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The best home security systems in 2023

An Arlo home security camera

Keep your home safe and sound with some of the best home security systems around

In this interconnected world, where technology plays such a vital role, modern self-installed home security systems have revolutionised the way we can protect our homes. The most effective home security systems can incorporate interior and exterior cameras with a variety of sensors to monitor doors and windows, to alert us to any suspicious movement in the home.

With that in mind, we’ve fitted a variety of home security systems – both camera- and sensor-based systems – and left them running for the past few weeks to see how well they perform, how easy they are to operate and how well they assimilate into our day-to-day life. Let’s delve in a little deeper.

Best home security systems: At a glance

How to choose the best home security system for you

Camera-based systems

One of the key components of many modern home security systems is the use of Wi-Fi-integrated surveillance cameras. In many instances, a camera-based system may be all you need to provide a very decent level of security since the police will often be able to use video as evidence of any crimes committed. While a camera alone can’t stop the most determined intruders from trying to enter, the mere sight of one in the vicinity will often be enough of a deterrence for the more casual, opportunistic trespassers, so having a few cameras around the home may be well worth the outlay.

Aside from high-resolution video capability, a lot of modern security cameras have the functionality for users to create trigger zones, set recording lengths and adjust the sensitivity of their sensors. Many of today’s cameras are also wireless, relying on a rechargeable battery to provide power, potentially for weeks or months at a time, and since there’s no wiring involved, battery-powered cameras are much easier to install – simply connect them to your Wi-Fi and mount them to a wall, a pole or any other surface that’s out of arm’s reach.

While some products – like the eufy system we’ve reviewed below – are fitted with self-charging solar cells, most battery-operated cameras will need to be recharged periodically, which can be an inconvenience. However, the ease of placement, as well as the potential to move the cameras to new positions, more than compensates for this occasional hassle.

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Sensor-based systems

Door and window sensors are crucial elements of practically every effective home security system. Door sensors are installed at the main entry points, particularly the front and back doors, while window sensors are placed on all opening windows, between the glass surround and the main frame. These sensors then typically use magnets to detect when a door or window is opened.

Optional motion or sonic sensors can also be used within the property to detect any movement or sound.

If an intrusion is detected – whether that’s a door or window being unexpectedly opened, or movement or sound where there should be none – the relevant sensor immediately triggers an alert and the system can respond by activating a siren alarm, notifying the homeowner or notifying a monitoring service, if that’s been subscribed to.

App integration

The more modern home security systems almost always feature some kind of integration with smartphone applications. These often proprietary apps allow you to remotely monitor your security system from anywhere in the world in real-time and are usually incredibly user-friendly – simply launch the app and you can view the live camera feed, download recorded clips, arrange instant alerts and arm or disarm the system.

AI learning ability

Some home security systems now incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms. These advanced technologies can analyse video footage, recognising familiar faces and movement patterns, distinguishing between pets and people, and identifying potential threats or unusual loitering behaviour, thereby reducing false alarms and increasing the overall accuracy and efficiency of the system.


In the old days, security cameras would transmit their footage to a video recorder or a hard drive in the home. Of course, many burglars grew wise to this and would steal the recorder – and the evidence of their wrongdoing – along with the rest of their plunder. But when home Wi-Fi became more widespread, security camera manufacturers started offering free cloud storage, adding an extra layer of security in the process – footage stored safely in the cloud has proven to be a much better deterrent because any prospective intruder knows that if they’re caught on camera there’s nothing they can do about it.

However, nothing is free, and most security services these days charge a small monthly subscription fee for the user to be able to access their security footage, potentially dating back many months. While we can certainly understand the commercial thinking behind this, having to pay a subscription on top of the purchase price can leave a sour taste in the mouth and, as a result, at least one manufacturer featured below has resorted to the old-fashioned method of a hard drive in the home, eliminating subscription fees.

Self-installation or professional installation?

Something to consider when installing a home security system is the choice between self-installation and a professional installation. Self-installation can be cheaper, giving you the flexibility to set up your system according to your specific requirements. This option often involves user-friendly plug-and-play wireless devices, with step-by-step instructions that make installation a breeze for even the most technologically challenged Luddites.

