The 5 Best Home Security Systems to Give You Peace of Mind

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Getting a home security system is a great way to invest and feel safe in your home. Whether you just moved to a new place in a new neighborhood or have been living in the same area for years, it's never really a bad idea to add a little extra security to your space. And with an increase in packages being stolen year-over-year from 2019 to 2020, according to C+R Research, there's never been a better time to keep an eye on your front door or porch to make sure your mail is getting delivered safe and sound.

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How to Choose a Home Security System

There are several factors to consider when choosing a home security system. According to Ring's Chief Operating Officer Mike Harris, the three main things you should think about are "customization, ease of use, and the security of the device itself."

Where you live can also play a role in your decision. If you're a renter, Harris recommends DIY security systems that require little to no modifications to your walls. "And, finding a system that is easy to put up and take down is key for renters who may move out of the rented home or apartment someday," Harris says. If you live in an apartment, a doorbell camera and smaller devices — along with helpful features like water detection in case of flooding, climate sensors, and motion or entry sensors — might also suffice, Dhruv Garg, co-founder of Kangaroo, says.

If you live in or own a larger home, "a more elaborate system that includes features like sensor detection for windows and doors, both interior and exterior camera coverage, and night vision" would be a great option, Garg tells Hunker. And if you have a backyard, porch, or long driveway, you might want to invest in cameras with lighting, too.

The Pros and Cons of a Home Security System

Of course, there can be plenty of pros and cons of using a home alarm system. A major pro of getting a security system is the overall peace of mind. Cameras inside and out can provide a sense of security and constant protection. But, it's not just from intruders. Many security systems also offer smoke and carbon monoxide sensors to make sure your home is extra safe. The installation of home security systems can also potentially lower your home insurance rates since you're considered less of a risk from theft, fires, flooding, and other types of damage.

As for cons, the biggest setback to using a security system might be privacy concerns. However, there are many options out there that have strict privacy and security settings that can be adjusted to your liking. Another con is the potential for false alarms. Depending on your system, it could lead to unwanted visits from the fire department or sirens going off unintentionally. Then there are the ongoing fees. Many security systems require monthly plans for extra features or lengthy contracts to uphold. And depending on where you live, you may need to get a permit and pay an additional annual fee.

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Best Home Security Systems

From DIY security to all the bells and whistles of smart home tech, scroll through for the best home security systems.

SimpliSafe is a beginner-friendly home security system that's easy to install and even easier on the wallet compared to other options on the market. As one of the brand's most popular systems, The Essentials is great for larger homes, covers the main entrances, and includes motion sensors, entry sensors, home security signage, a wireless keypad to control the alarm, a base station that has smash-safe technology, a 24-hour backup battery, and a 95dB siren. Plus, the system can be voice-controlled through Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Watch, and more. You can also opt for 24/7 professional monitoring, which costs 83 cents per day, no contract needed.

Need more or fewer features? You can also build your own system with burglary sensors, hazard sensors, and even more add ons.

Best With Home Automation: Vivint Smart Home Security System, $599+

With Vivint, you can customize your home security system to your liking not only with sensors, cameras, alarms, and locks, but also gadgets like smart thermostats and smart lighting. Through a mobile app, you can control camera feeds, smart locks, garage doors, and your alarm system no matter where you're located. Vivint offers professional installation and 24/7 monitoring that starts at $19.99 per month. To set up your system, you can call the company for a consultation so the pros can help you pick out the best devices for your home security needs. Additionally, the system can be connected to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and a Nest thermostat to work with the smart devices you already have.

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Ring, a name you've most likely heard of in the home security space, is best known for its doorbell cameras. The brand has wireless, battery-powered, and wired options, including its best-selling Ring Video Doorbell Pro. With existing doorbell wiring, you can DIY this installation yourself or schedule an appointment with Ring to have it professionally installed. The doorbell has dual-band wifi, color night vision, and built-in greetings that you can program with Alexa. You can control the device through the Ring app and get real-time notifications, live video, safety alerts, and more.

In addition to the doorbell and camera offerings, the brand launched Ring Alarm Pro, which not only provides security, but also offers a secure network with a built-in eero wifi 6 router.

The Arlo Pro 4 is a wireless security camera that can be used both indoors and outdoors and connects directly through wifi. It has a 160-degree diagonal viewing angle lens that's great for medium to large spaces, whether you're monitoring your front yard or backyard. It records in 2K high-dynamic range for clear videos and can light up at night with its spotlight, deterring intruders, burglars, and unwanted guests. You can also place the Arlo Pro 4 by your front door and utilize the two-way audio like you would with a doorbell security camera.

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For added protection, you can sign up for Arlo Secure Plans and get access to live video previews, interactive notifications, and a 24/7 quick-response emergency feature.

Perfect for apartments and small homes, the Kangaroo Starter Kit has everything you need to get your home security system going. The security kit includes a siren, keypad, two Roo tags to quickly arm and disarm the system, and two motion and entry sensors. When you buy the kit, it comes with a year-long protection plan that includes $1,000 for theft and damage reimbursement, professional monitoring, and unlocked camera features. Afterward, you can opt-in on protection plans for a monthly fee starting at $1.99. The brand also has even more budget-friendly options, including a doorbell camera and chime, indoor and outdoor cameras, and more.

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