A business security system can include video surveillance, motion detection, emergency dispatching, and keyless entry with access control. The best security systems offer transparent pricing and simple contract terms.
The best small business security systems are:
- Simplisafe: Best overall security system for small businesses
- Vivint: Best professionally-installed system
- Wyze: Best budget video surveillance
- Nest: Best security system with high-quality video
- ADT: Best for access control and custom systems
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How We Evaluated Small Business Security Systems
When most small business owners think of a security system, they’re imagining a network of sensors that, when triggered, will sound an alarm and notify the authorities. While this is what most security systems today offer, there are also budget systems for businesses that only need video surveillance you can monitor from your smartphone. Additionally, many systems today are compatible with smart devices, so you can lock/unlock doors, turn off the lights, or adjust the temperature of your workplace remotely.
Features and price were the two biggest factors we looked at when evaluating security systems. Professional monitoring requires a monthly fee, and it can vary from just $15 per month for SimpliSafe, to over $50 for Vivint or ADT. Similarly, some companies will require a three-year commitment, while others, like SimpliSafe, will allow you to pay month-to-month.
Last but not least, we also considered the quality of equipment (along with any included warranties), the ease of installation and the customer service options available should you need assistance with your system.
Top 5 Business Security Systems Compared
SimpliSafe: Best Overall Small Business Security System
SimpliSafe is the best choice for small businesses because it offers a high level of security, including cameras and police/fire dispatch, at a price tag that’s often half of competitors like Vivint and ADT. SimpliSafe doesn’t have a contract, so you can cancel or alter your plan at any time without penalty.
Lowest-cost 24/7 professional monitoring
No outdoor cameras
No automatic timer to set alarm
Multiple hardware options
- Standard plan: $15 for professional monitoring with built-in cellular connection (police and fire department)
- Interactive plan: $25 for visual alarm verification, video recording, Alexa/Google Assistant integration, flood monitoring, and temperature monitoring
SimpliSafe Equipment Price
- Standard indoor camera: $100
- Motion sensor: $30
- Glass-break sensor: $35
- Free (DIY)
- $79 for professional installation
SimpliSafe Contract Terms
There are no contracts or activation fees with SimpliSafe, so you can pay month-to-month and cancel anytime. Also, if you don’t want to pay the monthly fee, SimpliSafe can operate without professional monitoring. In this case, sensors will trigger the 95-decibel alarm, but will not dispatch police/fire.
- Self-Installation: SimpliSafe is designed to be self-installed without the need for any professional experience. Devices like door sensors are wireless and attached with an adhesive backing. Expected battery life is three to five years, and the keypad will alert you when batteries are getting low.
- Equipment: In addition to cameras, door/window sensors, and motion detectors, SimpliSafe offers optional devices like fire/smoke, carbon monoxide, freeze, and flood detectors. Equipment is covered by a three-year limited warranty.
- Mobile App: Arm/disarm your system from your smartphone, view security camera feeds, and receive customizable notifications when your sensors are triggered.
- Keyless Entry: Simplisafe Smart Lock allows visitors to enter using a keypad, fob, or smartphone. You can lock or unlock the door remotely using the SimpliSafe mobile app, although this will require the $25/month plan.
- Customer Service: Phone and email support are available from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight) Eastern time.
Vivint: Best Professionally-Installed Security System
Vivint is a high-powered security system you can control from your smartphone. But, compared to SimpliSafe, Vivint is a step up in terms of equipment quality and features. For example, Vivint’s cameras are hardwired to a power source, record in 4K HD quality, and, unlike SimpliSafe, can be installed outdoors. Vivint also works with smart locks, thermostats, and lighting, so you can fully control your workplace from a distance.
However, Vivint comes with a significantly higher cost, both for equipment and installation as well as the monthly fee for professional monitoring. Businesses should expect to spend over twice as much for Vivint as they would for SimpliSafe.
Professional installation required
Mobile app with live feeds and chat functionality
- Starts at $54 for professional monitoring
- Standard indoor camera: $200
- Motion sensor: $100
- Glass-break sensor: $100
- Typically $99 for professional installation
Vivint pricing is not standard and will vary for each business depending on location, setup, contract length, and credit score. The prices above are from secondary sources, and may not be the same amount you will pay. Full equipment packages generally cost $1,500-$3,000 per location.
