When a bump in the night is more than just the sound of the house settling, home security monitoring companies save the day. And the best alarm monitoring companies don't even cost an arm and a leg. We've narrowed down some of the best security systems for your home using criteria like price, false alarm reduction, customer service, and brand recognition.
How did we choose the best home security systems for renters?
It's our mission to evaluate consumer services and recommend the best ones for our readers. We do the research and hard work, so choosing the right service for you is as easy as possible. When we evaluate home security systems, we look for companies with a good reputation, quality equipment and competitive pricing. To choose our top renters' security systems providers, we use a formula that considers monthly pricing, equipment costs, ease of installation, contract flexibility, and customer satisfaction.
ADT is great for people seeking a fast, professional setup and multiple levels of service. Mobile features are available, letting users easily set and monitor their home security systems from their phones.
- Trusted national name brand
- Large network of trusted agents
- Monitoring starts at under $40 per month
- Users can store video clips with the Complete plan
- Customer service reputation isn't the best
- No DIY option
ADT has three levels of monitoring service, with the Complete plan offering the most value. Users have the smartest features with this plan, and the equipment pricing is comparable to other plans.
- Secure: Monitoring from $35.99/month, equipment starts at $99
- Smart: Monitoring from $47.99/month, equipment starts at $129
- Complete: Professional monitoring for $57.99/month, equipment starts as $129
While the company has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), its overall customer rating is just over 1 star out of 5. And in the 2020 J.D. Power Home Security Satisfaction Survey, ADT had the second-lowest score among professionally installed systems with 834/1000.
When it comes to setting up your new systems, ADT offers professional installation for $99. DIY isn't available unless you opt for Blue by ADT. Ultimately, ADT's biggest advantage is brand recognition, making these systems a solid deterrent for potential criminal activity.
Check out our full review: ADT Review.
Frontpoint is the best option for people who want to avoid a professional installation. The DIY setup and custom equipment plans give users more control, and Frontpoint makes it easy to bring your equipment with you if you move.
- Plans include multiple cameras and signage
- 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans
- It doesn't offer professional installation -- everything is DIY
- Equipment costs are higher than average
With Frontpoint, 24/7 monitoring is charged per day -- its two monitoring options cost about $44 and $49 per month.
- Safe Home Starter: $256 for equipment and setup
- Safe Home Everyday: $296 for equipment and setup
- Safe Home Plus: $320 for equipment and setup
- Safe Home Select: $384 for equipment and setup
- Safe Home Preferred: $480 for equipment and setup
Frontpoint gets an A+ rating from the BBB, but just 2 out of 5 stars for customer service. It wasn't rated by J.D. Power in the 2020 Home Security Survey.
Easy installation is what sets Frontpoint apart from the competition. From sensors and glass break detection to smart cameras, the company prides itself on simply installing its components. Still, if you need installation help, it's just a click away with the Frontpoint app.
Check out our full review: Frontpoint Review.
Vivant's home security monitoring systems offer automation and integration, letting users monitor every sensor from a single app. Customers can expect a fast response from garage door monitors, Smart locks, cameras, and more.
- Well-trained call agents
- Protection extends to porches and yards
- Poor customer service ratings
- Not easy to compare prices without calling
Vivint offers three smart home plans, all of which require professional installation. The video monitoring plan is the most comprehensive, but an agent will assess your best bet based on what you tell them about your property.
- Smart Security Monitoring: Monitoring is $29.99 per month, equipment starts at $599
- Smart Home Monitoring: Monitoring is $39.99 per month, equipment starts at $599
- Smart Home Video Monitoring: Monitoring is $44.99 per month, equipment starts at $799
Vivint is not BBB accredited and has a C- rating from the BBB, sporting just over 1 star out of 5 based on customer reviews. It ranks second on the J.D. Power survey.
Vivint doesn't offer DIY installation or monitoring options. While you can monitor cameras and sensors from the Vivint app and change key system settings, all monitoring is handled by Vivint's 24/7 support.
