August 26, 2018

How Much is a Home Security System?

Read more about Security

A home security system can protect you from burglars and robbers. But how much does a home security system cost?

In this article, we break down the costs of a home security system. Read on to learn more.

Home Security Systems Explained

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The total cost of a home security system depends on several things.

  • The company you choose,
  • the size of your home,
  • the amount and type of equipment you need,
  • the installation method, and
  • 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. However, they aren't always necessary.

For example, a studio apartment just needs a simple security camera. You can self-monitor and spend between $50 and $200.

On the other hand, a big house will need a full security suite, with monitoring. This could cost thousands of dollars.

The cost of a security system depends on what you'll need. The best way to approach it is to choose the right system for your home. 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 is when 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, and floods. However, you'll need special equipment for that.

For the service, you'll have to pay a monthly fee and sign up for a contract. However, there are service providers who offer month-to-month monitoring.

For a basic monitoring service, expect to pay between $20 and $30 per month. However, if you add on other services like home automation and video surveillance, your costs increase. Expect to pay over $60 per month for these extras.

In addition, monitoring services will need a connection to your alarm. If you use a phone line, expect to pay up to $50 per month for that service. If using a GSM chip, this could range from $40 to $60 per month.

A unmonitored system means you'll be doing the monitoring yourself. 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.

These systems don't have a monthly fee. However, you may have to purchase the equipment upfront. On average, buying security equipment upfront will cost you $200 to $300.

Wired vs Wireless

Wired security means the sensors and cables are hardwired into your home. Hardwired systems are more expensive. Firstly, because they require professional installation ($99+). Secondly, they have pricier components. They may also require permanent changes to your home.

Replacing or upgrading wired systems is more expensive too. You'll need to pay a professional to remove the old equipment and install the new equipment.

Wireless home security systems are cheaper than wired ones. That's 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

Different companies have different equipment packages. Some companies include the equipment costs as part of their contract. These contracts can go on for one to five years. You'll have low upfront costs, but you'll likely pay more over the long run. If you cancel your contract, you'll have to pay hefty cancellation fees.

Other companies let you buy the equipment outright. This can range between $200 and $500 for a basic security package. For that price, you'll get a control panel, two door/window sensors, and a motion detector. These are the basics that you'll need to cover the main entrances. However, 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 from $200. They're easy to set up and install but cover a limited space.

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 other costs of a home security system. These include installation fees, equipment rental fees, activation fees, and termination fees. Always understand the terms and conditions of your system before buying.

Also, over time, your equipment may break down, wear out, or become outdated. You should account for these just like you would for home repairs or car maintenance. If you bought your equipment upfront, you'd be responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement costs.

For monitored systems, you'll usually lease your security equipment. Companies usually offer a warranty for these items. This means they provide free or cheaper technical support, repairs, or even equipment replacement. These 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. However, treat it like an investment. Burglars avoid homes with a security system.

Also, it doesn't need to be expensive. There are plenty of packages for every budget. 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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