Home Security System Packages: a Complete Guide


When you are ready to add security to your home, you will quickly discover that the options are almost unlimited. It can be hard enough to decide on specific devices, let alone which (if any) company you should choose. Then there is the trouble of deciding between their many packages. Often there is a salesperson on the phone with you, making it hard to know for sure if they are doing what is best for you or for their paycheck.

We’ve put together this guide to help you navigate at least the most common options. We provide some in-depth information on the leading home security companies and give you an overview of their plan packages. 

Since not everyone can or wants to deal with a larger company, we have also included several options for DIY home security, from self-installation to monitoring, and even ideas of basic equipment costs. Read on for your Complete Guide to Home Security System Packages.

Home Security Systems

Here are the most popular Home Security Systems. Click on the name to jump to the package information.

NameBasic Equipment CostsInstallation CostsMonitoring?Monitoring Costs (per month)Wireless?Cameras?Warranty?Contract?Details
Abode$159+$8.30+Check Amazon
ADTFree*$99+$27.99+Visit Site
Blinks Home Security$79.99Check Amazon
Brinks$399+$29+Visit Site
Deep Sentinel$499$49.99Visit Site
Fortress$79.99+$14.99+Check Amazon
Frontpoint$130.95+$34.99Visit Site
Protect America$50+$19.99+Visit Site
LifeShield$300+$24.98Check Amazon
Link Interactive$180+$30.99Visit Site
Nest Secure$399+BrinksVisit Site
Ring Alarm$199+$3+Check Amazon
Scout Alarm$198+$9.99+Check Amazon
SimpliSafe$200+$15+NOCheck Amazon
Vivint SmartHome$300$99$29.99+Visit Site
Xfinity HomeFree*$29.99+Visit Site

*Requires Contract

Types of Home Security

There are several ways to increase your home security. When it comes to a home security system you have several options and what they can and cannot do will depend on several things, including your location, personal needs, what you are willing to spend to achieve peace of mind. Here are the general types of home security that are available.

Professionally Installed with 24/7 Monitoring

We’ve all seen the ads for home security monitoring. They usually feature a young family that is woken in the middle of the night to the sound of glass breaking or a clip of a would-be thief prowling around a home. Then someone comes on and says that these could’ve been prevented if you only had their service. 

A professional-grade home security system has some advantages. First, the installation is usually done by the company, so there is no worry that something is not connected correctly or the risk of injury during installation. Professional installation also usually comes with some type of warranty that will cover, by either replacement or repairing part of the system if necessary. 

Some professional companies even provide some customers with added protection against loss, damage, or theft of their property should the system fail in some way. 24/7 monitoring is usually available with all professionally installed home security systems. Of course, there is going to be a fee, usually monthly for this service. The price of monitoring varies from company to company and can depend on the type of system or package you purchase as well.

DIY Installed with 24/7 Monitoring

There are several companies that offer DIY installation options for their systems, or part of their systems. Additionally, there are some monitoring companies that do not even offer their own products, just the service of monitoring your self-installed system and alerting you (or authorities) when there is a problem.

Installing any home security system yourself comes with the understanding that it is your responsibility to ensure the system and all units are properly installed and in working order. The big downfall of some DIY installation systems is the failure to know and alert the owner if something is not in proper working order. 

Before deciding on a system, check with the monitoring service that covers your area to make sure you know which systems they monitor, and what your options are. It would be a waste of time and money to purchase a system and install it, only to find out you have zero monitoring options if that is what you wanted.

DIY Installed and Monitored

The bottom of the ladder in home security are systems that you not only install yourself, but do not contract an outside source to monitor for activity, risks, or any other alerts. Not that these types of systems are worthless, some are quite advanced at detecting and alerting you that something is wrong. However, it is then up to you to respond and contact the necessary authorities. 

For example, if someone breaks into your home while you are at work, the system MAY alert you to the break-in, but then you will have to call the police to have the break-in checked on. This may be fine for many individuals, but what if when the alert is sent, you are in a meeting with your phone either not on you or on silent? By the time you actually see the alert, the damage may already be done, and your personal property is long gone.

How to Choose a Home Security Package

No matter which company you choose, they will likely offer several package options. Some may have add-ons available or you may have to purchase entire bundles in order to get the specific components you want in your home security. Regardless of the company, you will probably have to make some decisions about the following services.

