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The cheapest home security systems for 2021

Compare equipment costs and monitoring fees

Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Brinks Home Security™, Blue by ADT and Frontpoint
woman using security panel

Home security systems range in price from $50 to $500 or more, depending on what you want out of one and how big your house is. If you want a good price without skimping on quality equipment, we suggest looking for the best value rather than the lowest price. Check out our picks for top affordable systems based on recent reviews and current price comparisons.

Our 5 picks for most affordable home security systems

We started with the 28 companies on our home security guide. To select our favorite inexpensive security systems, we primarily considered pricing and recent customer review data.

First, we excluded those with an overall satisfaction rating below 3 stars on our site, leaving 14 companies. To find the cheapest options, we then compared base equipment costs and starting monitoring fees, among other factors, such as installation and cancellation fees.

The companies below offer cheap options starting under $400 and monthly monitoring fees under $45. Some, but not all, participate in the ConsumerAffairs Authorized Partner Program.

Our top pick overall
Ring

Company nameContact
ring logo
LogoSummary
  • Base equipment cost: $199*
  • Monthly fee: $0 to $10*
  • DIY installation: $0*
Read reviews

*As of publishing date

Ring is a DIY alarm company that specializes in affordable and straightforward solutions. The Ring Doorbell, which is its most common alarm system, starts at $99, with the option to add monitoring for as little as $30 per year ($3 per month).

Full system packages start at $199. Each system is designed to be installed by a homeowner, and a contract is only required if you opt into monitoring service. Do note that there have been some reports of people stealing Ring systems off the walls of homes.

Pros

  • Affordable systems
  • Cheapest monthly monitoring
  • DIY installation
  • Smart home integrations

Cons

  • Some drilling required
  • Relatively short battery life

Our pick for no contract
Blue by ADT

Company nameContact
blue by adt logo
LogoSummary
  • Base equipment cost: $119.15 to $346.34*
  • Monthly fee: $19.99*
  • DIY installation: $0*
Read more

*As of publishing date

Blue is ADT’s DIY security system solution. By combining ADT’s 145 years of experience with the flexibility of a personalized security system, Blue offers reliable protection at a more affordable price than ADT's other products offer.

The Build Your Own security systems start at $179.99, but this price only includes the security hub and mobile app. Customers can choose to add monitoring starting at $19.99 per month with no contract.

Pros

  • Backed by 145 years of expertise
  • Customizable build-your-own option
  • Easy installation
  • No monitoring contract required

Cons

  • Monitoring can get pricey
  • Some expensive products

Our pick for self-monitoring
SimpliSafe

Company nameContact
simplisafe logo
LogoSummary
  • Base equipment cost: $229*
  • Monthly fee: $14.99*
  • DIY installation: $0*
Read reviews

*As of publishing date

SimpliSafe sells security systems that offer a wide range of protection, including from water damage and fire. Its Foundation System, which includes an entry sensor, keypad, camera, motion sensor and base station, is $229. Customers can also build their own system, with devices starting at $14.99 each. Professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month and does not include a monthly contract.

The system is easy to install and operate, according to reviews. One customer said they’d used the systems for seven years in two different houses, noting that the price is “very affordable” and that the new version is “even better.”

Pros

  • Select from packages and single devices
  • Low monitoring cost
  • No contract required
  • Easy DIY installation

Cons

  • Limited professional support
  • Limited smart home integrations

Our pick for customer support
Frontpoint

Company nameContact
frontpoint logo
LogoSummary
  • Base equipment cost: $99 to $479.90*
  • Monthly fee: $44 and up*
  • DIY installation: $0*
Read reviews

*As of publishing date

Frontpoint is a 100% wireless DIY home security solution. Home security packages start at $99, with monitoring under $2 per day. “I like that if the Wi-Fi goes out, the Frontpoint system still works,” said a customer in Michigan. “Cost-wise, [it’s] more per month than SimpliSafe because we've got monitoring. But in terms of the equipment itself, it's about the same price.”

