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Home Security Systems Comparison

We created this home security systems comparison table because we wanted you to be able to compare the costs, equipment and features that are important to you while simply eye-balling a table vs. digging through a million websites, in-home consults and sales calls. We hope this takes the stress out of choosing a security system and gives you the confidence to know that you made the best home security decision for you and your family.

This table is a companion resource to our Home Alarm Reviews article that compares and ranks the most popular home security companies. Please, if there’s anything you’re not finding here or if you have any feedback on how we might improve this table and make it better, comment below.

Overall Winner: Frontpoint

1st Place Winner - ASecureLife.comVisit Website: Frontpoint Security

While this page is designed to help you choose based on specific budget ranges, this should not take away from who offers the very best service out there: Frontpoint Security. For the past five years, they have come out as our #1 pick and you can review our full ranking of the national players to find out why they are far and away your best place to get started with a free quote and 30-day money back trial.

Monitoring Packages Pricing Comparison

Note: Unless noted otherwise, all home security system pricing comparisons assume a 36 to 39 month contract.

Value Priced Packages: $15-$29 Per Month

This tier features the lowest rates for home security monitoring. Don’t expect all of the bells and whistles at this level, these will be very basic monitoring packages with basic equipment.

Value Priced WinnerProtect America
ASecureLife Overall Ranking2nd3rd4th5th9th
Security Company
Protect AmericaLifeShieldSafeMartSimpliSafeAlarmForce
Read ReviewProtect America ReviewLifeShield ReviewSafeMart/LiveWatch ReviewSimpliSafe ReviewAlarmForce Review
Visit Website
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteView on AmazonVisit Website
Call888-255-7812866-311-1331888-793-5462888-957-4675800-267-2001
Monitoring Package
Name
Copper (Landline)Security BasicsBasic CellularPlus
No Contract
AlarmPlus
Activation FeeNone$99.99NoneNone$99.00
Monthly Monitoring$19.99$29.99$19.95$14.99$25.00
Equipment CostFreeFree$287.00$259.95Free
Control Panel

Control Panel

Green CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen Checkmark
Motion DetectorMotion Detector

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Door or Window Sensor

Door or Window Sensor

Green Checkmark

2 Included

Green Checkmark

2 Included

Green Checkmark

3 Included

Green Checkmark

4 Included

Green Checkmark

2 Included

Mobile App

Mobile App

Green CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen Checkmark
Keychain Remote

Keychain Remote

Additional Cost

$24.95 each

Additional Cost

$24.95 each

Green Checkmark

Additional Cost

Call for Price

BonusSecurity Touchpad IncludedTwo-Way Voice Technology
Monitoring MethodLandlineBroadband Internet with Phone backupCellularCellularLandline

Home alarm companies that do not compete at tier one pricing:

  • ADT
  • Frontpoint
  • Guardian Protection
  • Vivint

Multiple offerings at tier one pricing:

  • SafeMart also offers a landline option for $9.95 per month with a $287 equipment cost.

Tier One Summary:

For users who are looking for a basic home security package that is monitored via a landline, Protect America’s Copper package is a great option. For $19.99 a month and no money down, you get all you need to get started. We think that SimpliSafe is making great strides with their alarm concept and if cellular monitoring is essential, they are a great choice. However, with the large upfront fee of $260 and savings of only $5 per month over Protect America, we don’t think it is the best value at this level.

Cellular monitoring is a safer option (not subject to phone lines being cut) and since the majority of homes today don’t have landline phone service, the cost of having a monthly phone bill might add up to more then going with cellular from the start. Be sure to explain your home’s setup and your safety concerns to be sure you get the best service for you. Protect America wins this value tier.

Mid-Range 1 Price Tier: $30-$39 Per Month

This tier features the second lowest prices for monthly home alarm monitoring. And with a few companies, you can even get the more reliable cellular communication option and perhaps even a backup if a communication path were to fail. There’s also a little more equipment at this price level in addition to some added bonuses.

Mid-Range 1 Tier WinnerFrontpoint
ASecureLife Overall Ranking1st2nd3rd6th8th9th
Security Company
FrontpointProtect AmericaLifeShieldGuardian Protection ServicesADTAlarmForce
Read ReviewFrontpoint ReviewProtect America ReviewLifeShield ReviewGuardian Protection ReviewADT Security ReviewAlarmForce Review
Visit Website
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteLearn More About ADTVisit Website
Call
888-268-6273888-255-7812866-311-1331866-533-6717877-559-7988800-267-2001
Monitoring Package
Name
ProtectionCopper (Broadband)

Security Essentials

EssentialBasicAlarmPlus
Activation FeeNone$99.00$99.00$99.00$99.00None
Monthly Monitoring$34.99$37.99$39.99$34.95$36.99$29.95
Equipment Cost$99.00FreeFreeFreeFreeFree
Control PanelControl PanelGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen Checkmark
Motion DetectorMotion Detector

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Detectors are $64.99 Each

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Detectors are $125.00 Each or Two for $198.00

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Detectors are $57.99 Each

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Door or Window SensorDoor or Window Sensor

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Sensors are $32.99 Each

Green Checkmark

3 Included

7 sensors are available for $6 more per month

Green Checkmark

4 Included

Additional Sensors are $27.99 Each

Green Checkmark

3 Included

Green Checkmark

6 Included

Green Checkmark

2 Included

Mobile AppMobile AppGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen Checkmark
Keychain RemoteKeychain Remote

Additional Cost

$29.99 Each

Limited Time: 2 Free!

Normally 49.50 Each

Green Checkmark

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

Call for Price

BonusCrash and Smash Technology

Security Touchpad & Fire Safety Sensor*

*Listens to existing smoke detectors in home

Two-Way Voice Technology
Glass Break SensorGlass Break Sensor

Additional Cost

$74.99 Each

Additional Cost

$99.99 Each

Additional Cost

$105.99 Each

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Smoke DetectorSmoke Detector

Additional Cost

$64.99 Each

Additional Cost

$99.99 Each and $2 Per Month

Additional Cost

$107.99 Each

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Monitoring MethodCellularBroadbandBroadband Internet with Phone BackupCellularLandlineCellular

Home alarm companies that do not compete at tier two pricing:

  • AlarmForce
  • SimpliSafe
  • Vivint

Mid-Range 2 Tier Summary:

At first glance, LifeShield’s Gold option stands out due to the multiple backup options and no equipment or activation fees, but notice that they require a 63 month contract, over twice as long as other competitors. We love the pricing from ADT, but this package relies on landline monitoring. Protect America is a great option at this tier, but it is based on broadband monitoring (​subject to downtime when you internet connection is lost). Frontpoint steals the show at this tier with a low equipment charge of $99, only a 36 month commitment and 100% Cellular monitoring.

