Best Cheap Home Security Systems Guide & Reviews of 2021

Everyone wants to protect their property, but some of the home security devices out there cost an arm and a leg. Plus, the upfront costs are just the tip of the iceberg when you add in monthly monitoring payments. Fortunately, more and more brands are offering affordable solutions and professional devices that don’t skimp on safety and quality. Check out this review of the best cheap home security systems below and see which one meets your top needs.

Natalie Mitchell

Natalie Mitchell - Editorial Staff

Updated: March 2, 2021

What We Did to Find the Best

To find the best cheap home security systems, we had to review the smart tech and security features that customers desire. We narrowed those down to five key metrics like price, monitoring service, and customer feedback. From there, each factor got a grade between one and 10. Then we summarized the individual providers’ scores to find the best systems.

  • Features

    0-10

    monitoring period, 24/7 alerts, disaster protection etc.

  • Support

    0-10

    telephone, email, chat, and other channels

  • Price

    0-10

    monthly fee, money-back, trial period

  • Ease of Use

    0-10

    installation, maintenance, service support

  • Trust Score

    0-10

    BBB.org and Trustpilot (positive, negative reviews)

It took a lot of research, testing, and reading to figure out which companies regularly outperformed the competition. Now that the hard work is done, consumers can review these options to find their perfect fit.

1. Protect America: A Conventional Choice That Keeps Costs Low

Total Score 9.7/10

Main Protect America
Home Automation Protect America
Reviews Protect America
  • Features10/10
  • Equipment9.5/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
Best for Landline Security

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Protect American is one of the top choices for those who are looking for traditional, or landline, set-ups. For those who don’t want to use a landline, the brand offers cellular and broadband connections, too. The landline option helps the company cut fees. Best of all, there’s a pricing guarantee that promises your rate will never increase.

As for the downsides, there isn’t much mobile compatibility with this company. Also, clients need to agree to a long-term contract. That said, the brand gets great feedback from previous customers, proving that going the conventional route has its advantages.

Pros:

  • Good for rural properties
  • HD wireless recording cam
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Pet-friendly sensors
  • Pricing guarantee
  • Quick emergency response
  • Two-way audio

Cons:

  • 720p HD quality
  • Limited mobile capabilities
  • Requires a long-term contracts

Protect America is quiet about its pricing, but the most basic package is available for $0 down. Monthly monitors cost $19.99 per month, which isn’t the cheapest, but still highly affordable. With a three-year contract, customers are looking at about $240 per year, which isn’t a bad deal.

The products are compatible with the likes of Amazon Alexa and Z-Wave. There are wireless, pet-friendly motion sensors as well as HD-quality indoor cams that offer an emergency response in seconds. Through the mobile app, clients can arm/disarm the locks, check their video history, and more. Customers can take advantage of a lifetime warranty as well as a trial period of 30 days to try out the service.


2. Frontpoint: For a Safe & Seamless Automated Household

Total Score 9.6/10

FrontPoint Main
FrontPoint Cameras
Frontpoint Monitoring Plan
  • Features10/10
  • Equipment10/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
Best for Automated Security

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Frontpoint offers easy do-it-yourself installation, and its products are compatible with Google Voice and Amazon Alexa. The essentials package comes with a control hub, three window sensors, and two motion detectors. Plus, it only costs $99 with a three-year agreement. The bad news is that you’re locked into that contract. There are one-year contracts as well, but they offer different terms.

While it’s the most expensive option here, it does offer loads of features and benefits. This includes intrusion and environmental protection, third-party compatibility, expert monitors, and several camera options.

Pros:

  • Automation software
  • Built-in siren
  • Custom builds available
  • Environmental protection
  • Equipment pricing is decent
  • Indoor/outdoor/doorbell cams
  • Integrated automation

Cons:

  • Costs add up quickly
  • No self-monitored option
  • Requires a contract

Frontpoint may be a higher-end choice, but for those who can afford it, it is well worth the cost. The equipment is state-of-the-art and 100% wireless for added convenience. The keypad hub serves as a powerful nucleus for the rest of the ecosystem, allowing users to lock up and grant access to the property remotely. Plus, several impressive integrations help clients build their unique intelligent household solutions.

