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The top performers in this test were abode and Scout Alarm, with Nest Secure and SimpliSafe tying for third place. During installation tests, we make sure the manual or mobile app can get you through the setup process without contacting the company. We also look at whether the equipment in each system's starter kit requires additional tools such as screwdrivers and batteries. Finally, we time how long it takes to set up each component. We found Scout Alarm, SimpliSafe and abode easier to set up than most security-in-houston.html">other DIY security systems. How much do DIY security systems cost?There are three costs you can expect with most DIY security systems: equipment, access fees and professional security monitoring. You can expect to spend an average of $250 on equipment, though this goes up as you buy more sensors. Access fees are sometimes required to unlock all or part of a system's self monitoring features for about $10 a month. With regards to professional monitoring, you can expect to pay between $15 and $30 a month for the service, which generally covers any access fees as well. This is lower than the $37 average on traditional security systems and doesn't require a contract; not all DIY security systems have professional monitoring. What equipment should you get?Begin with a starter kit that covers your basic DIY home security needs such as the number of motion detectors and entry sensors for your home's size.

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Additionally, some people want a professional to come to their home and show them how the system works, while others want to figure things out on their own. Which kind of person you are and what you can accommodate in your daily schedule are both going to matter when you are considering the installation options. With a DIY installation, there’s no need to worry about the timing: You simply get the equipment and hook it up when it’s convenient for you. That makes it a lot more convenient for people with busy schedules. But one problem with this kind of installation is that no one is there to walk you through how the system works. You also don’t have someone to help you get it hooked up, and if you have to work with customer service over the phone, it can become stressful. Still, there’s something that feels quite nice about being able to install the system yourself and to get it working right. Some security systems require incorporating your new system with your existing wiring which means you will need to have the right tools for the job. Anytime you’re dealing with wiring and electricity, you really need to know exactly what you’re doing and have the tools to do it properly. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your new equipment, your existing wiring, or creating a fire hazard if it is not installed properly. So unless you truly know what you’re doing, you should probably opt for professional installation, especially if your new security system will need to be hardwired.