systems are highly customizable and require professional installation. All plans include 24-hour monitoring and access to the Guardian app.

      System packages and pricing
      Security system packages start at $45.99 per month. The base package costs $149 with a 60-month contract. You can avoid getting into a contract by paying for the equipment upfront. In this case, the same base package equipment costs $1,249.

      The required base package comes with a control panel, motion detector and three sensors. Total costs vary depending on how you choose to customize your system. Many equipment options are available, including:

      • Video doorbell
      • Indoor camera
      • Outdoor camera
      • Glass break detector
      • Motion detector
      • Smart door lock
      • Smart thermostat
      • Automated light module
      What to consider
      We would like to see more price transparency on Guardian Protection’s website. According to reviewers, a hefty termination fee applies if you want to cancel before the monitoring agreement contract expires.
      What we like
      Guardian Protection technician support is top-notch. The company automatically sends notifications when device batteries are running low and comes out to replace sensors when needed. One reviewer said the technician was “very informative and knowledgeable about the alarm system.” Even people who don’t consider themselves “tech-savvy” can still understand the system.

      Compare Home Security System Companies

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        AUTHORIZED PARTNER
        ADT
        Read 13,256 Reviews
        24/7 Professional Monitoring for only $28.99 a Month plus a Free $100 Visa Rewards Card!*
        *Partner terms and conditions apply.

        Packages with monitoring services start at $36.99. Requires professional installation and 36-month contract. Provides a 90-day warranty. Works with landline and cellular connections. Connects to Amazon Alexa.

        Get a Quote
        Compare
          AUTHORIZED PARTNER
          Vivint Smart Home
          Read 18,878 Reviews

          Offers home security and smart home automation packages. Includes 24/7 monitoring in all plans. Requires professional installation. System costs vary based on the equipment you select. $0 activation fee.

          Get a Quote
          Compare
            AUTHORIZED PARTNER
            Frontpoint
            Read 7,887 Reviews
            Free doorbell camera with a minimum purchase of a new security system! *
            *Partner terms and conditions apply.

            Designed for DIY installation. System packages cost $99 to $479.90. Financing available for qualified customers. Equipment comes with a three-year warranty. No long-term commitment required. Risk-free trial for 30 days.

            Learn More Call Now Toll Free (833) 419-5396
            Compare
              AUTHORIZED PARTNER
              Vector Security
              Read 13,013 Reviews

              Specializes in security cameras, smart home devices and monitoring systems. Select from three packages or customize a system. Monthly costs start around $40. Offers DIY options and professional installation services.

              Compare
                AUTHORIZED PARTNER
                Brinks Home Security™
                Read 4,406 Reviews

                Partners with Nest Secure to offer professionally monitored security systems. Works on cellular and Wi-Fi connections. Optional installation services. 30-day trial period and two-year limited warranty.

                Compare
                  AUTHORIZED PARTNER
                  Cove
                  Read 18 Reviews

                  Systems feature professional monitoring and flexible contract terms. Requires DIY installation. Get a 60-day trial period and lifetime warranty on equipment. Military, first responder and teacher discounts.

                  Shop Now
                  Compare
                    AUTHORIZED PARTNER
                    Guardian Protection
                    Read 2,362 Reviews

                    Professionally installed and monitored security systems for homes and businesses. Requires a $149 equipment purchase minimum with a 60-month contract. Monthly rates start at $45.99.

                    Get a Quote
                    Compare
                      AUTHORIZED PARTNER
                      Link Interactive
                      Read 2,028 Reviews

                      Offers 100% cellular home alarm systems with professional monitoring. Plans cost $30.99 to $44.99 per month. Contract terms are one to three years. Requires DIY installation. Offers 30-day money-back guarantee.

                      Cox Homelife
                      Read 71 Reviews

                      Security packages with smart home features and professional monitoring. Monthly costs start around $29.99 to $58.99. Discounts available for bundling packages and services. Not available in all areas.

                      Compare Offers
                      SimpliSafe
                      Read 309 Reviews

                      Professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month. Stream live HD video and audio through the app. No long-term contract required. Optional installation services. Provides a 60-day money-back guarantee.

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                        How to choose a home security system

                        Finding a home security system can be daunting. With so many hardware components and so much new technology, it can be difficult to pick the right option. Follow these steps to determine the best home security system for you.

                        1. Evaluate your security goals and needs
                        Consider the location of your home and the size of your property to decide what security features, technology and gadgets are most important to you. For example, if you live alone, you might want a home security system with a doorbell camera and two-way talk features. Homeowners who live on a large property might consider supplementing their packages with additional window and door sensors or smart locks to ensure all entry points are secure.

                        Remember that the most effective home security systems combine quality equipment with best practices. If you’re not sure exactly what you need, look for a system that’s expandable so you can add to it in the future if you want.

