Who Makes the Best DIY Security Systems in 2021?


Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that rankings can’t be all things to all people.  In fact, I don’t care for them myself because they’re rarely objective. Sadly, many places use them to make more money in commissions.

But, I do recognize the value in a “Top X” list for helping you quickly eliminate bad products.

So, hopefully, you take the information on this page to find a few good systems, compare their costs and features, and then read a few reviews to settle in on your decision.

That’s a process I can get behind!

I’ve already said you’ll see a camera system and home automation systems. You’ll even see some options that offer professional monitoring services as an option.

But, I’m drawing a hard line at alarm systems without a practical self-monitored option (including Simplisafe tests that rule) or that require piecing together disparate control panels and sensors from various Honeywell or Elk security system parts.

I appreciate the DIY mentality as much as anybody, but also understand we are a special breed.  So, I haven’t included the really hodge-podge solutions, maybe some other time.

In the table below, like we do many other places on the site, we sometimes provide links that go to security products on Amazon as well as a link directly to the manufacturer’s website. If you use the first link, you’ll be supporting our work here at no cost to you. If not, just use the other link.

The review links will either take you to reviews that we’ve done or a list of the reviews used to calculate these scores.

Well, for one, there’s a lot of variety at the top of the list!  Take the top 4 for instance:

  • Simplisafe really pushes monitored services, limiting features and apps for anything but the most expensive tier.  But, they offer a solid system that’s been around a while.
  • SmartThings is well-reviewed home automation system that recently announced a revamped security module for their app.
  • Piper is a camera that also has some automation capabilities.
  • Abode is another popular DIY alternative with no contract + optional monitoring
  • iSmartAlarm is the only truly pure-play DIY security system on this list.

Depending on what you’re needs are, one of those would likely address them really well.  To know for sure, make sure you check out their features and compare costs on our security system comparison page.  You can also see which sensors and protocols each system supports here.

We started this site to help people, so hopefully we’ve checked that off for you today. If you appreciate the leg work, considering sharing this online or following us on Facebook.


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