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Best Home Alarm Systems in the UK 2023
We have a few suggestions for anyone who lives in the United Kingdom and is searching for a home security system. Our selections emphasize no contracts, multiple monitoring options, easy installation, and use in this UK home alarm review.
SimpliSafe takes the top spot for the best value for most users in the UK, but we have four other selections as well.
What to look for in a security system
It’s not always intuitive to know what you need in a security system, especially if you’ve never bought one before. We’ve compiled a few features to look for.
Security system features for flat tenants and homeowners in the UK:
- Options for both professional and self-monitoring
- No contracts
- No professional installation required
- Varied equipment selection
These are our ideal features for security in the UK, though not every system we recommend in this piece has all of them.
We know housing in the UK can get mind-bogglingly expensive, especially in cities like London, which means that people might be moving frequently or looking for ways to pinch a few pennies. We’ve featured flexible, low-price options that won’t require professional installation or contract cancellation.
But we also threw in a little something for everyone. Some readers may rent a townhome, own a bungalow in the countryside, or have another, non-flat housing situation.
SimpliSafe: Best value
SimpliSafe is an easy-to-install system that has lots of options and isn’t going to leave you skint. There are no contracts, and the brand doesn’t charge much per month.
But the system hasn’t got much home automation, so if you go with SimpliSafe, you’ll need to kiss your smart home dreams goodbye.
You won’t break the bank buying a SimpliSafe system. Don’t get us wrong; even a starter kit is still going to cost you a couple hundred pounds, and that’s without factoring in the monthly monitoring fees.
But compared to loads of other home security companies, SimpliSafe keeps its prices pretty low. It also guarantees to lock your prices in for the next two years (with Pro) or even life (with Premium Pro).
SimpliSafe also sells several different systems at different price points. Those prices change all the time due to SimpliSafe sales and market rate adjustments, so we won’t include them. Just know that you have your choice of the following systems:
- The Foundation (4 pieces)
- The Starter (5 pieces)
- The Essentials (6 pieces)
- The Warwick (11 pieces)
- The Windsor (12 pieces)
- The Tower (7 pieces)
- The Bamburgh (13 pieces)
- The Edinburgh (13 pieces)
The kit you choose will include a base station plus some combination of key fobs, entry sensors, motion sensors, glass break sensors, panic buttons, or even SimpliCams (SimpliSafe’s indoor cameras). The exact equipment and number of each piece will depend on the kit you choose.
You also have the option of creating your own custom system.
Once you’ve chosen your system, you’ll choose your monitoring plan. You technically needn’t buy a monitoring plan for your SimpliSafe system if you don’t want to. But without the monthly monitoring plan, SimpliSafe functions only as a local alarm. That means if someone triggers your alarm, the siren will go off and make a loud noise, but, er ... that’s about it.
SimpliSafe is so easy to set up that a clever child could do it.
You just have to plug in the base station and follow the directions on the keypad. Even the sensors are super easy to install—they come with sticky tape you can attach just about anywhere.
If you need to adjust a SimpliSafe sensor after you already stuck it on, don’t worry about the paint on your walls. When we tested the sensors, they didn’t damage any paint when we pulled them off and stuck them back on. That makes this system ideal for rented flats or homes.
For the most part, SimpliSafe steers away from a lot of smart home stuff. That’s excellent for purposes of simplicity, but it’s not-so-excellent if you want a complete smart home suite in your home. SimpliSafe makes a few of its own smart home devices, like a lock, but it offers very little in the way of third-party automation.
We’d love the ability to add Z-Wave or Zigbee devices to our SimpliSafe system to fill in the technology gaps the system doesn’t cover. Fingers crossed that SimpliSafe eventually adds on this functionality.
Prices as of 08/23/2023. Offers subject to change.
Yale Sync Smart Home: Editor's choice
The name “Yale” sounds a bit smarmy, but the Sync Smart Home package is a marvelous choice if you want a simple, smart system with geolocation services. But sadly, you can’t get professional monitoring if you use it, and third-party automation is limited.
Yale’s Sync Smart Home Starter Kit actually costs less than all of SimpliSafe’s equipment packages. It includes an external siren, a door/window sensor, a keypad, and a wireless motion detector.
And the 14-piece All-in-One Kit, which features multiple sensors, a camera, and a key fob, is only some £50 more than the 13-piece SimpliSafe kit.*
*Amazon.com List Price (as of 08/23/2023 1:30 MST)
Once you’ve purchased your Yale equipment, you have full access to the mobile app and can control your system from anywhere with just your smartphone. The Yale Sync system makes it super easy to arm and disarm your system—you don’t even have to touch your smartphone or pull out your key fob.
