Best Rural Home Security Systems
If you live out in the country, far away from your nearest neighbor, protecting yourself against anybody wishing you or your family harm is a must. Luckily, anybody looking for the best rural home security systems is spoiled for choice in the 21st century, and you can rely on a lot more than just a dog and your neighbors to keep you safe.
Best Rural Security System with Professional Installation
Best Rural Security System for Alexa
Of course, some systems do a better job than others depending on what you need them for. However, there are two contenders that do a fantastic job for most people most of the time, namely Vivint and SimpliSafe. Both offer a range of equipment, including cameras and motion sensors, all arranged through a central hub, and can be made to fit most budgets.
Comparison of the Best Rural Home Security Systems
|Monthly Cost Range||$4.99-$9.99||$29.99-$60||$40- $60||N/A||$9.99 - $19.99, though you pay an extra $2.99 for each camera’s storage|
|Contract Lengths Available||Month-to-month||Month-to-month||3 years||N/A||Can either pay monthly or yearly but can cancel whenever and receive a pro-rated refund|
|Smart Home Integrations||Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest Thermostat||Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest Thermostat||Alexa, Kwikset, Z-Wave, Liftmaster||Google Assistant||Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home, Yale Z-Wave Locks, Kwikset Z-Wave Locks, Nest, LIFX, Philips Hue and IFTTT|
|Read Review||Vivint Review||SimpliSafe Review||ADT Review||Swann Review||Scout Alarm Review|
Best Rural Home Security Systems in 2020
Besides our two top picks, we have selected three others that will be a perfect fit for anybody living out in the country. As not everybody’s situation is the same, we have identified a key area in which each service shines, and which of our five favorites will suit you best in that area.
Of course, the baseline for all of them is that they’ll keep you safe; it’s really just the details that differ. To see what makes each of these systems special, let’s take a look at all of them in detail.
Detailed List of the Best Rural Home Security Systems
Our first entry is Vivint, which we like for people out in the country thanks to its comprehensive security options. However, its main strength is probably that a visit by a company technician is required with all packages. You won’t have to worry about where each component needs to be set up and how, as one of Vivint’s professionals will take care of it.
What We Liked
- Professional installation
- Very user-friendly app
- Easy to integrate with a wide variety of systems and IoT apps
- Flexible plans
What We Didn’t Like
- Pricey, with monthly plans starting at $29.99 a month
- If you don’t pay the monthly fee, you can’t self-monitor over the app
- If you move houses, the reinstallation comes with a moving fee
- No local storage on the cameras
Easy to Use
Setting up a home security system can be a pain, especially if you’re out in the country and have a big house or even a large plot of land to worry about rather than an apartment or a suburban fenced yard. If you’re not careful, you could be woken up with an alarm every time a deer or raccoon trips up a poorly laid wire or a badly placed camera.
Almost all the systems on this list have some kind of installation service, but Vivint’s is our favorite thanks to its price point and professionalism. A technician will come to your house and put up the system. We really liked it when we looked over it for our Vivint review and it’s definitely its stand-out feature.
On top of that, we also really like the Vivint app, which might be the easiest one to use on the market now. It offers a useful overview and lets us control all aspects of the system from pretty much a single screen. If you’re worried about how you’ll interact with your security system, Vivint definitely deserves some attention.
Plays Well with Others
Much like our next entry SimpliSafe, Vivint integrates with Alexa and Google Assistant, meaning that we were able to control it entirely by just using our voices. It also plays nice with Philips Hue smart lighting systems, a great way to make it look like somebody’s in the house, as well as Nest’s smart thermostats. In our testing, we had no trouble at all with hooking all these systems up to each other.
Vivint pricing is quite reasonable. You can pay per month as well as opt for long-term financing (details on that are supplied on demand). Prices start at $29.99 but depending on the services you add, you can pay multiples of that very quickly. For our review, for instance, we went for a two-camera plan, which cost $49.99, added a doorbell camera and cloud storage, and ended up with a bill just south of $60 per month. It’s worth every penny, though.
2. SimpliSafe - Best Rural Security System for Alexa
SimpliSafe is next up thanks to its excellent pricing, the ability to mix and match components and the fact that you can control it completely with your voice thanks to its full integration with not only Google Assistant, but also Alexa. In fact, no competitors play as nice with Alexa as SimpliSafe does, making it an outstanding pick for people that like to control gadgets through voice commands.
