When you’re in charge of business security, minding others is part of minding your own business. When it comes to choosing the right alarm system for your business, there are lots of factors to consider. You have to keep in mind your budget, decide which security risks to prioritize, take into account the size of your business operation, and much more.
Lucky for you, we’ve tested lots of security solutions that can work in a professional setting, and these were the ones that stood out the most.
ADT is a fierce competitor in the professionally installed smart business security market. It offers physical security solutions; your typical motion sensors, security cameras, and other intrusion sensors, as well as customizable cybersecurity solutions. ADT also stands out for offering the best commercial-grade security systems on-demand: Call early and get a fast installation of a robust cellular system. There isn’t much risk of buyer’s remorse, as every ADT customer gets a long trial period.
What We Like
ADT customizes each system to each business it works with
Business cybersecurity is an optional add-on
Over 140 years in the security business
Offers the latest technology in business security, including voice control
What We Don’t Like
ADT’s equipment can be quite expensive
No universal pricing for plans, so you’ll need to speak with a sales rep
Requires long-term contracts
Requires professional installation with fees
The full ADT offering includes business cybersecurity, business video surveillance, intruder protection, environmental alerts, and automation (e.g., remote-controlled locks). ADT’s mobile apps for Android and iOS accompany the system for remote control, plus you can integrate Alexa or Google Assistant for voice control.
ADT requires professional installation, but you can expand the system easily with additional components. You can even integrate third-party Internet of Things devices. For instance, you can use the ADT app to connect smart thermostats from Nest, to your account. Integrations like this can quickly pay for themselves with automated energy savings that tie to your business security setup seamlessly.
ADT Alarm Pricing
ADT’s business security solutions work best when they’re tailored specifically for your business, and ADT is excellent at doing that. You’ll have access to a representative who will help you design a security system for your business.
For your reference, though, ADT’s pricing for home security systems is affordable, and you can expect its business security pricing to be the same. Home security from ADT starts at $29 per month over a 36-month term.
We can also tell you that ADT runs special deals often, and you should take full advantage of those to get discounts or free equipment. And since you’ll be dealing with a real person from ADT — not an automated bot like some alarm companies use — you can put your entrepreneurial skills to good use and negotiate or ask for ways to save money. All in all, ADT’s monitoring prices aren’t the lowest, but ADT is one of the best business security companies out there, so you get what you pay for.
ADT’s Customized Business Security
Let’s talk more about ADT’s customized business security solutions. ADT has been in the security business longer than any other company in the U.S., and with that comes experience and knowledge. It knows that each business needs a different security setup, so instead of letting customers just buy security systems, ADT helps each business customize its security systems.
If you go with ADT for your business security, a security expert will assess your business needs and design a setup for you specifically. You can make changes along the way, like adding or removing equipment as you see fit, but you’ll find the input from ADT’s security experts valuable, likely. In particular, we recommend ADT’s custom-fit business security solutions to larger businesses or enterprises, as the experience will be like having your own security advisors.
Having said that, a customized security system may not be the most practical choice for smaller businesses, especially when you can buy more affordable security systems from the likes of SimpliSafe. However, there’s no harm in consulting ADT, as well. Who knows? Maybe ADT can provide you with commercial-grade security that fits your budget.
2. SimpliSafe - Best for Self-monitored Business Security System
SimpliSafe has easy options for do-it-yourself office security. Typically you’ll set up the equipment yourself (no tools required), then opt for free or paid monthly service. You can also schedule professional installation for $79.
Your system can be bare-bones for basic intrusion detection, or you can include glass break sensors, smoke detectors, indoor cameras, smart lights, smart locks, and more. SimpliSafe equipment is under warranty for up to three years.
What We Like
Flexible monitoring options
You can build a system as large as you need with wireless components
Equipment options can cover entire office spaces
SimpliCam indoor cameras provide video surveillance
What We Don’t Like
You’ll have to design the system yourself since there’s no on-site assessment
Requires upfront equipment payment
Security camera cloud storage starts at $9.99 a month
Requires Wi-Fi if you self-monitor the system
While the free SimpliSafe service relies on your own efforts to monitor the system yourself, spending just $17.99 month-to-month will add professional 24/7 monitoring to send police to your house in case of emergencies. Furthermore, for $10 more a month or $27.99, SimpliSafe will improve police response with video verification. During emergencies, SimpliSafe operators will access your cameras briefly so they can request a faster response from the authorities.
