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’re confused about purchasing a pre-bundled home security system with products you may not need, you won’t have to worry about that with Vivint. A professional can help design a system with features you need.
Equip your home with anything from a video doorbell to smart lights. This is one of the more sophisticated home automation systems on the security market.
You’ll get professional installation with Vivint, so you won’t have to spend any time troubleshooting.
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.
Unfortunately, Vivint doesn’t offer a landline option, so if cell service in your area isn’t great, this is a big negative.
When customers purchase a professionally monitored system like Vivint, they will be paying a premium. Don’t expect these prices to be in line with cheaper DIY models. You’ll be paying about equal to traditional companies like ADT.
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.
Forget hours of setup like you may have to endure with DIY security systems. A professional installs ADT equipment, so you won’t have to do any heavy lifting yourself.
ADT has some of the best home automation systems on the market, giving you options to remotely control anything from thermostats to locks.
ADT has a generous money back guarantee, however it must be a service-related issue that ADT can’t fix, like cell coverage.
While ADT is known for its customer service, be careful about third-party companies operating under the ADT name.
If you’re planning on going above and beyond the base packages, extras like carbon monoxide detection can get pricey pretty quickly.
Customers have reported losing connectivity or seeing delays with the app intermittently, which could cause an issue.
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.
With Link, customers can choose whether to have a contract and pay as you go, or whether to pay for equipment up front and have no contract at all. For additional flexibility, you can even incorporate home automation equipment you already have into the system, as long as it’s Z-Wave compatible.
Link is at the top of the list for home automation systems. It offers an impressive amount of its own hardware, but allows customers to bring equipment they might already have into the system.
Link has a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, so if you decide you don’t like it before time’s up, you can just return everything and hop out of your contract. That is the ultimate flexibility.
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.
It may cost you more upfront with Link than some of the DIY security systems. If you decide to go against a contract, be prepared to pay costs up front.
If you’re looking for a company with set rates across the board, you may be frustrated with Link. Customization means prices vary widely, and the length of your contract also dictates how much of a discount you’ll receive.
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.
Frontpoint gets great reviews from customers on its easy installation. It comes pre-programmed and can be online in as little as half an hour.
Frontpoint offers everything from smart locks and lights, along with third party integration for home automation. If your current equipment is Z-Wave compatible, you can use it with Frontpoint.
Customers can return everything within 30 days if they don’t like the service from Frontpoint.
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.
The upfront cost for hardware can be more expensive than other DIY security companies.
In order to receive the best discounts, Frontpoint checks your credit score. Anything over a 600, you’ll get a discount. But it may require a hard credit pull, which some customers may not want.
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.
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.
Abode provides a decent amount of options with its home automation systems, with hardware manufactured by the company along with third-party integration options.
You have a 30-day trial period if you don’t like Abode, which means you can get your money back if you aren’t happy with the service. You are responsible for a shipping fee and $25 fee to cancel the plan though.
Abode tends to have lower upfront and equipment costs compared to most companies, which is a plus if you’re on a budget.
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.
The lower tier packaged bundles aren’t as generous as some other companies. They only come with one motion and door sensor, so if you are outfitting a larger home, the bill can get pricey.
Although the company is currently developing an outdoor camera, it has not been put on the market yet for consumers to purchase.
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).