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Best smart home security systems of 2023

Integrate your system with home automation

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    ADT and Vivint Smart Home
    woman alarming her security system from her smart panel

    Linking your home security system to your smart-home automation is a great way to increase safety and make your life easier. With this integration, you can set up your doors to lock and your porch light to turn on when you arm your system, for instance, adding another level to your home security.

    Today, most home security systems incorporate some type of smart automation technology; we’ve compiled a list here of the best systems for a range of needs.

    Our top picks for smart home security systems

    Compare our picks for smart home security systems

    To choose our top picks, we compared several company features, including cost, monitoring options and contract terms. We also looked at ratings from customer reviews on ConsumerAffairs, consulted security experts and performed hands-on testing. All prices are accurate as of publishing.

    Link InteractiveLink InteractiveAbodeAbodeVivint Smart HomeVivint Smart HomeADTADT
    Starting monitoring fee $30.99/month $6.99 $19.99/month $28.99/month
    Required contract 12 to 36 months Month-to-month Month-to-month or length of financing 36 to 60 months
    Trial period 30 days 30 days 6 months
    • 12 monitoring centers
    • Pro installation
    • Works with Z-Wave, Alexa and Google Assistant

    Like the other smart security systems on our list, ADT is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as Z-Wave integrations. You can control the system, schedule automations and control smart devices from the ADT app.

    ADT also has a large selection of smart devices you can purchase with your security system. Many of these are Google Home devices, such as the Nest thermostat and Nest cameras.

    ADT has been around since 1874, making it one of the longest-running security companies. It has 12 monitoring centers in North America. What this means for you is that if one center goes down due to a power outage or something similar, your call for help will be answered by another monitoring center.
    Happy ADT reviewers on our site like the company’s service staff and helpful app.

    “I love the ADT System. It's easy to use and their customer service is outstanding. I'm able to get notifications from out of town and I can get notifications from my camera. I love that if someone comes to my house and I need to get them in the garage door, I can use my app to get them in the garage door. It's a great system. It's also Alexa-compatible, which is good too. I'd highly recommend it,” Mike of Alabama said.

    Vivint Smart Home
    • Smart Sentry feature
    • Pro installation
    • Works with Z-Wave, Alexa and Google Assistant

    Vivint works with some popular smart integrations, including Z-Wave, Alexa and Google Assistant. It also works with Chamberlain myQ garage door and Philips Hue integrations. Vivint offers some smart devices you can purchase along with its systems, like smart locks, smart thermostats and smart garage door controls.

    The most notable smart device it offers, though, is Car Guard. This device lets you know if anyone tampers with your vehicle.

    Vivint has the only smart cameras on our list designed to deter potential thieves and record them. It has a feature called Smart Sentry, which sounds an alarm and flashes a light when the camera detects an intruder. You can also control your security system and compatible smart devices through the Vivint app and set up automations and schedules in the app.
    Vivint reviewers on ConsumerAffairs appreciate the company’s customer service, and many mention being longtime customers.

    Bobbie of Nevada said: “Great service to have. Joshua ** has been extremely helpful with setting up our services for the second and third time. His professionalism is unmatched! I was recommended by a client of mine and I’ve been happy with the service and great customer service ever since. I am delighted to be a Vivint customer for almost 3 years now.”

    • Integrates with Apple
    • Pro and DIY installation
    • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

    Abode works with Alexa and Google Assistant, like the other systems on our list. It does have one integration that the others on our list don’t, though: It works with Apple HomeKit. So, if you’re an Apple fan, this system might be for you.

    I like Abode — it’s super simple and it’s compatible with all major platforms, including Apple HomeKit. If you’re going to be smart, you should work with all major smart home platforms.”
    — Rebecca Edwards, security expert at SafeWise

    “I like Abode — it’s super simple and it’s compatible with all major platforms, including Apple HomeKit,” Rebecca Edwards, a security expert at SafeWise, told us. “If you’re going to be smart, you should work with all major smart home platforms.” The company also offers a small range of smart devices to package with your system. You can snag smart lights, smart cameras and smart plugs to upgrade your home.

    Shopping for an Abode security system might be easier than shopping for any other system on our list. You can pick from two packages or just add a stand-alone hub to your cart — then you can select from a wide array of security devices, including glass break sensors, panic buttons, sirens and more.
    Reviewers on our site who are happy with Adobe mention simple installation and helpful integrations. “Very easy to install and set up, the app works seamlessly with our other home devices, we love the geo features, and the mobile app. We also love that it’s self-monitored but can be remotely monitored while away from home, or professionally monitored for short or long-term trips,” Megan of Michigan said.

