You want a security system, but you don’t know where to start? We’ve reviewed all best do it yourself systems and properly designed security packages to help you decide which smart home security system is right for you. And if you’re not fully prepared for a dedicated security system, there are a range of individual devices currently offered that allow you to track your home from anywhere using your phone or computer. including indoor and outdoor security cameras, smart locks, video doorbells, and motion sensors.
Based on your needs, you can use a system where you monitor directly or pay a monthly fee to have your home checked 24/7 by experts who can call your local fire department and the local police when alarms are activated. You should also take advantage of on-demand monitoring systems while you’re out on holiday. Of course, the more security you get, the more you would expect you to spend.
Best Home Security Systems in Canada
- Ring Alarm
Brinks has relatively standard equipment, and its costs aren’t super steep, but they’re not super low either. What we appreciate about Brinks is its tracking. Brinks has swift turnaround times and uses a variety of different ways to get in touch with you.
Multiple alert channels
Brinks utilizes not only phone calls but also text messages, emails and what they call LiveAssist to attempt to get in touch with you if someone is activating your machine. Multiple communication networks make it easy for you to get a text.
When something (or someone) sets the security device in motion, most security agencies will want to call you. They could even try to call any of the other people you’ve listed as emergency sources, but the cell is generally always the way they try to reach you.
LiveAssist is where Brinks track representatives speak to you via the control panel of your machine. We’ve seen this from several other services, such as Vivint, and it will also help to minimize false alerts.
Swift response times
Five minutes strikes us as a little longer, and it’s certainly longer than we’ve ever seen the alarm provider respond. But we do believe that having different platforms lets Brinks get in contact with its customers quicker. As per Brinks, most services can take as long as five minutes to get in contact with you after an alarm.5 However, since their reps use so many networks to attempt to get in touch with you, Brinks can reply in as quick as 30 seconds.
Brinks requires customers to sign a 3-year support contract. Clearly, that’s not new, but more and more non-contract systems are hitting the defence business, so we’d love to see the big-name vendors ditch the terms and conditions.
Ring Alarm is one of those fancy new no-contract security systems that you can install yourself. It’s also a total steal, with super affordable equipment prices and the lowest cost for professional monitoring we’ve ever seen.
Affordable equipment and monitoring
Ring’s got really cheap devices. You’ll spend just $199 for a starter kit of protective devices. (Compare that to $699 for Vivint.)
You can also get competent surveillance via the ring without splitting the bank. You’re only going to spend $15 a month for someone to have an extra watch on the machine 24/7. And if you want to monitor your system yourself with your smartphone, you can do it for free.
Home automation integrations
We’re talking about smart door locks, smart lighting, smart outlets. You will get all of this and integrate it into your Ring system. Given its low cost, the Ring Alarm also comes with support from Z-Wave. This means that you can connect compatible smart home gadgets that also work with Z-Wave.
Here’s a short little business history: Ring is owned by Amazon, and Amazon and Google don’t really work along together. What that means to you is that while Ring Alarm works with Amazon Alexa, it really isn’t compatible with Google Assistant.
That might improve in the future, but as Amazon vs. Google battles continue, you might want to look for other solutions if Google Assistant is your only voice-controlled companion.
ADT is the best-known name in home security, and that’s because it’s been doing this for a very long time. It covers millions of customers throughout the US and Canada, and all that notoriety isn’t for nothing—ADT has ultra-reliable monitoring and security.
All ADT monitoring centers now have Five Diamond Certification by the Monitoring Association2, which ensures that their agents must receive additional training to follow certain performance requirements.
ADT has three surveillance centers scattered throughout Canada, which makes it a kind of redundant. When one center goes offline due to a power outage or a natural disaster, there are already two others monitoring the machine.
A number of security providers—including those on this list—are not available in Quebec. But that’s ADT. Plus, ADT’s plan choices let you pick a landline or cellular service that works best for your location. (We almost always suggest cellular devices.)
If you want home monitoring or surveillance camera support for cloud storage, you need to subscribe to one of ADT’s top-tier Pulse plans, which is very pricey relative to other services. If you’re set to ADT, then we think ADT Pulse is worth it just to get mobile power and access devices like smart door locks. Only be sure to pay for that.
Now if you want a hands-off, efficiently configured alarm system that can accommodate practically any home automation product you want, then Vivint suits the bill. Its mobile devices and convenient payment options offer you top-notch authentication with limited turbulence.
Home automation support
Vivint’s product provides more than just the usual safety alarms, such as input sensors, glass-break sensors, and motion sensors. You will have access to a lot of smart home gadgets (such as smart door locks and smart outlets) that you can control from your computer.
You will open the delivery door or see your kids walk home safely from school with just a few taps. Plus, Vivint also allows third-party Z-Wave devices, so you can install anything you want, even though Vivint doesn’t. (Just make sure you sign up for the Smart Home package or above if you want home automation support.)
Flexible contract and payment options
Vivint used to be a kind of costly service provider, but they have recently launched so many customizable deal and payment solutions that their services are now well in the middle of the package.
For one thing, if you like Vivint’s alarm system, but without all the home automation hullabaloo, then you can commit to a base security monitoring package for only $29.99 per month. You’re also going to skip things like cloud backup for cameras and smart home systems. And if you don’t want to sign a deal, you can only pay for all of the equipment upfronts and you’re pretty much free.
And with its payment versatility, you still pay more for Vivint equipment than you can do for a number of other providers. Intend to pay around $700 only on the standard starter equipment kit that doesn’t have a key fob.
We’re not the first to give Frontpoint any recognition for its customer service and assistance. As far as DIY-installed surveillance systems are concerned, Frontpoint has a wide variety of inexpensive devices and detectors (including specifications such as glass-break sensors and motion sensors), which is super easy to set up—and offers you all the home automation integrations you might possibly want.
Frontpoint offers you some pretty big equipment discounts—it practically still has a 20% off offer going on on the equipment bundles. (But don’t worry, if you don’t see a kit that has anything you want, you can always apply it to apps like that extra window/door sensor, à la carte.)
You could see quicker installation times from pre-configured systems like Connect Interactive, but all things considered, Frontpoint was a cinch to install. The Frontpoint system is simple to set up and get going. In our own experience, in about an hour, we got it up and running for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.
The actual price you pay for these inexpensive equipment costs is more than the expense of surveillance plans. Frontpoint provides only two schemes, all of which are very priced relative to the offerings of other firms. Still, equipment costs and the best customer support can make the higher monitoring price worth it to you to get the better service.
Consider getting a custom security system
Systems that come with DIY installation leave in your possession the configuration of your alarm system. You’ll get wireless equipment that comes with already applied adhesive backing. What you need to do is peel it and stick it. But it’s important to think carefully about where to put items like motion and glass break sensors. And load up on those additional wall mounting strips—we’ve seen sensors slip off in the middle of the night, causing a siren.
Professional implementation means that the warning system is properly set up. Pro installers know how to detect and protect security bugs, but this experience typically comes at a premium. If you need a pro to install a tailor-fit security system for your home, don’t hesitate to contact us at IGTA Security. We have options for every budget and every space.