What is the Cost of Setting Up a Home Security System in USA?

The stats say that one burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States and the average loss for burglary is over $2200. We can’t stress enough, how important a home security system is, especially if you live in a bad neighborhood. Many, do want to install a home security system but are unaware of what to expect from the system and how much it would cost. So, we have compiled this article with everything you want to know about the home security system and will lay out all your options so that you can make an informed decision.

Just to put it out up front, an average low cost, unmonitored system will cost around $70, whereas additional sensors, motion detectors, smart lock, and other premium features would cost you between $2500 to $3500. The average cost of a home security system in the USA is $750 with basic features.

The Cost of Home Security System Installation

For a standard system, you should expect to pay nearly $730 with a three-year contract. The system includes a $100 activation fee, around $600 to buy monitoring equipment, and around $30 per month for monitoring services with a three-year contract. This typical system would include one control unit, one door sensors, one window sensors, one motion detector, one video camera, one key fob, and one siren.

Here’s a cost breakdown of security system equipment:

    1. Alarm panel – approx. $350
    2. Security camera – approx. $120
    3. PIR motion detector – approx. $60
    4. Door/window sensor – approx. $30
    5. Glass break sensor – approx. $70
    6. Smoke detector – approx. $90
    7. Siren – approx. $70
    8. Keyfob – approx. $40
    9. Water sensor – approx. $40
    10. Freeze sensor – approx. $50
    11. Total – approx. $920

Smart home upgrades would cost an additional $50 to $300 which would include remote controlled lights and locks.

Unmonitored Security System

Most unmonitored security systems are DIY projects, which you can install on a Sunday afternoon. Some of these systems come with a mobile app that will let you know in case of a break-in and others would only trigger the alarm. Installing this system is cheaper as there’s no professional fee involved, but then again, its efficacy completely depends on chance! Because there’s no one to intimate the authority, either you will have to do it yourself or just hope your neighbor does after hearing that siren.

Monitored Security System

With a monitored system, everything is taken cared for by the service providers. A loud alarm goes off when a sensor is triggered; and from here the monitoring center is also notified, who would then access the situation and even call the police or necessary authority to deal with the situation. A monitored system will also save you money on home insurance premiums.

On the other hand, monitored systems can be expensive, with a monthly fee up to $60. With the alarm system, sensors and all its trimming you should expect to spend up to $2,000 for a three-year contract. Moreover, the installation charge by professional alone could cost you between $100 to $300.

Hardwired Security System

Hardwired security system means, all the components of the system is wired, which also suggests that it will be fixed in a place and you will need a professional to install. A typical hardwired security system installation could cost up to $1500. This system communicates with the monitoring systems via a landline. The disadvantage here is that if the burglar cuts the landline, the security system will be rendered useless. Probably, therefore, new wired security systems use the cellular network for external communication with a landline for backup.

The components of a wired system are cheaper, but professional installation makes it expensive. Moreover, you may have to do some repair work for your drywall, thereby increasing the installation cost.

Upgrading a wired system is also expensive as it would require a professional to uninstall the system. On the bright side, a wired system is easy to maintain, and don’t get signal interference.

Wireless Security System

A fully wireless system uses radio frequency to communicate between the components. The monitoring station is connected via broadband of cellular uplink. This system makes it easy to upgrade equipment and is easy to install by yourself. On the downside, the wireless signal tends to get interference from microwaves and baby monitors. It also has a higher maintenance cost as each component would require its independent power supply such as batteries have to be replaced frequently. You can have a complete wireless security system at under $1000.

Top Home Security System Services and Their Cost

01. ProtectAmerica

  • 3 Plans – Price on the quote
  • Upfront cost – $0
  • Professional Monitoring – $19.99/mo+

02. BRINKS Home Security

Nest Secure

  • System price – $11.08/mo
  • Monitoring service – $29/mo

Home Complete Touchscreen System

  • System price – $11.08/mo
  • Monitoring service – $29/mo

Home Complete with Video System

  • System price – $13.86/mo
  • Monitoring service – $39/mo

02. Xfinity

  • Prices depend on the location but on average it cost between $25/mo to $30/mo for the first year and between $35/mo to $40/mo for the next year. The 24/7 video recording service cost $9.95/mo.

03. Frontpoint

  • The package price starts at $99 with a 3-year contract. The monitoring plans are $34.99/mo, $44.99/mo and $49.99/mo.

04. COX Homelite

  • Essential – $29.99/mo
  • Preferred – $39.99/mo

05. Link Interactive

  • Standard – $30.99/mo
  • Gold – $35.99/mo
  • Elite – $40.99/mo

06. SimpliSafe

  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring – $14.99/mo
  • Equipment packages – $500 and above


  • No contract – $249 basic equipment + $29.95/mo professional monitoring
  • 1 Year contract – $29.95/mo monitoring + Free basic equipment
  • 3 Year contract – $29.95/mo monitoring + Free basic equipment + $250 worth additional hardware

08. Abode

  • Secure – $30/mo + $379 kit
  • Connect – $10/mo + $329
  • Basic – Free + $299

09. Vivint

  • Plans cost between $29.99/mo to $49.99/mo

10. AT&T Digital Live

  • Smart Security – $549.99 equipment cost + $39.99/mo

Installation Cost

Wireless systems can be easily installed by yourself but for wired security systems you need a professional who can charge between $100 to $400. Though the wired security system installation cost is higher, the components are cheaper than wireless equipment. However, for a basic system, it comes only a couple of sensors, and you may need more equipment if you have a bigger house. You should expect to purchase additional sensors for nearly $40 to $50 each.

