Best Home Security Monitoring

If you want extra eyes on your home at all times, then nothing beats professional home security monitoring.

Editor's Choice
ADT Shield
4.3 out of 5 stars
Starting from
  • pro
    6-month money-back guarantee
  • pro
    24/7 professional monitoring
  • con
    Expensive monitoring plans
Best Monitoring
Brinks Home
4.5 out of 5 stars
Starting from
  • pro
    Free professional installation
  • pro
    24/7 professional monitoring
  • con
    Must call for price quotes
Best Professionally Installed
4 out of 5 stars
Starting from
  • pro
    Proprietary security equipment
  • pro
    No contract required
  • con
Best Value
Starting from
  • pro
    Very affordable
  • pro
    Self-monitoring plan
  • con
    Limited smart home options
Best Customer Service
4 out of 5 stars
Starting from
  • pro
    DIY installation
  • pro
    No contracts
  • con
    Expensive equipment and monitoring
Mindy Woodall
Jan 18, 2024
Icon Time To Read9 min read

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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
Security company
Starting monthly price
Installation type
Smart home integrations
ADT$28.99–$59.99 DIY + ProfessionalYes
Brinks Home$39.99–$49.99ProfessionalYes
Vivint$29.99–$44.99 ProfessionalYes
Link Interactive$30.99–$47.99ProfessionalYes

Data effective 1/18/2024. Offers subject to change.

1. ADT: Editor's choice

ADT has several different monitoring centers, so you know you can rely on 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 Video plan then you get a ton of home automation options, and support for security cameras.

ADT monitoring plan prices and details
Starting price
Mobile app access
Smart home support
Basic$28.99/mo. No No
Secure$45.99/mo. No No
Smart$49.99/mo. No Yes
Video$56.99/mo. Yes No
Complete$59.99/mo. Yes Yes

Data effective 1/18/2024. 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 recording your system. And ADT has the most monitors we've seen. For example, Vivint only has two monitoring centers compared to ADT's nine.

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 Video and Complete plans are more expensive than its Basic, Secure, and Smart packages, but Video comes with mobile app access and live remote video. Complete offers you the whole package, including smart home integration and the option to add smart lights, locks, and thermostats and control them all right from your smartphone with the ADT app.

The downside: pricey ADT monitoring 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 monitoring plans 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, especially when compared to companies like SimpliSafe or Cove. 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 Home: Best monitoring

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

Source: Brinks Home

Why we chose Brinks Home

Brinks Home 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 Home monitoring plan prices and details
Mobile control
Camera support
Essential$39.99/mo. Yes No
Complete$44.99/mo.*Yes Yes
Ultimate$49.99/mo.*Yes Yes
* Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Data effective 1/18/2024. Offers subject to change.

Multiple alert routes

If something (or someone) sets off your alarm system, Brinks Home 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 Home 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 Home 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 Home system.

The downside: contract required

Once again, we’re here with the bad contract news. Brinks Home 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 Home review.

3. Vivint: Best professionally installed

Vivint combines a professionally monitored system with lots of smart home integration options.
Vivint Smart Hub mounted on a white wall near a glass door

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
Mobile control
Camera support
Smart Security$29.99/mo.*Yes No
Smart Home$39.99/mo.*Yes No
Smart Home Video$44.99/mo.*YesYes
* Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Data effective 1/18/2024. 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.

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.

Pro tip
Price Tag

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.

Vivint smart home compatibility

Already own an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Nest Hub? Vivint is compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant devices. That means you can save some precious dollars on equipment if you already own a smart home device similar to one offered by Vivint. When a device is compatible with your system, it means that it works directly with Vivint, doesn't require a separate subscription to use, and can be self-installed.

Just keep in mind that you'll need at least the Smart Home plan to integrate your external devices.

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. Plus, Vivin'ts systems require professional installation, which costs $49.

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.

6. SimpliSafe: Best value

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 extremely affordable, and it works well. Plus, SimpliSafe offers a self-monitoring plan. We’d like to see more home automation integrations from SimpliSafe, but we do like how you can get professional monitoring for (relatively) cheap. However, it is possible to control your SimpliSafe system through your Google Home. And you can purchase cameras without a monthly monitoring plan.

SimpliSafe monitoring plan prices and details
Mobile control
View timeline
Unlimited recording
Self Monitoring w/ Camera Recordings$9.99/mo.*NoUp to 10 camerasUp to 5 cameras
Standard$17.99/mo.*No 7 daysNo
Fast Protect$29.99/mo.Yes UnlimitedUp to 10 cameras
* Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Data effective 1/18/2024. 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 almost a third as much for a professional monitoring plan from SimpliSafe as you would for top-tier monitoring plans from most other security companies on this list.

Plus, SimpliSafe has a bunch of different sensors available, so you can 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.

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
Mobile control
Camera support
Interactive$44.99/mo.*Yes Yes
* Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Data effective 1/18/2024. 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 has 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 discounts, 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.
Link Interactive touchscreen control panel

Why we chose Link Interactive

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

Link Interactive monitoring plan prices and details
Mobile control
Camera support
Standard$30.99/mo.No No
Gold$39.99/mo.Yes No
Elite$47.99/mo.Yes Yes

Data effective 1/18/2024. 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.

7. Cove: Best for basics

Cove offers affordable equipment with robust professional monitoring features.
Cove control panel

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
Mobile control
Camera support
Basic$17.99/mo.*No No
Plus$27.99/mo.*Yes Yes
* Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Data effective 1/18/2024. 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.


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 video monitoring gives you that extra peace of mind, no matter where you are—and these are the best security companies to get it from.

ADT: Editor's choice—ADT doesn’t rely on a single monitoring center—it has multiple locations across the country, so you know you can rely on your system. Plus, ADT's Complete plan gives you tons of home automation integrations, albeit at a high price.

Brinks Home: Best monitoring—We like that Brinks Home 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 professional installation—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: Most flexible—Link Interactive has fast support response times and friendly service. As for monitoring pricing, it’s pretty mid-range.

SimpliSafe: Best value—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 for basics—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!


Mindy Woodall
Written by
Mindy Woodall
Mindy has been writing about technology for seven years. She covers all things smart home for, and keeps track of the latest robot gadgets. Mindy attended the University of Utah and her work has been featured on the likes of, Digital Care, Hostfully, and more.

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