Seamless and simple security systems for small businesses are essential. I tested the leading small-business security systems, sat through demos, and evaluated customer reviews. I also compared pricing and features.
I’m a passionate security practitioner with eight years of experience in the cybersecurity industry. I work as a technical security engineer and as an architect instructor.
I surveyed and spoke with past and current power users of each platform to get real-world feedback and took it into account in my review.
How I Rated the Best Security System Providers
Automation and integrations, plus wireless support
The most valuable function of a security system is to help you protect and streamline your company assets. So, I looked for products that provided:
Automation tools like ticket routing and critical event flagging.
Integration tools to popular products such as Alexa and Nest.
Robust reporting abilities.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) as well as professional installation options
Remember that some security systems are tailored toward home use — not small businesses — and should be properly evaluated against that criteria.
Subscription-based or one-time purchase options
Some security solutions offer subscription-based, 24/7 monitoring that will respond if there is ever an intrusion at your business. Others do not. It’s important to understand your use cases and determine a plan if there’s ever a break-in.
Another essential security system feature is a self-service option that empowers customers to help themselves without contacting your customer service desk. These features include knowledge bases and help centers, where customers can find static information and answers to frequently asked questions.
Security systems are a significant financial investment, so it’s essential to test them to determine if they will fit your company’s needs. It also allows you to evaluate its user interface. Some critical questions to ask:
Is it an intuitive platform?
Does it have a steep learning curve?
How quickly can I train my team to use it?
Depending on your business size and use case, some options may be better than others. Some DIY providers have a one-time cost to purchase hardware, while others include monthly fees for maintenance, management, and monitoring costs.
The Top Five Security Systems for Small Businesses
SimpliSafe is an extremely popular security company with products designed for homes or small businesses. It’s a smart security system that you can customize and has a competitive price.
Starting price: $135 (one-time purchase)
Wireless support: Yes
Money-back guarantee: 60 days
Cancellation: Same day
SimpliSafe maintains a reputation for ease of use and intuitive wireless products. The system is easy to set up and uses peel-and-stick adhesive strips. The base station comes with a built-in wireless cell connection that communicates via the Verizon or T-Mobile networks. There’s also power outage protection.
SimpliSafe is compatible with smart devices like Alexa, Google Home, Apple Watch, August Smart Locks, and more. Its cheapest plan is a $135 one-time purchase and offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
You can add a-la-carte components that can be purchased as your business grows. Add-ons include motion detectors, doorbell video cameras, glass breakage sensors, surveillance cameras (indoor only), smoke and water leak detectors, freezing temperature detectors, and panic buttons.
When I was going through the process of setting up a SimpliSafe system, I loved that the DIY instructions were easy to follow and system testing was a breeze. For the issues I ran into (regarding some Wi-Fi challenges), the SimpliSafe support was very responsive and helpful in getting the Wi-Fi reset (even though it wasn't their equipment).
Who is SimpliSafe best for?
My testing showed that SimpliSafe is great for small-business owners. If you are just starting, signing up for a SimpliSafe starter plan won't go wrong. It’s easy on your pocket and comes with all the right tools, such as 24/7 monitoring, wireless tech, and smart integrations. As your company grows, you can easily upgrade your services with individual add-ons as well.
Recent upgrades to SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe is continuously providing users with firmware updates to its camera systems as well as supporting tech. It also offers a community portal where you can post any issues or bugs you may be experiencing within the portal or while using SimpliSafe.
SimpliSafe’s pricing provides one of the best upfront rates: $135 for a one-time purchase. This rate can also be financed through Affirm if needed. You can also add on services as you go, including 24/7 monitoring or even additional cameras. Compared with competitors such as ADT and Vivint, SimpliSafe is one of the more affordable with the included features it provides.
Vivint is a wireless small business security system with 24/7 monitoring. The monthly price includes professional installation as well as monitoring through its mobile app. Vivint also supports integration with all major smart devices including Google Home, Amazon Echo, and even its own smart hub device.
