Keep Your Home Safe With the Best Wireless Security Systems

Our best overall pick is the SimpliSafe Essentials Security System Starter Kit

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The Spruce / Amelia Manley

A wireless security system can save homeowners time and money and offer peace of mind and extra security when they’re home or away. “Traditional security systems are invasive, expensive, and inflexible…and they cannot be easily moved from one home to another,” says Hooman Shahidi, senior vice president of product at SimpliSafe. “When you consider this, it’s no surprise that wireless DIY systems continue to surge in popularity.”

When evaluating the various options on the market, we looked at several factors—including how compatible each system is with existing smart home ecosystems, how different sensors and video cameras work within the system, and how thorough the professional, 24/7 monitoring service that comes with each system is. Based on our research, the SimpliSafe Essentials Security System Starter Kit is our top pick because of its fast installation, sleek design, and user-friendly app. 

Here are the best DIY-installed wireless security systems on the market right now.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: SimpliSafe Essentials Security System Starter Kit

4.7
Simplisafe Essentials Kit

Simplisafe

What We Like
  • Tons of safety features

  • Beautifully sleek design

  • Smart sensors with reliable functionality

What We Don't Like
  • Professional monitoring plans are a bit expensive

  • Requires SimpliSafe app for best functionality

SimpliSafe's Essentials Security System Starter Kit is one of the best security ecosystems you can get on the market, and that's for a few reasons. Perhaps the most obvious reason is just how sleek and modern the system is. The unique cylindrical hub features a pleasant glowing ring and serves as your main speaker interface for the system. This kit also comes with a high-quality keypad with its own display to ensure easy control right when you walk in the door. 

The three included entry sensors and the motion sensor are also some of the sleekest we've seen and should fit nicely into most home aesthetics. Because the sensors are all installed using adhesive strips, it's best to be sure you find a flat surface to mount these units onto for proper operation. Shahidi recommends seeking out some of the slimmer adhesive tape kits that SimpliSafe offers if entry sensors seem too large for your doorframes. 

Good looks aside, the functionality and simplicity that SimpliSafe provides mean that you can be up and running quickly. The guided installation through the companion app is intuitive and beginner-friendly, and thanks to the display on the keypad, you know at a glance what state your system is in. The sensors also work really well, rejecting false alerts from pets using a built-in algorithm and ensuring that alerts are detected quickly and reliably. SimpliSafe has also spent a great deal of time on encryption to ensure that your home's alarm state and data are as safe as your home itself.

Choosing SimpliSafe comes with some trade-offs. While the systems are compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, both work best through the SimpliSafe app. If you're all-in on one of those ecosystems, integration might not be as seamless as alternatives directly from those brands. Also, while the SimpliSafe active monitoring is world-class and contract-free, it isn't the cheapest subscription available. Overall, though, the Essentials kit earns our top spot for sheer functionality and simplicity.

Professional Monitoring: Yes  | Package Options: 5, 4 pieces to 14 pieces | Monthly Fees: Yes (with home monitoring) | Smart Home Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home | What’s Included: Hub, keypad, door/window sensors, motion sensor

Expert Buying Tip

“The decision to include a security camera in your system comes down to an individual’s unique needs. Those who live in a single-family home or have a large year, pets, or young children may feel the need to have greater visibility of their property.”—Hooman Shahidi, SVP of Product at SimpliSafe

Best Budget: Wyze Home Security System Sense v2 Core Kit

Wyze Home Security System Sense v2 Core Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Very affordable

  • Great smart home integration

  • Reasonably priced monitoring subscription

What We Don't Like
  • Software can be glitchy

  • Not as established as some other brands

The Wyze Home Security System is great for budget-minded homeowners who want reliable, professional monitoring. The foundation of this system is the Sense hub—a smaller speaker unit with antennas that establishes the connections to all your sensors. This kit comes with two door sensors, one motion sensor, a keypad, and a Wyze Cam v3 to add some visuals to your setup without the need for professional installation. 

Nearly every component in this package installs easily with the included adhesive strips. You can install the Wyze camera with simple drywall anchors or the adhesive metal plate for magnetic installation (or you could pop the camera onto a metal surface in your home). Wyze works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and the Wyze app has many scheduling and automation features.

One feature that sets the Wyze system apart is the 24/7 monitoring subscription with active monitoring by security startup Noonlight. If you sign up for about $10 a month, you will get a very similar experience to what you’d receive with more established, expensive offerings from SimpliSafe or ADT. You can even add moisture detection meters or a humidity sensor to monitor your home’s climate during long trips. While the Wyze system is easy to set up, you may have to reset the Wi-Fi to overcome some software glitches after long periods of non-use. But because the kit comes at an affordable price point with one of the cheapest monitoring service subscriptions around, Wyze is a compelling option for those on a budget.

