Home security systems with no monthly fee can mean more savings and flexibility in the way you choose to protect your home. Nowadays, skipping the monthly fees and long-term contracts gives you more security options. There are a few pros and cons when considering home security systems with no monthly fee. You can pay for the services you need on a month-to-month basis and cancel anytime. But adding up multiple service costs can become expensive. Companies like SimpliSafe, Ring and Blue by ADT are a few of the top choices that offer top-notch service and equipment without hefty monthly home security fees.
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Home Security Services with No Monthly Fee
Monthly fees from long-term contract providers, like ADT and Vivint, often account for leasing equipment and monthly services. But if you choose a DIY security provider, you’ll be able to pay for the optional services you need month-to-month and cancel anytime. You can also choose to use your provider’s free services and avoid extra costs altogether.
The available services and plans will vary based on the provider. For example, SimpliSafe’s top-tier monthly plan includes professional monitoring, emergency response dispatch service, unlimited camera recording and more for $25 per month. But Cove has several benefits, including a Lifetime Equipment Warranty, voice assistant control and their TripleTouch™ Communications for $15 per month. Here are a few services to consider including in your plan.
Video recording and storage: This cost depends on a few factors, including the number of cameras and storage capabilities. It also depends on features such as mobile alerts and continuous video recording that may cost extra. You may choose to have a Ring camera but opt not to have the additional features and services to cut the monthly fee.
Mobile app access: Some providers include mobile app control for free. You’ll be able to get alerts, see live camera activity and control your security equipment from your smartphone. While some providers, like SimpliSafe, include this cost in their optional plan, you may choose to use their free features and have limited mobile control if you’d like.
Smart home control: If you don’t have smart home equipment, you can easily avoid upgraded plans that include smart home control. Home automation features such as voice control and scheduled routines often cost extra. It’s one way to cut costs, and you’ll usually have the option of adding or removing the feature if you’re interested in smart home security.
Best No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems
- Best Overall DIY Security System
SimpliSafe Home SecurityOur rating9.9Starting at$14.99/mo
Our take on SimpliSafe Home Security:
SimpliSafe is our top home security pick because it offers reliable home security equipment at a cheaper price than most competitors. Even though smart home equipment isn’t offered, you’ll have the flexibility to create the system you want within your budget thanks to SimpliSafe’s customizable plans. But keep in mind that you’ll need to pay for equipment upfront because financing isn’t available.
★ Recommended package: The Haven plan offers the best value among SimpliSafe’s offerings. It gives you intrusion and environmental monitoring equipment for less than $500. The package includes security essentials, a smoke detector, a temperature sensor and more. You can add cameras and SimpliSafe’s Video Doorbell Pro for the full SimpliSafe security experience.
- Equipment and monitoring plans are cheaper than competitors
- Optional professional monitoring and installation
- Customizable packages and easy add-ons
- Upfront costs are more expensive than competitors
- No smart home equipment available
- Must upgrade to plan for remote and smart home control
- Best for Flexible Monitoring
Blue by ADTOur rating9Starting at$19.99/mo
Our take on Blue by ADT:
Blue by ADT is very similar to Ring, but with fewer options. You can choose a standalone camera or a whole-home system with sensors and motion detectors. Blue by ADT is a wireless DIY security choice that uses ADT’s professional monitoring. But unlike ADT, monitoring is optional and no contract is required. Best of all, we love that Blue by ADT’s cameras have smart features including facial recognition, smoke and carbon monoxide detector alerts and customizable motion zones.
★Recommended package: We recommend the Starter Plus System to give you all the intrusion protection equipment needed for a single-family home. The solution comes with mobile app control, a smart base station to connect Z-wave devices, four entryway sensors and two motion detectors for $300. Keep in mind that cameras cost extra, but can be added anytime.
- Standalone and whole-home security solutions
- Optional professional monitoring by ADT’s award-winning specialists
- Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
- No professional installation option
- No smart home equipment offered
- Cloud storage costs extra
- Best for Video Doorbells
Ring Home SecurityOur rating9.3Starting at$10/mo
Our take on Ring Home Security:
You may know Ring best for its wide variety of standalone doorbell cameras. But we love Ring for offering standalone equipment and whole-home security systems without requiring a contract. Like SimpliSafe, you choose DIY monitoring and installation or leave it to the pros. But if you want video recording or professional monitoring, you’ll need to upgrade to one of Ring’s Protect Plans.