Mid-Range 2 Tier: $40-$45 Per Month

The competition is extremely close in this third price level. Cellular monitoring (the safest communication method) and mobile apps are provided across the board and pricing is very close. So it’s the little things that align best with your unique needs that will likely tip the favor of one home alarm company over the other at this price level.

Mid-Range 2 Tier WinnerProtect America
ASecureLife Overall Ranking1st2nd4th8th
Security Company
FrontpointProtect AmericaSafeMartADT
Read ReviewFrontpoint ReviewProtect America ReviewSafeMart/LiveWatch ReviewADT Review
Visit Website
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteLearn More About ADT
Call
888-268-6273888-255-7812888-793-5462877-559-7988
Monitoring Package
Name
InteractiveCopper (Cellular)Premium ControlCellGuard
Activation FeeNoneNoneNone$199.00
Monthly Monitoring$42.99$41.99$39.95$44.99
Equipment Cost$199.93Free$373.00Free
Control PanelControl PanelGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen Checkmark
Motion DetectorMotion Detector

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Detectors are $64.99 Each

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Detectors are $125.00 Each or Two for $198.00

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Door or Window SensorDoor or Window SensorGreen Checkmark

2 Included

Additional Sensors are $32.99 Each

Green Checkmark

3 Included

Seven Sensors are available for $7 per month

Green Checkmark

3 Included

Green Checkmark

6 Included

Mobile AppMobile AppGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen Checkmark
Keychain RemoteKeychain RemoteGreen Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Remotes are $29.99 Each

Limited Time: 2 Free!

Normally $49.50 Each

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Light ControlLight ControlGreen Checkmark

2 Included

BonusCrash and Smash TechnologyCrash and Smash TechnologyTwo-Way Voice Technology1 Image Sensor
Thermostat

Thermostat

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

$148.80

Glass Break Sensor

Glass Break Sensor

Additional Cost

$74.99 Each

Additional Cost

$99.99 Each

Additional Cost

$75.00 Each

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Smoke Detector

Smoke Detector

Additional Cost

$64.99 Each

Additional Cost

$99.99 Each and $2 Per Month

Additional Cost

$79.95 Each

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Monitoring MethodCellularCellularCellularCellular

Home security companies that do not compete at tier three pricing:

  • AlarmForce
  • LifeShield
  • SafeMart
  • SimpliSafe
  • Vivint

Mid-Range 2 Tier Summary:

The competition gets really tight in the third tier. Cellular monitoring (the safest communication method) is standard and the price plans are very similar. So how do we pick a winner? Well, we have to get very nit picky! The one distinct advantage Frontpoint has at this category is the two wireless light controls, and you have the option to upgrade your thermostat so you can control it from anywhere. Protect America has no equipment costs at this level, so as far as a bang for your buck value, they lead the pack here. What is our takeaway? We love all three of these options, but we had to make a decision. Protect America wins this round.

Top Performance Packages: $46-$60 Per Month

At this price level, you are paying for and getting the highest end security and home automation system you can get without investing a great deal more into your home. Expect video cameras and monitoring, light and thermostat automation, in addition to other perks. Without question, this is the bells and whistles level.

Top Performance Tier WinnerFrontpoint
ASecureLife Overall Ranking1st2nd3rd4th6th7th8th
Security CompanyFrontpointProtect AmericaLifeShieldSafeMartGuardian Protection ServicesVivintADT
Read ReviewFrontpoint ReviewProtectAmerica ReviewLifeShield ReviewSafeMart/LiveWatch ReviewGuardian ReviewVivint ReviewADT Review
Visit Website
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteLearn More About ADT
Call
888-268-6273888-255-7812866-311-1331888-793-5462866-533-6717855-300-1751877-559-7988
Monitoring Package
Name
Ultimate
Silver (Cellular)Security AdvantageComplete 2.0emPowerHome SecurityPulse
Activation FeeNoneNone$99.00None$199.00$99.00Call for Price
Monthly Monitoring$49.99$49.99$49.99$49.95$55.95$49.99$49.99
Equipment Cost$199.93FreeFree$473FreeFreeVaries
Control PanelControl PanelGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen Checkmark
Motion DetectorMotion Detector

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Detectors are $64.99 Each

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Detectors are $125.00 Each or Two for $198.00

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Detectors are $57.99 Each

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Door or Window SensorDoor or Window Sensor

Green Checkmark

2 Included

Additional Sensors are $32.99 Each

Green Checkmark

6 Included

Green Checkmark

6 Included

Additional Sensors are $27.99 Each

Green Checkmark

3 Included

Additional Sensors are $29.95 Each

Green Checkmark

3 Included

Green Checkmark

3 Included

Additional Sensors are $60.00 Each

Green Checkmark

6 Included ADT

Mobile App

Mobile App

Green CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen CheckmarkGreen Checkmark
Keychain RemoteKeychain Remote

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Remotes are $29.99 Each

Limited Time: 2 Free!

Normally $49.50 Each

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

$60 Each

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Light ControlLight Control

Green Checkmark

2 Included

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

Call for Price

BonusCrash and Smash TechnologyCrash and Smash TechnologySecurity Touchpad & 1 Fire Safety Sensor**Listens to existing smoke detectors in home

Crash and Smash Technology

Two-Way Voice Technology

1 Image Sensor

Severe Weather AlertsSevere Weather Alerts

Thermostat

Thermostat

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

$148.80

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Glass Break SensorGlass Break Sensor

Additional Cost

$74.99 Each

Additional Cost

$99.99 Each

Additional Cost

$105.99 Each

Additional Cost ADT

Call for Price

Additional Cost

$120 Each

Additional Cost

$75 Each

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Smoke Detector

Smoke Detector

Additional Cost

$64.99 Each

Additional Cost

$99.99 Each and $2 Per Month

Additional Cost

$107.99 Each

Additional Cost

$79.95 Each

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

$120 Each

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Automated Door LockAutomated Door Lock

