Best Home Security System: Reviewed & Rated In 2021

Modern technology has done a lot to enhance a home’s security capabilities — and there’s a lot of robust security systems to choose from.
In this article, we’ll look into the best home security system options available to you. Here, you’ll find our methodology, individual reviews of our best picks, the benefits of a security system, and more.

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1. SimpliSafe 12 Piece Wireless Home Security System w/HD Camera

The SimpliSafe 12-piece wireless home security system is an all-in-one set that offers the greatest versatility and protection among home security systems. It has various sensors for burglary and environmental hazards, plus optional upgrades to keep your home safer. Full Review

  • Easy to install
  • No monthly fees
  • All-in-one system
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The SimpliSafe 12-piece wireless home security system is an all-in-one set that offers the greatest versatility and protection among home security systems. It has various sensors for burglary and environmental hazards, plus optional upgrades to keep your home safer. Full Review

Features

5/5

Ease of use

4.8/5

Integrations

4.9/5

Price

4.7/5

2. Ring Alarm 8-piece kit (2nd Gen) with Ring Indoor Cam

Ring Alarm’s second-generation 8-piece set is among the best home alarm systems because of its simplicity. The system is easy to install and monthly fees are cheap. It also integrates well with smart homes powered by Alexa and Amazon devices. Full Review

  • Has range extender
  • No contract required
  • Cheap professional monitoring fee
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Ring Alarm’s second-generation 8-piece set is among the best home alarm systems because of its simplicity. The system is easy to install and monthly fees are cheap. It also integrates well with smart homes powered by Alexa and Amazon devices. Full Review

Features

4.8/5

Ease of use

4/5

Integrations

4.9/5

Pricing

5/5

3. Link Interactive

Link Interactive offers the best home security system if you want to add robust home automation functions on top of your alarm system. It also lets you pick and select the equipment you want and charges a reasonable amount of money for monitoring services. Full Review

  • Home automation
  • Freedom to choose equipment
  • Lots of equipment choices
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Link Interactive offers the best home security system if you want to add robust home automation functions on top of your alarm system. It also lets you pick and select the equipment you want and charges a reasonable amount of money for monitoring services. Full Review

Features

5/5

Ease of use

5/5

Integrations

4.9/5

Price

4.5/5

4. Blue by ADT Starter Plus System

Blue by ADT Start Plus System is among the top home security systems because of its great offers that include a free month of pro monitoring services. It’s very easy to install, and it offers various sensors to secure your home. Plus there are home automation functions that make monitoring easier. Full Review

  • Free month of professional monitoring
  • Home automation function
  • Well-known brand
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Blue by ADT Start Plus System is among the top home security systems because of its great offers that include a free month of pro monitoring services. It’s very easy to install, and it offers various sensors to secure your home. Plus there are home automation functions that make monitoring easier. Full Review

Features

5/5

Ease of use

4.8/5

Integrations

4.9/5

Price

5/5

5. iota Security Kit

The iota Security Kit is the best home security system for DIY enthusiasts who also want wide-ranging smart home integrations. It integrates with major names such as Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, the quality of its components is also top-notch, and it offers high-quality pro monitoring services. Full Review

  • Robust smart home integration
  • Two-way audio
  • Built-in camera
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The iota Security Kit is the best home security system for DIY enthusiasts who also want wide-ranging smart home integrations. It integrates with major names such as Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, the quality of its components is also top-notch, and it offers high-quality pro monitoring services. Full Review

Features

5/5

Ease of use

4.8/5

Integrations

4.9/5

Price

4/5

6. Frontpoint Safe Home Select

The Frontpoint Safe Home Select package offers a fantastic wireless alarm system with no contract required but with on-demand pro monitoring services. It’s also perfect if you want a complete suite of security tools — from sensors to cameras — as well as decent smart home integration. Full Review

  • No long-term contract required
  • High consumer rating
  • Customizable packages
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The Frontpoint Safe Home Select package offers a fantastic wireless alarm system with no contract required but with on-demand pro monitoring services. It’s also perfect if you want a complete suite of security tools — from sensors to cameras — as well as decent smart home integration. Full Review