The brand’s products come with cellular backup, and the $44.99/month plan has geo-location assistance and crash-and-smash protection. There is also the option to add recording capabilities for easy playback and streaming. With the built-in siren, automation software, and custom builds, individuals around the country can take advantage of Frontpoint’s offerings.


3. Abode: Keeping Smaller Spaces Safe

Total Score 9.5/10

Abode Home Security
Self Monitored Abode Cameras
Self Monitored Abode Security Device
  • Features9.5/10
  • Equipment9.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
Best for Smart Homes

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Abode offers inclusive packages for smaller spaces, as well as discounts for bundling plans together. For instance, the essential equipment costs $229 and comes with do-it-yourself monitoring for free. The basic kit comes with a base station, motion detector, contact sensors. The higher-tiered pack comes with a surveillance cam and recording capabilities. Opting for do-it-yourself monitoring keeps the monthly cost at just eight dollars. Other perks include free shipping, indoor and outdoor cams, and automation software. Abode products work with Z-Wave, IFTTT, HUE, Ecobee, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and more.

Pros:

  • 4G cellular backup
  • Automation software
  • Dozens of integrations
  • Flexible plans
  • Interior/exterior surveillance
  • Media file storage
  • Option to add on pro monitors

Cons:

  • Glitchy mobile app
  • No environmental protection
  • Suited to smaller properties

Part of the company’s success can be attributed to its founder, who was a former employee at ADT. For being cheap home security, Abode has lots to offer. Customers can select a three, seven, or 30-day trial period to get a feel for the products. This brand works well with people who have smaller spaces, such as a rental condo or a moderately-sized house. Even though there are add-ons available, the costs can add up quickly.

People who prefer to go the do-it-yourself route will find Abode to be a good fit, too. They always have the option to tack on pro surveillance for just a few extra dollars each month.


4. SimpliSafe: Complete Coverage For All Properties

Total Score 9.4/10

SimpliSafe Main
Self Monitored SimpliSafe Detection
No Contaract SimpliSafe Features
  • Features9.0/10
  • Equipment9.5/10
  • Price8.5/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
Best for Professional Monitoring

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

SimpliSafe is a company to check out if one wants all the bells and whistles without going over your budget. This is affordable home security that rivals the most expensive packages out there. Families can get started for $229 and choose from a monthly monitored plan for $14.99. They can upgrade for just $10 more and play-back recording footage anytime, anywhere.

Other SimpliSafe perks include a 105-decibel siren, convenient wireless equipment, and custom alarms. The products also have an extended range up to 1,000 feet, making it great for larger houses, too.

Pros:

  • Contract-free
  • Doorbell Pro
  • Extended range
  • Sleek hardware
  • Smashsafe protection
  • Streaming & storage
  • Wireless equipment

Cons:

  • Expensive packages
  • Higher monthly rates
  • Limited cam quality

Some unique benefits include Simplicam and Smashsafe protection. This keeps families safe from intruders while keeping an eye out for outdoor threats. The company also offers a doorbell cam, an item that is much sought-after but not common among DIY kits.

SimpliSafe doesn’t ask clients to sign a lengthy contract, and they’ll get a three-year warranty on their items. The brand has a great reputation on BBB.org, and it seems that the majority of customers are satisfied. The hardware is sleek and sophisticated, not to mention easy to install. There’s a 60-day money-back guarantee, so feel free to try it out and see what to decide.


5. Ring: Professional Monitors For Half the Cost

Total Score 9.4/10

Ring Main
No Contract Ring Alarm Protection
No Contract Ring Cameras
  • Features9.0/10
  • Equipment9.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
Best for Inexpensive Service

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Even though Ring is known for offering cheap home security, it doesn’t skimp on the goods. Clients can choose from a protection plan, or they can create their unique custom kit with the devices of their choice. The basic package comes in at under $200, making it affordable for lots of families. Add-ons can drive the price up quickly, so be aware of that.

