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The Best Cheap Security Systems in 2019

Most flexible contracts

SimpliSafe

3.66

Starting at $14.99/mo.

Great no-contract option

Cove

3.67

Starting at $14.99/mo.

Best DIY smart security

Nest Secure

3.5

Starting at $19.00/mo.

Best for affordable monitoring

Ring Alarm

3.33

Starting at $10.00/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—by offering either more affordable equipment up front or cheaper monitoring costs than companies like Vivint and Frontpoint.

Best cheap security systems

  • SimpliSafe: Most flexible contracts
  • Cove: Great no-contract option
  • Nest Secure: Best for connecting with Nest gear
  • Scout: Best for aesthetics
  • Abode: Best for self-monitoring
  • Ring: Best for affordable monitoring

Compare affordable security systems

Security systemsCove Security Logoabode logo pngring-logo
Best forMost flexible contractsGreat no-contract optionBest for connecting with Nest gearBest for aestheticsBest for self-monitoringBest for affordable monitoring
Lowest pro monitoring price$14.99/mo.$14.99/mo.$19/mo.$19.99/mo.$8 for 3 days$10/mo.
Video monitoring
Cheapest package$196$334$628$229$259$309
What it includes1 base station
1 key pad
1 motion detector
1 window/door sensor
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 Nest Guard
2 Nest Detect sensors
2 Nest Tags
1 Nest Hello Video Doorbell
1 hub
1 door panel
1 motion sensor
2 access sensors
2 key fobs
1 yard sign
1 hub
1 motion sensor
1 window/door sensor
1 key fob
1 sticker
1 base station
1 keypad
5 contact sensors
2 motion detectors
1 range extender
Equipment ratingCutting-edgeStandardStandardStandardStandardMinimal
Learn moreView PlansView PlansView SystemView systemView SystemView System
Security systems
Best for
Lowest pro monitoring price
Video monitoring
Cheapest package
What it includes
Equipment rating
Learn more
Cove Security Logo abode logo png ring-logo
Most flexible contracts Great no-contract option Best for connecting with Nest gear Best for aesthetics Best for self-monitoring Best for affordable monitoring
$14.99/mo. $14.99/mo. $19/mo. $19.99/mo. $8 for 3 days $10/mo.
$196 $334 $628 $229 $259 $309
1 base station
1 key pad
1 motion detector
1 window/door sensor
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 Nest Guard
2 Nest Detect sensors
2 Nest Tags
1 Nest Hello Video Doorbell
1 hub
1 door panel
1 motion sensor
2 access sensors
2 key fobs
1 yard sign
1 hub
1 motion sensor
1 window/door sensor
1 key fob
1 sticker
1 base station
1 keypad
5 contact sensors
2 motion detectors
1 range extender
Cutting-edge Standard Standard Standard Standard Minimal
View Plans View Plans View System View system View System View System

Data effective 4/29/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

SimpliSafe review

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, which gives you the flexibility to turn your monitoring on and off if you’re going out of town for a while or trying to save money.

SimpliSafe equipment isn’t the most compatible with smart home tech, but its security equipment packages are customizable so you can find the right fit for your home.

>>Learn more: Read the full SimpliSafe review.

Cove review

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

You might have noticed that Cove and SimpliSafe offer similar services. That’s because both companies value affordable no-contract monitoring with a DIY approach to equipment installation. We give SimpliSafe a slight edge in its equipment offerings, especially for its doorbell camera.

Cove’s low month-to-month monitoring rate comes on the condition that you pay for your equipment up front. But you can also finance your equipment by putting down $0 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 for.

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

>>Learn more: Read the full Cove review.

Nest Secure review

Best for connecting with Nest gear

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. 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.

You can save money by self-monitoring your Nest system, or you can pay a reasonable $19 per month to professionally monitor your system through Brinks.

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

Scout review

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.

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. While Scout’s self-monitored plan is $9.99 per month, you’ll save $10 per month when you’re home and willing to monitor your own system.

>>Learn more: Read the full Scout review.

Abode review

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.

If you want to mostly self-monitor your security system, you can pick up three-day, seven-day, or one-month monitoring plans on demand. We think 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 vacation with the family.

>>Learn more: Read the full Abode review.

Ring review

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 security 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 $10-per-month monitoring fee.

The Alarm Security Kits don’t come with any cameras or home automation equipment, but the keypad, contact sensors and motion detectors make for great base systems if you don’t have any home security 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.

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

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