Professional Monitoring: Yes | Package Options: Starter kit (6 pieces) or build your own | Monthly Fees: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Google Home, Amazon Alexa | What’s Included: Sense Hub, keypad controller, 2 door sensors, motion sensor, Wyze Cam v3

Best Professionally Monitored: Blue by ADT Starter System

Blue by ADT Starter Security System

Blue by ADT

What We Like
  • Ultra-reliable professional monitoring

  • Easy to install

  • Tons of expandability

What We Don't Like
  • Not as good of a value as some other systems

  • Limited number of standard sensors

For many homeowners, a DIY security system is only as good as the professional home monitoring that supports it, and few brands on the market command quite the track record of ADT. While ADT’s core systems typically need to be installed by an expert with a wired-in base panel, Blue by ADT delivers a series of DIY systems still supported by ADT’s long-tenured professional monitoring. 

This starter kit is one of the most basic systems we’re featuring on the list—only including two door/window sensors and the Blue smart home hub—but it’s one of the most affordable ways to get you into the ADT ecosystem. The system features the usual specs for a smart home-compatible system, including a dedicated app for scheduling and remote operation, reliable sensors, and a well-built hub that you can place right at your entryway to arm and disarm your system quickly. 

While the standard sensor offering is limited to two, both are easy to install using the included adhesive tapes. We also love the expandability of the Blue system, with options to include motion, flood, and temperature sensors and dedicated cameras both inside and out. Additionally, the Blue system allows you to tap into ADT’s professional monitoring subscription service without needing a long contract like you’ll find on ADT’s core lineup. That’s because Blue’s 24/7 monitoring features the same active monitoring—with real support staff calling authorities in the case of a breach—for just $20 per month and no long contractual commitment.

Professional Monitoring: Yes | Package Options: 4, 2 to 17 pieces | Monthly Fees: Yes (with monitoring) | Smart Home Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home | What’s Included: Smart home hub and keypad, 2 door/window sensors, 30 days of free professional monitoring

Best Camera System: Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Security Camera

Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Security Camera

Amazon

What We Like
  • Rich, high-definition camera feeds

  • Security-forward app features

  • Solid connectivity via the hub

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • No active home monitoring options

  • No door/window sensors

There are two schools of thought about full-on security systems: the multi-pronged sensor-based system, or one run entirely by camera. If you're interested in the latter, Arlo is one of the best brands on the market for wireless home cameras, and the Arlo Ultra 2's three-camera package brings the company's marquee features to your whole-home security. 

The three cameras use a central hub to connect, meaning their Wi-Fi connectivity is much more stable than an integrated connection is for other cameras. The 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) resolution delivers images at higher resolution than standard HD cameras, so the feed is crisp and detailed. The solid low-light performance also makes difference in the scenes you can capture at night. Each camera is indoor/outdoor compatible, so you can cover whatever areas you're most interested in protecting. The cameras are also very easy to install, thanks to flat bases for simple shelf usage or included magnetic camera mounts to place them on the side of your house. 

The system does not feature a 24/7 monitoring option, so you won't have an active dispatch company monitoring for alerts. However, the app offers some clever notification features, including tapping a button to call emergency services automatically. The Arlo Ultra 2 requires a considerably bigger investment than options from Wyze or SimpliSafe, including an additional fee for cloud video storage. Though the system is pricey, it's an excellent choice for homeowners who want remote monitoring and the ability to review security camera footage.

Professional Monitoring: No | Package Options: Build your own configuration | Monthly Fees: Yes (with video cloud storage) | Smart Home Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit | What’s Included: Arlo hub, 3 Arlo 4K security cameras

Best Contract-Free: Cove 5-Piece Home Security System

Cove 5-Piece Home Security System

Amazon

What We Like
  • No-commitment, contract-free monitoring

  • Several sensors included in the base kit

  • Dedicated remote for multiple control options

What We Don't Like
  • Not as intuitive as more premium systems

  • No camera in the base kit

  • Dated design

While many of the most affordable home security systems come from brands that do more than home security, you can find excellent, security-specific support from brands like Cove. The Cove 5-Piece Home Security System comes with a surprisingly robust starter pack that gives you a variety of sensors to get your infrastructure up and running right away. 

The full-featured touch panel is the central controller of the system and works with a door/window sensor, a motion sensor that won’t get tripped by pets, a flood/temperature sensor to monitor conditions in your home, and a dedicated remote to arm and disarm your system with a touch of a button. In addition to a solid bundle of sensors, the company’s next-level professional monitoring offers incredible flexibility. The base plan offers one free month of monitoring that gives you professional dispatch support during alarm triggers for less than $1 a day, and you can cancel at any time. You can also choose from additional options, including a RapidSOS and a two-way text system for communicating in emergencies.

