Best DIY Home Security Systems: Reviewed and Ranked

Home Security System

Best DIY Home Security Systems: Reviewed and Ranked

Key Points

  • In terms of affordability, Ring will do nicely if all you need is a camera with a few handy features.
  • SimpliSafe – Panic Button’s multiple redundancies make it the best in terms of its ability to deliver robust security.
  • SimpliSafe’s ability to provide detectors for smoke, water, carbon monoxide, and temperature changes, entry sensors, glass break sensors, panic buttons, and sirens, makes it the clear winner in terms of versatility.

Home security systems are easier than ever to install in your house. You can assemble an effective, capable, and completely wireless home security system all by yourself. All it takes is the base cost for the equipment and usually a small monthly fee for a service plan. Setting up a wireless outdoor camera is a fairly simple process that should only take a few minutes to accomplish. That might be enough security for some people, but there are a variety of equipment bundles and service plans from different vendors. We’ll be comparing Arlo, Ring, and SimpliSafe to see which company offers the best protection for the most reasonable price.

  • Best for Affordability: Ring
  • Best for Effectiveness: SimpliSafe
  • Best for Defensive Security: SimpliSafe
  • Best for Versatility: SimpliSafe
  • Best Overall: SimpliSafe

Best Overall Home Security Systems: Arlo, Ring, and SimpliSafe

Best For Affordability: Ring

Great Quality Still!
Ring Video Doorbell 1080p HD Video
  • 1080p HD video doorbell with enhanced features that let you see, hear, and speak to anyone from your phone, tablet, or PC
  • Improved motion detection, privacy zones and audio privacy, and crisper night vision
  • Receive mobile notifications when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers your built-in motion sensors
  • Powered by the built-in rechargeable battery or connected to existing doorbell wires for constant power
  • Easily set up by connecting your Ring Video Doorbell to wifi through the Ring app and mounting it with the included tools
  • Improved motion detection
  • Easy installation
  • Satin Nickel
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/29/2023 11:12 pm GMT

The great thing about all of these systems is that they are specifically catered to each individual’s situation. The price for the equipment and monthly fee subscription can vary wildly depending on the situation. So, to rate overall affordability, we’ll look at the least expensive option available for a security system and we’ll look at the quality received for these costs.

Ring – Satin Nickel Video Doorbell 1080p HD Video has a basic outdoor or doorbell camera for $99 and they have a basic service package for a three dollar monthly fee. Arlo has an option of no plan, but it only offers motion notifications and live streaming. Ring’s basic package is affordable and effective. You can obviously spend more to get a more elaborate system, but if you don’t need more than a simple camera with a few features then Ring is the way to go with the simplest base cost.

This 1080p HD video doorbell allows you to see, hear, and speak with visitors from your phone, tablet, or PC. You can also receive mobile notifications whenever someone rings your doorbell or triggers built-in motion detectors. It’s easy to mount with the included tools and a snap to connect to your Wi-Fi through the Ring app.

Best For Effectiveness: SimpliSafe

Once you have your SimpliSafe – Wireless Outdoor Security Camera in place, you’ll be able to feel the difference. The amount of overlapping coverage that SimpliSafe provides ensures that your home is secure. The combination of cameras, motion sensors, smart locks, hazard sensors, and floodlights verifies that you’ll be aware of any activity around your home.

This security camera provides a 140° field of view so you can monitor what’s going on outside 24/7. You will receive alerts whenever someone approaches. Color night vision with spotlight allows you to clearly see who’s outside your home in the dark. Plus, smart person detection knows the difference between people, animals, and vehicles.

Plus, setup takes just five minutes with no wiring required.

Please note: As of July 18, 2023, the SimpliSafe – Wireless Outdoor Security Camera is out of stock on Amazon. Please check back later.

SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security Camera
  • With 140º field of view, see what happens outside 24/7
  • Get alerts whenever someone approaches
  • 1080p resolution and 8x zoom lets you see the details
  • Color night vision with spotlight lets you see clearly in the dark
  • Setup takes 5 minutes—no wiring needed
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 12:29 am GMT

Best For Defensive Security: SimpleSafe

A proper home security system not only needs to protect the residence but must protect itself as well. A cheap lock will keep out honest people, but a strong lock will keep out everyone. Basic defensive protocols help to ensure that the system itself will not be compromised. SimpliSafe – Panic Button has multiple redundancies to ensure its products are secure and functional.

The SimpiSafe Panic Button allows you to signal for help without alerting intruders. You can also program it to alert the company’s monitoring center and family members of a medical emergency.

It’s ready to use right out of the box with batteries installed and adhesive. To set it up, simply select “Add Device” with your SimpliSafe Keypad.

SimpliSafe Panic Button - Built-in Silent Panic Feature - Compatible with SimpliSafe Home Security System (New Gen)
  • Take immediate action againt burglary and other emergency situations -- instantly trigger your alarm and dispatch police
  • Built-in silent panic button allows you to signal for help without alerting
  • Setup is a snap Just 'add device' With your SimpliSafe Keypad
  • Ready to work right out of the box Your panic button Comes pre-installed with batteries and adhesive
  • Compatible with your SimpliSafe Gen 3 home security system
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 12:28 am GMT

Best For Versatility: SimpliSafe

Each of these companies has an excellent selection of cameras, lights, and support packages. However, Simplisafe has gone above and beyond with its equipment. They offer panic buttons, sirens, entry sensors, glass break sensors, and detectors for smoke, water, carbon monoxide, and temperature changes. They have smart locks and solar panels for powering the system. SimpliSafe – Water Sensors may cost a bit more than their competitors, but their versatility is unmatched.