                        2. Decide if you want professional monitoring
                        Professionally monitored home security systems connect to a response center that automatically dispatches emergency responders when an alarm is triggered.

                        With an unmonitored (sometimes called “self-monitored”) system, you can track activity on your phone and get alerts when the sensors detect motion. However, it’s up to you whether or not you contact first responders.

                        Monitored systems are more expensive but might be worth it. Because intrusions can happen when you’re absent or asleep, many feel safer with monitored systems. Depending on your subscription terms, operators can contact the police, fire department or a medical response team to ensure the appropriate response.

                        On the other hand, both system types usually come with a mobile app. Depending on your situation, you might be able to self-monitor and save on monthly fees.

                        3. Determine your installation preferences
                        Installing a wired security system requires some drilling and modification. Many homeowners consider hardwired security systems more reliable since they don’t require batteries to operate. Still, these systems can be disabled during a power outage or by a thief with scissors.

                        Wired home alarm systems are typically more expensive than wireless ones because they require professional installation. DIY security systems are often preferable for renters because they’re more portable and can easily be moved into a new home.

                        4. Read company reviews
                        Comparing alarm system reviews is the best way to find out what to expect from a company before you sign up for service. Existing home security customers are usually vocal about unfair fees and equipment durability in reviews. By reading home security service reviews, you can also learn more about a company’s monitoring operators, installation technicians and customer service representatives.
                        5. Think about your budget
                        When comparing home security system pricing, consider the cost of equipment, monitoring and installation as well as activation, termination and local alarm permit fees. Many home security companies also charge high cancellation fees if you terminate an agreement before you pay for your equipment in full.

                        The more components and features you want — surveillance cameras, video doorbells, smart door locks, motion sensors, glass-break sensors, etc. — the more the system costs. For example, high-tech extras like touch screens and vanishing sensors cost extra — sometimes up to $300 or more. A package with video monitoring will likely cost more because you’ll need the features to stream and store footage.

                        Finally, consider whether or not you want to buy your equipment outright. Some security companies that offer free alarms or equipment charge more per month for monitoring. For more, read the section on costs below.

                        6. Compare system features, equipment and contracts
                        Some home security companies sell alarms and equipment individually, and others offer packages for bundled devices. In addition to intrusion sensors, alarms, locks and other equipment, companies also offer environmental monitoring services. You can add detectors and sensors for fire, smoke, flooding, carbon monoxide and frozen pipes onto your monthly monitoring service for increased protection.

                        Many home security companies offer monitored services with free equipment as long as you keep your monitoring contract. It’s important to make sure you understand all the terms before you sign anything — even some of the top-rated home security companies get customer complaints about their cancellation policies, so look for companies that offer a free trial period or money-back guarantee.

                        How much does a home security system cost?

                        Home security costs can include upfront equipment and set-up plus recurring monthly fees for monitoring services. Starter home security systems usually cost $100 to $300 to set up. Some companies offer monitoring services with free or discounted equipment as long as you have a contract.

                        If the equipment requires professional installation, you might have to pay more than just the equipment price. Some companies provide free installation services. Learn more about typical home security costs below or check out these more affordable ways to prevent break-ins if you aren’t ready to purchase a system.

                        • Equipment costs: If you purchase a home security system upfront, expect to pay a few hundred dollars for a basic system and up to $1,000 or more for top-of-the-line equipment. Some home security companies also provide financing or rental options for equipment.
                        • Monitoring fees: Home security system monitoring fees can range between $15 and $60 per month. Fees vary based on the type of equipment you have — for example, a monitoring system with smart video capabilities costs more than a few wireless entryway sensors. Some companies also offer environmental monitoring like smoke and carbon monoxide detection.
                        • Installation costs: Home security installation costs vary based on whether you get a wired or wireless system. Wired systems that require professional assistance start at around $100 for installation, and complete professional security camera installation costs are higher. Wireless systems are simpler to install, and you can often do it yourself.
                        • Activation fees: Some home security companies charge a one-time activation fee of up to around $100 to get the system working. Other companies include the activation fee in the price of installation.
                        • Termination fees: Costly termination fees could apply if you break the contract. Depending on the company, you might be on the hook for the balance of your equipment costs, even if it was advertised as free. Even some of the top-rated home security companies get complaints about their cancellation fees.
                        • Municipal fees for alarm permits: Some cities charge a yearly permit fee, usually $30 to $50, for local police to respond to emergency calls triggered by monitored home security systems. These alarm permit fees help offset the municipal cost of responding to false alarms. Alarm companies don’t handle permit fees, so check out your local requirements and remember to apply for a permit.

                        Compare home security system costs

                        Below, we compare a few popular home security companies on starting costs for equipment, financing programs, installation fees and recurring charges for professional monitoring services (as of publishing date). The features and equipment you want most affect the total cost of your home security system. For more, compare our picks for top cheap home security systems.

