Protecting your home from an intruder doesn’t have to kill your budget. Some of the best home security providers offer a cheaper package to fit into your budget. We review the five least expensive systems available and discuss whether they are monitored or not. These security systems are likely to be the most basic offerings a company has with no security cameras, home automation, etc. However, there are some instances that may surprise you – they did us!
Deciding between a or security system is your first and most important decision. It is crucial to understand because different people have different ideas about what a security system must include to be safe.
What Is A Monitored Security System?
Monitored security systems give you extra peace of mind since you are not the person in charge of monitoring your own system (including while you’re away from your home, asleep or showering). Monitored systems have a central monitoring station that contacts you and/or authorities when your system has been triggered for fire, intrusion, etc.
What Types of Monitoring are Available?
There are three types of monitoring: landline phone, broadband Internet and cellular.
What is HardWired/Landline Monitoring?
Systems that are monitored via landline are less expensive than broadband or cellular but they are also not as secure because an intruder can cut your phone line, disarming its communication connection with your system.
What is Broadband Internet Monitoring?
These systems are monitored via your Internet connection. While it is a little tougher with WiFi, thieves can cut these cords also or disconnect your power, resulting in your system being disarmed, making this less secure than cellular. If you go with broadband you’ll want to have a battery backup for your system. These systems typically have a 24 hour battery backup in the case of a power outage or your line being cut.
What is Cellular Monitoring?
Cellular monitoring is the safest type of monitoring available and is what we recommend. These systems communicate with the central monitoring station via cellular signals over a cellular network. These aren’t the same as the network your cellphone is on so don’t worry if you experience dropped calls on your smartphone while you are home. Cellular monitoring is typically more expensive than landline or broadband monitoring but far more secure. Learn more and see our choice for the best cellular monitoring company.
Cheapest Monitored Security Systems
Below are companies who offer low-cost monitored alarm systems that are less than $30/month. They are ordered from least to most expensive.
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Protect America Review
Protect America’s Copper Plan costs .99/month. There are no equipment, activation or installation fees and you are locked into a 36-month contract. There is a lifetime equipment warranty, so should a piece of your system break – Protect America will replace it. Monitoring is done through your landline (aka you must have a landline phone) so this is not a wireless system. Protect America is also our #2 pick for home security system options.
- 1 Simon XT panel
- 3 door/window sensors
- 1 motion detector
Learn more about Protect America’s system by watching this brief overview.
LiveWatch has two equipment packages to choose from: Plug&Protect Basic and Plug&Protect IQ. Both offer 24/7 cellular monitoring for .95/month. The equipment has a 2 year warranty. These systems are 100% wireless but are only available to homeowners. You are not locked in to any contracts so you can cancel anytime.
Plug&Protect Basic Equipment
- $99 equipment cost plus a $19.95 activation fee
- 2 door sensors
- 1 motion sensor
- 1 key fob
- 1 control panel
Plug&Protect IQ Equipment
- $199 with a $19.95 activation fee
- 7″ touchscreen smart panel with a built-in camera
AlarmForce offers a $0 down and $25/month monitoring. They don’t go into detail about what the system consists of, so if you’d like more information we suggest contacting them directly. Their equipment has a lifetime warranty and requires professional installation.
LifeShield’s Security Essentials package is $29.99/month. This company is now owned by DirecTV and requires a 36-month agreement and if you decide to cancel there are early cancelation fees. The package offers 24/7 professional monitoring via broadband Internet with phone backup. If a piece of equipment from your system breaks, Life Shield will replace it at no charge.
- 4 door/window sensors
- 1 security touchpad
- 1 security base and 1 keypad
- 1 keychain remote