Want to know a secret? Setting up a DIY home security system is incredibly easy, and generally cheaper than paying for a professional one.
Yep, you heard that right. Now, protecting your home and everyone inside with a security system doesn’t require professional installation or monthly fees. And it’s easier to set up that you’d think.
In this article, we will introduce you to the best DIY home security system options that we’ve tested for safety, simplicity and affordability.
Let’s get started!
DIY Home Security
It’s hard to believe that do-it-yourself home security systems exist, especially since not long ago, home security required signing a contract with a company. Additionally, a professional installer had to come out to your residence, drill holes in your walls and run wires all over the place.
Sure, the equipment may have been free, but only after you signed a multi-year commitment to pay monthly for monitoring services as a part of the deal. Security companies such as Vivint, ADT, and Link Interactive send their employees out to your home to perform an inspection and configure a plan including what features and equipment you’d need for your system. Then, another appointment is required, allowing installers to come and set everything up.
That’s nice and all, but these services don’t come at a cheap price. More and more homeowners are choosing to invest in do-it-yourself home security solutions because they are convenient, secure, and generally less expensive than the alternative.
Best DIY Home Security Systems
SimpliSafe 2 Review
SimpliSafe (and SimpliSafe 2), currently secures 3 million homes in America, and that number is growing every year. Their security includes intrusion protection, home automation capabilities, home environment monitoring and more. SimpliSafe is mainly known for offering affordable and professional DIY security monitoring plans. They offer three packages, one of which is guaranteed to meet your needs. Choose from: The Essentials, The Hearth, and The Barrington.
SimpliSafe offers an array of features, such as:
- Award-Winning Monitoring – SimpliSafe offers optional emergency monitoring through C.O.P.S. Monitoring, which earned the “Best Monitoring in the Industry” award from the Central Station Alarm Association. So, if you choose to include emergency monitoring in your SimpliSafe package, you can expect quick dispatching in case of an emergency.
- Video Security – SimpliCam in an HD, wide-angle view security camera with a motion sensor and night vision. You’re able to view video footage online through your SimpliSafe online account.
- Keychain Remote – This little gadget is small enough to fit onto your keychain. It’s a remote that allows you to turn on, or turn off, your alarm system at any time. It also includes an emergency button you can use to instantly call for help if needed.
- Glass Break Sensor – SimpliSafe developed glass break sensors that detect the audio waves generated by breaking glass.
- Entry Sensor – These sensors stick to doors and windows with removable adhesive. Your entry sensor can trigger either an audible alert, or a silent one.
- Environmental Protection – By monitoring smoke detectors, freeze sensors, carbon monoxide detectors, and water leaks, SimpliSafe can help you minimize environmental damages to your home.
Some other features worth mentioning include: SimpliSafe representatives will give you a phone call if your alarm is tripped to make sure you are okay. You can specify if any given alarm will go off instantly when tripped, or if it will give you a delayed warning. Customers enjoy this feature, because they can fine-tune it as they get used to their SimpliSafe security system. Additionally, you can integrate your SimpliSafe equipment with Amazon Alexa or Google Home, and communicate commands through those devices as well.
Those who choose to go with SimpliSafe will have to purchase their equipment upfront. However, each of their security packages are composed of all the necessary pieces of equipment you’ll need to get started. The equipment itself is fairly inexpensive, especially compared to other home security companies. In addition, if you’d like to purchase SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring, you’ll pay a low monthly, or yearly subscription. You can choose between the Standard, Interactive, or Pro Superior monitoring plans. The cost for monthly monitoring ranges from$14.99/mo. – $35.99/mo.
SimpliSafe Base Station – The base station is the hub of your home security system. This piece supports both cellular and Wi-Fi connections, to ensure that you’re always connected. If a power outage occurs, the base station will kick in its back-up battery, helping ensure your protection for an additional 24-hour time period.
SimpliSafe Motion Sensor – SimpliSafe designed their motion sensor with the ability to detect up to 30 feet away, and has a 90-degree field of vision. You have the choice of mounting it on the wall, or setting it on a shelf. If you have pets, you’re in luck! SimpliSafe took our furry friends into consideration, their motion sensor will not be tripped by pets under 50 pounds.
SimpliCam Indoor Camera – This camera has a 120-degree diagonal field of vision and also features smart detection technology, recognizing human heat signatures. When activity is detected in your home, notifications can be sent to you with either the Interactive or Pro Superior monitoring plans. Keep an eye on activities happening within your home, with this smart technology.
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro – Enjoy the ability of seeing who is stopping by with SimpliSafe’s Video Doorbell Pro. It includes dual-sensors, and you’ll only get notifications for those things that matter, and when someone stops by your door, not just a car that may pull into your parking lot. With two-way audio and video features, you can see and speak with visitors through SimpliSafe’s doorbell camera without leaving your location.
