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Best No-Contract Home Security Systems of 2020

Joshua Hilsberg
August 8, 2020

The majority of people always seek the advantage of purchasing a useful product, and security systems are not the exception. Big families, individuals, as well as people who have treasure-like items at home can indeed benefit from them. Yet, there is one huge problem that if you are not aware of how to make the best choice, there is a long-term contract you can easily be compelled to sign. However, there is no necessity to bound yourself with such treaties, so we, the team of Espysecurity, decided to review the best commitment-free security systems of 2020. If you are a “hesitating” buyer, get comfortable, and find a perfect fit for your particular case!

Best for Upgrades

#1 Vivint

Total Score 9.5/10


  • Compatibility with Amazon Echo/Google Home
  • Pro installation
  • In-home Automation

Best for Newbies

#2 SimpliSafe

Total Score 9.4/10


  • Burglary Monitoring
  • Easy Set-up
  • 2-month money-back guarantee

Best for Personalization

#3 Abode

Total Score 9.2/10


  • Compatibility with Zigbee, Z-Wave, Philips Hue, Google Home
  • Top-notch Customer Support
  • Wide Selection of Equipment

What We Did To Find The Best

Choosing a security system may be time-consuming, especially when you have never had experience with one. We decided to facilitate your search and selection with this article, so we assessed the systems, taking into consideration their key metrics, including features/equipment, customer support, pricing, usability, and trust ratings. Beyond that, all of them come with no contract, so you will not need to worry about a 3-year-lasting burden (usually, such contracts are signed for this time-frame). The rating of the systems is based on customers’ feedback and our independent evaluation. Please, feel free to refer to our article before you make up your decision.

Below, find furtherly-reviewed key metrics of each security system.


Functional Features

0-10

Around-the-clock monitoring, fall/weather/disaster protection, etc



Usability

0-10

DIY or pro installation, easy to use devices, etc


Affordability

0-10

Activation/monthly fee, reimbursement of money, etc



Customers’ Support

0-10

24/7 support, the time-frame of answers, virtual help with installation, etc


Customers’ Score

0-10

Customers’ feedback from BBB.org, Trustpilot, etc

All the providers gained a certain score from 1 to 10 for each key metric, as well as a total score. At the beginning of our review, you could also see the top-picks that will fit best three categories of potential clients. Keep in mind that we provide an independent assessment with no paid promotion from one or another provider. Beyond that, all the providers can modify or improve their systems. That is why our review is based on the data gathered in June 2020.

Top 7 Best No-Contract Security Systems — No Commitment And Depot Of Features

The providers of home security systems, mentioned below, have gained respect within many clients especially due to their no-contract features. Check out their brief but informative descriptions and decide on the best system for your protection, safety, and peace of mind.

1. Vivint — Best for Upgrades

Total Score 9.5/10

Features

9.5/10



Equipment

9.5/10



Price

9.5/10



Ease of Use

10.0/10



Trust Score

10.0/10




BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Upgrades

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

3 days

Vivint Smart Home is a company established in 1999. Previously, it provided security systems with long-term contracts, but now they diversified their offer. Vivint is famous for its fancy and cool equipment, which is an examplar of high-end technology without exaggeration.

The company offers three plans and flexible pricing. One can opt for basic security equipment or choose the entire smart-home protection. Compared to other providers, the prices may still seem uptilted, but they are definitely worth the expenditure with their top-notch quality of products.

Pros:

  • Compatibility with Amazon Echo/Google Home
  • Pro installation
  • Home Automation
  • Customizable kits
  • Free of charge estimates

Cons:

  • Fees for installation
  • Non-effective refund
  • Door to door promotions

Although Vivint offers DIY installation, the clients can also request for pro installation to figure how the system works in full detail. Still, such help from the company comes with expenses that are comparatively low, but unsettling for some, especially if you choose a plan that costs about $29–$54 per month. Nevertheless, it is worth it, as the quality of their products is far above the average.

Other pros of Vivint are their options for integration and compatibility. The clients can easily integrate or pair their current devices with Vivint home products. Beyond that, the company leaves room for add-on features if you want to cover a vast surveillance area. Still, the most appealing factor is that you can access the system with no taxing commitment.


2. SimpliSafe — Best For Newbies

Total Score 9.4/10

Features

10.0/10



Equipment

9.0/10



Price

10.0/10



Ease of Use

9.0/10



Trust Score

10.0/10




BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Newbies

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

SimpliSafe is one of those companies that will definitely number one introduce the clients with no previous experience with domestic security to the world of home security systems. The company first entered the market back in 2006, and as of now,  it offers no-contract systems that guarantee full protection. However, there is a condition to such a hassle-free option — they require an upfront fee for all the equipment you are to use. But this payment is set to free clients from monthly extra payments. Also, you can cancel it anytime.