                        simplisafe logovivint logocovefrontpoint logo
                        Equipment costs$200$599$299$99
                        Financing available*
                        Monthly monitoring fees$14.99 to $24.99$29.99 to $49.99$14.99 to $34.99$44.99 to $49.99
                        Installation costsDIY or $79$99 to $149DIYDIY
                        Authorized Partner
                        Worth it?Read reviewsRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviews
                        simplisafe logo$200DIY or $79$14.99 to $24.99Read reviews
                        vivint logo$599$99 to $149$29.99 to $49.99Read reviews
                        cove$229DIY$14.99 to $34.99Read reviews
                        frontpoint logo$99DIY$44.99 to $49.99Read reviews

                        *For qualifying customers

                        Types of home security systems

                        As you compare home security systems, it helps to understand the differences between wired/wireless systems and monitored/unmonitored alarms.

                        • Wired security systems: Wired home alarms and sensors are physically connected to a control panel through wires within the walls. Since the installation is more intensive, a professional is typically required. Wired home systems can also incorporate some wireless components, such as motion detectors and smart home automation features.
                        • Wireless security system: Wireless home alarm systems can use cellular and Wi-Fi connections and a series of battery-powered sensors to alert homeowners of potential intrusions. Many wireless systems incorporate smart home automation features. You can monitor your system and control wireless devices with smart home automation technology like Zigbee, Z-Wave and IFTTT.
                        • Monitored security systems: When the alarm is triggered on a monitored system, the system automatically connects to emergency operators; some systems notify local police too. Other systems have a two-way talk feature so operators can dispatch local police, firefighters or medical services based on the emergency response needed.
                        • Unmonitored security systems: Unmonitored security systems rely on notifications and the sound of the alarm to prevent intrusions. Top self-monitored systems let you customize alerts and stream live video footage from your phone.

                        A monitored home security system can be wireless or wired, but it’s rare to find wired unmonitored systems. You can save money with a wireless unmonitored system by avoiding monthly monitoring fees or upfront installation costs. Still, you’d lose the security that comes from automatic first responder calls.

                        Home security installation: DIY vs. professional

                        Home security systems have two basic installation options: professional and DIY installation. If you purchase a wireless home security system, you usually have the option to set it up yourself. Most hardwired systems require professional installation.

                        There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of systems. Wireless DIY home alarms are generally less expensive than those that require a professional technician to install, but many homeowners feel safer with a wired system.

                        Professional installation

                        Most complex wired alarm systems require professional installation. Wired home security installation costs start at around $100, though some companies offer discount installations for new customers.

                        Pros

                        • No physical labor
                        • In-person system tutorial
                        • Provider usually includes maintenance
                        • More reliable monitoring

                        Cons

                        • Installation fees
                        • Not great for renters
                        • Longer contracts
                        • Technician in your house

                        DIY installation

                        If you want to self-monitor your security system, you can save money by installing it yourself. Most wireless home security systems are easy to install, but you’ll be responsible for ongoing repair and maintenance. DIY home security systems are a great choice for renters because they are portable and available with short-term or no-contract plans.

                        Pros

                        • Easier to move
                        • Highly customizable
                        • Less expensive
                        • Usually no electrical work

                        Cons

                        • Usually requires tools
                        • Fewer monitoring options
                        • Limited equipment warranties
                        • DIY repairs and maintenance

                        Home security equipment options

                        Popular security gadgets include sensors triggered by motion, glass breaking or other signs of intrusion. Keep in mind that most home security equipment isn’t proprietary, so it's common to see similar devices offered by different companies.

                        • Contact sensors: Contact sensors alert your security system when something (usually a door or a window) opens or closes. Entry sensors are typically installed on windows, doors or near the door jamb. You can also use contact sensors to alert you if someone is tampering with a specific valuable item, such as a jewelry box or gun safe.
                        • Motion sensors: Sometimes called motion detectors, these use light, sound or microwave technology to sense when someone enters a room.
                        • Interior sirens: Most home alarm sirens are between 110 and 115 decibels. The noise must be loud to alert you and to scare intruders attempting to break in.
                        • Surveillance cameras: Surveillance cameras are a must for many homes and businesses — they’re effective in catching thieves in action, and recordings can be used as evidence. Some research suggests that the mere presence of a visible security camera can deter potential intruders. Depending on your security needs, a CCTV system can be installed indoors or outside. The most popular models incorporate night vision, heat tracking and cloud storage. Residential security cameras typically use 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption, which is versatile and easy to work with but still can be hacked. Popular types of security cameras include:
                          • Spotlight cameras: These cameras combine motion sensor technology with surveillance. When the motion detector is triggered, the camera shines a light toward the activity and starts recording. Some spotlight cameras require hardwiring to install while others simply plug into a standard outlet.
                          • Nanny cams: Nanny cams are specifically designed to keep an eye on people inside your home. They’re most commonly installed in living rooms and bedrooms so parents can check on their babysitters and children.
                          • Dome cameras: Usually mounted on the ceiling, dome cameras get their name from their circular shape. They’re popular for their durability (resistant to bad weather and vandalism) and their ability to capture wide angles.
                          • Bullet cameras: These have a cylindrical shape and can be installed on a wall. While dome cameras are best for recording wide angles, bullet cameras are ideal for long ranges.
                        • Video doorbells: Video doorbells incorporate cameras and motion sensors to alert you when someone is at your door. Look for functions like two-way talk and HD video, which make it easy to keep an eye on your porch deliveries.
                        • Mobile app: Many burglar alarm companies’ monitoring packages come with a mobile app that integrates smart home automation features. You can use the app to self-monitor for emergencies and control household items like lights, locks and doors.
                        • Smart home integrations: Smart home security systems focus on convenience and are controlled remotely through the app. Smart home automation technology is increasingly popular in security systems. With smart tech, you can adjust the lights, lock doors and arm or disarm your system from anywhere through an app on your mobile device. These systems are highly customizable and let users choose how they’re installed, what type of surveillance is used and which features are included.
                        • Environmental monitoring: Some home security services offer environmental monitoring to detect hazards like smoke, fire, flooding, freezing pipes, carbon monoxide and gas leaks.

