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The best home security systems in Austin

When choosing our favorite systems, we considered factors such as price, equipment cost, contracts, customer satisfaction, and installation.

Austin residents want a home security system they can trust to keep their families safe. And while it might feel overwhelming choosing from the many companies on the market, we've narrowed it down to the best home security systems in Austin, Texas. When choosing our favorite systems, we considered factors such as price, equipment cost, contracts, customer satisfaction, and installation. 

SimpliSafe

Best for flexibility

simplisafe.jpg
Shutterstock

Reviews Score: 4.4 | J.D. Power: 889* | Contract requirement: No | 


Why we chose it

For customers looking for a flexible system to fit their needs, look no further than SimpliSafe. The company offers extremely customizable plans with many devices to choose from.


Pros:

  • Affordable professional monitoring
  • Customizable system
  • Variety of smart devices

Cons:

  • The basic plan doesn't include mobile alerts
  • Limited smart device integration with other brands

Equipment available:

  • Indoor, outdoor and doorbell cameras
  • Window and door sensors
  • Mobile phone control panel
  • Environmental sensors
  • Smart locks, lighting and thermostat

Plans and pricing:

  • Standard: $0.50/day; includes 24/7 professional monitoring, emergency dispatch, built-in cellular communication, and 24/7 fire monitoring and fire department dispatch.
  • Interactive: $0.83/day; includes everything in the standard plan and unlimited camera recording, 30-day video recording storage, visual alarm verification with police dispatch and more.

Ring Security

Best for ease of use

ring-home-security.png
Ring

Reviews Score: 4.2 | J.D. Power: 882* | Contract requirement: No | 


Why we chose it

Ring has become a popular option for DIY home security because of its simple installation and ease of use.

Pros:

  • Simple DIY installation
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable professional monitoring

Cons:

  • Video storage only available with paid subscription
  • Base security kits don't include cameras

Equipment available:

  • Indoor, outdoor and doorbell cameras
  • Window and door sensors
  • Mobile phone control panel
  • Environmental sensors
  • Smart locks and lighting

Plans and pricing:

  • Free: includes motion-activated notifications, real-time video with live view, two-way talk and lifetime theft protection.
  • Basic: $3/month; includes everything in the free plan and video history, video saving and sharing, snapshot culture, people-only mode and rich notifications.
  • Plus: $10/month; includes everything in the basic plan and 24/7 professional monitoring, extended warranties on all devices and 10% off Ring.com products.

Abode

Best for self-monitoring

abode-home-security.png
Abode

Reviews Score: 4.25 | J.D. Power: NR* | Contract requirement: No |


Why we chose it

Abode offers a comprehensive self-monitoring plan, rivaling many of the professional monitoring plans, but at a better price.

Pros:

  • Low-cost and robust self-monitoring
  • Smart device integration with other brands
  • Easy to install yourself

Cons:

  • Self-monitoring plan doesn't include cellular backup
  • No indoor or doorbell cameras

Equipment available:

  • Outdoor camera 
  • Window and door sensors
  • Mobile phone and keypad control panel
  • Environmental sensors

Plans and pricing:

  • Standard: $0.20 per day; includes push notifications, video storage, timeline, home automation and more.
  • Pro: $0.66 per day; includes everything in standard plan and cellular connectivity, professional monitoring, free shipping, exclusive deals and homeowners insurance discounts.

Arlo

Best for high-quality cameras

arlo-home-security.jpg
Shutterstock

Reviews Score: 4 | J.D. Power: NR* | Contract requirement: No | 


Why we chose it

Arlo doesn't offer all the bells and whistles that other companies do, but it has some of the highest-quality security cameras on the market.

Pros:

  • High-quality security cameras
  • Affordable self-monitoring
  • Easy DIY installation

Cons:

  • No sensors or smart devices
  • Expensive cameras

Equipment available:

  • Indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Doorbell cameras
  • Baby monitors

Plans and pricing:

  • Premier: $2.99/month for one camera or $9.99 for up to five cameras; 2K quality, 30-day video history, advanced object detection, package detection, cloud activity zones and intelligent alerts.
  • Elite: $4.99/month for one camera or $14.99 for up to five cameras; everything in the premier plan and 4K quality.

Blue by ADT

Best for professional monitoring

blue-by-adt.png
Blue by ADT

Reviews Score: 3.6 | J.D. Power: 880* | Contract requirement: No


Why we chose it

Blue by ADT gives you the benefit of professional monitoring from one of the top companies in the market, ADT, at DIY home security prices.

Pros:

  • Professional monitoring provided by home security leader ADT
  • Build-your-own system

Cons:

  • No smart home devices
  • Limited sensors to choose from
  • No cellular backup with self-monitoring

Equipment available:

  • Indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras
  • Window, door, and flood sensors
  • Mobile phone control panel
  • Wifi extender for Blue by ADT cameras

Plans and pricing:

  • DIY: free; includes mobile alerts.
  • 19.99 per month; includes mobile alerts, 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular backup, alerts authorities in an alarm event and one free month of service.

