Best Affordable Home Security Systems of 2020

Editorial TeamSep 29, 2019

Home security prices shouldn’t let you feel robbed. Still, some companies send unexpected bills or charge for crummy service. Avoid stress and choose from the best! Here we outline five best affordable home security companies in the US.

Main areas for home security savings are equipment, installation and monitoring. Learn about all three with our first review, SimpliSafe, or skip ahead for other affordable home security companies.

Best Low Cost Home Security Systems

Best No Monthly Fee Home Security – SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe helps make security cheap with optional contracts. Many other security companies require 12-month to 48-month contracts.

Why would you want a contract? Two benefits are:

  • Contracts let you pay for expensive security systems over time.
  • Contracts can provide 24/7 professional monitoring. In other words, the company will call 911 in case of emergency.

With SimpliSafe though, home security systems are cheap (about $200 and up), so people can pay all at once. Professional monitoring is optional and starts at $14.99 per month. Without professional monitoring, you can still receive free text alerts from the system in case of emergency.

Pros

  • Affordable security equipment
  • Portable
  • DIY installation
  • Free text alerts
  • Optional monthly contract

Cons

  • No outdoor cameras
  • Proprietary equipment

How SimpliSafe is the Best No Monthly Fee Home Security

SimpliSafe lets you completely avoid monthly fees or choose cheap monitoring month-to-month. Besides that, with SimpliSafe you can save on equipment and installation.

Equipment by SimpliSafe is cheap, user-friendly and tamperproof. It’s affordable partly because SimpliSafe manufactures the equipment themselves. For comparison, most other security companies buy control panels and sensors from third parties such as Honeywell and then resell at a markup.

As for installation, with SimpliSafe there’s no cost except your own labor. All equipment is wire-free for simple setup in about 30 minutes. These affordable security systems are also easy to re-install when you relocate.

About SimpliSafe Equipment

A basic SimpliSafe set costs about $200. You might find a deal that includes a free video camera, which sells for $99 separately. Equipment is available in black or white to blend with your decor.

The most affordable home security system includes:

  • A base station
  • Two entry sensors
  • One motion sensor
  • One SimpliCam (limited time only)
  • Keypad
  • Remote control

The base station is a small tower with a loud alarm. It plugs into a wall outlet and has battery backup. A soft blue light indicates that it’s working – and if someone tampers with the system, police can be notified automatically with the cheapest paid monitoring deal, $14.99/month.

Entry sensors can be set to chime when motion is detected. In case you’re out of earshot, alerts about entry and other security events can be sent to your mobile phone for free.

As for the wireless camera, SimpliCam captures video with high-definition footage. The device is triggered by motion and can send alerts to your mobile device.

You can expand the basic set with additional entry/motion detectors and SimpliCams. Also, a SimpliSafe system can monitor the environment with smoke, temperature and water sensors.

In sum, SimpliSafe provides affordable home security with savings on equipment, installation and monitoring. A possible downside, however, is that the SimpliSafe camera isn’t weatherproof. If you want outdoor security cameras, check out Frontpoint and other affordable home security companies below.

Best DIY Installation Home Security System – Frontpoint

Frontpoint is a step up from SimpliSafe in terms of equipment selection and features. Even so, starter sets cost just $99. Installation is free (DIY).

With Frontpoint, a contract is required for at least 12 months of monitoring. Prices start at $34.95/month and the service gets great reviews.

Pros

  • DIY installation
  • Competitive monthly rates
  • Great customer service
  • GE equipment

Cons

  • Contract required

Why Frontpoint is Best Home Security with DIY Installation

Frontpoint security systems feature parts by General Electric and other third parties. This means that unlike with SimpliSafe, equipment can be monitored by plenty of other security companies. After 12 or 36-months, you’ll own the system and can choose another monitoring agency. You also get a 30-day trial period to start.

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.

Professional monitoring starts at $34.99/month with a three-year contract. (With a one-year contract the price may be higher.) Systems are monitored by Rapid Response, a service with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for 2019.

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:

  • Hub
  • Keypad
  • Three entry sensors
  • Two motion sensors
  • Smart light bulb/remote set (limited time only)

You can add a wide range of cameras, sensors and control panels. Some examples:

  • 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.

Best Home Security Without a Contract – Abode

Similar to Frontpoint, Abode can support home security, environmental sensors and automation. A big difference is that Abode security systems can be completely contract-free.

The cheapest home security set from Abode costs about $200. The mobile app lets you add short-term or long-term professional monitoring anytime.

Pros

  • DIY setup
  • Professional or DIY monitoring
  • Supports home automation
  • Compatible with many brands
  • Portable

Cons

  • 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. The shortest term is three days ($8). Better value comes with monthly service ($20).

If you choose no-contract home security, you can monitor and control the system with a free mobile app. For example, if motion is detected, an alert will be sent to your phone. The app 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 $189 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.

Best Package Savings – Protect America

Protect America is a top choice for households seeking long-term professional monitoring. For package savings, the company combines equipment leasing with emergency dispatching, and they let you lock in a home security rate for life.

Self-installed systems are valued up to $1400, and the cheapest monthly rate (landline only) is $19.99. Protect America can also monitor broadband and cellular signals.

Pros

  • DIY installation
  • High-value equipment
  • Low-cost landline monitoring

Cons

  • Contract required for 36 months

How Protect America is Best Package-Savings Home Security

Monthly bills from Protect America have low rates with package savings, or combining equipment with pro monitoring. You set up a system yourself, and the company monitors alerts for 36 months or more. Rates never increase.

Landline service is cheapest at $19.99/month. Cellular and broadband can be locked in at $41.99/month.

About Protect America Security Equipment

Protect America essentially lets you lease with a small upfront payment. For example, their $99 Safer Home package is valued at $550 retail. It includes:

  • A GE control panel with color touchscreen
  • A doorbell camera
  • Three motion sensors

You can also build systems for environmental monitoring and home automation. Some features to choose:

  • Smoke & heat sensors
  • Smart door locks
  • Smart lighting
  • Alexa voice commands app

Overall Protect America is a top value if you’re open to a long contract. However, it’s important to test your system soon after receipt. The money-back guarantee is only valid for 15 days.

Best Money-Back Guarantee – ADT

ADT is America’s oldest home security company, and they’ve 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 their money-back guarantee: It’s effective for six months and provides for a full refund of 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.

Pros

  • Well-established company
  • GE equipment
  • Pro installation within a day
  • Wire-free or hardwired
  • Medical alerts
  • Six-month cancellation window

Cons

  • 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. Their 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 can be activated for any reason within six months. It 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.

Each ADT system is custom-designed. At minimum, a set includes:

  • Digital keypad
  • Entry sensors
  • Motion detectors
  • Wireless remote

Video monitoring can be added 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.

Emergency signals can be monitored by landline and/or a cellular chip. A hybrid system gives the best home security.

In sum, ADT is an old company with cutting-edge features. It’s a great choice for households that want long-term security and automation but are wary of contracts. If you aren’t pleased with ADT equipment or service, you can cancel within six months without penalty.

Tips About Affordable Home Security Systems

Security savings take different forms. Here’s a review of ways to save on installation, equipment and monitoring. Also read about homeowner’s insurance and renters insurance discounts for

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 for setupwithout tools. Sensors can attach to surfaces with removable adhesive, yet are tamper-proof too. Favorite options come from SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, Abode and Protect America.

If you’re set on pro installation, ADT is a top recommendation with 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 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 can be monitored by another company. 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 systems are breached.

However, generally the best home security comes with professional monitoring. Pro monitoring ensures that someone will call 911 in case of an apparent threat to you, your loved ones or 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.

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.