Activation Cost

Depending on the plan you choose, most monitored systems have an activation fee which could range from $0 to $200. That said, some companies have no activation fee or installation charges, but their monthly package cost is usually higher.

Monitoring Plans

You can see above that monitoring plans usually range between $30 per month to nearly $50 per month. These systems are a great option if you travel frequently. Your house will be monitored by a security service who will automatically alert the police, fire, etc. when needed. Along with alerting the police of the criminal activity, the service will alert you of temperate change, power outages, gas leaks, smoke detection, CO2 detection and more.

However, to avail monitoring system, you may have to purchase equipment from the company itself. You could also get a discount for a long-term contract. More than that, some even offer a house automation system who have live video monitoring facilities.

Other Premium Features

Although the 24/7 monitoring system is enough for most homes, if you need additional services you could avail them at an additional cost.

  • Some premium services are duress signals, which is a secondary code that you can use when forced by an attacker to disarm the system, but it will notify the security service.
  • You could also avail set-up guidance for a small fee if you want to install it on your own.
  • There is a service for panic button which you can use in case of emergencies and cost nearly $30.
  • There are other emergency response plans as well as text to very emergencies which will reduce false alarms.
  • Many services offer video surveillance monitoring on premium packages.
  • Next, you can get smart locks for keyless door entry at nearly $100 to $200.
  • There are smart lighting options that range from $20 to $100. This automatically turns on lights when you are away, giving a false notion that it is occupied.
  • Then, you can also install additional smoke, fire and CO2 alarms for $40 to $100 per component.
  • Mobile app and cloud storage may cost an additional $5 to $30/mo.

Top Things to Consider When Installing Home Security System

  1. For a wired security system, you have to consider the cost of repairing your drywall and other fixtures. Plus, you have to consider the cost of repairing and maintaining your security system; as things get older, you will have to upgrade with a new system, which is going to be expensive, especially if you have a wired system.
  2. For the unmonitored system, you will have to keep track of its maintenance and replacement. For monitored security systems, most services prover warranty on their equipment and will repair or replace at a reduced cost.
  3. Many companies are willing to provide free installation, activation and start-up kit, provided that you enter into a long-term contract.
  4. You can use just a surveillance camera for around $1200 without any monthly fees, which should be suitable if you have a small apartment.
  5. Review your home security service providers before purchasing as some company may sell you more equipment that you need and may charge you with hidden fees after signing the contract.
  6. Most equipment will come with a lifetime warranty only if you avail their professional monitoring services with a long-term contract.
  7. You should also check up with your local authority for permits which you may need to install home security or home surveillance system. Plus, you have to keep in mind that false alarms could cost your hundreds of dollars.
  8. You could look into service providers who enable you to connect your security system to the voice assistant such as Echo Dot and Alexa. However, these services will come at a premium price.
  9. Installing home security systems will enable you to get up to 20% on premiums from home insurance companies. However, you may have to install a security system if the house is burglarized before or is located in a bad neighborhood with frequent thefts.

What is the Cost of Installing a Surveillance System

The surveillance system is yet another great way to keep your house protected. In average, a typical surveillance system would cost between $700 to $2100.

Installation Cost

Over the years, the cost of cameras has decreased, making it more affordable for homeowners. An average installation would cost nearly $1500 with cameras costing around $150 each. However, before installing a surveillance system, you should consult an expert, because the type of surveillance and expense will depend on many factors:

  • Size of the House – Is it a property or an apartment, the size of the house or apartment will determine the number of cameras to be used. For larger areas, you will need cameras with higher resolution and field of vision. Plus, a larger space means, you have to cover a lot of blind spots.
  • Type of Security – Is it just on the from the door or you need full surveillance both inside and outside the house, your installation cost will largely depend on your security needs.
  • Types of Cameras – The type of cameras you choose would also determine your final expense; for example, internal cameras are cheaper than external cameras which are weatherproof.

Wired & Wireless System

A wired system would cost more in installation charges which could be between $150 to $200 per camera. You may even have to hire your contractor during the installation. Moreover, the wired camera system is fixed and would require professional service to change its position. That said, wired systems cannot be hacked, and there’s no room to jam its signal, plus, the power is built in which doesn’t make it dependent on batteries.

Wireless system, on the other hand, can be done as a DIY project and even if you need professionals, it would cost under $100 per camera. It also brings the flexibility you need, where you can easily move the cameras around when needed and get remote access when you are away. On the downside, each component needs its power supply, you will have to depend on its network range, it can be hacked remotely, and the resolution is typically lower than wired solutions.

