The rise of the “Internet Of Things” has made owning an intelligent that makes your life more convenient a possibility for pretty much any homeowner. There are “smart” versions of pretty much any type of technology you can think of, from lights and thermostats to vacuums and lawnmowers.
One industry that has benefited significantly from the recent advancements in technology is home security systems. From basic systems that you monitor yourself to comprehensive high-end setups with 24/7 monitoring and video surveillance, there are options out there for almost any budget.
What is Smart Home Security System?
A smart home security system essentially refers to any system that can hook up to WiFi for monitoring and control of all your security devices. Most systems also offer the ability to control your home security using an app on your smartphone, which ensures protection is never far away.
The more basic models offer some combination of door and window sensors, motion detectors, and a central hub that handles communication through all these devices. In the event of an emergency, your smart home system will detect the intrusion and sound the alarm, and many models can even contact the authorities on your behalf. More comprehensive systems include options for door locks, garage door openers, surveillance cameras, and useful detectors like smoke and carbon dioxide or flood.
The best smart security systems allow integration with other smart products in addition to the basic security features. For example, some higher-end models allow you to set custom “rules” that will turn on your lights when motion is detected, or even turn up the heat when you open your garage door after a long day at work. There are a lot of options on the market, but the best models truly play up the smart features while still providing top-notch protection.
What is the Best Smart Home Security System?
From the most basic collection of simple sensors to intricate security systems that provide professional installation, there is a huge range of products out there — making it difficult to determine an overall “best.”
Which system is best will depend on the needs of you and your family, but here are some aspects to consider when shopping around.
24/7 Professional Monitoring – The best security systems will offer an option for 24/7 professional monitoring. These sorts of services usually come with some sort of monthly fee, but that small cost is worth it for the protection that such a service offers.
Professional monitoring will alert you immediately when an alarm is triggered, but the primary benefit is the ability for security professionals to dispatch emergency services to your home for prompt assistance.
Contracts – Gone are the days where security monitoring meant long, expensive contracts. There are still some systems that require a long-term agreement, but most will allow you to pay month-to-month. There are also even some brands like abode that offer on-demand monitoring services for 3 or 7 day periods — perfect for the odd trip during a long weekend or occasional vacations.
Battery Backup – A power outage can potentially take your security system out with it, leaving your family unprotected when it matters most. A quality smart home security system will have a battery backup to keep your sensors running even when power to your house cuts out.
Cellular Backup – The primary way that home security systems communicate is over WiFi, but most popular options also include support for some sort of cell service. Pretty much no residential internet is 100% reliable, so it’s always nice to have another method for your system to transmit data and contact monitoring systems in the event of an emergency.
Multiple Keypads Support – Most security systems have a keypad on the device itself, but many also support additional keypads. Those systems are the most convenient, as they allow you to have convenient access to your security controls from key locations. Put one on each floor, or even at every entrance to your home to ensure that you’re never more than a few strides away from a panel.
Sensors – sensors are the primary way that these security systems function, and having as many options as possible is crucial for comprehensive coverage, the difference between a budget brand with simple motion and entry detection, and a high-end system with the ability to detect every emergency under the sun is night and day. More is pretty much always better.
Video Monitoring – Video monitoring isn’t necessary by any means and also usually comes with some sort of associated monthly fee, but it’s always nice to have easy access to a live video feed and motion-triggered video clips that capture evidence of an intrusion to help out the police in their hunt.
Smart Home Integration – In terms of smart home integration, more might not actually be better.
In our opinion, smart home compatibility is super convenient and something we prioritize when ranking different security systems. However, there’s something to be said for a self-contained system that is closed off from the rest of your home. Having your security system on your general smart home network and interfacing with tons of devices could theoretically compromise the integrity in the event of a network hack, while a more contained setup is much more insulated from the outside world.
With that said, smart home integration can also make for a better security experience as well. One example we can think of off the top of our heads is the ability to turn on lights when a sensor is triggered — making sure the home is well-illuminated in the event of an emergency for increased safety and easier intruder identification.
Whether great smart home integration is a priority for your home will depend on where you stand on the security vs utility debate. We can’t really guide you in one direction or another, but we’re big fans of smart tech so we’re inclined to favor security systems that play well with other devices instead of blocking themselves off from the rest of your home.
