July 24, 2024

Security Pix

Security Pix Your World

The 4 Best Home Security Systems of 2024

4 min read

Achieving peace of mind for your home doesn’t have to be pricey or difficult.

Traditional home security systems often require long contracts and expensive professional installation, but most smart DIY security systems are affordable and easy to install, and they allow you to pay for a monitoring plan only when you want it.

Ring offers two of the best-performing and easy-to-use DIY home security systems we’ve tested: the Ring Alarm Pro and the original Ring Alarm. You can set up and control either system using the same simple smartphone app, and you can customize yours to suit your preferences with a wide range of add-on accessories. Ring also offers more camera and video-doorbell options than any of our other picks, and its monitoring plan is the most comprehensive and one of the least expensive.

Our pick

This system works with almost every type of security accessory, offers options for internet and power backup, and has a built-in Wi-Fi 6 router.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Works With Ring

Ring has the best-performing sensors and devices of any system we tested. It also offers the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to professional monitoring ($20 per month or $200 per year). With that plan, you receive 180 days of video storage, cellular backup, and 3 GB of 24/7 backup internet with the option for more ($3 per 1 GB). The Ring Alarm Pro system is a standout because it also has a built-in Eero Wi-Fi 6 router. That allows you to replace your standard home Wi-Fi router, depending on your service, or even create a wireless mesh network, which can improve your Wi-Fi’s range and speed—a big help for security cameras and other smart-home devices around the house. Ring no longer allows new customers who choose self-monitoring to receive smartphone notifications and arm or disarm the system using the app, so you’ll probably want the monitoring plan (and we don’t really recommend self-monitoring anyway). Ring has halted a controversial program that allowed law enforcement and emergency officials to directly request access to Ring owner videos. Those officials will still be able to view publicly posted video, and also may potentially gain access to user videos through Ring directly via a warrant, or in situations where Ring determines there is a serious, time-sensitive event.

Our pick

The original Ring system is easy to use and inexpensive to set up, and it has more camera add-ons than any of our other picks.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Works With Ring

The Ring Alarm system offers the same great performance as the Ring Alarm Pro does. It’s reliable, it’s fast, and it has an excellent selection of add-ons, including more cameras and doorbells than you can find for any of our other picks. The only difference is that this model does not include a built-in Eero 6 router, but if you already have a mesh network or don’t want one, you can get almost the exact same security system for less money.

Runner-up

This kit is affordable and easy to install and use, and it works reliably. The optional monitoring plan costs the same as the one for our top pick but doesn’t provide video storage.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, August Smart Locks

SimpliSafe is the only one of our picks to offer true self-monitoring, which means you can arm or disarm the system from the app and receive smartphone alerts when a sensor is triggered without having to pay a monthly fee. We strongly recommend paying for professional monitoring, however, and so the good news is that SimpliSafe’s monitoring prices are both competitive and adjustable based on your needs. The company offers a good selection of accessories, including door, smoke, and other sensors, as well as indoor and outdoor video cameras, a doorbell camera, and a smart lock. Other than smart speakers, the only non-SimpliSafe devices this system is compatible with are August locks.

Also great

Abode offers more smart-home integration than any other security system we tested, which allows you to tie it into smart-home devices from different manufacturers.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, Google Home, IFTTT, Zigbee, Z-Wave

Abode is for the smart-home enthusiast who wants a security system that can integrate with smart lighting, thermostats, voice-controlled speakers, and other connected devices—and who doesn’t mind going through the steps to put together that type of setup. Abode supports both Zigbee- and Z-Wave–enabled devices, as well as Amazon Alexa, Apple Home (HomeKit), Google Home, and IFTTT (If This Then That). That type of support comes at a price: We found Abode starter packages, most accessories, and live monitoring to be more expensive than those of our other picks.

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