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The Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Who Offers the Best Home Security Systems in Canada?

Did you know there are over 150,000 burglaries in Canada every year? It's no wonder that Canadian home security systems have surged in popularity in recent years. Potential intruders tend to skip homes with security systems when seeking an easy target. And, burglaries and break-ins aren't the only things you might want to protect your home from.

With modern systems, you can integrate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, flooding sensors, and front door cameras to protect your family and belongings from natural disasters or in-home accidents. Plus, with modern connectivity, emergency services can be immediately dispatched when an alert occurs.

Saturday, June 22nd

2024 Canadian Home Security Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Frontpoint Review 5 Star Rating

Frontpoint

5 Star Rating
  • Equipment packages from $132.46 to $600.76 (CAD)
  • Monitoring from $60.37 to $80.50 (CAD) per month
  • 1- to 5-year monitoring contract available
  • No-contract option available
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Free shipping on orders and returns
  • Offers discounts in CAD
  • Available everywhere but Quebec
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

For over a decade, Frontpoint has been a leader in home security systems in Canada, establishing a benchmark with its contract-free approach and budget-friendly equipment, making it a prime choice for safeguarding your home and loved ones. With a high level of customer satisfaction as well as benefits like sales and four options to choose from, Frontpoint is a frontrunner in the Canadian Home Security System industry.

Definitely an option in Canada

There was a little confusion about the Frontpoint website and some questions about whether the company really offered services in Canada. However, after jumping on a chat session with their customer service, we discovered that although there is no Canadian website or manufacturing and all systems are monitored through two US-based locations, they do offer full services throughout Canada except in Quebec. Further, the prices on the website are listed in USD instead of CAD, though the representative we chatted with offered a potential discount to offset the exchange rate for customers who only wish to buy in CAD.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Four packages to choose from

Digging into the packages at Frontpoint, we found four different options to choose from.

  • Starter Home Security System: The Beginner Home Security System offers a fantastic beginning for your home security experience. It's a straightforward collection of DIY security gadgets for your home, and you can personalize it by adding other equipment. The Starter package comes with a FREE Indoor Camera, making it simple to monitor your home even when you're not there. Every home security package comes with access to the Frontpoint app. This package includes:
    • 1x Frontpoint hub and keypad
    • 3x Door/window sensors
    • 1x Home defence kit (3 items)
    • Indoor Camera
    • Cost: $99 (USD) or $132.46 (CAD)
  • Premier Home Security System: If you're seeking advanced home security, the Premier Home Security System is an ideal fit for you. Elevate your home's safety with the Premier package, incorporating the Touchscreen and allowing you to choose a doorbell camera. This package includes:
    • 1x Frontpoint hub and keypad
    • 1x Touchscreen
    • 3x Door/window sensors
    • 1x Doorbell camera (wireless or wired)
    • 1x Home defence kit (3 items)
    • 1x Wired doorbell camera or a wireless doorbell camera
    • Cost: $169 to $199 (USD) or $226.12 to $266.26 (CAD)
  • Ultimate Home Security System: This cutting-edge package is ideal for vigilant homeowners who want to keep a watchful eye on their home and family, including beloved pets, even when they can't be there. The Ultimate Home Security System provides full control, featuring more sensors, additional cameras, and home automation equipment. This package includes:
    • 1x Frontpoint hub and keypad
    • 1x Touchscreen
    • 5x Door/window sensors
    • 1x Motion sensor
    • 1x Glass break sensor
    • 1x Smart door lock (Satin Nickel)
    • 1x Flood sensor
    • 1x Indoor camera
    • 1x Wired doorbell camera or a wireless doorbell camera
    • Cost: $419 to $449 (USD) or $560.62 to $600.76 (CAD)
  • Build Your Own: Tailor your system to include desired features and exclude unnecessary ones, with pricing varying based on your choices. At the time of this review, Frontpoint's Build Your Own package started at $99 (USD) or $132.46 (CAD) with just the Frontpoint Hub & Keypad. In general, it appears more cost-effective to go with a premade package unless you have a very specific home design you want to plan for.

Add any extras you want

No matter what package you go for, you can always add more equipment to your home during checkout. You can find all of the essential home security items sold separately. So, whether you're looking for an extra glass break sensor, a carbon monoxide or flood sensor, or a smart thermostat, you can drop those in your cart along with your selected package. All equipment from Frontpoint can be self-installed, eliminating the need for a professional in-home visit, which can keep costs down.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Monitoring on contract or month-to-month

The only complaint we had with Frontpoint was that it was a little hard to find the price for monitoring. Even after going to the "Monitoring" tab on the website, we struggled to find the pricing per month. Finally, we checked out the chat with Frontpoint reps and were able to find the details there. There are three different pricing tiers for monitoring. First, you can get the $44.99 (USD) or $60.37 (CAD) monthly rate for the Starter Home package. If you want something more comprehensive, the monitoring price goes up to $49.99 (USD) or $67.08 (CAD)/month. However, these prices are specifically for customers who want a 1-5 year contract. If you want to pay month-to-month, the cost for monitoring goes up to $59.99 (USD) or $80.50 (CAD)/month.

Every package was on sale

Frontpoint stands out in terms of affordability when compared to many other home security systems under review. Offering free shipping for both orders and returns, you can anticipate the delivery of your equipment within about a week. At the time of our review, the prices for all the packages were discounted between 69%-82% depending on which package you choose. So, when you jump on to browse, check out their promotions to see if you can get the best deal.

High praise and a 30-day refund policy

Frontpoint enjoys an outstanding reputation, holding an "A+" grade and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. Impressively, customers give Frontpoint an average of 4 stars on third-party review sites like Trustpilot. This includes over 10,000 individual customer reviews, demonstrating a high level of satisfaction across the board. Customers praise the effectiveness of the system and the ease of use especially. One client noted that they were able to move houses and easily take their Frontpoint system with them with zero hassle for reinstalling it. Plus, with Frontpoint's 30-day risk-free guarantee, you can try out your system and service. If it doesn't meet your expectations, Frontpoint will send you a full refund, no questions asked.

Top option in the industry

The bottom line? Frontpoint is a champion of home security. The company wows with all-inclusive packages, easy add-ons, and great customer service. One particular stand out is that despite the company being based in the US, it offers stellar service for Canadian customers. One service rep even offered a discount to make up the conversion difference for customers shopping in CAD. With a solid "A+" rating from the BBB to top it off, there really aren't any downsides to using Frontpoint. For this reason, it easily earns the top spot in our review with a solid 5-star rating.

ThinkPro Review 4.5 Star Rating

ThinkPro

4.5 Star Rating
  • Plans from $259.46 to $779.99 (CAD)
  • 24/7 Monitoring $19.80 to $29.70/month
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • No contract required (but double-check at sign-up)
  • Owned and operated in Canada
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

In the realm of Canadian Home Security Systems, ThinkProtection (or ThinkPro) is one of the few 100% domestic options, managing everything from sales to service within the country. This, coupled with competitive pricing and a commendable reputation, positions ThinkPro as a reliable choice for securing your home. ThinkPro got started in 2014, marking it as one of the newer providers of Home Security Systems on the Canadian market.

