Best Wireless Security System

What does wireless really mean?

Best Wireless Security System

Product Recommended
vivint smarthome logo Best Overall
Frontpoint Great DIY
ADT-Security-Systems-Logo Most Reliable
SimpliSafe_logo Good for Renters
Link Interactive Plain Logo Runner up

“You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

Much like Vizzini’s overuse of  “inconceivable” in The Princess Bride, home security companies like to throw around the word “wireless” pretty freely. We get it. It’s a buzzword that sells the convenience of equipment with no strings attached. But “wireless” can actually mean a few different things for a home security system, and it can get confusing.

We’ll break it down so you can understand what a company really means when it promotes its system as wireless. But first, here’s a sneak peek at our top recommended wireless security systems.

Top 5 wireless home security systems

ProviderLowest priceMonitoring typeInstallationDetails
Vivint$34.99/mo. CellularProfessionalView Plans
Frontpoint$34.99/mo. CellularDIYView Plans
ADT$27.99/mo. Cellular/LandlineProfessionalView Plans
SimpliSafe$14.99/mo. CellularDIYView System
Link Interactive$34.99/mo. CellularDIYView Plans

What does wireless really mean for home security?

“Wireless home security” can refer to two different types of benefits you can get from a home security system: wireless, which refers to how sensors connect to a control panel, and cellular, meaning how your system communicates with an external monitoring center. Here’s how wireless and cellular differ.


Old-school security systems have wired sensors that connect directly to a control panel. But these days, most home security systems use radio frequencies (RF) to connect remote sensors (like door/window sensors or motion sensors) to the main hub. Some home automation equipment, like cameras or smart thermostats, uses your in-home Wi-Fi network to communicate with your smartphone security app.


Many modern alarm systems use a cellular connection to communicate with a professional monitoring center. This form of wireless communication works the same way as your cellphone and relies on a cellular signal. If you live in a rural area where the cell signal is spotty, this feature may not be available, but you should double-check with the company just to make sure.



  • High-end equipment
  • Industry-leading home automation
  • Flexible financing options


  • Professional installation required
  • Aggressive sales tactics

Vivint uses both wireless sensors and cellular communication in all of its security packages. It’s the leading company in home automation technology and designs most of its own equipment, including the Vivint video doorbell, which is probably the best video doorbell on the market today.

It’s kind of a bummer that Vivint doesn’t offer DIY installation. (We know; “inconceivable!”) You’ll have to schedule an appointment for a technician to come out and help you set up your system. Many installers will use the in-home opportunity to upsell “recommend” additional security products. It’s not a bad thing—most of the recommendations have merit, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re really trying to stick to a budget.

Though Vivint’s sensors are wireless, the control panel does need to be installed by a professional and connected to a power source. It uses cellular technology to communicate with the monitoring center, so it checks both “wireless” boxes, but keep in mind that a technician will drill small holes to install the control panel on your wall.

Vivint wireless home security price

PackageMonitoring priceContractMonitoring typeLearn More
Smart Home$39.99/mo.42–60 mos. or noneCellularView Plan
Smart Home Video$49.99/mo.42–60 mos. or noneCellularView Plan

Which Vivint package we recommend: Vivint Smart Home

vivint smarthome logo


  • Cellular monitoring
  • Wireless sensors
  • Top-notch home automation
  • Vivint Flex Play options
  • Mobile access & notifications

We recommend Vivint’s Smart Home package because you’ll get the SkyControl panel and high-end home automation control through the Vivint app. Plus, Smart Home is $10 cheaper so you can save a little money each month on monitoring. You’ll miss out on cameras, but other than that, you’re getting everything with Smart Home that you get from Vivint’s top-tier package. Not to mention it’s eligible for Flex Pay, so if you want to pay for equipment up front, you can skip out on the contract.

Overall, Vivint is our pick for best home security system because of its flexible pricing options, high-end equipment, and superior home automation experience. For a deeper dive into what Vivint has to offer, check out our full review.



