The Best Professionally Installed Security Systems
If DIY isn’t your style, get your security system installed by a professional.
There are things in life that are best left to the pros — plumbing, anything that involves electricity, and automotive repairs, for example. Is home security system installation one of those things? For some, it certainly is. You want your security system to function properly, and you want it set up in a way that gets you the most value, so it makes a lot of sense to have your security system professionally installed.
If you’re looking for the best professionally installed systems, though, we’re the professionals you should talk to. We’ve tested dozens of security systems, and with our experience, we can help you find the perfect home security system installed by trained technicians to match your home (and budget!). Read on for our top picks.
Breakdown of the Best Security Systems With Professional Installation
|Minimum cost of professional installation||$0 – $99|
|Number of systems with free professional installation||2/5|
|Average cost of professional installation||$55|
|Systems that require professional monitoring||2/5|
Before we begin, we’d like to note that one of the disadvantages of professional installation is that it costs money. The minimum we paid for professional installation was $79 with SimpliSafe. Typically, companies charge $100 or more for the service.
There were a couple home security companies, however, that installed a system for us for free: Vivint and Alder. This doesn’t make them the best options, but if you’re looking to save some money (and who isn’t?), you could try to get a quote from these two companies.
In the end, each system has pros and cons, so only a deeper dive into what they offer can tell us what the best option is for us.
Comparison of the Best Professionally Installed Security Systems
|Minimum cost of professional installation||$99||$0||$79||$0||$99|
|Professional installation provider||ADT||Vivint||HelloTech||Alder||HelloTech|
|Option for self-monitoring only?||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Minimum monthly cost for professional monitoring||$36.99||$39.99||$17.99||$40||$19.80|
|Read Review||ADT Review||Vivint Review||SimpliSafe Review||Alder Security Review||abode Review|
Summary of the Best Professionally Installed Security Systems
- ADT - Best Security System Overall
- Vivint - Best Security System With Free Professional Installation
- SimpliSafe - Best Contract-Free System
- Alder Security - Best Professionally Installed Security System for Alexa
- abode - Best Professionally Installed Security System for Google Assistant
Detailed List of the Best Professionally Installed Security Systems
1. ADT - Best Security System Overall
ADT was founded in 1874,1 making it the oldest security company in the U.S. While it has evolved over the years, one thing has remained constant over the decades: ADT’s top-notch service includes and will likely always include professional installation and monitoring.
ADT handles the installation in-house, meaning the company itself or its authorized dealer will provide technicians trained specifically to handle ADT equipment. ADT provides training courses for its technicians. This ensures the quality of the installation service, particularly during a time when home security tech is quickly evolving.
What we liked
- Oldest home security company in the U.S.
- Professional monitoring included with all systems
- No moving fees
- Excellent ADT Control app for iOS and Android
What we didn’t like
- Starting cost of $99 for professional installation
- Expensive professional monitoring
- No option for self-monitoring only
- Three-year contracts
ADT Control App
For security systems with apps, ADT comes in at the top of the heap. We used the ADT Control app with our security system, which gave us remote access and the ability to control our system components. From entry and motion sensors to our smart lights and cameras, the app put us in the driver’s seat.
FYI: Don’t worry though; while the features seem overwhelming, your ADT technician will give you a tour of the system’s features before leaving. That’s part of ADT’s white-glove service. And once all is over, if you still have any questions, you can always reach out to ADT via phone or email to get answers.
In the palms of our hands, we armed and disarmed our system, unlocked and locked our doors, viewed live footage, and received notifications when our sensors and cameras detected motion. Of course, we still had the benefit of professional monitoring in case we missed any app notifications. See? ADT has come a long way since the days of telegraphs.
24/7 Professional Monitoring
ADT’s professional service doesn’t end after installation. It also offers monitoring services, and they are packaged with ADT systems. With professional monitoring, your ADT system will tap into ADT’s monitoring network with nine facilities across the country. These facilities monitor for any type of alerts coming from security systems, including intrusion, fire, home hazards, and medical emergencies.
As is the norm with professionally monitored security systems, ADT charges a monthly monitoring fee. ADT’s pricing typically sits at around $40 per month, but can go as high as $60 per month depending on the type of equipment you own. If you have security cameras and smart home products, for example, you’ll pay the maximum monthly fee to cover cloud storage and smart features. You’ll also have to sign a contract, usually up to three years.
Nonetheless, ADT’s professional monitoring service is top-notch. Remember those nine monitoring centers we mentioned earlier? ADT has those to make sure the service is up 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They are all fully-equipped with backup measures (generators, backup servers and communication, etc.) and can take over for one another in case one of the centers is rendered unable to operate.