Difficult to get information from online chat

Think Protection, or ThinkPro, stands out as one of very few 100% Canadian Home Security System providers that we've reviewed. While we were researching which provinces are covered by ThinkPro, we ran into some snags with their online chat. While it says "live" chat, it became clear while talking with them that this was still an AI system. Rather than answering our question directly about coverage, the AI continued to try and get us to give out our phone and email for promotional emails and calls. After almost 10 minutes of waiting for the chatbot to "check on the information" , we never did get our question about the province coverage answered.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Four pricey package options

Think Pro offers four distinct home security system packages. These include:

  • Value Protection: Created for smaller condos or apartments, this package includes a few key items to get you started:
    • 1x Base system
    • 1x Pinpad
    • 1x Door sensor
    • 1x Motion sensor
    • Cost: $259.99
    • 24/7 Monitoring cost: $0.66 /day
  • Essential Protection: Suited for larger homes, this tier includes a few more system pieces than the Value:
    • 1x Base system
    • 1x Pinpad
    • 1x Door sensor
    • 1x Motion sensor
    • 3x Contact sensors
    • Cost: $389.99
    • 24/7 Monitoring cost: $0.82 /day
  • Total Protection: A comprehensive security system encompassing Essential's features, with some additions:
    • 1x Base system with cell backup
    • 1x LED keypad
    • 2x Motion sensor
    • 3x Contact sensors
    • 1x 3-in-1 home disaster sensor
    • 1x Smoke detector
    • Cost: $569.99
    • 24/7 Monitoring cost: $0.82 /day
  • Total Protection + Video: Designed for homeowners desiring video cameras with cloud storage, this package has the most comprehensive coverage of all (and that's definitely reflected in the price):
    • 1x Base system with cell backup
    • 1x LED keypad
    • 2x Motion sensor
    • 3x Contact sensors
    • 1x 3-in-1 home disaster sensor
    • 1x Smoke detector
    • 1x HD doorbell camera
    • Cost: $779.99
    • 24/7 Monitoring cost: $0.99 /day

Extra equipment listed but unable to buy online

ThinkPro has plenty of options for extras. You can buy individual security items like sensors or extra cameras to support your system. The prices are listed on the site, but there's one snag. At the time of this review, there was no way to add the items to your shopping cart. During most of our interactions with ThinkPro and its customer service team, the goal was to get us to call for a quote. So while you can see how much extras at ThinkPro will cost you, our best guess is you can't buy them until you call in and get a quote from ThinkPro experts.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Monitoring is billed monthly

Monitoring is added on top of your package deal. On the site, the prices are listed by day, but it notes that they are billed monthly. So, what you're really looking at paying for monitoring is anywhere from $19.80 to $29.70 per month. We also couldn't find (even from talking to customer service) if they require a term contract for the monitoring. We do wish this was more transparent on the purchasing page as it can be a little difficult to tell right away that the listed price (which looks very appealing) is calculated daily.

30-day money-back guarantee

ThinkPro offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, providing ample time for you to assess the equipment's performance. The company's site could be much more transparent regarding the guarantee and warranty coverage, as the link to ThinkPro's Terms and Conditions was inaccessible during our review. On top of that, using their on-site chat is very difficult, and many of our questions regarding simple things like warranties or coverage locations went unanswered.

Praise from reviewers and BBB

Despite our troubles with the online chatbot and equipment pricing, ThinkPro has a very impressive reputation. The company holds a high "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Customer testimonials and comments from third-party review sites like Trustpilot echo the positive sentiment, with over 60% rating the service with 5 stars. The average rating from third-party review sites is 4.7 stars out of 5. Customers frequently commend the straightforward self-installation process and the satisfaction of monthly monitoring. Customers particularly appreciated that there was no annual contract for the security system.

One of the best

Despite some struggles with the online chatbot, ThinkPro still stands out as one of the few Canada-grown companies in our review. With stellar ratings and feedback from customers, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a wide range of plans and extras, ThinkPro has a package for every security situation. While we'd still love a little more transparency, ThinkPro is a standout option in our review.

Alarm Guard Review 3.5 Star Rating

Alarm Guard

3.5 Star Rating
  • $42 to $62/month for monitoring and system
  • $99 to $199 activation fee
  • No contract required
  • 60-month contract optional (for a discount)
  • Free shipping on orders
  • Free installation
  • Available in all Canadian provinces
  • Pricing in CAD

Alarm Guard Security has been a leading ADT-authorized provider in Canada for over 20 years and is a member of the ADT dealer program in the United States. With a history dating back to 2003, Alarm Guard notes that it has protected thousands of families. As a provider trusted by Telus (another company featured in our review), Alarm Guard stands as one of Canada's largest and most experienced security and automation companies.

Availability includes Quebec

There is plenty of coverage for Canada at Alarm Guard. This provider serves homes and businesses across Canada. 24/7 protection is included for all provinces including:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

And, the site for Alarm Guard has a .ca URL, which means all of the details are listed in CAD, making the shopping experience much simpler with no conversion concerns.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Three package options

There are three packages to choose from at Alarm Guard, though they were a little difficult to find. Between a handful of broken links, confusing page titles, and a lot of scrolling, we finally found the three packages under the Home Alarm Systems option nearly halfway down the page. All of the packages are run with smart home technology backed by ADT and Telus. Here are the different tiers you can expect at Alarm Guard:

  • Secure
    • Smart keypad
    • 3x Door sensors
    • 1x Motion sensor
    • Interactive app
    • 24/7 monitoring
    • Free shipping
    • Certificate issued
    • Cost: $42 (CAD) per month
    • Activation cost: $99 (CAD)
  • Secure Plus
    • All the features of Secure
    • Doorbell camera
    • Cost: $52 (CAD) per month
    • Activation cost: $99 (CAD)
  • Complete Control
    • All the features of Secure Plus
    • Smart light bulb
    • Cost: $62 (CAD) per month
    • Activation cost: $199 (CAD)

No extras available at Alarm Guard

During our research into Alarm Guard, we didn't find any add-ons available for purchase. For example, if you want an extra motion sensor, you won't be able to find that item by itself on Alarm Guard's website. The company specializes in providing full packages (with installation free of charge). However, there aren't any listings for individual home security items at this provider. There is a DIY section of the site where you can specify how many motion detectors you want, and Alarm Guard will send you an estimate for your home, but it's disappointing that you aren't able to piece together the extras yourself.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Monitoring included in price

According to the Alarm Guard site, other than a $99 to $199 (CAD) activation fee (depending on the plan of your choice), there aren't any extra fees (outside of the listed monthly cost) for the 24/7 monitoring offered by Alarm Guard. The prices are a bit higher at Alarm Guard than at some of its competitors, which might make this all-in-one approach less appealing to some. While you aren't required to have a contract (you just pay month-to-month after the activation fee, if you commit to a contract of 60 months you can receive $5 /month off of the package options listed above.

Free shipping but no listed return policy

Another bonus? Shipping from Alarm Guard is totally free. No matter which plan you choose, you can avail yourself of 100% free shipping and free installation if you want it. One thing we couldn't find, though, was a return policy, which raised a few questions about whether free shipping is included for returns. It would be helpful for the Alarm Guard to provide more transparency regarding returns.

Mid-tier ratings for security frustrations

The reputation for Alarm Guard is pretty average. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Alarm Guard has a mid-tier "B-" rating. Further, from verified customer reviews at sites like Trustpilot, Alarm Guard only has a 3.5-star rating overall, which shows mixed feedback regarding the company's effectiveness. Customers complained about emergency alerts from Alarm Guard that were not real emergencies, citing that the company "created more stress" rather than making them feel secure. Some customers signed up and paid the $99 fee and waited months for their actual security system to come in. On the other hand, customers who liked Alarm Guard note that the customer service reps at Alarm Guard are very pleasant and easy to understand.

Mid-tier service but great for buying in CAD

There are some solid benefits to going with Alarm Guard, like their wide coverage for different provinces (including Quebec). The free shipping is a huge bonus, and free installation will be great if you don't feel like trying to figure out your security system on your own. However, the downsides balance out the positives, with no extras available to buy separately, and some pretty mixed reviews from customers and an uninspiring "B-" rating from the BBB.Alarm Guard definitely has got some good points worth checking into (especially since their listings are in CAD), but the concerns from customers raise enough questions to bring down Alarm Guard's rating overall.

Ring Review 3 Star Rating

Ring

3 Star Rating
  • $179.99 to $699.99 for system kits
  • Monthly monitoring for $5.99 to $15 (CAD)/month
  • 30-day returns
  • No required contracts
  • Free shipping on orders and returns
  • "B+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Available everywhere but Quebec

Ring is a company that makes smart home gadgets like video doorbells, security cameras, and alarms. Founded in 2013 by Jamie Siminoff, Ring is one of the most well-known names in home security. Amazon acquired Ring in 2018, and the company has expanded since then to offer its services in Canada as well as across the US.