SimpliSafe Water Sensor Alarm-Flood Detection-Compatible Home Security System (New Gen)
  • Be notified of possible home flooding with this SimpliSafe water sensor
  • Alerts you whenever it comes into contact with fluid with an audible alert
  • Place in areas where flooding or water damage may occur
  • Ready to work right out of the box Your water sensor comes pre-installed with batteries and adhesive
  • Compatible with your SimpliSafe Gen 3 home security system
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 12:28 am GMT

Best Overall: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe comes out as the overall best option. They are a bit more expensive than the other options, but you get what you pay for with a higher quality product in relation to the money that you’re spending. The versatility, effectiveness, and security of the SimpliSafe system outshine their competitors. To be fair, the other options are perfectly adequate systems. It’s just that SimpliSafe has a higher quality of depth and strength than competing companies.

SimpliSafe 12 Piece Wireless Home Security System w/HD Camera - Optional 24/7 Professional Monitoring - No Contract - Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Ready to protect right out of the box. Just plug in the base station, place your sensors, plug in your Simplicam and start protecting your home in minutes - no tools required.
  • Optional 24/7 professional monitoring and cloud recording with police, fire & medical dispatch starting at 60c/day - No contracts (SimpliSafe products and professional monitoring services are only...
  • Sound the alarm. Pioneering signal burst technology that is powerful enough to cover homes of every size, with up to 1000 ft. range - no extender needed.
  • The SimpliCam security camera lets you see what’s happening at home anytime from your phone, tablet or computer and comes with a built-in stainless steel shutter for complete control over privacy.
  • Motion sensors detect motion within 30 feet, has a 90 degree field of vision and gets along great with pets under 50lbs. Perfect for full range coverage when placed in a corner.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 12:28 am GMT

How To Pick The Best Home Security Systems: Step by Step

Choosing a security system has a very simple formula. Your expectations for coverage compared to cost will overlap at a certain point. It’s likely that you’ll only have a few choices at that specific junction. All you have to do after that is choose the system that most closely suits your needs, by keeping the following in mind:

  • Structuring a budget
  • Coverage

Structuring a budget

It’s important to plan out exactly how much you want to spend on your home security system. It can be easy to overspend on security because of how important it is to be and feel secure. Rationally planning out the scale of the system will be beneficial in both the short and long term. It’s also important to remember that you can always add more security and better devices to your current system. Start small and grow rather than buy a camera for every corner of your life.


The amount of support and features that are provided to help to integrate the system together are just as important as the cameras and alarms. You have to determine for yourself how much support you think that you’ll need. Some plans have no fee, but they don’t really offer much of anything. Even stepping up one level from no fee to the cheapest paid level will actually make your system functional. These simple plans have alerts and data storage capabilities, unlike the no-fee plans that basically only have self-monitoring.

What To Know Before Buying a Home Security System

You need to understand your needs and structure a reasonable system to meet your personal security requirements. Some people are fine with a simple smart lock in case they forget their keys. Some people want a sensor on every door and window while internal and external cameras cover every inch of the property. Most people opt for a milder plan. A doorbell camera and a few cameras around the doors should be adequate for most families.

Using a Home Security System: What it’s Like

Using a home security system is easy to do. It doesn’t take long to learn how to interact with your devices. You’ll be able to control the various aspects of your system through your phone. The user interaction is designed to be as easy to use as possible. After a short period, using your security system will become second nature. It may take a bit of patience and a little time, but once you’ve incorporated security into your daily routine you’ll wonder how you ever went without it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you build your own security system?

You can build your own home security system. It doesn’t take much. The simplest systems can be as little as a single self-monitored camera. They are easy to install, they don’t cost much, and since it’s self-monitored you won’t have to worry about a subscription. However, a single camera might not be enough coverage for your peace of mind. Adding more devices to the overall system will make your home exponentially more secure until it reaches a point of total coverage. Getting to that point can be quite expensive so it’s best to understand what level of coverage is reasonable for your personal situation. That will prevent you from going overboard with too many lights and cameras while still ensuring the security of your property.

What is the easiest security system to install?

A simple doorbell camera is affordable and simple to install. Security system technology installation has become easier than ever. Most systems are completely wireless and only require very basic skills to install. Some devices still need to be hardwired into your system to be able to draw power, but that’s still fairly a simple task. Fortunately, there are solar-powered units and battery-powered units that have a lifespan of several months before needing a recharge. If you really want to get fancy, you might want to secure your hardware with a few screws. That’s about as difficult as it needs to get.

Can DIY security systems be hacked?

Any system can become compromised. Security relies on preparation and planning. A security system is like a chain, where a single weak point can cause the entire apparatus to fail. Understanding potential vulnerabilities and fortifying them before relying on the system will dramatically increase your chances of long-term success with your security system.

Are DIY security systems as good as professionally installed ones?

Installation of a home security system can range in difficulty. There are some professionals that make security installation an artform. They know what they’re doing, and they can really make any place as tight as a drum. However, most home security systems are self-monitored, cheap, and only require a small base cost with a simple outdoor installation. Most situations only require a basic system, and the professionals are best left to the larger jobs.

What is the best DIY security system?

The best system is the system that meets your personal security needs. You can buy the most expensive setup available, but if a single wireless outdoor camera will satisfy your needs, why would you waste that kind of money on something so needlessly ostentatious? You could be secure with just a cheap, basic system. A simple functional design is the best course of action when choosing a home security system.

To top