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

$249.00

Additional Cost

Call for Price

ADT

Wireless Indoor Camera

Wireless Indoor Camera

Additional Cost

$179.99 Each

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Green Checkmark

1 Included

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Additional Cost

Call for Price

Wireless Pan and Tilt Indoor Camera

Wireless Pan/Tilt Indoor Camera

Additional Cost

$279.99 Each

Additional Cost

$199.99 $179 Each and $10 Per Month

Wireless Outdoor CameraWireless Outdoor Camera

Additional Cost

$399.99 Each

Monitoring MethodCellularCellularBroadband Internet with Phone BackupCellularCellularCellularCellular

Home security system companies that do not compete at tier four pricing:

  • AlarmForce
  • SimpliSafe

Tier Four Summary:

This tier features the high-end offerings from each provider. As of publishing, Protect America falls a little behind in this category as they don’t have any home automation features and the only upgrade is a total of 7 Door / Window Sensors. Homeowners who are shopping at this price range are looking for home automation and video monitoring, something that all of the other providers offer at this level except Vivint. In order to get these features with Vivint you will have to seek out their Energy Management ($57.99/month) or Home Automation package ($68.99/month). We really like that SafeMart includes a video camera in their package, but at $479 equipment setup cost, it certainly makes sense. ADT Pulse is highly touted (and advertised), but it is frustrating that we are unable to secure equipment pricing. When you sign up for the Pulse package, none of the home automation or video features are included in the sign up price. Frontpoint has everything you could ask for, but it does start to get pricey once you pay the $200 activation fee and the charges for security cameras, which start at $180. However, their light control, thermostat and door lock offerings are the industry leaders in our opinion. The shining star at this price point is LifeShield, especially if you are looking for security video monitoring capability. For a $100 activation fee, you are able to get a security camera, which is a great value. The downside is there are no home automation features, yet.

  • Winner If You Want Home Automation Features: Frontpoint
  • Winner If You Just Want a Video Feed: LifeShield

Full National Home Security Systems Ranking

Other Comparisons WinnerFrontpoint
ASecureLife Overall Ranking1st2nd3rd4th5th
Security Company
FrontpointProtect AmericaLifeShieldSafeMartSimpliSafe
Read ReviewFrontpoint ReviewProtect America ReviewLifeShield ReviewSafeMart/LiveWatch ReviewSimpliSafe Review
Visit Website
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Call
888-268-6273888-255-7812866-311-1331888-793-5462888-957-4675
Installation

Self Install

Professional installation available

Self Install

Professional installation available

Self Install

Professional installation available

Self Install

Self Install
Equipment Warranty2 YearsLifetime1 YearDepends on Manufacturer3 Years
Ability to Relocate SystemYesYesYesYesYes
Better Business Bureau RatingAA-C+A+A+
Customer ServiceSince its inception, Front Point has focused on customer service. We know that Frontpoint will go to great lengths to make sure customers are satisfied.Protect America had a rocky start early on, but recent internal changes have led to a remarkable turnaround in customer service. In 2012 they had a B- BBB rating and in 2013 this improved to an A-LifeShield is a relatively newer company in the Security System field, but the are off to a rough start with BBB. However, we have not heard any negative feedback from any of our readers.SafeMart has a pretty solid history of really positive customer reviews. While their systems might be a little pricey and lack some of the features we like to see, we are confident that users will have a great customer service experience.The newest company on our list means that there is not a long customer service history. The biggest red flags we have found is that peoples’ systems are not communicating properly and there was no advanced warning from the company. However, once a problem is brought to their attention, they seem to respond quickly.

 

ASecureLife Overall Ranking6th7th8th9th
Security Company
Guardian Protection ServicesVivintADTAlarmForce
Read ReviewGuardian ReviewVivint ReviewADT ReviewAlarmForce Review
Visit Website
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteLearn More About ADTVisit Website
Call
866-533-6717855-300-1751877-559-7988800-267-2001
InstallationProfessional InstallProfessional InstallProfessional InstallProfessional Install
Equipment WarrantyLifetimeLifetimeLimitedLifetime
Ability to Relocate SystemYesYesYesYes
Better Business Bureau Rating
A
NoneRating varies by local dealer
A+
Customer ServiceBe sure you are not confusing Guardian Protection with the other Guardian security companies (Guardian Alarm and Guardian Alarm Systems). While their record varies by location, the majority of Guardian Protection reviews are positive. Keep in mind your pricing might be different as they quote you based on your locationVivint has a spotty customer service record including some high profile complaints. It appears that Vivint is making a turn for the better as overall complaints have lowered.Since ADT is by far the largest home security provider in the United States, it has the most reviews online. There are many negative reviews, as well as some positives.Overall a pretty stellar reputation. We consider AlarmForce to be pretty ‘old school’ though. They generally prefer to do their transactions over the phone and they do not offer the more advanced features that we see from most security systems these days.

Other Comparisons Summary:

Customer service is so important in any industry, but it really strikes a cord with home security. If something is not working in regards to protecting your home, you want to be reassured that it will be fixed in the fastest way possible and you also want to establish trust. From our experience with ASecureLife, Frontpoint’s customer reviews have been the most consistent we see in the industry. They seem to really care about their customers and when you pair that service with their top notch equipment and monitoring, it is easy to see why they won the gold medal for Best Home Security System in 2014. Frontpoint Security wins this tier.

Home Security Services Not Included On This Page

  • First Alert: Pricing varies, accounts managed by local authorized dealers.
  • Monitronics: Pricing varies, accounts managed by local authorized dealers.
  • Pinnacle: Multiple attempts every year have been made to secure pricing information without success.
  • Protection 1: Pricing varies, accounts managed by local authorized dealers.
  • Link Home Security: New company; currently being reviewed.

Home Security Equipment Locations Infographic

Wondering which security equipment is best suited to protect your house? Check out this easy to navigate infographic designed to help you place those sensors, cameras and detectors all in the best place for optimal protection in your home.

