Best DIY Security Systems for 2020

Best Fully DIY
4.2 out of 5 stars4.2
Starting at  
$10.00
/mo.
Pro Bullet Mobile access with all plans
Pro Bullet Easy setup
Con Bullet Limited home automation support
Best Value
4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
Starting at  
$44.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Premium DIY installation
Pro Bullet Excellent customer service
Con Bullet No self-monitoring
Most Flexible Contracts
4.3 out of 5 stars4.3
Starting at  
$14.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Flexible DIY monitoring option
Pro Bullet Easy DIY setup
Con Bullet Minimal smart home integration
Best Luxury DIY
3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
Starting at  
$19.00
/mo*
Pro Bullet Excellent smart home capabilities
Pro Bullet High quality cameras
Con Bullet Expensive equipment
Best Self-Monitored
3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
Starting at  
$20.00
/mo.
Pro Bullet High compatibility
Pro Bullet Self-monitoring
Con Bullet No phone support with free plan
Looking for the latest? We often go back to review our articles to make sure we stand by our recommendations. This time, we updated pricing information for iSmartAlarm and Canary.
Some Ring users have reported breaches on their cameras, but the company says it's due to poor security practices by users. See more in the Ring section below.
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Overview
Not ready for a full-fledged security system with long-term contracts? A DIY home security system is a lower-cost compromise that offers protection with more flexibility.

we’ve put together this list of our favorite security systems with diy installation and different monitoring options to help you find the security you need. these companies make it easy to set up your security system yourself without having to schedule and pay for a professional installer to come to your home. if you choose to add new equipment or move to a new location, it’s easier to pack up your equipment and bring it with you.

some of these companies also offer more flexible monitoring options, like the option to keep an eye on your home yourself or pay for monitoring on a month-to-month basis, eliminating big contracts from the equation.

买一款棋牌游戏if you don’t need professional monitoring, we’ll also cover some of our favorite self-monitored alternatives to traditional home security systems. self-monitored systems come in different forms, like security camera systems that help you keep an eye on things back home when you’re away.

The best home security systems with DIY installation

The best self-monitored security systems

Compare the best DIY installation security systems

Data effective 12/13/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
*Price with 3-year contract. No-contract price is $29/mo.
**System is compatible with Google Nest cameras, but pro monitoring isn’t available for video

Best fully DIY: Ring Alarm

买一款棋牌游戏ring’s the easiest and least expensive system for your diy security needs.

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Ring camera breaches

ring has been in the news lately due to where strangers can view camera feeds and talk over the speaker. in a statement shared with us, ring said that these are due to consumers not taking proper precautions.

we continue to recommend ring products for now, but echo ring’s security precautions recommendations: use unique passwords, enable two-factor authentication, add authorized users instead of sharing credentials, and regularly change passwords.

Ring
Our rating:
4.2 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 stars4.2
Customer service
3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
Price
5 out of 5 stars5.0
Features & equipment
3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
Plans starting at 
$10.00
/mo.

    Ring pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletLowest industry monitoring price
    • Pro BulletNo contracts required
    • Pro BulletMobile access with all plans
    • Pro BulletCompetitive camera options
    • Pro BulletEasy setup
    Cons
    • Con BulletLimited home automation support
    • Con BulletNo professional camera monitoring

    Why we like Ring Alarm

    买一款棋牌游戏there’s a ton to love about ring. its unbeatable prices and easy setup make it our most highly recommended diy system. once you’ve set it up, you can choose to self-monitor or pay as little as $100 a year for professional monitoring.

    买一款棋牌游戏to help you self-monitor, ring’s app has a feature called neighbors. this feature allows you to coordinate with other neighbors to protect the neighborhood. you can even upload clips from your ring cameras to the app.

    Sadly, Ring’s inexpensive base package doesn’t include anything from its popular camera selection. And if you do get cameras, you’ll have to monitor them on your own. But a DIY enthusiast may not mind and might even prefer that.

