Are you concerned about the safety of your home and family but discouraged by the high costs of traditional home security systems? Well, worry no more. DIY home security systems are becoming increasingly popular as they offer an affordable and effective alternative to expensive traditional systems. With the latest advancements in technology, you can easily set up and monitor your home security system yourself.
DIY Home Security Systems
DIY Home Security Systems for Peace of Mind - What You Must Know
With increasing crime rates, there's a dire need to secure your home and family with home security systems. Unfortunately, for many buyers, these high costs involved in setting up and maintaining these systems can be discouraging.
DIY Home Security Systems might just be the solution for you. With advanced technology, it’s easier than ever to build an affordable and effective security system that you can monitor yourself.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- The most affordable and reliable DIY home security systems
- Their pros and cons
- Key factors to consider before getting one for your home
So, if you want to keep your home and family safe without breaking the bank, this article will show you the major pointers you need to know. Let’s start by examining the most affordable DIY home security systems.
Cost: From $199.99
Monthly Fees: None
For only $199.99 with Ring Alarm, you'll get a base station, door and window sensors, a keypad, an indoor camera, a motion detector, a range extender, and everything needed for a seamless DIY installation, all out-of-box.
Ring's package comes with both battery-powered and wired video doorbells. It’s the only provider on this list with indoor and outdoor stick-up cameras.
Rather than the more common adhesive backing, the sensors are mounted with mounting tape, which is included in the pack.
The only stress you may face with Ring's system will be screwing the motion and smoke sensors into your walls.
The control hub has flexible installation. You can screw it into your wall or sit on your table or shelf. The installation screws are not provided in the package.
- Easy installation
- No monthly fees
- Subscription on cloud video storage
- Limited integrations
Cost of Starter Kit: $250
Monthly Fee: $17.99 for Standard Plan. $27.99 for Interactive Plan.
This Massachusetts-based home security provider always makes good statements with affordable and quality packages.
On average, it takes less than 40 minutes to set up a SimpliSafe Home Security system. If you’re not tech-savvy, it could take you 1-2 hours. The sensors are peel-and-stick and take about a minute or two to fit. The temperature sensor, glass break sensor, and wireless alarms all have an adhesive backing that rules out screwing into your walls.
The toughest part of installing this system may be mounting the security cameras. While the cameras easily lock into a magnetic wall bracket, fastening the bracket to your preferred spot may take a couple of minutes.
The wireless carbon and smoke detectors also require screwing.
- No contracts
- Free-self monitoring
- No smart thermostat integration
- Not compatible with Z-wave
Cost of Starter Kit: From $129
Monthly Fee: $49.99
Most Frontpoint Home Security equipment, especially their peel-and-stick CO detectors and indoor cameras, are easy to install.
The most tricky part of the installation may be the outdoor camera setup, which requires screwing into walls. Also, unlike SimpliSafe, FrontPoint's doorbells are not battery-powered but wired. This may add to your challenge.
Sadly, their $49-monthly professional monitoring fee isn't optional. This may not be your best choice if you only need simple monitoring against environmental hazards and intrusion.
However, with home automation, cloud video storage, video monitoring, and mobile security apps, that'll be money well spent if you seek an advanced, cheap home security system that won't blow up your budget.
- Easy-to-follow installation guide
- Competitive monthly fees
- Variety of equipment and features
- Responsive customer service
- Professional monitoring
- No self-monitoring
- Expensive professional monitoring
- Not compatible with Apple Homekit
Cost of Starter Kit: From $150
Monthly Fee: $17.99 - $27.99
Cove offers cheap and easy-to-install home security systems. With your installation manual and its setup wizard, you only need about 30 minutes to launch your new system.
Like FrontPoint, Cove's base unit is preprogrammed to connect automatically to the base unit, with battery-powered doorbells, sensors, and outdoor cameras. This is most suitable where there are no power outlets outside.
The internal cameras have standing sticks without a screw-in option or adhesive backing.
Clove offers Basic and Plus home security plans at $17.99 and $27.99, respectively. Interestingly, both plans come with a 24-hour cellular backup and professional monitoring.
