The best home security systems of 2023: Expert reviewed

2 months ago 19

A home security system can help keep your home safe. You don't need to spend a fortune to secure your home, and thanks to mobile technology, our options now extend far beyond locking the front door.

Home security devices that leverage mobile connectivity, apps, and sensors are endlessly improving each year. 

Smart video doorbells record video and audio feeds in real time when you have visitors. Motion and sound sensors can be used inside and outside along with digital door locks and night-vision cameras.  

However, not all innovative home security products are created equally, and some are more costly to set up than others. A few select devices can be enough to protect your home (and office) against intruders by alerting you when suspicious activity is detected, giving you peace of mind when you're away.

I've has rounded up the best home security devices suitable for different budgets and homes. My top picks will help protect both you and your property.

Also: What are the best security cameras for protecting your home? Our top picks


Subscription not required Wireless and versatile Extendable 24/7 monitoring available


Expensive to set up outside of sales events

SimpliSafe Haven home security system features: Base station and a backup battery | Keypad | Entry and motion sensors | Panic button | Sirens | No drilling required

My top pick is the SimpliSafe Haven home security system bundle. It can help protect your home from intruders and detect safety threats inside, like water damage and fire. You can't beat the 15-piece kit, and it's currently on sale for $305 with a 40% discount. 

The kit includes a base station, keypad, panic button, wireless siren, smoke detector, water damage detector, temperature sensor, key fob, four entry sensors, and two motion sensors. At the moment, the company will also throw in a free indoor camera and one month of 24/7 monitoring at no cost.

You can also choose to add extra devices like glass break detectors, indoor or outdoor cameras, and yard signs. 

Luckily, no drilling is required so this system works well for homeowners and renters alike. The base station comes with a backup battery to ensure your home remains protected, even if you're dealing with a power cut.

Review: SimpliSafe Home Security


Versatile Ability to add or remove modules Easy installation Affordable


Subscription required to unlock all features

Ring Alarm Pro security kit features: 14 accessories for home security | Eero Wi-Fi 6 router | 24/7 professional monitoring available

You should consider the 14-piece Ring Alarm Pro security kit if your home has multiple bedrooms. This pack contains a base station, two keypads, eight contact sensors, two motion detectors, and an alarm range extender for blanket home coverage. 

As a bonus, the kit comes with a built-in eero Wi-Fi 6 router that provides Wi-Fi coverage of up to 1500 square feet. If you need even more coverage, you can also pick up an eero Wi-Fi extender.

Ring products tend to be user-friendly, and this kit is no exception. You can install the security network yourself, and you don't need to drill anything.

According to Ring, this bundle can protect up to eight windows or doors with added protection from motion sensors in vulnerable hallways. 

Review: Ring Alarm review: An affordable home security system


Excellent value Compatible with home ecosystems Tool-free


Expansion could become expensive

Abode Iota All-In-One Security Kit features: Voice assistant compatibility | Backup battery | 93db siren | Cellular backup

The Abode Iota All-In-One Security Kit is another ZDNET top home and office security pick. The bundle includes an HD camera, motion sensor, 93db siren, and two-way voice channel. You can place the camera in a hallway, living room, or perhaps with your main window in view. 

The camera is compatible with Wi-Fi and 4G cellular networks, so the device can automatically switch to 4G if your Wi-Fi connection fails. Plus, the security bundle is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. 

According to Abode, your overall network can support connections from up to 160 devices -- although this would be overkill for most homes. 

Review: Abode review: Smartly integrated home security

Right now, the Iota All-In-One Security Kit is on sale for $270. 


Wireless Budget-friendly


Limited without additional accessories

Arlo home security system features: All-in-one sensors| Eight detection functions | Emergency response | Free subscription trial 

Arlo is a vendor worth exploring if you want to improve your home security without breaking the bank. 

The company has recently launched the Arlo home security system, an entry-level package with a keypad hub and two all-in-one sensors. Sure, it's a basic system, but you don't have to do anything more than plug in the hub and mount the sensors wherever you want them. And like other options on this list, no drilling is required. 

As an entry-level kit to introduce you to the capabilities of intelligent home security, Arlo's new offering is at a great price point. 


Integrated spotlights Wireless Built-in sirens


Subscription required for full benefits

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight camera security bundle features: 12 pieces | Weather-resistant | Wire-free color cameras | yard sign | Compatible with voice assistants

If you're concerned about protecting outdoor spaces, like your garden, porch, or garage doors, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight camera security bundle is an excellent option for you. 

This bundle is available at Best Buy and comes with three cameras that can be mounted inside or outdoors. Each camera offers a 160-degree field of view and records footage in 2K HDR video. 

