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The Best Wireless Security Systems

The 5 Best Wireless Security Systems

Who Sells the Best Wireless Security Systems?

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.

Friday, January 22nd

2021 Wireless Security System Reviews

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Frontpoint Review 5 Star Rating

Frontpoint

5 Star Rating
  • No installation charges
  • Monitoring plans start at $34.99
  • Customer Information: 1-866-363-8426
TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

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:

  • Protection Monitoring. Their basic plan, covering you for intrusion, fire, environmental hazards and life safety conditions. This plan includes 24/7 monitoring as well, for a total cost of $34.99 per month.
  • Interactive Monitoring. Like the name implies, this plan lets you interact with your security system-from anywhere using free mobile apps and remote system controls. This option automates your home lighting, for even more convenience, and adds advanced features like Crash-and-Smash and geo services. Like all Frontpoint plans, Interactive monitors your home for intrusion, fire, environmental hazards and life safety conditions along with 24/7 monitoring, for a total cost of $44.99 per month.
  • Ultimate Monitoring. Includes all features listed in the other two plans, plus Video Surveillance. You can monitor your home remotely, via live streaming video. All mobile apps are included, as well as Crash-and-Smash and Frontpoint's full Home Automation suite, enabling control of lights, locks and thermostats. Like all Frontpoint plans, Ultimate monitors your home for intrusion, fire, environmental hazards and life safety conditions, along with 24/7 monitoring, for a total cost of $49.99 per month.

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:

  • CO Sensor
  • Glass Break Sensor
  • Flood Sensor
  • Smoke/Heat sensor
  • Panic Pendant

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.

ADT Review 4 Star Rating

ADT

4 Star Rating
  • FREE Equipment on many plans, with 3-year contract
  • $99 customer installation charge
  • Monitoring plans start at $48.99
  • Customer Information: 1-866-305-4104

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:

  • Basic Wireless: Starting at $48.99/month, this plan includes a wireless control panel, 3 wireless door/window sensors, 1 wireless motion detector (pet-immune), window decals and yard signs, 1 key fob, and CellGuard (ADT's wireless connection to their monitoring systems)
  • ADT Pulse: Starting at $52.99/month, this plan includes all the features of Basic Wireless, and adds mobile access and alerts to the coverage.
  • ADT Pulse + Video: Starting at $58.99/month, this plan includes all of the features of Basic and Pulse, along with video surveillance and an additional wireless keypad.

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:

  • Free security system with a 3-year contract and $99 customer installation charge
  • Same-day installation
  • 3 additional sensors for free
  • 6-month money-back guarantee
  • $500 theft protection: if your home is burglarized while under ADT coverage, ADT will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible

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.

Vivint Review 3 Star Rating

Vivint

3 Star Rating
  • FREE equipment and installation with some packages
  • Up to $198 in activation fees
  • Packages start at $53.99/month
  • Customer Information: 1-855-881-3071

If you're looking for a wireless security system with all of the latest technology bells and whistles, Vivint should be on your list of candidates. From Nest thermostats to Amazon Echo, Vivint's home security packages make it possible to change the temperature of your home, watch your kids playing in the living room, or even lock your front door from anywhere you have internet access.

All of Vivint's packages include the following:

  • SkyControl Panel: described as "like having an iPad on your wall", it displays video, controls temperature, manages system options, and provides an intuitive smart home experience. Users can also talk live with a monitoring professional through the panel in an emergency.
  • Sky App: puts control in the palm of your hand through Vivint's smartphone app. Control your home's temperature, locks, lights and more, remotely arm and disarm your wireless security system, even see live video of your front porch from the Vivint Doorbell Camera.
  • Home Security sensors and controls: all packages include 3 wireless door/window sensors, motion sensor, key fob, control panel, power adapter and battery, and cellular card that installs into the control panel. Other available products for Vivint's monitoring include doorbell and outdoor cameras, Ping cameras, 24/7 video recording, garage door controls, smart locks, Amazon Echo, and Element thermostats.
  • 24/7 monitoring

There are three main packages that Vivint offers:

  • Smart Protect, which covers the basics of door and window sensors, motion detectors, and smoke detectors. This plan starts at $53.99/month.
  • Smart Protect & Control, which includes monitoring of two additional smart home services. These services include a doorbell cam, door lock, thermostat, garage door controller, outdoor video, and HD video recording indoors. This plan starts at $60.99/month.
  • Smart Complete, which includes monitoring of three additional smart home services, as well as 1 Terabyte of secure cloud storage (known as "Space Monkey", for some reason). Call for pricing.

