When you install a home security system, you’re hoping that it serves you for years to come. On top of that, many alarm monitoring companies force you to sign contracts that exceed even wireless and cable companies, up to 3 years! So, it pays to do your research and make sure you’re entering into a contract (if you have to) with the right company. After all, in many cases you’ll be stuck with their service for an extended period. And even if you’re not, you’ll likely still be stuck with their alarm installation.
We’ve put the time into research so that you don’t have to. You’ll learn:
- BBB ratings – customer focus of the company
- Product transparency – the ease and availability of comparing features and specifications of the company’s alarms
- Pricing transparency – the ease and availability of shopping for the best contracts and prices
We explain our ratings for the last two columns below the table, if you’re interested. A 5 is the best possible score, and 1 is the worst.
For now, here’s our top 4 (tied for first) with the best BBB scores, clear product specifications, and transparent pricing and contract terms. Each of these companies maxed out the ratings in each category:
Of course, that doesn’t count several of the new companies who haven’t yet established BBB ratings like iSmartAlarm, SmartThings, and Wink. They each maxed out the transparency ratings but weren’t rated by the Better Business Bureau.
Among the monitored companies, there were a few surprises as well. In addition to Simplisafe, both FrontPoint and Alarm Grid also had excellent BBB ratings and good transparency.
Compare the Top Home Alarm Companies of 2015
|System||BBB Rating||Product Transparency||Pricing / Contract Transparency|
|AT&T Digital Life||A+||1||2|
|Comcast Xfinity Home Secure 300||C||4||4|
|FrontPoint Protection Plan||A+||4||2|
|Insteon - site||A+||5||5|
|Iris Smart Kit - site||NR||4||5|
|iSmartAlarm - site||NR||5||5|
|LiveWatch - site||A||2||2|
|Nexia Home - site||A+||5||5|
|Oplink Connected - site||NR||2||3|
|Piper (iControl Networks) - site||F||5||5|
|SimpliSafe - site||A+||5||5|
|SmartThings - site||NR||5||5|
|Vera (Mi Casa Verde)||A+||5||5|
|Viper (DEI Holdings) - site||A+||4||2|
|Quirky Wink Connected Home Hub - site||NR||5||5|
The BBB rates businesses on how many complaints there are against the business and whether or not they work in good faith to resolve those complaints. This gives you an idea of how customer focused the company is.
The product transparency is a subjective rating that we’ve come up with to give you an idea of how easy it will be to compare home security systems offered by the company. A ‘5’ is open kimono, the company places all of the features and specifications of their products on their website. They are proud of what they sell and aren’t afraid for you to comparison shop. A ‘1’, on the other hand, means details are scarce, and you’ll likely have to call to get any information from them. That way, it’s easier to pump sunshine and lemonade and push for an immediate, impulse purchase. And, I could add, “Oh, by the way, nothing our sales representatives tell you on the phone is legally binding.”
Pricing transparency is also rated from 1 to 5 and judges whether monitoring costs as well as equipment installation and sensors costs are readily available. A ‘5’ means that you’ll know exactly how much each sensor costs to purchase and how much you’ll be paying each month. A ‘1’ means that you may know some details, the they really want to pitch you their product on the phone and make it difficult for you to comparison shop.
Hopefully, that made your search for the top home alarm company easier. Check out our alarm system comparison page to compare home security systems offered based on features and costs.
If we saved you time by putting this info in one place, say thanks by sharing it!
Have an experience about one of these companies that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.