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The Best Home Security Systems, According to Experts

Want to feel safer no matter where you live? Top security experts share their picks for the best home security systems.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Do I need a home security system?

According the most recent data from the FBI, more than a million burglaries occur each year in the United States. If that statistic isn’t enough to make you take a look at the best home security systems, then what will?

According to Jason Keyz, CEO of Epic Alarm, every home needs a security system. “Even for those who say they are always home or have a dog, the truth is, you’re not always home. Even if you make a 30-minute run to a local grocery store or take your dog for a walk, you’re not home. Not to mention the fact that when you are, you might be sleeping,” he explains. “I consider an alarm system as someone watching your home when you aren’t. For those who live alone or are in high-risk professions, the answer further becomes: Yes, you absolutely should have a monitored alarm system.”

What’s the right security system for you?

“At the end of the day, the right solution for you should ultimately be based on your budget, your skills with setting up technology, and your risk profile,” Keyz says.

You should also take your property and lifestyle into consideration. Where do you live? Are you looking for the best home security systems for apartments or a stand-alone house? Do you need to mind your budget? Then you should consider the best home security devices without monthly fees. Do you receive a lot of packages? You might want to look into the safest smart doorbells. It’s also essential to read up on products FBI agents use to secure their homes, such as the best diversion safes.

How we chose the best home security systems

We spoke with several home security experts to find out what the best home security systems are for every need, home, and budget. We also cross-referenced that information with online user reviews to get a fuller picture of the pros and cons of each. Here’s how to find the best home security systems to protect you and your family, along with our top picks for your specific needs.

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Best for a small home or condo

ADT 7-Piece Starter Kit

One of the secrets your home security system installer won’t tell you? You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional for install. ADT makes one of the best home security systems, and it features DIY installation. The ADT 7-Piece Starter Kit has all of the essentials at an affordable price, including a graphite hub, one motion sensor, three entry sensors, an ADT yard sign, and ADT security window stickers. You can also upgrade it by adding cameras or sensors. Plus, you can monitor it yourself or have it professionally monitored by ADT.

Pros:

  • Easy self-installation
  • Professional monitoring available

Con:

  • Hub is a bit large for very small spaces

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Rd Ecomm Google Nest Cam 1080p Plug In Indoor Security Camera Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Android-compatible system

Google Nest Cam 1080p Plug-In Indoor Security Camera

Looking for an Android-compatible system? Then go with the Google Nest Cam 1080p Plug-In Indoor Security Camera. It’s affordable and easy to install, and it has night vision. The footage is stored in the cloud, and the system easily connects to an app installed on your Android phone. And here’s a home security tip: You can set it to send notifications—having that info at your fingertips could save your house from a break-in.

Pros:

  • Won’t break the bank
  • Works for all smartphones
  • Easy setup

Con:

  • Some features are only included with a monthly subscription.

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Best DIY system for a larger home

Swann SecureAlert System

Looking for the best home security systems with lots of cameras? With the Swann SecureAlert System, you won’t have to choose where to install security cameras because it comes with plenty. These all-weather cameras have features you generally find on professional models, including patent-pending technology with heat-, movement-, and people-detection systems that trigger red and blue flashing lights, bright spotlights, and sirens to send burglars running. It also sends push notifications to your phone. Better yet, the camera gets a clear picture in 4K video, with both local and cloud recording.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t require professional installation
  • Alters your phone of any suspicious activity immediately

Con:

  • Some users had trouble connecting it to Wi-Fi.

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Rd Ecomm Simplisafe 5 Piece Wireless Home Security System W Hd Camera Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Best portable system

SimpliSafe 5-Piece Wireless Home Security System

This security system lets you pick it up and take it with you. “With an apartment, it’s important to keep in mind that you probably don’t want anything hardwired because you may not be allowed to drill holes. So you’ll want a wireless option,” says Kate Ward of Security Nerd. “You may also want a DIY system because then you will likely be able to take the equipment to your next place.” For a higher price, you can get the security system plus an outdoor camera. Just be aware that your wireless security system can be hacked and, as with other security systems, the camera could be used in a swatting attack.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t require professional installation
  • Affordable
  • You can take it with you when you move.

Con:

  • Best for smaller homes/apartments, as the sensor may not reach far

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Best for families with babies and children

Amcrest 1080P Wi-Fi Camera

If you’re looking for a small camera to make sure your children are safe or to quietly monitor their caregivers, opt for the Amcrest 1080P Wi-Fi Camera. It’s easy to stash on a shelf, and you can check in at any time. See something suspicious? You can even share images using the app. With two-way audio, motion detection, and the ability to zoom as well as tilt the camera, it’s a smart purchase to keep the youngest members of your family safe. You can even use it as a pet camera to keep an eye on your furry friends.

Pros:

  • Available in black and white styles
  • Alexa compatible

Con:

  • Unlike traditional baby monitors, it doesn’t include a physical monitor—just the phone app.

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Best smart lock

The Schlage Camelot Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt

If you want others, such as a dog walker or babysitter, to have easy access to your home without sharing your keys, the Schlage Camelot Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt is a good investment and a smart appliance that is totally worth it. It’s also a good product to ensure your safety every day.

“Smart home technology continues to rise in popularity as homeowners choose connected devices that not only make day-to-day activities more convenient but also make them feel as secure as possible,” says Rob Martens, chief innovation and design officer at Allegion. “The Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt, which pairs with Amazon and Ring products, offers a seamless access experience as you’re coming and going—and whether you’re home or away, it can help give you peace of mind that the place and people you love are safe.”

