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Best Home Security Systems (2019)

Best Home Security Systems (2019)
Ludovic Rembert —

Last Updated on

Home security in Canada is important. I know we Canadians have a good thing going with our global reputation as the nice guys around town, but crime does happen here whether we like to admit it or not.

Stats Canada reports more than 1.5 million incidents of property crime and more than 150,000 cases of breaking and entering a year (source).

It never hurts to be careful when protecting the ones you love and your valuable possessions against would-be threats.

Luckily, in this day and age, there are plenty of options. There are certain services that allow you to have a state of the art security system without doing one thing to get up and running. Just like that, you will have your children protected and your new television secure.

For the people who want to set up a high-tech home monitoring system all by themselves, there are options if you are inclined. The options are endless along with self-monitored systems or subscription services with a 24/7 professional surveillor.

Whether you live in a house, an apartment, or a condo there are plenty of options for a security system for Canadians to protect what is most important in this world and we can help you figure out which one is best for you. 🇨🇦

TLDR

Frontpoint offers the best security system in Canada. It’s the best all around choice and also has great customer support. Payment plans are flexible as are their packages. If you’re looking for a system installed by a professional then Vivint is the best choice. Self-monitoring is also a viable option and Honeywell’s Smart Home Security Kit should be chosen if that is what you want to use. To learn more about cameras, read our guide to the best home security cameras.

How We Decide

There are a lot of options out there for home security systems – so many that it can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in. Our team has reached out across the far-flung reaches doing research on all of the top home security brands so you don’t have to. We’ve compared everything to make sure you can make an informed decision on how to protect yourself. We figured it out which services offer the best value – from features to pricing and everything in between such as ease of use, customer service, customer testimonials, effectiveness, and anything else a home security system might need to be good at.

1. Frontpoint – Best Canadian Security System (DIY, Automated, Best Value)

Who should use Frontpoint?

People that should use Frontpoint are people who have some money to spend on a home security system but value peace of mind and security. This service is for Canadians that don’t mind installing the system themselves or entering a long-term contract as well. Frontpoints Systems also include:

  • No Installation Technicians
  • No Wiring/Drilling
  • Manual Programming Not Required
  • Setup In Under 15 Minutes
  • Smash Proof
  • Comes With Backup

Frontpoint

Frontpoint security is our top-rated choice in Canada for the best home security system. The home monitoring system has a decade of innovation behind it while providing best in class customer service and a feature-rich experience to protect your home. The best place to start is with Frontpoint’s manifesto: We’ve been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. When intruders started outsmarting old-school security, we were one of the first to use cellular technology in every system. When we were the first to combine a self-setup system with professional monitoring, a new market was born. And while the industry is ever-changing, our dedication to our customers remains unchanged. Our customers deserve the best. They deserve a simpler way into a safer, smarter home. Welcome to Frontpoint smart home security. security system Since 2007, Frontpoint has won multiple Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the last one coming in 2017. They also have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and high reviews all across the internet.

Features, Plans, and Pricing

The pricing for Frontpoint can be customized in a lot of areas so it is a good idea to contact the company for a quote. However, there are specifics with how the pricing is done. The first thing to keep in mind with the service is that you do have to commit to either a one-year or a three-year plan. Three-year plans are much cheaper than one-year plans with a much larger commitment. That commitment may scare some people away but the 30-Day Guarantee allows you to try out the service for the first month. Beyond the two different contract lengths available there are three monitoring plans and six customizable hardware packages. The cheapest monitoring plan available is called the Protection plan and is $34.99 per month which includes fire, ice, water, life safety, and intrusion protection including 24/7 monitoring. The next step up is the Interactive plan at $44.99 per month and adds extra functionality such as image sensors, lighting control, crash protection, email and text alerts, remote control from a mobile device, and geolocation services. With the highest tiered plan, you can support cameras and thermostats for $49.99 per month. This allows you to use live video streaming, motion-activated video recording, door lock controls, and energy management controls. On top of the monitoring packages, there are six hardware packages. These are split up into one time fees with steep discounts if you have a three-year contract.

