Best Cheap Home Security System: Do It Yourself, Pro Install, Camera Systems, Wireless, Outdoor, And More

To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

1st
Ring logo
2nd
SimpliSafe logo
3rd
Cove logo
Compare All Systems

Want a home security system that’s dependable but won’t break your bank? We’ve reviewed the cheapest, professionally monitored home security systems and give you the lowdown on what you get with each company. We’ve ranked the companies based on cost and performance to make it easy for you.

Article Overview

What Are The Most Affordable Home Security Systems?

Professional monitoring price is a huge component we considered for this comparison because it helps compare apples to apples. Suppose a home security company is using the same company for professional monitoring. In that case, you’d expect the monthly fee to be the same, but this isn’t always the case.

We have an entire article dedicated to explaining all the details about central monitoring stations. If you’re unfamiliar with what a monitoring station is, how they work, type of monitoring connection (landline vs broadband vs cellular), self vs professional monitoring, and the type that each of the companies in our best home security systems review use, then we recommend reading up on everything there is to know about central monitoring stations and then coming back here.

Review Criteria

House with calculator and money (Caption: Cheapest Home Security Systems)Our experts chose winners based on the following criteria:

  • Professional monitoring cost
  • Equipment cost and quality
  • Company’s reputation
  • Customer reviews
  • Broadband (internet) vs cellular monitoring (cellular is safer than broadband) and what form of backup
  • Equipment options, including security, smart home, and cameras
  • Contract requirements

Ring Alarm Review

#1

View on Amazon | Visit Website

Ring is the best and most affordable home alarm system with professional monitoring costing only $10 per month. You’re not sacrificing quality by going with Ring, either. It has two monitoring stations through Rapid Response, which is the same company Frontpoint uses. Ring uses broadband to monitor your security system with cellular as a backup.

Security equipment packages are affordable, and you can build your own or add equipment to any package at any time. Ring offers all the essential security equipment (contact sensors, motion detectors, keypad, and more) as well as a variety of cameras, video doorbells, and smart lights.

Pros

Cons

  • Has two monitoring stations
  • Attractive equipment design
  • If your equipment is stolen, Ring will replace it for free
  • Professional monitoring is optional
  • No contracts
  • Self-installation
  • 30-day returns
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Option to add emergency contacts
  • Limited system capabilities compared to companies like Frontpoint

Coupon

Ring products are generally discounted from MSRP on Amazon.

Full Ring Alarm Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a firsthand installation video, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Ring Alarm review.

SimpliSafe Review

#2

Visit Website | 888-910-1458

SimpliSafe has two monitoring plans, Standard for $14.99 and Interactive for $24.99 per month. The difference between the two is that you can only access the mobile app, unlimited camera recording, and smart home features with the Interactive plan. SimpliSafe uses COPS for its professional monitoring needs, which has six monitoring stations, so there are many backups if one station goes down during a power outage, natural disaster, or something else. It uses cellular monitoring with broadband as a backup.

SimpliSafe’s equipment is affordable, but its lineup isn’t as extensive as competitors, which is why it isn’t our #1 pick. While it offers various security equipment (entry sensors, motion sensors, freeze sensors, water sensors, glass break sensors, etc.), it lacks in cameras and smart home equipment.

Pros

Cons

  • Has six monitoring stations
  • Excellent customer service
  • Self-installation
  • No contracts
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Self-monitoring functionality is tied to a monthly payment plan
  • Website and app don’t indicate low battery alert
  • No outdoor security cameras

Coupon

Use this link to get the best possible SimpliSafe pricing we can offer our readers.

Full SimpliSafe Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated SimpliSafe review.

Cove Security Review

#3

View on Amazon | Visit Website

Cove has a unique setup for its professional monitoring. You have the option to pay $0 for up to $400 of equipment if you sign up for their professional monitoring for three years. If you opt for this option, professional monitoring is $25 for Cove Basic or $35 per month for Cove Plus.

Your other option is to pay for the equipment and receive a $10 discount per month on monitoring, which means Cove Basic is $15 per month and Cove Plus is $25 per month. Ultimately, your decision probably depends on how much equipment you plan on installing in your home.

While Cove has a decent lineup of security equipment, including door/window sensors, motion detectors, glass break detectors, and more, it’s lacking in the smart home field and only has one camera. Cove also uses COPS for its professional monitoring, which means it has six stations like SimpliSafe. It has cellular monitoring for all plans but has no backup.

Pros

Cons

  • Has six monitoring stations
  • 60-day risk-free trial
  • All plans have cellular monitoring
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation (DIY)
  • No contracts
  • No self-monitoring option
  • Must pay extra for smartphone access
  • Live chat is 9am to 6pm MST, which is less convenient for EST and CST customers
  • No backup if cellular goes down

Coupon

Use this link to have our members-only discount codes applied to Cove Security.

