The Best Wireless Home Security Systems of 2019

Best Easy DIY Installation
Frontpoint
4 out of 5 stars4.0
Starting at  
$34.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Fast DIY installation
Pro Bullet Smart home add-ons
Best for Flexibility
SimpliSafe
3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
Starting at  
$14.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet No contract required
Pro Bullet Inexpensive professional monitoring
Best No-Contract Option
Cove
3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
Starting at  
$14.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Optional contracts
Pro Bullet Affordable equipment
Best for Customization
Link Interactive
3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
Starting at  
$30.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Shorter contract options
Pro Bullet Transparent pricing
Best Landline Option
Protect America
3.6 out of 5 stars3.6
Starting at  
$19.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet No up-front fees
Pro Bullet Works with Z-Wave & Alexa

Overview

When it comes to home security, most modern systems are wireless. But what does that mean, exactly?

Wireless refers to how your sensors—the entry sensor on the patio door, for example—communicate with your control panel or base. Usually, wireless home security systems do that with radio frequencies (RFs), like Z-Wave or Zigbee, or a Wi-Fi network.

Sometimes, you’ll hear that some security systems use cellular connections. Cellular is a specific type of wireless communication, and it’s how your equipment at home—your control panel or base station—talks to your security system’s professional monitoring system. And yep: it works the same way as your cell phone.

For the purposes of this article, when we talk about wireless, we’re talking about systems that use wireless communication. But we also mean without wires: we’re looking at home security systems that use a wireless protocol and don’t have a control panel that needs to be wired into your wall.

Read on for help finding the best wireless security system for you.

The best wireless home security systems

  1. Frontpoint: Best easy DIY installation
  2. SimpliSafe: Best for flexibility
  3. Cove: Best no-contract option
  4. Link Interactive: Best for customization
  5. Protect America: Best for landlines
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Compare wireless security systems

Data effective 8/2/19. Offers and availability subject to change.

1. Frontpoint review: Best for DIY installation

Frontpoint stands out with high-quality equipment, seamless smart home integration, and a straightforward DIY installation process.

Frontpoint
Our rating:
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5 stars4.0
Customer service
4 out of 5 stars4.0
Price
3 out of 5 stars3.0
Features & equipment
4 out of 5 stars4.0
Plans starting at 
$34.99
/mo.

    Frontpoint pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletEasy installation
    • Pro BulletGreat customer support reputation
    • Pro BulletZ-Wave compatibility
    • Pro BulletHigh-quality equipment
    • Pro BulletNo activation fees after moving
    Cons
    • Con BulletNo option for self-monitoring
    • Con BulletNo mobile access with lowest-tier plan

    Why we recommend Frontpoint

    Overall, Frontpoint has a great value. You’ll get the DIY experience of installing your own high-quality devices, coupled with 24/7 professional monitoring—plus superior customer service and policies that put the customer first.

    Frontpoint price

    Compared to security companies like Vivint, Frontpoint has manageable up-front costs. Since it’s DIY, you won’t pay for any installation or activation fees. And since Frontpoint subsidizes its equipment with 36-month contracts, you won’t have to dip into your savings account to buy your equipment up front.

    Yes, that means you’re locked in with Frontpoint for three years, but you still have options. If you decide to move across country to chase your dream job, you can take your Frontpoint home security system with you at no additional cost. And if you decide early on that Frontpoint isn’t the right fit for you, it offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

    Frontpoint’s monitoring services range from $34.99 per month to $49.99 per month, and include home automation, crash and smash protection, and mobile access at Frontpoint’s highest tiers. So whether you’re interested in an automated home or worried about intruders tampering with your control panel, Frontpoint has you covered.

    Whether you’re interested in an automated home or worried about intruders tampering with your control panel, Frontpoint has you covered.

    Frontpoint equipment and features

    Frontpoint has six equipment packages you can choose from or the option to build your own. At the very least, you’ll get a Frontpoint hub and keypad, plus entry and motion sensors.

