Have you ever thought about installing your own home security system? Taking the security of your residence into your own hands, so to speak, can greatly benefit your wallet.
Money expert Clark Howard says you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to add a security system to your home. In fact, you can probably do it yourself and do it affordably. That’s what Clark did.
“I’m not very capable around the house,” Clark admits. “Even I was able to install a very thorough home security system.”
Clark installed a Ring system in his home a few years ago. He chose Ring because of its low monthly monitoring cost and (of course) because of a great deal he found at Costco. While the Ring systems can have attractive price tags, are they actually effective?
How Much Does a Home Security System Cost?
The home security systems listed below range from a little over $100 to about $300, but the cost can vary based on how many components are involved. Do you need one security camera or three? And how many motion detectors and entry sensors will you buy?
In addition to accessories or third-party add-ons, you’ll also need to determine if paying a monthly or annual fee for professional monitoring services makes financial sense for you.
“So the question is, how good are these home security systems?” Clark asks. To get the answer to that question, we turned to Consumer Reports’ Best Home Security Systems for 2022. (Note: You need a membership to access most of the information on Consumer Reports.)
Consumer Reports tested the systems based on a number of features that it deemed to be “security essentials”:
- Self-monitoring via mobile phone app
- Keypads and key fobs
- E911 (the ability to contact emergency services regardless of your location)
The publication also judged additional security features concerning personal safety, smart home capabilities, motion detection and more.
Let’s look at the best DIY home security systems, according to Consumer Reports. We’ve listed what’s included with each device’s basic package. Consumer Reports says each of these systems also has data security: data privacy, data security, replay disarm signal and jamming resistance. The scores are based on a 100-point scale. Note that all prices below are current as of November 18, 2022.
Report: These Are the Top DIY Home Security Systems
1. Ring Alarm Pro
What’s included: A base station with a built-in eero Wi-Fi 6 router, contact sensor, motion detector, keypad and range extender.
Professional monitoring options: Professional monitoring and backup internet plan optional with a Ring Protect Pro subscription for $20 a month or $200 a year.
2. Kangaroo Front Door Security Kit
Professional monitoring options: Optional 24/7 monitoring is available with Complete Plan option for $99 a year.
3. Ring Alarm Security Kit 4K19SZ-0EN0 (2nd Gen)
What’s included: a base station, keypad, four contact sensors, one motion detector, a range extender and a Ring Indoor Cam.
Professional monitoring options: Professional monitoring is optional with a Ring Protect Pro subscription starting at $20/mo or $200/year.
4. Ecobee Home Security Solution
What’s included: An Ecobee smart camera, two motion sensors and four contact sensors.
Monitoring options: $10/month or $90/year
In the end, Clark chose to purchase a Ring security system because he had other security devices in the Ring ecosystem, which made for great integration. He also couldn’t pass up Costco’s price ($179 at the time) and professional monitoring for $100 a year.
Because prices change all the time, make sure you comparison shop before you buy a home security system. For the latest deals on security systems and other electronics, check out ClarkDeals.com.
Want to know more about buying a home security system? Read our guide on the best DIY home security systems.