The best home security systems are designed to deter criminal activity and will provide reassurance that your home is protected if you're heading away this festive season. But is it worth the investment? Well, according to research even the most simple of home security systems can drastically decrease the instance of crime. So, we'd say, yes.
You may be pleased to know that home security systems have come a long way since the expensive, hard wired systems of old. They're now significantly more affordable, easy to install and, in many cases, almost completely customisable. So you can deign a system that suits your needs entirely.
We'd advise that you start by reading our top tips on how to buy a home security system. Then, you'll find our pick of the best home security systems below. They're all designed to sync directly to your smart phone and notify you, should they detect anything untoward, which we think is seriously useful.
What is the best home security system?
Recommended retailers for home security systems
The best home security system is the newly released Ring Alarm, which offers DIY-installed and completely customisable smart home security at a pretty affordable price point. You can control your entire home security system from your smart phone, connecting it to other Ring devices, too. Thinking of moving house? No problem, you can simply take your Ring Alarm down when you go.
Find more of our top picks, below. Then, keep scrolling for complete product reviews.
- The best home security system: Ring Alarm
- The best plug and play home security system: Canary All-in-One Indoor Security System
- The best whole-home security system: Yale Smart Home Alarm
- The best premium home security system: Arlo Pro 2 Home Security System
- The best home security system for larger properties: Panasonic KX-HN6012EW Home Monitoring & Control Kit
The best home security systems
1. Ring Alarm Home Security System
The best DIY home security system
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The best home security system is, without doubt, the Ring Alarm. A new entry to the world of smart security, it certainly hasn't wasted any time making it to our top spot; it allows you to build a customisable smart security system that works for you. Here's everything you need to know:
As with the Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Security Cameras , you'll need to start by connecting the Ring Alarm to the super handy Ring app, which you can download from the app store on to your smart phone.
From here, you can control your entire home security set-up from any location through your smart phone, which is perfect if you're looking to keep a closer eye on your home while on holiday or away from home.
Easy to install
What dramatically cuts the cost of this home security system, compared with similar models? The DIY element. As professional installation isn't required, you can simply install it yourself, wherever suits, no fitting costs incurred. Love it.
And just as easy to remove
What's more, it's just as easy to take each element of the Ring Alarm down as it is to set it up in the first place. So, if you're a renter, or don't see yourself living in your current home forever, there's no need to worry about having wasted any money on a home security system that you can't take with you.
Customise your home security system
Ring Alarm comes complete with a base station – which connects the other elements of your home security system to the internet – as well as a keypad, a contact sensor, a motion detector and a range extender, all for less than £250/$199.
And once you have your kit in hand, it's super easy to set up each element in a space that best suits your security needs. Got a flat roof with window access? Or a set of French windows that aren't totally secure? Work Ring Alarm around your home's weak spots for the ultimate home security set-up. Nice.
Free from security cameras
Perfect for those who like the idea of smart home security, but don't feel comfortable with cameras, Ring Alarm covers all of the home security bases for an instantly safer home, without a camera being necessary.
That said, it's just as easy to connect Ring Alarm to an existing Ring Video Doorbell or Ring Security Cameras, if you'd like the best of both worlds.
2. Canary All-In-One Indoor Security System
The best plug and play security system
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The Canary All-In-One Indoor Security System is a simple, high quality system that won’t look out of place in your living room. It monitors your home while looking sleek and stylish at the same time. Here's everything you need to know about it:
High quality camera
Whether you place it on your coffee table or your sideboard, the high quality, 1080p HD camera will stream real-time video to the connected app, enabling you to check up on your home wherever you happen to be.
If your device does happen to pick up anything out of the ordinary, it’ll send a notification to your phone (or any other first responders you've listed) so you can see what’s happening. This allows you to tap through quickly to the authorities. The siren is loud at 90+dB, too.
There's a built-in speaker and microphone, too, so you can talk through the camera (Canary Membership required).
Thanks to automatic night vision, it's possible to monitor the security of your home around the clock. So, should you hear a bump in the night, you can check what's going on, without having to leave the safety of your bedroom.
No installation required
Unlike some systems, this model does not require installation, meaning it can be set up in a matter of minutes. Simply download the free, accompanying app, place your camera in your desired location and connect it to the internet.
Plus, if you're looking to share the responsibility of monitoring your home's security, it's worth noting that more than one smartphone can be connected to the camera via the app.
As if keeping your home secure wasn't enough, this offering from Canary also monitors air quality, temperature, and humidity, so you can improve the overall health of your home. Finally, it has a privacy mode that completely shuts down the camera and microphone.