Home security in Austin: What you need to know 

Austin, Texas, crime statistics

If you live in Austin or are preparing to move there, it's important to be aware of the city's crime rate. Here are some recent statistics based on recent FBI data:

  • Austin's crime rate is 65% higher than the national average. Its property crime rate is considerably higher than the national average, while the violent crime rate is only slightly higher.
  • Crime has been consistently increasing in Austin, with a 7% increase year over year.
  • Austin is safer than roughly 17% of cities in the United States, and residents have a one in 25 chance of becoming victims of a crime.

Research your neighborhood

In addition to paying attention to Austin's crime rate overall, it's even more important that you pay attention to your particular neighborhood. This research can help you choose where to live and decide what type of security system you may need.

Austin is home to more than 900 000 people in 61 different neighborhoods. Here is the largest based on population:

  • North Austin is the largest Austin neighborhood, home to nearly 28,000 people. The neighborhood also has one of the highest crime rates, with a total rate of 235% higher than the national average. 
  • Franklin Park is home to nearly 18 000 Austin residents and has a crime rate 150% higher than the national average. 
  • Pleasant Valley is home to more than 16 000 Austin residents and has a crime rate 158% higher than the national average.

Register your home security system in Austin

Austin requires that all security system alarms be registered with the city government. The registration comes with a permit and an annual fee of $50 per residential alarm or $110 per business alarm.

The alarm registration aims to reduce the number of false alarms, which direct police resources away from more important matters. Like many cities, Austin charges a fee for any false alarms where police are called.

For burglary alarms, residents may have three false alarms before they must pay a fee for each one. For robbery or panic alarms, there's only a grace period of two false alarms. After that, fees for burglary alarms range from $50 - $100, and fees for robbery or panic false alarms are each $100.

If police are called to your home for a false alarm, and you haven't registered your home security system, you'll receive a $200 fine and be subject to a Class C misdemeanor charge.

To register your home security system in Austin, either register online or mail in an alarm permit application

How to choose your Austin home security system 

  • Interior/exterior cameras: One of the most important features of any home security system is the cameras. Most companies offer indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras. Arlo offers some of the highest quality cameras on the market, while Abode's system only has a single outdoor camera available right now. When choosing a system, it's important to consider what types of cameras you want. Given the higher crime rate in Austin, residents might appreciate the extra layer of security that comes with cameras.
  • Control panel: The control panel is the hub of your home security system. Companies either have a keypad, touchscreen, or mobile app as their control panel, though most companies offer a combination of two or more of these options. When choosing a company, consider what type of control panel you want. Many people prefer to control their security system from their smartphone, so be sure the company you choose offers that feature.
  • Compatibility: One of the most important considerations for many homeowners is their security system's compatibility with other devices. Many security systems either come with their own smart home devices or easily integrate with smart devices from other brands. SimpliSafe has the largest variety of smart home devices but doesn't integrate well with others. Abode offers no smart home devices, but its system integrates easily with other devices.
  • Storage: If you opt to use security cameras in your home security system, it's important to consider what will happen to the video data. Many companies don't offer video storage with their free plans, meaning you only have access to the live feed. You can't go back and re-watch or share. And in case of a crime, you may really want video storage. For that, many companies require that you upgrade to a premium monitoring plan.
  • Window/door sensors: Window and door sensors are placed around your home and are activated anytime someone enters your home, either by breaking in or by opening an unlocked window or door. Some companies also offer glass break sensors, which alert you if any windows in your home are broken. Arlo doesn't currently offer sensors with its home security system, and therefore may not be suitable for customers who want that extra layer of security.

Local vs. national companies

One of the first decisions homeowners have to make is using a national or local company for their security system. While most people opt for a national provider, Austin, like other large cities, has some great local options available as well. Here are a few things to consider when choosing between a local or national company.

Pros of local security company

A physical office to visit
Your money stays in the community
The company understands your city

Cons of local security company

Fewer financial resources
Slower adoption of new technology

Pros of national security company

More up-to-date technology
Round the clock customers support
Greater financial resources

Cons of national security company

No physical location or in-person support
Your money leaves the community
The provider doesn't know your neighborhood


The home security systems we included in this list are intended for easy DIY installation, but you may hire a professional for extra help. Wireless systems are easier to install than wired systems, so you might want to consider that when buying your home security devices.

What's the best Austin home security system?

There are many home security systems for Austin residents to choose from. The best one will differ for everyone based on their specific needs.

Some companies offer free self-monitoring, but Abode has the cheapest monitoring plan that still comes with more premium features.

Methodology 

We evaluated home security companies based on equipment cost, monthly costs, contract options, installation and customer satisfaction to determine Reviews.com scores and create our best home security reviews. To compare home security companies with other providers across the board, we calculate each Reviews.com score based on the following:

  • Monthly price: The lower the cost of a home security company's monthly contract, the higher the score. Inversely, the higher the cost of the monthly contract, the lower the score in this metric. 
  • Equipment cost: Affordability is important with home security, so we awarded higher scores to home security companies with lower equipment prices.
  • Contracts: Reviews.com reviewed the flexibility in contracts of the home security companies. The more flexibility, like having no contracts to bind customers for long periods, the higher the score. 
  • Customer satisfaction: With J.D. Power's 2020 Home Security Satisfaction Study, we assigned a score to each company based on the rating it received.
  • Installation: Like with contracts, we award higher scores to companies with flexible installation options, like DIY or professional options.