If the cost is making you have second-thoughts, however, check out these ADT deals, as they offer ways to offset the equipment cost. Also, ADT offers a six-month money-back guarantee, the longest in the industry, that lets you recuperate monitoring and installation costs if ADT fails to fix any problems with the system.
FYI: Besides professionally set up security systems, ADT now offers DIY installed systems under the ADT Self Setup brand. This system uses wireless sensors and equipment, and for video monitoring, it uses Google Nest’s easy to install Nest Cams.
2. Vivint - Best Security System With Free Professional Installation
They say the best things in life are free. Typically, this adage refers to things like friends and family, but it also includes professional installation with Vivint.
That’s right, Vivint sent a technician to install our new security system for free. This was a relief, as we had just spent a ton on Vivint’s equipment. Vivint’s subscriptions may not be the most affordable, with prices starting at $39.99 a month, but at least we didn’t have to pay for installation or do it ourselves.
It’s important to note that Vivint doesn’t offer free professional installation all the time. In fact, they charge $199 for the service. However, Vivint runs promotions often that waive the installation fee, so if you want to save on the installation costs, your best bet is to wait for Vivint to offer a deal. And even if you don’t see any deals on Vivint’s website, it’s smart to call them up and ask about any ongoing deals.
What we liked
- Free professional installation
- Impressive Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro
- Easy-to-use Vivint mobile app
- Self-monitoring-only option
What we didn’t like
- Expensive equipment and monitoring
- $129 moving fee
- Camera storage not included in monitoring fee
- Local-only system if you don’t get professional monitoring
Top-Quality Equipment and Automation
The quality of Vivint’s equipment made us glad they offer professional installation. Everything from the sensors to the cameras had a ‘premium’ feel to them, and even though we’ve had our share of installing security equipment, we felt almost at awe by Vivint.
The heart of the system is the touchscreen control panel, which makes for a user-friendly experience. All the controls you need are on the tablet-like panel, and it gives you a brief but insightful overview of your security system. It even tells you the weather and other useful information.
The control panel is also the center of Vivint’s home automation system, which is intertwined with the security system. Through the tablet interface, you can control smart lights, thermostats, and other smart home products, set up automation rules and schedules, and create scenes to control multiple devices at once.
Obviously, setting up a system as intricate as Vivint requires expertise, and that’s why it’s a great thing that Vivint requires professional installation.
Quality Cameras and Video Doorbell
Vivint has three cameras to choose from: an outdoor camera, an indoor camera, and a doorbell camera. You can learn more about these products in our Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro review and our Vivint Doorbell Camera review, but here are their specs in a nutshell.
Features Outdoor camera Indoor camera Doorbell camera Video resolution 1080p HD with 4K HDR sensor 1080p HD 720p HD Field of view (in degrees) 140 144 180 Night vision Infrared Infrared Infrared 2-way audio Yes Yes Yes Smart home integrations Alexa, Google Assistant Alexa, Google Assistant Alexa, Google Assistant Artificial intelligence Person detection None Person detection Power Plugged in Plugged in Wireless or plugged in Extras Red LED light, 85-decibel siren N/A N/A Cost $399.99 $199.99 $249.99
The Outdoor Camera Pro carried the flag for all of Vivint’s cameras. It has the most advanced set of features among them, including artificial intelligence that detects when someone is lurking on your property and warning lights and tones that can ward off potential intruders. Together, these features make the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro a great outdoor sentry for your home.
Here’s what happened when the camera went into alert mode one time when we were testing it: As soon as it detected a lurker, a red ring of light turned on around the camera’s lens. The camera then turned on the 85-decibel siren, about as loud as the sound of heavy traffic.2 Of course, Vivint notified us as soon as the camera detected the person, so we watched the whole thing on the Vivint app. We even said “good riddance” to the thief through the camera’s speaker. According to our package theft research, 4 in 10 Americans have fallen victim, but with Vivint, we didn’t have to become a statistic.
3. SimpliSafe - Best Contract-Free Security System
Okay, SimpliSafe is a DIY security system. In fact, it’s the best DIY home security system around. So why is it here? Well, we like options, and SimpliSafe gives customers lots of options, including professional installation.
After buying your equipment, you can request professional installation from HelloTech, a third-party service provider specializing in tech installations.3 The installation fee is $79, and in our case, that included the installation of a smart lock, outdoor camera, video doorbell, and security sensors.