Features

4.8/5

Ease of use

4.9/5

Integrations

4/5

Price

5/5

7. Honeywell Lynx Touch L7000 Starter Kit

Honeywell Lynx Touch L7000 Starter Kit is the best self-monitored home security system with cameras for those who can go without pro monitoring. The components are of high quality and sport decent smart home integrations. Full Review

  • Good for businesses
  • Smart home integration
  • Face recognition
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Honeywell Lynx Touch L7000 Starter Kit is the best self-monitored home security system with cameras for those who can go without pro monitoring. The components are of high quality and sport decent smart home integrations. Full Review

Features

5/5

Ease of use

4/5

Integrations

5/5

Price

5/5

8. Cove 10 Piece Wireless Home Security System

Cove’s 10-piece kit ranks among the best wireless home security systems if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, all-in-one service. It offers pro monitoring services for $15/month, plus a lifetime equipment warranty. Its high-quality customer service also makes it one of the most well-respected home security companies around. Full Review

  • Low-cost pro monitoring
  • Great customer service feedback
  • Lifetime equipment warranty
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Cove’s 10-piece kit ranks among the best wireless home security systems if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, all-in-one service. It offers pro monitoring services for $15/month, plus a lifetime equipment warranty. Its high-quality customer service also makes it one of the most well-respected home security companies around. Full Review

Features

4.5/5

Ease of use

4.8/5

Integrations

4.8/5

Price

4.8/5

9. Vivint Smart Home

Vivint Smart Home offers some of the best home security system solutions around, thanks to their robust selection of equipment that you can customize. Their professional monitoring and contract plans also offer flexibility for those looking to make the most out of their budget. Full Review

  • Free professional installation
  • Customizable kits
  • Optional month-to-month contracts

Vivint Smart Home offers some of the best home security system solutions around, thanks to their robust selection of equipment that you can customize. Their professional monitoring and contract plans also offer flexibility for those looking to make the most out of their budget. Full Review

How We Created This List – Our Methodology

Safety is important. So, to ensure that we give you a pick of only the best home security systems for 2021, we researched various factors, including:

Ease of use and installation.

We checked whether the system is professionally installed or whether it is an easy-to-install DIY system.

Security features.

We listed the main security hardware of the system, from indoor/outdoor cameras to hazard sensors.

Extra features.

Home automation features and smart device integrations are also common among security systems, so we researched those too.

Company policies.

We talked about the contracts, plans, fees, and policies you should keep in mind when buying a home security system.

Company background and customer reviews.

We discussed what consumers are saying about the brand and the product, so you know what to expect.

SimpliSafe 12 Piece Wireless Home Security System w/HD Camera
SimpliSafe 12 Piece Wireless Home Security System w/HD Camera

Best Wireless Home Security Kit With Camera Systems

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  • Easy to install
  • All-in-one system
  • No monthly fees
  • Underwhelming camera quality

The SimpliSafe 12-piece wireless home security system is the best DIY home security system for those who don’t want to sign a long-term contract but want robust burglary and hazard protection.

The set’s home security devices include 5 entry sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 SimpliCam, a panic button, and a keyfob. It also has hazard sensors, such as smoke detectors and temperature sensors, in case of fires and water leakages.

You can control and monitor those easy-to-install components through the base station, which processes all triggers. It offers 24-hour live monitoring, which you can access only when you want or need to, with 24/7 monitoring center support.

The standard package starts at $249, and you can add more components if you want. Additional SimpliCams — which give you more streaming video and audio coverage — cost $99 each. You can also add glass-break sensors, a key component for the best burglar alarm systems around, for $34.99. Adding a smart lock for keyless entry costs $99.

Customer support is also highly praised; the service has 4.1/5 stars on Trustpilot and 4.3/5 stars on Google customer reviews. There’s no 24-hour support, but the helpline is available 7 days a week from 8 am to 12 am.

Smart home integration is limited, though the company promises more home automation features in the future. Some users say the camera’s quality is underwhelming and the upfront costs are expensive.

