What Additional Fees or Charges Will I Need Keep in Mind with Security Systems?

When considering home security systems, you may find yourself asking a common question: how much is it going to cost me? Unfortunately, there isn’t one set fee that all companies abide by. Home security costs can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars after all equipment, installation, and monitoring fees are accounted for. That’s a pretty substantial range, meaning you should be able to find a system at a price point that works for you.

When setting your budget and looking for systems within your price range, consider these common home security costs you may encounter.

Home Security Hub

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.

Ancillary Equipment

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.

Installation Fees

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.

Activation Fees

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.

Monthly Monitoring Fees

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.

SafeWise Best Home Security Companies of 2018

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 of 2018.

Best Overall

  • High-end smart home tech
  • Customizable plans
  • Month-to-month contracts

Best Monitoring

  • Fast response times
  • Outstanding guarantees
  • 140+ years of experience

Best Customer Service

  • Risk-free trial
  • DIY installation
  • Great customer service

Best Budget Option

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Locked-in rates
  • Many package options