Installation: DIY vs. Professional – There are benefits and drawbacks to both DIY and Professional installation.
Systems that are simple enough to install on your own save you time and money, but they do require a small amount of effort to get things up and running, and there’s always the risk that you make a mistake and compromise your home’s security in one way or another.
Professional installation can be cumbersome and expensive, but you’re also guaranteed a perfect setup and don’t have to worry about fiddling with equipment yourself.
Our Favorite Smart Home Security System:
Our top recommendations for smart home security are Frontpoint and abode.
abode is probably our favorite system, although it’s in more of a startup phase compared to the more fully-developed Frontpoint. With that said, it shows an incredible amount of promise and is already a top performing brand despite its relatively recent entry into the market.
Frontpoint is a fully-developed system and is more expensive to run than abode, but if you’re looking for a more established brand with a significant history of providing quality security services, it might be right up your alley.
With either choice, you’ll enjoy a wide range of sensors, battery and cellular backup, video monitoring, and pretty impressive smart home support. They’re difficult to beat, and out of all the security systems we’ve reviewed, abode and Frontpoint are two brands that are quite easy to recommend.
Abode offers three main controllers to choose from: the abode Gateway Gen 1, Gateway Gen 2, and the abode iota. All three hubs share quite a lot in common. However, of the three, the gateway Gen 2 and iota definitely have the edge. Is it time to upgrade? — Maybe not, unless 4G and Z-Wave Plus sound too tempting to pass up. But if you’re a new buyer, you should definitely consider the two later models to the Gen 1.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the differences between the three and find you the perfect abode gateway for your home.
In an industry where more and more companies are starting to offer their own take on home security, Protect America and ADT are some of the most established brands on the market. With both companies having offered security systems for over 20 years, have they kept up with the smart tech revolution? Or are they stuck in the past? Overall, the two brands have a ton in common, but we feel that Protect America does a better job at offering a customer-friendly model.
These days, there are a large number of options for adding in home security for cheap — without the complicated install, high fees, and long term commitment. ADT still struggles a bit to ditch the dated installation model while Protect America has kept up with the times by offering a self-install option. With that said, these two models are quite similar, and ADT may be a viable option for those who don’t want to deal with setting up equipment themselves.
Below we go into detail on the similarities and differences of the ADT vs. Protect America security system. However, feel free to use our navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
ADT has been on the market for well over 100 years, and are a major player in all things home security. But when it comes to smart security systems, are they truly the best out there? Today, we compare ADT security vs. Brinks — another security industry leader. Long story short, ADT’s extreme expense hold it back from taking the top spot.
Brinks is just all around the better option — largely due to the huge cost savings you’ll enjoy by passing on ADT. The company offers two different home security options: Home Complete and Home Complete with Video — both of which we’ll cover in this comparison.
Brinks also provides monitoring services for Nest, which is another viable option for home security. Check out our ADT vs. Nest Secure comparison for an idea of the features that they have to offer.
Below, we’ll break down the similarities and differences between Brinks and ADT. Read on for a full picture of what each system has to offer, or use our navigation bar to jump directly to the section that interests you most.
ADT has been around forever, protecting homes since long before the advent of technology. Xfinity Home Security, on the other hand, is a much more recent addition to the smart security industry. Which is better? In this case, we feel like Xfinity takes the cake with better smart home tech and seamless integration with their media services.
Xfinity, owned by Comcast, is a major player in the media industry — primarily making their money by offering TV, Internet, and landline service to a large portion of the United States. Only recently have they started moving into the home security industry, and the features do look promising. We feel that it does a better job than ADT, but you may want to proceed with caution, as Comcast isn’t exactly spotless when it comes to customer service and satisfaction.
We’ll compare the similarities and differences of Xfinity Home Security vs. ADT below to help give you a better idea of what each brand has to offer. Alternatively, you can use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
If you’re looking for an alarm system to keep your home protected, you have more options than ever before. From more traditional systems with professional installation to cutting-edge smart tech you can set up in a matter of minutes, there are options for every homeowner on almost any budget. When comparing ADT vs. Nest, it’s clear that both systems have their pros and cons. Our personal favorite is Nest due to the ease of use and high compatibility with other Nest products, but ADT’s superior professional monitoring and battery variety of sensors make it a close race.
