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Best Wireless Home Security Systems (2021)

A wireless home security system combines an easy setup with powerful protection. Our guide to the best wire-free home security systems will help you choose the best system for your home.

Wireless security system featured on handheld device
Wireless security system featured on handheld device
Adobe

Wireless home security systems provide a user-friendly solution to home security needs. These systems utilize cutting-edge technology to provide faster response times for break-ins, fires, medical emergencies, and environmental monitoring with easy controls. Wireless security cameras can alert you if someone enters your home when you’re not home and can contact local authorities in the event of an emergency faster than their wired counterparts.

This Old House Reviews team has created this detailed guide for the best wireless security systems. This guide will help you understand each provider’s equipment, monitoring services, and cost in order to help you choose the best home security system for you and your family.

Top 5 Wireless Home Security Systems

  • ADT: Best Overall
  • SimpliSafe: Best for Easy Installation
  • Abode: Best for Customization
  • Vivint: Best for Smart Home Integration
  • Alder: Best for Medical Alerts

1. ADT Home Security

ADT is one of the largest home security companies in the United States, with a history dating back more than 145 years. ADT offers three home security packages, with its higher-level Complete package including smart locks, live streaming capabilities, and the ability to record and save video clips for future viewing.

Pros & Cons of ADT

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Provides a six-month money-back guarantee and a 30-day trial period ✘ Live video streaming capabilities not included in basic package
✔ Operates the largest national network of professional monitoring centers ✘ Requires a 36-month contract for professionally-installed systems (24 months in CA)
✔ Offers a theft protection guarantee* -

*Certain restrictions apply.

Major highlights from ADT include:

  • 24/7 alarm monitoring services—When you purchase a security plan with ADT, your home will be connected to an ADT professional monitoring center 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you need to arm your system before you leave for work or before heading out for the night, ADT has you covered.
  • Professional installation—ADT provides professional installation on all of its packages. A highly trained professional will visit your property, set up your device, and advise you on the best places to put your motion sensors and cameras if your package includes them. Your ADT expert will even show you how to use your system and how to access online and app-based features.
  • Six-month, money-back guarantee—If ADT can’t resolve a system-related issue in the first six months, ADT will refund your installation and monitoring fees.*

*Certain restrictions apply.

ADT Equipment & Monitoring

ADT provides three equipment packages: Secure, Smart, and Complete. ADT’s Secure package acts as a great starter package for those new to home security. If you desire more video and surveillance options, ADT offers its Complete package. Overall, ADT provides comprehensive yet simple package options.

ADT Packages

Feature Secure Package Smart Package Complete Package
Feature Secure Package Smart Package Complete Package
Equipment Cost $599 $919 $1,049
24/7 Monitoring
Intrusion Detection
24/7 Fire, Flood, & Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
ADT Mobile App
Touchscreen Panel
Alex Guard/ Voice Control Integration (with Amazon Alexa) -
ADT Mobile App and Remote Access -
Video Surveillance (Motion activated + alerts) - -
Cloud Storage - -
Smart Home Integration -

Each of ADT’s packages comes with monitoring features that include the company’s mobile app. This smartphone app allows you to remotely arm and disarm your system from anywhere. The app also integrates with smart-home devices, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The Complete package allows you to view a live video feed and record motion-activated clips and store them with cloud storage.

ADT’s monthly monitoring cost ranges from $45.99 to $59.99.

To sign up for an ADT wireless security system, visit the company’s website here.

2. SimpliSafe

If you’re a homeowner looking for the most flexible and affordable home security system available, consider a package from SimpliSafe. SimpliSafe offers monitoring on its Foundation and Essential packages, but this DIY home security system has low-priced professional monitoring that makes it an excellent choice for a simple home security system.