Their Plus package includes integrations like remote control, Google Assistant, and Alexa. Being able to control your security system with a remote and your voice is worth the extra $10.
- No contract
- Affordable professional monitoring
- Google and Alexa integrations
- Cellular backup
- No self-monitor option
- No outdoor cam
- Remote control and smart integrations are only available for the Plus plan
DIY Home Security Systems—The Pros and Cons
Before settling for a DIY home security system, knowing these perks and cons will help you make a well-informed decision.
Pros of DIY Home Security Systems
No professional installation fee: Some home security companies charge as high as $249 for installation fees. But with your screwdriver, a DIY manual/video, and about an hour of your time, you can set up a security system to protect your home without paying for a certified electrician or professional installer.
No technical wiring: Besides the base station, which is usually connected to a power outlet, most other DIY system components are linked wirelessly. You can place the control hub at your preferred location and connect all other equipment through wireless technology. This makes DIY setup and controls stylish, flexible, and convenient.
Flexibility to self-monitor or outsource: With most DIY technologies, it's up to you to monitor your live video footage and monitor alerts at no additional cost or pay for a professional monitoring service. This flexibility contributes to the rising interest in DIY systems among homeowners.
Cons of DIY Home Security Systems
Power and internet disruptions: Although most DIY systems can run on battery power, a power outage will disrupt their Wi-Fi-based internet connection.
Power outage rarely happens in the US, but people in disaster-prone areas with more regular power outages may be exposed to security threats during such shutdowns.
Installation may get messy: The peel-n-stick sensors can make DIY installation a breeze. But some equipment like doorbells, cameras, and motion sensors may need to be screwed or fitted into wall brackets. Besides, some outdoor and ceiling installations may turn out more demanding than anticipated.
Even the easiest DIY systems require, at least, a bit of technical know-how, particularly to configure and connect devices to your Wi-Fi.
With these concerns, a DIY can be challenging for those managing mobility problems and those with zero knowledge of wireless systems.
No professional assistance when needed: If you run into a problem while installing a DIY system, you’ll only have handbooks and videos at your disposal, whereas with a professional system, you can get help from your security provider.
Fixing these problems may cost you some long, agonizing hours or days.
Key Factors to Consider for DIY Home Security Systems
Before buying a DIY home security system, you should consider:
- Setup and maintenance costs
- Ease of installation
- Available features and options
- Type of monitoring system
Although a DIY home security basic starter kit comes cheap, your home may require a wider security scope than what that basic equipment can offer.
Considering the number of doors and windows, the size of your home, and the security history of your neighborhood, you may need more add-ons to satisfy your home security needs.
Before buying, evaluate the total cost of a holistic security package that befits your home—including all necessary additional equipment.
Ease of Installation
Although DIY equipment is typically wireless and comes with clear setup guides, you need to be sure you can handle the process.
Check online for user reviews to see how easy their setup was. Look for video guides online and see if you can follow the steps without issues. Be ready for some toolbox fastening and screw-ins.
If you’re unsure of a DIY installation or have a busy schedule, you can spend a few bucks for a professional installation.
What’s Included In Your Package
Out of the box, most DIY packages contain the basic equipment, including the control hub, doors, windows, motion sensors, and signage.
While these tools offer basic protection, based on your home's security needs, you may consider adding smoke/flood/glass break detectors, remote control, security camera, data storage, mobile monitoring, etc.
Before you choose any provider, see what's in their starter kit and how closely they meet your needs.
Self or Professional Monitoring?
Consider how you’d monitor your system. Will you monitor the system yourself or pay for a professional monitoring service?
Self-monitoring may work for you if you work from home or have enough time on your hands. These days, you can control and monitor your system through your smartphone.
But if you spend most of your time outdoors, consider professional monitoring.
You're all set to Purchase Your DIY Home Security System
DIY home security systems are an affordable and effective way to protect your home. The four systems we reviewed in this post offer cheap, reliable, and personalized security features.
Whether you seek basic intrusion detection or advanced smart home integration, you’ll find a solution that meets your needs without burning a hole in your pocket.
So, make your choice today to secure your household from intruders and thieves.