Security Systems

How Much Does A Home Security System Cost in 2024?

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A dependable security system doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. But the initial offer you receive may look sweeter than it is and may not contain all of what you’ll pay out of pocket. In addition to your equipment price or monthly monitoring fee, there are often installation, upgrade, add-on, and other hidden costs you’ll encounter after you sign up.

Our experts compare the top providers and sift through the hidden fees so your wallet won’t be surprised later.

You can choose between DIY and professional installation and professional or self-monitored systems to find the right security system for your budget. We’ll help you understand all the costs (and savings) you’ll incur so you won’t be surprised by your first bill.

Top 3 Home Security Systems & Category Winners

Price isn’t everything. Our experts have reviewed the top home security providers on several different criteria: customer service, equipment, technology, ease of use, and value, and included them in the table below for your convenience. A weighted average score is calculated to arrive at a total score our experts use to rank the companies relative to one another. For a full explanation of our review criteria and how we calculate the final score, we invite you to visit our review criteria.

 FrontpointLink InteractiveSimpliSafeRing AlarmADTVivint
Ranking1st2nd3rdLow Cost, No ContractProfessional InstallSmart Home
Total Score4.704.184.154.003.302.75
Customer Service & Reputation4.84.34.54.02.01.0
Equipment4.83.83.83.34.34.0
Technology4.84.03.54.33.53.0
Value4.54.54.54.03.02.0
Ease Of Use4.84.34.54.53.83.8
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Before we compare one system’s costs to another in-depth, we’d like to introduce you to the types of expenses you’ll typically encounter.

Costs Associated With Security Systems

Equipment

Most companies charge for a starter package, but some don’t charge for the equipment up to a specific limit. Many security companies also offer build-your-own packages à la carte style, so you only pay for the devices you want and know you’ll use.

DIY Vs Professional Installation

Most home security systems today offer DIY (Do It Yourself) installation, which can save you (and the security company) hundreds of dollars on installation fees. However, some companies (like Vivint) still require professional installation.

Professional installation can get pricey (typically several hundred dollars). At the same time, DIY costs only your time (and possibly some aggravation, which is why our experts wrote up a home security installation guide to hopefully minimize those frustrations).

Professional Vs Self-Monitoring

We compare professional (a central monitoring station monitors your system for you) vs. self-monitoring (you and a network of designated contacts are responsible for monitoring your system). You’ll find more explanation of each item below the table.

 Professional MonitoringSelf-Monitoring
Typically Less Expensive 
(But May Include Cloud Storage Fees For Video)
Considered SaferGreen checkmark 
Professionals Monitor Your System 24/7Green checkmark 
Responsible For Contacting AuthoritiesMonitoring StationYou
Alerts For: Power Outages, Natural Gas Leaks, CO & Smoke, FloodingGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Easier To Move System To New HomeOnly Frontpoint and RingGreen checkmark
  • Typically less expensive: Professional monitoring is virtually always more costly than self-monitoring because you pay a monthly fee to have a central monitoring station monitor your system.
  • Considered safer: Professionally monitored systems are considered safer because a monitoring station can automatically have authorities (police, fire, or ambulance) respond if the system detects an alert (intrusion, smoke, carbon monoxide, panic button, etc.). With a self-monitored system, it’s up to you or your network of designated contacts to alert the authorities when there’s an incident. This could be difficult to impossible if you are asleep or traveling.
  • Easier to move the system to a new home: Self-monitored systems are typically DIY installation via wireless sensors (vs. hardwired into your home by a professional installer), which means it’s usually easier to detach and move the sensors to your new home. This is especially useful for renters, as with self-monitored systems, you’re not locked into a long-term contract (in the next section, you’ll see this is also true for some pro-monitored companies).

Contract Terms

Another element you’ll want to consider is the contract length. If a company requires a three-year contract, you’ll be expected to pay for the installation, equipment, and monitoring needed for all three years (depending on the cancellation policy, some will offer pro-rated refunds, but not many).

Increasingly (and fortunately for consumers), companies are moving away from the contract model.

Other Alarm System Costs to Consider

The upfront costs mentioned on home alarm provider’s websites don’t always paint the whole picture. In addition to equipment charges, monitoring fees, and installation costs, there are these costs to consider.

Maintenance

Maintenance costs involve fixing and replacing equipment. Depending on whether you purchased your equipment outright or are still within your monitoring contract, your costs here will vary by provider. Ensure you understand how broken equipment is handled – i.e., do you need to pay for the replacement cost when a sensor breaks or reaches end-of-life, or will they? Another maintenance cost that almost always falls within the consumer’s responsibility is batteries for DIY sensors. Fortunately, those tend to last long, and the costs tend to be minimal.

