How Much Is a Home Security System?

A security system usually has two separate costs: monitoring and equipment. Professional monitoring can cost anywhere from $10 to $60 per month and equipment will run you anywhere from $200 to a few thousand dollars (depending on which devices you want).

If you want to cut costs, you can go with a bare-bones DIY security setup with self-monitoring for much less money. But if you want the most reliable alarm system for your home, we recommend springing for—at least—professional monitoring.

Top security systems price comparison
ProviderMonitoring priceMonitoring typeDetails
Vivint$29.99–$49.99/mo.ProfessionalGet a Quote
ADT Pulse$52.99–$58.99/mo.ProfessionalGet a Quote
SimpliSafe$14.99–$24.99/mo.ProfessionalView Packages
Abode$0–$30/mo.DIY or professionalView Packages
Frontpoint$34.99–$49.99/mo.ProfessionalGet a Quote
Nest Secure$0–$29/mo.DIY or professionalView Packages
Protect America$19.99–$54.99/mo.ProfessionalGet a Quote
Link Interactive$30.99–$40.99/mo.ProfessionalGet a Quote
Brinks$39–$49/mo.ProfessionalGet a Quote
Xfinity Home$39.95/mo.ProfessionalGet a Quote
Ring Alarm$0–$10/mo.DIY or professionalView Packages
Scout Alarm$9.99–$19.99/mo.DIY or professionalView Packages

How much are professionally installed security systems?

Professionally installed alarm systems, like Vivint and ADT, are more complicated than the DIY models you can order online. These companies aren’t transparent with their equipment prices, so you never know quite what you’re going to pay.

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Equipment tip
With most professionally installed security systems, you’ll finance your equipment over the length of your contract (between one and five years). So don’t worry too much about paying a huge lump sum up front.

Monitoring costs are more predictable. Monitoring for a professionally installed system will cost you between $30 and $60 per month, with an average price of $46 per month.

Professionally installed security systems price comparison
CompanyPlanPriceDetails
VivintSmart Security$29.99/mo.Get a Quote
VivintSmart Home$39.99/mo.Get a Quote
VivintSmart Home Video$44.99/mo.Get a Quote
ADTADT Pulse Monitoring + Video$58.99/mo.Get a Quote
ADTADT Pulse Monitoring + Smart Home Connect$59.99/mo.Get a Quote
XfinityXfinity Home$39.95/mo.*Get a Quote

* Xfinity includes an intro price of $29.95 for 12 mos. with a 2-year contract.

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Note about cameras
If you want security cameras, you’ll have to subscribe to a video-tier monitoring plan, and your price will often go up with each camera you add to your system. It’s generally an extra $5 per camera.

Keep in mind, professionally monitored systems may come with an installation fee as well. You might pay more depending on which devices you have installed (for example, doorbell cameras will probably cost you extra), but installation fees are generally around $100.

How much are DIY security systems?

DIY systems are usually cheaper than professionally installed ones, and they’re much more transparent about equipment pricing.

Unlike with professionally monitored systems, not all DIY companies let you finance your equipment over the length of a contract (because a lot of them don’t have contracts). That means you’ll pay more up front, even if your equipment costs less over time.

Examples of security starter equipment packages
CompanyBasic equipment packagePriceDetails
SimpliSafeThe Foundation$229View Packages
Nest SecureNest Secure Alarm Pack$399View Packages
Scout AlarmScout Small Pack$229View Packages
Ring AlarmAlarm Security Kit$199View Packages
AbodeGateway Security System$279View Packages

More traditional security companies that offer DIY installation, like Frontpoint, Brinks, and Link Interactive, will generally have higher equipment and monitoring prices and require contracts. The good news is those companies sometimes offer discounts on intro equipment packages, or at least let you finance your equipment.

As for monitoring, you’ll find the cheapest prices for professional monitoring among DIY providers.

DIY-installed security systems monitoring price comparison
CompanyMonitoring priceDetails
Frontpoint$34.99–$49.99/mo.Get a Quote
Link Interactive$30.99–$40.99/mo.Get a Quote
Protect America$19.99–$54.99/mo.Get a Quote
Brinks$39–$49/mo.Get a Quote
SimpliSafe$14.99–$24.99/mo.View Packages
Nest Secure$29/mo.View Packages
Scout Alarm$9.99–$19.99/mo.View Packages
Ring Alarm$10/mo.View Packages
Abode$30/mo.View Packages

How much are self-monitored security systems?

Self-monitoring is often free, but sometimes you do have to pay a monthly subscription fee for access to your security system’s mobile app. For example, Scout charges $9.99 per month for self-monitoring.

Even with a fee, self-monitoring is cheaper than the price you’d pay each month for professional monitoring.

Self-monitored systems monthly price comparison
CompanyApp subscription costDetails
Scout Alarm$9.99/mo.View Packages
Nest Secure$0/mo.View Packages
Abode$0/mo.View Packages

Some systems, like Abode and Nest Secure, don’t charge for self-monitoring but do offer separate subscriptions for features like cellular back-up, which covers your system in case your Wi-Fi goes out. But for the most part, self-monitored systems are just you and an app.

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

Want to find the best security system for you? Check out the best home security system providers.

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Learn more about the one of the most popular security systems in our ADT Pulse review.

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