    Ring cons

    ring’s still newer in the home alarm space, so the future of the system and its longevity are unknown. based on online reviews, it seems that the brand’s still working out kinks in providing the best home security service possible. but even with these bumps, ring’s outstripping lots of competitors in price and ease of use.

    finally, ring’s home automation is just average, especially when compared to other diy brands like frontpoint.

    >> Learn more: Our full Ring review

    >> Get Ring Home Security: Shop Ring


    Best value: Frontpoint

    frontpoint offers an ultra-simple diy equipment setup, high-quality professional monitoring, and a reputation for great customer service.

    Frontpoint
    Our rating:
    4.5 out of 5.0
    4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
    Customer service
    4.3 out of 5 stars4.3
    Price
    4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
    Features & equipment
    4.3 out of 5 stars4.3
    Plans starting at 
    $44.99
    /mo.

      Frontpoint pros and cons

      Pros
      • Pro BulletPremium DIY unboxing and setup
      • Pro BulletHigh-quality customer service
      • Pro BulletCellular 4G monitoring
      • Pro BulletZ-Wave compatibility
      • Pro BulletCrash & Smash protection
      Cons
      • Con BulletNo self-monitoring
      • Con BulletExpensive monitoring plans
      Frontpoint Equipment

      Photo source: ASecureLife team

      Why we like Frontpoint

      frontpoint has pretty much perfected the simple diy installation process. when you buy a frontpoint system or add new equipment to your existing system, it comes nicely packaged, preprogrammed, and ready to self-install without any complicated tools and hardware. once installed, your hub protects your entire system from tampering with crash & smash protection.

      its systems are also flexible—equipment is compatible with z-wave products so you can add third-party smart equipment like smart locks and thermostats to your system.

      frontpoint systems no longer require a three-year contract and have the same flexible monitoring as companies like ring and simplisafe. they come with high-quality professional monitoring and some of the best customer service in the industry. those are some of the reasons most frontpoint customers tend to stick around.

      Frontpoint cons

      frontpoint doesn’t give you the option to self-monitor your security system, so you’ll have to pay for its fairly expensive monitoring plans. 

      >>Learn more: Read our full Frontpoint review

      >>Shop now: Get Frontpoint


      Most flexible contracts: SimpliSafe

      simplisafe’s self-install security systems are affordable and easy to use. simplisafe is perfect if you want a flexible system that you can scale up or down as your budget allows.

      SimpliSafe
      Our rating:
      4.3 out of 5.0
      4.3 out of 5 stars4.3
      Customer service
      4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
      Price
      4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
      Features & equipment
      3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
      Plans starting at 
      $14.99
      /mo.

        SimpliSafe pros and cons

        Pros
        • Pro BulletAffordable starter kit
        • Pro BulletLarger selection of equipment than Nest
        • Pro BulletLower monitoring cost than competitors
        • Pro BulletBetter video monitoring options than competitors
        Cons
        • Con BulletMinimal smart home integration
        • Con BulletNo free self-monitoring through mobile app
        SimpliSafe Equipment

        Photo source: ASecureLife team

        Why we like SimpliSafe

        买一款棋牌游戏simplisafe is one of our favorite self-install security systems because it offers lots of flexibility, a wide selection of inexpensive equipment, and lower-cost monitoring than competitors.

        买一款棋牌游戏you can always get pro monitoring if you need it, but it’s not mandatory. that lets you pay for a month of monitoring if you’re going on vacation and switch back to using the equipment without monitoring if your budget gets tight.

        买一款棋牌游戏plus, if you do choose professional monitoring, simplisafe has more experience and better video monitoring support than other companies listed here. for one thing, simplisafe is the only company on this list that offers monitoring for a doorbell camera.

        SimpliSafe cons

        买一款棋牌游戏if home automation is your jam, simplisafe won’t be the best option for you. its home automation equipment options are minimal—it doesn’t integrate with many,third-party smart home brands.