Alarm Permits

If you have a professionally monitored home security system, you’ll want to apply for an alarm permit from your city. This not only allows for first responders to respond to your alarm, but it will also give you (in most cases) zero or lower false alarm fees (in our city, at least for the first couple offenses in a year), should the authorities have responded to a false alarm, which costs the city time and money.

Cancellation Fees

This can be a big one—especially if you are still under contract with an alarm company. Our various how-to-cancel articles give some details as to the fees involved for specific providers.

Drywall Repair

This cost applies primarily to professionally installed systems that require drilling and hardwiring. Most DIY systems are installed via peel-and-stick adhesives that can be removed without damaging your walls.

Which Home Security Companies Are Contract-Free?

Frontpoint, SimpliSafe, and Ring all have no-contract options.

Security System Price & Feature Comparisons

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

We’ve put together a few tables to help you compare costs. The packages below are listed in order of our rankings in our home security systems reviews.

Companies like Link Interactive offer build-your-own plans, which let you customize your equipment selection to your home’s specific needs. Other companies offer starter kits (bundled equipment at discounts), but the choice isn’t always great.

Entry-Level Packages (Starter Kits)

Basic packages typically include 4-6 pieces. This is perfect for an apartment or as a starter kit for you to build upon as your budget allows. You’ll want to pay careful attention to other costs, especially monthly monitoring fees.

Company & Package NameFrontpoint Starter PackSimpliSafe The FoundationADT StarterVivint Starter KitBrinks Smart Security EssentialRing Alarm 5-Piece
Price Per Kit$129$249.96$479.99$599$199$199
InstallationDIYDIYDIYProfessional BothDIY
Professional or Self-MonitoringProfessionalBothProfessionalProfessionalProfessionalBoth
ContractNoneNoneNone3.5-5 Years3 YearsNone
Monthly Monitoring Fee$49.99$10.03 self-monitoring,
$29.99 pro-monitoring
$34.99$40$39$20
Form of MonitoringCellular, BroadbandCellular, BroadbandLandline, CellularCellular, BroadbandBroadband, CellularBroadband, Cellular
Total Number of Pieces Included458645
Base Station11Combination Base & KeypadCombination Base & KeypadCombination Base & Keypad1
Keypad11Combination Base & KeypadCombination Base & KeypadCombination Base & Keypad1
Key Fob     
Motion Sensor112111
Door/Window Sensor114321
Smart Security Camera1 indoor
Flood/Water Sensor1
Video Doorbell1
Range Extender     1
Warranty3 Years3 YearsLifetime120 Days2 Years1 Year

Mid-Size Packages

Mid-size kits are best suited for a medium-sized home. These packages include 7-11 pieces of equipment.

Company & Package NameFrontpoint Home ShieldSimpliSafe The HearthADT PremiumVivint PremiumBrinks Smart Security UltimateRing Alarm 10-Piece
Price Per Kit$269.00$399.91$579.98$1,479.96$1,099$181.99
InstallationDIYDIYDIYProfessional BothDIY
Professional or Self MonitoringProfessionalProfessionalProfessionalProfessionalProfessionalBoth
ContractNoneNoneNone3.5-5 Years3 YearsNone
Monthly Monitoring Fee$49.99$10.03 self-monitoring,
$29.99 pro-monitoring
$34.99$50$39$20
Form of MonitoringCellular, BroadbandCellular, BroadbandLandline, CellularCellular, BroadbandBroadband, CellularBroadband, Cellular
Total Number of Pieces Included910910710
Base Station11Combination Base & KeypadCombination Base & KeypadCombination Base & Keypad1
Keypad11Combination Base & KeypadCombination Base & KeypadCombination Base & Keypad1
Key Fob 11  
Motion Sensor112112
Door/Window Sensor334335
Range Extender     1
Smoke Detector11   
Flood Sensor11
Glass Break Sensor    
Siren 1   
Smart Door Lock1
Indoor Camera 11 
Outdoor Camera   11 
Video Doorbell  111 
Additional Hub1
Warranty3 Years3 yearsLifetime120 Days 2 Years1 year

Smart Home Packages

If you’re a high-tech junkie, you’ll likely want to sync smart home devices (like lights, thermostats, door locks, smoke detectors, etc.) to your security system. Video (and accompanying cloud storage) is also included as an option in these higher-level packages. These integrations are usually only available with high-tier monthly plans ranging from $40 to $60.