Infographic: Home Security Equipment Locations

To embed this infographic on your website, copy this code:

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About Jeff Butler

Jeff's first exposure to security systems came from a real life experience. Nearly ten years ago, after multiple burglaries at his 4,000 square foot retail operation, Jeff was frustrated with the high costs of his failing security system. Knowing there had to be a better way, he built an efficient and streamlined system that prevented many future burglaries. Now focused on home security, he loves to stay on top of this ever-changing industry.
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  • Michelle0610

    I just got talked into a Vivint system by a salesman who said they pick a few houses in each neighborhood to install a free system in all so that they can have a sign in your yard (with the reasoning that they get approximately 50 referrals a year from the sign). Totally free equipment and installation, including the Vivint Sky panel, that includes a cell phone in the panel, not connected to your landline at all, door sensors on all my doors, glass breaking detectors on both floors, automatic door lock on the front door, new thermostats [for my 3 existing thermostats], and a camera that you can put anywhere. All of this can be controlled from our smart phones or iPad. He claimed that they cut the monthly service fee in half – from $150 per month to $69.99 per month and, as I found out later in the conversation, a $99 AT&T activation fee. Now of course, I’m having serious buyers remorse – I didn’t do any homework ahead of time; being a single mom, I’d been thinking about a home security system for some time, and it just seemed so convenient and I had seen quite a few Vivint signs in my neighborhood. After doing some research, I’m even more worried, considering some of Vivint’s high profile complaints, but I’m still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. My question – is $70 a month a ridiculous price to pay for monitoring this system? I’m in Anchorage, Alaska, and everything always seems to be more expensive here, so I’m willing to pay more than the lower 48 states, but is it TOO much more?

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Jeff Butler

      $69.99 per month does seem to be a little high. As you can see in our “Top Performance” Comparison Table, monthly monitoring with all of the bells and whistles (cameras, cellular monitoring and home automation) generally runs around $49.99 per month. The last time we audited Vivint pricing, $49.99 per month was their most expensive option. It seems like this has changed, so we will look into it.

      The good news is that it seems like you received a lot of equipment for no money up front (other than your $99 activation fee, which isn’t that rare in this industry). That could of played a factor in your higher monthly monitoring fee.

  • http://www.v-fit.us/ Chris Colotti

    I was a Protect America customer in our NH house and I am trying to decide to go back to them or go to someone that uses Alarm.com. I’m not really sure it matters, they all seem to have Z-Wave options, but cameras and other things are important to me. I am thinking this is less expensive than doing a wired system, even though my new house is still under construction.

    I never had any issues with Protect America. I just hope now they have more options than before. I got some emails about “Coming Back” to them so maybe I can leverage that.

  • Michael

    Any idea what the monthly cost is for CPI at the cell/mobile app level?

  • married2nalien

    I find the graphic for placement of components very helpful. Question: given the higher than average risk of fire in both the laundry room and mechanical room wouldn’t that indicate a smoke detector in those areas as well? Thank you for the informative website!

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Jeff Butler

      If the homeowner can swing the cost, we definitely recommend a smoke detector on every level of the home, including in the basement where the mechanical room is generally located. We still believe that the kitchen is the number one spot for a smoke detector and second would be the level of the home with the most bedrooms. But you are absolutely correct, a smoke detector in the laundry and mechanical room as well is highly recommended!

  • JenL

    Hi there, I need your guys’ help. I am in the process of getting ready to help some family member move. However, there will be a period of time the house will be left unoccupied, which is unsafe to do in a metro area. I want to install an alarm. We currently have an ADT box in the house but we never activated it. I want to get your input – we are going to eventually sell the house, so this alarm system is needed to “protect” the unoccupied house during this short period of time. I don’t want a contract obviously due to our plan to sell the house. What would you recommend?

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Alex Schenker

      Excellent question Jen. We have an article covering your best options when it comes to security systems without monitoring contracts. Check it out and let me know what you decide on!

  • Elle

    Do you have information on AT&T Digital Life? They are late to the game but I like their offerings.

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Jeff Butler

      We are aware of AT&T Digital Life and you can read our full review here.

  • Jay

    I really don’t see how you guys could recommend Protect America and make them your no. 2 ranked company. They are probably the biggest scam in the industry.

    • Alex Schenker

      Hi Jay, would you mind explaining why you think they are the biggest scam, and if possible, back it up with examples and research? We conduct exhaustive analysis and are more than open to feedback (in fact, it’s taken into account in our reviews), but only if supported by data. Blanket statements like yours don’t really lend much to the conversation.

      • Guest

        Check these out: http://www.yelp.com/biz/protect-america-austin-3 and http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/protect_america.html – those are but just a few sources. Alex, do you think a security company that provides free equipment in return for a 3 year $15 per month agreement could provide any value?

        • Alex Schenker

          Hi Jay, all of the national DIY companies provide free equipment if you sign up for a 3 year contract. And I don’t think Protect America has ever gone as low as $15/ month (their current lowest rate is $19.99/ month). The fact is, aside from FrontPoint (our #1 pick), who spends a large marketing budget on managing their online reputation, all of these companies have more or less horrendous Internet reviews out there (many of them fabricated by competitors unfortunately). We take more than just Internet reviews into account when conducting our research. We have people actually go through the phone call, installation, monitoring, etc. process and report back on their experience.

          Who would you like to see in the #2 spot and why?

          • Jay

            Well, this reply of yours prompted me to do a quick research on Yelp, and I think I may have to thank you, because before now, I thought all the reviews on that site were legit. Turns out Yelp disregards negative reviews in exchange for a monthly fee, and companies that don’t accept their offer, pay dearly with having all their negative reviews appear at the top and considered in the rating. My alleging Protect America as a scam was mostly based off of Yelp, but now I’m not so sure. When you said FrontPoint spends a large marketing budget on managing their online reputation, I put two and two together and it became pretty plain simple why FrontPoint has such good reviews on Yelp. Lol, 2nd spot? I really don’t know now. But I guess, ADT, after all the stick they get from their customers, mostly for the right reasons, may actually be the best choice out of all of them (even if ever so slightly) due to their widespread local dealer network. Just my gut.

  • Alex Schenker

    Just a heads up to our readers that we have added a “home security equipment locations” infographic to our article. We worked hard on it and hope you like it! Please leave your feedback here in the comments section.

