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The True Price of Home Alarms

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I am a: Homeowner Renter

Is there such a thing as a free home security system? What about those $49 security systems? How can I tell if I am getting a good deal?

Aggressive security companies push low upfront costs in exchange for a contract. Let's take a look at how these deals work.

How much does a $99 system really cost?

$99 (or similarily priced systems) generally include the following leased equipment that belong to the alarm company:

  • Control Panel
  • LCD display
  • 2 Door or Window Contacts
  • Indoor Alarm

Leased System Costs

Service or Equipment Total Cost
Leased Equipment Cost: $0*
Installation Cost: $99
Monthly Monitoring Costs of $35 over the 36 month contract $1260
Total Cost Over 3 Year Contract $1359

Purchased Security System Costs

  • Control Panel
  • LCD display
  • All Doors monitored
  • Up to 5 main floor windows monitored
  • Indoor Alarm
Service or Equipment Total Cost
Equipment and Installation Cost: $450
Monthly Monitoring Costs of $15-20 over 36 months (with no contract) $540-$720
Total Cost Over 3 Years $990 - $1170

Based on a $15 a month service, the leased system would cost over $300 more in the first 3 years, each month you have the security system, purchasing the system outright becomes better value. Also since your system is non-proprietary you can switch providers, and also cancel your monitoring at anytime.

Lease vs. Purchase Security System Calculator

What are the upfront costs for the Leased System (Installation + Equipment)?$
What are the upfront costs for the Purchased System (Installation + Equipment)?$
How many months is the Lease Contract?$
How much is the Leased System Monthly monitoring costs?$
How much is the Purchased System Monthly monitoring costs?$