7 Of The Best Home Alarms
All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.
What does a home need to be secure these days?
“There are three things to think about. The first is physical barriers to entry. All points of entry (windows, doors etc) must have strong and secure locks, not only to prevent burglars from entering the home, but to put them off even attempting to do so. Second is visible deterrents. You want would-be burglars to not even think about trying to enter your property. Visible cameras and alarms, CCTV and floodlights are some of the things that stop them from trying their luck. Finally, think about what I call the consequences on entry. There need to be consequences if a burglar does enter your property, such as alarms.” – Robin Knox, security expert & CEO, Boundary
Is an alarm system the best option?
“In my opinion, alarm systems are some of the best tools out there to improve home security. They monitor your home using a suite of sensors like motion sensors and detectors, door and window sensors (also called entry sensors and contact sensors), carbon monoxide detectors, glass break sensors, smoke detectors, security cameras and garage door sensors. If you’re confused, remember security sensors have descriptive names 99% of the time – you usually know what they do by what it says on the tin.” – John Carlson, researcher, Safewise
Are there different types of alarm system?
“Yes, there are four classes:
Professional security systems take a traditional approach that comes with professional installation, has lower starting costs, and almost always requires a long-term monitoring contract. This is the most expensive type of burglar alarm.
DIY home security systems require self-installation. These are perfect for renters since they usually don’t have a contract. Instead, you pay for professional monitoring month to month.
Self-monitored security systems ask you to pay for all equipment up front, but there’s no professional monitoring. They rely on you to respond when an alarm goes off. This is the cheapest kind of alarm system because there are no monthly fees.
Takeover systems use old security system equipment you might have in your house and connect it to security monitoring from a different company.” – John
Finally, security cameras – anything you need to know?
“Adding a security camera or video doorbell to your home alarm system lets you view live footage in your security system’s app. This is convenient if you already have a security system, but it does come with a drawback: you often need to pay for monitoring plans to get the cameras.” – John
Here is SLMan’s pick of the best alarm systems out there today...
BEST ALL ROUNDER: Yale IA-320 Sync Smart Home Security Alarm
This six-piece kit lets you monitor your home security alarm via an app, with live notifications received on your phone and tablet when alarms are triggered or there’s a security breach. The 200m range will span the length of most gardens and there’s also the option to part-arm your property, ensuring pets won’t set off the alarm.
BEST DOORBELL CAMERA: Ring Video Doorbell 3 PLus
There’s a reason the Ring Video Doorbell is a bestseller. With a motion-detecting camera and two-way talk function, it allows you to answer the door and speak to the person at the other end from inside your home or when out and about. Pair it with a smart device like Alexa to get voice announcements when motion is detected outside or the doorbell is pressed.
BEST FOR FEATURES: Nest Hello
Nest’s sleek doorbell alarm acts as a digital concierge for your home, greeting visitors with a pre-recorded message which you control via a phone or tablet. HD video streaming lets you easily see who is at the door, while the night vision feature delivers a crystal-clear picture even in the dark. Professional installation is required, but there’s no monthly monitoring fee once set up.
BEST DISCREET MODEL: Minut
The compact Minut alarm comes with separate sensors for sound, temperature, motion and tampering as well as a mould risk and smoke detector. It has an easy, three-step set-up and can be mounted to the ceiling or wall if you want it out of sight. You can also use the Minut app to monitor multiple properties such as an office or relative’s home.
BEST FOR AFFORDABILITY: Arlo AVD1001-100NAS Essential Video Doorbell
If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable device, opt for Arlo’s video doorbell alarm. It will send you an alert when there’s a car, person or package near your property and users can pay extra for a service that offers quick reactions such as sounding a siren or calling the emergency services. This one is also weather-proof, built to withstand heat, snow, cold and rain.
BEST FOR AN EASY SET-UP: Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit
This is one of the easiest systems to set up, with no professional installation required. Like other devices, you’ll get notifications on your phone when a window is opened from the outside or the intruder siren is set off, as well as when someone enters a room while you’re out. Plus, you can use the range extender to protect your outdoor space.
BEST LOOKING: SimpliSafe The Essentials
This sleek device is one of the most attractive home security systems out there. It includes a base station, wireless keypad, three entry sensors – one for the front door, one for the back door and one for the largest window – and an HD camera. It’s also got a backup power source so you’re protected even if the power goes out, as well as motion sensors that detect the specific heat signature of humans to ensure there are no false alarms caused by animals.
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