Seems like everyone I know has been through the mind-boggling search online for some form of home security system. The top home security systems vary in price and package offerings as some newcomers to the market are offering significant savings while maintaining quality, or often, raising the bar on durability and features. Of course, no one wants to pay more than they have to, but the struggle is often in determining what is simply inexpensive and what is downright cheap. And when it comes to selecting home security systems, this isn’t a place to sacrifice quality.
So, let’s take a look at three of the best home security systems! In this search for the best system, that determination may vary for any particular individual or family and what new offerings may come out as competition within this market heats up; but our overall criteria will be quality, great customer reviews, bundle and package offerings, and affordability. In fact, we won’t even rate them in any particular order since one may be better than another for you, while your neighbors will fare better with another one of these systems. All of these are great products and each offers functionality differing from the others. Again, your specific needs will dictate which system you place at the top of your list. Our goal is to help you determine which one ranks in that top position that’s right for you.
We start with Protect America, which seems to not be as HUGE of a name as EDT, Ring, Simply Safe and a few others. Although they are offering zero upfront fees, you will likely be locked into a contract that will keep you at their mercy. However, their equipment is reportedly well made and reliable and if upfront cash is a problem, this could be a great option.
On a better note, Protect America offers top of the line security features that help protect you and your family. Although you may have a commitment that sort of ties you down, most other companies have higher monthly fees for the monthly service. Protect America offers an introductory offer with its Copper plan, which starts at only $19.99/mo. They also design customized security systems for your home. This means you only receive the services you need to best protect your family and belongings while avoiding the costs of superfluous items you don’t really need. You will also have convenient access and control wherever you go via remote access and home automation technology. Protect America is a great contender as the right system for your home security needs, and they are one of the top home security systems on the market today. Here are a few highlights to keep in mind:
- Five different packages ranging from $19.99 to $41.99
- Smaller upfront investment if upfront cash is a problem (Homeowners are locked into a 3-year contract to pay for equipment and services)
- Three different monitoring choices depending on a customer’s particular needs
- Industry-leading technology, including their Simon XT Touch Screen control pad
- Smoke detectors and medical panic buttons
- Wireless, high-speed internet or landline options
- Great customer reviews
SimpliSafe has been around for over 12 years and boasts an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Their systems and package offerings are quite different from those of Protect America. SimpliSafe systems are completely wireless, and there are no contracts at all. In fact, they offer a 60-day trial period which has earned them a bit of credibility. Their equipment is DIY and extremely simple to install (even a cavechild could do it!), however, they do offer professional installation for around $199.
For anyone on a budget and not wanting more monthly bills, SimpliSafe offers several low-cost introductory packages, and customers can easily purchase additional equipment a little at the time. With this model, a homeowner can decide which items are most needed for their home security needs, start there and add on as funds are available. There are no monthly fees unless a monitoring package is purchased, and all the equipment purchased is the property of the homeowner. If the homeowner moves, the equipment can be easily uninstalled and brought along to the new home.
These systems are all DIY and are typically operated in a self-monitoring manner. Notifications are sent to homeowners’ mobile phones and computers so that monitoring is easy! For instance, if someone approaches the front door of a customer with a doorbell camera, there is an immediate notification sent out. The homeowner can even communicate with the person at the door with a built-in microphone and speaker. But do keep in mind, SimpliSafe offers two relatively inexpensive monitoring options: $14.99 (no mobile control), and $24.99 (with mobile control). In a nutshell SimpliSafe offers:
- No contracts!
- Completely wireless systems
- Easy DIY installation
- Self-monitoring or competitively-priced professional monitoring
- Affordable equipment bundles starting at $99.00
- Landline, broadband or high-speed internet options
- Backup battery in case there are power outages
- Excellent customer reviews
ADT has been around for more than a century. In fact, they’ve been around for over 140 years. In the late 1800s they created a telegraph-based “call box” that was connected to residences in the area where it was first developed. This was the first known residential security monitoring system. Now obviously, neither their primary function nor their expertise included “wireless” home security systems that long ago. That would have been an area more suited for Nikola Tesla! (I think) But for a company to have been around that long while focusing on one specific area of product and service, perhaps more than just a nod of respect is due. A closer look is warranted as we consider the best home security systems and what many consider the top home security systems based on reviews and customer feedback.
Their reviews are good, the longevity is to be admired, and the pricing seems competitive. The equipment is top-notch as would be expected with such an established company (or any company planning to become well established), and ADT offers equipment that is wired and some that is wireless. Their reviews on their installation are stellar! Their response time is quick and their customer service appears to be above the fray. However, name recognition and confidence with a company with such a long history can sometimes cause the pros to overshadow the cons. In this article we are looking at some of both (However, to get a complete overview of the products and services of any home security system provider, a careful look at each of their websites is recommended, provided you keep your focus on the offerings that interest you while not being distracted by the sales hype and pop-up ads and banners). With that in mind, now we will look at some weaker points that are rarely found in reviews of the best home security systems that seem to point out the same weaknesses with other providers while giving ADT a pass.
The Cons of ADT
For one thing, ADT doesn’t offer a do-it-yourself option. Installation is required with an up front fee (which is similar to other companies with professional installation). There is also a 3-year service contract that that is required to get the equipment, installation and monitoring service. This is what pays for the equipment. Free equipment isn’t free if a customer pays for it through higher monitoring fees with a 36-month obligation. And with professionally installed proprietary equipment (most of it hardwired), a homeowner is unlikely to change providers after the 3 years contract is finished. At that point, the higher than average fees are simply monitoring fees, and monitoring only isn’t very expensive to operate. Also, for their basic systems, a landline is required. Who has a landline anymore? I know some people do, and certainly businesses do, but landlines in the home became a thing of the past in the recent decade or so. And what if a homeowner gets a job offer that just can’t be passed up and decides to take the job and move unexpectedly? Well, your equipment will probably stay in the home you are leaving, which brings me to another point: you must be the homeowner to use ADT. You can’t be a tenant or some other family member. So, again, in a nutshell, here are a few highlights of ADT:
- Great track record and a long time in the industry
- State-of-the-art equipment
- Professional installation
- Touch screen control panels
- Must have a landline for their basic packages
- There is a 3-year contract
- The equipment is essentially lease
- Professional monitoring is mandatory
Three Great, Yet Different, Options!
Certainly, there are dozens of other options out there. There are home security companies that have unique bundles with special pricing. And almost every company offers special deals once in a while. That could definitely sway a buyer’s decision if a comparable product is offered by another home security company that is offering 75% off. But all things considered, when looking at which companies currently have the best overall product bundles, pricing, services and customer approval, the top home security systems emerge as listed above. Protect America, SimpliSafe and ADT are each unique in their offerings and pricing. The goal here was to lay out the three top home security companies that appeal to the different needs of homeowners. SimpliSafe is fairly clean-cut and straight forward with easy to understand pricing and other offers. Protect America is a little more confusing, but with a monthly monitoring service fee and equipment that is leased monthly (lower up-front costs), Protect America seems to be the clearest without a lot of confusing hidden costs. ADT may have superior hardware (and maybe not…?), more industry expertise (and maybe not…?), more package offerings (and maybe not…?) but their website is the most confusing, and the only way to get to any definitive pricing or to have typical home security system questions answered is to fill out a few pages of info online and they get back in touch with potential customers. It would seem that a larger residence or estate may be better off with ADT, while smaller and more average-size homes would do better with SimpliSafe or Protect America, depending on the needs of the homeowner as discussed above. Whatever you do, choose a top home security system, one that is affordable and reliable, and select the provider that best meets your needs.