Top 6 Least Expensive Self-Monitored Home Security Systems

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SkylinkNet logo

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 option is the most affordable?

There are many options to consider, but know that the best price will always be with self-monitored systems (systems you monitor yourself, vs having a central monitoring station dispatch police on your behalf). 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.

Article Overview

What Is Self-Monitored?

When you’re monitoring your own security system, you are in charge of contacting the authorities if an alarm is triggered. For example, you get a notification that motion was detected in your living room, so you open up your security system app to view the live video feed. You see that your cat knocked over a lamp. In this instance, you do not need to contact the authorities.

Had you instead seen a stranger tearing your home apart, you would want to dial 911 immediately. Self-monitored home security is great because it means no monthly monitoring fees, but you do need to be aware that you (or a network of contacts you designate) are in charge of getting help.

What Is “No Contract” Home Security?

You won’t be bound to one security company for years nor have a cancellation fee. We get locked into contracts for our cell phones, satellite TV and other everyday items so often that it’s nice to have the option to choose when you want service for something, and discontinue it without hassles if it’s not working out for you. None of the security systems reviewed in this article have contracts.

Additional Fees

The only fee you’ll need to worry about paying after you purchase your equipment, and depending on the system you choose, is for cloud storage video recording. This fee pays for space on the cloud where your video camera footage and the activity noted by your sensors are saved.

The 6 Cheapest Self-Monitored Home Alarm Systems Are…

We chose the winners based on the price of the core system. You’ll note that each of these providers varies somewhat in their core functionality and optional features. Bottom line each one can be used to secure your home at an affordable cost.

Just make sure to take the time to educate yourself on how the system works. Got questions? We’ve got a comments section below so ask away!

Please note that there is much more to a security system than price. If you want to know which security system we recommend based on other factors like performance, customer service, and more, read our best DIY home security systems article.

 1st: Canary2nd: SkylinkNet3rd: iSmartAlarm4th: Ring5th: Abode6th: SimpliSafe
System Price $75.00 $129.99 ($4.06 / oz) $131.68 ($1.58 / oz) $179.00 $199.00 Starts at $229.96
Extra Motion DetectorN/A $22.61 ($1.41 / oz) $29.99 ($15,784.21 / 100 g) $22.49 $54.00 $29.99
Extra Entry SensorN/A Check Amazon for availability. $39.99 (two pack) $29.99 (two pack) $29.00 $14.99
Smart PlugN/AN/A Check Amazon for availability. N/AN/AN/A
Video DoorbellN/AN/AN/A Check Amazon for availability. N/AN/A
Free Cloud StorageCheckmark
12 hours of video history
Instant alerts, stream video and audio, live view
3 days of media storage
30 days of storage
Cloud Storage Fee$9.99/month for 30 days video historyNoneNone$3/month for 60 days video history$10/month for cellular backup and 14 days of media storageNone
1st: Canary2nd: SkylinkNet3rd: iSmartAlarm4th: Ring5th: Abode6th: SimpliSafe

Canary Review

Canary All In One#1
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Canary is an all in one system featuring a camera, motion detection and air quality, temperature and humidity monitoring. You can connect up to four Canary devices to monitor your home. Canary Flex is also available as an outside solution if you’d like to monitor the exterior of your home. Canary View is also available if you don’t need the home monitoring elements and just want the security aspect.

Although Canary technically has the lowest price point, it cannot monitor as much space as a typical security system with door/window sensors, motion detectors, etc. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for your home but this would not be our first choice, despite the appealing price tag.

Check out the video below to see how an all-in-one system works.


Coupon Code

Canary products are generally discounted from MSRP on Amazon.

Read Our In-Depth Canary Review

SkylinkNet Review

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SkylinkNet is more of a traditional security system with multiple components. Start with one of Skylink’s base packages and add-on more sensors from there. You can expand your system to cover multiple areas of your home for a relatively low price. Again, this is not the best choice if you are looking for full protection for your money but it is among the cheapest.


iSmartAlarm Review

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iSmartAlarm has cameras, motion sensors, door/window sensors, key fobs and more to give you a customized security system to fit your home’s needs. If you’re looking for one of the cheapest self-monitored security systems for your home that’s still traditional in its offerings, iSmartAlarm may be the system for you. This is why iSmartAlarm is our 3rd pick overall for self-monitored home security system this year.


