We evaluate the largest names in the security industry based on our research, and give you a concise summary of their offerings and pros and cons for each. You can click on a company name in the list below to jump straight down to its security system review (they are listed by ranking).
Top Home Security Systems for 2015
The security industry is highly competitive, from local mom and pop companies to international giants. It is a relatively easy industry to enter, but a very hard one to offer a consistently great product and service over time, especially with new technologies being released every day. It has become difficult to keep up with all the changes and wrap your head around the latest and greatest house alarm offerings. With so many to choose from and so many things to consider, how do you know which home alarm system is right for you? Our home security systems reviews cover the top contenders and bring you our findings in our regularly updated reviews. Some companies are not included in our review because we were unable to gather sufficient information on them.
Home Security Systems Cost Comparison Table
To help you to choose the right home alarm system for your needs, we have put together a home security systems cost comparison table that highlights what you can expect to get from different monthly monitoring prices. Please visit our Home Security Systems Cost Comparison Table (or click on the image on the left) for details of the home security systems that we review in this article. This table includes a side by side comparison of four different price points so you can see what each company offers. We’ll continue to update this table as new features and services are released, and will add new security system reviews based on your feedback and requests.
In the next section you’ll find our ratings table and in-depth reviews on each home security company and details on the systems they offer, as well as features and services. We outline a pro and con list, details to which (such as specific pricing) you can reference in our Home Security Systems Comparison Table. Please note that this page only reviews national home security companies. We do our best to cover local companies elsewhere on the site, but there are simply too many to list and review every regional company in this article.
Rankings Slide show
Call: (888) 268-6273
Frontpoint is our choice for best home alarm system for the ninth year in a row. The Frontpoint system is based on wireless and cellular connections, so the homeowner never has to worry about a power failure or cut phone lines. But what continues to really set Frontpoint apart from the competition is their amazing customer service and support. Frontpoint is a great option when it comes to true value with its vast number of alarm system options. The biggest advantage Front Point has over the competition is their dedicated 100% wireless connection and dedicated cellular communication. This, combined with excellent customer service, helped them win our best home alarm system award from 2008 to 2015. The higher fee resulting from this 100% wireless and cellular advantage could be worth it depending upon your needs. The potential cons of Front Point is that they do not offer a two-way intercom or lifetime equipment warranty, but we know with their great customer service they will be able to help you out should your equipment fail.
Call: (888) 255-7812
Website: Protect America
Protect America is an affordable home security solution that will meet the needs of almost any homeowner. Out of all of the positives, there are a few issues that kept Protect America in second place. They do not make cellular monitoring a mandatory and in our opinion, cellular monitoring is the most secure communication available between your security system and monitoring station and therefore should be the highest priority. The customer service from Protect America continues to improve, but we still hear of a few negative issues from time to time. Protect America offers DIY installations and all of the services of their top competitor ADT but at a lower cost with a lifetime equipment warranty. The thing holding them back from snagging our top spot in our best alarm competition is their spotty customer service record and that they do not offer cellular monitoring (the gold standard in the security industry) in all their plans.
For a limited time, Protect America is offering a free security camera with digital packages.
Call: (855) 587-3814
Website: LiveWatch (Formerly SafeMart)
LiveWatch (previously known as SafeMart) attracts a considerable number of ‘do it yourself’ home owners who want to install their own home alarm system. LiveWatch not only caters to those looking for alarm systems, but also to those looking for home monitoring, camera security, home automation and business security services. As one of the fastest growing privately owned businesses in the United States, LiveWatch has attracted increasing numbers of patrons over the years, giving them recognition from Inc. 5000 every year since 2009 for their incredible growth. A low price guarantee and free tech support in addition to free shipping on orders over $199 are added incentives when it comes to features of Live Watch that attract homeowners.
Wondering how we do our research and ultimately pick our winners for best home alarm system? Watch this short video that summarizes our analysis process to bring you the best picks every time.
Call: (877) 778-8423
Website: Link Interactive
Link Interactive has been in business for more than 60 years and was a regional alarm provider for much of that time. With the recent availability through Costco, Link became a national competitor. Link uses the Alarm.com platform and offers a 30 day money back guarantee.
Call: (888) 957-4675
If a simple alarm system is all you are looking for with no additional cost past the original equipment fee, then SimpliSafe might be the best home security system for you. This company only offers equipment that is self-install, so there is no middle man to go through and no expense for installation. SimpliSafe uses dedicated cellular communication with the monitoring station which is a huge benefit but if the control panel were destroyed, it would no longer relay any messages to the monitoring station of an emergency which is a concern (no smash and grab technology). SimplySafe does not require a contract and you can even opt out of having your system monitored by their 24/7 security monitoring center (but we do not recommend this – learn more about self-monitoring security). Since you can also upgrade your system later, it can be a great place to get started with a home alarm system so long as you are not looking for home automation as they do not have it today and they currently have no stated plans to add it.
Call: (866) 311-1331
LifeShield is an affordable monitored security plan that offers both self install and professional installation options. But, if you are looking for home automation they do not have this service yet (we hear it is coming later this year!). They do offer interactive monitoring, are on the cutting edge of technology and make their own equipment so hopefully they will add a few more bells to become a more competitive player in the home security system world. LifeShield used to be a top 3 alarm system in our rankings, but their customer service has suffered with the takeover by DIRECTV. They also no longer offer cellular monitoring.
