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Now more than ever, homeowners are looking for ways to protect themselves and their property. With more than 2 million burglaries each year - and an average loss of $2,000 per incident - wireless security systems are at the forefront of safeguarding against intruders.
It is true that there are other ways to make your home safer from burglary and invasion. For example, a well-lit exterior can discourage criminals from approaching your property, and high-quality deadbolts make it more difficult to enter your home. Unfortunately, even these measures will not prevent a determined criminal from picking the lock, smashing a window or slider door, and entering your home to steal your belongings or worse.
Tuesday, October 26th
Frontpoint offers state-of-the-art wireless security systems at extremely affordable prices. Their forward-thinking approach to home security and focus on customer service has them leading the pack of wireless security systems. With Frontpoint, you're not required to have a landline phone, an internet connection, or any phone at all. The alarms from the Frontpoint control panel reach their monitoring center over a secure cellular network.
Installing the Frontpoint home security system is hassle-free. Unlike traditional home security systems, where a technician has to visit the home, drill holes in the walls, and hard-wire the system, Frontpoint offers a do-it-yourself solution that you can set up in as little as 30 minutes, straight out of the box. The Frontpoint home security components connect directly to their Control Panel over a wireless frequency, completing your installation in a matter of seconds.
Because the Control Panel signals the monitoring station using its built-in cellular device, you don't need to connect it with a landline or internet cable. This flexibility - both with respect to installation as well as the cellular connection - is a huge advantage over traditional home security systems, because you can modify your system as needed, adding sensors or features, as well as taking your wireless security system with you when you move to a new home.
Frontpoint's high-tech wireless security features aren't limited strictly to break-in monitoring. Once you have your wireless security system installed, you can start receiving instant alerts if a window breaks, but also when a door opens, the power goes out, or even when a child comes home. For even more convenience, you can access your wireless security system with any device that can connect to the internet. If you're on a computer, a\ laptop, or tablet, you can use their online customer portal.
Alternately, if you have an iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, or Windows phone, you can take advantage of their free apps to check on your wireless home security system. Their advanced home automation features let you control lights, thermostat and door locks from anywhere, not only saving you money on your energy bills but also the worry over asking yourself, "Did I remember to lock the front door?" And, if you'd prefer to see for yourself that all's well on the home front, you can opt to use their video surveillance features.
You can choose from one of Frontpoint's 3 monitoring plan options:
To make things even more affordable, all of their wireless security equipment ships for free.
One major plus of Frontpoint's wireless security systems is the ability to add sensors and other features without incurring additional monitoring fees. Some of these extra home security sensors include:
We also love Frontpoint's strong emphasis on quality customer service, as evidenced by their numerous customer testimonials and A+ rating as an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau. They've also earned the Angie's List Super Service Award, which the highest honor is given by that organization to companies that have achieved a superior service rating.
As further evidence of their commitment to customer satisfaction, Frontpoint offers a 30-day risk-free money-back trial with their wireless security system. If you're unsatisfied for any reason, you can return your equipment within 30 days with no restocking fees and no return shipping charges.
Frontpoint sets the standard for wireless security systems. They offer cutting-edge technology that includes an impressive variety of sensors, free mobile apps, and numerous customization options. Their support staff is top-notch and their dedication to customer service stands out. If you're looking for an advanced wireless security system with the simplicity of DIY installation and smartphone/laptop controls, Frontpoint (1-866-363-8426) should be at the top of your list. They earn our highest rating.
With the longest history in the protection business, dating all the way back to 1870 in New York City, ADT (short for American District Telegraph) is one of the most well-known names in the wireless security systems market. While they do still offer traditional home security systems that require the use of landlines and regular wiring, ADT has kept up with the times by focusing on the development of newer wireless packages.
We noticed right away that ADT has an installation fee of $99 for most packages. Although many of ADT's competitors offer do-it-yourself installation, ADT still requires customers to meet in person with a security advisor, who will help customize a wireless security system for the needs of the home and then install it (same-day installation is available in some of ADT's service areas). In-person sales representatives have a reputation for being pushy and pressuring customers to accept packages that go well beyond what they were looking for in terms of features and budget, which drops ADT somewhat in our rankings.
ADT also charges more for monthly monitoring than many of the providers we reviewed. There are three main packages offered by ADT:
The most popular package is the Pulse, primarily because of the ability to use any smartphone, tablet, or computer to monitor and adjust the system. We weren't overly impressed by ADT's extra charge to include those features, as many other providers of wireless security systems include that capability at no extra cost to customers.
On a positive note, ADT includes a free Personal Emergency Response System with the purchase of any security monitoring package. This consists of a waterproof pendant that can be worn as a necklace, on a wristband, or clipped to a belt. When the rescue alert button is pressed, a notification is sent to an ADT monitoring representative who will then either contact you by phone or using the two-way voice system provided in some ADT wireless security system packages. If needed, the representative will contact local emergency services.