Installation DIY
Monitoring $14.99/month
Starts at $249
Contract None
  • Has range extender
  • No contract required
  • Easy to install
  • Cheap professional monitoring fee

The Ring Alarm 8-piece kit (2nd Gen) with a Ring indoor cam is the best DIY home security camera system for budget-conscious homeowners who want standard security.

The kit contains 4 contact sensors, a base station, a motion detector, and an indoor camera. You can use a keypad to arm or disarm the system, while the indoor cam has video, audio, and night vision capabilities.

It comes with a range extender for the Ring Alarm’s Z-Wave network to strengthen the base station’s signal, letting you cover more home areas.

Installation is quick. Moreover, the kit ranks among the best smart home security system options because of its Alexa, Fire TV, and Echo Show device integration. For easier and more seamless control, you can use the Ring app, too. It provides real-time notifications, live video streaming, and security modes for when you stay at home or go out.

Ring Alarm’s 8-piece kit starts at $234.99 a month. The system doesn’t require any contract, but you can opt for professional monitoring for $10 a month, which includes 24/7 monitoring support — a less expensive rate than what other home security systems offer.

Meanwhile, customer service is generally rated positively. User reviews give the kit 4.7 stars out of 5. However, some apparent downsides include the low sensitivity on motion sensors and a 3-second delay after pressing the panic button. There are also no glass break detectors, which is something many customers often look for when shopping for home security solutions.

Installation DIY
Monitoring $10/month
Starts at $234.99
Contract Optional
Blue by ADT Starter Plus System
Blue by ADT Starter Plus System

Best No-Contract Professional Monitoring Service

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  • Free month of professional monitoring
  • Home automation function
  • Easy to install
  • Well-known brand

ADT is one of the most popular full-service pro monitoring security system brands in the world. The Blue by ADT is its venture into the DIY, contract-less market.

Its Starter Plus System offers a robust selection of personal security tools. It contains a smart hub with an integrated keypad, 4 window and door sensors, and 2 motion sensors. There are also camera add-ons, such as indoor, outdoor, or video doorbell cameras. The system is easy to install.

It offers one month of free professional security monitoring. After the first month, you can cancel the monitoring service or continue for $19.99 per month.

There’s also a mobile app that lets you remotely arm or disarm the system, as well as stream videos live from the cameras. Other features include push notifications, area and property crime map, and smart home controls.

You can add more home security cameras, wireless sensors, signal extenders, and fire safety sensors as you see fit.

The Starter Plus System package costs $299.99. Additional cameras are a bit costly at $199.99 each, while sensors range from $14.99 to $34.99.

The kit has 3.8 stars on Trustpilot. Its customer service has generally positive feedback, but some customers complain about having poor support services when glitches occur.

Some consumer reviews say the sensors or camera systems stop working after some time, leading to an unpleasant customer experience. The app also reportedly becomes unresponsive at times.

Installation DIY
Monitoring $19.99/month
Starts at $299.99
Contract None
iota Security Kit
iota Security Kit

Best For Smart Home Integration

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  • Two-way audio
  • Robust smart home integration
  • Built-in camera
  • No contract cancellation fee

The iota Security Kit is an all-in-one security system that offers a host of functions that are perfect if you’re looking for more affordable options.

The kit contains the iota, a hub that contains a built-in camera, motion detectors, and siren. You also get window and door sensors and a keyfob to easily control the system. The camera shoots in 1080p HD quality and has two-way audio — ideal for self-monitoring.

Speaking of monitoring, you can monitor the system through the mobile app or sign up for pro services for $20/month. A team of people will monitor your system 24/7 and will contact emergency services if they detect a security situation, making your surveillance system more trustworthy. Monitoring contracts are also offered on a yearly basis.

The iota security kit also stands out for its great home automation system integration. The system is compatible with many smart home services, including Google Assistant, Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, Nest, Philips Hue Smart Bulbs, Yale, Z-Wave, and IFTTT — giving you great value for your $199, the price of the kit.

The system has 4.1 stars on Trustpilot, with generally positive reviews. However, consumer reviews of its customer service quality are mixed. That is typical among security companies. Still, the service leaves a lot to be desired.

