5 Best Self Monitored Home Security System With Cameras

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Crime is on the increase and to keep your homes secure these days you need to have a home security system with cameras on your premises for monitoring and protection.

Burglars these days have become very smart and have all the ways to get away with the thefts and crimes that they do. So security cameras have become an essential need of an hour, for capturing everything so that in case anything wrong ever happens, you can have a track and proof to show to the police so that they can also have leads. Otherwise, it has become so difficult to track these intruders these days.

In case you feel that a self monitored home cannot do the job, then the whole security system can be installed in homes. These security systems consist of many electronic components that as a whole work in securing your place targeting your specific needs. This system basically consists of a security camera, Monitoring system, panic buttons, sensors, sirens, glass break sensors, etc. All these components help you monitor your home security in a better and effective way.

These systems can be professionally monitored as well, where the professional installation is being done by the professionals which means a technician comes and installs the whole system properly. And the professional monitoring is done for these systems by professionals, which means the alarm etc, are handled by the monitoring center of those brands. And then there are systems that self monitor, you just have to own security equipment and you can DIY home security systems without any monthly fee.

5 Best Home Security Systems

Professionally monitored home security systems are ideal for the people who want good options or extra security for their homes, and who want more control over their home security. Though most self monitored systems are more affordable, professional monitoring provides more security comparatively.

1. Vivint

Our thoughts:

  • Vivint is one of the most trusted choices in home security, as it is a smart security system. It provides you with all the controls of your house on a wireless keypad and voice controls. Vivint's home security system offers stacks of brilliant home automation and insurance for those needing to have a solid sense of reassurance. It is one of the best options available, where you can expect responsible home monitoring.
Features & Benefits
  • 120 days warranty after installation
  • Protection from water damage and fire
  • 24 7 professional monitoring and support by vivint's control centre
  • Provide smart locks and burglary detections
  • Provide mobile notifications in text message
  • It supports smart home devices
  • Entry sensors
  • Smart locks
  • Smoke alarm
  • CO detectors
  • water sensors
  • You can install it by yourself, or the professional installation cost starts from $49
  • Cost
  • The cost starts from $599
  • Pros
  • Provides indoor security as well, from water, fire, etc.
  • Professional monitoring is also available
  • linear garage control door control and car guard is available
  • Cons
  • Equipment costs are high
  • Also the contracts are expensive

2. Abode Home security system

Our thoughts:

  • The Abode system works with so many of the smart home brands and is one of the best home security systems. And with very low month-to-month fees for professional checking, makes Abode a splendid choice for your smart home security system. It is a service that provides you with everything that you might need for perfect security.
Feature & Benefits
  • Abode Provides wireless home security systems
  • Abode Provide web and mobile access
  • Allows you to cancel anytime you want
  • A year of warranty on Abodeequipment
  • Abode Provides complete home protection
  • You can install it by yourself or the professional installation fees starts from $99
  • Abode plans Starts from $180


  • No hidden fees
  • No long term contract required
  • Both DIY monitoring and professional monitoring available
  • Additional equipment can be added such as glass break detectors, motion detectors, outdoor camera,etc.


  • Only professional monitoring plan offers cellular backup
  • Not all equipment is available with person detection

3. Arlo Pro 2

Our thoughts:

  • Arlo Pro 2 is one of the most affordable and effective security system available. Also, this is one of the most reliable brand that you can put your money on. It provides you with overall security, many additional features, and professional monitoring services.
Features & Benefits
  • 1080p HD video quality
  • Sound and advance motion detection are available
  • Can also work with a rechargeable battery.
  • works well with other home automation devices
  • provides one year warranty
  • Security siren
  • provides an option for both wired and wireless camers
  • Advance motion detector
  • It has a very easy and hasslefree installation process
  • It starts from $149


  • Provides you with 7 days free trial to decide if you like it
  • Provides free cloud storage
  • Provides night vision


  • No software for face recognition
  • The quality of night vision is low

4. Ring

Our thoughts:

  • Ring security system is one of the most affordable security systems, which has no monthly subscription. Also, it has different plans in various price ranges which fulfills the needs of all section of customers. Ring additionally has a very flexible system, where customers can choose ring devices according to their needs, and ring customers can save money this way.
Features & Benefits
  • Offers more than 5 DIY security systems
  • Built in siren
  • Ring mobile app
  • Provides two way talk
  • Video doorbell
  • Ring alarm security kit
  • wired and wireless motion detection security camera
  • It has professional installation options
  • It starts from $199.99


  • Self-monitoring plan includes real-time video and two-way communications
  • Various customization available in the smartphone app


  • No local storage
  • Cellular backup is only available with professional monitoring

5. Blue by ADT

Our take:

  • Blue by ADT is one of the top customer focused security system. It is a flexible system with customizable packages. It also provides an option for professional monitoring.
  • Provides four different packages
  • Provides one year warranty
  • Cellular backup
  • Indoor camera and outdoor camera
  • Doorbell cameras
  • It does no offer professional installation but only DIY installation
  • Starts from $179.99


  • Blue by ADT provides one month free trial for professional monitoring
  • No long term contracts


  • Does not offers customer service on phone
  • There is an additional charge for over 60 days video storage

Considerations for buying your own security system with cameras

Installation Options

You yourself can install the system or else can choose professional installation depending on your needs. But DIY installation would definitely save up a lot of money.

