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The Cheapest Security System We Recommend in 2019

Most Flexible Contracts

SimpliSafe

3.67

Starting at $14.99/mo.

Best for Affordable Monitoring
Ring Logo

Ring

3.33

Starting at $10.00/mo.

Best for Aesthetics
Abode Logo

Abode

3.33

Starting at $8 for 3 days

Great No-Contract Option

Cove

3.67

Starting at $14.99/mo.

Best for Aesthetics

Scout

3.5

Starting at $19.99/mo.

Overview
Just because you want to save money on home security doesn’t mean you have to settle for a middling company with substandard equipment and monitoring.

Below we look at six security companies that help you cut costs without sacrificing quality. They offer either more affordable equipment up front or cheaper monitoring costs than companies like Vivint and Frontpoint.

Best cheap security systems

  • SimpliSafe: Most flexible contracts
  • Ring: Best for affordable monitoring
  • Abode: Best for self-monitoring
  • Cove: Great no-contract option
  • Scout: Best for aesthetics
  • Runner upNest Secure: Best DIY smart security

Still interested in other security systems you don’t see in this list? Compare our top security systems by cost.

Compare cheap security systems

ring-logoabode logo pngCove Security Logo
Security systemsSimpliSafeRingAbodeCoveScoutNest Secure
Best forMost flexible contractsBest for affordable monitoringBest for self-monitoringGreat no-contract optionBest for aestheticsBest DIY smart security
Lowest pro monitoring price$14.99/mo.$10.00/mo.$8 .00 for 3 days$14.99/mo.$19.99/mo.$19.00/mo.
Video monitoring
Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No
Cheapest package$229.96$199.00$199.00$269.00$229.00$399.00
What it includes1 base station
1 keypad
1 motion detector
1 window/door sensor
1 base station
1 keypad
1 contact sensor
1 motion detector
1 range extender
1 hub
1 motion sensor
1 window/door sensor
1 key fob
1 sticker
1 alarm panel
1 door sensor
1 window sensor
1 motion detector
1 key fob
1 indoor camera
3 window stickers
1 yard sign
1 hub
1 door panel
1 motion sensor
2 access sensors
2 key fobs
1 yard sign
1 Nest Guard
2 Nest Detect sensors
2 Nest Tags
Equipment ratingCutting-edgeMinimalStandardStandardStandardStandard
Learn moreView PlansView PlansView PlansView PlansView PlansView Plans
Security systems
Best for
Lowest pro monitoring price
Video monitoring
Cheapest package
What it includes
Equipment rating
Learn more
ring-logo abode logo png Cove Security Logo
SimpliSafe Ring Abode Cove Scout Nest Secure
Most flexible contracts Best for affordable monitoring Best for self-monitoring Great no-contract option Best for aesthetics Best DIY smart security
$14.99/mo. $10.00/mo. $8 .00 for 3 days $14.99/mo. $19.99/mo. $19.00/mo.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No
$229.96 $199.00 $199.00 $269.00 $229.00 $399.00
1 base station
1 keypad
1 motion detector
1 window/door sensor
1 base station
1 keypad
1 contact sensor
1 motion detector
1 range extender
1 hub
1 motion sensor
1 window/door sensor
1 key fob
1 sticker
1 alarm panel
1 door sensor
1 window sensor
1 motion detector
1 key fob
1 indoor camera
3 window stickers
1 yard sign
1 hub
1 door panel
1 motion sensor
2 access sensors
2 key fobs
1 yard sign
1 Nest Guard
2 Nest Detect sensors
2 Nest Tags
Cutting-edge Minimal Standard Standard Standard Standard
View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans

Data effective 8/27/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

SimpliSafe review: Most flexible contracts

Most Flexible Contracts

SimpliSafe pros and cons

Pros

  • No-contract monitoring
  • Easy self-installation
  • Customizable equipment packages

Cons

  • Limited home automation integration
  • No mobile access with cheaper plan

Why we recommend SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe offers cheap professional monitoring on a contract-free, month-to-month basis. The lack of contract creates flexibility to turn your monitoring on and off if you’re going out of town for a while or just trying to save money.

