Home security systems range significantly in price, costing anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to over a thousand. Depending on what provider you choose, what type of system you’re looking for, which features you include and a number of other factors, the cost of a home security system can vary greatly. If you do some research, you can save a significant amount of money and still get the security system you’re looking for. We’ve identified all factors you should consider when determining the overall investment. So, how much is a home security system really going to cost you?
Where to start
Before you can accurately answer that question, you need to determine what you’re hoping to get out of your security system. Do you have small children? Are there multiple ways to enter your home? Do you live in a high-crime neighborhood? What exactly are you trying to protect? Once you answer these questions, you can begin to understand the cost of a home security system and the extent of its functionality.
Wired vs. wireless
Regardless of your type of home, you’ll need to decide whether you’d like a wired or wireless security system, or both. Most of the best-rated home security systems will offer wireless installation, and many will offer to hardwire your system as added backup in the event that your cellular service fails.
Completely wireless systems can save you a few hundred dollars on the cost of a home security system, as they often can be installed yourself without the need for a professional. Wired systems, on the other hand, must be installed by an expert. Security system companies that offer wired installation may lure you with low, or even free, installation and equipment, but be warned – the cost of the equipment and its installation is often built into your monthly monitoring price, costing you much more over the long-term. Wireless equipment typically costs between $400 and $1,000 upfront, but after that, you own it and will typically pay a lower monitoring fee each month.
To monitor or not to monitor
With the technology available today, many people are choosing not to have their security system monitored to save on monthly costs. The best-rated home security systems often come with a smartphone app and real-time notification options in the event that your system is triggered. This eliminates the need for a third party monitoring service, as you are immediately notified when something is wrong and can alert the authorities if needed. Foregoing a monthly monitoring service will typically save you on average between $40 and $70 per month.
However, there is an added layer of reassurance when you know that there is a dedicated team of experts monitoring your system 24/7/365. With busy routines, unreliable cell phone service and unpredictable circumstances, it’s likely that you may miss an important notification or see it after it’s too late. With a monitoring contract, your provider will immediately contact the police in the event that you cannot be reached.
A basic home security system includes a control panel and a system of sensors that “speak” to each other to create a network of security within your home. These sensors are often open/close sensors for your doors and windows, and motion detectors for open areas inside your home. Additional sensors and features can be added at an additional cost.
Depending on your lifestyle and type of home, you may need a security camera to monitor who enters and exits your home, additional sensors or motion detectors for rooms containing safes or valuables, and smoke or carbon monoxide sensors. Most security system providers also offer flood, heat and humidity sensors, as well as multiple options for automating your home, including temperature and lighting control and keyless entry systems. If you require any of these extra features, be sure to ask your security system provider what is included in your security system package and what is an additional cost.
Don’t get scammed
Whatever you do, make sure to get multiple quotes from different providers and to read the reviews on all of the best-rated home security systems. Many salespeople will attempt to pressure you into making an impulsive decision on the spot, but avoid doing this if possible. Most likely, they are trying to convince you to sign a contract because they know you cannot get out of it afterward, even if you find a better deal.
There are also scammers out there who will try to sell you a security system at an outrageous price or to sign a new contract under the pretense that your current system is outdated or no longer functioning. Before signing anything, research the company and read relevant customer reviews. Sites such as The Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs and the Federal Trade Commission are helpful in determining whether a home security system company can be trusted.
So going back to the question of how much is a home security system really going to cost? The answer isn’t simple, but if you know what you’re looking to educate yourself about the best security systems available, you’re sure to find a solution that lies within your budget.