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Best DIY home security systems

Verified by Amy Reeves

DIY home security systems offer a convenient and user-friendly approach to home protection, allowing you to set up your security without needing professional installation. 

This self-installation model is designed for affordability, ease and flexibility, catering to various security needs. Effectively deterring potential intruders, providing remote real-time monitoring and alerting you to emergencies, they offer peace of mind by ensuring the safety of your loved ones and valuables when you’re away or asleep. 

Our experts have reviewed DIY home security packages from different providers, comparing costs, devices, set up processes, and monitoring options. Our comprehensive article will enable you to make the right choice regarding your home security. 

Our top three recommended providers

What is the best DIY home security system?

Brand Home security system package Price
Best overall SimpliSafe The Tower £514.93
Best budget Hey! Surveillance Kit £149.99
Best for smart homes Abode Smart Security Kit £294.99
Best for flats and small homes Arlo Essential Flat and Apartment Kit £284.97
Best for Alexa users Ring Alarm and Indoor Camera Pack £269.98

SimpliSafe stands out largely thanks to its affordability, ease of installation, and extensive range of accessories, including environmental sensors. Coupled with a generous 60-day return policy, several monitoring options, and positive customer reviews, SimpliSafe is our top recommendation for DIY home security. 

If you’re seeking a budget security system, the Hey! Surveillance Kit is an affordable choice for efficient, user-friendly home security, making it an excellent starter system for homeowners. While it may not match the advanced features of higher-end packages, it can be easily expanded to complement your requirements.  

Abode distinguishes itself with its extensive integration into home automation, making it an ideal selection for users seeking advanced, high-tech features. The Gateway hub is compatible with a wide range of smart devices and platforms, including Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Nest, Phillips Hue light bulbs, Yale locks, ecobee thermostats, FirstAlert, as well as devices using Z-Wave technology and the IFTTT service for automation and integration.

Given that Ring is part of the Amazon family, it offers seamless integration with Amazon Alexa smart speakers, making it an ideal fit for a smart home ecosystem centred around Alexa.

Our breakdown of the best DIY home security systems in 2024

SimpliSafe’s The Tower: Best DIY home security system

(Credit: SimpliSafe)

Key specifications

  • Cost: £514.93   
  • Components: 1 base station, 1 keypad, 2 entry sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 outdoor camera, and 1 indoor camera 
  • Power source: Battery powered 
  • Connectivity: Cellular (with paid-for subscription) and wifi 
  • Maximum volume: 95dB 
  • Smart home support: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant 
  • Backup battery: Yes, up to 24 hours 
  • Monitored: Self-monitoring with optional paid-for professional monitoring

Pros

User-friendly system 60-day money-back guarantee Straightforward app

Cons

Limited smart home integrations

Who’s it right for?

  • Households looking for a comprehensive, hassle-free security system

Who is it not for? 

  • Buyers on very limited budgets

SimpliSafe offers eight preconfigured home security packages, priced between £284.96 and £664.87. The seven-piece package, The Tower, priced at £514.93, is ideal for the typical three-bedroom home. It includes the base station (which connects all of the different components wirelessly), internal and external cameras, a motion detector, sensors for doors and windows, and an integrated keypad.

SimpliSafe users can either self-monitor their system or opt for professional monitoring services. Two monitoring plans are available, with prices starting at 53p per day. 

The Tower is designed for easy DIY installation with peel-and-stick strips, eliminating any need for wiring or drilling. This makes the system a good choice for renters or when moving to a new home. If necessary, the app provides an interactive guide, or there’s live assistance available. However, professional installation is an option and costs upwards of £125. 

The base station plugs in (cord included), and its contemporary yet subtle design blends seamlessly with any interior. 

The SimpliSafe app offers remote access and control of your security system through intuitive interfaces on smartphones or tablets. Its user-friendly interface allows system arming/disarming, provides instant alerts, and displays live camera feeds. To safeguard your personal information, SimpliSafe employs end-to-end encryption.

The plug-in indoor camera offers adjustability in height and tilt, but lacks pan or zoom functions; however, its 120-degree lens ensures a broad viewing area. SimpliSafe’s wireless outdoor camera has a 140-degree field of view, x8 zoom, and a motion-activated spotlight. 

