The In-Depth Guide to Home Security System Costs

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Whether you’ve already decided you want a security system or you are just starting to explore your options, you have probably asked yourself, “How much does home security cost?”

With so many companies, options, and products available, there’s a wide range when it comes to costs and ongoing charges for home security systems. The good news is that with such a wide range, there are systems that fit most peoples’ budgets.

Let’s dive into some of the costs you can expect with a professionally monitored security system.

First things first – getting the quote Getting a quote is the first and most important step. And, fortunately, it’s usually free.

Getting a quote is important because most security companies will advertise a starting price that includes their basic monitoring or equipment costs. This number likely doesn’t include the additional costs of equipment, upgrades, or other customizations you may want to add.

By getting a quote, you can get a more accurate picture of what your unique security system will cost.

Vivint truck parked on neighborhood street.

Costs to expect

The costs of a home alarm system can basically be broken into three main categories: equipment, installation, and monthly monitoring.

Security system equipment costs

The products you choose will probably be the biggest overall cost of your alarm system. The devices in a security system are available for a wide range of prices. The cost differences depend on how advanced the technology and capabilities of each piece of equipment are.

Security sensors and alarms All security systems include basic components that you’ll need to protect and monitor your home. Some of these might include:

  • Door and window sensors that sound an alarm if opened when the security system is set
  • Motion sensors that detect movement inside the home
  • Glass break sensors that trigger the alarm if a window is broken
  • Safety alarms, such as fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Security system sensors and panels are often sold as a bundle for an upfront or discounted price, but they can also be purchased a la carte. You may also choose to add sensors (think door or window sensors) to your security system. If they are not included in an equipment bundle, they will come at an additional cost.

Security cameras

Your security system might also include cameras, and this is where you’ll probably find the largest range in cost. Cameras can range from very affordable to hundreds of dollars each, depending on whether you are buying an indoor camera or a weatherproof outdoor camera, black and white or color, 720p or HD clarity, extra wide lens or smaller field of vision, and on and on.

Depending on your home and needs, this is one area you might want to splurge on. For example, if you are concerned with proactively protecting the outside of your home and driveway, it makes sense to spend a little more on a state-of-the-art camera like the Outdoor Camera Pro, which auto-records when someone is spotted, then deters lurkers by playing a warning tone.

Locks and garage door protection

Your doors are some of the most vulnerable spots in your home, so making sure they’re secure is an essential part of a security system. Smart locks and garage door control can also be added to the cost to your system.

young girl using Vivint smart lock.

Security system installation costs

Installing a complete home security system isn’t something you have to do alone—in fact, most security companies (aside from those that are marketed specifically to DIYers) will require their technicians to install your system. This is a good thing. Professional installation ensures all your devices are installed correctly, wires are expertly hidden, your devices work together, and that your sensors and cameras are placed at the best possible vantage point.

Vivint offers free professional installation by Smart Home Pros—our trained and licensed technicians—on all systems. For other companies, professional installation will often have a cost associated with it, so you can expect to pay between $100 and $250 on average. More complex setups or lots of additional equipment might be more than that (another reason a quote is important to get an accurate idea). Some companies will offer promotions for discounted installation.

Smart Home Pro installing an outdoor camera.

Security system monthly monitoring and subscriptions costs

All professionally monitored security systems will include a monthly fee to monitor the alarm system. This is an integral part of your security system and ensures you’ll quickly get the help you need in the event of a break-in, fire, or other emergency.

If you build a system that includes add-ons such as medical alert monitoring or smart home automation, you can expect the monthly price to increase as well. Some companies also charge activation fees.

Video Storage

If you have security cameras, video storage will be essential. It used to be that security cameras stored recorded footage on SD memory cards within the camera. Now, however, most cameras store footage in the cloud. This allows you to store significantly more footage than a camera could hold and ensures important footage or moments aren’t erased. Cloud storage also makes it easy for you to access your footage from any device or computer.

You can expect to pay an additional monthly fee for video storage and playback. This is very similar to the upgraded cloud storage costs you would purchase for your cell phone or Google Drive.

Customizations and add-ons

Another cost to anticipate is any additional customizations or add-ons that the security company provides that make sense for your home. A few examples of these include:

  • Vehicle protection like Car Guard, that extends your home security protection to your vehicles
  • Medical alert pendants for emergencies
  • Additional security cameras throughout your home
  • Home automation devices, like smart thermostats and smart lighting
  • Water sensors to monitor for leaks around appliances
Vivint water sensor on bathroom floor.
Vivint water sensors help protect your home from water damage.

Home security packages

If it seems like the costs are starting to add up, keep in mind that most companies offer packages at various price points. These range from basic monitoring and equipment to complete smart home security systems with all the bells and whistles.

Questions to consider

Before you sign on the dotted line with any security company, make sure you have a good understanding of charges and policies. As you begin to weigh your options, questions you’ll want to ask your sales rep include:

  • Do you charge an activation fee?
  • How much is installation?
  • Is there a monthly fee associated with using your app?
  • What are the warranties for each product?
  • If I move in the middle of my contract, can I transfer my system to my new home? Is there a cost associated with it?
  • Can I finance my equipment, or do I need to purchase it upfront?

Bottom line—can you afford a security system?

If you’re wondering whether you can afford a security system, the answer is yes! Vivint provides flexibility and a wide range of options to help you manage the cost, including:

  • Starter, Premium, and Premium Plus packages that come at various price points
  • Customization options to ensure your system fits your needs and budget
  • Consumer financing that allows you to get the system you want with little to no upfront costs
  • Option for rolling equipment costs into monthly payments
  • Free professional installation
  • No-cost activation

Contact Vivint East Dallas for a free consultation

The best security system for your home is a consultation away. Contact our Smart Home Pros at 214.842.6468 today and build a custom alarm system that fits your needs and budget.

About the Author

Paul Joyner

Paul Joyner

Paul Joyner is the Area Smarthome Pro Manager. He has been working with Vivint for nearly 10 years and is well known for his knowledge and expertise of Smarthome and Security for both Small Businesses and Residential.

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