Full Cove Security Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, and more, read our dedicated Cove Security review.

Comparison Table

The table below shows each company’s starting costs as well as monitoring details associated with that cost.

1st: Ring Alarm 2nd: SimpliSafe 3rd: Cove Security Abode Kangaroo Scout Alarm
Professional Monitoring Monthly Starting Cost $10 $14.99 $15 $20 $10 $19.99
Equipment Starting Cost $179 $229 $0 $199 $7 $229
Main Form Of Monitoring Broadband Cellular Cellular Broadband Broadband Broadband
Backup Form Of Monitoring Cellular Broadband None Cellular None Cellular
Monitoring Company Rapid Response COPS COPS Rapid Response COPS COPS
Number Of Monitoring Stations 2 6 6 2 6 6
Contract Length None None None or 3 Years None None None

What Are My Other Options?

Below you’ll find an alphabetical listing of other companies we’ve reviewed.

Abode | Kangaroo | Scout Alarm

Abode Review

Abode logo

View on Amazon | Visit Website

Abode’s professional monitoring is $20 per month or $200 per year. Like Ring, it uses Rapid Response for its professional monitoring needs, so it has two locations. Abode uses broadband monitoring with cellular as a form of backup.

Abode’s equipment lineup is relatively simplistic, featuring no smart home equipment and only a couple of cameras. Equipment is slightly more expensive than our top picks but is still affordable.

Pros

Cons

  • 30-day returns
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation
  • No contracts
  • Little customer feedback online
  • Limited customer support
  • Complaints of camera footage being low resolution
  • No outdoor security cameras
  • Six to seven hours battery backup
  • No two-way voice

Coupon

Use this link and code OLYMPIC15 for 15% off accessories with kit purchase.

Full Abode Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, side-by-side comparisons to competitors, and more, read our dedicated Abode review.

Kangaroo Review

Kangaroo Home Security Logo

Visit Website

Kangaroo’s professional monitoring is $10 per month for broadband monitoring with no backup. This is a pretty uncommon practice since most home security providers have a backup if the main form experiences interruption. Kangaroo uses COPS for its professional monitoring needs, which has six locations.

Kangaroo is a pretty bare-bones security company. Its equipment lineup includes a keypad, remote keychain, motion/entry sensor, water/climate sensor, indoor camera, and doorbell camera. All items are incredibly inexpensive, but you have better options than Kangaroo if you want a more intricate system.  However, if all you want is a sensor or two to monitor your dorm room, office, or other small space, Kangaroo may be a great option.

Pros

Cons

  • Has six monitoring stations
  • Hub free
  • Excellent option for monitoring a single room
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation
  • No long-term contract
  • Broadband (WiFi) monitoring with no cellular backup
  • Not the safest option for a whole home security system
  • Newer, so there’s little customer feedback
  • Few equipment options
  • No BBB page

Coupon

Kangaroo Security is having a sale. Get $20 off Front Door Security Kits (+ Free Shipping) with the coupon code: SUMMER2021. Use this link to take advantage of this offer and redeem the promo code from Kangaroo.

Full Kangaroo Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, and more, read our dedicated Kangaroo review.

Scout Alarm Review

Scout Alarm

View on Amazon | Visit Website

Scout Alarm’s professional monitoring is $19.99 per month for broadband with cellular as a backup. It uses COPS for its monitoring needs, which has six stations.

Scout’s equipment lineup is pretty minimal compared to competitors. It lacks an outdoor camera, something many consumers want in their security system. Equipment is a bit more noticeable than its competitors as well since it’s larger in size. Overall, there are less expensive options in our top picks with more equipment options.

Pros

Cons

  • Has six monitoring stations
  • 60-day returns
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-installation
  • No contracts
  • Door panel sensors are large and conspicuous
  • Self-monitoring functionality is tied to a monthly payment plan
  • No outdoor security cameras
  • Only 12-hour battery backup (competitors average 24 hours)
  • The hub doesn’t have two-way voice

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Scout Alarm.

Full Scout Alarm Review

For in-depth equipment and plan pricing, pros & cons, key features, a deep dive into their app, user reviews, and more, read our dedicated Scout Alarm review.

How Important Is Cost To You?

If cost isn’t your number one concern and performance is, we suggest reading our expert’s reviews of the best home security systems. If the price is still at the forefront of your mind, and you’d like to learn about the cheapest self-monitored security systems, we have those reviewed as well. However, keep in mind that professionally monitored systems are considered safer than self-monitored.

Is there a company that stands out to you?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.