What Is a Smart Home Security System?

Smart home security systems boost home security by connecting a home to the internet, and to you, through the use of wireless technology, which includes sensors, cameras, detectors, cameras and more. Smart home security systems are essentially the wireless, “smart” version of a traditional, wired home security system, which makes them more convenient, customizable and even more secure.

Table of Contents

  • What Is a Smart Home Security System?
  • Smart Home Security Systems vs. Traditional Security Systems
  • Smart Home Security System Devices
  • DIY vs. Professional Install Smart Home Security Systems
  • Best Smart Home Security Systems Providers in 2022
  • FAQ

Summary

Smart home security systems use wireless security technology to connect your home to the internet, and to you when you are away. Smart home security systems come in a variety of packages, including DIY kits, professionally installed plans and build-your-own setups. Depending on how comfortable you are with smart home technology, you can opt to set up your own system, or leave it to the professionals. There are systems for homes, apartments and more, meaning everyone who wants a smart home security system should be able to find one that aligns with their home situation and budget.

What Is a Smart Home Security System?

A smart home security keeps your home online and automated, bolstering security while doing it. A typical smart home security system features a network of devices connected via Wi-Fi or Z-Wave that communicate wirelessly and can be controlled remotely. These devices, including sensors, doorbells, detectors, locks, thermostats, lights and cameras, work to automate home processes and give you peace of mind and convenience, all in one package.

Smart home devices for Home Security

Note that different devices may require different control configurations based on the technology involved. For example, detectors and light bulbs require less power than cameras, meaning they can be controlled by Z-Wave signals, as they do not use much power. Cameras are typically connected via Wi-Fi to your system because they need a stronger signal.

This is why it’s often a good idea to opt for a professionally installed smart home security system, like from ADT, rather than build your own. ADT systems also offer perks like 24/7 professional monitoring that DIY kits can’t really contend with. You don’t want any of the devices you buy to be incompatible with one another! Of course, the DIY route is still a viable option if you are tech-savvy and know how to properly put together your smart home puzzle.

Smart Home Security System Devices

There are many different smart home security system devices to choose from and add to your security arsenal. You can even add home automation devices to your smart home security system with a professionally installed or DIY setup.

Smart video doorbells

Monitor your door with a smart doorbell that features video and speaker functionalities

Smart video cameras

Capture footage of important indoor and outdoor areas in real time, and keep footage in cloud storage

Sensors

Place on or near doors and windows to detect movement

Detectors

Detect smoke, carbon monoxide and more and send notifications directly to your phone and authorities

Smart door locks

Arm your doors with security codes and create custom codes for trusted users

Smart lightbulbs

Create customized atmospheres and control your lights from anywhere

Smart thermostats

Save money on utilities expenses with a smart thermostat that adjusts your home’s environment

Smart vacuums

Make cleaning a bit easier by employing a robot assistant

DYI or Professional Home Security Installation

DIY vs Professional Install Smart Home Security Systems

Choosing a DIY system versus a professionally installed smart home security system boils down to your comfort working with technology in order to save some upfront money. When it comes to something as important as keeping your family and home protected, you will want to be sure you know what you’re doing. If you’re tech-savvy and want to take security matters in your own hands, you can buy a DIY kit from a top brand – like Frontpoint, SimpliSafe or Ring – and set up your system yourself.

If you want to leave it the professionals, opt for a professional installation from a brand like ADT or Vivint. These brands are the experts in home protection and offer modern smart home technologies, and will demonstrate how to use all the devices properly. Other DIY security providers like SimpliSafe even offer professional installation for a fee.

DIY Smart Home Security Systems

DIY Smart Home Security System Providers and Costs
Popular DIY Security SystemsUpfront Costs (starting at)Recurring Costs (starting at)Smart Devices AvailableBest Perk
Frontpoint$99 for build-your-own package, $129 for base packageAs low as $3.19/mo.Door/window sensors, motion sensors, glass break sensors, smoke/heat/carbon monoxide detectors, indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells, door locks, plugs, thermostatsEasy setup, control your whole setup and manage alerts with Frontpoint app
SimpliSafe$195.97 (w/ interactive monitoring)Starts at 93 cents per day monitoringBase station, video doorbells, keypad, entry sensors, motion sensors, indoor/outdoor cameras, panic button, sirens, key fob, temperature/glass break/water sensorsNo contracts, easy setup
Ring$199.99$3/mo. for Ring Basic planVideo doorbells, cameras, lighting Stick Up Cam 30% off when purchasing Video Doorbell

DIY Smart Home Security Systems Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Simple installation
  • Easy customization
  • Mix and match smart devices
  • Take devices with you
Cons
  • Monitoring costs are typically extra
  • Need to be somewhat tech-savvy to set them up properly
  • Upfront costs can be steep for some people

Professionally Installed Smart Home Security Systems

Professionally Installed Smart Home Security Systems
Popular Professionally Installed Smart Home Security SystemsUpfront Costs (starting at)Recurring Costs (starting at)Devices AvailableBest Perk
ADTStarts at 47 cents per day (ADT Smart Home) $49.99 for pro monitoring (ADT Smart Home)Touchscreen panel, mobile app, remote arm/disarm, door/window sensors, motion detector, door locks, cameras available with Video & Smart Home package Free Google Nest Doorbell and Outdoor Camera with qualifying purchase
VivintStarter package available, call National Broadband to learn moreStarter package with monitoring information available when you call24/7 monitoring, mobile app, intrusion detection, touchscreen panel, video in premium packagesProfessional installation with $0 activation

Professionally Installed Smart Home Security Systems Pros and Cons

Pros
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Peace of mind knowing system was installed and is monitored by experienced professionals
  • Tons of mix and match smart devices available
Cons
  • Can be very pricey
  • Not as flexible as DIY systems
  • Lengthy contracts

Best Smart Home Security Systems Providers in 2022

ProviderDIY or Pro InstallUpfront Costs (starting at)Recurring Costs (starting at)Contract
ADTPro installStarts at 47 cents per day (ADT Smart Home) $49.99/mo. for pro monitoring (ADT Smart Home)36 months
VivintPro installCall for more infoCall for more info42-60 months
FrontpointDIY$99 for build-your-own package, $129 for base packageAs low as $3.19/mo.Month-to-month
SimpliSafeDIY$195.97 (w/ interactive monitoring)93 cents per day monitoringMonth-to-month
RingDIY$199.99$3/mo. for Ring Basic planMonth-to-month

Frequently asked questions

What are the best smart home security providers in 2022?

Top smart home security system brands include ADT, Frontpoint, Vivint, SimpliSafe and Ring.

What is the difference between a DIY and professionally installed home security system?

Customers are responsible for setting up their own system when they choose a DIY package. With a professionally installed system, a technician will come to your home to set up your system. They will also demonstrate how it works and how to make the most out of your technology. Both DIY and pro-install packages have professional monitoring plans.

Where can I learn more about smart home security systems?

National Broadband has home security experts who can answer questions and even sign you up with a smart home security provider, including ADT, Vivint and Frontpoint.

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