Top Rated Home Security System Reviews 2017

Based on affordability, security features, ease of installation, and more

Each year, the security landscape changes. As new players enter the field, it can be overwhelming to sift through and find the security companies that are actually worth considering to monitor your home. In this article, we’ll dive into the foundation of every security system, including monitoring, home automation features, and mobile notifications. We’ve determined which systems outshine the competition in terms of pricing options, package customization, equipment quality, ease of installation, and usability.

Our Rank#1#2#3
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Top Monitoring Plan Price$49.99/mo.$39.99/mo.$54.99/mo.
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Our Rank #1
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Our Rank #2
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$39.99/mo.
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#1 pick: Frontpoint Security

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Call: 855-806-1188

Each year it gets better and better; still reigning as our top home security system recommendation in 2017 is Frontpoint Security. With easy installation, user-friendly capabilities, reliable monitoring, and Z-Wave home automation compatibility, it’s pretty clear why Frontpoint beats out the competition in the home security landscape.

Read the full Frontpoint Security review on SecurityGem.

Pricing options

Frontpoint offers three packages: Protection, Interactive, and Ultimate. Each one offers a different range of monitoring and features at a different price.

Plan NameProtectionInteractiveUltimate
Monthly Pricing$34.99$44.99$49.99
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Crash & Smash protection
Geo services
Home automation
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Plan Name Protection
Monthly Pricing
$34.99
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Crash & Smash protection
Geo services
Home automation
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Plan Name Interactive
Monthly Pricing
$44.99
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Crash & Smash protection
Geo services
Home automation
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Plan Name Ultimate
Monthly Pricing
$49.99
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Crash & Smash protection
Geo services
Home automation
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The Protection Plan is Frontpoint’s base-level package and includes professional monitoring starting at $34.99 per month. Features like 24/7 monitoring and notifications to the control panel are standard across all of Frontpoint’s packages, but you won’t find perks like real-time email and text alerts or home automation controls with the Protection plan.

The Interactive Plan is $44.99 a month and offers all of the features of the Protection plan, plus a few more:

  • Crash & Smash protection
  • Ability to customize and manage alerts remotely from a mobile device
  • Geo services

The Ultimate Plan is $49.99 per month and includes everything from the Interaction package, plus home automation and video surveillance.

Contracts and commitment

Long-term contracts can be a daunting commitment. However, Frontpoint offers a 30-day risk-free trial and will even cover the shipping on all returns if you are unsatisfied.

Ease of installation

You plug in your control panel straight out of the box, then dial Frontpoint to confirm the setup, and you’re ready to go. Nearly all of the sensors are peel and stick, making installation fast and easy. Frontpoint’s convenient installation sets it apart from other home security system competitors that require more extensive setup.

Equipment and monitoring features

One of the best perks with Frontpoint is its equipment credit program. If you have qualified credit and sign a 36-month contract, Frontpoint will give you a $300 credit for the purchase of equipment, and you’ll pay for any equipment beyond the $300. All the equipment you get will be yours to own. If you want a fully monitored and automated home, you’ll be spending quite a bit more than $300, so it never hurts to ask about current promotions to get you the best deal possible.

Here’s what Frontpoint offers:

  • Control panels—The Simon XT is standard, but you can upgrade to the Qolsys IQ if you’d rather have a touch screen than a keypad
  • Intrusion sensors—Door and window sensors, recessed door sensors, garage door sensor, glass break sensor, motion sensor, and image sensors are your first line of defense against a break-in, and all are available from Frontpoint.
  • Environmental sensors—Frontpoint’s carbon monoxide sensor, smoke and heat sensor, water and flood sensor, and freeze sensor warn you at the first sign of any abnormalities in your home.
  • Security cameras—The doorbell camera, indoor camera, outdoor camera, and indoor pan and tilt camera are the eyes of the Frontpoint system and let you see what’s going on in your home.
  • Home automation—Light controls, keypad door locks, and smart thermostats all work with Z-Wave technology to make your home smarter and more convenient.

