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Best monitored alarm systems of 2021

Included in this guide:

Best monitored alarm systems
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

If you're looking for increased protection, the best monitored alarm systems are for you. Offering more comprehensive security coverage compared to standard home security systems, they offer 24/7 professional monitoring of your property on top of general security and surveillance hardware.

Where standard home protection will simply sound an alarm to alert nearby people, in the hope that someone will investigate or call the police, or perhaps scare off intruders, the best monitored alarm systems will alert a support team when triggered, and they can then ring the police, and that coverage is offered 24/7.

Of course, this level of protection does involve additional investment. Along with paying a subscription for the support team, you'll usually need to pay for professional installation as well.

However, if you want to protect your home or business, this extra level of security is well worth the cost. In this list, we've picked the best monitored alarm systems that offer excellent value for money, and which often include professional installation as part of the price. Picking any of the solutions on this page will give you the very best protection for your home or office.


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Best monitored alarm systems at a glance:

  1. ADT
  2. Vivint SmartHome
  3. Frontpoint Security
  4. Brinks Home Security
  5. Link Interactive

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(Image credit: ADT)

1. ADT

The customized security solution

Reasons to buy
+Full security systems+Mobile monitoring option+Smart home option

ADT offers monitored security packages that are customized to protect your home. Main features include the ability control your home security system from anywhere, set up custom alerts, provide live video monitoring (both outside and inside), as well as emergency alarms triggered by smoke, carbon dioxide, or even flooding. 

ADT provide three broad packages, with the Traditional package offering a full security system that includes a digital panel, high-decibel alarm, sensors for doors and windows, as well as signage to warn away potential burglars. This comes with 24/7 monitoring, as well as smoke, carbon dioxide, and flood detectors. 

The Control package includes all of the above, with the added inclusion of mobile apps so that you can arm and disarm your security system remotely, as well as customize and schedule alerts by email and/or text. The Video package adds 720p HD video surveillance, which can be live streamed to a mobile device, while also including the option to record and save video clips from events triggered by motion detectors built into the cameras. There are also additional options that include a video doorbell with 2-way audio, and a medical alert system.

ADT also provide a smart home package, which can include smart door locks, lights, thermostats, switches and plugs, all of which can be operated remotely.

The cost of an ADT home security system will depend on the options chosen, and can include same-day or next-day installation by an ADT technician.

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(Image credit: Vivint SmartHome)

2. Vivint SmartHome

The smart security system

Reasons to buy
+Smart home standard+Range of options+Mobile management

Vivint SmartHome is a smart monitored security package that is customized according to the needs of your home. Main features included as standard include the ability to control your security settings, feeds, and alerts directly with a mobile app, even when away from home, as well as use voice commands when inside, along with a touchscreen security panel.

There are a range of different products and features, as you'd expect from a comprehensive home security system, not least indoor and outdoor cameras, video recording, and 24/7 monitoring, but also additional smart home features such as the smart locks, thermostat, and garage controls. There are also detectors for smoke, carbon dioxide, and flooding. 

Once professionally installed, it's really the smart aspect that defines the Vivint Smart Home, with everything integrated into an easy to control system. The mobile app especially makes it easy to manage and monitor everything directly from your smartphone.

However, because this is a customized solution rather than a standard kit, you will need to contact Vivint SmartHome directly for a quote.

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(Image credit: Frontpoint Security)

3. Frontpoint Security

The smart and mobile security point

Reasons to buy
+No installation+Ready out of the box+Wireless system+Switch between wifi and cell network

Frontpoint Security offers a simple and smart monitored home security service, using a wide range of different wireless devices. No professional installation is required and you can set up your cameras, sensors, and other monitors precisely where you think you need them, and everything is pre-configured to work together out of the box.

At the heart of Frontpoint Security is the Frontpoint Hub, which serves as a central controller for all of your security devices. The hub can switch between a wireless and cellular network as required, so that even if there's a break in your internet connection your home security system can continue without interruption. Additionally, the hub is advertised as smash-proof, and even if it is somehow destroyed it will automatically send out a security alert.

The mobile app has also been made to be very easy to use. You don't need to swipe through multiple screens to arm it, you just quickly tap the icon and select your arming option. 

Additionally, you also have full control of your surveillance options, and don't need to wait for alerts in case you may be unavailable to take them. As a monitored solution, Frontpoint can call 911 for you if they detect a clear incident, ensuring that your home remains protected even if your smartphone is switched off. 

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(Image credit: Brinks Home Security)

4. Brinks Home Security

Protection with 24/7 monitoring

Reasons to buy
+DIY installation+Cheap basic plan
Reasons to avoid
-Long-term contract

Brinks Home Security offers a more traditional monitored alarm system, by which your home security system can be professionally installed or set up by yourself, depending on the type of security hardware required. 

There are a number of security hardware package options available, and you can customize your installation according to your needs.

Of course, there's also always-on monitoring, to ensure that your security system comes with 24/4 surveillance as well.

Whichever set up you choose, monitoring options come as standard, though cheaper options tend to come with long term contracts.

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(Image credit: Link Interactive)

For better value home security

Reasons to buy
+No installation+Ready out of the box+DIY value

Link Interactive is another provider who can supply a fully monitored home security system that works out of the box, so there are no installation fees. The company also advertises itself as providing the best value of the major home security providers by allowing you to pick and choose your own DIY setup. Everything can be managed through mobile apps, including settings, arm/disarm, and alerts.

There are a number of wireless security cameras available with fixed or pan/tilt options, for both indoor and outdoor use, some of which come with infrared night vision features. There are also door and window sensors available, as well as as detectors for smoke, carbon dioxide, or flooding, plus extras for smart home automation as well as panic buttons. Everything runs wirelessly, and can run from either your internet or cellular connection to ensure it continues running in the event of a power failure.

Whichever hardware options you choose, everything is comes with 24/7 monitoring. If you don't respond to an issue yourself, Link Interactive will try to contact you directly. In the event of a home invasion, Link Interactive will call 911 directly.

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Other monitoring alarm systems to consider

While we've feature some of the major providers of monitored alarm systems, there's also a growing number of alarm systems that you can set up at home and add monitoring to as an additional service. Here we'll look at some of those services, not least because the overall price can often be cheaper than dedicated monitoring solutions, not least because of the easy set up and install of the equipment yourself.

SimpliSafe offers a really simple home security solution, centered on a single base station which can be expanded out to cover a wider area, indoors and outdoors, using a range of additional sensors. Once you've bought the Simplisafe security kit you need, you can either monitor it all yourself, which is easily done, or else sign up to SimpliSafe's 24/7 monitoring, with no contract.

Scout is another option if you want to build your own home security system simply and effectively, using a range of sensors working with a base station for monitoring purposes. Like a lot of similar systems, while you can monitor everything yourself, there is a 24/7 professional monitoring service available, with additional camera and cloud storage options for your video recordings as well.

Brian Turner

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing and technology titles, and has been interviewed multiple times for BBC News and BBC Radio. His specialty on Techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, writing as Brian G Turner.