Best Self Installed Home Security Systems

self installed home security systems

Now might be a really good time to invest in self installed home security systems.

Ongoing inflation, which will make every day things cost more – gas, milk, bread, housing – the essentials of living.

The Coronavirus or Covid doesn’t seem to being going away any time soon, even if you get the vaccine or have antibodies you can still get sick, new variants seem to be found every month, masks have to be worn even if you get the vaccine.

Police Departments are being defunded or at least reducing the amount of police on the streets. Which seems to be leading people to believe they can get away with criminal activity.

After all of that, these issues have lead to an increase in the crime rate – including murder, burglaries, robbery and home invasions – especially in major cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Portland and San Francisco.

The purpose of self installed home security systems

I think everyone should have a home security system. And most people don’t want a stranger coming into your house to do any kind of work unless absolutely necessary. That is why a self installed home security system is a good idea.

The purpose of a home security system is ultimately to protect you and protect your family. Possessions and the structure you live in need protecting as well and these self installed home security systems do that. But those can be replaced.

In the last few years there have been many self installed home security system companies that have sprung up and it might be hard to distinguish one from the other. Most are easily self installed with sticky back tape like 3M. A lot of them have an app that enables you to set or disarm when you’re away from home. A few have many different gadgets and components that will integrate with the hub for a whole home security solution. But only one stands out above the rest.

The Best Self Installed Home Security Systems

  1. Frontpoint Security
  2. SimpliSafe
  3. Ring Alarm System
  4. Eufy Security
  5. Canary Security
  6. Scout Alarm

Frontpoint Security

Frontpoint Hub & Indoor Camera

Named the best home security system of 2021 by US News & World Report, Frontpoint Security tops the list of best self installed home security systems. The lowest tier package comes with the hub, keypad, motion sensor, 2 door or window sensors and a free doorbell camera for $99. This is a good package for 1 bedroom apartments but they do have larger packages for larger living spaces and more protection at entry points.

You can even build your own package to suit your individual needs. They have many components that can be added to your system that rivals Ring Alarm. Literally any type of intrusion can be monitored with the Frontpoint system.

Everything comes out of the box to work with the Frontpoint system. Each device you order with the kit comes preprogrammed to work with the hub, so essentially it is plug and play. That is to say, if you order any additional devices they will come preprogrammed to work with just your hub.

Whole Home Security

Every package comes with a free doorbell camera

Frontpoint has doorbell cameras, indoor and outdoor cameras both with night vision, glass break sensors, carbon monoxide and flood sensors, smart thermostat, wireless light control and garage tilt sensors. Garage tilt sensor! It alerts you if the garage goes up or you could also check if it is up or down if you can’t remember. Most importantly, all of these can be accessed and monitored using the Frontpoint app.

The whole system is voice activated with the Frontpoint hub. The system is completely wireless. And in the event that power or WiFi goes out it switches to backup rechargeable battery power and uses the cellular network to communicate with the professional monitoring system.

Frontpoint has professional monitoring for about $49 a month. Has a 3 year warranty and a 30 day risk free trial.

See the Frontpoint Packages

Pros:

Lowest package is $99 and comes with free doorbell camera
Available Professional Monitoring for $49 a month
System is completely customizable
Only self installed home security system that comes with a garage sensor that can be monitored with the app
Voice activated system through the Frontpoint hub
Frontpoint hub works with over 200 smart home devices

Cons:

Available professional monitoring is higher than some of the others


SimpliSafe Security System

SimpliSafe security system packages start at $183 for the keypad, a motion sensor, a door sensor and the SimpleSafe base station. The name of that package is The Foundation. That is a good package for a one bedroom apartment. But they have bigger security packages that will protect a whole house. Or you can build your own system with whatever compenents you need.

I tested out a system that included the base station, keypad, 2 motion detectors, 4 door or window sensors, a personal keyfob and a really loud siren. That package is good for a 3 or 4 bedroom house and costs about $299. They have even teamed up with affirm, a finance company, that will let you buy a system and pay for it over time.

This system works well for renters because you can remove the sensors easily and put them in your new house. You are also able to add additional sensors to the system such as glass break sensors or smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

They have an optional professional monitoring system that costs about $27 a month. They will call you when the alarm is triggered and if you don’t give the correct code word or don’t answer at all they will send emergency services.

If you don’t want to pay for the professional monitoring you can monitor it yourself and the system will send you push notifications and you can check if the alert is false or if you need to contact authorities.

