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.
SimpliSafe and ADT are two quality brands with a history of providing excellent smart monitoring to thousands of homes around the world. But how do you know which is best? The truth is, ADT has some of the best protection around, but you’ll be locked into a long-term commitment and rack up some serious expense in the process. SimpliSafe, on the other hand, offers a quality DIY solution with no ongoing obligations.
ADT is one of the biggest names in home security, and the company has been protecting homes long before the idea of “smart tech” was a thing. Unfortunately, it seems that old habits die hard, as ADT continues to lock buyers into long-term contracts while charging a premium for service. SimpliSafe lacks some of the features that ADT offers, but with a much lower cost to entry and month-to-month contracts, we feel that is definitely has the edge.
Below we go into detail on the similarities and differences of SimpliSafe vs. ADT. Alternatively, feel free to use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
Nowadays, there’s a huge selection of smart security systems available on the market. Ranging from the most basic to the most premium protection, there’s something available for pretty much anyone. In the case of comparing SimpliSafe vs. Vivint, there’s actually a lot that these two systems have in common. The main aspect that sets these two alarm systems apart is that SimpliSafe is designed with DIY in mind, while Vivint has a professional handle every step of the process. Neither is necessarily better than the other, it just really depends on what you’re looking for.
It may seem like a great thing to let the pros handle your security installation and monitoring. After all, you want your system to perform flawlessly, right? Unfortunately, that professional touch comes with a premium price tag that makes Vivint non-viable for a lot of homeowners. SimpliSafe offers a lot of the same features, and if you’re comfortable following some simple directions, you can save a lot of money for minimal time investments.
Below we go into detail on the similarities and differences between these two security systems. Alternatively, you can use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
Keeping your home protected is serious business, and you want some serious technology working to keep you and your family safe. Fortress and SimpliSafe are two major brands that offer a comprehensive security setup, but which option is best for you and your home? For professional 24/7 monitoring, SimpliSafe is the brand to beat, but Fortress is the best bet if you’d prefer to self-monitor your home.
With so many brands on the market at this point, homeowners have a lot of choice in terms of the features that matter to them most. Fortress does a great job of protecting your home and exceeds the benefits of SimpliSafe in a lot of ways, but at this point, it forces you to rely on third-party monitoring services rather than offering the protection themselves. SimpliSafe is a little more expensive month-to-month, but that extra expense is put to good use with some of the best 24/7 monitoring around.
Below, we go into detail on the similarities and differences of Fortress vs. SimpliSafe. Alternatively, you can use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
There are more options on the market than ever before for keeping your home protected, but how do you sort through the huge selection in order to find an alarm system that works for you? Comparing iSmartAlarm vs. Fortress makes it readily apparent that not all security setups are created equal, with Fortress being the far superior option due to a whole host of features that keep your home better protected.
When breaking down these two systems, it’s clear that iSmartAlarm offers basic protection at an affordable price. However, the lack of features like cellular backup, battery backup, more flexible internection, and 24/7 monitoring make it clear that there are some major shortcomings when it comes to offering comprehensive security.
Below, we go into detail on the differences between iSmartAlarm and Fortress security systems. If there are specific aspects that you’re most interested in, however, feel free to use the navigation bar to jump directly to the appropriate section.
When it comes to keeping your home protected, a quality home security system can be the difference between feeling vulnerable and feeling safe. iSmartAlarm and SimpliSafe cater to different markets, with the former being best for simple and affordable coverage, and the latter being a more professional system that requires a bit more of an investment.
Each homeowner is unique in the type of protection that they feel they need, and these two systems offer different levels of security at different price points. While there’s no doubt that the coverage offered by SimpliSafe is a little more comprehensive, but when that protection comes with a relatively-expensive monthly fee, are the benefits really worth it?
Below we go into detail on the similarities and differences of iSmartAlarm vs. SimpliSafe. However, if you’d rather jump to a specific section, feel free to use the navigation bar to check out the information that interests you most.
When it comes to smart security systems, you have more options than ever before. But how do you sort through the good and the bad to figure out which sensors are best for your home? Well, let us do the hard work for you! abode is a superior product to SimpliSafe on almost every front.
Even disregarding the fact that abode makes one of the best security systems on the market, it’s easy to see where SimpliSafe falls short despite the years that they’ve had products on the market. With the expensive subscriptions required to access simple features, the security system is just difficult to recommend.
Below we break down the differences of the abode vs. SimpliSafe to help give you a sense of what each option has to offer. Alternatively, you can use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
SimpliSafe has been on the market for quite some time at this point and was one of the first smart home security systems to make a splash. Recently, relative newcomer Scout now also offers a competitive product as well, bringing in an innovative control mechanism that promises convenience and ease of use. In this case, however, we feel that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. SimpliSafe’s more traditional control scheme is difficult to beat, and we feel that it still has the edge due to its support for a keypad.
When comparing Scout vs. SimpliSafe, you’re essentially comparing a product that offers something new and innovative versus a tried and true upgrade of a more traditional security system. Scout has a very unique way of arming and disarming the system, but in its current implementation, it seems to fall short of what the creators intended. While SimpliSafe is not without its issues, there’s some truth to the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
Below we go into detail on the benefits and drawbacks that these two systems have to offer. If there are specific aspects of the products that you’re specifically interested in, however, feel free to use the navigation bar to jump right down to the appropriate section.
SimpliSafe has been in the smart security system game for years at this point, but does Ring Alarm offer a competitive alternative? The truth is, while SimpliSafe has a huge number of features that make it a quality home monitoring option, the expensive monthly fee really holds it back. Ring offer many of the same capabilities at a much more affordable price, and it’s one of our favorite smart alarms on the market.
SimpliSafe has had time to create a product that offers some of the best smart utility on the market, with a whole line of sensors and useful features that make it a truly impressive marketing. However, like a relic of the olden days where home monitoring was prohibitively expensive, a lot of that functionality is locked behind a monthly fee that isn’t really optional if you want the complete experience. Simply put, Ring is the more attractive option at the moment despite missing a few different features.
Below, we go into detail on the differences of SimpliSafe vs. Ring to help give you a sense of where these systems excel and where they fall short. Read on for a full break down, or jump directly to the sections that interest you most using the navigation bar.
Nest is one of the most recognizable names in the smart home industry, but will Nest Secure live up to the reputation of their more established products like the thermostat? Nest Secure is one of the better home monitoring solutions out there, but we feel that it does fall short of competitor abode when it comes to delivering quality security at an affordable price.
While abode doesn’t have the same brand recognition that Nest does, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have the superior product. With a huge portion of the security system’s features available without a subscription, it provides an excellent balance of features and value that makes it our top pick for a home security system.
Below we break down abode vs. nest Secure to help give you a sense of what each security system brings to the table. If there’s a specific section you’re most interested in, however, you can use the navigation bar to move right there.
Ring and Nest are two brands that have built a name for themselves in the smart technology industry, offering multiple different products that add convenience and utility to your home. When comparing the Ring vs. Nest security system, it’s clear that both have a lot to offer. For those on a budget, the Ring security system just can’t be beat, while Nest is better suited for those who already have a collection of Nest products.
At the most basic level, the Ring and Nest security systems offer the same great protection that will keep your home secure. When you start to get into the various features that they have to offer, however, it’s clear that the “best” decision is much more subjective, with your choice likely to be influenced by the factors that are most important to you. While Ring offers an affordable and capable product, Nest has a lot going for it too and is the clear choice for those already invested in that ecosystem.
Below we compare the Nest vs. Ring security system to help give you a sense of where these systems excel and where they fall short. If there’s something specific you’re looking for, however, feel free to use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.