Best Wireless Security Systems 2021

What is a wireless security system and which one is best for you?
  • Editor's Choice
    Read Full Review
    4 out of 5 overall
    Monitoring from $29.99/mo.
    Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Z-Wave integrations
  • Best Customer Service
    Read Full Review
    4 out of 5 overall
    Monitoring from $44.99/mo.
    Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Z-Wave integrations
  • Best for Basics
    Read Full Review
    4 out of 5 overall
    Monitoring from $14.99/mo.
    Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integrations
  • Best Value
    Read Full Review
    4.5 out of 5 overall
    Monitoring from $14.99/mo.
    Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integrations

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 be confusing.

We’ll break down the different ways the word is used to help you 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.

Best wireless home security systems: compare prices and features
ProviderMonitoring priceSelf-monitoring optionDetails
Vivint Logo$29.99/mo.–$44.99/mo.

No
View Plans
Frontpoint logo$44.99/mo.–$49.99/mo.

No
View Plans
Cove logo$14.99–$24.99/mo.

No
View Plans
SimpliSafe logo$14.99/mo.–$24.99/mo.

No
View Plans
Blue by ADT logo$19.99/mo.

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 07/14/21. Offers subject to change.

Save some money on your new home security system with these deals

SimpliSafe is offering 30% off with the purchase of any new system. A deal this good won’t last forever, so snag it on SimpliSafe’s website now.

Frontpoint is currently offering 25% off and a free doorbell camera. Check out the sale.

SimpliSafe logo
  • 30% off any new system
  • Free indoor camera

Data effective 08/10/2021. Offers subject to change.

What to look for in a wireless security system

When people say “wireless home security,” they often mean two different things: wireless, which refers to how sensors connect to a control panel, and cellular, meaning how your system communicates with an external monitoring center.

Wireless security systems use radio frequency (RF), Wi-Fi connections, and other technologies to link security sensors to the system hub. Z-Wave and Zigbee are some of the more common alternate wireless technologies used by major security companies. They’re sometimes used for system components, but they’re frequently also used to connect systems to compatible third-party smart home products.

Cellular-based systems communicate with your security company’s monitoring center or centers using cell signals instead of communicating through a hardwired connection.

Pin icon
Wireless systems
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. Systems that don’t have to be hardwired are just more convenient. 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.

The systems in this review use both wireless connectivity and cellular connections to do their work. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many home security options that use landline (the monitoring center communication method used before cellular).

Security system features of wireless systems:

  • Tamperproof/”Crash & Smash” technology
  • Not as intrusive as some wired systems
  • Easy installation
  • Portable

Tamper-proof and Crash & Smash technology

Crash & Smash and other tamper-proof technology combined with cellular monitoring make it so no one can disable your system by cutting your phone line or ripping your control panel off the wall. If your system detects someone tampering with the control panel, it will immediately alert the central monitoring center.

Less intrusive and easier installation

Stick-on 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. That’s perfect if your schedule is more rigid.

Easier to take with you if you move

Because there’s no need to drill and run wires during installation, wireless systems are easier to 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.

A badge depicting this brand as the Reviews.org Editor's Choice for September 2020

Vivint: Best professionally installed

Vivint Logo
  • High-end equipment
  • Excellent home automation
  • Flexible financing options
Pro monitoring from $29.99/mo.

Overall, Vivint is our pick for best wireless home security system. It uses a combination of Wi-Fi and cellular technology to deliver its signals, and it has flexible pricing options, high-end equipment, and a superior home automation experience.

However, it’s really expensive. Like, “potentially more than all your streaming subscriptions put together” expensive. And you might run into some customer service snags. For those reasons, Vivint is for people who want the best of the best and aren’t on a budget or don’t want to DIY.

Vivint uses both wireless sensors and cellular communication in all of its security packages. It’s one of the leading companies in home automation technology and innovation, and it designs most of its own equipment, including the Vivint video doorbell.

For even the most basic package, though, you’ll pay around $600.

Vivint product lineup

Source: Vivint

We recommend Vivint’s Smart Home monitoring plan because you’ll get the touchscreen control panel and high-end home automation control through the Vivint app.

Plus, the Smart Home plan is cheaper than the video plan. You’ll miss out on cameras, but other than that, you’ll get everything with Smart Home that you get from Vivint’s top-tier package—while saving $4 a month.

Vivint no longer requires contracts if you pay for your equipment up front.