SimpliSafe also fits renters. Traditionally, providers do not work with those who rent or rent out, while SimpliSafe changed this. Their systems are easy-to-set as well as easy-to-use. No need for background tech knowledge. The icing on the cake is that their motion sensor is convenient for pet owners (whose pets move about literally everywhere), so it will not go off as it usually happens with cheaper sensors.

Pros:

  • Burglary Monitoring
  • Easy Set-up
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Fit renters
  • Wireless and non-wireless features
  • Fall/weather/disaster protection

Cons:

  • Basic equipment
  • High upfront fees
  • Wide assortment hard to choose from

SimpliSafe boasts their simplicity, as they do not attempt to reinvent the wheel. Still, their products perfectly fit families who need basic daily protection. Furthermore, the company may be proud of the level of its customer support team. Reviewing the feedback, there prevail positive experiences reported by the current clients, who only tend to recommend their security systems. What also is worth mentioning — they also feature burglary protection, which comes with a powerful siren.

You can contribute with upfront fees (around $230–$500 but it may differ), and access their 2-month money-back guarantee. All in all, it is a decent company to start using security systems with, and it provides total protection with reliable basic features.


3. Abode — Best For Personalization

Total Score 9.2/10

Features

10.0/10



Equipment

9.0/10



Price

9.5/10



Ease of Use

7.5/10



Trust Score

8.0/10




BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Personalization

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Abode is a relatively new player in the home security systems industry. The company was founded in 2014 by a former worker of ADT company. They are famous for customizable or personalized kits,  which come with the no-contract option, too. A client will pay only for what they subscribed to. Their systems fit both small and large apartments or even houses. As we found out, users report their stellar experience of pairing the devices with Zigbee, Z-Wave, Philips Hue, Google Home, as well as they admire high-quality video for surveillance. Yet, it is only of 1080 HD standard.

You can connect their IOTA station to your mobile app through Wi-Fi and control everything that is going on at home.

Pros:

  • Compatibility with Zigbee, Z-Wave, Philips Hue, Google Home
  • Top-notch customer support
  • A wide selection of equipment
  • Fit renters
  • Refund policies
  • High quality of the video

Cons:

  • Extra expenses
  • The live recording comes as an extra option only
  • Does not always fit large apartments and houses

Newbies who plan to choose Abode should be ready to commit with $199–$329 upfront, while the monthly fees will be only $3–9. The company offers DIY installation for all the features and products. Beyond that, one can pick environmental sensors and detectors, including those for smoke/humidity levels as well as basic thermostats. If one requires confidentiality in terms of the systems, or as they do not want someone to notice these devices, they can opt for ultra-small detectors. Notably, even the basic packages have integrations and, for example, a 3 day of media storage, that will come in handy during the trial period when you want to check the total performance of systems.

If you are afraid of expenses when buying their plan, the Abode team can visit you for monitoring and tell the total cost of all the products you may need. Such a service is not free, but, for sure, it will not cause your bankruptcy.


4. Ring — Best For Clients With Low Income

Total Score 9.0/10

Features

10.0/10



Equipment

9.0/10



Price

9.5/10



Ease of Use

8.5/10



Trust Score

8.5/10




BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Clients With Low Income

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

The story of the company`s foundation is truly engaging. The Ring is believed to have been founded when its owner had experienced a scare of his life in his own house. Back then, he came up with an idea to create a system to avoid such negative consequences, using high-quality security systems. And, people living with Ring really feel safe and sound as if they lived in a fortress.

Ring does not offer anything outworldly. They have basic equipment which is easy to use. They offer mobile compatibility, professional self-monitoring, and cheap plans that start from $9.99 only. All the Ring’s products have a 1-year warranty, and they fit both small and huge apartments and houses.

Pros:

  • Affordability in everything
  • Self- and Professional Monitors
  • Easy-to-install/use
  • Mobile App
  • A doorbell camera

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • Camera bugs

Their products support Alexa and Z-Wave, but as of now, there are no more integrations one can use daily. A potential client could choose from 2 plans/packages that all are stuffed with 5–14 pieces of equipment. Range extender, sensors, base station are easy to install. As for security cameras, there are many, including the doorbell (comes with two-way audio, night vision, and noise sensors), stick-up, and spot security camera. Users can put them up wherever it is necessary.

Finally, Ring provides the clients with fall/weather/disaster protection and a designated mobile application where other clients of this home security system can interact with each other. But, it will show only the clients who live nearby.