Also, as long as you have your phone with you, the Yale system knows when you leave home or arrive back after work. It can arm and disarm your system based on your location, so you never even have to think about using your security system.
Yale’s geolocation service can really help cut down on false alarms. If your system knows when you’re home and away, you’re less likely to accidentally trigger an alarm yourself.
Remember, Yale is an entirely self-monitored system. It’s all free—no monthly self-monitoring fees here. Hooray for saving money, but the lack of professional monitoring is an issue if you’re going on holiday for more than a few days.
As for the system itself, Yale’s equipment is affordable. And it makes a statement with its bright yellow siren that affixes to the outside of your home. Potential intruders will know you have a security system in place and (hopefully) steer clear of your house entirely.
Yale also has a decent array of accessories for you to choose from.
- Door/window sensor
- Motion detector
- Pet-friendly motion detector
- Key fob
- Panic button
- Heat/smoke alarm
- Smart plug
You can add up to 40 devices to your Sync Smart Home system, which means you can create quite the smart home setup. Yale’s third-party integration is a bit limited, similar to SimpliSafe. But it does work with Philips Hue for some custom lighting action.
Yale does have some other security kits available, such as its Intruder Alarms kits and its EF-Series Alarms kits. If you’re not sure what the difference is, you’re not alone. The different names can make it very confusing to know which one to choose.
Verisure: Best traditional option
If you’re not a fan of DIY systems and would like something more traditional, we suggest Verisure. Verisure calls itself “Europe's leading provider of professionally monitored smart alarms.”¹ The company offers security systems complete with fire and water protection and smart home capabilities.
Unfortunately, due to Verisure’s penchant for custom systems, you won’t know the upfront or monthly costs until after a consultation. That’s not unusual for a professionally installed system, but it’s still annoying.
We suspect that Verisure’s prices are significantly higher than SimpliSafe’s. Most traditional systems’ monitoring services cost twice as much as DIY systems’ and require contracts. You can also expect to see an equipment price hike as well.
Although Verisure doesn’t provide an onsite catalogue like most security companies, its home page mentions enough smart home and security equipment to rival Yale. The list includes the following:
- Control panel
- Motion sensors
- “Break and enter” sensors
- Anti-jamming technology
- Fog barriers
- Smoke detectors
- Water detectors
- Climate detectors
- Smart cameras
- Smart plugs
Verisure’s fog barrier, AKA ZeroVision, spews fog to hinder burglars. Wicked, yeah?
Not all of these devices are attainable in all of Verisure’s markets, but you should be able to find out what’s available to you during your Verisure consultation.
Finally, home automation. We know Verisure works with Yale smart locks, but it doesn’t seem to work with any leading smart speakers or protocols. You’ll have to rely on all-Verisure gadgets.
Abode: Best self-monitoring option
If self-monitoring tickles your fancy, we suggest Abode. Abode has no contracts and incredibly flexible monitoring options, including self-monitoring. But you won’t get full app support with the cheapest plan. Nor will you have an outdoor camera option.
As with most of the systems on our list, Abode is DIY. It has no contracts, and it’s reasonably priced, although it’s not as inexpensive as SimpliSafe or Yale. You’ll spend around £300 to £400 on Abode starter kits and as much as £14 a month on monitoring.
Abode charges nominal monthly fees for its self-monitoring option. But we generally recommend the Pro Plan so you can enjoy the benefits of professional monitoring.
Like Yale, Abode offers geofencing. It also has a timeline feature, unlimited users, and 7 to 30 days of video storage (depending on your subscription plan).
Abode has a rather lovely spread of equipment, such as the following:
- The Abode gateway/hub with built-in camera
- Door/window sensors
- Mini door/window sensors
- Motion sensors
- Key fobs
- Strips sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Multi sensors (motion, temperature, humidity, light)
- Water leak sensors
- Outdoor sirens
- Panic buttons
- Abode Cams (indoor cameras)
Also, if you’re a smart speaker fanatic, Abode is compatible with so many of them: Echos, Google Homes, Google Nests, Apple HomePods. And the system works with Sonos and Bose, too.
Our only real complaint about Abode equipment is the camera situation. The cameras built into the gateways are a tad bit useless since most people put their security hubs in a closet or utility room. And while the separate indoor cameras are a good addition, without compatible outdoor cameras, the system won’t be useful in some homes.