Reviews also note that the smart home integrations, while robust, sometimes perform inconsistently. The system needs to be restarted often to fix that.

Installation DIY
Monitoring $20/month
Starts at $199
Contract None
  • Customizable packages
  • High consumer rating
  • No long-term contract required
  • Easy to install

Frontpoint’s Safe Home Select system is a great 12-piece home monitoring system if you don’t like being tied to a long-term contract but you don’t mind paying for pro monitoring services.

The Safe Home Select pre-configured package contains a hub and keypad, 4 window and door sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 smoke and heat sensor, and 5 window decals, among other things. This full suite of security monitoring tools comes with smart home security features as well since the system works with Alexa and Google Home. You can also build and customize your own Frontpoint system if you want to.

You previously had to sign up for a contract with Frontpoint to avail yourself of its professional monitoring. Now, you can pay for on-demand monitoring services without any contract. Pro monitoring starts at $44.99/month.

You’ll have access to the mobile app, 24/7 pro monitoring, alerts, and email and text notifications. But to get their best home security system with cameras, you’ll need to upgrade to the Ultimate Plan at $49.99/month.

The Safe Home Select package starts at $383.92. You can upgrade to Safe Home Preferred if you want to, but it costs $479.90.

Customer service reviews are largely positive, with reviewers describing the service as fun and friendly. Frontpoint holds 4.6 stars on Trustpilot.

Meanwhile, other reviews cite the more-expensive-than-average pro monitoring fee and limited smart home integrations as possible downsides to the service. Video streaming is also only available with the more expensive plans.

Installation DIY
Monitoring $44.99/month
Starts at $383.92
Contract None
Honeywell Lynx Touch L7000 Starter Kit
Honeywell Lynx Touch L7000 Starter Kit

Best Self-Monitored Home Security System

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  • Easy to install
  • Smart home integration
  • Good for businesses
  • Face recognition

The Honeywell Lynx Touch L7000 Starter Kit is the best self-monitored home security system if you’re looking for no-contract, no-monthly fee options.

The main features of this system include a security camera that’s 1080p HD. There’s a live streaming option available, too. For further personal security and monitoring, the camera has a 24-hour free video clip storage for you to review its recordings.

Moreover, Honeywell Lynx has some robust smart home integration features, with face recognition technology, which isn’t quite common among other systems. The kit starts at $474.69.

What makes this the best unmonitored home security system is its video feed and remote software upgradeability. You can easily monitor what’s happening when you want to, and you can enhance your system’s features when necessary.

The hardware uses a Z-Wave hub where you can control the system easily, but an obvious downside to this is that no pro monitoring is offered. Therefore, this system is more suitable for businesses with their own team responsible for monitoring and control.

Also, customer service has a pretty negative reputation among consumers. It only has 1.5 stars on Trustpilot, with customers noting that Honeywell still needs to make more improvements to catch up with the more modern security monitoring systems.

That’s not to say the system’s not working well. In fact, the components themselves are rated 5 stars by Amazon and eBay consumers. So, while it lacks robust customer support, the system stands well on its own.

Installation DIY
Monitoring Not offered
Starts at $474.69
Contract None
Cove 10 Piece Wireless Home Security System
Cove 10 Piece Wireless Home Security System

Best Low-Cost Professional Monitoring

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  • All-in-one kit
  • Low-cost pro monitoring
  • Lifetime equipment warranty
  • Great customer service feedback

The Cove 10-piece wireless home security system offers the best value for a home security system that’s not so expensive. This is a low-cost choice if you want pro monitoring with no contract and great customer support.

The system consists of a touchscreen panel serving as your mobile command center where you can arm and disarm the system, among other things. You also get 4 door and window sensors, 2 pet-friendly motion sensors, and 2 remotes. Cove doesn’t sell its own cameras, but it integrates with the YI 1080p indoor camera.

Cove offers the best affordable security system around. The Basic Plan for pro monitoring costs $15/month. If you upgrade to the Cove Plus Plan, which costs $25/month, you’ll get voice control features for Alexa and Google Home-powered households.

