The Best Smart Home Security Systems

We’ve tested and researched smart home security systems to help you find the right DIY or professionally installed security system to protect your home.
Best overall
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    Cutting-edge tech
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    Easy app control
DIY pick
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    Simple installation
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    Great customer service
Best monitoring
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    Trusted reputation
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    Z-Wave compatibility
Budget pick
Ring Alarm
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    Monitoring for $10/mo.
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    Affordable equipment
No-contract pick
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    Optional monitoring
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    Extensive compatibility

Bottom line: Vivint serves up the smartest home security

Vivint is the only home security company that can deliver a setup that transforms your house into an actual smart home. Its free security consultation and professional installation are focused on making your house as secure and automated as possible.

But Vivint’s high-end tech and seamless smart home integration don’t come cheap. You’ll probably pay more for your Vivint equipment, but if your goal is a true smart home, it’s worth it. And once you get past equipment prices, monthly monitoring fees are in line with industry standards.

Compare the best smart home security systems

Best overallDIY pick Best monitoring Budget pick No-contract pick
Vivint FrontpointADT Ring Abode
Lowest monthly smart home monitoring fee
Starter equipment price$599.00 $0.00* $0.00? $199.00 $279.00
Smart home compatibilityAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-WaveAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-WaveAmazon Alexa, Z-WaveAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-Wave Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-Wave, Zigbee
Learn more

Data effective 12/9/20. Offers and availability subject to change.
*$0 due up-front with contract.?No-contract options available with outright equipment purchase.
?With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See for full offer details, terms, and conditions.?

What makes a security system smart?

A smart security system does more than alert you if a burglar tries to break into your home. Smart home security uses your Wi-Fi network to connect entry sensors and sirens to devices like smart door locks, smart thermostats, and smart lightbulbs. Once connected, these devices can talk to each other and integrate with your security system to make your life more convenient and more secure.

One of the most important features you should look for in a smart security system is a mobile app that lets you keep tabs on your home from anywhere. If you have indoor and outdoor security cameras or a smart video doorbell, you should be able to access live or recorded video from the app. This is important to help you tell a real emergency from a false alarm.

And consider these features in a smart security system:

  • Cloud storage for video and still photos
  • Types of notifications and push alerts
  • System requirements for iOS and Android apps
  • Night vision capabilities
  • Customized settings for contact sensors, motion detectors, and glass break detectors
  • Wi-Fi network requirements

Reviews: Best smart home security systems

1. Vivint: Best overall

Vivint's equipment

You get the best of both worlds with a Vivint system—reliable home security and cutting-edge smart home tech.

We like that Vivint develops and manufactures most of its equipment in-house. That means your smart security system is designed based on feedback from people (just like you) who live with the system every day.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet Advanced smart home tech
Pro Bullet Integrated security and smart home features
Pro Bullet Comprehensive mobile app
Pro Bullet Professional guidance and installation
Pro Bullet No-contract option
Con Heading
Con Bullet Expensive price tag
Con Bullet Long-term contracts
Con Bullet Steep termination fees
Con Bullet Pushy sales

Vivint smart home security system basics

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • In-home security consultation
  • Professional installation
  • Contract-free options with equipment purchase
  • Contracts ranging from 42 to 60 months
  • Mobile app included in all packages
  • Smart home features include voice control, climate control, lighting control, two-way audio, garage door control, keyless entry, and live or recorded video footage.

One of Vivint’s standout features is the Vivint Smart Home app. You can control both your security system and your smart home devices in this single app. Many security companies require you to use multiple apps—one to arm and disarm your system and others to access security camera footage or control smart home components.

And if you already have some smart home devices, you might be able to integrate them with your Vivint security system. Vivint works with Amazon Echo or Google Home for voice commands, and it syncs up with the Google Nest smart thermostat.

Vivint: bottom line

Vivint is a great choice if you’re starting home automation from scratch and want the peace of mind of professional installation and a comprehensive, fully integrated system.

Get all the details in our full Vivint review?and learn more about Vivint's equipment and compatibility in our guide.

2. Frontpoint: DIY pick

Frontpoint's equipment

Frontpoint combines the ease of DIY installation with the convenience of home automation.

You’re not going to get the same kind of integration that Vivint offers, but Frontpoint has stepped up its smart home game in the past year.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet Easy DIY installation
Pro Bullet 30-day money-back guarantee
Pro Bullet Excellent customer service
Pro Bullet Third-party smart device integration
Pro Bullet Optional contract
Con Heading
Con Bullet Required upgrade for mobile app control
Con Bullet High monitoring price

Frontpoint Home Security System Basics

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • DIY installation
  • Optional 36-month contract
  • Smart home functions include voice control, lighting control, small appliance control, smart lock control, two-way communication, garage door control, and live or recorded video footage.