Price

SimpliSafe’s equipment packages and monitoring services are some of the more inexpensive around. You definitely miss out with the lowest prices, though.

The cheapest SimpliSafe package has just three pieces of equipment apart from the base station: a keypad, a motion detector, and a window/door sensor. In some homes, that’s barely enough to start. Plus the lower-priced monitoring doesn’t give you access to the mobile app. You won’t be able to check up on your system when you’re out and about.

We recommend adding some extra equipment to your package (single entry sensors are $14.99 each; motion detectors are $29.99). We also suggest going up a tier for monitoring if possible, for a total of $24.99 a month, so that you can access that sweet, sweet mobile monitoring.

SimpliSafe Equipment

Photo source: ASecureLife team

Equipment

SimpliSafe home security systems are easy to set up. They come preprogrammed, and most of the equipment comes with sticky tape for easy installation. The security equipment packages are customizable enough that you can find the perfect fit for your home.

But SimpliSafe systems aren’t the most compatible with smart home tech. They currently work only with Alexa devices, Nest thermostats, and August door locks. If you dream of a full smart home setup, we recommend Scout.

You can choose between black and white for some pieces if you want your SimpliSafe equipment to match your home decor.

>>Learn more: Read the full SimpliSafe review.

>>View SimpliSafe Plans

Ring review: Best for affordable monitoring

Best for Affordable Monitoring

Ring pros and cons

Pros

  • Cheap professional monitoring
  • Affordable equipment
  • Ring video doorbell integration
  • Base station that works as alarm

Cons

  • Limited home security equipment

Why we recommend Ring

In addition to its array of doorbell cameras, Ring offers a cheap security system, though it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of other security systems. It’s also hard to beat Ring’s extremely reasonable $9.99-per-month monitoring fee.

Ring’s not our top option because, compared to some of these other brands, it’s fairly immature in terms of security system experience. This means customers might suffer while the execs work out the kinks.

Price

Ring’s security packages are nicely priced. On Amazon, a five-piece kit tends to retail at about $200. And the extended kit, which offers multiple types of security sensors alongside more standard equipment, is still cheaper than a basic Nest Secure package.

Ring’s professional monitoring price is the industry’s lowest. You can pay $9.99 a month or $100.00 a year.

Equipment

The Ring Alarm Security Kits don’t come with any cameras or home automation equipment. But the keypad, contact sensors, and motion detectors make for a great base system if you don’t have any other home security system equipment. We’d recommend adding a Ring video doorbell to your system so you can get a set of eyes on the front of your home when you’re not around.

Ring products are compatible with Alexa and Z-Wave but not much else. This will put a limit on how interconnected your smart home can be.

ASL Take Note

Ring bundles

You might see Ring systems sold on Amazon in a bundle with an Echo Dot. We found when testing the equipment that Alexa controls Ring flawlessly, so these bundles are a good investment if you want a Ring system.

>>Learn more: Read the full Ring review.

>>View Ring Alarm Plans

Abode review: Best for self-monitoring

Best for Self-Monitoring

Abode pros and cons

Pros

  • No contracts
  • Easy self-monitoring
  • Short-term professional monitoring options

Cons

  • No phone support with free plan
  • Shorter equipment warranty than competitors

Why we recommend Abode

Abode helps you save money with its unique on-demand monitoring pricing. It’s ranked a little lower on the list due to some odd decisions in equipment and features provided at each pricing level.

Price

If you want to self-monitor your security system, you can do that for free. But be wary—you won’t have phone support from Abode with free self-monitoring. That’s one thing we find odd about this system.

If needed, you can pick up a three-day, seven-day, or one-month monitoring plan on demand for as little as $8. That’s pretty handy if you travel a lot for work or want to keep an extra set of eyes on your home while you’re on a family vacation.