Another great thing about SimpliSafe is that because it’s a DIY system originally, you can add components to your system without having to pay another installation fee. SimpliSafe products are easy to install — mostly you just stick them to your wall using their adhesive backings — so professional installation likely won’t be necessary if you’re installing just a couple pieces of hardware.
What we liked
- Starting price of $17.99 per month for professional monitoring
- Monthly contracting only
- Wireless system
- Integrations with Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.
What we didn’t like
- Professional installation isn’t free.
- You must pay at least $4.99 a month for security camera cloud storage.
- The Standard Plan doesn’t include smart home integrations.
Smart Home Integrations
We signed up for SimpliSafe’s Interactive Plan so we could take advantage of its smart home integrations with Alexa, Google Assistant, August smart locks, and Nest thermostats. Using either voice assistant, we could arm the system in home or away mode, and using Alexa, we could also check the system’s current status.
Beyond that, we had our Nest and August IoT devices trigger SimpliSafe components. One clever home automation we dreamed up was having our thermostat turn down when we armed our security system. There’s no reason to waste our central air if no one’s home, after all!
MONEY-SAVING TIP: With the Nest Learning Thermostat, which learns your heating and cooling schedule after a few days, you can save an average of 10 to 12 percent on heating and about 15 percent on cooling costs.3
SimpliSafe is a security system designed for renters at its origin. Two MBA candidates at Harvard created it when they wanted to install a security system in their apartment but couldn’t find any options with flexible, month-to-month contracts.
We didn’t have to sign up for a long-term contract with SimpliSafe. The security system has no contract beyond a month, and since most of the components are wireless, they didn’t damage our walls. That means we got our security deposit back, which we spent partially on having SimpliSafe installed professionally at our new place.
In fact, out of our entire moving process, getting SimpliSafe up and running was the most straightforward task; all we had to do was go online, book an appointment with HelloTech, and call it a day. Learn more about SimpliSafe’s pricing for both installation and monitoring.
4. Alder Security - Best Professionally Installed Security System for Alexa
If you want a home security system for Alexa, look no further than Alder, a small but mighty professionally installed option. On top of the free professional installation, which was a nice start to our experience, we had fun commanding our Alder system using Alexa through our Echo Dot.
Whether it was arming our system as we rushed out of the house late for an appointment, or having Alexa remind us if we armed our system or not, Alder is a great choice for those already in the Amazon smart home ecosystem. The free professional installation is just icing on the cake.
What we liked
- Free professional installation
- Cellular backup included with all systems
- Alexa integration
- No fee if you move system
What we didn’t like
- No option to self-monitor only
- Expensive professional monitoring
- Three-year contracts
- Disappointing mobile app
Free Basic Package
What with the free professional installation, we were surprised that we didn’t have to pay anything upfront for our Basic Home Security package, which included a touchscreen control panel, two entry sensors, and a motion sensor. Rather, the equipment and monitoring cost $40 a month, or $480 a year. This isn’t a bad price, considering the lack of upfront costs, and of course, it includes 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup. There are also options with environmental monitoring and cameras, if you’re interested.
Package Basic Standard Premium Basic Home Security Yes Yes Yes Life Safety No Yes Yes Video No No Yes Estimated cost per month $40 $50 $60 Estimated cost per year $480 $600 $720
Read more about Alder’s costs.
Fast Response Rates
A professionally monitored home security system is only as good as the monitoring team connected to it. If a thief breaks through your windows and activates your window sensor, how soon will the monitoring team get an alert and contact the police?
With Alder, the average response time is only 3.4 seconds, which the company claims is 10 times as fast as its competitors. In 2017 specifically, Alder responded to over 2.3 million alarms. Of course, the company has grown since then, so we expect that number to rise even more this year. While we didn’t have any emergencies while using Alder that allowed us to test this, we’re impressed with the company’s promised response time.
5. abode - Best Professionally Installed Security System for Google Assistant
What is the opposite of ADT? In our opinion, it’s abode, which a former ADT executive founded in 2014. Like SimpliSafe (but unlike ADT), abode outsources its professional installation service to HelloTech. It has monthly contracts rather than three-year contracts, plus a feature we haven’t seen from any other security company: on-demand professional monitoring.
We’ll explain that in a bit, but where abode really shines is its smart platform integrations, specifically with Google Assistant. We had Google show our outdoor camera on our Nest Hub, arm our system, unlock our front door, and more. If you have a ton of smart home devices, like smart locks and smart lights, you’ll love how easily you can integrate abode with your smart home.
What we liked
- Smart home integrations
- Self-monitoring option
- On-demand professional monitoring
- Free remote control, notifications, and livestreaming
What we didn’t like
- Professional installation through HelloTech starts at $99.
