Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

The Best Canadian Home Security Systems

The 5 Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Where Can You Find the Best Home Security Systems in Canada?

You've got a lot of options to choose from, including basic do-it-yourself packages with just a few sensors and high-tech, state-of-the-art protection that's installed by a professional - and everything in between!

But, maybe you're wondering if you really need a security system. With over 150,000 burglaries per year in Canada, the answer is "yes" . When would-be criminals are looking for an easy target, they usually bypass homes with security systems. Making it obvious that your residence is protected and monitored around-the-clock can prevent you from becoming a victim.

Wednesday, October 20th

2021 Canadian Home Security Reviews

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

Frontpoint

5 Star Rating
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Free shipping on orders and returns
  • No contract required
  • Monthly monitoring for USD $49.99 plus tax, $19.99 for the first 3 months
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Available everywhere but Quebec
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

For more than 10 years, Frontpoint has been setting the bar for home security systems in Canada. With no required contracts and affordable equipment packages, this company should be the first you consider when protecting your home and family.

Big savings

Frontpoint saves you money compared with many of the home security systems we evaluated. First, shipping is free on both orders and returns; you can expect your equipment to be delivered in about a week. Plus, as we browsed the Frontpoint site, we got a pop-up offer of 15% off our first order if we provided our email address. Keep an eye out for any discounts you may receive too!

Definitely available for Canadians

We had a few questions about Frontpoint's service in Canada, and we were pleased to get connected right away to a representative using their online live chat feature. We learned that while there are no call centres operating in Canada, all systems are monitored through two US-based locations (one on each coast for best coverage and redundancy). Also, Canadian home security systems use Rogers as the cellular connection. Finally, the rep let us know that they have coverage in every province and territory with the exception of Quebec (because of licensing reasons).

4 package choices

So, let's say you've decided that Frontpoint is the home security service for you. What are your options for equipment packages and monitoring? There are four ways you could go:

  • Build Your Own: customize your system to include all of the features you want and none of the ones you don't. Naturally, the pricing will vary depending on what you choose. At the time of this review, Frontpoint was including a free doorbell camera with all Build Your Own packages.
  • The Safehouse: as Frontpoint's entry-level system, this plan includes one hub and keypad, two door/window sensors, one motion sensor, and a home defense kit with a yard sign, window decals and door stickers. This was priced at $235.44.
  • The Bunker: if you've got a larger home or apartment, you should consider Frontpoint's middle-tier equipment package. It includes everything in the Safehouse plan, but also adds an indoor camera, a smoke and heat sensor, and upgrades you to three door/window sensors. You'll pay $380.35 for this package.
  • The Fortress: if you need the largest equipment package, this is the one for you. It comes with everything in the Bunker package; the only difference is that you'll get two motion sensors and six door/window sensors. This package is priced at $478.73.

Add any other equipment you need

With any of these packages, you can always add a la carte equipment during checkout. Maybe you'd like a glass break sensor, a carbon monoxide or flood sensor, or a smart thermostat. Just add it to your cart after you select your equipment package. (Be aware that Frontpoint shows an option to pay for your equipment over three years, but that doesn't apply in Canada.) All of Frontpoint's equipment can be installed on your own: no professional in-home visit required.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Monitoring for under $50/month, regardless of system size

How much will you pay for monitoring? During our last visit to the Frontpoint site, they were offering a three-month promotional price of just USD $0.66 per day, then regular pricing at USD $1.64 per day. That works out to USD $19.99/month plus taxes for the first three months, and then USD $49.99/month plus taxes for the remainder of the time you use Frontpoint's monitoring service. No matter how much equipment your home security system uses, your monthly monitoring fees remain the same.

Very satisfied customers

Best of all, Frontpoint has an excellent reputation. The Better Business Bureau gives the company both an "A+" grade as well as accreditation, and over 90% of their customers give Frontpoint a 4- or 5-star rating. People say that the equipment is good quality and easy to install, and most customers get great response times when an alert or alarm is triggered. With Frontpoint's 30-day risk-free guarantee, you'll have plenty of time to make sure your system works the way you expect it to - otherwise, you can get a full refund, no questions asked.

Best option for home security systems in Canada

Bottom line? You'll get excellent service with no lengthy contracts, top-rated customer service, and one-price-fits-all monitoring no matter how much you add to your system. For all of these reasons, Frontpoint is our first-place winner among home security system providers in Canada.

