Home Security System Cost

How Much Does a Home Security System Cost?

Last Updated on March 5, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Installing a home security system is one of the wisest and most prudent investments you can make to protect your property, safeguard your family, and provide 24/7 peace of mind against intrusions or emergencies. But what factors determine the true cost of a complete home security setup?


  • Total equipment and installation costs typically range from $500 up to $2,000+ depending on system scale and features.
  • Ongoing monthly professional monitoring and maintenance fees from $20 to $100+ also factor into long-term budgets.
  • DIY and professional installation approaches both have unique pros and cons to weigh given your skills and budget.
  • Reputable security companies help tailor system packages to your needs and budget through transparent consultations.
  • Enabling 24/7 professional monitoring and emergency alerts provides invaluable peace of mind and family protection.
  • Regular maintenance and occasional upgrades keep your system effective for the long haul.

How Much Does a Home Security System Cost?

For the equipment, installation, activation, and initial setup alone, expect to spend anywhere from $500 on the very low end for a basic DIY system up to $2,000 or more for a premium professionally installed system with all the latest cameras, sensors, and integration features.

On top of that, ongoing monthly monitoring and maintenance subscription fees typically cost between $20 to $100+ depending on your desired level of monitoring and system capabilities.

Bankrate reports that on average, home security systems cost $700, but prices can range from $280 to $1,000 or more, not including installation costs if needed.

HomeGuide states that home security systems can cost anywhere from $280 to $1,000+, with professional installation potentially costing an additional $259.99.

U.S. News mentions that some home security systems may require professional installation, which can either be included in the cost of the system or cost an extra $259.99.

SafeWise lists monitoring costs for home security systems, which can range from $8 to $60 per month, averaging $32 a month. Installation and activation costs can range from $0 to $200, with no installation or activation fee for some systems.

ADT offers a bare-bones version of their home security system with equipment and installation costs starting at $599, or $9.98 monthly for 60 months, with monitoring starting at $27.99 per month.

While certainly an investment, the crime deterrence, loss prevention, emergency detection and response capabilities, and sense of safety a security system provides make it a wise and worthwhile expense for most homeowners.

Factors Influencing Home Security System Cost

The major elements that influence the total cost to purchase and install a home security system include:

  • Surveillance cameras – High-definition cameras range from $50 for basic indoor models up to $300+ for outdoor, weatherproof security cameras with expanded features. Most systems have 2-4 cameras.
  • Sensors – Motion sensors, door/window contacts, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors, etc. are $30-$80 per sensor installed. 5-10+ sensors are common for comprehensive coverage.
  • Control panel – The hub that connects devices and activates alarms costs $100-$300.
  • Mobile application – App for remote access, monitoring, and alerts costs $5-$15 monthly per user.
  • Installation – Professional installation for a robust security system with multiple components averages $200 to $1,000 based on the system scale and complexity. DIY installation saves on labor but requires skill.
  • Activation and setup fees – One-time startup and activation costs range from $50 to $150+ depending on the monitoring options chosen.
  • Ongoing professional monitoring – 24/7 professional alarm monitoring averages $15 to $60 per month depending on response features.

More robust systems with numerous cameras, sensors, and home automation capabilities cost more upfront given the expanded equipment required. But the monthly expenses for professional monitoring and maintenance scale based on your desired features and level of monitored response.

Recurring Monthly Costs and Essential Services

Beyond just the initial equipment purchase and basic installation, you’ll incur ongoing recurring monthly and annual costs with your home security system:

  • Professional monitoring – To enable emergency dispatch, system control, and video streaming capabilities in the event of a break-in or alarm incident, professional monitoring by a home security provider ranges from $15 up to $60+ per month, scaling with the number of surveillance cameras and level of monitoring response. This is arguably the most essential ongoing service to activate, providing you invaluable 24/7 access to emergency personnel. But monitoring plans with fewer included features cost less.
  • System maintenance – Most home security providers offer maintenance plans or service contracts to keep your system properly functioning with routine inspections, testing, and troubleshooting for $100 to $200 per year on average, sometimes with discounts for upfront annual payment. Tuning and servicing ensures faults are detected and prevented.
  • Security software updates – To keep the system firmware and security monitoring app up-to-date, software update plans generally cost $50 to $150 annually. This maintenance keeps your equipment and connectivity current. Lack of updates leaves systems vulnerable.
  • Component replacements – As security cameras, motion sensors, and other system hardware age after 3-5 years of use, replacement or upgrades cost several hundred dollars per device. Budgeting $500 to $1,000 every few years for system enhancements keeps your setup effective.