What We Liked
- Fantastic Integration with Alexa and other third-party apps
- Many versatile plans and options
- Plans and options for most budgets
- Easy to set up and use
What We Didn’t Like
- Doesn’t work as well with Google Assistant
- Overwhelming amount of equipment options
- If we didn’t pay our monthly fees, we couldn’t control the system remotely
- The indoor camera doesn’t have person detection
Integrating with Voice Assistants and IoT Devices
Setting up Alexa control over the Simplisafe system is easy; in just a few minutes, we had it up and running. Then, all we needed to do is arm the system in ‘away’ mode with a number of set commands (“Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I’m going out”) or set it to ‘home’ mode by letting Alexa know that we were going to bed. We also set commands that let us check the system’s status or disarm SimpliSafe entirely; it’s a very intuitive system.
Tip: You can also set Alexa to arm or disarm your home security under specific circumstances, like if you end up being longer than five minutes.
Sorrowfully, integration with Google Assistant isn’t as good, as it only accepts basic commands (like “arm” and “disarm”) instead of the more conversational style of Alexa. Besides voice control, SimpliSafe also works with Nest’s thermostats and August’s smart locks, meaning we could have the system engage when the smart lock locked, or have the thermostat warm up the house when SimpliSafe was turned off, meaning we’re not home.
SimpliSafe is probably the most versatile home security system on the market today. While most competitors offer some kind of mix-and-match functionality, SimpliSafe is a good option in that you can choose from a huge amount of packages and then add components as you go along. All you need to control it all is the base station, which has a nice, modern vibe and should fit in well with most furnishings.
Of course, you can also put together your package yourself from scratch, which is convenient for people that have specific needs, like people living out in the country. For instance, you could focus entirely on keeping your yard safe and save money on, say, window sensors. It’s up to you and what you think you need.
The nice thing about versatility is that you can also control price. SimpliSafe’s packages start at $275 and go as high as $490, though with seasonal discounts you could end up spending a lot less than that. Overall, SimpliSafe’s pricing is very reasonable and is one of the very few services that offers a month-to-month option on its subscriptions, a big plus for anybody budgeting on that basis.
Next up on our list is ADT, which has been around for over 140 years. Generally speaking, if a company was around as early as 18741 offering more or less the same services it is now, it’s a good bet that they’re doing something right. The reason we added it to our list here is thanks to its excellent, round-the-clock professional monitoring, perfect for people out in the country that want to know they’re being kept safe.
What We Liked
- Reliable brand
- Professional 24/7 monitoring
- Professional installation
- Good outdoor coverage
What We Didn’t Like
- Pricing is a bit steep
- Little flexibility in plans
- No self-monitoring options
- No DIY installation option
ADT’s offering falls, broadly speaking, into three packages, though you can transfer elements between them. We have the details for you in our ADT home security overview, but in most cases we’d recommend that people living in the country get the Smart or Complete packages as they are much more comprehensive, protecting not only your yard and parts of the house, but also your garage and any outlying buildings.
However, when comparing, say, ADT vs SimpliSafe, you’ll notice quickly that ADT is very much a traditional company in that it decides how best to set up your security, usually evaluated by its technician when they visit. This means you can only choose from the packages it offers; you can’t mix and match like you do with more recently founded competitors.
ADT’s biggest strength is that it offers 24/7 professional monitoring, meaning that no matter when an alarm goes off, a human in one of ADT’s offices will respond to it and decide on a course of action. That, to us, means peace of mind for people that like a more old-fashioned approach to home security. It also means far less worry if you go away for vacation or the like. However, the downside is that ADT does not allow you to just self-monitor, meaning there’s no cheaper option than full, round-the-clock professional monitoring.
Pricing Plans and Options
ADT pricing is a little on the high side, but you get what you pay for. The monitoring plans cost anywhere between $40 to $60 per month, with the equipment and the price of installation coming on top of that. The installation fee is set, too, as ADT will only allow one of its technicians to set up the system. However, it’s well worth it as you get a home security system by a company that’s been around since President Grant.
4. Swann - Best Self Monitored Rural Security System
Our penultimate entry is Swann, which isn’t as much a home security system as it is a camera system, but a very good one at that. We recommend it for anybody looking for a light touch when it comes to securing the house, but as an upside, it is almost certainly the cheapest option on this list.
What We Liked
- Lots of different camera options
- Something for every budget
- Entirely self-monitored
What We Didn’t Like
- Doesn’t include sensors, panic buttons and the like
- Cheaper cameras have poor resolution
- No professional monitoring
- App could be a lot better
Unlike our other options for country dwellers, Swann is not a full suite of security options but rather just a camera system. However, they’re very good cameras and Swann offers a huge range of different ones. You could, for example, opt for a camera system that’s triggered by motion or by heat, or both. There are also plenty of options to make whatever is being recorded stand out more through spotlights and even infrared night vision.
Customers also have the option to pick different image qualities, meaning you can save a few bucks as long as you don’t mind granier resolutions. Because of all these options, we could have gotten a single camera for as little as $70 or a near-professional, hardcore 16-camera setup for thousands of dollars. We liked this approach as it means we can keep a tight grip on our expenditures in the security department.
