The 8 Best Home Security Devices You Can Install Yourself
These DIY home security systems are easy to set up and don't require monthly subscription fees. Secure your home in less than 30 minutes!
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Keeping your family safe is worth any expense. Fortunately, securing your home with an alarm system is easier and more affordable than ever. The best DIY home security system allows you to handle installation and monitoring yourself, cutting costs and eliminating the need for lengthy contracts.
There are a lot of home security options—from simple motion detector systems to more elaborate kits with door and window sensors, cameras, smoke detectors and more. To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve picked the best of the best systems based on ease of installation, remote monitoring features and communication options like alerting you with a text or phone call.
Read on to find out which one fits your needs best, and get peace of mind with a well-defended home—whether you’re lounging on the couch or away on vacation.
Overall Best DIY Home Security System
Alarm 8-piece Home Security System
You’ve heard of the Ring doorbell camera. Now there’s an entire Ring security system that includes a keypad for in-home operation, contact sensors, and a motion detector. Control everything from the Ring app while you’re away, and receive a mobile notification when the system is triggered. It also works with Alexa so you can arm the system by simply saying “Alexa, arm Ring.”
- Allows for whole-home monitoring through an easy-to-use mobile app
- Includes both home and away modes
- Easy set-up sensors don’t require tools
- Not a good fit for larger homes
- Camera not included
Best DIY Security System with Built-in Cameras
Eufy Security Two Camera Home Security System
If your main concern is having visual access to your home while you’re away, the Eufy Security 2-Camera Home Security System might be a good fit. The kit includes two cameras with live-stream and recorded footage in crystal clear 1080p HD, even at night. Thanks to their human detection technology, the cameras can detect body shapes and face patterns. This means that you’re only alerted when a person is approaching, not the neighbor’s dog.
- Crystal-clear camera footage stored locally for privacy
- Easy installation
- 180 day battery life
- Might need to add more cameras for full coverage
- Motion detection spotty according to some reviewers
Most Affordable DIY Home Security System
Door and Window Alarm System by Tolviviov
Looking for an affordable security system? Check out the Alarm Home Security System by Tolviviov. For only about $60, you’ll get an alarm siren station, five window and door sensors and two remote controls. And if one of the window or door sensors is triggered, the base alarm siren sounds, alerting you of intruders. Control the system with the key fob remotes, the mobile app or voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant.
- An affordable and highly rated system
- Easy no-tool setup
- Text alerts when you’re not at home
- Siren has a limited 8-hour battery life
- No cameras included
Lowest Maintenance DIY Home Security System
Blink Outdoor Five Camera Home Security System
Although there are many smart home security cameras available, the Blink cameras stand out thanks to their long two-year battery life and outdoor durability built to withstand the elements. The Blink Five Camera Security System Kit ensures a full visual of your entire property. When you’re away use the Blink app for live view, infrared night vision and two-way audio.
- Included batteries last two years without replacement
- Customized motion detection and privacy zones
- Easy wire-free setup
- Blink subscription plan required to store video recordings
- Only one user can monitor the system
Most Versatile DIY Home Security System
SimpliSafe Home Security System
The SimpliSafe Home Security System has both cameras and sensors. So if an intruder is able to get around the camera view, the entry sensors will sound the alarm. The kit includes one indoor and one outdoor camera for added layers of security. And in addition to window and door sensors, you’ll also get a motion sensor featuring 90 degree vision, allowing you to place the camera in a corner and guard a whole room.
- Versatile system with both cameras and sensors
- Cameras feature two-way audio
- Easy 30-minute setup
- Some advanced features only available with paid subscription service
- Only one outdoor camera might not be enough for some homes
Best Low-Tech DIY Home Security System
GE Personal Security Window and Door Alarms
For another budget-friendly home security system, check out the GE Personal Security Door and Window Alarms. The magnetic door and window sensors sound off a 120-decibel alarm when triggered and can also be set to chime. This is a perfect no-fuss option for people who want to avoid a high-tech setup. It’s also ideal for those who just want a simple intruder alert system.
- Easy for anyone to set up (no tech involved)
- Very affordable
- Alarm or chime options
- No app or remote monitoring
- Can only be manually armed or disarmed
Best Solar-Powered Home Security System
Soliom Solar Outdoor Home Security Camera
You may not think one camera is enough to secure your home, but the Soliom Outdoor Camera does a lot more than your average security camera. It can turn its head 320° horizontally and 90° vertically. Plus, it has the ability to pan, tilt and zoom—giving you a much broader and more flexible view. Best of all, the solar rechargeable battery means you never have to worry about the camera turning off.
- Solar-powered battery recharges over the course of the day
- Mobile app features live view, replay or download
- Up to 10 users
- No motion tracking
- Local storage requires SD card
Best DIY Home Security System with Storage
Night Owl Wired Security System
What sets the Night Owl Home Security System apart is its storage capabilities. The included DVR keeps all your footage on a pre-installed 2TB hard disk drive; no cloud uploads, no subscriptions. You own your recordings. The eight indoor/outdoor cameras include motion-activated spotlights, human detection technology and remote viewing with no monthly fees.
- 2TB of local storage
- Real time alerts sent to your phone
- Color night vision
- Wired cameras must be installed near an outlet
- More expensive than other similar systems
How We Found the Best DIY Home Security Devices
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
What to Look for When Buying a DIY Home Security System
Installation: Because you’ll be installing the system yourself, easy setup is essential. Most DIY systems are wireless, and the devices are simple to install—think door and window sensors that can be hung up with double-stick tape.
Remote Features: A quality DIY security system should have excellent remote features that you can control from an app on your phone. When you’re not home you should be able to arm or disarm the system, check cameras and customize the settings.
Communication: What’s the point of a security system if it doesn’t alert you of an intruder? The most basic system will simply sound an alarm, but we prefer DIY home security systems that send you a text or a push notification if the sensors or camera is triggered.
Is a DIY security system or a professional system better?
The difference between professional security systems and DIY security systems aren’t as clear-cut as they used to be. Many DIY systems offer professional monitoring, and many professional systems offer customization and DIY options.
Generally, you’ll get a few more advanced services with a professional security system including 24/7 monitoring and professional installation. It might also feature devices that aren’t easy to install yourself like a touchscreen operation panel or a keyless door lock.
Ultimately, the decision hinges on how much you want to spend, and whether you’re comfortable installing a system yourself. Bottom line: DIY home security systems have come a long way in recent years and probably have everything you need to reliably secure your home at a reasonable price.
How much is a home security system?
Basic DIY home security systems vary in price depending on how many and what type of devices you need. For instance, you can purchase a basic door and window sensor kit for $20, or spend over $1,000 range for an advanced multi-camera kit with local storage, and sync it up with a host of smart light switches or security lights. The best DIY home security system comes with both sensors and cameras. Many also allow you to pay extra for a monthly subscription service that usually includes professional monitoring and emergency alerts.
What is the best DIY home security system?
The best DIY home security system depends on the size of your home and your personal safety needs. All of the above systems are high-quality, easy to install and will transform your home into a safe haven at an affordable price point.
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