        >>Learn more: Read our full SimpliSafe review

        >>Shop now: Get SimpliSafe


        Best luxury DIY: Google Nest Secure

        买一款棋牌游戏nest secure equipment is a bit pricey, but it’s easy to control and monitor on your own with the google nest app. if you need professional monitoring, you can turn it on when you’d like without signing up for a contract.

        Google Nest Secure
        Our rating:
        3.5 out of 5.0
        3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
        Customer service
        4 out of 5 stars4.0
        Price
        2 out of 5 stars2.0
        Features & equipment
        4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
        Plans starting at 
        $19.00
        /mo.

          Nest Secure pros and cons

          Pros
          • Pro BulletEasy control through Nest app
          • Pro BulletModern equipment design
          • Pro BulletFree self-monitoring through mobile app
          • Pro BulletMore smart home syncing options than SimpliSafe
          Cons
          • Con BulletMore expensive starter kit
          • Con BulletFewer equipment options than SimpliSafe
          • Con BulletNo pro monitoring for cameras or Nest Protect
          • Con BulletExtra cost for monitoring without a contract

          Why we like Nest Secure

          google nest secure’s† biggest perk is free self-monitoring through the mobile app. competitors like simplisafe make you pay for a monthly plan before you can monitor equipment with your smartphone. if you want to monitor your own equipment with your phone, nest secure is the most affordable way to do that.

          If you already have Nest equipment, Nest Secure lets you control and monitor your equipment through the same Nest app you use for other Nest devices like the carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, or cameras. So you won’t have to frantically open a bunch of apps to find which one is sending you alerts.

          Nest systems are compatible with Google Assistant (Nest and Google recently joined forces to become the brand Google Nest), so you can control your entire Nest system from a Google Nest hub. And beyond home security equipment, Nest also offers cutting-edge smart home devices like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat and the Google Nest Hello Video Doorbell.

          and while nest’s equipment is pricey, the design is attractive and modern, so it blends in nicely when you set it up in your home.

          Nest Secure cons

          nest secure’s starter package might be too expensive for those on a budget. like a lot of systems, it also charges more for contract-free monitoring without a contract, so factor that into your budget as well. its high-quality security systems will work better for those willing to spend a little more. we’d also like to see more transparency around the fact that nest‘s professional monitoring service doesn’t include video monitoring.

          >>Learn more: Read the full Nest Secure review

          >>Shop now: Get Nest Secure


          Best optional self-monitoring: Abode

          abode lets you self-monitor and also has a no-contract professional monitoring option.

          Abode
          Our rating:
          3.7 out of 5.0
          3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
          Customer service
          3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
          Price
          4 out of 5 stars4.0
          Features & equipment
          3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
          Plans starting at 
          $20.00
          /mo.

            Abode pros and cons

            Pros
            • Pro BulletNo contracts
            • Pro BulletFree self-monitoring with app
            • Pro BulletZigbee, Z-Wave, and Philips Hue compatibility
            • Pro BulletLarge equipment selection
            Cons
            • Con BulletNo phone support with free plan
            • Con BulletShorter equipment warranty than competitors
            • Con BulletLimited equipment in starter kit

            Why we like Abode

            abode stands out because it lets you monitor through the app for free or cycle back and forth between self-monitoring and professional monitoring at will. that’s quite the diy feature.

            abode also sells a ton of proprietary equipment. sirens, smoke alarms, all kinds of things. and if you want to add something to your system that abode doesn’t sell, the alarm system has excellent compatibility. you can connect an abode system to just about anything but a smart speaker.

            Abode cons

            abode has less security experience and customer support than some other companies we recommend. but the big things that make us scratch our head are the limited phone support and the equipment included in the starter kits.

            for some reason, if you choose to self-monitor, you can’t call in and get help from abode. that’s kind of weird when you consider that diyers might need more help, not less. and we’re always disappointed that abode’s cool equipment has to be bought separately. your starter kit won’t come with much.

