Best No-Contract Home Security Systems of 2020

Lots of people are afraid of commitments, and no one wants to sign a long-term service agreement. Fortunately, residential surveillance plans are one of those things that don’t always require lengthy agreements. Here 7 best no-contract security systems that families can consider for the new year. It turns out that these providers carry the same devices and accessories are much more expensive brands. Why bother with early cancelation fees when these companies have it all?

Jerry Carter

Jerry Carter - Editorial Staff

Updated: February 20, 2020

What We Did to Find the Best

While researching all of the no-contract home security systems available, we had five key metrics in mind, as seen below. We assigned a score between zero and 10 to each category to figure out which companies provided the most value to consumers. After that, it was time to summarize the findings into this comprehensive review. While the brands have their differences, they all consistently out-performed the competition.

  • 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

    installation, maintenance, service support

Given that we’re also consumers, we understand the importance of affordability, accessibility, and value. Just because these kits don’t require an agreement, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be reliable and worth the money. Our team of researchers, tech experts, and writers left no stone unturned during the analysis.

1. Vivint: Seamless Surveillance & Upgrades

Total Score 9.6/10

Vivint Main
No Contract Vivint Automation
No Contract Vivint Control
  • Features & Equipment10/10
  • Customer Support10/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
Best for Easy Upgrades

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

3 days

This brand is known for its intelligent household devices. It was founded in 1999 and continues to be one of the most popular providers in North America. Vivint appeals to a wide client base because it lets people stick to the basics or opt for some high-end technology. The company took a cue from other no-contract home security systems and decided to jump into that line of work. These days, individuals can sign up for the service and opt-out of the five-year agreement. The brand offers three distinct bundles that vary in terms of integrations and camera access. The prices are a bit higher than other self-monitored plans, but the accessories tend to be of better quality.

Pros:

  • Automated monitoring options
  • Custom kits available
  • Dependable devices
  • Free estimates
  • Great feedback on TrustPilot
  • Professional & self-set-up
  • Work with Amazon Echo & Google Nest

Cons:

  • Installation fees may apply
  • Limited refund policy
  • Unclear pricing

Those who aren’t too tech-savvy will appreciate that Vivint offers expert help with setting things up. However, this also comes with extra fees, which may not be so welcome. This is especially true considering that the plans cost $29.99 to $53.99 per month. Keep in mind that the quality of the products tends to be higher than average.

Other benefits to Vivint include its a la carte offerings and its availability of third-party integrations. Customers can try the system with several other home devices for a comprehensive surveillance hub. The brand’s bundles are simple to identify and always come with the choice to add things on. People will also appreciate that they don’t have to commit to a year or two with the brand.


2. SimpliSafe: Simply Better Surveillance

Total Score 9.5/10

No Contract SimpliSafe Main
No Contaract SimpliSafe
No Contaract SimpliSafe Features
  • Features & Equipment10/10
  • Customer Support9.5/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for Basics

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

SimpliSafe was founded in 2006. It specializes in self-installed kits and hassle-free plans. The company makes clients pay for the devices upfront so they can enjoy the service without worrying about monthly fees. Plus, they can cancel or modify their plans whenever they need to. It’s a good deal for renters since many brands exclude people who don’t own their own property. Another way that the business cuts down of fees is by offering self-set-up only. Fortunately, the system is easy to install, and clients report that the devices sync up without any glitches. Even pet parents find that the motion detectors don’t go off every time a cat or dog walks by.

Pros:

  • Dependable support team
  • Environmental protection
  • Free shipping & returns
  • Reliable technology
  • Renter-friendly
  • Trial period
  • Wireless & hardwired options

Cons:

  • Basic accessories
  • Expensive upfront costs
  • The overwhelming range of choices

SimpliSafe might not offer anything out of the ordinary, but for families who prefer the bare essentials without the hefty price tag, this is a great solution. One of the greatest aspects is that the customer support team has consistent and excellent feedback, something that’s hard to come by in this industry. Another nice perk is the 105-decibel siren, which is a major deterrent to burglary.