Pros:

  • Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Ring
  • Available in several styles and finishes
  • Easy-to-use smartphone app

Con:

  • Setup may be a little tricky

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Best nonelectric deterrent

Sheenwang “24-Hour Video Surveillance” Lawn Sign

Could protecting your home really be this simple? Although a sign isn’t the same thing as a full security system, James Kerr, founder and CEO of Boss Security Systems, says it’s important to use all the tools you can to deter criminals from breaking into your home. Yard signs let burglars know it’s a bad idea to break in because they will be caught. You don’t even need to use a sign from the same home security system you really have—and actually, putting up a matching sign is one of the things home security experts never do in their own homes.

Pros:

  • Under $10
  • Virtually no installation—just stick it in the ground!

Con:

  • Doesn’t replace a full security system

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Best outdoor camera

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

Do you live on a dark road? Don’t let intruders hide: A motion-detecting floodlight is one of the best ways to prevent burglars, and this one is equipped with a camera too. When the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is activated, the lights turn on, shining with a brightness of up to 3,000 lumens. This not only scares away criminals but also makes it easier for you to pull in and out of your driveway at night. You can also set up the system to automatically turn on a siren during an event, or you can start the siren from your smartphone.

Pros:

  • Wireless
  • Two-way audio
  • Wide view and weather resistant

Con:

  • Need to purchase a separate Arlo charging cable

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Best for preventing package theft

Ring Doorbell

With the increase in online ordering, package theft is a major problem today, so most security experts, including Neal Scott of Alarm Websites, recommend front door cameras like Ring. “A motion detector will notify your smartphone of an approaching person. You can also talk with the visitor, and video is saved for identification,” he says. “Ring has an outstanding app that allows you to share video snippets with your neighbors who also have Ring. Many police agencies have programs that allow you to connect your video to them.” You’ll also be able to look back to see who left that suspicious package.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Smartphone compatible

Con:

  • Doesn’t work with your existing doorbell chime; you’ll need to use Ring Chime or Alexa

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Best wireless system

Blink Indoor Wireless Security Camera

The Blink Indoor Wireless Security Camera is a great way to deter people who already have access to your home—such as nannies, cleaning professionals, and other workers—from stealing your things. One of the best home security systems on the market, the Blink home security kit is available with a single camera or up to five cameras. Go ahead and order a few—you never know the strange things that will end up being caught on home-security cameras.

Pros:

  • Easy to self-install
  • Affordably priced starting at under $80
  • Two-way audio

Con:

  • Limited continuous live view

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Best for no hidden costs

EufyCam 2 Pro 2-Camera Security System

Looking to save on monthly fees? The EufyCam 2 Pro 2-Camera Security System is a one-time purchase that’s great for avoiding hidden costs. Plus, it can record up to 16 GB of (2K resolution) footage, so there’s no need to sign up for a monthly service plan. The camera starts recording when the motion detection feature is set off.

Pros:

  • Wireless self-installation
  • Versatile indoor or outdoor use
  • Works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa

Con:

  • Battery life may not last a year as claimed

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Rd Ecomm Canary Flex Outdoor Indoor Home Security Camera Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Best for poor weather conditions

Canary Flex Home Security Camera

The Canary Flex is a great flexible camera and one of the best home security systems for locations that have frequent poor weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or extreme heat. This surveillance camera features two-way audio and records clear HD video both day and night. Going without a camera that can hold up is one of the home security mistakes you don’t want to make.

Pros:

  • Versatile indoor or weatherproof outdoor use
  • Wireless or plug-in options

Con:

  • Need to purchase a service plan

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Rd Ecomm Eufy Security Entry Sensor Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Best for homes with multiple entrance points

Eufy Security Entry Sensor

Are you worried about someone breaking into your home through a window? Or do you live in a first-floor apartment? The Eufy Security Entry Sensor can help keep you protected from the many ways an intruder may enter your home. When enabled, a 100-decibel siren will let criminals know they’re making a major mistake. It also sends an alert to your phone.

Pros:

  • Optional monitoring service
  • Smartphone compatible

Con:

  • Motion sensor may be too sensitive

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Best hardwired system

Vivint Security Systems

Looking for the best home security systems that are hardwired? Try Vivint, which has “the best home automation, easy professional installation, and works with Alexa and Nest smart home systems,” says Robert Siciliano, a home security expert with Porch. “This is full home protection, including burglary and environmental protection, and home automation. It uses a radio frequency called Z-Wave, which many other smart home devices use. So you can add other third-party devices to your Vivint system.” These features also make it one of the best security systems for people who are often away from home—don’t forget to set it to keep your home safe while you’re traveling.

Pros:

  • Smartphone integration
  • Works with third-party smart home systems such as Alexa
  • Customized system

Con:

  • Requires professional installation

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Best overall system

ADT

Ward suggests leaving large home security jobs up to the experts with a professionally installed system, like industry leader ADT. “We recommend going with a reputable company that will come to your home and assess your needs. It can be difficult with a larger home to spot all of your trouble spots on your own,” she says.

Pros:

  • Versatile system that meets various needs
  • Professionals will help determine your needs so you don’t miss anything.

Con:

  • Pricier than a DIY option

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Sources:

Amanda Lauren
Amanda Lauren is a design and lifestyle expert who covers all things home for RD and among other publications. When she's not in front of a computer, recording her podcast Bougie Adjacent, or re-arranging furniture, she enjoys Los Angeles with her husband and wrangling their two dogs, Milo and Lulu.