11 Affordable Alarm System Options in 2019

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Technology has made it so that protecting your family, your home and your business is easier than ever. Alarm systems from days of old could cost thousands of dollars to have installed and use. 

However, times have changed. Today’s DIY, Wifi-driven world has made installing and owning an alarm system easy and affordable.

What are My Options for Affordable Alarm Systems

Safety and security is a concern no matter where you are. From losing your wallet while out and about to packages stolen off your doorstep, security is important. 

You’ve got many options for DIY alarm systems that are both easy to use and reasonably priced. Plus, in many cases, you can monitor them from wherever you’re at via smartphone access. 

All of the systems mentioned here use smart home technology, wi-fi or cellular data to protect your home. Many of them also work in tandem with systems like Alexa too. 

Which affordable alarm system should you choose? We’ve compiled facts on some of the most popular and affordable alarm systems so you can decide for yourself. 

These companies provide alarm systems that won’t require you to get a personal loan. They offer systems for most family budgets. 

1. Simplisafe

Simplisafe is based out of Boston, MA, and was founded in 2006. The company says it’s so easy to use that 97% of their customers set up the systems themselves. 

With this company, you’re buying directly from the alarm system manufacturer. No middleman means no cost markup.

Simplisafe has its own monitoring services to keep your home safe. But you don’t have to use the monitoring service with your Simplisafe system. If you want, you can use it for the audible alarm system only. 

However, if you do choose to use the monitoring service, it is affordable. Monitoring services with Simplisafe starts at 14.99 per month

Pros

  • 60-day 100% money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 monitoring by professionals 
  • No contracts
  • Easy, do-it-yourself installation – no drilling, wiring or tools needed
  • A variety of packages to choose from
  • Affordable monthly monitoring fees
  • Award-winning monitoring system
  • Free shipping and free returns
  • No monitoring required

Another benefit of the Simplisafe system? It can tell the difference between a person and a pet. This feature means there’s no risk of your dog or cat setting off the alarm system. 

Cons

  • Up-front package cost

There aren’t many cons we could find for Simplisafe. However, you do need to pay for your system up front. 

They provide varying types of security monitoring devices. This company uses entry and motion detectors, glass break detection, video monitoring and more. In addition, they’ve got smoke, fire and water detection devices. 

Best For

Some of the people that may benefit most from Simplisafe include:

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Business owners
  • Pet owners

Simplisafe offers a wide variety of products and services to suit most all security needs. The no-contract option, no monitoring option and affordable monthly monitoring costs make it user-friendly for most individuals, families and businesses. 

Bonus: Some police departments have used Simplisafe to stop burglary rings.

2. Scout

Scout security was founded in 2013 in Chicago, and initially launched thanks to crowdfunding. The goal? Create effective and affordable home security systems.

Like many of the other companies mentioned here, Scout’s security packages are affordable thanks to DIY technology. You, as the consumer, set your system in place.

One thing that’s different about Scout is that many of their system components are available in two colors: black and white. This option can allow you to choose a color that goes best with your home decor.

With Scout, you start by choosing the colors of the Scout Hub – their central component system. After that, you can add as many other types of sensors and alarms as you want. 

Pros:

  • Month-to-month contracts
  • Self-monitoring plan or professional monitoring plan
  • Intruder and environmental products
  • Free shipping on orders over $200
  • 60 money back guarantee
  • Cheap monitoring plans

Cons

  • Limited product selection
  • Up-front costs
  • Monitoring required

Although Scout requires you to pay for monitoring, it is cheap. It’s only $9.99 per month for the self-monitoring service, and professional monitoring is only $19.99 per month. 

With the self-monitoring plan, alerts are sent to your phone, and you decide whether to call in authorities. With the professionally monitored plan, alerts and calls are sent to authorities. You’ll still get alerts, but you’ll have the assistance of professional monitoring in addition to that. 

Best For

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Business owners

Another great feature of Scout products is that they’re created to work in tandem with home systems such as Alexa. Bonus: U.S. News and World Report voted Scout the best app-based security system in 2019. 

3. Brinks

Brinks home security company was founded in 1859, and their headquarters are out of Richmond, Virginia. Their home security system, partnered with Nest (now Google Nest), was ranked #1 in customer satisfaction (with home security systems) by J.D. Power in 2018. 

As with Simplisafe, the Brinks Nest Secure security system is a DIY system. There are no tools or wiring required – just peel and stick the components where you want them. 

Professional monitoring with Brinks Nest Secure is a bit more costly than with Simplisafe. You’ll pay between $29 and $49 a month with Brinks

Pros

  • Do-it-yourself installation
  • 24/7 monitoring available
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Month-to-month contract

Cons

  • Monitoring service is more expensive than other options
  • Up-front package costs

Brinks also has a flood sensor available as well as a smart lock for your doors. Note that with Brinks, the monitoring services are done through Brinks. However, the system components are Google Nest components. 

We’ll talk more about Google Nest in a separate section. 