Pros & Cons of SimpliSafe

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ One of the most affordable professional monitoring costs (only $14.99–$24.99/month) ✘ No free professional installation option currently available
✔ No long-term contracts required to buy a plan ✘ Smart-home devices (e.g. garage-door openers, smart locks) must be purchased separately on all plans
✔ If a thief destroys your keypad, the system will still know to call the police ✘ Mobile compatibility not available on lower-tier plans

Below are some key factors that make SimpliSafe different from the competition:

  • Affordable pricing—At $14.99 per month, SimpliSafe is one of the most affordable wireless home security systems available.
  • Unique feature—Though the $14.99 per month package includes professional monitoring and dispatch, you can add live home video streaming and video capture for just $24.99 a month; this is significantly more affordable than competitors.
  • Month-to-month pricing available—SimpliSafe is one of the only wireless security systems to offer month-to-month pricing without a contract. Some competitors may require you to sign an initial contract of up to 36 months before you can install your new system.

SimpliSafe Equipment & Monitoring

When you purchase a package from SimpliSafe, you can choose from four different equipment options: the Foundation, the Essentials, the Hearth, and the most inclusive Barrington. Equipment packages range from $183 to $388, with higher packages including video monitoring, door unlocking key fobs, and smart devices.

The most basic package, the Foundation, retails for $183 and includes a base station, one entry sensor, a motion sensor, and a keypad to arm and disarm the system.

SimpliSafe Packages

Feature The Foundation Package The Essentials Package The Hearth Package The Knox Package The Haven Package
Feature The Foundation Package The Essentials Package The Hearth Package The Knox Package The Haven Package
Equipment Cost $229 $259 $374 $449 $489
Base Station
Keypad
Entry Sensor ✔ 1 included ✔ 3 included ✔ 3 included ✔ 6 included ✔ 4 included
Motion Sensor ✔ 1 included ✔ 1 included ✔ 1 included ✔ 2 included ✔ 2 included
Siren - -
Key Fob - -
Smoke Detector - -
Panic Button - - - -
Temperature Sensor - - - -
Water Sensor - - - -

Every package includes three monitoring plans: Complete Home, Pro Monitoring Only, and Camera Recordings Only. The Pro Monitoring Only plan connects your base station with a SimpliSafe 24/7 monitoring center. The Complete Home plan is the most comprehensive option and includes 24/7 monitoring that integrates with the SimpliSafe app to remotely arm and disarm the system, receive notifications, and live stream camera footage.

Monthly monitoring cost with SimpliSafe runs between 33 cents per day to 83 cents per day.

If you are interested in building a security package with SimpliSafe, complete this short survey to get a detailed estimate

3. Vivint Home Security

If you’re the type of homeowner who loves tech-savvy innovations and full home connectivity, Vivint Home Security might be right for you. The company offers a wide range of smart-home automation and connectivity features.

Pros & Cons of Vivint

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Easy home monitoring with all-inclusive app ✘ Video monitoring is on the more expensive end of the spectrum
✔ 0% financing available for equipment ✘ Equipment costs are more expensive than average; must order a minimum of $599
✔ Month-to-month monitoring available so long as you own your equipment in full

A Vivint home professional can help you decide which products you need and will schedule a professional installation appointment on your behalf. Professional installation services begin at $49.99, and there’s currently no DIY installation option available.

Some of the features that make Vivint stand out amongst competitors include:

  • Improved smart-home automation—From adjusting your lights to make it look like someone is home to setting your thermostat after you leave the house, Vivint offers some of the best smart-home capabilities.
  • Comprehensive mobile app control—For the more tech-savvy homeowner, Vivint features an easy-to-use and all-inclusive mobile app, which allows you to access smart features and view what’s going on in your home with just a few clicks.
  • 0% financing available—If you can’t afford your Vivint equipment up-front, you can take advantage of the company’s financing options with 0% interest.

Vivint Equipment & Monitoring

Vivint Home Security offers five home security packages. It also allows you to build your own package online based on your needs. You can include add-ons to your package, such as extra indoor and outdoor cameras with night vision, motion sensors, smart locks, and video doorbell cameras. Vivint’s cameras, monitors, and other smart-home equipment works directly with its all-inclusive app.

