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
What is the best home security package for you?
Use our Package Finder to find the right package based on your home security needs!
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
Ring Home Security
Blue by ADT
Arlo Security Cameras
Pro. monitoring starts at
|$14.99/mo.||$19.99/mo. (first month is free)||$10/mo.||$8.33/mo.||N/A|
|DIY or Professional||DIY||DIY||DIY or Professional||DIY|
|No contract required||No contract required||No contract required||No contract required||No contract required|
|60 days||7 days||30 days||30 days||30 days|
Best No Monthly Fee Home Security 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 Flexible Monitoring
Blue by ADTOur rating9Starting 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.
- Smart home compatibility
- 7-Day Practice Period
- 24/7 professional monitoring available
- No contract option
- Free self-monitoring
- Limited Blue by ADT equipment
- No smart home add-ons
- Cloud storage costs extra
- Research Blue by ADT
- 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
- 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 $20 per month.
- Flexible monitoring plans
- Option for short-term professional monitoring
- Access to an all-in-one security system
- Professional monitoring only available in highest tiered monitoring plan
- Cellular backup not available in basic monitoring plan
- Understanding custom home automation features could be difficult for some
- Best for Camera Selection
Arlo Security CamerasBBB ratingAStarting at$/mo
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.
- HD security cameras
- Deterrence and artificial intelligence (A.I.) features
- Compatible with smart assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant
- Free self-monitoring
- No professional monitoring option
- No professional installation option
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
- Either no or a low monthly fee
- Avoid false alarm penalties
- You could miss notifications
- Connection limitations
Professional Monitoring Home Security
- 24/7 monitoring
- Two-way communication with monitoring center
- Monthly fee
- Potential false alarm penalties
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Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Monitored Security Systems
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 as low as $8/mo. to upwards of $65/mo., depending on the provider. This spans across both DIY and professional 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.