Available in all provinces except Quebec

Ring, renowned for its camera doorbells, extends its reach to professional monitoring services in Canada. While you'll need to set your website preferences to Canada, this little step will make your shopping experience much easier. Ring even lists the prices in CAD. Ring accommodates customers across all provinces except Quebec due to licensing restrictions in that region.

3 types of home kits

There are three different categories of kits available from Ring to get you started with a Home Security System. These categories are Connected Starter Kits, Protected Starter Kits, and Whole Home Starter Kits. There are multiple kit types in each category as well as a range of prices that make it easy to pick out the best system to cover either just your front door or your entire home. Here's how the prices shake out:

  • Connected
    • 3x Bundle options
    • Focus on front door only
    • Cost: $179.99 to $419.99
  • Starter
    • 3x Bundle options
    • Include 5-14 pieces for alarms and door monitoring
    • Cost: $269.99 to $499.99
  • Whole Home
    • 3x Bundle options
    • Include 5-15 pieces for alarms, cameras, and doorbell
    • Cost: $359.99 to $699.99

Grab extra cameras and lights

On top of the kits, you can also buy extras individually if you feel like you need something more to protect your home. You can buy just doorbells, cameras, alarms, and extra lighting if you want a little more protection on top of the bundled kits.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Self or pro-level monitoring

Ring offers two plans for monitoring. The Basic Plan is affordably priced at $5.99 (CAD)/month or $50 (CAD)/year, and the Plus Plan is at $15 (CAD)/month or $150 (CAD)/year. These plans cover an unlimited number of security devices in a home, offering a cost-effective solution. Opting for the Plus Plan grants additional benefits such as:

  • 24/7 alarm professional monitoring
  • Alarm cellular backup
  • Request for help with SOS
  • Extended warranties for all devices

Self-monitor with Basic plan

On the other hand, the Basic Plan allows you to self-monitor your security through smartphone alerts. The best part is there is no requirement for a commitment to a contract. However, if you'd like to commit to a full year in advance you can get up to $20 off your total yearly cost.

Free shipping and 30-day returns

Ring provides a hassle-free shopping experience with free expedited shipping and complimentary returns. Orders over $49 qualify for the free shipping promotion (and since most of the systems from Ring are well over that mark, you're all set). Plus, if you're not completely satisfied with your purchase, Ring offers free returns for all orders made directly from the Ring website. You just need to have your return started within 30 days of when you received your item.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

No customer service according to reviews

Ring maintains a "B+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, signalling a mostly positive reputation. However, customer reviews present a mixed picture. Over 70% of 4800+ customers on Trustpilot gave Ring a 1-star rating. Customers have complained about the short battery life on the doorbell or that the system is often "offline" or hard to reconnect if something goes wrong with the wifi. Other complaints talk about how difficult it is to get in touch with Ring's customer service team. In fact, a high number of the reviews have comments on the customer service with words like "awful," "terrible," and "disgusting," coming up over and over to describe the experience with Ring's service reps.

Lack of customer service brings down the rating

While benefits like the return policy and pricing in CAD are a huge plus at Ring, the total lack of customer service highlighted in customer reviews is a pretty big red flag. Considering that other companies offer service across Canada (minus Quebec) that have much better reputations overall, Ring's benefits don't help it out as much as they could. Though for an option that's not too pricey, you may still want to look into Ring. Just keep in mind that if you get stuck with a problem, their service team will be hard to get any help from. Ring isn't the worst out there, but it definitely has some room for improvement in the customer service department.

Ooma Review 2.5 Star Rating

Ooma

2.5 Star Rating
  • $279.99 to $399.99 for security system packages
  • Monthly monitoring from $0 to $19.99/month
  • No contract required
  • 30-day return policy
  • Available everywhere but Yukon, Northwest Territory, and Nunavut

Billing itself as an affordable wireless security system, Ooma is one of the most modern-looking sites in our review. Known as a phone and internet provider, Ooma also has its own security service. Though the options are slim at Ooma compared to some of its competitors, the full security system may include totally free monitoring depending on what features you're looking for. While this doesn't stand out as a fan favourite, the free monitoring, specifically, could make it worth your while to check it out.

Available across Canada

Ooma is available in Canada which includes service in all provinces except for area code 867, located in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. As a bonus, since the company is based in Canada, all of the details on the website are in CAD, making shopping easy and quick without the need to make any conversions.

Two starter packs at Ooma

There are two starter kits available at Ooma. These include everything you need to protect your home including keypads, sensors, and sirens. The packages are one-time purchases and are separate from the monitoring fees. Here's what you'll find in both packages:

  • Ooma 7-Sensor Home Security Starter Pack
    • 1x Ooma Telo
    • 4x Door/window sensors
    • 1x Motion Sensor
    • 1x Water sensor
    • 1x Siren
    • Cost: $279.99
  • Ooma 11-Sensor Home Security Starter Pack
    • 1x Ooma Telo
    • 1x Siren
    • 1x Keypad
    • 1x Motion sensor
    • 1x Garage sensor
    • 1x Water sensor
    • 6x Door/window sensors
    • Cost: $399.99

Extras offered at reasonable prices

There are plenty of extras to choose from at Ooma. From door and window sensors, garage door sensors, and water sensors to alarms and keypads, everything that you find in the starter packs can also be purchased separately. The prices range from $29.99 per item to $74.99 per item, so you can pick and choose how much you want to spend.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Free monitoring for basic plan

There are some pretty good deals for monitoring at Ooma and there are no contracts required. There are three tiers for a monthly prescription available. One of those is totally free. Here are the different options for monitoring services:

  • Monitor Plan
    • Unlimited sensors
    • Real-time push notifications for sensor events
    • Audible Telo announcements in the home
    • Mobile app dashboard with real-time status of all sensors
    • Instant alerts (motion, sound, face, anti-tamper)
    • Cost: Free
  • Secure Plan
    • All features from the Monitor Plan
    • Remote siren
    • Remote 911
    • Phone calls, text messages, and email notifications
    • Auto arm/disarm
    • Cost: $6.99/month
  • Pro Secure Plan
    • All features from the Secure Plan
    • Professional Monitoring
    • Cost: $19.99/month

30-day money-back guarantee

Ooma supports customers by offering a 30-day money-back guarantee. This guarantee covers all Ooma Office hardware, so you can be sure that your security system is included in the deal. However, Ooma does not offer any refunds for the first month of service for monitoring, so if you go for a monitoring choice that isn't free, you'll lose that investment if you return your system.

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Reviews raise some red flags

Despite some great features, Ooma doesn't have a stellar reputation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or reviewers. Starting with the BBB rating, Ooma has a concerning "NR" rating and 300+ customer complaints listed on the BBB in the last three years. Further, its rating from trusted third-party review sites like Trustpilot shows that Ooma has just 2.3 stars out of 5. Customers complained that Ooma was overpriced for the features included, and that systems were down for days at a time. And that Ooma is very hard to cancel once you have it. While many customers review the telephone service offered by Ooma specifically, those with the security systems also felt that it was difficult to get customer service to help them when there was an issue.

Free monitoring not enough to impress

While we love the 30-day return policy and the fact that some of their monitoring features are totally free, we can't disregard the customers' concerns about Ooma. Especially with some of the complaints regarding downtime for the Home Security Systems, paying for something you can't use does defeat the purpose. So, you may want to go for a more reliable company that shows better ratings from the BBB and customers alike. While you might still like the features or free monitoring (so, it is worth checking out), just be aware of the low ratings and disappointing customer feedback.

Abode Review 2 Star Rating

Abode

2 Star Rating
  • Kits or bundles from $187.31 to $535.19 (CAD)
  • Monitoring for $9.35 to $30.76 (CAD) per month
  • 30-day return policy
  • Available everywhere but Quebec

Abode was founded in 2014 with headquarters located in San Francisco, California. In 2018, Abode secured a majority stake investment from Nice S.p.A., an Italian tech company renowned globally for its home automation, security, and smart home solutions. Specializing in integrated automation for various systems, including gates, garage doors, solar shading, parking, wireless alarms, and security, Abode was able to reach international markets.

