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DIY Home Security Systems vs. Pro-Installed

Posted February 18th, 2022 by SimpliSafe

DIY home security system

Having a security system for your home can give you the peace of mind you need in the unfortunate event of a break in. Some security companies even offer equipment to protect you against the elements by detecting floods, fires and carbon monoxide.

With so many options to choose from, including DIY home security systems vs. pro-installed options, it can be hard to know what to invest in. Additionally, within these two options, there are many different companies to evaluate, each with their own packages, contracts and features to set them apart from the competition.

Before you get that far, though, we recommend first deciding whether to go with a DIY home security system or a pro-installed security system. Each option has pros and cons that are important to take into consideration, so you can decide what’s best for your situation. 

What to consider when choosing a diy home security system vs. Pro-installed

First and foremost, the definition of a DIY home security system is a security system that you install on your own. Though, if you're not tech-savvy, don’t let that hold you back. Some companies, SimpliSafe included, offer professional installation if you need help (though the DIY setup is easy enough for most customers to handle it on their own). 

While nearly all companies on the market offer DIY home security systems with cameras, you can also customize your security solution by adding on different equipment and services to fit your needs. And, while just having cameras can be enough to deter burglars, any worthwhile DIY system should allow you to self-monitor for nefarious activity and/or take advantage of professional monitoring options (SimpliSafe offers both).

On the other hand, a pro-installed security system is a system that’s always professionally installed, typically by broader home security companies that offer a pre-established home security kit. They may not offer as much flexibility and customization options as a DIY system, but may be more ideal for someone who is not comfortable setting up a true DIY system on their own. 

Pros & cons of DIY home security systems

Let’s start with understanding the benefits and downsides of DIY home security systems:

Pros:

  • Customizable equipment, including cameras and motion sensors to prevent theft, as well as smoke detectors and water sensors to alert the authorities in case a flood or fire threatens to take over your home.

  • A great solution for apartments, condos and smaller homes.

  • Add onto your package/equipment as needed.

  • Generally more affordable than pro-installed companies.

  • Pay for what you’re using, especially when it comes to extra features and subscriptions.

  • Smart equipment — for instance, motion detectors that pick up on people, but not pets.

  • Systems are aesthetically pleasing and designed to blend in — not bulky or an eye-sore.

  • Ease-of-use and ability to quickly self-install and connect to Wi-Fi — no drilling, no wiring and no landlines required.

  • No commitment/contracts required. Pay a one-time fee and add services as needed.

  • Choose the best monitoring solution to fit your specific needs.

Cons:

  • Not always ideal for larger, multilevel dwellings.

  • Sometimes you need to add extra features to get the most potential out of your DIY system.

  • Minimal degree of tech-savviness/handiness is required. (However, you can usually add professional installation for an extra fee.)

  • Some research required to decide on the system and monitoring package that's right for you.

Pros & cons of Pro-installed security systems

What about a pro-installed system? If you’re thinking of going this route, consider the advantages and disadvantages of a pro-installed security system:

Pros:

  • A professional will come install your system, meaning you don’t have to take the time to learn how to install the equipment — and actually install it — on your own.

  • Limited options for packages and monitoring plans might mean less up front research is required.

  • Can work well in larger homes with more family members.

Cons:

  • Even though professional installation is the main feature of pro-installed security systems, companies often charge a large fee for setup.

  • Are generally very expensive; more expensive than DIY home security systems. 

  • Less customizable, meaning you often have to pay for features that you may not necessarily be using. 

  • Often have to be tied into long contracts that are hard to withdraw from. 

  • Hard to transfer from one home to another if you move.

What’s right for you?

Now that you know the main differences between DIY home security systems and pro-installed security systems, the next step is to decide what security system is right for you. There are many companies out there, so look for one that has high customer ratings, flexible and cost-efficient subscription options, and equipment that fits your needs.

If you’re looking to get your feet wet with a new home security system, a DIY option is a good starting point. This is a cost-efficient way to ensure your home is protected without requiring any lengthy contracts, huge upfront investments or commitments that might be difficult to break out of.

But, what if you’re more drawn to a DIY home security system, but you like some of the perks that come with a pro-installed security system? The key is to look for the best of both worlds. Go with a security company that offers the custom, easy install security systems that often come with DIY programs, but with the scalability, reliability and professional monitoring of a pro-installation company.

DIY home security system keypad

The bottom line

Both DIY home security systems and pro-installed systems can be great solutions, but everyone has different needs. Ultimately, the important thing is that your home is secure. 

SimpliSafe is a DIY home security system that provides all the equipment and services you need to feel comfortable with your security system, from professional installation and monitoring, to smart equipment that’s easy to use, integrate and add onto when needed.  

Sounds good? To get started, learn more about SimpliSafe and what our top-rated DIY security system can do for your home. 

Hana LaRock is a freelance writer, copywriter, copyeditor, and strategist with nearly 10 years of experience working in many different industries.

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