Best Home Security System Companies
Alarm & Security Systems Contributing Editor
Updated on 07/30/2018
Before shopping for a home security system, you have to decide what level of protection you need. Do you want to set up a few security cameras to capture activity while you’re away from home? Or do you need a professionally monitored home alarm system that will alert the authorities in the event of a break-in?
24/7 monitoring of your home can give you peace of mind in the event of a home invasion, fire or other emergency. Our guide helps you compare alarm system prices, home security plans and overall customer satisfaction across the best home security companies on the market today.
Compare Top Home Security System Reviews
Read 6173 Reviews
Shop from 3 packages with a monthly fee of $39.95 for alarm monitoring with a 3-year contract. Professionally installed alarm systems with no activation fees.
Read 7616 Reviews
Choose from 3 home security packages starting at $36.99 per month with a 3-year contract. Each package comes with cellular connection and a 6-month money-back guarantee.
Read 8705 Reviews
Customizable alarm system plans starting at $39.99 per month with a 42-month minimum contract. Each system comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
|Guardian Protection Services|
Read 1557 Reviews
Customize your own security system package starting at $36.99 per month with a 3-year contract. Home security system installation with a $99 activation fee.
Read 1655 Reviews
Choose from 3 alarm system plans starting at $30.99 per month with a 36-month contract. No installation fees, and each system purchase includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read 3101 Reviews
Choose from 3 different alarm system plans starting at $29.99 per month with a 3-year contract. Free activation for DIY home security systems or professional installation is available for purchase.
Read 6616 Reviews
Choose from 3 package options with monthly pricing starting at $34.99 with a 3-year contract. DIY alarm system installation with no setup fees and a 30-day risk-free trial.
Read 2366 Reviews
Choose from 2 plan options and get the cheapest alarm monitoring at $19.99 per month with a 36-month contract. DIY home alarm system installation with a price-match guarantee.
|Brinks Home Security™|
Read 2388 Reviews
Choose from 2 home security plans, with the cheapest alarm monitoring starting at $19.99 per month for a 3-year agreement. Cellular backup included with monthly security monitoring cost.
|Slomins Alarm Systems|
Read 605 Reviews
Customize your residential alarm with plans starting at $29.95 per month with a 5-year contract. Basic equipment is included with your monthly payment. Pay $99 for professional installation.
|CPI Security Systems|
Read 308 Reviews
Monitoring plans start at $29.99 per month and have a minimum contract of 39 months. All systems are professionally installed.
Read 880 Reviews
Choose from 5 different packages starting at $36.99 with a 3-year contract. Both landline and wireless home alarm systems are available, professionally installed with a 6-month money-back guarantee.
|Protect Your Home|
Read 1183 Reviews
Customize your own security system starting at $27.99 per month with a 3-year contract. Each system comes with panel and 3 sensors with upgrades available for purchase.
Read 848 Reviews
Offers 4 home security plans starting at $21.49 per month with a 3-year minimum contract. Try this wireless alarm system free for 14 days.
Read 64 Reviews
Choose from several wireless home alarm system packages with no contract required. Offers the cheapest alarm monitoring starting at $14.99 per month with a 60-day money back guarantee.
How to choose a home security system
How much does a home security system cost?
A basic home security system costs about $32 per month. Consider the cost of home security system installation, activation fees and monthly alarm monitoring fees before choosing a home alarm company. Adding more security cameras and sensors will cost extra too. Consumers report paying between $500-$1500 to get their residential alarm systems fully up and running.
- Burglar alarm installation and activation costs: Installation is either done by a professional or can be a do-it-yourself (DIY) project; some companies let you choose an installation method, while others offer only one option. Professionally installed alarm systems can cost $100-$500+; DIY is free, but it requires more of your time.
- Security system monitoring services: Subscription home security systems–home alarms monitored 24/7 by outside companies–carry a monthly fee, usually in the $20-$60 range.
- Home security equipment costs: You'll likely catch a price break on equipment in exchange for signing a contract to have your alarm system monitored. If you purchase a system outright, expect to pay $100+ for a basic system and $500+ for top-of-the-line equipment.
- Municipal fees for alarm permits: Some cities charge a yearly permit fee, often less than $50, to respond to emergency calls triggered by monitored home security systems. Even in the event of a false alarm, police will still respond which can drain police resources over time. The permit fee helps offset this cost. Permit fees are not collected by the alarm companies, so it is important for homeowners to remember to pay this fee on their own.
Can I get a home security system with no contract?
Yes, some alarm companies offer no-contract security systems when you buy the equipment outright or agree to pay a slightly higher monthly rate.
Many home security companies offer discounted equipment in exchange for a signed contract, similar to how your cell phone company offers discounts on phones when customers sign up for a new plan. Some alarm system contracts are more flexible than others, so read through the contract terms (and online reviews) before signing on the dotted line.
