Find out what the average costs of the best home security systems available are, as well as our tips on how to assemble a security system on a budget.
What’s Included in a Home Security System?
Home security system costs vary primarily because of what is or isn’t included in the system. Providers like ADT have many options, and it’s not unusual for prices to be quote-by-quote based on what the consumer wants in their system.
These are the products and services commonly included in a home security system.
Alarms – the quintessential security product found on everything from houses to cars, alarms are always included in security systems. If the home is broken into, the alarm will sound, alerting everyone in the home and neighbors alike. The alarm being triggered may also automatically alert monitoring services, who may, in turn, alert local authorities.
Security Cameras – visual surveillance is crucial in the event of a break-in, since it provides invaluable evidence, but is also useful for everyday life; monitoring the doorway for deliveries, keeping an eye on pets, and more. Security cameras can provide a real sense of relief in more ways than one.
Window/Door Sensors – sensors that can be added to doors and windows are commonly incorporated into security systems. When armed, these will trigger alarms or send push notifications when the door or window is opened.
Control Panel – video touchscreens or buttoned control panels are ordinarily the central hub of the security system. These can be used to do things like arm and disarm products, view cameras, speak to people at the door, and so on.
Professional Monitoring – usually available as an add-on paid for by a monthly or annual subscription, monitoring teams are notified when breaches of security are dedicated. This gives them access to surveillance equipment, which won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it does mean they can dispatch the authorities or emergency services to the property in the event of a break-in.
Home Security System Hardware Cost
Home security system hardware costs on average somewhere between $200 and $500. Budget options, like taking a DIY approach to a system, can significantly reduce costs, while security for large scale properties can cost significantly more. Even popular choices, like Vivint, cost upwards of $599.
Home Security System Installation Cost
The cost of home security systems often includes the cost of installation, particularly if a quote is given instead of a fixed price. Consumers may also be given the chance to omit installation if they want to do it themselves. If everything is hardwired, installation will likely be necessary, and shouldn’t cost more than $200.
Best Home Security Companies – Subscription Costs Compared
Home security systems have an upfront cost that covers the equipment itself and often the installation. Fees are then paid annually or monthly to cover the costs of cloud storage and/or professional monitoring. They may also cover maintenance.
How much is home security a month? Check out a comparison below of monitoring costs for the most popular home security system companies, including how much ADT is a month.
|Average Subscription Cost||Professional monitoring included?||Payment Schedule||Cancellation Fee|
AlfredCamera DIY security cost
|$5.99 per month (monthly contract)|
$2.49 per month (year contract)
|❌||Monthly or yearly||No cancellation fee|
Refundable within 7 days of purchase
ADT monthly cost
|$45.99 – $59.99 a month for Smart Home/ADT Video packages|
$24.99 – $34.99 a month for Self Setup/Basic packages
3 year contract (2 years in California)
|75% of remaining charges after the 6 month money-back guarantee has passed|
Vivint security system monthly cost
|$29.99 – $44.99||✔️||Monthly||Varies depending on contract|
SimpliSafe monthly cost
|$17.99 – $27.99||✔️/❌ (optional)||Monthly||No cancellation fee|
Frontpoint monthly cost
|$49.99||✔️||Monthly||No cancellation fee (30 days notice required)|
Nest monthly cost
|$6 – $12||❌ (no longer offered from 2023 onwards)||Monthly||No cancellation fee|
Ring monthly cost
|$3 – $10 for Basic/Plus|
$20 for Pro
|✔️/❌ (available with Protect Pro)||Monthly||No cancellation fee|
Be aware that many security companies, including ADT and Vivint, offer monthly financing plans to pay for equipment over a period of time instead of paying upfront. This means actual monthly costs may be more if the consumer chooses to stagger payment of upfront costs.
Are Home Security Systems Really Worth It?
How much does a full home security system cost?
Home security system hardware can cost anywhere from $200 to upwards of $500, with providers like ADT and Vivint providing full home security systems for well over $1000. Home security system costs are usually given through quotes, meaning there’s lots of variation in price depending on what the consumer wants. Monthly costs for professional monitoring and/or cloud storage are also a factor to consider.
How much do security systems cost monthly?
Security system monthly costs start at around $3 to $6 a month, prices which usually just cover the cost of cloud storage and certain premium features (as is the case with Nest, Ring, and AlfredCamera). High end security systems, like those provided by ADT, cost as much as $59.99 a month for professional monitoring. If consumers choose to stagger the upfront costs of hardware, it may be more per month.
How much does a security system cost to install?
Security system installation costs between $0 and $200. Most companies include the cost of security system installation in the overall quote, meaning it is provided for under the contract.
Which is the best home security system?
ADT is respected in the security sphere for its technically powerful products and round-the-clock professional monitoring, but it is generally eye-wateringly expensive. Ring provides low cost ‘Alarm’ packs that cost substantially less. AlfredCamera is a freemium service with no limit as to how many viewing devices can be used, making it by far the most affordable way to DIY a solid security system.
Verdict: Most Expensive Home Security System vs Cheapest Home Security System
Most expensive home security system: ADT
ADT’s among the oldest and most well-known security system providers. Monitoring is handled by their own teams, as is installation for most packages, and the tech itself is advanced and reliable. Consumers can therefore expect it to always be accompanied by a hefty price tag, even for more humble systems. Equipment is expensive, installation is expensive, and monthly monitoring fees for the higher end packages is expensive.
Upfront ADT costs for homes will be in the ballpark of several hundred dollars to upwards of $1200. A monthly cost to cover monitoring is also paid thereafter, or the entire fee can be paid in monthly installments in contracts that last a few years.
It’s also wise to carefully scrutinize quotes and their terms, because cancellation of a package after the guarantee period has ended will mean handing over 75% of the remaining costs of the contract. ADT security systems will benefit very large properties with high value objects inside, but, generally, it’s better suited to businesses than the average family home or apartment.
Cheapest Home Security System – Ring
Ring made its name off the back of its doorbell cameras, but these are actually just one part of a now extensive product line. Aside from the possibility of DIY security systems using their products, Ring provides three base ‘Alarm’ packs that can be customized to the users’ preferences. These include keypads, alarms, door and window motion detectors, indoor and outdoor security cameras, and the doorbell camera.
Prices start at $199.99 and don’t go beyond $379.99, which is much lower than the average cost of a home security system with cameras and significantly cheaper than ADT.
These don’t require much expertise to set up, so can be installed fairly easily without the help of a professional. But, as with other security systems, expect monthly fees to be incurred for long-term use, including paying for a Protect plan (cloud storage and a couple other perks for cameras) as well as professional monitoring.