Plus, with the $27.99 a month plan, you can use Alexa or Google Assistant commands if your office has Alexa or Google Assistant smart speakers or displays. Here at our office, we have the Echo Show 8 we reviewed and the Nest Hub Max we tested, and we can tell you right now that SimpliSafe’s integrations with both assistants work.
SimpliSafe equipment costs are low, starting at just $229 for the cheapest starter kit, The Foundation. With the best online promotions, The Foundation includes the SimpliCam, an indoor security camera that responds to motion and has infrared night vision.
It also includes a SimpliSafe hub, a wireless keypad, an entry sensor, and an indoor motion detector. You can add more units a la carte or choose a bigger bundle like The Hearth, which also has a smoke detector and a freestanding siren. All in all, you can connect up to 41 sensors to the hub, just enough for a typical office.
Wireless vs Cellular Service
If you self-monitor SimpliSafe, either for free or with the camera recording plans, your system will rely on your business office’s Wi-Fi network. If that’s not an ideal setup for you, you can activate your system’s cellular service simply by getting professional monitoring. Adding cellular service, or cellular backup, improves your business’ security, as it lets your SimpliSafe system alert you and SimpliSafe’s monitoring center whether or not your internet is working.
Self-monitoring with camera recording
Limited Pro Monitoring
24/7 Professional Monitoring
$4.99 for one camera, $9.99 for five cameras
Cellular and Wi-Fi
Cellular and Wi-Fi
Control the system remotely
Watch live camera footage on the app
Record event videos automatically
Yes (10 cameras)
Smart platform integrations
To sum up, SimpliSafe systems are inexpensive but not built cheaply. They can guard your office against intrusions, provide environmental alerts, and implement basic smart features for your office.
Vivint means business. A security solution from the company starts with a professional assessment from a security expert and culminates with professional installation — all white-glove service from start to finish.
Once the system is installed, you’ll have access to cutting edge technology in Vivint’s tablet-like control panel and mobile apps, plus around-the-clock professional monitoring.
Video surveillance is also an option. Yes, Vivint’s cameras can be a bit expensive, with the outdoor camera costing about $400 each, but Vivint’s cameras are top-notch. That outdoor camera, for instance, uses AI to detect lurkers and sirens and lights to ward them off. If you have a parking lot or if nighttime break-ins are a problem in your area, those features can come in handy.
Lastly, with Vivint’s vehicle security, you can protect your employees and cargo on-the-fly using a device that you simply plug into your vehicles.
What We Like
Security cameras can record 24/7 with the Vivint Smart Drive
Highly-rated mobile apps
Integrates well with Alexa and Google Assistant
Modern, high-tech equipment
What We Don’t Like
Prices equipment and monitoring
Professional installation is non-optional
Hit-or-miss customer support
When we tested, we looked at Vivint as a home security solution, but we also noticed its potential in business security. As with most security systems, it included professional monitoring, which ensures emergency response in times of distress. Vivint can dispatch police, firefighters, and paramedics, depending on the incident.
Moreso, Vivint’s equipment is top-of-the-line, which makes it ideal even for business security. Vivint’s cameras, in particular, are above industry standards in terms of specifications, video quality, and artificial intelligence, which includes person detection and the ability to detect lurkers.
Continuous Video Recording
Continuous video recording, or CVR, is an alternative to motion-triggered video clips. The option to use CVR gives Vivint an advantage over ADT and other close competitors. It’s useful for countless business reasons, from patrolling against shoplifters to ensuring that workers follow safety protocols.
To make your Vivint cameras record continuously, all you need is the $249 Vivint Smart Drive. This local network storage connects with cameras wirelessly and stores videos from up to four cameras for up to 30 days. Best of all, you can access recordings anywhere, as the Smart Drive connects to Wi-Fi and can stream to any smartphone.
The Vivint Smart Drive works with all Vivint cameras, but for businesses, we recommend the indoor cameras and outdoor cameras in particular:
Indoor Camera Camera: A 1080p HD indoor camera that plugs into power outlets. It can stream videos, detect motion, record event videos, or record continuously with the assistance of the Smart Drive.
Outdoor Camera Pro:The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro we reviewed is a $399 outdoor camera with AI features. It can detect and deter potential burglars, especially those who like to lurk around business establishments before attacking. It also has superb video thanks to its 4K HD image sensor with HDR.