                        As you compare product models, remember to check for a warranty and ask about a free trial period.

                        Home security FAQ

                        What is a home security system?
                        Basic home security equipment includes window and door sensors, door locks and a central panel or base hub that arms and disarms the alarm system. Optional equipment, including video doorbells, indoor and outdoor cameras, glass-break sensors and home automation features, is usually available at an additional cost. Home alarm companies typically include a set of yard signs and window stickers — research shows these are effective in deterring potential intruders.
                        How much does a home security system cost to install?
                        Home security system installation costs depend on your method of installation. Professional installation can cost $100 to $500 or more. The DIY method is free, but it requires more of your time. Some companies let you choose your installation method, while others require professional installation.
                        How much does a home security system save on insurance?
                        Many home insurance providers offer discounts (sometimes up to 20%) for homes with monitored alarm systems. So if you pay $1,000 for your homeowners insurance annually and get a 10% discount, you’ll save $100 each year on insurance simply for having a monitored security system. For more, learn about other ways you can save money on homeowners insurance.
                        What are the chances of a house being robbed?
                        Last year, FBI figures indicated robbery crime rates were 81.6 per 100,000 people. Theft is the most common property crime in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center. However, it’s difficult to predict the chances of anyone’s house being robbed since burglary statistics vary widely by location.
                        What is the best wireless security system to buy?
                        The best wireless home security systems are simple to install and have all the features you’re looking for. Many systems have a range of add-ons, including smart home automation features, motion sensors, glass-break detectors and remote access controls. For more, read our guide on how to find the best wireless home security system.
                        Can you change alarm monitoring companies?
                        If you’re not satisfied with your home security service, you can change alarm monitoring companies either by breaking your contract or choosing not to renew it. You may incur fees for early termination, so make sure you’re familiar with the cancellation terms of your current contract.

                        Depending on your previous provider, you might be able to keep using your existing security equipment. Work with your new provider to find out if your current equipment is worth keeping or if you should upgrade to the latest in smart home security.

                        Are wireless home security systems safe?
                        Wireless home security systems are just as safe as wired systems. They’re easy to customize with add-ons like window sensors and surveillance cameras, so you can create a system that makes you feel safe.

                        Wireless security systems are continuously monitored and have battery backups so your home is safe even in a power outage. They’re also harder for burglars to bypass since they can’t be disabled by cutting phone lines.

                        Is there a security camera that works without Wi-Fi?
                        Yes, some security cameras work without Wi-Fi. Cellular surveillance cameras work with a cellular network connection, making them ideal for remote locations without Wi-Fi access. Hardwired cameras are another option — though they require cables for power and video transmission, they provide reliable high-definition video that’s less susceptible to interference.

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                          Home alarm system reviews

                          AUTHORIZED PARTNER
                          Frontpoint

                          Frontpoint’s wireless smart home security pricing starts at $44.99 a month with no long-term commitment required.. With Frontpoint, you purchase your system outright. The upfront cost could be a few hundred dollars once you add extra sensors, remotes and other accessories.

                          • Security equipment: Packages include a control panel or base hub, a keypad, two window and door sensors, a motion sensor, a yard sign, window decals and door stickers. Glass-break sensors, smoke and heat sensors, indoor cameras and doorbell cameras are also available. Systems include sensors with crash-and-smash technology and fire alerts.
                          • Security features: Frontpoint's mobile apps let you access your security system and control your home from anywhere you have an internet connection with a computer or smartphone.
                          • Monitoring services: Interactive and Ultimate security plans include 24/7 professional monitoring services.
                          • Installation: All equipment is designed to be installed by the customer. Frontpoint's wireless sensors are easy to set up and require no hard wiring, which means the system can be moved to a new address with little effort.
                          • Trial period: Frontpoint doesn’t offer a free trial period. However, products include a three-year warranty.
                          Read 7887 Reviews
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                          Brinks Home Security™

                          Brinks Home Security offers monitored security systems starting at $29 a month with a 36-month contract. DIY and professional installation options are available. The company offers 0% APR financing.