Some of the brand’s greatest offerings include environmental sensors for leaks, freezing temperatures, smoke, and carbon monoxide. There’s also a panic button, the doorbell cam, and a variety of interior and exterior monitoring devices. This provider is great for those who want comprehensive coverage without splurging.

Pros:

  • Built-in siren
  • Custom safety modes
  • Doorbell cams
  • Inexpensive pro monitors
  • Range extender
  • Remote arm/disarm
  • User-friendly installation

Cons:

  • Additional products get pricey
  • Bulky equipment
  • Limited integrations

Clients can hop on a professionally-monitored plan for less than $10 a month, making it an attractive deal. The Neighborhood App is another prime feature that allows customers to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in their home as well as in their town. While Ring’s integrations are limited, it does work with Amazon Alexa and Echo as well as several smart locks.

The products themselves don’t look super modern, but they will get the job done. As long as people aren’t concerned with aesthetics, there shouldn’t be an issue. Also, a strong Internet connection is required since some reviews complain about glitches in connectivity.


6. Brinks: A Trusted Name With Affordable Rates

Total Score 9.3/10

Brinks Main
Brinks Do-It-Yourself
Brinks Home Security
  • Features9.0/10
  • Equipment9.5/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
brinks-logo-sidebar
Best for Professional Systems

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

No

Brinks is one of those cheap home security systems that continues to be a top performer in customer satisfaction. It offers three surveillance plans: Essential, Complete, and Ultimate. The first one is the least expensive and includes a touchscreen hub, wireless motion detection, and a pair of door sensors. The higher-tiered plans include things like live recordings, professional installation, and outdoor/doorbell cams.

These components welcome customers to “protect what matters most.” Clients can count on the support team for emergency response, false alarm reduction, and quick answers. Plus, consumers can try the plans out free-risk for 30 days with zero cancellation fees.

Pros:

  • Financing options
  • Integrates with locks, lights, and more
  • Live-streaming plan
  • Lots of add-ons
  • No-contract option
  • Partnership with Nest
  • Voice controls

Cons:

  • Hard to find exact pricing
  • Not the cheapest solution
  • Some plans require a contract

Thanks to Brinks’ partnership with Google Nest, clients can snag the basic package for $399. This is also a no-contract option, although some of the other plans do require a term agreement. Fortunately, financing options are available. There are also lots of add-ons and a variety of cameras for greater customization. Other features include two-way talk, cellular backup, mobile control, and tamper-proof products.

Besides, Brinks has a solid reputation and decades of experience. Its partnership with Nest shows that it’s open to modernizing residential surveillance for all. Several bundles make it easy to choose a solution, plus the risk-free guarantee and warranty add more peace of mind.


7. Scout: From Kickstarter to Crowd Favorite

Total Score 9.1/10

Scout Main
Scout Packs
No Contract Scout Certified
  • Features9.5/10
  • Equipment9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.0/10
scout-logo-sidebar
Best for Hands-On Control

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

Scout began as a Kickstarter campaign back in 2013. The premise was simple: to offer intelligent safety equipment from a do-it-yourself perspective and without hefty fees. Today, it’s a cheap home security solution that provides sleek aesthetics and various integrations for a safe and up-to-date property.

One of its distinct products is the RFID door panels, which make it easy to swipe and lock up. The company also has a 60-day return policy to make things easier for clients. All that being said, Scout lacks expert services and installation, and its range of automated equipment is very small.

Pros:

  • Affordable rates
  • Environmental protection
  • Great for small & large properties
  • No contracts
  • Multipacks
  • RFID stickers
  • Wireless

Cons:

  • Installation may be tricky
  • Not the widest selection of products
  • Requires a stable Internet connection

Scout offers several multipack deals that will suit smaller properties as well as larger residences. The most popular pack is the lower-tiered $229 one, which comes with the hub, a door panel, two access sensors, a motion detector, and two keyfobs. While the range of products isn’t as extensive as some, Scout’s items are compatible with IFTTT, HUE, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and LIFX. In this way, users can have total control over their bundle and automate things to work seamlessly throughout the household.

