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5 Best Home Security Systems with Professional Installation

If you are interested in a home security system but you can’t or don’t want to install it yourself, consider a professionally installed system. With professional installation, you’ll get a working system right away, without any pressure. Relying on a professional can often mean paying additional installation fees, but we were pleased to find that most of our top five security system companies that offer professional installation do so at no additional charge. Read on to see how these companies compare to each other.

To see how these companies stack up against security system companies that offer DIY installation, check out our best security systems article.

Best Security Systems with Professional Installation

Our ranking#1#2#3#4#5
CompanyAT&T Digital Life
Visit websiteView PlansView PlansView PlansView PlansView Plans
Basic packageSmart ProtectBasic BurglaryCopperStandard Home SecuritySmart Security
Base monitoring price$39.99/month; $549 for equipmentVaries by location; call ADT for cellular pricing$19.99/month (landline); $41.99/month (cellular)$34.95/month (landline); $44.95/month (cellular)$39.99/month
Included equipmentControl panel
2 door/window sensors
1 motion detector
Control panel
door/window sensors
motion detector
Control panel

3 door/window sensors

1 motion detector
Control panel
door/window sensors
motion detector
keychain remote
Control panel
6 door/window sensors
1 motion detector
1 indoor siren
Installation fee$49.99; $99 activation fee$99 and up; $25 activation feeFreeFree; $99 activation feeFree
WarrantyLifetimePurchased separatelyLifetimeLifetimeLifetime
Contract length48 or 60 months (month-to-month option available)36 months36 months36 or 60 months (varies by provider)24 months
Trial period3 days3 days30 days3 days14 days w/ $99 restocking fee
Our ranking
Company
Visit website
Basic package
Base monitoring price
Included equipment
Installation fee
Warranty
Contract length
Trial period
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
AT&T Digital Life
View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans
Smart Protect Basic Burglary Copper Standard Home Security Smart Security
$39.99/month; $549 for equipment Varies by location; call ADT for cellular pricing $19.99/month (landline); $41.99/month (cellular) $34.95/month (landline); $44.95/month (cellular) $39.99/month
Control panel
2 door/window sensors
1 motion detector
Control panel
door/window sensors
motion detector
Control panel

3 door/window sensors

1 motion detector
Control panel
door/window sensors
motion detector
keychain remote
Control panel
6 door/window sensors
1 motion detector
1 indoor siren
$49.99; $99 activation fee $99 and up; $25 activation fee Free Free; $99 activation fee Free
Lifetime Purchased separately Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime
48 or 60 months (month-to-month option available) 36 months 36 months 36 or 60 months (varies by provider) 24 months
3 days 3 days 30 days 3 days 14 days w/ $99 restocking fee

#1 Vivint

Vivint, although a newer security company, has already made a name for itself. It offers high-quality and high-tech equipment options for both home security and home automation—all with a lifetime warranty. All of its equipment is 100% wireless, which makes it easy to relocate, and 100% cellular, which makes it safer than landline. In early 2018, Vivint revised its policies and now has a $49.99 installation fee for all equipment. 

Vivint’s also completely changed its payment policies, and it now offers the option of a month-to-month contract with an up-front equipment purchase, or a 48- or 60-month contract with the cost of the equipment financed over that period. There are no penalties for paying off the equipment early, though you must continue with your contract until the end. One thing to note is that Vivint has a strict cancellation policy: customers have only three business days after installation to cancel without penalty. After that, they must pay off the balance of their contract in full. Vivint sales representatives are also known for their aggressive sales tactics, which is another main complaint. However, with these policy updates, Vivint now holds the #2 spot in our overall best security system rankings and is our first choice for a professionally installed security system.

Read full review

Pros

  • Flexible payment options
  • Free installation (except for doorbells and outdoor cameras)
  • Lifetime equipment warranty
  • 100% wireless equipment
  • 100% cellular monitoring
  • High-tech security and automation equipment

Cons

  • Trial period of only three business days
  • Aggressive sales tactics
  • 48- or 60-month monitoring contract lengths

ADT is a well-established home security system company with a large presence and high-quality equipment that make it a leader in the home security system industry. ADT uses an independent seller model to customize each system to the customer’s home and needs. On the one hand, this means you’re likely to get exactly what equipment you want. On the other hand, it means that little information is available online, and you’ll need to schedule an in-house consultation to get a specific quote. It also means that the company’s customer service is not consistent—your experience will depend on the seller who services your area.