Most people prefer paying month-to-month rather than agreeing to a long arrangement because it grants them more freedom. This business also gives them 60 days to try everything out, no questions asked. Customers can expect to pay $230 to $500 to get the ball rolling, but after that, it’s $15 per month.


3. Abode: The Pleasure's in the Personalization

Total Score 9.3/10

No Contract Abode Main
No Contract Abode Plans
No Contract Abode Sensors
  • Features & Equipment9.5/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
BBB Rating C
Best for Customization & Variety

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Abode is only five years old, but it was founded by a former employee at ADT. Since then, the young business has received investments and recognition in the surveillance space. Although it is a newer player in the home security systems with no contract industry, it has already surpassed plenty of competitors. The self-monitored system allows families to personalize their accessory, so they’re only paying for the things they need. This makes it a great choice for properties big and small. Those who like to sync up multiple devices will be happy to hear that the equipment works with Z-Wave, Google Nest, IFTTT, and Amazon products. Customers can quickly set everything up wherever they want thanks to wireless technology.

Pros:

  • 24/7 pro monitoring
  • Comprehensive automation platform
  • Good for renters
  • Plenty of add-ons
  • Return policy
  • Third-party compatibility
  • Video quality

Cons:

  • Additional costs quickly add up
  • The live recording is extra
  • Packages might not suit larger properties

A new Abode client can expect to pay $199 to $329 to get started, which is much less than others on this list. Moreover, the monthly rates are super accessible, ranging from $3.33 to $8.33 per month. Compared to other do-it-yourself bundles, this company offers an impressive array of products. The environmental alerts can pick up on changes in humidity, moisture, smoke levels, and temperature. Plus, individuals can try the ultra-slim strip detectors to keep their system as inconspicuous as possible.

All of the packages are compatible with over 100 integrations, and even the basic plan comes with three days of media storage. For those who want surveillance but worry about their budget, Abode can deliver quality devices and even expert monitoring for the price of a couple of lattes.


4. Ring: A Crowd Favorite

Total Score 9.2/10

No Contract Ring Main
No Contract Ring Alarm Protection
No Contract Ring Cameras
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
BBB Rating C-
Best for Affordable Surveillance

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

This brand was created after its founder experienced a scare in his house, giving the company a more down-to-earth feel. Its goal is to keep consumers safe and confident behind closed doors. The Ring brand repeatedly shows up on many review sites, and for a good reason. The accessories are simple to use, they’re mobile compatible, and they’re some of the most affordable options out there. Plans start at $9.99 per month and include pro monitors who can watch over the property. Even though this is a self-monitored system, it takes no time at all to set up. The products come with a one-year warranty for added assurance. Houses big and small can benefit from this brand, as its range extender can increase the scope of the service area.

Pros:

  • Affordable equipment
  • The choice between self/pro monitors
  • Ease of use
  • Installation
  • Neighborhood App
  • Range extende
  • Video doorbell

Cons:

  • Lack of integration services
  • Recent camera breaches
  • Some glitches reported

Ring works with Amazon Alexa and Z-Wave services, but there are not many other integrations clients can sync the system with. As for packages, there are three main choices, ranging from five to 14 pieces. Each comes with the easy-to-install base station as well as a variety of sensors and the range extender.

There are also cameras to choose from, such as the spot or stick-up cams. Clients can place these on shelves, in corners, or on the wall. The video doorbell is Ring’s most popular feature, and it comes with two-way talk, night vision, and noise detection sensors. There are also environmental protection devices and the company’s Neighborhood App. This connects customers with other Ring owners in the area so they can post updates and news.


