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Best home security systems

TechRadar logo TechRadar 11/23/2019 Jonas DeMuro
a living room filled with furniture and a flat screen tv: Best home security systems© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best home security systems

The one crime statistic that is falling across the US year-on-year is burglary, and that's because homeowners are turning to home-based security systems that can help prevent crime. It's not just about trying to deter opportunists, but also making sure that even determined burglars will have difficulty forcing their way into your home without being caught.

Yet there's such a wide array of home security options available to the homeowner, from CCTV and security cameras, to monitoring solutions, it can all seem overwhelming. Luckily, there are an increasing number of all-in-one solutions that use the latest technology to bring together different aspects of surveillance, monitoring, and prevention, to help homeowners feel safer.

What's even better is that you no longer need a complicated setup of monitoring cameras, as most modern security systems are unobtrusive, easy to install and use, and even stylish.

So we have done the legwork for you – we're good like that – to present this list of five of the best home security solutions. We think these products bring together the best in security, safety, and technology, to help give you peace of mind and better protect you, your family, and loved ones, from unwelcome intruders.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Ring Alarm Security Kit© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Ring Alarm Security Kit

1. Ring Alarm Security Kit

A simple but versatile solution

Everything provided
No need for a contract
Simple to set up

The Ring Alarm Security Kit is an all-in-one security solution that's simple to set up, and doesn't require a service subscription to use. The standard Alarm Security Kit is  cheaper than most competitors and comes with a base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector and range extender. You can buy additional components individually to extend your protection, or purchase one of the larger Alarm Security Kit bundles.


The Ring Alarm Security Kit uses smart sensors and motion detectors that send mobile alerts when triggered. Everything is managed from the Ring app, which allows you to monitor everything from a single panel on your phone or tablet. It can also be integrated with other security devices from other brands, and you can even operate it using Amazon's Alexa.

A backup battery in the kit ensures that even in the event of a power failure, the Ring kit will continue to run for up to 24 hours, using your cellular network to keep connected.

As mentioned, there is no need for a subscription plan, though there are contract-free Ring Protect Plans available which allow you to store more video using the Ring app, as well as access member benefits and discounts on additional security product purchases. These might be useful if you plan to buy other equipment from Ring, such as its video doorbell, sirens, smoke detectors, cameras, and more.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Canary All-in-One© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Canary All-in-One

2. Canary All-in-One

The plug-and-play approach to home security

Affordable monthly plan
Simple setup
Single device less suited to larger homes

Those with more modest homes, such as a rented apartment, may want a simpler plug-and-play solution, such as the Canary All-in-One. One plastic canister provides a 1080p HD camera with night vision, a 90dB siren, an integrated temperature, air quality and humidity monitor, and the device is available in white or black to match a variety of decors.

Setup can be completed in a few minutes as the device just needs to be connected to electrical power and the internet for protection to kick-off.

While the Canary All-in-One can be used with free access, a monthly membership plan is needed to get the most out of it. Features included are full length videos that are stored for 30 days, unlimited video downloads, and two-way Canary talk.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Nest Secure© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Nest Secure

3. Nest Secure

A slick home security option from Nest

Plentiful expansion options
Multiple options to arm/disarm
Higher cost for the basic kit
Monitoring is expensive

Nest made its name in home technology with its thermostat which debuted in 2011. These days, Nest is part of Google, and the company has expanded into home security with Nest Secure.

This is sold as the Nest Secure alarm system, commanding a premium fee and it includes a base station, two Nest Tags, and two sensors. The Nest Tag is a key fob-style device that can arm or disarm the system when in proximity with the base station – other options for arming include a passcode, Google Assistant, and the Nest App.

The sensor is Stick Nest Detect, which is a versatile piece of hardware, as each one can be used to secure a window, door, or even a wall, as it detects motion, with additional sensors available. All of these sensors feed their information through the base station to the Nest App.

Nest Secure works over Wi-Fi, but cellular access as a backup is an additional monthly option. The system can also be expanded with options for indoor and outdoor cameras, and compatible Yale electronic locks.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Abode© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Abode

4. Abode

DIY professional-grade home security

Affordable professional monitoring option
Full variety of additional accessories
Few items in starter kit

Abode offers a security solution that is professional-grade, and yet easy to install for the homeowner. Like its competition, the company offers a starter kit that includes the essentials: a gateway, a mini door/window sensor, a remote key fob, a motion sensor, and a security sticker.

This does not include a keypad which will cost extra, and is designed for self-monitoring via a smartphone app. There are a wide variety of expansion options available, including indoor add-on sirens, a water leak sensor, and a glass break and vibration sensor, to name just a few of the many offerings.

Upgrade to the next plan, and this includes the same starter kit, plus a year of cellular backup on the T-Mobile or AT&T network, and 50% off the add-on keypad. The top plan includes everything from the lower plans, complete with a year of professional monitoring.

a person holding a sign: SimpliSafe© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. SimpliSafe

5. SimpliSafe

Whole home protection from this well-known vendor

Variety of starter kits
Large library of accessories
Higher-end kits aren’t cheap

SimpliSafe is a well-known brand in the security space. Unlike some other solutions, the company offers five different options for its starter kit. At the low-end is the aptly named Foundation Kit, which has a base station, keypad, an entry sensor and a motion sensor.

At the top-end, the Haven Kit includes the same base station and keypad, as well as a key fob, four entry sensors, two motion sensors, a 105dB siren, a panic button, freeze sensor, water sensor, and a smoke detector, which is suitable for a larger home, and obviously protects you from more than just burglary.

All kits are backed by a 60-day guarantee – the product can be returned if it does not work out for you – and you have a choice of monitoring plans that include professional monitoring and cellular backup (and neither requires a contract).

a screenshot of a cell phone: Honeywell Smart home security© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Honeywell Smart home security

6. Honeywell Home

For exapandable smarthome security

Smarthome capabilities
Amazon Alexa assistant
Exapanded range

Honeywell Smarthome Security is an all-in-one home security device that is intended to serve as the heart of a smarthome experience. 

The base unit itself can detect motion and sound, and when its smart sensors are triggered it can record in 1080 HD video. Although the unit has nightvision capability, it can also be connected with smart sensors and Z-wave lighting units, to expand its range both inside and outside of your property.

It's also compatible with a number of other smarthome devices, which can be configured so that even when you are away, indoor and outdoor lighting can be programmed to simulate someone at home.

When an event is triggered, an alert can be sent via text to your phone or other device, along with a video and/or audio clip of it. This allows you to decide whether the event is worth further action.

However, the base unit is intended to work as more than a security device, and is also powered by Amazon's Alexa assistant. This allows you to connected with your Amazon account to play music, radio stations, or audiobooks you may have associated with it.

Additionally, there's a membership plan available which allows you to expand on the basic 24-hours online storage to a 30 or 60-day storage plan, along with the ability to store more video as well as get further discounts at Honeywell.


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