Both cameras record video in 1080p resolution, which delivers good quality, judder-free visuals, clear night vision, and crisp two-way audio. The heat signature-based motion detection can differentiate between pets and moving people, and the sensitivity is easily adjusted.

SimpliSafe’s The Tower stands out in the realm of DIY home security systems for its user-friendliness, adaptability, and monitoring options. The Tower has earned its top spot with stylish, well-designed hardware and streamlined installation and setup processes. 

Read our full review of SimpliSafe home security.

Hey!’s Surveillance Kit: Best budget-friendly system

pink and green boxes of home security system with camera and video doorbell
(Credit: Hey!)

Key specifications

  • Cost: £149.99 
  • Components: 1 doorbell video and 1 outdoor camera 
  • Power source: Battery 
  • Connectivity: Wifi 
  • Maximum volume: N/A 
  • Smart home support: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Backup battery: No 
  • Monitored: Self-monitoring

Pros

User-friendly system 60-day money-back guarantee Straightforward app

Cons

No battery backup

Who’s it right for?

  • Homeowners looking for an affordable DIY home security system

Who is it not for? 

  • Expansive properties 

The Hey! Surveillance Kit presents a fundamental yet cost-effective home security solution, encompassing a video doorbell and a weather-resistant outdoor camera. Both offer 1080P live video streaming, motion detection, and two-way communication, with the latter providing automatic night vision. In tests, the video footage was crisp, allowing vehicle and person identification, even in low light conditions. 

The Hey! app, designed for both Android and iOS devices, offers remote management of your security system via an intuitive interface. Its functions include arming and disarming your system, setting up facial recognition, and designing automated routines for a more efficient smart home experience. 

Installing the system is straightforward, using the included brackets to attach the cameras. Its simplicity is further enhanced by the direct connectivity between the router and the devices, eliminating the need for an additional home hub.

The Hey! Surveillance Kit offers homeowners a budget-friendly solution for home security, making it an excellent choice for smaller properties. Although it lacks some advanced features in more expensive setups, it provides effective and manageable security essentials.

Read our full review of Hey! home security systems.

Abode’s Smart Security Kit: Best for smart homes

(Credit: Abode)

Key specifications

  • Cost: £294.99 
  • Components: 1 Gateway hub,  1 motion sensor, 1 key fob, 1 mini door and window sensor  
  • Power source: Mains 
  • Connectivity: 4G SIM card, ethernet, and wifi
  • Maximum volume: 93db
  • Smart home support: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit 
  • Backup battery: Yes (up to 5 hours) 
  • Monitored: Self or professional monitoring

Pros

Can connect up to 160 devices Works with third-party devices No-contract monitoring plans available

Cons

No camera

Who’s it right for?

  • Smart home owners 

Who is it not for? 

  • Users seeking a camera-based security system

Abode’s Smart Security Kit is a cost-effective security solution that delivers essential home protection and smart features. The system includes the Gateway hub, a motion sensor, a door or window sensor, and a key fob.

The Gateway hub is equipped with an alarm signal for triggered alarms, a SIM card slot, a power connector, and a battery backup. One of its key strengths is its impressive connectivity capacity, allowing up to 160 devices. 

In terms of compatibility, the Gateway hub works seamlessly with various smart platforms and devices, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Nest, Phillips Hue light bulbs, Yale locks, LifX lights, ecobee thermostats, FirstAlert devices, Z-Wave, and IFTTT. 

Abode provides two subscription plan options. The Standard Plan, priced at £7.99 a month, caters to those who self-monitor their system. It includes push and email alerts, support for unlimited cameras, week-long video history and timeline access, and smart home integration. 

The Pro Plan, at £13.99 a month, offers all the benefits of the Standard plan, but adds 24/7 professional monitoring, extended 30-day video history and timeline access, cellular backup, potential discounts on homeowner’s insurance, and access to premium customer support.

Installation is easy, with Abode providing a cheat sheet showing how to connect the hub to your home wifi network. 

The Abode Smart Security Kit allows homeowners to tailor and expand their system – an external camera or video doorbell are good options, offers the flexibility of no-contract professional monitoring and delivers smart home compatibility. 

Read our full review of Abode’s home security systems.

