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Top 10 Home Security Systems

The Modernize experts rank the best home security systems of 2021.
Here are our findings.

In the U.S., a home burglary occurs every 13 seconds. The average cost to the homeowner is $2,661 in stolen property – and that does not even include the damage to the home. Even with these frightening statistics, only 38% of American households have a home security system. Installing a home security system is more important now than ever. The first step towards better home security is finding the company and system that best works for your home and needs.

When determining the best home security systems, it’s important to consider not only upfront installation and monthly subscription prices. When it comes to your safety, be sure to also consider security technology, professional monitoring services, emergency response times, smart home compatibility and remote monitoring (if this is a priority for you), and customer service. The following security systems can help keep your property safe and protect the lives of those who live in your home. The Modernize experts went to work in finding the best home security systems for homeowners in 2021 – below we rank the top 10 security system options.

Best home security systems at a glance

Top 10 Home Security Systems in 2021

In choosing the best home security systems, our experts considered important factors - including monthly subscription and installation costs, monitored vs. unmonitored services, brand reputation and reviews, smart home compatibility, and noteworthy homeowner benefits. We considered both wireless and wired options.
Note: monthly service fees, installation fees, and other costs can fluctuate. What you see on this page is a guideline but not a bottom line. Be sure to connect with a professional in real time to get an accurate quote.
  • Quick response times
  • Customer guarantee
  • Free home risk assessments
Installation cost $199+
Monthly subscription $45.99


BEST FOR: Full-service professional monitoring

The most popular home security service in the nation with over six million customers, ADT has been in business for more than 140 years. Three basic packages with a variety of add-ons help ensure there’s something for everyone. Each package comes standard with intrusion detection, fire, flood and CO monitoring, a touchscreen control panel, and voice control integration. Those who want to enhance their package to create a smart home system will need to upgrade to other proprietary equipment. Long-term contracts are required, as is professional installation and monitoring. The company offers a six-month money-back guarantee if you don’t like the service. ADT is best for homeowners who want a full-fledged professional security service for added peace of mind.

  • High-end technology
  • Financing options
  • Free consultations
Installation cost $50-$399
Monthly subscription $29.99


BEST FOR: Customizable systems

Those looking for smart features in their security system will enjoy Vivint. Vivint offers a control panel that doubles as a smart hub, in addition to a wide variety of equipment that creates a smart system suited to your every need. The equipment itself can be pricy upfront, but the company offers financing of up to 60 months if you choose a long-term contract. Professional installation and monitoring are required. There are no standard packages, as Vivint wants users to create the system that is just right for them. As a result, Vivint home security systems are an a la carte option for cameras, sensors, and other smart equipment that is suited to your specific home and needs. This brand does not require contractors, and systems are compatible with Amazon, Google, and Z-Wave devices.

  • No contract required
  • DIY options
  • Custom plans and equipment
Installation cost $229+
Monthly subscription $14.99


BEST FOR: Smart home automation

Though professional installation is available with SimpliSafe, do-it-yourself installation is incredibly easy. Professional monitoring is an option, but it can also be monitored on your own to eliminate the monthly fee. The app allows for remote monitoring and live streaming, and it integrates well with Google and Amazon for voice control. Those who do choose professional monitoring will enjoy a month-to-month contract. Depending upon the package, the elements can include anything from robust cameras to an external alarm and sensors for motion, freezing, smoke, and water. The easy-to-use keypad provides ample options for emergency calls, and the doorbell sensor allows speaking to those who visit, whether you’re at home or not. The SimpliSafe monthly subscription price is also incredibly affordable.

  • Low monthly subscription price
  • No contract required
  • Remote monitoring
Installation cost $199-$329
Monthly subscription $10


BEST FOR: Low cost remote monitoring

Ring is a very popular choice among homeowners who want to have hands-on security they can see anytime, anywhere. It works only with Amazon Alexa, features the option for self-monitoring or professional monitoring, and offers easy DIY installation. Though whole-home systems are available through Ring, the simple doorbell security system is the most popular. There is no contract, though cellular backup and some smart features are only available with a paid plan. The equipment is surprisingly affordable and allows the user to build on features over time. It’s best for those who want an affordable way to survey their property while they are away.

  • DIY installation available
  • Great customer service
  • Smart home integration
Installation cost $99+
Monthly subscription $44.99


BEST FOR: Indoor + outdoor security

Those who love do-it-yourself work can save money by installing a Frontpoint system themselves, but professional monitoring is required. Surveillance options include indoor and outdoor cameras, a doorbell camera, and numerous smart equipment possibilities. The mobile app and video surveillance are included with the cost of monitoring. The trial period of 30 days allows you to change your mind if the system does not fit your needs. Those who choose to continue can enjoy financing that cuts down on the up-front costs of equipment. Customer service is well-known for being top-notch, and the monitoring rivals that of ADT in terms of quick response times and service.