                          • Security equipment: Smart security system equipment packages range from $199 to $1,099. The company offers touchscreen control panels with home automation features, home alarms, indoor and outdoor security cameras, video doorbells, motion sensors, smoke and flood detectors and wireless door sensors.
                          • Security features: Arm and disarm your home remotely with the Brinks app. The app can also control locks, access camera footage, act as a two-way communication device and let you manage home automation features, including lights and thermostat controls.
                          • Monitoring services: Monthly monitoring fees range from $29 to $53 with a standard 36-month agreement.
                          • Installation: Brinks offers both professional and DIY installation options. Brinks’ wireless DIY systems are easy to take with you when you move into a new home.
                          • Trial period: Try your home security system with a risk-free 30-day trial before deciding if it’s right for you.
                          Read 4406 Reviews
                          Protect America

                          Protect America’s home security and automation packages start at $19.99 a month and have a one-time $19.95 activation fee. Contract terms are typically 36 months, and a 60-day cancellation notice is required.

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                          SafeStreetsUSA

                          SafeStreetsUSA offers monitored home security packages that start at $36.99 a month with a three-year contract. Wired and wireless home alarm systems are available. SafeStreets is an ADT-authorized provider.

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                          Vivint Smart Home

                          Vivint has professionally installed security systems packages starting at $29.99 per month. Security kits with smart home automation start at $39.99 per month. Basic packages are available starting at $29.99. Contract terms range from 42 to 60 months. Customers can avoid a long-term contract by purchasing the equipment upfront.

                          • Security equipment: All kits include a smart hub, smart home app, home security system and video doorbell camera. Additional equipment is available, including door and window sensors, motion sensors, glass break detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras and sensors for smoke, flooding and carbon monoxide.
                          • Security features: Total home security packages are available for home security and smart home technology with cloud storage, Amazon Alexa integration, smart locks and doorbell cameras. With the Vivint Sky App, you can get alerts and notifications or conveniently control your smart home devices from anywhere
                          • Monitoring services: All home security packages include 24/7 monitoring. Vivint also offers video surveillance with cloud storage.
                          • Installation: Vivint requires professional installation, which typically costs $99 but can range from $49 to $199.
                          • Trial period: Vivint does not advertise a trial period, but it does have an exceptions review team that handles cancel requests on a case-by-case basis.
                          Read 18878 Reviews
                          Protection 1

                          Protection 1’s home security system pricing starts at $34.99 a month. The company offers home automation features for an additional charge. Protection 1 covers up to $1,000 towards your insurance deductible.

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                          Guardian Protection

                          Guardian Protection Services offers customizable home security options with multiple packages and more than a dozen add-on upgrades. Wired security packages start at $45.99 a month with 36-month contracts. Guardian Protection Services’ Best Price Guarantee states the company will match any written or web-based quote for comparable home security system installation. Guardian Protection services are available in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

                          • Security equipment: Products include the Guardian IQ2 panel, a 110-decibel siren,a carbon monoxide detector, door and window sensors, glass break detectors, security cameras, video doorbells, streaming video recorders, motion detectors, medical pendants and smart home modules. The company also offers smoke, heat and water detectors.
                          • Security features: Guardian Protection offers some of the most customizable home security options with multiple packages and more than a dozen add-on upgrades. Get smart home automation and control Z-Wave-powered thermostats, lights, locks and garage doors from anywhere with your mobile device.
                          • Monitoring services: 24/7 professional monitoring starts at $45.99 a month.
                          • Installation: Guardian protection provides professional installation.
                          • Trial period: Details on trial periods and return or cancellation periods were not readily available from Guardian Protection's website.
                          Read 2362 Reviews
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                          Vector Security

                          Vector’s home security packages start at $39.95 a month with a 36-month contract. Vector Security customizes home alarm solutions to fit your lifestyle and has options for singles, seniors living alone, empty nesters, families and couples.

                          • Security equipment: Essential security equipment includes a wireless control panel, three door and window sensors, motion detectors, a security camera and yard signs. Vector Security also offers optional equipment, including two-way intercoms and personal emergency response with push-button support.
                          • Security features: Vector offers security systems, home automation and connected home options, including voice-commanded thermostats, automatic door locks and indoor cameras that sync with devices. Vector Security’s systems are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Z-Wave. Vector also offers tools that help with energy management and ensure doors and windows are closed when the homeowner is away.
                          • Monitoring services: Security systems are backed up with Vector’s 24/7 monitoring. Customers with security cameras can view live video or recorded video and add video monitoring to their plan.
                          • Installation: Vector Security provides professional installation for their systems.
                          • Trial period: We did not find any information about a trial period from Vector Security. Its cancellation policy requires written notification, and you may be required to pay your remaining balance if you cancel before your contract expires.
                          Read 13013 Reviews
                          Slomins Alarm Systems

                          Slomin’s Alarm Systems offers home security systems and home automation solutions. Select from home security packages starting at $29.95 a month.

