How Much Does a Security System Cost?

Written by | Updated May 20, 2019

Having a security system can protect your valuables from burglars. But are they worth the expense?

Absolutely. However, the total cost depends on the type of plan, its features and benefits, and the provider you go with.

Frontpoint ADT Vivint Protect America Link Interactive
Least Expensive Plan Protection Plan Basic Plan Build Your Own Plan* Copper Plan Standard Plan
Most Expensive Plan Ultimate Plan ADT Pulse + Video Build Your Own Plan* Platinum Plan Elite Plan

*Costs start around $39.99/month.

The good news for homeowners is that home security providers are working to make home security more affordable. Beyond this, research also shows compelling benefits to home security like risk mitigation and peace of mind, which can outweigh the costs for many people.Beyond this, research also shows compelling benefits to home security like risk mitigation and peace of mind, which can outweigh the costs for many people.

To help you decide if home security is right for you, we’ve performed a cost-benefit analysis to look at home security from all the angles.

man with beard and glasses in yellow t-shirt sitting at table with computer and credit card out, on the phone.

How Companies Are Making Home Security More Affordable

There are two common ways that home security providers make security more affordable:

Reducing upfront costs for people who sign a contract

This is a great option if you want home security but can’t afford a hefty upfront cost. Upfront costs include equipment costs, installation, and activation. Depending on the provider, installation or activation costs may still be required to sign up.

Offering DIY home alarm systems 

DIY systems are ideal for people who prefer to pay more in upfront costs, which usually allows for a smaller monthly monitoring fee. Some companies also offer contract-free DIY security systems for consumers who purchase their equipment upfront.

But before you start shelling out any cash, ask yourself: Do I need a home security system? Will the protection I get justify the costs? To answer those questions, you might start by looking at your own risk of becoming a burglary victim.

How much are you likely to lose in a burglary?

Anyone who has been burglarized knows that the trauma of the experience goes far beyond the monetary value of whatever was stolen. But if you’re interested in doing a cost-benefit analysis of investing in a security system, you should first ask yourself how much you’d have to spend to replace any stolen items.

In 2014, the total losses for burglary victims were $3.9 million dollars, with an average loss of $2,251. 1

Obviously, the value of the possessions in your home may be much higher than that. Take some time to inventory your valuable items, along with an estimated value for each. Burglars tend to prefer items that are easy to grab and carry off, like cash, televisions, jewelry, firearms, computers and antiques.

Of course, this won’t account for the sentimental value of heirlooms, collectibles, and other items that aren’t easily replaceable.

How much is your peace of mind worth?

The best security systems not only protect your valuables and heirlooms—they help protect you and your family from intruders. How much you value that peace of mind is something only you can know, but you should do your best to factor this into your own personal cost-benefit analysis.


[1] FBI, “ 2014 Crime in the United States—Burglary”

SafeWise’s Best Home Security Systems

The SafeWise team has researched and reviewed security companies from around the nation. Each year we release our annual rankings. Check out our picks below! To read more, including reviews and packages, you can visit our Top Home Security Systems.

Lowest Price
Best Overall
Best Monitoring
Best Service
Best Budget Option
Best No Contract
logo of vivint home security ADT logo logo of frontpoint home security ProtectAmerica logo logo of simplisafe home security
$29.99 $27.99 $34.99 $19.99 $14.99
DIY Professional DIY DIY/Professional DIY
High-end smart home tech
Customizable plans
Month-to-month contracts
Fast response times
Outstanding guarantees
140+ years of experience
Risk-free trial
DIY installation
Great customer service
Lifetime warranty
Locked-in rates
Many package options
Cheap monthly monitoring
Money-back guarantee
No fancy extras
855-374-4999 855-374-4999 855-374-4999 855-374-4999 N/A
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