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The best home security systems in 2021

Home security products are no longer niche investments for the neighborhood’s most luxurious homes. With major brands offering services and products for record-low prices, there are smart security options for nearly every price point. Whether you’re looking for a quick DIY install or professional white-glove service, there are numerous options to consider when laying down the dough for cameras, sensors, and touchpads. To help you on your journey for total peace of mind, we’ve put together this roundup of the best home security systems you can buy right now — featuring options for both the get-it-done weekend warrior and those less interested in taking on the job alone.

SimpliSafe

Simplisafe

SimpliSafe is a beautifully crafted home security platform, comprising a vase-shaped base station, integrated siren, and a slew of supporting sensors available to scatter around your home. They’re designed to detect movement in the home, entry from doors and windows, as well as floods and fires. The “simpli” part of the system? It’s quick and easy to install and a cinch to expand, with a comprehensive range of sensors, optional home security cameras, and even 24/7 professional monitoring. Arming and disarming the system is easy for the whole family, with a battery-powered keypad and key fob design. Best of all, thanks to a partnership with design gurus IDEO, SimpliSafe is one of the slinkiest security packages around.

Simplisafe continues to get louder, smarter, and more secure, upgrading their hardware and adding new products like the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro and SimpliSafe Smart Lock for your front door, supporting HD video monitoring and two-way chat plus remote locking and personalized PIN codes for convenient access. The two devices strengthen an already compelling smart home security platform. Highly recommended.

Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit (2nd Generation)

Ring Alarm

The affordable and likable Ring Alarm doesn’t disappoint on value, features, or performance. This affordable starter kit offers a base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector, and a range extender. Together, that’s the perfect package for guarding access to a small home or apartment, and you can install everything yourself effortlessly with setup provided by the Ring app. It’s also compatible with Alexa voice commands.

You can easily add more sensors to detect movement and window and door entry, or a Ring doorbell or outdoor security camera for more comprehensive protection. Ring also offers other home security products like an Alarm Flood & Freeze Sensor, Panic Alarm, and a Smoke and CO Listener, while exterior security can be boosted with the company’s range of smart lights. While you will pay a small monthly fee ($10) for professional monitoring, the Ring Alarm Kit is ideal for those who want to add professional options to their DIY system. You can also upgrade to an 8- or 14-piece kit for more devices.

Vivint

Vivint

If the idea of installing your own home security system leaves you cold, professionally installed options are still available. While Vivint certainly isn’t the cheapest platform around, you can tailor the system to your needs, selecting from a comprehensive range of high-quality security devices that includes thermostats, cameras, doorbells, lighting, sensors, smart locks, and more.

Once you’ve designed the system of your dreams, installation is priced reasonably, and we found the service to be top-notch. While customization options are exhaustive, controlling the system is easy, courtesy of a nifty, wall-mounted touchscreen and smartphone app plus Alexa and Google Assistant support. Vivint also offers a range of professional monitoring services, starting at around $30 to $40 per month.

If your budget runs into the thousands and you’re seeking a premium, white-glove home security experience, Vivint is well worth exploration.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint Security

Competing with major home security brands like Vivint and ADT, Frontpoint offers high-end DIY security packages with no contract commitments. Prices for plans start as low as $99 and include a hub, keypad, two door and window sensors, and a doorbell camera. You’re also granted full access to the Frontline app for on-the-go monitoring and system customization. For a few dollars more, you can upgrade to the company’s Ultimate plan, which gives you professional monitoring and smart home controls, including motion-triggered alerts for your mobile device, light controls, night vision viewing, and video and image history for captured recordings.

While you’ll spend a little more on the upfront cost, Frontpoint’s excellent customer service is there for you in a pinch for any need — install-related or otherwise. Plus, you can try Frontpoint free for 30 days before committing to the hardware. Not a bad deal for a top-of-the-line DIY kit.

Alder

Alder Home Security

If you’re looking to walk out of Best Buy with an Alder system, you’re out of luck, as the company only offers custom-order packages (with free quotes through Alder’s site). That being said, we wouldn’t pass up an Alder system. Building a package online is as simple as plugging in your zip code and providing your home’s total square footage. Packages include all the staples of a traditional home security system, including a touchscreen panel, indoor/outdoor cameras, door/window sensors, motion detectors, and doorbell cameras. Best of all, Alder also supplies you with a pendant for medical emergencies, similar to Life Alert’s product suite. For those inclined to manage home security from their phone or tablet, system customization and live monitoring are available through the Alder app (iOS and Android).

Professional monitoring through Alder starts at around $40. While you’re committed to a three- or five-year contract term, you do have a 30-day free trial and a guaranteed one-year warranty on all the hardware your custom package comes with.

Abode Iota

Abode Iota Starter Kit
Terry Walsh/Digital Trends

While the first-generation Abode security starter kit didn’t wow us on quality, we found it to be a solid budget pick, with a versatile assortment of sensors, extensive third-party device support, and simple controls. Abode Iota is the company’s latest starter kit, boasting sleek lines and smart device control.

The current Iota kit includes a large monitoring hub with a built-in HD camera, a 93-decibel siren, and two-way audio communication options, designed to be placed in a central position, facing an entryway. You also get a mini door or window sensor, and a tiny little keypad meant to fit as a fob on your keychain for easy yet secure arming and disarming.

Unlike competitors that focus purely on security, Abode Iota also serves as a smart home controller. Device support is extensive, with Abode’s proprietary SecureRF radio, Zigbee PRO, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi on board for connecting up to 160 devices, while partnerships with Yale, Kwikset, Hue, Ecobee, Philips Hue, and others increase its credibility as a smart home hub. However, Abode has plenty of sensors and accessories you can add from its own brand as well, so take a look at their store if you are interested in buying.

Link Interactive

Link Interactive

The Link Interactive is a strong choice for those who want a traditional security system with professional monitoring, locks and detection devices, and packages that take care of the process for you. Link also features monitoring and controlling from an app. To this, Link features some advanced protection, like an electrical setup that keeps the system active if a burglar tries to disable it. Many traditional security brands have tried to update their offerings with smart home tech, and Link is one of the most successful.

Scout

Scout

Scout offers more customization options than other security brands. You can choose everything from the components to include down to the colors and finishes on the equipment. Scout offers month-to-month monitoring, so you don’t have to worry about long-term contracts. You can also choose the super basic self-monitoring plan for $10 a month. Self-monitoring may sound daunting, but the Scout app is easy to use, and it gives you quick alerts if alarms go off. A professional monitoring upgrade will cost you an additional $20 per month. It’s worth mentioning retailers like Amazon.com offer similar customizable kits, too.

Protect America

Protect America

Protect America has a range of customizable plans that let you add many smart gadgets to your security system, such as Amazon Echo devices, door sensors, and other simple additions. Everything ships at the same time, and they install everything for you. Prices vary but the locked-in rates are budget-friendly. If the other, more traditional home security brands don’t meet your criteria, you might want to take a look at this one.

Honeywell Smart Home Security System

The Honeywell Smart Home Security System starter kit includes a remote-control key fob, two access sensors for windows and doors, and a camera base station. The base station features motion detection, facial recognition, an Alexa smart speaker, a siren, and an HD camera. There is also support for Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Z-Wave Plus. The Honeywell System is completely DIY and doesn’t offer professional monitoring. That makes it ideal if you want to manage your own security without having to deal with contracts.

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