Your home should be the place where you feel the safest; one of the best ways to achieve this peace of mind is by installing a security system. But having a contractor come to your home might not be ideal, and some systems are expensive to have installed. The good news is there’s another option.
Wireless home security systems are the way of the future. These systems use Wi-Fi, radio signals, and cellular service to keep your home safe. All the while, wires are kept to a bare minimum, making it very easy for a homeowner or renter to install the components themselves. Keep reading to learn more about these safety solutions and how to choose the best wireless home security system for your dwelling.
- BEST OVERALL: Ring Alarm 14-piece kit (2nd Gen)
- RUNNER-UP: SimpliSafe 12 Piece Wireless Home Security System
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: SimpliSafe 8 Piece Wireless Home Security System
- BEST APP-BASED CAMERAS: Blink Outdoor – wireless HD security camera
- BEST SELF-MONITORED: eufy Security 5-Piece Home Alarm Kit
- BEST HARD-DRIVE CAMERAS: eufy Security, eufyCam 2C 2-Cam Kit
- BEST FOR APARTMENTS: GE Personal Security Alarm Kit
- BEST ADD-ON: Ring Spotlight Cam Battery HD Security Camera
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Wireless Home Security System
Keeping a home safe and secure is serious business, and it takes some thought. Before rushing out and buying the first wireless security system you see, there are quite a few factors worth considering. The following section will outline the most important points to consider when choosing the best wireless home security system.
Professional vs. Self-Monitored Systems
When choosing the best wireless home security system, it’s important to consider whether professional monitoring is a factor. With monitored systems, a third-party alarm company will alert the resident (and authorities) to armed windows and doors opening, glass breaking, and in some cases, fire alarms. With a self-monitored system, all alerts go through an app.
Monitored systems typically come with monthly fees, but they are able to get help to the house, in the form of the fire department or police, if you’re unable to call. With self-monitored systems, there is rarely a monthly cost, but it’s up to the alarm system owner to contact the authorities in an emergency.
There are also completely unmonitored, stand-alone systems that just alert locally. These systems are inexpensive and can be helpful for renters or college students.
For a wireless home security system to work, the device needs to communicate with a central panel or a monitoring app. That means it needs to connect to Wi-Fi or have built-in radio or cellular signals. Typically, even the systems that rely on Wi-Fi still have device-to-device communication through radio signals, meaning they’ll alert anyone who’s home to a break-in, even if the Wi-Fi is down.
Just beware that most systems require 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, not 5G. Most modern routers can produce both networks, but if you’re having a hard time connecting, ensure that you’re using the 2.4GHz option.
Smart Home Integration
Many of the best wireless home security systems offer smart-home technology integration, which increases user convenience tremendously. Instead of walking to a control panel or taking out their phone, system owners can use their digital assistant to check the status of their system and arm it; voice disarms are rare, for security reasons.
There are systems that work with Google Assistant, Alexa, IFTTT programming, and Apple HomeKit, but very few systems work with all of them. Also, once you find a system that works with your preferred assistant, you will then have to link the device’s app with your assistant.
While choosing a wireless home security system, pay attention to the components that come with the kit. Many kits are comprehensive, while others are simply starter kits. Some components to look for are:
- Window and door sensors: These magnet-activated sensors attach around door jambs and windows, and they alarm when the sensor and magnet become separated.
- Motion sensors: Motion sensors detect movement, making them excellent for large rooms, as they can cover a lot of area with one detector. They’re also helpful when built into floodlights and cameras.
- Cameras: Some security systems only use cameras, whether they be indoor or outdoor. These cameras typically have motion sensors that trigger the camera to start recording. Some even feature night vision.
- Video doorbells: Another version of the camera, video doorbells activate when they detect motion, but they also allow for two-way communication when someone presses the doorbell.
- Smoke and CO detectors: Some kits also include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, helping make the home that much safer.
For camera-based security systems, or systems that simply offer camera compatibility, the ability to access and review recordings is everything. Some systems store video recordings on an app, allowing users to refer back to them for a certain period of time (30 days, for example). Others use external hard drives, holding video recordings for as long as there is room on the drive.
As to which choice is better, consider this: If someone were to break into your home, they could steal the hard drive, and you’d have nothing to offer the police. But, app-based storage is always available, and no one can steal a cloud.
Plenty of wireless home security systems offer additional features or add-ons that might make them more attractive to prospective buyers. For instance, some systems have keyless entry remotes that arm and disarm a system similar to a vehicle remote. Others have sirens that alert would-be burglars, residents, and neighbors to the situation.
Other features might include motion-activated lights with built-in cameras, glass-break sensors that detect when a window is broken, and base stations with battery backup. And, since most of the best wireless home security systems are modular, you can add devices and sensors as your needs require them.
Gone are the days of a technician coming to your home, drilling holes in your floors and walls, and running off-white–colored wires along your baseboards. One of the great benefits of wireless home security systems is that they’re incredibly easy to install—you can do it yourself.
Most sensors install with double-sided tape, allowing users to install them on any entry point without drilling holes. And, with wireless control pads, homeowners can add each device individually as they walk around the home with their control pads in hand. In short, these systems are truly DIY security systems; if you can follow the prompts on a control pad, you can install these systems.
Our Top Picks
With that primer on wireless home security systems, choosing the best system becomes a bit easier. To make the task even easier, check out the following list. It consists of some of the best wireless home security systems on the market. Be sure to keep all the top considerations in mind when choosing one of these systems.
Alarm system shoppers searching for a comprehensive wireless home security solution should give the 14-piece kit from Ring Alarm a look. This kit comes with enough devices for most two- to four-bedroom homes, and setting up is incredibly simple: Just download the app, plug in the base station, connect it to Wi-Fi, and then install the sensors.