                          Read 778 Reviews
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                          ADT

                          ADT's home security monitoring and home automation packages start at $27.99 a month with 36-month contracts. The company offers DIY options for renters through Blue by ADT.

                          • Security equipment: The company offers comprehensive solutions for almost any security requirement. Its equipment includes entryway contacts, motion detectors, yard signs, window decals, cameras, emergency alarms and home automation devices.
                          • Security features: The ADT Pulse app lets users access their security system, receive text alerts, turn lights on and off, adjust thermostats and more from anywhere. ADT Go lets you take your security on the go with SOS emergency response, crash detection and family-location sharing via your mobile phone.
                          • Monitoring services: The company offers 24/7 professional monitoring for intrusion and environmental hazards.
                          • Installation: ADT provides professional installation. While installation fees can cost up to $199, many ADT installation packages roll together equipment fees with professional installation.
                          • Trial period: ADT offers six-month money-back guarantees, so customers have plenty of time to make sure they’re satisfied with the system.
                          Read 13256 Reviews
                          AUTHORIZED PARTNER
                          Cove

                          Cove provides wireless home security systems with professional monitoring starting at $15 a month. Cove’s Triple Touch monitoring includes text and LiveAssist options for faster response times. Customers can cancel at any time.

                          • Security equipment: Cove security equipment includes a touch alarm panel, burglary and intrusion sensors, environmental detectors, remotes, medical alerts and indoor cameras.
                          • Security features: Cove home security is compatible with smartphone, Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice control. Through the home security app, you can get notifications or request emergency assistance via text or talk through your phone or the system’s home control panel.
                          • Monitoring services: Get 24/7 live monitoring through Cove LiveAssist and Cove InstaText. Cove’s security works on a cellular network, so it operates during power outages.
                          • Installation: The home security system is preconfigured for simple DIY installation. Cove advertises the installation process takes an average of 27 minutes.
                          • Trial period: Cove provides a 60-day trial period. If you aren’t satisfied, simply return your system for a full refund.
                          Read 18 Reviews
                          Alder Security

                          Alder Security sells basic home security packages starting at $34.99 a month. Response times are quick and include responses for break-ins and medical emergencies.

                          • Security equipment: Home security packages include a touchscreen control panel, outdoor cameras, indoor cameras, door and window sensors, glass-break and motion detectors, fire detectors, a wireless key remote and an emergency alert pendant. Additional equipment is available for purchase.
                          • Security features: The Alder home security app lets you control your system from anywhere with your phone or mobile device. Alder’s “Life Safety” products include smoke, CO, flood and freeze detection as well as a medical alert pendant ideal for older users.
                          • Monitoring services: Alder’s 24/7 monitoring center averages three-second response rates.
                          • Installation: Alder wireless security systems are easy to install yourself. DIY installation takes less than 30 minutes.
                          • Trial period: Home security packages come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
                          Read 4 Reviews
                          CPI Security Systems

                          CPI Security Systems’ wireless home security pricing starts at $29.99 a month with 60-month contracts. CPI charges a $99 activation fee for homeowners and $299 for renters. CPI can provide monitoring services for an existing home alarm system without installing new equipment. Wireless home security system installation and monitoring services are available in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee.

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                          Blue by ADT

                          Blue by ADT sells Wi-Fi-operated security systems that are compatible with most smart home devices. Monthly monitoring packages start at $19.99. Month-to-month plans without long-term contracts are available.

                          • Security equipment: Choose from three home security packages or build your own custom system. Each system starts with a base hub, an entry keypad, a yard sign, window stickers and access to the mobile app. Other equipment includes door and window sensors, fire sensors, keychain remotes, and indoor, outdoor and doorbell cameras.
                          • Security features: Blue by ADT’s equipment is compatible with Z-Wave Plus devices, IFTTT, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice commands and home automation.
                          • Monitoring services: Blue by ADT advertises a first-month-free offer for monitoring. Monitoring services start at $19.99 after the promotional period.
                          • Installation: The company’s wireless systems are DIY plug-and-protect — easy to install in less than an hour without a professional.
                          • Trial period: Blue by ADT offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
                          Read 3139 Reviews
                          Home8

                          Home8’s pricing for self-monitored, cloud-based security systems starts at $240. Homeowners can choose from several different packages, depending on their needs. You don’t need to sign a contract to buy a system. The company also sells a fire, heat and smoke alert system that notifies you of smoke or fire when you are outside of your home.

