Number 1 Pick: Frontpoint (Best Overall System)
If you have some DIY skills and would rather install a home security system yourself, you are probably looking for a small, simple system. Frontpoint has a security system that comes with all the features you might need in one and that is so easy to install that you do not need to schedule or pay for professional installation.
However, because it is a traditional home security company, Frontpoint’s monthly monitoring fees are high and at par with what you would pay for older security systems.
Starting at USD45, Frontpoint’s monthly monitoring fees are some of the highest you can pay for a security system. However, if you qualify for Frontpoint’s consumer financing, you can get the equipment for free.
The equipment and payment options help justify the price somewhat though with both monitoring plans including home automation features, a mobile app, Carbon monoxide and smoke monitoring, geological services as well as smash and crash protection. One difference between the two plans, Interactive and Ultimate, is that the chapter plan (Interactive) does not come with video streaming capabilities.
CO and smoke monitoring
Tech and Equipment
Frontpoint gives you lots of options so you can pick and choose the equipment and sensor you need for your particular situation. This way, you do not compromise your home’s security but also get the best set up out of Frontpoint’s selection of security equipment
For the main system’s control, you get a touchscreen control panel, a keypad as well as a smart home hub. You can also choose to add indoor or outdoor cameras as well as a doorbell camera.
Frontpoint’s selection of smart home equipment includes garage door sensors, a smart thermostat as well as smart door locks. To round off, Frontpoint has several sensors including window and door sensors, glass break sensors, smoke, heat, floor, and carbon monoxide sensors as well as garage door sensors.
All the equipment discussed above is up-to-date and follows the latest trends in consumer needs. Frontpoint is one of the very few companies to offer smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring in all of their plans.
Additionally, most of Frontpoint’s devices are compatible with Alexa and Google Home. If you do not already have a smart home hub, Frontpoint can provide you with one.
The Frontpoint customer service team is friendly and seems genuinely interested in what customer needs are. The well-trained associates ask a lot of questions about your home, habits, and lifestyle to pair you with the right equipment and devices.
If you call with an emergency, the monitoring center’s specialists are always calm and ready to help you with any issues you have.
Our Pick: The Interactive Plan
The interactive plan gives you a balance between home monitoring, remote control, and alarm monitoring. Additionally, this plan gives you full control over your security system using Frontpoint’s mobile app.
The Bottom Line
While the USD 44.99 and USD 49.99 pricing for Frontpoint’s monitoring plans might seem expensive, the ability to move your security system wherever you want or even to a new house or apartment is a huge plus. Remember, few security companies let you do this.
Frontpoint offers a lot more than you would get with other DIY security monitoring systems and although it is not available in Quebec, you will still get adequate coverage everywhere else in Canada.
Number 2 Pick: Vivint (Best for Smart Home Automation)
Vivint offers arguably the best smart home security alarm system. Vivint’s system comes with the convenience and benefits you get out of home automation by helping you turn your home into a smart one while still offering you adequate home security.
Its two main downsides are that you cannot use Vivint’s systems in Quebec and if you want to completely own the equipment, you will have to enter into a long-term contract.
Because Vivint’s monthly monitoring plans are cheaper than those of other companies, their smart security systems are available to people with varied budgets. Vivint also differentiates itself from other security companies by offering the mobile Sky app regardless of which monitoring plan you choose. This means you do not have to pay extra for remote access.
Although Vivint’s equipment might be expensive, it is worth it if you can manage to pay for it. For what you pay, you get the latest smart home tech and equipment that is developed and manufactured by Vivint itself.
The lowest cost of the equipment is USD 600. Vivint gives you the option to pay all of it upfront without entering into a contract or using Vivint Flex Pay to finance the purchase. If you go with the latter option, you will be entering into a contract that will last between 42 and 60 months.
Vivint offers you three plans, Smart Security Monitoring, Smart Home Monitoring, and Smart Home Video Monitoring at USD 29.99, 39.99, and 44.99 per month respectively. The Smart Security Monitoring plan comes with the Sky app, the Smart Home Monitoring plan adds smart door locks and a smart thermostat while the Smart Home Video Monitoring plan offers all of these features and adds a doorbell camera and live video streaming capabilities.
