Best Professionally Installed Security Systems 2021

Choose from the top professionally installed systems.
  • Best Professionally Installed
    4 out of 5 overall
    Proprietary equipment
    Expensive
  • Most Popular
    4.25 out of 5 overall
    Longstanding reputation
    Expensive
  • Best Value
    4.5 out of 5 overall
    Affordable monitoring prices
    Low home automation compatibility
  • Best for Bundling Services
    1.75 out of 5 overall
    Voice control
    Low home automation compatibility

Even with the advent of DIY security, professionally installed security systems are still some of the leading options in the home security industry.

Compare best professionally installed security systems
ProviderMonitoring priceConnection typeDetails
Vivint Logo$29.99–$44.99/mo.CellularView Plans
ADT SafeStreets logo$27.99–$62.99/mo.Landline and cellularView Plans
SimpliSafe logo$14.99–$24.99/mo.CellularView Plans
Xfinity by Comcast Logo$30.00–$40.00/mo.CellularView Plans

What to look for in a professionally installed security system

The biggest benefit of a professionally installed system is not having to go it alone. From installation to troubleshooting appointments to 24/7 professional monitoring, you have help in securing your home.

Companies with professional installation also tend to offer packages that roll security and smart home capabilities or security and camera systems into one affordable bundle.

Security system features of professionally installed systems:

  • Professional monitoring
  • Smart home packages
  • Plan and package variety
  • Security cameras
  • Landline options

Professional installation is typically the best fit for users who want a more traditional offering, who don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable installing themselves, and who can make time for the installation.

DIY systems are typically bought online, and you get to choose the equipment type and numbers. Professional systems typically have to be bought through phone calls, and the company may want to do a consultation before giving you a quote. You’ll also likely lose a lot of control as the consultant will likely take the lead in determining how many security cameras, motion sensors, door sensors, window sensors, smart locks, smoke detectors, and other devices you need.

With a professional security solution, your cost in equipment and monitoring are almost guaranteed to be higher than if you bought a DIY security system. But you’ll automatically get professional monitoring, which is a plus you usually have to pay extra for with DIY alarms.

If that sounds hunky-dory to you, then let’s move onto recommendations. If our description gives you pause, a professionally installed system may not be your best bet.

Vivint: Best professionally installed

Vivint Logo
  • Proprietary equipment
  • No contracts necessary
Pro monitoring from $29.99

Vivint’s growing increasingly popular for those who want the best of the best. And we understand why. Vivint’s one of the few large, professionally installed companies that offers its own unique equipment.

The indoor camera, for instance, has a built-in video call function that allows users to call one number (presumably yours, unless you want it set up some other way). At your behest, the video doorbell camera will deter potential package thieves with a sharp sound. And Vivint even offers Car Guard, a feature that will allow you to know where your car is and whether it’s involved in a collision.

And that’s not all there is to love about Vivint. Vivint offers in-system home automation. You don’t have to put together a piecemeal smart home setup. Although, since the system is compatible with Alexa, Google, and Z-Wave, you aren’t just limited to what Vivint sells either. The company also no longer requires lengthy contracts (if you’re able to pay for the equipment up front).

But Vivint is fairly expensive, especially if you have cameras. If you want local video storage, you have to shell out a couple hundred bucks for the Vivint Smart Drive. Plus, for every camera you add after the first one, you’re paying an extra $5 a month on top of the Smart Home Video plan.

When you add it all up, it can cost even more than ADT’s highest-tier plan, and ADT is far from inexpensive.

Basically, you’ll get some cutting-edge equipment and smart home features from Vivint. It won’t be cheap, though.

You also install the system yourself—just peel and stick—so you don’t have to wait around for professional installers to put in or take out your system. Plus, no holes in your wall.

Vivint monitoring plans
PlanMonitoring priceMobile app controlDetails
Smart Security$29.99/mo.

Yes
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Smart Home$39.99/mo.

Yes
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Smart Home Video$44.99/mo.

Yes
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Heads Up icon
Vivint customer service
In the past, Vivint was notorious for some poor customer service decisions. While its ratings and reviews have dramatically improved over the last two or three years, it hasn’t made a complete comeback. Just look at its one star on Yelp.

We recently tested out a Vivint system for ourselves, and the installer, while not perfect, was much better than what we’d expect from past Vivint reviews. That’s an encouraging sign for Vivint’s current and future progress.

ADT: Most popular

ADT SafesStreets logo
  • Longstanding reputation
  • 24/7 video monitoring
Pro monitoring from $27.99/mo.