Offered across Canada

Despite its inception as an American-based company, Abode is all about international security. The front page of the site says right away that the Abode DIY system is a top-rated choice in Canada. We reached out to their customer service team to get some extra details about coverage in Canada as well as the differentiation between USD and CAD on the site. Here's what we found: Abode offers both cellular backup and professional monitoring across Canada. The only exception is that professional monitoring is not available in Quebec at this time. However, Abode only offers purchases in USD, which could make the systems more expensive for customers shopping in CAD. The customer service rep noted that the devices are "discountable" without any specifics about how to help customers buy in CAD.

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7 packages to choose from

There are a few ways to get a full system from Abode. First, you can choose from their "kits" . There are three to choose from ranging from $139.99 to $279.99 (USD) or $187.31 to $374.63 (CAD). The options include:

  • Abode Security kit
    • Security hub
    • 1x Mini door/window sensor
    • 1x Key fob
    • Cost: $187.31 (CAD)
  • Smart Security Kit
    • 1x Smart security hub
    • 1x Mini door/window sensor
    • 1x Motion sensor
    • 1x Key fob
    • 1x Window sticker
    • Cost: $214.07 (CAD)
  • Iota All-In-One Security Kit
    • 1x Iota hub (camera and motion sensor)
    • 1x Mini door/window sensor
    • 1x Key fob
    • Cost: $374.63 (CAD)

Special Bundles

If you're looking for something a bit more built out, you can try the Special Bundles, which offer a lot more equipment for a full-home security system. You can choose from an 8, 9, 12, or 14-piece bundle that includes a variety of extra motion sensors, door sensors, and 1 free month of pro-level monitoring included in purchase. The bundles range from $299.99 to $399.99 (USD) or $401.39 to $535.19 (CAD).

Buy add-ons of any kind

On top of the bundles, you can expect to find some extras sold separately. If you want to add an extra camera, wireless doorbell, up to 6 different types of window protection, motion sensor, or other security accessories, you can find them all on the shop tab. You can add these to your bundle or kit order, or buy them separately after the fact.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Standard "Self-monitoring" Plan

There are two plans to choose from at Abode for monitoring and both are designed on a monthly payment system. Starting with the Standard Plan, this is listed as the "self-monitoring" plan. So, you won't have pro monitoring included in the price. Here are the benefits you can expect:

  • Unlimited cameras
  • Live and recorded video
  • Notifications
  • Video storage
  • Timeline
  • Home automation
  • In-app panic alarms
  • Premium support
  • Smart detect
  • Cost: $6.99 (USD) or $9.35 (CAD)/month

Pro "Professional Monitoring" Plan

With the Pro Plan, also known as the "professional monitoring plan" , you get all of the benefits of the Standard Plan along with:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Cellular backup
  • Free ground shipping within the lower 48 states
  • Access to exclusive deals and discounts
  • Homeowners insurance discounts
  • Cost: $22.99 (USD) or $30.76 (CAD)/month.

Equipment is extra

Both the Standard and the Pro plans don't include any of the equipment. These are just plans for your security system to function. If you want to get the gear, you'll have to go to the "shop" tab instead. On the bright side, no matter what option you choose you don't have to commit to a contract.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

No help with shipping costs

One place you won't run into a great deal with Abode is shipping. They do charge for shipping, and if you're having your security system shipped to Canada, you'll have to cover the customs and extra fees yourself. There's no extra help from the company here, which is a little disappointing since Abode is specifically known (according to its site) for shipping to Canadian households.

Low scores for Abode

Unfortunately, Abode doesn't do so well with its reputation either. According to Abode's page on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the company holds a concerning "D+" rating overall. There have been 44 complaints on the BBB for Abode within the last three years and the company has a 1.3-star rating too. On trusted third-party review sites, Abode has a 3.2-star average, which is more middle-of-the-road, but still not very impressive. According to customers, Abode feels "basic" for too high of a price and there are a range of complaints about items like the key fobs not working regularly to disarm the security system. While the company does have a 30-day return policy, all shipping expenses are paid for by you, which could get seriously pricey with international shipping.

Nothing outstanding about Abode

With some serious concerns from the BBB as well as a range of complaints regarding product quality, Abode doesn't stand out from the pack. Despite being fully functional in Canada (minus Quebec), there isn't a lot of support in place to make the purchasing process easier for customers outside the US. With expensive shipping and customs fees, as well as a mid-tier quality level, Abode doesn't really impress.

Canadian Security Professionals Review 2 Star Rating

Canadian Security Professionals

2 Star Rating
  • $34.99 to $45.99 (CAD)/month with monitoring included
  • Customizable systems
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

Canadian Security Professionals (CSP) is a Canadian-based company that offers peace of mind to thousands of Canadians with 24/7 security. As one of the largest privately owned Canadian Home Security System companies in Ontario, CSP provides customizable security options with a variety of packages so CSP can create the best fit for your home. CPA's systems use dedicated cellular connections to monitor your home security. This means you won't need a phone line or internet for your alarm system to communicate with CSP monitoring stations which creates a reliable and secure connection.

Currently limited to three provinces

CSP operates five alarm monitoring stations in Canada along with backup monitoring facilities in the USA. These monitoring stations are interconnected for swift dispatch in case of a home emergency. All of the CSP staff members work within Canada, so you can trust that your service rep and tech support will be in Canadian time zones and familiar with your area. There's only one snag. Despite being based in Canada, CSP's service areas are currently limited to only two provinces: Ontario and British Columbia. However, CSP notes that it's their goal to offer coverage for all of Canada in the future. Thankfully, as this is a Canadian company, all of the prices are listed in CAD.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Four packages with custom options

There are four different packages available through CSP. These are all on a monthly payment cycle. One of the features is that CSP promises that these pre-built packages are fully customizable. Here are some of the features you can expect without customizations:

  • Secure
    • All-in-one touchscreen security system keypad with cellular
    • 24/7 monitoring
    • Wireless door sensors
    • Wireless motion sensor
    • Glass break sensors
    • Backup battery
    • Extended warranty
    • Cost: $34.99/month
  • Smart Secure
    • All features from Secure
    • Alarm app and web access (for smartphones, tablets, and computers)
    • Smartphone/email/text notifications
    • Remote arming/disarming
    • Cost: $39.99/month
  • Smart Secure + Automation
    • All features from Smart Secure
    • Automation for smart door locks, smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart garage doors, and smart doorbells
    • Cost: $39.99/month
  • Smart Secure + Video
    • All features from Smart Secure
    • Wi-Fi cameras for smart doorbells, and smart outdoor and indoor cameras
    • Cost: $45.99/month

You have to call for a quote

These are all starting prices. All of the packages say "and up" on the pricing part of the page. Unfortunately, the site doesn't list the high end of the price range. To get a fully accurate pricing on a package for your home, CSP requires you to make a call for a quote.

Extras offered but no prices available

If you need to replace something or add another feature to your package, you're in luck. You can buy individual extras from CSP. The options include extra video monitoring screens, home automation devices, smart thermostats, smart locks, and smart doorbells. While we were surprised not to see window and door monitors like those offered by other providers, there was still a competitive range of extras. However, to get prices for these extras, you'll have to call, as there are no prices listed on the website. Considering the importance of Home Security Systems, we would have appreciated more transparency regarding price.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Monitoring included in price

One benefit of the monthly price is that it offers an all-in-one solution. You don't have to pay anything extra for monitoring services. The cost is already rolled into your monthly payment for your security system. However, there is a required contract for monitoring services. You are required to commit to a minimum 36-month monitoring agreement, using Cellular Connection for your security needs, a note that is hidden in the terms and conditions page.

