Whether you choose a wired or wireless system, your home security system will likely need a central control station where you can set and disarm your alarm. A hub usually comes included in standard equipment packages, along with various detectors and sensors, but you’ll still want to check out the price in the plan breakdown.
Many home security companies offer advanced security tools that work with the control station, including video cameras, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and motion sensors. A few of these devices may be included in the plan you choose, but if you want more advanced security, you should budget for some extra items. While adding a small motion sensor may not come with significant additional fees, adding cameras or smart devices can add a substantial amount to your total equipment bill.
Depending on the type of home security system and additional technology you choose, you may need to pay for a professional to install your system. Most home security companies offer this service at an additional flat rate—often ranging around $300—when you purchase a system. To reduce installation costs, you may be able to install the system yourself or hire a third-party professional installer who charges a lower hourly rate.
Don’t let an activation fee catch you by surprise. This is a fee that is usually separate from an installation fee or the cost of the home security system. Often found in the fine print, an activation fee is a one-time charge you pay up front to activate your home security system. This fee generally ranges anywhere from $25 to $100. Before signing a contract, confirm with the home security company whether there’s an activation fee, how much it will add to your bill, and if it’s negotiable.
You’ll have to pay a monthly charge for 24/7 home monitoring by a monitoring center, in addition to the standard one-time costs. This fee varies depending on the level of service and the number of equipment pieces you have connected. For example, if you have only a few door and window sensors, a package may cost as little as $10 per month. But if you also have video monitoring, home automation integration, and other features, you’ll likely pay more.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all these costs, but some may be negotiable or included in a home security company’s special offer. If you’re ready to explore your home security system options, review our guide to choosing a home security system.