Everything is do-it-yourself, which keeps costs low. Also, all of the equipment is wireless and accessible via the mobile app. There aren’t any contracts to agree to either. A self-monitored and professional plan is available with the option to add media file storage for $2.99.


8. Nest: A Google Brand Backed by Brinks

Total Score 8.9/10

Nest Main
No Contract Nest Secure
Self Monitored Nest Detection
  • Features9.0/10
  • Equipment9.5/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease Of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.0/10
nest-logo-sidebar
Best for Smart Systems

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

This brand has decent pricing, although it’s definitely not the cheapest. Financing plans are available for those who need it. Also, users can opt for a no-contract plan or hop on an agreement to take advantage of expert monitors. The former is $29.99 per month, while the latter is $19.99. Some people may be wary since Nest comes from Google, but this is a do-it-yourself solution that regularly gets high marks from customers. Plus, Nest partnered with Brinks to provide top-notch surveillance. As a cheap home security solution, this is an all-in-one deal that is incredibly easy to use.

Pros:

  • Brinks partnership
  • Doorbell with two-way audio
  • Dozens of integrations
  • Ease of use
  • Nest Hello doorbell
  • No contracts required
  • Remote arm/disarm

Cons:

  • Higher upfront charges
  • Lack of bundles
  • No-contract option costs more

Trying to choose which Nest equipment to buy can be quite a process. There are lots of options, but not any bundles to make things simpler. That said, there are plenty of connected accessories, so families should be able to find what they’re looking for.

An essentials kit costs $399 but may require some add-ons. For instance, an indoor cam ($199) or the Nest Hello doorbell ($229). The good news is that these upfront costs are the primary concern, as clients don’t have to opt-in to a term agreement. Naturally, the products work with Google Home, but also with various lighting modules, August locks, and more.


Best Cheap Home Security Systems of 2021 (Pricing & Features)

After reading through the best cheap home security system reviews, take a look at this comparison table. It will help with comparing and contrasting the most sought-after capabilities and pinpoint, which one is the most suited to your property.

Provider Total Score Upfront Cost Monthly Fee DIY instal Trial Period Warranty Custom Kits Indoor/Outhoor Cams Integrations Motion Sensors Night Vision Pro Monitors Remote Access Siren Video Doorbell
1. Protect America 9.7 $0+ $19.99+ Yes 30 days Lifetime Yes Indoor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
2. Frontpoint 9.6 $99+ $34.99-$49.99 Yes 30 days 3 years Yes Both Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3. Abode 9.5 $229+ $0-$20 Yes 30 days 1 year Yes Both Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
4. SimpliSafe 9.4 $229+ $14.99-$24.99 Yes 60 days 3 years Yes Both Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
5. Ring 9.4 $199+ $0-$8.33 Yes 30 days 1 year Yes Both Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
6. Brinks 9.3 $399+ $29+ Yes 30 days 2 years Yes Both Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
7. Scout 9.1 $229+ $9.99-$19.99 Yes 60 days 3 years Yes Both Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
8. Nest 8.9 $399+ $19.99-$29.99 Yes 30 days 1 year Yes Both Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes

Factors That Can Lower Your Home Security Cost

At first glance, it can seem like DIY cameras and monitoring services are too expensive for most families. However, there are ways to keep costs low while still taking advantage of smart tools and technology. Here’s how to get affordable property protection in 2021.

1. DIY Installation

Doing things yourself is one of the top ways to cut costs. Some providers only offer DIY kits, while others give customers a choice. If it sounds intimidating, remember that lots of devices are user-friendly and require nothing more than a stable Internet connection.

2. Contract-Free Plans

Another trend that more companies are adopting is shorter-term agreements or even no contracts at all.

