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    Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2024

    Out of the 15 security systems we tested, the best ones include models from Kangaroo, Ring, and SimpliSafe

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    Ring Alarm Pro security system
    While home security systems mainly serve to protect your home from potential break-ins or trespassers, they also integrate a variety of convenience features.
    Photo: Ring

    The best DIY security systems in our tests protect your home well with core features such as keypads, smartphone apps, and remote sirens, but most of the systems we tested showcased weak data privacy. So while many home security systems secure your home from intruders, many of them may leave your data vulnerable. 

    More on Home Security

    Aside from protecting your home, the newest home security systems also integrate a variety of convenience and safety features that include lights, locks, thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, video doorbells, and more. Some even double as routers. Furthermore, for most systems, you can monitor and control all components remotely, with an app on your smartphone.

    Unlike other home products, which are purchased with a onetime cost, home security systems may require subscriptions, making it hard to calculate the total amount of money you’ll shell out on a system.

    To help you make sense of your options, Consumer Reports has tested a variety of do-it-yourself systems from brands big and small, such as Abode, Cove, Ecobee, Eufy, Honeywell Home, Kangaroo, Ring, SimpliSafe, and Wyze.

    Best DIY Home Security Systems

    The top models from our tests include systems with optional professional monitoring: Dispatchers at alarm-monitoring centers immediately notify you and the police when your alarm goes off. Conversely, self-monitored systems send an alert to your smartphone, but it’s up to you to contact the police.

    We note each system’s type of monitoring and associated costs. Because these DIY systems are sold as kits, we also list the components included in the box.

    For more options, check out our complete DIY home security system ratings.

    How to Choose a Security System

    On the “Consumer 101” TV show, Dan Wroclawski, who covers smart home devices at CR, explains to host Jack Rico what to look for when buying a self-installed security system. 

    For more information on our testing and advice on choosing a security system, consult CR’s home security system buying guide.

    How CR Tests Security Systems

    In our lab tests, CR grades each system based on its array of security features. Our list of essential features include the ability to monitor a system yourself via a smartphone app, keypads and key fobs, and e911 so that you can contact your local emergency dispatcher regardless of your location. In addition to those essentials, our test engineers judge add-on security features geared toward environmental and personal safety, smart home capabilities, ease of use, ease of setup, and motion detection.

    Because these systems also connect to the internet, testers at CR’s Digital Lab also evaluated their digital privacy and security to make sure both your data and your home are protected from the prying eyes of manufacturers and attacks from hackers. For example, in our jamming resistance tests, we found that a number of systems are vulnerable to jamming attacks. The video below explains how jamming attacks work and what you can do to prevent them.

    @consumerreports Our Digital Lab tests found some DIY home security systems are susceptible to “jamming” attacks. Learn more at 🚪 🔐. #homesecurity #homesecuritytups #diyhome #jamming ♬ original sound - Consumer Reports

    Daniel Wroclawski

    Daniel Wroclawski

    Dan Wroclawski is a home and appliances writer at Consumer Reports, covering products ranging from refrigerators and coffee makers to cutting-edge smart home devices. Before joining CR in 2017, he was an editor at USA Today’s Reviewed, and launched the site’s smart home section. In his spare time, you can find him tinkering with one of the over 70 connected devices in his house. Follow Dan on Facebook and Twitter @danwroc.