By contrast, professional installation offers the expertise of trained technicians who can ensure that the system is set up correctly. They can also assess the unique layout and vulnerabilities of your home, as well as recommend the most suitable security equipment – which is usually mains-powered – and integrate the system with any other home automation features. While professional installation generally involves a not-insignificant upfront cost – and a lot of drilling – it might be the best option for those who want to take advantage of professional guidance and ongoing technical support.

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The best home security systems you can buy in 2023

1. Ring Alarm + Indoor Camera 2nd Gen Pack + Doorbell + Outdoor Siren: Best value home security system

Price: £170 | Check price at Ring

Best Home Security System -Ring

When it comes to home DIY security systems, Ring is one of the most intuitive on the market. It has different alarm packs on offer, depending on options such as how many sensors you want, if you want an outside alarm, and whether you want to bundle the system together with their video doorbell, a camera, or both. We tested out its smallest offering, comprising a base station, an alarm keypad, one contact sensor for windows or doors, one motion detector and a range extender to boost Wi-Fi, bundled with its second-generation indoor camera at no extra cost. Ring also sent us its justly famous second-generation video doorbell (RRP £100) and a battery-powered outdoor siren (RRP £70), which emits an extremely loud, police-like siren while flashing on and off.

It takes about an hour to install the basic kit, and the whole connection process is a doddle – simply pull out the plastic tab from each battery-powered device and it pairs instantly with the base station. The individual devices are easy to fit, too, since most of them use double-sided tape.

As with a professionally installed system, the Ring comes with a keypad to be positioned near your front door. When leaving, you simply tap a button to arm the system and exit within one minute – with the alarm emitting steadily increasing countdown beeps to tell you how long you’ve got left. If an intruder is detected – via a contact sensor, the camera or the motion detector – you’ll hear a series of beeps before the base station sounds a loud alarm. If the base station doesn’t freak out the intruder, then the optional outdoor siren most certainly will, while also alerting the whole neighbourhood at the same time. When re-entering, simply tap in your preset key code and the system is disarmed. And don’t panic if you forget to set the alarm before leaving home because you can easily arm it remotely using the intuitive Ring app.

The included camera provides very good 1080p image quality and can differentiate between pets and people so, theoretically speaking, it shouldn’t go off if Tiddles enters the room. The motion sensor also “should ignore animals in your home up to about 3.5 stone (a little over 22kg), when mounted at 2.1 metres above the floor, on the lowest sensitivity setting”. You’ll probably have to make some special accommodations for any larger pets, though, or you’ll risk false alarms.

The same clear, 1080p image quality also applies with the optional Ring doorbell, which not only sends a notification as soon as the button is pressed but also serves as a security camera to monitor the front door area, alerting the user to any unwarranted visits. Even if you don’t go for the full security package, the doorbell alone makes a very worthwhile investment.

Like most home security systems, Ring works best with a monthly subscription. In this instance, there are two options: Basic, at £3.49 per month, provides extended video storage for up to 180 days, 50 video downloads at once, and snapshot capture; or Ring Plus, which costs £8 per month, adds assisted monitoring (which automatically calls any preregistered personal contacts) and cellular backup for any Wi-Fi outages.

If you’re looking for a keenly priced, tried-and-trusted home security system that works exceedingly well, Ring ticks all the boxes. It’s a doddle to install, really easy to use, and reliable, too.

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2. eufy S330 eufyCam 3 and 1TB Hard Drive + S330 Video Doorbell: Best subscription-free camera-based security system

Price: £579 | Check price at eufy

Best home security systems - eufyCAM S330

If you don’t want to pay a monthly subscription or have your private video data stored in the cloud, consider this sterling camera-based setup from eufy. Rather like an old-fashioned CCTV system, the eufy S330 stores all video recordings on a stylish expandable 1TB hard drive-cum-base station that remains on your premises at all times. The base station – with a built-in siren – can be placed anywhere in the home so long as it’s within range of the Wi-Fi router.