Frontpoint’s smart home equipment isn’t proprietary, but it comes from trusted security brands like Yale. And you can turn almost any appliance in your house into a smart one with Frontpoint’s wireless smart plug. Smart plugs give you remote access to control devices like your lamps or TV through the Frontpoint app.

The system, including its smart home components, is simple to install?without compromising quality and security.

Frontpoint: Bottom line

If you prefer to do things yourself rather than hiring outside help, Frontpoint’s smart home security options are a great fit. You get the benefits of security and home automation on your terms.

See all of Frontpoint’s offerings in our complete Frontpoint review?and our Frontpoint cameras guide.

3. ADT: Best monitoring

ADT's equipment

No home security company is better known than ADT—if you’re looking for smart home security with a name that could stop burglars in their tracks, this is it.

ADT’s security packages come with connected, wireless equipment for your entire home and mobile app control options. But you'll pay a lot more for ADT's experience and smart home features.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet Wireless equipment
Pro Bullet Z-Wave compatibility
Pro Bullet Geofencing capabilities
Pro Bullet Professional installation
Pro Bullet Nine monitoring centers
Con Heading
Con Bullet Pricey monthly monitoring
Con Bullet Required long-term contract

ADT security system basics

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • In-home security consultation
  • Professional installation
  • Mandatory 36-month contract
  • Mobile app included with top three plan tiers
  • Smoke and CO monitoring
  • Quality Service Plan (extended warranty)
  • Smart home features include voice control, smart device integration via Z-Wave, climate control, lighting control, live or recorded video footage, and integration with Apple Watches, tablets, and TVs.

Whether you're just looking for safety or smart home perks, ADT has you covered. Arm and disarm your system remotely, configure lighting and climate schedules, and take advantage of geofencing services for system arming, climate needs, and camera control.

ADT: Bottom line

For smart home security you can trust, ADT delivers 140+ years of experience and redundant monitoring centers. That means your home will never be unprotected, even if one monitoring center experiences a power outage or an extreme weather event.

Check out our full ADT review to find out if it's right for you.

4. Ring Alarm: Budget pick

Ring's Equipment

Ring isn’t known for having the best deal on video doorbells, but the company’s smart security system is the best deal we’ve found.

You can pick up a Ring Alarm starter kit for around $200, and optional monthly monitoring is just $10 a month.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet Cheap monthly monitoring
Pro Bullet Simple package options
Pro Bullet Many security cameras to add on
Pro Bullet Compatibility with other smart home brands
Con Heading
Con Bullet Basic security equipment
Con Bullet Extra cost to add cameras

Ring Alarm security system basics

  • Equipment kits range from $200 to $329
  • DIY installation
  • No contracts
  • Optional professional monitoring
  • Mobile app included in all packages
  • Smart home features include voice control, door lock control, garage control, smart lighting, small appliance control, and live or recorded video with security cameras.

If you want simple, straightforward home security that still packs in a few bells and whistles, then Ring might be your best bet. It’s not the fanciest smart security system out there, but it gets the job done—and it does so without draining your bank account.

Ring Alarm works with a lot of smart third-party devices from companies like Kwikset, GE, and Leviton. But the best part is that you could buy Ring’s five-piece starter kit and add professional monitoring every month for a year, and your grand total would come in under $350.

Ring Alarm: Bottom line

Ring Alarm delivers standard home security options at a price that’s hard to beat. If you’ve got a small home to protect or just want to dip your toe into the smart home security pool, Ring is a good place to start.

Learn about all of Ring Alarm’s features in our complete Ring review.

5. Abode: No-contract pick

Abode's Equipment

Abode packs a lot of smart security features into a small package. Whether you pick the Abode Smart Security kit or the Abode Iota all-in-one security camera, you get reliable smart security that integrates with a ton of devices.

Plus, you have the option to add professional monitoring without any contracts or monitor yourself.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet No contracts required
Pro Bullet Extensive smart home compatibility
Pro Bullet Optional professional monitoring
Pro Bullet Low-profile equipment that's great for apartments
Con Heading
Con Bullet Limited mobile app functions
Con Bullet Poor speaker quality on Iota
Con Bullet Lack of camera options

Abode security system basics

  • Scaled-down smart security equipment
  • DIY installation
  • No contracts
  • Optional professional monitoring
  • Mobile app included in all packages
  • Smart home features include voice control and compatibility with Z-Wave, Zigbee, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit devices.

