Best Self Monitored Home Security System

If like thousands of other homeowners across the nation, the steep prices and lengthy contracts associated with professionally monitored home security systems just aren’t for you, you’ll probably be interested in getting a self-monitored system for your family. 

A self-monitored home security system will potentially save you quite a few more dollars and give you better flexibility and freedom in the long run. 

Just in case you’re having trouble deciding which self-monitored system will suit the needs of your home perfectly or you simply do not have the time to go searching, we’ve drawn up a list of the best home security systems on offer, to help make the decision easier for you. 

We’ve also included the lowdown on self-monitored home security systems so that you can locate and pay attention to the features that really matter and narrow down your search. 

Top 7 Highest Ranked Self Monitored Home Security Systems for 2021

  • Abode: Best Completely Self Monitored System
  • SimpliSafe: Best No-frills, DIY System
  • Vivint: Best System For Home Automation Applications
  • Blue By ADT: Best For High-end Smart Home Integration
  • Ring Alarm- Best Cameras For Doorbells
  • Arlo- Best Overall Security Cameras
  • Frontpoint- Best System For Complete Home Monitoring

1.            Abode Home Security- Best Completely Self Monitored System

Abode Home Security System tops our list due to its reputation as the only completely self-monitored security system. Flexibility is another of its strong suits, in both pricing and functions. Abode’s equipment is standard and quietly effective, while its free mobile app access allows easy remote control. 

In terms of pricing, this system offers two highly versatile and affordable package options.  To sweeten the deal, Abode also offers a free basic, no-obligations plan that allows you to test the waters before you decide to commit or not. It’s also one of a select few security systems that offer complete integration with a wide variety of home automation devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.

Pros

  • Flexible, affordable, and versatile
  • Easy installation
  • Wide range of third-party integration
  • Supports home automation
  • Free basic plan

Cons

  • Expensive up-front equipment costs
  • Cancellation fee
  • Shorter return policy

         Plans And Contract

Apart from the free Basic plan, Abode offers a Standard Plan and a Pro Plan. The Standard plan, which costs $0.20 per day, lets you monitor the system by yourself with push notifications and several automation features. However, if you need to go out of town for a few days at a time, Abode’s unique on-demand professional monitoring feature keeps you covered, for an additional fee. 

The Pro plan costs $0.66 per day and gives you access to professional monitoring and cellular data backup in addition to the features offered by other plans. You can also cancel the paid plans any time you want and revert to the free Basic plan. Nevertheless, cancellation attracts a fee of $35.

       Customer Service

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Abode a C rating. However, on Trustpilot, Abode has a 4.1-star rating which implies that customers are generally satisfied with their experience. Nevertheless, one complaint that keeps appearing in customer reviews is their inadequate phone support.  

2.                 SimpliSafe- Best No-frills, DIY System

There are so many reasons why SimpliSafe ranks among the very best home security systems in the market. It is affordable, versatile, and flexible and it’s no-frills approach to security is one of its charms. Their excellent customer service also contributes in no small part to the consistently excellent reviews that this brand receives across several platforms.

SimpliSafe also offers you the flexibility to tailor your equipment and monitoring levels to your specific requirements and perhaps most crucially, you wouldn’t have to commit to long, expensive contracts. The back to basics approach of this security system does a lot for ease of use, on the flip side though, SimpliSafe does not deal well with smart home protocols.

 Pros

  • Generous 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use and install
  • Cellular monitoring
  • Free self-monitoring

Cons

  • Limited third-party integration
  • Higher up-front costs
  • Equipment is bare bones

      Plans And Contract

SimpliSafe offers a variety of packages, five in total. The lowest-priced is the Foundation pack which will set you back $229. At the top end of the price, the spectrum is the Haven package which, at $489, is more than a little expensive. However, you’re not required to enter into any contract and you can cancel at any time. SimpliSafe’s 60-day trial period is also unrivaled and the company will give you a full refund if your equipment is not to your liking, for any reason. 