Professional vs. DIY Installation

In the age of automation and smart technology more and more home security companies are making products available that can be easily installed without the need for a professional. This is especially true in wireless installations where everything is controlled by a central device using either Wi-Fi or Cellular connections to control and monitor the devices. 

Individuals who are worried that they may make a mistake may still want to consider professional installation. Some companies even give you the option of a professional installation, and if you are lucky, they will not charge you for it. Even DIY home security systems may need some expert help for proper installation. In such cases, you may want to contact a local security company for assistance in finding a qualified technician or hit up your techy friends for help.

Monitoring

One of the most varied parts of having a home security system is the cost of monitoring that companies charge and what that monitoring includes. Some companies will bundle their monitoring fees into the purchase price of their products, while others have them completely separate. Also, some companies have contract requirements that you will want to be aware of before agreeing to use their services. 

Prices

The price involved when purchasing a home security system is based on several variables. The first is that actual cost of the equipment, then any installation fees, and finally any recurring fees for monitoring or insurance.

Set-Up Costs

Most companies have at minimum a basic bundle that can be purchased as a unit. With this purchase, there can be additional installation fees if the company provides installation directly, or requires an outside certified technician. The table above lists the costs of the most basic equipment bundles. The installation fees listed are only those for the companies that require the use of their own installers. All other services either do not charge for installation or leave it up to you to decide.

Monthly Fees 

In general, the only recurring fees that you should need to pay are for professional monitoring services. However, there are a few companies that have options for leased equipment or rent to own prices that allow you to pay for your equipment over a period of time. 

Individuals that want a more advanced security system then their current budget may allow can take advantage of these options with less out of pocket costs upfront.

Monthly monitoring fees are often different from company to company. Individual companies also usually offer different levels of monitoring. The biggest thing to watch for is a company that requires a long term contract or can change the monthly rate you are charged with little or no notice. 

Accessing Your Needs

Everyone has their own unique security needs depending on the size of the home, where they live, and what security measures they want to implement in their home. In order to determine your personal needs, you will have to take an inventory of your home, decide where you want monitors, what type of monitors you need, and any additional features you want to include. 

Professional Consultation

Individuals that are unsure of their needs may want to enlist the help of a professional consultant to work out a home security plan. A consultant will walk through your home, help you discover any areas that are particularly vulnerable, and assist you in building a custom plan for your home security needs. 

Some home security companies offer this service directly and often at little or no charge if you then choose them to provide your home security. If this service is not available in your area, contact your local police department, they will often be able to either refer you to someone or help you themselves.

DIY Buying Guide 

So, you’ve decided to go the DIY route with your home security. The problem is, how do you know what components you need, and which ones are just fluff? 

You can find many basic starter kits from almost every DIY home security retailer. Kits are a great way to start, however, they often only contain the minimum and you will likely want to improve your security with added sensors and components.

Take a look at these most common components and their uses to help you determine which ones to add to your custom system.

Hub or Base Unit

These days most home security systems are wireless and need a central device to communicate with all of the other devices. Often these can be purchased from the security retailer, or are part of a starter kit. However, if you already have a smart hub, such as an Amazon Echo, there is a hub built right in. You may not have to add the expense, just purchase components that are compatible.

Cameras

The most common form of home security these days is using cameras to monitor your home, inside and out. Cameras can be found in a variety of styles, depending on your personal needs. There are cameras with motion detection, two-way communication options, and even night vision. High-quality cameras will allow you to capture live video and stream it to your smartphone or other devices. 

Cameras can be found integrated into other components as well, such as a video doorbell, smart hub, and lighting. Cameras installed outdoors will need special protection from the elements; double-check this before purchase.

Alarms

Alarms come in all shapes and sizes and are the foundation of a good home security system. Unlike sensors that simply detect a change, alarms are meant to alert. Alarms can be set to send alerts to you or the authorities (may require monitoring subscription). What most people are probably familiar with is an audible alarm that triggers a loud siren or another distinct sound that will alert people nearby that there is an issue.

Sensors

As mentioned, sensors are designed to detect specific changes; these will vary depending on the type of sensor. For example, a door or window sensor detects the movement of them being opened (or closed). A motion sensor, however, detects movement across a larger area. There are also sensors that can sense changes in temperature, lighting, and noises levels. 

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors are a combination of a sensor and an alarm designed to detect and alert when there is smoke or carbon monoxide in your home. The biggest mistake some people make is to choose a detector that only senses smoke and not carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly if exposed for too long in a confined space. Double-check to make sure all of your smoke detectors are also carbon monoxide detectors.

