Calculating Your Home Security Cost
Having a home security system is a good thing. It increases the thief’s risk of being seen or caught and the homeowner’s sense of peace. On average, a burglary happens every 30 seconds, but you’re 300% less likely to be targeted if you have a security system installed. In fact, 60% of burglars say they move on to another property if they find a system in place and most admit that an alarm going off sends them scurrying away.
The effectiveness of security systems and devices is obvious. But what does home security cost, truly? How much can you expect to spend on equipment, monitoring, maintenance, and more?
And is it worth it?
The True Cost of Home Security
First, a caveat: it’s difficult to tally a total home security cost that applies to everyone. Your security needs depend on the size of your property, the safety of your area, how many entryways your home has, and more.
Knowing this, we’ll look at the average costs of security devices and services for a typical 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom single-family home. Keep in mind that these figures may need to be adjusted up or down for your specific home.
Home Security Prices: The Hardware
When you’re creating the perfect security setup, certain devices appear again and again. You’re likely to select some combination of security cameras, motion detectors, door and window sensors, floodlights, keypad, hub, a doorbell camera, glass break sensors, sirens, and maybe even integrated smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, and water monitors. Do you need it all? That’s for you to decide based on your needs and your budget.
Let’s dive into the average cost of security system devices for our 3-bedroom home. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for our data sources.
Many security providers have pre-packaged starter bundles that include the basic, most common items. These bundles are a good starting point if you don’t know exactly what you want. However, you might pay for devices your home doesn’t need. Or even worse, you could accidentally forgo critical items and leave your home vulnerable.
Among the most popular security providers, bundles range in price from $99 at the low end to $909 for more robust offerings. Most packages will cost at least several hundred dollars. The average cost of a bundle for our fictional home is approximately $390. That might get you a hub, 2-3 entryway sensors, a door panel, a simple wireless camera, a yard sign, and maybe a few additional items like motion or glass break sensors. If your needs differ from the standard packages, as most homeowners discover, you’ll want to build your own setup by purchasing individual devices.
SAMPLE HOME COST: $390
Instead, the homeowners of our fictional home are going to opt for a la carte devices to create a security plan that suits their needs.
Every excellent security system is built around a quality security camera. You can choose between indoor or outdoor, wired or wireless, with or without two-way audio, and with or without integrated floodlight. Cameras with more features have a higher price point, generally speaking.
Indoor cameras offered by popular brands range from $20 to $100, averaging about $70 per camera. Indoor/outdoor or true outdoor cameras tend to cost more because of the more rigorous technical demands. These range from $40 to $280, with the average price around $145. But remember, the more you’re willing to invest, the more useful features your cameras will have. Deep Sentinel’s newly upgraded outdoor wireless cameras, for example, fall near the middle of the market price range and incorporate both two-way audio and an LED floodlight.
So, how many cameras do you need? And what kind? Well, there should be at least one outdoor camera per entry door. You may also want an indoor camera for each area that warrants special attention, such as a nursery, a hallway that gets a lot of traffic, a garage with lots of “toys,” or a room containing valuables. So, for our example home, that might mean 3 outdoor cameras and 2 indoor cameras, which means our homeowners could expect to pay $575 for their security camera setup.
SAMPLE HOME COST: $575
Many security cameras have built-in motion sensors in order to record on demand. But if your selected camera doesn’t have that feature—or if you simply want additional coverage—you’ll need a standalone motion detector. Some are pet-friendly, meaning they don’t trigger when your dog walks by, and some incorporate other sensors like light. Other than that, the features are roughly the same across the board.
As a result, there isn’t a huge price variation among popular brands of motion sensors. They range from $9 to $40, with most costing $30 per sensor. Providers recommend a motion sensor for rooms with three or more windows, so our fictional homeowners might only need 2 sensors for $60 total.
SAMPLE HOME COST: $60
Window and Door Sensors
More than half of burglars gain access via a door or ground-floor window. Make sure they’re locked!
