Investing in a home security system is one of the best ways to protect your home and family. But how much does a home security system cost these days? The costs can range quite a bit based on the type of system, equipment and features you choose. This blog breaks down the different factors that affect home security system costs in 2024.
What Are the Main Types of Home Security Systems?
There are a few main options when it comes to home security systems:
DIY Home Security Systems
Do-it-yourself (DIY) systems allow you to purchase equipment and install it yourself without any professional installation. DIY systems like SimpliSafe, Ring Alarm, and Nest Secure provide the flexibility to customize your setup while avoiding installment fees.
Professionally Installed Systems
These systems require professional installation by a security company like Callaway Security, ADT, or Vivint. The benefit is you don’t have to install anything, but you’ll pay more in upfront costs.
Monitored vs Unmonitored
Both DIY and professional systems can be self-monitored or monitored by a security company. Monitored systems have a monthly fee but provide 24/7 monitoring and emergency dispatch.
Wired vs Wireless Systems
Wireless systems are convenient for renters and retrofits, while wired options are more reliable but require drilling and permanent installation.
What Are the Average Costs of Home Security Systems?
Home security system costs can vary from $10 per month for a basic DIY system to over $100 per month for systems with professional monitoring, installation and advanced equipment. According to HomeAdvisor, here are some average costs:
- Basic DIY system: $10-$50 per month
- Professionally installed system: $50-$100+ per month
- Security cameras: $80-$300+ each
- Motion sensors: $20-$50 each
- Door/window sensors: $15-$30 each
- Control panel: $100-$300
- Installation: $200-$1,500+
- Activation fee: $50-$100
So for example, a basic starter DIY system could cost around $250 for equipment and as low as $10 per month for self-monitoring. A higher-end system with cameras, sensors, professional installation and monitoring could cost $2,500+ upfront and $70+ per month.
DIY Home Security System Costs
DIY home security systems allow you to monitor and control your system using a smartphone app and avoid any installation fees. Here are typical costs for popular DIY options:
- SimpliSafe: $200-$500 for equipment. No contract. Monitoring starts at $15/month.
- Ring: $200-$400 for equipment. Self-monitoring is free. Monitoring is $10-$30/month.
- Abode: Approximately $200-$600 for equipment. No contract. Monitoring is $30-$40 per month.
- Nest: $300-$500 for equipment. No contract. Monitoring is $30-$50 per month.
DIY systems are ideal if you want to customize your setup, avoid contracts and handle installation yourself. Just keep in mind that most DIY providers charge extra for professional monitoring.
Professional Home Security System Installation Costs
Here are estimated costs for some of the top professionally installed home security systems:
- ADT: $550+ for equipment, $99+ installation. Monitoring starts at $28.99/month with a 1-3 year contract.
- Vivint: $599+ for basic equipment, $199+ installation and activation. Monitoring starts at $30+/month with a 42-60 month contract.
- Frontpoint: $200-$350 for equipment, $99 installation. Monitoring starts at $35/month with a 3 year contract.
Professionally installed systems typically cost more, but you won’t have to install anything. Just keep in mind that most require long-term contracts.
Additional Costs to Consider
Beyond the basics, additional equipment, installation and activation fees can add to the overall cost:
- Security cameras: Prices range from $80-$300+ per camera, depending on features like video quality, field of view, night vision capability and remote access.
- Home automation: Smart home features like smart locks, lights and thermostats can cost $50-$400 each.
- Alarm permit: Some cities require an alarm permit, typically $10-$50 per year.
- False alarm fees: Most security companies charge $25-$75+ per false alarm response.
What Impacts the Cost of a Home Security System?
When getting quotes for home security systems, here are some of the main factors that influence costs:
- Home size – Larger homes require more sensors, cameras and equipment to cover the entire property.
- System type – DIY vs professionally installed, wireless vs wired, monitored vs unmonitored.
- Equipment – Cameras, motion sensors, smoke detectors, smart home devices.
- Monitoring plan – Monitoring fees range depending on response time and additional services.
- Installation – Professional installation often costs $200 or more. DIY is free but requires effort and know-how.
- Contract length – Longer security contracts (3-5 years) often come with steeper monthly fees.
How Much Do Security Cameras Cost?
Adding security cameras is one of the best ways to enhance your home’s security. Camera costs vary based on features:
- Outdoor WiFi cameras: $80-$200
- Wired cameras: $100-$300
- Indoor cameras: $40-$100
- Doorbell cameras: $100-$250
- 4-8 camera systems: $400-$1,500
Factors like video resolution, field of view, night vision range, smart alerts and cloud storage impact security camera costs.nYou can also opt for DIY cameras to pair with your system or wireless cameras that are easy to install anywhere.
Cost to Install a Home Security System
If going with a professionally installed system, the installation fee can range from $200 to $1,500+ depending on the size of your home. Here are some typical installation costs:
- Small home or apartment unit: $200 – $400
- Medium sized house: $400 – $800
- Large house: $800+
Install costs are impacted by home size, wiring complexity and integration with home automation devices. Many security companies offer affordable monthly payment plans to cover installation costs. DIY systems have no installation fee, but require time and technical know-how.
Monthly Cost of Home Security Systems
For professionally monitored systems, you’ll pay a monthly fee to the security company, typically $25 to $100+ per month. Here are some factors that impact monthly costs:
- Monitoring options – emergency dispatch, fire monitoring, home automation
- System features – cellular backup, home automation, video monitoring
- Service level – standard vs interactive monitoring
- Contract length – longer contracts usually have higher monthly fees
DIY systems with professional monitoring have lower monthly fees, starting around $15 per month. Overall, expect to budget $30 to $70 per month for a robust home security system with monitoring and some smart home features.
Is a Home Security System Worth the Cost?
At first glance, home security systems may seem expensive. But considering the value they provide in protecting your home and family, most homeowners find the investment worthwhile. Here are some benefits that make home security systems a smart use of money for many households:
- Peace of mind knowing your home is protected 24/7.
- Real-time alerts and live video if an intruder is detected.
- Rapid response from emergency services.
- Potential insurance discounts.
- Smart home conveniences like door locks, lights and thermostats that can be controlled remotely.
Modern home security delivers affordable protection. For roughly $30-$70 per month, you get advanced equipment, real-time alerts, professional monitoring and emergency dispatch. That’s often less than a single night out.
Overall, the latest home security systems offer robust protection at reasonable prices. Considering the peace of mind, increased safety and potential insurance savings, the cost is justified for most homeowners. Do your research, get quotes tailored to your needs, and look for special offers to find the best value.