  • Anonymous

    Crime rates these days definitely make an alarm system seem like a good investment, but until I saw this article, I did not even know how many options were available or what features were most important to me. I certainly had no clue about costs, either. The comparison table really painted a much clearer picture for me regarding my home security system questions. Clearly technology has come a long way toward crime prevention. Options like a ‘Cellular Connection’, ‘Flood Sensors’ and a ‘Two-Way Intercom’ are only a few of the features I had no idea about before reading this, as well as the fact that some companies are making it possible for customers to relocate alarm systems upon moving. I must say, I was not entirely expecting to see that level of sophistication in security system features. Even more interesting was that all of the systems, each with a different combination of features, help create such a personalized experience that I was surprised to find that the prices for the systems were not much higher than they actually are. I must say, it is reassuring to know that my home and valuables can be protected for a reasonable cost.

  • Anonymous

    I'm really glad that you list features like glass break sensors and garage door sensors. With the whole glass break and garage sensor issue, it is really something that you worry about as a home owner.  When you move out of apartments and into your own home, you have a lot more space around you.  On one hand, it's exciting to spread out and build your own little nest.  However, at night, you can feel like a little kid again, afraid of the dark.  Houses make noises and there are parts of your new home that are so far away that you cannot possibly know what's going on there when you're in another room.  This is also true when you have a home with multiple levels.  With garage door and glass break sensors, at least you can feel safe when it comes to your garage door and windows in the far regions of your home.  It brings you a whole new level of peace of mind.  This chart is so detailed and covers all of these types of things.  It really helps me narrow down my decision.  I'm almost ready to buy.

  • Anonymous

    I have a grandmother that lives by herself. I have always been worried about her because she is not in the best of health and she will not allow anyone to come over there and stay so that she can be taken of when she needs it. She also has a house full of older appliances. I constantly worry that those appliances are leaking some kind of chemical into the air, but she will not allow me to replace them for her. She says they work just fine and she does not want any of that new famcy stuff. But, I have been talking to her about getting a security system. She kind of likes the idea because she has some antiques in the house, but getting her to accept the technology may be a bit tricky.

    However, if I can get her to let me install a security system, I may be able to get the carbon monoxide detectors as well as the flood and fire ones. If I get real lucky, she might even let me make it wireless so that I can monitor her and make sure she is doing okay. Thanks so much for putting this home security systems comparison on here. I think it may serve me well and I had no idea about some of the features that companies were offering. Now that I do, I can present it as just a part of the package for her and might be able to make some progress with her!

  • Anonymous

    Helpful info here – I think I should be able to find the right alarm for my home with all of these details… thanks for collecting it.

  • Anonymous

    There are a few things I have to have from a home security company. Apparently, there are even some things I did not know I needed from a home security company. That is because I did not even know it was offered. For instance, I had no idea that these companies offered protetion from the elements as well as break-ins. I mean, I never would have thought about a heat sensor or a freeze sensor and applied that to a home security company. But now thatI know they offer these services, there is no way I want to go with a home security company that does not offer these kinds of services. Security all the way around is pretty hard to beat. The more I learn about it, the more refined my list becomes. I require dedicated cellular service, 24/7 customer service, self-installation, monitoring, and pretty much all the devices a security company can offer. After that, it is all about their reputation and the cost of the service and devices.

  • Anonymous

    I worked for a company that recently entered the home security market place (we’re not included in the chart) and I found this information to be invaluable as we are starting to talk about some of these terms and concepts with our customers and knowledge is really important. 

    One thing that I have learned about home security and the marketplace as a whole for this sort of thing, is that you have to make your system useful for much more than just “security” and sounding the alarm in case of a break in.
     
    With communication technology being what it is today, end users can have a lot more control over their home and their resources from remote locations than ever before.  For this reason, pushing the functionality of the system for energy conservation and home “management” is a real value to the customer.
     
    Our system has the capability to send out notifier emails and texts should a sensor be tripped or a door opened.  This has boundless possibilities for home owners in keeping track of who enters and exits their home and when, something not many people think of.

  • Anonymous

    That is a lot of information packed into one table. I just love it! I don't know anywhere else I can go and get information like this. It makes shopping around for home security so much easier than calling each company and getting all the details about what they have to offer. Some of the things you have listed on here I was not even aware were offered by security companies. I usually think of them in terms of protecting my house from getting robbed rather than protecting my house from other things, but some of this could come in handy.

    Usually, I am home all the time. But on the rare occassions I leave the house for an extended period of time it is because I am not going to be around for the next day or so. In the wintertime, this worries me because of the potential for my pipes to freeze or some freak storm to come around. Knowing that I can have some kind of alert if such things happened or had the potential to happen would make my life so much easier.

  • a seeker of security

    This is a great chart and all, but it would be much easier to compare the features of each alarm system provider if the table were displayed in graphical format (for example, having checkmarks instead of yes's and no's in the columns). The data is quite good (with more detail than I've seen on any other site, and seems like you pay particular attention to the availability of specific sensors), and I see that you keep it up to date.

    But in order for me to compare the features that are most important to me for each home security system, it would help to have the table updated graphically so that I don't have to dive into each review to fish out the details I'm looking for.

    • A Secure Life

      Thanks for the great suggestion. We have recently updated the comparison table with checkmarks instead of 'yes' and 'no'. We hope this helps you in your search for a home security provider!

  • Anonymous

    I am a very careful decision maker and one thing that I think is very difficult to do when you are comparing service providers and security companies in particular is making sure that you are comparing apples to apples as the saying goes.  This chart and the subsequent breakdown really do a good job of making the decision more objective for me and I really appreciate that. 

    Maybe it is because I am more of a “type a” personality, but I really try to avoid letting my emotions make these kinds of decisions for me and I think emotional appeals are especially prevalent in home security advertising and marketing campaigns.  It is not surprising really, the safety of my property and of my family are things that are easy for me to get emotional about.  But when you boil it all down to the essentials, every company is selling the same thing. 

    You have equipment, installation, ongoing service, and the maintenance of the system to consider when making your decision.  When you look at things like this chart displays them, the decisions become much clearer.

  • Anonymous

    I'm not sure right now whether I am going to go with a wired system or a wireless system. I've been hearing a lot of good things about wireless systems and how easy they are to install and how good they are working for people.  Many people are saying that wired systems are really complicated and in addition, they are not as secure as you would like to think because they require you to have a phone or web connection in order for it to communicate with a home office. 

    This means if a thief or other criminal knows how to cut your wire, then your security system is rendered completely useless.  I never want something like this, so I am strongly leaning toward a wireless system.  With wireless systems, their sensors will communicate with your control panel completely through the air and then to the monitoring office.  This means that criminals cannot interfere with your system.  There won't be any wires in your walls, and no other things for you to have to worry about.  Even animals or kids with idle time can tamper with your wired system leaving you vulnerable.