We like that Vivint offers free equipment and installation with certain packages. Be sure to read the fine print on the offer, however: depending on which state you live in, you'll need to commit to a hefty five-year contract (four years in a handful of states) with a plan of at least $60.99/month in order to qualify. We weren't able to find anything on Vivint's site to indicate that they have any sort of customer satisfaction guarantee, so making a five-year commitment (or paying the remaining contract balance) may be too much for many people. Also, if you move, you'll be charged a $99 moving fee if you've been a customer of Vivint for less than a year; the fee is waived if you renew your contract and you've been a customer for at least a year.

Vivint does have a warranty and service plan. For customers who choose Premium Service ($10/month), Vivint will repair and/or replace any defective part of the wireless security system at no charge. For all other plans, the warranty period is only 120 days after installation; beyond that point, Vivint will provide replacement parts at no extra charge, but you'll have to pay a $49 fee for the service call as well as taxes.

So, what will it cost to protect your home with Vivint? The easiest answer is "it depends". Vivint makes it very difficult to find out their package pricing, insisting that customers speak directly with a representative. We even tried using the chat function on the website but were told that pricing is only done over the phone or in person. Numerous customer reviews describe pushy salespeople knocking on their doors at late hours and signing people up for 5-year contracts without being explicit about the length of the commitment. You can be certain that for every feature added, you'll pay more - so with base packages starting at $53.99, Vivint is undoubtedly one of the costliest wireless security systems in our review.

We were glad to see that Vivint does have an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau. On the other hand, we were stunned to see that there have been nearly 4,000 closed complaints with the BBB alone in the last three years.

Overall, Vivint is a mixed bag. If having the latest technology in wireless security is a priority and you have an ample budget, Vivint should be on your list of possible companies. Just be prepared for the longest contract terms in the industry, and be proactive with contacting Vivint's customer support if you have issues with any of the equipment after installation.

SimpliSafe Review 3 Star Rating

SimpliSafe

3 Star Rating
  • $229.99 for equipment starter kit
  • No installation fees
  • No monthly contract
  • Monitoring plans cost $14.99-$24.99/month

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:

  • Standard, which includes round-the clock protection.
  • Interactive, which allows you to access the app to monitor your home activity and control settings directly from your laptop or smartphone. We also saw information promoting a Secret! Alerts bonus that can alert you when someone opens a private area such as a gun safe or liquor cabinet, but we couldn't find more details as to which sensors would be required or how that feature is set up.

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.

Guardian Review 2.5 Star Rating

Guardian

2.5 Star Rating
  • Professional installation
  • Award-winning 24/7 monitoring

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:

  • Edge Essential: standard equipment package of a color touchscreen control keypad, 3 door/window sensors and 1 motion sensor, yard sign and window decals, wireless/cellular coverage, 24/7 professional monitoring, Guardian VoiceLink (two-way voice communication with the monitoring center), and geo-services (which allow you to set up an arm/disarm event trigger if you forget to set the system when you leave the perimeter of your yard or other location)
  • Edge Control: this package includes the sensors and features of the Essential plan and adds 1 door lock, 1 thermostat, 2 light modules, and 1 garage door switch
  • Edge Plus: all the features of Edge Control, with an added motion sensor with a built-in camera, giving you a visual image of what triggered the motion detector
  • Edge Premium: everything in the Edge Plus package, plus 2 indoor WiFi cameras with night vision

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.

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Continued from above...

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:

  • Equipment Costs. What is included with your wireless security system compared to the number of sensors you need? How much does it cost to add extra sensors or other equipment that may be appropriate for your living situation?
  • Monitoring Service. Does the company monitor your system around-the-clock? Are the fees reasonable? Will the company contact local authorities in the event of a break-in or other emergency?
  • Guarantee. Does the company offer a satisfaction guarantee or a refund if there are any issues with the service or the equipment?

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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