What makes the best monitored home security systems?

Home Security System Concept

Today, there are numerous security options you can take advantage of to protect your home. From video doorbells and security cameras to elaborate smart systems, you have more home security choices than ever before. For many people, professional security monitoring is a key feature. Whether you’re sleeping or jet setting, with a monitored home security system, someone is always looking out for your home. But with so many options, it can be tough to know which system is best for you. This guide covers the best monitored home security systems so you can pick the right one for your needs.

What makes the best monitored home security systems?

Using a side-by-side comparison will help you choose the best monitored home security system for your needs. The primary factors to consider when weighing home security options include:

  • Price
  • Customer reviews
  • Advanced features
  • Ease of installation and use

Best Monitored Home Security Systems


Based in Boston, MA, SimpliSafe is an excellent choice if you want the security of professional monitoring without a contract. The company offers as much or as little help as you require. You can choose a package, build your own, or have a SimpliSafe expert design a system for you based on your answers to a few questions. Professional installation is available, though the easy-to-install systems are relatively straightforward, requiring no drilling or tools.

There are eight different package systems to choose from, as well as various add-ons. The smallest Essentials system provides one entry sensor and one motion sensor, while the largest Fortress system offers six entry sensors, two motion sensors, a key fob, a siren, and a panic button. Other systems include sensors to detect water damage, freezing temperatures, and smoke. If none of the packages fit your needs, it’s easy to build your own system on their website.

Package prices range from $138 to $306, plus any add-ons you choose, such as a security camera, video doorbell, or smart lock. Professional monitoring costs just $14.99 to $24.99 per month with no contract, depending on which features you need.

SimpliSafe receives an average of 4.5 stars across a variety of consumer and professional reviews. Notable features include 24-hour battery backup, redundant monitoring centers for disasters, and deep signal encryption. SimpliSafe is fully compatible with many smart home controls, such as Alexa, Google Assistant, the Apple Home app, and more. The company offers a 60-day in-home trial period, during which you can return your system for any reason for a full refund.


DIY home security cameras and hardware

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ADT is the granddaddy of home security, founded in 1874. It’s a great choice if you want high-end equipment with professional installation. There are no DIY options anywhere in the process, as you must meet with a service rep to design your system before having a professional installer set it up. Monitoring requires a three-year contract with hefty fees for early cancellation. Still, if you know you’ll be in your home for at least three years and you are looking for a top of the line system, ADT is hard to beat.

The company’s systems are divided into tiers. The Traditional tier includes basic monitoring equipment for security, fire, flood, and carbon monoxide. The Control tier includes everything in the Traditional tier, as well as customizable alerts and scheduling, remote arming and disarming, and smart home controls. The top of the line Video tier includes security cameras with the ability to save clips and live stream from mobile devices.

Pricing depends on which tier and add-ons you select. A very simple Traditional tier could cost as little as $99 to install, while higher-end tiers with add-ons can run into the thousands. Monitoring costs $36.99 to $52.99 per month. The best way to get an accurate price for equipment and monitoring is to contact ADT for a free in-home estimate.

ADT received an average of 4 stars across a variety of consumer and professional reviews. Notable features include integration with smart home controllers like Amazon and Z-Wave, strong mobile and web apps, and abundant customization options. ADT offers a six-month money-back guarantee. If a burglary occurs while your system is armed, ADT will cover $500 of your insurance deductible.


Vivint is a lesser-known company that has recently gotten a lot of media attention. Like ADT, you need to meet with a service professional for an in-home assessment to design your system. Unlike ADT, though, Vivint offers qualified customers 0% financing for equipment if you enter into a monitoring contract. If you pay upfront, or once your equipment is paid in full, you can choose month-to-month monitoring with no contract.

A major advantage of Vivint is the ability to customize your package. Everyone starts with the basic Vivint Starter Kit, which includes a touchscreen panel, two entry sensors, a motion sensor, a water sensor, and $100 in additional sensors of your choice. Separately priced add-ons include security cameras, smart locks, and Nest and Element smart thermostats. Your in-home service professional will help you decide exactly what you need.

The Vivint Starter Kit costs $599. Depending on which add-ons you select, your total equipment cost could reach $1,000 to $1,500. Monitoring costs $39.99 to $49.99 per month, depending on the features you choose.

Vivint monitored home security gets 4.5 stars across a variety of professional and consumer reviews. Notable features include the streamlined app, the panic button, and seamless integration with a wide range of smart home controllers. Vivint offers a cancellation policy that takes into account extenuating circumstances and military responsibilities, as well as a variety of options for those planning a move.

Choosing a monitored home security system is a highly personal decision. When selecting your system, be sure to consider both upfront and ongoing costs, as well as features and ease of use. With a bit of research, you can determine which system is right for you.

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