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Best Home Security System in San Mateo, CA

Neverwas Haul, a self-propelled 3-story Victorian House.

If you live in San Mateo and want home security, we have you covered. Below you will find recommendations for both national and local security companies that cover your area.

If you have any questions or want to throw in your own opinion, feel free to comment below.

National Home Security Companies in San Mateo

There are several national home alarm companies operating in San Mateo. I’ve selected 2 of them: ADT and Frontpoint.

Both companies are well-known with coverage across the US. In fact, they both cover Canada as well if you decide that San Mateo is too warm for you……

Both companies offer high-quality security equipment, mobile apps, and home automation. But which of them should you choose?

ADT is Our Top Pick for 2023

Available Nationwide · All-Inclusive Monitoring · 6-Month Guarantee

ADT Corporate

ADT is everywhere. It is one of the most well-known alarm companies in the US, mostly thanks to their signage scattered across suburban America. It’s safe to say that when people think home security, they think ADT.

Getting started with ADT is a different experience than getting started with Frontpoint. ADT requires an in-home sales call where you will fill out a survey and undergo a security assessment. At the end of the visit, they will suggest what you should buy.

ADT has 3 basic kinds of packages—

(1) Basic home security package which requires a landline
(2) ADT Cellguard which uses a cellular signal instead of landline
(3) a complete home automation solution called ADT Control.

Of these three, we recommend Cellguard or Pulse. Most of ADT’s customers choose Pulse as it provides smart home features and more advanced technology.

Both Cellguard and Pulse use cellular monitoring. This is more secure than landline monitoring as there are no wires to cut and the signal in consistent even during bad weather. Protection includes 24/7 monitoring for break-ins as well as fire protection, CO monitoring, and flood detection.

If you’re a fan of automating your home, ADT Control is a better option. Pulse offers the same service as Cellguard plus home automation. It can control thermostats, lighting, door locks, and uses video surveillance. All of this is controlled through the ADT Control app for web enabled devices.

If you are thinking ADT there is one more thing to consider…They are a national company so moving out of San Mateo shouldn’t be a problem, right? Yes, and no. New customers are not eligible for a free security system and discounted installation until they’ve been with ADT for 2 years. That’s a red flag for frequent movers.

Another thing to consider is that if your system breaks down, you’ll have to call them and arrange an appointment with a technician to fix it. That’s not always free and it’s not always easy.


Frontpoint is our top recommended home alarm company. It is a hard earned title for Frontpoint. They offer the best technology when it comes to home security and home automation and they’re famous for their customer support.

Frontpoint offers both an analog and digital touch-screen control panel. Both panels have backup batteries, wireless sensors for easy installation, and an integrated cellular chip for cellular monitoring. The panel also includes patented technology called Crash & Smash protection which sends an alarm to the monitoring center if the control panel is crashed or smashed.

Frontpoint has 3 primary packages. The entry-level protection plan is basically just 24/7 professional monitoring. This monitors for burglaries, medical emergencies, and fire, and they can call for the police, medical responders, and fire department.

The Interactive plan is Frontpoint’s most popular package. Aside from protection, users get the convenience of having remote control and access to their security system and lighting, geo location, and email or text alerts are included as well.

And finally, Frontpoint’s Ultimate package—a home automation solution. It offers complete access to thermostat, door locks and energy management through their mobile app. The package also has video streaming and motion-based recording with HD and night-vision capabilities.

Frontpoint doesn’t have their own monitoring center, but they’ve partnered with a reputable monitoring company which offers redundant monitoring to assure Frontpoint’s customers have 24/7 protection.

Customer service and satisfaction is Frontpoint’s top priority. They regularly posts online help articles and videos to assist customers. There are also no surprise fees or tricky contracts. What you see is what you get. They even have a 30-day risk free trial. If within 30-days you’ve figured out that Frontpoint isn’t for you, they will five your money back…no questions asked.

With Frontpoint, you can move your system for free. No problem.

Local Home Alarm Companies in San Mateo

Local home alarm companies usually know the area better than national companies. Also, it’s easier for local companies to provide hands-on support.

For San Mateo, I’ve chosen First Alarm Security Service as one of the best home alarm companies known locally.

First Alarm Security Service

First Alarm is local to California. They have 4 locations. The corporate office is in Aptos while the closest to San Mateo is the San Jose office.

When it comes to protection and equipment, First Alarm is flexible to the needs of customers. They start off by giving interested customers an in-home evaluation. At the end of the evaluation they will provide a customized, free quote. They take in consideration your needs and budget before suggesting the right package.

First Alarm’s Central Monitoring Center is in Aptos, CA, close to their headquarters. The monitoring center is separated from where their business transactions are done. The center is dedicated to providing security services. Period.

I haven’t personally tried First Alarm, but based on reviews from customers, it seems like a solid pick. Most existing customers describe them as courteous and professional. Installation technicians are said to be well-trained, and they show care for their customers.

On the other hand, there are reviews that aren’t so flattering. These are typically regarding billing and contract termination. In a comment on Yelp, First Alarm’s president Dave Hood acknowledged that past billing methods were not what they should be, but he states that they are working to improve.

When it comes to home automation, First Alarm is not the best option. Their home automation products are limited to door locks and video surveillance that can be controlled through a web portal. They do offer email and text alerts, as well as live video streaming.

San Mateo Police Crime Statistics

San Mateo is not a dangerous city, but it’s got its share of crime. Let’s have a look at San Mateo’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report:

  • Total Property Crimes: 1,876
  • Burglaries: 285
  • Larceny-Theft: 1,448
  • Motor Vehicle Theft: 143

A website called Neighborhood Scout, reports that San Mateo is rated safer than 35% of US cities. Property crime rate per 1,000 residents is slightly lower than the national median, which is a good thing. And there is only a 1 in 48 chance of becoming a victim of property crime.

Home alarm systems are deterrents to burglaries. Having an alarm system from a reputable company is a definite plus. And nothing beats the peace of mind you can get from knowing your home is safe.

Photo Credit: Photo by photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid, used under a (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) agreement.

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