While battery-powered security cameras are far and away the easiest to place around the home, their batteries need recharging after a few months and, in some cases, after just a few weeks. This issue doesn’t affect the eufy S330 because each camera has an integrated solar panel that keeps the battery topped up, even if it’s not especially sunny.

We received the two-pack system and after three weeks of constant use, both cameras were still showing 100% power. In fact, we can’t foresee needing to recharge their built-in batteries until, perhaps, the winter months. Admittedly the cameras themselves are quite large – 12cm long by 6cm wide – so they’re more noticeable than others, but their prominence could be considered a good deterrent. They’re also fitted with an anti-theft device, sounding an alarm with a flashing spotlight if they’re tampered with.

The eufyCam 3 is also capable of some impressive 4K video, though distant objects are a little less defined than on some of the other systems we’ve used. On the plus side, you do get two types of night-time functions: black and white infrared, or full colour with the aid of the integrated spotlight. All video is saved to the base station hard drive for fairly instant recall via the app. Like all battery-based cameras, there’s a slight delay between a motion being detected and the video being recorded, so the eufy won’t capture the entire event of someone walking past, but this isn’t likely to be an issue since any potential burglar will probably loiter for a minute or two.

eufy also sent us its 2K doorbell (available as a £179 add-on), which not only sends notifications to your phone when a visitor presses the doorbell button but also monitors the front area just like a normal security camera. This particular model features two cameras: a main fish-eye lens and a second lens that points to the ground so you can monitor any packages that have been left by the door. Aside from the doorbell ringing on all the connected mobile phones in the home, the base station itself also acts as a doorbell chime, but you can also purchase separate chimes to install around the home. While the doorbell’s 2K video quality isn’t quite as good as the main outdoor cameras, it’s still clear enough to see who’s outside.

The eufy Security app is an absolute joy to use. It’s extremely intuitive and rammed with all sorts of customisation options, including “BionicMind” AI, which can differentiate between family and friends, pets and strangers.

This is far and away the best camera-based security system we’ve ever tested. Granted, it’s not a cheap system to buy, but the fact you don’t need to pay any monthly subscriptions makes it a no-brainer in our opinion.

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3. SimpliSafe The Bamburgh: Best complete security system with call-outs

Price: £388 | Check price at SimpliSafe

Best home security systems - The Bamburgh

If you’re looking for a complete DIY security setup, with professional 24/7 monitoring – including police call-outs – the Bamburgh from SimpliSafe is an excellent, albeit pricey, choice.

This package comes with a veritable smorgasbord of devices – a Wi-Fi base station, 105dB siren, panic button, two key fobs, three entry sensors, two motion sensors, a glass break sensor, a wired indoor camera and a wall-mounted keypad to control it all. Despite the amount of gear, it’s actually very easy to self-install because pretty much everything is battery-powered, and all the required batteries are supplied. Simply launch the SimpliSafe app and follow the instructions.

Although the Bamburgh can be used without a monthly subscription, it’s not really advisable since the whole point of the SimpliSafe system is to provide round-the-clock protection with Securitas, and police call-outs if necessary. Besides, many of the app’s functions will be disabled – you’ll still be able to stream live from the camera and receive motion alerts without a subscription, but you won’t have access to any recorded video, for example – unless you sign up to the standard Pro plan, which is rather pricey at £21 per month.

On the other hand, you could go the whole hog and experience one of the best surveillance services on the market for just £4 more: the Pro Premium plan costs £25 per month and provides 24/7 Securitas guard response, police and fire dispatch, flood monitoring and unlimited camera recording. You can also add extra sensors, keypads, key fobs and the like to customise the package to suit your needs – for example, a rechargeable 1080p outdoor camera, with digital zoom and full-colour night vision, is available priced at £180.

If you’re worried about security and are in the market for a highly regarded system with Securitas monitoring and police call-outs, the SimpliSafe Bamburgh edition is a top choice.

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4. Arlo Pro 5 Outdoor Security Camera: Best security camera for ease of use

Price: £220 | Check price at Arlo

Best home security systems -Arlo Pro 5 Outdoor Security Camera

In many ways, Arlo can be credited with having started the whole concept of wireless outdoor home security installations, though it’s facing some very tough competition these days. Its systems are largely camera-based, which is no bad thing as cameras are by far and away the best security deterrent since they’re the only method that’s able to provide concrete evidence in a courtroom.