Coupon Code

iSmartAlarm savings vary based on the season so click this link to make sure you get the best deal.

Read Our In-Depth iSmartAlarm Review

Ring Security Review

Ring Alarm#4
View on Amazon | Visit Website

Ring recently introduced a more traditional style security system that includes motion detectors, keypads, contact sensors and more. Ring is well-known for its video doorbell, which can be integrated with this system. It also has some indoor and outdoor security cameras, so you can protect every inch of your property.


Coupon Code

Ring products are generally discounted from MSRP on Amazon.

Read Our In-Depth Ring Alarm Review

Abode Review

Abode Essentials#5

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Abode has a traditional home security system and can connect home automation devices like thermostats, lights, locks and more from 3rd party companies like Nest, Philips Hue and Amazon Echo. Abode has a modern look to its equipment but it’s relatively new, so it’s hard to say how this system performs.


SimpliSafe Review


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SimpliSafe’s equipment lineup includes motion sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, entry sensors, freeze and flood sensors, cameras and more. Your system can have up to 100 sensors. You can add elements to it whenever you’d like to help spread the cost over time. SimpliSafe charges a monthly fee to self monitor your system using the app. Unfortunately, SimpliSafe is more expensive than others in this article, but it is a reliable DIY security system.


Below is a sampling of SimpliSafe’s packages. Visit SimpliSafe’s website to see all packages available. SimpliSafe also has a Build Your Own option, which you can learn more about here.

 Build Your OwnThe FoundationThe EssentialsThe HearthThe KnoxThe Haven
Number of Pieces100 maximum4691314
Base Station$114.9911111
Wireless Keypad$69.9911111
Entry Sensor$14.9913364
Motion Sensor$29.9911122
Keychain Remote$24.99111
Smoke Detector$29.99111
Panic Button$19.991
Freeze Sensor$29.991
Water Sensor$19.991
Glass Break Sensor$34.99
CO Detector$49.99
Video Doorbell Pro$169.00
Smart Lock$99.00

Coupon Code

SimpliSafe is having a 2020 Memorial Day Sale offering 15% off + a free camera with the purchase of any new system. Use this link to take advantage and get the best deal available from SimpliSafe.

Read our in-depth SimpliSafe Review

The Top 9 DIY Home Security Questions Answered

There are hundreds of home security solutions on the market today. Many of these home security companies are unreliable or too expensive for your budget, so how do you know which one to pick?

You can learn more about DIY security systems, what’s involved with self-installation, how difficult is it, etc. as well as questions you should ask yourself before purchasing in our article where we answer 9 burning DIY security system questions. We welcome your own questions as well!

Which security system are you leaning towards purchasing?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert, and has been researching and 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.

In 2018, she had her first child, and that 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 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.

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Julie F

Wow the Canary system price is very affordable! I am curious though, since these are all national companies and in the professionally monitored space local companies can be less expensive – is there the equivalent in the self-monitored space? i.e. might I find a local company that offers self-monitoring and is even less expensive than the ones listed here?

Lynn D

Are you sure there’s no way around the SimpliSafe monitoring fee? It boggles the mind that they would not offer a self-monitored option with the app to compete in the self-monitored space, which I imagine would possibly get them a spot higher up in your rankings?

Our neighbors have SimpliSafe, and since we babysit for them we’re quite familiar with the system. I really want to like it but if what you say is true, that you have to pay a monthly fee to use the app, which effectively enables the “self-monitoring” capabilities, then that’s a deal breaker for me!

John P

We are trying to un-bundle our internet from TV and phone and have a phone line because our current system ADT requires a phone line. If we went this route we could save tons of money including not needing to be on a phone plan.