Best home security systems of 2021

Security systems and smart home technology are an excellent combination, bringing new and improved ways for homeowners and renters to protect their properties. In addition to long-standing home security companies like ADT, you can now look to affordable DIY alternatives from industry disruptors like SimpliSafe and Wyze for home security solutions. Tech giants like Apple, Amazon and Google have also started to join the fray, Partnership with established security brands and acquisition of security-focused companies.

More competition in the home security space means more internet-connected devices – such as video doorbells, smart locks and cameras with motion detection – but also brings new vulnerabilities, including an increase hack risk.

It’s definitely a lot to take in – and today’s home security providers don’t always make it easy to compare.

That’s where we come in. We put security systems to the test — from state-of-the-art monitored systems with professional installation to wallet-friendly DIY alternatives that include a home security camera (or cameras) and smart home devices monitored via smartphone app — and We will update this article as we go based on our practical experience. Keep this page bookmarked and check back as we expand it to include a deep dive into all the best home security systems options for 2022.

Josh Goldman/CNET

Comcast Xfinity Home security is an excellent, affordable, and affordable service, which is why we gave it 8 out of 10 in our review. It can cost thousands less than comparable setups from direct competitors like Vivint and ADT, works with many third-party smart home devices, and doesn’t require a contract. If you can get around Comcast’s pressure to bundle their other services together (you don’t have to!) and the service’s limited home automation capabilities, this home security system will treat you well.

Read our full review.

Hobie Crase/CNET

Ring’s Alarm Pro system changed the DIY home security game by wrapping a Wi-Fi 6 Eero router in your base device. Not only do you get reliable security performance, but you also get access to all sorts of extra features, including cellular-powered backup Wi-Fi, network security monitoring, processing, and local storage for all your Ring devices, and integration. with Alexa. Guard Plus service (provided you have an Echo speaker or display). Considering all the bells and whistles, the Ring Alarm Pro received an impressive score of 9/10 in our review.

Ring still has a troubling track record when it comes to its privacy practices and policies, but the Ring Alarm Pro is undeniably one of the smartest DIY home security systems I’ve ever tested, and it’s still competitively priced in a crowded market.

Read our review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

We’ve tested the SimplieSafe system multiple times and most recently gave it a review score of 8.5 out of 10. If you’re just looking for home security – without all the extra Wi-Fi and smart home integrations of Ring Alarm Pro — SimpliSafe’s easy-to-install and use DIY system is a great option. It offers a comprehensive set of features including security gear like security cameras and a very good combination of battery powered motion detection sensors, all of which performed reliably in our tests. Starter kits cost less than $200, or you can build your own custom alarm system with the exact combination of devices you’re interested in. The security company’s professional monitoring plan starts at $15 per month, but you’ll certainly want to go for the $25 per month monitoring service plan, which adds things like mobile app controls and system voice support. smart home security via Alexa and Google Assistant.

Read our SimpliSafe review.

David Priest/CNET

The Vivint is much more expensive than the Comcast Xfinity – and received a lower review score of 7.7 due in part to high upfront costs – but if money is less of a concern than smart home integration, it’s worth considering. Vivint offers a super polished experience with good third-party device integrations – and it doesn’t require a contract. With monthly monitoring ranging from $30 to $45 per month, it is comparable month to month with Xfinity.

Read our full review.

David Priest/CNET

Wyze Home Monitoring is ridiculously affordable. The basic kit includes two door/window sensors, a motion detector, a keypad, and a base station with a built-in siren — all of which costs $70 (price has gone up since it launched at $50). Add $5 per month for professional monitoring. Or just sign up for a year of professional monitoring ($60) and get the starter kit in half. From there, you can add cameras for around $30, sensors for under $10, and a host of other gadgets for ridiculously cheap prices. The only real downside: Wyze has no cellular backup in case of a power or internet outage. Perhaps this feature will come with time, but for now, we still give the Wyze Home Monitoring system a solid 8.4 out of 10.

Read CNET’s full review.

What (and how) we test

In addition to the above systems, we have tested many of the top competitors, including address, Iota address, frontpoint, Kangaroo, ringing alarm, Cove and ADT. Abode and Abode’s all-in-one security camera, Iota, were solid competitors that couldn’t match the Simplisafe price – but if you’re interested in DIY smart home systems for small spaces or that don’t require monitoring subscriptions, they It is worth checking. Ring Alarm is another solid DIY option, but the Recent problems with police partnerships keeps us from recommending it – especially when a company like Wyze offers such a strong and cost-effective alternative.

Frontpoint, Cove, and Kangaroo DIY systems had resources to recommend them. Frontpoint System it is reliable and its hardware is reasonably priced, but its monthly monitoring fee of $45 is very expensive. Kangaroo, on the other hand, is incredibly wallet-friendly, but its doorbell camera is terrible, so the Wyze still maintains its edge in the budget category. Cove Home Security, despite reasonable hardware prices, has dropped to an overly restrictive subscription model that doesn’t allow self-monitoring or even access to apps without significant monthly fees.

ADT, one of the biggest brands we tested, was largely disappointing. It’s very expensive (not to mention it requires a contract) and the app is clunky. we tested AT&T Digital Life, although we have removed the system from consideration since the company stopped installing it for new customers.

We have yet to test Brinks Home and ADT Blue – although we hope to include them in our consideration in the coming months.

For every system we test, we install it ourselves (or have the company install it for professional systems), as any customer would. From there, we spent at least a week testing the system, device by device and as a whole. Our ranking prioritizes value, but also takes into account the quality of hardware, service, and overall user experience (things like ease of use and number of false alarms are key). For more complete information on any of the security systems recommended above, read the full reviews.

Frequently asked questions about home security system

Do I have to sign a home security contract?

Contracts are sometimes required for professional home monitoring or to qualify for free equipment, so services from home security providers like ADT, Vivint, and Xfinity may include one. That said, it’s often possible to avoid contracts if you pay upfront – and other home security companies like Ring, SimpliSafe, and Wyze offer DIY home security solutions that never require one.

What is the best home security camera?

Arlo, Nest, and Wyze cameras are our top picks for the best home security cameras, but the best one for your home depends on your needs. Be sure to consider price, Wi-Fi connectivity, indoor/outdoor functionality, as well as compatibility with other smart home devices and security services when choosing a home security camera.

How to configure a home security system?

Some home security systems come with professional installation, so you can trust the company to install and configure your system. Others, including many DIY systems, may require self-installation and configuration. These systems should come with detailed instructions and are usually easy to set up. In most cases, you can simply place or mount the devices wherever you want and connect them to your Wi-Fi and other smart home devices (if supported) via an app on your phone.

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