a photo of a couple activating their home security system

Protect your home with these 12 smart security systems

From professionally-installed and monitored systems, to DIY smart cameras, it's all here. Smart home security systems which can secure your home on any budget.

Like GearBrain on Facebook
Gearbrain Editor Choice

A lot of fun can be had when building a smart home, especially when it comes to lighting, music, entertainment and voice assistants. But the industry also has a more serious side: home security and surveillance systems which keep you safe 24/7. Here, the smart home industry proves it is a true force for good, and not just an excuse to have Alexa do whatever you ask.

As you might expect, there are a lot of options to explore. Do you want a system that is both installed and monitored by professionals? Would you like to install the equipment yourself, but rely on the pros to monitor it 24/7? Or, if you are on a tighter budget would you like a system that is entirely off-the-shelf and affordable for most consumers, but lacks professional monitoring?

Once you have answered these questions, you next need to consider your budget and work out what brand and system is right for you. Below, we have outlined each of those three system types, plus a section on dedicated home surveillance systems at the end of the article. Within each section, we have highlighting options for you to consider, with a quick note to explain why we feel they rise above their rivals.

Let's get started...

Best Professionally Installed and Monitored Home Security Systems

Photo of a woman activating a home security system

Professionally Installed and Monitored smart home security systems


These options are installed by professionals and monitored remotely 24/7, just like a more traditional alarm system. But what they also have is smart home intelligence, with the ability to work in conjunction with a wide rage of connected devices, like your existing smart thermostat, or a new smart door lock.

This is the most expensive option for smart home alarm systems, but offers a complete solution and often comes from companies with huge experience in the security industry.

Vivint Smart Home - Best for smart home integrations

Vivint smart home security system

The Vivint Smart Home system mixes its own products with many others


Vivint offers a complete smart home security system. It is professionally installed and monitored 24/7, and includes cameras, doorbell cameras and a garage door controller. It also works with a wide range of Z-Wave smart home products from other companies, including Yale door locks, Hue light bulbs, and Nest devices, like thermostats and smoke alarms.

The Vivint smart home system can be controlled from the company's own wall-mounted touchscreen displays, but also has a smartphone app and works via voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant. And the company released this year new upgraded security products including:

  • Spotlight Pro ($249.99): A completely new accessory designed for the new Outdoor Camera Pro and one of the only lighting options in the industry that uses the camera’s technology to activate lighting and dynamically adapt based on what the camera is seeing.
  • Next Generation of the Doorbell Camera Pro ($249.99): An AI-powered video doorbell that intelligently detects packages and actively helps protect them.
  • Next Generation of the Outdoor Camera Pro ($399.99): Vivint’s camera that monitors outside your home, featuring Smart Deter technology to detect and deter lurkers.
  • Next Generation of the Vivint Indoor Camera Pro ($199.99): A camera to monitor what’s going on inside your home featuring a “ping” call-out button that allows you to see and talk with family members or pets right through the camera. Note that this will be available later this year.
What makes these new products so unique is Vivint's new tracking capabilities which includes the company's new Smart Deter technology to detect and deter lurkers outside your home.Read More:

ADT - Best industry-leading experience

a photo of ADT sign outside a home.ADT customers can now purchase\u00a0and have\u00a0Nest smart home products installed by the security companyADT

ADT is over 145 years old and a familiar name in the security industry. If you want a professionally fitted and constantly monitored home security system, there are three basic packages to pick from. 'Traditional' includes monitoring, burglary detection and fire, flood and carbon monoxide detection.

'Control' takes these features and adds a fob for remote arming and disarming, plus control of a range of smart home devices via the ADT Pulse smartphone app. Lights, locks, the garage door and your thermostat can be controlled by the app - remotely or while at home - and the system works with Amazon Alexa.

The 'Video' package takes all of this and adds security cameras which records video when motion is detected. A live view of the camera can be seen at any time through the smartphone app.

Read More:

Control4 - Best comprehensive smart home and security system

a photo of Control4's hub on a wall with a person activating home securityWall-mounted Control4 touchscreenControl4

Another whole-home option, Control4 is a complete smart home and security solution that is designed to work in properties of all sizes, and can either be retrofitted or built into a new construction.

The system is controlled with Control4's own operating system, which lives on touch screens designed to be wall-mounted throughout the home, and is accessible via a smartphone app. This system can be used to play music, cue up Netflix, adjust the HVAC, control window blinds and lighting, view security cameras, and check on door locks.

Control4's system works with devices from a wide range of manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, Dish, Sony, Yale, Kwikset, Sonos, Somfy, Apple and Roku.

