The best business security systems will make it simpler and easier to protect your business or home office.
The average sum stolen from commercial premises is around $2,000, but the real cost to your business in terms of lost trade or damaged reputation could be much higher. That’s why some kind of security system is not just a sensible business decision, it’s a basic requirement for any enterprise. The good news is that there are plenty of new companies specializing in business security to choose from. Advances in wireless smart home security devices has led to a proliferation of easy-to-install all-in-one solutions to compete with traditional security companies like ADT. These are the home security brands that are best for business.
We've compared some of the most popular business security systems in the market and evaluated them across factors like ease of use, features, and user feedback. We also considered the hidden costs, quality of the surveillance technology, and smart automation, among other aspects.
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Best business security systems of 2023 in full
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Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
ADT is the biggest name in home security; it’s also the best when it comes to protecting larger businesses. It has been around the longest and runs the most monitoring stations in the US which makes it able to respond more quickly. From its iconic bell box to the latest cameras and security fog generators, ADT uses only the most reliable hardware which it leases to you so there’s no initial equipment cost, only the monthly fee. There’s no escaping ADT’s subscription fee and it is one of the more expensive security options, but it’s award-winning service and monitoring has the strongest reputation. If you want to be able to hand the security of your business over to a team of professionals rather than worrying about it yourself, then ADT is the solution for you.
Read the full review: ADT
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Vivint is really leading the way when it comes to kitting out your home or office with smart home security equipment. It has the widest range of devices to choose from and it is all backed up by an award-winning 24/7 monitoring and maintenance service.
The overall cost is rather high because every system needs professional installation and a monthly subscription, but the feedback for Vivint’s packages and plans is generally very strong. There is a broad range of HD cameras available and the system integrates quite well with products like Google Assistant and Alexa.
If you need to secure your small to medium sized business and the idea of also controlling your HVAC and lighting with the same system appeals, then Vivint’s smart home expertise is what you need.
Read the full review: Vivint
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you run an SMB and you prefer to leave the installation and the monitoring of your home security up to the professionals, get a quote from Guardian Protect. With so much experience in security and a reputation backed up by multiple awards it’s a traditional firm that justifies its fairly high overall cost. And with a minimum of three years for the shortest contract, signing up to Guardian Protect is something of a commitment too. But what you’re really paying for here is the monitoring and maintenance service that Guardian Protect does so well. The standard package is enough to secure a small business, but the scalable nature of these packages means that you can easily add cameras and sensors to cover a larger premises and also incorporate some home automaton device such as garage door locks and smart lights, which will further help to deter thieves.
Read the full review: Guardian Protect
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
With its slick software and universally compatible hardware, Abode has mastered the art of smart home security. All of the key ingredients are there in its range of devices, from sensors to cameras and they’re all designed to be easy to self-install. Some of those devices are a little expensive, but when we compared quotes, Abode is usually the more affordable option. Integrating readily with Apple HomeKit as well as the other smart home automation platforms makes it more useable and future proof.
As well as being well featured, it is one of the more flexible in its pricing and plans too. The basic plan is free and you have enough functionality in the basic system to protect your property using the excellent app. However, we would recommend taking out the Pro plan because this unlocks a lot more features as well as giving you the 24/7 professional monitoring at a pretty competitive price.
Read the full review: Abode
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you need to secure an apartment, home or small office, SimpliSafe has a package to suit your needs. The attraction is primarily price and the fact that it's simple and elegant wireless devices are so easy to self-install and relocate when required. The hardware actually looks a little insubstantial compared to more expensive offerings by Vivint and ADT and its monitoring service hasn’t won so many awards, but SimpliSafe’s system has been highly praised in reviews and it certainly works. The backup battery in the base unit lasts almost a decade and communication with the monitoring team is done by an internal cellular chip, so you can relax in the knowledge that your business is being watched over even when the power goes down.
With no professional installation required, no contractual obligation and a long 60-day money-back trial period, it’s worth giving SimpliSafe a try. For the renters, homeowners and home workers with a limited budget for security, we can heartily recommend SimpliSafe as the first step toward protecting your property, be that with or without the monthly monitoring.
Read the full review: SimpliSafe
What are business security systems?
Business security systems are security devices (hardware and software) to protect a business from theft and other risks. These systems will secure your company's physical premises and give you tools to remotely monitor the location.
