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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. This is lower than the $37 average on traditional security systems and doesn't require a contract; not all DIY security systems have professional monitoring. What equipment should you get?Begin with a starter kit that covers your basic DIY home security needs such as the number of motion detectors and entry sensors for your home's size. From there, you can choose other devices to enhance the surveillance around your home. Most of the systems we tested sell add ons to boost your security beyond the basics.

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Choice of base equipment kit Preferred 2 window/door sensors, 1 motion sensor, and 1 HD camera or credit toward equipment purchase Homelife Security and Automation $250 included with 2 year service agreement.

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Offer is only available for new subscriptions to Cox Contour TV, Internet Preferred 150 and Cox Homelife service.

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When it comes to having a good experience with a security company, Frontpoint really stands out as the clear winner.

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We do this by extensively researching user reviews at retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe's.