  • Safe Home Starter ($130.95) – 1 Frontpoint Hub and Frontpoint keypad, 2 door and window sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 yard sign, 5 window decals, 1 door sticker
  • Safe Home Everyday ($228.93) – 1 Frontpoint Hub and Frontpoint keypad, 3 door and window sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 yard sign, 5 window decals, 1 door sticker
  • Safe Home Plus ($248.93) – 1 Frontpoint Hub and Frontpoint keypad, 3 door and window sensors, 2 glass break sensors, 1 yard sign, 5 window decals, 1 door sticker
  • Safe Home Select ($401.90) – 1 Frontpoint Hub and Frontpoint keypad, 4 door and window sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 glass break sensor, 1 smoke and heat sensor, 1 yard sign, 5 window decals, 1 door sticker
  • Safe Home Preferred ($534.88) – 1 Frontpoint Hub and Frontpoint keypad, 5 door and window sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 glass break sensor, 1 smoke and heat sensor, 1 indoor camera, 1 yard sign, 5 window decals, 1 door sticker
  • Safe Home Elite ($1032.84) – 1 Frontpoint Hub and Frontpoint keypad, 6 door and window sensors, 2 motion sensors, 2 glass break sensors, 1 smoke and heat sensor, 1 indoor camera, 1 outdoor camera, 1 doorbell camera, 1 yard sign, 5 window decals, 1 door sticker

There is also the option to add hardware to any of these plans which allows you to truly

Pros

30-Day Risk-Free Trial

Out of every positive a company can have I always rank being able to try the service out at no cost to yourself as the most important aspect (unless the service is horrible). Especially with home monitoring systems – trusting reviews can only take you so far. You need to be able to try out the system and you might as well try it out for free.

Customer Service

Angie’s List Super Service Awards are awarded based on reviews from customers. The companies that win these awards have the best customer service in their industries. It comes as no surprise to us that Frontpoint has won multiple of these awards as their customer satisfaction levels are extremely high. Their customer support team provides top-notch service. If there are any issues during the installation process it is extremely easy to get them on the phone for some help. If they send you any faulty equipment they have a sterling reputation for troubleshooting the issue and sending you a replacement immediately. Phone lines have English and Spanish speaking customer support agents that are around 8 AM to 11 PM Eastern Standard Time on weekdays and 10 AM to 7 PM on weekends. Beyond that, the company also provides extremely easy to follow videos for installation.

DIY Installation

As far as installation goes one word sums it up for Frontpoint’s do it yourself installation process: effortless. On average the installation process takes 30 minutes to install the whole system. A side-by-side application is provided for installation and if the system notices something is taking longer than it should the app will provide a phone number or an online resource to help.

Other Fun Features

With everything that Frontpoint offers the service also includes other sought after features such as cellular alerts, indoor and outdoor cameras, environmental disaster protection, and home automation. Extra features go a long way in making sure Canadians feel safe with high tech solutions that can be connected to wifi as a simple home alarm system won’t cut it.

Cons

Long-Term Contract

The biggest negative when it comes to Frontpoint is that there are only two contract duration options. The shorter duration comes at a much heftier price than the longer contract. This is somewhat negated by the 30-day money back guarantee but at a certain point, some people might not want to sign up for such a long contract. Priorities for Canadians can change at any point and some people move into apartment buildings with built-in security features.

Not Available in Quebec

This speaks for itself – sorry Québécois residents. We don’t want to leave you out but sadly Frontpoint does.

Only the Highest Pricing Tier Includes Specific Features

The awesome Frontpoint features such as cameras and motion sensors can only be used in the higher price points. If you’re looking for a security system on a budget this could be a dealbreaker.


2. Vivint – Best Smart Home Security System

Who should use Vivint?

Vivint is for Canadians that want the most high-tech and smart capable home security system. They should also be willing to sign up for an extremely long contract and understand that the cost is not low.

Vivint

Automation is the name of the game when it comes to Vivint. With professionally installed systems what you get is top-of-the-line and high-tech technology that make old CCTV systems look out of date and laughable.

Features, Plans, and Pricing

There are a lot of options with Vivint when it comes to the type of plan you can choose. There are three monitoring options that offer specific value. Smart Protect, Smart Protect and Control, and Smart Complete all offer secure options.

