Best Cheap Home Security Systems

Cheap security systems prove that home safety doesn't require a second mortgage. Read our full comparison to see why Ring Alarm tops the list over other affordable burglar alarms.
Best overall
Ring
Ring Alarm
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Cheapest pro monitoring
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Compatible with Ring cameras
Best single-device security
WYZE
Wyze Cam Pan
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Fast, easy setup
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Free cloud video storage
Budget pick
Kangaroo security system logo
Kangaroo
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Ridiculously cheap
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Wi-Fi sensors and devices

Bottom line: Ring Alarm is the best in cheap home security

Whether you own your home, live in a rental, or simply want to stick to a budget, we recommend checking out our top pick: Ring Alarm. It delivers the biggest bang for your buck with the cheapest monitoring plan at $10 a month. It's also the most comprehensive plan under $25.

Ring doesn't have the cheapest equipment on our list (especially if you count its cameras and doorbells). Still, it's more affordable than offerings from budget security rivals like Abode and SimpliSafe. Check out our list of the best cheap security systems to learn why we picked Ring over the rest.



Compare the best cheap home security systems

Best overall Best single-device security Budget pick Best for smart homes Best monitoring
Ring AlarmWyze Cam PanKangarooAbodeSimpliSafe
RingWYZEKangaroo security system logoAbodeSimpliSafe
Cheapest pro monitoring plan
Equipment price
Mobile app in base plan
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Smart home compatibilityAmazon Alexa,
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa,
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa,
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa,
Apple HomeKit,
Google Assistant,
Z-Wave,
Zigbee
Amazon Alexa,
Google Assistant

*Amazon.com list price as of 11/23/2020 at 11:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Our approach

To find the best cheap security system, we focused on the things that matter most to your budget. We looked for affordable monthly monitoring, reasonably-priced equipment, DIY installation, and no contracts. We also gave extra credit to every home security provider that includes a lot (like mobile app access) at an entry-level price point.

We used all of our hours of testing, research, and customer interviews to narrow it down and then let the math lead us the rest of the way. Learn more about how we evaluate products and services on our methodology page.

Cheap home security system reviews

1. Ring Alarm: Best overall

Ring Alarm outshines other cheap security systems by offering the best monitoring deal in the bunch. At $10 a month, it's the cheapest plan you'll see, but it also has the full benefits of 60-day cloud video storage and a lifetime warranty that other brands can't match.

Pro Heading
Ring Alarm Pros
Pro Bullet Cheapest professional monitoring
Pro Bullet Affordable equipment and starter kits
Pro Bullet Works with Ring doorbells and cameras
Con Heading
Ring Alarm Cons
Con Bullet Some pricey security cameras

It's not cheaper than Wyze or Kangaroo in terms of equipment, but no matter how you design your Ring Alarm system, you're bound to save compared to high-end security brands like ADT and Vivint. We also like that Ring Alarm has some smart home skills—it works with Amazon Alexa and Z-Wave.

And it doesn't cost that much more to trick out your system with doorbell cameras and outdoor security cameras starting around $100. This is utterly delicious since you won't pay extra for cloud storage on cameras as it's part of the monitoring plan.

Because we know all the ins and outs of Ring Alarm, we recommend the eight-piece security kit as the best way to maximize Ring's affordable home security options. Unless you only have one door and one window (hello, studio apartment), you'll need more than the lone door sensor that comes in Ring's five-piece kit.

See everything that Ring has to offer in our full Ring Alarm review.

Notepad
Ring also sells some pricey cameras

Some of Ring's pricier cameras cost around $200 apiece (or more), making it very easy to bust your budget if you don't stick to the cheaper models.​

2. Wyze Cam Pan: Best single-device security

Best single-device security

The Wyze Cam Pan proves that home security doesn't need a "system" to be effective—it can work with a single security camera. Wyze is the absolute cheapest way to add some security measures to your home with a free mobile app—including custom alerts and 14 days of free cloud video storage.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Free mobile app
Pro Bullet No subscription required
Pro Bullet 14 days of video storage
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No professional monitoring
Con Bullet Limited cloud storage without paid plan

Wyze's free cloud storage doesn't save any clips longer than 12 seconds. But we think it's totally worth signing up for the paid storage plan that gives you full-length recordings for just $2 a month (McDonald's large fries cost more). This is cheaper than any other cloud storage plan on the market. Or you could add a microSD card to the mix for another storage and playback option.

That means just about anyone can add some security to their home. But there are a lot of limitations if you're looking for full-on home security. The biggest drawback is that Wyze doesn't offer 24/7 professional monitoring. While Wyze works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, it doesn't work with Z-Wave or Zigbee like Abode does.

Overall, we think Wyze Cam Pan is a solid home security solution for folks interested in self-monitoring their home with a camera—all without any extra monthly fees.

Learn all about Wyze in our full review.

Bell
Wyze Sense

We previously included Wyze Sense on our list since it offers add-on sensors for the Wyze Cam. It is no longer available, though Wyze is teasing a new version on its website. We'll update our review once we know more.

3. Kangaroo: Budget pick

Budget pick

Kangaroo is the cheapest home security system on our list, with nearly all of its devices costing $30 or less. A low price doesn't mean low quality here. Kangaroo's equipment feels fresh and innovative. Its monitoring plan costs $10 a month—the same as Ring Alarm (although it’s slightly behind in terms of features).

