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Supports IFTTT applets. Free and paid cloud storage. Cons: No professional monitoring available. Face recognition is limited. Bottom Line: Honeywell's Smart Home Security Starter Kit is a DIY system that includes Amazon Alexa service, a built in 1080p camera, motion detection, face recognition, and more. There's no option for professional monitoring, however.

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Learn more about consumer financing here. Some of the lower quality home security systems come with only basic door and window sensors that customers can easily install themselves. More high end equipment packages—like the ones Vivint Smart Home provides—come with a touch screen control panel and the option to add outdoor home security cameras, all of which require professional installation. Professional installation services may cost up to $250, although special offers that waive installation fees are common. Learn more about professional installation services here. The home security market offers many plug and play equipment packages that center around an audible alarm to deter intruders who trigger a door or window sensor. They do not offer professional monitoring, so there’s no monthly service contract involved. Monitored home security systems cost between $20 and $60 per month. Although criminology research suggests most intruders flee at the first sound of an alarm, complete home security offers more than just crime prevention. Protection from natural disasters, home appliance malfunctions, and medical emergencies should also be considered. In addition to providing more comprehensive protection, complete home security systems that are backed by professional monitoring services may also qualify customers for discounted homeowner’s insurance premiums of up to 20 percent.