7 Best Home Security Monitoring of 2020

If you want extra eyes on your home at all times, then nothing beats professional home security monitoring.
  • Most Popular
    Read Full Review
    3 out of 5 overall
  • Best Monitoring
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    3 out of 5 overall
  • Best Professionally Installed
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    4.5 out of 5 overall
  • Best Customer Service
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    4.5 out of 5 overall
  • Best DIY Installation
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    3.25 out of 5 overall

It seems like new self-monitored security systems pops up every other day. But do you really keep your eyes glued to your smartphone every second, 24/7? Even the most serious phone addicts have to sleep now and then. And when you do, you want to know that someone’s still watching your alarm system.

Professional monitoring costs more than self-monitored security options, but we think it’s worth it. When someone else is always monitoring your system, you can set down your phone for the night and rest easy. Check out our top picks for the best professionally monitored systems out there.

Compare best home security monitoring companies of 2020
Security companyMonitoring priceInstallation typeSmart home integrationsDetails
ADT$36.99–$62.99/mo.ProfessionalYesView Plans
Brinks$29–$39/mo.DIYYesView Plans
Vivint$29.99–$44.99/mo.ProfessionalYesView Plans
Frontpoint$44.99–$49.99/mo.DIYYesView Plans
Link Interactive$30.99–$44.99/mo.DIYYesView Plans
SimpliSafe$14.99–$24.99/mo.DIYLimitedView Plans
Cove$14.99–$24.99DIYLimitedView Plans

Data effective 2/1/20. Offers subject to change.

1. ADT: Most popular

ADT has several different monitoring centers, so you know someone is always watching your system.

ADT touchscreen control panel and sensors

Source: ADT 

Why we chose ADT

Everyone knows the name “ADT,” and for good reason. It’s one of the oldest security companies around, and it has ultra-reliable professional monitoring with multiple monitoring centers spread across the country. (Plus, professional installation.)

Plus, if you opt for an ADT Command plan (formerly ADT Pulse), then you get a ton of home automation options, and support for security cameras.

ADT monitoring plan prices and details
PlansPriceMobile app accessCamera supportDetails
Complete Monitoring Bundle$36.99/mo.NoNoView Plans
Premium Bundle II + Cellguard$44.99/mo.NoNoView Plans
ADT Command Tier I Remote Access$52.99/mo.YesNoView Plans
ADT Command Tier II Video Security$58.99/mo.YesYesView Plans
ADT Command Tier III Video Security + Home Automation$62.99/mo.YesYesView Plans

Data effective 2/1/20. Offers subject to change.

Redundant monitoring centers

We know, “redundant monitoring centers” sounds like gibberish. But it just means that if one ADT monitoring center goes down (because of a hurricane, an earthquake, or just your garden variety blackout), then there are still others that are active and watching your system.

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Fun fact
ADT has six total monitoring centers. For comparison, Vivint has two.

Full home automation integrations

Once you’ve got your monitoring service all set, why not embrace the future and have some fun with smart home devices?

ADT’s Command plans are more expensive than its basic security packages, but Command comes with way cooler features, including smart home integration. You can add smart lights, locks, and thermostats and control them all right from your smartphone with the ADT Control app.

Heads Up icon
Want security cameras?
If you want to add security cameras to your system then you’ll need to subscribe to an ADT Pulse plan.

The downside: pricey ADT Command plans

If you just want a basic alarm system with that good professional monitoring, then there are some ADT systems with affordable monitoring costs.

But if you want to opt for one of the ADT Command systems, with all the cool home automation features (plus support for security cameras), then it will definitely cost you.

ADT is one of the most expensive security companies we’ve ever seen for home automation and mobile support. But if you want all the best stuff, it might be worth it to you.

Want to learn more? Check out our ADT review.

2. Brinks: Best Monitoring

Brinks uses four different channels to contact you if something triggers your security system.

Source: Brinks

Why we chose Brinks

Brinks has pretty standard alarm equipment, but it does have four different ways to contact you if something triggers your system: call, text, email, and live voice assist through your control panel.

Brinks monitoring plan prices and details
PlansPriceMobile controlCamera supportDetails
Home Complete$29/mo.YesNoView Plans
Home Complete with Video$39/mo.YesYesView Plans

Data effective 2/1/20. Offers subject to change.

Multiple alert routes

If something (or someone) sets off your alarm system, Brinks will try to contact you and your emergency contacts through whichever method you’ve set up. The nice thing is, you get to choose: call, text, or email. That way, you can pick the route you’re most likely to see quickly and be able to answer.

Brinks can also talk to you through your control panel, which is a good way to cut down on false alarm issues.

Full home automation options

Brinks equipment and sensors might be standard, but it still has all the home automation integrations we expect. You can add in smart devices like lights and locks and control them along with the rest of your Brinks system.