                          • Security equipment: Home8’s security packages are more than just a camera or a keypad. The kits also include door and window sensors, remotes and an alarm that sounds when triggered to ward off intruders.
                          • Security features: Home8’s free mobile app sends automated alerts to your smartphone. Systems are also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Echo, Google Assistant, Apple Watch and more.
                          • Monitoring services: Home8’s systems are self-monitored.
                          • Installation: Home8’s systems are “systems-in-a-box” that only take a few minutes to install on your own. Connect the unit to your existing broadband, activate through your phone and install the rest of your devices to be up and running in no time.
                          • Trial period: New customers get a free trial of premium services for the first 60 days after activating the system.
                          Safe Home Security, Inc.

                          Pricing for Safe Home Security’s monitored home security systems starts at $30 a month. Customers can schedule monthly, quarterly or annual payments. Automatic payments can be set up through a bank account or with a credit card. The company provides a free evaluation to help consumers determine which services they need.

                          Read 361 Reviews
                          Alert 360

                          Alert 360’s monitored security systems for homes and businesses start at $15.95 a month. Professional installation is required. Alert 360 security services are available in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

                          Read 173 Reviews
                          SafeZone24

                          SafeZone24’s alarm system pricing starts at $27.95 a month for plans with three-year contracts. The company offers wired, wireless and siren-only burglar alarm systems. Systems are available for residential and commercial properties, and the company works with you to plan a security system that fits your budget and security needs.

                          • Security equipment: SafeZone24’s systems utilize surveillance cameras and facial recognition technology to prevent crime and catch criminals in the act.
                          • Security features: Wireless smoke detector solutions operate even when the power is out, notifying the fire department or a monitoring team in the event of a suspected fire.
                          • Monitoring services: Systems are available with professional monitoring.
                          • Installation: SafeZone24 specializes in professional CCTV installation services. Pricing varies, but you can request a free quote.
                          • Trial period: Each system comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
                          SimpliSafe

                          SimpliSafe’s monitored home security plans start at $14.99 a month. All systems require DIY installation and include a three-year warranty and 60-day money-back guarantee. SimpliSafe does not require a long-term contract.

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                          A3 Smart Home

                          A3 Smart Home’s monitored residential security plan pricing starts at $29.95/month. Base system equipment costs $99 and includes a free home security audit. Optimize your system for an additional $7.95 a month. A residential extended service agreement covers equipment replacements and repairs.

                          Read more about A3 Smart Home
                          Xfinity Home

                          Xfinity Home customers choose from different base package options and add devices for a completely customized home security and automation system. Customized home security system pricing starts at $24.99 a month with a two-year contract. Add video recording to your plan for an additional $9.95 per month. Comcast customers can enjoy a discount by bundling their Xfinity Home system with TV and internet services.

                          Read more about Xfinity Home
                          Cox Homelife

                          Cox Homelife offers monitored home security and automation packages that start at around $30 per month. Customers can bundle their security package with internet, phone or cable service to receive a discount.

                          Read more about Cox Homelife
                          Canary

                          Canary’s all-in-one security device starts at $199. Home security camera installation is easy, and the device comes with a one-year warranty. Wi-Fi is required.

                          • Security equipment: Canary includes video monitoring, siren and home air quality alerts in one system, so there’s no need to buy or connect multiple devices. Canary comes with 12 hours of storage for free, and homeowners can upgrade to get two to 30 days of storage. Plans can be upgraded at any time.
                          • Security features: Canary has different settings that let you turn your camera off completely when you want to enjoy family time in private. You can contact authorities with one touch for fast emergency response during a break-in or other emergency. The Canary app tracks your location through your phone and automatically arms and disarms accordingly. You can also link your family members’ phones.
                          • Monitoring services: Canary is a self-monitoring security device equipped with an HD night vision camera and intelligent motion detection.
                          • Installation: Canary security systems are designed for DIY installation.
                          • Trial period: Return the product for any reason within 60 days to get a full refund.
                          Ring

                          Ring offers self-installed home security systems with or without monitoring fees. Choose from a variety of standalone security and monitoring products. Security System Kits start at $199.99.

                          Read more about Ring
                          Abode

                          Abode starter home security packages start at $199. Customizable home security packages are available with professional monitoring or self-monitoring. Abode offers bundle packages with discounted pricing.

                          • Security equipment: Customize your system with door and window sensors, glass-break detectors, cameras, motion sensors, smoke alarms, indoor and outdoor burglar alarms and signage.
                          • Security features: Monitor your home with security app access for iOS and Android devices. Devices with voice-command capabilities are compatible with IFTTT, Google Assistant, Google Home, Nest, Amazon Alexa, Hue, Ecobee, LIFX, Yale, Z-Wave, First Alert, Zigbee and more.
                          • Monitoring services: Optional professional security system monitoring starts at $8.33 a month.
                          • Installation: Have your home security system professionally installed or do it yourself.
                          • Trial period: Abode doesn’t offer a free trial but has a 30-day return policy.

