Quick Look at NorthStar Home
- Average monthly monitoring cost: $29.95
- Mostly positive reviews
- Faltering reputation result of lawsuits
NorthStar Alarm Services has changed its name to NorthStar Home
Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Orem, Utah, NorthStar Home claims to be one of the fastest growing home security companies in North America.
In comparison to the rest of the industry, the company’s prices are average, it provides standard home security services, has high-quality security devices, and the customer reviews are mostly positive.
At the time this review was written (December 2020), NorthStar Home was ranked #27.
We highly recommend customers compare NorthStar Home to the best home security companies.
NorthStar Home Reviews
NorthStar Home has received a 6.2 out of 10 rating on Best Home Security Companies, which takes its ratings from the average of five different review websites to maintain fairness.
However, NorthStar Home has also received mostly positive customer reviews and many customers report having had a great experience with the company, though there are a fair share of negative reviews as well.
Let’s take a look at a summary of positive NorthStar Home reviews:
- Installation Technician Expertise: Newer NorthStar customers are happy with the expertise and professionalism shown by each NorthStar home security technician and installer. The service provided by NorthStar employees is described as friendly, informed, and quick. This ultimately leads to a positive experience for many customers.
- Explanation of System: NorthStar customers feel that the company does a very good job in explaining the ins and outs of their new alarm systems. This is both a compliment of the company’s customer service and the intuitive nature of the home security devices.
As with every company, not everything is sunshine and roses. Let’s take a look at some of the negative NorthStar Home reviews:
- Contract: Every home security company that requires customers to sign a contract will receive more negative reviews than the companies that don’t require contracts. Companies like Vivint, Cove, and Blue by ADT will always have better reviews purely because contracts are likely the one topic that most negative home security reviews refer to. NorthStar Home is no different than the other more traditional home security companies in this regard. NorthStar customers are angry that their contract extended after purchasing new equipment or that it automatically renewed. The company's minimum 5-year contract was a lot for most people. To cancel a contract, customers reported spending $1,800 - $3,000 just to cancel.
- False Alarms: Even though the company has alarm protection guarantee, many customers have left reviews about false alarms. Local police can charge individuals for each false alarm after a warning.
NorthStar Home Cost
- Monthly Monitoring Cost: $29.95/month
- Upfront Cost: $700+
One of the first company details we look for at Best Home Security Companies is whether or not a company is open and upfront about cost information. After all, a company that is proud of its pricing does not withhold that information from its customers.
Sadly for NorthStar, it doesn’t disclose its pricing information to customers unless they call in for a “free quote”, which is just another way to say an’ appointment with a company salesman.’
Because we have researched, spoken with clients, and received customer reviews regarding pricing, we do know that NorthStar charges $29.95/month for professional monitoring services. However, it gets a little more complicated when trying to estimate a price for the home security system from NorthStar Home.
Based on averages and what we can infer about the company’s security device packages, we would expect the average customer to spend between $700 - $1,200 on equipment and installation.
NorthStar Home Customer Service
For the most part, customers are satisfied with NorthStar Home’s customer service. The biggest complaints pertain to sales techniques and contract issues (including cancellation fees).
There are several reasons NorthStar service shines. Let’s take a look.
Free, Professional Installation
A NorthStar alarm system will appeal to those wishing to avoid the DIY approach. All NorthStar security systems are professionally installed for free when you sign up. Additionally, if you move within one year of purchasing, NorthStar will re-install your system for free at your new home.
The caveat is that you are required to sign a new, minimum 60-month contract at the new rate.
Lifetime Service Protection
Make sure to read the fine print of the lifetime service protection before choosing the NorthStar alarm service based on the company’s warranty.
NorthStar claims to have the best warranty and guarantee in the home monitoring business. The company has a lifetime warranty on their home security hardware, false alarm protection guarantee, and free lifetime battery replacement.
In the first year, new customers are not charged for service calls, and they won't be charged if they move.
The lifetime service protection from NorthStar does not cover your equipment if it is damaged due to weather conditions, natural disasters, remodeling/renovation, power surges, or your own accidents.
The one-year free of service calls is not actually free. NorthStar states that they charge a minimum of $35 as a "Trip Charge" for each home visit. There are additional charges for "Emergencies" outside of business hours.
NorthStar Home Products
NorthStar does not seem to have organized home security packages available for purchasing or monitoring.
Instead, potential customers will need to go through NorthStar's equipment and pick which home security and home automation features they want. Pricing is not available online for equipment or monitoring.
NorthStar Home does offer 24/7 monitoring, but again, the price is undisclosed. It's also undisclosed whether or not equipment comes with the monitoring, or needs to be purchased separately.
Because there are no advertised packages to choose from, your NorthStar security system — and the upfront price — may be vastly different from other customers.
NorthStar Alarm Products and Packages
- Honeywell Lyric Controller: This is the main hub and control panel for your home security and automations with NorthStar. A few examples of what you can control via this panel include the thermostat, lights, video monitor, lights, and security system. It features voice control so you can be hands-free
- NorthStar Connect App: Through their mobile app, you can arm and disarm your home and view live video footage. The app allows customers to control all their smart home devices (like thermostat), and decide when they are turned on and off. You'll also get notifications when someone is at your door if you have the doorbell camera.
Home Security Equipment
- Door sensors
- Indoor motion detector
- Window sensors
- Wireless outdoor sensor (water and tamper resistant)
- Glassbreak detector (within 25 feet)
- Smoke detector (5-year battery)
- Carbon monoxide detector (5-year battery)
- Medical Alert Pendant
Home Automation Equipment
- Door lock
- Garage opener
- Doorbell camera
- Indoor camera (C1 and C2)
- Outdoor security camera
NorthStar Home Quality & Experience
In the past few years, NorthStar Home has been involved in several government lawsuits regarding sales tactics (one in Arkansas and the other in Wisconsin). The company changed its name to NorthStar Home in an effort to rebrand as a result of the lawsuits and negative customer reviews.
NorthStar Home’s reputation is still faltering, however, the company does appear to be making strides in the right direction. Recent customers do seem to be more satisfied with the service provided.
The company does have the experience necessary to provide quality home security services, with just over 20 years in the business.
Founded in 2000, NorthStar Home is seeking to take more control within the home automation and security industry. Sharing a hometown with its neighbor and competitor Vivint Smart Home (ranked #1), NorthStar knows how to provide competitive services and offers quality equipment.
The company’s reluctance to share pricing information is a red flag and implies unexpected fees for the customer. We recommend interested customers inquire about unseen fees and final pricing information before signing a contract.
We would also strongly recommend that researching customers compare NorthStar Home to our top home security systems and companies.
We do not recommend using NorthStar Home services at this time, simply because there are many home security companies that offer better deals with more transparency.
The company has a length 5-year contract, whereas most home security companies have 3-year contracts or even no contracts. Additionally, your contract may auto-renew with NorthStar Alarm when you move, purchase new equipment, or forget to cancel. Their "lifetime service protection" has many caveats and should be read carefully.
Lastly, we do not like that the equipment and monitoring costs, as well as the actual home security packages, are not displayed on their site.
We recommend customers compare NorthStar to the best home security companies.