Our editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, ZDNet may earn a commission.

The best cheap home security company

We evaluated four cheap home security companies and considered price, customer service, installation, and standout features to help you find the best value for your budget.

Protecting your home shouldn't cost a fortune. Thanks to evolving technologies and competitive markets, it's now possible to get cheap home security systems that deliver great performance for the price. But who comes out ahead? We evaluated four cheap home security companies and considered price, customer service, installation, and standout features to help you find the best value for your budget.

Best cheap home security companies comparison 

Self-monitor Price starting at

Pro-monitor Price starting at

Cost for Entry-level device kit

Installation options

abode

Free

$20/month

$199

DIY/Professional

Ring

$3/month

$10/month

$239

DIY/Professional

Cove

$15/month

$25/month

$122

DIY

SimpliSafe

$25/month

$25/month

$161

DIY/Professional

*Data as of 04/27/20

Abode

Best overall home automation security company

abode-home-security.png
Abode

Pros:

  • Super-low pricing tiers
  • Plan flexibility
  • Extensive compatibility

Cons:

  • Traditional high rate for professional installation
  • Pushy online order experience

Contract and Price

Abode offers two plans for cheap home security:

  • Standard Plan: $6/month for self-monitoring plus home automation
  • Pro Plan: $20/month for professional monitoring

The entry-level Abode device kit costs $199 and includes one gateway, mini door/window sensor, motion sensor, key fob, and a "Secured By Abode" sticker. All systems are compatible with popular smart home technologies, including Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT controls. This is where Abode excels: above-average home automation support.

Abode's Standard Plan offers one-touch arm/disarm, push alerts to your mobile device, email notifications, and home automation support. Upgrading to the Pro Plan gets you professional monitoring, cellular support, free shipping, and access to exclusive deals and discounts. 

You can also choose to self-monitor your system with no monthly cost, but home automation support isn't included. Security systems from Abode come with a 30-day trial period, and the company doesn't require a contract.

Customer service

Abode is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has a "C" rating from the organization, but earns 4 out of 5 stars from customer reviews. Need support? Get help with Abode's in-depth online help database, which includes advice for installation, mobile issues, and billing, or you can call them directly.

Installation Options

Abode offers two options: DIY or professional install. DIY is straightforward with solid online support, but it's worth noting that professional install is on par with bigger companies like ADT and starts at just $99.

Amazon Ring

Best for cheap, professional monitoring services

amazon-ring.jpg
Amazon Ring

Pros:

  • Affordable monitoring options
  • Industry-leading devices
  • Good compatibility

Cons:

  • Expensive equipment
  • Low ratings on app

Contract and Price

Ring offers two paid plans for home security:

  • Protect Basic Plan: $3/month for access to all motion and live view events for 60 days
  • Protect Plus Plan:  $10/month for 24/7 professional monitoring

The basic five-piece Ring kit costs around $239 and includes a base station, contact sensor, motion detector, keypad, and range extender. If you don't want to pay a monthly fee, you can self-monitor for free, but you won't get access to stored alert data. 

The Basic plan gives you 60 days of stored security access plus snapshot capture, while the Plus plan gets you professional monitoring and 10% off Ring products. This is the company's strong point: $10/month for professional monitoring outperforms the competition. Ring plans don't require a contract, and Ring offers a 30-day trial period.

Customer Service

Ring currently has an "A+" Rating with the BBB, and the company's accreditation is pending. If customers need help, they can head over to Ring's website and search the in-depth knowledge base or join the active Ring community

Installation Options

Ring offers both DIY and professional installation. While its install services are cheaper than Abode, Ring's starter kit is one of the most expensive on the market -- easy self-installation plus cheap professional monitoring are what earn Ring a spot on our list.


Pros:

  • Low-cost equipment
  • Pay over time with contract
  • The long trial period, lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • No professional installation

Contract and Price

Cove offers two paid plans:

  • Cove Basic: $15/month for 24/7 live alarm monitoring and environmental monitoring
  • Cove Plus: $25/month for smartphone control along with a lifetime rate-lock guarantee for monitoring

There are no contracts for Cove systems, and you have 60 days to try Cove risk-free. While plans from Cove occupy the middle ground in terms of pricing and features, the company excels when it comes to affordable and customizable home security kits. Just over $122 gets you a security suite designed to meet your needs rather than a generic product package.

Customer Service

Cove has been accredited with the BBB since 2019, and the company maintains an "A" rating along with 4 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews. If you need help, Cove offers a simple-to-use online database that covers questions about setting up your system, basic use, troubleshooting, and frequently asked questions.

Installation Options

Installation from Cove is exclusively DIY. Its customizable systems are designed for easy installation and setup, along with support for both Google and Amazon home automation tools.

SimpliSafe

Best cheap equipment bundle

simplisafe.jpg
Shutterstock

Pros:

  • Low-priced basic package
  • Strong app

Cons:

  • DIY system-control comes at full price

Contract and Price

SimpliSafe offers two professionally monitored plans:

  • Standard: $15/month for 24/7 monitoring and dispatch, along with built-in cellular connections
  • Interactive: $25/month for 24/7 fire monitoring and emergency medical dispatch, along with on-demand video recording

SimpliSafe is another provider that does not require any contracts and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. At $161, its basic equipment bundle isn't the cheapest but offers the best mix of devices to protect your home ASAP fully. 

While you can pass on professional monitoring, you won't get video recording, home automation, or water damage monitoring. It's worth noting, however, that SimpliSafe's security app is highly rated on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Customer Service

If you need help, reach out to SimpliSafe via email or call the company's support line. You can also check out SimpliSafe's user forums to answer common questions or download user manuals online. SimpliSafe has been accredited with the BBB since 2013 and has an "A+" rating.

Installation Options

Opt for easy self-installation of your SimpliSafe devices, or you can choose to pay a professional. If cost is your main concern, self-monitored and DIY installation is the cheapest security option. If you're willing to spend a little upfront, the professionally monitored plan and professional install will increase your home security overall.

How we chose the best cheap home security systems

To create our list of companies with the best cheap home security systems, we compared providers across four key areas: price, customer service, installation options, and areas of expertise to help you find the best fit for your home security solution.

FAQs

What's the best cheap home security company?

It depends on your needs. If the most cost-effective kit is your priority, choose a company like Cove. If low-cost monitoring matters, go with Ring.

Do cheap home security companies require a contract?

Cheap home security companies like Abode, Ring, Cove, and SimpliSafe don't require a contract.

How much does a cheap home security system cost?

Cost depends on what you're willing to spend on monitoring and devices. Cove comes in with the cheapest kit at $122, while Ring's professional monitoring is just $10/month.