Best Affordable Home Security Systems of 2023
You don't have to spend a ton of money to get a great home security system. Here are our experts' top picks with the lowest prices.
Security systems don’t always come cheap, but if you research enough, you’ll find security solutions that offer top-shelf features and high-quality equipment for your budget. In fact, some of the most affordable security systems around are also the best security systems on the market right now.
If you’re looking for the best affordable home security systems, our expertise and experience testing dozens of brands might come in handy. In this guide, we’ll highlight the best security systems we tested that are also affordable. Just keep in mind that we’re not just looking for the most affordable systems; we never compromise security for price. The security systems on this list are affordable, but they also offer top-notch security features, equipment, and monitoring options.
Features We Prefer
|Smart home integrations||Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Customer service||24/7 phone|
The Best Affordable Home Security Systems
- SimpliSafe - Best DIY Installation
- Frontpoint - Best Customer Service
- ADT - Best Money Back Guarantee
- Cove - Best Monitoring Rates
- abode - Best Home Security Without a Contract
The Best Affordable Security Systems in a Nutshell
|Equipment price||$200 and up||$229 and up||Price varies||$150 and up||$179 and up|
|Monitoring type||Self or professional||Professional||Professional||Professional||Self or professional|
|Contract||No contract||Month-to-month or long-term||36 months||Monthly to 36 months||No contract|
|Money-back guarantee||60 days||30 days||6 months||30 days||30 days|
|Installation type||DIY||DIY or professional||Professional||DIY||DIY or professional|
|Professional installation cost||$79 (optional)||$79 (optional)||$99||n/a||$99|
|Read Review||SimpliSafe Review||Frontpoint Review||ADT Review||Cove Review||abode Review|
Detailed List of the Best Affordable Home Security Systems
1. SimpliSafe - Best DIY Installation
“Cut the middleman” is SimpliSafe’s business model. It makes, sells, and maintains its own equipment, allowing SimpliSafe to offer security systems at incredibly low prices without compromising quality.
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
- DIY installation
- Free text alerts
- Optional monthly contract
What We Don’t Like
- No free cloud storage for cameras
- Proprietary equipment
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 there are limitations to what the SimpliSafe system can do without a subscription. For example, security cameras will not record. You can stream videos, but you can’t playback previous events. If you want the cameras to record, the cheapest option is the $9.99 per month cloud plan, which saves 30 days of video.
That being said, if you’re paying a monthly fee anyway, it might make sense to upgrade to the Interactive plan for $27.99 per month. This plan includes professional monitoring, basic home automation, cloud storage for up to 10 cameras, and more perks. This is, of course, optional, and once you subscribe, you can opt out anytime without a cancellation fee.
Take a look at the subscription options to help you decide if self-monitoring (free) is possible or if an affordable SimpliSafe monitoring plan is better suited for you.
Features Free plan Standard plan Interactive plan Camera plans Monthly fee $0.00 $17.99 $27.99 $4.99 for one camera, $9.99 for five cameras Monitoring type Self Professional Professional Self Communication method Wi-Fi Cellular and Wi-Fi Cellular and Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Remote app control Yes Yes Yes Yes Camera live streaming Yes Yes Yes Yes Camera recording No No Yes (up to 10 cameras) Yes Video verification No No Yes No Home automation No No Yes No
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)
- Remote control
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.
2. Frontpoint - Best Customer Service
Frontpoint offers slightly more equipment options than SimpliSafe, but a starter kit costs just $129 with online discounts. Installation is also free, as Frontpoint is a self-installed system. In fact, it’s one of the best DIY security systems because of Frontpoint’s wireless equipment and stellar customer support and wireless equipment. You can reach out anytime via email or phone calls, and in our experience, Frontpoint has a knowledgeable and customer-friendly support staff.
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 $129.
What We Like
- DIY installation
- 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
As we made abundantly clear in our Frontpoint review, the wide variety of available features is one of Frontpoint’s strongest selling points. It doesn’t matter if you have a basic or comprehensive system; you’ll gain access to a long list of features through the help of the Frontpoint Hub.
Some of the features you can expect are:
- Professional monitoring
- Video surveillance with cloud storage
- Home automation
- Smartphone controls
- Voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant
- Monitoring of home hazards
Of course, you’ll need certain devices to access some of these features, like security cameras for video coverage and smart home devices for home automation. If your initial system doesn’t include those, not to worry because Frontpoint supports post-installation add-ons. And because it’s a DIY system, you don’t need to pay extra for 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 $129 Frontpoint starter set includes:
- One sensor
- 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
- Panic pendant
- Indoor camera
- Outdoor camera
- Keypad door locks
- Remote-controlled thermostat
- 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.
3. ADT - Best Money Back Guarantee
ADT is America’s oldest home security company, but it remains competitive both in terms of price and technology. With ADT, you can get the latest in home security and safety features like home automation, home hazard monitoring, and even medical alert systems.
Prices for ADT equipment and monitoring (required) depend on your home’s layout. If you want, you can consult with an ADT agent to help you pick the right size and components for your system. You could also DIY the buying process through ADT’s website.
Either way, you’ll get industry-best purchase protection through ADT’s six-month money-back guarantee, which would give you a full refund on installation and monitoring expenses if the system doesn’t work as promised. For comparison, other companies we’ve tested have trial periods between 15 to 60 days.
What We Like
- Well-established company
- GE equipment
- Pro installation within a day
- Wire-free or hardwired
- Medical alerts
- Six-month cancellation window
What We Don’t Like
- Three-year contract
- 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.
As for the theft protection guarantee, if your home is burglarized under ADT’s watch, you’ll get up to $500 reimbursement in your insurance deductibles. This just shows ADT’s confidence in its monitoring service and equipment.
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:
- Digital keypad
- Entry sensors
- Motion detectors
- Wireless remote
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.
FYI: If you want just a basic security system with some video monitoring, ADT’s new DIY security system called ADT Self Setup is an even more affordable option. Professional monitoring starts at just $24.99, and you’ll need to pay only $10 more per month to enjoy cloud recording and advanced security camera features. Check it out in our ADT Self Setup review.
4. Cove - Best Monitoring Rates
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
- Indoor camera
- Outdoor camera
- Video doorbells
- Medical button
- Key remote.
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.
5. abode - Best Home Security Without a Contract
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
- DIY setup
- 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:
Features Standard plan Pro plan Monthly price $6 $20 Contract Month-to-month Month-to-month Type of monitoring Self-monitored Professional Email alerts Yes Yes App notifications Yes Yes Cellular backup No Yes Cloud storage for cameras 7 days 30 days Geofencing Yes Yes Panic alarms Yes Yes Free shipping on all orders No Yes Homeowners insurance discount No Yes
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:
- A gateway
- 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
- Automated lights
- Remote-control door locks
- Smart thermostats
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.
FAQs About Low-Cost Security Systems
Are there security systems that don’t require a monthly fee?
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.
Are there affordable security systems with security cameras?
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.
How much does an affordable security system cost?
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.
Do security companies offer discounts?
Yes, security companies offer discounts occasionally. Brands like SimpliSafe, ADT, and Frontpoint sometimes offer special deals on their websites.
Are affordable security systems reliable?
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.