Swann is great for people that want to manage their own security as it’s entirely self-monitored: there’s nobody in a control room somewhere keeping an eye on things. No matter which camera system you buy, you can keep an eye on things from anywhere using the app. We liked it well enough when we used it, though it needed the occasional reboot.
As there’s nobody checking your camera feeds, it also means that there’s no need to pay a monthly fee as with many other security solutions. You pay for whichever camera or set of cameras you want, and that is it. This means that you don’t have to factor anything into your budget when you opt for any Swann plans; rather, you just pay once and you’re good to go.
5. Scout - Best Rural Security System for Google Assistant
Last but not least on our list for the best rural security system is Scout, which crowdfunded its way out of obscurity back in 2013.2 It’s a solid security system no matter how you look at it, but we especially like how well it integrates with Google Assistant as well as Alexa and IoT systems like Nest. However, its catalog leaves a little to be desired in some places, as does Scout’s pricing.
What We Liked
- Excellent integration with Google Assistant
- Easy DIY installation
- Fully customizable
- Can be mixed and matched for any budget
What We Didn’t Like
- No outdoor camera
- Confusing equipment and plan options
- No option for professional installation
- Some hardware is a bit basic
Scout Product Line
Unlike Swann, Scout is another system that’s exactly that: a system. We controlled it from a central hub, which connected to sensors. These come in all kinds of flavors, from motion detection to the type that detects if glass in a window or door is broken. There are, of course, also cameras, though for some strange reason there’s no outdoor camera, meaning it may not be the best best for people living out in the country if they also need their yard kept under surveillance.
Handy Tip: You can make an indoor camera an outdoor camera by placing it under some kind of awning.
That said, Scout is the ultimate in customizability. There are no set plans, as such, just recommendations, so you can mix and match to your heart’s content. This leeway means that Scout is perfect for people that have trouble getting their plans just right with other providers, so it may warrant a close look if you’re in that category.
Great Google Assistant Integration
You also get some handy options to just use your voice to interact with Scout. What SimpliSafe is to Alexa, Scout is to Google Assistant, which we talk about a little more in our SimpliSafe vs Scout comparison piece. This means that if you’re a big fan of using the Assistant and want to use it to control your home security system, Scout may be the best bet for you.
Few other systems are as good for use with Assistant, and none are better. In our testing, we were able to arm and disarm the system, as well as check whether the system was on, by just using specific keywords and then not worrying about it again. By simply starting our sentence with “OK Google” and then adding any preset commands (“check whether vacation mode is on,” “what is Scout’s status?”) we controlled Scout without ever touching a button.
Doing It Yourself
A last point with Scout is that it’s entirely do-it-yourself, meaning that there’s not even the option of having somebody install the system for you. Though this may seem daunting at first, it’s a good way to save money, and you get a real sense of accomplishment once you’re done.That said, we did find ourselves a little frustrated setting up the system, but that may be due to us as much as Scout.
Selecting the best home security system in any category can get a little tricky, but in the cases of the best rural systems, there were a few unique issues we came across. For one, rural dwellings are a lot bigger than the New York apartments we live in, and stand on larger lots. As such, we kept the following criteria in mind when selecting our picks:
- Outside as well as inside camera coverage
- Motion sensors
- Easy to use apps and easy to install systems
- Professional installation or the DIY variety
- Integrations with Alexa, Google Assistant as well as IoT systems
- Professional monitoring or self-monitoring
- Budgetary concerns
If you’d like to know more, make sure to check out our home security systems guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does SimpliSafe work in rural areas?
SimpliSafe works in rural areas. However, if you want to keep an eye on things using the SimpliSafe app, you will need to have Wi-Fi access at the house. If you’re using a local system (you’re at home and near the gateway), you won’t need Wi-Fi.
- What are some good farm security systems?
The best farm security systems are Vivint, SimpliSafe and ADT because they offer lots of options in terms of setup: you could opt for a plan that only covers the main house, or one that covers just the outlying buildings or both. There’s no limit to the size of the system you put up, so you have a lot of options when it comes to securing your farm.
- Is SimpliSafe as good as ADT?
SimpliSafe isn’t as good as ADT; it’s better. For one, its plans are less rigid, offering you more options in the amount of cameras and sensors you add. It’s also cheaper, meaning you can more bang for your buck. We also like how SimpliSafe lets you set up the system yourself.
- What are the best-rated home security systems?
The best-rated home security systems are SimpliSafe, Vivint and ADT.
ADT. (2020). Our History.
VentureBeat. (2013). How Scout Alarm crowdfunded $160K — without Kickstarter or Indiegogo.