Best For

Brink’s home security services are best for several types of needs:

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Pet owners (their system detects small and medium sized dogs)

Brink’s offers security systems for businesses as well. However, they’re not clear on whether their Nest Secure systems are best for companies. 

If you’re a business owner in search of an alarm system, you may want to call them directly. They have separate security services for businesses. The option that’s best for you may depend on the size of your business and other factors. 

However, when it comes to home security, Brink’s has long-term experience in the industry. This makes it a good choice to consider for protecting your home. Just keep in mind that you’ll pay more for monthly monitoring than you will with some other services. 

4. Protect America

Protect America was founded in 1992 and is based out of Austin, Texas. Like the other affordable systems mentioned here, they offer a DIY option and a monitoring service.

This company is different in that you don’t purchase your security equipment. Instead, you lease it.  

Protect America has three different plans to choose from: a Copper, Silver or a Platinum plan. Monitoring services start at $19.99 a month and go up from there, to a maximum of $42.99 for the Platinum plan. 

Pros

  • Door, window and glass break sensors
  • Do-it-yourself installation with over-the-phone guidance
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Carbon monoxide, heat and smoke detectors

Cons

  • A contract for monitoring services
  • Equipment is leased, not owned

Package security options vary. For that reason, you’ll have to contact Protect America to get a price quote. There is an equipment fee for using their equipment, but again there’s no upfront cost to purchase equipment. 

Besides, there’s an account activation fee of $19.99. One good thing about the contract agreement is that you can cancel it within 30 days of signing up.

However, your account activation fee won’t be refunded if you cancel.  

Bonus: Protect America has been ranked a Consumers Digest Best Buy for the last ten years. 

Best For

The Protect America home alarm system works well for renters, homeowners and pet owners.

5. Frontpoint

Frontpoint security company has been in the home security business for over a decade, and their headquarters are in Virginia. The do-it-yourself system comes pre-configured for your needs. 

As with the other companies mentioned here, there’s no wiring or drilling needed. Do-it-yourself installation is easy for most users.

Frontpoint also boasts powerful encryption that will outsmart sophisticated hackers. The company calls it the perfect balance between low-end self-installation and professional installation.

Monitoring costs start at $34.99 per month and go up from there. 

Pros

  • Easy do-it-yourself set up right from the box
  • Intrusion protection as well as environmental protection
  • A lifetime price lock guarantee on monitoring services
  • Packages start at just $99
  • 30-day free trial period

Cons

  • Contracts on monitoring services; one or three-year contracts
  • Higher monthly monitoring costs than other companies 

Frontpoint boasts the easiest DIY home security setup in the industry and lightning fast response times. They also have no-show alerts. For example, you can get notifications when your kids aren’t home from school by a specific time.

The company claims their systems work well with Alexa too. This means no entering codes when you leave – just tell Alexa to set your alarm.

Best For

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Business owners
  • Pet owners

Frontpoint has won several awards for customer service ratings, including from Angie’s List. Plus, they’ve got an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. 

This company works hard to make customer service a top priority

6. Abode

Abode was founded in 2014 by a former ADT Home Security executive, and their headquarters are in San Francisco. Their mission? Smart, simple home security. 

Their CUE automation engine has everything you need to protect your home. CUE tells smartphones and other devices when to take action based on your home environment and more. It uses family activity, time of day and other indicators to determine normal vs. abnormal activity. 

The CUE engine can be used for security, as well as to turn lights on and off, adjust temperature and more. 

Pros

  • Month-to-month contracts, free cancellation
  • Three plans to choose from
  • Affordable plans
  • The ability to create up to 100 automations
  • Compatible with Alexa and other devices
  • Customized system plan

Cons

  • Up-front costs

There’s not a lot of negative things to say about Abode. With them, you have a choice between a month-to-month monitoring plan or an annual plan. And they have three monthly monitoring plan packages you can choose from. Plus, the Basic self-monitoring plan is free and included with every starter kit purchase. 

Self-monitoring with cellular backup costs $8 per month. If you want professional monitoring, you’ll pay $20 per month. They offer free shipping to the continental U.S. and there’s an unlimited warranty on devices if you’re on the annual plan.   

Abode says their starter kit is cheaper than a lot of other starter kits on the market. 

Best For

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Business owners

Abode has a lot to offer for a variety of different home and business security needs. Although they’ve only been in the business for five years, they’ve got a nice corner on the alarm system market. There’s lots to choose from for most security system needs. 

7. Blink

Blink home security is another newer company, founded in January 2016. They were launched thanks to a Kickstarter campaign. Most recently, they’ve been acquired by, and are now owned by Amazon. 

They’ve got a variety of cameras and devices to choose from, starting at $79.99. This makes Blink one of the most affordable alarm system options we talk about here. 

Pros

  • Some of the most affordable cameras on the market
  • Self-monitoring system with no contracts
  • Notification alerts with video attached
  • Works together with Alexa

Cons

  • Basic system with not a lot of bling
  • No professional monitoring available
  • Minimal one year limited warranty

Blink is cheap, but it’s also minimal. You won’t find any of the bells and whistles that come with other options such as Simplisafe.