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Cheapest security equipment
Pro Bullet Cheap professional monitoring
Pro Bullet Innovative equipment uses Wi-Fi
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited equipment options

Kangaroo’s most impressive monitoring feature is a full year of cloud storage for its doorbell camera—though the clips from this camera are basically animated GIFs. We also like the included theft protection which covers stolen packages up to $1,000.

Don't expect Kangaroo to blow you away with equipment selection—this system has only six devices (compared to 46 from Ring Alarm and 16 from SimpliSafe):

  • Doorbell Camera + Chime (about $20)
  • Motion Sensor (about $15)
  • Motion + Entry Sensor (about $30)
  • Water + Climate Sensor (about $30)
  • Roo Tags key fobs (about $25)
  • Siren + Keypad (about $70)

But Kangaroo takes a big leap to innovate with these devices: they all use Wi-Fi. You don't need a control panel or hub, and you can build a system without getting a starter kit first—though Kangaroo has those too.

The limited equipment selection means it doesn't have many smart home goodies to offer, though it is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Check out our Kangaroo review for more information.

4. Abode: Best for smart homes

Best for smart homes

Abode kind of snuck into our hearts by continually improving its smart home offerings enough to outclass larger security companies.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Excellent smart home compatibility
Pro Bullet Professional and self-monitoring options
Pro Bullet All-in-one system option—Abode Iota
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No custom home automation on free plan

Most budget security companies limit their smart home ambitions to popular platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. But Abode throws in Apple HomeKit, Z-Wave, and Zigbee for good measure. No other smart security system, budget or otherwise, matches this feat.

You can pick from Abode's Smart Security Kit that features a hub, a motion detector, and window sensors, or you can go with the Abode's Iota camera system. Although you can expect to pay around $80 more than the traditional system, Iota's built-in security camera more than makes up the difference by offering easy and affordable video surveillance.

You can add on professional monitoring with all of Abode's security equipment, which adds an extra $20 per month.

But if you want to monitor things yourself, Abode is one of the cheapest deals out there. We recommend Abode's $6 plan if you want more out of the smart home devices in your system since the system doesn't allow users to create custom automations on its free plan.

Abode's mobile app is much easier to use than earlier this year, so we're glad that it takes a thoughtful approach to improve its products—making it easier and easier to recommend.

Learn more in our complete Abode review.

5. SimpliSafe: Best monitoring

Best monitoring

SimpliSafe is our most expensive cheap security system, but it's still a screaming deal. It's perfect for folks who want a no-frills monitoring service that doesn't distract from a security system's primary purpose of watching over your home. This security company delivers sleek, simple solutions with no contracts and a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Five equipment packages under $500
Pro Bullet Monitoring starts at $14.99/mo.
Pro Bullet 60-day money-back guarantee
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Higher up-front cost
Con Bullet No mobile app access on cheaper plan
Con Bullet Limited smart home options

We like that SimpliSafe runs its monitoring centers rather than contracting out to a third party like Ring does. Still, it's disappointing that SimpliSafe doesn't include mobile app controls in its $15 monthly monitoring plan. But it restricts them to customers paying $25 a month.

SimpliSafe made in-the-box home security a mainstream thing thanks to its stand against high-pressure sales. But that means you're on your own to pick the right security package for your home. Though its equipment is pricier than other budget options on our list.

It provides five starter kits—all under $500—with different protection levels, but you can also modify your kit to match specific needs. We recommend The Hearth equipment package (about $375) thanks to a large helping of sensors, including three door sensors, a motion detector, a smoke detector, and a siren.

Best of all, there are no contracts involved, so you can add or eliminate professional monitoring at will.

Learn about all the possibilities in our complete SimpliSafe review.

Final word

Ring Alarm is the best monitored home security system for the money, especially since it costs less per month than a Netflix Standard Plan. While much of its value comes down to having the cheapest monitoring around, we think benefits like a lifetime warranty and 60-day cloud storage ultimately seal the deal.

Ring brings the same smart tech behind its video doorbell camera to help you protect more than your front doorstep. If a security system doesn't feel like the right fit, take a look at our favorite security cameras under $50.

Cheap security system FAQ

You can buy dependable equipment and reliable professional monitoring from security companies at practically every price. But there are fewer equipment options with less expensive security systems. Overall, if your main goal is to keep criminals out of your house, you don't need to spend a bundle.

All of our cheap security system recommendations (except SimpliSafe) don't require a monthly fee if you self-monitor your DIY security system through a mobile app.

This means you won't have any extra monthly costs, but you won't have the protection of 24/7 monitoring either. If something happens, it's up to you to call for help.

Go for a system with free mobile access included. That's why we like Wyze Cam Pan for 100% self-monitoring. You have full control through the mobile app—and no monthly fees to pay.

Here's the core gear we recommend including in your DIY system:

  • Motion detector: Install one in a hallway or near the main entrance
  • Contact sensor: Place one on all ground-level doors and windows
  • Base station: Controls equipment and system arming (included in starter kits)
  • Siren: Alerts you to problems and deters burglars

But for just a little bit more money, you can boost your DIY home security system with video surveillance and 'round-the-clock protection. See if any of these extras fit in your budget:

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Disclaimers

*Amazon.com list price as of 11/23/2020 at 11:00 a.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google and Google Nest Secure are trademarks of Google LLC.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over eight years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.