But even a locked window or door is not always going to stop a determined thief. That’s when a window/door sensor proves invaluable. Simple by design and easy to install, these sensors provide a lot of peace of mind for an affordable price. Consider getting one for each entry door and ground-level window.
Sensors from top-selling brands run anywhere from $8 to $50 per sensor and are often available in multi-packs at a lower per-unit cost. Some sensors require a central hub or panel at an additional cost, although this might integrate with other security devices from the same provider. A typical 3-bedroom home will likely need 6 sensors at around $20 each to cover ground-floor doors and windows. Of course, this number would change depending on the configuration of the home (e.g. ranch vs. two-story).
SAMPLE HOME COST: $120
You can and should install a security camera aimed at your front door. There are also plenty of high-quality cameras specifically designed to record and engage with people at your doorstep. Depending on the security cameras you choose and where you put them, consider a doorbell camera optional.
Popular options range in price from $50 to $350. Some differences between models at different price points are power source (wired vs. wireless), video quality, and smart home integration. In general, you can expect to pay about $125 for a decent doorbell camera.
SAMPLE HOME COST: $125
Burglars prefer the cover of darkness. Adequate lighting around your property—especially motion-activated—goes a long way. Many providers offer cameras with built-in floodlights, but if you’re looking for a standalone version, there are plenty of motion-activated security light options on the market.
You can buy directly from a security company or from Amazon or another retailer. In any case, you’ll probably pay about $50 per light. Let’s say our fictional home needs two floodlights—one for the driveway and one for the backyard.
SAMPLE HOME COST: $100
Some security companies offer products that are fast and easy to install yourself. Peel and stick or simple mounts are common. But some providers may offer or even require a professional installation, especially for wired systems.
If installation costs are not included, you can expect to pay around $100. Our fictional homeowners chose a DIY system, so they don’t have to pay for a professional installer.
SAMPLE HOME COST: $0
Home Security Monitoring Cost
Security system monitoring comes in two main varieties: self-monitoring and remote monitoring. Do you want to manage system alerts and interact with visitors or intruders yourself? Or do you want someone else to handle it? Many providers offer both options.
This is a great example of “you get what you pay for.” If you go for low-cost self-monitoring, you’ll get some basic tools like recording history and file storage. These service plans start around $70 per year on the low end. Remote monitoring, which can cost $500 or more annually, lets you hand over the reins. This is particularly helpful when you’re away from home or unable to answer an alert. However, understand that most remote monitoring companies like ADT simply wait for an alarm and then call you or your emergency contacts to find out what the trouble is (if there is any). You still have to play an active role in keeping your home safe.
For maximum protection, get 24/7 professional coverage with live video surveillance. No other home security company protects you like Deep Sentinel. Real-time artificial intelligence analyzes your camera footage to identify threats, engaging the services of a live guard within moments. That’s real protection, far beyond what other “professional monitoring” companies can offer.
Keep in mind that the provider you choose will likely only monitor its own brand of devices. In other words, if you choose Brand X cameras, you’ll need to use Brand X’s monitoring services. Once you have selected and installed your security devices, monitoring will be the only major ongoing investment to keep your home and your family safe. If there’s one place where it’s wise not to skimp, this is it!
Our fictional homeowners are going to choose professional monitoring, which will cost about $300 each year.
SAMPLE HOME COST: $300/YEAR
Total Home Security Cost
Let’s see what our homeowners will pay to protect their 3-bedroom home for the first year.
These items and services represent a holistic security setup for a single-family home. There are plenty of other products you could add, like acoustic glass break sensors, key fobs, keypads, or smoke and carbon monoxide monitors, but we’re going to skip them for our purposes here to keep things simple.
So, our homeowners will pay approximately $1,280 in their first year. Toss in another $20 to cover basic maintenance like replacement batteries or lightbulbs, and that gives us a total home security system cost of $1,300. In future years, their security setup will only cost $300 annually—not bad for thorough protection and peace of mind.