  • Smart Protect ($29.99 per month) – Basic home protection including fire, theft, and carbon monoxide poisoning. It includes SkyControl Panel and the app along with customized security equipment options.
  • Smart Protect and Control ($39.99 per month) – This includes the same features as the Smart Protect plan but also offers more control and automation features, indoor HD night vision cameras, thermostat control, outdoor surveillance cameras, and smart door locks. The app will allow you to turn on the lights or arm the security system.
  • Smart Complete ($49.99 per month) – Offers video surveillance along with local storage for videos and clips.

Hardware options include four starter packages for equipment and the ability to add anything on as well. The different kits available include the touch screen panel, door sensors, window sensors, motion detectors, glass break detectors, flood detectors, and freeze detectors. All of Vivint’s systems work with Nest Thermostats, Google Homes, and Amazon Echos. Different options include doorbell camera, customizable remote, video cameras, voice-activated home automation, and an element thermostat.

Pros

100% Wireless and Aesthetics

My favorite thing about Vivint is that it does nothing to hurt the aesthetics of your home. Every piece of their equipment is upscale looking – avoiding the chunky white plastic look of alarm systems of old. wireless security cameras The professional installer will make sure everything is where you want it and hides away all wires as the system is 100% wireless making it so no burglar can cut wires.

Available Same Day

A lot can be said about getting something right when you want or need it. When security is a concern an event may have happened that spurred you into action. If that is the case then the sooner the system is set up the better.

Lifetime Warranty

During the terms of agreement, Vivint will repair or service any defective part of your system. This goes a long way when there are a lot of moving parts to a security system.

Extra Features

The total package of a home automation system can’t be undersold. If you have dreams of an automated smart house with a doorbell camera where you can talk to the person at your door and they can talk back then Vivint is a great choice. Checking out your home with video cameras inside and out is an added bonus. On top of that with their remote access and wifi alarm, you can make sure your armed from anywhere.

Cons

No Money Back Guarantee

This just seems wrong to me when a lot of competitors offer this with their service. Especially with the long contracts Vivint wants to lock people into – the least they can do is offer a 30-day window to see if you really like the service.

Professional Installation

Paying for installation when there are other DIY solutions out there seems almost archaic at this point. One of the best aspects of installing a system yourself is the ability to know when, how, and why you put something somewhere. There is nothing worse than seeing something in your house and having no idea why it’s there.

Cost is on the high end

The cost is higher than a lot of other options. You do receive top-notch security but there are alternatives if the cost puts you off.

Long-term contract

The contracts with Vivint are 5 years long. I can’t even be confident most companies will be around in 5 years. With this excessively long-term contract, only the most steady Canadians can really afford to lock themselves in this long.

Curious about how the Vinint home security camera works? Check out a video of a bunch of people dancing in front of it. 😀


3. ADT – Best Value Home Security

Who should use ADT?

ADT is for people who want the safety of the biggest security company out there. Also, anyone looking to save a few bucks on a security program can look to ADT as a solid choice.

ADT

ADT can trace its history back to 1870 when the president of Gold and Stock Telegraph COmpany woke up to a burglar in his home which inspired him to create a telegraph-based alert system. Since then, ADT (under a variety of different names) has been developing and pioneering the home security industry until present day. With six professional monitoring centers open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year you can be sure that this security leviathan has the resources to protect your home.

Features, Plans, and Pricing

ADT comes with the opportunity to choose five main security packages – coming with monitoring and equipment. The prices range from $28 to $59 per month. Canadians must sign a 24 or 36-month contract which is not as long as some competitors. With the base package, you will receive either a hardwired or wireless alarm system with sensors and a wireless remote. On the high-end of ADT’s plans, you can receive video monitoring, automation, and remote controls from your phone.

Pros

6-Month Money-Back Guarantee

This is my favorite thing on this whole list. You can use ADT’s services for six months and if anything goes wrong you can get your money back. Talk about confidence in a product! ADT wants to make sure your safety and security is up to your standards and has a guarantee to back that up. ADT security system tablet

Pricing

Compared to the two options above, ADT offers a relatively cheap service for high-end security seekers in Canada. The way they combine the hardware costs and monitoring plans together makes a lot of sense as well.

Cons

Long-Term Contract

Minimum contract length is two years and in some areas three.

No Self Installation

Professional installation isn’t always bad and ADT recommends that you work with the technician to make sure everything is how you want it. Not being able to install yourself does come as a negative to a lot of people.