Everything out of the box is preprogrammed and ready to get started, leading to a more stress-free installation process. Frontpoint also sells additional devices, such as environmental sensors for things like floods, wireless light control systems and panic pendants.

Pros

  • Devices arrive preprogrammed
  • Multiple bundle packages available
  • 0% APR financing with Affirm
  • Price-lock guarantee

Cons

  • Limited return policy
  • No lifetime warranty on equipment

Our pick for professional monitoring
Brinks

Company nameContact
brinks home security logo
LogoSummary
  • Base equipment cost: $199*
  • Monthly fee: $39.99*
  • Pro installation: $199*
Read reviews

*As of publishing date

Brinks offers a selection of home security and automation equipment. You can find affordable equipment packages to secure and monitor the interior and exterior of your house.

Existing customers who are happy with Brinks say it provides good service at a fair price. We also like that you can choose to pay each month — or annually for a better rate. The customer service representatives are very helpful and professional, according to reviewers.

Pros

  • Cellular backup
  • Compatible with smart home systems
  • Products come with a two-year warranty
  • 30-day risk-free trial

Cons

  • No cameras in basic package
  • Professional installation required

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    Home alarms cost comparison

    You deserve the peace of mind of a security system without breaking your budget. To find the right one for you, it helps to figure out what features you want and your budget so you know what you can spend.

    Below, compare our top picks for cheap home security companies alongside additional options Abode, Kangaroo and Canary.

    Starting base equipment*Installation*Monthly monitoring fee*Our pick
    ring logo$199$0$0 to $10
    blue by adt logo$119.15$0$19.99
    simplisafe logo$229$0$14.99
    frontpoint logo$99$0$44
    brinks logo$199$199$39.99
    abode logo$229$0 to $99$29.99
    kangaroo logoVaries$0$1.99 to $8.25
    cove logo$249$0$15
    Starting base equipment*$199$119.15$229$99$199$229Varies$249
    Installation*$0$0$0$0$199$0 to $99$0$0
    Starting base equipment*$0 to $10$19.99$14.99$44$39.99$29.99$1.99 to $8.25$15
    Starting base equipment*$199$119.15$229$99$199$229Varies$249
    Our pick

    *As of publishing date

    FAQ

    Do all home security systems have a monthly fee?
    No, but if you want professional monitoring (where a company contacts emergency services for help in an emergency), you typically must pay a monthly fee between $15 and $40. This cost is in addition to the cost of the equipment, which you usually pay for upfront.
    Do cheap home security systems require a contract?
    It depends on the company. Some companies don’t require a contract for monthly monitoring, while others do.
    What equipment should a home security system have?
    A basic home security system has a control panel, a door alarm and window sensors. From there, you can pick and choose add-ons, including security cameras, glass break detection and environmental sensors.
    How much does professional monitoring cost?
    The cost for professional monitoring varies but usually falls between $15 and $40 per month. Some companies, like Ring, give discounts when you pay on a yearly basis.
    Do all home security systems have upfront equipment costs?
    Most do, yes. However, some companies lease their products in exchange for a monthly charge instead. For more, read about home security cost considerations.
    Do I have to give equipment back after my contract is up?
    Most of the time, yes. If you’re working with a company that leases you the equipment on a contract basis, you’ll likely need to return all the products if you decide not to renew a contract.
    Is it cheaper if I install the system myself?
    Usually, yes. Companies that require professional installation either include the service in the purchase price or charge an additional fee — typically around $100. In general, DIY systems are cheaper to purchase and don’t require the extra step of professional installation.
    How can you save money on home security monitoring?
    First, compare your options by researching monitoring fees at a number of different companies. Look for special promotions and discounts. Don’t forget to let your homeowners insurance or renters insurance company know that you are adding a monitored security system; many offer a discount on premiums for having one.

    Bottom line: What is the best and cheapest home security system?

    We think a good cheap security system should offer affordable and reliable protection. As of publishing, our pick for most affordable overall is Ring. For more information, read about our picks for top security systems for renters or learn about additional cost-efficient ways to deter burglars.

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    Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
    by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.