Nest Secure Review
Most people have heard of Nest Secure, primarily for their smart thermostat and other home automation products. Nest Secure provides a simplified option for home security. Rather than paying for an expensive, professional home security system, Nest Secure sends you a box of equipment you can very easily set up yourself with very little effort. You can purchase their basic package, then add to your equipment by investing in additional sensors for more rooms, should you feel the need to enhance the security of your home.
Pathlight – The Pathlight feature detects motion when someone walks by the sensor, and triggers an LED night-light to help guide your way. This feature is unique to home security, and comes in handy for midnight snackers. It’s impressive, as this tiny sensor can detect movement so easily.
Quiet Open – For all those pet lovers out there, this feature is super useful. Your sensor will not be triggered by pets, or their movements when they go out to pee in your yard.
Mobile Control – As with other Nest devices, you can control your Nest Secure account through the Nest app. Monitor each sensor, activate and deactivate your system, assign names, and more – all through your mobile security system. Since all of the Nest devices can be controlled through the mobile app, it’s super easy to jump from your Nest Secure to a Nest Cam live feed or change your thermostat, all with just a few swipes. The entire experience is smooth and easy to use.
Nest Aware – Each of the Nest Cam models are equipped with advanced features, such as motion detectors, allowing your Nest Cam to develop an understanding between a passing car and by a burglar approaching your house. Some other features include: alert summaries and reports, 24/7 recording abilities, advanced footage review, cloud syncing capabilities, advanced motion detection, and more. For a small monthly fee, you can also enjoy features like 5-day video history, 10-day video history, and 30-day video history reviews.
With Nest Secure, you will be paying for all of your equipment upfront. There are many different Nest equipment packages to choose from, so you can choose what level of protection and number of sensors you need. If you want additional features, such as live monitoring, you will need to pay a monthly fee. For a 3 year contract, you’ll be paying around $19.99/mo. If you opt in for a month to month, contract-free option, it will cost you around $29.99/mo.
The basic Nest Secure system includes the Nest Guard – the hub, or “brain” of the operation. It also includes a keypad, Nest Tags which allow you to arm or disarm the system, a motion sensor, and the alarm itself.
Abode is new to the DIY home security world, but they’ve already made a major impact. Their equipment integrates seamlessly with other home automation devices and platforms, and their list of add-ons is nearly endless. Plus, no long-term contracts are required, and their prices are super affordable. If you want to experience total home protection, without dishing out a huge load of cash, Abode’s DIY home security system is one to consider.
Some of the key features Abode home security system offers, include the following:
Wireless System – All of Abode’s equipment is 100% wireless, so you don’t have to worry about losing your service if lines are cut.
Mobile Alerts – You can receive mobile alerts through Abode, based on the notifications you customize yourself.
24/7 Monitoring – With Abode, you’ll have the option of selecting on-demand or 24/7 monitoring options through professional monitoring services. Additionally, Abode offers a 4G cellular backup system at a small monthly fee, depending on which package you choose.
DIY Installation – Of course, the entire Abode System is a DIY operation. They make their system incredibly easy to set up, and fully portable, too.
Surveillance Cameras – Abode packages do not include surveillance cameras, however, you can purchase as many surveillance cameras as you’d like through their add-on page.
Smart Home Options – Z-Wave, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and Abode RF connectivity are just some of the systems compatible with Abode Security. They also include voice control options through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Disaster Protection – Abode offers natural disaster protection through their add-on list as well. This includes smoke alarms, temperature and water leak sensors.
Remote Control – You’ll receive a remote key fob with any of the Abode packages you select. These can be utilized to remotely arm/disarm your security system, and many more features!
As with most (if not all) DIY home security systems, Abode requires you to purchase an equipment package upfront. Abode security equipment packages range from $199 to $329, but you should check their current deals, as this price often decreases due to their many sales. They offer optional on-demand monitoring plans, which range in price from $8/mo. – $20/mo, This is cheaper than most DIY professional monitoring plans, one aspect of Abode which we totally love.
The two primary home security packages offered by Abode include the Smart Security Kit and the All-In-One Security Kit. Abode offers one of the most flexible DIY home security options, perfect for a wide range of needs. Plus, if you need to change out your equipment, or add on to it, you can at any time. Their equipment includes a long-term warranty policy, 30-day return options, and super fast shipping. Oh, and just so you know, their equipment returns are on a “no questions asked” basis.
The Basic Abode Package runs you about $199 for the full smart security kit, and $229 for the iota All-In-One kit. The Connect Abode Package is priced at $239 for the smart security kit, and $269 for the iota All-in-One kit. And, the Secure Abode Package costs $299 for the smart security kit, and $329 for the iota All-in-One kit. All very reasonable price points for DIY home security system equipment.
All in all, DIY home security is a great option for every budget. They are incredibly easy to install yourself, and cost a fraction of what professional home security systems cost.
So, whether you’re currently living in an apartment or own your own home, consider investing in a DIY home security system to protect your home, belongings, and your loved ones inside it.