Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Protect America provides self-installed home security systems and monitoring services. and automation solutions and has serviced nearly half a million homes since 1992. The company offers 24/7 professional monitoring through Criticom Monitoring Services. Protect America's monthly fees range from $19.99 to $42.99, which includes free equipment such as a control panel, motion detectors, door sensors and window and door/window sensors. While many do-it-yourself security system providers nickel and dime customers on equipment costs, Protect America provides free equipment with no upfront fees.
For more than 65 years, Guardian Protection has been a security systems company offering professionally installed burglar alarm and security systems to homes and businesses across the United States. The company currently offers monitoring services to more than 250,000 customers in all 50 states. Guardian Protection products are only available in the following 20 states: Arizona, Delaware, DC, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Founded in 2007, Frontpoint Security Solutions LLC is a nationwide do-it-yourself security option-with optional professional installation services that can be added for an additional fee. Frontpoint offers three packages ranging from $34.99 to $49.99/month, and all equipment is wireless and monitored by a certified monitoring center through a cellular signal. Customer contracts are typically 12 or 36 months. According to a number of customer reviews, Frontpoint's main competitive advantage is its exceptional customer service.
SafeStreets USA is one of ADT Home Security's oldest authorized dealers and only offers ADT equipment. The company currently offers five different professionally installed security systems which range from $36.99 per month to $62.99 per month depending on how much coverage you need. SafeStreets USA also offers a $28.99 per month package, but this is not advertised. All the equipment needed for your chosen service is included in the plan pricing; however, the company does charge extra for upgrade options such as a touchscreen keypad, etc. There are additional charges depending on the type of monitoring you choose as well, which is standard practice in the industry. One of the things we like about SafeStreets USA is its century-long tenure of providing monitoring services to safe homes and businesses alike.
LifeShield Security is a home security solutions company that provides self-installed wireless security systems. The company offers three monthly plans ranging from $29.99 to $49.99. New customers must meet credit requirements and agree to a contract lasting three years. LifeShield home security systems are wireless and come with 24/7 professional monitoring, remote access, and equipment warranty for customers throughout the United States.
Alder provides a broad line of home security systems with 24/7 professional monitoring and mobile control. Coupled with industry leading emergency response times, Alder offers professional installation or a proprietary do-it-yourself installation option with no service windows by shipping the system directly to the customers home. Alder believes in total home safety and uniquely provides more equipment to cover more of the home compared to its door-to-door sales counterparts.
Brinks Home Security has been a recognized name in home security for decades. After a brief rebranding to Broadview Security, the Brinks name has returned after a rebranding merger of MONI Smart Security and LiveWatch. Brinks Home Security is one of the largest home security companies in the U.S., having more than 1 million customers. Brinks takes pride in its patented ASAPer security technology, which is a mobile platform that allows you to connect with your loved ones fast and efficiently in the case of an emergency. Some additional highlights of Brinks Home Security company include a 90-day return policy, free equipment, and home automation technology.
Link Interactive is a do-it-yourself security provider with over 60 years of experience under its belt. The company primarily sells 2GIG equipment, though other brands are available for add-on security and home automation components. Link Interactive charges $29.99-$39.99 per month for its monitoring services.
Smith Thompson provides monitoring services primarily for consumers with an existing home security system. It provides monitoring from a designated monitoring center and professionally installs upgrades to an existing system and can install a new system purchased through Smith Thompson. Monitoring services cost start at $16.95 per month.
Since before man set foot on the moon, Ackerman has been known as the Sign of Real Security - for going above and beyond any other security provider in America to help homes and businesses achieve the highest level of safety possible. Ackerman Security claims to only charge those they protect the fairest price possible: HALF the cost of the old-school providers, for the same exact security systems, and a much higher level of security monitoring.
We've always had security to provide peace of mind in one form or another — a gate around a city, a mote around a castle, a fence around your property, or just a lock on your door. Home security systems started gaining more traction in the early 1990s and led to a sharp decline in residential burglaries, but with so many options now, it can be hard to tell which one is best for you. Here are a few things to know before taking a look at the best home security companies.
A home security system will have a few basic components: a keypad unit, at least one or two sensors, and a monitoring station. The keypad is the brain of the system, usually mounted on a wall in a high-traffic area of your home. The keypad allows you to arm and disarm your system, and some systems can even be armed remotely from a cell phone. Sensors come in two pieces. One piece, you'll place on the edge of a door/window, and the other piece you'll place next to it on the door/window frame. The sensors will be able to tell when a window or door is closed.
If the system is armed and the sensors detect that a window or door has been opened, an alarm will sound and an emergency signal will be sent to a remote monitoring station. Representatives at these remote monitoring stations have been trained and certified to respond to home security emergency signals. They'll have tools to contact you and ask if the signal trip was a fluke, and they'll contact the authorities in the case of an actual emergency.
Sometimes, an alarm company will claim to charge a low monthly fee, then hit you with a host of upfront fees. Usually, they'll be classified as activation or installation fees and can cost you hundreds of dollars, so be wary. If you have an alarm company representative knocking on your door trying to sell you a contract, make sure you're explicitly clear on understanding upfront fees. You might be paying more out of pocket than you'd like. However, some top-tier home security companies won't charge anything for installation or activation.
It's normal for a home security company to lock you into a 3 to 5 year contract. A three-year contract is more convenient because a shorter contract means more versatility for you. While a five-year contract might translate into a lower monthly fee, it really depends on the company. Either way, you need to be absolutely sure that you won't be moving in that 3 to 5 year period or your home security provider could penalize you. You might be able to pass the contract onto the next homeowner, but if you insist on keeping your system and moving it to your next location, you'll probably have to pay a moving fee and renew your contract. Make sure you ask that door-to-door sales representative all these questions before you sign on the dotted line.