Arlo has eight outdoor battery-powered cameras to choose from, the majority of them fully weatherproof. We received a single Arlo Pro 5 for our test, but they all behave in essentially the same way. That is to say, they remain in low-power standby mode until a movement triggers the recording function. Nevertheless, this camera will still need to be recharged regularly, especially if it’s been set to a higher sensitivity, with no trigger zones selected, and the recording duration set higher. Thankfully, the new Pro 5 has 30% longer battery life than its predecessors, though our test model’s battery ran out after just three weeks in situ. However, this running time can be greatly increased by connecting it to Arlo’s optional solar panel (£40), which we highly recommend.

The Arlo 5 Pro produces exceptionally sharp 2K HDR video that’s a cut above most of the other camera systems – bar the very impressive Imou – in this roundup. However, you’ll need to sign up to a £3.49 per month subscription if you want access to all your recorded footage. In terms of user-friendliness, this system is one of the most intuitive on the market and the accompanying Arlo app is a breeze to use.

If you’re after a simple, compact, fully integrated DIY camera system – one that features a built-in siren, not to mention the integrated microphone and speaker to enable you to talk to visitors or scare off intruders – that can easily be expanded and is very easy to use, then the Arlo 5 Pro is an excellent place to start.

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5. Imou Cell Go + Rex Camera + DB60 Doorbell: Best-value pick-and-mix home security system

Price: £210 | Check price at B&Q

Best home security systems - Imou Cell Go + Rex Camera + DB60 Doorbell

We put together this pick-and-mix system, comprising an excellent battery-powered camera, a swivelling indoor mains-powered camera and a video doorbell for all-round security coverage.

The weatherproof Imou Cell Go (£60) is a very cute little camera that can be mounted either indoors or outdoors using screws or the provided magnetic base. It also has one of the easiest trigger zone systems of any camera on the market: simply launch the Imou Life app and draw the area that you want to trigger the camera on the screen with your finger. Although its resolution is 2K as opposed to 4K, we found it produced clearer images – during both day and night – than any other camera in this roundup, which makes it a great choice for pet watching, too.

One of the most impressive facets of the Imou system is the speed of its real-time streaming – there’s less than a second between moving your arm and seeing that movement in the app. The Cell Go camera is equipped with a long-lasting 5,000mAh battery that still showed a very commendable 81% of juice remaining even after the better part of three weeks’ use. It can also be set to emit a 90dB siren if required.

This camera comes with 4GB of storage built in so there’s no need to take out a subscription, and the same applies to the indoor Rex camera, which has a hidden slot for an optional microSD card. With no subscription required, you can still view videos for the last seven days, and you can also download and share them, albeit slightly awkwardly.

The mains-powered indoor Rex camera (£40) is a very worthwhile investment since it features 355° pan and 90° tilt with accurate smart tracking and, again, speedy real-time streaming with a delay of less than half a second. This camera is available in two variants – 1080p (called the 2-megapixel) and 4K (4-megapixel). We tested the 2-megapixel version and its video quality is easily good enough for indoor use, with excellent sharpness even when zooming in on a subject. It has a built-in siren, too, which although not exactly loud, is still noisy enough to startle intruders and let them know they’ve been rumbled.

Although not essential, the DB60 video doorbell (£110) is a very useful link in the security chain, providing handy notifications while also monitoring the area outside. The doorbell produces exceptional 4K (2,560 x 1,920) video with five metres of night vision, a 164° field of view, two-way talk, a spotlight and AI Human Detection.

The whole Imou package is a cinch to set up as there are no base stations or hubs involved, though the app is less intuitive than the others here, and the menu systems can be difficult to get a handle on until you’ve familiarised yourself with the myriad settings at your disposal.

Despite the app’s overindulgent complexities, this system is well worth investigating if you want superior video quality and access to seven days of recorded video without having to take out a subscription. It’s very keenly priced, too.

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