August 26, 2018

How Much is a Home Security System?

Read more about Security

A home security system can protect you from thieves and intruders. But how much does it cost? And is it the right choice for your home?

Find the answers to these question and more in our guide.

Home Security Systems Explained

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The total cost of a home security system depends on several factors:

  • The company you choose
  • the size of your home
  • the amount and type of equipment you need
  • the installation method
  • the level of monitoring

The good news is that home security systems don't have to be expensive. Home security providers offer packages for every budget. You just need to pick one which suits yours.

Generally, a home security system costs anywhere between $100 and $4,000. Better services and equipment cost more. But they aren't always necessary.

The cost of a security system depends on what you'll need.

A studio apartment only needs a simple security camera. You can self-monitor and spend between $50 and $200.

But a big house will need a full security suite, including monitoring. This could cost thousands of dollars.

The best way to approach home security is to choose the right system for your situation. Don't spend more than you need to.

Here are other factors that affect the cost of a security system.

Monitored vs Unmonitored Security Systems

There are two types of home security systems: monitored and unmonitored.

Monitored Systems: This options means a company protects your home through your security system. If an alarm trips, the system notifies the monitoring company. They then call the authorities for you.

Monitoring systems don't just protect you against break-ins. They can also protect you against dangers like:

  • Fire
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Floods.

But you will need special equipment for those added protections.

Expect to pay monthly fee and sign up for a contract with a monitored system. Some service providers do offer month-to-month monitoring.

What You'll Pay

$20 and $30 per month for basic monitoring service

$60 per month if you add for these extras like home automation and video surveillance.

Monitoring services also need an alarm connection. Which means:

$50 or more per month for a phone line
$40 to $60 per month if you use a GSM chip.

Unmonitored systems: These systems use your smartphone and/or the internet to alert you when an alarm trips. If something happens, it's up to you to call the authorities.

You won't pay a monthly fee. However, you may have to purchase the equipment upfront.

What You'll Pay
On average, buying security equipment upfront will cost you between $200 and $300.

Wired vs Wireless

Wired security means the sensors and cables are hardwired into your home.

Hardwired systems are more expensive. They require professional installation ($99+) and have pricier components. They may also require permanent changes to your home.

Upgrading wired systems is more expensive too. You'll need to pay a professional to replace the equipment.

FYI: Wireless home security systems are cheaper because most of them are DIY. You can install these yourself, without paying a technician to do it.

Also, these security systems are non-intrusive. You can stick them on without drilling into the wall.

Equipment Costs

Security companies offer different equipment packages. Some include the equipment costs as part of their contract. These contracts can go on for one to five years.

TIP: Know your contract.

You may have to pay hefty fees if you cancel. That means you're paying low upfront costs but a lot more in the long run if you end your service.

Other companies let you buy the equipment outright. A basic security package can run from $200 to $500. For that price, you'll get:

  • A control panel
  • Two door/window sensors
  • A motion detector

These are the basics that you'll need to cover the main entrances. You may want more sensors for other entry points in your home.

For a budget security system, a simple security camera is enough. This could be as low as $50 or $60, but higher-end cameras can reach $150 to $200.

You can also get a full basic system starting at $200. They're easy to set up and install but cover a limited space.

What You'll Pay
A full security system can range from $500 to $4000. This may include special cameras, home automation, and other special equipment.

It's expensive, but it's more secure and covers a larger area. This would be better for large houses with many rooms and entry points.

Additional Costs

Don't forget to account for the other costs of a home security system. These include:

  • Installation fees
  • Equipment rental fees
  • Activation fees
  • Termination fees.

Always understand the terms and conditions of your system before buying.

Over time, your equipment may break down, wear out, or become outdated. You should account for these expenses just as you would for home repairs or car maintenance.

If you bought your equipment upfront, you'll be responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement costs.

FYI: Companies usually offer a warranty for monitored systems, since you'll likely be leasing the equipment.

This means free or cheaper technical support, repairs, or even equipment replacement. That will reduce your costs in the long run.

Bottom Line: Is a Home Security System Worth It?

Buying a home security system may seem expensive at first. But treat it like an investment. Burglars avoid homes with a security system.

It also doesn't need to be expensive. There are plenty of packages for every budget. And you can choose to pay more upfront, or over time.

What's important is to choose a package that fits your needs and is reliable.

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