Starting price: $10 a month for basic bundle
Wireless support: Yes
Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Cancellation: Call to cancel
Vivint offers one of the best feature suites for a security system. Components include security cameras, doorbell cameras, outdoor cameras, smoke detectors, and water sensors. Store automation products include smart thermostats and smart locks. It also offers a carbon monoxide detector, which integrates with the overall system to ensure your employees remain safe from toxins.
Vivint is integrated into products like Amazon Echo and Google Home to help transition into devices you may already have in place. Vivint supports native two-way audio on these devices to allow for remote monitoring and response if the need ever arises.
It also comes with a suite that offers incentives for specific bundles. The more you add on, the more you save. The Vivint system installer I worked with was knowledgeable and willing to help explain the system.
Who is Vivint best for?
My testing showed that Vivint is great for established businesses that want to streamline their security system setup. If you are just starting, you may find some of the bundles a bit pricey and the professional service installation unnecessary. If desired, it comes with tools such as cameras, alarms, and sensors. As your company grows, you can easily upgrade your bundle plan.
Recent upgrades to Vivint
Vivint provides users the power to control when firmware updates are pushed out to ensure coverage is not unexpectedly interrupted. Some of the more recent updates include weather alerts in the SkyControl hub, remote access control in the smart home app, and a fix to the “make a payment” section in My Account.
Vivint prices start around $10 a month for the basic package and increase depending on features and devices. The company often offers incentives for new consumers like a free device, a $50 gift card, or $0 activation fees. All tiers come with professional service installation.
Frontpoint offers self-installed smart security systems with automated technology and 24/7 monitoring. Supports home automation via smart door locks, garage door openers, smart light bulbs, and temperature controls. Equipment includes cameras, keypads, motion sensors, glass breakage sensors, carbon monoxide sensors, flood sensors, and smoke and heat sensors.
Starting price: $4 a month
Wireless support: Yes
Money-back guarantee: 30-day trial
Cancellation: Full refund within 30 days
Unlike SimpliSafe and Abode, Frontpoint offers the best outdoor cameras provided by a monitoring service. And it has the ability to integrate your current locks and devices with its home automation hub for further control. It also offers a range of automation accessories, including smart locks, light bulbs, light controls, and a panic alert pendant.
Similarly to SimpliSafe, Frontpoint is one of the only services that provide both DIY and managed installation to work with your skills and schedule. Frontpoint’s included mobile app allows you to monitor and manage your assets from anywhere you have cell service.
Frontpoint was very responsive when I was having issues during the installation process with the control panel. Frontpoint overnighted the panel to me the next day, free.
Who is Frontpoint best for?
Testing showed that Frontpoint is especially good for beginners. If you are just starting out, you won’t go wrong signing up for a Frontpoint starter pack plan. It allows you to choose DIY or managed monitoring and comes with tools such as a motion sensor, keypad, window sensor, and home defense kit. You can also upgrade your plan whenever your company expands.
Recent upgrades to Frontpoint
Some of the latest Frontpoint improvements include updates to its Apple Watch app as well as a wireless lighting control guide.
Frontpoint is less expensive than its competitors. Its services begin at $4 per starter bundle with an annual plan and jump to $11 per month for the largest bundle. This is the least expensive of the entry-level plans from SimpliSafe and Abode. The basic bundle does come with a hub, keypad, and three sensors.
Abode offers a build-your-own security package, which makes it easy to choose the components you need to protect your business. Their components are similar to SimpliSafe and include glass breakage detectors, occupancy detectors, open window sensors, indoor and outdoor sirens, water sensors, and smoke alarms. Unlike other systems, which only alert you if something is wrong, this system tells you if someone is on the premises, no matter what they’re doing.