On the other hand, Cove doesn’t feel quite as sleek as some other, more premium systems, and even though there are several sensors included in this kit, the price feels a bit steep when there aren’t any cameras. However, because the monitoring subscription is cancelable, this system is great for those who don’t want to lock themselves into a long-term contract.

Professional Monitoring: Yes | Package Options: 7, 5 to 15 pieces | Monthly Fees: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home | What’s Included: Touchscreen panel, door/window sensor, motion sensor, flood/temperature sensor, dedicated key remote

Best for Home Automation: Ecobee Smart Security Starter Kit

Ecobee Smart Security Starter Kit

Ecobee

What We Like
  • Deep home automation and integration

  • Ecobee Smart Thermostat serves as hub

  • Intelligent arming and disarming functions

What We Don't Like
  • Fairly pricey

  • Not as many accessories as some other systems

Ecobee is known for its highly compatible smart thermostat, and its new Smart Security Starter Kit uses the smart thermostat as the hub so you can keep your smart home functionality fully integrated with your security system. While the Ecobee thermostat features top-notch temperature and condition-monitoring functionality, the security system sensors connect to Ecobee’s 24/7 monitoring to help keep your home safe if intruders cross those entry points. This setup is so powerful because Ecobee’s thermostat already has tremendous connectivity and stability, so it makes a great hub and eliminates the need for a separate security device.

Ecobee uses intelligent geofencing and Wi-Fi functionality to automatically determine when you’re home and when you’re not in an attempt to limit false alarms or (worse yet) forgetting to arm your system. Integration with most smart home setups—including Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and even Apple HomeKit—allows you to set more schedules than many other systems. And thanks to Ecobee’s hyper-detailed energy monitoring, you have a lot of data at your disposal. 

If you opt for the Ecobee Smart Camera, you can expand the system to include security camera footage as well. All of these pieces come at a price, and because it’s fairly new, the jury is still out on how reliable the system will be long-term. But if extensive home automation is your goal, this is a great option.

Professional Monitoring: Yes | Package Options: 4, 4 to 7 pieces | Monthly Fees: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit | What’s Included: Smart hub/thermostat, 2 door/window sensors, motion sensor

Best Features: Frontpoint Safehouse Pack

Frontpoint Safehouse Pack

Amazon

What We Like
  • System regularly checks sensor functionality

  • Doorbell camera included

  • Extras like Allstate identity protection

What We Don't Like
  • Less established brand

  • Contract is difficult to break

Frontpoint is one of the lesser-known brands on the market for security systems, but when it comes to extra features, the Frontpoint Safehouse Pack is a strong contender for keeping your home safe. In this pack, you’ll find two door/window sensors, a motion sensor, the central hub and keypad to control things, and even a doorbell camera to keep an eye on the front of your house. These inclusions make it a multidimensional offering right out of the box. 

We like the feature set, including solid customization options in the app—such as calendar functions and geofencing—that help ensure the system secures your home based on your schedule. You can take advantage of 24-hour battery backup to ensure the system works during power outages and Frontpoint’s monitoring subscription includes hourly sensor checks so you can be confident that the equipment isn’t faulty. This setup also includes an Allstate-backed identity and financial protection for a bit of added security.

Users have reported some drawbacks. The subscription locks you into a longer contract than some other offerings, so if flexibility is your goal then this system may not be for you. Since Frontpoint isn’t as established as larger companies like SimpliSafe or Amazon, there is potential for less hardware support moving forward, and compatibility and software glitches could be possible. However, if you're looking for a feature-rich DIY security option, the capabilities for the price make this Frontpoint system a strong contender.

Professional Monitoring: Yes | Package Options: 2, 6 or 9 pieces | Monthly Fees: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Google Home, Amazon Alexa | What’s Included: Smart hub, 2 door/window sensors, motion sensor, keypad, doorbell camera

Best Value: Ring Alarm 8-Piece Security Kit

Ring Alarm 8-Piece Security Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • A ton of sensors for the price

  • Easy to install

  • Alexa and Ring integration

What We Don't Like
  • Build quality not as premium as others

  • No extra sensors like moisture or humidity

Amazon’s take on DIY smart home security is the Ring Alarm 8-Piece Security Kit. Though the name comes from their original focus on doorbell cameras, the Ring Alarm system is one of the most robust offerings at its price point. This package features a hub, a keypad, four door/window sensors, a motion sensor, and a range extender, offering enough coverage for most average-sized homes right out of the box. 

As with much of the Ring lineup, it’s easy to install yourself using simple adhesive strips or drywall anchors (depending on the device) and integrates nicely with the rest of your Alexa devices. In fact, the Alexa Guard Plus functionality included when you opt in to the 24/7 monitoring plan expands the protection even further.

