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      January 19, 2019

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Get Safe vs iSmart Alarm

Best Home Security Systems

To help you find the Best DIY Home Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Get Safe and iSmart Alarm.

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Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, no matter how big or small the residence. In the United States, there are over two million burglaries every calendar year, with losses averaging at least $2,000 per crime. Home security systems are the most popular, reputable way to deter would-be criminals and to catch them in the act.

However, many consumers are turning away from traditional home security systems which often involve lengthy service contracts, not to mention the installation of equipment and wiring that can leave unsightly holes in the walls - and that might not even be allowed by a landlord for those who are renting an apartment or house.

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Best Reviews

2019

DIY Home Security Reviews

4.5 stars
Get Safe

GET SAFE Visit Site

Features:

$249 for equipment starter kit (free with contract plans)

No installation fees

No-contract plans available, along with 1- and 3-year plans

Monitoring plans cost $35/month

GetSafe offers one of the most straightforward approaches to DIY Home Security. Created by a group of veterans in the home security industry, this provider is the only one in our review that is controlled solely through a smartphone app and/or key fob: no control panel to navigate.

If you're already familiar with GetSafe, you may recognize that they've made some changes; previously, they offered a self-monitoring option for a lower monthly cost, but that plan is no longer being advertised on the site. (Interestingly, on the site's Service Availability page, it says that customers in Maryland and Rhode Island can only use GetSafe with a self-monitoring plan, but there are no details as to how to access that service. If you live in one of those two states, you'll want to contact the company directly.)

Their current pricing structure is extremely easy to understand: 24/7 monitoring costs $35 per month, no matter what plan you choose or how many sensors and devices you have connected. If you prefer not to have a contract, you can pay for your equipment upfront; the required Starter kit sells for $249 and includes the Smart Hub controller, 1 Door/Window sensor, 1 Motion Detector, 1 Alarm Siren, plus window stickers. If you choose to sign a one-year contract, your Starter Kit is free, and with a 3-year contract, you'll also get a $250 credit towards that can be used to purchase additional equipment like a Nest thermostat, extra window or door sensors, and many other add-ons.

All GetSafe systems are controlled by a Smart Hub, which uses your home WiFi - backed up by AT&T Cellular coverage - to control all components of your system. We continue to be impressed by the number of devices - from motion-detecting cameras to smoke detectors, flood sensors, sirens and more - that can be used with the GetSafe system, which supports up to 32 individual users and up to a staggering 64 total security devices.

And, customer reports indicate that setting up the GetSafe system is exactly as easy as described:

  • Connect the Smart Hub to your home computer network via Ethernet cable
  • Get the GetSafe app on your smartphone and register your Smart Hub
  • Install the batteries in your sensors and mount them to your doors, walls, and/or windows as needed. These come pre-paired with your Smart Hub
  • Test your system by seeing which sensors activate; this will not set off an alarm but rather is part of the installation process

If you have any issues, GetSafe's customer service representatives are standing by to help you make any necessary tweaks and get your system up and running properly. You've got a 30-day trial period to make sure that your DIY installation is functioning the way you want and your home security system is meeting your needs.

We also found a lot of praise for GetSafe's service: the sales team is very non-pushy, so you won't be getting dozens of auto-dialed calls trying to sell you equipment you don't need. But, more importantly, you can expect to get very quick notification from the round-the-clock monitoring service if any part of your home security system is triggered.

GetSafe makes it easy and relatively affordable to protect your home, with no tricks in the fine print, and a fantastic no-contract-required option for those who want that kind of flexibility.

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3 stars
iSmart Alarm

iSMART ALARM Visit Site

Features:

Equipment packages start at $249.95

No contracts or monthly fees

No monitoring services available

If you're looking for a high-tech home security system that is legitimately do-it-yourself, you may like what iSmartAlarm has to offer. Created in 2012 in Silicon Valley and a regular darling of publications like CNET and PC Mag, this company has a laser-sharp focus on using technology to its utmost when protecting homes and families.