Mobile app and remote control

Frontpoint’s app, available for Android and Apple devices, is a hit with its users for its usability and intuitive design. You can download the apps on your devices here:

Android: Download the Frontpoint app here

Apple: Download the Frontpoint app here

Read our full overview of Frontpoint’s mobile app control to see how easy it is to monitor and operate your home’s security system from anywhere.

Frontpoint pros

  • Consistently excellent customer service
  • Crash & Smash protection
  • Easy and fast DIY installation
  • Z-Wave compatibility
  • $300 equipment credit (dependent on qualification)

Frontpoint cons

  • Potentially high out-of-pocket equipment costs
  • 3-year equipment warranty, not lifetime

You can call 1-855-806-118 or visit Frontpoint to start building your custom security system today!

#2 pick: Link Interactive

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Call: 855-830-3778

Although Link Interactive comes second in our list of top security systems for 2017, we still highly recommend it. Our favorite things about Link Interactive are its affordability and its outstanding home automation performance. Link’s equipment is priced much lower than its competitors’ for most essential home security items.

Read our entire Link Interactive review for more details.

Pricing options

If we were to compare our top home security systems based on cost alone, Link Interactive would be our front-runner, and it’s a major factor that makes it so high on our list. Link Interactive has broken up its monitoring options into three plans: Standard, Gold, and Elite.

Plan NameStandardGoldElite
Monthly Pricing$29.99$34.99$39.99
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Crash & Smash protection
Home automation
Video monitoring/recording
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Plan Name Standard
Monthly Pricing
$29.99
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Crash & Smash protection
Home automation
Video monitoring/recording
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Plan Name Gold
Monthly Pricing
$34.99
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Crash & Smash protection
Home automation
Video monitoring/recording
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Plan Name Elite
Monthly Pricing
$39.99
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Crash & Smash protection
Home automation
Video monitoring/recording
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The Standard plan starts at $29.99 per month, comes with Crash & Smash protection, and is compatible with fire, smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors.

The Gold plan is $34.99 per month and comes with everything from the Standard plan, plus automation controls along with text and email notifications.

The Elite plan costs $39.99 per month. With this plan, you get everything from the previous packages as well as advanced video surveillance features, including live streaming, motion-activated recordings, HD and night vision capabilities, and the ability to record and schedule video footage on demand.

Contracts and commitment

You get to choose between three contract lengths with Link Interactive: 12, 24, or 36 months, which offers great flexibility. The cancellation fee, however, is 100% of the remaining contract length, which is stricter than many of our other top home security companies.

Ease of installation

Installing Link Interactive’s equipment is actually a little more complicated than it appears to be at first glance. The equipment itself has a very simple design and is easy to use once it’s installed properly. You can see how extensive each item’s setup is in Link Interactive’s installation guides.

Equipment and monitoring features

As of August 2016, Link Interactive offers a two-year warranty on all equipment, up from one year. It no longer offers pre-made equipment packages, opting instead to sell each piece of equipment separately so you can build your own customized system. All monitoring plans include a touchscreen panel, three window stickers, a yard sign, and free shipping and support.

When you sign up with Link Interactive, you will have to pay a $99 equipment charge. Once that charge is processed, you can use the $99 towards equipment costs.

Here’s a breakdown of the types of equipment Link offers:

  • Control panels—The Go!Control alarm panel has a simple touch screen and two-way communication with Link Interactive’s monitoring centers for emergency help.
  • Intrusion sensors—With door and window sensors, recessed door and window sensors, the tilt door sensor, the glass break sensor, motion sensors, and image sensors, Link has an extensive list of sensors to choose from.
  • Environmental sensors—Link’s smoke/heat/freeze sensor, heat detector, home disaster detector, and carbon monoxide detector let you know as soon as something is off in your home’s interior.
  • Security cameras—The doorbell camera, wireless camera, indoor IP camera with infrared technology, indoor pan/tilt camera, and outdoor camera are all available from Link to keep an eye on the interior and exterior of your home.
  • Home automation—Among Link Interactive’s vast home automation offerings are the touchscreen deadbolt, smart thermostat, light control, and garage door sensors to keep your home connected.