The kit doesn’t include security cameras or flashy humidity or moisture detectors, so if monitoring your home environment is important to you, you won’t find it with this kit. If you already have Ring cameras or doorbell cameras, then buying this system will add sensors to the lineup for a fuller setup. And thanks to Amazon support, many third-party devices that feature Amazon Alexa compatibility could enhance your setup in the future.

Professional Monitoring: Yes | Package Options: 7, 5 to 14 pieces | Monthly Fees: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, limited Google Home compatibility | What’s Included: Hub, keypad, door/window sensors, motion sensor, range extender

Final Verdict

Our pick for the best wireless security system is the SimpliSafe Essentials Security System Starter Kit, which balances solid sensor performance, ease of setup, and excellent 24/7 monitoring. If you’re looking for an option with deeper smart home integration, particularly when it comes to Apple HomeKit, we recommend the Ecobee Smart Security Starter Kit.

What to Look For in a Wireless Security System

Professional Monitoring

One of the most crucial considerations with a wireless security system is active, professional monitoring. Otherwise, a breach may occur you may not know about—or worse yet, you may be incapacitated and unable to call the authorities. Constant 24/7 monitoring services employ real humans at a call center who receive instant notifications when your system alarm is triggered and then will either call the authorities directly or call you first to check whether the alarm was legitimate.

Companies typically offer these services via a monthly subscription that costs a little extra on top of the system's price. "While our technology detects household threads, whether it's an intruder, fire, water damage, or otherwise, it's our monitoring professionals who provide around-the-clock protection to ensure the right resources are deployed during an alarm incident," says Shahidi.

Smart Home Compatibility

“A lot of customers already have Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant, so a smart security system should be easy to add to their existing smart systems,” says Lucien Benacem, group product manager at Ecobee. Many of the leading wireless security systems on the market feature deep compatibility with existing smart home ecosystems—allowing users to control the systems with their voice and automate those systems in the same apps their likely using to automate other smart home devices. In general, most systems are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. If you prefer Apple HomeKit, you’ll have to look a little harder for one of the fewer systems compatible with this protocol.

Video Recording

Many smart security systems also include wireless video cameras to add visuals to your security setup. This functionality means you can monitor your house while you’re away. If you’ve opted for video cloud storage (which sometimes comes with a monthly fee), you can rewatch footage of trigger events. While most bare-bones systems will operate adequately with just sensors, video cameras allow for a more multimedia approach to monitoring breaches and security events.

Privacy

When using a smartphone application to monitor your home, you may have questions about privacy concerns. While nearly every security system comes with its own app and, by extension, its own account creation mechanism, systems from more well-known manufacturers might handle privacy concerns better than more fledgling companies. In general, the privacy of your system is similar in concept to the privacy of your email accounts or social media apps. If you use strong passwords and share access only with trusted individuals, it should be very difficult for bad actors to hack into your system.

FAQ
  • How do wireless security systems work?

    Most wireless security systems consist of a series of battery-operated sensors that connect via a central hub. This hub connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network, from which you can control the whole system, which means that your smartphone or smart home devices are the functional control points for your system. You can set your “home” or “away” status from your phone, arm and disarm your system, and even set schedules and triggers. Many systems also feature additional home monitoring service subscriptions that automatically reach out and contact authorities when detecting a breach.

  • How secure are wireless home security systems?

    While many homeowners assume that professionally installed wired security systems are safer, most wireless security systems on the market provide the same security. With reliable batteries and the option to include smart home monitoring, wireless security systems can be just as safe as professionally installed options. Wireless security systems also often have strong app integration, which offers the benefit of notifications and remote control from anywhere using your smartphone.

  • 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 have magnetic sensors that you can attach to your window and doors. These will be programmed to trigger when opened—no drilling or wiring required. 

    When it comes to keypads and security cameras, there are typically some adhesive options, but you can also opt to install these units by drilling with screws or drywall anchors like you would other basic fixtures. “We provide certain tips to test that you’ve installed your system properly,” says Benacem. “Invite home members to the app so your system knows who is allowed in your home, place your sensors at least 4 feet off the ground along entry points, and avoid pointing them toward items that could accidentally trigger motion.”

Why Trust The Spruce?

Jason Schneider has been a tech writer and smart home reviewer for a number of years, and he recently purchased his first home. For this roundup, he considered a variety of wireless smart home systems, factoring in the sensors, ease of installation, integration with smart homes, and compatibility with cameras. By weighing all of these nuances against price, he arrived at a variety of categories for a whole array of different homeowners and renters.

He also sought the expertise of security system experts Hooman Shahidi, senior vice president of product at SimpliSafe, and Lucien Benacem, group product manager at Ecobee, for more details on how to install these systems and use them to keep your home and family safe and sound.