Call: (800) 267-2001
Alarm Force attracts a number of customers through their zero upfront cost, affordable monthly monitoring fee, and lifetime warranty on their security equipment. They use an interesting model where they only lease their equipment to you. That’s how you get it for free (just make sure you don’t break it, or you’ll be charged). Alarm Force is aimed at the non-technical user and could definitely be considered ‘old school’. Their systems are customized on a home-by-home basis. However, they do not offer DIY (self-install) options, home automation, or interactive monitoring (via your smart phone).
Call: (877) 559-7988
The ADT brand is by far one of the most commonly utilized home security names simply because it is one of the largest and most well-known. Chances are you’ve seen an ADT television commercial or billboard. ADT uses locally authorized resellers to sell and install their products in neighborhoods across the country. Your experience with ADT will vary based on your location.
Call: (855) 300-1751
Vivint is trying to make a name for itself in the home automation niche. Formerly APX Alarm Security Solutions, Vivint was relaunched in early 2011 with the help of Goldman Sachs capital. Vivint offers competitive pricing in exchange for longer than normal contracts (42 month commitments). While certainly not the most economical provider, Vivint does offer high-end packages that are really impressive.
We recommend you go with one of our 2015 top rated alarm companies above because of their solid reputations and track record of emergency response and customer experiences. They also do a good job of providing enough information on their websites to allow you to make an informed decision without too much beating around the bush.
However we want to be sure we keep up with other national players who provide less information on features and pricing as well as new national alarm companies that enter the market. Those companies are listed below for you to compare to the contenders above.
If you are interested in reviews of security systems provided by traditional telecommunication companies like AT&T Digital Life, Comcast Xfinity, Cox Home Security, Time Warner IntelligentHome and Verizon Home Monitoring and Control, please visit our Cable Company Home Alarm Reviews page.
Note: we are continually updating this page and adding new companies as we come across them, so check back often for the latest comprehensive list. In addition, we do a complete audit of all the alarm companies each year, so we’ll be re-ranking these again come in the new year.
Alarm Grid is an a la carte system for home security meaning that you decide what features you want and personalize your security system to fit your home. They offer tech support and design assistance to help you create your personalized security system and they do not force you into a long-term contract. But no contract also means you will pay more upfront for equipment. Let’s dig into this AlarmGrid Review to find out more. They offer three different plans for monitoring: Self Monitoring, Basic Monitoring, and Monitoring Plus+.
Call: # Varies by Location
Website: First Alert Professional
When trying to find information on First Alert, you may run into some confusion, as there are two companies with nearly identical names. First Alert Professional refers to the home security company (owned by Honeywell), while First Alert refers to a company focused on fire detection and prevention. For the sake of brevity, we’ll continue to refer to the security company as “First Alert” in this review.
Similar to ADT, FirstAlert uses authorized resellers to install their home security system. This means your experience may vary from location to location. The advantage to this approach, however, is that they are available in all 50 states.
Fortress Security Store is a massive online home security store that offers many different home alarm options that are also available on Amazon. You can purchase a basic system and expand from there or can buy a more evolved system and add a couple more items here and there if you’d like. All of the systems offered are DIY so there are no installation fees. The monitoring is also DIY so you are in charge of contacting authorities if an alarm is triggered. Read further to learn more about Fortress Security Systems Reviews.
Monitronics is another security company that uses local authorized dealers to install their systems. They offer home automation, a lifetime equipment warranty, and offer interactive monitoring via Alarm.com. One of the negatives with a Monitronics setup is that you are dependent on the support of your local Monitronics reseller, the reliability of which can vary by location.
In 2013, Pinnacle Security sold its accounts and many of its assets to three other companies. They are no longer participating in this industry so please exclude them from your consideration.
Protection 1 has many great options, but due to the lack of publicly available pricing information it is very difficult to compare them to other security system providers. They have come a long way recently with wireless access via their eSecure 2.0 app, video monitoring and some home automation features.
Deciding Which Home Security System is Right for You
The sheer number of home security companies competing for our business is enough to overwhelm anyone. In fact, for the most part people opt to go with the larger more well-known companies simply so they don’t have to do all of the research and comparison themselves. If you do decide to truly do your research before choosing your home alarm company, there are a number of things that you should consider:
- The primary concern for any home owner should be the reputation of a security company as offering true safety to meet their needs in partnership with their available budget. Finding the perfect home security system is no use if it does not keep your family safe or you cannot afford to maintain monthly monitoring fees, particularly since the majority of companies require a three-year monitoring contract to lock in an affordable rate. Remember, while cost is certainly important, your family’s safety is priceless so be sure to make the right choice for the long-term, not based solely on monthly costs.
- After narrowing down company choices by these requirements the next step is deciding which features of a home security system are requirements for you and which are additional perks that may be negotiable to reduce cost. To learn more about what the different features our, visit our terms and definitions page.
Deciding which home security system is right for your family and home is a personal choice and no one but you can determine your personal sense of comfort. Take the time needed to make the right choice – this is an investment in your safety.
Don’t see the national company you’re looking for? Let us know below with the security company you’d like reviewed and we’ll get right on it!
Our site's mission is to help consumers make more informed purchase decisions. This website accepts financial compensation from some of the companies mentioned which allows us to provide this free service to our readers. Compensation does not influence the rankings of products. More info on our disclosure page.