Aftermarket car alarm system is an absolute necessity in today’s world. They come with features such as remote unlocking and anti-carjacking protection that make them a worthwhile investment for your car. Obviously, having a car alarm system set up will not keep the thieves from stealing your car. But a unit with an ignition kill switch or GPS tracking can make it a lot more difficult for the thief to get away with it. Here are some of the main factors to consider while choosing a car alarm system for your car.
- Features to Consider in Good Car Alarms
- Top 10 Best Car Alarms 2020
- 1. Viper 5706V 2-Way Car Security with Remote Start System
- 2. Pyle Car Alarm Security System
- 3. Python 5706P Responder LC3 SST 2-Way Security with Remote Start System
- 4. AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System
- 5. Brand New Omega K9 Mundial-4 (New Version) Car Alarm
- 6. EASYGUARD EC002-NS PKE Alarm System
- 7. Viper 5906V Color Remote Start & Security
- 8. Viper 350 PLUS 3105V 1-Way Car Alarm Keyless Entry
- 9. Crimestopper SP-502 2-Way LCD Paging Combo Alarm
- 10. Prestige APS997Z Security System
- Guide to Buying the Best Car Alarms
Features to Consider in Good Car Alarms
The first thing to keep in mind is the installation process since it can be quite a challenge. In most cases, a lot of wires are involved and you also need to be familiar with your car’s electrical system. If you know how to tinker with the system, you can go ahead and install the alarm system. The alternative is to get a professional. In any case, make sure you are familiar with the instructions before installing it yourself. As daunting as the task might be, you can successfully install your alarm system if you are a handy car owner. Be careful however not to impact the warranty of your car or the alarm system in the process.
Although some car alarm systems claim to have a range as long as a mile, it is highly unlikely you will ever need to start your car from a mile away. Therefore, instead of thinking about range in terms of distance, think of it in terms of the strength of the signal. This might even mean going with a car with a moderate range as long as the signal is strong and responsive. This way, you can be sure your alarm is on even if you walk away and switch it on from a distance.
The quality of the shock sensors in your alarm system determines how sensitive and effective your car alarm system will be when tripped. We recommend going with a system that has responsive shock sensors that are capable of sounding the alarm when your car is hit with significant impact or when someone breaks through the glass of the car. To really grab attention and deter thieves, you need a siren that can produce up to 100 decibels and more.
Nowadays, there are many car alarm manufacturers that are integrating Smartphone apps into their alarm systems. This adds a level of convenience that allows you to effortlessly control your car from your Smartphone. Basically, with a system integrated with an app, you can turn your phone into an extra remote and monitor your car from a distance. Some units come with features that send you alerts through mail or text in case of a security breach. A smartphone app also comes with a GPS tracking feature that can be incredibly useful in case your car gets stolen. Keep in mind however that this feature can increase the price of the unit beyond your estimated budget.
Two-way remote system
In most cases, you will find car alarm system with one way remote. A one way remote is a remote that only lets you lock and unlock the doors of your car or arm and disarm the alarm. In this case, the remote is the only one sending a signal to the alarm system thus the name ‘one way remote’.
In a two way remote system, the remote is able to send and receive signals. This means that you can lock and unlock the doors of your or arm and disarm the alarm and your system can also send notifications to your remote. 2-way remotes come with a display for visual feedback that notifies you when the engine radio or AC is turned on. You can even go with high-end models that can be customized to show specific security alerts.
Smart car alarm manufacturers understand that not all car thieves will break into your car with a crowbar. Plus, since we are living in a digitally advanced age, there is bound to be some tech-savvy thieves out there. That is why you need an alarm system with encrypted transmission. Encrypted transmission simply means that the signals that your remote sends to your alarm system can only be decoded by the system and no other device. In most cases, tech-savvy thieves will use state of the art signal hacking equipment to intercept the signals sent between your remote and your car alarm system. With encrypted transmission, the alarm system will find it easy to differentiate between authentic remote signals and signals from a hacker’s equipment.
Top 10 Best Car Alarms 2020
If the Viper 5906V has remotes that are too big for your hands, a decent alternative we would like to recommend is the Viper 5706V.
