There’s no doubt that we at Freshome love helping you enhance your home’s aesthetics. From eye-popping wall art to dynamite floor selections, we believe your home should make you proud. However, we also know that a home is more than just a collection of things. A home is the one place where you should always have a sense of safety and security.
Unfortunately, the reality is that there will always be people looking to disrupt that security. While we can’t change the way of the world, we can take steps to protect our belongings and the people we love.
Thanks to the rapid increase of innovative technology in recent years, protecting your home with a security system is cheaper and more accessible than ever. However, making the right decision on which company you should trust to protect everything you love can be a real headache. At times, it seems easier (and more fun) to simply go with Kevin McCallister’s Home Alone security plan.
Thankfully, we at Freshome understand the importance of safeguarding what’s most important to you. After poring over piles of reviews and rankings, reviewing official United States FBI and Department of Justice crime statistics and speaking with law-enforcement officials on home security, we found that Frontpoint is the best in home security and a name you can trust to give you peace of mind.
How We Chose the Best Home Security System
We spent more than 60 hours digesting dozens of reviews, customer reports and official crime statistics to see what names are the most trusted in home security. We also spoke with customers of some of the leading companies to get a grasp on how each company views customer service. Finally, we consulted law-enforcement officials and conducted an interview with a police detective with over 25 years of experience to gain critical insight into the real-life threat that home security systems work to prevent.
Over the course of our research, we found that the preferred security system varies greatly depending on the customer. For example, a 20-something bachelor in a one-bedroom loft is going to have a completely different home security expectation than suburban parents of four. The former will most likely look for a cellular-based DIY option that is easy to relocate, while the latter will likely look for a more professional, anchored approach.
Contrary to popular belief, we found that the super-rich aren’t your typical criminal’s primary target. In fact, the most burglarized households in the United States make an average income of $35,000 a year. In other words, those less likely to be able to afford a comprehensive security system are at a higher risk.
This revelation immediately altered our approach from finding the “best security system” to finding the “best security system for those who need it.” While there may well be million-dollar security systems capable of creating a minefield of infrared lasers to snatch up even the sneakiest of burglars, ultimately these solutions don’t help those most likely to be in the crosshairs. Frontpoint strikes the perfect balance between cutting edge technology, unmatched customer service and reasonable prices.
Other Home Security Systems to Consider
While Frontpoint was the clear winner for the best overall home security system, we found that other companies excelled in key categories and may be more appealing to customers with specific needs. Furthermore, if you are considering a DIY home security system, be sure to check out our best DIY Home Security System review.
The Best Affordable Home Security System
Click Here to Visit the Protect America Website
Can you say “no up-front charges”? With an extremely reasonable starting monthly fee of $19.99, free start-up equipment and a free relocation kit, Protect America is easily the best security system in its price range. Possibly best of all, the installation is completely DIY, ditching the “cable-guy factor” offered by companies such as ADT. The only thing holding this company back from the No. 1 spot is that its most affordable packages don’t offer the convenience of cellular monitoring.
The Best Home Security System for Relocating
Click Here to Visit the SimpliSafe Website
Relocations happen, and that could spur headaches for security-system owners. Thankfully, there’s SimpliSafe. SimpliSafe costs a bit more than others up front, but after the initial cost, you actually own the equipment. To boot, SimpliSafe offers extremely affordable monthly monitoring, and ditches landlines and wall holes for a 100-percent-wireless service, making it the clear choice for the frequent mover.
The Home Security System with the Best Tech
Click Here to Visit the Vivint Website (Phone: 800-632-7725)
Although it’s not quite like something out of a Bond movie, Vivint features some of the best out-of-the-box technology in the industry. Features include a touch-screen control center, 100-percent-wireless sensors, cellular-phone monitoring at all price points and optional Z-Wave technology, which helps you regulate and manage your home’s energy usage. All in all, Vivint is pricier than the competition but offers professional installation on one of the most technologically advanced systems, remaining a great option for those who can afford it.
A Full Review of the Best Home Security System
Click Here to Visit the Frontpoint Website (Phone: 800-516-0758)
Regardless of income, we all deserve to feel secure in our own homes. The necessity of peace of mind cannot be oversold in today’s world, and your home security should give you the same sense of stability as the four walls around you.
Despite a plethora of excellent competitive options for home security systems, Frontpoint truly stood above the crowd from the get-go. From its acclaimed customer service to its DIY installation and cellular-based system, Frontpoint proved to be the premier option for home security while remaining affordable.
