Best DIY Home Security of 2018

Best User Experience


The thing we liked most about abode is that it’s more user-friendly than other DIY home security systems we tested. You can set up different modes such as home, vacation and away and specify which devices are active in each mode.
There’s no monthly fee for self-monitoring, but you pay extra if you want cellular backup and security camera backup ($10) for your system. You can also get monthly professional home monitoring ($30), which includes the backup features mentioned above. One of the best things about abode is you can buy the amount of professional monitoring you need on a monthly, weekly or even a three-day basis. This is particularly convenient when you can’t monitor the system on your own during vacations.
To install abode, you need to connect the base station to your router using an Ethernet cable and set up the sensors with the mobile app. It takes about 10 minutes to set up. When we tested the built-in siren, it was one of the loudest, making it hard for intruders to ignore. There’s a 10-hour backup battery that keeps your system functional when the power goes out. Another thing that makes abode so easy to use is its ability to talk to devices from Nest and Amazon, as well as Z-Wave and ZigBee devices. You can also link your abode system to other smart home devices via the IFTTT online task automation service. abode’s one-year warranty isn’t robust, but it’s typical of DIY smart home systems.
  • Most user-friendly system we tested
  • Strong smart home compatibility
  • Easy to install
  • Most expensive professional monitoring fee
  • Cellular backup requires additional fee
  • One-year warranty

We are currently testing the following DIY home security systems and will update our comparison after testing concludes.

* Nest Secure (Released in November 2017 for $499)
* Samsung SmartThings ADT Home Security Starter Kit (Released in October 2017 for $499)
* SimpliSafe’s The Essentials equipment package (Released in January 2018 for $259)
* Wink Lookout Smart Security Essentials (Released in October 2017 for $199)

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