Editorial Policy

The Smarter Home team strives to review the top home security brands so you can find the best option for you. It is our goal to provide you with unbiased ratings and reviews.

Read below to see how we review, how we determine our ratings, and where we source our information in order to remain unbiased.

How we review brands

When we review a brand, we evaluate the brand’s product and feature offerings, reputation, the cost of packages and package options, and reviews from past and current customers. We also take into consideration how the brand’s systems match up to other systems on the market in terms of cost, features, and customer satisfaction.

Products and features – For product and feature offerings, we look at the number of packages each brand offers and what is included in each package; the features available with their products; and how many products they offer. We also use third-party and customer reviews to evaluate the quality of the brand’s products.

Reputation – For the brand’s reputation, we look at how long the company has been in business, what kinds of guarantees and warranties they offer, and existing and past customer reviews.

Cost – For cost, we consider both the initial cost of equipment and monthly monitoring costs. To determine if a system is affordable for our readers, we compare these costs to other systems on the market that are similar in terms of installation, product features, and monitoring options, and we consider if financing options are available.

Customer satisfaction – We look at past and current customer reviews to evaluate a brand’s customer satisfaction.

How we choose the brands we review

First and foremost, we want to give our readers access to unbiased reviews of brands they already recognize and want to compare. Based on search trends and company size, we found some of the most popular brands in home security to be the ones we review on Smarter Home.

As we continue to grow, we will continue to review more and lesser-known smart home and security brands to provide our readers with more options while researching and comparing.

Affiliate Partnerships

We do review brands that we have an affiliate relationship with, which means we may earn a commission when you click a link or make a purchase from one of our partners. Although this may impact the placement of the brand on our website, it does not impact our editorial content or how we review the brand. All brands will be reviewed equally against the above criteria. We are under no obligation to review a brand a certain way.

Read our full earnings disclosure here

How we determine ratings

When determining ratings, we evaluate the brand’s product and feature offerings, the cost of packages and package options, and reviews from past and current customers.

Based on the following criteria, we assign a rating out of five stars for the brand’s:

Features – looking at the number and quality of feature options available such as smart home capabilities, professional monitoring, video security, life security, and so on, and then comparing it to other similar systems on the market

Performance – evaluating how the system performs after install, taking into account past and current customer reviews

Customer Service – reviewing the company’s options for support and past and current customer experiences with customer service

Value – comparing the features and services you get for the price you pay against other similar systems

Our overall editor’s rating of the brand is taken from an average of the above four ratings.

How we compare brands

When comparing two home security brands against each other, we look at pricing, installation options, monitoring options, customer support, and ratings and reviews before identifying which brand is better suited for different needs or situations.

  • Pricing – we look at the starting price of each brand’s base system and the costs of additional features and upgrades
  • Installation options – identifying if each brand offers professional installation, DIY, both, or a hybrid and whether or not they charge a fee for installation
  • Monitoring options – looking at whether each brand requires a monitoring plan, if they require a contract, and what each brand offers as a part of their monitoring plan
  • Customer support – reviewing customer support accessibility and current and past customer reviews for each brand
  • Ratings and reviews – evaluating real customer reviews to identify common themes about each brand
  • Recommendations – any recommendations we provide will be based on the above criteria


Where our information comes from

Information on pricing, product and feature offerings, and current deals and promotions comes directly from the brands or the brand’s website.

For editorial content such us our brand reviews and comparison pieces, we aggregate information from multiple unbiased sources including customer reviews, industry experts, and third-party publications such as PC Mag and the New York Times Wirecutter to create the most accurate reviews and recommendations we can.

How we make money

To provide our review and comparison at no cost to you, we partner with some of the brands you see on our site, and we may earn a commission when you click our links, call our phone number, or make a purchase from one of these partners.

However, this partnership does not affect our review of each brand, and we are in no way obligated to review a partner is a certain way.

But how we do not make money is just as important to us as how we do. We will not sell your personal information (however, once you navigate to a brand’s site, you will be subject to their privacy policy and terms of service). We also do not make money through traditional advertisements which allows us to provide our services ad-free. Finally, should you choose to purchase from one of our partners, the commission we earn will not adversely affect the price you pay.

Read our full Earnings Disclosure

Read our full Privacy Policy


If you have any questions about how we source our information, reach our ratings and reviews, or earn money, please reach out to [email protected].

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Theft Protection Guarantee:

Customer may receive reimbursement of up to five hundred dollars ($500) of Customer’s homeowner’s insurance deductible (if any) if, and only if, ALL requirements for Theft Protection Guarantee are met to ADT’s reasonable satisfaction. Customer must request reimbursement within 60 days of property loss. Request must be mailed to ADT and include: Theft Protection Guarantee certificate signed by Customer, a letter from Customer requesting reimbursement, a copy of the police report, and a copy of the accepted insurance claim. ADT reserves the right to reject any application for reimbursement that does not comply with all of the requirements.


ADT Money-Back Guarantee:

Money-back guarantee only applies after ADT has made attempts to resolve a system-related issue and has not been able to resolve that issue within the first six (6) months of your contract. Equipment must be fully removed before a refund will be processed. Conditions preventing normal system operation cannot be caused by the customer.