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Across the board, more homeowners are turning to home security systems with do-it-yourself installation. After all, why pay for an expensive professional install and lengthy service contracts when you can choose just the equipment you need and set it up on your own? Then, when it comes time to move, all you have to do is take it down and put it right back up in your new place.
The first thing to decide when choosing a DIY home security system is monitoring: do you also want to do that yourself or would you prefer 24/7 professional care? Most homeowners want to know that someone is on duty round-the-clock and choose to pay for external monitoring, but you've got options if you want to keep an eye on things on your own.
Saturday, October 1st
Frontpoint earns our first-place ranking year after year among providers of DIY home security systems. It's hard to beat a company that earned 10,000 five-star ratings from satisfied customers. They rave about Frontpoint's affordable, transparent pricing on equipment and monitoring, dependable protection, and easy-to-expand systems - all without contracts. Frontpoint continues to be the obvious choice for DIY home security systems.
Cove is proof that you don't have to go with a long-standing home security company to get great protection. This newer-than-most provider offers transparent pricing, equipment fees that won't empty your wallet, and decent monthly monitoring costs. Better yet, you can try out your DIY home security system for 60 days risk-free, and you'll never have to sign a contract. Although their customer service still has a bit of room for improvement, Cove gets fantastic feedback from the vast majority of its clients. Cove should be one of the first options you consider when choosing a DIY home security company.
Alarm Relay gives you basic home protection in a DIY security system, either with their equipment or with what may already be installed on your property. You won't have to commit to more than a year at a time either way. This isn't going to be your choice if you want sleek home automation features, but thousands of people in the US and Canada love their Alarm Relay service for being reliable and affordable. For anyone needing a simple DIY home security setup, this provider is worth a look.
SimpliSafe gets our attention for offering a 60-day, no-risk trial and lower-than-average monitoring fees on their DIY home security systems. However, they've dropped significantly in our rankings because of some recent changes to their service that have left customers frustrated. Until those issues are resolved, we have to recommend looking at a higher-rated service for your DIY home security needs.
Abode gives off a pretty slick impression, with lots of tech capabilities in their DIY home security systems. That's about where the good times end, though: from putting together equipment packages to sorting out monitoring costs, this service is confusing at best. It doesn't get any better when you look at recent client reviews, which relate significant issues with everything from cameras that don't detect properly to a total failure of the smartphone app controls. We're all about high-tech smart home integrations, but Abode needs to do a better job on the home security end first.
Look around your neighborhood and you'll probably spot lots of Ring video doorbells. Thinking of choosing their DIY security systems for your own home? Maybe not. Yes, they offer some unique flexibility, as customers can choose between self-monitoring and professional coverage, plus they're able to add as many system components as they wish. Sadly, however, thousands of homeowners give Ring the worst possible rating, and ongoing privacy concerns should have you questioning whether this company is actually keeping you safe. You've got lots of options for providers of video doorbells and other DIY home security system components, and we encourage you to skip Ring in favor of a more trustworthy service.
Wyze fails to live up to its name. At the time of this evaluation, the one component required to operate their DIY home security systems was unavailable for purchase. Not that it matters: we found numerous complaints about the quality of Wyze's equipment and their bait-and-switch tactics of charging for services that were promised to be free for life. Choose literally any other provider for your home security needs.
Your next decision relates to your setup. What equipment is necessary to provide the coverage you've got in mind? At a minimum, your DIY home security system will likely include enough door sensors to cover all first-floor entry points and a panel/touchscreen hub for arming and disarming it. Other popular components include indoor and outdoor cameras, video doorbells, and sensors for smoke, fire and carbon monoxide. You may be able to buy your gear a la carte, though some security companies require you to purchase a package and then add on any extra components you need.
Finally, consider your budget. How much can you afford to spend, not just on the equipment but also on the professional monitoring if you so choose? Bear in mind that when you add higher-end features like video cameras with storage, you often have to pay more each month for the service contract.
Now that you have an idea of how you want your DIY home security system to be set up, how can you tell which company you should pick? Here are some criteria you can look for as you make the decision:
To help you protect your property and loved ones, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular DIY home security systems on the market today. We're confident that this information will give you everything you need to choose the most effective coverage at a price you can afford.
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