What’s the difference between professional home security and DIY home security?
In home security, there are two areas that you can choose to bring in the pros or do it yourself: installation and monitoring.
Professional vs. DIY Installation
When you have a system professionally installed, the security company sends out an installer to look at your property’s needs, recommend equipment, evaluate placement, install equipment, and walk you through the system. This is a great service if you’re new to home security or aren’t sure of how to set up a system.
Since many professionally installed packages are custom designed to fit your home and property, you might not know how much they’ll cost until you get a quote. And they can cost between $99 and $299 to install depending on complexity.
A DIY installation costs you nothing. You select the equipment or equipment package you want, it gets shipped to you, and you install it with the included stickers or a few tools for devices like smart locks or video doorbells. If you have questions, you can call customer service or look at the company’s website to get answers.
Professional vs. DIY Monitoring
Professional monitoring connects your home security system with a central monitoring station where professionals watch your system for triggers, verify emergencies, and dispatch emergency personnel. We recommend professional monitoring because you can’t always be there to watch over your system. Whether you’re in a movie, the mountains, or a board room, sometimes you can’t respond to a notification.
DIY monitoring puts complete control of your system into your hands. You’ll be solely responsible to watch for triggered alarms, verify alarms, and dispatch emergency responders. Alarm systems with DIY monitoring are often inexpensive, and they’re better than nothing, but not our first choice.
What tools do I need to install a DIY home security system?
Most DIY home security systems don’t require heavy-duty tools to install since they adhere to surfaces with stickers. You’ll want a flathead screwdriver to pop off the backs of equipment to add batteries, but that’s about it.
For more involved equipment like door locks, video doorbells, thermostats, or outdoor cameras, you’ll need a little more help. Most brands we recommend have lots of tutorials and helpful customer service to walk you through those installations.