There are a lot of things to think about when choosing a home security system — contract length, monitoring service, equipment options, customer service and more. The most important factor is cost. None of those other things matter if you cannot afford the system.

The good news is that there are many choices when it comes to home security systems. So, whether you need something affordable that covers the basics or you have the budget for a system that has all the bells and whistles — there is a home security system for you.

Home Security System Costs

To help you find the best home security system for your needs, we have compared the costs of major systems. We did the math for you. Now, all you have to do is decide on a system. Here is an overview of the costs involved in buying a home security system

Equipment

The upfront cost of a home security system can vary from zero to thousands of dollars. The equipment includes things like the alarm panel, hub (for smart home security), motion sensors, door and window sensors, fire and smoke detectors, water leak sensors, cameras, locks, lights and more.

Some companies offer “free” equipment. Although this sounds like a great deal, make sure you read the fine print. In most cases, you’ll have to sign a lengthy contract for monitoring to get free or low-cost equipment. These free deals may also include extra fees and charges.

Installation

Some companies offer free, DIY installation. Others require professional installation. Choosing self-installation can help you save money.  And, in most cases, it is simple to install the equipment without any special tools. There are plenty of DIY home security kits that can be installed without worrying about ruining drywall or running cables. Some kits can be set up in just minutes.

While it’s certainly possible to install a security system these days, you might be willing to pay more for professional installation if you want a full-perimeter advanced system or if you are not too handy.

With professional installation, you can be sure that your equipment will be installed correctly and it can be customized to your needs. Professional installation ensures that all your sensors are set up in the most advantageous way. Many alarm systems that require professional installation also include a warranty and service plan for free.

Activation

Many alarm systems — especially professionally-installed ones — require that you pay an activation fee up-front. An activation fee is a one-time fee that is paid to activate your home security system. To find out how much the activation is, make sure you check the contract carefully. In some cases, the activation fee can be spread out over the duration of your contract.

Monitoring

Most alarm systems feature 24/7 professional monitoring. Professional monitoring means better security. It may include monitoring for environmental problems like fire, burglary, and medical emergencies. Some companies allow you to choose month-to-month monitoring; others require a long-term monitoring contract. The advantage of month-to-month monitoring is that you can cancel it at any time. The advantage of a contract is that the monthly monitoring costs are usually lower.

Contracts

One of the factors that you’ll want to consider when you weigh the pros and cons of various home security systems is the contract. Home security contracts can range from month-to-month to years depending on the company.

The advantage of choosing a longer-term contract is that payments will likely be lower. The disadvantage is that you cannot cancel it until the contract period is over. If you move to an area that is not covered by your current home security provider, then you will likely have to pay hefty cancellation fees.

Month-to-month contracts are the most flexible. However, they tend to be higher-priced than long-term contracts. Also, you might be required to purchase equipment up-front if you decide to do a monthly contract.

Average Cost of Home Security System

The average cost of a home security system varies depending on the company, equipment, and monitoring. Here is a comparison of the cost of home security systems among top providers.

Top Home Security System CostsEquipment CostActivation CostMonthly Cost
SimpliSafeStarting at $199$0$0 – $24.99
VivintStarting at $599$0$29.99- $49.99
ADTStarting at $99$25$28.95 – $52.99
FrontpointStarting at $130$0$34.99 – $49.99
Protect AmericaStarting at $0$0$19.99 – $54.99
Brinks Home SecurityStarting at $400$0$29.00 – $39.00

Savings on Home Insurance

Insurance companies offer discounts for taking measures to reduce the risk of theft, fire and other costly events. Therefore, you can expect to save money on your insurance premiums if you install a security alarm. The good news is that discounts aren’t limited to security systems only. Smart home devices like smoke and water leak detectors can also equal savings.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners can save from 15 to 20 percent by installing a monitored security system.

Home Security Deals & Promotions

Discover the best home security deals and discounts and compare prices and costs for home security systems on our website. We regularly monitor pricing and discounts to help readers find the best and most affordable home security products possible.