How to Keep an Watchful Eye on the Home with Security Smartphone Apps
Last updated: August 6, 2018. Looking for the best home security app? We have tested dozens and ranked them according to:
- Ease of use
- Lack of glitches & bugs
- Availability (iOS / Android / any smart device)
After compiling our reviews, the following are all companies that provides apps you can rely on to monitor your security system.
Two categories – Self made or third party
Creating a functional apps costs thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because of this, most ma and pa security shops (along with some big companies) use Alarm.com’s whitelabel app. They pay a monthly fee based on the number of users, and their users see it as ‘Brand X’ security app. The good news is, this isn’t a bad thing. What companies using this lack in customization they make up for in reliability. Alarm.com app is a extremely reliable security app that connects to dozens of control panels, sensors and z-wave products. The majority of all companies use Alarm.com except for the two giants, ADT and Vivint.
(Control a smart automation home with the alarm dot com app)
- When streaming live views from security cameras, be on a wifi network if possible. Live stream will eat up your cell phone data.
- Don’t give everyone you know a user account. Limit who has access to the app.
- Lock your smart phone. This gives one extra measure of security.
With those in mind and our rating criteria, here are the 3 best mobile home security apps.
#1 – ADT Pulse app
ADT’s proprietary app was the smoothest and user friendliest one we tested. Whether controlling a simple security system ON & OFF or security cameras on an advanced automation system, it can handle any project it is put up against.
- Clean display
- High app ratings
- Voice recognition
- Cameras, automation available
- Other information regarding users area
- Manage users easily
- Connects with Nest thermostat
- Connects with Ring doorbell cameras
- Can be slow to respond
- Must be a customer
Great all around security app that can connect to existing Honeywell and GE security systems. App is free with monitoring plans above $40.
#2 – Vivint Sky App
The Vivint app is also self-made by the company themselves which gives them lots of capabilities companies below with Alarm.com will not have. The app is quick to load, gives notifications instantly when any sensors are triggered. The live dashboard feed of security cameras loads quickly and updates with pictures taken every 5 minutes with security cameras (then if something like a unknown car or person is seen on a picture, users can click on that and load the live feed). Going back in time on security cameras is easy drag and drop.
- User functionality 4.5 of 5
- Add / remove users easily (going out of town? Have a relative download the app and add them as a user).
- Full smart home integration
- Connect to smart thermostat
- Smooth control
- Continual updates
- Different amounts of notifications users can opt in or out of
- 14,000 5 star reviews
- Great customer support
- Control door locks
- Garage awareness
- Must have Vivint monitoring service
- Notifications can get overwhelming, set limits
The Vivint sky app comes free on any smart device (phone or tablet) on packages over $40/mo. Once users terminate monitoring account their login to the app will be limited as well. Costs vary depending on the type of security system one wants, anywhere from $40-80 a month.
#3 – Protect America mobile home security control app
The Protect America app is very simple and to the point. It is Z-wave product compatible so don’t be deceived by its simplicity. It can still manage and view cameras, automation and even GPS tracking. The dashboard has nothing to be envious of but it gets the job done. It is also the most cost efficient option available. Most of Protect America’s equipment is GE and they still use a keypad (simonXT) panel which integrates with this.
- Easy to setup user account and connect to security system
- Simple in design and nature
- Uses Alarm.com reliable software
- Lowest price monitoring
- Live support
- Free on all security plans $34 and above
- Several 3 star reviews
- Must be an active customer
- Not the ‘coolest’ app available
For users that want a reliable mobile security app for a low cost while not losing functionality then this is their choice. Protect America has been around since 1992 and is a DIY security system. For users who use this, most of the time it will be for the simple arm and disarming of the alarm. Save walking to the panel to type in a code, just pull out a phone at night and use this.
If interested in Protect America’s security app, the following also use the same third party app to control their security systems:
If interested in other proprietary apps and the top 2 ranked here don’t seem like a fit, they include:
– SpotCrime, how to locate local criminal activity.
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