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.

Nest Secure offers an innovative twist on common security sensors, packing multiple functions into its Nest Detect sticks that serve as both door and window sensors and motion detectors in one. These devices also add nifty features like Quiet Open—where you can deactivate a single door to let the dog out—and Pathlight motion sensor lights. It’s pretty pricey as far as starter kit security systems go at $499, but if you’re already heavily invested in the Nest ecosystem, this might be the perfect flexible security system.


Install was performed by subcontractor and done wrong. ADT charged me again to have someone else do it right, still isn’t correct. Cars were broken into which had two cameras on them and didn’t record any of it. The cameras only record 30 second increments with 2 minutes in between, I’m guessing criminals also know this. Contract end date keeps changing, further and further out. Avoid ADT at all cost. There’s much cheaper services out there that actually work.

Ideal for small homes and apartments, Canary keeps home security simple, anchoring it in one unassuming, but feature-packed tower: the Canary View All-in-One. The tower hosts a 1080p streaming camera with high-quality night vision (the best IP camera we encountered), a motion sensor, an air quality sensor, and a crazy-loud, 90-decibel siren. It’s like starting a lawn-mower next to your face.
The ADT Pulse control panel is an effort to compete with Vivint, which solely uses proprietary gear—a fact that has historically separated Vivint from the rest of the pack. While we find no problem with the standard equipment from most providers, we do like to see proprietary equipment designed with the whole system in mind, plus they look a bit more sleek. The ADT Pulse is definitely easy on the eyes compared to the standard panels, but is it any better?
I had ADT for a couple of years. I did not have any issues but then again I did not have any break-ins. I wish that I would have gotten a security system in my apartment as it has been broken into twice now. ADT was easy to use, easy to pay for, which for me is a HUGE bonus. I like being in full control of where my money goes and when and this was the case with ADT. Being able to go online and change things as I see fit. The customer service reps are always efficient and polite although the hold times can get ridiculous.
One of the biggest features for any home security system is the ability to sync it with your other smart home devices. With ADT Pulse, you can pair your system with gadgets like smart locks, smart thermostats and video cameras. The biggest benefit is that you can control all of these devices right from your smartphone with ADT Pulse’s app. You won’t stress about whether or not you forgot to lock the front door before heading out — you can lock it on the go with the push of a button.
* $100 Visa Gift Card fulfilled by Protect Your Home through third-party provider, Mpell, upon installation of a security system. Shipping and Handling Fee applies. ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services, which help you manage your home environment and family lifestyle, requires the purchase and/or activation of an ADT alarm system with monitored burglary service and a compatible computer, cell phone or PDA with Internet and email access. These ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services do not cover the operation or maintenance of any household equipment/systems that are connected to the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services/Equipment. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services are not available with the various levels of ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services may not be available in all geographic areas. You may be required to pay additional charges to purchase equipment required to utilize the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services features you desire. Installation starts at $199. Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert devices. Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert services are an additional charge. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT's Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring contract required from $51.99 per month, ($1,871.64), including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner's Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided. $99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 per month (1,331.64), 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card of electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Licenses: AL-17-1104, AZ-ROC217517, AR-2008-0014, CA-ACO6320, CT-ELC.0193944-L5, DE-07-212, FL-EC13003427, DC-602513000006, GA-LVA205395, ID-ELE-SC-39312, IL- 127.001042, IN-City of Indianapolis: LAC-000156, IA-AC-0036, KY-City of Louisville: 483, LA-F1082, LA-F1914, LA-F1915, ME-LM50017382, MD-107-1626, MA-1355C, MI- 3601205773, MN-TS01807, MS-15007958, MO-City of St. Louis: CC354, St. Louis County: 84959, MT-247, NE-14451, NV-68518, City of Las Vegas: 3000002944, NJ-34BF00021800, NM- 353366, NY-Licensed by the N.Y.S. Dept. of State UID#12000317691, #12000286451, NC-1622- CSA, OH-53891446, City of Cincinnati: AC86, OK-1048, OR-170997, Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor Registration Number: PA022999, RI-3582, SC-BAC5630, SD-1025- 7001-ET, TN-1520, TX-B13734, ACR-3492, UT-6422596-6501, VT-ES-2382, VA-115120, WA- 602588694/PROTEYH934RS, WV-042433, WI-City of Milwaukee: PAS-0002790, WY-LV-G- 21499. 3750 Priority Way South Dr. Suite 200 Indianapolis, IN 46240

A longtime leader in the industry, ADT Security Solutions is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. It can monitor systems from leading brands such as GE, Honeywell/Ademco, and ITI. ADT supports a full spectrum of hardwired and wireless security features that include environmental disaster prevention, emergency medical assistance, and home automation. Known for their customer service and live monitoring features, ADT offers systems that are easy to use and professionally installed.
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