Home security systems are linked to a monitoring center via a Wi-Fi, landline, or cellular connection. Cellular connections are becoming more common, but landline connections still have their place in less expensive systems. Landline connections can still contact the monitoring center even if the power goes out. However, most cellular systems will have backup power that will last a few days in the case of a power outage. As for Wi-Fi-enabled security, you have to rely on a stable broadband connection or your home security system is going to be out of commission.
Typical home security equipment consists of the following:
Control panel—This is the brain of your home security system. The control panel allows you to arm and disarm your system and is usually mounted on a wall in a busy area of your home, such as the kitchen or living room. A lot of WiFi-compatible home security systems will have apps that allow you to arm and disarm your home security system from a mobile device.
Door/window sensors—These are the bread and butter of your home security system. These basic sensors are mounted on your doors or windows and alert the keypad unit of a break-in when a door or window is opened. Every security system will have at least one or two door/window sensors.
Motion detectors—These detect movement inside or out of a home. Some motion sensors are advanced enough to detect the difference between a human and a pet such as a cat or a dog. If movement is detected, it alerts the keypad unit.
Smoke detectors—These detect fire and smoke in your home and send alerts to the keypad unit.
Carbon monoxide detectors—These detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and sounds an alarm when it gets too high.
Yard sign—This is the unsung hero of your home security system. Most burglars will pass up your home if they see a yard sign out front. They want an easier target, and a home security system complicates things.
Security cameras—These will be classified as interior or exterior cameras. Exterior cameras are manufactured to withstand elements such as snow or rain, while interior cameras aren't. In most cases, you should be able to monitor video surveillance from a security app and even store footage for a regular fee, but it depends on the company and package.
Home automation is becoming much more popular as it becomes more affordable. Home automation includes tools such as light control, remote door locks, thermostat control, doorbell cameras, and even small appliance activation all from a mobile app. These devices can communicate with your mobile app and each other using advanced z-wave technology. However, it's important to know that these features are almost never standard with basic alarm systems. Chances are that you'll have to purchase an advanced system from your home security provider if you want to have home automation functionality. Most of these tools such as smart lights and remote locks operate on a Wi-Fi connection so they won't function if the power is out.
If you decide that home automation is for you, ask your preferred home security provider what packages it offers. When it comes to home automation, not every company is created equal, and some companies will be able to offer you more options than others.
How do home security systems contact the police?
When the home security system is armed, one of the peripherals triggers the keypad unit if they detect a door or window opening. A loud alarm blares within the home and sends you an alert that your house has been broken into. If you don't answer immediately to report a false alarm, a signal is then sent to your local police department that your home has been broken into. Law enforcement should be there momentarily.
Can't I just get security cameras?
Sure, you could, but it wouldn't have all the features of a robust home security system. The majority of Wi-Fi security cameras which are so popular today don't have a way to contact monitoring services if there is a break-in. The cameras can detect motion and send you push notifications on your phone, but it's then left to you to contact local authorities. If your house is being burglarized and you're not near your phone or it's turned off, you're out of luck. This is why security cameras can be a great addition to a security system, but it can never really take the place of a full-fledged home security system. Monthly monitoring services are what make all the difference.
Why can't I just get a dog for home security purposes?
You could, and it might help. When it comes to protecting your home from burglaries, it's important to create a lot of "what ifs" for your potential predator. A dog is one of those what ifs. What if it bites me? What if it starts barking and making a racket? More variables make for a more complicated target, which should lead your burglar to simply move on to the next one.
With that being said, some dogs are so friendly and quiet that they'll treat your burglar as another guest. If your dog is overactive, it might make a scene over false alarms. Some experienced burglars will distract a dog with a piece of meat or some other distraction, so it's best to get special training for your dog to teach them how to attack predators. However, special guard dog training can take years and cost thousands of dollars. If you've already got a dog, that's great, but it shouldn't be your primary source of home security.
What's the difference between DIY and professionally installed systems?
Most established home security companies prefer to do professional installation by sending a trained representative to install your security system. This means that you'll need to be at home at a prescheduled time while they set things up. These professionals should have gone through rigorous training to become certified in home security installation.
Do-it-yourself home security systems are becoming much more popular in recent years. Some alarm systems operate completely on Wi-Fi and cellular systems, so there's no need to string and conceal long wires between sensors and the control panel. This also makes moving your system much more convenient if you need to relocate, and apartment owners won't have to make landlords unhappy with nail holes and wall mounts.
Essentially, one isn't inherently better than the other. It just comes down to preference.
How do I know what kind of system I need?
First, take into account how many windows and doors you have in your house. Naturally, if you have a smaller home, you can probably get away with a smaller system. If you have a very large home, you'll want to get the biggest, most robust system you can find. A professional installer will already have an idea of where to place sensors for optimum security, but if you're installing a system yourself, prioritize the back door, basement windows, and floor level windows.
What are some low-cost ways I can enhance my home's security?
What is the best home security company?
The best home security company is ranked according to our criteria and customer reviews. Usually, the company with the most positive user reviews is ranked number one at Best Company, but this isn't always the case. Our criteria at Best Company involves which company scores best in regards to price, upfront fees, contract lengths, monitoring options, equipment available, and national coverage. The most important thing is that consumers get quality products and reliable services while saving money, so when you pick the top-ranked company at Best Company, you can feel confident that you're getting high-quality products and great customer service.