You can choose between two security plans: the standard plan which costs $15 per month or the Interactive plan at $25 per month. 

      Customer Service

SimpliSafe has been rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. The company was also ranked in pole position in a home security study carried out by J.D. Power. 

       Installation Options

SimpliSafe is a favorite of DIYers due to its support for straightforward and easy installation. If you’d prefer the expertise of professionals though, SimpliSafe also makes provisions for professional installation for a fee of $79. 

3.             Vivint Smart Home- Best System For Home Automation Applications

Vivint is one of the priciest options on this list, but undoubtedly, it is worth every single penny. Boasting several innovative home security features, this high-end security system takes a highly effective proactive approach to security. It also offers a wide range of smart home and home automation technology.

Vivint offers DIY installation, along with professional installation, 24/7 professional monitoring, and personal security consultations, although the latter trio comes with additional costs. While Vivint’s equipment prices are on the steep side, the company has put structures in place to make it more accessible to a larger group of people. You can avoid a contract by buying your equipment outright or finance your equipment over 42 to 60 months.

Pros

  • High-end equipment and features
  • Flexible contract options
  • In-home security consultations

Cons

  • Not budget-friendly
  • Steep termination fees 

       Plans And Contract

Vivint offers three home security packages. The lowest-priced, Smart Security Monitoring, costs $29.99 per month. 24/7 professional monitoring is included in the package, along with smoke, fire, and entry detection.

The second package is the Smart Home Monitoring which costs $10 more than the first package. The major perk of this package is the smart home integration it offers. The biggest package is the Smart Home Video Monitoring, at $44.99 per month. You get video surveillance with this package. 

If you pay for your equipment upfront, you can avoid a contract. Prices for Vivint’s equipment start at $599 and you get a motion sensor, a water sensor, a Smart Hub, and two-door or window sensors. 

          Customer Service

Vivint is rated a C- by the Better Business Bureau and the company is not accredited. However, company representatives are accessible through online chat. 

          Installation Options

You’d need to fork out between $49 to $99 for professional installation, depending on the system you purchased. However, if you want to go the DIY route, Vivint also offers that. 

4.                 Blue by ADT- Best For High-end Smart Home Integration

With more than a century’s worth of experience in the home security niche, ADT is a force to reckon with. Their latest offering, Blue by ADT, breaks the mold somewhat since you wouldn’t need to commit to a long-term contract or submit to an in-house visit to purchase it. 

This system scores top marks for flexibility and freedom. It’s also a complete DIY system, eliminating the costs of professional installation. You also get the option for self-monitoring with this security system, along with customizable packages and high-end smart integration for home security systems. 

Further, this system’s smart cameras are a real plus, while its mobile app is pretty handy. Nevertheless, the app is prone to glitches and the equipment is on the bulky side. 

 Pros

  • Advanced smart home integration
  • Affordable monthly monitoring
  • No contracts
  • Free self-monitoring
  • 7-day practice period

Cons

  • Mobile app is prone to malfunctioning
  • No option for professional installation
  • Limited equipment

      Plans And Contract

With Blue by ADT, you get two plan options: DIY monitoring and 24/7 professional monitoring. The first plan is completely free for self-monitoring and you get push notifications to boot. If you opt for professional monitoring, you will be charged $19.99 per month by ADT. The package includes several perks such as cellular backup, WiFi connection, mobile alerts and notifications, and alerts to relevant authorities in case of an emergency. 

Blue by ADT’s equipment is priced at a fairly reasonable $179.99 and there are several financing plans to make it more accessible. 

      Customer Service

Blue by ADT can be easily contacted by their customers through phone or email. The company’s A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau suggests excellent customer satisfaction. On the other hand, Blue by ADT placed last in a J.D. Power home security study for overall customer satisfaction.

       Installation Options

Blue by ADT does not make provisions for professional installation due to the fact that its products are only made for DIY installation. 

5.                    Ring Alarm- Best Cameras For Doorbells

The biggest compliment that we can pay for this security system is that it can manage to hold its own quite well even though it is priced considerably lower than most security systems in the market and indeed on our list. It offers a respectable level of performance, especially when you consider that it is meant to do only the basics. 

