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They say home is where the heart is, but home is also where your family, pets and possessions reside. Keeping those things safe is a top priority for most people, but these days, security involves much more than deadbolts and loud alarm systems. Over the last several years, smart technology has changed the face of the home security market. You now have the ability to monitor your home with cameras and lock a door with a tap of your finger — even when you are not at home. While these technological advances are great, combing through the options to choose the best home security system can feel like a big undertaking. The following overview will help you make a more informed choice on how to secure your home affordably.
Cheap home security systems
Many families are put off by home security because of all the fancy and elaborate options available. Others might think it’s extraordinarily expensive to outfit a home with effective safety devices. But the truth is that there are cheap ways to secure your home. Here are a few of the top-rated home security products on Amazon under $300.
SimpliSafe 8-Piece Wireless Home Security System
- Average cost: $167–$239.99
- Rating: 4.6 stars
The SimpliSafe 8-Piece Wireless Home Security System includes one base station, one keypad, one motion sensor, one panic button and four entry sensors. You only need access to a power source and Wi-Fi to use it. The DIY system has a mobile app that connects to the security device and allows you to monitor your home while you’re away, including arming and disarming it. You’ll get one free month of professional monitoring at the time of setup, and after that, the Standard Monitoring plan is $19.99 per month. This system is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well.
Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit
- Average cost: $199.99
- Rating: 4.7 stars
The Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit features one base station, one keypad, one contact sensor, one motion detector and one range extender. Professional monitoring costs $20 per month, but you don’t need it to use the sensors and base station to monitor activity at your home. The smart wireless system is compatible with Alexa, and you can download the free app to monitor and communicate with your Ring devices from almost anywhere.
- Average cost: $39.99
- Rating: 4.5 stars
The SOVMIKU CG6 is a solar-powered security camera that is fit for outdoor use and includes motion sensors. The camera also has two-way audio, so you can use the connected mobile app to speak to anyone standing near the device. Other features include monocrystalline silicon solar panels, infrared sensors, an audible flashlight alarm and color night vision. The 2K 3-megapixel camera boasts great resolution, per the company.
GRSICO Wi-Fi Alarm System
- Average cost: $79.99
- Rating: 4.2 stars
The GRSICO Wi-Fi Alarm System provides home security on a budget and is great for people who live in an apartment or rent a house. The nine-piece kit includes one alarm station, four door and window sensors, two remote controls, one motion detector and one keypad. You can expand the system later if you want — it supports up to 20 sensors and five remotes. This alarm system is compatible with Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant, as well.
MIHANI Solar Lights
- Average cost: $33.99–$39.99
- Rating: 4.4 stars
The MIHANI Solar Lights may provide cheap home security if you need to illuminate your backyard, driveway and other dark corners of your property. This lighting setup has three light panels that use LED high-brightness lamp beads, a solar panel with built-in tempered glass and a remote control. All components are weather-resistant, per the company. The lights have a motion detector feature, but you can also enable “permanent on all night mode” if desired.
Other ways to secure your home
Of course, getting one of the best cheap security systems is just the start when it comes to securing your home. There are other ways to deter would-be vandals by signaling that your house is not a good target. The following tips may prove helpful in securing a new home or upgrading the security at an existing residence.
- Keep a large dog bowl on your porch. Criminals would rather vandalize a home that doesn’t have any pets, so if they see evidence that you have a dog, they may think again before stepping onto your property.
- Put up fake security cameras or a home security sign. Any indication your property is under surveillance — even dummy cameras or fake signs — can help deter criminals.
- Invest in solar outdoor lights. Skip the extra utility bill and add some solar lights to the exterior of your property, adding a brightly lit backdrop to your residence.
- Get to know your neighbors. Your next-door neighbors can be your best home security system because they will most likely notice if something is amiss. Neighbors can provide immediate assistance if necessary and can also check in on your home when you are away.
- Trick intruders with noise or timed lights. Use Alexa or another smart device to turn on your stereo or TV to make thieves think people are home. Smart lighting technology can achieve the same goal.
Can you get a home insurance discount for a security system?
Installing security alarms and lights can be more beneficial than you might think. In addition to the peace of mind it offers, security systems may also lower your monthly home insurance premiums. Because a security system mitigates the risk of property damage and theft, some insurance companies reward customers with special discounts for installing such devices.
If you purchase a home security system, be sure to inform your insurance agent as soon as possible. While companies don’t advertise specific discounts, Consumer Reports found that insurance companies in some states offer discounts between 2 to 5 percent for burglar alarms and other features. In addition to earning a discount for a burglar alarm, you may also get a reduced premium for having fire alarms and deadbolts.
Which companies offer discounts on home insurance for security systems?
Most major home insurance companies include security system discounts in their list of possible premium reductions. Depending on the company, you may be able to combine this discount with promotions for policy bundles and more.
Some major insurance companies that advertise discounts for installing a security system include:
The bottom line
No matter where you live, you don’t have to break the bank to secure your home. Whether you are looking for a simple outdoor camera by your entry points or want a comprehensive system, smart home technology has created tons of innovative options. Investing in your home’s security is just a matter of considering your budget and deciding which one is best for you.
Frequently asked questions
It’s possible to get a DIY home security system for under $100. Companies like GRSICO make multi-piece kits that include features like door alarms and window sensors that are very affordable. If you also want cameras, upgrading to a system from companies like Ring or SimpliSafe can still come in under $300. Keep in mind that if you want a system that offers professional monitoring, there will likely be an additional monthly fee.
Yes, it is possible to purchase a security camera without professional monitoring. Even major brands like Ring don’t require you to pay for 24/7 monitoring. Many cameras can be paired with a free smartphone app so you can do your own monitoring for free.