When it comes to protecting you and your loved ones, owning less than the best wireless home security system just isn't an option.
Imagine coming home after a long day at work, only to discover that someone has kicked in your front door. Can you fathom the empty, hollow feeling of staring at the violated entrance of your home, not knowing what awaits you inside?
Unfortunately, this scenario is an everyday occurrence, and it can happen to anyone, even when they are at home.
That's why there can be no compromise when it comes to having the best wireless security system.
What to Look for in the Best Wireless Home Security System
Just as there is no shortage of bad people looking to steal from and harm you and your family, there's also no shortage of shady security companies seeking to sell you less than the best service.
You are probably wondering:
They all make promises of keeping you and your family safe, but how can you tell the best wireless home security system from all the pretenders?
You can do so by checking specific criteria. Here are a few things to look for in the best wireless home security system.
Wireless versus wired home security systems
Is a wireless system right for your home? That should be the first question you ask because even the best wireless home security system has its limitations for individual homes.
Wireless systems work well for most average-sized homes and are usually easier as DIY installations than wired systems. This feature also makes them more mobile should you ever want to move.
On the other hand, for homes over 4,000 square feet, a wired system might be a better fit due to the potential inconsistent performance of many wireless systems beyond a certain space threshold.
Another factor that can harm wireless systems is electromagnetic interference. Devices such as remote controls, power lines, baby monitors, microwave ovens, and even metal filing cabinets can interfere with wireless systems.
On the plus side, many wireless sensors have batteries, so power outages shouldn't leave you unprotected. Then again, you'll have to stay on top of changing out the batteries every so often so that your system continues working at peak performance.
It's also possible to hack wireless security systems remotely. With that in mind, it's vital to make sure your wireless security system has the latest encryption. Also, if you're using a wireless router with your system, make sure you set a strong password to help prevent unauthorized remote access.
Another significant benefit of a wireless system is automation. The best wireless home security system can easily sync with other home automation devices, giving tech lovers lots of flexibility.
For example, a wireless system can include features such as smart locks, smart lights, and a smart thermostat. It may even be able to turn off running water faucets.
Wireless systems are also decentralized, meaning you can control them from anywhere usually using just your smartphone.
With wired systems, most people will usually need a professional installer to set it up. These systems can also be a bit more reliable than wireless since they don't rely on sensors that communicate through radio frequency.
However, this is also contingent upon the wires remaining undamaged. This setup can be a significant disadvantage if intruders know how to disable the wired system.
The equipment is also a little easier to maintain since you don't need to worry about changing batteries or signal interference issues.
Furthermore, these systems are generally more expensive to install, often requiring professional installation. Additionally, if you move, uninstalling these kinds of systems are more cumbersome than wireless systems.
However, this system is also ideal for large homes and can span between buildings on properties with multiple structures. They are less vulnerable to hacking than wireless equipment, as someone would have to physically access a wired system to hack it.
Speaking of access:
Centralized control is another issue with wired systems, as many systems use a single control panel in the home.
This setup is often a problem for those who forget to set the alarm or if the owner isn't there with the code if a guest or household member who doesn't have the code triggers an alarm.
Self-install vs. professional installation
Once you've decided to install the best wireless home security system, next, you need to look at the installation options.
In this area, you'll have two choices: DIY or professional installation. Both approaches are going to have benefits and drawbacks.
If you elect to have a company send a professional installer to set up your system, there are a few benefits to this approach. One of the best things about hiring a pro is that you can just sit back and let them do all the work for you.
Also, most security companies will come out very quickly to install your system, sometimes on the same day.
Then there's the benefit of professional experience; you can ask questions and learn lots of best practices. It's nice to have someone at your home who can walk you through everything you need to know about your system.
Best of all, some companies offer special discounts and cost-saving incentives if you use a professional installer.
However, this isn't to say that professional installation isn't without its share of drawbacks. There are usually more significant upfront costs associated with the installation, such as activation fees. Plus, the installer's availability might be inconvenient for your schedule.
Furthermore, if you move, you may have to pay another installation fee and go through the same process of scheduling all over again.
Then there's the up-selling. Most installers are also doubled as trained salespeople who look for opportunities to up-sell equipment or services that you may or may not need.
Maybe you're a DIY type of person who likes to get your hands a little dirty. Well, there are indeed benefits to DIY installations.
For one, you don't have to worry about expensive installation fees. You also have greater freedom to play around with how you want the equipment installed.
For example, if you don't like the position of a camera you installed, you can just move it yourself without bothering with another technician coming to your house.
There are also a lot of companies that give you the option of owning your equipment, which means you can take it with you when you move. Then, you can reinstall it yourself.