The monthly price of ADT’s Basic Burglary package varies by location, but it is similar to comparable packages, and it includes the same standard equipment that most basic packages include. However, it is a landline-only option, and you must call ADT to get pricing for a cellular package.

ADT advertises same-day installation in some areas. Installation starts at $99 but can go up, depending on the equipment. ADT also has a harsh cancellation policy, giving customers only three business days to cancel their account without penalty. Like many other companies, ADT requires a 36-month contract. However, unlike many companies, ADT does not include a warranty with its equipment and instead offers a Quality Service Plan separately. The price is not available online, so you’ll have to call for that as well.

Read full review

Pros

  • Free installation
  • Lifetime equipment warranty
  • Free moving services after one year
  • Reimbursement for up to two false alarms per year
  • Medical alert package

Cons

  • $99 activation fee
  • Possibility of increased monthly rates after first 12 months
  • Trial period of only three days
  • 36- or 60-month monitoring contract lengths
  • No cellular monitoring with lowest price

#3 Protect America

Protect America holds the #6 spot on our list of top security system companies overall, and it’s our #3 choice for security system companies that offer professional installation. Protect America’s basic Copper package starts at just $19.99 per month—one of the lowest prices we’ve seen—with no installation, activation, or equipment fees. However, that price is for landline monitoring only—in order to get cellular monitoring (which we strongly recommend), the price goes up to $41.99 per month. Many of our top picks offer cellular monitoring at lower prices, but if you live somewhere with no cellular signal, this a great, affordable option.

The equipment is 100% wireless and comes with a lifetime warranty, and like most professionally monitored security system companies, Protect America requires a 36-month contract. Unlike many companies, however, Protect America gives customers a full 30 days to try out their system. Protect America wins points for transparency and accessibility by keeping all of this information easy to find online and by making its systems for both home security and home automation completely customizable.

Read full review

Pros

  • Low rates starting at $19.99/month
  • No installation or equipment fees
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 100% wireless equipment
  • 30-day cancellation policy

Cons

  • No cellular monitoring at lowest price
  • 36-month monitoring contract

#4 Moni

In early 2018, Brinks acquired both LiveWatch and Moni. Current LiveWatch and Moni customers can expect the same equipment and services. However, monitoring plans, pricing, and equipment charges may have changed from when this article was originally written.

Moni (formerly Monitronics) is an average security system company with some great features but quite a few drawbacks. Some of the unique features Moni offers its customers are free moving services after one year and false alarm protection, which means Moni will reimburse customers up to $50 per false alarm up to twice per year. Moni also offers a medical alert package with professional monitoring in case of a medical emergency. Additionally, Moni’s equipment comes with a lifetime warranty and free installation, though there is a $99 activation fee.

The Standard Home Security package is only $34.95 per month and includes the equipment; however, it is a landline-only package, and the cost of an upgraded cellular package is $44.95 per month. Additionally, those rates are only locked in for the first 12 months. After that, they may increase. Moni depends on local providers, much like ADT, so while contracts are generally 36 months long, they may be as long as 60 months depending on where you live. Customers have only three days to decide if they want to continue with their newly purchased system, and after that, they must pay 80% of the remaining balance if they want to cancel early. So while Moni offers some unique benefits to customers, the potential for a rate increase, brief cancellation window, and activation fee lose it points.

Read full review

Pros

  • Low monthly price
  • Same-day installation availability in some areas
  • Wide availability due to large company size

Cons

  • No publicly available, specific pricing information
  • Installation and activation fees
  • Separate purchase requirement for warranty
  • Trial period of only three days
  • 36-month contract
  • No cellular monitoring with lowest monthly price

#5 AT&T Digital Life

AT&T Digital Life is a relatively new branch of AT&T that provides home security and automation packages. As such, some of its prices and policies differ from other home security system companies, in both good and bad ways. The Smart Security package is $39.99 per month and includes more equipment than most basic packages, plus free installation, and all of the equipment is 100% wireless. AT&T uses broadband monitoring which, while not the cellular monitoring we recommend, is better than landline. Even the basic Smart Security package can be monitored remotely through a smartphone or computer.

AT&T Digital Life requires only a 24-month contract, but the early termination fee is very high—$640 and up. However, customers have 14 days to cancel their account with only a $99 restocking fee. Also, be aware that AT&T Digital Life is not available in all locations, so be sure to check the availability for your location.

Until recently, AT&T Digital Life was on our Top 10 Home Security Systems list. However, the limited feedback we’ve received from customers has been quite negative regarding the quality of the product and customer service, so unless you already use AT&T for other things and would like to bundle these services together, you may be better off with a more established security system.