- Contract length: Most alarm system contracts are for 2-3 year terms. Many allow for cancellation within the first 2-4 weeks of the contract's term.
- Contact terms: Pay special attention to a contract's fine print. Look for information about equipment warranties, cancellation clauses, service call fees, etc.
- Contract portability: Many alarm system companies make it easy to transfer your equipment to a new home, so if there's a chance you'll move during your contract, check first to confirm relocation possibilities.
Who installs home security systems?
There are two basic installation options you can choose: professional installation and DIY. If you're thinking about purchasing a wireless home security system, you'll usually have the option to set it up yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. Most hardwired systems, however, require professional installation.
- Professionally installed by the home alarm company: Many complex alarm systems, usually those that are hardwired into a home, require professional installation. This usually carries a hefty cost ($200-$500+), although some companies offer discount installation.
- DIY home alarm system: Do-it-yourself security systems are generally easy to install, often requiring just a few hours to read the manual and place your sensors.
- Third-party professional installation: If you purchase a DIY system but aren't a DIYer, you can hire a local handy person to do your installation at an hourly rate.
How are home alarm systems monitored?
When you opt for professional monitoring, home alarm companies offer monthly monitoring via three types of connection: internet (broadband/VOIP), phone line or cellular service.
- Internet: Monitoring via the internet is inexpensive, but be aware that if you have an internet outage (or a power outage that disables your modem), you will be cut off from monitoring.
- Phone line: You can use your home phone line (landline) to connect with your alarm monitoring company. Be aware that if a burglar cuts your phone line, your system will not work. If your phone line is fiber optic, you’ll need a battery backup system to power your alarm if the power goes out.
- Cellular: Monitoring via cell phone connection is a good option for those without a landline. This service will remain available even in the event of a power or Internet outage.
What features can you add to an alarm system?
Basic systems are just that: basic. You'll most likely want to expand your system to meet your home's specifications–number of windows and doors, outdoor lighting requirements, etc.–so look for a company with the add-on equipment and features that suit your needs.
- Home security equipment: Control panels, security cameras, door sensors, smoke detectors and motion sensors come standard with most basic home security packages. Some alarm companies offer custom add-ons like key fobs, panic buttons, doorbell cameras, touch-screen panels and hands-free voice control. Equipment offerings vary greatly by company, so choose wisely before signing a contract.
- Monthly monitoring plans: Monthly alarm monitoring plans can range from bargain-basement monitoring via an internet connection to all the bells and whistles, including smoke detection, medical monitoring and home automation.
- Service upgrades & downgrades: Lifestyle changes may require variations in your home security needs; check with your company about the ease of adding (or removing) services or switching monthly plans mid-contract.
What remote access is available for alarm systems?
Many home security companies offer remote access to the system via their website and mobile apps. You can use the app to control your security system access your security camera feeds and manage an array of home automation functions.
- Website access: Many companies let you sign in to your home security account online to have easy access to your system from wherever you're at.
- Smartphone apps: If the alarm company has a mobile app, you'll be able to monitor your home while you’re away. Standard data rates will apply.
How much do you save on homeowners insurance with an alarm system?
Many home insurance providers offer discounts (even up to 20 percent) for homes with monitored alarm systems. So if you pay $1,000 for your homeowners insurance and get a 10 percent discount, you’ll save $100 each year simply for having a monitored home security system.
Types of security system companies
Smart home security systems
Smart home security systems focus on convenience and are remotely controlled using a smartphone and an app. They are highly customizable in terms of installation, type of surveillance and cost. Smart home security systems alert homeowners in emergencies as well as monitor and control everyday activities like turning off the lights and locking the doors.
Wireless home security systems
Wireless home security systems are minimally invasive in terms of installation. They use a series of battery-powered devices such as motion detectors and door and window sensors. This type of home alarm monitoring does not require a landline as it communicates via radio and cellular technology.
Wired security system
Wired security systems require an active landline and reside within the structure of the home. The system’s sensors are physically connected to the control panel through wires within the walls. Installing a wired security system will require some drilling and modification.
Monitored security system
Monitored security systems send notification in the event of an emergency. This type of security system can be self-monitored or with the use of a home monitoring company. Depending on the system type, the homeowner or the authorities will be contacted.
Unmonitored security system
Unmonitored security systems do not notify the homeowner or the authorities in the event of an emergency. When an intrusion is detected, sirens sound but it is up to those present to take the necessary next steps.
People who should consider a home alarm
Homeowners who are interested in home security to protect their real estate, belongings and family will often want a robust system with all the bells and whistles.
