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The best home security system in Buffalo

Home security systems offer a wide range of equipment and services that can deter criminals and protect your home in the event of a break-in. We found four top-tier home security companies that suit a variety of homes in Buffalo and help it remain a city of good neighbors.
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Written by Joshua Cox-Steib, Contributing Writer on

The crime rate in Buffalo, New York, is reported at 50.59 per 1000 population. The national crime rate average for the United States in 2018 was 21 995 property crimes per 1000 people and 3689 violent crimes per 1000 people, giving a total national crime rate average of 25 684 per 1000 people. This means that Buffalo has a crime rate of roughly double the national average, making home security in Buffalo essential.

Considering the crime rate in Buffalo and knowing that over half of Americans say that they've never owned a security system, it's not difficult to imagine how a serious break-in could become a real possibility in your neighborhood. In fact, a recent survey found that 34% of Americans have had a package stolen from their front porch.

Home security systems offer a wide range of equipment and services that can deter criminals and protect your home in the event of a break-in. Beyond that, many now include sensors for fire and carbon monoxide as an added layer of protection. We found four top-tier home security companies that suit a variety of homes in Buffalo and help it remain a city of good neighbors.

How we found the best home security systems in Buffalo

We researched Buffalo's most popular local and national home security systems to find four companies that offer the best combination of customer satisfaction and equipment. We made sure each offered the tools you need for four fundamental levels of protection:

We evaluated each company by using a methodology similar to the one from our national review of the best home security systems. We compared the quality of customer service, the overall installation experience and the services each company offers. We also gave preference to systems with robust mobile or home automation services that allow you to monitor your home from afar. Finally, we installed the security systems in our homes and lived with them for eight months to make sure they would remain effective over time. 

All four of our top picks excelled during in-home testing, which means choosing a provider ultimately comes down to a few personal preferences.

Vivint

Best for home automation

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Vivint

Founded in 1999, Vivint is a relatively new home security company. Although it doesn't have as much experience as ADT, it is breaking ground with its innovative and affordable home automation technology.

Monitoring all your security and automation services with the Vivint mobile app is not a difficult process. Everything from your door locks to HD security cameras can be monitored through your phone or tablet, allowing you to keep an eye on your home even when you're away. The competing ADT Pulse app offers the same automation and video feed capability, but Vivint offers the video feed service for 44.95 per month, rather than for $53. Other perks like a touchscreen control panel result in a convenient and useful home security system when you are at home.

Signing up for a Vivint plan is a substantial commitment; you have to buy all of your security equipment upfront to be eligible for a monthly plan. However, if you don't want to pay that much upfront, you can finance your equipment. If you do, then you'll also be signing up for a contract that lasts the duration of your financing terms. The company also requires that you provide 30 days of notice if you choose to cancel your service, and a cancellation fee may apply. Testing other providers with industry-standard 30-day trials is recommended for those on the fence about home security. That said, committing to a plan with Vivint is still a smart option for those ready to invest in their security and home automation. The company also received the third-highest score of companies examined in  J.D. Power's 2018 Home Security Satisfaction Study. Those who want a more experienced company will opt for our other picks, but a slightly lower fee for automation services and video feeds makes Vivint a strong choice for any Buffalo home.

Frontpoint

Best customer support

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Frontpoint

Of all the home security companies we compared, Frontpoint leads the pack when it comes to customer support. Reliable customer support is invaluable for those who are new to home security systems and equipment. After all, having additional guidance as you build and install your security package is a great way to learn the ins and outs of your system.

From the initial phone call to the step-by-step instructions we received for installation, we always felt appropriately guided by Frontpoint. The sales representative helped our tester build a security package that suited her specific home, and the mobile site offered clear instructions on how to set up the equipment. If you get stuck on a step for a long period of time, the instructions will even display a help window with a customer support line for immediate troubleshooting.

When setting up the security system, our tester ran into difficulty getting her control panel online. A quick call to the Frontpoint representative revealed that her control panel was defective. That had all the makings of a red flag for us -- however, the rep quickly apologized and sent a replacement that arrived the next day. When our tester returned to setting up her panel, the mobile site had even saved her progress from the night before. The result? She was able to set up her security system in just 15 minutes.

In addition to excellent customer support, a Frontpoint system includes cameras, professional monitoring and home automation services. Premium packages include cutting-edge features such as live video monitoring. That being said, the company doesn't have the most innovative technology or the longest history of customer satisfaction. Nevertheless, Frontpoint's customer support and dependable protection make it one of the best providers on the market.

ADT

Most popular provider

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Shutterstock

If you're looking for the most experienced home security provider with a long history of reliable protection, ADT is the way to go. With more than 6 million customers, the company has been the leading provider of home security systems since 1874.

Experienced sales representatives are available by phone or live chat 24/7 to help you find the best combination of equipment for your specific needs. Our tester reported the sales rep even "took extra time to help me weigh whether I need home automation." We liked that ADT reps cared about our specific needs rather than automatically upselling us. In fact, our tester told us the installation technician "dropped a few unnecessary window sensors from my bill after deciding that the motion detector was sufficient for the entire front half of my home."