Water and Fire Sensors/Alarm

Much the same as the smoke detectors, these types can detect condensation, water, and heat levels. This is important to have in areas that may be susceptible to water leaks, such as a basement. Fire alarms are great for the kitchen, but you should also consider them in areas where flammable materials are stored, such as a utility room or even your garage.

Technology and Home Automation

Every day there seems to be advanced in technology, which ultimately leads to options to automate our homes. Already you can purchase smart technology-enabled appliances, heating, air conditioning, and, of course, smart plugs and lighting. 

Individuals that want more automated options in their home security will have to keep up with technology and pay attention to compatibility. It would do no good to purchase a top of the line, higher dollar automated device only to discover it cannot communicate with the rest of your system.

Luckily, most home security manufacturers are working hard to improve the compatibility of their components across most major automation devices, such as Amazon products with build in Hubs, Google Home, and even smaller brands, such as Wink. The most compatible all of your devices are, the easier your whole system will be to operate.

Professional Home Security Companies

We’ve already covered a ton of information. If you are still with us, then take a look at the companies below. When we could access the information, we’ve provided their available packages and any base equipment requirements. We hope that having all of this information in one place will make your search a bit easier.

ADT

ADT has been a leader in professional home security for over a century. Not only are they the largest in the US, but offer some of the best flexibility of profession home security systems. 

Installation

ADT does require that their systems are professionally installed, however, the installation is often included in free of charge, so look for this promotion if you choose to go with ADT. Otherwise, professional installation will cost between $99 to $199.

Package Equipment 

There are several equipment options available, all start with a package, but you can add components as needed to fit your needs.

ComponentsBasicBasic WirelessADT Pulse®ADT Pulse® + Video
Wireless Control Panel
Door/Window Sensors3333
Motion Detector
Key Fob
CellGuard®
Video Cameras

Brinks

Brinks Home Security is a well-known name in home security. Brinks merged with ADT in 2009 but has remained an option for individuals looking for the newest home security options at a lower price.

Installation

Unlike ADT, Brinks offers the option of a professional installation or DIY. Since most of their component operate wirelessly, installation can be quick and easy for many individuals.

Package Equipment 

ComponentsHome CompleteHome Complete with Video
Home Touch Control Panel
Wireless Motion Sensor
Wireless Door Sensors33
Skybell video doorbell

Add-on Equipment

  • Door/Window Sensors
  • Motion Sensor
  • Glass Break Sensor
  • Wireless Temp Sensor
  • Flood Detector
  • Smoke Detector
  • FireFighter Fire Alarm
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Skybell Doorbell Camera
  • Indoor Camera
  • Outdoor Camera

Vivint SmartHome

Vivint is one of the leaders in modern home automation and prides themselves on providing the most modern technology to their customers.

Installation

Vivint places a high priority on proper home security. Even their basic packages include professional installation, access to the Vivint sky app, and several sensors. You can also add extra sensors and equipment as needed.

Package Equipment 

ComponentsHome Security BundleVideo Security Bundle
Touch Screen Control Panel
Smart Sensors22
Motion Sensor
Smoke Detector
Doorbell Camera
Outdoor Camera
Ping Camera

Add-on Equipment

  • Element Thermostat
  • Smart Door Lock
  • Smart Garage Controller

Xfinity Home

Xfinity Home is a service provided by the cable company Comcast. As a result, it may not be available in all areas. For existing Comcast customers, adding Xfinity Home to their existing service may be the best option. 

Installation

All Xfinity security systems installed by a Comcast technician, so you do not have to worry about whether or not it is set-up right.

Package Equipment 

ComponentsHome SecureX1 Starter SecureX1 Premier Secure
Touchscreen Controller
Door/Window Sensors333
Motion Sensor
Wireless Keypad

*All packages have the same basic set up, higher packages offer discounts on added equipment

Add-on Equipment

  • Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
  • Zen Thermostat
  • Smoke Detector
  • Outlet Controller
  • Door/Window Sensor
  • Motion Sensor

DIY Home Security Systems

Abode

Abode is partners with several leading manufacturer in home security to provide homeowners more options for a DIY home security system. However, if necessary, they do offer professional installation options.

Package Equipment 

Abode offers two starter kits for customers to then build upon to meet their specific needs.