    If you have any Z-Wave compatible devices, you’ll be able to integrate them with your Frontpoint security system too. So you could set your system to open your garage door when a Frontpoint entry sensor detects you’ve entered the garage from your house. Or have your porch lights come on when someone rings your video doorbell.

    Frontpoint customer service

    Frontpoint is committed to providing superb customer service, and its support reps are known for being friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Frontpoint’s customer support line is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (ET) on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (ET) on the weekends. Plus, it has a 24-hour emergency line if you have any major issues outside those hours.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: As far as DIY wireless security systems go, Frontpoint is the best. You won’t have to worry about scheduling a professional installer to come around, and you’ll get high-quality equipment, reliable service, and super helpful customer support.

    >>Learn more: Read our full Frontpoint review.

    >>Safety first. View Frontpoint’s home security plans here.


    2. SimpliSafe review: Best for flexibility

    SimpliSafe offers affordable home security systems that are inexpensive, customizable, and easy to set up without the hassle of contracts.

    SimpliSafe
    Our rating:
    3.7 out of 5.0
    3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
    Customer service
    3 out of 5 stars3.0
    Price
    4 out of 5 stars4.0
    Features & equipment
    3 out of 5 stars3.0
    Plans starting at 
    $14.99
    /mo.

      SimpliSafe pros and cons

      Pros
      • Pro BulletNo contracts
      • Pro BulletEasy DIY setup
      • Pro BulletLow monitoring fees
      • Pro BulletCustomizable equipment packages
      • Pro BulletNo activation or installation fees
      Cons
      • Con BulletMinimal home automation support
      • Con BulletNo mobile access included in base plan

      Why we recommend SimpliSafe

      SimpliSafe is a good choice if you want to secure your home on a budget. You won’t be able to integrate all your smart home devices, but you’ll get an affordable and flexible alarm system without the hassle of a contract.

      SimpliSafe didn’t make our number-one spot for two reasons. First, it lacks home automation capabilities. As of now, it works with Alexa, August door locks, and the Nest thermostat. But so far, it doesn’t offer any Z-Wave compatibility, which Frontpoint and Protect America do.

      Second, the feel and aesthetics of SimpliSafe’s equipment are not ideal. The equipment itself is easy to set up, and it works just fine, but SimpliSafe’s equipment doesn’t feel as high-end as brands like Vivint.

      SimpliSafe price

      With SimpliSafe, you’ll get inexpensive monitoring plans and affordable security equipment. SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month and tops out at $24.99. Most other security systems start professional monitoring at $30 and up.

      SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month and tops out at $24.99. Most other security systems start professional monitoring at $30 and up.

      You also won’t pay any extra fees, activation or otherwise. SimpliSafe offers month-to-month monitoring, so if you decide to cancel for a month because your freelance check didn’t come in time, you don’t have to pay a cancellation fee.

      SimpliSafe equipment and features

      SimpliSafe gives you the option of building your own security package or choosing a premade one. All of SimpliSafe’s packages include a base station and a wireless keypad, and from there you can add as many entry and motion sensors, key fobs, and smoke detectors as your heart desires.

      SimpliSafe customer service

      SimpliSafe’s customer service support team is available every day from 9 a.m. to midnight (ET). You can also contact them through email.

      Customers’ feedback is largely positive. Many say they like SimpliSafe as an affordable home security option and that setup is easy and monitoring is flexible, especially compared to big-name brands like ADT.

      ASecureLife’s recommendation: SimpliSafe is a solid option if you want to secure your home on a budget but you’re not overly concerned with smart home automation. You’ll never have to worry about a contract, and you can cancel whenever you need to at no cost.

      >>Learn more: Read our full SimpliSafe review.

      >>Secure your home. View SimpliSafe’s home security plans.


      3. Cove review: Best no-contract option

      Cove is a flexible and affordable DIY security system that covers the basics with a no-contract option.

