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Lifeshield keypad
Lifeshield keypad (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Many homeowners are moving to a more hands-on security setup because excellent products that are easy to set up are readily available. Just mount it, plug it in, and your home is good to go. We think the Ring Alarm Home Security System (opens in new tab) is the best you can buy because of its great features, amazing Amazon Alexa integration, and easy setup, but there are plenty of others that might fit your needs. Here are some smart home systems that can get you started.

Best for Alexa: Ring Alarm Home Security (2nd Gen)

Ring Alarm 2nd Gen

Source: Ring (Image credit: Source: Ring)

Ring Alarm Home Security (2nd Gen)

Easy setup

Reasons to buy

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Price
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Alexa integration
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Easy setup

Reasons to avoid

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No garage door tilt sensors or hinge sensors
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Door sensors can be finicky

This five-piece Ring Alarm security system comes with a base station, contact sensor, motion detector, keypad, and range extender. You can control it all from one central location — your phone. If you have an Alexa-enabled device, that's even better. You'll be able to do it solely through your voice and check your system through any Alexa device.

The tight integration with Alexa is because Amazon owns the brand, but the Ring app for your phone also works well for those who aren't all-in on the Amazon ecosystem.

Ring also comes with both free and paid cloud storage options as well as a payment plan for the entire system through Amazon. Note that while this is a five-piece starter kit, there are other pre-set options and custom kits available to best suit the needs of your home.

Best for Google Assistant: Nest Secure Alarm System

Nest Secure Alarm System

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

Nest Secure Alarm System

Novel features

Reasons to buy

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Google Assistant integration
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Nest Tags
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Multipurpose sensors with built-in path lighting

Reasons to avoid

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Remote monitoring service is an additional fee
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Expensive for what you get
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Can't disarm the system with Google Assistant

If you are all-in on the Google Assistant, Nest, and the Google Home device ecosystem, there probably isn't a better option for you than the Nest Secure Alarm System.

The starter pack comes with two Nest Detect sensors, which can be used on windows or doors to alert you when they have been opened or closed, or they can be placed on a wall or surface and function as motion detectors. They even have a small path light built-in to help you find your way in the dark.

One of the coolest features of this system is the Nest Tag. These tags are fobs that you can tap on or near the base station to disarm the system without needing an app or having to know the code. It's great for family, school-age children, or visitors.

If you wish to add professional security monitoring, you can do so through Brinks Home Security, but that, of course, will be an additional expense to consider. While you can set your system to arm with the Google Assistant, you can't disarm it by voice. This is ostensibly a security measure so that others can't turn off your alarm without your knowledge or permission.

Best for Multi-Assistant Households: The Arlo Pro 3 Security System

Arlo Pro 3 Lifestyle official

Source: Arlo (Image credit: Source: Arlo)

Arlo Pro 3 Security System

The perfect starter kit

Reasons to buy

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Completely wireless
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Three-month trial of Arlo Smart plan included
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Local backup via USB or microSD
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Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

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Price
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Batteries need charging periodically
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Requires a standalone hub

Completely weatherproof and with zero wires involved, the Arlo Pro 3 provides two-way audio, a three-month Arlo Smart trial plan, HD video, color night vision, 160-degree field of view, and a loud siren that won't hesitate to let you know something is amiss.

Besides these consumer-friendly features, Arlo provides plenty for the prosumer, too. Features like local recording storage through USB or microSD, tight integration with all the major smart home brands, and voice control through Alexa and Google Assistant make it our pick for overall best when it comes to a security system you can install yourself.

Nothing is without its drawbacks, though, and with Arlo, the biggest is the price. In addition to the price of the hardware, you'll likely want to pony up the cash for Arlo's Smart service plan that includes live streaming, push notifications, auto-zoom and tracking, and two-way audio. You will find systems that sell for less, but they don't offer the ease of use and features that come with this one.

From the Pros: Blue by ADT

Lifeshield little boxes

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Blue by ADT

Pro DIY

Reasons to buy

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Built by pros
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Smoke and CO2 alerts
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Cellular backup
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Pet-friendly motion sensors

Reasons to avoid

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No free monitoring or cloud storage
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Alexa integration could be deeper
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Door sensors don't work well with wide trim

Blue by ADT (formerly LifeShield) is a DIY home security system from ADT — a company that's been doing home security for a long time and has it all figured out.

The 11-piece system has everything you need, including a fire safety sensor that detects when your existing smoke or CO2 sensors are triggered. There's also a smartphone app and smart home compatibility built-in as well as optional monitoring from ADT and cellular backup. Plus it's easy to install; just ask our resident non-handyman, Jeramy Johnson (a.k.a. me), about that! There are other kit sizes and options available to suit your space, so if 11 pieces are too many, or too few, Lifeshield has you covered.

The biggest drawback of this system is that there's no free monitoring or cloud storage package offered, though service through ADT is affordable and customizable. Recently, the company was fully folded-into ADT and promises new products and updates to existing services in the months ahead.

Super Simple: SimpliSafe

Simplisafe lifestyle

Source: Simplisafe (Image credit: Source: Simplisafe)

SimpliSafe

Simple and effecftive

Reasons to buy

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Expandable to 100 components
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Easy setup
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LOUD sirens

Reasons to avoid

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Phone notifications require a monthly fee
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No garage tilt sensor compatibility

SimpliSafe has been named the best home security product by many online publications, and users like the assortment of sensors and easy setup that SimpliSafe offers.

This eight-piece kit comes with four window/door sensors, a panic button, programmable keypad, central hub, and a motion sensor, so it's ready for the simple and wireless installation in your home. You're also able to add up to 100 components, including HD cameras, additional keypads, or panic buttons without any reprogramming.

One major drawback is that you'll need to sign up for the company's "Interactive Service" for things like smartphone notifications, but the system will work without any paid monitoring solution.

Classic Security: Fortress

Fortress lifestyle

Source: Fortress (Image credit: Source: Fortress)

Fortress

Basics done right

Reasons to buy

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Price
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Easy setup
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Two-way communication

Reasons to avoid

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The smartphone app isn't great
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Lacking in options for home vs. away modes

Home security needs to do one thing well — notify you or law enforcement when someone is poking around your place without permission. That's exactly what Fortress Security does, without any frills or extras.

The Delux Glass Kit includes everything to get set up with a programmable keypad, key fobs, sensors and remotes, and a loud siren that works as a local deterrent. At the same time, the app notifies you, and the system calls up to six phone numbers when it's activated.

There's also Amazon Alexa support baked in so you can use any Alexa device to help control your security system, and the keypad can act as a two-way intercom you call using any phone.

Bottom line

These are the very best smart home security systems we've found this year. All of them have a variety of features, such as motion detection, smart alerts, and the like, but our personal favorite? Well, that has to be the Ring Alarm Home Security System (opens in new tab).

Set up is simple, and the integration with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, as well as Amazon's Echo and Fire devices, is top-notch. It also works well through the Android and iOS apps, and new features are being added regularly, including new data privacy features. Perhaps the biggest selling point for me is that it is half the price of the similarly-equipped Nest Secure Alarm System!

Whichever setup you chose from this list though, you're going to be coming away with a simple, easy to use, and scalable solution. Now stay safe out there!

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nations' Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. You'll find him across the Mobile Nations network, and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.

Author:

Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about Amazon products and services, he's defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.