An Abode Gateway starter kit is $199, but it doesn’t come with much. We think that’s strange since Abode makes some great products that could easily be included here. In any case, you’ll probably want to get more equipment for better security.

Equipment

Abode has some great products, like smart switches and extra-slim door sensors. But the brand doesn’t sell its best products in the starter kit, so getting your system in shape may require extra spending. For context, a standard door/window sensor costs $29 separately, while a motion sensor is $55. Definitely more expensive than SimpliSafe, but not absurd.

If you’re thinking of building an Abode abode, it’s a reachable dream. While Abode’s smart home selection is meh, the equipment’s compatible with both Z-Wave and Zigbee protocols.

>>Learn more: Read the full Abode review.

>>View Abode Plans

Cove review: Great no-contract option

Great No-Contract Option

Cove pros and cons

Pros

  • No-contract monitoring
  • Ultra-simple DIY installation
  • Equipment financing for cheaper startup

Cons

  • Minimal automation integration
  • No mobile access with cheaper plan

Why we recommend Cove

Cove suits anyone seeking a security system with affordable equipment, cheap monitoring, and somewhat flexible payment options.

You might notice that Cove and SimpliSafe offer similar services. That’s because both companies value affordable no-contract monitoring with a DIY approach to equipment installation. Cove is ranked lower thanks to its higher price, and we gave SimpliSafe an edge in its equipment offerings because of Cove’s more limited selection.

Price

Cove’s low month-to-month monitoring rate comes with the condition that you pay for your equipment up front. You can get around this requirement by putting down nothing up front and paying $10 more per month in monitoring. This option also comes with a 36-month cancellation fee that ranges from $200 to $400, depending on how much of the equipment you’ve paid off.

Cove Equipment

Photo source: ASecureLife team

Equipment

Like we said, SimpliSafe offers more equipment. It’s especially known for its doorbell camera, which is something Cove doesn’t offer. Cove does sell medical alert devices that integrate with its home security systems.

Cove’s compatible with Alexa devices and Google Home Assistant (with a Plus Plan). In other words, you’ll be able to control your system with voice commands, but you won’t be able to hook it up directly to other kinds of devices.

>>Learn more: Read the full Cove review.

>>View Plans

Scout review: Best for aesthetics

Best for Aesthetics

Scout pros and cons

Pros

  • No-contract monitoring
  • Unique, aesthetic equipment
  • Cellular and battery backup to protect from outages

Cons

  • Limited equipment selection
  • No third-party equipment without professional monitoring plan
  • No system control panel

Why we recommend Scout

Affordable security systems can still look nice, and Scout’s emphasis on aesthetics makes up in part for its simple equipment offerings.

Price

If you’re looking to save money, Scout’s no-contract professional monitoring gives you flexibility to self-monitor your system to cut down on costs here and there. Since Scout has a self-monitored plan for $9.99 per month, you can save $10 per month when you’re home and willing to monitor your own system.

Equipment

Scout’s a supermodel of DIY home security systems. The brand’s products have simple, clean lines. Some devices also have a choice between colors: you can pick Midnight (mostly black) or Arctic (mostly white).

If you decide to build a full Scout system, you may be limited in what you can add. For one thing, Scout doesn’t sell cameras. But it does have a high level of compatibility: Scout’s system works with Nest, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Hue, LIFX, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT.

Scout doesn’t sell cameras, but it does have a high level of compatibility.

>>Learn more: Read the full Scout review.

>>View Plans

Nest Secure review: Best DIY smart security

Best DIY Smart Security

Nest Secure pros and cons

Pros

  • Quality equipment with strong interconnectivity
  • Intelligent equipment that learns to limit false alarms
  • Professional monitoring through Brinks

Cons

  • No video monitoring
  • Expensive equipment
  • Limited security equipment options

Why we recommend Nest Secure

We like Nest Secure for its high-quality equipment with an emphasis on interconnectivity. We can’t recommend it in the top five, though, since the quality comes at a (literal) high price.

