Home security, which was once just a professional service with monthly rates and on-site installation technicians, has become increasingly customer-focused and do-it-yourself-oriented over the past few years. Many companies now offer exceptional DIY home security systems built with autonomous technology and simple features that are easy to use for most homeowners.

To help readers find the best DIY security system for their home that’s easy to install and monitor, our Advisor team has spent hours analyzing home security companies on what they provide. The best home security systems offer equipment with impressive features, usability and designs while maintaining affordability and trustworthiness. Keep reading for our top picks for DIY home security.

Our Top Picks for DIY Security Systems

Best Overall: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe impressed us with its combined performance in all of our rating categories, including company reputation, equipment, monitoring, installation and usability. It scored the highest in our review with a 96 out of 100. It’s an ideal choice for homeowners who want easy-to-use equipment that’s affordable and allows customers to surveil their entire home.

If you’re not comfortable using your phone or other smart devices, SimpliSafe may not be the best option, since it puts emphasis on its smartphone app integration and compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit.

Here are a few benefits of SimpliSafe:

  • Offers a professional installation option that costs $79 for those who need extra help getting their equipment set up
  • Features a Wi-Fi and cellular connection that’s easy to set up
  • Provides a 60-day, money-back guarantee with all products and packages

Shop SimpliSafe’s DIY home security systems and packages to see which one is best for you.

Best Starter Package: Frontpoint

Frontpoint is another top player in the home security industry and scored a 95 out of 100 in our review. Its starter kit, The Safehouse, is a great beginner-friendly home security product, since it requires minimal setup and includes the necessary items to get started, such as a hub, keypad, motion sensor, two door or window sensors and a doorbell camera.

The Safehouse is also one of the lowest-priced basic packages at $99, and it comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee and a three-year warranty. However, Frontpoint doesn’t offer a professional installation option, so you might want to choose a different provider if you think you’ll need some help setting up your equipment.

Here are some other benefits of Frontpoint:

  • Includes a free doorbell security camera with each package
  • Offers monthly financing for higher-priced bundles
  • Features in-depth instructions on its website for installing each device

Visit the Frontpoint website or call 833-823-5612 to learn more about what package is best for your home.

Best Customization: Abode

Customization is valuable when choosing a DIY home security system, since it allows you to fine-tune your equipment combination based on your exact home security needs. With Abode, you can choose from a wide variety of options to build your system. Abode also offers an all-in-one bundle called the Abode iota Kit, which includes a system hub that functions as a base station, alarm system, motion sensor and camera.

Abode scored a 93 out of 100 in our review and stands out for its customizability and variety of equipment. However, Abode might not be the best for you if you’re looking for a standard doorbell camera, since it currently doesn’t offer one.

The following are a few more reasons why Abode stands out among the competition:

  • Sells refurbished equipment on its website at lower prices than its brand-new options
  • Guarantees the Abode iota Kit can be set up in under 30 minutes without needing tools
  • Features compatibility with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Purchase the all-in-one Abode iota Kit or build your own custom security system by shopping for other products on Abode’s website.

Best Customization
4.5/5
Abode
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Best Cellular Connection: Cove

Cove scored an 88 out of 100 in our review as the best home security system with cellular connection. Its systems run on 100% cellular signal for connection, rather than Wi-Fi or Ethernet, so you and your professional monitors will never lose communication from devices during a power outage or Wi-Fi signal disruption. It also uses InstaText to provide text alerts and notifications from its monitoring centers.

Although Cove offers a cheap professional monitoring subscription at around $15 per month with no contract, it doesn’t offer a self-monitoring option, so we don’t recommend it to those who want to manage their security system on their own.

Here are some other benefits of Cove:

  • Provides an easy-to-use touch screen control panel that functions as the system’s hub
  • Features a quiz tool on its website that helps customers find the right equipment for their home
  • Charges only $79 for professional installation

Use Cove’s online quote tool to find the best DIY security system for your home.

Easiest DIY Installation: Scout

Scoring an 87 out of 100 in our review, Scout is one of the best DIY home security systems for its easy installation. Many of its devices are wireless and can be placed on surfaces or mounted with adhesives. For example, Scout’s motion detector can stand on its own and detect movement in the room where it’s placed, and the doorbell camera can be installed with your current doorbell setup.

Scout also offers comprehensive professional monitoring subscriptions with no contracts and free cloud video storage accessible through its mobile app. One downside of choosing this provider is that you have to pay around $10 per month for self-monitoring.

Here are a few other reasons to choose Scout for your home security system:

  • Includes a three-year warranty with all products
  • Integrates with multiple smart-home devices and services, including Hue, Lifx, Yale and Amazon Alexa
  • Features cellular backup and battery backup to prevent lost connection during a power or Wi-Fi outage

You can get started with your DIY home security system and take advantage of Scout’s free 60-day trial.

Best Camera Options: Canary

Canary scored an 84 out of 100 in our review. Although it doesn’t offer other devices typically found in other DIY providers’ equipment options, such as sensors or smoke alarms, its cameras are the best in the industry. They’re high-quality with 1080p Full HD resolution and a built-in 90-decibel siren. They can also monitor temperatures, humidity, air quality and motion, and they’re controllable through the Canary mobile app.

Canary offers a Premium Service plan for around $10 per month that comes with motion-activated full video recording, 30-day video storage, a two-year device warranty, unlimited video downloads and more. Canary may not be best for homeowners who want professional monitoring, since the company currently doesn’t offer that service.

