Versatile system. Optimized for Alexa. User-friendly app. Simple setup. Adjustable motion sensors for pets. Includes base station, keypad, motion detector, 4 contact sensors, and range extender.
Poor choice for large homes.
Affordable. Simple setup. Optimized for Alexa. Battery life of up to 2 years. Motion detection. Live video monitoring via app. Features 2-way audio. Available in 1, 2, 3, and 5-camera bundles.
Not for outdoor use.
Comprehensive kit. Includes base station, 4 door and window entry sensors, camera, keypad, and 2 motion sensors. Simple installation. Monitor system via app. Google and Alexa compatible.
Subscription needed for additional monitoring services.
Features detail-rich 2K resolution. Weatherproof cameras for indoor and outdoor use. Simple setup. Battery lasts up to 1 year. Sharp night vision. Alexa compatible. Includes 2 security cameras and HomeBase.
Its motion-detection is on the sensitive side.
Includes 4 window and door sensors and a hub that connects to WiFi. Compatible with a device application that sends alerts and monitors the system. Energy-efficient and runs on AAA batteries. Works with Amazon Alexa devices.
May require a paid subscription for more detailed notifications.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
For keeping you and your loved ones safe from burglaries, fires, and other hazards, a smart security system provides peace of mind and allows you to monitor your home at all times. However, the variety of kits and features available can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to home security systems.
Unlike traditional home security systems, a smart security system can integrate with accessories like smart speakers or smart thermostats, acting as the control center for your home. If you already own smart appliances, integrating a security system is a natural next step—or if you don’t have any smart home devices, this is an ideal place to start.
The number of accessories and features varies greatly from one set to the next, offering you a range of choices in terms of both price and functionality.
On top of the considerations for choosing a traditional home security system, you’ll also need to weigh things like whether you need a wired or wireless system and how you want to control your security system.
The cost of a system depends largely on what security components you need. If you’re just looking for a doorbell or a set of door sensors, sets can be fairly inexpensive.
However, smart security systems are generally more expensive than their traditional counterparts. If voice control or smart home integration are important features to you, then the added price may be worth it.
The majority of smart security systems are wireless. A hardwired system has the advantage of not needing batteries, but the pros end there.
Wireless systems are easy to install yourself and don’t require professional help. In addition, you can bring them with you without hassle when you move.
When you’re comparing your options, consider any monthly fees that may come with systems.
Cellular backup plans provide a connection in the event that your home is without power or internet. Some savvy burglars may cut your home’s power or cable lines before entering. Cellular backup fees are often around $10 a month, or they may be bundled with other subscription fees.
A professionally monitored system means that you alone are not responsible for responding to alerts or notifications—which may be just what you need for a stress-free vacation. These services average around $30 per month, so think carefully before opting for a system that requires a monthly subscription.
When comparing models, consider the number and type of components, how your home will be monitored, and how you will interact with features like locks or other linked smart home devices.
You could start off with a smart lock or doorbell, or you could opt for a full set of cameras to monitor your home. The right choice depends on your budget, needs, and preferences.
A self-monitoring security system will send you alerts on your phone when anything is amiss, whether it’s motion detected by a camera or an opened window.
Professionally monitored systems usually come with a monthly fee, but in return, you get the services of a team that will verify any disturbances in your home and contact the appropriate authorities.
Both options offer your home protection, but the right choice depends on your budget and how hands-on you want to be.
Most smart security systems include a control panel, which may have a touchscreen for controlling things like arming and disarming your system, turning off alarms, or locking doors.
Some systems may also allow you to use voice control or to control your system with an app. Consider which method you find most convenient when comparing options.
Check with local laws to see whether authorities require a permit for alarm systems. This may be required if you opt for a professionally monitored system.
On top of additional components like extra cameras or a video doorbell, consider further protecting your home with a few accessories.
If your system has cameras, consider a hard drive to locally back up captured footage. Be sure to keep the hard drive in a discreet location so it isn’t stolen or destroyed by intruders.
Though they have a wide range of functions, smart speakers offer an easy way to control your security system. If you already own a smart speaker, check the compatibility of smart security systems you are considering.
A well-lit lawn is a major deterrent for burglars. In addition, a flood light can help outdoor cameras capture clear footage.
When comparing systems, don’t forget to take subscription fees and monitoring costs. These can range anywhere from free to $60 per month.
Basic sets may include a single security camera, a video doorbell, or a few window and door sensors for $50 to $100.
For $100 to $400, systems may include a range of components, often offering cameras, video doorbells, smart locks, and window sensors. In addition, these sets often include cellular backup capability with a monthly subscription.
Comprehensive kits for $400 and more typically offer 4K security cameras and include a hub. While camera quality is excellent in this price range, these sets do not necessarily include more components than cheaper options.
A. While many systems have built-in safeguards, systems that are connected to the internet could be hacked. To prevent this, opt for a system from a reputable brand, and avoid older models. Keeping your system’s firmware up-to-date can also prevent hackers.
A. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s hard to judge the effectiveness of a security system brand sign. In addition to this measure, keep your home well-lit, and place security cameras in visible locations.
A. In general, your smart security system should be functional for 10 to 15 years. However, if the company stops supporting the firmware with regular updates, it is probably time to upgrade.
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