Mobile app and remote control

Link Interactive’s partnership with Alarm.com allows users to download its highly rated app to monitor and control their home security and home automation devices.

Google: Download the Alarm.com app here
Apple: Download the Alarm.com app here

Link Interactive pros

  • Competitive monitoring and equipment prices
  • Crash & Smash protection standard on all packages
  • Customizeable equipment selection
  • Extensive home automation equipment selection

Link Interactive cons

  • Some equipment pieces need to be synced individually
  • Lower equipment credit than Frontpoint

Call 1-855-830-3778 or visit Link Interactive to choose a plan and package custom to your home!

#3 pick: Protect America

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Call: 888-844-8542

Transparency, easy equipment customization, and low entry-level pricing make Protect America our third pick of 2017. Protect America gives you the ability to choose your equipment to fit your home, so you’re not paying for a single-family home security system when you live in a two-bedroom apartment or vice versa.

Read our full Protect America review for more details.

Pricing options

Protect America has the lowest entry-level price of our top picks. Its plans start at $19.99 per month; however, that price is for landline monitoring only. Your monthly price will depend on which equipment package you select, as well as whether you choose landline, broadband, or cellular connectivity for your monitoring plan. You can choose from five equipment packages with varying features, and build from there. Below we have broken out what monitoring features are included in the three available options (Landline, Broadband, and Cellular) as well as a summary of what you will get with each equipment package and how the pricing will differ based upon what combination you choose.

Monitoring LevelLandlineBroadbandCellular
Monthly Pricing*$19.99 to $42.99$41.99 to $54.99 $41.99 To $54.99
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Crash & Smash protection
Home automation
Video monitoring/recording
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Monitoring Level Landline
Monthly Pricing*
$19.99 to $42.99
View Plans
Crash & Smash protection
Home automation
Video monitoring/recording
Visit Website
Monitoring Level Broadband
Monthly Pricing*
$41.99 to $54.99
View Plans
Crash & Smash protection
Home automation
Video monitoring/recording
Visit Website
Monitoring Level Cellular
Monthly Pricing*
$41.99 To $54.99
View Plans
Crash & Smash protection
Home automation
Video monitoring/recording
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*Pricing is dependent upon what equipment package you pair with your chosen monitoring level. 

The Copper equipment package has the lowest entry-level price at $19.99 per month for professionally monitored home security. However, if you want more than just landline monitoring (which you should), Copper prices jump to $41.99 per month for broadband or cellular monitoring, which offer more interactive features.

The Bronze equipment package jumps to $35.99 a month for landline and $47.99 for cellular or broadband. With the increase in price you get an increase in sensors—six up from three.

The Silver equipment package starts at $37.99 per month for landline monitoring, and it gives you more window and door sensors (9) up front than the Copper package. If you upgrade to broadband or cellular monitoring for more features like mobile access and automation, your monthly price jumps to $49.99 per month.

The Gold equipment package gives you two additional sensors for two dollars more a month up from Silver. The package starts at $39.99 for landline and goes to $51.99 for cellular or broadband monitoring.

The Platinum equipment package gives you even more door and window sensors (14) than the Silver package. You’ll still have the option between landline monitoring—$42.99 per month—broadband, or cellular monitoring—$54.99 per month.

Contracts and commitment

All Protect America contracts are 36-month agreements, which means you’ll want to choose your system with the next three years in mind. Protect America has a strict cancellation policy. You’ll have to pay the remainder of your contract if you cancel before your three years are up. On the bright side, however, Protect America offers a lifetime warranty on all equipment.

