Great home security systems provide you with peace of mind when you’re away from home, giving you confidence that your home is safe from intruders. The best home security systems have mobile apps with exceptional features like two-way talk, smart home integration, and customized alerts. Whether the alarms are proprietary or universal, there are many options out there.
To help you determine the best home security app for your safety system, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best home security apps. Read on to learn about our top four picks.
The Top 4 Home Security System Apps
- ADT Control App
- Vivint Smart Home App
- Frontpoint Mobile App
- SimpliSafe Home Security App
Each of these multipurpose apps allow customers to sign in at any time from their smartphone and arm, disarm, and monitor their security system from anywhere. However, each has its unique pros and cons.
Proprietary vs Universal Home Security Apps
It’s important to note that there are two types of home security apps, proprietary and universal. Proprietary apps are created by specific home security companies and are designed for controlling their own unique system. The company that owns the app is responsible for all updates, features, and more. The major pro of a proprietary app is that it’s customized for the specific company. The downside is that the quality isn’t always guaranteed like it might be with a universal company that designs standardized apps.
Universal apps are created by companies like Alarm.com. Instead of being tailor-made for one particular home security system, they are compatible with a variety of systems. Quality is generally more standardized, but because universal home security apps are not designed with one particular company in mind, features like new smart home compatibility might take longer to access.
ADT Control App
The ADT Control App has an extensive range of home automation controls. It allows you to arm and disarm your system, view your indoor and outdoor camera footage, and even turn off small appliances like coffee pots. If you purchase a more comprehensive package, the app works with Amazon Alexa, which is a rare feature in home security apps.
- Geo-fencing for climate and security
- Live video monitoring
- Voice control available with some packages
- Custom automation schedules
- Apple Watch integration
- Text and email notifications when a door or window is opened or closed or when the system is armed or disarmed
ADT Pros & Cons
|Two-way talk with advanced packages||Voice control only available with some packages|
|Turn appliances on and off remotely||Some customers noted connection issues in reviews|
|Apple Watch integration|
Vivint Smart Home App
Vivint’s app stands out because unlike many other home security providers, Vivint has all of the smart home controls available through one central app. You don’t even have to purchase a pricy package for this perk—it is included in all of Vivint’s packages. The built-in Sky assistant uses AI to learn your habits, making it easy to customize your smart home controls through the app. It also conserves energy by automatically changing climate control based on how long you are away from your home.
- Central location to control your home security and smart devices
- Customizable notifications and alerts
- Video Playback Upgrade provides 30 days of video storage
- Family plan lets you create and manage up to six personalized accounts
- Smart Clips to save 20 seconds of video for later review
- Instant sensor-triggered mobile alerts
Vivint Pros & Cons
Weigh the pros and cons of Vivint’s app below.
Pros & Cons
|Available through all Vivint packages||Video storage requires upgrade|
|AI assistant to study routines||Must have Vivint home security system|
|Simple smart home integration|
Frontpoint Mobile App
Frontpoint started with Alarm.com’s universal home security app technology before customizing it to cater to Frontpoint customers. DIY installation is automated through the mobile app, and it features an intuitive navigation menu. The previous version of the app required customers to contact customer service whenever they needed to make changes to their app, but now it can be done directly.
- Two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security
- Smart home control
- Real-time push notifications
- Automated DIY installation
- Live footage from your doorbell, indoor, and outdoor security cameras
- Allows up to six users
Frontpoint Pros & Cons
|Live streaming||Requires a comprehensive monitoring plan|
|Simple DIY installation||Some reviewers noticed delayed motion detection alerts|
SimpliSafe Home Security App
SimpliSafe’s intuitive app allows customers to share video from their SimpliCam and Video Doorbell on social media, which is useful for people who like to record their children or pets. The app also comes with alerts for environmental issues like carbon monoxide, fire, and flood.
- View activity log to see who has been in your home
- Share videos on social media
- Monitor environmental sensors
- Set up alerts when someone uses your alarm system code
- Set security sensors to secret alert mode
- Monitor your home with an easy-to-use interface
SimpliSafe Pros & Cons
|Social media sharing||Upgrade required|
|Intuitive interface||Some customer reviews note in-app glitches|
How to Choose a Home Security App
There are several factors to consider when choosing the right home security app for your home. Here are some things to consider:
- Can you arm and disarm your system while you’re away?
- Can you control your door locks anywhere?
- Can you create automated routines?
- Is the interface user-friendly?
- Does it have smart home integration?
- Can you add several different family members to the app?
- Do you need to sign a contract?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best home security app?
We believe each of these four apps has a lot to offer, but Vivint’s home security app is our top choice and is available through all Vivint packages. It offers customizable notifications and alerts, a family plan that lets users create and manage up to six personalized accounts, and provides instant sensor-triggered mobile alerts.
How do I watch my house on my phone?
Many home security apps let you view live footage of your home from your smartphone or tablet. Some even let you view recorded video for up to 30 days.
How many people can I add to my security app?
It depends on the app. Vivint’s home security app will allow you to add up to six people and personalize each of their accounts.
How much do security apps cost?
Home security apps are usually free to download. However, most proprietary apps require you to have a subscription and own the company’s equipment to use them.
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