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When you head to bed for the night or lock your home up for a vacation, you want to feel like your home and belongings are safely guarded. To keep your home safe from intruders, security systems use a combination of motion detectors, cameras, window and door sensors, and keypads to alert you when there’s been unexpected activity in your home.
Here, we’ve found the best wireless security systems to help you maintain peace of mind when you need it.
Best Wireless: abode Essentials Starter Kit DIY Wireless Home Security System
Traditional security systems often have to be professionally installed in your home due to their wired components, but the abode Essentials Starter Kit is a fully wireless security system that’s easy to install on your own. This kit includes a gateway hub, one door/window sensor, a motion sensor, and a key fob, and you can expand it with add-on items including cameras, sirens, panic buttons, and various sensors.
The abode system is simple to install—all its sensors can easily be mounted by yourself—and you can choose to monitor the security system yourself or opt into their optional professional monitoring plan. The components feature cellular and battery backup to keep your home secure during power outages, and the abode web and mobile apps are user-friendly and easy to use. Plus, because all the pieces are wireless, you can take them all with you if you ever move to a new home.
Best Wired: ADT Home Security System
Wired home security systems, such as the ones from well-known brand ADT, need to be professionally installed, but the major benefit is that they won’t be affected if your internet ever goes out. ADT has been around for years, and it’s still one of the best wired home security systems you can buy today, thanks to its various components, good customer service, and user-friendly apps.
Every ADT security system includes a main digital panel, door and window sensors, motion detectors, and wireless keychain remotes, but your overall cost will vary depending on the package you choose—keep in mind you’ll also have to pay for professional installation. ADT security systems also include 24/7 professional monitoring, which starts at $35.99 per month.
Best with Camera: Arlo Pro 2 Wireless Home Security Camera System with Siren
If you prefer a DIY camera system, you should consider the Arlo Pro 2, which comes with two (or more) wireless indoor/outdoor cameras. With the free Arlo subscription, you can monitor up to five cameras and access their footage for up to seven days.
The Arlo cameras deliver 1080p high-definition video and include advanced motion detection that will trigger a notification on your smartphone. You can even set up activity zones to help avoid false alarms, such as passing cars. The cameras can be plugged in, or you can power them with the rechargeable battery, and they even have two-way audio and a siren that you can control remotely to scare off intruders. Plus, the system works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and more, allowing you to control your cameras using voice commands.
Best Professionally Monitored: SimpliSafe Shield Home Security System
When you opt for a professionally monitored home security system such as this one from SimpliSafe Shield, you won’t have to worry about missing an alert on your smartphone. Instead, your system is monitored 24/7 by the provider, and they’ll automatically dispatch police or other emergency services when needed.
This security system comes with an alarm base station, a keypad, a key fob, six entry sensors, and two motion sensors, all of which are designed to be inconspicuous. It takes just a few minutes to set up, and you can control the system via your smartphone, arming and disarming it from anywhere. Plus, the SimpliSafe Shield Security System has power outage protection and is precision-engineered to detect the heat signature of humans, not pets, helping to reduce false alarms.
Best Smart: Blink XT2 3-Camera Indoor/Outdoor Wire-Free 1080p Surveillance System
Your smartphone will serve as your home security hub with the Blink XT2 Smart Security Camera System. These compact wireless cameras are easy to install around your home, and they feature night vision and motion detection to help you keep tabs on your home.
This system comes with three cameras, all of which record in 1080-pixel high-definition and transmit a live stream to your phone. You can customize their motion detection with activity zones, and you’ll receive alerts when movement is sensed. The Blink cameras come with free cloud storage, and each can run for up to two years on two AA batteries. Many reviewers say these cameras are a great value, but several note the two-way audio isn’t the best.
Best Budget: YI 4 Piece Home Camera Security Surveillance System
You can set up a home surveillance system without emptying your wallet thanks to the YI 4-Piece Home Camera System. This budget-friendly security option lets you monitor your home and family right from your smartphone, and there are no monthly fees required.
Each of the four YI cameras captures 1080-pixel high-definition video, and they have enhanced infrared night vision and motion detection capabilities, sending alerts to your phone whenever they sense movement. The company provides free 7-day storage where you can see clips of recorded activity, and you can monitor the live feeds from your phone at all times. Reviewers say the YI Cameras deliver a crisp, clear image, even at night, and many are impressed by the overall quality of the system at such an affordable price.
Best Without Monthly Fee: Skylink SK-250 Alarm Camera Deluxe Connected Wireless Security Home Automation System
Professionally monitored home security systems typically charge a monthly fee on top of the cost of the product, but you don’t have to worry about the added expense with the Skylink SK-250 Wireless Security System, which doesn’t have any monthly fees or contracts.
This system comes with an internet hub, two door/window sensors, two motion sensors, a keychain remote, and an indoor camera, and you can expand it to include up to 100 devices and a maximum of 10 cameras. You can arm and disarm the system and monitor its status with the SkylinkNet app, which will send you push notifications any time a sensor is triggered. Reviewers have positive things to say about this security system, writing that it’s easy to use and provides peace of mind that your home is secure.
What to Look for in a Home Security System
Some home security systems add extra peace of mind by offering an additional monitoring service. The upside is that if there is an intruder, the service can intervene quickly and call the police if necessary. On the downside, you can expect to pay an additional monthly fee for monitoring and it often (but not always) means signing a contract for a year or more. Other home security systems skip professional monitoring in favor of features such as smartphone alerts and self-activated sirens.
Smart Home Compatibility
Many of today’s home security systems are built with tech integrations that allow the system to work with popular smart home platforms such as Google Home, Nest, and Amazon Alexa. Taking advantage of smart home compatible security systems can boost your confidence that your home is safe and secure and allow you to automate certain functions of your home’s security protocol.
With a video-enabled security system you will get a live look at your home anytime and from anywhere, or receive real-time alerts when your home security system detects an unusual event. Some cameras will continuously record surveillance footage and upload it to a cloud server, while others save battery life and storage space by only recording motion-triggered events.
How do wireless security systems work?
Most wireless security systems work via Wifi. By connecting to your internet, they are able to transmit signals to your phone or another viewing device, allowing you to capture and monitor cameras, sensors, and more—with the ability to quickly take action if need be. These components communicate with one another via radio frequency to monitor activity when armed.
How secure are wireless home security systems?
Don't worry, wireless security systems are considered just as safe and secure as their hardwired counterparts. Plus, they eliminate the possibility for intruders to get in by cutting wires. As with any security system, just make sure to properly maintain it (like replacing batteries when needed) and you can rest assured that you have a reliable system on your hands.
How do you install wireless security systems?
The good news about most wireless security systems is that unlike their traditional wired counterparts, you don’t typically need to hire a professional for installation. Instead, most kits come with magnetic sensors that you can attach to your window and doors. These will be programmed to trigger when they are opened—no drilling or wiring required.
Why Trust The Spruce
Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer specializing in decorating and design. She covers home products for The Spruce and is a regular contributor to popular sites such as Forbes, USA Today, Food52. Additional reporting was done by Mackenzie Dunn, a lifestyle writer and editor whose work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, HelloGiggles, Real Simple, MyDomaine, and more.