    • a Security Professional

      Your comment reinforces the misinformation that is spread by companies and websites promoting wireless alarm systems which unfortunately is immediately BELIEVED by readers like you.

      A hard-wired alarm system does indeed have wires connecting its various sensors (such as a door contact or a motion detector) to the main control panel. These alarm wires will be installed by a professional security technician and when he’s done, you will NOT EVEN SEE THEM.

      Therefore, there will be “no animals or kids with idle time who can tamper with these wires”.

      Your “tampering statement” is akin to stating something such as, “I have to watch my children constantly otherwise they’ll rip open my walls and mess with the electrical wiring for my light switches”, because this is the only way that your children will have access to the alarm wiring of a properly installed hard-wired alarm system.

      Furthermore, the alarm wiring can be SUPERVISED which means that if your toddler does somehow get hold of Mommy’s sledge hammer, trouble conditions and/or alarms will be generated once the alarm wiring is tampered with by Little Jimmy and his play friends.

      This means that if someone (somehow) did "get to" and attack the alarm wiring, it would not go unnoticed, nor leave you vulnerable.

      Cut-lines: Completely wireless alarm systems can be set-up to communicate to a monitoring station using a standard telephone line. This means that some wireless alarm system can be compromised by cutting the telephone line, if this is how the alarm system is monitored.So be sure to ask the right questions when making your decisions.

      Like most people who have read “information” about the “benefits and advantages” of wireless alarm systems, you are confusing wireless alarm equipment (sensors that “talk” to the alarm panel wirelessly) with wireless communication means to the monitoring station.

      Your confusion has left you with the impression that hard-wired alarm systems are an inferior product that should be avoided – – and most sites that are promoting wireless security systems are very happy to keep you misinformed in order to sell their wireless equipment.

      I can assure you that in over twenty years of installing hard-wired alarm products that I have NEVER received a call from one of my clients saying, “I’ve been worried about the alarm wiring that you passed inside my walls 15 years ago”.

      While I do understand the ease and convenience that wireless alarm systems provide for self-installation by a homeowner, I do not tolerate the misinformation bandied about online.

      If someone says that they can “cut a line to disable an alarm system” they are referring to cutting a telephone line to disable its communication means. This applies to both hard-wired and wireless security systems which use a telephone line to “talk” to the monitoring station.

      One is not any better than the other (hard-wired or wireless) in preventing a cut line from disabling their communication if either is connected to an unsupervised telephone line.

      If you have the right security professional in your home to install an alarm system for you, whether it is wireless, hard-wired or a hybrid combination of both wireless and hard-wired technologies, you will not have a single thing to worry about.

      Here’s a question for readers concerning HARD-WIRED ALARM SYSTEMS:

      If hard-wired alarm systems were so terrible, as you’ve all been led to believe, why is the effort being expended to pre-wire new homes under construction for a hard-wired alarm system?

      Wouldn’t it make more sense to forgo all of that extra work and install a completely wireless security product once the home was finished? Why are these people doing this extra work of pre-wiring to eventually install an inferior alarm system?

      The answer is simple:

      It’s because a hard-wired alarm system is a superior product with advantages such as never having to change a sensor's battery. The actual sensors are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing and easier to conceal precisely because they contain no batteries.

      If a hard-wired device needs to replaced in the future, you can choose from dozens of hard-wired equipment manufacturers whose hard-wired products will ALL easily connect to your hard-wired alarm equipment.

      Plus, you'll be SAVING MONEY on equipment because hard-wired alarm components are LESS EXPENSIVE to purchase than wireless.

      You'll have less problems and annoyances with a hard-wired alarm system – some of my customers call me to complain about the "irritating beeping noise" coming from their alarm keypads as an indication that it's time to change the battery in a wireless sensor.

      The price of a hard-wired alarm system is LESS EXPENSIVE over the long-term ownership of the alarm system due to the fact that there are no batteries to purchase and replace over the years (and as mentioned, replacement parts are also less expensive).

      If you have wireless equipment, it must be replaced by the exact same ONE manufacturer – wireless equipment is not interchangeable or compatible from one brand to the other. So let's hope that company stays in business and that inventory levels around the country are high.

      Universal wireless products that connect to any alarm system are actually transmitters and receivers – the receiver must be hard-wired into a hard-wired alarm system's control panel in order to accept the wireless devices.  Typically, this means that you CANNOT add on any universal wireless products to a wireless alarm system's control panel UNLESS it also has a couple of hard-wired zone inputs . 

      I hope this puts your fears and concerns about hard-wired alarm systems, which are completely unfounded, to rest once and for all.

      Now that you have the truth and FACTS about hard-wired alarm systems, please focus on which would be the best security system for your particular home (hard-wired, wireless or hybrid) and how to install it properly by referring to my article, "What is the Best Home Security System?"

      • Gary

        Lots of good information in this comment, thanks for the enjoying read. There is one scenario with a wired systemt that does concern me: 

        "It’s because a hard-wired alarm system is a superior product with advantages such as never having to change a sensor's battery."

        I would not mind changing a wireless sensor battery. In fact, I live in the country with a wired alarm system and we lose power on a regular basis. Yes, there is a battery backup on the entire system, but for me it only lasts 18-24 hours and then the alarm is inoperable. During power outages, I always wish I had a fully wireless system that was running on batteries, I would hope that they would last a lot longer than the wired battery backup.

        • a Security Professional

          Hi Gary,

          A hard-wired alarm system (which has sensors connected by alarm wiring to the control panel) and a completely wireless alarm system will BOTH eventually fail due to extended power outages.

          WHY? Because the control panel in both alarm systems (which has the communicator to call the monitoring station) must be backed-up by a battery in the event of a power failure.

          In layman's terms, the "brain" is the control panel/communicator.  If the "brain" of ANY alarm system is dead, the fact that battery life remains in wireless sensors is meaningless.  Without an active and functioning "brain", the wireless devices have no one to "talk to".

          SOLUTION: Additional or larger capacity back-up batteries can be added to any alarm system to provide longer back-up time during extended power failures.  So, if you frequently experience electrical power outages that last for 18-24 hours, the back-up time of your alarm system can be designed to survive for 30 hours or longer by increasing the size (capacity) of your back-up battery.

