Best Security Systems for Urban Living

They say you can’t put a price on the peace of mind that comes from protecting your home and family… but we’re about to. This article explores security systems for urban living.

Traditionally home security systems required long term, expensive contracts and you needed a professional technician to install them. Thankfully, advancements in technology have made security systems more user friendly, more discrete, and for the most part, less expensive. Many of them don’t require long-term contracts anymore either, which is always appreciated. There are also portable options available, so you can take your system with you when you move. 

Before going any further, it’s worth mentioning that we are not affiliated with any of the security systems or their organizations. DCR Phoenix Homes has been building in the Ottawa area for over 30 years and many of the families we’ve worked with have asked for recommendations to protect their homes. This article is what we’ve learned from our own personal experience as well as our professional recommendations. Prices and features mentioned are subject to change.


This organization has one of the highest monthly monitoring fees of approximately $50 per month. However, you are able to pay for your equipment up front, so you can cancel anytime without fees or penalties. 

Frontpoint is a DIY system that you can easily install yourself. If you have problems, their customer service team has been rated very well by various organizations. It comes with a mobile app, offers video streaming, as well as CO and smoke monitoring. Frontpoint technology also includes indoor and outdoor cameras, a doorbell camera, smart locks, smart thermostat, and sensors for all the doors, including the garage, windows, motion sensors, glass break detectors, heat and flood sensors too. 


Several security and tech publications have rated Vivint as the smartest home security system. It comes with all the perks of home automation, and their systems are customizable. There are purchase options from buying the equipment outright, which allows you to proceed without any contracts. If you choose to pay for your equipment in installments, then there are long term contracts, with some harsh cancellation fees. 

Their equipment is expensive (which is to be expected when you consider its smart features), you can expect to pay about $500-$700. Their monthly monitoring plans though are less than most, they can be as low as $30 per month. The bright side is, because there is so much equipment to choose from, Vivint provides a free security assessment so you can pick and choose what’s right for your home.


Since the invention of and their domination of the video doorbell industry, Ring has become a household name. Doorbells alone are usually around $200, but you can pick up their 5-piece security kit for about $300, which comes with a full year of professional monitoring. There are also 8-piece and 14-piece security kits available. 

There are no options to finance the equipment, it needs to be purchased outright, but once you do, their monthly monitoring is as low as $10 per month. 

A feature that is unique to Ring is their “Neighbours App” which allows you inside information on suspicious happenings or criminal activity in your area. 


Ring has, unfortunately, opened our eyes to the possible downsides of the new technology used for security systems. Several users have reported breaches, in which a stranger was able to use their two-way communication, without authorization. Ring released a statement reminding users that – just like all internet connected devices, strong and unique passwords are needed, and they should be reset regularly.