We placed a lot of weight on each company’s customer service. In the case of a false-alarm tripping, or especially in the case of a break-in, the last thing you want is a difficult or even argumentative person on the other side. Frontpoint’s defining attribute is its customer service, which consistently ranked above the competition. In fact, we’ve never seen as much unanimous positivity for one company on the internet.
It’s not all about the customer service, though; a security company has to offer protection at a sensible price. Frontpoint follows through, offering the most comprehensive and technologically advanced system in its price point on the market. By offering fully wireless cellular DIY installations and a free relocation kit, Frontpoint is able to provide the same technology as a company like Vivint does at about half the price.
In the age of the dying landline, it was imperative that the best company offer a cellular solution to home security. Not only does Frontpoint offer wireless and cellular security at all price points, its top two price tiers have a built-in failsafe, called “Crash and Smash Protection,” to keep criminals from tampering with your security center and impeding the arrival of help. With no landline to snip, a criminal may smash the entire control panel, which triggers a backup signal and is sent to the monitoring headquarters. Pretty nifty, right?
Frontpoint offers three plans: the Protection Plan at $34.99 a month, the Interactive Plan at $44.99 a month and the Ultimate Plan for $49.99 a month. The Protection Plan covers the basics of Frontpoint’s security, offering wireless and cellular technology, intruder protection, life safety (think “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”) and fire and environmental protection, including carbon monoxide and flooding.
The Interactive Plan, hailed as the “best value” on Frontpoint’s site, maintains all of the Protection Plan and adds its patented “Crash and Smash Protection,” email and text alerts, remote mobile access and control, light control, an image sensor which snaps a photo whenever motion is detected, and geo-location services to let you know you left the house without arming your system.
Finally, The Ultimate Plan builds upon the already-comprehensive Interactive Plan. It peppers in live video streaming, motion-activated video recording, HD and night vision capability, automated door locks and energy-management technology. After reviewing the complexity of each plan, we agree with Frontpoint and believe that the Interactive Plan is the best bet for most people.
Overall, Frontpoint has a viable option for basically any security need. To top it all off, the company offers an unheard-of 30-day free trial. The best word to describe Frontpoint is unmatched.
Who Is It Best For, and Who Should Skip It?
The Frontpoint system works for people of virtually all walks of life. Its comprehensive coverage makes it appealing to large families, and the free relocation kit and cellular based system make it a good fit for the frequent mover.
The company’s three plans all revolve around a 36-month lock-in contract, which can put some people off. Competitors such as Simplisafe have thrived by offering complete freedom to customers and offering no contracts, but with a system for easy relocation, Frontpoint’s three-year contract shouldn’t be a deterrent to many customers.
As with any service designed to protect assets, one size never fits all. Home security, much like home insurance, is nothing if not individualized. Those hoping for a full professional installation or total freedom from contracts will most likely not be happy customers. Also, Frontpoint’s three-year equipment warranty is pretty lackluster when compared to runner-up Protect America’s lifetime warranty.
To put it simply, Frontpoint is best for those looking to protect the ones they love and the things that really matter. It’s not the best for the guy looking to save a buck and protect his original Zeppelin LPs. Not everyone will be happy with it, but for the majority, there is no better option at such a competitive price than Frontpoint.
What Made Frontpoint Stand Out
- Unmatched customer satisfaction
- DIY installation
- 100 percent cellular and wireless system
- “Crash and smash” protection
- Rapid response
- Unrivaled (for the price) home automation
- Free relocation kit
Where the Competition Fell Short
- Protect America: Protect America came in at a close second; it offered good, but not great customer service.
- Simplisafe: Innovative by not offering any annual contracts, Simplisafe’s greatest asset is also its biggest downfall. Purchasing the equipment upfront means more freedom but is a luxury many lower-income homes can’t afford.
- Livewatch: Livewatch’s one-year contract is a huge positive for the company, but its not-so-sterling customer-service history drags it down. Reviews seem to be turning around, however.
- ADT: Easily the most recognizable name in home security, ADT is simply too big to compete with more flexible companies.
Choosing the Right Type of Home Security System For You
- DIY: Do it yourself; it’s that simple. Those who chose DIY security systems typically want the freedom to do what they want. It’s also likely that the customer has had some less-than-stellar experiences with professional installers.
- Professional: The age-old system that brings the installer to your house “sometime between 8 and 4.” Typically, the professional route means the customer is too busy to be bothered with self-installation.