Think Protection Review 4.5 Star Rating

Think Protection

4.5 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No professional installation required
  • Monitoring starts at $19.99/month
  • Equipment starts at $179.99, 0% APR financing available
  • No contracts required

Think Protection (or Think Pro, for short) is the only 100% Canadian home security system provider in our review. They're also one of the newer companies we evaluated, in business since 2014.

4 packages to choose from

There are four home security system packages to choose from with Think Pro:

  • Value Protection: the ideal package for a small condo or apartment, this level of service includes a contact sensor for the front door and a pet-friendly motion sensor for inside. You can add any other equipment you'd like. The base price is $179.99 and can be paid for using a 24-month, 0% APR payment plan if you qualify. You'll spend $19.99/month for monitoring, with extra monthly fees if you add on smart home automation, cellular backup, or private guard service.
  • Essential Protection: if you've got a bigger home, consider this tier of service. With three contact sensors and included cellular backup, you'll pay $299.99 for the equipment (also available with a payment plan) and $24.99/month for monitoring.
  • Total Protection: for a more robust home security system that includes all of the features of Essential plus a smoke detector, 3-in-1 home disaster sensor and two indoor motion sensors, you'll pay $439.99 for the equipment but still just $24.99/month for monitoring.
  • Total Protection + Video: this is the package for homeowners who want video cameras with cloud storage. The only camera included in the $599.99 package comes with the doorbell; you'll pay extra for additional indoor or outdoor cameras. And, as you'd expect, the monitoring fees go up when you add video, but are still priced reasonably at $33.99/month.v

Few complaints from customers

We're pleased to see that Think Pro has a good reputation in the industry. While not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, this service still earned an "A+" rating there. Better yet, there were only two complaints filed with the BBB about Think Pro in the 3 years leading up to our review. Considering that some home security companies have thousands of complaints over that same timeframe, that's worth noting!

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Affordable, easy to install, no contracts

Customers have good things to say too: over 60% rate the service as "excellent" , and over 90% give Think Pro a rating of at least 3 stars. Frequent praise for this home security system provider mentions being very happy with how affordable it is, how easy it is to install on your own, and how pleased they are to have monthly monitoring with no annual contract.

Equipment could be better

The only downside we spotted in some customer reviews relates to the equipment itself: more than a few comments said that it wasn't as durable or reliable as the users were expecting. But, Think Pro promises a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is plenty of time to try the equipment for yourself. Still, we would like their site to be more specific about their guarantee and their warranty coverage on their gear; the link to Think Pro's Terms and Conditions was broken at the time of our review.

100% Canadian home security company

When it comes to home security systems in Canada, Think Pro is one of the only companies you'll find that keeps it all in-country, from sales to service. That's a huge plus, on top of some of the lowest prices in the industry and a solid reputation. We're confident that you'll find a system that works for your home if you use Think Pro.

Ring Review 3.5 Star Rating

Ring

3.5 Star Rating
  • Systems available with or without professional monitoring
  • Monitoring available in all provinces except Quebec
  • No contracts required
  • Monthly service fees of $5 or $10, depending on the chosen service
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

Ring is probably most famous for their camera doorbells, but they also offer professional monitoring in Canada. You'll want to set their site specifically to the Canadian setting, but be aware that pricing may still be in USD. Never fear, however: the company absolutely services customers in all provinces except Quebec (due to licensing restrictions there).

Professional monitoring for under $20/month

Because of several companies in our research that turned out not to offer home security systems in Canada despite advertising them on their website, we made sure to reach out to a Ring representative for confirmation. We were pleased to find out that their plans are less expensive than in the US: you'll pay CAD $5/month or CAD $50/year for their Basic Plan, or CAD $15/month or CAD $150/year for the Plus Plan. You probably won't find another service that covers an unlimited number of security devices in your home for anywhere near that price! Also, subscribing to a Plus plan gives you cloud storage, video review, video sharing, a 10% discount on all Ring equipment, and extended warranty coverage.

DIY monitoring or professional: you choose

So, what's the difference between the Basic and the Plus? It's all about the monitoring - or the lack of it. Some people don't want a round-the-clock, professionally monitored system and prefer to do it on their own through alerts to their smartphones. It's not what most of us think of when we're considering home security systems, but it's great that there's an option for those who want it. On the other hand, with Plus, you get 24/7 emergency response, cellular backup for your alarm, and expandable monitoring as you add accessories - all for that incredibly low monthly price we mentioned earlier.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Reasonable prices for equipmentv

Of course, you still have to pay for your equipment, and with no monthly contracts you can imagine that it's not going to be free. Ring's 5-piece "starter kit" (to cover a home or apartment under 1000 sq.ft.) was priced at USD $159.99 at the time of this review, and it includes a base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector and a range extender. There are several equipment packages to choose from, all the way up to a 14-piece kit to cover a home of 3+ bedrooms and priced at $264.99. Again, your system is completely customizable, allowing you to add any extra sensors, cameras, and much more.