Factor both the monthly costs of professional monitoring and maintenance as well as eventual system upgrades into your home security budget. Ongoing costs enable you to reap continued benefits and value from your system over time.

You might also like our articles about the costs of a car alarm installation, remote starter installation, or garage door opener.

DIY vs Hiring a Professional

When installing your home security equipment, you have two primary options – either take a DIY approach to self-install a system, or pay a professional installer for full setup and configuration.

  • DIY installation – Opting to install a system yourself saves significantly on labor since you won’t be paying an installer’s hourly rate. But it requires having the technical knowledge and abilities to properly position, wire, and connect components and the control panel yourself. DIY installation works better for simple setups with just a few key devices.
  • Professional installation – Paying an experienced home security contractor to handle the entire installation process typically costs $200 to $1,000+ depending on the system scale and complexity. But it ensures proper positioning of cameras, seamless integration of sensors with alarm panels, appropriate wiring and connections, and full programming for your components. Professional installation gives you a worry-free setup process and better overall security for more advanced systems.

Evaluate your own DIY skills and system complexity to determine if professional installation may be worth the added investment in your situation. In most cases, the peace of mind and enhanced functionality you gain with pro installation makes it very worthwhile for your property’s protection.

Selecting a Cost-Effective Home Security System

Cute Security CameraFollow this advice for choosing a reasonably priced home security system tailored to your budget:

  • Get multiple quotes from at least 3 reputable local security companies to compare pricing for equipment bundles, installation rates, monitoring plans, and maintenance.
  • Consider a modular, build-as-you-go system that allows you to add capabilities over time – invest in cameras first, then expand with sensors.
  • Opt for professional monitoring services for enhanced protection, but cut unused supplementary features like home automation or environmental alerts to save on monthly costs.
  • Bundle your new security system purchase and installation with your existing in-home smart devices for integrated ecosystem discounts.
  • Take advantage of any available tax credits, rebates, seasonal sales, or special discounts from companies to maximize savings on equipment.
  • Discuss your budget and needs transparently with providers to customize the ideal system for you. Be open to phasing upgrades over time.

With the right strategic planning tailored to your budget, you can successfully build a customized home security system that checks all of your essential boxes for safety and security protection without going over your spending comfort zone. Protecting your home valuables, family, and peace of mind is truly priceless.

Future-Proofing Your System

To ensure your home security investment sustains long-term value and effectiveness:

  • Discuss technology roadmaps and equipment lifespans with providers to budget wisely for eventual upgrades.
  • Enable remote security software and firmware updates to keep devices working at peak performance and avoid falling behind.
  • Set aside $500-$1,000 every 3-5 years for proactive camera and sensor replacements or enhancements.
  • Take advantage of any included device warranty coverage, maintenance benefits, or tech refresh perks included in monitoring plans.

Ongoing maintenance and periodic upgrades maximize your system’s lifespan and capabilities while minimizing unexpected costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are home security systems worth it?

Absolutely. Well-designed systems matched with 24/7 professional monitoring and emergency dispatch access effectively deter crime, reduce losses, quickly summon first responders during emergencies, and provide invaluable peace of mind for most homeowners.

Just be sure to select equipment and features prudently for your unique needs so you don’t overspend on unnecessary bells and whistles.

What are the disadvantages of home security system?

Upfront costs, complexity, false alarms, and ongoing monthly fees for monitoring and maintenance are some potential downsides. Carefully planning your equipment package, monitoring level, and budget while avoiding unnecessary extras helps minimize any drawbacks so you reap maximum security benefits.

Also ensure proper setup and training during installation.

Do burglar alarms really work?

Today’s reliable, professionally monitored home security systems are proven to be extremely effective. Studies show homes with monitored systems experience significantly fewer break-in attempts compared to homes without security systems.

Visible outdoor cameras and alarm warning signs also effectively deter potential burglars. Just be sure to choose a reputable system and activate 24/7 professional monitoring, and you can expect a high level of property and family protection.

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