  • Anonymous

    I guess I never associated some of these things with home security. I mean I knew they were things to be concerned about, but I had no idea that any home security company actually had prodcuts like freeze sensors and heat sensors, though it is pretty awesome that they do. I recently got an in-depth education about heat sensors and smoke alarms. It was pretty eye opening really. It is also not well known information.

    Apparently the smoke detectors of yesterday are not near as effective when used with today's materials. Today's materials are not near as organic as they used to be. That means things burn at a higher heat level than they used to and may not have the same amount of smoke as they used to so that by the time the smoke gets to your smoke detector, the heat has already taken over. Oddly, I learned about this because my son won a bike from a drawing and part of the deal was that I get an education from the fire marshall concerning these things. It was worth it, and I am glad to know that security companies include heat sensors in their package.

  • Anonymous

    I have to say that First Alert and ADT look really tempting at first glance.  But, wait, woa, First ALert has an upfront cost of $289.  That's a bit too much for me.  The ADT package is more friendly with a $99 install fee.  I realize too now that the $36.99 is the lowest monthly protection, not necessarily the protection you are going to choose.  I'm glad that they all offer cell phone monitoring or online monitoring for when you're not home.  This is a wonderful modern service to have.  It's one of those great bonuses to watching the times change. 

    I think that it's also exciting that you have a complete and decisive review of just about every company that you're mentioning here.  I don't think I've been able to find research that is this in depth anywhere else.  Maybe it's just displayed well, or well-organized.  I'm not sure.  Whatever  you've done, you've made it incredibly accessible to your readers.  Thank you.  I didn't realize that so many security systems offered features like freeze sensors, carbon monoxide detectors, heat sensors flood sensors and personal security devices.  This is quite interesting information.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for putting this chart together for me to review.  One of the things I have noticed since I started looking into getting a home security system is just how diverse and complex they can be.  There are so many variables and so many different terms to consider, it seems like there just is no way to do a good job of comparing apples to apples as the saying goes. 

    The chart, with all the side by side comparisons and pairing of terminologies, really helps me consider what is most important to me when it comes to selecting the system that best fits my needs.  I have deduced that I really would prefer someone coming to install my system rather than have tried doing it myself.  I just think when you consider the equipment involved and the warranty value, doing it that way just makes the most sense.  

    I also think that a wireless system will probably be best because I do want to avoid high installation costs and this seems like the best way to do so without any wiring.

  • Anonymous

    In comparing these different systems and the types of equipment that they provide as a standard installation piece, I started thinking about how a “one size fits all” type of system could never work in this country.
     
    I live in a northern state where we deal with some pretty severe winter weather and some very low temperatures.  For a system in this region, you would definitely need sensors that could detect both temperature drops and moisture sensors on the lowest levels.  The reason for this is that if an unattended house drops below freezing levels, pipes can freeze and burst leading to severe flooding of the home and a whole lot of damage. 

    Naturally, this kind of equipment would not be necessary in more the more Southern states and places like California as the temperatures do not get low enough for this kind of thing.  Depending on where you live, you will want to consider this sort of thing when selecting a security provider and the type of package you choose.  Without this kind of protection, you could be taking a very big risk.

  • Karen Hruby

    When we decided to replace our ADT wired system, we used your site and a few others to compare our options. It was useful to read the reviews and comparisons, and helped us identify critical issues. We evaluated the various options based on what was the best combination of features and price for us, and not necessarily accept reviewers' priorities and rankings. We wanted 1) a wireless system that we could manage via our iPhones, 2) to reduce our monthly monitoring costs, 3) no contracts, and 4) a system we could install and modify ourselves.

    The SimpliSafe system was the best option for us, but we were still apprehensive. We've had the system for two months now and couldn't be more pleased. The installation was easy, the mobile app and web site are clear and easy to navigate, and the customer service has been excellent. The cost savings are fantastic.

    When we called to cancel our ADT service, they immediately offered to lower our monthly monitoring fee. [A note here for current ADT users: if you decide to go with another system, ADT has a 30 day notice requirement, even if you don't have a contract, so cancel early.] Two days later, I got a call from an ADT representative who offered to install a wireless system for free, with a 2-year monitoring fee contract. What's funny is that we'd originally contacted ADT about a new system, but they wanted $1,800 to install it + a 2-year contract, and that's when we started looking around for something else. Our SimpliSafe system cost just over $800 (including 28 entry sensors to cover 3,800 sf) and our monthly monitoring fee is 40% lower, with no contract. And we can take the whole thing with us if we decide to move.

    My advice is that you be clear about what you want your security system to do, research your options with those objectives in mind, and then take the plunge. You can do it!

  • Anonymous

    It seems like every year and in every market there are a host of new names and fresh faces that enter the home security marketplace.  For those who are either new homeowners or homeowners that have identified a new need for home security services, the sheer volume of selection that is out there can be somewhat intimidating.  Really there are just a couple things that need to be taken into account to make a good call.

    First, you want to know their customer service reputation.  Will they take care of your if things go wrong or you have questions?

    Secondly, installation charges and options are something you want to have explained thoroughly before you make a decision.  A lot of companies offer the option to do installation yourself, but if you are not comfortable with this, be aware of the cost of having a technician come and do it for you.

    Lastly, know the terms of your agreement. Many companies will waive install fees or the cost of house alarm equipment as long as you are willing to commit to a long term agreement.

  • Anonymous

    One thing that this article made me look at that I had not been paying enough attention to was the warranty plans. Now that I think about it, a lifetime warranty included in the system cost should be mandatory! If you buy the home security system, it should work properly to protect your home, right? And not just for two years of safety, but for as long as you have your home or until you upgrade your system.

    In fact, a company not having a lifetime warranty at this point makes me think the system is inferior in some way, because why else would they limit the warranty they put on it? That is as good as not standing behind your word. People should not have to pay extra for that guarantee of functionality, either. It just does not give an air of confidence about the company’s own product.

    If there were fewer choices on the market, home security companies might truly be able to get away with having no warranty whatsoever and essentially tell customers, “Too bad,” if the equipment malfunctions during a burglary. There are many of these companies out there, though, and many do offer lifetime warranty.

