Smart Home Security Systems
If you’re in the market for a home security system that specializes in maximizing convenience, make sure to choose a company with stellar home automation options. Smart lights, smart locks and voice control are just a few incredible security features that can transform your current home into a smart home.
We've looked across the industry and filtered down to our picks for the best options for several kinds of shoppers:
- The best overall
- The best professionally installed system
- Best budget pick
- The best DIY option
- Best flexibility
There isn't just one "best" choice - it all depends on what you need. With that said, here are our picks for the best home automation systems on the market today.
With Vivint, customers get the best of both worlds. If you want exceptional home automation options along with great hardware and customer service, Vivint is an ideal option. While it is priced much like a traditional home security company, customers receive added flexibility like the choice to avoid a contract. A professional will help design your perfect security system, and Vivint also gets high marks for customer service.
You can choose to pay for your equipment up front and bypass a lengthy contract similar to a DIY company, or you can pay in installments and sign a contract.
If you aren’t quite sure if a security company with home automation is for you, Vivint won’t give you much time to try it out. Other companies give as many as 60 days for a trial period. Vivint only gives customers 3 days to return.
ADT provides a sure bet when it comes to buying a new home security system. If home automation is your focus, ADT can deliver anything you need from a video doorbell to smart lights and locks. Although you’ll have to sign a contract and pay a little extra when compared to DIY companies, there are benefits to ADT you can’t find with other companies.
It’s tough to name another home security company with a better reputation than ADT.
While ADT is known for its customer service, be careful about third-party companies operating under the ADT name.
Link Interactive costs less than a traditional home security company every month, and it doesn’t have any added installation or activation fees. You get high-quality home security at a great price. If you decide to go with a 3-year contract, Link gives you $250 off your equipment costs. There are ways to save some serious cash on home automation systems with Link, so make sure you ask a sales representative for your best options before making any purchases.
When it comes to hardware options, Link does it right. The company offers a large variety of hardware and customization features with a 3-year warranty on the equipment as long as you’re under contract.
Once your money back guarantee period has passed, if you want to get out of the contract you may be paying out a large chunk of cash. Customers must pay 75% of the contract out if cancelling before the contract is up.
If you want a security company with home automation options and quality hardware, Frontpoint is an ideal choice. While you will pay larger upfront fees for equipment, having a good credit score can get you a deep discount.
Customer service is a big pro for Frontpoint, along with the wide variety of home automation options to turn your house into a smart home. Third party integration is another added bonus with Frontpoint. With a 30-day money back guarantee, it’s risk free to give it a shot.
Customers can choose from five bundles of equipment or create their own package by choosing equipment ala carte.
Normally, customers go with a DIY company to either reduce costs or get out of a contract. Frontpoint requires a 1 or 3-year contract with monitoring services. After the contract expires, you can move on to a month to month payment setup.
If buying home automation systems without a contract is important to you, Abode is a great option. You’ll have plenty of home automation products to choose from, and can purchase everything up front or pay as you go.
Customers gain even more flexibility by being able to choose professional monitoring for as short as three days at a time. Simple setup and Z-wave compatibility, along with voice control makes it a great home automation security system for someone on a budget. Read more in our review of abode security.
You aren’t stuck with anything when you’re an Abode customer. You can purchase equipment and self-monitor, or pay extra for professional monitoring, all with no contract. You can even get monitoring for as little as three days at a time for vacations.
While our SecurityNerd experienced helpful customer service reps, Abode isn’t known for its customer service. It’s not BBB accredited, and some online reviews complain about having trouble with customer service after receiving buggy equipment.
Any of our top picks would be a great choice for most folks looking for a smart home system.
Recap: The Best Smart Home Security Systems
- Best overall: Vivint
- Best pro install: ADT
- Best budget pick: Link Interactive
- Best DIY: Frontpoint
- Best flexibility: Abode
What features should you look for in a home automation security system?
Home automation systems are all about making your life more convenient while keeping your home safe. Here are features to look for when purchasing a home security system with a smart home in mind.
- Remote Control: When it comes to the best home automation systems, each one will allow you to control your system and smart products from the palm of your hand. With most companies, you can arm and disarm your system from a smartphone, along with controlling smart lights and locks for ultimate convenience.
- Voice Control: The best home automation systems on the market will allow you to incorporate Alexa, Google, or other types of voice control products into your system. That means you can check camera feeds by asking your voice assistant, and in some cases even arm and disarm your system by voice command.
- Environmental detection: Some security systems offer smart sensors that can notify you via smartphone about carbon monoxide issues, smoke detection and even frozen pipes.
- Thermostat control: Whether the security company manufactures its own, or provides compatibility with a third party smart thermostat, it’s an invaluable piece of home automation equipment that can even save you money.
What equipment can you expect to get for your home automation system?
- Smart lights: This home automation equipment allows you to turn lights on and off without even being home. You can even set them on a timer so the lights will be on when you get home.
- Smart locks: Some smart locks are completely keyless, and allow you to open and lock your door even while you’re nowhere near it. Users can issue remote keys to grant visitors temporary access. Some models even detect when you’re walking up to the door and unlock it for you.
- Smart thermostat: You’ll be able to set a temperature while you’re away, and change it if you need to, all from your smartphone.
- Smart camera: You can find a camera that will automatically record if it detects motion, and alerts you to any activity via a smartphone app.
- Voice command: Alexa and Google Home are two home automation products that integrate into many security systems. Users can ask for updates on their home, and even arm and disarm the system using voice commands.
- Garage door monitor: If you’re forgetful, or maybe have a garage door that doesn’t always work properly, some companies offer a monitor for your garage door. It means when it’s open or left ajar, you’ll get an alert on your smartphone.
The Bottom Line On Home Automation
While any security system is better than none, home security companies that offer home automation options are becoming increasingly more popular. New technology like smart locks and lights bring an added layer of security and comfort to your everyday life.
If you already have home automation equipment you want to incorporate into a new system, make sure the company has third party integration. These additions will make your life simpler and give you peace of mind.
About the Author
Erin is a freelance video producer and writer based out of Florida. She works with major retail companies and digital startups as a brand storyteller. When Erin's not writing, you can catch her scuba diving and spending time with her dog (not at the same time).