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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 feest to find one that suits your needs.
Updated May 4, 2021
Written By
Dashia Starr | Home Security Writer
Evaluated over 90 safety products to help you protect what matters most. Check our Methodology

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.

What Are the Best Home Security Systems with No Monthly Fee?

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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 Security

    Our rating
    9.9
    Starting 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.

     

    Pros

    • Equipment and monitoring plans are cheaper than competitors
    • Optional professional monitoring and installation
    • Customizable packages and easy add-ons

    Cons

    • Upfront costs are more expensive than competitors
    • No smart home equipment available
    • Must upgrade to plan for remote and smart home control

    Research SimpliSafe

  • Best for Flexible Monitoring

    Blue by ADT

    Our rating
    9
    Starting 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.

     

    Pros

    • Standalone and whole-home security solutions
    • Optional professional monitoring by ADT’s award-winning specialists
    • Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

    Cons

    • No professional installation option
    • No smart home equipment offered
    • Cloud storage costs extra

    Research Blue by ADT

  • Best for Video Doorbells

    Ring Home Security

    Our rating
    9.3
    Starting 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.

    Pros

    • Standalone equipment and whole-home systems available
    • DIY and professional installation and monitoring available
    • A wide range of comparatively cheap equipment

    Cons

    • Paid Protect Plan required for video storage and smart features
    • Only works with Amazon Alexa
    • Cellular backup only available with a Ring Protect Plan

    Research Ring

  • Best for Self-Monitoring

    Abode Security

    BBB rating
    C
    Starting 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.

     

    Pros

    • 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

    Cons

    • Warranty only lasts 1 year
    • Requires paid plan for service and most features
    • No professional installation option

    Research Abode

  • Best for Instant Text Alerts

    Cove Security

    Our rating
    9.3
    Starting 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.

     

    Pros

    • InstaText and LiveAssist for emergency assistance
    • Three-factor communication if an alarm is triggered
    • 60-day risk-free trial

    Cons

    • No smart home equipment or compatibility available
    • Professional monitoring required
    • No professional installation option

    Research Cove Security

Compare No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems

SimpliSafe Security


Ring Home Security


Abode Security


Blue by ADT


Cove Security


Pro. monitoring starts at
$15/mo.$19.99/mo. (first month is free)$20/mo.$8.33/mo.$15/mo.
Installation type
DIY or ProfessionalDIY or ProfessionalDIY DIY DIY
Contract
No contract requiredNo contract requiredNo contract requiredNo contract requiredNo contract required
Trial period
60 days7 days30 days30 days60 days
Smart home features
YesYesYesYesNo
Surveillance features
YesYesYesYesYes

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. 

Self-monitoring

Pros

  • No monthly fee
  • No contract required
  • No false alarm penalties

Cons

  • Could miss emergency alerts
  • 24/7 emergency dispatch unavailable
  • Limited connection and cellular backup

Professional Monitoring

Pros

  • 24/7 monitoring and dispatch services
  • Fast response times
  • Possible home insurance discounts

Cons

  • Monthly fee required
  • May require contract
  • Possible false alarm penalties

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Self-Monitored Security System

There are a few factors worth considering to weigh your options and concerns
  • Upfront Cost

    One of the first things you’ll need to consider is the upfront cost. However, some DIY security systems offer financing options to pay in installments. You can expect to pay anywhere from around $100 to upwards of $600 for a DIY security system in terms of price. Remember to look for a system that easily adds equipment and services to help lower costs and avoid extra fees.

  • Notifications

    Make sure that the provider you choose doesn’t charge hefty fees for mobile alerts. Since you’ll be self-monitoring your security system, make sure you can get motion-triggered notifications whenever activity is detected to stay alert. Some providers, like Ring and Blue by ADT, include mobile alerts for free.

  • Monitoring

    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’ll have more control over your system’s setup, alerts and features.

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 to avoid hefty fees and long-term contracts. 

Our Methodology

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. 

 

Sources

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Security Systems with No Monthly Fee











Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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