Just like the Viper 5906V, this remote start system is also designed with a 2-way car security system that works to keep your car safe from thieves. It boasts of door and trunk triggers, plus, the 5 button control transmitter gives you full control of all the 24 functions. In terms of security response, you get a high-quality alarm system that is reliable as well. You can set its alarm system to siren-less modes in case you are in an area where noise is prohibited.
One of Viper 5706V most convenient features apart from the superior security functions is the compact remote control that comes with a slim and bright display. Unlike the Viper 5906V, it is not colored. However, it displays the temperature inside your car instead of the time which can be a handy function if you want to pre-heat your car before going in.
If you are on a budget, the Viper 5706 V is a much better alternative to the Viper 5906V. Not only does the Viper 5706V give you all the functionality you would expect from the Viper 5906V it also fits a minimalists design with its slim display.
- Reliable five bottom control system
- Easy to program
- It can be used only as a security system
- Reliable battery life
- Requires additional parts for some installations
- Installation is not easy
If you are looking for a car alarm system with a variety of programmable features, look no further than the Pyle Car Alarm Security System. It comes with an anti-carjack feature that allows you to monitor the doors of your car while the ignition is still on. This means that the anti-carjacking feature will be tripped if the door of your car is open. In fact, the carjacking alerts are designed to progressively get higher to effectively deter the thieves.
This unit comes with a siren capable of 120dB output. This is sufficient volume to scare off car burglars. It also comes with a built-in relay for parking lights. As if that is not enough, the unit comes with remote transmitters with two operation modes that is the level shifted mode as well as the standard mode. This makes it easy to operate since you only need to press the transmitter button for less than one second to activate the standard functions. If you press the button for more than a second you will switch to the level shift features.
The only problem with this unit is that the installation can be a bit complicated. However, if you get a professional too do the heavy lifting for you, you will find the Pyle Car Alarm Security System quite easy to use. The unit comes as advertised with easily accessible functions. You also get an additional relay not to mention anti-carjack features for peace of mind especially if you park your car in a busy city area.
- Features a multifunctional four button transmitter
- Reliable siren output
- Comes with LED status indicator remote
- Auxiliary outputs for accessories
- Installation requires a professional
At its price range, the Python 5706P presents a feature heavy alarm system that lives up to the hype. It comes with the Stinger double guard shock sensor not to mention additional four auxiliary outputs for use with more accessories. However, one of its most outstanding features is the fact that it is compatible with Viper’s smartStart app giving you even more functionality that is similar to the Viper 5706V.
Its two-way pager is complimented by the LCD display that makes it easy to monitor the notifications from your car. In fact, when the alarm goes off the pager vibrated or beeps. This makes using the alarm system easy.
The unit comes with an ignition kill switch capacity that will lock the car’s engine such that the car won’t shift out of the drive without your car keys. And in case your car gets stolen you can get GPS tracking. In fact, you can go beyond tracking to even control the entire system from a distance.
Although the Python 5706P is packed with a bunch of high-end features that match the price, its SmartStart GPS tracking comes with a monthly subscription that can be a deal breaker for some users. However, if you don’t mind the high cost, this stinger DoubleGuard shock sensor plus the 6-tone 120dB siren work well to deter thieves. Furthermore, the remote has a powerful and reliable range which is great.
- Features a 2 way remote
- Powerful one-mile range remote start
- Easy to use the LCD screen
- Compatible with Viper SmartStart GPS car tracker
- Requires a professional for installation
- It's expensive
When it comes to remote start car alarm systems, almost nothing beats the convenience of pre-warming your car right before your drive off. Well, the AVITAL 5303L offers you these features and more. It comes with an LCD remote that makes it easy to use since it displays icons that warn you when the door, trunk or hook is left open. The alarm system is designed such that you are able to get alerts of the specific parts of your car that are tampered with.
To prevent hackers from intercepting the signals between the remote and the car alarm system, this unit features a fob that emits encoded signals to keep your car safe. Apart from transmission encryptions, the AVITAL 5303L also comes with sensitive shock sensors that perform well to trigger warning chirps in case of serious impact or disruption. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the shock sensors to prevent false alarms from happening
Although the AVITAL 5303L leans more on the pricey side, it boasts of worthy features that make it a value for your money. It comes with anti-carjack features that keep thieves at bay. Plus, its shock sensors are adjustable making it easy to use anywhere including places where noise is restricted.