            >>Learn more: Our full Abode review

            >>Shop now: Get Abode


            More DIY installation security systems to consider

            if the companies listed above don’t look like the right fit for your home, consider these other diy home security options. we don’t rate them as highly as the systems above, but they’re still solid home security options. some of these systems, like samsung smartthings with adt, fill a very specific niche for those who want home security along with access to a ton of zigbee and z-wave smart home equipment.

            Great for affordable monitoring: Cove

            Cove
            Our rating:
            3.3 out of 5.0
            3.3 out of 5 stars3.3
            Customer service
            4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
            Price
            3.3 out of 5 stars3.3
            Features & equipment
            2 out of 5 stars2.0
            Lowest pro monitoring price 
            $14.99
            /mo.

              cove’s on par with frontpoint in terms of ultra-simple diy installation, and its affordable prices are competitive with simplisafe. you also don’t have to sign a contract if you pay for your equipment up front. we recommend cove to anyone seeking a security system with somewhat simple equipment offerings and reasonable monitoring costs.

              while cove doesn’t sell its own home automation equipment or support smart home products from its app, you can pair your system with an amazon alexa or google assistant device to manage your home security and smart home from one hub.

              >>Learn more: Check out our Cove review.

              >>Shop now: Get Cove.


              Great for smart home enthusiasts: Samsung SmartThings with ADT

              Samsung SmartThings with ADT
              Our rating:
              3.0 out of 5.0
              3 out of 5 stars3.0
              Customer service
              3 out of 5 stars3.0
              Price
              3 out of 5 stars3.0
              Features & equipment
              4 out of 5 stars4.0
              Lowest pro monitoring price* 
              $24.99
              /mo.

                The coolest thing about this security kit is that the main security hub doubles as a smart home hub买一款棋牌游戏. That means you can use it with tons of other SmartThings products. The system has a lot in common with Nest Secure, but Samsung loses points because it has a shorter warranty, more expensive starter kit, and higher-priced monitoring.

                >>Learn more: Visit our full Samsung SmartThings and ADT review.

                >>View on Amazon: .

                *Note: There is also a home and life safety monitoring plan for $14.99/mo. But it doesn’t include security monitoring (ex. motion detection or door/window sensors).

                The best self-monitored security DIY security systems

                #1
                iSmartAlarm
                Cheapest system:  
                $79.99
                Pro Bullet Large equipment selection
                Pro Bullet No monthly fee for add-on features
                Con Bullet Sub-par camera options
                #2
                Canary
                Cheapest system: 
                $79.00
                Pro Bullet Modern equipment design
                Pro Bullet Easy setup
                Con Bullet No entry sensors
                #3
                Arlo
                Cheapest system: 
                $249.99
                Pro Bullet 7 days of free camera-feed storage
                Pro Bullet Largest camera selection
                Con Bullet No entry sensors
                ‡Amazon.com price as of 01/17/2020 at 10:32 a.m. (MT).

                if you don’t need flexible monitoring, or if monitoring just isn’t in your budget, you can save a lot of money opting for a totally self-monitored security system. these systems allow you to keep an eye on your home remotely without having to worry about contracts or steep monthly monitoring fees. although professional monitoring is ideal, you should still be able to have some kind of security system set up at home.

                we think abode is the best overall self-monitored system, but if you're looking for something else, we've created a list of our other favorites.

                Compare self-monitored security systems

                Data current as of 09/05/2019. Pricing and packages are subject to change.

                #1. iSmartAlarm

                iSmartAlarm
                Cheapest system 
                $79.99
                • Lots of equipment options
                • No monthly fees for extra features
                • Not as many camera options as competition

                iSmartAlarm pros and cons

                Pros
                • Pro BulletLarge equipment selection
                • Pro BulletInexpensive equipment
                • Pro BulletNo monthly fee for add-on features
                Cons
                • Con BulletNo outdoor camera
                • Con BulletLess attractive design than competitors
                • Con BulletHub required

                Why we like iSmartAlarm

                买一款棋牌游戏we like ismartalarm because you can get lots of inexpensive security equipment and self-monitor all of it remotely from your phone. ismartalarm offers more equipment than the other companies on this list, including door and window sensors, cameras, and smart switches. that said, the equipment is a bit clunky looking, so if aesthetics are important to you, you might want a different system.