Renters or homeowners who plan to move in the next 2-3 years, and therefore are not interested in long-term contracts or permanent equipment should consider wireless portable systems with short-term or no contracts.
Consumers who want a fix-it-and-forget-it security solution that keeps their home safe with very little input required generally prefer systems with excellent monitoring.
DIY consumers are handy and capable of completing system installations. They're often willing to exchange certain responsibilities for cost savings.
These homeowners and renters are interested in security with a technological component. They want systems with remote access, web-based portals, mobile apps and other tech solutions that allow them to tweak, manipulate and monitor their home security system.
Home alarm and security system expert reviews
Choose from 3 wireless security system packages for $34.99-$49.99 a month. Systems are self-installed and include 24/7 monitoring, crash and smash technology along with fire and medical protection. Contracts range from 1-3 years.
Formerly MONI Security, Brinks offers 3 security packages with free equipment and DIY installation. Prices start at $34.95 a month, with 36-60 month contracts for home automation and security with a lifetime warranty.
Get do-it-yourself home security and automation with 3 different packages for $19.99-$42.99 a month. Systems have a lifetime warranty on 3-year contracts and come with free moving kits.
Choose from 6 security packages for $28.99-$62.99 a month with a 3-year contract. Systems include home automation options, a professional installation fee and extended limited warranties on all but the lowest package.
Get state of the art home security and automation. Choose from 3 packages for $39.99-$59.99 a month. Contracts are 42+ months, with professionally installed systems and optional warranties. Company focuses on lifestyle solutions and integrates alarm systems with home automation and energy management.
The company offers wired and wireless systems with or without home automation, as well as flexible pricing. Choose from 6 packages for $34.99-$54.99. Systems have 3-5 year contracts, with warranty options of 3-years or 90 days. Self-installed and professional installation are available.
Choose from three professionally installed security packages. Options are wired and wireless, with 36-month contracts. Packages above the basic level are warrantied for the life of the system.
Pay $0 down with choices of 3 security and automation packages starting at $39.95 a month. Systems are professionally installed with 3-year contracts and home automation options.
Get a professionally installed system with 2 package options for $29.95 and $42.95 a month. Systems have 5-year contracts and come with warranties. The company also offers heating and cooling services.
Get professionally installed home security and choose from 4 packages for $27.99-$58.99 a month. Systems have installation fees of $99, extended limited warranties and 36-month contracts.
Offers home security system installation and 24/7 monitoring in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. Choose from packages ranging from $39.99-$64.99 with free professional installation. Systems have a minimum 5-year contract. $99 activation fee for homeowners and $299 for renters. 90-day warranty for equipment and 1-year warranty for parts.
Partners with ADT for monitoring services. Choose from 5 packages for $27.99-$58.99 a month. Systems are professionally installed with home automation options and 3-year contracts.
Choose from 3 packages for $29.99-$49.99 a month. This do-it-yourself or professionally installed security comes with a lifetime warranty on 36-60 month contracts, with free cancellation for U.S. armed forces or reserve members.
Mivalife home security is cloud-based wireless self-monitoring security that protects your whole home. Homeowners can choose from several different packages depending on their needs. In addition to automation and security, Mivalife also sells a fire, heat and smoke alert system that will alert you in the event of smoke or fire when you are outside of your home.
- Easy DIY install: Mivalife’s systems are literally “systems-in-a-box” that only take a few minutes to install on your own. Connect the OPU to your existing broadband, activate through your phone and install the rest of your devices to be up and running in no time.
- Free app: Download Mivalife’s app for free on your smartphone to receive automated alerts anytime, no matter where you are.
- No contracts: You don’t need to sign a contract to buy a Mivalife system. In fact, you don’t even need to buy a plan that costs money to keep your home secured through the Mivalife security system.
- Optional group monitoring: You can choose select friends and/or family members at your discretion to have access to your Mivalife system so they can monitor your home and use your system’s automated features when they need to.
- Total package security: Mivalife’s security packages are more than just a camera or a keypad. They also include door and window sensors, remotes and an alarm that will sound when triggered to ward off intruders.
- Best for: Homeowners, DIYers, renters and tech-savvy shoppers.
Safe Home Security (SHS) was established in 1988 and is available in select areas of the United States. SHS has memberships with the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NFBA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Founded in 2000, My Alarm Center offers advanced security tools as part of their monitoring services. They work with local technicians to make installations as easy and comprehensive as possible.
With over 20 years in the business, SafeZone24 provides a wide range of security solutions. Serving clients around the world, SafeZone24 offers everything from alarm systems for homes and businesses to secure access via facial recognition systems. The company offers state-of-the-art security equipment and in-depth risk assessments.
- Wide selection of alarms: SafeZone24 offers wired, wireless and siren-only burglar alarm systems for use in commercial spaces and private homes.
