Best Home Security Systems According to Experts
Want to feel safer no matter where you live? Top security experts share their picks for the best home security systems.
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Who needs a home security system?
According to the FBI, a property crime occurred every 4.1 seconds in 2017. If that statistic isn't enough to make you take a look at home security systems, then what will?
But how do you pick the right one? You must take your property and lifestyle into consideration. We spoke with several home security experts to find out what the best home security systems are for every need, home, and budget. Arm your home with one—and these 13 sneaky ways FBI agents protect their own homes.
Best for large homes
Kate Ward of SecurityNerd suggests leaving large home security up to the experts. "We recommend going with a reputable company that will come to your home and asses your needs. It can be difficult with a larger home to spot all of your trouble spots on your own."
Both Ward and Robert Siciliano of Porch like ADT. "This is the best overall system with an easy professional installation as well as the best 24/7 monitoring," he says. "ADT's systems are easily scalable for a large home. All of the installers are also expert security advisors, and they will go through your entire home to identify what security options are right for you," he says. Here are 20 secrets your home security system installer won't tell you.
Best for apartments
"With an apartment, it's important to keep in mind that you probably don't want anything hardwired because you may not be allowed to drill holes. So, you'll want a wireless option," says Ward. "You may also want a DIY system because then you will likely be able to take the equipment to your next place."
Both Ward and Siciliano recommend SimpliSafe. "Move it from home to home to apartment to condo. SimpliSafe designed its home security systems for smaller homes and apartment dwellers. It has a standard entry sensor that covers the main door," Siciliano says. Outsmart burglars with these 13 home security tips.
Best for homes with pets
When it comes to pets, "the best solution is any quality security system installed that doesn't use motion detectors and only protects doors and windows," says Neal Scott of Alarm Websites. But if sensors are a must, Ward recommends Vivint. "They have pet-friendly sensors and lots of home automation that you can use such as cameras that can watch your pet, environmental sensors, and the capability to lock/unlock doors from your phone for pet sitters or dog walkers."
Best for people who travel frequently
If you're a frequent traveler, it's important to have app and smart home integration. So, both Ward and Siciliano say if you're on the go, go with Vivint.
"They have the best home automation, easy professional installation, and work with Alexa and Nest smart home systems," says Siciliano. "This is full home protection, including burglary and environmental protection and home automation. It uses a radio frequency called Z-Wave, which many other smart home devices use. So, you can add other third-party devices to your Vivint system." Don't forget to do these things before you leave for vacation.
Best for outdoor space
Siciliano likes Vivint's outdoor cameras and video doorbells. "You can also live-stream the feed to the mobile app and save it for future viewing. The doorbell cam allows you to see and even interact with anyone who comes to the door, and the outdoor cam allows you to view a live feed whenever it detects activity," he says. Worried about your car getting stolen? Check out these useful anti-theft devices.
Best for budget-conscious
Siciliano says SimpliSafe is the best bang for the buck. "If you are single or on a seriously tight budget, living in an apartment [or] moving around a bit, then consider The Essentials for $259 and live happily ever after. It provides a motion sensor and alarms for the main entry points," he says. Trying to avoid monthly service fees to save yourself some cash? Consider these best home security systems without monthly fees.
Best to prevent package theft
Package theft is a major problem today, so most experts, including Scott, recommend front door cameras like Ring. "A motion detector will notify your smartphone of an approaching person. You can also talk with the visitor. Video is saved for identification. Ring has an outstanding app that allows you to share video snippets with your neighbors who also have Ring. Many police agencies have programs that allow you to connect your video to them," he says. These are 8 telltale signs that the package at your door is suspicious.
Best smart home security system
Rebecca Edwards of Safewise calls Vivint the most comprehensive smart home security system because it has every feature you could need. "You can access all of your security control and smart home control through a single app and they can also customize your system to match your home (meeting all security vulnerabilities) and lifestyle/habits (with home automation)." Like smart technology? These devices are worth every penny.
Best hardwired system
Most security experts agree you can't go wrong with the old standard, ADT. "I think ADT is a strong choice," explains Edwards. However, you need to keep in mind that you shouldn't try to hardwire a system on your own. "It comes with professional installation so you don't need to worry about setting things up wrong, shorting out your system, or injuring yourself," she says. Should you put up that home security system sign or sticker? Here's why you might want to think twice.