See all the SimpliSafe Security Packages

Pros:

Base station runs for 24 hours on a rechargeable battery that connects to the cell network if your WiFi or power goes down
Available Professional Monitoring
System is completely customizable
System can be as large or small as is needed
System can be set up with distress code so that if you are forced to “turn off” your alarm you can instead put in the distress code that will alert the monitoring system that there is a problem
SimpliSafe does have an indoor/outdoor camera, doorbell camera and smart lock that all integrates with the system and can be accessed through the app

Cons:

Price can be a little high for the amount of pieces to the set
Outdoor camera is just their indoor camera with a weather proof covering


Ring Alarm System

Ring self installed home security system
Ring 14 piece whole home security system

Ring Alarm and their doorbell cameras are probably the most well known of the self installed home security systems. Their advertisements are constantly being shown on television, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. On the other hand, being acquired by Amazon a couple of years ago helps as well.

The Ring product line is immense. Not only do they have the Ring Alarm security system they also have cameras, doorbell cameras, sensors, floodlights, smart LED bulbs and smoke detectors. All of these can be controlled and accessed by the same Ring app. And most can be integrated into the Ring Alarm system.

Currently, for verified first responders, students and teachers they have a 20% discount on their products. I also really like their Neighbors app, which can be found at the Apple Store or on Google Play. This app lets neighbors alert and communicate with other neighbors things like break-ins, suspicious people and weather events like floods. You don’t have to have a Ring system to use it either.

See all the Ring Alarm System Packages

Pros:

Largest selection of security products including floodlights, doorbell cameras, smart locks and outdoor and indoor cameras
Available Professional Monitoring for $10 a month
Ring’s Neighbors app lets you communicate important community information and you don’t need to be a Ring customer
Integrates well with Amazon Alexa

Cons:

Price
Has had hacking concerns in the past
Limited ca[abilities using Google Assistant
Glass break sensor not available for Ring system


Eufy Security

best self installed security systems

What started out as a company that made appliances for home cleaning, like their Robovac and Homevac products, has now grown to make all kinds of appliances for the home like their self installed home security systems. They sell their 5 piece alarm kit for $160, that includes the keypad, a motion sensor, 2 entry sensors for door or windows and the base station. This is good for a one bedroom apartment.

But if you’re protecting a larger living space you can get additional pieces that will all integrate with your system. Like Ring, Eufy has many different products to create a secure home that can all be used with the Eufy security system.

You probably haven’t heard of Eufy, they don’t have the advertising budget of Ring, but they do have an entire suite of security products. They include doorbell cameras, smart locks, baby monitors, outdoor and indoor cameras and floodlight cameras. Moreover, a lot of their products can be bought using Klarna, a financing company, that will allow you to buy a large system and make payments on it.

The available professional monitoring is $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. This is actually quite a good deal for professional monitoring. Their professional service monitors your system, when something is detected they notify you, if the monitoring center gets no response or you tell them you need help they contact emergency services.

Their system comes with lifetime customer support, 30 day money back guarantee and one year warranty.

See the Eufy Security Packages

Pros:

Professional 24/7 Monitoring is only $9.99 a month
Uses local storage for video, not the cloud
Large suite of security products that integrate with the security system

Cons:

Can’t build your own system – have to buy their 5 piece system and add to it
One year warranty


Canary Security

self installed home security systems

Interestingly, this is the only self installed home security system on this list that does not have window or door sensors. Their system consists entirely of cameras and microphones that are monitored when you activate the security system. However, all their cameras have motion detection and will alert you if motion is detected. Once detected you immediately get an alert on your phone with a thumbnail of the image.

You then decide whether it is a threat. If so, you can activate the alarm siren and contact police all from the Canary smartphone app.

They don’t have a professional monitoring service, you do all that on your own. But the price is very reasonable. Their most popular plan comes with a free camera for $12.99 a month. That is their premium membership service. It includes two way talk, desktop streaming, 30 days of video history, full length motion activated video recording, on-demand live video and 2 year device warranty plus other benefits.

Additional cameras are $12.00 a month but all will have the same features as the free camera. They also have an outside camera that can be added to the package or can be the free camera. And all their cameras, inside and outside, come with HD and night vision.