- At $19.80 per month, its monitoring isn’t the cheapest.
- Its Android and iOS apps have poor ratings.
- The abode iota camera lacks person detection.
If you’ve already made your smart home, abode will fit right in. In addition to Google Assistant, it works with Alexa and Siri, making it a rare security system for Apple.
Of course, abode doesn’t stop at voice control. It also works with a ton of third-party IoT devices. Here are just a few:
- First Alert
- Philips Hue
Want to use your Nest cameras with your abode security system? Nothing’s stopping you. Want your Kwikset smart locks to unlock when you disarm your system via Google Assistant? Feel free.
Abode is also a great security system for IFTTT, which makes thousands more triggers available.
On-Demand Professional Monitoring
Sometimes, you want a self-monitored home security system. Other times, like when you’re away on vacation, you want 24/7 professional monitoring, but you don’t want to sign up for a whole month, let alone a whole year. Enter abode, the only security company we’ve come across that offers professional monitoring on a daily basis.
Features Free Standard Pro Livestreaming Yes Yes Yes Notifications Yes Yes Yes Smart home integrations Yes Yes Yes Maximum number of cameras Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Home automation No Yes Yes Cloud storage (in days) 0 7 30 Timeline of events (in days) 0 7 30 In-app panic alarms No Yes Yes Premium customer support No Yes Yes Person detection No Yes Yes Cellular backup No No Yes 24/7 professional monitoring No No Yes Free shipping within the continental U.S. No No Yes Exclusive deals/discounts No No Yes Homeowners insurance discounts No No Yes Cost per day $0 $0.20 $0.66 Cost per month $0 $6 $20 Cost per year $0 $60 $100
If you’re willing to pay a little extra in addition to the $99 professional installation cost, you can get professional monitoring from abode for as little as 66 cents a day. Talk about affordable home security!
Most of the options on our list of the best home security systems are DIY systems that are relatively easy to install, but for this article, we looked for systems that offer professional installation.
Of course, we preferred when this professional installation was free, but we accepted starting prices up to $100. We also preferred when the installers were in-house rather than a third-party service like HelloTech. Although HelloTech does a good job of installing security systems like SimpliSafe and abode, technicians from the security company itself are more knowledgeable. We also evaluated the systems on these factors:
- How much does the security equipment, monitoring, and storage cost? Read more about how much home security systems cost, along with the costs of home security permits and home security tax deductions.
- What voice assistants does the system work with? What IoT devices can it trigger?
- What are the monitoring options? Some systems require a 24/7 professional monitoring plan, some offer self-monitoring only, and some offer a mix of the two.
- How long is the contract? Can you cancel anytime?
- Does the system have high-quality equipment, especially security cameras? We prefer cameras with infrared night vision, 1080p HD video resolution, fields of view that are 120 degrees or wider, two-way audio, person detection, and, for outdoor cameras, an IP rating of 65 or higher.
- Does the company have a good reputation? Does it have a history of hackings or data breaches?
- What is the monitoring center’s average response time?
- Does it have cellular or landline backup? Explore cellular security systems and no-landline security systems, as you don’t need a landline to have a security system.
- Can you contact customer support by phone, email, live chat, or all three? We also considered the company’s online support center, and how responsive and helpful they were in our experience.
- Does it have a good mobile application? For this, we paid special attention to ratings on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
- What is its return policy? Does it have a money-back guarantee or free trial?
- What is its cancellation policy? How easy is it to cancel your home security contract?
- How long is the warranty? What does it cover?
We’ve tested each of the systems on this list for a minimum of six months. Learn more about DIY vs. professional home security.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about the best systems that we’ve tested, hands on.
What is the best professionally installed home security system?
The best professionally installed home security systems are SimpliSafe, ADT, Vivint, Alder, and abode.
Professional installation SimpliSafe ADT Vivint Alder abode Party that performs the installation HelloTech ADT Vivint Alder HelloTech Minimum cost $79 $99 $0 $0 $99
What is the most cost-effective security system?
The most cost-effective security systems are SimpliSafe, Cove, Frontpoint, abode, and ADT.
What is the best security system for business?
The best security systems for business are SimpliSafe, ADT, Vivint, Frontpoint, and Lorex.
What is the best home security system with no monthly fee?
The best home security systems without monthly fees are SimpliSafe, abode, Ring Alarm, and Arlo.
ADT. (2021). Our History.
Pulsar Instruments. (2019). Decibel chart – decibel levels of common sounds.
Nest. (2015). Energy Savings from the Nest Learning Thermostat: Energy Bill Analysis Results.