Don't commit if you're on the fence

Only the basic package (which we assume to be the "Secure" package as the website doesn't offer the specific name) offers free installation, and other packages will have "varied" installation charges depending on your home. If you want to cancel your agreement with CSP, they don't make it easy. CSP's terms and conditions state that you'll need to provide a 30-day notice in writing to CSP. And if you decide to cancel during the initial contract term (the 36 months), a termination fee will apply. This fee will vary by location and cost up to the amount of fees left on your balance of the initial term (you pay the entire 36-month cost in one go as a cancellation fee. Yikes!).

Mixed reviews raise some questions

CSP has a mixed reputation depending on where you look. So, let's start with the good news first. At the Better Business Bureau (BBB), CSP holds a perfect "A+" rating and accreditation. However, as the CSP had no reviews or star ratings from the BBB, we checked out verified third-party review sites to get the scoop from customers who actually used the system. This is where the bad news comes in. According to customers on Trustpilot, the average rating for CSP is just 2.8 stars. Customers complained about feeling "locked into a contract" and that customer service reps are argumentative when customers have questions.

Red flags abound

Overall the lack of transparency and the difficulties with customer service are pretty glaring red flags for CSP. While we love that the company is Canadian-based, it doesn't serve most provinces and is missing some key features like door and window monitors. These concerns plus the extremely unfriendly cancellation policy make CSP one of the lower-ranked providers in our review.

Telus Review 1.5 Star Rating

Telus

1.5 Star Rating
  • $15 to $54/month for system and monitoring
  • No contract required
  • Available across the country

An award-winning company, Telus is a well-known tech provider known for having an impressive 15.2 million customer connections. Telus' extensive offerings include the deployment of a national 5G network spanning both urban and rural regions throughout Canada. On top of that, Telos offers a range of tech solutions for private customers, covering Internet, home phone lines, TV bundles, smart Home Security Systems, and online security. The company was founded in 1990 in Edmonton, making it one of the few companies on our list that got their start outside of the US.

Availability across Canada

Being one of the largest companies in Canada has its benefits. Telus has an impressive network that covers every province. However, Telus does warn that customers living in more rural areas where connections are sparse to begin with may still struggle to get a solid connection through Telus. Since this company is based in Canada, all of the prices on the Telus site for Home Security Systems are listed in CAD.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Four packages with 3-year commitments

At Telus, the packages and monitoring services are all extremely simple. Everything is rolled into one monthly price. There are four different pricing tiers to choose from. The two lowest tiers offer self-monitoring systems, and the two highest tiers offer professional monitoring included in the cost. The only snag is you are required to commit to a minimum term length of 3 years (with some of the terms being even longer). Here are the features you can expect from Telus' tiers:

  • Smart Camera
    • Self-monitoring
    • Basic online security package
    • 1x camera of your choice
    • Minimum commitment: 3 years
    • Cost: $15 /month
  • Smart Automation Plus
    • Self-monitoring
    • Basic online security package
    • 2x Automation devices
    • 1x Camera of your choice
    • Minimum commitment: 3 years
    • Cost: $25 /month
  • Secure + Video
    • Professional 24/7 monitoring
    • Standard online security package
    • 1x Security starter kit
    • 1x Camera of your choice
    • Minimum commitment: 3-5 years
    • Cost: $42 to $47/month
  • Control + Video
    • Professional 24/7 monitoring
    • Standard online security package
    • 1x Security starter kit
    • 3x Automation devices
    • 1x Camera of your choice
    • Minimum commitment: 3-5 years
    • Cost: $49 to $54 /month

Extras are confusing

While the Telus site seems to advertise extra items to add to your security package, our research shows this isn't actually the case. Instead, each extra item redirects you to the packages page where you pick out the prefab packages already priced out by Telus. With other companies allowing for customization or at least the purchase of extra alarms or cameras during the initial sign-up, this feels a little lacklustre in comparison.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Expensive cancellations with Telus

The cancellation terms and returns aren't stellar with Telus. Since you're committing to a 3-year contract minimum due to the added monitoring included in your package, it can be expensive to change out of Telus if you don't like the service. However, there are a few ways you can get out of the contract without paying.

  • First, you have the ability to cancel this contract from the moment you agree to it until 10 days after you receive a copy of the contract, and no specific reason is required for cancellation.
  • The second way is if the security equipment or services are not delivered within 30 days of the contract date, you have the right to cancel within one year from the contract date.

If neither of those is an option for you, here's what you can expect: if you cancel your monitoring services or payment before the contract period is over, you'll be charged a $136.50 removal fee, an installation fee of $409.50, and $75.00 for each free service call conducted. Ouch!

Some of the lowest ratings out there

If you weren't impressed with the cancellation problems, well, neither were other customers. Reviews for Telus are some of the lowest scores in our review with only a 1.2-star average on Trustpilot. Customers say that Telus customer service is "shockingly bad" and some have waited for hours on the phone just to not have their issues resolved. The news from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) isn't great either. The company has a mid-tier "B" rating, and there have been over 500 complaints lodged with the BBB in the last 3 years.

Not a fan favourite for anyone

While the full-country coverage is impressive (so long as you don't live in rural areas), Telus falls flat from the high expectations set by this industry giant. The prices are a little high and without customizable security packages or extras, the selection of security systems feels lacklustre. Plus, if you want to cancel within your 3-year minimum contract time, Telus makes it a huge pain (and an expensive process). At the end of the day, our research leads us to agree with the customers.

Vivint Review 1 Star Rating

Vivint

1 Star Rating
  • Available throughout Canada
  • Must be ordered directly from a rep, can't be purchased online
  • Options for smart home automation

Vivint, with a substantial customer base exceeding two million in both Canada and the US, is a well-known company often represented by door-to-door visits. The popularity of Vivint home security systems is attributed to their comprehensive integration, allowing you to connect locks, cameras, lighting, and thermostats through a hub or smartphone app, compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. However, there's one huge problem with Vivint: you can't get anything done unless you're willing to sit on the phone with one of their reps.

No details about availability

While Vivint says that it serves Canadian households, there aren't a lot of details to help you understand which provinces are covered. Further, the site is not a .ca website which raises questions about what currency the site will use. But, as we couldn't find any detailed pricing on the site, this didn't become an issue. However, if you do call it, you may need to be prepared to ask for your quote in CAD specifically.

No pricing on the website

Determining the cost of a Vivint home security system poses a challenge. The only way you can purchase your system is through a company representative. To that end, the company maintains intentional vagueness about costs, with statements such as "costs less than the average monthly cell phone bill". Customized quotes for each caller, potentially accompanied by upselling, contribute to the ambiguity. Customer feedback on the internet reveals potential high costs, with instances of individuals paying over $2,000 (USD), which is around $2,680.10 (CAD), for two cameras and four window sensors under lengthy service contracts. Whoa!

No price transparency for monitoring

Now, the lack of details on pricing for monitoring is the same as for the security systems themselves. There's just nothing to find on the Vivint website. While it's clear Vivint does offer 24/7 monitoring, it's not clear if this is through monthly payment separately or if the cost is rolled into what you pay for your system. The lack of transparency at Vivint is particularly frustrating.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Return policy is missing

During our research, we looked for information on returns or a 30-day trial, and couldn't find anything on Vivint's website. Given the other concerns about transparency, we weren't surprised. While you will have time to ask a rep questions if you decide to get on the phone with one, and hopefully you'll be able to get the details about returns or a possible trial period, it's still concerning that the site itself seems so committed to giving you no helpful information. The Vivint site is a perfect example of something that looks pretty but has pretty much zero substance.

Abysmal reputation

The company holds a "C+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, accompanied by over 6,500 complaints filed in the last three years. Customer complaints include problems with billing, unaddressed system malfunctions, and challenges in transferring services when moving to a new home. Vivint also recently faced legal issues with the US Federal Trade Commission, for fraudulent practices related to credit reports and unauthorized cosigners added to contracts. On top of it all, third-party review sites show that the average rating for Vivint is 1.1 stars out of 5, making Vivint one of the lowest-scoring providers in our review of Canadian Home Security Systems.

