DIY home security can be a hectic affair. After spending hours searching for and installing the right equipment, you discover that you have to watch it constantly. As you monitor your own system, you become paranoid that something will happen if you let your guard down for a moment. So how do you get the best DIY security without the stress of monitoring your home? The answer's easy: leave the monitoring to the pros with DIY alarm monitoring.
DIY alarm monitoring takes the best parts of professional home security and DIY home security and gives you a third option. With DIY home monitoring, you install the equipment you want and then pay the pros to watch it for you. The top companies in our review, LiveWatch, Frontpoint and Protect America, offer exceptional DIY alarm monitoring. Read our articles on DIY alarm monitoring to learn more. If you prefer to self-monitor your DIY security system, you might be looking for something in our other DIY home security review.
DIY Alarm Monitoring: What to Look For
Once you decide to go with DIY alarm monitoring, there are a few things to keep in mind. Carefully estimate the needs of your home and family and go from there. Look for a company that offers a large selection of equipment, sufficient emergency alerts, reliable monitoring services and ample customer support.
What good is a DIY home monitoring system if it's ill equipped to protect your home? Look for a company that offers starter kits that you can buy without a contract. The most effective DIY home security systems let you add a number of security cameras, motion sensors, sirens, security key fobs and panic buttons so you can customize your system and expand it with compatible wireless peripherals.
For protection from intruders, consider services that let you add entry sensors on your doors and windows. These include door and window sensors, garage door sensors, recessed door sensors, and glass-break sensors. If you have pets, pet-immune sensors can prevent pet-induced false alarms.
Each company in our review offers alerts that can protect you from intruders, smoke and fire, and carbon monoxide emergencies. Many companies also provide personal safety alerts that deal with child safety and medical emergencies. Depending on your needs, some companies offer supplementary alerts for temperature change in your home, flooding, power failure and natural gas leaks.
As you select the alerts you want to receive, remember that each type of alert generally requires additional equipment, such as smoke detectors and entry sensors. With the proper equipment for an alert, the DIY alarm monitoring company can respond in less than a minute every time that device goes off. This is crucial during emergencies because the company can notify the local police or fire department to send aid.
DIY alarm monitoring services vary in quality, so choose a company that is easy to work with. Your DIY security system should connect to monitoring specialists via a cellular connection or over the internet. Each company in our review offers 24-hour monitoring, alarm status reports, remote browser access and smartphone access. Most also have home automation services for smart locks, lights and more.