5. Nest: Full Integrations at a Decent Price

Total Score 9.0/10

Nest Main
No Contract Nest Secure
No Contract Nest Alarm System
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
BBB Rating D+
Best for DIY

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

A brand that came out of the Google machine, Nest, uses automation and intelligent integrations to keep everything running smoothly, from thermostats to locks to cams and more. Service plans start at $19 per month, although the obligation-free package is $29. A cool thing about Nest is that it utilizes Brinks’ pro monitors to provide trustworthy assistance. Even though the prices might be higher than other no-contract home security systems, the company offers greater flexibility in terms of canceling or freezing the plans. Moreover, the Nest cameras can pick up on movement, sounds, and the family’s daily routines. This helps to cut down on false alarms and excessive notifications. Mobile accessibility also allows clients to arm and disarm the system remotely.

Pros:

  • Aesthetics
  • Brinks pro monitors
  • Device interconnectivity
  • False alarm reduction
  • Range extender
  • Thermostat
  • Two-year warranty

Cons:

  • Limited product offerings
  • More expensive than competitors
  • Upfront fees

Some of the brand’s shiniest products include the thermostat that can turn on and off depending on if the person’s home. This can drastically cut down on energy bills, making the purchase well worth it. The indoor and outdoor cams come with a wide field of view, night vision, and 1080p HD quality.

At first glance, some people might not like Nest’s upfront fees, which can range from a couple of hundred dollars to $550. However, there aren’t any pesky cancellation charges to deal with, and the monthly rates are doable for most families. The service continues to get great reviews across the board in terms of reliability, ease of use, and customer support.


6. Scout Alarm: An Automated Powerhouse

Total Score 9.0/10

No Contract Scout Main
No Contract Scout Alarm
No Contract Scout Certified
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support8.5/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.5/10
scout-logo-sidebar
Best for Automation

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

Scout is based in Chicago, Illinois, and was launched on a crowdfunding site in 2013. Even though this company is relatively young, it still earns a spot on the list. It keeps costs low by offering only a self-set-up, although its 24/7 pro surveillance is powered by the award-winning C.O.P.S. The month-by-month plans start at just $10, and the upfront fees aren’t as high as other providers. The cellular backup can keep the system powered up for an extra 24 hours in case of an outage. One potential downside is that the bundles require emergency monitoring, but it’s sold as an add-on.

Pros:

  • 4G cellular backup
  • Award-winning monitoring
  • Good pricing
  • Integrations
  • Mobile notifications
  • One-two year warranty
  • Trial period

Cons:

  • Includes only the basics
  • Lack of verified feedback
  • Requires some tech know-how

Scout is fairly easy to use, although it does call for some technology experience. That said, the website has simple tutorial videos that can help. The brand makes it simple to find a package by offering just a couple of dependable options. The third-party device integrations are especially useful for making voice commands or controlling things from afar.

Some people might not feel comfortable with Scout because it lacks online client comments and feedback. This is probably because the business is still in its infancy. It should only get better as time goes on. All in all, convenient return policy and affordability make this a solid choice for renters, frequent travelers, and those on a budget.


7. Cove: A Worthy Newcomer

Total Score 9.0/10

No Contract Cove Main
No Contract Cove Equipment
No Contract Cove Monitoring
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price8.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.5/10
cove-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating A
Best for Overall Value

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

Cove has an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars on Google and is recognized as having one of the most satisfying user bases. It may be new to the scene, but it’s already making big waves. Sometimes it’s wise to be hesitant about young companies, but this one already has many excellent feedback on Trustpilot. It even has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. There are two simple packages to choose from, although they have their limitations. The costs range from $14.99 to $24.99 per month, and it’s worth spending the extra $10 for all of the bells and whistles. This includes mobile phone access and notifications, a lifetime warranty, and device integrations.

