How much does a home security system cost?

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Best Home Security Systems of 2022

Home security systems can cost anywhere from about $200 for a basic set of equipment to thousands of dollars. The cost of an alarm system varies greatly depending mainly on the type of installation you choose (professional or DIY), the amount of equipment you install, and the level of monitoring you select. These things, in turn, depend on how much protection you want.

Michael Silva, owner Silva Consulting, a security and design consultancy, says that just a few door sensors and motion detectors—plus fire alarms—may be enough if you only want security while you’re away. However, you may need a more comprehensive system to protect against intruders at night or other times when you are at home. This system should cover every entry point to your home with a full array of door sensors, glass break sensors, motion detectors, and possibly cameras, which studies have shown can deter crime. For example, the UNC Charlotte study conducted by Professor Joe Cohens From the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology it was found that nearly 60% of thieves planned to break in less than 24 hours before attempting it. In addition, 83% looked for signs of an alarm first, and more than half said they would give up if they saw an alarm.

Doug Huey, co-owner of Executive Security Consultants, which specializes in home security systems, says it’s important to protect the doors and windows in the back of your home first because they are the most vulnerable. Sliding glass doors are a particularly attractive target for thieves because they are made of tempered glass and are easy to break without injury.

In terms of monthly monitoring fees, the $40 is a typical number based on our interviews with security company executives and consumer surveys. Professional monitoring, cellular backup, and multi-camera video recording can start as low as $10 a month with Ring Alarm, the popular Amazon-owned doorbell maker. Prices go up to nearly $100 per month with a large, professionally installed system that comes with an equipment financing plan.

For multi-year contracts, it is essential to read the fine print before signing because some companies give you the option to prepay for equipment or finance it during the term of the contract. Other companies, such as ADT, Brinks, and Frontpoint, charge an initial package cost with either an installation fee or a monthly payment, and require you to pay up front only for additional sensors and cameras. The price of the Xfinity Home Security System is often based on temporary special deals to add alarm equipment to your Xfinity TV, Internet, and phone service.

The cost of a DIY system is less complicated. Individual component prices and monthly fees are clearly listed on the DIY systems websites. Monthly fees for professional monitoring usually range from around $10 to $30 per month.

Regardless of whether you’re getting a professionally installed system or a DIY one, always take the starting price with a pinch of salt. Almost every company publishes a price for a basic set of equipment. But the number of ingredients included in this starter pack is much less than most consumers prove, so the posted base price is low.

“There are so many permutations of what you can have that it’s impossible to publish all this information,” says Jefferson Lyman, former chief technology officer of Vivint Smart Home. The base price is an attempt to provide a “rough figure,” Lyman says, and that the average shopping cart size for a Vivint home security package is about $1,500. In comparison, the company’s base equipment is listed at $599 for a touch panel, two door/window sensors, and a motion detector.

You can expect a similar discrepancy for other professionally installed systems. The difference between the initial advertised price and the price you ultimately pay will be less if your home is on the small side and larger if you want an arsenal of sensors and cameras or have a large property to monitor.

The cheapest home security systems

company

Basic cost

monthly fee

plan lock

Installation options

Trial period

Guarantee

voice assistant

external camera

learn more

ADT . blue » $179.99 and up 0.00 to 19.99 USD no contract do it yourself 30 days Differs Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Watch plans »
Alarm chime » $199.99 and up $0.00 to $20.00 no contract DIY, professional 30 days One year Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Show Prices »
SimplySafe » $244.96 and up 0.00 to 24.99 USD no contract DIY, professional 60 days 3 years Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant see review »
sedative » $249 and up $0.00 to $19.80 no contract DIY, professional 30 days One year Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit View options »
Scouts Alert » $229 and up $9.99 and up no contract do it yourself 60 days 3 years Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant View options »

If the cost of a home security system is a major consideration, consider getting a DIY system. The Abode and Ring Alarm is the most affordable option in our ratings for either DIY or professional installation. Their basic packages are priced similarly, but there are some differences. Especially:

  • Ring’s Protect Basic plan for $3 per month allows up to 60 days of video storage for a single camera. With Ring’s Protect Plus plan for $10 per month, all cameras include 60 days of video storage. Abode offers cloud-based video storage with both its paid plans and 24/7 recording for an additional $9 per month.
  • The Ring Alarm starter kit comes with a keypad, while the Abode’s only has one key fob, so you’ll need to purchase additional key fobs if there’s someone else in your house.
  • The Abode keyboard is $99 more but includes a motion sensor, which the Ring doesn’t have.

Both companies offer professional monitoring, which includes long-term video storage. Here Ring Alarm becomes the least expensive option, charging $10 per month for monitoring or $100 per year. Abode offers a professional monitoring plan for around $20 per month or $200 per year.

Where the two really differ is in the capabilities of the smart home. While the Ring Alarm system is compatible with Z-Wave, it is primarily related to the Ring ecosystem and Amazon Alexa, with a bit of an expansion after that. By contrast, Abode’s smart home platform is fully open, meaning it will work with many other devices. It also supports Z-Wave, Zigbee, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home.

If you want an affordable, camera-centric smart home security system, Ring Alarm is your choice, as Abode currently only supports one indoor camera (it says an outdoor model is coming soon). Ring Alarm has a larger selection of high-quality, full-featured, and inexpensive indoor and outdoor cameras, as well as a line of top-reviewed video doorbells.

If you want some protection for your home but are not ready to use a complete home security system, a security camera system may be a good option. Today’s high-end home security cameras can provide a good amount of protection, plus many of them can be integrated into a complete home security system later if you decide you need one.

You’ll pay between $60 and $500 for one of the best home security cameras of 2022. A complete camera system that covers your entire home will cost about $200 to $2,500, depending on the model(s) of the camera and how much space you need to monitor. It can be costly to purchase multiple cameras and pay ongoing video storage fees, but the good news is that wireless security cameras can be self-installed with minimal effort. If you don’t have the time or desire to get a DIY job, you can pay a professional to install it. Wired cameras usually cost less and have no video storage fees because the footage is stored on a hard drive in your home rather than in the cloud. However, professional installation is more complicated and will cost around $200 per camera, usually with a minimum of four cameras.

For more information on home security systems, see the following guides:

home security systems

Other ratings from 360 reviews

In addition to our reviews of home security systems, you may be interested in these guides for other products:

Why you can trust us: 36 home security systems researched

At US News & World Report, we rate the best hospitals, best colleges, and best cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complex decisions. Our 360 Reviews team takes the same unbiased approach to evaluating the products you use every day. To build our ratings, we researched over 36 home security systems and analyzed 20 reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, gifts, or loans for the products or services we review. All sample products submitted for review are donated after review. In addition, we maintain a separate team that has no bearing on our methodology or recommendations.

US News 360 Reviews take an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to purchase products we may earn a commission but this does not in any way affect our editorial independence.

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