ComponentsIota All-in-One Security KitSmart Security Kit
Hub
Door/Window Sensors11
Remote Key Fob
Motion Sensor

Add-on Equipment

  • Door/window sensor
  • Cameras
  • Motions sensor
  • Water leak sensor
  • Smoke alarm monitor
  • Sirens (indoor and outdoor
  • Occupancy sensor
  • Smart power switch

Blinks Home Security

Blinks Home Security is built for the budget-conscious consumer with packages as low $79, with no contracts or service requirements. Blink is also an Amazon company, so you can be sure that all of the components will work seamlessly with any Amazon device.

Installation

Blinks Home Security is made for the homeowner that has no problem handling their own installation.

Package Equipment 

ComponentsBlink StandardBlink XT2
Indoor HD Video Camera
Indoor/Outdoor HD Video Camera
Sync Module

Add-on Equipment

  • Camera mounts
  • Covers 
  • Additional Cameras

Deep Sentinel

Deep Sentinel is a company dedicated to providing the fastest security responsiveness. Their single package is designed to fight criminals and get authorities involved faster than any other company.

Installation

Installation is a snap, as all Deep Sentinel components are wireless, and can be done on your own following the instructions included with the package.

Equipment

Since there is only one option, we didn’t see the need to make it complicated. The Deep Sentinel system includes:

  • 3 surveillance cameras (1 add-on option)
  • A Central Hub
  • Wall mounts for the camera

One part that makes Deep Sentinel unique is their security monitoring system called LiveSentinel, a dedicated group of trained agents that monitor your home 24/7 and alert the authorities when necessary.

Fortress

Fortress offers DIY home security options for every home. Every Fortress Security system comes with a free mobile app for easy monitoring from any smart device.

Installation

Fortress security packages are preprogrammed so they only need to be mounted once you receive them. Many of the components are mounted using adhesive, while some may require small screw-in mounts. 

Package Equipment 

ComponentsS03S1 StealthS6 Titan
Main Panel
Door/Window Sensor
Fortress Motion Detector
Fortress Remote Fob222
RFID Key Tags22
Internal Siren1
Fortress Sim Card

Add-on Equipment

  • Glass Break Sensor
  • HD Security Camera
  • Strobe Siren
  • Plugin Siren
  • Indoor/Outdoor Siren
  • Indoor/Outdoor Strobe Siren
  • Solar Siren
  • Remote Fobs
  • Door/Window Sensor
  • Necklace Call Button
  • RFID Keypad
  • Panic Button
  • Pet Immune Motion Detector
  • Smoke Alarm
  • Water Sensor
  • Vibration Sensor
  • Signal Repeater
  • Gas Detector
  • Smart Outlet
  • Doorbell

Frontpoint

Frontpoint quickly becomes a leader in home security. Focusing on providing the latest technology in customizable configurations with different monitoring options. Frontpoint is currently available in all 50 US states and in all but 1 Canadian province.

Installation

Frontpoint provides complete DIY installation home security systems. Most can be installed in 30 minutes or less.

Package Equipment 

ComponentStarterEverydayPlusSelectPreferredElite
Frontpoint Hub
Frontpoint Keypad
Door/Window Sensors233456
Motion Sensors12222
Glass Break Sensors2112
Smoke and Heat Sensor111
Indoor Camera11
Outdoor Camera1
Doorbell Camera1

Add-on Equipment

  • Panic Pendant
  • Keychain Remote

Protect America

Not everyone wants wireless monitoring, and that is where Protect America comes in. They offer both cellular and landline monitoring options for their customer.

Installation

All Protect America security systems are DIY installed.

Package Equipment 

ComponentsCopperSilverGold
Control Panel
Motion Detector111
Door/Window Sensor3914

Add-on Equipment

  • HD wireless video camera
  • Smoke detectors
  • Home automation with Amazon Alexa enabled devices

LifeShield

LifeShield is part of ADT Home Security. However, LifeShield offers customers additional environmental protections and no upfront equipment fees. You also do not need to sign a long-term contract.

Installation

All LifeShield Security home security systems are DIY installed.

Package Equipment 

ComponentsSecurity EssentialsSecurity AdvantageSecurity Professional
Wireless Security Tablet
Motion Sensors122
Door/Window Sensor468
Fire Safety Sensor
Keychain Remote
Indoor Security Camera
Glass Break Sensor

Add-on Equipment

  • Entry Keypad
  • Security Touchpad
  • Wireless Flood Sensor
  • Wireless Freeze Sensor 
  • Outdoor Security Camera

Link Interactive

Link Interactive is a DIY solution for individuals who may or may not want to include professional monitoring services with their security system. The entire system is wireless and backed by cellular, so you do not have to worry about power outages affecting your security. They also connect with many home automation devices for even more security.