                          Compare Home Security System Companies

                          Ring
                          Read 56 Reviews

                          Specializes in DIY systems with optional monitoring services. Costs around $10 per month. No long-term contracts. Equipment includes one-year limited warranty. Includes Ring app and works with Alexa-enabled devices.

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                            Blue by ADT
                            Read 3,139 Reviews

                            Select from customizable or starter system packages starting at $219.99. DIY installation with optional professional monitoring services. No long-term contract required. Cancel any time.

                            Call Now Toll Free (888) 259-3601
                            Xfinity Home
                            Read 200 Reviews

                            Offers security solutions with professional monitoring starting around $30 to $40 per month. View HD footage and customize alerts through the app. Financing available with a 24-month contract. Requires professional installation.

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                            Safe Home Security, Inc.
                            Read 361 Reviews

                            Offers home alarm and fire monitoring systems with smart automation features. Professional and DIY installation options. Comes with a mobile app. Provides yearly on-site checkups.

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                            Slomins Alarm Systems
                            Read 778 Reviews

                            Systems require professional installation and monitoring agreement. Monthly costs start at $33.95. Customize system with additional equipment purchases. Features security cameras with smart home integrations.

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                            CPI Security Systems
                            Read 377 Reviews

                            Video monitoring supports up to four cameras. Minimum equipment cost is around $500. Financing available with credit approval and monthly monitoring agreement. Requires professional installation. Not available in all states.

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                            Alert 360
                            Read 173 Reviews

                            Choose a preconfigured package or customize your system. Features include smart lights, wireless doorbell cameras and video doorbells. Professional monitoring services start at $15.95 monthly. Requires professional installation.

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                            Protection 1
                            Read 942 Reviews

                            Monitored security packages start at $34.99/month with 24- to 36-month contract. Charges $99 for professional installation. Includes touchscreen control panel, door and window sensors and motion sensor with standard equipment.

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                            A3 Smart Home
                            Read 107 Reviews

                            Designed for DIY installation. Equipment packages cost $17 to $34 per month when you sign a 36-month contract. Professional monitoring packages run $24.99 to $34.99 per month. Not available in all states.

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                            SafeStreetsUSA
                            Read 1,000 Reviews

                            Partners with ADT to offer professional alarm monitoring nationwide. Monthly fees start at $36.99. Most contracts run for 36 months. Charges $99 to $199 for installation services. Same-day installation available in most states.

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                            Firex Smoke Alarms
                            Read 35 Reviews

                            Battery-powered and hardwired fire alarms. Prices from $6.99 to $120. Some devices include 10-year batteries, carbon monoxide detection and egress lighting. Purchase online or from major hardware stores.

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                            Alder Security
                            Read Reviews

                            Personalized security systems take about two days to ship and 30 minutes to install. Equipment comes with professional monitoring services. Costs vary by location. Get mobile access through the Alder app.

                            Learn More Call Now Toll Free (866) 246-2108
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                              AUTHORIZED PARTNER
                              Scout

                              Offers professional monitoring and self-monitoring. Designed for DIY installation. Charges $229 to $549 for packages, with monitoring starting at $9.99. Includes 60-day money-back guarantee and three-year warranty.

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                              Abode Read Author Review

                              Offers flexible monitoring plans without long-term contracts. Self-monitor through the app or choose professional monitoring for about $9 per month. Get discounts for paying annually. Equipment costs vary. Financing options.

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                              Canary Read Author Review

                              Device includes HD camera, night vision and motion-activated recording. Professional monitoring service plans start around $10 per month. Provides free shipping and has a 60-day refund policy.

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                              Home8 Read Author Review

                              Expandable systems designed for DIY installation. Provides free basic interactive service with optional professional monitoring for $9 to $10 per month. Equipment packages starting from $69.99 to $189.99. No contract required.

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                              SafeZone24 Read Author Review

                              Provides risk assessment, site planning, system design and security integration. Three-year contracts. Plans start at $27.95 a month. Available nationwide. Professional CCTV installation. Facial recognition software.

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                              Protect America
                              Read 2,642 Reviews

                              Monitored plans start at $19.99/month plus a one-time $19.95 activation fee. Systems require DIY installation and 36-month contract. Available equipment includes Z-Wave hubs, smart locks, glass-break sensors and wireless cameras.

                              Out Of Business

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                              GetSafe
                              Read 37 Reviews

                              GetSafe no longer provides home security systems. All customer accounts were transferred to Link Interactive.

                              Out Of Business
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                              by Ben Mannes Home and Personal Security Expert

                              Ben Mannes is a noted subject matter expert in public safety, exam integrity and investigations. He began his work in public safety in 1994 and has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from California Coast University. He is both a Certified Exam Security Professional and Certified Protection Professional.

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