Professional vs. DIY Home Security System — Which Is Better?

We look at the pros and cons of a home security system vs a DIY instalation.

There’s a lot to consider when setting up your home with a security system. A smart consumer will consider cost, features, customer support, and longevity when weighing their options. But before you can make any of those choices, you’ll have to decide between a professionally-installed home security system versus a DIY system.

Your choice of security company, price range, and the very safety of your home teeter on that decision. Choose wisely.

But enough with the dramatics. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both DIY and professionally-installed systems, to help you find the best security system for your home.

DIY Systems

home security system vs diy
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A do-it-yourself security system is one that you’ll have to install on your own. Typically, after ordering the system, you will receive a package with all the proper parts, which you then have to assemble and place around your residence. Leading DIY services include Ring, SimpliSafe, and Frontpoint.

Pros:

  • Most DIY systems do not require a contract, which means you can quit using the service whenever you want.
  • You won’t have to pay an installation fee or a monthly monitoring fee, saving you money.
  • You only have to buy the pieces you want, and since you install them yourself, you can easily dismantle them when moving to your next home.
  • DIY systems are ideal for people who rent apartments or live in smaller homes.

Cons:

  • Obviously, you have to install the system yourself, which not everyone is capable of doing. Additionally, you run the risk of installing it improperly.
  • DIY systems are harder to maintain and you won’t have the convenience of a customer support line to help you. And if your system breaks down, you’ll have to pay for repairs.
  • Self-monitoring systems are typically less effective than their professional counterparts. However, some DIY systems offer professional monitoring for an added fee.
  • Not great for big, multilevel houses.

Professional Systems

home security system vs diy
Photo: iStock

If you’re not confident in your ability to install a security system on your own, a professional system should give you peace of mind. Companies like ADT, Vivint, and Xfinity Home will send a qualified technician to secure your home the same way they would secure an office building. That’s why professional systems are much better for larger, multi-story dwellings.

Pros:

  • Assurance that your system is installed properly.
  • The provider of the system usually handles any maintenance concerns.
  • A monitored system is higher-quality than an unmonitored DIY setup. You will likely have 24/7 access to an agent for assistance.
  • Professional systems are more customized to your specific home.

Cons:

  • There’s no way around it: Professional systems are more expensive. You’ll likely pay more in installation and monitoring fees as well as for a contract.
  • Some of these companies try to upsell you. Even the savviest shoppers can end up purchasing pieces they don’t need.
  • Professional services are difficult (or impossible) to transfer from one house to another. That means, if you move, you’ll have to pay to get it uninstalled and re-installed in your new digs. Counterpoint: A security system can be a selling point for your old home while installing a new system in your new home assures you have the latest technology.

Takeaway: Home Security System vs DIY

home security system vs diy
Photo: iStock

The choice really depends on your circumstances. But if your goal is to save money, a DIY kit is probably the best choice. Whereas, if you’re concern is the security of your home, you probably should choose a professional-grade system and not try to pinch pennies.

Home Security System vs DIY — Sources

Safety.com
US News