Arlo’s Essential Flat and Apartment Kit: Best for smaller homes

white home security camera package
(Credit: Arlo)

Key specifications

  • Cost: £284.97 
  • Components: x1 Essential outdoor camera, x1 Essential indoor camera, x1 Essential outdoor charging cable 
  • Power source: Battery or via an Arlo solar panel 
  • Connectivity: Wifi 
  • Maximum volume: N/A 
  • Smart home support: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit 
  • Backup battery: Yes 
  • Monitored: Self monitoring

Pros

User-friendly app Solar charging option

Cons

Limited free features

Who’s it right for?

  • Best for apartments and flats

Who is it not for? 

  • Large properties

Arlo’s sleek and compact security system is ideally suited for apartments, flats, and other single-entrance properties. 

The wireless outdoor camera delivers sharp 1080p video, colour night vision, a 130-degree viewing angle and an integrated spotlight. It also offers intelligent motion alerts, and voice control options. 

The Essential indoor camera, equipped with a built-in privacy shield, has a 120-degree field of view, 1080p video, and two-way audio. 

Arlo’s home security systems are designed to be easily installed by anyone with basic DIY skills. The packages include the necessary screws, wall mounts, USB cables, and detailed instructions for installation. 

While Arlo’s Essential Flat and Apartment Kit lacks window or door sensors for small homes, the indoor and outdoor cameras deliver a streamlined home security solution.

Read our full review of Arlo’s home security systems.

Ring’s Alarm and Indoor Camera Pack: Best for Alexa users

(Credit: Ring)

Key specifications

  • Cost: £269.98 
  • Components: 1 base station, 1 keypad (2nd gen), 1 contact sensor (2nd gen), 1 motion detector (2nd gen), 1 range extender (2nd gen), and 1 indoor camera 
  • Power source: Battery, although the hub and camera need to be plugged in
  • Connectivity: Wifi 
  • Maximum volume: N/A 
  • Smart home support: Amazon Alexa 
  • Backup battery: Yes 
  • Monitored: Self-monitoring with optional paid-for professional monitoring

Pros

Affordable professional monitoring available Supports multiple wireless platforms

Cons

Lacks key fob

Who’s it right for? 

  • Alexa users

Who is it not for? 

  • For those concerned about security, Ring has a poor history regarding its privacy practices and policies

Ring’s five-piece Alarm and Indoor Cam Pack, positioned at a mid-range price point, is particularly suitable for Alexa users. It’s compatible with Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Hub, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet. It also works with Alexa Guard using an Echo device, which listens for the sounds of a smoke alarm or breaking glass and supports Alexa voice commands.

This pack includes the Ring Indoor Camera, boasting full HD video quality, live viewing capabilities, night vision, and two-way audio. Additionally, the camera is equipped with motion detection and customisable privacy features. It delivers clarity-rich videos, offering crisp resolution, even in poor light conditions. 

The easily adjusted motion detector’s sensitivity settings reduce false alarms triggered by pets, while the range extender ensures consistent wireless connectivity between the base station and Ring devices across your home.

Following the straightforward installation instructions leads to a hassle-free set up and the Ring website features detailed videos in case of any issues. For those who prefer, Ring also offers the option of professional installation, which can be arranged through Amazon.

Ring offers two cover plans – Protect Basic (£3.49/month) and Protect Plus (£8/month), alongside its standard free coverage. These plans provide additional features, including video storage and professional monitoring, to enhance the functionality of Ring’s devices.

If you have an Alexa-integrated home, Ring’s security system provides great compatibility, allowing voice commands, remote monitoring options, and trouble-free installations. 

Read our full review of Ring’s home security systems.

How much does a DIY home security system cost?

The cost of a DIY home security system varies based on factors, such as the number of components, brand, and features. On average, you can expect to pay around £290 for a DIY system incorporating a base station and keypad, door and window sensors, and a camera. 

Prices will escalate for more comprehensive systems that include environmental monitors, extra cameras, and accessories such as glass break sensors and smart locks.

Why should I choose DIY home security over professional systems?