Canary offers the following benefits:

  • Provides unique mounting accessories for its Flex camera
  • Has an incident support team to help customers recover after a break-in
  • Includes motion-activated recorded video clips for free

Visit the Canary website to learn more about Canary’s impressive cameras and features.

Compare Specs & Features

SimpliSafe

Frontpoint

Abode

Cove

Scout

Canary

Requires Contract

Doorbell Camera

Mobile App

Two-Way Audio

Smart-Home Integration

Amazon, Google

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Amazon, Google

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Indoor Camera Resolution

720p HD

1080p Full HD

1080p Full HD

1080p Full HD

1080p Full HD

1080p Full HD

Included Warranty

3 years

3 years

1 year

1 year

3 years

1 year

DIY Home Security System Costs

One of the biggest appeals of purchasing DIY home security equipment is the lower cost compared with systems that require professional installation. DIY systems are designed for an easy installation, and you don’t have to worry about paying a technician to come to your home to set up your equipment. Additionally, if you plan on monitoring your house on your own, you don’t have to pay the monthly subscription fees that typically come with professional monitoring.

The exact pricing of your home security system will vary depending on the amount of equipment you need, but most basic kits start at around $100–$200 and can cost up to $500–$700 for the most comprehensive packages that include more equipment and features.

Installing a DIY Home Security System

The best DIY home security systems shouldn’t require a home security technician’s help. However, you should consider a few factors before purchasing a system to ensure you perform the installation properly and get the most out of your equipment. The last thing you want is to place a camera in a spot with a poor view of the room or in a spot that leaves an ugly wire hanging down the wall.

Here are some important factors to consider before installing your DIY home security system:

  • Wiring: Although some DIY home security equipment options are wireless, such as Canary’s Flex Camera or the Frontpoint Indoor Camera, you may have to work with some devices that have wires during the installation. This could require you to drill into your walls and run a power cable to the nearest outlet to hide any wires. To avoid wired equipment, consider Frontpoint and Cove, two home security providers with wireless home security equipment.
  • Mounting: Most home security devices need to be attached to walls, windows or doors to provide a full view of a room. Most cameras and sensors can be mounted with simple adhesives and don’t require you to drill holes in walls, but other devices such as smoke detectors typically require a bit more equipment for installation. Before starting the installation process, make sure you have the proper tools for mounting your devices.
  • Placement: Placing your equipment in the right spot allows it to function at its best. For example, glass-break sensors need to be attached within the proper range of a window so it can pick up the right glass-breaking frequencies, and smoke detectors should be placed on the ceiling or higher on the wall to catch rising smoke.
  • Software: Setting up the connection and software tools that come with your DIY home security system is pretty straightforward. It typically involves downloading the home security company’s mobile app to your smartphone, connecting the system to your Wi-Fi, making sure each device is receiving power and being recognized by the system’s hub and ensuring you have the proper notifications set up for alerts to be sent directly to your phone.

Professional Monitoring vs. Self-Monitoring

Although most of the home security systems provided by the companies in this review are designed for easy DIY setup and installation, some providers will offer professional monitoring for customers who want around-the-clock service and 24/7 monitoring. With professional monitoring, your system is connected to live monitoring centers that get alerts from your equipment and immediately call the authorities when necessary. Services typically come in the form of a subscription for a monthly fee.

Most home security providers also offer the option for homeowners to monitor their devices on their own. With a self-monitoring option, you can set up notifications on your phone for any alerts signaled from your sensors, cameras or detectors. Some companies also offer live-stream and video recording through the cameras so you can check in on your home while you’re away.

Methodology for Rating Home Security Systems

Our Advisor team has spent dozens of hours analyzing home security brands on their products, services and reputation to provide the most comprehensive analysis for our readers. To ensure each company meets the required standards to make our rankings, we have created an in-depth rating system.

Below is a breakdown of the factors we consider when rating companies, along with the weight of each factor. The best companies score highly across these categories.

Factor

Score

Description

Equipment

25

This factor is scored based on the equipment offered by the provider and its overall cost. Top providers offer a range of products, such as outdoor cameras, sensors, video doorbells, control panels, wireless remotes and smart-home technology, at affordable prices.

Monitoring

15

Monitoring is an important part of home security for many homeowners. We rated companies on the types of monitoring plans they offer, including professional and self-monitoring options, in addition to their monthly costs.

Company Reputation

15

We scored companies on their customer reputation by looking at their complaint indexes and ratings by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We also scored them based on their years in business and trial periods, which prove their experience in the industry and their trustworthiness.

Contracts

15

Getting locked into long-term contracts is a top complaint for many home security customers. With this factor, we scored companies based on the length of their contracts. Companies with longer contracts lost points, while companies with shorter contracts or no contracts at all received more points.

Warranty

10

Home security systems that come with a warranty are especially valuable to homeowners, since this ensures the repair or replacement of the equipment after a breakdown or malfunction. We scored companies based on the length of the warranty included in their packages.

Connectivity and Integration

10

The best home security systems can integrate with connection services like Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and Zigbee. They are also compatible with popular home automation systems, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri.

Usability

5

This factor represents each company’s devices’ overall usability. We looked at any technology and software that offers the best experience for customers, such as mobile apps, touch screen hubs or control panels and two-way audio.

Installation

5

Installing a DIY home security system from a top provider should be easy and straightforward. Top brands also offer professional installation as an option for homeowners at a reasonable rate.