Home security systems come in a variety of packages, from DIY security systems to professionally installed security systems. When you have so many to choose from, there’s a lot to consider: Do you need a camera to watch the outside of your house? Or do you want sensors inside that can detect burglaries?

To help with your hunt for the right home security system for your home — and your family — we’ve compiled some of the best options on the market, with reviews from The New York Times, CBS News and CNN to help you in your research.

Professionally installed home security systems

Professionally installed home security systems are just what they sound like — you buy a package from a home security company (such as ADT or Vivint) and they send professionals to install the security system in your home.

These professional home security systems can come with live monitoring by their employees, but some do have contracts you would have to agree to if you want to use their services.

CBS News detailed two professional home security systems and highlighted their pros and cons based on the following factors: reviews, costs, expert recommendations and consumer needs.

ADT

CBS News says that ADT sets itself apart from other professional home security companies due to its customer service and constant monitoring.

According to ADT’s website, the company has over 140 years of experience in security, an award-winning monitoring system and a Better Business Bureau rating of A+.

ADT also offers the option of letting professionals install the home security system or you can buy a DIY package and install it yourself. The only drawback is that this company is more expensive than your average home security system and requires a contract, per CBS News.

SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe is a home security system that promotes itself as a home security option that can fit within any budget. CBS News notes that SimpliSafe is more affordable than other companies due to its wide variety of packages and options to choose from and that there is no contract.

According to SimpliSafe’s website, it has won the 2023 CNET Editors’ Choice Award and has professional monitoring plans that cost less than a dollar a day. And new customers can try its monitoring system free the first month.

DIY home security systems

DIY home security systems are packages you can buy from your local store or online at your convenience and you install it yourself. But there are three categories DIY home security systems fall under, according to Home Depot:

  1. DIY home security: You can opt to buy a self-install home security system that you yourself monitor or you can install one but subscribe to a monitoring service to do it for you.
  2. DIY security cameras: These can come in kits (which are cheaper) or you can buy them individually over time, but Home Depot suggests you look at the power source, connectivity to Wi-Fi, design and video quality when making a decision.
  3. DIY alarm systems: Many alarm systems come in kits with instructions to help you successfully install it, but you can choose between wireless or hard-wired alarm systems and their features vary depending on what you buy.

Ring Alarm Pro

Both CNN and The New York Times highly suggest the Ring Alarm Pro, a kit that costs $300 on Amazon.

According to CNN, the Ring Alarm Pro was the quickest to set up compared to Vivint, Abode, Blue by ADT and SimpliSafe. Editors at CNN tested it for functionality, security, installation, design and warranty. They found it had a quick monitor response time of under 30 seconds, an internet backup for blackouts and multiple options to connect to third-party devices.

The New York Times found that the Ring Alarm Pro had some of the best sensors and system performances among the DIY home security systems. It comes with a cheap monitoring plan of $20 per month that includes video storage for 180 days, backup internet and backup data. The Times called it “the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to professional monitoring.”

SimpliSafe and Abode

Both CNN and The New York Times noted that SimpliSafe and Abode offered good home security options if you don’t want to buy from Ring.

The New York Times suggests The Essentials Kit from Simplisafe due to its easy installation and affordability. You can also buy a similar kit from Best Buy.

CNN doesn’t specify a certain kit from SimpliSafe, but says that overall it’s a “great DIY product” with a simple setup and the ability to connect to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Security cameras

Security cameras can be installed outside or inside your home, or can be limited to your doorbell. Most DIY kits and professional kits come with motion sensors, but not cameras, so if you’d rather have a live feed of what’s happening around your house, you can invest in one.

Indoor security cameras

There are a lot of indoor cameras options out there, all with good features. CNN recommends the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera because of its easy setup, privacy features and its $60 price on Amazon.

The New York Times, on the other hand, prefers the Eufy Indoor Cam C120 for its top-quality image retention, four different storage options and its price of just $29.

Outdoor security cameras

Outdoor cameras can come with lights, motion sensors and video storage. If you want cheap cameras with good video quality, CNN suggests the battery-powered Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera for $69 or you can go with the corded Ring Stick Up Cam Plug-in suggested by The New York Times for $69.

If you’d like an outdoor camera with lights, CNN recommends either the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus or the Eufy Floodlight Camera 2. Eufy does not require a subscription for video storage and Ring does require a bit of knowledge of electrical wiring to set it up.

Doorbell cameras

If you don’t want a doorbell camera that requires a subscription, both CNN and The New York Times suggest Google’s Nest Doorbell.

It starts at $140 depending on if you buy the wired or wireless version, but its features are relatively the same. You’ll get clear footage and audio while also giving accurate notifications as to what it sees. It does offer multiple plans if you’d like to upgrade it.