The Best Professionally Installed Security Systems

If DIY isn’t your style, get your security system installed by a professional.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Aug 9, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Aug 9, 2021
SimpliSafe Security System-
Our Top Picks

Best Security System Overall

SimpliSafe

Editor's Rating
9.8
/10
SimpliSafe Home Security System
Editor's Rating
9.8
/10
SimpliSafe outsources its professional installation to HelloTech, a home services company that has completed nearly 43,000 SimpliSafe installations and services so far.1

Best Monitored Security System

ADT

Editor's Rating
9.6
/10
ADT Home Security System
Editor's Rating
9.6
/10
ADT offers professional installation from its in-house professionals; costs start at $99, depending on the amount of equipment you have.

Sometimes, you don’t want to get your hands dirty. And your home security system has to be installed correctly, or it defeats the purpose of having the system in the first place.

If you’re reading this, you want to leave your security system installation to the pros. Hey, we get it; why not outsource the job and spend your time how you like?

The following security systems are the best we’ve tested that offer professional installation, sometimes free and sometimes paid. Let’s find out which one fits in your home.

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

Both SimpliSafe and ADT have paid professional installation, but with Vivint and Alder, professional installation is free. Of course, every system has its pros and cons, so let’s take a deeper dive into each.

Comparison of the Best Professionally Installed Security Systems

System
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe Home Security System
ADT
ADT Home Security Equipment
Vivint
Vivint Home Security Equipment
Alder Security
Alder Security System
abode
Abode Home Security
Ranking 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Ratings 9.6/10 9.4/10 9.0/10 8.0/10
Minimum cost of professional installation $99 $0 $0 $99
Professional installation provider ADT Vivint Alder HelloTech
Minimum monthly cost for professional monitoring $36.99 $39.99 $40 $19.80
Option for self-monitoring only? No Yes No Yes
Read Review ADT Review Vivint Review Alder Security Review abode Review

Summary of the Best Professionally Installed Security Systems

  • SimpliSafe - Best Professionally Installed Security System Overall
  • ADT - Best Professionally Installed and Monitored Security System
  • Vivint - Best Security System With Free Professional Installation
  • Alder - 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. SimpliSafe – Best Professionally Installed Security System Overall

    Editor's Rating
    9.8
    /10
    SimpliSafe Home Security System

    While we installed our SimpliSafe system ourselves and consider it to be one of the best DIY home security systems, SimpliSafe also offers professional installation through HelloTech, a third-party service. With HelloTech, prices start at $79 to install the SimpliSafe security system, the smart lock, the outdoor camera, or the video doorbell, which we tested for our SimpliSafe Video Doorbell review. Book an appointment online or over the phone, scheduling it for sometime between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. It’s that easy!

    What we liked
    • Starting price of $14.99 a 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 notifications.
    • The Standard Plan doesn’t include smart home integrations or remote control.
    • You must buy the Outdoor Kit to use the SimpliCam outdoors.
    SimpliSafe
    SimpliSafe Base Station

    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.2

    Monthly Contracts

    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.

  • 2. ADT – Best Professionally Installed and Monitored Security System

    Editor's Rating
    9.6
    /10
    ADT Home Security System
    855-908-4461 View Packages

    Whereas SimpliSafe was founded in 2006, ADT was founded in 1874,3 making it the oldest security company in the U.S. While ADT has evolved over the years, one thing remains constant: Professional installation and professional monitoring are part of all its traditional home security packages.

    To continue this SimpliSafe vs. ADT comparison, while SimpliSafe outsources its professional installation to a third party, ADT’s installation professionals are all in-house. That gave us even more assurance that the technician set up our system correctly, protecting our home from invasion.

    What we liked
    • Oldest home security company in the U.S.
    • Professional monitoring included with all systems
    • No moving fees
    • Excellent ADT Pulse 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 Pulse App

    For security systems with apps, ADT comes in at the top of the heap. We used the ADT Pulse app with our security system, which includes a keypad, sensors, a smart lock, and other camera components. Currently, the app has a 4.6 rating from Android users and a 4.8 rating from iPhone users, making it one of the best-rated home security apps around.

    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

    Want a professionally monitored home security system? All of ADT’s traditional systems come with 24/7 professional monitoring as well as cellular backup.

    NOTE: Cellular backup keeps your security system connected to the monitoring center and app even during power outages.

    All of the plans you can choose from include these features:

    • 24/7 professional monitoring
    • One keypad
    • Three entry sensors for doors and windows
    • One motion detector
    • One siren
    • One backup battery
    • One keychain remote
    • One yard sign with window stickers

    However, to make use of the app and cellular backup, you’ll need to sign up for Premium Protection as we did.

    What you get Essentials Total Protection Premium Protection
    Cellular backup No Yes Yes
    ADT Pulse app No No Yes
    Cost per month $36.99 $42.99 $52.99
    Total cost of a 3-year contract $1,331.64 $1,547.64 $1,907.64

    While ADT’s pricing certainly isn’t the cheapest for monitoring nor installation, we suppose that’s the cost of over 140 years of experience. Of course, there are ways to save; you can take advantage of ADT deals and ADT Black Friday deals. If you want to learn more, read our ADT FAQs.

  • 3. Vivint – Best Security System With Free Professional Installation

    Editor's Rating
    9.4
    /10
    Vivint Equipment
    844-922-0575 View Packages

    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.

    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
    Vivint Outdoor Cam Pro
    Vivint Outdoor Cam Pro

    Great for Vacation Homes

    Need a home security system for your vacation home? Vivint has partnered with Airbnb, allowing hosts to unlock their doors remotely, adjust the thermostats remotely, and protect their homes with window sensors, door sensors, and motion sensors. And if your home isn’t rented for the week, you can control the lighting via Philips Hue smart light bulbs, putting them in away mode to make it seem like someone is home.

    Of course, you’ll also need to secure your home while on vacation, so get Vivint installed in all of your homes, on the house (no pun intended).

    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

    Our favorite of the three has got to be the outdoor camera, thanks to its red LED and siren. When a would-be thief walked onto our lawn, making his way toward our most recent Amazon packages, the camera recognized the person and set the light off.

    In case that wasn’t conspicuous enough, the camera then turned on the 85-decibel siren, about as loud as heavy traffic.4 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.

  • 4. Alder – Best Professionally Installed Security System for Alexa

    Editor's Rating
    9.0
    /10
    Alder Security System
    844-965-1405 View Packages

    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
    Alder System
    Alder System

    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

    Editor's Rating
    8.0
    /10
    Abode Security Systems

    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.

    Integrations Galore

    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:

    • Ecobee
    • First Alert
    • IFTTT
    • Kwikset
    • LIFX
    • Nest
    • Philips Hue
    • Yale

    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!

Methodology

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

Citations
  1. HelloTech. (2021). SimpliSafe Home Security System Setup.
    hellotech.com/simplisafe

  2. Nest. (2015). Energy Savings from the Nest Learning Thermostat: Energy Bill Analysis Results.
    storage.googleapis.com/nest-public-downloads/press/documents/energy-savings-white-paper.pdf

  3. ADT. (2021). Our History.
    adt.com/about-adt/history

  4. Pulsar Instruments. (2019). Decibel chart – decibel levels of common sounds.
    pulsarinstruments.com/en/post/decibel-chart-noise-level