Other outstanding features include a lifetime equipment warranty and a 30-day free trial of their security monitoring offers. The 10-piece kit costs around $261.80, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Another quality that ranks Cove as one of the best home alarm systems around is its top-notch customer service. It has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google reviews and 4.8 stars on Trustpilot.

Some customers note that the brand is still relatively new to the market and that its smart home integration hasn’t been fully developed yet, which is a possible downside home automation enthusiasts should consider.

Installation DIY
Monitoring $15/month
Starts at $261.80
Contract None
Vivint Smart Home
Vivint Smart Home

Best Overall; Full-Service Home Security

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  • Customizable kits
  • High-end components
  • Free professional installation
  • Optional month-to-month contracts

Vivint offers a full-service home security system. You can get various tools that you can customize plus flexible plans.

Vivint offers free professional installation. You can get security sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, a doorbell camera, smart lock, glass break sensors, and more.

The SkyControl Panel is at the center of Vivint’s best alarm system — it lets you control everything in it.

Vivint also offers superb smart home integration features. It integrates with Alexa and Google Assistant. The Smart Home app lets you arm and disarm the security system through your phone.

Alarm systems often cost a fortune with professional monitoring. But Vivint lets you opt for month-to-month or on-demand monitoring services if you don’t like the contracts it offers. Monitoring starts at $29.00/month.

And while you can customize the equipment, you can also opt for their Vivint Starter Kit, which costs $599 and has the SkyControl Panel, 2 window/door sensors, 1 motion sensor, and 1 water sensor. Additional cameras cost between $199 to $399, which, if added, make it one of the best home security systems with cameras.

Customer service reviews have previously been negative, but Vivint has been making up for that. It has 3.7 stars on Trustpilot, and many reviewers note that currently its customer service has been professional and easy to work with. However, others still have problems communicating with the customer service personnel.

Installation Pro
Monitoring $29.99/month
Starts at $599
Contract Optional

How to Choose the Best Home Security System

Picking the right security system for your house can be overwhelming. You must consider factors and look for special features that don’t only give you a sense of physical security but are also cost-effective. The following are some important things you should consider:

Type of System.

Choose what type of system works best for your house and family.

  • Monitored vs. Unmonitored: monitored systems are actively monitored by home security companies, which is quite convenient and safe, while unmonitored systems often rely on you to do the monitoring, which is often more economical.
  • Wired vs. Wireless: this factor refers to how the security hardware communicates with your system. Wired systems are connected to a power source and internet by a cable, while wireless systems are connected to the internet via Wi-Fi and to a power source by a cable.

Starter Kit Price, Monthly Costs, and Other Fees.

When looking for a security system, choose one that has an affordable home security starter kit. The price depends on the brand and what components are included in the kit.

If you want monitoring services, monthly costs may differ from brand to brand. Usually, though, alarm monitoring services cost between $15/month and $50/month or higher.

If you’re looking to customize the package, check the price of hardware components. Some cameras offer top-notch quality but cost a fortune, for example.

Many brands offer you the choice to either pay for the equipment upfront or sign a contract, which can also cover your professional monitoring plans.

Professional vs. DIY Installation.

While most brands offer cheap, easy-to-install DIY systems, professional installation is still easier. However, professionally installed systems often require pro monitoring and contracts, whereas DIY systems’ contracts and monitoring services are optional.

App and Smart Home Compatibility.

Smart security systems let you integrate them with your home automation component. They are compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and other smart home technologies. Proprietary security apps also let you monitor, arm, or disarm your system using your phone.

Backup Features.

Backup security features are important especially in high-risk places such as companies and offices. Business security systems have multiple backups that let them protect assets even when an alarm system fails. Consider adding backup, too, when buying a security system for your home.

What is a Home Security System and How Does it Work? 

A home security system works by securing the entry points to your home using sensors and indoor or outdoor cameras.

The most basic security system uses sensors and alarms, while more sophisticated ones also consist of cameras and environmental protection sensors to further protect your home.