Security systems can consist of budget alarm kits and motion detectors to advanced HD cameras and heat sensors for surveillance.
How to choose the best business security systems for you?
When finalizing the best business security systems for your business, start with assessing the size of your business. If you run a small business, a simple DIY business security system that's easy to set up could be suitable. But if you're running a large business with sprawling physical premises and valuable inventory, then a professional security system with advanced surveillance tools and smart features will be ideal.
You'll want to consider whether the security system offers regular maintenance and a private security guard response. Look out for the service contracts that these security systems offer, some contracts extend beyond 3 years, and canceling before the contract ends may not fetch you any refund. You'll also want to look out for the quality of the surveillance hardware and security automation features.
How we reviewed the best business security systems
We usually like to get hands-on when it comes to testing and reviewing, but in this case, calling in and installing each security system was just not at all practical. To be thorough, we would also have had to burgle each business premises and our legal department was not keen on that idea. Instead, we compared every aspect of the eight biggest names in home and business security and awarded scores within a range of comparable parameters, such as features, ease of use and user feedback.
Totting up the total points for each comparable, while taking into account the various costs (and hidden costs), provided our overall ratings. However, choosing your own security solution is going to depend on the nature and arrangement of your business, which is unique to you, so please read the full reviews and get multiple quotes before making a decision.
Business security system vs home security system? Why it's worth it
Home security specialists usually have a dedicated service for business too. They tend to talk about the home more because residential burglaries as twice as common as commercial burglaries, but the truth is that the value of goods stolen from business premises is generally way higher. So protecting your business is not just a good idea, its essential.
And it’s not only burglaries that businesses are protecting themselves against. A good security system can prevent thefts from the workplace with cameras trained on cash registers and exit points. Surveillance can protect employees too and if your system can back up an alarm call with video evidence, there’s no faster way of getting the emergency services on site. Fires, floods and vandalism at your empty business premises can all be spotted early by a security system and the team of trained professions monitoring it. For some bosses, it can put their minds at rest just to check in via the app to see their enterprise running smoothly.
Install your own system vs professional installation? What's the difference?
It used to be that security systems were always hardwired and you needed a professional to fit them. But with the proliferation of wireless cameras and sensors that communicate by Wi-Fi we’re seeing lots of so called smart security systems that are actually quite easy to install yourself. Cutting out the installation cost makes these DIY security packages much more tempting, especially when they are discrete and elegantly designed. If you are the kind of person who loves the latest gadgets and likes saving money, then you should definitely install your own system. You can always relocate your sensors and cameras whenever you want. If you prefer to pay for your peace of mind, and after all, that’s what a security system is all about, then let the experts install it.
How much does a business security system cost per month?
With ADT your minimum monthly payment is going to me around $35 for the most basic package with professional monitoring. But ADT’s pricing is very flexible in the upward direction because there’s no upfront payment and you’re effectively renting the equipment from ADT.
With most other brands, like SimpliSafe and Abode, you’re paying a significant upfront cost to buy the equipment outright and then a smaller subscription fee of nearer $20/month for professional monitoring. And with those companies you don’t have to pay any subscription fee at all if you are prepared to monitor your own system. You might, however, have to pay a minimal fee of around $6/month for cloud storage space to store the video from your cameras.
What does a business security system come with?
A basic business security package contains all of the components needed to get started in securing a small premises. That would usually comprise at least one entry sensor to be fitted to a door or window, a motion sensor and a hub, or base station which communicates wirelessly with the sensors so it can set off its inbuilt siren when triggered. It will also contain a backup battery and cellular chip so that it can still get a warning out to you and the professional monitoring center in the event of a power and Wi-Fi outage. A security camera is often included and there are always stickers and a yard sign to let people know you’ve got security in place. With ADT you often get one of their distinctive bell boxes to mount on the outside of your building, which is a pretty good deterrent in itself.
What about Nest?
Sadly, Nest has discontinued Nest Secure, which we thought was a particularly neat all-in-one DIY solution costing $499. Happily, Nest will continue to sell the excellent Hello video doorbell and Outdoor security camera. With its parent company Google buying a 6.6% stake in ADT recently, it looks like the search giant intends to sell Nest smart devices to ADT customers. Google says that its Nest technology will become the cornerstone of ADT’s smart security offerings.
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Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.