Wake up and secure your home with a smart alarm system! Long gone are the days of relying on shoddy service and paying an arm & a leg for outrageous contract terms. If you currently feel like you’re being ripped off, welcome to the solution. In this guide, we share the best alarm systems with cameras currently on the market.
Below, you’ll find excellent options to secure & monitor your home, ranging from $0 a month to competitive monthly fees for professional 24/7 monitoring. Additionally, these systems allow you to view live video feeds from your phone by installing compatible apps.
Unlike the best wireless security systems with cameras (which we covered in our previous guide), the systems featured here are alarm systems. Several additional parts included with alarm systems are:
- Entry Sensors
- Motion Sensors
- Security Stickers & Signs
- Key Fobs
- Range Extenders
Now, let’s go over the key features of the top systems before moving on to the in-depth reviews where you’ll find the pros & cons of owning each.
Best Alarm Systems with Cameras Comparison
|#2) Ring Alarm Kit w/ Ring Indoor Cam||
|#3) ADT DIY LifeShield||
|#4) SkylinkNet Alarm System Starter Kit Plus||
|#5) home8 Video-Verified Alarm Smart Security System||
Reviews of the Best Smart Home Alarm Systems with Cameras
Depending on which system you choose, securing your home can be quite affordable. Plus, almost anyone can install these systems, which cuts out the professional installation fee. Let’s get started with a review of our top overall pick.
#1) SimpliSafe – Best Overall Smart Alarm System with Cameras
The best alternative to ADT is undoubtedly SimpliSafe. This system has it all, with the option to add additional components to suit all size homes. To get the most out of this system, it does require a subscription, though, the monthly fee is highly competitive and currently lower than ADT’s.
There are two subscription packages: Basic and Interactive. Basic monitoring offers professional monitoring by SimpliSafe, but to get full control over the system, you’ll want to opt for the Interactive plan. With the Interactive plan, you get 24/7 professional monitoring, Smart Alerts to your phone, Online Command via the app, and integration with smart home platforms.
As for the equipment, you get top-notch quality components with battery backup and the longest range offered by the systems in this guide. Additionally, the included SimpliCam provides law enforcement with video verification to expedite response time in the event of a home intrusion. Lastly, there’s no contract required.
- An excellent option for pet parents who want to avoid false alarms
- The SmashSafe feature notifies law enforcement if an intruder manages to damage the keypad
- The longest warranty period
- 6 monitoring centers
- A+ BBB Rating
- Competitive Monthly Fees
- Modern components with more aesthetic appeal
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Very easy installation
- SimpliCam features live video streaming and remote recording
- Not backward compatible with older models
- Requires the Interactive plan to use the app
- Canceling the monthly service deletes all saved settings in the app
- No power-driven camera panning
#2) Ring Alarm Kit w/ Ring Indoor Cam – Lowest Monthly Fee
If you desire 24/7 professional monitoring, the Ring Alarm Kit gives you the most bang for your buck of the five systems. One reason to really like the Ring kit – outside of its great value for the money – is expandability. With this system, you have the option to choose between several kits, plus the option to add additional components, including the Ring Video Doorbell and Echo Show for enhanced smart home control.
Next, to reiterate the first point, 24/7 professional monitoring for $10/month (at the time of this writing) is an unbeatable price, especially considering the fact that ADT and Simplisafe charge double or more. With the Ring app, you have full control over the system. Also, for folks who are accustomed to using Alexa or already own Alexa-enabled devices, adding the Ring Alarm Kit is quite easy.
Several final features that are nice to see are two-way audio, 1080p HD video quality, a range extender, and professional monitoring is optional with a 30-day free trial period. All in all, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value than the Ring kit offers.
- Best value for the money of the systems in this guide
- The lowest monthly fee for 24/7 professional monitoring and full use of the Ring app
- Easily pair the system with Alexa-enabled devices
- Add additional Ring components at any time
- Optional professional monitoring with no contract obligations
- Simple installation
- Multiple users can receive smart alerts
- User-friendly app
- Backward compatible with previous generations
- No local storage
- The range isn’t on par with Simplisafe for folks with larger homes
- No Google integration
#3) ADT DIY LifeShield – Most Well-Known Brand
Choosing ADT certainly comes with its own set of pros & cons. For one, of the companies in this guide, ADT is the most well-known alarm system brand with the longest track record of successfully manufacturing quality systems. However, on the flip side of the coin, SimpliSafe and Ring by Amazon are well ahead in the smart home department. So, if you prefer a more modern system with smart convenience features, start with SimpliSafe and Ring.
