The phrase “cheap security” might sound like an oxymoron, but you’d be surprised at the number of inexpensive home security devices that can actually help you take valuable security measures to protect your home and property. We’ve rounded up 20 of our favorite cheap home security devices under $20 to keep your family and your valuables secure without breaking the bank.
Locks Under $20
1. Defender Security Door Lock: Best for homes with small children
Most intruders know to attack a door at the lock—but what if your door had an extra lock in an unexpected place? The Defender Security Lock can easily be installed nearly anywhere on the inside edge of your door. It’s easy to lock and unlock from the inside, but it’s impossible to tamper with from the outside. Plus, you can place it high on the door so small kids can’t escape when it’s secured.
But it’s not a perfect fit for every door. You may need to get handy with a chisel to fit it on some doorways. You may also need to replace it after a few years of wear and tear. It’s a good idea to look for these on sale and buy a couple at a time so you can replace one as soon as it shows deterioration.
Easy to install
Good for childproofing
Not durable with frequent use
Not functional on all doors
2. SABRE Door Security Bar: Best for added door security
If you’re worried that your locks aren’t secure enough, a door jammer security device like the SABRE Security Bar is a good option. It fits under your door handle and adjusts to the length you need. A rubber foot prevents the bar from sliding on your floor.
Works with hinged and sliding doors
Adjusts from 28.5 in. to 45 in.
Can be used on bedroom doors
May slide on tile floors
3. Defender Security Sliding Window Locks: Best for vinyl window security
Standard window locks work well for keeping windows shut, but if you want to be able to keep your window partially open for ventilation, Defender’s Sliding Window Locks offer both protection and airflow. No screws required, just clamp it on to the window track at the desired location.
Durable die-cast construction
4. Sliding Door and Window Locks: Best for aluminum sliding doors/windows
Gripping pads on these door and window locks keep them secure on any sliding door or window track. Double thumbscrews make installation easy and snug. Choosing the lock placement along the track lets you control how far your door or window opens.
The Addalock does just what the name suggests: It adds a second lock to your doorknob. You can use it on a front door or on interior doors to block anyone from getting in. It takes seconds to install, and it won’t leave any holes or marks, so it’s a great security device for renters.
Fast, easy installation
6. Defender Sliding Door Security Bar: Best for sliding glass doors
The Defender Sliding Door Security Bar is just like your grandma’s broomstick in the sliding door track, but with handy components like a hinge that makes it easy to lock and unlock without removing the entire thing and an adjustable telescoping length.
Adjustable telescoping design
Extruded aluminum construction
Alarms Under $20
7. Taiker Personal Emergency Alarm: Best for deterring intruders
A whole-house alarm system with monitoring might not be in your budget, but there’s no reason you can’t still scare off intruders with a loud noise. A five-pack of push-button Taiker alarms is under $20, so you can stash one in every room of your house.
Compact key fob design
Loud 140 dB alarm
8. SABRE Shed and Garage Alarm: Best for garages and outbuildings
Even though this alarm is marketed for sheds and garages, you can use it to secure any door in your home. It’s easy to arm and disarm with your own four-digit code, and you can choose between alarm and chime modes.
Loud 120 dB alarm
Entry and exit delay
Permanent entry delay
No remote monitoring
9. GE Personal Security Kit: Best for apartments or dorms
With three separate alarm components, the GE Personal Security Kit is a smart going away present for any college student. It comes with a door/window sensor alarm, a keychain panic alarm, and a doorstop intrusion alarm. All are battery operated and easy to arm and disarm.
Low battery indicators
120 dB alarms
10. GE Door/Window Alarms: Best for DIY home security systems
Door and window sensors like these GE window/door alarms can work almost as well as a full security system without monitoring. Just mount the sensor and the magnet and then select between “Alarm,” “Chime,” and “Off.” The sensors’ shrieking, 120-dB alarms will surprise any would-be intruders.
Extremely loud alarm
Lights and Monitoring Under $20
11. LITOM Outdoor Motion Sensor Solar Lights: Best for outdoor lighting
Burglars are much less likely to snoop around a house that’s well lit, and LITOM’s motion sensor solar lights can ensure you always have the lights on. Motion detectors sense movement to trigger the lights, and these lights come with three different lighting settings.
Sensitive motion detector
12. SadoTech Wireless Doorbell: Best for visitor alerts
You might not want to splurge on smart doorbells with cameras, but with the SadoTech Wireless Doorbell you’ll always know if someone’s at the door. Just mount the doorbell next to your front door and plug in the base unit where you’ll hear it best.
Customizable ring tones
13. TOGU Peephole: Best for seeing who’s at the door
The TOGU peephole gives you a full 220-degree view of someone standing outside, and it comes in eight different finishes to match your door hardware. The included cover prevents anyone from peeking through the hole from the other side.
When we found these cheap security cameras, we knew they had to be on the list. But they don’t come with the needed DVR or cables, and the monitoring app for smartphones and tablets is difficult to use. Still, the cameras work well for monitoring in all weather conditions and come with lifetime tech support.
Lifetime tech support
No DVR or cables
Tricky smartphone app
Cloud storage not included
15. Gosund Mini Smart Plug Outlet: Best for controlling indoor lighting remotely
Smart devices for under $20? It seems too good to be true, but the Gosund Mini Smart Plug Outlet gives you a lot of home automation device management for a low price. Using it with lighting lets you turn house lights on and off from anywhere with your smartphone or, if you have a home assistant, voice commands. IFTTT (If This, Then That) compatibility means it can also be used with other smart home security systems if you choose to add more home automation security devices later on.
Plugs into existing outlet
No smart hubs needed
Compatibility with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT
Works only with 2.4 GHz networks
May have trouble connecting
Doesn't work with Z-Wave devices
Personal and Property Protection Under $20
16. VIPERTEK Stun Gun Flashlight: Best for personal protection
Most people keep a flashlight next to their bed in case of a power outage, but having a flashlight that doubles as a personal security device is even better. This Stun Gun Flashlight delivers both a loud crackling noise and a nonlethal shock when it’s activated, and it’s rechargeable.
17. Artscape Etched Glass Window Film: Best for privacy
If you live on a ground floor apartment, you shouldn’t have to keep the blinds closed and feel like you’re living in a cave. Artscape Etched Glass Window Films use stylish frosted and etched glass designs to allow light in while completely obscuring the view of any curious passersby.
Tricky to install
18. Amazon Basics Portable Security Case: Best for securing valuables
Just in “case” someone does get into your home, the steel-shelled Amazon Basics Security Case keeps jewelry and firearms under combination lock and key. The included security cable lets you secure the case to a heavy piece of furniture or household fixture.
Combination lock or keyed lock options
Included security cable
19. Defender Security Combo Strike Plate: Best for beefing up door security
If you’ve ever watched a video of someone kicking in a door without a reinforced strike plate, you know how easy it is to do. Simply installing a new strike plate like the Defender Security Combo with 3-inch screws can give your door the strength it needs to withstand a forced entry.
Deadbolt and deadlatch coverage
Solid steel construction
20. WALI Fake Security Camera: Best for the illusion of monitoring
As the saying goes, “Fake it till you make it.” When it comes to security, it’s not actually a bad idea. A realistic decoy security camera like the WALI is an excellent crime deterrent. It has battery-operated LED lights to give the illusion of night vision, and you can get four for under $20.
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers. Learn more