Customer Support Reviews

With any massive company comes the concerns of impersonal customer support. There are many people who have complained about a lot of customer support falling through the cracks with bad customer support agents.

Who should use ADT?

ADT is for people who want the safety of the biggest security company out there. Also, anyone looking to save a few bucks on a security program can look to ADT as a solid choice.


4. Bell Smart Home – Best for Bundling with TV, Internet, and Other Services

Who should use Bell Smart Home?

Bell Smart Home is for people who are already using Bell Canada for TV, Internet, and Phone who want to bundle. These are people who have already come to terms with using Bell Canada even though they charge high prices and have poor customer support.

Bell Smart Home

bell smart homeIn 2018, Bell Canada purchased AlarmForce. This has allowed Bell Canada to provide a security option to their customers along with their other offerings.

Features, Plans, and Pricing

Bell Canada provides its customers with four options for their home security service. Prices are affordable ranging from $24.99 to $54.99 per month with options to customize and add extra devices. All plans come with 1 analog keypad, 1 motion detector, and 2 door and window contacts. With upgrades comes the ability to use the mobile app, more detectors and contacts, a touchscreen control panel, other detectors, smart locks, and cameras.

Pros

Save Money by Bundling

This is by far the best thing about Bell Smart Homes. You can save money by bundling with your current TV, internet, or phone plan.

Affordable

Prices are much lower than other security services that are more dedicated to only security.

Can Self-Monitor With High-Tech Equipment

The option to self-monitor comes with the above equipment as well as the opportunity to use high-tech options like Nest Thermostats, Nest Cameras, Google Home, Samsung Connect Home, and Arlo Go.

Cons

Still Working Out the Kinks

With a new acquisition, there are going to be some kinks in the abilities of Bell Canada customer support being able to help you. Being a massive company, Bell Canada doesn’t always have the best support reputation.

Features Don’t Live up to Competitors Unless Self-Monitored

If you’re looking for a run of the mill security system on the cheap then this doesn’t matter as much but the type of high-tech equipment other companies can offer aren’t available unless you are self-monitoring. If you want smart home capabilities the options with Bell Smart Home can get you there but it doesn’t take you as far as Frontpoint and Vivint.

Poor Customer Service

The reputation of Bell Canada is basically that the company is a necessary evil in the country. The customer service provided is horrible for their other services and now with their security system bundled in you will probably receive much of the same.


5. Honeywell’s Smart Home Security Kit – Best Self Monitored Home Security Solution

Who should use Honeywell?

Anyone who thinks that they would rather self-monitor and would like to purchase high-tech equipment that gives many options and features to anyone looking to DIY.

Honeywell

Honeywell’s Smart Home Security Starter Kit is an easy to install a DIY security system that uses an app to send alerts to your phone. In a world where everything can be at your fingertips do you even need a third-party monitoring service?

Features, Plans, and Pricing

The Honeywell Smart Home Security Starter Kit can be purchased for $449 and comes a base station complete with a camera, two sensors for doors and windows, and a remote control key fob. This system is only self-monitored which means if someone does attempt to break in it is up to you to decide what to do. Along with the starter kit, add-ons can be purchased such as more access sensors, an indoor motion sensor, indoor motion viewer, outdoor motion viewer, and extra key fobs. This is the best solution for DIY Canadians who have no interest in paying a monthly fee. honeywell

Pros

All-in-One DIY Home Security

The perfect solution for do-it-yourselfers and people who don’t want to pay a fee. This system provides everything a person could want when it comes to home security and self-monitoring.

High-Tech Equipment

The equipment provided in general is as good as what companies like Frontpoint and Vivint offer in terms of high-tech smart home goodness. The equipment comes complete with a bevy of awesome capabilities that will make arming your house easy.

Facial Recognition

The facial recognition software is honestly next level Big Brother type stuff. Honestly – it’s very cool. If you would like to see if someone has come home when they were expected you can check to see if they’re there with the facial recognition service. They can tell you if someone specific is home and will even alert you if someone else is there and send you a clip so you can see who it is.

Cons

Cost

When it comes to equipment the cost of the system, especially if you want to add anything on, can be high compared to equipment you would get with a service. With that being said you will own all of your equipment and you won’t have to give it back.

Only Self-Monitoring

If you do want a third-party security service to watch over your house this is not the right choice for you.


What’s the Best Home Security System For Canadians?