ADT is probably the most popular home security system out there. It’s miles behind Vivint in innovation, but it makes up for its glacial technical progress by its longstanding reputation.

If you’ve only heard of one security brand, it’s probably ADT. The ADT blue octagon is to home security what a red octagon is to traffic: a warning. Anyone looking for some wrongdoing is sure to think twice about breaking and entering when they see ADT’s symbol.

This almost guaranteed theft-repellant is, in our opinion, the most important benefit ADT has to offer. While we also like the 24/7 video surveillance monitoring option, the Alexa and Google compatibility, and the six-month trial, ADT’s reputation dwarves them all.

In contrast, ADT’s biggest drawback is the cost—one of the highest in the industry.

ADT keeps its equipment prices close to the vest, so we don’t have a full suite of information about the composition or cost of its packages. Our impression is that the packages are pretty expensive, which surprises us since ADT doesn’t make any of its stuff.

But we know all about the monitoring. ADT still offers a (very affordable) landline plan, which is excellent for rural areas and self-proclaimed Luddites.

However, once you get past the landline plans, there are the cell plans. And those add up. You’ll spend a minimum of $45 for the cellular connection and a minimum of $53 for the cellular app. And if you want video monitoring or home automation, too, you could end up paying $60+ a month.

In conclusion, ADT will work hard for you with its longstanding brand. Just know that your compensation to the company is definitely going to reflect that.

ADT monitoring plans
PlanMonitoring priceMobile app controlDetails
Essentials Plan$27.99/mo.

No
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Complete Monitoring Bundle$36.99/mo.

No
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Premium Bundle II + Cellguard$44.99/mo.

No
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ADT Command Tier I Remote Access$52.99/mo.

Yes
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ADT Command Tier II Video Security$58.99/mo.

Yes
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ADT Command Tier III Video Security + Home Automation$62.99/mo.

Yes
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SimpliSafe: Best value

SimpliSafe logo
  • Affordable monitoring prices
  • Wide equipment array
Pro monitoring from $14.99/mo.

You might be thinking, “I thought SimpliSafe was a DIY system!” You’re not wrong. But SimpliSafe also offers a relatively affordable professional-installation option ($79) if you don’t want to do it yourself.

SimpliSafe offers a ton of equipment combination packages, and it typically has a sale where you’ll get a free $99 SimpliCam with your purchase. And the innovative, proprietary equipment is more Vivint than ADT. That makes SimpliSafe an incredible value, equipment-wise.

SimpliSafe also offers reasonable monitoring prices: $15 for the Standard plan and $25 for Interactive. Compared to most professionally installed system prices, that’s quite the steal, especially when you consider that there are no contracts.

You can even kinda, sorta self-monitor your SimpliSafe system for free (although all you can do is look at your camera feed and use a SimpliSafe-compatible smart lock, so we recommend paying for professional monitoring).

What are the downsides? Like some of the other systems in this piece, you have to pay to truly use the SimpliSafe app. Even the Standard professional monitoring plan won’t get you much of anything; you have to pay the highest price possible if you want push notifications or to integrate with most smart home devices.

Compared to other professionally installed systems, SimpliSafe’s highest price is low, low, low, but it’s still frustrating that the $15 option isn’t useful for most people.

SimpliSafe doesn’t integrate with Z-Wave or Zigbee.

Also, SimpliSafe isn’t compatible with Z-Wave or Zigbee, making it impossible to directly connect the system to some of the most popular smart light and lock brands.

So, if you want to pay the lowest prices possible, SimpliSafe is an excellent choice. You just need to pay for the higher-tier monitoring to get the best value, and you may not be able to connect this system directly to all your smart home devices.

SimpliSafe monitoring plans
PlanMonitoring priceMobile app controlDetails
Standard$14.99/mo.

No
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Interactive$24.99/mo.

Yes
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Pin icon
How do I get the professional installation option with SimpliSafe?
Before you add a security package to your cart, select Add Pro Setup for $79.

Xfinity: Best for bundling

Xfinity by Comcast Logo
  • Voice control
  • Service bundling
Pro monitoring from $30.00/mo.

There’s a lot to unpack with Xfinity.

If you live in an area with reasonable Xfinity pricing, and if you already use Xfinity services (such as internet or phone), then you may be pleased as punch with Xfinity Home services.

For starters, if you live in the right area, Xfinity Home will cost less than most Vivint and ADT plans. And the system has built-in voice control, which you don’t typically see. You just have to get an Xfinity X1 DVR through Xfinity/Comcast cable to use the feature.