Sadly, 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—excuse us, “recommend”—additional security products.

It’s not always a bad thing—most of the recommendations have merit, but Vivint salespeople are known for being aggressive and even unethical in their pursuit of a higher sale. Which is even more aggravating when you remember that Vivint is already a lot more expensive than its contemporaries. You can get a perfectly good system for about 25% of the cost of what you’ll pay for Vivint.

Though Vivint’s sensors are wireless, the control panel needs 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 monitoring plans
PlanMonitoring priceMonitoring typeDetails
Smart Security$29.99/mo.ProfessionalView Plans
Smart Home$39.99/mo.ProfessionalView Plans
Smart Home Video$44.99/mo.ProfessionalView Plans

Data effective 07/14/21. Offers subject to change.

Frontpoint: Best customer service

Frontpoint logo
  • DIY installation
  • Industry-leading customer service
  • Transparent pricing
Pro monitoring from $44.99/mo.

No matter which Frontpoint package you choose, you’ll get 100% cellular monitoring and wireless technology. We also like that Frontpoint is up-front and transparent about all of its pricing. Plus, it doesn’t require a contract.

Like Vivint, it’s hecka pricey. But unlike Vivint, it’s DIY. So if you’re in Vivint price ranges but are all about doing things yourself, Frontpoint might be your sweet spot.

In addition to Google, Alexa, and Z-Wave compatibility, Frontpoint’s Interactive package gives you home automation control. That includes access to your lights, locks, and thermostat, all from your smartphone.

Just remember—you don’t get camera support with this plan. For cameras, you have to pay for the Ultimate plan, which is $5 more a month for a grand total of $49.99. And that’s without the equipment costs, which start at around $400.

Frontpoint security equipment and yard sign

Source: Frontpoint

Again, Frontpoint takes a DIY approach to installation, and, for the most part, it’s pretty easy to install. However, it can be frustrating 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.

In fact, we’d say that Frontpoint has some of the best customer service in the business. If it would just lower its prices a tad, everything about it would be customer-friendly.

Frontpoint monitoring plans
PlanMonitoring priceSecurity camera supportDetails
Interactive$44.99/mo.

No
View Plans
Ultimate$49.99/mo.

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 07/14/21. Offers subject to change.

Cove: Best for basics

Cove logo
  • Continuous video recording
  • Medical alert devices
Pro monitoring from $14.99/mo.

Cove is a fierce competitor for the title of best wireless security system. Unlike most of the security systems on our list, it doesn’t use Wi-Fi at all. Cellular is its primary connection, not just its backup.

It’s also cheaper and has 24/7 video recording capabilities, something you don’t usually see in a DIY system. But you gotta pay extra to use the app.

Cove doesn’t really do packages; you’ll have to choose the equipment you need yourself. That’s great because you can pick only things you want, but it can also be a little daunting if you’re not familiar with security systems.

In addition to the typical security products (control panels, door and window sensors, motion detectors), Cove also sells some extras like CO detectors and medical alert devices. But it doesn’t offer video doorbells, and its other two security cameras aren’t quite up to snuff with the features we see in other security camera systems.

Cove works with Amazon and Google but not with Z-Wave or Zigbee.

Unfortunately, you can’t use most of the extra stuff without paying $10 more a month. That’s not precisely highway robbery, but it’s less than cool to put all the best features behind a paywall.

Still, Cove is overall much, much less than Vivint or Frontpoint.

Info Box icon
Cove monitoring
Cove monitoring services include communication innovations that the brand calls TripleTouch, InstaText, and LiveAssist. Basically, they’ll help you get any professional help you might need in an emergency. For more info, check out our Cove review.

Oh, and if you want the cameras, you’ll have to pay for a separate support plan. But hey, at least Cove doesn’t require a contract. You can quit at any time.

Also, you’re responsible for installing this whole kit and caboodle yourself. As you’ve probably gleaned, most DIY wireless alarm systems aren’t terribly complicated to put together. But if you consider yourself something of a Luddite, you might need a little assistance.

Cove control panel shown on a countertop alongside a Cove Outdoor Camera and Cove Indoor Camera

Source: Cove

Cove monitoring plans
PlanMonitoring priceMobile app controlDetails
Cove Basic$14.99/mo.

No
View Plans
Cove Plus$24.99/mo.

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 07/14/21. Offers subject to change.

