We’d do anything to ensure our family’s safety, but that doesn’t mean we have to compromise our budgets. There are lots of reliable security systems that offer top-quality features without breaking the bank. Here, we’ll talk about the best affordable security systems.
The key word here is “best.” We’re not just after the cheapest security systems, but the ones that provide the most value for the price. These security systems may be affordable, but they offer best-in-class technology and features to protect your home.
Keep reading for our full guide on the best options for affordable home security.
SimpliSafe’s business model allows it to sell inexpensive home security equipment. It manufactures its own equipment, and without middlemen and dealers, SimpliSafe is able to sell its products without markups.
In addition, SimpliSafe is one of the best security systems with a no-monthly-fee option. You can self-monitor the system for free, thus allowing you to use the system indefinitely without ever paying a monthly fee. That’s not to say you can’t have professional monitoring, as SimpliSafe’s 24/7 monitoring fees start at just $17.99.
What We Like
Affordable security equipment
Free text alerts
Optional monthly contract
What We Don’t Like
No free cloud storage for cameras
How SimpliSafe is the Best No Monthly Fee Home Security
SimpliSafe helps make security cheap with optional contracts. Many other security companies require 12-month to 48-month contracts. With SimpliSafe, all contracts are month-to-month, so you can add or remove monitoring on a month-to-month basis. You can even forego monthly fees and monitor the system yourself.
Without paying a monthly fee, you can look after your home security yourself. That’s not the easiest task to undertake, but with the help of the SimpliSafe app that connects you to the system wherever you are, it’s doable. You can use the app to receive alerts, stream live camera footage, and view your system’s alerts log.
That’s a comprehensive set of features for a SimpliSafe system that costs about $200. Note that SimpliSafe cameras don’t record when you’re on the free plan. If you want them to record, that will set you back $4.99 per month for each camera or $9.99 a month for up to five cameras.
While SimpliSafe’s free self-monitoring option is tempting, we still recommend paying for professional monitoring to enhance your home’s security. The minimum cost of professional monitoring is $17.99 per month, which will get you top-notch and reliable 24/7 monitoring through cellular signals. That’s an attractively low price, considering that basic monitoring from most alarm companies cost about $30 per month.
For just $17.99 per month, your SimpliSafe system will be connected to a monitoring center that responds to alerts with or without input from you. For example, if there’s a break-in and monitoring operators can’t reach you, they’ll dispatch the police to your address anyway. $17.99 per month is a great price for that, as most companies charge $30 or more for the same feature.
You even have the option to upgrade to the Interactive plan for $27.99, which is still affordable given that it includes basic home automation features through Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as cloud storage for up to 10 SimpliSafe cameras. Its most important feature, however, is that SimpliSafe can use your cameras’ footage to verify alarms as they happen. By doing so, they can speed up police response.
$4.99 for one camera, $9.99 for five cameras
Cellular and Wi-Fi
Cellular and Wi-Fi
Remote app control
Camera live streaming
Yes (up to 10 cameras)
About SimpliSafe Equipment
A basic SimpliSafe set costs about $250, but most of the time, you’ll find SimpliSafe deals that slash the price by up to 60-percent. The best place to look for those deals is SimpliSafe’s website itself.
The most affordable home security system from SimpliSafe includes:
A base station
Two entry sensors
One motion sensor
One SimpliCam (limited time only)
Now, let’s talk about what each piece of equipment does.
Base station: The base station is a small tower with a loud alarm. It plugs into a wall outlet and has a battery backup. A soft blue light indicates that it’s working, and if someone tampers with the system, it will notify the police automatically if you’re on a professional monitoring subscription.
Entry sensors: The entry sensors detect when someone opens the door or window you attached them to, triggering a chime sound. But if you’re out of earshot, they can notify you through texts or app notifications.
Motion sensors: The motion sensors follow the same security protocols as the entry sensors, but instead of opening or closing doors, motion sensors detect movement. They use PIR technology, which can detect people within 30 feet from the sensors.
SimpliCam: The SimpliCam captures video with high-definition footage, and it can even live stream to the SimpliSafe mobile app. Unlike the rest of the system, you can monitor the SimpliCam using the app without paying for any subscription. However, you’ll need to pay a $9.99 monthly fee if you want your cameras to store videos in the cloud.
You can expand the basic set with additional pieces of equipment, like sensors, indoor or outdoor cameras, or a video doorbell. Better still, you can save at least 20-percent if you add a free trial for the Interactive monitoring plan upon checkout. The free trial will renew automatically, but if you cancel before the last day, you won’t be charged and the discount is yours to keep.
In sum, SimpliSafe provides affordable home security with savings on equipment, installation, and monitoring.
Frontpoint is a step up from SimpliSafe in terms of its products and services. Even so, a starter kit costs just $129 with online discounts; the regular retail price is well above $300. Installation, however, is free, as Frontpoint is a DIY home security system. Check out the best DIY systems, if you’re interested in systems that are free and easy to install.
Aside from easy DIY installation, Frontpoint makes it easy for customers to use the system with its user-friendly customer support. You can reach out anytime via email or phone calls, and in our experience, Frontpoint has the best customer support.
