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They also let you use a keypad or key fob to accomplish the same goal. We look at activity feeds and the organization of the mobile app to see what information an app gives you when an alarm goes off and if the alert gives you instant info. The top performers in this test were abode and Scout Alarm, with Nest Secure and SimpliSafe tying for third place. During installation tests, we make sure the manual or mobile app can get you through the setup process without contacting the company. We also look at whether the equipment in each system's starter kit requires additional tools such as screwdrivers and batteries. Finally, we time how long it takes to set up each component. We found Scout Alarm, SimpliSafe and abode easier to set up than most other DIY security systems. How much do DIY security systems cost?There are three costs you can expect with most DIY security systems: equipment, access fees and professional security monitoring. You can expect to spend an average of $250 on equipment, though this goes up as you buy more sensors. Access fees are sometimes required to unlock all or part of a system's self monitoring features for about $10 a month. With regards to professional monitoring, you can expect to pay between $15 and $30 a month for the service, which generally covers any access fees as well.

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You can choose to connect your home security system to the company’s emergency operators through a landline, broadband, or a 4G cell network. The price you pay for monthly monitoring depends upon which method your system uses to connect. Rural customers often pay more for services. With Protect America, they pay less than other customers, because the landline monitoring package is the cheapest option available. Most DIY home security providers offer monthly professional monitoring for agents to watch after your home at all times. When a home security system is professionally monitored, a specialist from the monitoring company is ready to respond when sensors are triggered. If any activity triggers the alarm, a professional will attempt to contact you and alert emergency responders to your home. The cost of professional monitoring may range from $10/mo. up to $50/mo. Depending on the home security plan and provider, you can opt for monitoring through cellular, broadband, or landline connection. When it comes to apps that control your home security system, you should determine your needs.