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Best Cheap Home Security Systems of 2020

Looking for the right home security provider that will fit your budget and needs? We share 5 of the best affordable home security providers and their features.

You can also use our recommendation tool to find out the system that better fits your needs.

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Guaranteed Service, Contracts required, Low upfront costs

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Motion Sensor, Door/window Sensors, Control Panel, Alarm

Everything in Basic, Mobile App, Remote arm/disarm, Smart Home Automation, Smoke detector, Carbon monoxide detector, Flood & water detector

Everything in Extra, Video camera (indoor/outdoor), Doorbell camera, Video Streaming, Video Record

Cheap Home Security Systems

Cheap Home Security Systems

The best cheap home security systems have some common features: no contracts, generous trial periods, DIY installation and self-monitoring options. Plus, both the equipment and professional monitoring prices are budget-friendly. Affordable home security providers also often allow you to pick and choose the equipment you want to purchase, which can help you keep costs down. Here are our top five picks for cheap home security systems.

 

Top 5 Cheap Home Security Systems in 2020

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Black Friday falls on November 27, 2020 and Cyber Monday on November 30, 2020.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you can expect to find more home security online deals than other years. To facilitate your research, we’ve compiled the top home security deals on everything from security cameras, video doorbells, professional monitoring and more. Visit our Deals Page!

Compare Cheap Home Security Providers

Compare Cheap Home Security Providers

SimpliSafe Security

Learn more about

Cove Security

Learn more about

Ring Home Security

Learn more about
Pro monitoring starts at $14.99/mo. $14.99/mo. $19.99/mo. (first month is free) $19.99/mo. $10/mo.
Installation type DIY or Professional DIY DIY DIY or Professional DIY
Contract No contract required No contract required No contract required 36 months No contract required
Trial Period 60 days 60 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
BBB rating A+ A A+ A C-
Compare Affordable Security Systems

Compare Affordable Security Systems

  1. Best Overall

    SimpliSafe Security

    Our rating 9.3

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our Take on SimpliSafe Home Security

    Keep those pesky burglars away with a SimpliSafe security system. Choose from a range of packages and equipment, and get inexpensive professional monitoring.

     

    Recommended Plan
    We recommend The Barrington if you’re interested in SimpliSafe. This package combines intrusion detection and video surveillance. Equipment starts at $388.93. Professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month. Self-monitoring is free.

    Pros

    • Inexpensive professional monitoring
    • Wireless equipment
    • Cellular monitoring
    • Free self-monitoring

    Cons

    • Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
    • No selection of smart home devices
    • Smart home capabilities not available in basic monitoring plan
    • Research SimpliSafe
  2. Best for Instant Text Alerts

    Cove Security

    Our rating 7.4

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our Take on Cove Security

    Although Cove Security launched just a couple of years ago, it offers some unique perks, such as the ability to completely avoid a contract by paying for equipment up front. Another major selling point is Cove’s ease of installation.

     

    Recommended Plan

    Regardless of how you pay for your custom equipment package, we recommend the Cove Plus Monitoring plan, the only option that supports Google Home and Amazon Alexa integrations.

    Pros

    • Affordable monitoring and equipment
    • Installation takes about half an hour
    • 60-day money-back guarantee

    Cons

    • Limited equipment selection
    • Does not connect to Z-wave equipment
    • Smartphone app only available with most expensive monitoring package
  3. Best for Video Doorbells

    Ring Home Security

    Our rating 8.4

    Starting at $10/mo

    Our take on Ring Home Security

    Ring offers complete security systems, video doorbells, cameras and more for your home’s protection.The base security system comes with 5 pieces: a base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector, and range extender. This alarm security kit has a retail price of $199.00.

    What we like

    • Inexpensive equipment and professional monitoring
    • Easy to install
    • A range of security camera devices

    What we don’t like

    • Video recording not available without a Ring Protect Plan
    • Higher-tiered packages cover more area, but don’t add any features
    • Cellular backup not available without a Ring Protect Plan
  4. Best for Flexible Monitoring

    Blue by ADT

    Our rating 8

    Starting at $19.99/mo

    Our Take on Blue by ADT

    Get trusted professional monitoring and an easy-to-install security system with Blue by ADT. Even better, your first month of monitoring is free. As a Blue by ADT customer, you have the option to do a no contract plan. By doing this, you can purchase the equipment and skip the professional monitoring. You can always go back and add professional monitoring to your system if you decide you need it later down the line.