★ Recommended package: We recommend the 14-Piece Kit to give you the Video Doorbell 3, Spotlight Battery camera and enough security essentials to fit a single-family home. It’s $760, but you’ll have all the top Ring features, video surveillance and a range extender for the best wifi connection for your devices.
- Standalone equipment and whole-home systems available
- DIY and professional installation and monitoring available
- A wide range of comparatively cheap equipment
- Paid Protect Plan required for video storage and smart features
- Only works with Amazon Alexa
- Cellular backup only available with a Ring Protect Plan
- Best for Self-Monitoring
Abode SecurityBBB ratingCStarting at$6/mo
Our take on Abode Home Security:
Simply put, Abode gives you plenty of features in your security equipment. Abode offers DIY smart security solutions that are easy to install and control. We love that each device gives you more than expected. For example, Abode’s Iota Security hub has a built-in siren, HD camera, two-way audio and can connect up to 160 smart devices. You’ll have to set up the system yourself and Abode requires service, but it’s affordable and worth every penny.
★Recommended package: The Iota All-in-One Security Kit Elite is our favorite pick. We love the built-in hub features. Plus, you’ll still get the security essentials for $503. If you’re looking for an option with more cameras, we recommend the Smart Security Kit Complete for a solution that has two Abode Cam 2 cameras.
- Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit
- Smart hub with built-in security with smart home features
- Camera that doubles as an indoor, outdoor and doorbell camera
- Warranty only lasts 1 year
- Requires paid plan for service and most features
- No professional installation option
- Best for Instant Text Alerts
Cove SecurityOur rating9.3Starting at$14.99/mo
Our take on Cove Security:
Cove has one of the easiest security setups. It’s newer compared to other industry providers, but two features set them apart. Cove InstaText sends a text message if an alarm is triggered. And if there’s an emergency, LiveAssist uses two-way audio to speak with a professional monitoring agent using the control panel. You’ll need to build your own package, but it’s one of the ways Cove keeps security affordable.
★ Recommended plan: Cove currently doesn’t offer any plans, but its website helps you select the equipment you need depending on whether you need security for a home, apartment or business. Then, Cove will share its best recommendations and you can adjust the equipment selection based on your security needs.
- InstaText and LiveAssist for emergency assistance
- Three-factor communication if an alarm is triggered
- 60-day risk-free trial
- No smart home equipment or compatibility available
- Professional monitoring required
- No professional installation option
Compare No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems
Ring Home Security
Blue by ADT
Pro. monitoring starts at
|$15/mo.||$19.99/mo. (first month is free)||$20/mo.||$8.33/mo.||$15/mo.|
|DIY or Professional||DIY or Professional||DIY||DIY||DIY|
|No contract required||No contract required||No contract required||No contract required||No contract required|
|60 days||7 days||30 days||30 days||60 days|
Smart home features
Self-Monitoring vs. Professional Monitoring
One of the most common services for home security systems without a monthly fee is monitoring. Some prefer to self-monitor their home, while others prefer to leave it to the pros. Each option comes with different advantages.
- No monthly fee
- No contract required
- No false alarm penalties
- Could miss emergency alerts
- 24/7 emergency dispatch unavailable
- Limited connection and cellular backup
- 24/7 monitoring and dispatch services
- Fast response times
- Possible home insurance discounts
- Monthly fee required
- May require contract
- Possible false alarm penalties
We use our Safety Score methodology to rate providers and products fairly. Our team looks at buying factors, customer reviews and over 100 features to average this information into a single number, better known as the Safety Score. We look closely at four categories — response, reliability, control, and prevention. These four categories focus on keeping you safe and giving you the peace of mind you need to feel safe.
Frequently Asked Questions About Home Security Systems with No Monthly Fee
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.
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.
Professional monitoring can range anywhere from $8 per month to $65 per month or more, depending on the provider. This spans across both DIY and professionally installed security systems.
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. Most home security systems that don’t require monthly fees will offer optional surveillance services.
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. Some home security systems with no monthly fees may offer video surveillance features for an additional month-to-month cost without requiring a contract, like Ring.
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.
Self-monitoring is an attractive option for those homeowners who are looking to save money. Cutting home security monthly fees with DIY systems is less expensive because you can install and monitor everything 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.
If you’re on a budget but want to protect your rental home, it’s important to look for home security systems with no monthly fees to cut costs. Aside from self-monitoring your home security system, you can also reinforce your windows and door locks and install affordable DIY 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.