Not worth the hassle

Vivint's placement at the bottom of home security system providers in Canada is primarily due to its negative reputation. But even with a poor reputation, we were shocked to see the complete lack of transparency on Vivint's website. Given that there's no way to get any details from Vivint without calling a representative, the entire site feels outdated and more than a little questionable. So, keep yourself safe and stress-free by checking out one of our higher-rated companies instead.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

The good news is that whether you're moving in somewhere new, or you're looking for a little extra security at your existing family home, there are lots of choices for Canadian Home Security Systems on the market today. From systems that are straightforward do-it-yourself packages with just a few sensors, to cutting-edge professionally-installed security systems, there's a package out there for homes and budgets of every size.

Whether you want to monitor your own home or have a pro watch over your family, modern security systems can help keep you and your loved ones safe. And just having a security system or clearly indicating that you have 24/7 monitoring on your home can prevent criminal activity before it even starts. As an additional perk, some homeowners even enjoy reduced insurance costs with a security system in place.

There are a lot of companies out there vying for attention in the Canadian home security market. How can you determine the best fit for your needs? Consider these factors to help you make the best decision for your home:

  • Canada-based service. You'll want to be sure that the security system provider operates in Canada, with call centers and representatives located in the country. Many companies are based in the US, which can cause problems with pricing and service in certain provinces.
  • Equipment and installation. Check out the range of sensors, detectors, cameras, and other equipment offered by the company. How much of it is included in the monthly fees? Do you have to pay extra for the equipment you need? It's also important to check if the system allows for self-installation or requires professional installation.
  • Monitoring service. How much does the company charge for a 24/7 monitoring service? Some include this cost in the price of the security system while others charge separately for that protection.
  • Contracts. Check if the service requires a long-term contract. With some contracts extending up to 5 years with penalties for early termination, you may not want to get sucked into a contract option. Keep an eye out for companies that offer month-to-month plans with no long-term commitment.
  • Reputation. Consider the Better Business Bureau rating and customer reviews for different Canadian Home Security Systems. Other customers can give you a good idea of what kind of service you can expect.

With all those details squared away, all you need is your new Canadian Home Security System to help you feel at ease in your home.. To that end, Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best home security systems available in Canada today. We hope this helps you select a home security system that gives you the 24/7 protection you need for your home and family!

The Best Canadian Home Security Systems Compare Canadian Home Security Systems Compare Canadian Home Security Reviews What are the best Canadian Home Security Systems Best Canadian Home Security Reviews

Canadian Home Security FAQ

There are more than 2 million break-ins every year in the United States alone. Home security systems are the most logical way to give yourself the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you, your loved ones and your property are being watched over.
The most important feature is 24/7 monitoring, which most services offer as part of your monthly fees. At a minimum, you'll want to have sensors for all of the exterior doors in your residence.
There are many add-ons that can offer additional security and protection. Your home security system could have smoke and CO2 detectors, flooding sensors, motion detectors, night vision cameras, and much more.
You'll find plans both with and without required service contracts. The tradeoff is usually in the price of the equipment vs. the monthly service fees. (See the next question for more on that.)
That depends. You should expect two costs: equipment and monthly service charges. Some providers of home security systems give you the equipment "for free", as long as you sign a contract (usually 2-5 years). Others have you pay for the equipment upfront as a one-time charge, but their monthly fees tend to be lower. And, with most services, you'll pay more for monthly monitoring if your system has all of the bells and whistles.
One of the most customer-friendly aspects of today's home security systems is DIY installation. While there are still a handful of companies that require you to sit down with a sales rep and then wait for a professional to come and set up your system, the vast majority are designed to be easy and fast for you to install yourself. You'll have ample support via phone or online chat if you need extra guidance during the process.
Yes, most of the time. You'll typically have a 30-day window to use your home security system and decide if it provides the protection and service you need. Terms vary, however: you may get a full refund for all fees paid, or you may only be allowed to break your contract without getting any money back. Be sure to understand the details of any plan you select, before you sign up.
Usually, yes. Because of the do-it-yourself nature of most of today's systems, you can uninstall and move your equipment just as easily as you set it up the first time. You'll just need to update the company with your current address, so that emergency responders have the right location in the event of an alarm.

Home Security Systems Terminology

There are many terms used by home security companies to describe their products. Here we have described what many of these terms mean so you can use them when looking at our home security systems reviews.

  • 2-Way Intercom: This refers to the ability for homeowners to communicate directly with their home security monitoring service with provided equipment.
  • 24-Hour Monitoring: When a home security system has 24 hour monitoring, it means that the alarm company has a monitoring facility that is staffed by real people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that any time of day your home alarm sounds, someone is watching your system and you'll receive notification from your monitoring service.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Recently, home security companies have started including carbon monoxide detectors as a part of their home alarm packages.
  • Cellular Monitoring: a cellular connection is the safest home security option, since your alarm system won't go down if your telephone lines are cut or your wireless connection goes down. Cellular monitoring is only considered 100% dedicated if the home security system provides a cellular signal between your sensors and the control panel, as well as between the control panel and your monitoring station. Some providers only offer a cellular connection between the sensors and the control panel.
  • DIY Systems: Do It Yourself systems cut out the professional alarm system installation fees that many security companies charge. These systems are usually wireless in order to make installation as easy as possible. They tend to be good for renters since these alarm systems can usually be moved.
  • Door and Window Sensors: Door and window sensors are a basic component of any home security system. They notify your alarm monitoring service when a door or window is opened and the contact between two sensors is broken.
  • Equipment Manufacturer: Depending on your home security company, the manufacturer of the actual alarm equipment you receive may be provided by a 3rd party technology company, developed by the alarm company themselves, or intermingled between a number of different manufacturers. If you choose to change home security companies in the future, this can make upgrading or changing your alarm system expensive and complex.
  • Equipment Warranty: This refers to the coverage provided if the home security equipment you install is faulty or malfunctions in any way. Depending on your home security company, your equipment may be covered by a full lifetime warranty, a limited time warranty, or an optional warranty for additional cost.
  • Flood Sensors: For homes with basements or close to water sources, flood sensors can be an important feature. Flood sensors will trigger the home security system if it determines that excess water may be accumulating in your home.
  • Freeze Sensors: Freeze sensors help prevent damage from burst frozen pipes or other cold-related damage that can occur in homes that experience extremely cold temperatures.
  • Heat Sensors: Some home security systems provide heat sensors that can help detect the threat of fire by measuring changes in temperature. Heat sensors do not provide smoke detection.
  • Home Automation: Home automation refers to the ability for a homeowner to control certain events in their home, such as lighting, heating, and cooling, through their security system. These functions can be controlled by the homeowner whether they're at work or on vacation.
  • Interactive Monitoring: Many home security companies now offer the ability to monitor your system through online websites or smart phone applications. These utilities will let you turn on your home alarms, receive messages if your alarm sounds, and in some cases even control certain events in your home through home automation.
  • Garage Door Sensors: Garage door sensors are similar to Door and Window sensors, except they are specifically designed to work with garage doors.
  • Glass Break Sensors: When a window is broken, the glass break sensor notifies your monitoring service.
  • Personal Security Devices: These devices usually come in the form of bracelets or ceiling pulls that can be used to call for medical attention through the security system monitoring service. They are usually requested by elderly people or individuals who have special medical needs.
  • Relocation: Systems that can be relocated let homeowners take their home alarm system with them if they move, and have it installed in their new home for free or for a minimal fee. Relocating a home security system can be important for people who move frequently or live in rental properties.
  • Upfront Cost: A home security system's upfront cost is the amount of money needed to have a security system installed. This includes the cost of installation and equipment.
  • Wireless Sensors: Wireless sensors do not have to be hardwired into home security systems in order to work. They're more convenient to install and are more practical because they can be moved without drilling holes in your walls.

