Easy to install, equipped with motion sensors, loud sirens, and professional monitoring, the best DIY home security systems are easy to install and easy to use. You can monitor your home for less with a DIY home security system, while still having the option of hiring a professional to do so. It is much easier to set up these DIY home security systems than they would be if they were installed by a professional. All the necessary components are sent to you, such as entry sensors, keypads, fobs, and sirens, and since most of the sensors are wireless, they are very easy to install. It is usually sufficient to use a screwdriver in most cases.
Almost all DIY security systems also come with professional monitoring, which alerts the authorities if a break-in occurs or if other emergencies occur in your home. There are even security kits that can control smart home things like lights, locks, and smoke detectors.
With so many affordable options, how do you choose? Our own homes were used to test the best DIY security systems.
How can I protect my home with a DIY security system?
Based on our tests, we think the Abode Essentials Starter Kit is the best DIY home security system. The smart security bundle starts at around Rs 44238, making it one of the most inexpensive smart security solutions available. It also offers smart home capabilities, which means you can integrate smart bulbs and smart door locks with it. As part of Apple’s smart home platform, the system is compatible with HomeKit as well.
Those on a budget can get all the basics with the Ooma Home Security Kit, which includes motion sensors and some smart home integrations. Despite adding cellular and battery backups since launch, both cost extra, making this less of a bargain than it was originally.
Home security systems: how to choose the best
What is the total number of entryways and doors you would like monitored?
Motion and door sensors are usually included in security kits. A house with many windows will require more sensors, however. It can quickly add up if you add more sensors.
Convenience equals key fobs
You should consider a security system with a key fob or remote access if you frequently have people coming in and out of your homes – such as dog walkers or house cleaners.
Several app-based solutions allow you to set up individual PIN codes for each household member, while others include ID tags included in the box. Those who are particularly concerned about this may find the Nest Secure to be a better choice since it simply scans their keychain each time they come and go from the house.
Are you interested in professional monitoring?
What is the cost of extra protection for your home per month? Subscription prices increase as the kit size and number of monitoring devices increase. (Ooma Home Security kit does not provide professional monitoring, though it does start at Rs 3314 a month.) Some companies, including ADT, also cover specific triggers at Rs 1800 a month. The cost of around-the-clock surveillance can reach Rs 2500 per month in some cases. Registration with your city or county may also be required, which will also increase the overall cost of professional monitoring.
What do you think about making this a part of your smart home?
Many security systems can be integrated with devices like smart locks, such as unlocking the door and letting the system disarm itself, but not all will work with devices like security cameras and light sensors. The most compatible system is Abode’s, while Nest does a reasonable job as well.
How easy is it to use the app?
If you would love to use an app with your security system, consider a system that has one. The corresponding website usually has a preview of these things. A good indicator of the overall user experience is a review of an app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Your security system isn’t going to be very useful if it doesn’t have a functional portal or gateway.
Home security systems installed by professionals versus DIY
An empowering experience can be had when you install a home or business security system. When you wanted to equip your home with sensors and sirens, you would have had to call a company such as ADT, sign a contract, and wait for a technician to come over and set everything up. Nowadays, you can simply select a kit that meets your security requirements.
Having a home security system installed may have the greatest advantages, including the availability of professional monitoring at your convenience. Those who work from home, say, might not need a security service because they’re always home to watch what’s happening. But you can use an app to keep an eye on the house when you’re away for several days.
Testing DIY home security systems
Over the course of three months, we tested DIY home security systems in a two-story townhouse in the suburbs. There are a bunch of sensors included in each kit. A security gateway and motion sensor were placed near the entrance of the house on the first floor, with the security gateways facing the front door at a height of six feet. Each entry sensor was tested using a sliding glass door (to see if it picked up cat movement).
Our tests were conducted by setting off the alarms and leaving the house so that we could determine what decibel power their sirens had. Every monitoring service was signed up to see their response in case of the trigger. To test its ability in case of a power outage, each gateway was unplugged and used in battery mode. A Google Wi-Fi node nearest the front door was used if the gateway required an Ethernet connection.
Android 8.0 or later was used to test all mobile apps. Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge were used to test all browser apps.
It is possible that some security systems will not rely heavily on the mobile app, such as Samsung SmartThings ADT security kits, which come with touch screens, or SimpliSafe Essentials kits, which have keypads. Even if you don’t carry your phone everywhere, these are worth considering.