Finding A Home Security System That Won’t Break the Bank

Girl Saving Money With Family At The Back

Short of installing a moat that’s patrolled by alligators, a home security system is the next best option. But, if you’ve shopped around for a home security system, you already know how expensive it can be to secure your home and belongings. Aside from the initial cost for the equipment and installation, you can be locked into a contract that charges upwards of $500 per month for monitoring.

If you’re like the majority of Americans, budget is one of the most important concerns when it comes to investing in a home security system. For this reason, we’ve compared some of the cheapest home security systems in Houston. In this list, we’ll take a look at activation fees, monitoring costs, and the most cost effective package deal.

It’s important to note that the cheapest price may not be the most valuable. Sometimes, companies may waive an activation fee, but charge a hefty equipment fee. Or, some companies provide equipment for free as long as you sign a lengthy contract. We’ve taken all of these factors into our rankings. The companies aren’t order by their monthly monitoring costs, but by the total out-of-pocket costs you’d pay for a year of service. Remember, that some monitoring companies require a three year contract.

Let’s get started.


SimpliSafe is an affordable home security system with one major benefit: no contract. You can cancel service at any time without worrying about being locked into a several year long agreement.

SimpliSafe offers three monitoring plans, ranging from $14.99 per month to $24.99 per month. All three plans work over a cellular connection, which means that you don’t need a landline to connect to the monitoring center. All options include 24/7 live alarm monitoring.

The most inexpensive option includes burglary, fire, carbon monoxide, freeze, and flood monitoring.

The mid-level plan is called “Alert” and it’s available at $19.99 per month. Alert includes everything from the base plan, with additional email and SMS alerts.

The most expensive plan is the “Interactive” plan for $24.99 per month. Including everything from the Alert plan, Interactive also includes secret sensors that alert you if someone’s opens your medicine, liquor, or jewelry cabinets. You can also access and manage your control system settings online, such as adding or removing sensors, adding PINs, and view home temperatures.

For the 5-piece Starter Package, you pay $229.96. Included in this price is 1 base station, 1 wireless keypad, 1 motion sensor, 1 entry sensor, 1 free keychain remote, 1 yard sign, 2 decals, 5 year batteries and adhesive strips. You can add additional equipment a la carte.

Together with the monthly fee of $14.99 per month, expect to pay $179.88 + $229.96, for a total of 409.84 for your first year of service with SimpliSafe. Because this fee includes the one time starter package costs of $229.96, you can expect the lower rate of $179.88 for subsequent years of using the SimpliSafe service.

Smith Monitoring

Texas’ own, Smith Monitoring, offers home security system monitoring for an affordable monthly rate of $17.95 per month. Smith Monitoring actually provides five different monitoring plans, and each have their own set of pros and cons. Because we’re focusing primarily on budget, let’s look at the base package.

The basic “Home Security” monitoring solution from Smith Monitoring is $17.95 per month, and requires a 36 month agreement. The activation and installation fees are waived, but Smith Monitoring can also monitor your existing system.

The fee you’ll pay for one year of service with Smith Monitoring is $215.40. It may be more expensive than some of the other offerings, but you will benefit from local service with industry leading response time, and quick installation (within 24 hours). Frequently, Smith Monitoring offers promotional codes to minimize your costs.

Alarm Relay

Alarm Relay offers one of the most inexpensive monitoring solutions on the market. At the crazy low price of $8.95 per month, you receive 24/7 monitoring from a UL certified central station.

Alarm Relay is an alarm monitoring service, and works with multiple home alarm systems, including DSC, Visonic, Caddx, HAI, and Napco. If you already have a home alarm system, Alarm Relay may be the most affordable option. It’s also a great choice if you live in an apartment with a pre-installed alarm system.

You pay the monthly fee for the entire year upfront. It will be $107.40 for the year, with an additional one time administration fee of $35, giving you a grand total of $142.40.

Protect America

Protect America is one of our favorite budget-friendly options for home security system monitoring. The monthly fee includes the necessary security equipment and a locked-in rate. Plans range from $19.99 per month to $42.99 per month. Installation fees are waived for each plan. Other benefits of Protect America is that it is 100% wireless, and provides a lifetime warranties on their equipment.
The most budget conscious plan is the Copper package, that provides 24/7 monitoring, a control panel, 3 door or window sensors, and a motion detector for the rate of $19.99 per month.

Expect to pay $239.40 for the first year, but keep in mind that equipment is already provided for you at that cost.


Each plan has pros and cons, but when budget is the most important consideration in choosing your home security system, any of these choices will provide you with 24/7 monitoring. And, each plan is scalable, so if you’d like to add more comprehensive protection, you can easily do so.

Now that you’ve taken a look at four different home alarm monitoring solutions, which one is your favorite?