The downside: contract required

Once again, we’re here with the bad contract news. Brinks doesn’t offer a no-contract option, or even options for contract length, so be prepared to sign on for three years.

Want to learn more? Check out our Brinks review.

3. Vivint: Best professionally installed

Vivint combines a professionally monitored system with lots of smart home integration options.

Vivint control panel sitting on a side table

Source: Vivint

Why we chose Vivint

Vivint used to be like that popular kid at your high school: beautiful but unattainable. It offered great equipment and an array of different sensors, but at higher costs than you’d pay for other systems.

In the past couple years though, Vivint has come down to our level. It still has that same great equipment, but with more flexible monitoring and payment options that make it way more accessible.

Vivint monitoring plan prices and details
PlansPriceMobile controlCamera supportDetails
Smart Security$29.99/mo.YesNoView Plans
Smart Home$39.99/mo.YesNoView Plans
Smart Home Video$44.99/mo.YesYesView Plans

Data effective 2/1/20. Offers subject to change.

Contract not required

Vivint is one of the first big-name security companies we’ve seen to not require you to sign a contract.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have contracts. If you can’t or don’t want to pay for all your equipment and sensors up front, then Vivint will have you sign on for a 42- or 60-month contract (which is long) so you can pay for your system over time.

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Heads up
Vivint’s systems require professional installation, which comes with an additional fee.

Mobile app access with all plans

Most security companies make you subscribe to one of its higher-tier monitoring plans before it’ll give you smartphone control over your alarm system. Vivint is one of a few companies that gives you mobile app access even with its lowest-priced plan. We love that.

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Pro tip
Even though you get smartphone control with Vivint’s lowest-priced plan, you do not get home automation integrations—or support for security cameras—unless you subscribe to the Smart Home or Smart Home Video plan.

The downside: pricey equipment

Vivint’s monitoring plans might be well-priced, but its equipment and sensors are still pretty spendy. Plan on spending over $500 for just your basic starter pack.

Like we said, you can finance that cost over time. But you still might find lower equipment prices elsewhere.

Want to learn more? Check out our Vivint review.

4. Frontpoint: Best customer service

Frontpoint offers easy DIY installation backed up by reliable customer support and monitoring.

Frontpoint security equipment

Source: Frontpoint

Why we chose Frontpoint

Frontpoint gives you all the benefits of traditional security companies (reliable monitoring, home automation options) but lets you skip those pesky installation fees. You can install Frontpoint systems yourself.

Frontpoint monitoring plan prices and details
PlansPriceMobile controlCamera supportDetails
Interactive$44.99/mo.YesNoView Plans
Ultimate$49.99/mo.YesYesView Plans

Data effective 2/1/20. Offers subject to change.

Easy ordering and installation

Unlike some other big-name security companies, Frontpoint lets you order its systems online. Choose your package, your monitoring plan, and any extra window sensors or devices you need, and you can check out from the comfort of your internet browser.

Plus, once you get your system, it’s easy to set up. Frontpoint ships you everything in a box, and all the devices attach with sticky strips that won’t even hurt your paint. No tools required.

Good customer support

Frontpoint always gets top marks for customer service.1 Even so, we’d love to see Frontpoint offer 24/7 customer support (it currently doesn’t). But it helps that Frontpoint does have a ton of user guides, FAQs, videos, and support articles listed on its website.2

The downside: pricey monitoring

Frontpoint’s monthly monitoring prices are a bit up there compared to the competition. We expect to pay less than $40 for an average professional monitoring plan and Frontpoint’s lowest plan starts at $44.99 per month.

That said, Frontpoint’s equipment is pretty affordable and it constantly offers 20% off, so a Frontpoint system could still save you some cash over time. Frontpoint also gives you a 30-day trial period, which is a way more generous timeframe than a lot of other companies.

Want to learn more? Check out our Frontpoint review.

5. Link Interactive: Most flexible

Link Interactive has multiple contract options and responsive customer service.

Why we chose Link Interactive

Link Interactive has reliable security equipment and sensors on par with what you’d get from Brinks. But Link Interactive backs up its systems with multiple contract options and super responsive customer support.

Link Interactive monitoring plan prices and details
PlansPriceMobile controlCamera supportDetails
Standard$30.99/mo.NoNoView Plans
Gold$39.99/mo.YesNoView Plans
Elite$44.99/mo.YesYesView Plans

Data effective 2/1/20. Offers subject to change.

Fast support response times

If you ask Link Interactive a question or contact its support team with an issue, you’ll get a response—and fast. We were especially impressed by Link Interactive’s email response time—we heard back from them in less than 20 minutes. .

Not too shabby, especially for the phone-phobic among us.

Multiple contract options

Unlike most other traditional security companies, Link Interactive doesn’t make you sign a contract. If you pay for all your equipment at the start, you can go month-to-month with Link Interactive’s monitoring.

