The 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 for Easy Installation

SimpliSafe Security

Starting at $14.99

8.4 out of 10

Best features

  • Inexpensive professional monitoring
  • Wireless equipment
  • Cellular 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

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

The Best Home Security Systems with No Monthly Fees

The Top 5 Home Security Systems with No Monthly Fees

The Top 5 Home Security Systems with No Monthly Fees

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

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Ring Home Security

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Abode Security

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Arlo Security Cameras

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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
5 Best DIY Home Security Systems with No Monthly Fees

5 Best DIY Home Security Systems with No Monthly Fees

  1. Best for Easy Installation

    SimpliSafe Security

    Our rating 8.4

    Starting at $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.

    Pros

    • Inexpensive professional monitoring
    • Wireless equipment
    • Cellular 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
  2. Best for Flexible Monitoring

    Blue by ADT

    Our rating 8

    Starting at $19.99/mo

    Our take

    For decades, customers have trusted ADT’s equipment and services for extra home security and safety. Their home security systems require professional monitoring, installation and long-term contracts. Blue by ADT gives families flexible and affordable DIY security solutions with a focus on privacy with encrypted networks for your personal and home data. You’ll find smart cameras, ADT professional monitoring, and 24 hours of free cloud storage for easy home monitoring from anywhere.

    Pros

    • Smart home compatibility
    • 7-Day Practice Period
    • 24/7 professional monitoring available

    Cons

    • Limited Blue by ADT equipment
    • No smart home add-ons
    • Cloud storage costs extra
  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

    BBB rating C

    Starting at $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.

    Pros

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

    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

    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

Pros

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

Cons

  • You could miss notifications
  • Connection limitations

Professional Monitoring

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.

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.


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Written by

Jalesa Campbell

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