    How smart security systems work

    A security system is typically called “smart” if it can be controlled with an app. Since most security systems have apps now, we’re using the term to refer to systems that work with smart devices and voice assistants.

    Many smart security systems integrate with voice assistants and other smart devices. It’s important to find one that works with your existing smart systems.

    Many smart security systems work with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and (rarely) Apple’s Siri. This lets you arm and disarm the system with voice controls or check on the system’s status. Setting up your system with your favorite assistant is usually as easy as asking; the voice assistant can then walk you through the process.

    Allowing a voice to disarm a security system can be dangerous (imagine if a burglar could tell Alexa to disarm the security system when they broke in). That’s why verbal disarm commands require your security PIN for added protection.

    Some more advanced security systems let you link to other smart devices in your home to create home automations. The best systems allow you to do all this in the app rather than opening multiple apps to control your system and the various smart devices.

    » MORE: How to deter burglars

    Pros and cons of smart security systems

    A smart security system has many advantages. One of the biggest is that you can arm and disarm it with your voice — this is great if you don’t always have your phone handy and don’t want to get off the couch. Another advantage is the ability to set up home automations. Using the app, you can make it so your smart lights turn off and your security system arms itself every night at bedtime, for example.

    The biggest disadvantage is the upkeep. You’ll probably find that your smart devices will occasionally disconnect from your security system’s app and need reconnecting. This is a pain, but it only takes a few minutes.

    » MORE: Best DIY home security cameras

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      What to look for in a smart security system

      When you’re deciding on a smart system, there are a few things to remember. Ask yourself the following as you shop:

      How smart does your system need to be?

      Do you only want your security features automated, or do you want your whole house connected? This could include connecting to thermostats, smoke alarms or lights in addition to security cameras, sensors or door locks. It's important to figure out what features are most important to you and go from there. Many people start small, with smart lights and locks as a baseline, then add components as they get used to their system and needs.

      Many smart home security systems have smart devices that can be added to your package. Some common offerings include:

      • Video doorbells: These let you see and speak to anyone at your front door through your smartphone or smart hub.
      • Smart lights: Smart lights can be motion detection lights or indoor or outdoor lights that you can schedule to turn off and on at different times. Some even have a mode that turns lights on and off at random times to mimic real usage.
      • Smart locks: These are keyless locks (though many provide a keypad and a key option) that can be locked or unlocked via your smartphone or your home system. Some can notify you (or lock automatically) if a door is left unlocked when it normally isn’t.
      • Smart security cameras: Many smart camera options are available, including doorbells, floodlights, spotlights and wired and wireless indoor and outdoor cameras. These can all be monitored through your smart system.
      • Smart thermostats: These thermostats allow you to program and adjust your home’s heating and cooling from your smartphone.
      • Smart speakers: Smart speakers are placed in different areas of your home and can alert you if an alarm or motion sensor has been triggered. They can also be used for voice commands.
      • Smart plugs: Smart plugs are the simplest way to automate home electronics. These are devices that plug into a standard wall socket. You can plug your appliance into them for control through your alarm system.
      • Smart smoke detectors/environmental detectors: These devices set off an alarm when they detect smoke, carbon monoxide, flooding, glass breaking or heat and can alert you (or emergency services) via your smartphone when something has been detected.

      What are my voice assistant needs?

      If you're currently using Amazon Alexa or Echo, Google Nest or Siri, make sure your new system is compatible. Some more advanced home automation services, like IFTTT, Z-Wave and Zigbee, don’t work with all home security systems. It's also important to consider whether you need a system that works on a landline or if you're set up to go wireless.

      “I like a system that can use my smart speaker as the hub,” Edwards said. “I have both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa speakers, so I like any smart device — security system or otherwise — that lets me use one of those as the hub. I like being able to centralize control and convenience as much as possible. And bonus points if I can use just one mobile app to control everything.”

      Installation: Pro or DIY?

      Both self-installed and professionally installed systems on our list offer top-of-the-line smart technology, so this depends more on your comfort level. Do-it-yourself systems are designed to be installed by the average person, but you may feel more comfortable having a professional walk you through all the features.

      DIY systems also tend to work better in smaller homes or apartments. Professionally installed systems might be preferable for larger properties.

      » MORE: Security system installation: DIY versus professional

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