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Best Self-Monitored Home Security Systems

If you’re looking for a security system without the long-term contracts and monthly fees, a self-monitored security system may be right for you. In this article, we discuss the features, pricing, and benefits of the best self-monitored home security systems.

Home Security Scout Alarm

Self-monitored security systems are ideal for homeowners who are looking to take full control of their home security. Without the commitment of a professionally monitored system, customers have the freedom to use and monitor their system in a way that best suits their home security needs. Self-monitored systems are also a great option for those looking to save money, as they typically don’t require a long-term contract or month-to-month expenses.

With so many professional and DIY security systems offering self-monitoring options, choosing the right one can be difficult. Read on to see the best self-monitored systems to find the best home security system for you.

Top 5 Self-Monitored Security Systems

The highest rated self-monitored home security systems include the following:

  1. Abode Home Security
  2. Blue by ADT
  3. Scout Home Security
  4. Ring Home Security
  5. Vivint Home Security

Here’s a more detailed look at each company’s offerings.

1. Abode Home Security

Pros & Cons of Abode Home Security

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Compatible with third-party security devices ✘ Cellular back-up is only available with a professional monitoring plan
✔ Doesn’t charge for self-monitoring ✘ Offers limited video camera options
✔ Offers customers the ability to build their own system

Abode Packages & Equipment

Abode offers four security packages and a build-your-own system package. The packages are referred to as iota All-In-One and Smart Security. Both come stocked with a 93db siren, keyfob, and door and window sensors that send notifications directly to the Abode mobile app.

Abode offers optional add-ons, including a glass break sensor, wide angle motion camera, and panic button. Note: All optional devices you purchase are integrated directly with your Abode app, so you can monitor each item remotely.

Abode offers two self-monitoring options: a Standard Plan and a Basic Plan.

  • Standard Plan ($6 per month): For $6/month, customers can self-monitor their system, receive premium customer service, and get access to Abode CUE. Abode CUE is a premium home automation platform that allows you to control your smart home devices through a system of automated scenarios. For example, you can tell Abode CUE to turn your floodlight on only at night and when it detects motion.
  • Basic Plan (Free): Basic Plan customers don’t get access to Abode CUE. However, this free plan does allow you to self-monitor your system through your phone or web app. Your Abode system is compatible with any Z-Wave, Zigbee, or Wi-Fi third party device.

Abode Customer Service

Abode customers receive phone and online messenger customer service 24 hours a day on the weekdays, and from 5 am until 7 pm PST on weekends. Along with their accessible customer service, Abode offers free returns within 30 days of initial purchase and a one-year warranty on most hardware.

2. Blue by ADT

Pros & Cons of Blue by ADT

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Offers 3 pre-packaged systems and the option to build your own system ✘ Doesn’t provide 24/7 customer support
✔ 1-year warranty on purchased equipment ✘ Charges for 60-day video storage, regardless of monitoring plan
✔ Offers a doorbell, indoor, and outdoor camera

Blue by ADT Packages & Equipment

Blue by ADT offers three packages and a to build your own security system option. Packages include the 11-Piece System, 15-Piece Camera System, or Blue Doorbell Camera System. All packages come with a base station, entry keypad, door and window sensors, motion sensors, and a yard sign. The packages are all controlled and monitored directly from the ADT app.

ADT offers 30 days of free professional monitoring with each system. After the trial expires, you can continue to self-monitor your system. If you have additional, pre-existing third-party devices, you can integrate them with your new system through Z-Wave, IFTTT, and Wi-Fi capabilities.

With self-monitoring, you can arm and disarm your system, receive custom alerts, and create unique access codes in the app. You can also do this with the help of voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Blue by ADT Customer Service

Though Blue by ADT doesn’t offer 24/7 customer service through the phone, they do support their customers 24/7 through their user-focused Support Center. The Support Center allows customers to manage their account, read about supported devices, and troubleshoot system issues. Blue also provides additional support via their web and app portals.

3. Scout Home Security

Pros & Cons of Scout Home Security

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ 60-day free returns + 3-year warranty on equipment ✘ Charges $2.99 per month for camera cloud storage
✔ Provides 4G LTE cellular and battery backup ✘ Self-monitoring plan isn’t free
✔ Customers receive SMS and phone call alerts

Scout Packages & Equipment

Scout offers four security packages plus the option to customize your own system. It has some of the most comprehensive pre-packaged home security packages. The Scout packages include the Scout Small, Scout Large, Scout Elements, and Scout Architect Pack. Each package offers home security essentials like a central hub, door panel, motion sensor, access sensor, and key fob.

If you choose to customize your own system, Scout requires you to select a Scout central hub before picking your choice of devices. You can purchase a variety of items when building your own security system. A few items include a door panel, motion sensor, indoor camera, video doorbell, keypad, glass break sensor, or a door lock.

Scout doesn’t provide a free self-monitoring option. It charges $9.99 per month for self-monitoring. There are no annual contracts with the company and customers receive 4G cellular backup in case of an internet outage.

With self-monitoring, you’ll be able to monitor and control your system directly from the Scout mobile app while receiving email and text alerts. With IFTTT and voice assistant compatibility, you can integrate devices from over 175 smart home companies and control your system hands-free with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Scout Customer Service

This company offers phone customer service from 9 am until 6 pm CST, seven days a week. In addition to phone customer service, you can find information in the online Scout Knowledge Base. Scout’s knowledge base contains user manuals and troubleshooting help guides.