Vivint Contract Terms
Vivint offers a variety of packages, ranging from month-to-month to five-year terms. With a longer contract, you’ll generally get equipment and installation discounted, or included free. With a month-to-month plan, you’ll have to pay the full cost for equipment upfront, although Vivint does offer financing
- SmartHub: Vivint’s central feature is the SmartHub touchscreen, which lets you arm or disarm your system, monitor cameras, and speak with visitors using a two-way talk and camera feature.
- Equipment: In addition to cameras, door/window sensors and motion detectors, Vivint includes the option to install fire/smoke, carbon monoxide, and flood detectors. If you opt for a Premium Service contract, equipment is covered by a lifetime warranty. Otherwise, it is covered for 120 days.
- Smart Devices: Control compatible lighting, thermostat, and smart locks using the Vivint SmartHub or mobile app. It’s also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Keyless Entry: Compatible with Kwikset smart locks, so visitors can enter using a keypad.
- Customer Service: Phone support is available 24/7, and chat support is available from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Eastern time. You can also use the SmartHub device to video chat with a security specialist at any time.
Wyze: Best Budget Surveillance System
If you just want to keep an eye on your business without police/fire dispatching, then Wyze is by far the most cost-effective solution. The basic camera is just $20 and you can monitor live feeds or view past recordings from your smartphone without any monthly fees. Wyze also offers inexpensive door/window sensors, smart locks, and smart lighting.
To be clear, Wyze is not a security system in the traditional sense. There’s no professional monitoring, and their Wi-Fi-based equipment is not built as strong, nor does it operate as reliably as the other providers like SimpliSafe and Vivint, which utilize a cellular backup connection. However, if you’re on a tight budget, and a security system falls under the “nice to have” category, you really can’t beat the value of Wyze.
Budget solution - no monthly fee required
Limited support hours - no Sunday
Custom mobile notifications
No glass-break sensors
- Free version: Monitor all cameras from smartphone, record to microSD card, and store “event recordings” of up to 12 seconds to cloud.
- $1.50/month per camera: Stores all footage to cloud for rolling 14-day period.
- Standard indoor camera: $25
- Motion sensor: $6
- Glass-break sensor: Not available
- Free (DIY)
Wyze Contract Terms
Wyze does not require a monthly fee for any of its services, except for Complete Motion Capture, which records video footage to the cloud. There’s no contract or activation fees for Complete Motion Capture, so you can pay month-to-month and cancel anytime.
- Self-Installation: Wyze cameras and sensors are designed to be self-installed by anyone, without any need for professional experience. Devices are mounted using adhesive pads, and connected via Wi-Fi using the Wyze mobile app.
- Equipment: Wyze offers indoor and outdoor cameras, door/window sensors, motion detectors, smart locks, smart bulbs and smart outlets (which can be powered on and off using the app). While the price is far cheaper than all competitors, this is reflected in the quality of materials. The Wyze Cam V2, for example, is made of lightweight plastic. Wyze cameras are covered under a one year limited warranty.
- Mobile App: Impressively, the Wyze app allows you to monitor all camera feeds and view past recordings without any need for a monthly subscription. The amount of playback depends on the size of the MicroSD card (sold separately) with a 32GB card saving about seven days of standard definition video. The Wyze App also allows you to set up custom notifications for when a sensor has been triggered, and manage smart devices.
- Keyless Entry: The Wyze lock and keypad can be installed to give visitors keyless entry.
- Customer Service: Phone and chat support are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time.
Nest: For High-Quality Video Surveillance & Smart Devices
Nest specializes in high-quality video surveillance that runs over your Wi-Fi and doesn’t require professional installation. Like their close competitor Wyze, Nest also supports a variety of smart devices, including smart locks and thermostat. While Nest has the leg up in terms of equipment quality, reliability and crispness of video streams, it’s also more expensive, and requires a monthly subscription of $6-$12.
Also, while Nest does not offer professional monitoring to dispatch police/fire in the event of an emergency, it does integrate with Brinks to offer this service. It will require a separate contract with Brinks Security, which starts at $19 per month.
No contract required
No professional monitoring
User-friendly mobile app
Recordings only stored 10 days
Connects with many smart devices
No glass-break sensors
24/7 customer support
- Free version: View live camera feeds from your smartphone, arm/disarm your system, and receive notifications of events like motion detection. There’s no professional monitoring, and no video recording.
- $6 per month: Records events (like when motion is detected) and stores them in the cloud for 30 days.
