Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Good, better, best: DIY home security systems worth your money

Reliable home security doesn’t have to break the bank. Current technology makes security cameras, motion sensors, communication hubs, and mobile apps more accessible than ever. If you’re looking for a new and affordable way to keep an eye on the home while you’re away, these DIY home security systems are worth a look.

Good: Kangaroo Front Door Security Kit

The Kangaroo Front Door Security Kit with professional monitoring includes a doorbell camera, two motion/entry sensors, a siren/keypad, two Roo tags (keys to arm and disarm the system), a yard sign, five window decals, and a year of paid-up professional monitoring. The Kangaroo mobile app is included so you can monitor on the go, and the system is voice control compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Recommended Videos

Kangaroo security devices use WiFi connectivity to communicate with the Kangaroo security app, and the wireless installation is fast and easy. One of the monitoring options, the Porch Plan ($1.99 per month, billed annually) covers all doorbell cameras at your location, includes 365 days of cloud storage, and reimburses up to two package theft claims of up to $150 each. Under the Kangaroo Complete Plan ($8.25 per month, billed annually), you get 24/7 monitoring of all devices with 365 days of included cloud storage for all doorbell cameras and 30 days of storage for any added privacy cameras, additional premium camera features, text and call notifications, and more.  

Pros

  • Affordable equipment
  • Mobile app access is included in the purchase of equipment.
  • Low-cost professional monitoring packages
  • Easily expandable

Cons

  • Few equipment options
  • Limited smart home functionality

Better: Abode Iota All In One Kit

The Abode Iota All-In-One Kit includes a base station with a built-in security camera, motion and ambient light sensors, a siren, two-way audio, one door/window sensor, and a key fob. The camera boasts 1080p resolution and a 157-degree field of view. It can even see in the dark with infrared LED night vision. For broader capability, the base unit easily connects to dozens of security and environmental sensors and smart home devices. With this system, you can connect up to 160 Adobe or third-party devices and integrate them with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant voice commands.

While you can self-monitor, Adobe also offers a variety of professional monitoring plans. The Pro Plan ($200 per year) comes with professional monitoring, premium support, cellular backup, and 30 days of timeline video. If you only need occasional pro monitoring while you’re out of town, you can purchase on-demand monitoring for three days ($8) or seven days ($15) at a time.

Pros

  • Fast, easy setup
  • Easily expandable 
  • Integrates with a wide range of Abode and third-party equipment
  • Offers a variety of short- and long-term professional monitoring plans

Cons

  • Base package only monitors one room plus another window/door
  • Add-on components are more expensive than other systems

Best: SimpliSafe Haven

SimpliSafe’s top-of-the-line Haven package features 14 hardware components, including the base station, a wireless keypad, a keychain remote, two motion sensors, four window/door entry sensors, a panic button, a siren, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, water and freeze sensors, plus a SimpliSafe yard sign and window decals. If you want to add a video doorbell, indoor and outdoor security cameras, or a smart door lock, the system is easily expandable. The system also integrates with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Nest.

Wireless connectivity and toolless installation make DIY setup quick and easy, but professional installation is also available ($79). Standard professional monitoring ($14.99 per month) comes with 24/7 coverage and access to the Online Dashboard to view the system. With the Interactive monitoring plan ($24.99 per month), you can use the mobile app to arm or disarm the system, receive SMS and email alerts, and gain access to more functionality with the Online Dashboard. 

Pros

  • Affordable 14-piece hardware package
  • Competitive professional monitoring fee
  • No long term contracts
  • Wireless WiFi and cellular connectivity

Cons

  • Limited smart home capability

Regardless of your budget, there’s a home security system that can give you and your family peace of mind. All three of these options have their benefits, so now you just have to choose the right one for you.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Wolfe
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Mark Wolfe is a freelance writer who specializes in garden, landscaping, and home improvement. After two decades in the…
The best beige colors for your home (and, no, they’re not boring)
Here's how to make "boring" beige look stunning in your space
Warm beige living room wall paint color

Beige colors often get neglected in many homes. After spending years in the spotlight in traditional and modern spaces, the color beige took a backseat while homeowners began looking for more exciting shades to introduce into their spaces. But that doesn't mean that beige is boring!

On the contrary, beige is a fantastic color to bring into your space, especially if you're aiming to amp up a neutral color palette. Or perhaps you want to opt for a traditional and timeless look? With many unique and exquisite undertones, beige paint colors can transform your room into an enriching and inviting space. If you're curious about how you can bring beige into your home in an exciting new way, check out our favorite picks for this paint color.

Read more
The best wallpaper paste for your home and room makeovers
A guide to the best wallpaper pastes on the market
Wallpaper paste

Wallpaper paste is absolutely key when adhering wall covers to surfaces in home decorating projects. With wallpaper paste, you can also stick wall murals and decals onto your accent wall more easily than with standard office glue. To save you time on researching the right wallpaper paste, we’ve reviewed the best options here so you can decide quickly.

Standard wall pastes can be applied onto the back of any light to heavy wall coverings. Stronger alternatives include commercial-grade pastes designed to be used with pasting machines. Other options include tubed pastes for repairing small spots and pastes for mounting other types of wallpaper. Take a look at our favorite wallpaper paste picks to help you find the best product for your next wall redesign.

Read more
Find the best exterior house color for your home’s architectural style
Choose a new hue based on these exterior color recommendations
Deep blue house with two floors

If the siding of your home is starting to look drab, it may need a new exterior house color. If you're wondering which paint color (or colors) to choose, the answer depends on your home’s architecture.

When buying exterior paint for your humble abode, pay attention to the style of the house. Do you have a Cape Cod? A colonial? Or perhaps a farmhouse or contemporary home? Each architectural style has a color or color scheme that suits it best, so if you’re looking to up your property’s curb appeal with a different color, consider the style before buying a can of paint!

Read more