Read More:

DIY smart security systems with professional monitoring

The second tier of smart home security systems require DIY installation, but offer the option of professional, 24/7 monitoring.

Abode - Best smart home security system with versatile monitoring plans

a photo of abode iota hub on a counter.abode iota hub is good looking and can be easily positioned within your home on a counter like above.GearBrain

Abode sells several smart home starter kits, each including a wireless gateway to connect everything to, plus a range of sensors for your windows and doors. There is also new security camera, Abode Cam 2 Security Camera which can be used either inside or out. It works on a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection and comes with two-way communications, full color low-light night vision, 121-degree field of view (FOV), 1080p Full HD and 24/7 recorded video capabilities.

Further sensors can be bought separately and added to your system, including ones that alert you to the sound of broken glass, and motion sensors like you'd find in a more traditional home alarm system.

Abode's system works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Alexa, IFTTT and Sonos, plus smart home devices from the likes of Hue, Ecobee, Lifx, Yale, Schlage and more. Professional 24/7 monitoring from Abode starts at $8.33 a month

Buy abode smart home security system here.

Read More:

Abode Iota home security kit review

Abode Cam 2 Review: An Indoor/Outdoor Full HD Security Camera at Attractive Price

Ring Alarm Pro Security Kit with eero Wi-Fi 6 Router - Best DIY Home Security for Ring users

a photo of Ring Alarm Pro base station on a countertopRing Alarm Pro Base Station comes with eero Wi-Fi 6 router built-in.GearBrain

If you already have a Ring Video Doorbell or any of the Ring indoor or outdoor cameras like Ring Floodlight or Stickup Cam, the best DIY smart home security system for you is the Ring Alarm Pro Security kit with eero Wi-Fi 6 router. This DIY system does come with professional monitoring as well as a eero Wi-Fi 6 router built-in to the Alarm Pro Base Station. It also comes with a keypad, four contact sensors (door or window sensors), a motion detector and a range extender. The system can cover up to 1,500 square feet and if you are to add more Ring Wi-Fi extenders, it could increase your coverage area.

The Ring Alarm Pro Security Kit is the first and only DIY home security system we have seen with a built in Wi-Fi 6 router. This router gets connected to your existing modem to form an integrated Wi-Fi Mesh Network that can give you a strong and secure wireless connection throughout your smart home. And there is a backup battery built-in to the base station to help you keep this connection working when the power goes out.

The 8-piece Ring Alarm Pro Security Kit costs only $239.99 and available on Amazon.

Read More:

Buy Ring Alarm Pro Security Kit with eero Wi-Fi 6 router on Amazon

Frontpoint Home Security - Best Device Integrations

a photo of Frontpoint Security touch screen controllerFrontpoint security touch screen controllerFrontpoint

This is another system offering professional-grade features, but which can be installed yourself. Frontpoint Security offers 24/7 monitoring (contract required), and the system gives itself a health check every 60 minutes to make sure everything is working properly. There's a smartphone app, an Apple Watch app, and Amazon Alexa support for voice control, plus a touch screen control panel for arming and disarming the system.

Frontpoint's systems can include door and window sensors, motion sensors, flood and carbon monoxide sensors, and even sensors to detect when the glass of a window is smashed. The Frontpoint app also gives you control of Z-Wave smart home devices like lights and smart plugs. A cellular connection and backup battery complete this system.

Blue by ADT - Best for price and ecosystem

a photo of Blue by ADT 10 piece home security system

Blue by ADT 10 piece home security system is a good DIY smart home security system with professional monitoring if you want it.

Blue by ADT

Launched in January 2020, Blue by ADT is the result of the 146-year-old home security company acquiring Lifeshield in 2019. Unlike ADT's other security products, this is a DIY option for those on a smaller budget, or who want to customize their security.

Blue by ADT offers self-monitoring as standard, but professional monitoring can be added for a monthly fee. The system includes security cameras with facial recognition, and they can hook up with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and IFTTT.

Kits are available, which include a camera plus door, window, motion, glass break, flood and fire sensors to help you build up a complete system.

Simplisafe - Best DIY smart home security system with pro monitoring and customization

a photo of SimpliSafe Security SystemSimpliSafe offering 35% off + a free camera with the purchase of any new systemGearBrain

Simplisafe is a mix-and-match smart home security system with option professional monitoring. Its value lies in its flexibility, and how it continues to work during internet or power outages.

