Best 5 No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems of 2020 | Safety.com®

The 5 Best Home Security Systems with No Monthly Fees

Want to avoid paying a monthly fee for home security? We’ve got you covered. Check out these top 5 home security systems with no monthly fees and their features to find one that suits your needs.

Best Overall

SimpliSafe Security

Starting at $14.99

9.3 out of 10

Best features

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

Best for Flexible Monitoring

Blue by ADT

Starting at $19.99

8 out of 10

Best features

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

Best for Video Doorbells

Ring Home Security

Starting at $10

8.4 out of 10

Best features

  • No contract
  • Inexpensive equipment and professional monitoring
  • Home automation integration

Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, security is an important consideration for your home. If you’re looking for a truly affordable solution, you may want to consider a self-monitored home security system. A self monitoring home security system gives you the power to handle home security your way. The user is responsible for installing, activating and monitoring the system through an app. If something comes up, it’s the responsibility of the user to contact the property authorities. While there is no such thing as a free home security system, self monitoring systems offer consumers more financial flexibility because you’re required to pay little to nothing in monitoring fees. These reputable companies offer a variety of affordable equipment packages and represent some of the best no-monthly-fee home security systems available. And if you decide to add professional monitoring, most of these providers can handle that too.

Here are the Best Self Monitored Home Security Systems

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

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!

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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

Recommended Equipment & Features for Self-Monitored Security Systems

Recommended Equipment & Features for Self-Monitored Security Systems

Sensors – These devices help make up the “bread and butter” of a home security system. It’s important to make sure you have enough motion and door/window sensors to protect your home. These devices let your control panel know when activity has been detected in your home. You should also be able to get activity notifications sent to your smartphone.

Security Cameras – Another device you should also consider purchasing is a security camera. Even if you only purchase one, this can help you identify activity triggers in/around your home. Look for a camera with HD video, night vision, and two-way audio. Additional features to look for are strobe lighting and a siren. These are deterrence features, intended to warn and ward off unwanted visitors or intruders.

Mobile App Access – Last but not least, one feature you’ll want to make sure you have is mobile app access. Make sure your chosen provider allows you to not only receive activity alerts but to also control your security system and any smart home devices you may have. Remote mobile app access will allow you to be able to arm and disarm your security system, view camera footage, lock and unlock doors (with smart locks), control lighting, and much more.

Compare No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems

Compare No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems

SimpliSafe Security

Learn more about

Ring Home Security

Learn more about

Abode Security

Learn more about

Arlo Security Cameras

Learn more about
Pro. monitoring starts at $14.99/mo. $19.99/mo. (first month is free) $10/mo. $8.33/mo. N/A
Installation type DIY or Professional DIY DIY DIY or Professional DIY
Contract No contract required No contract required No contract required No contract required No contract required
Trial period 60 days 7 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
BBB rating A+ A+ C- C A
Best No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems

Best No Monthly Fee Home 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 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
  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 Self-Monitoring

    Abode Security

    Our rating 9

    Starting at $20/mo

    Our Take on Abode Home Security

    With an all-in-one home security system and lots of smart home compatibility, Abode is an innovator, giving you the ability to choose between self- or professional monitoring.

     

    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.

    Pros

    • Flexible monitoring plans
    • Option for short-term professional monitoring
    • Access to an all-in-one security system
    • Free self-monitoring

    Cons

    • 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
  5. Best for Camera Selection

    Arlo Security Cameras

    BBB rating A

    Starting at $/mo

    Our take

    Founded in 1996, Arlo offers a range of security cameras and systems to help you protect your home. You’ll find several home security system packages, indoor cameras, and lighting options. With Arlo, you will have to self-monitor your system as the company does not offer a professional monitoring service. Security systems with Arlo start around $100 and range up to around $700.

    What we like

    • HD security cameras
    • Deterrence and artificial intelligence (A.I.) features
    • Compatible with smart assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant
    • Free self-monitoring

    What we don’t like

    • No professional monitoring option
    • No professional installation option
Self-Monitoring vs. Professional Monitoring

Self-Monitoring vs. Professional Monitoring

Self-monitoring and professional monitoring both have their perks and draw-backs. We take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of each to help you make the best decision.