With Frontpoint, contracts can be flexible as well. Frontpoint monitoring costs $49 per month. You can sign a long-term contract (up to three years) if you decide to finance the equipment, but you can also go with a month-to-month contract if you purchase the system upfront. And remember, a basic system costs just $99.
What We Like
Competitive monthly rates
Great customer service
What We Don’t Like
Not all equipment is proprietary
Why Frontpoint is Best Home Security with DIY Installation
The wide variety of available features is appealing. Building upon a basic system, you can have indoor/outdoor video surveillance, environmental monitoring, and home automation. Some features, such as the Frontpoint doorbell camera, are compatible with Alexa voice commands. Everything is wire-free for quick DIY installation.
The one caveat of Frontpoint is that it requires professional monitoring, and it isn’t cheap at $49 per month. That’s the only option available, so if you’re going for a simple home security system with just intrusion and environmental hazards monitoring, it’s probably not the most practical choice.
That said, Frontpoint is a great option if you want an advanced home security system with high-tech features that won’t hurt the wallet. For $49 per month, you’ll gain access to the best home security features like home automation, video monitoring, cloud video storage, and an intuitive home security app.
About Frontpoint Equipment
Frontpoint equipment is wire-free for easy DIY installation. You can choose a cheap home security bundle or customize a kit. The $99 Frontpoint starter set includes:
One motion sensor
Set of door stickers, window decals, and a yard sign
Sometimes, a free doorbell camera or outdoor camera is included as well. You can also add a wide range of cameras, sensors, and control panels for extra fees. Some examples are:
Keychain remote control
Keypad door locks
Garage door sensor
Glass break sensors
Carbon monoxide detector
Smoke and heat sensors
Water leak sensors
In sum, Frontpoint sells basic and advanced security systems. Starter sets are low-priced; monthly monitoring is competitively priced, and installation is free.
ADT is America’s oldest home security company, and it has kept up with new technologies. With ADT, you can get home automation, medical alerts, and other modern features.
Prices for ADT equipment and monitoring (required) depend on your home’s layout. You need to talk with an agent for a price quote, but ADT is best in terms of its money-back guarantee; the money-back guarantee is effective for six months and provides for a full refund of installation and monitoring expenses. This gives you ample time to use the equipment and assess customer service. For comparison, other security companies in this article have trial periods of 15 to 60 days.
What We Like
Pro installation within a day
Wire-free or hardwired
Six-month cancellation window
What We Don’t Like
Pricing is case-by-case
Why ADT is Best for Money-Back-Guarantee Home Security
ADT is North America’s best-established home security company. Its generous money-back guarantee shows great confidence in ADT equipment and emergency monitoring. Additionally, ADT security contracts provide $500 in theft insurance.
The money-back-guarantee applies when the system doesn’t work as intended and ADT can’t fix the issue. The refund covers monthly monitoring fees ($29 and up) and any installation fee.
Some ADT customers get free installation. The maximum installation charge is $99 after a rebate.
About ADT Security Equipment
ADT sells an especially wide selection of equipment. You can guard against intruders, monitor the environment, and automate your home. Each installed system is worth a minimum of $850 retail. Optionally, you can use voice commands by integrating Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
An ADT electrician can hardwire the sensors and control panel, or they can install wire-free devices.
ADT designs each system according to the needs of its customers. At a minimum, a set includes:
You can add video monitoring with indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, and the ADT doorbell camera. Environmental monitoring is an option, and ADT can automate your home as well. Furthermore, ADT supports medical alert bracelets and neck pendants.
As for monitoring, ADT uses landline, cellular, or both. A hybrid system with both landline and cellular gives the best home security, with cellular monitoring acting as backup in case of power or landline outages.
In sum, ADT is an experienced company with cutting-edge features. It’s a great choice for households that want long-term security and automation but are wary of contracts. The company is so confident of its systems that it offers a six-month money-back guarantee if it can’t fix system issuers within the first six months.
All of Cove’s systems come with one of two plans, Basic or Plus, but both include 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup, which starts at $17.99 a month. This is a very low price, equal to that of SimpliSafe’s monitoring packages. Cove’s Plus plan throws in even more features, like Alexa and Google Assistant integrations plus remote control, for $27.99 a month. Even though it’s $10 more than the Basic plan, we think it’s worth it to be able to arm and disarm our system remotely and control it with our voices.
What We Like
Professional monitoring starts at $17.99 a month
Cellular backup from AT&T LTE
Alexa and Google integrations available
Easy and free DIY installation
What We Don’t Like
No outdoor or Cove-branded cameras
No option to self-monitor
Smart home integrations start at $27.99 per month
Remote control starts at $27.99 per month
Why Cove is the Best Affordable System for Professional Monitoring
We’ve already told you about Cove’s low prices for 24/7 professional monitoring, but those weren’t the only costs that struck our fancy. Cove’s equipment is also affordable, and we even got an indoor camera, completely free. You can learn more about the exact prices on our page on Cove costs, but keep in mind that its most expensive component, the Touch Panel, still comes in at less than $150.
