In our experience, the best DIY home security systems have many ways to arm and disarm so you don't always need your
smartphone. They also let you use a keypad or key fob to accomplish the same goal. We look at activity feeds and the organization of the mobile app to see what information an app gives you when an alarm goes off and if the alert gives you instant info. The top performers in this test were abode and Scout Alarm, with Nest Secure and SimpliSafe tying for third place. During installation tests, we make sure the manual or mobile app can get you through the setup process without contacting the company. We also look at whether the equipment in each system's starter kit requires additional tools such as screwdrivers and batteries. Finally, we time how long it takes to set up each component. We found Scout Alarm, SimpliSafe and abode easier to set up than most other DIY security systems. How much do DIY security systems cost?There are three costs you can expect with most DIY security systems: equipment, access fees and professional
security monitoring. You can expect to spend an average of $250 on equipment, though this goes up as you buy more sensors. Access fees are sometimes required to unlock all or part of a system's self monitoring features for about $10 a month.