Price

You can save money by self-monitoring your Nest system, or you can pay $19 per month to professionally monitor your system through Brinks. That’s why we recommend Nest on this list: this monitoring price is super reasonable.

Less reasonable is the up-front cost for Nest Secure equipment. One of the most inexpensive packages has just five pieces of equipment yet still costs $399. That’s cheap compared to some home security systems—ADT values its initial package at $850 (though it doesn’t require up-front equipment purchase). But it’s still a significant investment when you’re on a budget.

Equipment

Nest offers a bunch of quality equipment: thermostats, video doorbells, smoke detectors, CO detectors, and more. It also leads the industry in color customization. If you want pink smart home equipment, Nest’s got it.

If you invest in add-ons like one of Nest’s smart thermostats or smoke/CO detectors, you can control everything from the same app. And, since Nest is a Google acquisition, its products are compatible with Google-grown devices like Google Home. You can build on the Nest system to turn your home into a Google paradise, which isn’t a bad thing, unless you’re a big fan of Amazon or Apple HomeKit.

>>Learn more: Read the full Nest Secure review.

>>View Plans

Other products we considered

Fortress

The Fortress Security 14-piece wireless kit generally sells on Amazon for less than $150 and has decent reviews. It takes DIY to even greater heights as it offers no professional monitoring, but it does alert up to six different contacts in an emergency. The system features a 110 dB alarm to scare off intruders.

We like having the option of professional monitoring, so Fortress is a pass for us. It also appears to have compatibility with Alexa only. To learn more, read our full Fortress Home Security review.

Wink

The Wink Lookout Smart Security Starter Kit has distinct rounded equipment and high levels of compatibility with other brands. Like Fortress, Wink doesn’t offer professional monitoring, so you have to stay on your toes with this system. To learn more about the Wink system, read our full Wink hub review.

(This kit is currently unavailable through Wink, though you can get used systems on Amazon.)

Cheap security systems FAQs

What do you mean by “cheap?”

We recognize that cheap is a subjective term. There are plenty of people who wouldn’t think of a system that costs $100+ as cheap.

What we mean is that for security systems, these are excellent prices. We haven’t seen any systems that have comparable feature-rich equipment at lower costs.

Can I get security cameras with a cheap security system?

Usually not. One way brands make cheap security systems possible is by not offering cameras. It’s hard to find cheap security cameras because they’re often the most expensive piece of equipment a brand offers. Also, they sometimes require a cloud storage plan at an extra cost.

If you want a security camera, you’ll usually have to upgrade both your plan and your package. Or, if you’re interested in buying one outside of a bundled package, we’ve reviewed the best security cameras for you. You can get IP security cameras, indoor security cameras, outdoor security cameras, security cameras with night vision, security cameras with two-way audio, and more.

Should I pay for professional monitoring?

It depends on what you want from your system. It’s hard to go wrong with a professionally monitored system. But if it’s a financial hardship for you or if self-monitoring adequately meets your needs, you can skip the professional service and the costs that go with it.

Our recommendation

You don’t have to spend a fortune to find a quality security system that fits your lifestyle and needs. Whether you want to save by self-monitoring or by investing in more affordable equipment, these companies will help you find a cheap security system without losing out on quality.

  • SimpliSafe: Go with SimpliSafe if you want the option for month-to-month monitoring and flexible equipment packages.
  • RingGo with a Ring alarm system if you’re okay with a simple security system with ultra-affordable monitoring.
  • Abode: Go with Abode if you want to take advantage of shorter, on-demand monitoring while you’re not home.
  • CoveGo with Cove for its cheap no-contract monitoring and its easy DIY approach to equipment.
  • Scout: Go with Scout if you want premium, aesthetic equipment with affordable monitoring.
  • Nest Secure: Go with Nest Secure if you value quality equipment but want to save money on monitoring.

 

Contributing author: Brianne Sandorf

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