One more thing we like about Cove is the no-pressure sales process. Unlike more traditional security companies that require a walk-through of your home and a face-to-face consultation, you can use Cove’s online test to get recommendations on which security components are best for your home. You can take the recommendation or leave it; either way, you’ll have the freedom to buy exactly what you want.
About Cove Equipment
Equipment-wise, Cove offers the following:
Touch Alarm Panel
Door, motion, window, smoke, heat, freeze, flood, and CO sensors
The free indoor camera was an especially nice touch. And even if you want more cameras, they would have just been $49.50 each, a strikingly low price.
Despite Cove’s already affordable pricing, we still see a lot of deals on Cove’s website. These are usually percentage-off deals, with the lowest being 20-percent off. However, during special holidays and sale events, we see Cove drop its prices by up to 60-percent. If you time your purchase right, you can save a lot with Cove.
Similar to Frontpoint, abode can support home security, environmental sensors, and automation. A big difference is that you can self-monitor abode security systems for free. And with smartphone alerts, remote control, and home automation all included in the self-monitoring plan, you can effectively use abode without ever paying monthly fees. A basic set costs about $200, and that’s all you’ll need to pay if you decide to self-monitor.
What We Like
Professional or DIY monitoring
Supports home automation
Compatible with many brands
What We Don’t Like
Pay for equipment first
How abode is Best for No-Contract Home Security
Abode sells high-quality yet affordable security systems for DIY installation. After buying equipment, you can monitor it yourself or add pro monitoring anytime. Abode’s pricing is as follows:
Type of monitoring
Cloud storage for cameras
Free shipping on all orders
Homeowners insurance discount
If you choose no-contract home security, you can monitor and control the system with a free mobile app. For example, if the system detects motion, it will send alerts to your phone. The app also lets you access security cameras, control lights, and more.
Voice commands are also an option with compatible Google Home and Amazon Alexa equipment.
About Abode Security Equipment
With abode, you can build a customized system or buy a pre-packaged set. The cheapest security set is the Smart Security Kit. For $231.99, it includes:
An entry sensor
A motion sensor
A key fob
Another cheap home security system ($229) is abode’s iota All-In-One Security Kit. This unit combines an HD camera with a motion sensor and two-way voice communication.
Abode starter sets are compatible with various devices such as:
Glass break sensors
Remote-control door locks
Voice commands are an option with Amazon Alexa and Google Home products.
In sum, abode sells a la carte systems and ready-made sets. You can choose security and environmental monitoring only, or add home automation. Equipment can be low-cost, installation is DIY, and paid monitoring is optional.
Tips About Affordable Home Security Systems
Security savings take different forms. How do you get a trustworthy system for a great price?
Cheap Security Installation
Installation can be an easy way to save. Often there’s no need to pay a professional electrician. You can set up a wireless system yourself in an hour or less:
Some cheap security systems are plug-and-play. An example above is Abode’s iota Smart Home Tower.
Typical DIY installation takes about 30-60 minutes to set up without tools. Sensors can attach to surfaces with removable adhesive, yet are tamper-proof too. Favorite options come from SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, and abode.
If you’re set on pro installation, ADT is a top recommendation with a maximum charge of $99. With other companies above, there’s no charge for installation because you do it yourself.
Cheap Security Equipment
Equipment prices from the leading companies start at around $100. For instance, with Frontpoint, you can get a basic set for just $99.
When choosing a home security system, remember to consider whether it’s proprietary or if you can have other companies monitoring it for you. If it’s proprietary, you’ll need to buy new equipment if you switch monitoring companies.
Another tip: Find out whether you’ll own the system after a monitoring contract is fulfilled. Some companies reclaim the equipment.
Save On Security Monitoring
Monitoring for emergencies is the third main area for savings.
When you own security equipment from select brands, you can self-monitor it for free. For example, SimpliSafe systems send text alerts when there are system breaches.
However, generally, the best home security comes with professional monitoring. Professional monitoring ensures that your alarm company will call 911 in case of an apparent threat to you, your loved ones, or your property. This can give you extra peace of mind.
When you get a home security quote, make sure that it fits your situation. Some companies advertise low rates that actually only apply for landline signaling. Cellular signaling is less vulnerable to tampering.
Ask About Insurance Discounts
Home security can help you save on insurance, as well. If you have homeowner insurance or renter insurance, tell the provider about your home security system and flood/fire protection. Many insurance companies give discounts of 10 to 20 percent when you help protect your home.
There are security systems that don’t require a monthly fee. Usually, you’ll monitor the system yourself, relying on text, email, or app alerts as well as built-in sirens. SimpliSafe, abode, and Ring Alarm are great examples.
Security cameras are often offered as add-ons to security systems, and yes, there are affordable security systems that support security cameras. That said, keep in mind that most brands require a higher monthly fee for systems with cameras to accommodate additional features like cloud storage.
An affordable security system usually costs around $200. You may need to pay more depending on the size of your house and the types of devices you’re buying, but for $200, you can get a basic system with motion and entry sensors.
It depends on the brand, but generally speaking, affordable security systems are affordable. SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, ADT, Cove, and abode are all reputable brands with millions of users. They also offer necessary features like professional monitoring and video monitoring, as well as add-ons like home automation.