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Like most technical services, you can pay for professionals to craft your home security system or you can take matters into your own hands. DIY home security means you customize your device kit, self install, and then monitor alerts from your sensors and video feed. Self monitoring is the common difference between DIY and traditional security, but there are plenty of companies that strike a happy medium between both. We looked at providers offering pure DIY as well as those offering professional monitoring, either de facto or as an upgrade. We required all systems to have Z Wave Support — the most universal mesh network for communicating appliance to appliance. One of the biggest draws of a DIY system is the opportunity to add in third party equipment like Philips Hue lights or a Nest Thermostat at any point.

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If you choose SimpliSafe, you also won’t have to worry about canceling a contract and paying a high fee if you move to an area where a service provider doesn’t operate this system. You have to buy the equipment upfront, but that means you own it, and it reduces the monitoring costs every month. That can make things easier for anyone who’s on a monthly budget and don’t want to spend a lot of money on monitoring. You can pay as little as $15 to $25 a month for SimpliSafe monitoring, depending on whether mobile access is important to you. That’s about half of what you would pay with some of the other best home security systems, and it can be well worth it for budget conscious people who still want a good system. Read more about what our team found with Simplisafe here.