The Best Home Protection and Monitoring Systems of 2023

We’ve researched and reviewed the best home protection systems on the market.

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Home Protection

When it comes to protecting your family and home, nothing but the best will do. We’ve researched, reviewed, and ranked the best home security systems on the market to help you confidently protect what matters most in your life.

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Top Four Home Security Systems



Best for monitoring experience

What We Love

> The most monitoring centers

> 140 years of home security experience

> Theft protection



Best for home automation

What We Love

> Flexible financing

> Energy management

> Sleek, state-of- the-art equipment



Best DIY installation for home

What We Love

> 30-day, risk-free trial

> 100% wireless security system

> DIY, no-cost installation

link interactive

Link Interactive

Best for entry-level package

What We Love

> Crash & Smash Protection with all plans

> Z-Wave home automation equipment

> Great customer service

Three Ways to Monitor your Home

Monitoring is an important aspect of home security systems. Some methods of monitoring are more susceptible to tampering, so take a close look at this component before making a final decision.


Landline monitoring uses a phone line to contact the monitoring center in the event of an emergency or burglary. For a long time, landlines were the only option for security systems, and they still work today. A landline connection is definitely cheaper than other monitoring methods; however, we don’t recommend it because it’s not as safe. With a landline connection, a burglar can simply disable your entire security system by cutting the wires.


Broadband monitoring uses a broadband internet connection to communicate with your control panel and monitor station. This is the middle-of-the-road monitoring method; it’s faster and safer than a landline and cheaper than a cellular connection. And with broadband, you’ll be able to add all the home automation features you want. The only downside is that internet connections are not always reliable, which can impact the effectiveness of your security system.


Cellular monitoring uses a cellular uplink to communicate with your base station and control panel. It’s the most technologically advanced monitoring connection, and it’s quickly becoming the new standard for home security systems. Some of the benefits of a cellular alarm system include easy installation, no required landline or internet, and reliable connectivity. One of the only downsides is that if you live in a place where you can’t get a cellular signal, this option won’t work.

Professional (VS) DIY Installation

When you’re shopping for the best home security system, take a close look at the installation process. We’ve found that some security companies require professional installation, while others let you install the system yourself.

Professional Installation

Professional installation of alarm systems and sensors for your home makes things simple. You’ll have an expert by your side who understands the best setup for your home security system. Systems that require wiring and sensor placement benefit from professional installation companies—especially if an incorrectly placed motion sensor or security camera could lead to false alarms, or worse, an intruder.

Professional installers assess the layout of your home to determine where to place sensors, cameras, and devices for optimal performance. They can also resolve any issues along the way. And, because the installer is certified and likely has years of experience on the job, you have added reassurance that the installation was done right.

The primary downsides to professional installation are the up-front cost and lack of flexibility.

Up-Front Costs

You’ll probably have to pay for professional installation, but that extra cost should come with a guarantee. This can protect your investment if equipment is damaged during installation and guard against any glitches due to faulty installation. Damage due to DIY installation may void the warranties on equipment.

Lack of Flexibility

You’ll have to schedule an appointment to have your security system professionally installed, and you’ll also need to remain at home throughout the installation. In addition to the time commitment, many professionally installed security systems have restrictions that may prohibit you from taking equipment with you if you move.

DIY Installation

DIY installation is an option whether you’re using a DIY security system or buying a professional alarm package. And DIY installation can also be easier than you think. The two biggest drawbacks are the lack of professional help and second-guessing yourself. Questions like where to place window sensors or the best angle for security cameras can feel overwhelming, but with the right resources, they don’t need to trip you up.

Beyond that, DIY installations give you a lot more control because you decide where to place your control panel, devices, and wireless sensors if utilizing a wireless security system. And if you encounter any issues or feel stuck, you can always have a professional help you over the phone. Depending on the security system, it can take you longer to set up and get everything running. But with a DIY installation, not only do you have a sense of pride in your accomplishment, also you save money because most DIY installations are free.

If you need help, you usually have two support options: electronic prompts or verbal walk-throughs.

Electronic Prompts

With electronic prompts, your home security company will give you verbal guidance (in the form of a computerized voice) as you set up your burglar alarm system. It will also help you ensure all your sensors are connected and working.