It’s a security camera with smart home capabilities, but there are no motion sensors, glass break sensors, etc.  

Best For

Blink’s simple security camera system might work out just fine for you. Is your main goal only to be able to see and monitor your home from your phone?

If so, then one or more Blink cameras might be just what you need. However, if you want a security system with a little more depth, you’re better off choosing one of the other options listed here. 

8. Defender

Defender carries both wired security systems and wireless systems. We’ll keep the discussion here limited to their do-it-yourself wireless systems. After all, the goal here is to be able to find a cheaper system you can set up on your own. 

Defender’s wireless security systems sell starting for as little as $149. However, this is a real do-it-yourself system with no professional monitoring available.

Pros

  • No contracts 
  • Easy and fast to set up
  • Surveillance systems with large memory capabilities
  • Standard one-year warranty with extended warranties available

Cons

  • No professional monitoring available 
  • No other products such as entry or glass break sensors

Defender offers a basic system like Blink does, only with a little more pizazz. It lets you monitor your home or business from wherever you’d like via a variety of systems to choose from. 

Defender is owned by a company that’s been in the security business for over 50 years. From that fact, we can assume they know security well. 

Best For

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Business owners

Defender is different than the other plans we’ve featured here. They’ve combined traditional security systems with today’s technology. 

It might feel a little old school with the monitors and cameras. However, the lack of monthly plans and contracts, along with the tried-and-true technology make Defender a great potential choice. 

9. Vivint Smart Home

Vivint Smart Home is a leading home security company. They service nearly 1.5 million customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. We thought we’d mention Vivint because it offers more comprehensive products and services.  

With Vivint Smart Home, you start by calling and talking to an expert at the company. That person will help you build a security system that’s right for your home. 

After you’ve built the system you want, they’ll schedule a professional installer to come and put in the system. The Vivint website isn’t clear on how much installation costs. Instead, you need to call for a quote. 

Also, professional monitoring is required by Vivint and starts at $39.99 per month. 

Pros

  • Professional installation is convenient and ensures everything is set up correctly
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Several products and packages to choose from
  • No contract required

Cons

  • Professional installation is necessary
  • Professional monitoring is required
  • Upfront costs are higher – starting at a few hundred dollars
  • Some cameras require wiring

PCMag chose Vivint Smart Home as an Editor’s Choice for home security in 2019. They loved the fact that Vivint Smart Home has a fast response time to events. Also noted was an excellent doorbell camera. 

Best For

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Business owners 
  • Non-DIYers
  • Those looking for comprehensive monitoring service

Vivint Smart Home will cost you more than a lot of the other systems listed here. However, for what you get, it’s a great value. 

10. Ring Alarm

The Ring alarm system is another wireless DIY system. They offer three settings for their systems: Home, Away and Disarmed. The Disarmed option helps you feel free from the worry of accidentally setting off the alarm while at home. 

With Ring, you buy the products you want, whether it be video doorbells, security cameras or entire security systems. Ring even has a neighborhood watch app. 

The Ring website says all products operate without a subscription to their monitoring service. Without the monitoring service, you get to decide whether to call authorities. With the monitoring service, the professionals handle that decision for you. 

Pros

  • Wireless DIY installation
  • Affordable monitoring plans starting at $3 per month
  • 30-day free trial with the monitoring plan
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Upfront costs
  • Works with only a few smart home systems 

Ring has fewer bells and whistles than other systems, but it’s also on the lower price point end. So, this could be an advantage if you’re looking to spend less. 

Best For

Ring is best for homeowners and renters. The simplicity of the system may not make it the best choice for business owners. 

11. Google Nest 

We talked about Google Nest a little bit above in our section on Brinks Home Security. However, you can also purchase Google Nest home security products independently of Brinks. 

Google Nest offers video cameras, alarm systems, doorbells, environmental controls and more. They let you handle the monitoring on your own.

If you want help with professional monitoring, Google Nest will connect you with Brinks. 

Pros

  • No professional monitoring needed
  • Wide variety of products to choose from
  • Works with Google Home and similar devices
  • Do-it-yourself installation

Cons

  • Upfront costs
  • Wide selection may be overwhelming

Google Nest is pretty similar to the other DIY systems mentioned here. And their partnership with the long-trusted Brink’s for monitoring is a bonus. 

Best For

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Business owners when partnered with Brink’s

Bonus: Google Nest will hook you up with professional installation, if you so desire.

Summary

Home security is as relevant now as it has always been. However, we are fortunate to live in a time when keeping your home and family safe is easier and more affordable than ever.

Alarm systems like the ones referred to above are often so simple they can be installed by you, the owner. And, for just a few dollars a month, you can have 24-hour monitoring and more.

We hope that one of the alarm systems mentioned here can help you protect your home and loved ones. Plus, with the affordable prices of these systems, you can have an alarm system and still work toward financial freedom too.

Do you have an alarm system in your home? If so, which brand do you use? What do you like about it? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section on our Facebook page.

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