Also, DIY installations are for the most part almost as easy as hiring a professional. Many companies have very detailed manuals and very straightforward setup videos that take a lot of the headache out of DIY installation.
Another benefit is that, if you're paranoid, you don't have to worry about a stranger knowing everything about your security, which isn't the case with professional installers.
Self-installed systems are also completely wireless, which means you don't have to know much about tools to install them. Since most of the components will have an adhesive backing, the only thing you have to do is place your sensors and control panel wherever you see fit. Then, activate the system.
Best of all:
Many companies will also walk you through installation over the phone if you need coaching. Often, customers report setting up their systems in 30 minutes or less.
That said, there are a few drawbacks to DIY installation.
The downside of DIY
Most companies use automated systems to "coach" you through the installation, which may not be your cup of tea. Also, some more complicated systems may require additional networking expertise.
DIY also means that you won't have a professional there to give you advice on where to place your sensors.
Besides, this also means that you are 100 percent accountable for any mistakes. Things can get especially tricky when there's a robbery or fire and your insurance company asks about your system.
Finally, the equipment costs are higher if you decided to own your system outright. You'll pay the full price, which can be thousands of dollars.
When searching for the best wireless home security system, it's critical to thoroughly vet not just the product but also the reputation of the company and its policies.
You can start by looking up the company's reputation online. Look at its score with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and online reviews from current and former customers.
It's also important to understand the finer details of the service a company offers. You see, some companies may offer comprehensive monitoring service, but entrap you in a long, restrictive contract. Alternatively, other companies may require no contract but offer bare minimum services.
Ideally, the best wireless home security system will detect things like carbon monoxide, smoke, and even medical emergencies.
You'll also want a system that can grow with your needs. Maybe you're not ready for home automation now, but this feature may be relevant to you in the future. The ability to expand should be a critical factor in settling on the best wireless home security system.
Here's something to look out for. Some companies reset the clock on your contract if you make any changes such as additional equipment or upgrades.
With the rise of smart homes, automation has become a must-have feature for the best wireless home security system. Automation gives you flexibility and freedom that wired systems can't match, allowing you to control your system with your smart device from anywhere.
Many systems also integrate with devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to control any smart device in your home through one application.
The best wireless home security systems will also provide comprehensive monitoring service. Some systems only offer self-monitoring, which means you're responsible for responding to any alerts and contacting the authorities.
However, it's best to have someone looking out for you, in case of events you can't respond to such as fires and home invasions.
The best monitoring will always be UL listed (Global Safety Certification).
Additionally, you need to make sure they have multiple monitoring centers and respond to alarms quickly.
You also need to make sure they have redundancy backup systems in case the power goes out, or there's some other type of interference.
How We Found the Best Wireless Home Security System
To find the best wireless home security system, we read numerous articles and forums for customer feedback and watched several customer review videos on the most popular systems on the market.
After comparing various aspects like pricing, monitoring, customer service scores, and technology, we settled on the best wireless home security system.
Here Are the Candidates for the Best Wireless Home Security System
From our research, we narrowed down the list to the eight top candidates for the best wireless home security system.
The monthly costs of these systems range from roughly $10 to $60, and up-front costs range from around $30 to $500.
Plus, some also offer the option of purchasing equipment up-front which can range from $500 to $3,000. Finally, service contracts typically range from zero to four years.
ADT Pulse offers wireless security with a wide variety of equipment, with options for home automation, video, medical device support, and environmental disaster prevention.
They support third-party smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa, Z-Wave, and ZigBee compatibility. Furthermore, they provide professional installation (no DIY option).
Best of all, they also have some of the most experienced and knowledgeable customer service agents and offer a comprehensive 24/7 monitoring service.
In addition, they offer features such as cellular backup, power outage backup, and environmental sensors.
The company also requires a 36-month contract that carries a hefty termination penalty. A few Pulse peripherals require the use of third-party mobile apps.
ADT Pulse monthly plans range from around $50 to $60 per month with an installation fee that ranges from $90 to $110.
Lastly, ADT offers a 30-day trial period and currently has an A+ rating with the BBB.
Vivint offers sleek modern-looking wireless security equipment along with professional installation (no DIY option) that can include same-day service.
You also have the option of buying or financing your equipment, and they offer a lifetime warranty with the purchase of their premium service.
Vivint offers a remote access mobile app, indoor and outdoor security cameras, home automation, environmental disaster protection, smash and grab protection, and a doorbell camera with two-way voice.
They also offer Z-wave, ZigBee, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home support.
The company offers monthly plans starting between $25 and $210 with a setup fee starting between $500 and $600. They also offer pay as you go contracts or up to 60 months.
Vivint has a 30-day return policy and currently carries a C- rating with the BBB.
