There’s no doubt about it: Break-ins and burglaries — for homes and— are in certain areas. If you’re ready to sign up with a home-security company, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. You can go the DIY route, installing doorbell cameras and the like, or you can get a service professionally installed. But there are so many options when it comes to home security companies that you may have no idea where to start.
Don’t panic. You can prioritize; some factors are more important than others.
“The best security system for your living situation may depend on a few factors, including cost, features, comprehensiveness and installation process,” security professional and co-founder of Security Guards Only Tim Reinemo told CBS Essentials.
Read on for the best home security companies in 2023 according to experts and customer reviews. There are both DIY-hybrid and professionally installed options to shop ahead.
Best home security companies in 2023
Here’s a quick look at the best home security companies in 2023.
- Industry leader: ADT
- Most affordable: Ring
- Professional installation: Vivint
- Best professional monitoring: SimpliSafe
- No contract needed: Scout
Try these home security companies including ADT, Ring and more.
If you want both full service and DIY options, ADT may be the pick for you. You can install an ADT system on your own, or have someone come out to do it for you (which costs around $150). Note that many options do require a contract, unlike the services offered by Ring, Scout and SimpliSafe.
“ADT is a leader in North America for professional home security systems,” Reinemo says. “They do both self and professional monitoring. They have an app and even offer a money-back guarantee. Having been an industry leader for so long, ADT will be a safe bet if you are willing to pay more than some less comprehensive systems costs.”
ADT prices start at $599 (or $9.98 monthly for 60 months) for equipment and installation, and the monitoring starts at $45.99 per month. They have a live chat option if you run into any trouble.
If you want a security system that’s tailored very specifically to your home, ADT is a top choice.
“This service offers bespoke security solutions, including advanced video surveillance, smart home automation and 24/7 professional monitoring,” Toney Greer, CEO and founder of The Royal Society, a security and concierge management company, told CBS Essentials.
- The company is a longtime industry leader.
- ADT offers lots of options when it comes to a DIY or professional approach.
- There’s a money-back guarantee.
- Many options require a contract, if you’re worried about committing.
- The system, while comprehensive, might be costlier than your budget will allow.
If you’re looking for a more affordable, semi-DIY approach, try Ring. Purchase your own home security equipment, like the options below, and install your cameras and other gadgets exactly where you want them, unlike with ADT and Vivint.
Then you can subscribe to Ring Protect (starting at $3.99 a month) to opt in to professional monitoring. You can subscribe to a Ring Protect plan separately to receive mobile notifications when your system is triggered; change your alarm modes; and monitor your Ring devices through the Ring app.
The more involved Ring Protect Pro Plan offers 24/7 emergency police, fire and medical response; keeps your Ring alarm online during a power outage; and more. There are no contracts required with Ring, and you can call or chat for tech support. The company, owned by Amazon, has had some privacy concerns.
- Ring can be a more affordable option.
- There are no contracts with Ring.
- You may not want to deal with self-installation.
- “One of the downsides to Ring — owned by Amazon — as a company is the privacy concerns they have had in the past with hackers who have gained access to homeowners’ systems and employees who had too much access,” Reinemo says. “Nonetheless, updates to Ring’s privacy policies amidst the different scandals have allowed many homeowner’s to continue to trust the product.”
Most affordable: Ring video doorbell
“Ring doorbell cameras use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to allow homeowners to stream audio and visual footage to their smartphones and Amazon Alexa or Google Assistants,” Reinemo says. “The fact that it is a do-it-yourself installation appeals to many as a more cost-effective option.”
This doorbell takes 1080p HD video footage (including night vision) and lets you hear and speak to anyone at your door from your phone, tablet or computer. You can power it with its built-in rechargeable battery, or connect it to your existing doorbell wires for consistent power. Find this doorbell in two colors. Pair it with a Ring Protect subscription.
Best DIY security system: Ring alarm 14-piece kit
Pair your Ring doorbell with this 14-piece alarm kit that’s a great fit for two- to four-bedroom homes. It comes with one base station, two keypads, eight contact sensors, two motion detectors and one range extender. The keypads can arm and disarm your alarm, and its contact sensors can sense when doors or windows open.