     

    Recommended Plan
    For front-door protection, we recommend the Blue Doorbell Camera System. You’ll get the essentials and a doorbell camera for your home. Equipment starts at $109.19. Professional monitoring starts at $19.99 per month.

    Pros

    • Smart home compatibility
    • 7-Day Practice Period
    • 24/7 professional monitoring available
    • No contract option
    • Free self-monitoring

    Cons

    • Limited Blue by ADT equipment
    • No smart home add-ons
    • Cloud storage costs extra
    • Research Blue by ADT
  5. Best Landline Monitoring

    Protect America

    Our rating 7.2

    Starting at $19.99/mo

    Our take on Protect America Home Security

    Protect America stands out for its low-cost landline monitoring and great coverage for rural areas. Their professional monitoring has 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 is a good choice for your family.

    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
Features of Affordable Home Security Systems

Features of Affordable Home Security Systems

  • DIY Installation

    One of the most common features you’ll find among affordable home security systems is DIY installation. Being able to install your system yourself allows you to avoid an installation fee, which could range anywhere between $70 to upwards of $300 depending on the provider and equipment. You also won’t have to be concerned with setting aside time for a technician to install your system for you when you can do it yourself.

  • No Contract

    Another feature that can lower your security system cost is the ability to avoid any contracts. Traditionally, home security providers have required a contract for their service, but a lot of providers today are either transitioning away from this or adding DIY systems to their lineup. With some affordable home security systems, you’ll only be responsible for your monthly monitoring fee.

  • Inexpensive Monitoring

    One last feature you’ll find is inexpensive professional monitoring. This is more common with DIY providers, where the cost of monthly monitoring can start below $10/mo. You’ll want to be sure of the type of monitoring you’ll have before purchasing, whether that’s professional or self-monitoring. Self-monitoring is typically cheaper, as you’ll be responsible for getting activity notifications, but we’d recommend choosing professional monitoring whenever possible.

Conclusion

Conclusion

A cheap home security system can provide peace of mind just like some of the more expensive alarm systems on the market. You can always choose a basic starter kit and add additional equipment over time. If you decide you want more advanced technology, or a lifetime warranty, you may want to go with a pricier provider. But there are plenty of cheap home alarm systems that can protect your home with basic home security equipment. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap Home Security Systems

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap Home Security Systems

What is the best low cost home security system?

We think that the right home security system for you will heavily depend on your needs, and it might not necessarily be the cheapest. If you only want the basics for intrusion detection (control panel, sensors, and signage) at a low cost price, then we’d recommend choosing a basic package with a provider like SimpliSafe, Cove, Blue by ADT, and Ring.

How much does a home security system cost?

This is going to depend on the provider, equipment, and any monitoring fee as well. For most home security providers, you can expect to pay at least $100 and up for their systems. For professional monitoring, you can expect to pay at least $8/mo. (and that’s on the low end). But for DIY providers, you’ll generally pay $14.99/mo. and up for professional monitoring.

Do cheap home security systems require a contract?

If you’re looking at DIY providers, the answer is no. Most DIY home security providers do not require a contract. You’ll typically be responsible for the cost of equipment and monitoring. If you want a professional to install your system, you’ll also have to pay an installation fee.

Do cheap home security systems have a monthly fee?

Yes, most cheap home security systems have a monthly monitoring fee unless you decide to monitor your own system. In that case, you may be able to avoid this fee.

What equipment can I get with an affordable home security system?

As with most home security systems, you’ll get the essentials: a control panel, motion sensor(s), door/window sensors, and signage. If you want additional equipment like security cameras, smart home devices, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, glass break sensors, and other devices, you can expect to pay more. If you want some of these additional features for less, we’d recommend providers like Blue by ADT and Cove.

Should I choose a DIY or professionally installed security system?

DIY systems are more convenient to take with you when you move because they are not hardwired into your home’s electrical system. However, if you don’t feel comfortable with new technology, we recommend looking for a professionally installed system so that a representative can teach you how to use each feature.

Should I choose a self-monitored or professionally monitored security system?

Although many cheap security system providers offer self-monitoring to help you find an option that suits your budget, self-monitoring isn’t always practical. There are moments in your life when you can’t check your phone for alerts. A professionally monitored security system is highly recommended because your home will be monitored 24/7 and police will be dispatched when needed, even if you aren’t aware of the problem yet.


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Safety and Security Reporter

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa is one of Safety.com's staff experts on home security, natural disasters, public safety, and family safety. She's been featured on Today.com and elsewhere.