With crime, including home break-ins, on the rise across the country, a secure home is more important than ever before. And one of the absolute best ways to ensure the safety and security of your home is with a home security system.

Over two million burglaries occur every year so it should go without saying that you don’t just need any old home security system – you need a good one. And that’s why we’ve put together this guide to the top five home security companies that you can trust. These are the companies that do things right and take protecting your property and your family to the next level.

Basic Home Security Tips

Before you invest in a home security system, there are a few security basics you should put into practice to keep your home safe. They are quick and easy to implement and will ward away the vast majority of would-be criminals before your home security system even needs to kick into action.

Install Outdoor Lighting: Burglars are notorious for operating under the cloak of night. Installing motion-activated outdoor lighting (or infrared-activated) around exterior doors is a surefire way to keep them at bay. Few people want to be in the spotlight while committing a crime.

Invest in Quality Locks: Locks are the most important aspect of home security. When moving into a new house, always change the locks. You never know who still has keys. Better yet, invest in 1-inch thick deadbolt locks for all exterior doors. And install metal bars and locks on all of your home’s windows and sliding doors.

Never Leave Spare Keys: Keeping a spare key outside is handy if you are ever locked out. But common hiding spots such as the mailbox, under the doormat, and behind flowerpots are all commonly checked by criminals looking for easy entry. Instead of stashing your spare somewhere outside, give it to a trustworthy neighbor to safeguard.

Make Home Appear Occupied: Criminals want their “job” to be as easy as possible. That’s why the vast majority of them target unoccupied houses. So when you go out of town, even if it’s only for a day or two, make your house look occupied. Automatic light timers are a great investment. Have a neighbor come by and pick up newspapers each day. If possible, keep a car parked in your driveway.

Qualities of a Great Home Security Company

While there are a lot of great DIY home security tips that will help keep burglars at bay, there is no overstating the benefits of a home security system. Before reading our brief reviews of the top five home security companies you can trust, we wanted to fill you in on just what makes one of these companies so great.

Equipment: A home security company is only as good as its equipment. We take the type of home security equipment, including the number of sensors, into consideration in our ratings below.

Services: What sort of monitoring services does each company offer? The best provide 24/7 live monitoring and contact the authorities immediately after a break-in is detected.

Pricing: Naturally, pricing is of importance when it comes to a home security company. They need to strike a solid balance between high quality and affordability.

Guarantee: Does the company you are looking at offer a warranty on faulty equipment? What about a money-back guarantee?

Reputability: A company’s service record is the best testament to its reputability. What do other customers say about it? What does the Better Business Bureau say about them?

Top Five Home Security Companies:

There are a lot of great home security companies out there (and some that are not so great). The great ones excel in all of the areas discussed above. Because we can’t list all of the companies that we like, we have narrowed down our choices to the five that we believe to be the absolute best of the best, the ones you can trust.

1. FrontPoint Security

Their state-of-the-art security systems and highly affordable pricing have helped make FrontPoint the leader in home security. They use a 100% wireless, 100% cellular system that is safer and far more reliable than landline systems (which criminals can easily disable). FrontPoint makes installation easy with a DIY setup solution that takes as little as 30 minutes to get up and running. The company provides a variety of alerts via text message and email including broken window alerts, exterior door opening alerts, power outage alerts, and alerts when a child comes home. They also provide an optional video surveillance service.

Find out more about FrontPoint Security here.

2. Protect America

Free equipment, all-inclusive monitoring, and excellent customer service are hallmarks of Protect America. The company is among the most affordable home security companies with their well-known lowest price guarantee. They offer five different plans to choose from, each with slightly different equipment and services. All their systems are self-install, reliable, and of the highest quality.

Find out more about Protect America here.

3. LifeShield Security

Highly competitive pricing and unique equipment set LifeShield Security apart. They were the first to offer an all-digital wireless security system and hold over 20 home security patents. Unlike most other companies, LifeShield makes their own equipment. This gives them a thorough knowledge of how it works and enables them to provide superior customer support. All of their packages are cellular and wireless connected. They even offer whole home fire protection.

Find out more about LifeShield Security here.

4. ADT

One of the most familiar names in the game, ADT provides landline, cellular, and wireless plans that encompass home security, fire detection, and video surveillance. Though it can be slightly inconvenient, ADT prefers to send a representative to evaluate your house prior to installation. The plus of this is that your home security system can then be tailored specifically to your needs and your home’s layout. Their services are slightly more expensive than the others on this list but the company also offers the most bells, whistles, and add-ons.

Find out more about ADT here.

5. Vivint

Vivint offers a unique combination of home security and home automation in their systems. In addition to their standard security features, including motion detectors, sensors, and video cameras, they also offer users the ability to control home lighting, appliances, thermostats, and alarm systems via a cell phone or a computer, from anywhere in the world. A lifetime warranty on all equipment and world-class customer service are the cherry on top of Vivint’s home security offerings.

Find out more about Vivint here.