Pros:

  • Affordable equipment
  • Custom kits available
  • Great client feedback
  • Medical pendant
  • Professional surveillance
  • Rate-lock guarantee
  • Warranty

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • Mobile control on the higher plan only
  • Newer company

Cove is certainly on its way to becoming one of the best home security systems with no contract. Those who are on a budget or are new to this industry should think about trying this brand. They can take advantage of the 60-day refund policy as well as the 36-month payment plan if they can’t make the entire purchase upfront.

The reliability and quality of the company’s devices are spot-on, considering the affordability and ease of use. Add-ons are also available, and the pricing is quite good. Here, clients can choose from environmental alerts, a panic/medical pendant, and cameras. Cove gets its indoor cams from a third-party called


Best Home Security Systems With No Contract (Pricing & Features)

Here is a side-by-side look at what buyers can expect from these seven companies. Keep in mind that the prices in the table reflect the basic plans only.

Provider Total Score Monthly Price DIY instal Trial Period Good For Upfront Setup Backup HD Quality Night Vision Mobile App Glass Break Voice Command Video Doorbell Siren Env. Protection
1. Vivint 9.6/10 $29.99+ Yes 3 days Upgrades $99+ DIY/Pro Yes 1080p Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
2. SimpliSafe 9.5/10 $15+ Yes 60 days Essentials $229+ DIY Yes 1080p Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
3. Abode 9.3/10 $3.33+ Yes 30 days Custom Packs $229+ DIY Yes 1080p Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
4. Ring 9.2/10 $9.99+ Yes 30 days Pro Monitors $199+ DIY Yes 1080p Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
5. Nest 9.0/10 $19+ Yes 30 days DIY Smart House $499+ DIY Yes 1080p Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
6. Scout Alarm 9.0/10 $10+ Yes 60 days Automation $229+ DIY Yes 1080p Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
7. Cove 9.0/10 $14.99+ Yes 60 days Overall Value $184+ DIY Yes 1080p Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes

A Note About Pricing

Just because all of these brands have an obligation-free option, that doesn’t mean that they have identical pricing schemes. In lots of cases, additional charges apply. An example of this could be an installation fee, particularly if the customer is paying for secure expert set-up. In some cases, there are upfront product charges, such as paying for the base station or touchscreen control hub.

Features of No-Contract Home Security Systems

Here are some of the greatest features that come in many commitment-free kits, including the ones in this review. It’s simple to see that even though there isn’t a term agreement, that doesn’t mean that clients don’t get the secure accessories and quality support they want.

Wireless Equipment

Since lots of packages are do-it-yourself, it makes sense that most of the products are wireless. This eliminates the need to drill holes or take care of pesky hardwiring. This also helps with keeping things streamlined and aesthetically-pleasing. Moreover, many companies these days back up their devices with cellular power in case the WiFi goes out.

Do-It-Yourself

Some people feel insecure about letting a salesperson into their abode. Even though it’s their profession, they may end up pressuring consumers to make a large purchase, and there’s always the risk of the representative selling services that the client doesn’t need. A do-it-yourself plan allows the buyer to be in control. Plus, these kits are user-friendly and set up in minutes.

Cellular Monitoring

Again, most providers offer cellular or battery backup with their wireless devices because it makes connectivity even easier. This is essential in case the Internet goes out, or there’s some kind of emergency. Cellular backup tends to be the most reliable option, as long as buyers live near a cell tower.

Remote Access

These days, being able to review and control things from a distance is something that most people expect. Remote controls and mobile access are almost guaranteed with these kinds of kits. The ability to visually check in on the house while at work or on vacation adds so much peace of mind.

Entryway Sensors

This is another staple to many do-it-yourself bundles. These detectors are inconspicuous and can stick to a variety of surfaces. They make it simple to tell if someone is at the door or if a naughty teenager is trying to sneak out of the house. Plus, they are easily removable for added convenience.

Motion Detectors

This is one of the first things that people imagine when they hear about household surveillance. Today’s motion detectors are so technologically advanced that some of them can differentiate between a family member, and intruder, and a dog. This helps to reduce false alarms. Moreover, these products sync up with the user’s cellphone, so they always know when someone is approaching the house.