No smoke/CO2 detectors

One feature that's different with Ring is the smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detection. They have a "listener" that you have to place next to your existing detectors; it will alert your Ring system if it "hears" your detectors go off. That's not quite as streamlined as other services.

Helpful "Practice Mode" for new system users

On the positive side, there's another feature with Ring's professional monitoring that we loved: "Practice Mode" . When you first start your Plus coverage, your system automatically goes into a week-long "practice mode" that lets you learn how to use it without worrying that you're going to accidentally set it off and have the police or fire department on your doorstep! This is a great way to teach everyone in your household how to arm, disarm, and change settings on your home security system.

Too many disappointed customers

How about reputation? Frankly, it's mixed. Ring has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, which is a good sign. There were over 250 complaints registered with the BBB in the year leading up to this review: not the most we've seen, nor the least. On another third-party site, over 60% of 2800+ customers who submitted a review gave Ring a 1-star rating, while only 19% gave them 5 stars. Ouch! The two complaints we saw repeated most often were about the short battery life on the doorbell and the difficulties getting a response from customer service when equipment isn't functioning properly. Keep that in mind!

Not the best, not the worst

We want to love Ring for home security systems in Canada, and some people are happy with how it works. And, you'll have a hard time finding another provider who offers that much coverage at such a low monthly price, with no contracts required. But, with more than half of their customers rating Ring as "bad" , you might want to look at the higher-rated services before committing to this one.

ADT Review 3 Star Rating

ADT

3 Star Rating
  • Installation fees of up to $99
  • Available in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, PEI, Quebec and Saskatchewan
  • 3-year monitoring contract required
  • All plans include smoke/fire/carbon monoxide monitoring

Alarm Guard has partnered with ADT to provide top-notch home security systems in Canada. With over 125 years of security experience, this partner network is a name to trust in the industry.

Several package options

The Alarm Guard ADT site doesn't make it easy to find out what you'll get and what you'll pay for your home security system. We looked through several ADT-related sites to figure out the options, since Alarm Guard doesn't reveal their packages or pricing until you call to speak with a representative (beyond saying that with a 3-year monitoring contract, you'll get up to $850 in free equipment). If those other sites are accurate, you can expect a bare-bones, non-monitored home security system with just a smart camera (indoor, outdoor, or doorbell) for $12/month. At the next level, you can get 1 security camera and 2 automation devices, also self-monitored, for $15/month. Moving on to the more traditional home security systems, a plan with 1 control panel, 2 door/window sensors and 1 motion sensor is $27/month. Adding 3 security or automation devices brings your monthly price up to $40/month. All ADT systems are fully customizable, letting you add any features and equipment you need to fully protect your home.

Required service contracts and professional installation

Will you pay for professional installation? Maybe. The site says that they charge fees of up to $99, but in other parts of the site it says that "depending on the package, installation is typically free" . You can also count on having a service contract with any ADT plan, usually at least 3 years.

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Glitchy website

There were some additional aspects of the Alarm Guard ADT site that were...confusing. When we looked at the Installation Process page, we found some totally unrelated text about a skipper, sailing, and a boat. (Guess they forgot to take that part out after they made the site? Oops.) Also, when we clicked on the Live Chat with the pulsing green "online" button, it took us exactly nowhere. (Oops again!)

Good reputation for ADT, partners don't always match it

We also weren't thrilled to see that Alarm Guard had a "C-" rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review. On a more positive note, that rating stemmed from 7 complaints over the preceding 3 years, but none of them were from the most recent 12 months. At least that shows a trend towards better service! Alternately, the BBB listing for ADT itself offers a flawless "A+" rating plus accreditation, so you may want to consider ADT with a different partner company than Alarm Guard.

Consider a different ADT partner if available

ADT has over 6 million customers and a strong overall reputation for providing excellent home security systems. We're just not sure how well Alarm Guard does at implementing ADT protection, and they could go a lot further to give prospective customers an idea of what to expect before requesting a quote.

Vivint Review 1 Star Rating

Vivint

1 Star Rating
  • Installation fees of up to USD $200
  • Monitoring fees starting at USD $30/month
  • Required contracts of up to 5 years
  • Must be ordered directly from a rep, can't be purchased online
  • Many options for smart home automation

If you've ever had someone knock on your door to talk to you about installing a home security system, chances are good that it was a representative of Vivint. With over two million customers in Canada and the US, this company is definitely a familiar one.