SimpliSafe: Best value

SimpliSafe logo
  • No contracts or commitments
  • Low prices
  • Easy installation

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 also uses Wi-Fi for its primary wireless connection but has a cellular backup in case your network ever goes down.

SimpliSafe 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, but in the long run, it’s easily the most affordable wireless security solution on our list. You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck with SimpliSafe than most other security brands.

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

SimpliSafe Hearth system

Source: SimpliSafe

Between the two monitoring plans, we like the SimpliSafe Interactive option. At $24.99 per month, SimpliSafe’s top-tier package is still super affordable compared to the other companies on this list. 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 more devices later.

While SimpliSafe offers a handful of useful smart devices, like its own smart lock and cameras, it doesn’t connect to most third-party smart home products. So if you want a full-on smart home suite, don’t go with SimpliSafe, which is an island unto itself.

But do go with SimpliSafe if you want to play it simple (and safe). You can get your security system set up and armed in a manner of minutes.

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

No
View Plans
Interactive$24.99/mo.

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 07/14/21. Offers subject to change.

Blue by ADT: Excellent alternative to ADT

Blue by ADT logo
  • Free self-monitoring
  • IFTTT compatibility
Pro monitoring from $19.99/mo.

Ah, Blue by ADT. If you want free self-monitoring with no contracts and pretty cameras, you can’t go wrong with Blue. But know that if you choose the free option, your wireless system won’t have a cellular backup. You’ll be Wi-Fi-dependent unless you choose to pay for the professional monitoring service.

Still, even if you decide to go pro, Blue by ADT’s $20-a-month professional monitoring plan isn’t that bad next to Vivint or Frontpoint’s prices. And we really like that you can switch between professional and self-monitoring at will. That’s helpful for anyone with a flexible schedule.

We suggest starting with the Starter Plus system. The four door and window sensors and two motion sensors that come in the package should be more than enough to provide a basic safety net for your home.

Also, Blue by ADT has all the cameras you can want or need, and they all come with facial recognition. Like most facial recognition software, Blue’s is a bit rough and doesn’t recognize everyone. But apart from that (and the outdoor camera’s penchant for not staying connected to the Wi-Fi), we like the cameras. They look a lot nicer than most security equipment too.

Blue by ADT equipment

Source: Blue by ADT

Also, Blue by ADT definitely has the best home automation of any service on our list. It works with not only Alexa and Google but also Z-Wave Plus and IFTTT, a cause-and-effect platform that allows users to create advanced smart home chains.

Blue by ADT monitoring plans
PlanMonitoring priceMobile app controlDetails
Self-monitoring$0.00/mo.

Yes
View Plans
Professional monitoring$19.99/mo.

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 07/14/21. Offers subject to change.

Recap: Best wireless security systems

  • Vivint is the fanciest wireless system out there. It has lots of home automation but high prices.
  • Frontpoint uses a combination of wireless and cellular technology and offers excellent customer service.
  • Cove uses cellular connectivity only. It’s cheaper than most of the other offerings but requires more money to use the app.
  • SimpliSafe uses wireless technology with a cellular backup system. It’s an extremely functional and affordable system but lacks smart home connectivity.
  • Blue by ADT has free self-monitoring but offers cellular backup only with its paid plan. It has the best home automation out of our wireless recommendations.

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 point-by-point.

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

For a best list like this one, which focuses on an aspect of the systems that doesn’t typically weigh heavily in our ranking system, the recommendation order may come out differently than it would in a more standard ranking. You’ll notice that Vivint, for instance, is our top recommendation in this piece but has a lower star ranking overall than Cove.

Best wireless security systems FAQ

What’s the difference between wireless and cellular?

We talked about this a little bit earlier, but here’s a more thorough answer.

Wireless

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.

Cellular

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.

What should I look for in a home security camera?

We like to see motion detection, night vision, two-way audio, 1080p vision or better, and some form of object detection in our cameras. Bonus points if they have customizable motion zones, lights, sirens, facial recognition, or multiple storage options.

Also, most modern users like a wireless security camera to go along with their wireless security system, although there are some hardwired and PoE cameras that we really like.

It’s rare to find a camera with all those features, so not every camera we recommend has them. You can learn more in our Best Home Security Cameras Review.

How does video storage work with wireless cameras?

When you have a wireless camera system, your footage is either transmitted to you over the cloud or saved to a physical SD card. Cloud storage tends to be more expensive than reusable SD cards, but it’s definitely more of a hassle to remove the SD card from the surveillance camera and download the footage.