Check out our full review: Vivint Review.
SimpliSafe is great for customers who want to choose between DIY and professional installation and enjoy the benefits of a well-known name in security -- which can help deflect would-be thieves looking for an easy target.
- Installation flexibility
- Long trial period lasting 60 days
- No contract required
- Some plans don't have professional monitoring
- Better for homes with an existing smart tech set up
SimpliSafe provides three plans that offer either DIY installation or professional installation. The Standard Plan offers professional monitoring at $15 per month. Something to keep in mind: The self-monitored plan offers no monitoring support, meaning tripped alarms make noise but won't connect with local emergency services.
- Self-Monitored: $0/month for DIY monitoring
- Standard: $14.99/month for professional monitoring
- Interactive: $24.99/month for professional monitoring
SimpliSafe has been accredited with the BBB since 2013 and enjoys an A+ rating with 1.5 stars out of 5 based on customer reviews. The company is ranked first in the DIY category of the J.D. Power Home Security Satisfaction Survey with a score of 899/1000.
SimpliSafe offers substantial plan flexibility, which allows you to choose the equipment, installation, and monitoring options that best fit your needs and budget. You can opt for professional installation services or do it yourself. Customized equipment packages come with anywhere between 3 to 12 devices, including base stations and keypads, entry sensors, motion sensors, and sirens.
Check out our full review: SimpliSafe Review.
Brinks requires a lot of equipment investment, but customers benefit from a national brand that may intimidate unwanted visitors. HD cameras are available for those who are worried about video quality.
- Professional and DIY installation options
- 30-Day trial with a money-back guarantee
- Limited contract options
- Hefty equipment costs upfront
While the Brinks Smart Security Essential plan is cheaper than some competing plans, it only offers a smart hub, wireless motion sensor, and wireless door sensor. The Ultimate Plan is the best long-term investment.
- Brinks Smart Security Essential: $29/month for monitoring, plus $499 for equipment
- Brinks Smart Security Complete: $39/month for monitoring, plus $799 for equipment
- Brinks Smart Security Ultimate: $39/month for monitoring, plus $1,099 for equipment
Brinks gets an A+ rating from the BBB and has been accredited since 2011. However, they only rated 1 out of 5 stars on customer reviews. However, it ranks third-highest for professionally installed home security systems in the J.D. Power survey with a score of 842.
You can choose to install a Brinks Home Security system yourself or have Brinks professionals take care of the setup. While the DIY option comes at no cost, professional install pricing isn't quite as consistent and isn't clearly laid out on its website.
Check out our full review: Brinks Home Security Review
How to select the best home security system
You want a home security monitoring system that is reliable, affordable, yet built for the long haul. After reviewing available options, here are some of the top factors we recommend looking into before you make your choice.
- Long-Term Investment: Check out equipment quality and customer reviews, so you're not replacing cameras often.
- Coverage: A good home security monitoring system should offer 24/7 coverage and support.
- Reliability: Look for an alarm system that isn't known for false alarms.
- Installation: If you aren't comfortable with technology, avoid a DIY system.
- Transparency: Be on the lookout for hidden fees or installation costs that aren't advertised prominently on the website.
Pro-installed vs. DIY home security systems
A DIY installation saves hundreds of dollars in most cases, and many systems are manageable for anyone comfortable with Smart tech. On the other hand, professional installations may result in fewer errors and a labor warranty that won't leave you on the hook for a poorly installed camera or sensor issues.
It depends on your provider. Some offer professional installation only, while others are entirely DIY and yet some companies let homeowners choose what works best for their budget.
The average cost for home security monitoring typically falls between $20 and $40/month, but this price varies based on the equipment you have installed and the monitoring package you choose.
To find the best home security monitoring companies, it's critical to consider more than just per-month pricing and equipment costs. Smart home automation matters, along with top-tier customer service and the ability to easily add (or remove) components as necessary.