Ring scores top marks for flexibility and affordability offers options for self-monitoring and can be combined with other home security systems. This is perhaps why it’s continually ranked among the top for consummate customer satisfaction. 

Pros

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Cheap monthly monitoring
  • Easy integration to other smart home fixtures
  • Easy installation
  • Wide variety of security cameras

Cons

  • Equipment costs are significant
  • App is not up to the required standards.  
  • Several features unavailable without a Ring Protect Plan

Plans And Contract

Customers are offered two paid wireless security plans: the Basic plan which costs $3 per month for features such as video history for 60 days, snapshot capture, and two-way radio. The Plus plan is pegged at $10 per month for extended warranties on all devices along with professional monitoring. 

You are not obligated to opt for a monthly fee. You also get free monitoring and get to enjoy real-time video with live view, motion-activated notifications, and two-way talk. 

Customer Service

Ring boasts an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau even though it’s not been accredited as yet. In a study conducted in 2010 by J.D. Power, Ring was ranked firmly among the other giants for overall satisfaction.  

Installation Options

Ring offers professional installation for a starting price of $99 even though this security system was designed specifically for quick and very simple DIY installation.

 6.               Arlo- Best Overall Security Cameras

Arlo is one of the most competitively priced home security systems on the market. With a free basic plan and the most expensive plan pegged at just $4.99 per month, this security system is perfect for people who want to experience complete protection on a budget. However, Arlo’s equipment is the most expensive on this list. 

In addition to affordability, Arlo offers flexibility and the option of self-monitoring. Their cameras are pretty high-end and their customer service is top-notch. The biggest draw, though, is this security system’s extremely low-cost professional monitoring plans. 

 Pros

  • Exceptional quality of video output
  • Free self-monitoring
  • Affordable monthly plans
  • Artificial intelligence features
  • High definition security cameras

Cons

  • High cost of cameras
  • Extra cost for 24/7 recording
  • No option for professional installation

     Plans And Contract

You can choose between three plan options with Arlo: Arlo Smart, Arlo Smart Premier, and Arlo Smart Elite. The first option is free and includes push notifications and 1080p resolution cameras. It’s not offered with cloud storage. 

Arlo Smart Premier costs $2.99 every month for 30 days of cloud storage, push notifications, artificial intelligence, custom activity zones, and advanced object detection. The cameras have a resolution of 2k.

The biggest plan, Arlo Smart Elite costs $4.99 monthly to maintain and offers all the features offered by the other plans. The biggest difference is that the cameras here have a detailed 4k resolution. You can expand your security system for fees ranging from $100 to $200 per camera. The camera kits have a start price of $499 and increase from there. You also don’t need a contract for any of the plans on offer. 

     Customer Service

The Better Business Bureau has accredited Arlo and the company also boasts an A rating. Customers willing to get in touch with the company can reach them through phone calls, live chat, or their online community. 

     Installation Options

Arlo offers customers a choice between professional installation and DIY. However, the company does not directly carry out installations. 

7.                Frontpoint- Best System For Complete Home Monitoring

Frontpoint is one of the most highly rated home security systems. It contains all the high-end features you’d normally expect from a security system of its caliber and then some while managing to keep prices low. The best part is, the company puts control firmly in your hands. 

Unlike most other DIY home security systems, Frontpoint does not charge hefty upfront fees, yet the company offers several flexible payment options to help make security more accessible to everyone. There are no monitoring contracts, so you reserve the right to cancel whenever you want without attracting a penalty. Frontpoint also offers smart home integration. 

Pros

  • No contract for monitoring
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Access to mobile apps
  • Wide range of security functions and equipment

Cons

  • Higher monitoring fees
  • No access to professional installation

Plans And Contract

Frontpoint’s plans are more expensive than most of the others on our list. You can choose between the Standard plan and the Ultimate plan. The Standard plan costs $44.99 per month for 24/7 professional monitoring, push notifications, extensive video storage capacity, mobile app access, and smoke-detector monitoring. 

