Home security systems are an important way to protect your home, your belongings, and your family. There are more companies than ever to choose from in addition to a variety of high-tech DIY measures you can take — and each option comes with a different price tag.
The price of a home security system varies based on the company you work with, the size of your home, the type of equipment you get, the amount of monitoring protection you purchase, and even where you live, but there are certain factors that can help you predict what you’ll pay. To give you a clear idea of what you can expect to spend on DIY systems, including Frontpoint and SimpliSafe, as well as services that require professional installation and monitoring, like ADT, Xfinity, Brinks, and Vivint, we’ve rounded up data to create the ultimate home security system pricing guide.
Average Installation and Activation Costs for Professionally-installed and DIY Home Security Systems
Professionally-installed Home Security Systems
The average cost for professional installation and activation of a basic home security system is $408. The average cost for professional installation and activation of a complete security system, whether hardwired or wireless, is $963. Complete systems come with more features than standard packages, such as security cameras, video doorbells, and glass-break sensors.
You have two choices for professionally-installed home security systems:
- Hardwired systems are installed into the walls of your home. This type of system is considered permanent; if you sell your home, the features will remain, and the next owner can set up their own service. Hardwired systems are usually more expensive to install than wireless versions. On the pro side, they have lower maintenance fees, and because they use a landline rather than mobile service, they can’t be hacked. They can, however, be disabled if the phone line is cut.
- Wireless systems have removable pieces that aren’t permanent fixtures. You may be able to move some equipment installed by a professional company to a new home should you move in the future, and DIY features can always be moved from one dwelling to another. These systems are also great for renters, since they don’t cause damage to your walls, doors, or windows. They typically come with higher maintenance costs, because they’re battery-powered and will need regular battery replacement. Plus, the world of technology quickly outdates electronics from one year to the next, so users may need to upgrade system software regularly and even replace components completely as time goes on. Wireless systems can also be hacked since they’re internet-based, but this isn’t a common occurrence.
For both hardwired and wireless, typical basic home security systems installed by professionals include:
- A central control panel, which is usually either a wall-mounted touchscreen or keypad, or a portable base station
- Door sensors with alarms
- Window sensors with alarms
- Exterior and interior motion detectors with lights and/or alarms
- Keychains that enable you to control your system from a distance and that have a panic button
- Security apps for your mobile phone and tablet
Don’t forget to look for promotional rates online and ask your service professional about discounts you may be eligible for when searching for a great home security system near you. Also keep in mind you can often negotiate a price that works for you. Some companies will reduce or even waive installation and equipment fees in order to win your business.
DIY Home Security Systems
The average cost for DIY installation of a complete home security system is $237. For an added expense, you can hire specialists to install it for about $25 to $30 per hour.
With DIY home security systems, the only upfront payment you’re responsible for is your equipment, so the fewer features you buy, the less you’ll pay. Many basic packages come with the same equipment as professional versions, but most manufacturers allow buyers to customize which pieces they purchase.
DIY systems don’t require contracts, and they may or may not include monthly-monitoring fees. Many DIY systems are unmonitored, meaning you’ll be alerted when motion is detected at doorways and windows, but you’ll be responsible for calling the police in an emergency.
Average Monthly Monitoring Costs for Professionally-installed and DIY Home Security Systems
The overall monthly monitoring cost for a professionally-installed or DIY home security system is $35.
The majority of professionally-installed home security systems come with monthly monitoring. Most companies require you to sign a contract between three and 12 months of service. Many DIY systems offer monthly monitoring, but these services usually don’t require a contract. Whichever type of security system you buy, monthly monitoring prices are similar.
There are two types of monitoring systems:
- If your home security system uses a landline phone, which is only available with professionally-installed versions, you’ll only be able to communicate with your security company when you’re home. It’s typically less expensive to use this type of monitoring, which is only found in some hardwired systems.
- Home security systems that use Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) chips are monitored through cellular networks, which allows you to communicate with your security company via your mobile phone or tablet. An option for hardwired, professionally-installed wireless, and DIY systems, this is the preferred monitoring method, since it gives you access to your service provider whether you’re home or away.
Average Prices for Security Features
Note that while we’ve done our best to give you estimates on a la carte pricing for each of these features, the prices reflected for professional equipment also include labor and monitoring costs. Plus, most companies offer discounts for purchasing equipment packages, so you’ll most likely pay less for buying comprehensive service with multiple security components than what adding up these totals indicates.
|Video Doorbells||See security camera pricing||$167|
|Motion-sensored Lighting||$500 (note: price reflects lighting that surrounds the complete exterior of the home)||$72|
|Control Panel||Standard with security package||$67|
|Keychain remotes with panic button||$27||$20 (note: not all devices connect to security system)|
|Fire, Smoke, and Carbon-monoxide Detectors||$40||$37 (note: price reflects both standard and WiFi-enabled models)|
Whichever home security system you choose, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re in a safer setting. Plus, a professional home security system will even lower your insurance costs. Whether you pay a couple of hundred bucks for a few pieces of basic equipment or thousands on a state-of-the-art system, it’s a worthwhile investment in the safety and comfort you enjoy at home.