Best home security system: the best security kits for greater peace of mind

The best home security systems and starter kits to keep your family and possessions safe, from Ring, Arlo, Panasonic and more

best home security system: Panasonic Smart Home Security
(Image credit: Panasonic)

For those who are really serious about protecting their homes, putting a single security camera on the porch or by the back door just won't be enough.

Thankfully, modern technology has made it possible to have an entire home security system protecting your property for a reasonable price. You can now feel safer with sensors, cameras and more besides all monitoring the inside and outside of your home.

And investing now could really save you from tragedy, with recent research from ElectricalDirect revealing that home burglaries have increased significantly during 2020. The report cites smart locks, motion sensors, video doorbells, night vision cameras and an alarm system as top ways to prevent your home from falling victim.

Not only does this ensure that anyone trying to enter without permission (or getting up to no good outside) can be detected before they get any further, but having these devices will also warn potential criminals not to attempt anything in the first place.

We’ve taken a look at some of the best home security systems available right now to see which ones are best for beginners, security experts, smart homes and more, rating them on what’s included as well as their ability to expand into larger set-ups down the road.

Scroll down to see what we thought and, once you’ve chosen, take a look at our rundown of the best security cameras to help complete your system. 

The best home security systems 2021 

best home security system: Ring Alarm Home Security System

(Image credit: Ring)

1. Ring Alarm Home Security System

Best smart home security system: Ring’s best home security solution

Specifications
Components: Base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector, range extender
Dimensions: 6.6 x 6.6 x 1.4in (base station)
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Room for customisation+Can be connected to other Ring devices
Reasons to avoid
-Security cameras not included

A deserving winner in our home security rankings, the Ring 5-Piece Home Security System is (almost) a one-stop-shop for keeping your home secure.

The set includes a base station, keypad, contact sensor for doors and windows, motion detector and even a range extender for larger homes. The keypad is easily mounted onto a convenient wall, and you can also control the alarm via the Ring app.

Although it doesn’t come with a security camera included, you can hook the system up to other Ring products such as a Ring Video Doorbell, and it’s also simple to use with smart home systems such as Amazon’s Alexa. This compatibility makes it super-easy to build out an wider-ranging system.

If you already have some smart devices in your home and want to make better use of them, then Ring’s offering could be your best choice.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars  ‖  Read our full review of the Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit

best home security system: Panasonic Smart Home Security

(Image credit: Panasonic)

2. Panasonic Smart Home Security

Best home security system with camera: everything you need to protect your home

Specifications
Components: Hub, 2 x window/door sensors, indoor camera, smart plug
Dimensions: 11.4 x 7 x 9in
Weight: 3.3lbs
Reasons to buy
+Includes security camera and smart plug+No subscription charges for storing video
Reasons to avoid
-Additional products will need to be Panasonic 

While some home security systems prioritise sensors and alarms over cameras, the Panasonic Smart Home Monitoring & Control Kit includes a camera for monitoring indoors, with a built-in microphone for 2-way communication and an infrared sensor that can detect movement.

But that's not all you get with this comprehensive system, as another motion sensor is included for monitoring around the whole home, and the twin window/door sensors will alert you when someone enters your home with or without permission.

The smart plug is also an added bonus, allowing you to control things like lights, fans and heaters or anything else you might want to put on a schedule. 

It's an impressive array, with the only drawback being that third-party devices won't work with Panasonic's hub. So make sure you're happy before committing. 

Livingetc rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

best home security system: Arlo Pro 3 Smart Home Security System

(Image credit: Arlo)

3. Arlo Pro 3 Smart Home Security System

Best home security camera system: a 2K HDR security system for indoor or outdoor use

Specifications
Components: Base station, camera x 2
Dimensions: 15.7 x 0.3 x 17.7in
Weight: 2.9lbs
Reasons to buy
+Weatherproof for outdoor use+Built-in siren and spotlight+Wireless set-up
Reasons to avoid
-Just cameras-Expensive

As the price tag suggests, the Arlo Pro 3 Smart Home Security System is a step up from many of its competitors but, offering just security cameras without extra sensors, is most suitable for those just starting to build their system.

The video quality is excellent with night vision and the ability to zoom into footage for a closer look, and there is a built-in siren alarm that can be activated manually from your smartphone.

The newest Arlo model also includes an integrated spotlight, which will help to deter unwanted visitors and aid video capture of any incidents. You can also use the system with Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit.

best home security system: Honeywell Home

(Image credit: Honeywell)

4. Honeywell Home

Best home security system on a budget: a DIY system for those starting out

Specifications
Components: Base station, key fob, access sensor x 2
Dimensions: 2.8 x 1.4 x 1.4in
Weight: 1.1lbs
Reasons to buy
+Built-in Alexa+Easy to set up+Camera built into hub
Reasons to avoid
-Subscription fee for expanded online storage 

With just two access sensors, a base station and a key fob, the Honeywell Home security system is a brilliant place for beginners to start their journey to a safer home.

The space-saving base unit acts as a motion detector that will record crisp 1080p HD video when it senses movement and, if you want video coverage outside, you can connect third-party sensors and cameras to the hub.

And the Honeywell system isn't just compatible with Alexa, it's actually more of a security-focused Alexa device in and of itself, allowing you to access things like Amazon Music, weather information and audiobooks through the base station.

best home security system: Simplisafe Security System

(Image credit: Simplisafe)

5. Simplisafe Security System

Best DIY home security system: a 7-13 piece kit for your whole house

Specifications
Components: Base station, keypad, entry sensors x 3, motion sensors x 2
Dimensions: 12 x 11.2 x 6.8in
Weight: 4.8lbs
Reasons to buy
+Includes largest number of devices+Highly customizable 
Reasons to avoid
-Quite expensive if you want the full set 

A smaller version of Simplisafe’s security system that can be connected almost completely without wires, the 7-piece system (pictured) includes a base station, keypad, three entry sensors and two motion sensors.

5-piece and 13-piece versions are also available.

The multiple sensors mean you can protect multiple areas of your home at once, meaning if you want to add an entry device to your front door, back door and bedroom window, you can do so without paying out for extras.

As said, there are a few different combinations you can try with the 13-piece set being the most comprehensive with a SimpliCam, glass break sensor, wireless siren, panic button and 2 key fobs also included.

The company also claims its devices are smash proof and can run on 4G should your Wi-Fi fail for any reason, providing an additional level of protection.

How do security systems work?

Building on the safety provided by the best security cameras, home security systems include tools such as motion sensors, smart locks and entry sensors that can detect when someone has entered the home - whether they have been invited or not. This makes it much harder for unwanted guests to enter without detection even if they are able to evade a security camera’s field of view.

The biggest role of security devices is no doubt their role as a deterrent as, if potential criminals are faced with a home that has cameras and motion sensors installed, they are less likely to attempt a break-in in the first place.

And now that almost all security systems are connected to smartphones through an app, immediate alerts are now possible even if you're not physically at home.

What are entry sensors? 

You may notice that many of the products listed here include something called an 'entry sensor' or 'access sensor'. These are devices that come in two parts - one attached to a door or window and the other to the wall beside it. These two parts are able to sense when they are close together or far apart so, if the window or door is opened without you knowing, an alert will be initiated. 

What is the best home security system?

Coming in at the top spot is the Ring Alarm Home Security System, a 5-piece set that covers almost everything you need and is easily boosted by devices such as a Ring Doorbell or security cam.