Verbal Walk-Through

With a verbal walk-through, you call an installation professional who guides you through the process over the phone and makes sure your equipment works properly.

Different Types of Home Security Services

There are many different services for home security—from monitoring and automation to personal emergency response. Take a look at the list below before you decide what makes sense for your lifestyle.


Every home security company provides security monitoring—at a minimum. When you compare security systems, look for the types of sensors they come with, which can include door and window, garage door, glass break, motion, and image. Some of these sensors depend on the plan you choose, so be sure to go over everything in detail with the sales representative. Also, certain sensors might be better than others in some instances, so factor in your home’s layout and size when deciding which sensors make the most sense.

Home Automation

Adding convenience to home security is a win-win. Home automation is a fast-growing trend with more and more people hopping on board. It lets you control just about anything from locks and lights to thermostats, carbon monoxide alarms, and smoke detectors with a mobile app or device. Besides the convenience, it can also come in handy if you leave the house and forget to turn your appliances off or lock the front door. But before you go all out and purchase all the bells and whistles, think of what will be most useful for your lifestyle.

Energy Management

Energy management is a smart way to save money—without doing a thing. Integrate your control panel and devices to create a smart home security system that adjusts settings based on your routine. You can set your thermostat, lights, and other features to turn on and off based on the time of day, week, or other specified factors so your home is always comfortable. And if you want to reduce energy costs, some companies will let you track your usage over time.

Personal Response

In the event of an emergency, it’s not always possible to act quickly and get help—especially if you have limited mobility. That’s why we recommend adding a personal response pendant to your security system. A pendant can be worn around your neck or carried inside a pocket, making it easily accessible when it matters most. All you or your loved one has to do is press the panic button and help will be on the way.

Environmental Detection

Gas leaks and smoke often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Although you can purchase alarms that will go off if they detect smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) in your home, they won’t be able to help you take action unless you have a security system. Adding environmental detectors to your home security system will not only notify you if there’s unsafe CO levels, heavy smoke, or a fire hazard in your home—they’ll also contact the authorities. And if you have pets at home, an environmental sensor can save their lives.

Advanced Sensors

Not all sensors are created equally—some are more advanced than others. When you’re researching different home security packages, take a close look at the sensors. The ideal package should include sensors like CO, heat, and fire detection. But you’ll also want to consider window, door, garage, freeze, glass break, image, motion, and water sensors. You might not need all of these, but keep this list in mind as you shop around.

Mobile Access

Mobile access helps you know what’s happening at home when you’re away. Most security companies offer mobile app features, but the extent of what you can control depends on your plan.

Mobile access lets you control your entire home security system remotely, so you’re never too far from home. If you have a basic home security plan, your mobile app access might be limited to arming and disarming your home. With more advanced plans, you can receive notifications and stream live video. And if you have automation features set up, you can use the app to control everything from your lights and locks to your thermostat and small appliances. Most mobile apps work on smartphones, tablets, computers, and other web-enabled devices. You’ll want to check with your provider for details on its plans so you know exactly what to expect.

We’ve also come across some security companies that include mobile access as a standard, and if you have a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, there's really no reason not to get it. Not only does mobile access make life more convenient, it also helps you stay aware of what’s going on in your home.

Security Cameras

Security cameras help you keep an eye on your home from anywhere, at any time.

There’s nothing worse than coming home and realizing you’ve been robbed or finding out that the package you’ve been waiting for was stolen. That’s where security cameras come in handy. There are a wide variety of security cameras, including indoor, outdoor, and doorbell options, so you can see what’s going on in every part of your home. Some home security providers even let you view live surveillance footage from your mobile app and save recorded clips to review later.

Cameras might also deter potential intruders who want to avoid getting caught on film. Honestly, besides the price, there’s really no downside to having security cameras—they provide your home with an added layer of protection and your family with the feeling of security. When you’re deciding on a security plan, think through all the areas in and around your house that could benefit from a security camera. You might need only a few in high-traffic areas like the living room, kitchen, and front door.

If you want to learn more about the security cameras from these top-five brands or ones you can purchase separately, check out our list of the best home security cameras of 2017.

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