5. Nest — Best for Integrations

Total Score 8.9/10

Features

9.0/10



Equipment

10.0/10



Price

8.5/10



Ease of Use

8.0/10



Trust Score

9.5/10




BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Integrations

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

The nest is literally a  child of Google. This provider works with full automation and integrations to ensure the users have the utmost protection. They offer many products including thermostats and cam-locks. The plans vary in cost and may start at $19/monthly; however, the start-with plan will cost $29.

Nest works with Brink’s monitors. Beyond that, as to other prices of equipment, users claim that they are high but justified. Nest offers flexibility in canceling and freezing the plans if you are temporarily or permanently in need of them. It is no surprise that Google’s brand has built-in intelligence, so families or individual users can enjoy the feature that allows minimizing false alarms. The installed camera remembers all the regular sounds, noises as well as movements of people who live in the house, and it ensures the security alarm system does not turn on alerts upon detecting one of them.

With the mobile app, users can switch off the system when they are away.

Pros:

  • Hi-tech design
  • Brink’s monitors
  • False alarm intelligence (Passive Infrared)
  • Range extenders/thermostats
  • Warranty

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • High upfront fees fee

Nest is also famous for its thermostat product which is armed or disarmed whenever you are at home or away. It helps to cut down the electricity bills. And, their cameras provide excellent quality of real-time monitoring.

Some users report high upfront fees; however, they are justified, indeed. Not only will the company no charge you monthly for extra-services, but they will not bound you to commit in the form of contracts, either. Beyond that, there will not be any cancellation expenses.


6. Scout Alarm — Best for Automation 

Total Score 8.9/10

Features

8.5/10



Equipment

9.0/10



Price

8.5/10



Ease of Use

8.5/10



Trust Score

10.0/10




BBB Rating A+


  • Best As A Newcomer

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

Cove was founded in 2018, and since that time it has impressively gained recognition among the clients, with a 4.8 rating on Google and A rating with BBB. Many people would think twice before choosing a new company for their home protection; however, it is definitely not about Cove. They offer two plans which start at $14 and $24. Beyond that, there are many add-on`s, including mobile remote control and notification, a warranty which is LIFETIME, and available integrations. They did their best to remain competitive with many other providers.

Pros:

  • Affordable plans
  • Customizable options
  • Amazing feedback
  • Medical pendants
  • Pro monitoring
  • Warranty

Cons:

  • Few integrations only
  • The mobile remote control is not free

Scout’s products are pretty easy-to-use, but some users report having a little complexity, so if you are not tech-knowledgeable, you are most likely to struggle at first. Otherwise, the company ensured to post tutorials on their official website. Besides, they are good in terms of integrations including voice commands and remote control.

The company is still new in the market and lacks customers’ feedback to understand what reality is, in terms of products’ performance and longevity. But, with affordability and no-contract option — Scout is one good choice.


8. Cove — Best As A Newcomer

Total Score 8.9/10

Features

8.0/10



Equipment

7.5/10



Price

9.0/10



Ease of Use

9.5/10



Trust Score

8.0/10




BBB Rating A+


  • Best As A Newcomer

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

Cove was founded in 2018, and since that time it has impressively gained recognition among the clients, with a 4.8 rating on Google and A rating with BBB. Many people would think twice before choosing a new company for their home protection; however, it is definitely not about Cove. They offer two plans which start at $14 and $24. Beyond that, there are many add-on`s, including mobile remote control and notification, a warranty which is LIFETIME, and available integrations. They did their best to remain competitive with many other providers.

Pros:

  • Affordable plans
  • Customizable options
  • Amazing feedback
  • Medical pendants
  • Pro monitoring
  • Warranty

Cons:

  • Few integrations only
  • The mobile remote control is not free

Some reviews have claimed that Cove is a home security system of the future and they can really compete with other providers with their no-contract service. If you plan to choose it for your house but cannot afford upfront fees, you should sign up for a monthly payment plan. Upon the purchase, you access medical pendants, cameras, and environmental alarms, and other smart goods.


Comparing The Systems

Below you will find a summarized comparison of the security systems.

Company

Monthly Price

DIY Installation

Trial Period

Back-Up

Mobile App

Video Quality

Upfront Fee

Fall/weather/disaster protection

Vivint

$29.99

+

3 days

+

+

1080HD

$99

+

SimpliSafe

$15

+

60 days

+

+

1080HD

$229

+

Abode

$3.33

+

30 days

+

+

1080HD

$229

+

Abode

$9.99

+

30 days

+

+

1080HD

$199

+

Nest

$19

+

30 days

+

+

1080HD

$49

+

Scout Alarm

$10

+

60 days

+

+

1080HD

$229

+

Cove

$14.99

+

60 days

+

+

1080HD

$184

+

Pricing Matter

Please note, the indicated prices may vary, as we mentioned only the starting price.