It’s easy to see how this number can be tweaked, depending on your budget. Start with redundancies: Do you need both a video doorbell and a front-door security camera? What about eliminating motion sensors in a room where you have door sensors? Can you use cameras with floodlights and forgo standalone lights? There are plenty of ways you can cut costs without meaningfully weakening your home’s protection.
Is Home Security Worth the Cost?
Consider this: According to FBI property crime statistics, the average loss per burglary is $2,661. That’s more than double our first-year total. Spend $1,300 now to protect you and yours—dropping to just the cost of monitoring starting in year 2—or $2,661 later replacing everything stolen. That’s not to mention irreplaceable items like family heirlooms.
Plus, the cost of becoming a burglary victim runs much deeper than the value of stolen items. You may incur legal fees dealing with the issue in court, particularly if violence was involved. Your insurance premiums might increase, and you’ll be responsible for paying the deductible for any claims. If any doors or windows were broken, they need to be repaired. You’ll spend valuable time—hours, days, weeks—tracking down or replacing what was taken.
Most importantly, a break-in compromises your sense of safety and your family’s emotional well-being. Investing in home security means protecting yourself from stress, trauma, and psychological harm. How much is that worth to you?
When you consider all the risks involved, a thorough home security setup is well worth the money.
Other Factors Beyond Cost
As you might imagine, cost is only one consideration when designing your home security setup. It’s tempting to go with bargain options. The market is flooded with offerings, and some well-known providers have made a name for themselves by offering products and services at an appealingly low price point. So why shouldn’t you choose the cheapest offering?
Traditional alarm companies and low-cost security providers can be rife with issues.
- False alarms: Traditional security systems are notoriously prone to false alarms. As in, up to 98% of alarms are unnecessary. Even modern security devices like doorbell cameras are widely known to trigger any time there’s movement nearby, even if it’s just the mail carrier. With the bargain options, you’ll spend your day sifting through alerts and notifications.
- Response times: With self-monitored security, the homeowner is solely responsible for how quickly the police arrive. If you’re unable to respond to an alert, your low-cost system is virtually useless. Even the police response times of popular security providers are not as quick as you might think. More advanced monitoring services like Deep Sentinel can verify crime and contact police on the homeowner’s behalf, saving valuable time.
- Reactive vs. proactive security: Most security is reactive, only becoming useful once someone has broken into your home. That cheap nanny cam might get you a grainy recording of your valuables being stolen to share with police, but that’s about it. Invest more, and you can get security devices that help stop criminals before they enter your property.
- Long-term cost: Ever heard of the “Boots Theory”? If you buy cheap, low-quality items, you’ll end up spending more in the long run on maintenance and replacements compared to spending more upfront on the high-quality option. A great system should last you for years without issues.
- Data breaches: With so many providers breaking into the smart home market, not every company has the means or abilities for foolproof data security. Don’t put your entire home’s data privacy at risk by connecting a cheap camera to your home network.
The safety of your home, your family, and your possessions is an area where you shouldn’t cut corners. Invest in quality home security for the reassurance that comes with having the utmost protection. Deep Sentinel’s home security cameras use AI to prevent false alarms and get a live guard involved faster than any other security provider. The guards proactively stop criminals by engaging with suspects before they can cause trouble. Deep Sentinel is one of the top high-quality security options you should consider when investing in your home’s security.
Sources for Home Security Costs
All prices provided here are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.
