The Most Popular Home Security Apps of 2019

You can add “making your home more secure” to the list of tasks you can manage right from your smartphone these days. A growing number of home security apps now make it easy to monitor your home security from anywhere.

So, which home security company has an app that will work for you?

The choice you make is personal—it’s based on what you need from a professional monitoring system and how much you want to control from your phone—so we haven’t ranked them. Instead, we took a deep look at all of the best home security apps on the market and drilled each of them down to their pros and cons, along with the specific features that may matter to you as you try to find the best home security match for you and your home.

Proprietary vs. Universal apps

Before we dig in, a little primer is in order. When it comes to home security apps, there are two different types available.

Proprietary apps: Many home security apps are proprietary—that means they’re tied to a home monitoring company or specific piece of home security equipment, and you’re only going to be able to use them if you sign on with that company for monitoring.

Universal apps: Unlike company-specific apps, universal options are not tied to any one home security firm. Universal apps can be used by folks who DIY their own home security but want an app to control all their gadgets. The most well-known of these is Alarm.com. Tons of locally-based security companies offer an app powered by Alarm.com and the Alarm.com app is also compatible with security equipment offered by big companies such as Honeywell.

The 10 most popular home security mobile apps

Vivint Smart Home App

If you’re looking for an app that covers your entire smart home, Vivint may be the choice for you. The company boasts that its app allows you to monitor doorbell cameras, security cameras, smart thermostats such as Nest and Element, door and window sensors, smoke detectors and more right from your smartphone, and users say it’s true to its word.

Even better, customers say the Vivint interface is easy to use, and that the app offers flexibility when they don’t want to rush to the front door to greet a guest or don’t want to be tied to their home security system’s wall panel for monitoring.

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS 

  • Nerd Pros
    • Ever wondered if your pets miss you when you’re away? Vivint’s app offers you the ability to talk to anyone in your home — even Fido.
    • Customers say the app allows them to disarm their alarm before they step inside the house, instead of rushing to turn it off.
    • Doorbell alerts allow you to see who’s at your front door and even disarm the alarm so your guests can let themselves inside while you’re busy putting dinner in the oven.
    • Works with Nest, Amazon, and other gadgets, in addition to Vivint hardware.
  • Nerd Cons
    • A Vivint Smart Home SkyControl panel and service subscription are required.
    • Many customers report needing to resync the app and equipment when the company issues updates.
  • Google Play rating: 4.6
  • iTunes rating: 4.6

Read our full review of Vivint Home Security

ADT Pulse ® App

ADT customers with a Pulse contract get free access to this app which lets them arm their alarms, turn lights on and off, lock and unlock doors, adjust thermostats and watch live video streams right from their phones. The app allows users to set up custom alerts for home security breaches, as well as smoke and carbon monoxide sensors, so they’re notified along with emergency services.

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS

  • Nerd Pros
    • Parent users like that the app lets them set up alerts so they’re notified right on their phone when their kids get home from school.
    • Allows you to turn off your oven and small appliances. Never worry about leaving a hot curling iron on in the bathroom again.
    • The app is one of the best-rated by users, especially those with iOS systems.
  • Nerd Cons
    • Requires a subscription to ADT Pulse interactive services.
    • Many users report a lag between setting their alarm via the app and activation.
  • Google Play rating: 4.1
  • iTunes rating: 4.8

SimpliSafe Home Security App

Wish you could monitor access to the liquor or gun cabinet when you’re away from home and your teenagers are there? The SimpliSafe Home Security App offers this feature and a whole lot more. Arm and disarm your home alarm, watch live videos through your security cameras and set up multiple alerts for sensors throughout your house.

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS

  • Nerd Pros
    • Event logs let you see who has been in your house and when.
    • The app allows you to set up alerts that will notify you when someone uses their alarm code, so you can track kids, contractors, and other folks who access your home.
  • Nerd Cons
    • Many users report bugs with the app’s doorbell alerts.
    • Requires a SimpliSafe contract.
  • Google Play rating: 4.1
  • iTunes rating: 4.8

XFINITY® Home app

Want to simplify your life by cutting down on all the companies you’re dealing with? If you’ve already got XFINITY cable and/or Internet service, their home security plan might be one to add. Their smart home app lets you lock doors, arm and disarm your alarm, control lights and more.

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS

  • Nerd Pros
    • The app works with a number of smart home devices, including Nest Learning Thermostat, ecobee, Carrier Cor, and Zen thermostats; Philips Hue Lights, Lutron Caséta Wireless Light Switches and Dimmers, Sengled Element Touch Bulb, GE (Jasco) Wireless Light Switches and Dimmers, and LIFX Lights; and August Smart Locks and Kwikset SmartCode Door Locks.
    • App is accessed with a Comcast ID, just like the TV app, so there’s one less username and password to remember!
  • Nerd Cons
    • Requires an XFinity contract.
    • Some app services are only available if you’ve bought a specific service package with the company.
    • Users report the app often goes offline and can be slow to return.
  • Google Play rating: 4.3
  • iTunes rating: 4.5

Protect America SMART Connect App

Protect America’s app offers customers the ability to arm and disarm their alarm from anywhere, as well as smart home controls for thermostats and doors, plus the ability to view live and recorded video from their phones.