- $12 per month: 24/7 recording for the last 10 days, and stores events in the cloud for 60 days.
- Standard indoor camera: $130
- Motion sensor: $49
- Glass-break sensor: Not available, but Nest Secure base station includes glass break detection.
- Free (DIY)
Nest Contract Terms
There’s no contract required for Nest Aware subscriptions. However, if you pay for a year upfront, you can save 20% compared to the month-to-month pricing.
While Nest does not offer its own professional monitoring, it does integrate with Brinks Security. Just like SimpliSafe or Vivint, Brinks will dispatch emergency services in the event an alarm is triggered. Pricing starts at $19 per month with a 3-year commitment, or $29 per month for a month-to-month plan.
- Self-Installation: Nest cameras and sensors are designed to be self-installed. Devices are connected wirelessly using the Nest mobile app.
- Mobile App: Nest includes a highly-rated mobile app that lets you monitor cameras in crisp HD, view past recordings, and set up custom security alerts. One of its unique features is Familiar Face Detection, an AI tool that alerts you to people who are not commonly seen in your home or workspace.
- Equipment: Nest offers a range of indoor and outdoor cameras, as well as an alarm system, door/window/motion sensors, temperature sensors, and a combination fire and CO detector. Nest hardware is built stronger and operates more reliably than their closest competitor Wyze. Nest equipment is covered by one or two-year limited warranties depending on the device.
- Smart Devices: Nest also offers a wide range of smart devices, including thermostat, speakers, and Google home assistant. All of these are synced with the Nest mobile app, so you can control everything remotely.
- Keyless Entry: The Nest Yale smart lock allows visitors to enter using a keypad, and allows you to lock/unlock the door remotely.
- Customer Service: Nest offers 24/7 chat support. At the time of this writing, phone support was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During my evaluation, I was connected to a support agent in about 10 minutes.
ADT: Best Commercial Security System
As one of the original business security providers, ADT offers everything under the sun; from home automation tools like smart locks and smart plugs, to high-level commercial systems including access control, ATM security and body temperature detection.
Likewise, its offerings range from traditional landline-based systems, to ADT pulse, which is a wireless system with DIY-installation, much like SimpliSafe. However, unlike SimpliSafe, ADT’s pricing is non-transparent. It can vary a lot from one salesperson to the next, and tends to be on the expensive side.
For this reason, we recommend SimpliSafe instead for most small business owners. However, if you have a larger business or one that sells high-value goods and calls for a more elaborate security system, ADT is the company best suited to provide it.
Typically requires 3-year contract
- $40 for basic monitoring through landline
- $52 for cellular-based monitoring
- $62 for cellular-based monitoring with video surveillance
- Standard indoor camera: $200
- Motion sensor: $120-$189
- Glass-break sensor: $120-$189
- $0 – $199 depending on contract
ADT pricing is not standard and will vary depending on the reseller and the client’s credit score. The prices above are from secondary sources, and may not be the same amount you will pay.
ADT Contract Terms
ADT typically requires a 36-month agreement, but will bundle in some equipment with the monthly monitoring price. It may also provide discounted or free installation. Again, terms vary with each reseller, so there may be shorter contracts available as well.
- Equipment: ADT offers all the main security equipment you expect to see, including door/window sensors, motion detectors, glass-break sensors, temperature and flood monitoring, and a panic button that triggers a silent alarm.
- Mobile app: Like the other security systems we’ve reviewed, ADT includes a smartphone app that lets you arm/disarm the system, monitor camera feeds, change the temperature and lighting, and receive custom security alerts.
- Access control: ADT has a keyless entry system that goes far beyond the other systems we reviewed. Employees can unlock doors using a keycard, and each card can be programmed to unlock different doors, depending on their clearance level.
- Customer service: ADT’s monitoring agents are available 24/7 to answer minor customer service questions or respond to alerts. Otherwise, the main customer service line is available 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Eastern time.
Most small business owners are looking for a security system that allows them to keep an eye on their business from their smartphone, yet also receive 24/7 professional monitoring that will notify the authorities in the event of a break-in or fire.
This is why we recommend SimpliSafe as the best small business security system. It offers an easy-to-use mobile app to view camera feeds and lock/unlock doors, as well as professional monitoring with video verification. The price is less than half of what you’ll pay for comparable systems from Vivint or ADT, and there’s no contracts required. Visit SimpliSafe to get started.