- Adjustable shock sensor
- comes anti-carjack features
- LCD display for ease of use
- Remote start and passive operation enabled
- It's slightly expensive but worth it
Right off the bat, the most interesting features about the Omega K9 is its anti-carjacking feature. This unit features a shock sensor that can be adjusted to panic mode, easy valet mode with room for 18 more programmable features. In the valet mode, you can enable or disable flashing parking lights in case of a break-in. The siren is also programmable for loud or quiet performance depending on the situation.
Its keyless entry feature also means you can pre-warm or cool down your car before driving making for a great level of comfort. Since it’s a universal aftermarket car alarm system, it can be used with any type of car without a problem. You will need a professional to install it. Furthermore, its installation process qualifies for a discount with most insurance packages.
This unit is designed for those who are looking for reliable performance without necessarily breaking the bank. It is easy to use and the fact that it comes with up to 18 programmable features makes it a must-have for those looking for quality performance in an alarm system. It also comes with a lifetime warranty which is great.
- Easily programmable
- Compact and stylish remotes
- It has anti-carjack features
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Reliable siren volume
- Remotes does not have a display
This unit is designed to easily fit into any car with a 12V output DC electrical system. Even though installation will require a professional installer, it is designed for a seamless keyless operation which is a plus. With its programmable design, you can switch it from mute to audible mode easily. This makes it a decent pick for setting up mute alarms that allow you to catch the thief.
Some of its anti-carjack features include a panic mode, an emergency override feature as well as a central door locking automation. The passive keyless entry feature offers a reliable locking and unlocking performance for the door of your car. In case you are worried about hackers getting access to your alarm system, EASYGUARD EC002-NS PKE features a hopping code that encrypts the signals between the remote and the alarm system for an added layer of security.
This unit comes with a stable performance that is enabled by its FSK technology. This gives it a decent range plus the hopping code enables improved vehicle security which is great. You might need an extra bypass module if your car already has an immobilizer chip in the OEM key fob. However, the unit offers a level of comfort and convenience that users have come to expect with a passive keyless entry unit.
- Keyless convenience
- Hopping code encryption for security
- Reliable alarm system
- Compatible with a variety of cars
- Features password entry
- Installation requires a professionaly
Looking for an aftermarket remote start system with two different remote options? Well, the Viper 5906V has that and more. This remote start system comes with remotes that feature a color OLED screen that is bright and clear enough for viewing in the dark.
Designed with a quick 2-way remote response not to mention a 5 button one-way control, you can rest easy with this unit knowing you are in full control over your car. Plus the remote comes with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can easily be charged via USB.
With the Viper 5906V, you get to monitor your car in the simplest way possible thanks to the intuitive user interface. In fact, the Responder LC3 displays the actual temperature in the car so that you can warm it up or cool it down in time before getting in the car.
Furthermore, it’s easily programmable and the alarm system can be set to silence alarm mode when you visit a noise restricted area.
The best part about the Viper 5906V is the fact that you get absolute control over your car. The OLED color display on the remote is not just bright, clear and easily visible; it is also minimal so that you only see the most important icons. The system boasts of a one-mile range which is more than enough for most car owners.
The Viper 5906V is a decent choice for car owners looking for a remote start system that can also deliver a decent level of security for their car. Compared to the Viper 5706V the 5906V is an upgrade with a newer antenna design not to mention thinner remotes with a much better display.
- Audible alarm
- A bright clear display screen
- A reliable alert system included
- Can be used as a security system only
- The alarm can be set to silent alert mode
- The installation process is expensive and cumbersome
The Viper 350 PLUS is a decent pick for those looking for value for their money. It comes with an anti-carjacking and panic alarm feature that guarantees to keep your car secure. Even though it’s a one-way remote security system, it comes with a 4 button remote that allows for additional functionality including GPS tracking, and remote starter.
The unit also features a responsive shock sensor, parking light flash, and dome light. Among the downsides is the fact that the alarm does not have a silent mode, therefore, using it in a noise restricted area would be difficult.
Overall, at its price range, the Viper 350 PLUS offers the most important features any car owner would need to keep thieves from going anywhere near the car. Not only is this unit one of the most affordable, but it’s also quite popular.