FrontPoint offers DIY installation, as well as a highly-rated customer service-sales staff. They also offer a personalized mobile website that walks you through every aspect of the installation along with an in-depth troubleshooting section.
On top of that, if at any time you're stuck on a certain stage of the installation, a help window that offers a phone number for you to call pops up on your device.
Additionally, FrontPoint also offers straightforward equipment pricing that allows you to see all pricing from equipment and monthly costs to contract length.
Other FrontPoint features include email and cellular alerts, home automation, disaster protection, and optional indoor and outdoor cameras.
By the way:
You also receive 24/7 monitoring, smash and grab protection, and fire protection, as well as ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Amazon Alexa support.
FrontPoint does require a hard credit check, requires high cancellation fees, and live and recorded video is only available for their higher-end plan.
Monthly fees begin from around $30 to $60, and equipment costs start between $90 and $110 then goes up from there. Contracts are in either 12- or 36-month terms, with equipment discounts for customers who choose a 36-month contract.
FrontPoint also offers a 30-day risk-free trial and sports an A+ rating with the BBB.
SimpliSafe is another DIY installation wireless security system that offers features such as indoor video security, cellular backup, environmental sensors, and power outage backup.
As it turns out, you also have the option to opt for professional installation which costs between $190 and $210.
They only offer smart home support for Amazon Alexa, along with automatic updates. You also have a choice between self-monitoring and 24/7 professional monitoring support.
Their monthly plans range from about $10 to $30, and equipment costs start between $190 to $210 and move up from there. There are no contracts; if you choose to use their monitoring service, it's pay as you go.
SimpliSafe offers a 60-day risk-free trial with free shipping for returns and the company currently holds an A+ rating with the BBB.
Abode is a DIY installation wireless system that supports Amazon Alexa, ZigBee, and Z-wave. It also offers web and mobile access.
The starter kit does not offer professional monitoring, and you can quickly expand your system using third-party devices and services.
Features include cellular backup, power outage backup, environmental sensors, and IFTTT support.
That said, you cannot manage notifications from the mobile app, and the kit does not include a control panel.
The basic package includes self-monitoring with an up-charge of between $5 and $35 for professional monitoring service plans. Initial equipment costs range from $250 to $400, and there are no contract commitments.
Abode has a 14-day return policy in which you pay all shipping costs. There's also a 20 percent restocking fee for all hardware and a $20 to $30 non-refundable activation fee on service plans.
The company currently has a C- rating with the BBB.
Protect America is a DIY security system that offers both cell and Wi-Fi monitoring, indoor video cameras, environmental monitoring, home automation, and smartphone control.
In addition, they also offer a choice between Simon XT Push-button with the option to upgrade to a touchscreen model for an extra charge. Sensors include break sensors, carbon monoxide sensors, smoke sensors, and motion detectors.
Service plans offer 24/7 monitoring with a lifetime warranty on equipment. Fire monitoring is extra.
The company offers three plans that cost between $15 and $60 per month. The only free piece of equipment is the control panel, the rest you purchase a-la-carte with prices ranging from $40 to $300.
Plus, they also require a 36-month contract with service. Protect America offers a 14-day trial with a $70 to $90 restocking fee.
The BBB gives this company an A rating.
Link Interactive offers DIY installation with wireless and cellular monitoring. Features include intrusion protection, environmental protection, home automation, and smartphone control.
They also offer you the option of self-monitoring or professional monitoring. A 36-month service contract is required. Plans start from around $25 to $50. Individual equipment purchased separately can range from $20 to $500.
Link Interactive offers a 30-day money back guarantee and has an A+ rating with the BBB.
Brinks offers a DIY system which has options for video recording, cloud video storage, and live video streaming.
You can also opt for professional installation for an extra fee.
Furthermore, there's 24/7 professional monitoring, smartphone system control, automation features, and a two-year warranty on equipment.
The system does have a 36-month contractual commitment. Monitoring packages start from around $25 to $50 per month. Plus, up-front equipment costs range from $250 to $600.
Brinks offers a 30-day risk-free trial, and the company maintains an A+ rating with the BBB.
Say Hello to the Best Wireless Home Security System
When it comes to the best wireless home security system, it made sense to split the distinction between the best DIY system and the best professionally installed system.
We made this decision because while some people really enjoy DIY projects, others would prefer professional help.
Our pick for the best DIY system was FrontPoint. Not only does the company have a fantastic BBB rating and loyal customers, but they also offer great security products and fantastic coverage.
We picked ADT for our professionally installed system. This company has a reputation for excellent service and products, and also holds a perfect A+ rating with the BBB.
We hope that you've found our information on the best wireless home security system helpful for your search, and as always, we encourage you to stay safe.