  • Text alerts when alarms are triggered
  • Two-way communication with emergency pros
  • DIY installation option
Installation cost $130+
Monthly subscription $14.99


BEST FOR: Easy-to-use technology

Cove is a true do-it-yourself option, allowing for installation and personal monitoring via text. Users get a text message alert through InstaText if an alarm is triggered, and LiveAssist opens up a two-way connection with emergency services through the control panel. Three-factor authentication kicks in when an alarm is triggered, which adds extra layers of protection. Though Cove does not offer any plans, it does require professional monitoring for a monthly fee. The 60-day risk-free home trial allows you to change your mind without penalty. Those who are looking for a smart-home system are out of luck, as Cove is a much simpler option. It works best for those who need general home security, but do not want to deal with the bells and whistles of a larger, more elaborate system. Cove does not require a contract, and integrates with Amazon and Google products if you wish to do so.

  • Great brand reputation
  • 2-year equipment warranty
  • Quick response time
Installation cost $199+
Monthly subscription $29.99

Brinks Home

BEST FOR: DIY installation with professional monitoring

A trusted name in security for over 160 years, Brinks now offers a wide variety of services for homes. The newer Brinks Home is designed for those who want traditional, professional monitoring but the option to install the equipment themselves. Contracts are required, and some of those can be lengthy, especially with options that involve more equipment. However, there is a solid two-year equipment warranty. Not all packages contain the touchscreen option, and environmental monitoring is not available, but some packages integrate well with Amazon or Google. Response times are known to be top-notch, and Brinks stands by their services with excellent customer service.

  • Extensive home automation
  • Low monitoring fees
  • Cellular back-up for power outages
Installation cost $360+
Monthly subscription $15


BEST FOR: Home automation

Those who already have cable and internet through Xfinity can seamlessly integrate the smart home system and security with professional monitoring into their package. The low monthly fee provides affordability while the top-notch monitoring offers peace of mind. A two-year contract is standard. All sensors must be professionally installed, and there is no option for self-monitoring. The system works well with companies devoted to the Internet of Things, such as Philips HUE, Kwikset, and more, making security even more robust. A powerful app and the option for home, car, and pet detection make the system great for those on the go, and an emergency button provides immediate contact with the proper emergency services.

  • Customizable to your home
  • Affordable to install and use
  • Cloud storage for one camera
Installation cost $49.99+
Monthly subscription $4.99


BEST FOR: Low budgets

One of the most affordable options on the market, Wyze is a simple yet solid security service that offers professional monitoring, no contracts, a free starter kit, a 10-hour battery backup and affordable security cameras. It even offers cloud video storage for those potential problems you don’t spot until after the fact. On the other hand, the warranty is short-lived and there is no cellular backup, nor is there the option to integrate with other systems or share app access with others in the household. Yes, it is a bare-bones option, but the affordability makes it worth it for those who just need a little peace of mind. You can save the monthly fee by handling monitoring on your own, and you can add on pieces of the system as you wish.

  • Proactive security
  • Human monitoring around the clock
  • No risk of hacking
Installation cost $399+
Monthly subscription $29-$79

Deep Sentinel

BEST FOR: Advanced technology

With the use of advanced artificial intelligence, Deep Sentinel aims to stop crime before it happens by detecting suspicious activity on your property. The extensive camera kits used by the company provide a birds-eye view of the happenings around your home, all monitored by real people on a 24/7 basis. However, there is a lack of entry sensors. This means other forms of security might be required for those who want more back-up in the event of a fast-moving emergency. Deep Sentinel does not allow smart-home integration for fear of hacking, which will appeal to those who are not too keen on smart technology but still want the human touch of monitoring. Kits can be customized and installed on your own.


What factors determine the best home security systems?

Although self-monitoring may seem the most convenient, the most robust and effective home security systems involve professional human monitoring. Look for wireless systems that will continue to work even during a power outage. Also look for systems that fit your monthly subscription budget, remote monitoring options, and the ability to record videos, which can help the police if a break-in does happen.

How much do home security systems typically cost?

Each system will have a different price for installation, equipment, and monthly monitoring. Some of the up-front costs of equipment can be financed through the company if you choose a contract of a certain length. Some installation fees can be waived if you choose certain packages. Finally, some systems allow for self-monitoring, which means you do not have to pay the monthly fee (but this also comes with added risk).

What types of home security systems are available?

A home security system can be as simple or as robust as you want it to be. You can opt for one camera at your door to help you see who is delivering a package, or you can go with a system that includes interior and exterior cameras, 24/7 real-time monitoring, smart-home integration, and the ability to handle anything that might go wrong from all the way across the world.

Are there any home security brands to be avoided?

It is often best to avoid brands without any online reviews. The home security business is built on reputation; the better the reputation, the more likely the system is to do exactly what it says it will. When it comes to security, go with what you know will work. There is too much at stake to do anything else. Modernize recommends reading reviews to ensure customers approve of the brand’s service.

What are the top home security features to look for?

It’s always a good idea to look for at least a few cameras, a control panel (touchscreen or easy-use buttons), a panic alarm, and sensors on doors and windows. You can add on to these features to fit your home’s needs. Not sure what you need? Take a look at our home security checklist to help you decide.

Are there any DIY home security systems?

Yes! You can find security systems that are surprisingly robust and allow both do-it-yourself installation and professional monitoring. These systems tend to be less expensive than those that require professional installation or monitoring.

How do I find a reliable home security company?

Modernize can help you connect with home security companies in your area that can go over your options for safety and peace of mind. They can also provide you with accurate quotes so you know exactly what you will be paying for. Use Modernize to get the information you need to make an informed decision for your property and family.

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