  • DIY installation
  • Industry-leading customer service
  • Transparent pricing


  • Higher prices
  • High activation fee
  • Tricky doorbell camera installation

No matter which Frontpoint point package you choose, you’ll get 100% cellular monitoring and wireless technology. We like that Frontpoint is up-front and transparent about all of its pricing. Even with a high activation fee (up to $199), you’ll at least know what you’re getting into before signing anything.

Frontpoint takes a DIY approach to installation and, for the most part, it’s pretty easy to install. It can be frustrating, however, if you run into troubleshooting issues during installation—we’re looking at you, doorbell camera—but Frontpoint reps will walk you through the process step by step if you need help.

Frontpoint is a little pricier than similar offerings from its competitors, especially if you’re looking for home automation features, but it’s an all-around solid choice with some of the best customer service in the business.

Frontpoint wireless home security price

PackageMonitoring priceContractMonitoring typeLearn More
Protection$34.99/mo.36 mos.CellularView Plan
Interactive$44.99/mo.36 mos.CellularView Plan
Ultimate$49.99/mo.36 mos.CellularView Plan

Which Frontpoint package we recommend: Frontpoint Interactive



  • Cellular monitoring
  • Wireless sensors
  • Crash & Smash Protection
  • Home automation control
  • Mobile access and notifications

Like we said with ADT Pulse, if you’re going to pay a higher price for monitoring, you might as well spring for the better features while you’re at it. Frontpoint’s Interactive package adds home automation control so you can access and control your lights, locks, and thermostat all from your smartphone.

Learn more about our best pick for DIY installation in our detailed Frontpoint review.



  • Multiple monitoring centers
  • Same-day installation available
  • Full range of system options


  • High price
  • Mixed reputation
  • Professional installation required

Look, we get it. ADT has a reputation for inconsistent customer service. It’s a thing. But I’ll see your inconsistent customer service and raise you this: ADT protects more homes1 than any other home security company on the planet. And there’s a reason why millions of people use ADT to protect their homes. It works.

ADT provides a range of system options including both wireless and cellular technology. You will have to upgrade from the Basic package to one of the mid-level or top-tier choices to get cellular monitoring. And if you do that, it starts to get up there in price ($48.99 a month or more). Still, if you’re looking for proven reliability and name recognition, ADT provides multiple wireless package options.

ADT wireless home security price

PackageMonitoring priceContractMonitoring typeLearn More
Basic$27.99/mo.36 mos.LandlineView Plan
Basic Wireless$48.99/mo.36 mos.CellularView Plan
ADT Pulse$52.99/mo.36 mos.CellularView Plan
ADT Pulse + Video$58.99/mo.36 mos. CellularView Plan

Which ADT package we recommend: ADT Pulse


  • Cellular monitoring
  • Wireless sensors
  • Home automation control
  • ADT Pulse app
  • Mobile access and notifications

If you’ve got to step up from Basic to get cellular monitoring, it’s only a couple of bucks more to get full-on home automation with ADT Pulse. In our opinion, it’s worth the jump. ADT Pulse gives you mobile access to your system and allows you to control your lights, thermostat, and other ADT home automation devices. ADT is the most popular security provider in the US, and ADT Pulse is its most popular package.

Check out our full ADT review for more information.



  • No contracts or commitments
  • Low prices
  • Easy installation
  • High user ratings


  • Mandatory up-front equipment purchase
  • Low tech
  • No home automation

SimpliSafe is the pumpkin spice latte of home security—it’s basic. But in this case, that’s a good thing. SimpliSafe keeps the bells and whistles to a minimum, focusing more on functionality and affordability.

It combines a no-contract policy with some of the lowest monitoring prices available. You have the option to pay as you go for cellular monitoring or shut it off completely and monitor the system yourself. You do have to purchase all of your equipment up front, though, but in the long run it’s easily the most affordable wireless security solution on our list.

(And for the record, we’re all about pumpkin spice lattes.)

