Best Cheap Home Security Systems of 2020

These 5 affordable security system providers offer the basics for your protection and feature unique equipment, such as an all-in-one home security system and easy-to-use devices for arming and disarming. You can also access smart home features, home environmental monitoring and more with these affordable providers.

Best Entry-Level Pricing

Best features

  • 25+ years of industry experience
  • Low prices on entry-level systems
  • No upfront equipment costs

Best for Self-Monitoring

Best features

  • 30-day return policy
  • Option for short-term professional monitoring
  • Two self-monitoring plans

Best for Easy Installation

Best features

  • Inexpensive professional monitoring
  • Wireless equipment
  • Cellular monitoring

Our take on Scout Alarm

Best features

  • 60-day return policy
  • Multiple smart home integrations
  • Modern aesthetics

Best Smart Integrations

Best features

  • Reasonably priced DIY option
  • Contract for professional monitoring is optional
  • Easy to use

Cheap Home Security Systems

Home security systems can quickly get expensive, especially with new, smart device compatible equipment becoming common place. Our experts at Safety have researched and found the five best cheap home security systems. We searched for affordable security systems that provide solid value while keeping the overall cost of home security cheap compared to their peers.

Top 5 Cheap Home Security Systems in 2020

Compare Cheap Home Security Providers

Best Entry-Level Pricing

Protect America Home Security

  • BBB rating
    A
  • Starting price
    $19.99/mo
Our take on Protect America Home Security

Protect America stands out for its low starting prices, over 25 years of award-winning service and monitoring plans that are based on connectivity type. If you’re looking for a capable no-frills home security system you can install yourself, Protect America might have the best priced option.

What we like

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Smart home devices and features
  • Mobile app access & control

What we don’t like

  • Contract required
  • Must upgrade to get video surveillance, smart features and smoke detection
  • Cellular monitoring is the most expensive plan
Best for Self-Monitoring

Abode Security

  • BBB rating
    C
  • Starting price
    $8.33/mo
Our take on Abode Home Security

Abode is a budget-friendly option for tech-savvy individuals who are comfortable setting up and monitoring their own security systems. Its ample smart home integrations provide a good foundation for uniting all of your home automation devices.

What we like

  • 30-day return policy
  • Option for short-term professional monitoring
  • Two self-monitoring plans

What we don’t like

  • Professional monitoring only available in highest tiered monitoring plan
  • Cellular backup not available in basic monitoring plan
  • Understanding custom home automation features could be difficult for some
Best for Easy Installation

SimpliSafe Home Security

  • BBB rating
    A+
  • Starting price
    $14.99/mo
Our take on SimpliSafe Home Security

SimpliSafe could be considered a disrupter in the home security industry, because it was among the first to provide forward-thinking customer benefits like self-installation, self-monitoring, video verification and month-to-month pricing. Its generous 60-day risk-free trial helps ensure long-term customer satisfaction.

What we like

  • Inexpensive professional monitoring
  • Wireless equipment
  • Cellular monitoring

What we don’t like

  • Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
  • No selection of smart home devices
  • Smart home capabilities not available in basic monitoring plan
Our take on Scout Alarm

Scout Alarm

  • BBB rating
    Not yet rated
  • Starting price
    $30.99/mo
Our take on Scout Alarm

Scout is a Kickstarter-funded company that launched in 2013. From the start, Scout has promised simpler, smarter security do-it-yourself security solutions designed to seamlessly blend with contemporary homes and lifestyles.

What we like

  • 60-day return policy
  • Multiple smart home integrations
  • Modern aesthetics

What we don’t like

  • Not a variety of smart home products
  • Setting up actions for Scout might be tricky
  • Could lose one of the arming/disarming stickers
Best Smart Integrations

Nest

  • BBB rating
    A+
  • Starting price
    $19.00/mo
Our take

The Google Nest Secure alarm system is priced at $399 and includes basic equipment like Nest Guard, Nest Detect, a Nest Tag and the Nest App. The Nest Guard is an all-in-one alarm, keypad, motion sensor, and digital assistant. You can arm and disarm the alarm system at the tap of your Nest Tag on top of the Nest Guard. Nest Detect is an additional sensor made for doors and windows while the Nest app is your on-hand control center.

What we like

  • Reasonably priced DIY option
  • Contract for professional monitoring is optional
  • Easy to use

What we don’t like

  • No variety of preset hardware packages you can purchase
  • The cost of month-to-month professional monitoring is higher than contract option
  • Could lose one of the arming/disarming tags

Factors That Can Lower Your Home Security Cost

DIY installation

Unlike professionally installed systems, home security systems that can be self-installed allow you to save on installation fees. You’ll likely find that installation fees can run anywhere between $50 and $200, so you’re able to save more installing your own system. One factor to keep in mind when choosing DIY installation is whether or not you feel comfortable with navigating technology. If you feel uncomfortable, it might be better to choose professional installation to avoid mistakes. One last benefit, however, of a DIY installation is that you don’t have to try to find a time to take off from work or on a weekend to schedule an appointment with a technician. So, a DIY installed system can save you additional money and time.

No contract

With most professionally installed security systems, you’ll find that you have to sign a contract. Signing a contract will lengthen your service with a provider, thus increasing the amount of money you spend. Sometimes you’ll find service agreements with DIY providers, but they’re usually optional. A perk that you’ll find with some DIY home security systems is that you can just pay for your monitoring on a month-to-month basis, choosing to end your monthly monitoring service or change monitoring plans if you desire.

Inexpensive monitoring

One last feature that can help lower the cost of home security is cheaper monitoring. On average, you’ll find that monitoring with most providers ranges from $30.00/mo. – $50.00/mo. depending on the plan you choose. With some DIY home security providers, you can choose between self-monitoring and professional monitoring. With self-monitoring, you’ll be able to monitor your home with the help of security alerts as well as video surveillance if you purchase a camera. Self-monitoring options can be free or very inexpensive compared to professional monitoring options.

Home Security Frequently Asked Questions

If I don’t feel comfortable installing my security system, can a professional install it for me?

This will depend on the provider. Some providers like SimpliSafe and Nest offer professional installation as an option.

What could I expect to pay if I choose professional monitoring but have to sign a contract with either of these providers?

For the providers we have mentioned here, if you have to sign a contract for professional monitoring, you could expect to pay anywhere between $20.00/mo. – $35.00/mo.

If I want to monitor my home, do these providers offer security cameras.

Yes, if you want to self-monitor your home, each of these providers give you the ability to purchase a security camera with them. Please note that Protect America does not offer self-monitoring as an option.


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Written by

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa develops content in the home security space and contributes to Safety's social media efforts.