There are two types of home security systems prevalent on today’s market: those with professional monitoring and those that are self-monitored (by you and your network of contacts). The former typically includes a monthly fee ($20-$70) to cover the cost of the monitoring station, while with the latter you typically only pay for the equipment. Self-monitored systems put you in control, and with many providers you still have access to cutting-edge “smart” technology that you can control from your smartphone. Our experts review the top providers with features, pricing, pros, cons, real user feedback and more.
If you want a home security system that truly has no contracts or monthly fees, your options are limited to a DIY system with self-monitoring. This means the home security company won’t install the system and won’t monitor it for you (professional monitoring always has a monthly fee). So of all the DIY home security solutions on the market, which ones have no monthly fees? Many DIY self-monitored companies find ways to introduce monthly fees, whether it’s to use the app, access cloud storage or to monitor the system yourself. But which ones really provide full home security functionality without a contract or monthly fee?
You’re looking for some extra peace of mind but don’t want to throw all your hard-earned money toward a security company. Which self-monitored home security provider is the most affordable? There are many companies to consider, but with the rapid changes in technology, the value you get can differ vastly. In general, if you’re comfortable with monitoring your own system, you’ll save significantly over a professionally monitored system (one that uses human staffed stations to monitor your system and dispatch authorities on your behalf). However, we do feel a self-monitored system isn’t as secure as a professionally monitored system, but understand professionally monitored isn’t for everyone. We’ve made it easy for you to make the best choice by ranking the top 6 self-monitored home alarm systems by cost. Keep in mind that the cheapest are seldom the best performing systems, so be sure to read our review of the best self-monitored home security systems for a better value and performance perspective.