Best Affordable Home Security Systems of 2021

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.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Sep 14, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Sep 14, 2021
SimpliSafe Affordable
Our Top Picks

Best No Monthly Fee

SimpliSafe

Editor's Rating
9.8
/10
SimpliSafe Home Security System
Editor's Rating
9.8
/10
With DIY installation and optional self-monitoring only, you don't need to pay more for SimpliSafe beyond the equipment costs.

Most Affordable

Cove

Editor's Rating
9.5
/10
Cove Smart Home Security
Editor's Rating
9.5
/10
Cove gave us professional monitoring for only $14.99 a month, one of the lowest prices on the market.

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 six best affordable home security companies in the US.

The 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.

Features We Prefer

Price Range $100-$200
Monitoring Self
Smart home integrations Alexa, Google Assistant
Customer service 24/7 phone

The Best Affordable Home Security Systems

  • SimpliSafe - Best No Monthly Fee Home Security
  • Cove - Most Affordable System with Professional Monitoring
  • Frontpoint - Best DIY Installation Home Security System
  • abode - Best Home Security Without a Contract
  • ADT - Best Money Back Guarantee

The Best Affordable Security Systems in a Nutshell

System
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe Home Security System
Cove
Cove Smart Home Security
Frontpoint
Frontpoint Home Security System
abode
Abode Home Security
ADT
ADT Home Security Equipment
Ranking 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Ratings 9.8/10
Best no monthly fee
9.5/10
Best for professional monitoring
8.9/10
Best for DIY installation
8.0/10
Best contract-free
9.6/10
Best for money-back guarantee
Equipment price $229 and up $150 and up $326.96 (or $99 with online discounts) and up $179 and up Price varies
Monitoring type Self or professional Professional Professional Self or professional Professional
Monthly fee $9.99-$24.99 $14.99-$24.99 $49.99 $8-$20 $40-$60
Contract Month-to-month No contract Monthly to 36 months No contract 36 months
Money-back guarantee 60 days 60 days 30 days 30 days 6 days
Installation type DIY or professional DIY DIY DIY or professional Professional
Professional installation cost $79 n/a n/a $99 $99
Read Review SimpliSafe Review Cove Review Frontpoint Review abode Review ADT Review

Detailed List of the Best Affordable Home Security Systems

  • 1. SimpliSafe - Best No Monthly Fee Home Security

    Editor's Rating
    9.8
    /10
    SimpliSafe Home Security System

    As one of the best security systems with a no monthly fee option, SimpliSafe lets you use its system for free or choose cheap monitoring, month-to-month. Besides that, with SimpliSafe, you can save on equipment and installation.

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

    What We Like
    • Affordable security equipment
    • Portable
    • 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, or you can have no contracts at all if you go with the free plan.

    For free, you can self-monitor SimpliSafe, with the SimpliSafe app as your main point of control. You can arm and disarm your system from anywhere, check for alerts, live stream camera footage, and view your system’s alert log that goes back up to seven days.

    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 we love the self-monitoring option, we still recommend professional monitoring, which with SimpliSafe, you can get for as low as $14.99 a month. For that price, you’ll get professional monitoring that uses cellular signals for communication. For $10 more per month or $24.99, you can activate home automation features as well, plus SimpliSafe will verify alerts via your security cameras in case of emergencies to speed up police responses.

    Features Free plan Limited Pro Monitoring 24/7 Professional Monitoring Camera plans
    Monthly fee $0.00 $14.99 $24.99 $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
    SimpliCam closeup
    SimpliSafe’s SimpliCam

    About SimpliSafe Equipment

    A basic SimpliSafe set costs about $200. You might find a deal that includes a free SimpliCam that costs $99 if you buy it separately, or if you’re lucky, you might even find discount codes.

    The most affordable home security system from SimpliSafe includes:

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

  • 2. Cove - Most Affordable System with Professional Monitoring

    Editor's Rating
    9.5
    /10
    Cove Smart Home Security

    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 $14.99 a month. This is a very low price; the only lower price we’ve seen is from Ring, which offers the same features for $10 a month. Cove’s Plus plan throws in even more features, like Alexa and Google Assistant integrations plus remote control, for $24.99 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 $14.99 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 $24.99 a month
    • Remote control starts at $24.99 a 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.

    Another thing we liked about Cove was the no-pressure sales process. We could either add the components we wanted to our cart or take Cove’s short quiz on its website and see what components it recommended. Either way, we could customize the system before checking out.

    In comparison, most security companies will try to entice you with security system kits, packs, or bundles. While it’s true that you’ll save more with those bundles, you might end up buying more than you actually need. And as financial gurus say, if you buy something you don’t need at 50 percent off, you didn’t save 50 percent; you spent money on something you don’t need. That wasn’t the case with Cove.

    About Cove Equipment

    Cove Touch Alarm Panel
    Cove Touch Alarm Panel

    Equipment-wise, Cove offers the following:

    • Touch Alarm Panel
    • Door, motion, window, smoke, heat, freeze, flood, and CO sensors
    • Indoor camera
    • Outdoor camera
    • 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.

  • 3. Frontpoint - Best DIY Installation Home Security System

    Editor's Rating
    8.9
    /10
    Frontpoint Home Security System
    844-933-2405 View Packages

    Frontpoint is a step up from SimpliSafe in terms of its products and services. Even so, a starter kit costs just $99 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.

    With Frontpoint, contracts can be flexible. Frontpoint monitoring costs $49 a month.

    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

    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 costs $49 a month, which isn’t the cheapest, but it includes everything Frontpoint has to offer in terms of features. Besides professional monitoring, you’ll gain access to Frontpoint’s well-rated Android and iOS apps, home automation features, third-party integrations with other smart home devices, and video monitoring. Video monitoring includes access to security camera live streams via the apps, as well as cloud recording.

    About Frontpoint Equipment

    Frontpoint Security System
    Frontpoint Security System

    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
    • Two entry sensors
    • One motion sensor
    • Set of door stickers, window decals, and a yard sign
    • Free doorbell camera (limited-time offer)

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

  • 4. abode - Best Home Security Without a Contract

    Editor's Rating
    8.0
    /10
    Abode Security Systems

    Similar to Frontpoint, abode can support home security, environmental sensors, and automation. A big difference is that you can self-monitor abode security systems.

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

    What We Like
    • DIY setup
    • Professional or DIY monitoring
    • Supports home automation
    • Compatible with many brands
    • Portable
    What We Don’t Like
    • Pay for equipment first

    How abode is Best for No-Contract Home Security

    Abode iota Components
    abode iota Components

    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.

  • 5. ADT - Best Money Back Guarantee

    Editor's Rating
    9.6
    /10
    ADT Home Security Equipment
    855-908-4461 View Packages

    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 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
    • 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.

    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.

    Best Smart Home Security Systems
    ADT Samsung SmartThings Starter Kit

    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.

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