Camera Quality

The quality of the camera is a very important factor while buying any security system. The camera must have good video quality with a wide-angle range. Also, the camera must have night vision so that it records in the dark as well.

Monitoring options

There are basically two monitoring options, one is a self monitored system and other is a professionally monitored system. Self monitored security system does not have any cost or fee while professional monitoring has monthly charges and monitoring plans.

Special Features

There are so many features that might help you to have a better system, some of them are

  • Motion sensors
  • Sirens
  • Alarms
  • Cellular backup
  • Door locks
  • Video storage


The price for professional monitoring may vary from brand to brand, but self monitoring security equipment can cost you around $100 - $500.

Support for customers

Some self monitored home security systems come with a customer service helpline, though it is always better to check before buying.

Network Connection

The network connection of your system completely depends upon whether you have a wired or wireless system, as wired systems are way more reliable than wireless systems because if the home's wi fi is not available then it won't work.


Alerts for most home security systems are customizable.

Fewer False Alarms

Self monitored systems ensure fewer false alarms while a professionally monitored system picks up more false alarms.


Most of these systems come with a dedicated app, which allows you to control everything through your phone.


Professional monitoring is more convenient as it does not require you to look for your system every time, while with a self monitored home security system you have to be available to check the system every time. But self monitored systems are low hence are cost-effective.

Level of Security

The security level is better with professional monitoring as 24/7 someone will be having a watch over your place, which is not possible with self monitoring.

No Home Insurance Discounts

Some brands offer discounts but only with professional monitoring and with professional installation.

Security Systems with Cameras FAQs

What to look for when buying a security camera system

The features that you must look at before buying a security camera system totally depends on your requirements. It largely depends on whether you are looking for outdoor security, or both indoor and outdoor security. But there are a few general points that must be considered such as, the video quality of the camera, wide-angle, zoom in options etc.

Are Video Doorbells worth getting?

Video doorbell do provide you a view of who is there at your door and give you an option of knowing it before you actually open it. By changing a few settings you can also have a full view of your front yard. But doorbells can cost you somewhere around $100-$200, and there are many systems that are available at the same cost. But it totally depends on your choice.

No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems vs Monthly Subscriptions

It gets difficult for a lot of people to deal with monthly subscriptions, though all the home security systems that we have discussed above are available with no monthly fees. Although if you want to get additional elements with the systems then you might have to pay a monthly fee, like for getting cloud storage, professional monitoring, etc.

How does Home Automation work?

Home automation works by means of a network of all the gadgets that are associated with the Internet through various sources like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. And all these devices has remote access by various controllers like amazon Alexa google assistant, google home, or Google Assistant, and also through an application. And most of these devices have sensors that are able to detect motion, temperature, sound, etc. and as a whole these devices helps you automate the house.

Do you need a permit for a home security system?

Most of the areas require permits for home security systems, especially if there is an alarm. Somewhere self monitored home security system also needs permission. The reason for the permission is if there is false alarm police can track down and charge you for the same, which lowers the chances of false alarm which ends up saving a lot of time and energy of people.

Are cheap security systems for the home worth it?

Yes, it is worth it. Just installing a security camera or creating your own system is also better than having no security device at all, as it gives you a sense of security. Also in case of any mishappening, it will guide you and the police and will act as proof.

Can I monitor my system without a mobile phone?

Most of these systems send you notifications for everything, and for that, you either need a mobile or a tablet. Also with the help of mobile, you can remotely monitor every activity happening on your property.

Best pro monitoring security system for a rural home?

Vivint can be the right home security company for a rural home. Vivint systems can be connected by landline as well as cellular, both of which can cover rural homes. A landline connection is solid and reliable, and in the case of a power outage, cellular coverage works perfectly fine without depending on the weather conditions. It joins a cell connection with a battery reinforcement which determines that your house is yet secured when the power goes out. Professional monitoring service is also provided.

Can I get help with paying for the equipment upfront?

Usually, with all the self monitored home security systems there is an upfront cost that you will have to pay. But the system that has long-term contracts does not have high upfront fees and it generally works on a monthly basis. Though it is always better to check it online for each brand before investing in any system.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.

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