Vivint Packages

Feature Smart Hub Starter Kit Package Home Security System Package Smart Home Control Package Video Security Package Smart Complete Package
Feature Smart Hub Starter Kit Package Home Security System Package Smart Home Control Package Video Security Package Smart Complete Package
Equipment Cost $599 $709.98 $1,049.95 $1,379.95 $1,789.92
SkyControl Panel
Smart Entry Sensors (2)
Voice Control
Motion Sensor
Smart Smoke Detector - -
Element Thermostat - - -
Smart Lock - - -
Smart Garage-Door Opener - - -
Indoor/Outdoor/Doorbell Camera - - -

Vivint features monthly monitoring plans based on each package. Professional monitoring with Vivint provides features such as 24/7 professional monitoring, mobile app access, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors. Professional monitoring costs $9.98–$29.83 per month.

To get started on your smart-home integration plan, visit Vivint’s website.

4. Alder Home Security

If you’re the type of homeowner who values quick response times and DIY customization, consider a wireless home security system from Alder. Alder Home Security doesn’t offer package plans, so you can mix and match features and avoid paying for features you don’t need. It has high-quality equipment such as its touchscreen panel, weatherproof camera with two-way audio, medical alert button, and more.

Pros & Cons of Alder

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Works with you to create a custom home security package ✘ Doesn't offer pre-made security packages
✔ Equipment comes with a 12-month limited warranty ✘ Equipment doesn't have smart home compatibility
✔ 30-day trial period ✘ Requires a 36-month contract

Additionally, Alder’s reported response time is faster than its competitors—the company claims that it responds to alarm triggers in just 3.4 seconds on average. Monitoring from Alder begins at $35 per month for monitoring, and its lowest plans include cellular monitoring.

Alder Equipment & Packages

Alder offers only custom packages, unlike other home security companies on this list. The company offers many popular home safety and camera system features, such as a touchscreen panel, indoor/outdoor cameras, door/window sensors, motion detectors, medical alert buttons, doorbell cameras, and more. Alder also features two-way audio with all of its indoor cameras.

Alder’s package pricing will vary depending on the items you choose for your customized system. Professional monitoring fees start at $39.99 per month.

To create a custom system with Alder, fill out this online questionnaire.

5. Abode Security

Abode Security is the wireless home security system for homeowners on a budget. Professional monitoring from Abode costs just $8.99 a month and you can save even more by paying a year’s worth of premiums upfront for $100. You can order your Abode Security system for just $199 and set up the system on your own in as little as an afternoon.

Pros & Cons of Abode

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Doesn't require a long-term contract or monthly monitoring ✘ A+ rating from the BBB
✔ More affordable than other home security systems ✘ Gen 2 gateway hub doesn't have a built-in streaming camera
✔ Compatible with smart devices (e.g. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant)

Abode Equipment & Pricing

Abode offers four security equipment packages. All packages include a smart-home hub, door/window sensor, keypad, and key fob. Though it only provides a one-year warranty on its equipment, Abode’s motion sensors are simple, easy to use, and high quality. Abode also offers a Build My System option which allows customers to customize their own system based on their specific needs.

Abode Packages

Feature Smart Security Middle Package Iota Kit Middle Package Smart Security Kit Elite Package Iota Kit Elite Package
Feature Smart Security Middle Package Iota Kit Middle Package Smart Security Kit Elite Package Iota Kit Elite Package
Equipment Cost $342 $379 $389 $445
Keypad
Key Fob
Sticker - -
Motion Sensor ✔ 1 included - ✔ 2 included ✔ 1 included
Door/Window Sensors ✔ 3 included ✔ 3 included ✔ 4 included ✔ 4 included
Smart Device Integration
Built-in Motion Detector - -
Wifi-Enabled - -
Type of Gateway Gen 2 iota Gen 2 iota

You can choose between two levels of self-monitoring or 24/7 professional monitoring. You can even select a short-term professional monitoring plan if you’re going on a vacation or heading away to school and want enhanced security on a temporary basis.

To see what Abode’s wireless systems can do for your home’s safety and security, we encourage you to fill out this easy-to-use form.

Our Conclusion

Wireless home security systems care easy to install, easy to use, and amplify your home’s safety while you are present or away from your home. These systems offer compatibility with home automation features, provide mobile app access, and include a variety of features for environmental monitoring, such as smart lighting and smart thermostats.

We recommend ADT Home Security and Vivint for your home security needs. With ADT, you receive 24/7 monitoring and comprehensive packages. If you’re the type of homeowner who prefers compatible smart-home features, Vivint’s high-tech lineup is better suited for your needs.