- SimpliSafe: Five bundles ranging from $146.98 to $302.92
- ADT: Secure Home package for $599, Smart Home for $849, and Video & Smart Home for $849
- Ring: Alarm Security kit or Alarm Pro Security kit, with bundles ranging from $199.99 to $449.99
- Abode: Gateway hub bundles ranging from $249 to $320 or IOTA hub bundles ranging from $289 to $349
- Frontpoint: Three packages ranging from $99 to $349
- Scout: Four packs ranging from $229 to $549
- Arlo: Bundles ranging from $179.98 to $909.97
- Ring: Outdoor cameras from $199.99 to $269.99, indoor/outdoor cameras from $99.99 to $139.99, and an indoor camera for $59.99
- SimpliSafe: Indoor camera for $99 and an outdoor model for $179.99
- Abode: Indoor/outdoor wireless model currently on sale for $29.99, down from $59.99
- Wyze: Wired cameras from $19.99 to $33.99, a wireless model for $73.99, and lighting cameras from $39.99 to $93.99
- Google Nest: Wired indoor model for $99.99, a wireless indoor/outdoor model for $179.99, and an outdoor wired floodlight model for $279.99
- Arlo: Variety of models, starting with a basic indoor model for $79.99 up to a wireless floodlight model for $229.99
- Scout: Indoor/outdoor camera for $50, including 1 year of cloud storage
- Deep Sentinel: Wireless outdoor floodlight cameras for $200 (pending release), outdoor Power-over-Ethernet equipment available at various price points
- Abode: Standalone motion sensor for $37.99 and a multi-sensor—including motion, temperature, humidity, and light—for $39.99
- Ring: Pet-friendly motion detector for $29.99
- SimpliSafe: Motion sensor for $29.99
- Scout: Sensor with a 90-degree field-of-view for $30
- Frontpoint: Wireless, pet-friendly option for $38.99
- Wyze: These sensors are a budget-friendly $8.99 but do require a Wyze Sense Hub at an additional cost
Window and Door Sensors
- Wyze: These come in a 3-pack for just $23.99 but also require a Wyze Sense Hub
- Scout: 3-in-1 door panel for $50 and access sensors for $20 each
- SimpliSafe: Entry sensors for $14.99 each
- Ring: Window and door contact sensor for $19.99 (6-pack for $99.99) or an outdoor contact sensor for $49.99 (2-pack for $89.99)
- Abode: Various options including the mini window/door sensor for $19.99 (6-pack for $99), a slim strip sensor for $24.99, and a recessed door/window sensor for $24.99
- ADT: Bundles include 3 door/window sensors, and extras are available for $0.83/month
- Frontpoint: Door/window sensors for $19.79 each
- Ring: Wired doorbell for $64.99, 2nd-generation wired or wireless doorbell for $99.99, and pro versions ranging from $139.99 to $349.99
- SimpliSafe: One option for $169
- Google Nest: Wired for $149.99 or wireless for $179.99
- Arlo: Wired for $129.99 or wireless for $179.99
- Scout: Analog video doorbell for $99 or digital version for $106
- Frontpoint: Add a doorbell camera to a build-your-own bundle for $79.20
- Wyze: Budget-friendly version for $42.99 or pro version for $93.99
- Cove: Kami wireless camera is $99 or Skybell wired version for $189
- Blink: Video doorbell with 2-way audio for $49.99
- Ring: Wireless spotlight for $39.99, wireless floodlight for $49.99, wired floodlight for $69.99, and solar floodlight for $89.99
- Amazon: Various brands and styles are available for $50 or less
- Ring: Installation available via their partnership with X Line and OnTech, cost dependent on the package selected but usually around $130
- ADT: Professional installation included with all packages
- Arlo: Installation via OnTech, starting at $99.99
- Cove: Available starting at $79
Home Security Monitoring Cost
- Ring: Basic for $3.99/month ($39.99/year), Plus for $10/month ($100/year), or Pro professional monitoring starting at $20/month ($200/year)
- SimpliSafe: Self-monitoring for $0.33/day ($120/year) or interactive professional monitoring for $0.93/day ($340/year)
- Abode: Standard plan for $0.20/day ($73/year) or pro plan for $0.66/day ($240/year)
- ADT: Professional monitoring plans start at $45.99/month ($552/year)
- Arlo: Secure for $2.99/month for a single camera ($36/year), $9.99/month for multiple cameras ($120/year), or Secure Plus for $14.99/month ($180/year)
- Scout: Always On for $9.99/month ($120/year) or Always On+ with professional monitoring for $19.99/month ($240/year)
- Frontpoint: Professional monitoring for $1.64/day ($599/year)
- Wyze: Home monitoring for $9.99/month ($120/year)