3. Inexpensive/Self-Monitoring

Professional monitors may be too expensive for some people, in which case, they can opt for a self-monitored option. This allows them to keep up with the goings-on at their house via mobile alerts. It’s a more hands-on approach, but it adds up to huge savings every year.

Most Important Aspects of a Cheap Home Security System

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the smart devices and integrations out there. To avoid confusion, it’s wise to keep a few non-negotiables in mind while shopping for a kit.

The best cheap home security will typically include these vital components.

  • Base station with a touchscreen panel
  • Built-in siren
  • Indoor/outdoor cameras with HD quality and night vision
  • Mobile alerts and updates
  • Motion detection sensors for doors and windows
  • 24/7 self or expert monitoring

A base or control panel can sync with the other products and make for easier control. Paired with mobile compatibility, clients can remotely arm and disarm the locks and devices as they see fit. It also adds a lot of peace of mind.

A siren will be a great defense against intruders, scaring them off before they even have a chance to act. With exterior cameras and motion detection, burglars don’t stand a chance.

How to Choose the Right System

There are plenty of cheap home security systems out there, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all created equally. Consider these four basic aspects to find a bundle that you like, but that will also keep the property protected.

1. Make a Price Comparison

The cost is one of the first things that people review when they're shopping. Everyone's budget will be a little different, so be sure to consider upfront costs, monthly fees, and any hidden payments. Some brands offer expert monitoring for an extra charge. Others require consumers to buy the equipment first and then pay just a few bucks per month.

2. Check Features & Compatibility

Taking the prices into account, review what you'll get for that cost. For instance, does the plan include remote access, video recording, motion-activated alarms? Is the one paying for expert installation? Are the products compatible with other integrations like Amazon Alexa or HUE lighting?

3. Read Client Feedback

Never underestimate the power of a great customer review. Clients aren't shy about describing their real experiences when they provide feedback, so pay attention. See what they have to say about the quality of the products, the support team, and ease of use. Sites like BBB.org and Trustpilot are good resources.

4. Review the Support Policies

Finally, after reading customer feedback, be sure to review the company's policies and terms. One wants to be certain of the warranty, trial period, and refund policy. Also, check what kinds of support channels are available to clients, like online chat, email, and phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Best & Most Affordable Home Security System?

    There’s no single answer to this question because it depends on what kind of starter kit someone orders, as well as which monitor plan they choose. That said, these eight affordable home security options are a great place to start. It’s possible to get a starter bundle for less than $200, and most plans don’t require any payment at the most basic level. Adding expert monitors will increase the cost, but some providers only charge a few dollars per month.

  • If I Want to Monitor My Home, Do These Providers Offer Security Cameras?

    Yes, of course. Depending on the company, one can find indoor and/or outdoor cams and maybe even doorbells that can record and live-stream. The self-monitored option will save lots of money, too, so it’s a win-win. One gets the equipment he wants without the extra charges for professional surveillance. Certain brands offer a range of cams, so be sure to explore the possibilities of interior and exterior surveillance.

  • Do Cheaper Home Security Systems Come With a Warranty?

    Yes, most of them come with a warranty of at least a year. It’s a good idea to choose a business that offers a warranty because it will cover damages and maintenance within that time frame. Be wary of products that come “as-is” because they may already be used or glitchy.

Impressive Safety Alarm Ecosystems Can Suit Every Budget

Judging from this list, it’s easy to see that affordable home security is a solid possibility for many families. These options keep costs low with DIY set-up and surveillance, smaller packages, and shorter-term agreements.

If you’re wise and choose products that work with your existing smart integrations, it’s easier than ever to create a custom intelligent ecosystem. Start by reviewing what your home needs and check out these eight winning brands to find the ideal package.


Natalie Mitchell

Editorial Staff

Natalie contributes her expertise by her professional writing and years working in editorial offices and with online publishers. Natalie is a true leader who has exceptional skills to be a team player. She excels at conducting research on robberies and thefts using open police data and is inspired by her husband’s work as a detective. With such interests, she continues to write excellent articles about security systems in general and Securing Home in particular.


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