Also, the system has Zigbee compatibility, which is getting rarer as manufacturers opt for Alexa or Google integration over Z-Wave and Zigbee. With Zigbee, you can connect to Philips Hue and Kwikset smart devices, among others.

But there’s a lot about Xfinity Home we find frustrating. The company doesn’t make its contract length or full equipment prices easily accessible. If you want camera recordings, you have to pay $10 a month plus pay for Xfinity internet, making the system much more expensive than it first appears.

And, even though we like the Zigbee compatibility, we’re still raising our eyebrows at the lack of Alexa or Google integration. The lack of standard smart speaker integration cuts out a lot of possibilities for your smart home as a whole.

Finally, the customer service. We know not everyone has a terrible time with Comcast, but people still find them extremely frustrating. Many Xfinity Home (and other Xfinity service) users have made it clear that the customer service is not up to snuff, at least by their standards.

We see this happen a lot with big companies. For instance, ADT and Vivint tend to have a lot more complaints than smaller companies as they serve a larger number of customers and have more room for error. Still . . . for being a smaller home service, Xfinity Home gets an alarmingly large number of complaints. We can’t discount that, even though we like things about this offering.

In short, if you’re an existing or hopeful Xfinity customer, Xfinity Home could be an excellent deal. You just need to know that you may not get the transparency, automation, or customer service of your dreams.

Xfinity monitoring plans
PlanMonitoring priceMobile app controlDetails
Home Security PlanStarts at $30.00/mo.

Yes
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Home Security Plus PlanStarts at $40.00/mo.

Yes
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Recap: Best professionally installed security systems

  • Vivint puts the smart in smart home, but it costs a lot.
  • ADT has the best-known name in the biz, but it also costs a pretty penny.
  • SimpliSafe has a professional-installation option if you don’t mind the minimal home automation.
  • Xfinity is great if you’re interested in bundling services, though its reputation leaves something to be desired.

If you’re still waffling, check out our roundup of the best home security systems.

Methodology

We compare and rank home security systems based on five key factors:

  1. Price
  2. Equipment
  3. Smart home integrations
  4. Security cameras
  5. Customer experience

To decide which professionally installed security systems are best, we give them independent star ratings the first time we review them. Those ratings carry over into other reviews, but they don’t dictate the recommendation order for every list.

For instance, although SimpliSafe has a higher overall star rating than Vivint or ADT, it’s not our first recommendation for people looking for a traditional, professionally installed system.

Professionally installed security system FAQ

What’s the best alternative to a professionally installed home security system?

If a professionally installed home alarm system isn’t floating your boat, you can always get a dog or hire security guards. But, before you go to those lengths, we suggest trying a different alternative: DIY security.

To us, it often seems like people who love DIY installations are very different from those who choose professional installations, and never the twain do meet.

But, if you aren’t dead set on a professionally installed system, we recommend checking out our best DIY systems. Brands like SimpliSafe and Ring Alarm offer some surprising benefits you may not see with the big-box labels. $10 a month monitoring? Yes please!

Can renters purchase professionally installed systems?

We’re sure some professional installers are willing to put a system in an apartment or rental home. However, we don’t recommend it to renters unless they get the all-clear from the landlord. Otherwise, they might find themselves ankle-deep in liability issues.

If you feel your rental property’s security needs beefing up, you could try a DIY system. You could also ask your landlord about installing their own system at their own expense.

If you need more info, check out this piece about home security for renters.

How long does a professional installation take?

It may seem anti-intuitive, but professional installation can eat up your time like crazy. It’s our understanding that many installers work in blocks from 8 a.m. to noon and noon to 4 p.m. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll show up at 8 a.m. or noon; that usually means they’ll show up at any time in those four hours.

That means that you’ll need to clear your scheduled block on your calendar plus some extra time for the actual installation. (The installation length will vary by provider, package, home, and even installer.)

Of course, a DIY installation can take just as long or longer, so it’s up to you how heavily you want to weigh this information.

Which companies offer a wireless home security system?

It depends on what you mean by wireless. Nowadays, most security systems eschew the wiring for battery-operated or plug-in components. Also, most security systems now communicate through wireless cellular, Wi-Fi, and radio technology, so they no longer have to connect to a residential landline.

What companies offer professional installation for a business security system?

That’s a great question! Unfortunately, that’s not our domain, so we don’t have all the answers. But it looks like both Vivint and ADT, at least, offer professional business security.