Photo: Joshua Goldman / Cnet
SimpliSafe’s easy-to-install, easy-to-use security system is well-positioned as the best home security system when it comes to value. It offers a comprehensive set of features, security cameras and a very good mix of battery-powered sensors, all of which performed reliably well in our tests. Starter kits begin at about $230, or you can build your own custom system with the exact mix of devices you’re interested in. Professional monitoring starts at $15 per month, but you’ll almost certainly want to spring for the $25-per-month plan, which adds in things like mobile app controls and voice support via Alexa and the Google Assistant. That also means that you should go with another pick like Abode or Ring if you don’t want professional monitoring via a monitoring station but still want to control your system from a smartphone app.
Comcast Xfinity Home left us impressed when Cnet senior editor Josh Goldman tested the system at his home in northern New Jersey. It’s a robust, well-thought-out security system that plays nicely with your smart home gear, including longtime favorites like Lutron Caseta light switches and the Nest thermostat. “What Xfinity Home showed me,” Josh wrote, “was how smart home devices make much more sense when fully integrated with the sensors and cameras of a home security system.” You’ll get the best value if you’re willing to bundle Xfinity Home with Comcast’s internet and TV service, but you can use it as a standalone service, too. We also appreciated that the sales approach was less pushy and more helpful than the competition when we gave them a test call. (We were able to get a quote for a home in about 10 minutes, and the only piece of personal info we gave was a ZIP code.)
Nest’s stylish video doorbell is a smart, sleek pick that aced our tests. Features like person detection and geofencing are helpful and easy-to-use, and you can also upgrade to the Nest Aware cloud subscription service to enable facial recognition and access to saved recordings. It’s obviously best for households that have already committed to Google and Nest’s smart home ecosystem, but Nest’s doorbell also works with both Alexa and IFTTT, which helps make it a very solid choice for just about anyone.
The following Cnet staff contributed to this story: Ry Crist, Joshua Goldman, Megan Wollerton, Jim Hoffman and Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit www.cnet.com.