See all the Canary Packages

Pros:

Motion Detection
Low monthly cost at $9.99 a month
Night Vision
Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
High clarity 1080p HD camera with wide field of view
2 year warranty
Video and 2 way talk can be used on smartphone or computer

Cons:

No window or door sensors
No Professional Monitoring available
Contacting police or fire is your responsibility


Scout Alarm

Scout Alarm Hub

Here is another self installed home security system that does not get much publicity but has just as many available components as Ring or Eufy.

Their basic package is called the scout small pack and consists of the hub, door panel, motion sensor, 2 entry sensors and 2 key fobs. However, it is a little pricier than some of the other basic packages at $229. You can build your own package to get just what you want or buy packages with more gadgets and the price goes up from there.

If you build your own package you can add an indoor camera, smart lock, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, doorbell cameras, water sensor and glass break sensors. And these all integrate with your Scout system. They do work with affirm, a finance company, so you can buy that more expensive security system and pay monthly with 0-30% financing.

The Basic Package

The basic package doesn’t have a keypad like most other security systems, you disarm and activate with the keyfobs or through an app on your phone. In other words, they do offer keypads that will integrate with your system if you would prefer that. However, the keypad is necessary if multiple people will be using the system.

The keypad can also be programmed to accept one time or scheduled access codes. For example, if you are expecting a dog walker you can give them an access code that will only work between 2-4pm Monday through Friday. Any other time or day and the code won’t work. Most other systems don’t have that feature.

The door panel also operates a little differently than other security systems. Scout’s door panel installs on the door to sense any unauthorized entries, in this way it works like other sensors. However, it also has a built in siren that will scare any intruder. It is also has RFID capabilities so when you enter the door you can automatically disarm the system with the included keyfobs.

Their basic monitoring plan is $9.99 a month but that is self monitoring where the system sends you notification and you assess that threat level. The 24/7 professional monitoring plan is $19.99 a month and is really the one you want to get. That will send you notifications as well but has free cloud storage of videos and will send emergency services if needed.

This self installed home security system comes with a 3 year warranty and a 60 day return policy if bought through scoutalarm.com, both are the best in the industry.

See all of the Scout Alarm Packages

Pros:

Professional monitoring available for $19.99 a month
3 year warranty – best in the industry
60 day return policy – again best in the industry
System integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant, Kwikset and Yale locks and IFTTT
Battery backup with 4G LTE in case power or WiFi goes down.

Cons:

Price
Basic monitoring is $9.99 a month and consists of sending you notifications for self monitoring
No integrated outdoor camera unless you count the doorbell camera


Locking it up…On Self Installed Home Security Systems

The fact is you don’t want your safety to get to the point of needing an alarm system and there are some ways to keep intruders out long enough to call for help before they are in your house. Motion sensors with floodlights and a good door reinforcement are two things that come to mind. But having a self installed home security system is a backup option.

Overall, my recommendation would be the Frontpoint security system. Frontpoint has a lot of products to give you whole house monitoring and security. Yes, the monthly monitoring fee is more than the others but the equipment generally costs less their basic kit is $99. None of the others offers their basic kit for that price. Frontpoint also has some components the other don’t have, like the garage tilt and glass break sensors.

Ring alarm system would be a second choice. Their monthly monitoring fee is quite cheap at $10 a month and any additional sensors cost about the same as the others. Not to mention that they have quite a bit of components and sensors to provide whole home security. But, I have reservations about their hacking issues in the past but after that happened they increased the security of their system and promoted the use of two factor authentication.

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2 thoughts on “Best Self Installed Home Security Systems

  1. Thanks for this interesting review of various self-installed security systems. I think I would also go for the Fronpoint system and that leads me to the question: how does this professional monitoring work? Done by the ‘defunded’ police or private security companies? Or in this case Frontpoint?

    Do they give you a guarantee of how quickly they will be at your house when the alarm goes?

    1. Good question. When the alarm goes off they call the number of the contact on the account, if there is no answer or if you say you need help, they dispatch emergency police, fire or ambulance. How quickly they get there is up to whatever jurisdiction you are in. We needed ambulance once and they were here pretty quick, it was probably at most 5 minutes. But I know some areas the response times are longer. 

      Frontpoint uses Rapid Response monitoring for their monitoring service. They have been around since 1992 and are Department Defense approved and also approved by New York City Fire Department to monitor commercial buildings. Rapid Response has many monitoring centers or monitoring redundancy so that if power goes down in one monitoring center another monitoring center picks up the responsibility.

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