      Cove
      Our rating:
      3.7 out of 5.0
      3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
      Customer service
      3 out of 5 stars3.0
      Price
      4 out of 5 stars4.0
      Features & equipment
      3 out of 5 stars3.0
      Plans starting at 
      $14.99
      /mo.

        Cove pros and cons

        Pros
        • Pro BulletEasy DIY installation
        • Pro BulletAffordable equipment
        • Pro BulletNo-contract monitoring option
        • Pro BulletNo activation or installation fees
        • Pro BulletExcellent customer support
        Cons
        • Con BulletLimited smart device compatibility

        Why we recommend Cove

        Setting up Cove couldn’t be easier. All your equipment will show up preprogrammed for a seamless installation—from start to finish, everything should take about 15 minutes to get running.

        Unlike SimpliSafe, Cove gives you the option to finance your equipment.

        Cove price

        Pricewise (and DIY-wise), Cove has a lot in common with SimpliSafe. If you pay for your equipment up front, plans range from $14.99 to $24.99.

        But unlike SimpliSafe, Cove gives you the option to finance your equipment. If you go that route, monitoring plans range from $24.99 to $34.99 and you’ll have to commit to a three-year contract.

        Cove equipment and features

        Cove’s equipment covers the basics. Besides the requisite touch screen panel, you can choose whatever devices you want, which is great if you want a bit of customization: wireless security cameras to keep an eye on your good boy over here, or a flood sensor to keep tabs on that leaky pipe over there.

        Cove has limited third-party compatibility, but at its highest tier it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s a nice touch if you like to be able to give voice commands to your security system.

        Cove customer service

        Cove offers support via phone, live chat, email, and its social channels Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MT). It also offers support through text: during regular business hours, Cove customers can text in questions and photos for quick solutions.

        Customers describe an overall positive experience. Many report that customer support is fast, organized, and friendly.

        ASecureLife’s recommendation: Cove makes for a superb budget option. It’s affordable and easy to install, and while it may just cover the basics, it covers them very well.

        >>Learn more: Read our full Cove review.

        >>Keep your home safe. View Cove’s home security plans here.


        Link Interactive is a dream for DIYers. You can customize your security system to fit your specific needs, and you’ll get a flexible contract from a company with a solid customer service rep.

        Link Interactive
        Our rating:
        3.7 out of 5.0
        3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
        Customer service
        3 out of 5 stars3.0
        Price
        3 out of 5 stars3.0
        Features & equipment
        4 out of 5 stars4.0
        Plans starting at 
        $30.99
        /mo.

          Link Interactive pros and cons

          Pros
          • Pro BulletShorter contract options than competitors
          • Pro BulletCustomizable equipment packages
          • Pro BulletNo activation or installation fees
          • Pro BulletTransparent pricing
          Cons
          • Con BulletFewer customer service hours than competitors
          • Con BulletCustomer complaints about difficult installation

          Why we recommend Link Interactive

          Link Interactive stands out from the competition with flexible contracts. You’ve got two main choices. You can subsidize the cost of Link’s equipment with a 12-, 24-, or 36-month contract. Or, if you opt to pay for your equipment up front, you can subscribe to Link’s month-to-month monitoring services.

          Link Interactive stands out from the competition with flexible contracts.

          Link price

          Link’s monitoring plans start at $30.99 per month and top out at $44.99 per month, which is pretty in line with the pricing for most home security companies. Its highest-tier plan, the Elite package, is a great value if video monitoring is a priority for you. But beware: it’s not actually wire-free.

          Link equipment and features

          Link lets you choose between a basic 2GIG panel and a more advanced QolSys IQ control panel for your home base. For everything else, Link uses Alarm.com equipment that’s compatible with Z-Wave smart home devices. So you can integrate your night vision–enabled floodlight camera with motion sensors in your backyard.

          Link customer service

          When it comes to customer service, Link Interactive has a solid reputation. Customers talk about their positive customer service experiences and Link has a good deal of positive reviews.