Installation

Link Interactive home security systems are DIY installed.

Package Equipment 

Where Link Interactive is a bit different than other systems. Their packages only come with your choice of a control panel, all other sensors and components are purchased separately. Their packages only reflect the level of self or professional monitoring they provide. Below you will see the monitoring each package provides followed by add-on equipment options.

ComponentsStandardGoldElite
Control Panel
Cellular Monitoring
Intrusion Alarm
Fire Alarm
Crash and Smash
Two-Way Voice
Email & Text Alerts
Video Monitoring/Streaming
Number of Sensors434343
Remote Access/Control
Light Controls
Lock Controls
Thermostat Control
Geo-Services
HD & Night Vision
Video Recording
Scheduled Video

Add-on Equipment

  • Key Fob
  • Door/Window Sensors
  • Motion Sensors
  • Tilt Sensors
  • Glass Break Sensor
  • Smoke/Heat Detector
  • FireFighter Module
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • IQ Flood
  • Disaster Sensor
  • Indoor Siren
  • Siren
  • Doorbell
  • Skybell Doorbell Camera
  • Interior and Exterior Cameras
  • Smart Thermostat
  • Z-Wave Thermostat

SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe offers a wide variety of options for homeowners to add home security without extended contracts or damaging their home with complicated installations. 

Installation

Anyone can install a SimpliSafe security system. Each system centers around the SimpliSafe Base Station that you plug into any outlet. The Base Station communicates easily with all of the SimpliSafe components for complication-free home security.

Package Equipment 

ComponentStarter*Standard*Elite*Beacon*HavenKnoxHearthEssentialsFoundationStonefontThe KeepThe Fortress
Base Station
Wireless Keypad
Motion Sensor122222111222
Entry Sensor246646331956
Panic Button
Freeze Sensor
Water Sensor
Smoke Detector
105dB Siren
Key Chain Remote
SimpliCam

*Part of SimpliSafe’s Original line 

Add-on Equipment

  • Video Doorbell
  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • Indoor Camera
  • Outdoor Kit for Cameras

Smaller Systems for DIY Monitoring

Nest Secure

Nest Secure, owned and sold by Google, offers several options for adding home security and home automation. Additionally, all products connect with Google Home for voice control options. Where the Nest Secure system shines is that it learns your preferences, and even who comes to your door.

Installation

All Nest Secure equipment is designed to be easily installed using the Google Assistant integrated Alarm Control and your smartphone.

Package Equipment 

All Nest Secure Bundles are designed to save you money when you add accessories and sensors to your core system. The Nest Secure Alarm System comes with the Nest Guard control pad, 2 Nest Detect sensors, 2 open/close magnets, 2 flat-mount, 2 corner- mount brackets, and 2 Nest Tags.

Ring Alarm

The makers of the Ring Video Doorbell bring home security options for the consumer that wants security, but the cost is an issue. Ring offers no-cost options for homeowners to monitor their own homes with no complicated contracts. Although if you want it, they do have professional monitoring services available.

Installation

Ring Alarm components are easy DIY installed in any home.

Package Equipment 

The foundation of all Ring Alarm Systems is the Alarm Indoor Security Kit which includes a Base Stations, a keypad, one contact sensor, one motion sensor, and a range extender. Beyond these, there are nearly endless options to add additional sensors and detectors, even video and two-way communication devices to build the home security system you need.

Scout Alarm

Like the other DIY home security systems, Scout provides nearly unlimited options for home security at some of the lowest costs in the industry. Those that want to can enlist C.O.P.S. monitoring services.

Installation

All Scout Alarm components are specifically designed for easy self-installation. Most components are completely wireless, so you don’t have to worry much about installation mistakes.

Package Equipment 

Scout Alarm offers several Scout Pack options for those looking to save a bit of money by purchasing equipment in bundles. All packs come with a Scout hub featuring 4G cell service and a built-in siren, access monitors, motion detectors and RFID key fobs.

Conclusion

We know that there is a lot of information here. We wanted to provide the most complete guide to home security systems possible and give you the widest variety in both professional and DIY home security systems. We sincerely hope we have made your search a bit easier and look forward to providing you with relevant and up to date information on all things home security.

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