Monthly monitoring fee
Smart Home features
Tech and Equipment
Vivint Understands that there is a lot to choose from so they provide a free security assessment to help you pick and choose exactly what you need. Vivint’s professionals will look at your home, and try to see where you have security vulnerabilities as well as assess your preferences and needs before suggesting the equipment that would suit you best.
Some of Vivint’s smart home security equipment that you can choose from include:
- Smart home panel
- Vivint Smart thermometer
- Vivint ping indoor camera
- Smart locks
- Doorbell camera
- Vivint Sky control panel
All of this equipment integrates with the Sky app and works together through it. This gives you control over your whole security system from one central location. Vivint’s equipment is also compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Assistant.
Being a high-end security company, you can expect stellar customer service. Besides the free home assessment, Vivint also has professionals who install the equipment for you, make sure it is working, and show you how to use it.
Our Pick: Smart Home Video
Security cameras and live video streaming capabilities exponentially increase the effectiveness of your security system and this is why we chose the smart home video plan.
It comes with 24/7 professional video monitoring, the Sky mobile app for central control, a USD49.99 fee, and an installation charge of $99.
The Bottom Line
Being a luxury security brand, you can expect to pay more than what you would have paid for other security systems. The installation cost is also worth it if you do not want to install the system yourself and also need someone to show you how it all works together.
Pick Number 3: Ring Alarm (Budget Option)
The Ring Alarm system provides a simple, straightforward option for people who are looking for both of those. You can choose the five-piece Security Kit with a full year of 24/7 security monitoring for USD300.
The one thing you should be aware of is that there are no financing options for the Ring Security Equipment. However, if you can pay for the equipment, you can expect your plans to be around USD 10 per month.
Ring Alarm’s pricing is one of the lowest in the whole market. The equipment costs USD199 to USD329 with professional monitoring costing USD10 per month. To capture new users, Ring also provides two free months of monitoring if you pay for a full year.
Since all of Ring’s services are paid for monthly, you are not at risk of being locked into an expensive contract. Additionally, you might also qualify for a prorated refund if you cancel your yearly plan before it elapses.
Ring has three plans, the one that comes with the equipment, a Protect Basic plan that costs USD3 per month and a Protect Plus plan that costs $10 per month. Do note that only the Protect Plus plan offers 24/7 professional monitoring and only the paid plans offer video recording.
24/7 Professional monitoring
Tech and Equipment
Ring’s home security system is not as robust as that offered by Frontpoint and Vivint but it is great if you need basic home security functionality.
Ring sells three main packages with the one you choose depending on the size of the area you would like to cover. These packages include:
- 5-piece kit (up to 1000 square feet) - This comes with a base station, keypad, contact sensor, and a motion detector. It also comes with a range extender for your Wi-Fi network
- 8-piece kit (up to 1500 square feet) - This comes with everything included in the 5-piece kit but adds three additional contact sensors and one extra motion detector.
- 14-piece Kit (up to 2000 square feet) - This comes with two keypads, eight contact sensors, two motion detectors, and range extenders.
All of this equipment also works with the vast array of indoor and outdoor cameras, video doorbells, and outdoor security lights in Ring’s catalog.
Those that want to monitor more than one device or camera have to buy the Ring Protect Plus plan to get those capabilities on the Ring app.
The Neighbors app is a welcome addition as it helps you see any suspicious or criminal activity in your neighborhood. The reports from the app are sent by users and other interested parties so everyone who is connected can be aware of what is happening around them.
Although Ring’s home security system is DIY, the company offers a lot of information and tutorials on both its app and website. If you need additional support, you can also get in touch with the through their 24/7 phone and online support platforms
Our Pick: 8-Piece Security Kit
If you have multiple windows and doors, you will get adequate coverage with the 8-piece kit. You can use the four entry sensors to secure found entrance pints with the motion detector helping you track movement through the house or even different floors of a house.
The Bottom Line
Ring gives you everything you need to secure your house at a very affordable price. If you are new to home security systems or want to secure a relatively small apartment or house and are on a small budget, Ring might be the best option for you.