Company & Package NameADT Smart HomeVivint Premium Plus
Price Per Kit$849$2,379.92
InstallationProfessionalProfessional
Professional or Self-MonitoringProfessionalProfessional
Contract3 Years3.5-5 Years
Monthly Monitoring Fee$49.99$60
Form of MonitoringLandline, CellularCellular, Broadband
Total Number of Pieces Included614
Base StationCombination Base & KeypadCombination Base & Keypad
KeypadCombination Base & KeypadCombination Base & Keypad
Key Fob1
Motion Sensor11
Door/Window Sensor33
Glass Break Sensor 
Flood Sensor1
Smoke Detector 
Siren 
Garage Door Controller/Sensor1
Smart Door Lock11
Smart Thermostat1
Doorbell Camera1
Indoor Camera1
Outdoor Camera2
WarrantyLifetime120 Days

Price-Per-Equipment Comparison

Below are the prices for each piece of equipment by provider. This is helpful if you want to add equipment to a starter package or total up what your ideal system might cost. Some companies do not openly share equipment prices, so we could not include them in the table.

 FrontpointSimpliSafeLink InteractiveVivintBrinksRing Alarm
Indoor Camera$60$99$127$149.99$199$59.99
Outdoor Camera$115 $189.99$241$399.99$249$169.99
Video Doorbell$150$169.99$211$249.99$199$99.99
Keypad$75$69.99$50$59$49.99
Key Fob$16$24.99$50$29 
Motion Sensor$35$34.99$55$100$59$29.99
Door/Window Sensor$17.50$14.99$24$50$29$19.99
Glass Break Sensor$37.50$39.99$69$100$79 $39.99
Freeze Sensor $29.99$49
Flood Sensor$22.50$19.99$40$50$49
Flood/Freeze Sensor$34.99
Siren $59.99  $29.99
Range Extender    $24.99
Panic Button$20$19.99$34 $29.99
Smoke & CO Listener  $59.99  $100 $34.99
Smoke Detector$35$34.99$89 
CO Detector 
Smart Door Lock$100$99.00$181$179.99 $240 $299.99
Smart Thermostat $140$199.99$160  $79.99

More Ways To Secure Your Home

With the advent of DIY and smart systems, having a traditional home security system and paying a monthly fee isn’t completely necessary if you’re willing to do some of the work yourself. Given the amount of security equipment, you have affordable options that, when implemented with thought, could be just as (or more) useful as an entry-level whole-home system.

Don’t worry; our experts are here with their step-by-step guides to help you along the way, and there’s a comment section on every page where you can ask anything we may have failed to address.

Indoor & Outdoor Security Cameras

Indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi security cameras have live-streaming capabilities to watch 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 indoor security camera reviews to learn more about these multi-use wireless cameras.

Doorbell Cameras

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

Read our doorbell camera reviews, which include pros and cons, features, pricing, and more.

How To Finance The Cost Of A Home Security System 

The total cost of a home security system can run into the thousands of dollars. So naturally, financing comes to mind. Home security companies that put you under contract are technically engaging you into a financing agreement – since you receive thousands of dollars of equipment at a lesser cost but then are committed to repaying the balance over several years.

There are plenty of companies out there that will offer to finance your system, but the APR rates tend to be outrageous. Instead of going this route, we recommend you consider one of our most affordable home security providers that will not put you into a financial hole.

Home Security Systems 101 Guide

If you want to compare home security solutions on various factors, including customer service and reputation, equipment, technology, value, and ease of use, read our experts’ comprehensive coverage of the best home security systems. And if you’re strictly concerned about cost, our experts have compiled a list of the top 6 least expensive systems.

Are you confused by some of the jargon in this article, or want to learn more about how home security systems work? Our experts have put together a comprehensive guide that explains everything from how motion sensors work to the best places to install them in our home security 101 guide. And if anything still doesn’t make sense, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments. Our readers and experts are more than happy to assist!

What features are must-haves for your home security needs? Let us know in the comments!

Tara Maurer

Since joining the Safe Smart Living team, Tara has covered topics ranging from home security and identity protection to smart travel and educated living. After graduating with a BA in Multimedia Journalism from Simpson College, Tara began work in the wellness industry. In the past seven years, she has personally tested countless supplements and holds a holistic nutrition certification. Tara is passionate about personal safety, especially for women. It’s a sad truth that most women experience harassment while in public spaces during their lifetime, and we must learn tactics to protect ourselves. As a female runner, Tara has tested various safety products, including alarms, pepper sprays, reflective gear, and tracking devices. When not working, you’ll most likely find Tara running, reading the latest fantasy novel, or trying out a new healthy recipe.

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