Features You Can Expect to Find in a Home Security System

Here are a few things you can expect to find in a home security system:

Control Panels
These panels are the 'brains' of home security systems. They are physically or remotely attached to electronic sensors and detectors throughout the house. They usually have a keypad with them to allow you to control, disable or activate your home security system.

Alarms
Home security systems can use sounds to alert you to the presence of an intruder, but it's important to remember that alarms can be useful in the case of carbon monoxide, fire, flood or other disasters too. Safety systems should be installed in your home along with home security systems.

Door and Window Sensors
These home security sensors have two parts - one that goes on the door or window itself, and another on the corresponding frame. Magnets keep a charge running through the home security sensor while the door is closed. When a door or window is opened, the circuit is broken and the sensor triggers an alarm via the main control panel. Keep in mind that window sensors won't work on windows that don't open - for that, you'll need a glass break sensor to recognize the sound of a window being broken.

Motion Sensors
Motion detectors are ideally used in large areas that either aren't or can't be secured with door or window sensors (for example, a large room with many windows or a backyard). They can generally detect motion from 40 to 80 feet away and can be connected to your home alarm system or to a security camera. There are two main types of home security motion sensors: active detectors, which emit light, sound or other forms of energy and recognize when that energy is being disturbed; or passive detectors, which recognize incoming signals sent from the disturbance, such as heat or sound waves.

Security Cameras
CCTV cameras are used for surveillance and are designed to transmit images to a specific place and a limited number of monitors. Analog or digital surveillance cameras are simply a camera attached (either by a cable or wirelessly) to a digital video recorder (DVR) that's used to record the images picked up by the camera.

IP/network cameras are similar to analog/digital cameras, but have an IP address assigned to them, allowing owners to view images on their computer through the internet, anywhere in the world.

Outdoor perimeter Protection
Fences, gates and outdoor lighting are all simple ways to deter intruders. However, there are also motion sensors and security cameras similar to the ones in your home that are specifically designed for outdoor use. Perimeter home security systems can also be used to sound alarms before an intruder crosses the border into your property (let alone into your home). Infrared, microwave and radar detectors, and buried cables are activated by someone crossing the boundary and can be placed around your yard for added protection.

These can be set up to sound a home alarm or turn on outdoor flood lights. They can also communicate with your systems within the house to alert you or your home security company of the breach. Outdoor protection can be mistakenly activated by natural factors such as trees, wind, and animals.

Homeowners today have a variety of options they can use to tailor a home security system specific to their needs.

Alarms, Cameras and Locks; How Home Security Can Help Prevent Home Invasion

The first thing anyone needs to realize in any given home security situation is an unfortunate truth: if a smart, determined, burglar wants to get into your house while you're out, they will.

But now for the good news: you can stall most, if not all burglars, long enough for them to be discouraged and move onto easier targets. How? Simple. Here are three easy things to consider in order to make your home more secure.

Be Aware
Simply being aware of your surroundings can save you, your loved ones, and your neighbor's headaches later. Google, or your local police department, has statistics on crime in your local area.

For example, recently a Seattle woman witnessed two suspicious men emerge from a neighbor's backyard. She took down descriptions of the men, a partial license plate and called the police. While police discovered her neighbor had indeed been burglarized, the woman gave them enough of a description that police recognized the suspects from previous offenses and were able to make an arrest.

Being aware also necessitates that you're aware of your property's weaknesses. Take the time to scan your property. Look for any easy entry points a burglar could use to invade your home. Once you've done that, consider ways to prevent it. It could be as simple as taking down a lattice on the side of your house for ivy, or installing more secure window and door locks.

Don't open the door for unexpected strangers, even if they claim it's an emergency. Home invasions, where criminals force their way into your house while you or loved ones are inside, are on the rise and the perpetrators are using increasingly deceptive methods to gain access to a home.

Fortunately, the same precautions used to prevent burglaries can help to prevent home invasions. Peepholes, or windows around the front door, are a good method of identifying and judging a stranger before opening your door. Doors with solid cores, bolt locks and reinforced windows can also buy you the time needed to call the police if an invader tries to force their way in.

Finally, talk with your family about burglaries and invasions, and be sure to discuss home security plans for both situations.

Upgrade Your Home
Adding upgrades to your home can also help prevent burglaries. A solid core door and deadbolt locks can go a long way in deterring potential pilferers. Upgrade the locks on your windows, make sure you have a thick glass and prevent your windows from opening more than six inches with dowel. Even small things, like buying signs showcasing your security oriented thinking, can make a criminal reconsider a possible burglary.

Get strong outdoor lights which automatically turn on when movement is detected at night. Burglars hate being bathed in light, and besides, a sudden light coming from your home while you're away can alert a neighbor to a potential burglary in progress.

Home security systems are an excellent way to protect your home and family. The best home security companies offer affordable systems that utilize the latest in technology, including wireless systems, motion detectors, and remote access while you're away. If you're considering a home security system, make sure you choose one that has a good reputation and a budget that meets your needs.

Finally, if you're going to be gone for a long while, perhaps on a vacation, consider purchasing light timers which can turn lights on and off automatically while you're away.

Lock Up, Be Safe
Lock your doors and lock your windows. That's the easiest and most overlooked way to prevent robberies or home invasions.

The vast majority of burglaries occur through open, or unlocked, windows and doors. If you want to prevent any trespasses, closing and locking any obvious entry points into your home is a good start - even if you're only out of your home for just a few minutes.

Do you keep a spare key? Do you have a nice hiding spot for it? Is it under a rock (or in a fake rock) near your front door? Unfortunately, that's too easy. Burglars know all the good hiding spots for spare keys. The first solution is, of course, to not lose your keys in the first place. The second solution, according to home security experts, is to give your spare keys to a trusted neighbor for safe keeping.

Burglars often discover the layout of a targeted house by posing as salesmen, delivery men, or contractors. They plan before they strike, and usually target someone they consider to be an easy victim. You can prove them wrong by planning ahead and being prepared.

How a Burglar Targets Your Home

Not all burglaries can be stopped, but most can be prevented. By knowing what a burglar is looking for in a target, you can better anticipate what home security measures you should take.

Here are four ways a burglar targets homes:

They Look For The Right House
Burglars often look for nice, out-of-the-way houses with, as retailers call it, "curb appeal". Typically they'll look for houses that are both remote, and have enough overgrown vegetation to keep their illegal activities relatively secret.

They also look for homes with easy access to the inside. Homes with windows that can be opened at ground-floor level, represent an easy mark, especially if the house doesn't have a home security system.

Homes with small compact backyards, are secluded from neighbors, or are located next to forests and woods are frequently targeted thanks to both the ease of access, and the ease of escape.

They Stake It Out
Staking out a house is no small matter to the professional burglar. In fact it can often be the most difficult part of the job.

There are a few ways crooks can learn your habits. First, there's the traditional stake out - where the burglar sits in a car, or a nearby hiding spot, in order to watch and observe the habits of whomever lives in your home.

Then there's the kind of intruder that you invite in. Not intentionally, of course, but ill-meaning contractors, such as plumbers, painters, or home renovators, can take the opportunity track you and your family's habits while working on your home. They can determine whether you have an active home security system, which can be a strong deterrent to their plans. They can also use this opportunity to make their theft all the easier by leaving doors and windows unlocked for when they return.

They Learn Your Habits
Most burglaries take place in the middle of the day when homeowners and their neighbors are away at work. But they typically don't just pick a house at random and wait for everyone to leave. Instead, during their stake-out phase, they learn the habits of a household in order to get a better understanding of what they're dealing with.

Through the stakeout they also discover ways that you get in and out of your house. Say, for example, that you have a spare set of keys hidden nearby that you, or a loved one, frequently uses. If this is used too often, burglars will see it and discover an easy way to enter your home. Burglars can also learn what sort of items you may have in your home. While a burglar may not steal your 60-inch big screen television, but they'll know you can afford it, and probably have small, more manageable possessions they can swipe.

Burglars also tend to keep track of family habits. They can easily learn what time everyone leaves the house and when they return. Some burglars may even keep track of the habits of nearby neighbors for an added touch of awareness.