This is most evident in their approach to monitoring: completely DIY via smartphone app, with notifications of alerts and alarms sent to you by text, email, phone call, and push notifications. The advantages are many - you can control your system from anywhere you can use your phone, there's no middleman to deal with (which also eliminates false alarm calls to the police or EMS), and, most appealing, you don't pay any monthly fees. Ever. Once you buy the equipment, it's yours.

But, that same advantage may also be a drawback for customers who have a need for third-party, round-the-clock monitoring. Most of iSmartAlarm's competitors offer it, even those companies that also have a do-it-yourself monitoring option. If you have users in the home who aren't comfortable with using a smartphone (such as elderly, young children, and so on), you might be looking elsewhere for your home security system. Also, because the system is completely dependent on your home's power and internet connection, you'll be out of luck if either one goes down because of a storm or service outage. Sometimes, technology is not our friend!

On the other hand, because there are no monitoring fees, you're only on the hook for the purchase price of the equipment. What will that run you? Take a look and some of the packages and bundles offered by iSmartHome:

  • Plus Package: 1 CubeOne hub, 3 contact sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 remote tag, and iSmartAlarm window decals for $199.99
  • Deluxe Package: includes one CubeOne hub, 4 contact sensors, 1 motion sensor, 2 remote tags, and iSmartAlarm window stickers for $249.95
  • Pan & Tilt Smart Home Video Bundle: 1 CubeOne hub, 2 contact sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 HD iCamera KEEP, 2 remote tags, and 4 window decals for $349.99
  • Shield Package: the most comprehensive package available, this includes i CubeOne hub, 8 contact sensors, 7 motion sensors, 3 remote tags, and window decals for $613.90

Every package is expandable; you can buy individual components and add them to your home security system as needed. All equipment sold by iSmartAlarm comes with a one-year warranty. Unfortunately, the company does not appear to offer any kind of customer satisfaction guarantee, though they do allow customers to return equipment within the first 30 days if it is unused.

iSmartAlarm is the home security system of choice for many technologically-savvy individuals who don't want to pay monthly fees for monitoring. But, for those who want a company with a longer history, third-party monitoring of systems, or a reassuring customer satisfaction guarantee, they'll likely have better luck with one of the other services in our review.

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Continued from above

Instead, customers are opting to use DIY home security systems, which gives them the convenience of setting up their protection equipment exactly the way they choose and taking it with them when they move to a new home.

Of course, every good DIY home security system should be paired with common-sense protective measures, such as using top-rated deadbolts on all entry doors and making sure all doors and windows are secure before leaving home or going to bed in the evening. Home protection experts strongly prefer security systems that include 24/7 monitoring as well, for added coverage and peace of mind particularly when people are at home. Using live monitoring has been demonstrated to greatly reduce the likelihood of burglary or invasion, as most criminals want to avoid being caught red-handed.

An added perk to taking the DIY approach to home security is saving money. These systems tend to be less expensive to purchase and set up, and yet they are usually eligible for the same premium discounts on homeowners insurance: up to 20%.

When considering the various do-it-yourself home security systems on the market, what should you keep in mind? Each company differs when it comes to the type of equipment they sell and service, the ease of installation, and whether or not they offer live monitoring of your system. Keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Equipment Costs. What does the company include with its home security packages? How many sensors will you need, and what will you be charged to get the level of coverage you want? What will you have to spend to get any additional equipment that you need for your particular living arrangements?
  • Monitoring Service. Will your DIY home security system include any kind of monitoring, or is that left as your responsibility through online apps and other features? If 24/7 live monitoring is available, how much will it cost per month? If there's a break-in or other emergency at your home, will the service contact local authorities on your behalf?
  • Reputation. What do other customers have to say about the business, the equipment, and/or the service received? How easy is it to get help, either with your do-it-yourself installation or with the service? Can you expect a satisfaction guarantee or refund if you are unhappy with the home security service?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best DIY Home Security Systems available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best do-it-yourself home security system that will keep you and your family safe for years to come!

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