          Still, Link has limited customer service availability. Its customer support center is available Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CT) and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CT) on Saturdays. And if you have an emergency after hours, you can call a number where an agent will either pick up or call you back.

          ASecureLife’s recommendation: If you’re into DIY, or if you like the idea of a shorter contract, Link Interactive is a sure pick. It gives you plenty of versatile contract options, you can customize your equipment package, and customer service is excellent.

          >>Learn more: Read our full Link Interactive review.

          >>Protect your home. View Link Interactive’s home security plans here.


          5. Protect America review: Best for landlines

          Protect America’s cellular monitoring is on the pricey side, but it offers home automation integration and solid equipment.

          Protect America
          Our rating:
          3.6 out of 5.0
          3.6 out of 5 stars3.6
          Customer service
          3 out of 5 stars3.0
          Price
          3 out of 5 stars3.0
          Features & equipment
          3 out of 5 stars3.0
          Plans starting at 
          $41.99
          /mo.

            Protect America pros and cons

            Pros
            • Pro BulletBase equipment included in monitoring plans
            • Pro BulletNo up-front fees
            • Pro BulletCompatibility with third-party smart devices
            Cons
            • Con BulletConfusing plans
            • Con BulletFewer customer service hours than competitors
            • Con BulletPoor customer service reputation

            Why we recommend Protect America

            Protect America doesn’t have a strong showing against the likes of brands like Frontpoint and SimpliSafe, but it provides solid basic coverage and doesn’t charge any fees up front.

            Protect America price

            Protect America’s prices depend on the number of sensors you choose. Wireless plans start at $41.99 per month for three sensors and go up to $54.99 per month with 14 sensors. Fortunately, you won’t have to shell out anything for installation fees, and you won’t pay for any of your equipment up front

            Protect America equipment and features

            Protect America’s equipment is pretty basic. Packages start with a control panel and motion and entry sensors. From there, you’ll choose what other equipment—from security cameras to smoke detectors—to add to your package.

            You can link your Protect America equipment to any Z-Wave or Alexa-enabled devices to flesh out Protect America’s basic offerings and give your home a smart home automation boost.

            You can also link your Protect America equipment to any Z-Wave or Alexa-enabled devices. It’s a good way to flesh out Protect America’s basic offerings and give your home a smart home automation boost in the process.

            Protect America customer service

            When it comes to customer service, Protect America has room to improve. Its reputation for customer support isn’t great, and Protect America has fewer customer service hours than its competitors.

            Protect America is available via phone Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (CT); and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s available by chat Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (CT) and on the weekends 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those hours are fine, but brands like Vivint, ADT, and Brinks Home Security offer 24/7 customer care.

            ASecureLife’s recommendation: Protect America provides decent wireless security coverage, but we think it’s actually a better option for its landline monitoring. Consider it if you live in a rural area but want the perks of a wireless security system.

            >>Learn more: Read our full Protect America review.

            >>Ready, set, secure. View Protect America’s home security plans here.


            The best cellular home security systems

            Our top picks for cellular home security systems are the brands that use wireless protocols but require a professional to install the control panel. In other words, they use RFs or Wi-Fi networks to talk to each other, but they’re not technically wire-free.
            1. Vivint: Best for home automation
            2. ADT: Best reputation

            Compare cellular security systems

            Data effective 8/2/19. Offers and availability subject to change.

            1. Vivint: Best for home automation

            Vivint is loaded with tons of features and high-end smart devices. When it comes to home security, Vivint is top of the line.

            Vivint
            Our rating:
            4.5 out of 5.0
            4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
            Customer service
            4 out of 5 stars4.0
            Price
            4 out of 5 stars4.0
            Features & equipment
            5 out of 5 stars5.0
            Plans starting at 
            $29.99
            /mo.

              Vivint pros and cons

              Pros
              • Pro BulletCutting-edge home automation equipment
              • Pro BulletNo-contract option
              • Pro BulletMobile access with all plans
              • Pro BulletInexpensive base plan
              Cons
              • Con BulletHigh up-front costs
              • Con BulletLonger contracts than competitors (unless you buy equipment up front)

              Why we recommend Vivint

              Vivint offers both quality equipment and endless home automation possibilities. Though it can get a little pricey, it has a cheap entry-level plan and a no-contract option. More than likely, there’s a plan that fits everyone.

