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The best DIY home security systems offer the security and assurance of a professionally installed security system, but for less, but there’s a little more work to do on your end.
Diy Wireless Home Security Systems Reviews
A do-it-yourself home security system is one that you have to install yourself, which can take you an hour or two depending on how many sensors you want to install in your home. But while there is a time investment, you don’t need Bob Vila’s levels of knowledge; most of the time all you will need is a screwdriver.
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After that, however, a DIY home security system works the same way as a professionally installed system: it monitors your windows, doors, and everything else around your home, and sends you and the services emergency, an alert if something is wrong.
The majority of the best DIY security systems also offer professional monitoring as an add-on feature, so the authorities will be alerted in the event of a break-in or other emergency incidents in your home. Some security kits even offer smart home control, allowing you to integrate third-party accessories like smart lights, smart locks, and smart smoke detectors.
But with a number of affordable options, which is the best? We’ve installed the leading DIY security systems in our own homes to find out which one is the best.
Why can you trust Tom’s Guide? Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help you find what’s best for you. Discover how we test, analyze and evaluate.
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Whether you’re new to smart security or a seasoned veteran in the world of automation, the Abode Essentials Starter Kit has something for everyone, which is why we think it’s the best system ever. Overall DIY security. As well as being a versatile smart home controller with Zigbee and Z-Wave integration – meaning you can use it to control things like smart light bulbs and smart locks – it’s also simple to set up. Abode’s system can also be connected to Apple’s HomeKit, and controlled using Siri.
The Beginner’s Pack is a little thin on its accessory offerings, but you can choose from a host of other packages and purchase additional sensors separately.
Abode offers three service tiers: Free, Standard ($6/month or $60/year), and Pro ($20/month or $200/year). The free plan doesn’t let you record video from cameras or use in-system automations, but you can view live video, use smart home integrations, and receive push notifications.
The standard plan gives you 7 days of continuous cloud storage for video and a timeline of events, like door openings. The Pro plan gets you 30 days of cloud storage, plus 24/7 professional monitoring, plus cellular backup. If you have the Standard plan, you can also get three and seven day monitoring as needed for $8 and $15, respectively.
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As of May 2023, Abode now works with Google Nest products, including Google Nest Cam, Nest Hub Max, Nest Learning Thermostat, and Nest Doorbell. Abode users can, for example, view live feeds from video doorbell and security cameras and create automations around these devices.
Previously, Abode also added support for Google TV and Android watch owners. If you have a TV or streaming device that runs Google TV, you can view your home security camera feeds on your TV. If you have a smartwatch running WearOS (such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5), you can view the timeline of events, arm and disarm the system, check camera views, and run automations, among other features.
If you don’t need all the smart home integrations, Abode now offers a cheaper alternative. The Abode Security Kit ($139) works with Alexa and Google Assistant, but doesn’t have Zigbee, Z-Wave, or HomeKit compatibility. However, it will still have battery backup, 4G wireless backup and a built-in siren. Kit comes with base station, motion sensor and door/window sensor; you can add more sensors to the kit.
Don’t care too much about professional follow-up? The Ooma Smart Security starter pack is very simple – you get the hub, a motion sensor and two entry sensors – but you also get Ooma’s robust VoIP service with a low monthly fee. The system also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use a smart speaker to arm and disarm your system and get system status updates.
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Ooma’s free tier includes push notifications, unlimited sensors, and a remote siren. For $5.99 per month, you get e911, phone calls, text messages, and email notifications, plus automatic arming and disarming.
Ooma also added professional monitoring (for an additional $14.99 per month), which was a must-have feature. Since launch, Ooma has added both battery backup ($34.99) and cellular backup, so your system will continue to function in the event of a power and internet outage. The Ooma Telo 4G – which provides cellular backup – costs $129, plus $11.99/month.
Instead of making your own devices, why not use some of the best video doorbells and security cameras already available on the market? ADT’s sleek little home security system works with Google Nest devices, such as the Google Nest Cam, Nest Doorbell, and the Nest Protect smoke detector.
The starter kit comes with a hub, which has a siren and keypad to arm and disarm the system, as well as a Z-Wave antenna for smart home connectivity, an 85 decibel siren, 4G LTE cellular radio, Bluetooth, a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi radio, speaker and 24-hour backup battery. It also comes with a Nest Doorbell (battery), four window/door sensors and two motion sensors.
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However, you can customize the system with additional Nest cameras, Google Nest Hub, Nest Thermostat, and additional door and window sensors.
It all works with a new app called ADT+, which provides a live feed from the cameras and sends you alerts when it detects motion. Plus, the app lets you create smart home routines; for example, you can program it to turn your lights on and off at specific times, or when you leave or arrive home.
If you don’t care too much about fancy home automation systems like flashing light bulbs when someone opens a door, the SimpliSafe Essentials Kit is our second pick for the best DIY smart home security system. As well as having one of the loudest sirens we’ve tested (93 decibels), it’s also stylish, and an included keypad makes setting it up accessible to anyone. And, the kit comes with more accessories than competitors’ typical kit, including three entry sensors instead of the standard one or two. Additional accessories won’t break the bank either, and include a smart lock and video doorbell, two things you rarely find in DIY home security systems.
Simplisafe integrates with both Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as August, making it what we consider the best smart lock. Simplisafe’s professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month, and a $24.99/month plan includes many additional features, such as secret alerts. You can also cancel the plan at any time.
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Ring’s alarm system is affordable, very easy to set up, has a loud alarm, battery and battery backup. Plus, Ring has plenty of compatible add-on devices, like video doorbells, security cameras, and smart lights, and it works with Alexa, so you can arm and disarm your system by voice. Ring’s system is compatible with select Schlage, Kwikset, and Yale smart locks, as well as smart plugs, smart light switches, and smart plugs on GE and Leviton. Here’s a list of everything that works with Ring.
Ring’s second-generation Ring Alarm features smaller door and window sensors, plus a redesigned keypad with one-touch buttons for police, fire, and medical assistance. The Ring Alarm security kit costs $199 and includes a keypad, base station, contact sensor, motion detector, and range extender. Ring also sells a retrofit alarm kit for $199; if you have a home with existing sensors, it can incorporate those sensors into Ring’s system, which can save you money and the hassle of adding new sensors yourself.
Ring also offers the Ring Alarm Pro, which has an Eero Wi-Fi 6 mesh router built into the main hub itself. , which protects your network from malware and other online threats.
If you want professional monitoring, you’ll need to subscribe to Ring Protect Pro, which costs $20/month but also includes internet backup if you have the Ring Alarm Pro.
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Wyze has made a name for itself by offering quality smart home devices at absurdly low prices, and its Wyze home security system is no exception. For $99, the starter kit includes a base station, keypad, motion sensor, and two window/door sensors, one of the lowest prices outside of Ooma. And, adding accessories, such as the Wyze Cam v3, is just as affordable. In addition, professional monitoring costs only $100 per year, far
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