SimpliSafe wireless home security price

PackageMonitoring priceContractMonitoring typeLearn More
None$0No contractCellularView System
Standard$14.99/mo.No contractCellularView System
Interactive$24.99/mo.No contractCellularView System

Which SimpliSafe package we recommend: SimpliSafe Interactive


  • Cellular monitoring
  • Wireless sensors
  • No annual contract
  • DIY installation

SimpliSafe’s top-tier package is still $10 cheaper per month than our next-closest recommendation. It’s practically a steal. The Interactive package adds more control to the SimpliSafe system with mobile access and both text and email notifications. Up-front costs will depend on how much equipment you want to pay for right away, but with SimpliSafe’s à la carte equipment selection, you can always add on later.

Check out our in-depth review of SimpliSafe for more information

Link Interactive


  • Multiple contract options
  • DIY installation
  • No installation or activation fees


  • Harsh cancellation policy
  • Less brand recognition
  • Limited customer service availability

Link Interactive looks and feels a lot like Frontpoint, only it’s more affordable and offers more flexibility on contract terms. Like Frontpoint, Link Interactive offers both wireless and cellular technology on all of its monitoring packages, but you can choose between a 12-, 24-, or 36-month agreement, which makes it a little more appealing to someone who doesn’t want to be locked into a contract.

Link Interactive does have one of the harshest cancellation policies, however—you have to pay 100% of the remaining contract cost—so keep that in mind as you choose how long of a commitment you want to make. Overall, Link Interactive provides a no-hassle, straightforward security system, and its customers report overwhelmingly positive experiences online. It’s a solid system. We’ve kept it lower on the list because of its harsh cancellation policy and the fact that it’s not as well-known nationwide.

Link Interactive wireless price

PackageMonitoring priceContractMonitoring typeLearn More
Standard$30.99/mo.12, 24, or 36 mos.CellularView Plan
Gold$35.99/mo.12, 24, or 36 mos.CellularView Plan
Elite$40.99/mo.12, 24, or 36 mos.CellularView Plan

Which Link Interactive package we recommend: Link Interactive Gold


  • Cellular monitoring
  • Wireless sensors
  • Crash & Smash Protection
  • Home automation control
  • Mobile access and notifications

Stepping up to the mid-tier Gold package nets you a range of home automation control for your Link Interactive system. It’s a lot like the Frontpoint Interactive package, only $10 cheaper per month. The Gold package lets you control your lights, locks, and thermostat from your smartphone and allows for in-app notifications and alerts about your system.

Why wireless security systems are better than hardwired

Wireless security systems use radio frequency (RF) or sometimes Wi-Fi connections to link security sensors to the overall system. Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Insteon are some of the more common wireless technologies used by major security companies. Here are a few things wireless systems offer over traditional hardwired systems.

Tamper-proof and Crash & Smash technology

Crash & Smash and other tamper-proof technology combined with cellular monitoring make it so your system cannot be disabled by someone cutting your phone line or ripping your control panel off the wall. If your system detects someone tampering with the control panel, it will alert the central monitoring center automatically.

Less intrusive and easier installation

Wireless sensors that connect to your system control panel make installation less intrusive. There’s no need to drill holes in the wall to run wires, and you have more flexibility to choose where you place your sensors. These sensors also make it easy for do-it-yourself installation, which means you’ll save on installation fees and you won’t have to schedule a technician to come to your house.

Easier to take with you if you move

Because there’s no need to drill and run wires during installation, wireless systems are easier take with you when you move. Most home security companies allow you to transfer your system to your new place with little hassle, especially if it has DIY installation options. This is great for renters who might switch apartments periodically.

Looking for more than just wireless?

Wires are a thing of the past, and the truth is, most security companies have made the switch to wireless technology in one way or another. You’ll just want to clarify if wireless refers to the sensors only or if it means the communication between your system and the monitoring center—or maybe it’s both.

With that in mind, choosing the security system that’s right for you might come down to more than just wireless features. You should check out our best home security systems review, where we break down the top security providers of 2018 point by point.


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