The weather-resistant cameras are wireless, easy to install, and powered by rechargeable batteries -- and each comes with an anti-theft mount. You can check the camera feeds any time, day or night, and even zoom in on details if necessary. Plus, the cameras feature color night vision, which makes them an excellent option for vulnerable outside spaces. 

The pack includes a charging station, security key, batteries, and screw kits. Plus, you'll receive a sign that you can place in your front yard to politely warn potential intruders that your area is being monitored. 


Professional installation and monitoring Subscriptions vary Customizable


Can be expensive No DIY option

Vivint Smart Home Security System features: Professional monitoring | 24/7 support | Variety of accessories and sensors

Homeowners who need a professional security service should check out Vivint, a trusted brand that provides 24/7 monitoring. If you want a hands-off option where you pay for professional installation and a subscription, Vivint may be the best option for you.

Review: Vivint home security

Whether you want to protect your home or office, Vivint provides smart cameras, locks, doorbells, security sensors, intrusion detectors, control panels, and smart home automation solutions. Plus, you can customize your security system depending on your needs. 

I recommend the SimpliSafe Haven as the best security system on the market. You can protect entry points like windows and doors with smart door locks, sensors, and cameras. Should an intruder manage to trespass, monitoring systems can send you alerts immediately -- and these measures can make all the difference.

Security systems that you can set up and monitor yourself tend to be the most popular. However, some systems offer subscriptions for people in higher-risk areas, providing professional monitoring or the ability to store and record footage. The best security systems on the market balance security, usability, and connectivity. 

Home security system

DIY installation?

Professional monitoring?


SimpliSafe Haven home security system




Ring Alarm Pro security kit, 14-piece




Abode All-In-One security bundle




Arlo home security system




Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight camera security bundle




Vivint smart home security system




Today's smart home security products can offer you peace of mind both in and outside of your house. Unlike businesses, homeowners usually don't need to invest in heavy-duty solutions. Instead, a few carefully selected devices placed around your front porch, garden, and ground floor windows can be more than enough to protect your home.

I recommend at least one camera, a video doorbell, a smart lock, and window sensors if you're building your home security system for the first time. Large properties can also benefit from additional security devices. 

Choose this home security system…

If you need…

SimpliSafe Haven home security system

A robust home security system. This all-in-one solution is perfect for protecting your home and all of its entry points. 

Ring Alarm Pro security kit, 14-piece

A robust DIY security system. You can install the kit yourself and protect every entryway and potentially vulnerable area with abundant accessories.

Abode All-In-One security bundle

A smart ecosystem-compatible option. Abode is compatible with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home.

Arlo home security system

A budget-friendly option. You can't go wrong with the price point for this entry-level security system, and you can always add more accessories as time goes on.

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera security bundle

Extended outdoor security. This powerful spotlight camera and its supporting accessories will deter unwanted intruders before they enter your home.

Vivint Smart home security system

Professional monitoring. If a hands-off approach to home security is important to you, Vivint has you covered. 

I, along with other ZDNET experts, have tested several security systems over the years. Together, we have surveyed the best security systems on the market to provide in-depth advice on how to protect yourself at home, at work, and online.

I have researched the best security systems on the market, weighed their pros and cons, and judged them based on price, ease of installation, smart features, and customer reviews. 

Sensors are the key to effective, discreet home security. There are many different kinds of sensors, including infrared, magnetic, audio, and motion sensors. Their application depends on the type of security product involved.

For example, motion sensors are used for video doorbells and cameras, while other door and window products may combine motion and magnetic sensors to detect unauthorized entry.

For smart home security systems, the answer is usually yes. Compared to business security systems that are often monitored remotely, home systems offer you power and visibility -- and this generally requires internet connectivity and a mobile device. Some products include both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, so your device can use a mobile network if your home hub fails.

Subscriptions aren't always required, but you may prefer one. Without a subscription, a basic security system may notify you when a sensor detects activity without providing access to video feeds or recordings. 

If you want access to your camera's feed history, it's worth signing up for a subscription. Plus, subscription services will usually sweeten the pot with additional security layers like professional monitoring, automatic emergency calls, or multiple device monitoring.

While my top picks for the best security system can suit a variety of functions and uses, maybe all you need is a standalone camera or two. You don't always need to invest in a full system to improve your home's security, so the below products are also worth considering:



Ring Alarm Security Kit, 5-piece - 2nd generation

This kit is an affordable entry into Ring's security ecosystem complete with a base station, keypad, and sensors. 



Comcast Xfinity Home - Over a million customers

This system offers professional home monitoring for $10 per month, customized to your wishes. Cameras and alarms are part of the package. 



Wyze home monitoring - Up to 50% off sensors with an annual plan

Wyze offers an affordable, customizable home security system with discounts available when you sign up for a monitoring subscription.

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