Starting price: $199 (one-time purchase)
Wireless support: Yes
Money-back guarantee: No
Cancellation: 30-day cancellation
Abode is one of the most obvious choices for automation. In testing, I could easily create automations from my mobile device to perform actions like opening the garage door or even turning on lights when a door opens. Abode also integrates with all smart appliances like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Sonos, and its proprietary home kit solution.
One of the coolest features is its ability to detect occupancy within your home or office called Z-Wave. Z-Wave offers the ability to integrate with any smart systems you already own to create seamless connections across your entire home or office.
When I was going through the installation and configuration process, I was impressed by how simple and robust the home automation features were. I was able to create reactive automations for specific actions like if a security alarm was triggered or if the main power went down.
Who is Abode best for?
My testing showed that Abode is great for beginners. I found that you can’t go wrong signing up for a standard plan. It comes with tools such as unlimited cameras, video storage, home automation, and more. Abode is the best fit for new, smaller companies that believe they will continue to grow.
Recent upgrades to Abode
Abode has a product release log that provides updates every two weeks on front-end and back-end enhancements. Some of the latest fixes include push messages corrections, bug and stability improvements, and an overhaul of the mobile dashboards for device management.
Abode is more expensive than its competitors. Services start at $199 for the standard setup. Adding features or devices will increase the bill. This is double the cost of entry-level plans from SimpliSafe and Frontpoint, which also offer a DIY plan. It seems Abode is tailored toward beginners who do not want to deal with management as much as other plans.
ADT is known for its wired security solutions. Features include intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance, fire protection, and cybersecurity solutions. They also offer a risk assessment to figure out your security and automation needs before installation.
Starting price: $149 (one-time purchase)
Wireless support: Yes, but newer
Money-back guarantee: After six months of use and attempted fixes
Cancellation: Six months
ADT is one of the founders in home and office security systems. Unfortunately, they are a bit behind. The following are some of the features that they do have going for them.
In the face of upstart competitor SimpliSafe and other DIY security solutions, ADT has released wireless products called Pulse and ADT Command. With the mobile app, you can remotely control lighting and door locks in addition to receiving alerts. This also opens the door for full cellular setup in the future, reducing the need for professional services.
Since ADT has a large device presence and encourages customers to use its products, it can offer you coverage up to 128 zones, ideal for larger businesses. ADT offers other business solutions outside of traditional security monitoring. It provides fire control, remote access services, and even a suite of cybersecurity products that can be included in your plan.
When I tested the ADT package, the process was fast. The crew was in and out quickly, and the audio and video quality from a remote location worked great. I was unable to test contacting the police or fire department without an actual emergency, but I feel confident that ADT is one of the main players in this space for a reason.
Who is ADT best for?
My testing showed that ADT is great for larger businesses that need a company to set up and manage their systems. I found that if you are just starting out, you’ll have a hard time affording ADT. It includes tools such as fire protection and cybersecurity products, as well as an all-in-one solution.
Recent upgrades to ADT
ADT is continuously working on updating and improving the services they offer. This starts with a constant effort to keep their wired services running smoothly and without fail. ADT has recently launched its own wireless service to try to capture more of that market.
ADT is more expensive than competitors. Its services run from $199 per its standard package; Prices only rise from there depending on adding services like fire protection or cybersecurity coverage. This is double the cost of entry-level plans from SimpliSafe and Frontpoint. It requires a professional to install, which is why I’ve rated ADT the lowest on the list.
I test each security system by signing up and purchasing a plan to check out what each provider offers new users. I also explore how easy it is to navigate around each brand's dashboard and mobile application. I pay a great deal of attention to the support provided.
I weigh the details and rank each security system solution based on the quality of its features and how transparent the company is regarding its products.
It's crucial to pick a security system you can trust, so I focus on whether each provider presents its products honestly, clearly, and transparently. I compare the features each company claims it offers to what I have access to once I begin using their service.
I base my decision on a provider's cheapest standard plan as a starting point.
I then focus on the amount of coverage each system includes, how many devices it comes with, popular built-in integrations, and its ability to do automation.