              Vivint price

              Professional monitoring starts at $29.99 per month—about as much as SimpliSafe’s top-tier plan—and tops out at $44.99 per month. Its higher-tier plans are pretty comprehensive and include smart home integration, video monitoring, and more.

              Vivint gives you a couple options when it comes to paying for equipment. You can finance it over the length of a contract or you can pay for it all up front.

              Vivint gives you a couple options when it comes to paying for equipment. You can finance it over the length of a contract, for 42 to 60 months; or you can pay for it all up front and forgo a contract. But buying everything at once isn’t cheap—you’ll spend at least $500 on just the basic must-haves. You’ll also have to pay a $99 installation fee for a Vivint professional to set up your new system.

              Vivint equipment and features

              Vivint offers a good variety of equipment with its security systems, from entry, motion, and environmental sensors to indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras. You can also integrate any Z-Wave compatible smart devices you already have—or are eyeing—with your Vivint system. It’s a good way to smarten up your home (and have the lights turn off in your home after your kids leave for the bus, since they always forget).

              Vivint customer service

              Vivint customer support is available via phone and live chat 24/7—the latter of which is a great thing for the phone-averse out there—and according to customers, support responds fast. It’s definitely a great comfort knowing someone can answer questions about your security system, day or night.

              Many of Vivint’s more recent reviews rave about Vivint’s mobile app and how easy its equipment is to use.

              ASecureLife’s recommendation: Vivint offers top-notch monitoring, equipment, and customer service. If you don’t mind the extra costs of professional installation, it should be your first choice in home security.

              >>Learn more: Read our full Vivint review.

              >>Decisions, decisions. View Vivint’s home security plans here.


              2. ADT review: Best reputation

              ADT is one of the most familiar names in home security. It offers a variety of system options, professional installation, and the peace of mind of an established company with nearly a century and a half of experience.

              ADT
              Our rating:
              3.9 out of 5.0
              3.9 out of 5 stars3.9
              Customer service
              4 out of 5 stars4.0
              Price
              3 out of 5 stars3.0
              Features & equipment
              4 out of 5 stars4.0
              Plans starting at 
              $27.99
              /mo.

                ADT pros and cons

                Pros
                • Pro BulletSame-day or next-day installation in most areas
                • Pro BulletCustomized security recommendations during installation
                • Pro BulletMore lenient cancellation policy than many competitors
                • Pro BulletHome automation integration through ADT app
                Cons
                • Con BulletExpensive plans
                • Con BulletNo mobile app access at lowest tier

                Why we recommend ADT

                ADT’s main perk is reliability. The brand is highly recognizable, has a total of six monitoring centers, and offers 24/7 customer support, offering you and your home added protection.

                ADT price

                ADT is on the pricey side. Cellular ADT monitoring ranges from $48.99 per month to $58.99 per month, which is a lot compared to DIY solutions like Frontpoint and SimpliSafe.

                Since ADT works with third-party dealers to install their security systems, equipment pricing varies. But you’ll have to pay a $99 installation fee no matter what.

                ADT equipment and features

                We like Protect Your Home, one of ADT’s authorized retailers. If you purchase your ADT system through Protect Your Home, you’ll get $850 worth of free equipment with the Essentials kit. It hits the basics: you’ll get a keypad, a siren, a motion detector, and a few door and window sensors. You can add on any other equipment you need from there.

                At its highest tier, ADT also offers some decent home automation features, so you can control smart locks and more when you’re away from home. But at its lowest tier, you won’t be able to use your phone to access your system.

                ADT customer service

                ADT’s support team is available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email. And ADT customers are happy with the service: they mention getting quick help with issues and rave about how helpful ADT’s mobile app is.

