When collecting information for the best DIY home security systems, we used a number of different criteria including average rating, reviews, prices, quality, storage space, indoor vs outdoor, etc… After narrowing down the the top five options, we tested each one to make sure they met our standard for security systems. This list includes companies that allow customers to do DIY installations and products that make great a la carte options for general home security.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) home security systems are when security companies give you the option to install your security system on your own. They have many benefits, from cost savings to easy customization. You have the ability to redesign without having to pay or wait for an installer to come to your home. Most companies that have DIY options allow you to purchase all the equipment, making it easy to move around your home or to a new home.
Many people worry that they do not have the right skills to properly install their own security system. Fortunately, the amount of work that goes into installing a one is very minimal. Do-it-yourself systems are wireless and have adhesive backs. All you have to do is determine where your home you want things placed and activate the system.
Additionally, security companies that have DIY options also have step-by-step guides to help make the installation process a breeze. When you call to activate your system, your provider runs a check to make sure everything was installed properly. This gives you peace of mind to know that your system is up and running. People that choose a DIY security kit are able to complete the process in about 30 minutes.
Price should always be a consideration when making a big purchase, especially something that you are using to protect your family and belongings. In 2015, consumers reported paying on average anywhere from $600-$850 for security system installations. When you choose a DIY system, you avoid a significant amount of the costs because you are not paying a professional installer. If you ever want to upgrade a part of your system, it is as easy as purchasing the new equipment and swapping it out.
The cost of a DIY security system starts at around $100 and goes up to $500. The price varies greatly depending on the size of kit you need to protect your whole home. If you want 24/7 professional monitoring, there is usually a small fee of about $15-$35 each month.
Obviously there are pros and cons to every decision. As an unbiased source, we have listed some of the pros and cons of a DIY security system.
If you can install the equipment on your own, there is no reason to pay for a technician to come out to your home. Wireless systems are very easy for anyone to install because they do not require any mounting tools. If you choose a hardwired system, it might be a little more difficult.
Professional installation requires an appointment, which is usually on weekdays during business hours. If you have a DIY system, you can decide when is best to install the equipment.
Set your equipment up how you like it the first time instead of telling an installer how you want it. You can also easily change anything as you see fit.
You do not have worry about making sure your home is ready for someone to come inside. This can be a huge bonus if you have pets or simply didn’t have time to clean up.
You will have to educate yourself before installing the equipment by taking the time read any manuals or talking to customer service. If you have any speed bumps, it might take some time to troubleshoot the problem.
Professional installers are able to walk through your home and help you understand how your entire system works. If you are someone who is usually unsure about technology, this could be a major disadvantage to you.
Although you avoid installation fees with DIY systems, the equipment cost is usually higher. You also might forfeit any warranties if you installed something wrong and did not get it checked.
When you opt for a DIY security system, there is more room for customization. Always pick equipment that is wireless to allow for even easier installation. You should also pick equipment that allows for remote monitoring so you can keep track of your system while away. Below we have listed some of the top equipment needed so you can create the best security system yourself:
Frontpoint is both affordable and super easy to install on your own. The central control panel is pre configured so all you have to do is remove the adhesive strips and stick it where you want it. DIY systems start at around $100 and 24/7 monitoring starts at $35/month. Frontpoint does require a 12 month or 36 month contract.
SimpliSafe starts at $230 for their DIY packages and with multiple options, there is sure to be on that meets your needs. Professional monitoring is only $15/month which is the cheapest on this list. SimpliSafe even allows you to try out your new system for 60 days and if you are unhappy, they give you a full refund. If you trying to automate your home security system, SimpliSafe does not allow for that. Also, if you would like to receive text and email updates it is an additional $25/month.
Vivint offers all the best DIY options for a true smart home experience. All of the equipment can be control remotely through your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Vivint has a la carte equipment with the only requirement being your purchase. However they do require a large minimum purchase of $549 for a SkyControl touch screen panel, two door or window sensors, and a motion detector.
Nest manufactures multiple al la carte home security options that can all go together for easy home automation. The Nest Cam allows you to remotely view and listen to everything going on in your home. It has 1080p recording quality, 130 degree field of view, night vision, and 2 way communication all starting at $200.
The Canary camera offers an almost complete security system in one small device that is great for smaller homes and apartments. It has a motion sensor, 90-decibel siren, air quality sensor, and HD 1080p recording quality. You can purchase security packages starting at $349 or just individual items starting at $199. Customers get a free 12 hour history for recordings but for $10/month you can get 30 days.
Many people wonder why they need a home security system in the first place, let alone something you have to take the time to install on your own. In a 2015 report conducted by the FBI, there was more than 7 million cases of property crime, with more than 1.5 million being break ins. Taking the time to understand what type of security system works best for you can eliminate from being a part of that statistic. Do-it-yourself security systems are not for everyone. Below, we outline in more detail the benefits of DIY systems and the type of people that need them the most.
DIY security systems allow for a significant amount of flexibility. You do not have to worry about scheduling an installer to come out to your home. People that have hectic work schedules can take advantage of being able to install their system when it is most convenient for them. Also, people with pets that do not react well to strangers benefit by not having an installer come to their home. Because DIY systems are totally wireless and you own the equipment, it makes them very easy to move from place to place. Renters and those who move a lot, such as military members, have the ability to take their equipment with them wherever they live.