This kit comes with eight entry sensors, two keypads, two motion sensors, the base station, and a loud siren to startle intruders and alert the residents. The Ring Alarm app functions with Alexa, allowing you to arm and disarm with voice commands. The app also sends notifications to phones to keep users in the loop. But if notifications aren’t enough, the monthly fees for monitoring are affordable. Also, the Ring base offers both Wi-Fi and cellular signaling as well as a battery backup for power outages.
When it comes to a comprehensive system with a simple setup, SimpliSafe’s 12-piece Wireless Home Security System is worth checking out. This set comes with five entry sensors for doors or windows, two motion sensors, a panic alarm, a keyless remote, the base station with a built-in siren, and a 1080p camera.
Setting up the SimpliSafe system is straightforward. After plugging in the base station and downloading the app, users can program individual sensors using the keypad or the app.
Also, SimpliSafe is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. Users will be able to access the system, including the camera, from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. This system functions on both cellular and Wi-Fi and features a battery backup, ensuring the home is always secure. Also, if monitoring is a desire, monthly rates are affordable.
Not all alarm system shoppers need a full-blown system. For those that would prefer a light but capable wireless home security system, SimpliSafe’s 8 Piece Wireless Home Security system fits the bill. This kit includes four entry sensors, a siren, the base station, the keypad, and a panic button, offering a solid foundation for a modular alarm system.
This system from SimpliSafe utilizes the company’s easy setup, requiring the user to download the app, plug in the base station, and add devices with the keypad or app. Also, SimpliSafe works with both Alexa and Google Assistant, making it easy to integrate with smart-home technology. But if the app isn’t enough, SimpliSafe also offers affordable rates for monitoring.
For those who would prefer to monitor their homes with cameras or add cameras to an existing smart-home system, Blink Home Security’s Blink Outdoor Camera system might be just the ticket. This set comes with three wireless, weather-resistant cameras with HD recording, offering visual coverage over large properties. It also comes with a sync module for linking the cameras to Wi-Fi. And, with infrared night vision and up to 2 years of life on two AA batteries (which are included), there’s really no sacrifice over a wired kit.
Using the Blink Home Monitor app, users can access their security cameras in real-time as well as speak to visitors with two-way audio. Setup is simple as well, requiring the user to plug in the sync module, download the app, and connect it to Wi-Fi. Once connected, the Blink Outdoor system will operate with Alexa, giving users the ability to access their cameras on Amazon-connected devices with their voices.
For those who would prefer to avoid monthly monitoring fees but would still like to protect their homes, eufy’s Security 5-Piece Home Alarm Kit is an attractive option. This kit comes with eufy’s HomeBase base station, a motion sensor, and two entry sensors, offering a high-quality system to build on.
With the eufy Security app, users have full control over their alarm system, offering real-time, self-monitoring capabilities. The eufy app sends alerts upon alarm activation, giving the user the option to call the authorities or not—all without a monthly fee. Also, users can program custom protection modes, offering adjustable sensitivity for motion sensors, activating certain devices, and more. Should a bigger system be necessary, eufy offers cameras, additional entry sensors, and more as additional purchases.
Finding a reliable hard-drive–based wireless home security camera system can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. But with eufy’s Security eufyCam system, onboard storage and advanced cameras are a go. This kit includes two cameras and eufy’s HomeBase 2 base station, which records events internally on its 16GB memory card, offering up to 3 months of storage.
This camera system works with eufy’s app, providing alerts and real-time video access. These cameras also feature human detection as well as two-way audio for communicating with guests or trespassers. The eufy Security cameras have long-lasting batteries, offering up to 180 days on one 5-hour charge.
Whether it’s an apartment, dorm room, or an office, the GE Personal Security Alarm Kit offers a simple but effective method for securing a space. This stand-alone kit doesn’t work with any digital assistants or apps. The kit comes with three entry sensors and a keypad with a built-in siren for a truly simple design.
This system is one of the easiest wireless home security systems to install. All a user has to do is insert batteries and flip a switch to activate the device. While there aren’t any central monitoring and apps to offer, the 120-decibel alarm is very loud, alerting whomever’s home to an intruder.
Adding a camera to a home security system is an excellent way to round out your home security game, and Ring’s Spotlight Cam Battery HD Security Camera might be the way to go. This kit comes with one camera for installing near a door, over a driveway, or other areas of a home. The camera offers 1080HD recording and “Live View” for real-time monitoring.
The Ring Spotlight cam has a motion sensor that detects movement, activates lights, and sends alerts to the user’s phone. With two-way audio, the user can speak to the guest or intruder in real-time or choose to activate a built-in siren. And, when programmed with Alexa, users can pull up live video on their Alexa-enabled screens via voice commands.
FAQs About Wireless Home Security Systems
Now that you know a bit more about the best wireless home security systems, there might still be a few lingering questions that need to be addressed. The following is a collection of some of the most frequently asked questions about wireless home security systems, so check for an answer to your question below.
Q. Are wireless home security systems safe?
Most wireless home security systems use advanced encryption, keeping hackers from accessing them and making them very safe.
Q. How far can wireless security cameras transmit?
There are many variables that come into play, like brick or concrete walls, the router’s strength, and more. In general, many of the best cameras are suitable for installation in a 3,000-square- foot home without Wi-Fi extenders.
Q. Can I still store my video recordings if I go with a wireless home security system?
Yes. Many manufacturers offer app-based storage, while others use built-in memory cards.
Q. Do wireless security systems work during power outages?
Most wireless security systems feature battery backups to keep the house secure, though they might not be able to push notifications to a user’s phone if the Wi-Fi is down.