While some of our comparisons are pretty clear cut, ADT and Nest Secure both have their own perks to offer. ADT has been around in the security scene for far longer than Nest, and that experience is evident in the comprehensive coverage that their system offers. Nest, on the other hand, is a smart tech company first and foremost, with greater compatibility and integration as a result.
Below we go into detail on the similarities and differences of Nest alarm vs. ADT to help gives you a clear picture of what each system has to offer. Alternatively, feel free to use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
While it’s important to do your research before making any sort of major purchase, having the best possible home security system is especially important. The home security industry has come a long way in recent years, and when comparing Ring vs. ADT, it’s clear that the Ring Alarm system has the advantage.
ADT has been in the security business for far longer than Ring, which is a comparatively new brand. This time spent protecting thousands of home across the world has helped ADT figure out what works and what doesn’t, but in this case, coming to prominence before the advent of smart technology seems to be holding ADT back. The company is still holding on to expensive long term contracts, while Ring makes getting home set up with comprehensive protection easier than ever before.
Below we go into detail on the similarities and difference between these two systems. However, feel free to use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
ADT has been around for years at this point, and are one of the biggest brands in the security scene. However, the industry has come a long way in the past few years, and companies like Frontpoint are threatening the dominance of more traditional security providers. In our opinion, Frontpoint is the better security system by far — offering better contracts, easy DIY installation, and superior smart home control.
Frontpoint and similar systems like SimpliSafe have made protecting your home more convenient than ever before. Rather than relying on a company to come and wire your home with an expensive security setup, you can order a package, set things up, and monitor your property at a price that is accessible to most any homeowner.
Below we break down the similarities and differences of Frontpoint vs. ADT. If there’s specific information you’re looking for, however, feel free to jump right to the sections that interest you most using our handy navigation bar.
We’ve come a long way from a security industry dominated by systems with cumbersome equipment and expensive contracts. SimpliSafe and Frontpoint are two systems leading the way in modern home monitoring equipment, and they both provide excellent protection for you and your family with intuitive technology and affordable prices. The two security systems are actually quite similar in many ways, but we do feel that Frontpoint is the better choice. It’s a little more expensive per month, but it also offers some extra features that are just too good to pass up.
While we might have a favorite when comparing SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint security, the truth is that both of these systems have quite a lot to offer. Both brands offer a user experience that is far better than the long contracts and complicated installation that more traditional service offer, and do so at a price point that is accessible for most any homeowner. The truly “best” system is going to depend on what you’re looking for when it comes to protecting your home.
Below we go into the similarities and differences of these two smart security systems. If you’d rather grab some quick information on a specific topic, feel free to use the navigation bar to jump to the section that interests you most.
The technology behind security systems has continued to advance, and nowadays we have access to a huge lineup of brands that can keep our homes protected. Sorting through the various options available can be frustrating, as each system has their own take on home security with varying benefits and drawbacks. In the case of Frontpoint vs. Vivint, we’re big fans of Frontpoint’s easy installation, smart home integration, and automated system check feature.
Vivint certainly has its perks, but we definitely feel it falls a little flat when compared to the excellent that Frontpoint has to offer. The majority of smart security systems these days have the option for self-installation and are pretty easy to figure out on your own, while Vivint sees to cling to the trend of leaving home security to the professionals. Frontpoint offers comprehensive, no-nonsense security that is easy to navigate and understand.
We’re big fans of Frontpoint, but let’s break down the similarities and differences between the two security systems to help give you a sense of where they excel and where they fall short. If there’s specific information you’re looking for, you can also feel free to use the navigation bar to jump directly to the section that interests you most.
ADT has been in the security business for quite a long time at this point and is one of the most recognizable brands on the market when it comes to keeping homes protected. However, in recent years, a number of smart security systems have popped up that offer excellent protection with more flexible contracts and more affordable prices. When comparing Vivint vs. ADT, the better pricing and lack of long-term commitment make Vivint a much more attractive option.
There’s a bit of a battle between the old and new when it comes to home security. In the past, these alarm systems were prohibitively expensive and retired length contracts. ADT has made the jump recently to smart security, but they haven’t ditched the high costs or forced commitments, which makes Vivint all the more appealing.
Below we go into detail on the differences between Vivint and ADT. Alternatively, you can use our navigation bar to jump directly to the section that interests you most.