The more risky burglars, and the ones more likely to get caught, will sometimes walk right up to a targeted house and knock on the door to see if anyone is home. If someone answers the door, they'll typically make up a cover, like they're landscapers looking for work. If not, they'll poke around the perimeter of the house looking for a way in. If your house isn't protected, they can easily gain entry this way.

They Steal, Then Steal Again
Unfortunately, statistics show that if you've already been the victim of a burglary, you're at a high risk of it happening again. A burglar will often hit the same home a second time after the homeowner has replaced their stolen items and have fallen back into their normal habits. Unless home security precautions are taken, it's not hard for the burglar to do, especially considering they've already hit the home once before and know the layout of the property.

Which Home Security System Sensors Are Right for You?

There are a variety of home security system sensors to choose from today, many which can provide multiple functions. Here's a quick run-down of the most popular home security sensors available today, and what they can do for you.

Door and window home security sensors
Door and window home security sensors are the basic sensors of home security. These sensors protect their respective elements by using magnets, and alert the main control panel if one is disturbed. If a sensor is disturbed in an unauthorized manner - such as late at night or while you're away during vacation - they will result in an activated alarm.

Door and window sensors are ideal for homes with only a few entrances and opening windows. In large houses with many entrances, it may not be practical or cost-effective to arm every single window in the house, but in a small house these home security sensors can provide a good deal of security. Door sensors can also be programmed to sound a chime to notify owners when a door is opened, which is ideal for households with small children.

Glass break home security sensors
Unlike window sensors, glass break home security sensors are more useful for windows that don't open and close. Like their name implies, these home security sensors are capable of recognizing the sound or sensation of glass breaking. If a break-in occurs, the home security alarm is raised. If you're concerned about people breaking your windows rather than forcing them open, they can be installed along with regular magnet window sensors.

Such home security sensors don't have to be an external accessory, either. Some windows are built with thin strips of metal in them that, when broken, can also trigger a home security alarm.

Motion home security sensors
Motion sensors are usually set up inside the house as another layer of protection after door and window monitors. These home security sensors can easily monitor an entire room, and are best used at night or when the house is vacant.

But motion home security sensors can be an imperfect solution. When armed, they can go off for any detected motion, including a family member or a pet. It's best not to place these home security sensors in frequented areas of the house (for example the kitchen or bedrooms). With recent technology, some motion security sensors have logic that can differentiate between an animal and a human moving around a room. This can cut down on the number of false alarms if you have pets.

Also, remember that motion detectors aren't necessary in every room of the house. Rooms without windows or doors can only be accessed from other rooms, so it's a better idea to spend money on extra protection in those more accessible rooms instead. Some motion sensors also include glass break sensors, so check the features of the model before installing both.

Security cameras
Security cameras can be positioned around your house with a home security system as a way to identify intruders if they break in. They can also be useful if you like to keep tabs on your household throughout the day - to check who's at the front door, make sure the kids are playing safely, and ensure that the pool door is closed.

If you're away from home on a regular basis, you can have network cameras installed that will allow you to "see" into your house through the cameras and your computer from wherever you are.

Outdoor perimeter protection
Arming the outdoor perimeter of your property is especially beneficial if you have a large or rural property that can't be adequately covered by motion sensors or home security cameras. These home security sensors notify you when someone crosses the boundary into your property and can either sound an alarm or alert you of the trespasser.

Customize Your Home Security System

There are many ways you can customize your home security system. Here are a few options for your consideration:

Wired or Wireless
When choosing a home security system you can opt for one that is installed with wires or without. A home security system with wires is usually best to install when the house is being built. Otherwise, the home security company will have to tear through your existing walls in order to install the system. Wireless home security systems, on the other hand, can be easily installed into either new or existing homes.

For example, a wired home security camera can be tedious to install into an existing home. Since a wire needs to run from the camera proper to the recording device, it needs to be either safely secured to the walls, floors and ceilings between the two devices, or it needs to be installed within the walls, a process that can significantly increase the cost of the equipment installation. Wireless home security cameras, on the other hand, are much easier to install and move after installation. Wireless home security cameras can take high quality visual (and audio) footage.

The downside of a wireless home security camera system is that it is more susceptible to interference from microwaves, the Internet, bad weather, cell phones, and so on. This interference can result in grainy or even lost footage. Because of the cables, wired home security camera systems aren't affected by interference. Wireless cameras are also much more easily hacked by outsiders; their wired counterparts are more secure.

Monitored or Non-Monitored
Many homeowners find that they're able to set up a non-monitored home security system on their own. That's mainly because installing the desired wireless features and connecting them all to one control panel is a relatively easy task.

These systems, when activated, will produce a loud alarm with the intention of notifying the owner to a break in or to scare off the intruder. The owner (or neighbors, if the owner is out of town) is then responsible for dealing with the situation or calling the authorities if necessary.

However, there is also an option, which is to have your home security system monitored by a home security company for a monthly fee. Monitored systems give owners the peace of mind that their home is being watched at all times, whether the owners themselves are at work, having dinner, in bed, or on vacation. They can wait a predetermined amount of time to see if the alarm is deactivated by the owner (in case of accidental activation). If it isn't deactivated, the home security monitoring company will call the appropriate authorities, whether it's police, fire or medical.

Choose Your Features
There are many different features available for home security systems and there are many different ways to customize those features. Home security can range from something as cheap and simple (albeit quite unreliable) as a fence and some floodlights to an expensive high-tech, multi-device, monitored, wireless, internet-connected system. With some systems you can install the home security monitors and sensors yourself, and some home security systems require a professional installer.

Differences Between Monitored and Non-Monitored Home Security Systems

What is a non-monitored system?

A non-monitored home security system is composed of whatever features you select for your home which aren't monitored by another human through a digital connection. Door and window sensors, motion detectors and surveillance cameras can all be set up as a non-monitored system, and can be installed either by you or by professionals. Non-monitored systems can be wired or wireless - technological advances allow wireless systems to be accessed remotely from your smartphone, tablet or computer to make it easier for you to keep tabs on your property when away from home.

What is a monitored system?

Monitored systems have the same components as a non-monitored system, but include the added security benefit of being monitored 24/7 by a security company. If an alarm goes off, the company will give you a few seconds to rule out accidental activation. If you don't enter a code into the alarm, or if you're not home, the security team will contact the police, fire or medical departments depending on what type of alarm has gone off.

Companies charge a fee for monitoring services, and those fees will have to be paid in addition to any costs associated with the equipment you choose to have installed. Most companies provide a lease service, allowing you to not rent the security features instead of outright buying them. These rental costs are added to your monthly fee to cover the equipment.

Pros and Cons: Non-Monitored

Pros:

  • Cheaper long term costs: Since you're not paying a monthly service fee, the only money you'll have to put out is for the security equipment itself. It also means that you own the equipment, so you won't have to deal with contracts or the hassle of changing your address.
  • DIY: Most home owners find that they are able to get their non-monitored wireless security system up and running within a matter of hours, cutting on installation costs.

Cons:

  • Depend on your neighbours: If you're not home and an alarm does goes off, you might have to count on your neighbours to check it out for you. Depending on who your neighbours are, this might not be an ideal solution.
  • Authorities won't be notified: You (or your neighbours) are responsible for calling the authorities in case of an emergency.

Pros and Cons: Monitored

Pros:

  • Added security: Having someone look out for your home while you're away from it can give you a peace of mind you might not get from a non-monitored system.
  • Call for help: Knowing that your security provider will call the authorities in the event of a problem can help you rest easy.
  • Proper installation: Since most companies will send an installation team, you can be assured that everything is set up properly.
  • Lower insurance costs: While many insurance companies offer discounts for home security features, having a monitored security system can save you 15-20%.

Cons:

  • Monthly fee: You'll have to pay for renting the equipment, installation costs, and a monthly service fee. This service fee can cost anywhere from $6 for less well-known companies to $40+ for large national companies.
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