- Affordable pricing
- Comes with anti-carjacking features
- GPS tracking included
- It's a one-way remote system
The SP-502 is a 2-way system that boasts of a range of up to 3500ft. You can get more or less strength from the remote’s range based on your environment. The security system also comes with an anti-carjacking sensor that will set off the alarm and fully sound the sirens in case of a heavy impact. Unlike most systems that are triggered by a light vibration, the SP-502 is able to tell between false alarms (e.g. from a loud sound) and actual intrusion attempts by thieves.
With the SP-502 you get more than your money’s worth with a transmitter that can be configured for a second car if you have one. This security system allows you to use the same remote to control and monitor two cars if one of the vehicles has an RS4-G4 system installed. In terms of range, the unit comes with an external antenna receiver that extends your range even further. Basically, from up to 3500ft you can lock or unlock the doors to your car with precision.
The SP-502 is a must-have for car owners who are looking for a top of the line universal remote that still falls within a pocket-friendly budget. It comes with all the high end features users have come to expect with deluxe security systems ranging from Smartphone app integration and a capacity for GPS tracking from your phone. However, some users complained about the battery on the remote tapping out too soon.
- GPS tracking
- Reliable remote start system
- The LCD display on remote for ease of use
- Remote’s battery could be better
A car alarm system’s level of convenience is determined by how much you can customize it to fit your specific needs. Well, the Prestige APS997E is a 2-way remote start system that gives you a variety of programmable features. For instance, you can program it for active or passive operation. This means you can have it close your doors and start your alarm whenever the engine goes or reserve the automatic alarm activation to save your battery. The transmitter is also programmable. You can set it up for two cars and use separate controls.
The remote start features allow you to warm up your car during winter for a more comfortable experience. When the alarm goes off, the remote vibrates. In addition to the remote vibration, you get a parking meter countdown timer on the LCD screen of the remote to make it easy to use and also save you from another parking ticket.
Overall, the Prestige APS997E is a decent 2-way remote start security system. It comes with easily programmable features that allow you to take full advantage of the available security features. Even though it’s made to be easy to use, you will need a professional installer to have it in your car.
- Easily programmable
- 2-way remote start convenience
- Comes with a parking meter countdown display
- Features a cold temperature start mode
- Remote’s range needs improvement
Will I void my car’s warranty by installing an aftermarket alarm system?
No. According to the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act car owners are free to install aftermarket car alarms and remote systems without voiding their car warranties. However, if you are installing the car by yourself, you should be careful not to cause any damage to the system that would void your warranty.
Do I need a professional for installation?
If you know how to use a wrench or understand the electrical connections of your car, you might not need a professional to install your car alarm system. Besides, most units come with detailed instructions that can walk you through the entire process. However, if you are unfamiliar with your car’s electrical system, it would be a good idea to get a professional to do the heavy lifting for you.
Should I get a car immobilizer instead?
Car alarms have been around for so long and most of the car alarms out there are easily triggered to an extent where people have become numb to their siren calls. Furthermore, the majority of car alarms systems out there are easy to deactivate so why the hell would you still need a car alarm? Well, an immobilizer can be a decent alternative to a car alarm. Basically, with a car immobilizer, your car will not start unless the RFID key is in proximity. However, just like a car alarm system, an immobilizer is not designed to be a full proof solution. As cars become digital, it is going to get more difficult for common thieves to steal cars (except through hacking). That is why getting an alarm system with encrypted transmission gives you an added advantage.
Do car alarms drain a lot of battery power?
It depends on the car alarm system you have. The more sophisticated the features on your car alarm system, the more power you will need. Some car alarm systems will actually drain your battery within hours. If the accessories on the car alarm system go off simultaneously, expect the alarm system to drain a lot of power. Most car alarm systems will discharge your car battery at a rate of about 30 percent per month.
Can car alarms turn off automatically?
Yes. Car alarm systems usually come with an emergency override feature that will shut off the siren. You can also remove the fuse in the alarm system for a forced shutdown in case the emergency override mechanism isn’t working. Another option is to disconnect the cable from the battery.
Guide to Buying the Best Car Alarms
A car alarm system is no doubt one of the best investments you can make towards securing your car. With that in mind, knowing how to pick the best car alarm system will help you get a unit that is reliable with convenient features.
