How Much Does A Home Security System Cost? Affordable Options

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Desk with money, finances and home block (caption: How Much Does A Home Security System Cost?)A new, professionally-installed home security system can easily break your budget. Upfront costs alone can top $1,500. These one-time costs include equipment, installation and activation fees. Then, you incur monthly monitoring fees ranging anywhere from $10 to $70 or more per month.

The good news? You have much less expensive options by going the DIY and self-monitored route. We’ll help you understand all of the costs (and savings) you’ll incur with these systems.

Article Overview

Self-Monitored Security System Price & Feature Comparisons

You can save a big chunk of change by going with a self-monitored security system. These affordable systems eliminate expensive installation and activation costs and don’t require monthly monitoring fees (with the exception of SimpliSafe, more details below).

A smart way to get the best bang for your buck is to purchase a starter kit or a bundled package. The beauty of these systems is that you can continually add equipment as your needs and budget grow.

Unfortunately, while SimpliSafe’s equipment costs are competitively priced, the company now requires a monthly monitoring fee to use their app. Since the app is essential for self-monitoring capabilities, we feel this basically takes them out of the running if you’re looking for a self-monitored solution that’s not tied to a recurring fee. We should point out that there’s no contract with the fee, so the silver lining is that you are able to cancel at any time.

Basic Starter Kits

Basic packages typically include 4-6 pieces. This is perfect for an apartment or as a starter kit for a smaller house.

 RingiSmartAlarmSkyLinkabodeSimpliSafeSimpliSafeNest
Ranking1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th
PackageRing Alarm 5-PieceiSmartAlarm Preferred PackageSkyLinkNet Alarm Starter Kit C-1abode Security KitSimpliSafe FoundationSimpliSafe EssentialsNest Secure Alarm System
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
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View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonN/AView on AmazonN/AN/AN/A
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Total Number of Pieces Included5654465
Price Per Kit$199$129.99$171.99$249$229$259$399
Base Station1
1
Combination Base & Keypad1
11
Combination Base & Keypad
Keypad1
+$59.99 eachCombination Base & Keypad+$79 each11
Combination Base & Keypad
Key FobN/A211+$24.99 each+$24.99 each2
Motion Sensor1111112 Combo Motion/Contact Sensors
Entry/Contact Sensor1211132 Combo Motion/Contact Sensors
Range Extender1N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+$69
Plug-In ReceiverN/AN/A1N/AN/AN/AN/A
Warranty1 year1 year1 year1 year3 years3 years2 years

Mid-Size Packages

Mid-size kits are best suited for a smaller house with 1-2 bedrooms.

 RingiSmartAlarmSkyLinkSimpliSafe
Ranking1st2nd3rd4th
PackageRing Alarm 10-PieceiSmartAlarm Deluxe PackageSkyLinkNet Alarm Starter Kit C-2SimpliSafe The Bunker
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Read ReviewRead Review
View on AmazonN/AView on AmazonN/AN/A
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Total Number of Pieces Included10899
Price Per Kit$259$159.95$263.99$329
Base Station11
1 Combination Base & Keypad1
Keypad1+$59.99 each1 Combination Base & Keypad1
Key FobN/A211
Motion Sensor2122
Entry/Contact Sensor5224
Range Extender1N/AN/AN/A
Plug-In ReceiverN/AN/A2N/A
Warranty1 year1 year1 year3 years

Large-Scale Packages

Large-scale kits are ideal for 3 bedroom or larger homes that have 1-2 stories.

 RingiSmartAlarmSkyLinkSimpliSafeSimpliSafe
Ranking1st2nd3rd4th5th
PackageRing Alarm 14-PieceiSmartAlarm Protect PackageSkyLinkNet Alarm Starter Kit C-3SimpliSafe The FortressSimpliSafe The Haven
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
View on AmazonView on AmazonN/AN/AN/AView on Amazon
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Total Number of Pieces Included141591414
Price Per Kit$329$483.93$597.99$357$318.51
Base Station1
1
1 Combination Base & Keypad11
Keypad2
+$59.99 each1 Combination Base & Keypad21
Key FobN/A3411
Motion Sensor25322
Entry/Contact Sensor85464
Range Extender1N/AN/AN/AN/A
Plug-In ReceiverN/AN/A3N/AN/A
Siren+$30+$39.99N/A11
Panic ButtonN/AN/AN/A11
Freeze Sensor+$30 (Combo Flood & Freeze Sensor)N/AN/A+$29.991
Water Sensor+$30 (Combo Flood & Freeze Sensor)N/AN/A+$19.991
Smoke Detector+$40N/AN/A+$29.991
Indoor Wireless Camera+$179+$79.991+$99+$99
Warranty1 year1 year1 year3 years3 years

Add-On Pricing Comparisons

 RingiSmartAlarmSkyLinkNetSimpliSafeabodeNest
Indoor Security Camera$179.99Out of stock$75.00$85.95$159.00$168.00
Outdoor Security Camera$199.00N/A$92.69N/AN/A$189.99
Video Doorbell$199.00N/AN/A$169
N/A$229
Keypad$49.99$59.99$38.99$69.95$79.00N/A
Key FobN/A$24.99$19.99$38.99$20$25
Motion Sensor$29.99$26.00$22.78$39.98$59.00$49 (2-in-1 motion & contact sensor)
Entry/Contact Sensor$19.99$39.99 (2-pack)$20.99$14.99Out of stock$49 (2-in-1 motion & contact sensor)
Glassbreak SensorN/AN/AN/A$34.99$36.00N/A
Smoke Detector$35N/AN/A$54.98$41$124.69
Flood & Freeze Sensor$35N/AN/A$34.99N/AN/A
Temperature SensorN/AN/AN/AN/A$49.00$39
Water SensorN/AN/A$20.38$19.99$49.00N/A
Extra Siren$30$34.99$101.56Out of stockOut of stockN/A
Range Extender$24.99N/AN/AN/AN/A$69
Panic ButtonN/AN/AN/A$19.99N/AN/A
Keyless Door LockN/AN/AN/AN/AN/ACheck on Amazon

Other Self-Monitored Home Security Options

If you’re really strapped for cash or don’t need a whole-home security system, you have additional affordable options — stand-alone indoor WiFi security cameras, outdoor cameras and doorbell video cameras:

Indoor & Outdoor Security Video Cameras

Indoor and outdoor WiFi security cameras have live streaming capabilities, so you can keep an eye on your home from your computer or smartphone. Many also have two-way audio, motion-detected recording and other features to enhance your home’s safety.

Read our Best WiFi Security Camera Reviews to learn more about these multi-use wireless cameras.

Security Doorbell Cameras

Want to keep an eye on your front porch when you’re not at home or asleep? Or catch those pesky package thieves on video? Doorbell video cameras are a current way to go.

Read our Best Doorbell Camera Reviews, which includes pros and cons, features, pricing and more for the highest rated doorbell video cameras.

Learn More About Self-Monitored Security Systems

Check out this brief video from Consumer Reports about the DIY security system, SimpliSafe.

If you want to compare home security solutions on a larger variety of factors (technologies in use, installation difficulty, expandability, home automation capabilities, and more), be sure to read our comprehensive reviews of the Best Self-Monitored Security Systems.

You should also check out our all-encompassing guide to home security which expands our home security coverage to everything from yard signs to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We also give you some interesting burglary statistics and other ways to keep your home and your loved ones safe.

What features are must-haves for your home security needs?

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While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance. Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions. Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

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