Aside from streaming to mobile phones, these Vivint cameras can also stream to smart displays, like the Google Nest Hub we reviewed, different Echo Show models, Fire TV, or Chromecast. This is all thanks to Vivint’s integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant. So you see, Vivint is truly at the top of the game when it comes to its security cameras.
Vivint Pricing & Products
Pricing for Vivint’s business security involves a monthly monitoring fee and equipment purchase. You can pay the equipment fee upfront or avail of financing over the course of 60 months.
As for monitoring, Vivint doesn’t advertise its business security pricing, not unlike ADT. You’ll need to contact Vivint and request a quote after a free security assessment of your business. However, for your reference, Vivint home security monitoring costs $39.99 to $49.99 a month.
Local camera recording
+$249 for the Vivint Smart Drive
+$249 for the Vivint Smart Drive
Cloud camera recording
30-day storage, up to four cameras
Voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant
Access to Vivint app
Vivint certainly isn’t the most affordable security system, whether for businesses or homes, but it’s worth its price thanks to the quality of Vivint’s equipment.
Frontpoint is a favorite for protecting homes and small businesses with trustworthy security systems. The company has a reputation for friendly service, straightforward pricing, and dependable equipment. It can support business security, environmental monitoring, and building automation with Z-Wave hubs and professional monitoring. Each Frontpoint system uses cellular communication and can have Wi-Fi backup.
What We Like
No long-term contracts if you pay for equipment in full
Straightforward pricing with only one monitoring plan ($49.99 per month)
Easy DIY installation
Battery backup and cellular communication makes the Frontpoint system impervious to power outages
What We Don’t Like
No self-monitoring option
Equipment costs can stack up quickly
Not for bigger establishments, as Frontpoint designed its equipment for home or small business use
Security cameras don’t record continuously
A big difference compared with ADT and Vivint is that you can install Frontpoint yourself. This is why we nominate it as the best small business security system, but not necessarily ideal if you’re surveilling a sprawling property. With DIY labor you can guard a small business with Frontpoint in an hour or less.
Professional monitoring is included with all new Frontpoint systems, and the commitment can be month-to-month if you pay the equipment fee upfront. If you choose to finance, contracts can be anywhere between 12 and 36 months, depending on your loan term. Since there’s only one monitoring plan, you get all premium features if you buy a Frontpoint system, including:
Remote control via app
Cloud storage for security camera event clips
Pricing for Kits & Monitoring
Frontpoint lets you get business security without a credit check, as you own the equipment upfront.
The cheapest starter kit is just $99 with online discounts, but it normally retails for more than $300. You can add other equipment such as glass break sensors, pipe freeze sensors, indoor and outdoor security cameras, and smart bulbs a la carte… or else choose a bigger Frontpoint starter kit.
DIY installation is simple and tool-free with Frontpoint’s all-wireless security kits. If needed, Frontpoint customer service can help by phone. Equipment is either freestanding or uses removable adhesive strips so you can avoid drilling/cutting into walls.
Professional monitoring costs $49.99 per month, and since there’s only one plan, you get all the features Frontpoint has to offer, depending on your choice of equipment. One of the features that works great for businesses is Crash and Smash Protection; police will be dispatched even if criminals destroy security equipment! The $49.99 per month Frontpoint plan also includes video monitoring and smartphone remote control along with compatibility for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
In a nutshell, Frontpoint features some of the best small business security systems that you can self-install and get expertly monitored.Everyday customer service is friendly and readily available. Emergency monitoring is high quality with cellular and Wi-Fi signaling both available, and with two monitoring centers for redundancy.
All systems carry a 30-day money-back guarantee. Frontpoint equipment is under warranty for up to three years.
Lorex Technology is a leading supplier of industrial-quality security cameras for indoor and outdoor use. Whether you’re guarding a small storefront or spacious warehouses and parking lots, this brand has high-performance options to fit your needs. You can buy Lorex cameras individually or in multi-packs of two to 32 units with free shipping, and prices range from moderate to above-average. You can choose cams with rare special features like 115-foot night vision, color night vision, and vandal-proof casings.
The cameras are sold for your business’s own installation and monitoring. The Lorex Secure mobile app can keep you connected with alerts, cloud recordings, and livestreams anytime. It also lets you group camera feeds onto one screen and save video to your phone. For higher definition viewing Lorex sells wide-screen video monitors too.