Features Of No-Contract Systems

Any security system has distinctive features that clients opt for. Below, you may find the basic features that will come in handy when choosing the right provider for your peace of mind and safety.

Wireless Products

If a provider offers DIY installation, most probably you will get wireless equipment. Before judging this feature, think of the benefits. First, you avoid drilling holes and hours on setting up the products. Secondly, it is the best in case of any damage, such as cut lines. Nowadays, many companies provide cellular backing if your Wi-Fi is temporarily off. Finally, it is a cheaper option.

DIY/ Do-It-Yourself

It was mentioned above, that you should also know that such DIY systems will literally take a few minutes of your time to understand the setup and put it to work. And, for those people who do not want any visits from service teams, it is a great benefit. In case of any misunderstanding, you can always refer to video tutorials and the customer support team virtually.

Cellular Monitoring

 In case your Internet is off, no need to worry about protection or safety, as the provider has thought about cellular back up. In general, cellular monitoring fits those who live near a cellphone tower and have a perfect connection.

Remote Control

Most of the time, the remote control is operated via mobile apps. You may be away or on a business trip, assured that your mobile app will show you what is going on at home.

Entryway Detectors/Sensors

Check who is standing at the door or entrance. Or, cut off the burglary intentions with alarm keypad and call the police. It is a great tool that may be located anywhere you find it necessary.

Motion Detectors

It is the basic equipment offered by most providers. Today, they are so advanced that they are able to differentiate between the movements of people and pets. It helps to avoid false alarms. Beyond that, you can check them with your mobile phone and receive notifications on movements.

Video doorbell/ siren/panic buttons/thermostats

 These features are no longer futuristic, as they can provide you with the utmost security and comfort when you are behind the closed doors. Many providers also offer their exclusive features. For one, Reolink offers Dual-Band Wi-Fi Camera. Learn more by contacting customer support.

Certain Alert Zones

This feature is not so common among the providers but it is definitely worth it. If you have kids or pets, you can protect them from accessing the medication cabinets or gun lockers. It will send you alerts immediately.

How to Choose A Security System For Your Needs?

Once you are done with our review of the best security systems, you may still get puzzled as to what to choose for your particular case. Here, we also share some tips on selection.

1. Check Out Offers Of One Provider

Providers share a lot in common, including the price, equipment specs, installation options, etc. Yet, you should clearly understand what they can offer to you. If you have a big family, check if the provider has any family bundles for the highest protection. The same advice can be given to individual buyers who may need a basic plan only. Peruse the info carefully.

2. Refer To Customers’ Feedback

What can be simpler than reading the feedback on one or another system? Still, you should understand that not all the comments are real, as the competitors also strive to spoil their competitor`s reputation. So, be careful with third-party review-websites. Read TrustPilot, BBB, Yelp, etc.

3. Evaluate Customer Support Team

You should remember that the customer service team will be with you so long as you use their systems. Call them and check how they talk to you, attend to your problems, and whether they are dishonest about their products to hook you up.

4. Mind Your Budget

The above-mentioned providers are quite cheap and most importantly with no-contracts. Yet, you can search for more providers. Make sure you understand the total cost of all the services, or you can end up being into huge expenses.

FAQs On Security Systems

What Is The Best Security System With No Monthly Fee?

It may differ and depend on your specific needs for a security system. Above, we mentioned the best providers of home security systems that fit families, singles, renters, people with high-paying capacity, and those with a low one.

Will A No-Contract System Meet My Expectation?

Yes, they are all different and aimed to provide security for different types of customers. No-contract systems are still offered with assistance, with a myriad of features and equipment.

What Should I Do If My System Does Not Work?

Contact the provider immediately. Some providers also offer tutorials to help you deal with malfunctions.

Are No-Contract Plans Safe?

Yes, they do not differ from commitment plans in that respect. If you are not sure about their applicability, you can refer to customers’ feedbacks to consider what active users say about the promised performance of their home security system.

The Bottom Line

A security system can puzzle you very easily, especially if you are a newbie. However, it is worth saying that no-contract plans meet the expectations of virtually any customer. We have reviewed the best systems in June 2020 for your convenience, and you can decide on one or another after reading. From our side, we would also like to add that you should be very careful when choosing new companies that promise a billion features. They do it to hook up new clients, and of course, profit with them. However, Cove is the exception, as it has been in the industry for two-years only but has gained great respect.

All in all, we hope you will find the best solution for your home security and peace of mind.


About the author 

Joshua Hilsberg

Joshua Hilsberg is at the forefront of our editorial team. Being a sensitive and thoughtful leader, Joshua has learned management and planning while working in the management team of one of the leading security providers in the country. Joshua is the chief strategist of Espysecurity, responsible for building the overall content strategy of the platform.