3. Yale Smart Home Alarm
The best whole-home security system
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
With a whole host of features on offer, the Yale Smart Home Alarm is a smart, intricate system with the price point to match. It has plenty to offer those looking to build a comprehensive home security system, though. Here are our favourite features:
Whether you’re setting the alarm system using the number keypad, tuning into the real time video via the app or using the smart plugs to remotely control the lights from wherever you happen to be, Yale gives you free rein to design the best home security system for your home. Mix elements of old security systems with modern approaches for a system that best suits your requirements.
Enhance your home security system with accessories
In addition to the basic home security system, there is a vast array of accessories that you can connect up to your system, including key fobs and key pads, a smoke detector and a pet friendly PIR motion detector, for additional protection.
Those worried about connecting their system up will pleased to learn that Yale pre-connect the elements to the hub, so it’s just case of putting a component in its rightful position.
4. Arlo Pro 2 Home Security System
The best home security system with cameras
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you're looking to invest in a more premium home security system, look no further than the Arlo Pro 2 Home Security System. This smart security system offers a premium experience for those looking to invest. Here's everything you need to know:
Bold, punchy video quality
The picture quality on the Arlo 2 is seriously impressive. The colours are bright and vivid for the day time shots. And night vision fares just as well.
Plus, if you need to get a closer look at something in the footage, you can just pinch to zoom on your smartphone.
Generous cloud storage
Arlo is more generous than many when it comes to its free cloud storage, saving footage of any suspicious movement or sound for seven days
There is a subscription offering, which will stretch this cloud storage to a month or longer, as well as give you a few more features too.
It's also possible to start the alarm remotely, which is super handy if you're away from home and spot something you don't like the look of. Simply sound the 100+ decibels alarm and watch from the safety of another location.
The Arlo Pro 2 is IP65 rated, which means it should withstand the rain, cold and – when we get it – heat and sunshine, and since there are no wires required, having it mounted in your garden shouldn’t be too much of a problem at all.
It knows when you’re out
To reduce the amount of notifications you get, you can choose to have Arlo in Geofencing mode, which will switch the camera on and off automatically when you’re in or out of the house.
For more information, read our complete Arlo Pro 2 review. While we only reviewed the system with one camera, it's super easy to add as many as suits your home set-up.
5. Panasonic KX-HN6012EW Home Monitoring & Control Kit
The best home security system for larger properties
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
This clever Panasonic KX-HN6012EW Home Monitoring & Control Kit is perfect for larger properties. Plus, it allows users to expand other elements of a smart home system. Here's everything you need to know about it:
Create a cohesive smart home system
Designed to enable users to build a cohesive smart home security system, this model comes complete with a camera, motion sensor, window and door sensor and a smart plug that can be used to control lights and appliances.
All of the devices connect together using Ultra Low Energy (ULE), as opposed to Wi-Fi, meaning you're at lower risk of your home security system being vulnerable to hackers.
Designed with larger properties in mind, this system works over a range of up to 300 metres, so you can ensure your entire property is protected.
Expand your smart home system
Using a combination of the smart plug and the app, you can set up your smart home, too. This is perfect for those looking to design a large smart home system that's interconnected.
Live stream straight to your smart phone
As with other cameras, the Panasonic home security system can live stream to your phone and send you notifications triggered by the sensors. This is perfect for those who want to keep on top of their home security from remote locations.
How to buy the best home security system
When shopping for the best home security system to suit your needs, there are a few factors worth bearing in mind. These include:
What's included in your kit
If you're buying a home security system, off the peg, you'll need to think about what your chosen kit includes. Do you want your cameras, or sensors to be installed up and out of the way? Or would you be better suited to a freestanding model that doesn't require professional installation and can be placed on a bookshelf, coffee table or somewhere similar?
Do you intend on using your home security system indoors or outdoors?
Where you intend on installing your home security system – most notably indoors or outdoors – will also influence your ultimate decision.
Most of the models in this round up are better suited to use indoors, so if you're looking for an outdoor solution, you may find the following guides of use:
- Best video doorbell: enhance your home security and see who's calling with a smart doorbell
- Best outdoor flood lights: 5 security lights for your garden
Can you expand your home security set-up over time?
If you're taking your first steps into the world of home security, you may wish to start with just one or two cameras, which can be added to over time. It's worth considering whether the home security system your considering allows for this.
If you're looking to connect your home security system to a wider smart home set-up, you'll want to check whether the camera system you're considering is compatible with the smart ecosystem you already have in place – or one you plan to invest in.
If you are going for a wireless home security system – which will, of course, be easier to fit than a wired in one – check how often the batteries will need changing in the various elements. Also check how practical it is to replace batteries based on their proposed positions. If they are in a hard-to-reach corner of a stairwell, or up high on the exterior a wired option might be better.
If you're conscious about the aesthetics of your home, it's worth bearing in mind that not all home security systems are born equal when it comes to appearance. Consider which option will best blend into your scheme if you're looking for a subtle approach to home security.