You can buy Lorex cameras individually or in multi-packs of two to 32 units with free shipping, and prices range from moderate to above-average. You can choose cams with rare special features like 115-foot night vision, color night vision, and vandal-proof casings. We discussed Lorex’s pricing here, so check it out if you want to learn more.
What We Like
Wide range of security cameras to choose from
On-site local recording and cloud storage options
Commercial-grade security camera designs
Easy to expand security camera systems with add-on cameras and cross-compatibility
What We Don’t Like
Lacks security sensors (motion sensors, door sensors, etc.)
No professional monitoring
Some cameras are expensive
Internet-reliant security camera systems
Lorex sells security cameras, but it will be up to you to deploy and install your cameras. The Lorex Secure mobile app can keep you connected with alerts, cloud recordings, and live streams in real time anytime. It also lets you group camera feeds onto one screen and save the video to your phone. For higher definition viewing, Lorex sells wide-screen video monitors, too, as well as a Lorex doorbell camera which we’ve tested.
Commercial-Grade Security Cameras
Compared with the companies above, Lorex stands out for its security camera variety. Its website makes it easy to sort by camera styles with different power sources and output options. The main Lorex categories to search are wireless, Wi-Fi, digital IP, and MPX.
Hardiness helps make Lorex cameras qualify as industrial quality. Many models are vandal-proof; their casings are virtually indestructible. Furthermore, Lorex outdoor cameras have weatherproof ratings of IP66 to withstand extreme temperatures as well as serious precipitation. For comparison, the typical outdoor security camera has an IP65 rating, which means it’s water-resistant and dustproof.
Ultra-HD resolution is available, and you can even get cameras with color night vision. Competing companies above provide crisp black and white night vision only, and color only by day. Some other special features are two-way voice, motion zones, and built-in sirens.
Lorex Video Storage
Depending on the type of your cameras, you can either store footage locally onto a micro-SD card, NVR, or DVR. Local storage makes sense if you want easy access to your videos. If you have an NVR or DVR, you can review footage right away just by plugging a monitor into your recorder. If your cameras store videos on micro-SD cards, you can simply pop the micro-SD cards onto your computer.
Another option is to store videos in Lorex’s cloud. For free, most Lorex cameras capable of cloud recording get two days of cloud storage with up to 10 GB of storage space. If you need more storage, you can pay $6.99 a month to expand the storage to 30 days.
Although more expensive than local storage, cloud storage offers off-site video storage. That means if anything happens to your NVR, DVR, or cameras, you have backup videos in the cloud.
2 days of storage
30 days of storage
10 GB of storage
8 hours of RapidRecaps
12 hours of RapidRecaps
In conclusion, Lorex is focused on high-quality video surveillance. You can buy its cameras individually and monitor one or more with the Lorex Secure app. Typically though, Lorex customers are bigger businesses with lots of territories to guard. It’s most common to connect Lorex cameras to widescreen monitors.
Lorex cameras have free shipping and a 60-day return policy.
Cove takes a DIY approach in business security, making Cove a better fit for small businesses than large ones. Nonetheless, you get professional monitoring from Cove, so you can rest assured knowing that an entire team out there is watching over your business security.
What We Like
24/7 monitoring and cellular backup
RapidSOS monitoring technology
Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
What We Don’t Like
No self-monitoring option
Limited equipment options
Mobile smartphone controls cost $24.99 per month
Cove systems start with a touchscreen, tablet-like control panel that wirelessly connects with and controls the system components. This touchscreen panel has 24-hour battery backup, which combined with Cove’s monitoring through cellular signals instead of Wi-Fi or landline, allows for professional monitoring to continue even when there’s a power outage. That is a critical feature for business security systems as you’d never want your business to be left unprotected even for just a few hours.
Cove Security System Equipment
Standing behind the touchscreen panel is a solid supporting cast of system peripherals, mostly sensors and cameras. Among the sensors sold by Cove, we think the glass break sensors make the biggest impact. Glass break sensors are noise sensors fine-tuned to listen for the sound of breaking glass. If your shop has large glass windows, placing glass break sensors strategically would help you monitor multiple points of break-in.
Aside from the glass break sensor, the usual motion sensors and entry sensors could help you detect break-ins that happen after office hours, as these sensors are built to detect the presence of people when there shouldn’t be anyone around. Placing entry sensors on your main and back entrances and motion sensors in offices or near safes and cash boxes ensures that you’ll be informed in case of a break in at night.