We recommend that prospective customers check out the Special Offers page (accessed by following the link at the bottom of the site under the "Learn" heading). While the wording on the page made it unclear whether the offers listed there are for a limited time or always available, it would be worth your time to ask prior to making a commitment. At the time of our review, those offers included:
With more than six million total customers throughout its history spanning more than 100 years, ADT clearly does many things right when it comes to protecting people and property.
Touted by celebrities like Dave Ramsey and others, SimpliSafe provides wireless security systems that can be installed easily by the average consumer and that have no contracts to sign. As with most no-contract systems, SimpliSafe requires that customers purchase equipment outright, starting at $229.99 for the starter set, but their low monthly monitoring costs - less than $25/month - definitely result in savings over time.
So, what's included in the starter package? Ideal for small homes and apartments, this set includes one base station and wireless keypad, one entry sensor, one motion sensor, and one keychain remote for $229.99. Larger packages include the Economy package, which adds two more entry sensors for a total cost of $259.99; the Classic package, which adds a smoke detector and siren to what's included in the Economy set, for a cost of $349.99; the Master package that has a total of two motion sensors and six entry sensors, along with the smoke detector and siren, for $449. 87; and, finally, the Ultimate package for $539.85, which has a total of two motion sensors, four entry sensors, the siren and smoke detector, along with a panic button, water sensor, carbon monoxide detector, and freeze sensor.
And, for additional savings, SimpliSafe is the only wireless security system we found that has refurbished equipment for sale. This could save you as much as 30% on the purchase of your wireless security system.
SimpliSafe breaks their monitoring into two easy-to-understand plans:
We like that SimpliSafe offers free shipping on all products, a 3-year product warranty, and an exceptional money-back guarantee for 60 days after purchase.
On the other hand, we felt that SimpliSafe falls short in two significant ways. First, most wireless security systems are based on the concept of using technology to control everything from arming the system to changing the temperature in the home, and it seems stingy of SimpliSafe to charge extra just to be able to use their app to change the system features. SimpliSafe doesn't currently offer thermostat controls, door locks, or camera monitoring, while many of their competitors do.
Also, we were discouraged to see a considerable number of customers who said that they were awakened by false alarms on more than one occasion, and that the monitoring service took as long as five minutes to contact the homeowner. Those same customers often had difficulty in getting a timely response from SimpliSafe's customer service department when trying to resolve the issues (which often required switching the system's cellular coverage from T-Mobile to Verizon or vice-versa).
We strongly recommend that customers start with one of the smaller, less expensive equipment packages - possibly refurbished or purchased second-hand - and giving it a thorough testing in the first two months, in order to take advantage of the 60-day return policy if needed.
Pennsylvania-based Guardian Protection Services has been in business for more than 60 years and recently expanded their traditional home security systems to include wireless-based packages.
Their current offerings include four plans:
In order to find out what a Guardian Protection Services plan will cost you, you have to call and set an appointment with one of their specialists. Be aware that Guardian itself only services a handful of markets themselves (which you can find hidden away in the About Us section of the website), any other areas are "serviced by Guardian authorized dealers". From what we were able to sleuth out, packages start at $34.99 and go up considerably from there. Guardian requires professional installation of all equipment, and we would have liked to see more transparency with respect to costs - both for the installation itself as well as a baseline for their different tiers of service.
Another detail we would like to see spelled out more specifically is the contract length required with their wireless security systems. Reviews we read described three-year contracts with hefty cancellation fees; one customer even continued to be billed for their system after their house burned to the ground and took a year to rebuild, despite having notified Guardian of their situation.
One positive of Guardian Protection Services is the number of accolades they've received: their award-winning monitoring center, which was given a five diamond rating by the Central Station Alarm Association, an A+ rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, and a Super Service Award with Angie's List.
We give Guardian Protection Services middling marks for their wireless security systems; that score would easily improve with greater transparency in their pricing, both for packages and installation, and in the terms of their service contracts.
If you've ever had someone knock on your door to talk to you about installing a wireless security system, chances are good that it was a representative of Vivint. With over two million customers in the US and Canada, 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 wireless security 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" .
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.
Why does Vivint wind up at the bottom of our rankings among providers of wireless security systems? 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 wireless security systems
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 wireless security system before choosing Vivint.
For that reason, experts in home protection strongly recommend that you invest in a wireless security system, particularly those that have round-the-clock monitoring, to give you the greatest possible peace of mind. Most criminals will bypass homes that have a monitoring system, simply because it puts them at greater risk of being caught in the act.
Compared with traditional home security systems, wireless versions allow you to install them on your own and can easily be moved from one location to another - a convenient advantage for those who move frequently, such as students living in dorms or those who move around the country for work reasons.
Having a wireless security system can also save you money. Many homeowners insurance policies will give you a discount on your annual premium - as much as 20% - with an installed home protection package.
Wireless security systems can vary widely with respect to the protection they offer, the equipment provided, and the overall cost. Also, some offer 24-hour live monitoring of your system, while others leave that responsibility to you.
What should you look for in a wireless security system? Be sure to consider the following aspects:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best wireless security systems available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the ideal wireless security system to protect your home and your loved ones!
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