- High-tech: If home automation, mobile-controlled locks and energy-saving thermostats are important to you, high-tech may be the route to go. Typically much pricier than the competition, high-tech systems are typically installed by trained professionals.
Burglary: It’s Not About Your Income
It’s not unusual for someone in a lower income bracket to convince themselves that they are safe from the threat of burglary. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show that although overall burglary is on the decline (possibly because of an increase in home-security options), the average American is still very much at risk.
The truth is, the high-demand items criminals are looking for, such as cell phones and other electronic appliances, are likely to be found even in lower-income homes today. These homes are far less likely to have a state-of-the-art security system than someone in a high-end home, making them more susceptible to a successful burglary.
Sadly, each victim loses an average of over $2,200 in a burglary, which could spell financial ruin for a lower-income household.
Emotional Toll of a Home Invasion
In most cases, the financial loss is nothing compared to the feeling of violation after falling victim to a home invasion. In fact, financial losses are often forgotten long before emotional trauma following a home invasion.
To gain some insight on the matter, we spoke with 25-year law-enforcement veteran Detective Dean Watson, of the Washington, N.C., Police Department, about his experience with rising low-income crime rates and how the right security system can help prevent financial devastation.
“Generally, burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Criminals seek out easy targets that they can get in and out of with little or no chance of being seen or caught.” – Detective Watson
Research indicates that this is undoubtedly the case. The majority of burglaries happen during daytime work hours, when occupants are least likely to be home.
“In today’s society, everyone is a potential victim of a burglary. Criminals are out to get the quick dollar and will get it from whatever source they can, regardless of the individual’s income.” – Detective Watson
According to the detective, the type of home security is important in apprehending the suspect.
“Audible alarms help to deter criminals but do little to help identify suspects. Video surveillance helps in identifying suspects as well as areas where evidence such as fingerprints may be located.” – Detective Watson
Overall, the statistics and Detective Watson say that the presence of a security system is effective in deterring criminals.
“Cheap [security] systems or expensive, professionally installed ones are better than no system.” – Detective Watson
Common Plans and Options
Although the specifics of each home-security company will vary, most offer similar add-ons and upgrades. Here’s a look at some that may be worth the extra cash.
- Home automation
- Motion-sensing cameras
- Video cameras
- Mobile monitoring
- Wireless and cellular set-up
- Carbon monoxide detection
- Lock controls
- Text and email alerts
- Mobile control of security system
What Makes a Home Security System Great
Ideally, every detail in your security plan should align with your own idea of protection. Here are seven key features that every great security system should have.
- Excellent customer service: The last thing anyone wants is to deal with a non-understanding person in a call center following a home invasion. A great security company recognizes that trust begins and ends with customer relations.
- Rapid emergency-response time: In the event of a break-in, ASAP takes on an entirely new meaning.
- Mobile monitoring: Keeping an eye on your home whenever you’re away is no longer a luxury, but a cornerstone in every great security system.
- Affordable monthly fee: The point of a security system is to not get robbed.
- Cellular-based, not land-line-based: It’s no longer 1995, and land-line-only systems simply don’t work anymore.
- Safeguard for false alarms: There’s nothing more frustrating than having to explain to police officers that you are not a home invader. But most importantly, false alarms can remove emergency personnel from real emergencies.
- Remote control of system: This just makes sense. You shouldn’t have to vacation knowing that you forgot to arm the system at home.
Your home is yours to love, decorate, redecorate, and cherish. Your home is also yours to protect. On the national level, Frontpoint stood out — it has the most comprehensive coverage and the best technology at a price that’s not too bad, either. But, what about the local guys? To answer that question, we looked into a bunch of home security companies in each of these 40 cities. See who came out on top where you live. (Spoiler: Sometimes it was still Frontpoint.)
– Interview: Detective Dean Watson, Washington, N.C., Police Department
– “The best home security system,” Reviews.com, 2016
– “What’s the best and most affordable home security system?” A Secure Life, May 2016
– “10 best home security,” Consumers Advocate
– “The best home security system,” The Sweet Home, June 2016
– “The best DIY home security system,” Reviews.com, 2016
– “Frontpoint Security Reviews: Our Top Pick Explained,” A Secure Life, August 2016
– “Protect America,” Best Home Security Companys
– “Vivint Reviews: Is High-Tech Worth High Dollar?” A Secure Life, June 2016
– “Frontpoint Security,” Credio, 2016
– “Home Security Equipment Warranties: How Important are They?” A Secure Life, 2014
– “Frontpoint Consumer Reviews and Complaints,” Consumer Affairs