Netatmo: Best camera-based system
If a security camera is your number-one priority, you’ll be delighted with Netatmo. The striking, incredibly smart camera works with à la carte sensors and sirens to create a security system lite.
But with the small equipment selection and lack of monitoring, Netatmo won’t offer quite as much protection as some pre-packaged systems. And it’ll be initially more expensive than buying a starter kit.
While Netatmo doesn’t require a monthly subscription for camera use (yes, even your storage comes free of charge since you’ll use an SD card), its cameras tend to be more expensive than some entire security packages. And its sensors and other devices don’t come cheap either.
However, you may end up saving more money over time since you won’t pay subscription or monitoring fees.
So what are you paying for? Netatmo has a few variations on its indoor camera. Our favorite is the version with indoor air quality monitoring, which includes temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide, and even noise sensors. And that’s on top of the movement detection and night vision capabilities that come with every camera version.
Netatmo also has a smart outdoor camera with a siren and floodlight. And it sells a video doorbell camera with night vision, two-way audio, and person detection.
To these cameras, you can add any of these Netatmo devices:
- Door and window sensors
- Indoor sirens
- Smoke alarms
- Smart thermostats
- Smart valves
- Smart weather stations
- Smart air quality monitors
These’ll offer you valuable information about the general health and safety of your home, not just potential intruders. But on the flip side, Netatmo doesn’t offer some typical security devices, like panic buttons, key fobs, or glass break sensors, which may leave some gaps in your security.
As for compatibility, Netatmo devices work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. So you’re covered on smart speakers, but you won’t be able to connect to Z-Wave or Zigbee devices. You may not need them, though, with Netatmo’s smart offerings.
Recap: Best alarm systems in the UK
Now that we’ve gone through multiple systems available in the UK that will meet different price, monitoring, and equipment needs, let’s review.
SimpliSafe is our top recommendation overall for its affordability and simple installation, followed by Yale for its low prices, features, and connecting devices.
- SimpliSafe: Best value. SimpliSafe offers affordable equipment and professional monitoring at a pretty low price. But its home automation options are nearly nonexistent.
- Yale: Editor’s choice. Yale Sync has geolocation and connects with loads of Yale devices. You’ll have to say goodbye to professional monitoring, though.
- Verisure: Best traditional option. Verisure is an excellent, more traditional European option, but it lacks transparency.
- Abode: Best self-monitored. Abode offers several different options for professional or self-monitoring. This system just lacks outdoor cameras.
- Netatmo: Best camera-based system. Netatmo’s unique setup revolves around its cameras and includes multiple environmental sensors. However, the equipment will cost you hundreds of pounds.
But if you don’t like any of these options, there are still tons of systems out there. Look at our Best Home Security Systems—many of those options are UK-friendly.
We compare and rank home security systems based on five key factors:
- Smart home integrations
- Security cameras
- Customer experience
We also test some of the systems we recommend or read user reviews, which gives us some experience to draw on when determining where in a list a system should go. For instance, we’ve spent some personal time with the SimpliSafe and Abode equipment, which gives us some insight we might not have otherwise.
UK alarm systems FAQ
You can get other well-known burglar alarm names like ADT, Vivint, Frontpoint, and more in the UK.
Ring Alarm is now available in the United Kingdom as well, but it’s not as good of a deal there as it is in the States. The UK version offers assisted monitoring but not professional monitoring.
To the best of our understanding, “assisted monitoring” means the company will contact you, and you’ll contact the authorities. That’s a little better than self-monitoring in terms of always having a watchful eye on your system … but we’re not sure it’s worth the eight pounds a month Ring is charging.
If you feel differently, though, it's easy enough to get a Ring Alarm Security Kit on Amazon.
No. A home security camera isn’t a requirement for a brilliant alarm system. In most cases, you should be all set with a basic home alarm system, as long as it has important features like motion detection and cellular backup.
Still, security cameras can provide an extra layer of protection and security for your home and it certainly doesn't hurt to include one.
No, alarm monitoring isn’t a necessity, especially if you can’t afford it. But if you can, we encourage you to look into it. It's better to have professional monitoring and never need it than not to have it and realise it could have prevented a crime.
Self-monitoring can be exhausting since you’re the last and only line of defense when intruders arrive. Professional monitoring ensures an extra layer of protection and can give you peace of mind. With that in mind, we always recommend a monitored alarm where possible.