Rachel Cericola

The Best Home Security System

Our pick

Ring Alarm

Ring Alarm

The best no-contract security system

This system offers easy-to-install whole-house protection, offers the option for self-monitoring, and has the most affordable monitoring plan out of any system we tested.

Buying Options

$180 from Amazon
(five-piece kit)

Ring Alarm is the most comprehensive system we tested, with the most affordable monitoring plan we found. The five-piece kit comes with a base station, which is the brains behind the system, as well as a door/window sensor, a motion sensor, a keypad, and a range extender. (We are working on a full update soon, so you may want to wait to buy; see the What to look forward to section for more information.) It can be expanded with a variety of Ring security cameras, including indoor, outdoor, and video doorbell cameras, although we don’t recommend that (see Flaws but not dealbreakers). It also integrates with several third-party devices via the Works With Ring program, which includes brands such as First Alert, GE, Kwikset, Leviton, Schlage, Yale, and others, giving you more customization choices than other systems offer. And it’s one of the few systems to provide both arming and disarming via Alexa voice commands with a four-digit PIN.

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Runner-up

SimpliSafe Essentials

SimpliSafe Essentials

Easy, reliable monitoring

The third generation of SimpliSafe is affordable and easy to install and use, and it works with some Alexa and Google voice commands.

Buying Options

$260 from SimpliSafe
(Essentials kit)

SimpliSafe has a better-looking system than Ring, with voice prompts and support for Google Assistant as well as Amazon Alexa (but not Apple HomeKit). It also has add-ons such as a video camera, a doorbell camera, smoke alarms, and additional sensors. Unlike the Ring Alarm system, however, it doesn’t offer outdoor cameras or self-monitoring options; and outside of voice control, the only non-SimpliSafe devices it’s compatible with are August locks.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Ring Alarm

Ring Alarm

The best no-contract security system

This system offers easy-to-install whole-house protection, offers the option for self-monitoring, and has the most affordable monitoring plan out of any system we tested.

Buying Options

$180 from Amazon
(five-piece kit)

Runner-up

SimpliSafe Essentials

SimpliSafe Essentials

Easy, reliable monitoring

The third generation of SimpliSafe is affordable and easy to install and use, and it works with some Alexa and Google voice commands.

Buying Options

$260 from SimpliSafe
(Essentials kit)

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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