Is DIY Home Security the Project for You?
2023 Update. Before buying your own DIY home security system you will want to make sure it is something you can do. More and more technology products are turning into a do-it-yourself assembly, making it easier for companies to reach consumers across the nation without sending a technician. By being your own technician, you do save around $150-200 installation fee. Indeed, you save much in technician fees, delivery is hassle-free, and you don’t have to worry about contracts.
Frontpoint Security box received in mail shown
Quick look into more of the good & bad of DIY security systems:
- Activated equipment is shipped to you
- Easy peel & stick sensors
- Accommodates to any residence location
- Backup batteries
- Smart security that can be turned on and off with phones
- Can add to and expand security system easily in months to come (without paying extra for a rep to install more equipment)
- It comes with monitoring options, warranties, and technical support (most DIY security systems)
- Requires you being the technician (well.. duh!)
- Control panel may require a little bit of drilling
- Setting up cameras can be tricky (outdoor more so than indoor)
- Several users are not comfortable setting up one on their own
- Limited to more basic security systems compared to a Vivint full home automation system
Note, if setting up your own security system doesn’t sound like your cup of tea then look into an ADT security system who does it for you at a one time fee of $150.
Top 3 DIY Home Security Systems with Monitoring
|Headquarters||Virginia||Texas, USA||Utah, USA|
|Standard Windows, Motion, Door & Glass Sensors||[yes]||[yes]||[yes]|
|Key Remote (On/Off) Fob||[yes]||[yes]||[yes]|
|C02, Fire and Flood Sensors||[yes]||[yes]||[yes]|
|Mobile & Tablet Control||[yes]||[yes]||[yes]|
|Cameras||Indoor & Outdoor & Doorbell||Indoor, Pan Tilt||Indoor & outdoor|
|Advanced Features||Light Control, Automated Door Locks, Temperature & Energy Control||GPS Security, Medical Panic||Door locks, Thermostats, Plugin light automation|
|Smoke, C02 & Flood||[yes]||[yes]||[yes]|
Tips for Self-Setup Systems
Make sure to test your self-setup security system with the companies technical department right away
All of the Top 3 above have technical support lines that will verify that each security sensor is up and working. They will also take note of which one is where and enter that into their system. (ie., #2 door sensor is on the back door). Don’t forget to call them and activate it after setting it up. To make sure that the security camera works well and to avoid any inconsistencies when complaining about their product.
Expect 30-60 minutes for installation
Some advertisements will make it sound like these security systems set themselves up in a few minutes. While they have become much more user friendly, it still takes typical know-how skills. You must be able to access the areas in your home you want to place the sensors. Choosing which areas of your home would be best to install the home security camera and capture clear images. Setting up a DIY security camera requires preparing the included installation tools. This may include a small ladder to place motion detectors or cameras in a corner.
Get a DIY system that is professionally monitored
Just because you are setting it up by yourself doesn’t mean you should monitor it too. Several DIY alarms don’t have 24/7 monitoring making you reliable to react to any event. If you are in work, school, vacation etc. you may miss the alert that your alarm has been set off. Not having it monitored is nearly as worthless as not having one at all. Each of the top 3 reviewed below provide monitoring for a monthly fee.
Start with basics and add to it to save money
A great benefit to DIY home security alarm systems is the ability to add to them down the road. Make sure to start off with the essentials of: motion sensors, smart control, door/window sensors. After setting up the initial system you can then add security cameras, smart thermostats and more later. This will also help keep the starting cost to a minimum. This idea of DIY installation of the best home security system gives you time to upgrade and provides the same benefits as purchasing a complete setup, but the big difference is you pay less.
How To Install a DIY Alarm System
Woman shown sticking on a window sensor
Setting up a DIY security system is very easy. Guides and instructions will be sent along with the system. A quick break down of how to is as follows:
1. Choose the company & buy the system. Use our top 3 comparison chart above
2. Security system is shipped out and arrives within 3-5 business days
Security system arrives in box within 2-4 business days pre-activated
3. Set it up. Peel off the back and apply sticky side to area needed
4. Call to confirm sensor is activated and setup right
Call to confirm – they will test that each sensor is accounted for and working on their end.
Recap of the 3 best do it yourself security systems:
|Rank||Home Security System Summary||Contract Length|
|2||Protect America||36 months|
|3||Link Interactive||36 months|
Our final thoughts…
Home security companies love DIY systems because it allows them to ship out their equipment to any location nationwide. And it helps their companies grow and become known in other countries with their best-selling products. Customers love them because they save money, and it gives them a bigger sense of ownership. If you are going for a standard system then typically DIY is your best option. Investing in a home security system is the best way to keep your family safe, even at home. For larger homes or advanced home automation then going the DIY route is not for your. As long as as the equipment is setup correctly it is just as good as professionally installed alarm systems and one shouldn’t bother worrying which is better.
Brad Lunt says
I will DIY til the day that I die! Okay, a cheesy little slogan I came up with. But seriously, anyone paying for a technician to install their security system needs to chill and just try one of these! It’s the same equipment people!
Granted, I do realize that if you can afford a house for a security system, you can probably pay another $99 for installation. If your installation is anything more than $99 you might as well do it yourself and use the spare funds to pay for the first few months of monitoring.
I think the companies that offer this are smart so they can roll out nationwide and not have to worry about installation vans, techs breaking things at users homes etc. The tricky parts are when you get into camera systems and automation, then it’s tech-it-up time!
Dana Washnock says
Honestly I was scared at first about doing my own alarm system. But the flexibility of it was great. I also liked not having a technician in my home learning about where everything is. I’m sure I’m just extra paranoid but by doing it myself I kept out any creepo that might be working for a security company to identify goods in users homes.
5/5 for me. Thanks for the tips
If it was still early 2000’s I would be hesitant about trying a DIY security system. Thankfully, technology has come a long way and I think technology will continue to get more user friendly. Several companies rely on consumers to be able to put their product together in order to use it. Luckily, these companies mention all make it easier than any kind of furniture project you may have tried in the past. Thanks for the great review on each one, they all seem like reliable options.
I like the DIY alarm systems because you can easily add to them throughout the years. With others, you have to call the company and pay for a tech to come out and install just a simple sensor (like a window or door). Getting a DIY security system allows you to expand it later on or even move with it easier. Thank goodness the companies have made the products more affordable so it is a viable option these days.
M. Jones says
As appealing as this sounds, I wouldn’t want to mess anything up.
I’m a bit of a joke in my household because of my near zero DIY skills, and I wouldn’t want to bet my family’s security on it.
DIY is not my thing so I would prefer spending an additional 100 bucks for its installation. No matter how easy it sounds like, I’m still afraid of installing it by myself because I might damage the system and it would require me to spend for additional expenses.