Choosing a DIY home security system over a professionally installed one has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some key points to consider:

Pros

  • Cost-effective: Generally cheaper than professional systems, both in terms of initial equipment costs and ongoing monitoring fees
  • No installation fees: Eliminates the cost of professional installation
  • Easy to install: Designed for easy setup, often requiring no tools or technical expertise
  • Self-monitoring options: Offers the ability to self-monitor through mobile apps, avoiding the need for monthly monitoring fees
  • Flexibility and customisation: Allows you to choose and customise the components that fit your specific needs
  • Portability: Ideal for renters or individuals who move frequently, as the systems can easily be relocated

Cons 

  • Less comprehensive: May not be as comprehensive as some professional systems in terms of coverage and features
  • Self-maintenance: Requires you to maintain and troubleshoot the system yourself.
  • No professional monitoring (unless selected): While some offer optional professional monitoring, many are self-monitored, which means no professional response in case of an emergency
  • Potential for installation errors: Incorrect installation or setup might lead to security vulnerabilities
  • Limited support: Customer support might be less robust compared to professional systems

Overall, DIY home security systems are a good choice for those looking for a more affordable, flexible, and user-friendly solution. However, a professional security system might be more suitable for those who desire comprehensive coverage, professional installation, and ongoing support.

What considerations are there with DIY home security systems?

When choosing a DIY home security system, several factors should be taken into account to ensure that it meets your specific needs and preferences. 

Equipment and installation

It’s crucial to evaluate the ease of installation and whether the system requires any special tools or technical skills. If you rent, is the installation method non-invasive, such as using sticky pads, rather than drilling? 

You also need to understand what types of equipment are included, such as sensors, cameras, and alarms. You might also want additional features like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide or glass break sensors depending on your needs.

Compatibility with your home

The system’s compatibility with your home’s size and layout is also vital – do you need extra sensors and cameras? 

Smart home integration

Smart home integration is another key aspect. The system should ideally work with any existing smart home devices or ecosystems you have, like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This integration can enhance the overall functionality and convenience of your security setup.

Cost 

Evaluate the upfront cost of the equipment and any ongoing expenses, like subscription fees for extra features or cloud storage. It’s important to assess the overall value you’re getting regarding features, reliability, and customer support.

Customer support

The level of assistance provided is important, especially since DIY systems require you to handle installation and troubleshooting. Look for a system backed by robust customer support and resources, such as user guides or online tutorials, and the availability of technical assistance. 

How we tested DIY home security systems

Our tech experts conduct in-depth testing and reviews of home security systems, providing you with the information to make a well-informed choice for your home and family’s safety. To date, we’ve analysed and tested 59 home security systems over 200 hours.  

Our commitment goes beyond just reviewing; we understand the gravity of recommending a product that fails to meet expectations, as it could have significant consequences.

Our top three recommended providers

Frequently asked questions about DIY home security systems

DIY home security systems have significantly improved in reliability than they have in the past, thanks in part to technological advances. The dependability of these systems often hinges on the quality of the equipment, with systems from reputable brands generally offering better performance. 

Proper installation is key, as incorrect setup can impact effectiveness. Regular maintenance, such as battery checks and ensuring cameras are operational, is vital. Additionally, the stability of your home wifi network is crucial, especially for components reliant on internet connectivity.

The lifespan of DIY home security systems varies, typically lasting anywhere from five to 10 years. This longevity depends on factors like the quality of the equipment, frequency of use, and exposure to environmental elements. 

Regular maintenance, such as battery replacements and software updates, can extend their usable life. Technology advancements prompt earlier upgrades, as newer, more advanced systems offer improved features and security enhancements over older models.

Several other providers offer DIY home security systems. These include:

  • Nest (Google Nest): Nest offers smart home security solutions, including cameras and alarm systems. Nest products are designed to work seamlessly with other Google smart home devices
  • Eufy: Eufy provides a variety of home security products, including cameras and door sensors, known for their ease of installation and no monthly fees
  • Reolink: Known for its extensive range of indoor and outdoor security cameras, Reolink is a good choice for those wanting high-resolution surveillance 
  • Blink: Blink provides DIY home security systems suitable for users who need a flexible, user-friendly system that can integrate with their smart home ecosystem​​
  • Netatmo: Netatmo offers smart indoor and outdoor cameras, door and window sensors, and indoor sirens

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.

amy

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.