Aside from motion detectors, ADT offers a wide range of home security equipment, including video cameras and home automation services. We are particular fans of the video cameras that allow you to view recordings and live feeds of your home from your phone. However, for access to the live-feed feature, you have to pay for the top service tier or "Video" package -- $53, which is a bit steep. If you are away during an alarm, this ensures you can assess the situation before requesting police assistance -- an important feature for avoiding false alarm fees.

SimpliSafe

Most flexible

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Shutterstock

It can be tough deciding which one is right for you, with dozens of home security systems to pick from. SimpliSafe is quickly becoming a household name in the home security industry, coming off a fresh revamp of its equipment. With plans starting as low as $15, you can feel safe knowing your home is being professionally monitored around the clock. Should you choose not to pay for a monthly plan, SimpliSafe also gives you the flexibility to monitor the system yourself.

Regardless of whether you choose a monitoring plan or opt to self-monitor, SimpliSafe will require you to purchase equipment upfront. Fortunately, it's less expensive than most major security systems, and you won't have to worry about hiring a professional to set it up for you. They have designed a detailed step-by-step guide giving users the ability for a simple DIY installation. Not only does SimpliSafe look out for your home, but the company also offers cheaper options for your wallet.

Guide to Buffalo home security systems

Research your neighborhood's crime profile

Buffalo has one of the highest crime rates in the nation, but like any metropolitan area, different parts of the city are more prone to crime than others. In contrast, the relatively low property crime in more residential areas helps Buffalo rank better than many similar sized urban areas in the country. To get a feel for your specific location's risks, we recommend taking a look at Buffalo's crime map and tailoring your security system accordingly.

Register your security system

The city of Buffalo requires you to register your security system with the city on the date of registration and every two years after that. Some home security companies will register the system for you -- particularly if it's professionally installed -- but you'll want to make sure either way. The fine for failing to register a security system in Buffalo is $250 for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent one.

Compare quotes

We're confident that our top picks will offer dependable security coverage for any home. Even so, comparing quotes with local, regional, or smaller providers can help you get the best price and the security plan that best fits your needs. We combed through consumer reviews on sites such as Angie's List and Google to find the five best alternatives to our top picks.

Home security survey

Given Buffalo's crime rate history, the urgency to invest in a home security system has never been greater. As the industry continues to expand with new players, it can be a little overwhelming to find a system that feels right for you. A survey found that 33% of Americans said video surveillance was the most important feature in a security system over automatic lights and alarms. These results align with the increase in desire for 24/7 professional monitoring. Simply having an alarm system that alerts you about a potential breach isn't enough for many people. Having an extra pair of eyes has become essential for most people who are looking to buy a system. It also adds value for those concerned about porch piracy. More than never owned a security system have had a package stolen from their porch or know someone who has. That rate spikes up to 45% for those aged 18-34. There are many benefits to having a home security system, but having a system that actually watches over your home should give you that added sense of security you've been longing for.

Buffalo home security systems FAQ

What is Buffalo's crime rate like?

Buffalo has one of the highest crime rates in the nation and ranks safer than only 4% of U.S. cities. Buffalo property crime rates are especially high at around 40 per 1000 residents. That means a home security system is a good bet for those who want to protect their homes and property. Video cameras, in particular, are extremely important. Not only do they deter crime, but they also provide evidence for law enforcement officials to use while investigating any break-ins.

How much does a false alarm cost in Buffalo?

It is becoming increasingly common for municipalities to have false alarm fees, and Buffalo is no exception to this trend. For the first three false alarms, Buffalo residents won't have to pay, but any additional false alarms will cost $50 each. Exceed seven false alarms in a 12-month period, and the price jumps to $100. 

To prevent false alarms, you can include video cameras with remote monitoring in your security plan, allowing you to verify whether an alarm is real or false, which can save you money. All of our top picks offer video cameras and remote monitoring, so you'll be able to assess the situation before contacting the police.

The best home security systems in Buffalo: Summed up


Vivint

Frontpoint

ADT

SimpliSafe

Prices start at

$29.99/mo.

$44.99/mo.

$36.99/mo.

$14.99/mo.

Contract length

Month-to-month
42 months
60 months

1 year
Month-to-month after the first year

36 months

No contracts

Cameras

Indoor
Outdoor
Doorbell

Indoor
Outdoor
Doorbell

Indoor
Outdoor
Doorbell

Indoor
Outdoor
Doorbell

Sensors

Glass break
Intrusion
Smoke/flood/CO
Panic button

Intrusion
Smoke/flood/CO
Panic button

Intrusion
Smoke/flood/CO
Panic button

Glass break
Smoke/flood/COFreeze
Panic Button

Smart home features

Lights
Locks
Thermostat
Garage door
Car guard

Lights
Locks

Lights
Locks
Thermostat
Garage door
Smart plug

Locks
Siren

Control panel

Touchscreen
Mobile app

Touchscreen
Mobile app
Keypad

Touchscreen
Classic keypad
Mobile app


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