Self-Monitoring Home Security

Pros

  • Either no or a low monthly fee
  • Avoid false alarm penalties

Cons

  • You could miss notifications
  • Connection limitations

Professional Monitoring Home Security

Pros

  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Two-way communication with monitoring center

Cons

  • Monthly fee
  • Potential false alarm penalties
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Self-Monitored Security System

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Self-Monitored Security System

  • Upfront Cost

    One of the first things you’ll need to consider is upfront cost. With some DIY security systems, financing options might not be available, meaning you’ll have to foot the cost of the entire system upfront. In terms of price, you can expect to pay anywhere from around $100 to upwards of $600 for a DIY security system. Look for one that falls within your price range and includes the devices you want and need.

  • Notifications

    Make sure that the provider you decide to go with allows you to receive notifications. These come in the form of push alerts on your smartphone, text messages, and even emails. Since you’ll be monitoring your own security system, you need to make sure you can get alerts whenever activity is detected or an important event occurs that needs your attention. The good news is that we don’t know of any providers that don’t already have this feature.

  • Ease of Installation

    Will you need tools to install your security system? Or does the system feature peel-and-stick devices? Whichever is required, make sure you’re comfortable with setting up your own system. In some cases, you’ll find DIY providers that offer professional installation for an additional fee. In most cases, however, setting up your control panel, sensors, and cameras should be fairly easy with a wireless setup.  A DIY security system also affords you the ability to take your system with you whenever you decide to move.

  • No Monthly Fees

    Looking to save money? Skip the monthly fees by monitoring your home security system on your own via an app on your smartphone. By going this route, you can get around paying for expensive professional monitoring fees — plus you can take your home security system into your own hands.

  • Avoid a Credit Inquiry from Security Companies

    If you have a less than ideal credit score, don’t worry. There are plenty of quality home security companies that won’t run a credit check on you, including SimpliSafe and Ring Home Security. Read more about the best home security companies that don’t run credit checks.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Now that you’re familiar with some of the top DIY home security systems with no monthly fee for self-monitoring, you can find the system that’s best for your home. Whichever you choose, all of these providers are great choices and represent the best self-monitored home security systems.

Our Methodology

Our Methodology

At Safety.com, our methodology in providing free, quality insight is based on factors such as stand-out features, trustworthy reviews, and brand reputation. To keep our content free, we may collect a commission if you clink on a link or purchase an item through a link you clicked on this page. However, our opinions are our own.

 

Sources

Sources

https://www.consumerreports.org/diy-home-security-systems/best-self-monitored-home-security-systems-with-no-monthly-fees/

https://simplisafe.com/

https://www.bluebyadt.com/

Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Monitored Security Systems

Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Monitored Security Systems

How much does a DIY alarm system cost?

You can expect to pay anywhere from around $100 to upwards of $600 for a security system that doesn’t require a monthly fee. These are generally your DIY security systems.

Will installing a security system help cut down on my homeowners insurance?

It can — you’ll need to talk to your homeowners insurance agent, but in most cases, having a security system will earn you a discount on your insurance policy.

How much does a monitored security system cost?

Professional monitoring can range anywhere from as low as $8/mo. to upwards of $65/mo., depending on the provider. This spans across both DIY and professional installed security systems.

Do all security cameras require a subscription?

This will depend on the provider. Some providers give you the option of subscribing to video monitoring or alarm verification, which allows a monitoring specialist to view your camera footage to verify whether or not your alarm warrants contacting local authorities.

Can I use my home security system without monitoring?

Many providers offer self-monitored home security solutions, including SimpliSafe, Blue by ADT, Ring, Abode and Arlo.

Do no-monthly-payment security systems store your videos?

For the most part, cloud storage of your video surveillance comes with the paid version of these services and is almost always included with professional monitoring packages. Arlo, however, offers seven days of cloud storage even without a monthly fee, and you can pay for longer storage times.

Can I self monitor my home alarm?

Yes. Homeowners have the option to self monitor their own security systems in many cases. Instead of a 24/7 call center being responsible for monitoring your home security system, you would be responsible for monitoring and alerting authorities in case of break-ins or other emergency issues.

What is a key advantage of self-monitored home security systems?

Self monitoring is an attractive option for those homeowners who are looking to save money. Instead of paying a monthly fee to a security company, self monitoring is significantly less expensive because you do it yourself. It also gives you complete control over monitoring, which may be a plus for people who prefer to go the DIY route whenever possible.

How can I protect my rental on a budget?

If you’re on a budget but want to protect your rental home, there are plenty of affordable ways to do so. Aside from self-monitoring your home security system, you can also reinforce your windows and door locks and install affordable motion sensors and cameras. If you buy the equipment and install it yourself, you’ll cut down on the costs associated with professional installation and activation.


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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.