Investing in the best home security system is essential if you're serious about protecting your home, or wish to actively deter criminals from targeting your property. As such, they're increasingly considered a household essential.
If you're looking for easy – and affordable – ways to protect your home, you'll be pleased to learn that home security systems have come a long way since the expensive, hard wired systems of old. For the most part, they're now much more affordable, easier to install and, in many cases, almost entirely customizable. So, it's easier than you might think to design a bespoke security network that suits your unique requirements.
We'd suggest starting by reading our top tips on how to buy a home security system. Then, find our picks 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 unsafe, which we think is seriously useful.
Find more home security buys and know-how on our dedicated hub page.
What is the best home security system?
The best home security system is the newly released Ring Alarm, which offers DIY-installation and completely customizable 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? No problem, you can simply take your Ring Alarm down when you go.
Keep scrolling for complete product reviews.
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 customizable 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 vacation 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 necessary, no installation 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.
Customize 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.
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 an apartment with roof 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, if you hear a bump in the middle of 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. Google Nest Home Security
The best whole-home security system
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
With a whole host of features to offer, the Google Nest Secure system is a smart, intricate system with the price point to match. The Google Nest Secure Alarm Starter Pack comes with a Nest Guard, two Nest Detect sensors, two key fobs and installation equipment, but it has plenty to offer those looking to build a more comprehensive home security system. Here are our favorite features:
Whether you’re setting the alarm system using your smartphone, tuning into the real time video via the app or using the smart plugins to remotely control the lights from wherever you happen to be, Google Nest gives you free rein to design the best home security system for your home. Mix and match the elements you need to best suit 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 to Google Nest, including key fobs and the Nest Hub tablet, a smoke detector and motion detectors for additional protection.
No third-party monitoring
It's important to note that the Google Nest Secure system is not monitored by a third-party and does not offer police dispatch. This may be a plus for some since it keeps the monthly costs low, but could be a negative if you want more comprehensive services from your alarm system.
DIY or Pro Install
Whether you prefer to install the system yourself or would like a pro to do it for you, there's an option with Google Nest. Need some help with the install? You can schedule a Nest Pro to come out and handle installation for you.
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 colors 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+ decibel 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 yard 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. ADT Command (Formerly ADT Pulse)
The best home security system for full-service security
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The ADT Command system comes from one of the most trusted names in home security. But, while its monitored security system provides the utmost reassurance, it does come at a hefty price tag. Basic monitoring plans start at just over $50 per month.
Create a cohesive security system
The ADT system is designed to enable users to build a cohesive smart home security system. It offers the options of HD video security, voice control integration, a touch screen keypad, smart-home automation and geofencing, and more, and you can mix and match both the basic components and the add ons to suit your needs.
Expand your smart home system
The ADT system is compatible with a number of different smart home devices (like Amazon Alexa) as well as its own smart-home offerings, so you can control things like indoor, outdoor and doorbell cameras, smart lights, locks and thermostats through one central hub. This is perfect for those looking to design a large smart home system that's interconnected.
Control it all through your smart phone
As with other systems, the ADT Command home security system can be controlled through your smart 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.
You'll need a professional install
The ADT Command system required professional installation, so you'll need to set up an appointment through the company.
How to buy the best home security system
Recommended retailers for home security systems
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 shelf, 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:
Are home security systems worth the investment?
Research has shown that home security systems – whether that's a video doorbell, a single camera, or a comprehensive security system – actively deter criminals . So, yes, we would say that they're worth the investment. Discover more tips and tricks in our guide to how to protect your home.
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 you're 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 install 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.