But if you don’t have a few hundred or thousand) bucks to shell out, you can finance your equipment instead. And in that case, Link Interactive offers more contract length options than we usually see. You can choose from a 1-, 2-, or 3-year contract.

The downside: limited customer support hours

Link Interactive doesn’t currently offer 24/7 customer support. If you want to reach its customer service team, you’ll have to catch them during them during the day. That’s not so great if your control panel won’t stop beeping at 2 a.m. and you can’t figure out why.

Want to learn more? Check out our Link Interactive review.

6. SimpliSafe: Best DIY installation

SimpliSafe offers simple but effective equipment backed up by optional professional monitoring.

SimpliSafe hub and sensors

Source: SimpliSafe

Why we chose SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe isn’t going to win any awards for most innovative equipment, but it is affordable and it works well. We’d like to see more home automation integrations from SimpliSafe, but we do like how you can get professional monitoring for (relatively) cheap.

SimpliSafe monitoring plan prices and details
PlansPriceMobile controlCamera supportDetails
Standard$14.99/mo.NoN/AView Plans
Interactive$24.99/mo.YesN/AView Plans

Data effective 2/1/20. Offers subject to change.
* SimpliSafe cameras do not require a monitoring plan.

Affordable equipment and monitoring

SimpliSafe equipment is simple (didn’t see that one coming, did you?), but it’s also super affordable. And the same goes for its monitoring plans. You’ll pay half as much for a professional monitoring plan from SimpliSafe as you would for most other security companies on this list.

Plus, SimpliSafe has a bunch of different sensors available so you monitor everything from smoke to carbon monoxide to floods.

On contracts or fees

You don’t have to sign any contracts with SimpliSafe. You can cancel your professional monitoring whenever you feel like it and you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg for cancellation fees.

SimpliSafe doesn’t have activation or installation fees, either, which we appreciate.

The downside: limited home automation

SimpliSafe doesn’t have many home automation integrations yet. There are a few options, like Amazon Alexa and Nest thermostats, but if you install third-party smart devices, they won’t work with SimpliSafe systems.

Want to learn more? Check out our SimpliSafe review.

7. Cove: Best for basics

Cove offers affordable equipment with robust professional monitoring features.

Source: Cove

Cove is relatively new among home security companies, but we’ve already been impressed with its equipment and affordability. Cove matches SimpliSafe pricing, which means you can get professional monitoring on the cheap.

Cove monitoring plan prices and details
PlansPriceMobile controlCamera supportDetails
Basic$14.99/mo.NoNoView Plans
Plus$24.99/mo.YesYesView Plans

Data effective 2/1/20. Offers subject to change.

Affordable equipment and monitoring

Just like SimpliSafe, Cove doesn’t charge a fortune to secure your home. Everything from its monitoring plans to its actual equipment and sensors are among the best-priced you’ll see. Especially because we think Cove’s equipment is pretty top-notch (and better quality than SimpliSafe’s).

No contracts

Also like SimpliSafe, Cove doesn’t make you sign any contracts or agreements. You can cancel professional monitoring if you need/want to with no penalties.

The downside: limited home automation

We’d like to see Cove come out with more home automation integrations. Right now, your options are pretty limited. Cove doesn’t support Z-Wave, Zigbee, or IFTTT, and you can’t add in third-party devices.

Want to learn more? Check out our Cove review.

Recap

We always recommend professional monitoring for your alarm system, since most people don’t (or can’t) keep their eyes on their smartphones every second of every day. Professional monitoring gives you an extra set of eyes on your house, no matter where you are—and these are the best security companies to get it from.

ADT: Most reliable monitoring – ADT doesn’t rely on a single monitoring center—it has multiple locations across the country, so you know someone’s always watching your system. Plus, ADT Command plans gives you tons of home automation integrations, albeit at a high price.

Brinks: Best monitoring alerts – We like that Brinks can respond to an alarm through text, email, phone, or live assistance through its panel. But, of course, you will have to sign a contract for monitoring.

Vivint: Best home automation – We love Vivint’s equipment and its no-contract monitoring option. Just know that its equipment does get pricey.

Frontpoint: Best customer service – Frontpoint lets you skip professional installation fees with its DIY system. Just be prepared to sign a contract for professional monitoring.

Link Interactive: Best customization – Link Interactive has fast support response times and friendly service. As for monitoring pricing, it’s pretty mid-range.

SimpliSafe: Best DIY installation – SimpliSafe’s equipment and monitoring are both super affordable, and it doesn’t make you sign any contracts. Just don’t expect a lot of home automation options.

Cove: Best budget pick – Cove’s equipment and pricing are just as cheap as SimpliSafe’s—and you get better equipment. But as with SimpliSafe, home automation integrations are lacking.

Do you use a professionally monitored alarm system? Have you tried a self-monitored alarm system in the past? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Sources

  1. Trustpilot, “Frontpoint
  2. Frontpoint, “Support