One key advantage of ADT LifeShield is the base package price. Compared to the first two systems, you get more sensors for the money, making this system worth a look for folks with larger 3+ bedroom homes. Next, LifeShield features glass breakage and fire safety sensors for enhanced protection of your home. Although, if you have young children, you may run into false alarms when they play.
One drawback to consider is the included camera with the LifeShield package. For some reason, ADT includes a camera that’s not sold separately rather than its Blue by ADT camera. Additionally, the resolution is lower than the Ring camera. Finally, to get the lowest monthly fee, ADT requires a contract, unlike the other systems in this guide.
- Competitive monthly fee compared to SimpliSafe’s Interactive plan
- Reasonably priced base package with more sensors for the money
- Integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- A lot more affordable than traditional ADT systems
- Mostly reliable customer service and professional monitoring services
- Free mobile app control with live video feed viewing
- Short sensor range (can lead to connection issues)
- More complaints than the other systems
- The camera is inferior compared to ADT’s Blue camera #ad
If you prefer no monthly fees, there’s a lot to like about the SK-250 alarm system. First, this system is self-monitoring only. There’s no option to sign up for a professional monitoring service, so keep that in mind. The obvious advantage is no monthly fees for full use of the system, including full control using the SkylinkNet app (available in the Google Play and Apple App stores).
Next, Skylink works with Amazon Echo, Google Home, and additional smart-home devices, giving you full control with the use of the app and your desired smart devices. When arming the system, you have the option to choose between Away and Home modes to avoid false alarms. Plus, there’s the option to instantly trigger the alarm using Panic mode.
Compared to the first three systems, the SK-250 is more affordable, and you’ll have no problem adding additional components for a reasonable price. In total, the system allows for up to 100 connected devices. Currently, SkinlinkNet offers an outdoor camera, solar-powered outdoor siren, garage door sensor, water sensor, outdoor motion sensor, and several more components you may find useful.
- Local video storage using a microSD card
- 100% use with 0 monthly fees
- Integrate with Alexa-enabled and Google smart devices
- Optional outdoor siren add-on alerts neighbors during a home intrusion (110 dB)
- A good choice for fans of the IFTTT (If This Then That) app
- More range than ADT sensors
- 2-way audio
- The app supports up to 10 cameras with live video feeds
- Easily-upgradable with room for up to 100 connected devices/components
- No option for professional monitoring
- Fewer sensors are included than the other systems
- Bulkier sensors
#5) home8 Video-Verified Alarm Smart Security System – Best Budget Burglar Alarm with Cameras
The final system is a good budget alternative to SimpliSafe. Unlike SimpliSafe, you don’t have to pay a monthly fee to use the app, and there’s the option to upgrade to 24/7 professional monitoring. With professional monitoring, you have the ability to use video verification when alerting authorities in the event of a home intrusion.
One feature that’s really cool is the ability to pan the camera remotely up to 150º in either direction. This is one feature offered here for a budget price that’d be nice to see on the pricier systems. Plus, you have the option to store video footage locally with a microSD card rather than relying on cloud storage only.
A couple of final features to consider are the option to add additional home8 products for total home security, compatibility with Alexa & Google Assistant, and there’s optional cloud storage using the home8 cloud. All things considered, you can get up and running with a reliable home alarm system for a very affordable price and no monthly fee obligation.
- One of the most affordable alarm systems with cameras
- Use the app with no monthly fee obligation
- Just $10/month for 24/7 professional monitoring (no contract required)
- Reasonably-priced add-on components
- Power-driven camera panning
- Choose between local or cloud storage
- Good device range
- Reliable, user-friendly app
- No backup battery power
- No audible notifications when arming/disarming
When choosing the best home alarm system with cameras, the first step is to consider how much you value professional monitoring. If you prefer a DIY system with optional professional monitoring, the first place to look is Ring. While SimpliSafe is the best overall system, the drawback is the requirement to purchase the SimpliSafe Interactive plan to use the app. With the other systems in this guide, you get app usage without the need to pay a monthly fee.
For fans of self-monitoring, SkylinkNet’s SK-250 system is a tough system to beat, especially for the price. With the SK-250 system, you have full control over the system with no need to worry about your data being stored in a cloud. Finally, as far as budget systems go, home8 is one of the current leaders that make securing your home very affordable.