- Wireless smoke detector options: The company offers wireless smoke detector solutions that operate even when the power is out, notifying the fire department or a monitoring team in the event of a suspected fire.
- Custom system design: SafeZone24 performs a careful review of each business or residential site, planning a security system that fits the customer's budget and unique security needs.
- State-of-the-art technology: SafeZone24 uses high-quality surveillance equipment and facial recognition technology to prevent crime and catch criminals in the act.
- Training options: The company provides anti-terror training for businesses and organizations interested in learning how to minimize the damage and loss caused by a terrorist attack.
- Best for: Business owners, organizations, homeowners and hands-off consumers.
Choose from 2 plans for $14.99-$24.99, or 5 contract-free packages for $229-$499. A Build My System option is also available. All systems are do-it-yourself install with 3-year warranties.
Get a system for $29.95. Choose free self-install or professional installation for $99. Systems have automation options on 2-year contracts, with a limited warranty that renews after each month of service. You can use your existing equipment with your new system.
A monitored system that can be bundled with internet, cable and/or phone service for Cox customers. It offers mobile monitoring, 24/7 monitoring and smart home automation. Choose from 2 packages for $29.99-$39.99 a month, with installation fees from $25-$50. Contracts are 3 years and include extended life warranty.
Canary gives homeowners peace of mind by providing an all-encompassing system in a sleek design that can easily fit anywhere in your home. It is easy to set up and can be accessed from your mobile device as long as it’s connected to the Internet. The Canary comes with 12 hours of storage for free, or homeowners can upgrade to get 2-30 days of storage. Plans can be upgraded at any time.
- Fast emergency response times: Contact authorities with one-touch from your Canary app in the event of a break-in or other emergency.
- Automatic arming and disarming: Canary tracks your location through your phone and will automatically arm and disarm accordingly. You can also link the phones of your family members so Canary knows when the house is empty and when there’s someone home.
- Privacy setting: Canary is the only self-monitoring home security camera that has a privacy setting, so you can turn your camera off completely when you want to enjoy family time in private.
- All-inclusive: Canary includes video monitoring, siren and home air quality alerts all in one system, so there’s no need to buy or connect multiple devices.
- Extra cameras: You don’t need to pay for a separate service plan each time you add a camera. Buy up to four cameras under one service plan.
- Best for: Homeowners and tech-savvy consumers.
Expert grades are based on a combination of criteria including installation and ongoing costs, ease of use, warranty and contract terms, coverage flexibility, customer service, and customer satisfaction.Are you an expert?
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Compare Top Home Security System Reviews
Read 85 Reviews
Customize your own home security system starting at $24.99 per month with a 2-year contract. Add video recording to your plan for an additional $9.95 per month. No obligation 30-day trial.
Read 46 Reviews
Choose your home security plan starting at $29.99 per month with a 2-year contract. Bundle your security package with your internet, phone or cable service to save money.
|Central Security Group|
Read 119 Reviews
Choose basic and automation packages ranging from $39.99-$79.99/month, with installation fees from $199-$399. Available for homeowners in the Southern U.S., California, Maryland, Missouri, Arizona and Kansas.
|Safe Home Security, Inc.|
Read 264 Reviews
Get home security for $30 a month with free moving, installation and activation. New customers get a 15% discount. Systems can ignore small animals. Also offers fire alarms and medical alert systems.
|SAFE Security Systems|
Read 83 Reviews
Choose from 3 different plans with professional and self-install options. Full wired system equipment costs $99 and includes a free home security audit. Self-installers pay $0 for equipment.
Read 32 Reviews
Choose from several in-home alarm systems with no contract required. Packages start at $35 per month. Each security alarm comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|FireX Smoke Alarms|
Read 29 Reviews
Get self-installed smoke protection for $13.97. Each alarm interconnects with other units for extensive home coverage. Offers both battery powered and AC hardwired smoke alarm system. Alarms are warrantied for 5 years.
|My Alarm Center||Read Reviews|
Choose from 3 plans for $34.99-$59.99/month with options for professional or do-it-yourself installation. All packages have free cancellation, free moving, $99 activation and 24/7 customer support.
|Canary||Read Expert Review|
Get an all-in-one security camera for $199 or a 2-pack for $379. Membership optional. Cameras are self-installed with 1-year warranty and up to $1,000 renter’s insurance reimbursement. Wi-Fi required; self-monitoring systems only.
|Mivalife||Read Expert Review|
Purchase your cloud-based security system for a one-time fee starting at $240. DIY installation with no minimum contract and no monthly fee. Wi-Fi required; system is self-monitoring only.
|SafeZone24||Read Expert Review|
Choose your alarm system plan starting at $27.95 per month with a 3-year contract. Professional installation available, and each system comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.