The system is controlled via a central base station, plus there is a wall-mounted keypad for arming and disarming the system, a security camera, and the usual range of door, window, motion, glass and water sensors, plus a panic button and remote key fobs. The company also has indoor cameras, a smart video doorbell and new updated powerful wireless battery powered outdoor security camera with customized motion detection and color night vision to help secure the outside of your smart home. All can be packaged together with the SimpliSafe system that works best for your home.

Simplisafe works with Alexa and Google Assistant enabled devices as well as your Apple Watch to arm you system.

Read More:

Buy SimpliSafe Systems and devices here.

DIY smart security systems without professional monitoring

smart home surveillance systems

Home surveillance systems have become smarter over the years.


The third tier of smart home security systems looks at products suited to buyers on a budget, or who aren't quite ready to invest in a comprehensive, house-wide system with professional monitoring.

Instead, these options are cheaper, simple to install and configure, but rely on your monitoring them yourself.

Wyze - Best Budget DIY Smart Home Security System

a photo of Wyze Sense security kitThe Wyze Sense kit costs just $20GearBrain

You can build a Wyze security system, with an HD camera, door and window sensors, and a motion sensor, for just $40. The camera is half of that cost and Wyze's sensor starter kit is the other $20, making this an excellent low-cost option for buyers on a budget.

There's no waterproofing here, so this is strictly an indoor-only option, but we think Wyze products look good, are easy to set up and use, and the camera's performance is surprisingly good for the price. Wyze products work with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT, but Apple HomeKit support is missing.

Wyze doesn't have the option for professional monitoring. But you can store recorded footage either on a microSD card slotted into the camera, or on the company's free cloud storage platform.

Read More:

Google Nest Protect - Best DIY smart home security experience for Google Assistant Users

a photo of Google Nest Protect smoke and CO AlarmNest Protect smoke and CO alarmGoogle

Although best known for its learning thermostat, Google Nest is a strong contender in the DIY smart home security space. The Nest Protect smoke and CO alarm combined with the new Google Nest indoor and outdoor security cameras with artificial intelligence baked in, and a video doorbell can easily protect and secure your smart home. All are compatible with Google Assistant platform and can be integrated into a viable DIY smart home security system.

The Nest Secure was the heart of the company's original security offering but has been discontinued. This was a central unit for a keypad for arming and disarming the system, plus a key fob. Today, Google offers voice and app control of your Nest Detect sensors for your windows and doors as well as the CO alarm. And if you want to add any other compatible Google Assistant device, you can use the same app you might already use to control a Nest thermostat or view your security cameras, making it a seamless experience.

Total cost for a Google Nest DIY smart home security system will vary depending on the components you add. For instance, if you were to combine Google Nest Doorbell (battery - $179.99), a Nest Cam Outdoor camera - battery ($159.99) and Nest Protect smoke and CO alarm ($119), the total cost would be slightly less than $500. And if you need installation help, HelloTech will be able to see you and install all your devices for slightly more.

Get HelloTech Installation with Google Nest products.

Best Smart Home surveillance systems

Finally, we have security systems which are primarily home surveillance systems, instead of also incorporating sensors and other devices.

These are closer to what you might have installed in your home before the smart home industry really took off. But, what they may lack in smarts and apps, they make up for by having a single focus - to provide home surveillance.

Night Owl - Best smart home surveillance solution

Night Owl security camerasNight Owl offers a range of dedicated home security camerasNight Owl

A camera system specialist, Night Owl sells kits of indoor and outdoor security cameras. Outdoor options stream their footage to a purpose-built control unit and central hard drive, with the option to expand the number of cameras at a later date.

These cameras and smart video doorbell include night vision and person detection, and they work with the Google Assistant, so you can ask for their live video feed to appear on your TV or smart Google/Nest smart display.

Buy Night Owl cameras and systems on Amazon.

Swann - Best unique heat-sensing surveillance system

Swann Security camerasSwann security camerasSwann

is also a dedicated home surveillance company that produces a range of indoor and outdoor security cameras. Some also include integrated floodlights for scaring away trespassers, and some options can even record in Ultra HD 4K video.

Although not part of a broader smart home system, Swann cameras work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and the company also sells a video doorbell.

Read More:

Buy Swann Systems and cameras on Amazon.

Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled devices.

How Vivint Smart Home Hub Workswww.youtube.com

Like GearBrain on Facebook
The Conversation (0)

GearBrain Compatibility Find Engine

A pioneering recommendation platform where you can research, discover, buy, and learn how to connect and optimize smart devices.

Join our community! Ask and answer questions about smart devices and save yours in My Gear.

Top Stories

Weekly Deals