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Here’s a look at 3 of the best DIY security systems
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Here’s a look at 3 of the best DIY security systems

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Do-it-yourself home security companies aren’t like the ADTs and Vivints of the world. Instead of paying thousands up front or over the course of a multiyear contract to have dozens of devices installed by professionals, you can set up your own system for a few hundred dollars.

Plus, you can usually sign up for professional monitoring services on an optional basis and cancel at any time — without incurring security system early termination fees or other hidden charges.

Here are three picks from CNET for the best DIY home security system options available on the market today.

Best Overall DIY security system

SimpliSafe Home Security

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SimpliSafe is a reasonable alternative to ADT and other professional alarm company firms, due in large part to this home security system's wide variety of accessories. (Chris Monroe/CNET/TNS)

SimpliSafe was one of the first DIY home security system options to hit stores and is a reasonable alternative to ADT and other professional alarm company firms. That’s due in large part to this home security system’s wide variety of accessories. You can regularly find its starter kit for around $200.

You still have to pay at least a $15 monthly fee to access remote security features (something that’s typically offered for free with other security company systems), but SimpliSafe’s impressive array of accessories such as key fob, additional motion sensors, smoke detector, glass break sensor, siren and solid performance make it our top pick overall for a DIY alarm system.

Best smart home support

Abode

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Abode integrates with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT for voice-enabled arming and disarming of the alarm system. (Chris Monroe/CNET/TNS)

Abode has all of the standard sensors (motion sensor, door sensor, entry sensor, window sensor, etc.) and devices for an easy entry-level security system. It integrates with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT for voice-enabled arming and disarming of the alarm system, as well as other advanced automations. You can add many accessories such as a key fob, security camera and smoke detector to the system a la carte. A professional monitoring plan is available for $20 per month and includes cellular backup.

This home security system also supports Zigbee and Z-Wave, which means you can connect the system to a wide variety of third-party smart home devices so you can control everything from within the Abode app.

Best value DIY security system

Wyze Home Monitoring

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Wyze Home Monitoring's base kit includes two door/window sensors, a motion detector, a keypad and a base station with a built-in siren. (David Priest/CNET/TNS)

Wyze Home Monitoring is ridiculously affordable. The base kit includes two door/window sensors, a motion detector, a keypad and a base station with a built-in siren — and all that costs $80 (the price has gone up since it first released for $50). Add $5 per month for professional monitoring. Or just sign up for a year of professional monitoring ($60) and get the starter kit half-off. From there, you can add cameras for around $30, sensors for under $10 and a slew of other gadgets for ridiculously cheap prices. The only real drawback: Wyze doesn’t have cellular backup in case of power or internet outages.

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Q: Tim, it's a very long story, and don't think I'm crazy. I'm building a new home and wondering if I can install all the electrical wiring myself. It's not a big home, but it's got all the things going on you'd normally have in a home, including quite a few three- and four-way switches. I've watched a bunch of online videos, I've read a few authoritative books and I'm feeling pretty confident. What am I missing? What would you do if you were me? —Margo F., Albany, Ga.

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