Pick the right type of alarm for your car
As much as any car alarm system can help deter thieves, where you park your car also affects the security of your car. If you are packing your car in an area with a high crime rate, getting a 2-way unit will be more reliable. However, for areas with low crime rates, a one-way alert system will work just fine. Here are other types of car alarm system you need to know.
An immobilizing car alarm system will only start when your RFID key is near. If you want a car alarm system that goes beyond a loud noisy siren, getting an immobilizer car alarm system will keep the thieves from driving away with your car. The only way the car will start with this type of alarm is if the thief has a copy of your car keys.
If you often park your car in a noise restricted area, you can get a silent car alarm system. This one operates by notifying you, either through your Smartphone or the fob, whenever a thief is breaking into your car. This type of alarm gives you an opportunity to catch the thief since there is no way of knowing whether the alarm is triggered. The alternative to a silent alarm system is an audible one. Although audible alarms can be ideal for drawing attention to a thief, they are easily triggered and often loud and annoying.
The biggest advantage of a remote start alarm system is that you can warm up your car during the winter right before you get in. In hot climates, you can also set off the AC to cool your car making it comfortable and ready for driving. Basically, a remote start alarm system gives you the convenience of easy control from a distance. For such a feature, you will need a two-way remote system that allows your remote and the car to communicate back and forth.
This type of alarm system has sensors that are activated automatically whenever the doors are locked or the engine is turned off. This type of alarm is a decent choice for car owners who prefer a passive hands-off approach to their car’s alarm system.
If you love an engaging experience, going with an active car alarm system will be the best decision. This type of car alarm systems is the opposite of passive systems in that they can only be activated or deactivated by the remote. Locking the doors of your car or turning off the engine will not activate such alarm systems.
Other key features to consider
On average, you will find that most car alarm system fall in the $50 to $200 price range. The differences in price come down to the customization of the alarm system, the strength of the range and other convenient features such as Smartphone integration. Any car alarm system above $100 and below$200 will feature a solid mix of reliability and performance. If you are looking for a car alarm system with high-end features and exceptional performance, it would be a good idea to go with a system priced over $200.
When it comes to picking the best car alarm system, knowing the most reputable brands can save you hours or research. However, that does not mean that lesser known brands only produce low-quality unreliable products. Here is a rundown of some of the most reputable brands out there
For the past 30 years, Python has been creating car alarm systems that car owners find reliable and quite useful. The company behind the brand is based in Southern California. The Python 5706P Responder LC3 SST is one of their most sought after units as it comes with a one-mile range remote not to mention a visible LCD display.
If you have gone through our list of the best car alarm systems, you must have noticed that we have featured a variety of units from this brand. The reason is simple. For 3 decades, Viper has maintained a strong reputation for producing reliable alarm systems that are revered by many. One of their most popular units is the Viper 5706V 2-Way Car Security with Remote Start System. It boasts of a 4 channel security system not to mention a 5 button LCD transmitter.
This one is also another well-known brand with more than 18 years of skin in the game. Their units are top of the line with a reputation for cutting-edge features not to mention easy installation and user-friendly remote controls.
Car Jack Protection
Carjack protection is the inclusion of features such as a high-pitched siren, an ignition kill switch or a chirping alarm with the potential of hassling the car thief to abandon the car. Although it may sound redundant, car jack protection systems are quite effective in deterring thieves from stealing your car. Since it’s not a standard with
all alarm systems, you should always check with the unit you pick to make sure it’s there.
Benefits of a car alarm
Peace of mind
Even though a car alarm system is not full proof, it offers peace of mind when you know your car is safe. Furthermore, the last thing any car owner wants is to lose their priced possession too petty car thieves. Plus, high-end car alarms come with convenient features that make it easy to monitor and track your car from a distance.
With a top tier car alarm system, you get GPS tracking that helps monitor the movements of your car making recovery much easier.
Lowers your insurance rate
That’s right; you can easily reduce your cars monthly insurance premium by simply installing a car alarm system. In most cases, car owners have managed to offset the cost of an aftermarket car alarm with the saving they made on their car insurance.
When it’s all said and done, picking the best car alarm system will depend on the features you are looking to get and your budget. As you have seen, one of the benefits of getting a car alarm system is for peace of mind. Systems that are integrated with GPS tracking also make it easy to track your car in case it gets stolen. In terms of costs and your budget, you will need to add installation costs to your budget since most of the units are designed to be installed by a professional.