Ease of installation

Protect America uses GE and Alarm.com equipment that lends itself to an easy do-it-yourself installation experience. DIY home security equipment allows you to save time and money on costly fees and annoying installation appointments.

Equipment and monitoring features

Within each package tier, you can customize your equipment and decide which features you want. Depending on the monitoring package you choose, your features can vary quite a bit. For instance, choosing landline monitoring gives you a lower monthly fee, but if you want features like light control, live video surveillance, or home automation, you’ll have to upgrade your monitoring to cellular or broadband. Here’s a breakdown of the equipment available from Protect America:

  • Control panels—Protect America’s systems come with the Simon XT control panel, available as a keypad or touchscreen panel.
  • Intrusion sensors—The door/window sensors, motion detector, garage door sensor, and glass break sensor will alert you if someone’s in your home who shouldn’t be.
  • Security cameras—Protect America’s camera offerings are limited to an indoor camera, so you won’t be able to monitor your home’s exterior.
  • Home automation—The Z-Wave door lock, appliance module, and smartphone control are the foundational features of home automation.

Mobile app and remote control

Protect America offers SMART control for its broadband and cellular monitoring plans. SMART control lets your arm and disarm your system and control locks, lights, and other automated features from your smartphone. You can control these things from Protect America’s mobile app, available for Apple and Android.

Google: Download the Protect America app here
Apple: Download the Protect America app here

Protect America pros

  • Customizable equipment offerings
  • Higher prices for cellular or broadband monitoring (recommended)
  • Z-Wave compatibility
  • No equipment fees
  • Lifetime equipment warranty

Protect America cons

  • Landline-only options at lower-price tiers
  • Large price jumps to upgrade to cellular or broadband monitoring
  • Smaller equipment selection than some competitors

Call 1-888-844-8542 or visit Protect America to choose a plan and package custom to your home!

Honorable mentions: Rounding out our top 5

As we researched and compared various security companies to deliver the top three choices we’d recommend in 2017, we found a few others that are solid choices if you want to do more comparison. We’ll give a brief rundown of our fourth and fifth picks, Vivint and SimpliSafe.

#4 pick: Vivint

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Vivint’s changing things up with its new Flex Pay program. You now have the option to pay for your equipment up front and lower your monthly costs, or you can wrap that equipment cost into your monthly payment and pay for it over time. Vivint Flex Pay gives you flexibility that wasn’t there before and really showcases how Vivint has refocused its efforts on its customers and not just its bottom line. We like Vivint’s new direction so much that we gave it a spot in our top five.

As always, Vivint stands out for its superior technology and home automation capabilities. You can expect to pay a little bit more than other companies—entry prices start at $39.99 per month—but you get what you pay for with Vivint equipment.

Vivint pros

  • Flexible payment plans
  • Advanced, easy-to-use technology
  • Cellular monitoring
  • Two-way voice communication
  • Energy-efficient equipment
  • Lifetime warranty for Vivint equipment
  • Professional installation

Vivint cons

  • Aggressive sales approach
  • Higher prices for monthly monitoring
  • No DIY installation option
  • Historically poor customer service reputation, but seems to be improving over the last few years

Read our full Vivint review here for more details.

#5 Pick: SimpliSafe

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SimpliSafe is another great DIY option. SimpliSafe’s customers love it for its total lack of contract and hidden fees. SimpliSafe offers customizable equipment packages, and all its equipment only requires an easy self-install. What prevents the company from rising higher on our list is its lack of home automation features. We’ll keep an eye on SimpliSafe and hope that it adds those things to its lineup in the future.

Read our full review here for more details.

SimpliSafe pros

  • No contracts
  • No hidden fees
  • Customizable equipment packages

SimpliSafe cons

  • Doesn’t include Crash & Smash protection
  • Doesn’t offer a garage sensor
  • No home automation
  • Equipment looks old-fashioned

What do you think?

Still have questions? SecurityGem is here to help. If you feel we missed anything, let us know in the comments below!