Surveillance System Equipment Cost

  • CCTV Surveillance – $70 to $310 per camera
  • IP Surveillance – $60 to $280 per camera
  • Dummy camera – $15
  • Dome camera – $100 to $160
  • Bullet camera – $100 to $130
  • Hidden camera – $100 to $170
  • Box camera – $100 to $130

Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV)

This type of surveillance system works independently of the internet. Here, the cameras record and store video in its location and don’t provide remote access. To access, it has to be monitored locally, and the videos have to be stored on physical storage such as a hard drive. Most large homes and business use CCTV for its ease of use, and they connect the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) to the internet for remote viewing.

Internet Protocol (IP)

These type of cameras are wireless and connect directly to the internet over IP via Wi-Fi. This is also commonly done as a DIY installation, but for large business organizations, you may need professional help. The video recorded is store on a Network Video Recorder (NVR). On the downside, it is prone to hacking and sluggishness.

Types of Security Cameras

  • Dummy cameras – They don’t record anything but give a false appearance of surveillance.
  • Dome cameras – These cameras are mounted on the ceiling
  • Bullet cameras – Projector shaped cameras that are common in a business application.
  • Hidden cameras – They can fit anywhere from a smoke detector to tiny holes.
  • Box cameras – These are large standalone box-shaped cameras that are used in outdoor applications.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Surveillance

To avail the desirable security system, you may have to upgrade your surveillance system. Of course, this will increase your cost, but you will have a rock-solid surveillance system. For example, certain cameras have to be placed in a particular angle; some darker areas need night vision cameras, for outdoor you will need motion detectors and more. The placement on the camera will determine if you need a wide-angle camera or need night vision, weatherproofing and concealment cameras. Moreover, high-resolution cameras would need high-storage DVRs or NVRs.

Indoor & Outdoor Application

Indoor cameras don’t have to be weatherproof and can go along with a limited range of view and low resolution. They are usually smaller and need little maintenance. Outdoor cameras, on the other hand, need to have better visibility and has to withstand rough weather conditions. Furthermore, outdoor cameras could be the victim of a burglar’s violence, so it has to be well-built and durable too. Outdoor cameras have a deeper view and have higher resolution which can cost up to $150 each. Indoor cameras can be bought at just over $60 each.

Resolution of the Video

The resolution of the cameras come in 480p, 720p, and 1080p. 1080p being the highest resolution, cost more than their low-res counterparts.

Low-resolution cameras usually come around $100 and are typically used indoor to keep an eye on your kids or housekeeper. These cameras don’t pick up numbers, writing and faces so well. Whereas, high-resolution cameras are great for an outdoor application which can give a clearer picture of the face of the person, license plate number, name on the badge and other details. High-resolution cameras also cost more, nearly $300 per camera.

Field of View

Next, you have to decide if you want a wide angle camera or a narrow-angle camera. Although there’s not much difference in cost, except for a few dollars, it will decide on the application. Wide angle cameras have wider coverage and are used in parking lots, lawns and backyards. However, wide-angle cameras create a distorted image of the view, where details of the object are compromised. On the other hand, narrow-angle cameras give a clearer picture but are focused on a particular spot. Narrow-angle cameras are typically used in the form of doors, main gates, entrance, exits, etc.

Motion Sensor

Some cameras come with motion detection which is typically used to reduce power consumption and video storage. This also alerts homeowners of any potential activity outside their house. These cameras usually cost between $30 to $150, whereas you can get separate motion detectors for under $50. It starts recording only when it detects activity in front of the camera. This also makes it perfect for night surveillance, where you don’t need the camera to be alert throughout the night, thereby consuming more power and storage space.

Night Vision

Night vision cameras would amplify the available light such as from the vehicles or street lights. These cameras produce a decent quality but not as much as an IR camera. An IR camera will use the infrared spectrum to illuminate its field of view. These cameras give a higher picture quality and cost a little more. You can attach a separate IR illuminator to your standard camera for $20 to $70.

Monitored Surveillance

Many security system providers offer video surveillance and provide their equipment. However, these services would cost you an additional $30 to $70 per month with an upfront installation and activation fee of up to $200. That said, it does give you peace of mind, knowing that the surveillance is automated 24/7 and the security service provider takes care of everything. Their premium packages may also include additional features such as a mobile alert on the doorbell, remote lights, keyless door locks, etc.

Audio Surveillance

Cameras with a microphone would be a great addition, and it would cost between $10 to $30 each. Installation is relatively easy, and you will need a storage system as well.


In an average setting up a complete home security system in the USA could range between $700 to $3500, depending on the features you want. Even after the surveillance system installed, you have to make sure it is well maintained and upgraded from time to time. Most importantly, you have to consult your local authority to checkup the legal rules you will have to adhere to during installation. For the most part, it is illegal to video record or voice record without the subject’s consent; so you may have to put-up boards with ‘This House is Under Surveillance’ or similar statements. Furthermore, you should check up with authority regarding the use of microphones and hidden cameras. I hope you got what you were looking for and don’t forget to write us back in the comment section.

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