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With burglary, prevention is key – and that starts with an alarm. For extra peace of mind, you could get a company to monitor it for you.
With an alarm monitoring service, you or your key contacts could be called if the alarm goes off, or depending on your package, the monitoring firm could also contact the police or send a private security team to your home.
To find the best alarm monitoring companies, we surveyed more than 3,800 real customers of companies such as ADT, Ring, Amco and Verisure to see which offer genuine value for money.
With some rated brands, including ERA and Ring, we’ve also tested the alarms they offer. Browse our burglar alarm and smart security system reviews to find the best alarm for your budget and needs.
Monitored alarm brands rated
We asked customers to rate different aspects of the brands, their alarms and the monitoring service, including how easy the alarm was to use (including smart alarms if they offered them) and whether the service represents value for money.
In the table below you’ll find the overall customer score for each alarm brand, which is based on how satisfied customers are with the service and how likely they would be to recommend it to a friend if asked. We also have star ratings covering everything from how quickly the firm responds to an alarm being triggered.
Which? members can log in now to unlock the scores in the table below. If you’re not already a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Table notes: Based on a survey of 3,819 burglar alarm owners on a nationally representative sample in May 2023. Sample in brackets. Response speed Covers how fast an alarm trigger was responded to. Customer Service Covers the quality of response. Ease of contacting How simple it was for customers to reach the company. Customer score Based on satisfaction and how likely to recommend the company’s monitoring service if asked.
What are the main types of alarm monitoring services?
There are three main types of monitoring contract, and all involve your alarm connecting to a call centre if a sensor or detector is triggered.
- Keyholder response For the first type of contract, the call centre contacts listed keyholders, such as your family members, friends or neighbours
- Police response With this service the alarm provider also contacts the police if the alarm is triggered. Just bear in mind that not all police forces will respond to alarm triggers so availability could be limited.
- Private security response The top-tier package offered by some providers involves a private security team being dispatched to your home if the alarm goes off.
Most popular monitored alarm brands
ADT alarms ADT offers a range of different alarms, including wired and wireless systems, and traditional alarms and newer smart alarm systems. All ADT alarms are monitored, so you must commit to an ongoing contract. The cost depends on the level of service you go for.
- Ring Alarms Ring is known for its smart doorbells, but it also offers a smart burglar alarm system that you can install yourself, and then a monitoring service to go with it. For £8 a month, Ring Protect Plus involves you or three emergency contacts being called if the alarm goes off. You also get a cellular backup so the alarm keeps working fully even if your wi-fi goes down.
- AMCO alarms AMCO, or the The Alarm Monitoring Company, offers a range of alarm systems and monitoring service plans. Overall cost will depend on your chosen set up, but contract prices start from £17.99 a month.
What alarm do I get with a monitored service?
For the majority of alarm monitoring brands we have rated, the company supplies and installs a proprietary alarm system based on your needs and property type.
This will usually involve a professional coming out to assess your home and then give a suggested setup and quote to go with it. As you would do with home improvement works, it is worth getting multiple quotes from providers to see the suggested costs involved. Therefore, you might want to pick a few high-scoring alarm companies from the table above and ask them to give you quotes so you can compare what is being proposed. You can then go with the best option.
We don’t currently test proprietary alarms from monitoring companies, but we do test alarms that you can buy in stores or online. Ring and ERA both offer such alarms, and you can choose the configuration of door and room sensors that you want. You can even install it yourself if you are confident with DIY. You then sign up for the monitoring plan to go with the alarm.
Monitored alarm setup and installation
There are monitored alarms that you can install yourself, but the majority have to be installed by a company. The key thing to bear in mind here is not to overspec your alarm system, regardless of how much a salesperson might push you to do so – an alarm setup for a garden flat is going to be much different to a five-bed detached house.
Think about the high-traffic areas in your home, such as external doors, hallways, easily accessible windows and rooms where there are valuables stored.
If you’re looking for an independent burglar alarm company in your area, head to Which? Trusted Traders to find one that’s been through our rigorous selection process.You can also use our Which? Trusted Traders tool below to find reliable traders in your area. You don’t have to be a Which? member to use Which? Trusted Traders.
What type of alarm system should I choose?
Beyond a monitored service, there are other alarm options to consider for the home.
- Bells-only burglar alarms aren’t monitored, so you won’t be alerted that they have been triggered unless you or a neighbour hears the alarm sound.
- Auto-dialler alarms will automatically contact you via phone when they are triggered. These alarms are often offered by alarm monitoring firms.
- Smart alarms will alert you by phone or your tablet if there’s a break-in and you can control the alarm from your phone as well. Smart alarms can also be monitored.
Traditional alarms (either bells-only or dialler) are still the most popular, with 57% of alarm owners having one, according to a survey of 3,819 burglar alarm owners in May 2023.
However, the market is shifting towards smart, internet-connected alarms: 41% of respondents an alarm that can be controlled with a smartphone.
For more information to help you decide if you’d be better off with a monitored or unmonitored alarm, read about the different types of burglar alarm. This covers the pros and cons of each type in more detail, and tells you what you need to consider before spending your money.
You can also find out more about the typical costs of having an alarm installed by an independent installer on our burglar alarm installation costs page.