                买一款棋牌游戏ismartalarm is also a nice option if you don’t want to pay monthly fees for extra features like storage or two-way audio—canary and arlo charge extra for features you might want.

                iSmartAlarm cons

                ismartalarm offers one indoor camera, and it’s not as high quality as the canary or arlo cameras below. a security camera is one of the most important elements to a home security system, and we find ismartalarm lacks in that department.

                >>Want a highly affordable security system? .

                >>Read our iSmartAlarm review


                #2. Canary

                Canary
                Cheapest system: 
                $79.00
                • Easy to set up
                • Indoor cameras have air quality and temperature monitoring
                • No motion detectors and glass break sensors
                ‡Amazon.com price as of 01/17/2020 at 10:32 a.m. (MT).

                Canary pros and cons

                Pros
                • Pro BulletModern equipment design
                • Pro BulletEasy setup with multiple mounting options
                • Pro BulletSingle camera that can also monitor air quality and temperature
                • Pro BulletNo required hub
                Cons
                • Con BulletNo entry sensors
                • Con BulletSome features reserved for paid plans

                Why we like Canary

                买一款棋牌游戏canary doesn’t offer nearly as much equipment as ismartalarm, but the equipment you can get is attractive, effective, and easy to set up. canary offers feature-packed indoor and outdoor cameras that include two-way audio and work without a hub. the indoor camera can even monitor air quality and temperature.

                Canary cons

                canary cameras aren’t a true replacement to home security systems. its cameras are a great way to keep eyes on your home, but canary doesn’t offer any essential security equipment like intrusion sensors or motion detectors, but it’s an affordable way to keep an eye on any pets or kids you leave behind when you go out.

                >>Want to keep eyes on your home while you’re not around?

                >>Read our Canary review.


                #3. Arlo

                Arlo
                Cheapest system: 
                $249.99
                • Range of security camera options
                • Offers lights and baby monitors
                • Clean, inconspicuous design
                ‡Amazon.com price as of 01/17/2020 at 10:32 a.m. (MT).

                Arlo pros and cons

                Pros
                • Pro BulletSeven days of camera-feed storage without plan
                • Pro BulletIndoor/outdoor camera options
                • Pro BulletDoorbell cameras available
                Cons
                • Con BulletNo entry sensors
                • Con BulletSome features reserved for paid plans
                • Con BulletBase stations required for some cameras

                Why we like Arlo

                Arlo’s system is mostly camera based, but it offers some of our favorite security cameras on the market. If you opt for Arlo you’ll have a wide selection of indoor and outdoor cameras at a variety of price points to match your budget. If you’re feeling spendy, the is one of the most cutting-edge cameras on the market with crisp 4K video footage. But Arlo’s more basic cameras still offer a nice baseline 1080p resolution and a clean design that won’t draw much attention in or outside your home.

                while arlo is mostly focused on cameras, you can also get a or for extra protection if you need it.

                Arlo cons

                买一款棋牌游戏arlo is a great way to get eyes on your home, but its systems aren’t a complete solution to home security without intrusion sensors, motion sensors, and an in-house alarm. it also doesn’t make a lot of sense if you want only one camera, as there will be better options that don’t require a base station or a monthly fee to access higher-tier features.

                >>>Want to buy some of our favorite security cameras on the market? .


                The state of burglary

                the likelihood that someone will break into your home varies from state to state. we analyzed the latest fbi burglary data and found some interesting trends.

                According to FBI crime reports,1买一款棋牌游戏 the number of burglaries in the United States in 2018 was 11.9% lower than in 2017. This continues a trend of fewer burglaries across the country overall, which have decreased by a remarkable 44.2% since 2009. As security systems reduce the risk of break-ins, they've likely played a major role in reducing property crime rates overall.

