What Is the Best Home Security System?

What Is the Best Home Security System?

Home security systems vary by protection, convenience and cost. Because homeowners place different values on these factors, there's no single "best" home security system on the market. That's going to be true no matter how many comparison blogs you read online.

That said, the best home security system is the one which makes you feel the safest in your home.

Here's how you find the best home security system for your home:

  • Step 1: Determine your experience level with security systems. Decide whether you want to install the system yourself or hire a professional.
  • Step 2: Choose whether you want to monitor the system yourself or have it professionally monitored.
  • Step 3: Select any home automation add-ons like smart door locks, video doorbells, smart thermostats, etc.

You can also cut all three steps and take just one: schedule an appointment with Ackerman. We listen to your concerns and perform a full assessment of your home before giving you a list of customized security system options you'll love.

Step 1: Do-It-Yourself or Professional Installation?

Security systems can be divided into two groups:

  • DIY-installed systems
  • Professionally-installed systems

DIY Systems

DIY systems have come a long way considering they were almost non-existent just 10 years ago. Today these systems deliver robust feature sets, simplified set-up processes and impressive technology.

Homeowners won't need to pay a professional security company to set it up for them. Right out of the box, these systems are ready to go and fairly easy to install.

But DIY systems aren't perfect. Some cons include:

  • No hands-on training: A set of instructions can't compare to an actual security technician teaching you how to use your new system.
  • Limited support: DIY products malfunction and break. When they do, you'll have to get on the phone to try to fix it. That isn't easy when you're talking to an outsourced customer service rep who barely speaks your language.
  • Unverified security solutions: A faulty alarm sensor, a touchy WiFi connection or a large blind spot in your security cam network could leave you as vulnerable as if you didn't have a security system at all.

Professionally Installed Systems

A professionally installed security system refers to any system that has been designed and installed by an experienced security provider. Homeowners pay extra to have this type of system installed in their homes. But the value they receive from that installation tends to outweigh the costs.

Here are some benefits of professional installations:

  • You get to speak to a human being during the installation process. No need to bother with any manuals or instruction booklets or online PDFs.
  • The installer will train the homeowner and family members on how to use the new system. That will save everyone a lot of time and help avoid false alarms.
  • You have the added peace of mind that the system is set up properly and all blind spots around the home are accounted for.

Importantly, there are two kinds of professionally-installed systems:

  • Companies like ADT and Vivint install their own proprietary systems exclusively. When one of their sales reps visits your home, their goal is to sell you one of their systems and monitoring packages, which may not be the best system and monitoring package for your home.
  • Companies like Alarm.com, Honeywell and Ademco are predominantly manufacturers that partner with security companies (like Ackerman) to install, monitor and provide customer support for their products.

The main difference here is with the consultation. An ADT sales rep wants you to buy ADT equipment. An Ackerman security consultant is going to help you find the best security system for your home, period.

Step 2: Self Monitoring or Professional Monitoring

Homeowners have two options when it comes to monitoring their residences:

  • They can hire a professional security company to monitor their home for a flat-rate monthly fee.
  • They can monitor their home on their own with a combination of sensors, smart cameras and live-streaming.

Professional Monitoring

Professional monitoring is a popular choice for homeowners who want 24/7 support if an alarm is triggered (burglary alarm, fire alarm or otherwise). The security company can review the threat and contact the proper authorities within seconds, which may not be the case for the homeowner, who may be groggy, frightened or otherwise indisposed.

The catch is that professionally monitored systems do not come free. Most have monthly fees which range from $20 to $60. But for many homeowners, the peace of mind that comes with professional monitoring is well worth the cost.


Self-monitoring puts home security in the hands of the homeowner, who is responsible for calling the local authorities when an alarm is triggered. Unfortunately that puts the homeowner at risk if he or she is incapacitated or away from home.

Smart security tools have made self-monitoring more effective in recent years. A homeowner can stream video from their security cams to their smart devices. And alarms can trigger notifications which alert the homeowner to potential threats.

Despite those improvements, self-monitoring has its downsides:

  • Homeowners may not know what triggered an alarm, which can make it difficult to know who to call or how significant the threat is.
  • A turned-off smartphone means you have no way to know whether your home is safe.
  • Self-monitoring can extend the amount of time it takes emergency services to reach you when compared to a professional monitoring service.

Step 3: Decide on Any Home-Automation Add-Ons

Home automation is what you get when you use smart products to make your home a more efficient and safer place to live.

All of the security products below do exactly that: create safer, more convenient homes. But the extra protection and convenience comes at a cost to your pocketbook, so the choice to purchase these add-ons is always a personal one.

Some common smart home add-ons include:

Smart doorbells

Smart doorbells let homeowners see and converse with a visitor by live streaming video from the doorbell directly to the homeowner's phone. The added security and convenience they offer have made these gadgets one of the most adopted security products on the market today.

Remote-control door locks

If you've ever returned home due to a nagging suspicion that a door's unlocked, then remote-control door locks are a security feature you'll love. Smart locks let you control any lock in your home from your smartphone. So you can let guests in while you're away, or lock up after you leave.

Remote garage door controls

Like remote-control door locks, you can control your garage door with just your smartphone. And unlike traditional garage door openers, you can open and close the garage from around the block or on the other side of the world.

Smart thermostats, lighting control and more

Home automation and home security go hand in hand. That's why some security companies (Ackerman included) offer various non-security home automation tools like smart thermostats, home theater control, lighting control and more.


No two homeowners will value a security system in the same way. But if you want advice on where to start, you can always schedule a call with an Ackerman Security consultant.

We can walk you through the process, step by step, until you find the perfect security system for your home. Simple as that.