Compare Wireless Home Security Systems

Provider ADT-Monitored Home Security SimpliSafe Vivint Alder Abode
Provider ADT-Monitored Home Security SimpliSafe Vivint Alder Abode
Monthly monitoring Starting $36.99 Starting at $14.99 Starting at $29.99 Starting at $39.99 Starting at $8.99
Installation Professional only DIY, Professional for $79 Professional only DIY Installation DIY Installation
Contract length 36 months N/A None if paid upfront 36 months to 60 months Month-to-month

More Home Security Resources

Benefits of Wireless Home Security Systems

According to research by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, about 60% of burglars say that the presence of a home security system would cause them not to target a particular property. Here are just a few additional benefits of having a wireless home security system:

  • Easier installation processes—You can install a wireless home security system on your property in as little as a few hours. This is because wireless systems work off your home Wi-Fi, meaning that you won’t need to open your walls and connect them to your central electrical system.
  • Simple upgrade process—If you need to add a new outdoor or indoor camera to your system or expand your motion detection range, upgrading a wireless system is as easy as turning on your wireless internet connection and synching your new device.
  • Great for renters—If you rent a home or apartment, you probably don’t have permission to install an in-home security system to your space. A wireless system allows you to protect your home without opening the walls.

How a Wireless Home Security System Works

Wireless home security systems work by connecting your home to a professional monitoring center. When you set up your home security system, you’ll place a series of motion detectors throughout your home. Most homeowners place their detectors near doors or windows so they’re immediately triggered during a break-in.

When you arm your security system, you tell the system that you aren’t home. While the system is armed, it will notify you when a motion detector senses something moving. You’ll receive an alert or a phone call from your company’s professional monitoring center.

If your home security system has cameras, you can use the security company’s app to check what’s going on in your home. If the alarm indicates that a true emergency is in progress, your home security system will contact your local authorities.

Wireless vs. Wired Home Security Systems

The term, “wireless home security system,” typically refers to a network of home security cameras and motion sensors that run on your home’s wireless internet connection. These devices typically use independent rechargeable batteries as their power source, so they don’t need to be plugged into your wall to work (note: a low battery may trigger false alarms). Additionally, if your electricity goes out, your wireless home security system will typically keep working.

Wired home security systems are systems that use your home’s electricity and landline telephone access to function. Most wireless systems are installed directly into the home, making them a major home improvement project. Though some consumers will choose wireless home security systems for their easy setup, a wired home security system can be ideal if you live in a very rural area with inconsistent cellular connection.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Wireless Home Security System

When you shop for a wireless alarm system, consider these key factors:

  • Price—Before investing in wireless home security, calculate the recurring monthly fees of service and the upfront cost you’ll pay for your system.
  • 24/7 monitoring—A break-in can occur at any time of day or night. For the most comprehensive protection available, search for companies that offer 24/7 professional monitoring.
  • Installation options—There are two ways you can install your wireless system: through a guided DIY process or by tasking a professional with the job. Both options aren’t available with every company, so decide which installation process you’d like before you choose your security system provider.
  • Contract length—Some companies allow you to pay for your professional services on a month-to-month basis, while others require a lengthy contract before you get started. Be sure you understand each company’s minimum contract length before you lock in.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wireless Home Security Systems

What is the best wireless home security system?

The best home security system for you will depend on your budget, needs, and preferred features. We recommend ADT for homeowners buying their first system and Vivint Home Security for those who want more smart-home and app-based features.

Are wireless home security systems safe?

Yes, most wireless home security systems are connected to 24/7 monitoring centers that alert you (or the authorities) when an alarm is triggered.

Do wireless alarm systems need the internet?

Most wireless alarm systems work on a cellular network, so they use the same cell phone towers to send alerts and alarms to a monitoring center that your cell phone uses to make calls and access the internet. Note: most wireless systems don’t require internet access to function unless otherwise noted.

*Money Back guarantee only applies after ADT has made attempts to resolve a system related issue and has not been able to resolve that issue within the first six months of your contract. Equipment must be fully removed before a refund will be processed. Conditions preventing normal system operation cannot be caused by the customer.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.