Special Features

With so many similar plans and products out there, businesses need to up the ante by offering unique features. This could come in the form of a video doorbell, an emergency siren, panic buttons, or smart thermostats. The possibilities are endless, so be sure to explore the options before making a choice.

Specified Alert Zones

This is a cool feature that not every company offers. Those who have naughty pets or rambunctious kids will appreciate special zoning products that keep certain areas off-limits and reviews them periodically. For instance, parents can utilize these items to protect little ones from outlets, medicine cabinets, or gun lockers.

Choosing the Right Home Security Systems With No Contract

After reviewing the top seven kits out there, there may still be some confusion about how to make a buying decision. Here are some tips for weighing the options and determining which brand most suits the needs of the family and property.

1. Peruse the Equipment Offerings

Check out what kinds of items are in the brand's arsenal. Since different families will have specific needs, it's important that each buyer reviews their house and determines where there might be some safety risks. For instance, a property with lots of entry points will benefit from multiple door and window sensors.

2. Check Out What Clients Say

The simplest way to get a taste for a company is by reading what previous customers have to say about it. Most people are brutally honest when it comes to business reviews, so check out the feedback and get the real facts. Sites such as Trustpilot, Yelp, and BBB.org are great places to start.

3. Ensure the Support Team Measures Up

It's not only the items that should be top-notch, but it's also the support staff, too. Shoddy customer support is one of the primary complaints in this industry. Even though these are do-it-yourself kits, that doesn't mean that buyers won't need some extra help. Make sure the company offers online resources and an assistance hotline.

4. Budget Accordingly

Finally, affordability is going to be a major factor to consider. At the same time, purchasing these kits is an investment in the future safety of oneself and the family. As great as the system fits within the budget, buying a surveillance package is a worthy purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Best Home Security System Without a Monthly Fee?

    The most suitable package will be different for each consumer. Households have their specific needs and concerns, so safety isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. Fortunately, there are plenty of choices out there today, even within the do-it-yourself arena. This review of home security kits with no contract is a wonderful place to start the search. Remember to consider the top aspects like affordability, connectivity, remote access, camera quality, and mobile control.

  • Will a No-Contract Security System Work for Me?

    These types of plans often end up working out for lots of families of varying economic levels. The question is less about whether it will work and more about if it’s something that the client actually wants. For example, some people prefer expert assistance, either because they’re too busy to do it themselves or they’re not very tech-savvy. Even so, some self-monitored kits come with professional set-up and monitors to add that extra layer of protection.

  • What Should I Do If My System Breaks or Malfunctions?

    The first thing to do is to contact the company as soon as possible. Give them a call or shoot them an email to let them know that the products are malfunctioning. If they can, individuals should try to pinpoint the issue. It could be lost connectivity, damage to the accessories, or something else. Fortunately, many kits come with a troubleshooting tutorial for such cases.

  • Are No-Commitment Security Plans Safe to Use?

    Absolutely. They are just as safe as those that do require a term agreement. It’s less a matter of the arrangement and more a question of how reliable the products are. This is why it’s useful to read customer reviews and carefully research each package. Also, practice safety procedures like using a unique password and keeping the access codes a secret.

Enjoy Greater Flexibility & Have Fun

The month-to-month flexibility of these plans ensures that individuals only pay for what they’re using. Plus, it makes it easier for them to try things out without the burn of cancellation fees. As with any big purchase, always review the pros and cons as well as how it fits into the family budget. These top seven brands from 2019 are some of the greatest out there, so start there. Happy shopping!


Jerry Carter

Jerry Carter

Editorial Staff

Jerry Carter is an experienced writer and has a passion for content development for varied projects. Jerry had been studying law at university when he realized that only writing could satisfy his adventurist spirit and his desire for knowledge. As a person with many unusual hobbies, he is also interested in security and modern technology.


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