Again, you have to subscribe to a Ring Protect plan separately. But it’s worth it: The Ring app helps you monitor all those devices above, and lets you know, via your mobile device, if a device has been triggered. If you want more help than that, you have the option: The Ring Protect Pro Plan offers 24/7 emergency police, fire and medical response, and you don’t have to worry about your Ring alarm staying online during a power outage.
“Vivint is another popular company that is known for quality equipment,” Reinemo says. “Homeowners can self-monitor or outsource their livestream monitoring.”
Vivint offers outdoor security cameras, a doorbell camera, smart locks, lighting and security sensors. The systems are customized to your home, and the company can come install them, unlike with Ring, SimpliSafe and Scout.
They don’t require a contract if you pay for your security equipment upfront. Then you’ll have to pay for monitoring each month. Monthly service starts at $30 a month, not including the price of equipment. The equipment cost starts at $599, and financing is available. You can call or chat for tech support.
- You get the option to self-monitor or hire professional monitoring.
- It doesn’t require a contract if you pay for your security equipment upfront. Then you’ll only have to pay for monitoring each month.
- Their professional monitoring can be expensive, according to Reinemo.
SimpliSafe has a variety of systems you can buy for your home, like the one featured below. Choose how many components you want in your system. The size of system featured lands somewhere in the middle of industry standards, with eight pieces.
SimpliSafe can be more affordable, thanks to its self-installation (unlike with ADT and Vivint) and variety of options, and you don’t need a contract. Sign up for professional monitoring separately (starting at $20 a month). You can call or chat for tech support.
- SimpliSafe can be more affordable.
- There are no contracts with this option.
- You may not want to deal with self-installation.
Best professional monitoring: SimpliSafe eight-piece wireless home security system
“SimpliSafe offers affordable and customizable DIY systems with professional monitoring options and no long-term contracts,” Greer says.
This eight-piece system comes with a base station and sensors to protect windows, doors and cabinets. The sensors detect motion within 30 feet and have a 90-degree field of view. They have a 24-hour battery and cellular backup so you stay protected even if you lose power or Wi-Fi.
Scout sells customizable home security systems that start at about $229. They require self-installation, unlike with ADT and Vivint. Choose motion sensors, cameras, water sensors and more. The system comes with a hub that sounds a siren and notifies your computer or smartphone when there is trouble. You can even auto-alert people you trust when you’re out of reach.
Or you can opt for professional monitoring, and the system stays up and running even if your internet is out. No annual contract is necessary, but you still have to pay, even for self-monitoring, at $9.99 per month. You can call or email for tech support.
- Scout offers leak sensors and glass break sensors for added peace of mind.
- No contracts are necessary.
- You can auto-alert those you trust when you’re out of reach.
- You may not want to deal with self-installation if you’re not big on tech.
- You still have to pay for self-monitoring ($9.99/month).
How can you pick a home security company you can trust?
“The biggest thing is to do your research and take the time to read the fine print,” Reinemo says. “For example, the multiple scandals with Ring security systems that have surfaced over the past few years. All of the information about how these companies operate is easily accessible, and you can decide how lax you are willing to be about data and privacy concerns that may arise around what footage is captured on your property.
“Ultimately, even with a data breach such as the ones in the past, you may still gain a lot of benefits from the security system being implemented, such as catching an intruder, knowing when your kids are home or even simple conveniences such as tracking package deliveries.”
How we chose these home security companies
When picking the best home security companies of 2023, we considered:
- Customer reviews: We combed through verified customer reviews — in other words, real buyers — to ensure they were consistently pleased with these companies.
- Expert recommendations: We spoke with security professional and co-founder of Security Guards Only Tim Reinemo and CEO and founder of The Royal Society Toney Greer for their thoughts on home security companies.
- Star rating: All of these products have a four-star rating or higher.
- Your needs: We picked home security companies for a variety of budgets and needs, such as DIY versus professionally installed options.