Abode’s smart security equipment is scaled down in size, making it an ideal fit for apartments and other small spaces. The Abode Iota is a smart security camera with extra safety features like two-way communication, a siren, and an indicator light that lets you know when it’s recording. The Iota also works as a smart home hub to help you connect and manage all of your smart gadgets.

If you opt for Abode’s Smart Security kit instead of the Iota, you get a base station that works with smart home devices plus a motion sensor, a remote key fob, and a mini contact sensor for your front door. That’s pretty minimal if you have a larger home, but you can buy extra sensors for additional doors and ground-floor windows.

Abode: Bottom line

Abode’s minimalist take on smart security is refreshingly simple and perfectly suited for renters or people living with roommates. The optional professional monitoring is a nice perk, but Abode’s self-monitoring through the app is sufficient—especially if you’re more interested in checking in on pets or kids than keeping tabs on potential intruders breaking down the front door.

Get all the ins and outs of Abode’s smart security options in our full Abode review.

Other smart security systems to consider


SimpliSafe's equipment

SimpliSafe is one of our favorite DIY home security companies, but it’s not a leader when it comes to smart security. With SimpliSafe, you get basic smart home integration that works with a few third-party brands, like the Nest learning thermostat and the August smart lock.

SimpliSafe security system basics

  • DIY installation
  • Optional monthly monitoring
  • No contracts
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Required upgrade for mobile app control
  • Smart home compatibility includes voice control, climate control, lighting control, and smart locks.

Learn more in our complete SimpliSafe review.

Link Interactive

Link Interactive's equipment

Another smart security system option with DIY installation is Link Interactive. Like Vivint, Link offers professional monitoring, but it has shorter contracts.

Its Z-Wave compatible technology means you have a large selection of smart devices to choose from, so you can put together an affordable smart home system that works for you.

Link Interactive security system basics

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • DIY installation
  • Contracts ranging from 12 to 36 months
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Mobile app included in Gold and Elite packages
  • Smart home features include geofencing, smoke and CO monitoring, automated door locks, smart thermostat, voice control, and live or recorded video.

Get all the details in our complete Link Interactive review.

The smart devices you'll want to use with a smart home security system

As smart home technology advances, it can be tricky to keep up with all the gadgets available. Here are a few of our favorite pieces of smart home security equipment.

Security camera

For maximum home security, install both exterior and interior video surveillance. Smart security cameras can automatically start recording when they detect motion, and they can be programmed to send push notifications to your phone so you can watch the live feed.

Video doorbell

When someone approaches a smart doorbell, the doorbell's motion sensors will trigger the built-in camera to start recording. When a visitor presses the doorbell, it will alert you through your phone, and you'll be able to see who's at your front door and speak with them using a two-way communication feature.

Smart lock

Keyless deadbolt locks have keypads that let you unlock your door with a four-digit code and lock it with a press of a button. But you don't have to use the keypad—your smart phone can act as a remote control so you can lock and unlock the door remotely as well. You can also arm your security system when you press the lock button and disarm the security system when you unlock it.

Smart lights

You can set rules for when your smart lightbulbs turn on or off. Setting smart lightbulbs to turn on and off at different times of the day can fool people into thinking you’re home when you’re not. You can program your lights to automatically turn off when you set your system to “away,” or you can have them turn on automatically when your security system is disarmed. You can also set them to flash if your alarm goes off.

Final word

For the smartest home security around, Vivint is your premium option. Its proprietary equipment puts smart home skills at the heart of its systems so your home is secure and smart. You'll be able to control everything, set up routines, and review camera footage?from Vivint's app.


Start with a?smart home hub, but keep in mind that some devices—like the Nest thermostat—can act as a hub for other devices. If you have any specific smart devices you’re interested in, find out which systems they’re compatible with before you buy your hub.

IFTTT?stands for “If This Then That” and is a free platform that lets you integrate multiple home systems through your smart devices using if/then statements. For example, you can tell your devices, “If the security system is set to ‘away’ and it’s 8 p.m., then turn on a light.” Or, “If Matt enters his code to turn off the security system, then alert me with a text message.”

Lighting is one of the best ways to deter criminal activity because no burglar wants to get caught in the spotlight.?Outdoor motion sensor lights?are a great first-line deterrent to scare off intruders.

You can set lights to turn on when motion is detected, or you can set lights to turn on and off at different times when you’re not home to fool burglars into thinking the house is occupied. And a nice bonus: integrating lights into your system can make your home more?energy efficient.

More ways to make your home secure and smart

Because most security systems already use smart home technology, starting with a smart security system is a great way to begin your journey to a fully integrated home. Once your home is secured, add on more devices and appliances to make your life easier, like a smart coffee pot or smart dishwasher—find out how in these smart home guides from SafeWise.

Related pages on SafeWise

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.