The best home security system in Canada is Frontpoint Security. Frontpoint security is our number one choice. The home security system company has twelve years of experience. They provide top-level customer service and any feature that could be wanted to protect the home.

image of the ring door bell alarmHow to Automate Home Security?

Automation is easy when using a security service as you just need everything set up and they can monitor everything for you. It becomes a little more difficult when you decide to do it yourself but automation is still possible. Settings such as timers, facial recognition, and family schedules make it possible to have your security system do all the heavy lifting and just send you alerts.

DIY Home Security Systems

The best DIY home security systems for Canadians is the Honeywell Smart Home Security system. DIY security systems allow you to own the hardware and have complete control over monitoring. If you only feel comfortable having yourself monitor your home or if you don’t want to pay a monthly monitoring fee then this is the best choice for you.

Professional Home Security Systems

Professional home security systems mainly allow peace of mind without having to mess with anything yourself. There are companies that will provide all of the hardware necessary, install it for you, and monitor your home for you. There are also security system companies that will allow you to monitor yourself or install your hardware yourself.

How Much Do Security Systems Cost Per Month?

It depends on the company you go with but monitoring packages can be anywhere from $20 to $200 per month as well as hardware set up fees.

Can You Use a Security Camera Instead?

Security cameras are one aspect of a security system. If you’re only using a security camera you are losing out on alarm systems, smart locks, smart doorbells, window and door sensors, as well as glass break sensors.

What About a Video Doorbell?

Video doorbells are a simple security measure that the 21st century makes possible. In Canada, the cold weather makes the sound of the doorbell groan since you have to get up and open the door. On top of that it offers amazing security with recording motion at the door and the ability to check who is there before actually going to the door. The best video doorbells on the market use existing doorbell wiring and are easy to install. The models that you would want to use will be high resolution at 1080p with a wide angle lens, night vision, and cloud storage for video recordings. Our favorite is the Ring Video Doorbell.

What’s the Best Smart Lock?

A smart lock is a great add-on to a fully automated security system. Smart locks use regular door holes and are as easy to install as a regular doorknob. The advantage of smart locks are that they can be locked and unlocked right from your phone and notifications can be sent to you whenever the door is open. Other features include geofencing, voice activation, and integration with other smart devices. Our pick for the best smart lock is the Next X Yale Lock.

Can Home Security Systems be Hacked?

Just like any other modern technology, home security systems can be hacked. To hack a home security system specifically, they would have to be determined. They would have to sit outside of your home and intercept wireless signals to allow them to disable sensors and turn off alarms. If any of your devices are connected via wifi then they can also gain access to your network in general. Even without a security system, this can be done with your at home network. They will use DDoS attacks or hack into your video monitoring. To ensure that this doesn’t happen you can make extremely long passwords with unique symbols, change your password frequently, check security settings, or use an extra layer of protection with encryption software.


Home Security System Reviews – FAQ

How does a glass break detector work?

When a glass break sensor hears the sound of shatter glass an alarm triggers. Glass breaking creates a distinct sound frequency that the sensors pick up.

How does a motion sensor work?

Motion detectors put out a radio or microwave signal across a room. When an object moves in the area the waves impact the sensor is triggered.

Will my location impact which security company I sign up for?

Yes, Canada is a large place geographically. For example, Frontpoint is not available for Canadians in Quebec.

What is life protection?

Life protection is a term used for coverage against certain disasters such as fire, flood, and carbon monoxide monitoring. Each company has slightly different coverage so it is a good idea to check.

What is home automation?

A solution made possible by modern technology that uses high-tech equipment consisting of hardware and software that enables control and management over devices in the home.

Why are wireless home systems better?

Wired home systems require longer installation time, are vulnerable to power outages, and can be cut or tapped into manually.

Do I have to have a monitoring service?

No, there are plenty of options such as the Honeywell Smart Home Security Kit that allow you to self-monitor.

How does facial recognition software work?

A facial recognition software uses biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or video and comes the information with a database of faces it has access to.

How do home security systems protect against fire and floods?

This is done through monitors to sense something such as smoke from a fire and alerts the authorities if anything is sensed.

How else can I protect my home?

Protecting your home starts with common sense. Ensure only trusted individuals know how to work your security system. Next steps can include encryption software as well as other options such as extra warning signs.