Affordable DIY Security System
Since Cove is a DIY system, it’s scalable in terms of size and equipment. But if you want your security system setup tailored to your business security needs, you’ll have to buy all the pieces of equipment you need from Cove. That also means you’ll probably have to spend more in equipment fees for your business security than you would for your home security.
Here’s the good news: Cove is affordable. We’ve seen entry sensors go for as low as $7.50 apiece, motion sensors for $15, and glass break sensors for less than $20. In fact, except for the cameras and the touchscreen panel, Cove’s equipment prices do not exceed $30 per piece. On top of that, professional monitoring with remote access via a smartphone app costs only $27.99 per month, which is much lower than most traditional business security systems we’ve looked into. And since it’s a DIY system, there are no installation or activation fees.
Now, Cove isn’t a perfect system for businesses. We do wish it offered a wider range of surveillance cameras. But overall, it’s a pretty solid pick.
How To Choose A Security System For Your Business
In business security, much like in home security, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You need to consider how much security your business needs. To do that, you need to pinpoint your current security’s weak points, know what types of equipment you need, and assess your budget. Below, we’ve outlined our criteria for choosing the best security systems for businesses.
In business security, the more equipment options, the better. When we selected our top picks, we went with those that offered a wide selection of security equipment. Ideally, that includes:
Security sensors: These are your motion sensors, door and window sensors, and glass break sensors that can alert you to break-ins during and after office hours.
Environment monitoring sensors: These are your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and any other sensor you need to make sure your building is safe from environmental threats.
Panic buttons: In cases of robberies and holdups, as well as non-criminal emergencies like fires, panic buttons and alarms can connect you and your employees to emergency services immediately.
Security cameras: Security cameras provide video surveillance so you or security personnel can monitor your establishment during and after office hours. It’s ideal if your alarm company can provide both indoor and outdoor cameras.
Security cameras play crucial roles in business security, which is why we also added criteria for choosing security cameras. They must have:
Security features: Such as motion and sound detection, or even better, artificial intelligence like person detection
Good specifications: At least a 1080p HD resolution, infrared night vision, 120 degrees viewing angle, and two-way audio
Storage: Most ideally, local recording via micro-SD cards, NVRs, or DVRs, as well as backup cloud storage
It’s also important to choose a security system that can work in your current office setup. Most businesses today have internet and Wi-Fi, so we selected security systems that use the internet for communication. Communication is crucial because this is how the system will alert you or your alarm company in case of emergencies.
However, as we all know, internet connections can be unreliable sometimes, so you also need backup communications. For most of the security systems on our list, that backup communication comes in the form of cellular backup. With cellular chips built into hubs or control panels, security systems can still alert you over cellular signals should your internet go down.
Power backup is another vital technology in business security. With the use of batteries, which can last for up to a day on a single full charge in most cases, security systems can continue to provide protection through power outages.
If you have on-site security personnel 24/7, good for you. Otherwise, alarm companies can monitor your business for you. They won’t watch your security feeds 24/7, mind you, so it’s still up to you to catch shoplifters and the like.
However, in the event of real emergencies, like after office hours break-ins, alarm companies can send police dispatch to your building. With professional monitoring, you can gain peace of mind knowing that you’re never on your own in protecting your business.
Most of our top picks offer DIY and professional installation. Choosing the installation method is really a matter of preference; however, professional installation is ideal for larger businesses in particular.
If you go the DIY route, you need a basic understanding of the system you’re installing and where to install your system components for maximum effectiveness. With professional installation, those tasks will fall in the hands of experienced technicians. So while DIY installation is doable, if you have the means, go for professional installation.
Still got questions about the best security systems for businesses? We’re here to help.
The best security systems for a small business are Cove, Frontpoint, and SimpliSafe. All three options offer professional monitoring, have outstanding customer service, are affordable, and allow DIY installation.
A security system for a business can range from $100 to thousands of dollars, depending on the company and the size of the physical business. Professional monitoring can also add on costs of anywhere from $10 to $60 a month.
ADT is the most secure security system. ADT has been in the security business for over a century, and its longevity is due to the fact that it’s able to keep up with new technologies. Even ADT’s home security systems are known for being secure, so expect its commercial security solutions to offer even more protection. We also like that ADT has cybersecurity offers for businesses, which goes to show that ADT is serious about security overall, not just physical security.