                ASecureLife’s recommendation: ADT has more than just name recognition: it has the reliability to back it up. You’ll get fast, professional installation, mobile control, and a bit of smart home automation. It’s a little bit of everything.

                >>Learn more: Read our full ADT review.

                >>Ready to decide? View ADT’s home security plans here.


                Frequently asked questions

                What should I look for in a home security system?

                If you’re looking for a smart security system that best fits your needs, there are a few factors to consider. Would you prefer a professional installation approach, a DIY install approach with professional monitoring, or the self-monitoring route?

                Price, too, is always a concern. Typically, you’ll spend less on equipment and monitoring if you go the DIY route and a bit more if you go the professional route.

                Finally, you should also figure out whether techy features or smart home integration is important to you. Some people will want the latest doorbell camera with facial recognition to be included with their security package. Others will be fine with a couple of sensors, a key fob, and an outdoor camera.

                Wireless home security system equipment

                Whether you’re tech savvy or tech averse, most home security systems come with the same basics: a base station or control panel, a keypad, a few sensors, and environmental alarms. Here’s what you can expect:

                • A base station or control panel
                • Keypad
                • Entry sensors
                • Motion sensors
                • Glass-break sensor
                • Smoke detector
                • Carbon monoxide detector

                Some security systems also offer temperature and water sensors, so you can get environmental alerts when there’s a leak in your basement or if a pipe is in danger of freezing.

                You also may see some more advanced offerings, especially at higher subscription levels:

                • Indoor or outdoor camera
                • Video doorbell camera with two-way communication
                • Smart thermostat
                • Smart door lock

                How do you power a wireless security system?

                A wireless security system’s base or control panel is typically powered via AC adapter with backup batteries in case of a power outage. Keypads, sensors, and detectors are battery powered. With more advanced equipment like security cameras, it depends. Your outdoor wireless security camera will likely be powered by batteries. But with indoor cameras, usually you can choose to plug them in or have them run on batteries (so you can put them in a spot that’s not close to an outlet).

                Do you have to have Wi-Fi for a wireless security camera?

                In a word, yes. A wireless security camera may be wire-free, but in order to transmit video and store it in the cloud (so you can access it on the go), your camera needs a Wi-Fi network connection. If you’re not big on cloud storage, you can also choose to store videos locally with an SD card.

                Pros and cons of a wireless home security system

                Home security systems can be wireless, but they can also be powered by a landline or a broadband connection. Here are the pros and cons of wireless security systems.

                Pros
                • Pro BulletNo-fuss installation
                • Pro BulletEasy to take when you move
                • Pro BulletRemote access
                • Pro BulletHome automation integration
                Cons
                • Con BulletPossibility of hacking
                • Con BulletSome may experience interference

                Wireless security systems are ridiculously easy to install. Typically you just have to plug things in, set up your Wi-Fi, and go. That means they’re also easy to take with you when you move: unless you go with a security system with professional installation, you’ll be able to take your equipment with you when you upgrade to a bigger place.

                Wireless security systems also offer remote access so you can check in on your home or arm and disarm your system on the go. Plus, you can integrate many systems with your existing smart home equipment, from your smart thermostats to your smart door locks.

                Still, there are some risks with using wireless systems. Hacking is a rare possibility for wireless devices that don’t encrypt information. And some systems can suffer interference when large metal objects or electrical equipment block the signal between sensors and a base, or between the base and your security system’s monitoring center.


                Our recommendation

                The best wireless alarm systems offer a good balance of home automation and home security. Our favorite wireless, wire-free system is Frontpoint. It provides great monitoring, decent home automation integration, and a solid rep in customer support. If you want a DIY system, it’s the way to go.

                View Frontpoint’s plans now.

                If you don’t mind a few wires, we recommend Vivint. It offers impressive professional monitoring with high-end equipment and tons of smart home integrations. The control panel will have to be installed professionally—yes, with wires!—but it’s worth it for Vivint’s value.

                View Vivint’s plans now.