The Ultimate plan costs $49.99 per month and offers the same features as the entry-level plan including others such as live video feed, video analysis and crash and smash protection. You also get video monitoring and smart home controls. 

Frontpoint does not require a contract unless you purchased the system through financing. Then you’d be in a contract until the equipment is paid off. You can pay it off early, though, without any penalty. 

     Customer Service

Frontpoint boasts exceptional customer service and can be reached by their customers through their various platforms. Currently, Frontpoint maintains an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. 

    Installation Options

Installation is completely DIY, which can help save you a tidy sum. Additionally, you can also move the cameras around to suit your needs without incurring any costs. 

Pros Of Self-monitoring Security Systems

  • Low Or No Monthly Fees

If you use self-monitored home security systems, you don’t have to pay professional monitoring fees, which can and do app up considerably. Further, you pay considerably lower monthly fees when you self-monitor. You also have greater flexibility as you don’t need a contract and you can cancel or upgrade your plan any time you want. Some systems even offer free basic plans. 

  • Portability

Self-monitored home security systems are easier to install and move around, making them perfect for people who live in rented apartments. Also, you don’t have to inform a monitoring center of your new address before you move. 

  • No Middleman

Self-monitored systems let you monitor and access situations by yourself, negating the need for third parties to make decisions on your behalf. 

Cons Of Self-monitoring Security Systems

  • No Fail-Safe Option 

Most professionally monitored systems have a fail-safe feature that still sends a distress signal to the monitoring center even when the alarm’s siren is turned off. This feature can come in handy if an armed intruder disables or coerces you into disabling your security system. This feature is absent in self-monitored security systems. 

  • Absence Of Technical Assistance

Some professionally monitored systems do not offer installation assistance to self-monitored systems, increasing the risk of incorrect installation. Further, they may not be able to offer technical assistance in case of any malfunction, potentially leaving you at a crossroads. 

  • Increased Stress

Being in high-stress situations has a way of messing around with people’s decision making, that’s why it may be important to have someone with emergency training helping out when your alarm goes off. Professionally monitored home security systems are able to offer this but self-monitored systems can not. 

What To Look Out For In Self Monitored Home Security Systems

If you’re on the lookout for the perfect self-monitored home security systems for your family’s needs, here are a few things to look out for so you can pick out the one that fulfills all your needs. 

  • Your Budget

We hate to place financial considerations at the top of our priorities but the truth is that price is a very important factor to consider. As you’ll be paying upfront for the equipment before you even factor in monthly fees, the margin for error is not very high. Before settling on a particular system, carefully consider how much it costs and how much you’ll be handing over at the end of every month. You may also need to check out the company’s warranty and return policy so you don’t get stuck with an expensive dud if things go south or your plans change. Ideally, look out for companies that offer a free trial. 

  • Installation Options

Most self-monitored home security systems offer DIY installation Options but it wouldn’t do any harm to check. Some are even easier to install than others. Be on the lookout for ones that make use of adhesives and wireless devices to make the installation process more easily managed. Depending on the system, DIY installation capacity can potentially save you a considerable amount. If you’d rather do without the stress, look for a system that supports professional installation. 

  • Security Features

It’s an unfortunate fact that home security systems are not immune to the devices of hackers. Hackers with a laptop sitting close to your house may be able to override your security settings or use white noise to distort radio signals. That’s why it’s important to look for a system that offers additional security features such as two-factor authentication, high-level encryption, and other security measures. On your part, you may also have to regularly change access codes for greater protection against security breaches. 

  • Mobile App

If you’re going to be self-monitoring, you’ll need an easy to use mobile app that offers instant and remote access to your home security system. A good mobile app lets you add and remove features, set up IFTTT protocols, and also control integration with other home automation devices. 

  • Expansion Options

It’s also important to pick out a home security system that allows you to easily add equipment such as cameras and home automation devices if your needs change in the future. 

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