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS

  • Nerd Pros
    • Pay your bill right in your app!
    • Works with Z-Wave thermostats.
  • Nerd Cons
    • The app gets consistently low ratings in the app stores, with users citing the app often crashes during use or cannot connect to devices.
    • Requires a Protect America contract.
  • Google Play rating: 3.1
  • iTunes rating: 2.7

LifeShield app

LifeShield customers can arm and disarm their alarm from anywhere, plus access their LifeShield camera views. In addition to live-streaming camera views and viewing recorded clips, the app has features that allow for snapshots to be taken. App upgrades now allow for smart home integration with smart doors, lights, thermostat and outlet control.

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS

  • Nerd Pros
    • Users say they appreciate the ability to manage their LifeShield account right from the app.
    • The app allows you to add or change security codes from anywhere, so you can allow a dog walker into the house, then change the code so they can’t sneak back in.
    • Works with Z-wave lights, locks, thermostats, and garage door devices.
  • Nerd Cons
    • Requires a LifeShield contract.
    • Users report the iPad version doesn’t include as many features as the iPhone version, limiting use.
  • Google Play rating: 3.8
  • iTunes rating: 4.1

Alarm.com app

The Alarm.com app is used by many local home security companies as basis for their own smart home app offerings, or you can download it on your own for free and access the same sort of cool features that come with proprietary apps such as ADT Pulse or Vivint Smart Home. The Alarm.com app allows users to remotely arm and disarm their alarms, lock and unlock doors, control lights, thermostats, and outlets, and even view security camera footage.

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS

  • Nerd Pros
    • If you switch home security companies, you can often take the app with you as many providers use the Alarm.com system.
    • App can be used in a variety of languages, including English, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Icelandic, Japanese, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
    • Users like that the iOS app allows you to add shortcuts, so you can control some of your smart home with Siri.
    • Gets consistently high ratings, especially from iOS users.
  • Nerd Cons
    • Requires an Alarm.com contract.
    • Requires an additional company contract if you’re looking for equipment installation, home monitoring, and other security services.
  • Google Play rating: 4.3
  • iTunes rating: 4.8

Brinks Home Security App

The Brinks Home Security app offers users the ability to control their alarms from anywhere, along with remote thermostat control and video viewing, and the ability to turn lights on and off from anywhere. The app also offers a geofencing option, which will automatically take care of issues within your chosen “fenced in” area when you’re gone — such as locking that garage door you missed!

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS

  • Nerd Pros
    • Available in a variety of languages, including English, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Icelandic, Japanese, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
    • Users say the geofencing option can be used to set yourself reminders to arm your home when you’re heading out to work.
    • The app is based on the Alarm.com system, which means it’s easy to use if you’re transferring from another Alarm.com-based service.
  • Nerd Cons
    • Requires a Brinks security contract
  • Google Play rating: 4.0
  • iTunes rating: 3.8

Frontpoint App

Frontpoint has used the Alarm.com app as a base to build their own, and it’s chock full of options for homeowners. Alarm your home from anywhere, pull up the app to view live video or record clips and control your thermostat and lights. The app can be set up for alerts for different sensors and alarms, so you can opt for emails or in-app notifications when something goes wrong at home.

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS

  • Nerd Pros
    • The app is available in English, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Icelandic, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
    • iPhone users can use Siri to control their app and alarm their home.
  • Nerd Cons
    • The app requires a Frontpoint system and service plan.
    • Users say they’d like to see the one-touch police call option available from Frontpoint included in the app, so they don’t have to be at home to use it.
    • Users say the doorbell camera can be slow to load, which results in a delivery person or friend walking away before you have a chance to answer!
  • Google Play rating: 4.0
  • iTunes rating: 4.1

Scout Alarm app

The Scout Alarm app is another universal app, made for homeowners who have decided signing on with a home security firm just isn’t for them. This app requires a bit more tech savvy than many of the proprietary apps, but it links with a variety of gadgets, including Yale and Kwikset locks, Amazon’s Alexa, Nest products, and Google Home, for smart home integration.

Get it for Android
Get it for iOS

  • Nerd Pros
    • Works with a long list of gadgets.
    • Doesn’t require a home security monitoring contract.
    • No annual contract required.
  • Nerd Cons
    • Because it doesn’t link to one specific home security firm, other home security options, including installation and equipment maintenance fall on the homeowner.
    • A DIY system requires a certain amount of tech savvy.
  • Google Play rating: 3.6
  • iTunes rating: 5.0

What to look for in a home security system app

We just threw a lot of information at you, so what do you really need to consider when you’re choosing an app?

  • Is it easy to use?
  • Is it reliable?
  • Can you activate/deactivate your alarm?
  • Can you lock/unlock doors from the app?
  • Can you control your thermostat from the app?
  • Can you control specific outlets from the app?
  • Can you turn lights on and off from the app?
  • Is geofencing available?
  • Are there additional fees for using the app?
  • Do you have to sign a contract to use the app?

If you’re dependent on your phone to keep your life running, the home security app that you use to manage your smart home can have a major impact on your day-to-day life. Before you sign on with any home security firm, ask them exactly what you can and can’t do with their app.