Is there such thing as a smart home security system without monthly fees? With modern, self-monitoring technology there certainly is, and it’s proving very effective.
With the traditional home alarm system, it was connected through a landline that would notify your home security monitoring company. The monitoring company would then call you and if you didn’t respond with the appropriate password, they contacted emergency services.
That system could be considered pretty obsolete now since you could easily monitor your own home from across the globe just as effectively as they could.
Self-monitoring Smart Home Security Systems offer exactly that. When an event is triggered, you will receive a notification on your smartphone, which you can respond to if you feel it necessary.
With built-in video monitoring of wireless smart cams, it’s pretty easy to tell if it’s a false alarm or if you need to contact emergency dispatch.
Protecting your home, family and valuables is one of your most important considerations to make. While no expense can be too high for a sense of security, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
As a matter of fact, many feel more secure being able to monitor their homefront themselves. Below, we’ll discuss some of the more popular options when it comes to smart home security without monthly fees.
We also have an article comparing 2 of these companies, Ring and Lifeshield, you can view by clicking here.
How do I choose the best smart home security for my family?
One important factor to consider when choosing a smart home security system is the associated recurring costs of protection. In order to access certain features, some security systems require a yearly contract or subscription-based service. Luckily, there are a few affordable options in smart home security that can be used extensively without monthly fees or contracts.
Simplisafe (found here on Amazon) is a highly customizable security system, meant to protect your home from suspicious activity. The Simplisafe system has a 24-hour backup battery, so you’re still secure even if you lose power. It also has built-in WiFi and Cellular connectivity for additional security. The customizability designates the Simplisafe system as a DIY home security system. Whether you’re looking to add burglary sensors, hazard sensors, or a myriad of other add-ons, Simplisafe has you covered.
Although the Simplisafe system is functional without a contract (and marketed as such), the company offers a Standard or Interactive monthly plan ($14.99 per month/$24.99 per month respectively), that can be canceled anytime. These plans are required for mobile app control and mobile alerts.
Simplisafe Features and Specifications:
- Silent Panic Button
- Built-in WiFi/Cellular Connectivity
- 24 Hour Backup Battery
- Alexa/Google Home Support
- Highly Customizable
- Easy Installation/Setup
- Affordable DIY System
- Monthly Cost Required for Mobile Features
- Unreliable Cellular Connectivity
- Limited Smart Home Automation
Additional Equipment Available
|Glass Break Sensor||$35|
|Video Doorbell Pro||$169|
|Carbon Monoxide Detector||$50|
Lifeshield, an ADT company (found here on Amazon), offers an affordable smart home security system without being locked into a long term contract. Lifeshield offers 24/7 monitoring with their customizable security systems, as well as smart home compatibility. However, the limited free functionalities and unreliable sensors may be a drawback for some.
Lifeshield also offers a unique, patented “4 Layers of Protection”:
- Cellular Signal
- Cellular Text
- Landline Phone
Lifeshield Features and Specifications:
- Smart Home Automation
- Silent Panic Button
- Patented “4 Layers of Protection”
- ADT Equipment Compatibility
Like the Simplisafe system, Lifeshield offers an optional subscription plan through ADT, though these systems are still effective without some of the “premium” features.
- Landline Compatibility for Additional Protection
- Push Notifications without Contract (WiFi Required)
- 24-Hour Video Storage
- Unreliable Sensor Connectivity/False Alarms
- Many Features Require Monthly Cost
- Lower Quality Security Camera(s) (720p HD/No Zoom Ability)
|Indoor Smart Camera||$60|
|HD Video Doorbell||$200|
|Glass Break Sensor||$21|
The Ring Alarm security system (found here on Amazon) offers competitive features at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, the Ring Alarm can be managed from the same app as many other Ring products, allowing for seamless integration. The low price point of the optional monthly features and the affordable starter kits make the Ring Alarm system an attractive and accessible choice for many.
Ring Alarm Features and Specifications:
- Alexa Integration
- Rechargeable 24-hour Backup Battery
- Range Extender
- Single App for all Ring products
- Affordable Kits
- Inexpensive Monthly Cost (Optional)
- Included Range Extender
- Lacks Customizability of Competitors
- Limited Third-Party Integration
- Basic Features
|Included in Starter Kit|
Simplisafe vs. Lifeshield vs. Ring
|Professional 24/7 Monitoring||$180/yr||$240/yr||$100/yr|
|Device Tamper Alerts||✔||✔||✔|
|24-Hour Backup Battery||✔||✔||✔|
|Smart Home Compatibility||Google Home, Alexa||Google Home, Alexa||Alexa|
Best Self Monitored Home Security Cameras
Self-monitored, DIY security systems are great at offering integrated security for peace of mind, but what about video security? If you’re looking to add video to your smart home security system without monthly cost, there are a few promising and affordable options.
Ring Indoor Security Cams
Ring security cameras offer HD security with smart home compatibility. The Ring Cam offers real-time notifications as well as 1080p HD video. Though there are optional Protection Plans available (Basic $30/yr and Plus $100/yr), Ring Cams offer many free features:
- Two-Way Talk
- Live View/Real-Time Video
- Motion-Activated Notifications
Additionally, the Ring Cam is compatible with the Ring Alarm system, providing the user with an intuitive ecosystem. As an added bonus, both products can be used in conjunction without monthly fees.
Nest Indoor Cam
The Nest Indoor Cam is Google’s Answer to the Ring Security Cams. It offers a competitive 1080p HD recording ability, as well as 24/7 live video. Additionally, the nest offers a 130° viewing angle with night vision for added security. With Nest, you can opt for a $50/yr, $100/yr, or $300/yr subscription for additional security, however, these are optional. Similar to the Ring Indoor Cam, the Nest offers extensive functionality, without monthly fees.
|Feature(s)||Amazon Ring Indoor Cam||Google Nest Indoor Cam|
|Video Resolution||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Field of View||140°||130°|
|Smart Home Compatibility||Alexa||Google Home|
After looking at some of the options for smart home security systems, it’s clear that there are many comparable choices. Similar in price and functionality, these security systems allow for smart home integration and security at the touch of a fingertip. Though the free features are limited, these security systems prove to be effective, even without a recurring monthly fee.