  • Anonymous

    I really like the format of this comparison table.  Home Security systems seem to have so many options that go into implementing them in an individual’s home that for the average consumer, it can be a little overwhelming to look at all the information and devise what is important to you and what is not.  Having all of these things stripped down to their most simple form and then putting them all side-by-side for easy comparison makes the process of selecting the right system for my needs a whole lot easier.

    Most of all, I really like how the chart breaks out the long term and short term costs for installing a system.  In the marketplace, I think it is easy to be wooed by the big print that companies use to advertise their “introductory” rates and the thought of being able to have everything you want for a very low price.  The problem is, you do not always know what kind of extra requirements there are loaded into that agreement.  Sometimes there are contracts and other kinds of fees that you may not understand if you ask.  This chart does a lot to take the mystery away from that. 

  • Anonymous

    This article provides an interesting and unique look at the home security industry. The first thing which strikes me as a bit fresh and unusual is that there is a comparison table. This is a great way to illustrate the different features and services offered by each individual company and system. In fact, it is not something that you will see in many other review posts or sites.

    Personally, I think that using a comparison table, especially one as detailed as this, is the best way to begin gathering facts and information. The way I would approach finding a security system is to take a look at each company on the chart and then start by noting which services and features are in common. Generally, with each type of business, there will be a core set of features or offerings that are generally considered to be standard. This is where you start.

    From here, you can to start to isolate which companies have sub-standard offerings and begin to eliminate. You can also start to examine the differences between those that remain more closely.

  • Anonymous

    I am pretty impressed by the detail of this security system reviews table. I was expecting to read a limited amount of information like cost etc. But you really put everything in there. I especially like that you even included the brand names of the companies that make the equipment. To be honest, some of the information here isn’t even information I would remember to ask about when talking to the security provider. And we all know that when people try to sell their product, they are going to tell you what they think will get you to buy the product. I like this table because it just puts it all out there.
    Usually, I’m looking for the lowest price with the best service. From this table I can see that my usual method won’t work for me. There are companies here that charge a bit more, but offer what I need. For instance, I can get a heat sensor for a lower price than the company that has a lifetime warranty on their materials. I don’t really need a heat sensor, but you can’t ever go wrong with a lifetime warranty. I’m going to have to study this table before I make a choice.

    • a seeker of security

      I would consider sticking to lowest prices with the best service.  Alarm equipment typically lasts for over 15 years.

      You're paying extra for lifetime warranties.  If you consider that the purchase price of a hard-wired motion detector runs around $50.00, you're probably better off spending that money in 15 years IF the detector dies.

      Ask around and find people who have owned alarm systems for 20 years or more.  Then ask them how often that they've had to change their equipment because it was defective.

      Most alarm equipment die because of electrical surges or lightning strikes which are not covered under life-time warranties.  A surge protector should be used to prevent this possibility.

      With quality equipment, the odds are stacked in your favor that you won't need to replace anything for at least 15 years.  By then, you'll have probably changed homes.

  • Jack

    So, based on this chart and my budget, I decided to go with Lifeshield (praying that if it did not work out during the trial period, it would not be too hard to get out of the insane 5+ year contract they start you out with!!) I guess that 63 month contract should have been the first red flag but I proceeded because everything else seemed just right for me. But, when I called in, I was on hold for more than 10 minutes just to talk to a sales person… guess they did not want my business too badly (and second red flag: how long would I have to wait once I was on the hook for 5 years of monthly payments?!?). Then, when I finally talked to someone at Lifeshield, they were disrespectful and tried to nickel and dime me on sensors and stuff without honoring what was said to be in the basic program on this website and THEIR website. I was outta there fast and decided I wanted to do what I never do, share my experience with others so they can avoid this nightmare too. Then, I sought out a company with good customer service ratings to try next.

  • Anonymous

    I was pretty thankful to find this best home security system comparison chart when I did.  I have been in the market to change my security system provider for a few months now and I feel even more lost now than I did when I started. 

    My old house alarm system was really just a series of sensors placed throughout the house on the windows and doors that would sound an in-house alarm if any of them were opened while the system was armed or activated.  Really there was no other sort of protection other than the noise the alarm would make.  If we were not home, it would hopefully alert the neighbors to call the authorities. 

    Now, we have a whole different ball game to deal with as we look to update that system.  I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I took on this task, but the more I learn, the more I realize that I need to brush up on. 

    Thanks for compiling this chart so that I can make some sense of all the information coming in.  I will reference it again in the future.

  • Dan R.

    This chart is really helpful to eyeball all of the different equipment that the security companies provide. What is really surprising to me is the lack of smoke/heat/fire detectors! To me this is just as important as security protection. Is it the expense of these detectors that is the problem or is there something else I'm missing? I realize that all homes built in the last 20 years or so already have smoke detectors in the house, but those are just to warn people who are at home. If no one is home they won't help to save the house.

    I like how LifeShield created the Fire Safety sensor. Does anyone have any experience with this device?

    • Randy

      I've had LifeShield for a few months now and my system has the Fire Safety Sensor. My home was pre-wired with smoke detectors so that if one goes off, they all go off (I have one on all four floors of my house). I replaced them with brand new photoelectric sensors before I got the LifeShield system. Installing the Fire Safety Sensor was easy, there is a little cardboard template to make sure you put it in the right spot. We've set off our smoke detectors from cooking and sure enough, a call from LifeShield followed shortly after. So I'm very happy with the technology.

  • Anonymous

    This was an interesting article on the subject of home security systems. The article contains a very helpful list of terminologies. To me, one of the most important things to learn when investigating something new is the actual language or jargon that is commonly used. In many cases, you will feel confused and a bit like an outsider until you acquire this knowledge. Fortunately, the author has included most of the important language for easy consumption.

    The other main component of this article was a very comprehensive comparison chart. This table is really huge. It lists almost every imaginable feature and service which a security system could possibly offer. This would be a great place to start your research. Simply examine this table. The way I suggest doing so is to first make a note of all the various features which may be included with a system. Then, think about what you might like to have in your new system. From here, you can start to eyeball those companies which seem to have most of the things you are interested in.

  • Anonymous

    Found ur site on alarm system reviews very helpful. The home security system reviews in this table are really helpful. Is this all of the companies or are their more? I want to make sure I find the best alarm for my mom in her new home. She is not very tech savvy and does not walk very well but I can set it up, just need to be sure she can manage it after that. Can you help?