The systems work in different ways. It may be monitored by a professional team of security experts who will respond if a sensor gets triggered. You can also do the alarm monitoring yourself in unmonitored security systems.

The system may also be wired or wireless. Wired systems are attached to the internet through a cable, while wireless systems use Wi-Fi, though connected to a power source by a cable.

Home Security Systems or Professional Home Security Systems – Tips 

When looking for the best security system for your home, decide whether you need professional installation and monitoring or not. Professional home security systems are more convenient, but they’re not exactly budget-friendly. Apart from that, also consider the following tips:

Consider what you’re protecting.

Check whether the system you want to buy actually keeps you or your family secured. For instance, if you want a more visual assurance that what you’re protecting is safe, opt for products with camera systems.

The size of your home.

Bigger homes have more entry points than smaller ones. Therefore, they need more sensors and hardware to be fully secure. Make sure the kit you’re buying covers the entire house and not just one part of it.

Your budget.

There are many cheap home security systems out there, and they offer decent protection. However, a more comprehensive protection costs more. If you want to add home automation features, you’ll also spend more. Find ways to get sufficient funding, such as getting home improvement loans.

Read customer reviews.

The best home security system reviews come from those who’ve actually used them. Read what they have to say, what they liked and disliked about the product. You might stumble upon useful information — such as free monitoring or even home warranty offers — that can help you decide what to buy.

Customization, cameras, and contracts.

Last but not least, check how much flexibility you want. If you want customization, make sure you know what equipment you need, so you won’t buy unnecessary items. Read the fine print if you’re entering a monitoring contract.

Security System Hardware 

Security systems offer different components. However, the following items are the most common hardware you’ll get when you install a security system.

Main Panel.

Think of this as the control center or CPU of your security system. A WiFi security system, for example, often has a wireless hub that lets you monitor, arm, or disarm the system with a few button clicks.

Window/Door Sensor.

Tells you when a window or door opens, perfect for securing entrances and preventing your children from accessing certain areas of your house.

Cameras.

They may or may not be included in starter kits, and they can be outdoor, indoor, doorbell, or even nanny cameras. Look for high-quality camera equipment if you want the best home video security system or advanced visual capabilities.

Motion Sensors.

Detect motions and movements and alert you to intruders.

Environmental Sensors.

Alert you when flooding or a fire happens. They can also detect sudden drops in temperature or high carbon dioxide levels.

Most security systems also come preinstalled with high-decibel alarms and glass break detectors, both of which offer better home security.

Best Home Security System Options at a Glance 

Key Takeouts

Security systems help make your living space and loved ones safer. Many security system brands offer robust service and equipment — from cameras and sensors to smart home integration. Professional monitoring services are also available when you need them, with flexible plans and contracts that fit your budget.

FAQ

What are the differences between landline, broadband, and cellular monitoring?

Landline monitoring uses telephone services to transmit signals to the central station doing the monitoring. Broadband or internet monitoring, meanwhile, uses your internet connection and router to function, sending signals within seconds. Lastly, cellular monitoring uses radio or cellular transmitters near the monitoring station to send signals over the airwaves.

Does a home security system give me a discount on homeowners insurance?

Generally, yes, a home security system as well as other security devices can help you save on your homeowners insurance. If you have such security discounts, this will be reflected on your policy declarations page. The discount can be anywhere from 2% to 10%.

What’s the difference between home security and home automation?

Home security is a system that secures and protects your home from burglary, intruders, or environmental hazards such as fire or flooding. Meanwhile, home automation refers to the way smart products connect your home’s devices wirelessly. Examples of home automation are smart thermostats, lights, and small appliance controls.

What’s the initial cost for a home security system?

The average upfront cost of a security system is between $250 and $1,500. This cost includes installation, activation, and upfront charges. The best home security system often has different payment plans, depending on whether you opt for a contract or monthly monitoring.

I rent an apartment. Should I still consider a home security system?

Yes, you should. Whether you’re living alone in an apartment or with your family in your own house, burglars and intruders don’t discriminate. An apartment security system can help prevent you from falling victim to burglary or environmental hazards.