DIY home security lets you take peace of mind into your own hands with live feeds, mobile alerts, smart home integration — but the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. We looked for affordable equipment, comprehensive mobile notifications, and flexible professional monitoring to find the DIY home security system that gives you the most control without breaking the bank.
Sensors: Most home security systems include motion sensors and door or window sensors. We suggest getting motion sensors for areas in your home that could be dangerous for children or pets (the garage, the sewing room, the laundry room, etc.). It’s also smart to get enough window sensors and door sensors to cover every possible entrance to your home.
Unless you plan on spending $1500 plus starting costs for a high end security system ADT is your best bet. Among all the companies that you can get for $100 in start up costs you might as well go with them. I got a lot of equipment and have a shop on the side of my house (I work from home) and it was easy to get that set up with them too. I got a secondary control panel for my side shop but honestly I just use my phone. My kids have downloaded the app so they can turn it on (green button) and off too so they don't have to know how to work the old panels anymore. So in total, if you're going for the standard set up (low starting costs) alarm system then yes go with these guys over the rest.
What this service contract, termination clause, and pricing structure really tell me is that ADT isn't for apartment dwellers. If you're operating on a lease and your lifestyle means you'll be hopping residences for the foreseeable future, I don't think ADT is your best bet. I'd use Vivint or SimpliSafe, or one of the better DIY security kits, like iSmartAlarm Premium. But if you own your home and your professional life is stable enough to keep you where you are, then the termination clause really isn't an issue, and it's more about service quality as well as security and automation functionality, which are areas where ADT excels.
I got a system installed for free when I signed a 5-year contract. It was valued at about $1800. The novelty wore off and I stopped setting it after a few months. I display the sign in my front window and people can see the panel when they come into my house, which looks pretty cool. At the very least, I figured the advertising would be enough of a deterent. I live in a quiet area after all.
Vivint’s mobile app allows you to arm and disarm your system, view and record camera footage, and everything in between. Our tester praised Vivint’s mobile alerts, noting that they come in handy for anyone prone to absent-mindedness: “The notifications for the door sensors are nice in case I open my basement sliding door and leave it open. It continues to check in and provide a notification that the 'sliding door is still open.’”
There are several types of motion sensors out there, the most common being PIR (passive infrared) sensors that detect body heat. These sensors are ideal for home security use as they are cost effective and work well indoors in any lighting environment. Active motion sensors emit microwaves to detect movement and are better suited to harsh environments, including outdoor use, but are prone to false alerts due to wind-blown debris. A dual motion sensor combines both active and passive technology to reduce false alerts and provide an extra measure of reliability.
I upgraded from ADT basic after 8 years to ADT Pulse and it feels like a whole new company and equipment. I went from having to enter my keycode into the panel to now being able to use the Pulse app from our phones and tablets and having live access through the cameras anytime. It cost about $15 more a month than what I was paying but we got rid of the land line and are loving it. Get what you think you might want ahead of time so you don't have to pay to upgrade later. They have good deals and promo's as well.
Schedule a FREE home security consultation and bring a home security advisor to your home to help with your home security concerns. There is absolutely no obligation in scheduling this consultation, no pressure to buy anything, just a lot of valuable information. So, call today and find out how ADT Monitoring can give you peace of mind and security for your home and family.
ADT’s Traditional package is its most basic. A bit pricier than the baseline options offered by competitors, it packs a punch. A $125 upfront equipment fee provides you with wireless keypad entry, so you do not have to worry about entrance into your home. The basic package comes with a $28.99 monthly monitoring fee that includes 24/7 professional monitoring using a cellular connection. It comes with four door and window sensors (with the option to upgrade), and offers fire, carbon monoxide, and flood monitoring services. As noted, this is a significant amount of monitoring for a basic package.