                Key findings

                New Hampshire has the fewest burglaries per capita
                New Hampshire tops our list of states with the fewest break-ins per 100,000 residents. In 2018, New Hampshire’s burglary rate dropped by an astounding 29%, which was enough for it to take the number one position from New York —the safest state in 2017.

                West Virginia saw the sharpest decrease in its burglary rate
                The burglary rate in West Virginia dropped by 29.4% between 2017 and 2018.

                Hawaii was the only state with an increased burglary rate in 2018
                One of the most curious findings in 2018 is that Hawaii was the only state to show an increase in break-ins.

                New Mexico still #1 with the most break-ins per capita
                买一款棋牌游戏New Mexico ranked 51 on a list of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, keeping its reputation as the state with the most break-ins per 100,000 residents. Still, the overall rate of burglaries in the state dropped by 10.5% since 2017.

                >>Want to see what we found last year? Read our full 2017 report: States with the Most and Fewest Break-Ins


                What is DIY home security?

                DIY security can mean two different things. First, there’s DIY installation. DIY security systems come with preprogrammed equipment that’s easy to self-install with little to no drilling, sawing, carving, soldering, rewiring, or tampering with flux capacitors. Frontpoint, SimpliSafe, and Cove place a ton of emphasis on their DIY installation service and making the setup process painless for new customers.

                there’s also diy monitoring, which gives you the ability to keep an eye on your own security system instead of paying monthly to have a third-party monitoring center watch over your home for you. that’s not to say professional monitoring is a bad thing. pro monitoring comes in handy when you’re, say, off paragliding in the alps, or even toiling away at your 9-to-5, and can’t find the time to watch over the home yourself.

                the biggest benefit to diy monitoring is that you’ll save a lot of money month to month. and diy monitoring usually means you won’t be locked into a long contract if you want to pause or cancel your security system service.

                DIY installation

                we’ve set up ring, frontpoint, simplisafe, and cove security systems in-house, and they can all be set up in under an hour with little to no technical know-how. most of these modern diy systems use your home wi-fi network (usually with cellular backup) as a bridge to connect the rest of your system to the hub or control panel.

                买一款棋牌游戏window and door sensors come with 3m tape for easy application around the house. and any wired hardware like indoor security cameras just need to be plugged in to sync with your system.

                What is DIY monitoring?

                security systems that offer professional monitoring charge a monthly fee to have a professional monitoring center keep an eye on your system. but diy monitoring has made home security a lot more accessible to people that don’t want to sign onto traditional three-year (or longer) professional monitoring contracts. systems like ismartalarm are completely self-monitored, which is a solid option for anyone on a budget because you only have to cover the up-front equipment costs.

                then you have systems like simplisafe that give you the option to monitor yourself or pay for professional monitoring on a month-to-month basis. you still don’t have to deal with any long contracts, and you can outsource your monitoring during times when you can’t keep an eye on your home yourself. go on, you deserve to enjoy a carefree vacation every now and then.


                Our recommendation

                diy home security offers a lot of benefits to customers. whether that’s through streamlined self-installation or self-monitored alternatives or traditional contract-based security systems, doing it yourself can help save you a lot of money without sacrificing for quality equipment or functionality.

                >>Into the idea of self-monitoring with optional professional monitoring? Check out Ring Alarm.

                >>If you want a DIY home security system with top-notch professional monitoring, we recommend Frontpoint.

                >>Want a totally self-monitored home security system? We like .


                Sources:
                1. FBI, “”

                †Google, Google Nest Secure, Google Nest Protect, Google Nest Learning Thermostat and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.
                *Offer requires signing the Frontpoint Terms and Conditions; taxes and fees may apply; valid for new customers only; cannot be combined with any other offer; offer void where prohibited and valid as long as supplies last; indoor camera valued at $99.99; must be added to cart at checkout; one free indoor camera per customer; requires Ultimate Monitoring Plan at $49.99/month; includes free standard shipping; offer valid through 2/2/20 at 11:59PM EST. Risk Free Trial requires a subscriber to activate or initiate a hardware return within 30 days from receipt (“Trial Period”). Complete details available at Frontpoint.com.