Read full review

Pros

  • Free installation
  • Life warranty on equipment
  • 100% wireless equipment
  • 14-day trial period
  • More equipment on basic package than similar companies offer
  • Broadband monitoring
  • 24-month contract

Cons

  • $640+ early termination fee
  • $99 restocking fee during trial period
  • Limited availability
  • Lack of information about customer service

How the companies compare

Installation: Watch for hidden fees

professional security installationAll five of these companies offer professional installation, and most of them even include installation with the cost of the system. Vivint charges an installation fee for only a couple specific pieces of equipment, and Moni has a $99 activation fee, but both of these companies do not charge for the basic installation. ADT stands out in this category as the one company on our list that does have an installation fee, starting at $99, plus an activation fee. For Protect America, Vivint, and AT&T Digital Life, installation will be relatively quick, as all of their equipment is 100% wireless. Moni’s and ADT’s installation will take a little longer, and some of the equipment will need to be wired into your home. Although there isn’t a clear winner, Protect America, Vivint, and AT&T Digital Life all provide the best installation service.

Contracts: Standard length vs. month-to-month

Many home security system companies require a 36-month monitoring contract, and Protect America, ADT, and Moni fall into that category (although Moni providers may require longer contracts). AT&T Digital Life is a little different with a 24-month contract, but it’s Vivint that stands out in this area. Previously, Vivint required inflexible 48- or 60-month contracts, which was certainly a negative aspect of the company. However, now Vivint also offers a month-to-month option with the up-front purchase of equipment. While this means your starting costs are quite high, this is one of the most flexible contract options we’ve seen, and we feel it reflects Vivint’s willingness to listen to feedback and helped it rise through our rankings.

Trial period: Longer is better

While having a short trial period is not uncommon for home security system companies, Vivint, Moni, and ADT have almost none. These three companies give customers only three business days to decide if they want to keep their system or cancel it without penalty. AT&T Digital Life gives customers 14 days to decide, but it also charges a $99 restocking fee. Protect America, on the other hand, has a 30-day trial period, making it the clear winner of this category.

Packages: Cellular is best

While several of the companies on our list—Protect America, Moni, and ADT—advertise low monthly rates for their basic packages, all three of those packages use landline monitoring rather than our recommended cellular monitoring. In order to get cellular monitoring, the monthly price goes up—sometimes by quite a bit, like in Protect America’s case (from $19.99 to $41.99). Vivint and AT&T Digital Life offer the same monthly price; however, AT&T Digital Life uses broadband monitoring while Vivint’s monitoring is 100% cellular, making Vivint the winner of this category.

Warranty: Look for lifetime

Four of the five companies on our list offer a lifetime warranty on all equipment so long as you continue to be a customer with them. Once again, however, ADT is the outlier in this category with a warranty plan that must be purchased separately, adding to the overall cost of the system. Though there isn’t a definite winner in this category, ADT clearly falls short.

Reputation: Customer service

In terms of reputation and overall customer service, each company has a mix of positive and negative feedback. Vivint has a reputation for aggressive sales tactics, but its technology is unparalleled. ADT is the largest home security company by far and is a reliable choice, but getting information from ADT is difficult without working with a sales rep. Moni has a lot of great features but mixed customer reviews, and AT&T Digital Life has not been around long enough to see how the service matches up (though initial reports are not positive). Protect America has an inconsistent record with customers, but its representatives are caring and respond consistently well to complaints across the internet. ADT’s customer service is spotty, as the company relies on independent salespeople to manage their own customers. Vivint’s reputation is a bit rocky, but the company’s recent innovations give us hope that the company is pushing to change its relations with customers.

Our top choices: Subtle but significant differences

While all of the companies on our list of professionally installed security systems are worthwhile, Vivint and ADT sit at the top of our rankings and overshadow the competition.

Both Protect Vivint ADT have a lot of great things to offer customers, but Vivint edges out ADT by just a bit. Both offer a wide range of 100% wireless equipment options. The pricing is very similar for cellular monitoring, though Vivint’s equipment is not included with the monitoring contract, making it more costly, especially with the flexible month-to-month option. Overall, either company would be an excellent choice if you are looking for a professionally installed security system, but Vivint would give you the best tech for your money.

Do you have a professionally installed security system? What was your experience?

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About Kate Herrick

Kate Herrick
Kate is a seasoned writer who is enthusiastic about helping families stay safe. She is an expert on researching and writing about child safety, personal safety, and online security in the home, as well as home automation products that make life a little better.

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