Best Home Security Systems

In Home Defense Tips by homedefense

The best way to protect your home and family, is to find and install a good home security system. What you need for your home security may be different than my needs or others. The great thing is, today there are many different types of alarm systems you can buy to meet your needs. All basic alarm systems have the general features, such as door sensors, window sensors, an alarm panel, and motion sensors. There are also other security devices you can add to your system to enhance the protection of your home. You can add an indoor camera, outdoor cameras, wireless system, and home automation.

Why would you need an alarm system or why do you want one now? This is a good question to ask when looking at which system is right for you. I picked LiveWatch about a year ago because I wanted something that was a lower cost and could cover doors plus any motion in the home. My system has 3 door sensors and one motion sensor which was a perfect choice for my needs, because that is all I had in my home.

In this article, we will take a look at the different alarm companies to consider when shopping for a home security system. We will look at their panel, sensors, motion sensors, alarm siren, if they can add cameras, wireless capability, and pricing to see which would fit your home protection needs.

LiveWatch

I currently am using LiveWatch in several of my vacant rental properties to keep the homes secure while we rehab and get new tenants. Thank goodness we installed it, because someone tried to break in and the alarm went off alerting the police. The police and security company called me to alert me of the break in. The police had me come to the home and secure the sliding glass door window because the criminal shattered it with a rock to get into the home. There were no tools or anything else in the home at the time of the break in but they could of just trashed the home to cause damage and the alarm scared them off before that happened.

Here is a prime example of why you need an alarm system and they work as advertised.

Pros to having LiveWatch:

  • It is wireless, so I don’t need cable or phone line
  • The console has panic buttons, so if you pressed any of those buttons, the fire or police will come no matter what
  • It works just as advertised
  • It has a remote you can use to turn on or off the alarm
  • The package I got had 3 door sensors and one motion sensor which is all I needed
  • I found a special and paid $99 but with the special I had to add the monitoring for $29 a month for 12 months.
  • After 12 months I can cancel monitoring anytime so there is no long term contract
  • It also has SMS texts and email alerts
  • You can identify sensors to know which one was triggered or to know if there is an issue
  • The alarm has smash protection, so if the intruder smashes the unit, the alarm is still sent
  • Batteries are the back up for the unit if there is a power outage
  • It’s portable, so if you move into a new home, it’s easy to take with you

Cons

  • If you get the special price on hardware like I did for $99 you have to add the cost of monitoring for a year. But, that should not be a big deal most people with an alarm expect to pay for monitoring
  • Set up was not bad but support is M-F and Saturday morning so I wanted to set up my system on Sunday but had to wait till they were open on Monday

Simplisafe

I was looking at using Simplisafe when I had decided to go with LiveWatch. The only reason I went with LiveWatch over Simplisafe was because I liked the $99 deal which was cheaper than Simplisafe.

The reviews are pretty good on Amazon so most people like this alarm system. Most alarm systems are similar and do the same thing whether you DIY or go with a big company like ADT. Their basic system looks like it comes with one door sensor, one motion sensor, keychain remote and the main alarm unit. They have more expensive options that will give you more sensors and cameras so you need to see what you need for your home when ordering.

Pros

  • Same as LiveWatch- it is cellular based
  • It has a remote you can use to turn on or off the alarm
  • You have mobile control access
  • SMS texts and email alerts
  • Smash protection, so if intruder smashes the unit, alarm is still sent
  • Batteries are the back up for the unit if there is a power outage
  • Portable, so if you move, easy to take with you
  • No contracts

Cons

  • Not able to name/identify sensors
  • Users commented customer service was hard to get a hold of for help
  • Some reviews claimed installation was difficult
  • This system doesn’t work well with MAC, according to reviews by MAC users

Nest

The nest system is for the DIY type of person. This is the perfect system for  tech savvy individual to manage their own smart home. There is no monitoring, so you will save on that cost. No monitoring means if the alarm goes off at the home while you are away, you have to call the police. Basically you are going to be monitoring your own home for any breaks in. The alert goes to your phone and will tell you if either a door or window was opened or if someone entered the home.

Pros

  • No monthly fees unless you sign up for Nest Aware that is a subscription or MONI
  • Nest allows you to set the alarm and take your time leaving so no rushing
  • If you forget to set the alarm, Nest reminds you and you can set alarm from your phone
  • Nest tag can be used to arm and disarm
  • Nest app can manage your alarm remote
  • The sensors can detect both motion and if door or window is opened
  • You can add Nest cameras and Nest doorbell camera

Cons

  • No 24/7 monitoring by 3rd party
  • Works with only Wi-Fi but you can do cellular backup for a monthly cost

Wink

Most of these companies offer similar deals and the same features with a few differences. Wink is not different in what it offers you for home security.

Pros

  • Wink like everyone else has their own app
  • They do pre-pair their sensors so you just need to set them up around the home
  • You can connect Wink to Wi-Fi or connect to hub using Ethernet cable
  • Wink supports locks, thermostats and much more
  • You do not have to buy monitoring like the Nest you can manage your own security

Cons

  • Monitoring by 3rd party not offered
  • Works Wi-Fi or connected to Hub does not offer cell service
  • Users did not like if electric or internet service goes down the Wink hub goes down and does not reset if internet service comes back on

Vivint

This security system offers you smart devices and the latest technology for your home security. They allow you to pick what you want to customize your home protection- like how many door, window or motion sensors you need. You can also add cameras, doorbells, thermostat or smart locks to your package.

Pros

  • Month to month plans
  • Professional installation
  • The activation can be free
  • A la carte so you can add cameras, smart locks and much more
  • There is financing available
  • Remote control
  • Designed with home automation

Cons

  • Customer service can be tough to contact and work with
  • Price can be high especially if you opt for month to month plan
  • When you do call, customer service uses a sales process to upgrade or buy things you may not need

There are many more alarm systems you can buy for the home. You will need to check out each system based on the information given and see what works best for you. There are a few systems we recommend and can be found on our products page. The key is to pick a system and go with it to better secure your home. Good luck with finding the right system for you and your family.