Scout provides customers with generous return and warranty guarantees, offering 60-day free returns and a three-year warranty on hardware. Additionally, Scout adds free shipping on orders of $200 or more.

Home Security Ring

4. Ring Home Security

Pros & Cons of Ring Home Security

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Allows third-party integration ✘ Video saving and sharing aren’t free
✔ Has an easy-to-install system ✘ Limited number of devices in starter kit
✔ Two-way talk and real-time video included with free self-monitoring plan

Ring Packages & Equipment

Ring offers three home security packages. The packages include a 5-Piece Security Kit, 10-Piece Security Kit, and 14-Piece Security Kit. Ring also allows customers to customize their own kit, selecting from over 20 devices.

Ring offers two self-monitoring plans: a Free and Basic Plan.

  • Free Monitoring Plan: The Free Plan equips customers with motion-activated notifications, real-time video surveillance, two-way audio, and a lifetime theft protection. While self-monitoring with this plan, you can control your system directly from the Ring mobile app.
  • Basic Monitoring Plan: The Basic Plan costs $3/month and includes everything in the Free Plan. It also includes 60 extra days of video history, video saving/sharing, and photo snapshots. The Basic Plan is tailored to customers who purchase video camera equipment for their Ring security system.

Both self-monitoring plans allow you to control Ring devices and third-party equipment directly from the Ring application or with the help of a voice assistant.

Ring Customer Service

Ring provides customer service through online chat and phone support. Additionally, Ring customers can get help through the mobile app. The app allows users to contact support, request spare parts, and look through frequently asked questions.

Ring offers a 30-day return policy on its products in addition to a one-year limited warranty.

5. Vivint Home Security

Pros & Cons of Vivint Home Security

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Supports third-party integration ✘ Must buy equipment upfront to refuse monthly professional monitoring
✔ Offers five security packages ✘ High upfront equipment cost and lengthy financing plan
✔ Provides over 10 additional security devices available for purchase

Vivint Packages & Equipment

Vivint offers five security packages that include various equipment like control panels, entry sensors, and motion detectors. To supplement your security system, Vivint offers more advanced equipment like smart locks and doorbell cameras.

You can purchase optional add-ons including door/window sensors, glass break sensors, motion sensors, smart smoke detectors, flood/temperature sensors, carbon monoxide detectors, and more.

You’ll be able to self-monitor your system with no monthly contract or cost if you purchase the security equipment outright. You can arm your system, create custom alerts, and see live video using Vivint’s mobile app.

In addition to the mobile app, you’ll be able to control your system using the included Vivint SkyControl panel or a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Vivint Customer Service

Your Vivint equipment comes with a 120-day warranty that begins after installation. During that 120-day period, all repairs are free. For quick questions, Vivint is available online through their support chat or through the phone at 1-800-216-5232.

Our Conclusion

Self-monitored security systems give you full control over your home security. Whether you want to cover a few doors or the whole house, self-monitored systems allow you to incorporate a variety of devices.

To help you determine which self-monitored alarm system is right for you, compare the offerings from top providers below.

Side-by-Side Company Comparison

Provider Abode Blue by ADT Scout Ring Vivint
Provider Abode Blue by ADT Scout Ring Vivint
Self-monitoring price per month Free Free $9.99 Free Free
Price of most basic starter kit $199.00 $199.15 $229.00 $199.99 $599.99
Number of items in most basic starter kit 4 11 8 5 6
DIY or professional installation DIY or professional DIY or professional DIY DIY or professional Professional
BBB rating A+ A+ N/A A+ D+

More on Home Security Systems

How to Buy a Self-Monitored Home Security System

Before purchasing a self-monitored home security system, consider the following factors:

  • DIY vs. professional installation—When choosing your self-monitored home security system, consider your installation options and their associated costs. Most self-monitored systems can be self-installed, utilizing wireless devices and adhesive strips to simplify the installation process. Other systems require professional installation and may have a fee attached to the labor.
  • Special features—Special features include devices that aren’t traditionally included in home security bundles. These are items that go beyond motion detection or base stations, like glass break detectors or an outdoor camera with night vision capabilities.
  • Affordability—Before purchasing a system, look into how much the system costs and how much you’ll be paying monthly for the system. Additionally, research the company’s warranty and return policy so you know what’s covered and what equipment you’ll be able to return.

Pros & Cons of a Self-Monitored Home Security System

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
Low to no monthly cost It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to contact the proper authorities
No need for a commitment to a long-term contract Most systems don’t provide cellular backup
Most systems are easy to install

Frequently Asked Questions about Self-Monitored Home Security Systems

Can you self-monitor with ADT?

You must agree to a professionally monitored contract with ADT. After that contract is up, you can choose to drop monthly professional monitoring and self-monitor your system using your existing equipment. If you want to avoid long-term contracts and self-monitor your system, try Blue by ADT, which allows you to self-monitor without lengthy contracts.

Can I use my existing home security system without monitoring?

Most home security systems, like Abode and Scout, allow you to incorporate Z-wave and Zigbee compatible security devices into your new system. Once integrated with your system, these devices can be controlled through your provider’s mobile application.

How much does it cost to self-monitor?

The cost to self-monitor varies with each provider, though most allow self-monitoring at no charge.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.