Appealing smart home integration options

One of the reasons Vivint home security systems are so popular is their integration: you can have all of your locks, cameras, lighting and thermostats connected through your hub or smartphone app, and they work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa too.

Can only purchase through a representative

Understanding what a Vivint home security system will cost is challenging - because you are required to purchase it through a representative, either in person or over the phone. That's a big drop in convenience compared with many of the Canadian services in our review that let you buy online and install it yourself. (By the way, your Vivint system will also require a professional to install it - for fees of up to $200!) Vivint feels intentionally vague: even their "what's the average cost?" resource page says that it "costs less than the average monthly cell phone bill" and there are packages that "start as low as around $1/day" .

Best Canadian Home Security Systems

Much more expensive than competitors

So, we turned to what customers have said around the internet to get a better idea, since every caller will get a customized quote (probably with lots of upselling, too). We found comments saying that people paid over USD $2000 for two cameras and four window sensors, all with a lengthy service contract. If that's accurate for what the average Vivint customer will pay, you can definitely find another provider that will offer a home security system with the same equipment for much less.

Terrible reputation

Why does Vivint wind up at the bottom of our rankings among providers of home security systems in Canada? As you may have already guessed, it's because of their reputation. It's hard to get past an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau, where we found nearly 5,000 complaints filed in the 3 years preceding this review! Customers describe significant issues with billing, Vivint not fixing systems that stop working (or never worked to begin with), and not being able to transfer service when moving. Out of more than 20,000 reviews outside of the BBB, 20% rated Vivint as "poor" or "bad" (1 or 2 stars), and we noticed that among the positive reviews, almost all of them were brand-new customers who said that the sales and installation process went great but didn't have anything to say yet about how the system actually worked. On the other hand, most of the reviews that were at least a month post-installation were very dissatisfied with Vivint's service.

Fraudulent sales tactics

And if that's not enough, Vivint entered into a settlement agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission for fraud surrounding the use of credit reports and adding third parties to contracts as cosigners without their knowledge and permission. You know it's bad when your home security company actually poses a risk to your (financial) safety!

Look elsewhere for home security systems in Canada

We're all for home automation and having access to the latest tech, but with Vivint it's just not worth it. You're too likely not to get what you paid for, leaving you with an expensive hassle at best. We strongly recommend you look at any other Canadian home security system before choosing Vivint.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Plus, there are many other benefits that come from having a home security system. You can include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, flooding sensors, and many other features to keep your family and your belongings safe - especially when emergency services can be dispatched at the very moment an alert happens. As an added benefit, most homeowners save on their insurance when they have a security system installed.

With so many companies offering home security systems in Canada, how can you determine which one is the best for your needs? Here are several factors to keep in mind that can help guide your decision:

  • Canada-based Service. As you browse various providers of security systems, you'll quickly see that while many operate in Canada, some of them are obviously geared towards homeowners in the US. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you may feel more secure with a provider that has call centres and representatives located in Canada itself. You may also find that some home security providers' websites advertise availability in Canada, but when you go to place an order you find out otherwise.
  • Equipment and Installation. What sensors, detectors, cameras and other equipment does the company offer? Will you have to pay for it outright or is it "free" with your monthly servicing fees? Also, some companies let you install your security system on your own, while others require a professional installation (which you may pay extra for).
  • Monitoring Service. Most home security systems come with 24/7 monitoring. How much will you pay each month? It's also a good idea to consider what previous and current clients say about the response time when the system detects an intrusion or an emergency, as well as the way the company handles false alarms.
  • Contracts. Will you have to sign a lengthy contract to use the service? Many home security systems come with a contract of up to 5 years, with stiff penalties for early termination. Others allow you to pay month-to-month with no long-term commitment.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. If you aren't happy with the way your home security system is performing, what are your options? Can you cancel the service with no penalty? Can you get a refund? What kind of warranty coverage is offered on the system's equipment?
  • Overall Reputation. Has the Better Business Bureau rated the home security company? Does the service provide reliable, affordable protection? How well does the customer service team respond to problems that arise?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best home security systems available in Canada today. We hope this information provides all of the information you need to choose a home security system to protect your residence and family around the clock!

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.

Compare Canadian Home Security Systems

Select any 2 Canadian Home Security Systems to compare them head to head

best-canadian-home-security
See the Best Canadian Home Security
The Best Reviews of Canadian Home Security Systems