What is the best home security package for you?
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Compare Security Systems without Contract
Ring Home Security
Monitoring price starting at
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Basic motion detection
Smart home devices
Home environmental monitoring devices
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Contract vs. No-Contract Security Systems
Here are some key differences between contract and no contract security systems with these Pros and Cons:
Contract Security Systems
- Some systems are professionally installed
- Most systems come with professional monitoring
- Often costs less upfront
- In-person tutorial and customer service during installation
- You may have to pay an installation fee
- Moving may be more difficult
- Cancelation fees during your contract may be expensive
- Long-term financial commitment
No-Contract Security Systems
- Most systems can be self-installed
- Can often choose between self-monitoring or professional monitoring
- Month-to-month service costs without a contract
- Upgrade services or add equipment any time without hefty fees
- You may improperly install the security system
- Self-monitoring doesn’t provide the added security as professional monitoring
- The equipment may only work with your current provider
- Must pay for all equipment upfront, which can be expensive
Best No Contract Alarm Systems
- Best Overall DIY Security System
SimpliSafe Home SecurityOur rating9.9Starting at$19.99/mo
Our Take on SimpliSafe Home Security
SimpliSafe is our top pick for inexpensive monitoring, durable equipment and reliable services that simplify home security. You’ll have all the right devices and features to give you peace of mind — even when the unexpected happens.
★ Recommended Package
- Inexpensive professional monitoring
- Wireless equipment
- Cellular monitoring
- Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
- No selection of smart home devices
- Smart home capabilities not available in basic monitoring plan
- Best for Instant Text Alerts
Cove SecurityOur rating7.2Starting at$14.99/mo
Our Take on Cove Security
Cove is new to home security and comes with extra perks, including a three-tier alarm response and easy installation. There are a few downsides, including limited equipment selection and only one camera. But we’re keeping our eyes on what this up-and-coming provider has to offer.
★ Recommended Plan
Build your own
- Affordable monitoring and equipment
- Installation takes about half an hour
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Limited equipment selection
- Does not connect to Z-wave equipment
- The only app available is via third-party
- Best Smart Integrations
NestOur rating8.8Starting at$19.00/mo
Our Take on Nest
Access Google smart home technology with a Nest security system. Even better, Brinks will protect your home with Nest for as low as $19 per month.
★ Recommended Plan
Keep things simple with the Nest Secure Alarm System. You’ll get two Nest tags for easy arming & disarming and access to Google Assistant features. Equipment starts at $399. Professional monitoring starts at $19 per month.
- Reasonably priced DIY option
- Contract for professional monitoring is optional
- Easy to use
- 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
- Best for Self-Monitoring
Abode SecurityOur rating9.3Starting at$20/mo
Our Take on Abode Home Security
Abode lets you create your home security package based on your equipment and monitoring needs. Choose between self- and professional monitoring for your DIY equipment to give you the best home security at an affordable price.
★ Recommended Plan
The Iota All-In-One Security Kit combines motion detection, video surveillance, and two-way audio into a single hub for your home. Equipment starts at $299. Professional monitoring starts at $20 per month.
- Flexible monitoring plans
- Option for short-term professional monitoring
- Access to an all-in-one security system
- 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 Video Doorbells
Ring Alarm Home SecurityOur rating9.3Starting at$10/mo
Our take on Ring Home Security
Ring is a popular DIY camera choice, especially for those that aren’t looking for whole-home security quite yet. Its security systems and cameras together can give you affordable security, monitoring and surveillance without a contract.
Recommended Package: 14-Piece Security Alarm Kit
- Inexpensive equipment and professional monitoring
- Easy to install
- A range of security camera devices for outdoor surveillance
- 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
8 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a No-Contract Home Security System
Price is the top consideration for most shoppers. You can typically expect to pay two separate costs: the price of your equipment and monthly professional monitoring. Additional costs could include installation and or activation fees depending on the provider. Both of these costs tend to increase with security systems that feature security cameras, smart home devices, and home environmental monitoring devices.
Home security systems with no contract may be professionally monitored or self-monitored. Professional monitoring means that a team of trained professionals is on call for alarm response 24/7. If an alarm is triggered in your home, the monitoring agent will asses the situation (usually by calling you) and dispatch emergency services if necessary. Self-monitoring can save money, but you’re responsible for monitoring your own system, either through smartphone notifications, activity alerts, or security camera footage.
Do you want just the basics for intrusion detection, or additional protection through devices like security cameras, smoke detectors, and smart home automation tools? With most providers, you can select a package and customize it to fit your needs. Some providers may require you to pay for all of the equipment upfront or allow you to finance it over a contract.
Smart Home Integrations
Most of the top no-contract home security companies offer some form of smart home compatibility. You’ll find security providers that offer smart home devices, and those who mainly offer integration, meaning that the security system will work well with devices from different manufacturers. Security systems that support home automation tend to be more expensive than simpler ones, so don’t feel compelled to purchase a security system with features you won’t use.
Mobile App Access
Today’s home security systems with no contract let you arm and disarm your system without laying a finger on a keypad or control panel. Thanks to mobile apps, you can view live video with security cameras, check notifications, and even create custom actions for your security system and smart home devices. Be aware, however, that many providers require a more expensive monitoring plan to access all app features.
Many no-contract security systems often require self-installation. DIY systems are easy to install with tutorial videos and technical support. You’ll save money and time on professional installation that’s costly and could be time-consuming with a scheduled appointment block. And, if you install your system yourself, you’ll be able to easily remove and reinstall it if you move. Some DIY security providers offer professional installation at an additional cost, but it’s not required.
Power Backup Source
If there’s a power outage you’ll want to make sure that your home security system is still running to keep your home safe. Before you buy equipment, be sure you know the power source and if there’s a backup. Most DIY security equipment is battery-powered or plugs into a wall outlet, and often includes a rechargeable backup battery.
Camera Footage Access
When your DIY security cameras record footage, you’ll need to keep in mind how you’ll access clips. Some providers offer additional services including secure cloud storage with a month-to-month plan. With cloud storage, you’ll be able to see live and recorded camera footage anywhere using your camera’s mobile app. Other cameras offer local storage to keep all clips on the camera’s SD memory card – which requires extra work to upload and playback clips. Most families prefer cloud storage for secure storage and easy access to footage.
Frequently Asked Questions About No-Contract Security Systems
While some providers may offer home security systems that don’t require a contract, it’s important to be aware of other factors. One factor you’ll want to keep in mind is that the security system may have to be self-installed, meaning that you’ll have to set it up yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable with installing the system on your own, see if the provider offers optional professional installation. Also check in on upfront costs, trial periods, warranties, and additional features before making your decision.
Most contracts or service agreements you’ll find with providers are 36-month agreements.
Not necessarily. One of the perks of a DIY installed (or self-installed) security system is that you’ll be able to avoid any installation fees. If you don’t feel confident about installing your own security system, it would be better to check for optional professional installation or choose a professionally installed security system.
This will depend on the provider, but most no-contract home security systems come with professional monitoring. If the provider has DIY security systems, in most cases, the monitoring will be on the inexpensive end compared to professionally installed security systems. This is a perk and can allow customers to save money in the long-term.
Most no-contract home security providers offer at least one security camera.