Security cameras used to be out-of-reach for most consumers, as they were used exclusively to protect the wealthy and powerful. Not so anymore. Once known for complex installation, costly monitoring, and expensive bulky equipment, modern security cameras are easy to use, sleek, and affordable.
Just how affordable you ask? Well, we think you’ll be surprised.
With the advent of DIY home-security, it’s never been easier to have security cameras watching over your property and loved ones.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to figure out exactly how much it’s going to cost you. Security camera pricing is all over the map, and sometimes the same brand will have budget-friendly equipment alongside account-draining, feature-laden cameras that you may or may not even need.
That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you simplify your search and zero in on the brand that’s right for you.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for cameras that aren’t going to break the bank, check out our guide to the best affordable security cameras of 2023. There you’ll find equipment that will provide you all the protection you need without having to dip into your retirement account.
Camera Equipment Costs
If you’re considering a camera from one of our highest-rated brands, expect to pay as low as $35 for an individual indoor cam up to $400 for a high-end, feature-heavy outdoor device.
If a complete camera system is what you’re after, naturally, you’ll pay more – in our estimation, between $200 and $3,000, depending on the size of your home and what your specific security needs are.
Those are pretty wide ranges, we know. But again, we’re talking about an industry that’s brimming with variety, with all kinds of new and advanced technology hitting the market at rapid-fire speed.
For a more detailed breakdown, here’s a look at pricing on a handful of popular security cameras:
Snapshot of Security Camera Pricing
|Ring Spotlight Cam Pro||
|Arlo Pro 5||
|Wyze Cam Outdoor V2||
|Google Nest Cam||
|Amcrest Outdoor POE||
|Swann Pan and Tilt||
|Lorex 2K Wired Floodlight Cam||
|Reolink E1 Pro||
|Zmodo 1080p Indoor and Outdoor Camera||
Keep in mind that these costs only cover equipment; when you look deeper into cloud video storage, installation, and other extras, the individual costs will climb higher per camera.
Camera Installation Costs
These days, most security cameras are DIY, which means you probably won’t need to pay for professional installation. If you do want to add this, though, we suggest looking into an Arlo camera, which offers professional installation as an add-on to the brand’s cloud storage subscription. For more on what Arlo is all about (and they’re definitely about quality!), check out our full Arlo camera review.
Certain brands, like ADT and Vivint, actually require professional installation. You can expect to pay between $100 and $200 for a technician to professionally install your security camera(s) and home security system. To learn more about what these companies bring to the table, we recommend reading our roundup of Vivint pricing and our in-depth look at ADT’s packages and plans.
Security Camera Monitoring Costs
If you’re comfortable monitoring your cameras yourself, you’ll save money overall – especially if you use local storage. You can pay around $25, for example, and get a micro SD card with a decent amount of storage that will probably last you several months (unless you’ve got 12 cameras connected to it, of course).
Failing that, you’ve always got the cloud; almost every camera brand out there offers monthly cloud storage through a subscription. Those costs are usually pretty reasonable (about $5 per month), but we do recommend paying special attention to the fine print here, as some plans offer extra features that you can’t get otherwise.
Ring, a leader in this space, makes cloud storage pretty easy and affordable, with some storage offered free of charge through Ring Protect. When we tested and reviewed Ring cameras, we upgraded to the $4-per-month subscription that got us 60 days of video history, video sharing, and snapshot capture. That was more than enough for our purposes; we chose not to spring for the $10-per-month plan, which adds 24/7 recording and an extended warranty.
Beyond that, our best advice for comparing camera pricing is to read the fine print, understand what your needs are, and be patient. You’re sure to find the right price – and the right setup. While you’re at it, visit our home security camera buying guide for an even deeper look at pricing. And to find the perfect security camera for your budget and lifestyle, we also recommend digging into our latest guide on the best home security cameras out there.