Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2016

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Today, having a reliable home security system could help secure your investments and your most treasured possession in life: your family. Security is crucial to our daily lives, be it the security of our health, or the security of our hard-earned investments. Even in the business world, security is needed for a business to grow and become successful. Everybody wants to be secured in all aspects of their lives.

Which is better: the Do-it-Yourself home security system, or the security system installed by professionals?

If you are considering your budget, the ideal option for you is to get the DIY home security system. A DIY home security system is being sold as a complete set. You will just need to render your time, effort and your ability to follow instructions. You don’t need an installer and other monthly recurring fees to make it up and running. On the other hand, the paid set up of a home security system will need you to pay for installers and may require a contract that will tie you for monthly fees in exchange for their services. There are cases in which even the professionally installed home security system can be stolen. If that happens you are screwed! The newer versions of the home security systems are integrated into a mobile application, in which case remote access and control are feasible.

The Best DIY Home Security System that you can trust:

1. Canary – A smart camera for your home

Strongest points to consider:

  • Canary’s HomeHealth sensors are supportive and precise.
  • Has a Night vision mode feature.
  • Exhaustive video quality even at night.
  • Beautiful gizmo.
  • iOS and Android app integrated.

Drawbacks:

  • The sensitivity of the motion sensors is exaggerated.
  • Won’t notify the user if there is an electrical failure.

Price range:

  • $188 – $250

There’s no doubt that the Canary’s video recording quality is on par with other branded home security systems, since it comes equipped with a 1080p camera, among other features. This gorgeous looking gizmo is available in three colors – gray, black and white. The “home-hound” is accompanied by an iOS and android application that allows for the user to be notified when the gizmo detects unusual circumstances. The recent updates makes the Canary superbly smart. It has 3 profiles on how the device behaves, the distinctive profile being the “Privacy Mode.” This profile will be automatically turned on once the owner returns back home, so there will be no “big brother” recording session when this profile is activated. The 3x zoom Canary camera can cover a 147-degree angle of clear sight.

How to set this up:

  1. Put Canary on the sweet spot, where it can maximize its viewing angle.
  2. Turn on the device.
  3. Connect Canary to your phone using the yellow cable and snap it in the audio jack – this will let Canary acquire your Wi-Fi details.
  4. Enter the needed information of your Wi-Fi, for you to be able to sync this hound with your mobile device.
  5. Update the device to the latest firmware.
  6. Congratulations! your Canary is set up.

2. DropCam Pro – Superb and clean video recording

Strongest points to consider:

  • Hassle free set-up.
  • Live feed is available.
  • Improved two-way talk feature.
  • Has zooming and enhancement feature.
  • Bluetooth capable – can be paired with other home monitoring system.
  • Free viewing of live feeds in basic quality.

Drawbacks:

  • The recording may lag, depending on the speed of your internet connection.
  • Needs a PC for android mobile setup.
  • Not ideal for outdoor.
  • Not weather proof.

Price range:

  • $272 – $800

DropCam is a startup U.S. based tech firm, that focuses on Wi-Fi streaming cameras. The company’s growth and success are remarkable, as they were able to deliver the promised device that could provide a smart security system for our homes. This modern home security enforcer has larger image sensors and glass lenses. The system can record 2x sharper during daytime and has an outstanding performance on low to moderate lighting conditions. This baby also has a total 130-degree line of sight, which significantly surpasses the DropCam standard version. This famed hound has a free application that can be used to complement your iOS and Android devices. You can also access the DropCam live recording session through a web browser, using a computer. They also offer a cloud storage for the 24/7 recording session, for $9.95 a month or $99 per annum – if you will avail this service, the yearly subscription is the suitable choice.

The recent software update provides a new feature that will enable the user to zoom in a particular part of the image, up to 8x for pro and 4x for the standard version. Once you zoom on an image, the picture’s quality or its details will be automatically retouched and brought back like the original before zooming.

The 720p video quality of DropCam should not be taken lightly. Its software update makes the recording quality superb and clean.

3. Iris Home Management System – Hybrid Home Automation Made Easy

Strongest points to consider:

  • Easy to find sensors.
  • Has a variety of sensors.
  • Hybrid home automation.

Drawbacks:

  • Falls behind of competition because of lagging issue.
  • The web based control panel is not user-friendly.
  • The mobile app is not that good.

Price range:

  • $149 – $350

The Iris Home Management System requires a monthly fee of $9.99 to unlock the advanced settings, such as setting up rules, preset mode, setting up schedule and other features that make the IHMS unique among other home security systems on the market. For new users, you will be given a free two-month trial period of their full service. The monthly fee is the deal breaker here. Other close competitors, like SmartThings and Insteon, will provide the advanced settings for free. If you are into hybrid home security, Iris is the suitable choice for you. For each set or modules, expect a different price range and freebies.

For example, the safe and secure package is specially designed for home security. You will be able to get it for $179. The package includes alarm control keypad, motion detector, and entry sensors. The Care and Comfort package offers hazard free regulator and smart plug for your appliances.

The good thing about the Iris is its hybrid modules. You can get only the kit that you need and combine it with the other kits that you already have. These modules have common roots, as all of them need to have the Iris hub to work.

4. iSmartAlarm

Strongest points to consider:

  • Smart and all-inclusive home security system.
  • Legitimately affordable.
  • No monthly fees needed.

Drawbacks:

  • The alarm system will not automatically phone the police for you.
  • Need video add-ons to make it work.

Price range:

  • $32 – $250

The device will not call 911 if someone breaks into your house. iSmartAlarm will send you an SMS and an automated voice call to let you know about the intruder. You can get the suitable security kit for $199. The kit includes the brain of the security system called the CubeOne, motion detection sensors, contact sensors for doors/windows, and remote tags that will let you enable and disable the home alarm system. The CubeOne has an onboard panic siren that will sound a loud alarm once triggered.

Controlling the iSmartAlarm is made easy by downloading the iSmartAlarm application on Apple Store. Unfortunately for Android users, the developers  are still working on the Android application.

The application has four toggle switches that will remotely activate or deactivate an alarm. The application also has a profile option, perfect for disabling other alarms that are not needed. For example, home mode profile will deactivate the motion sensors and keep the contact sensors enabled, to avoid false detection caused by your pets.

If you are eyeing for the iCamera KEEP, you should not consider it right now, because their iCamera is only compatible with several router brands.

You can see the recording on the iCamera through the iSmartAlarm application. You can adjust the camera’s viewing angle by simply swiping your mobile device. You can also set the camera’s viewing angle, so the camera will automatically focus on the area where the alarm is triggered. The camera will start recording once the alarm is triggered. Unfortunately, the iCamera doesn’t have the feature to follow the intruder while recording the scene.

One of the convenient features of the iSmartAlarm application is the flexibility to name the sensors that were installed in your house. You can also customize the name of the remote tag. This will help you track who comes and goes out of your place.

5. Korner Home Security

Strongest points to consider:

  • Less than $100 home security system kit.
  • Reliable alarm system

Drawbacks:

  • Limited security system.
  • After a year of subscription, you will need to pay $40 a month.

Price range:

  • up to $100

You can get three remote tags for a $100 starter kit. This home security system is suitable for people that want the “basic” home security. The system works like a magnet, meaning that, when separated, the sensor will trigger the alarm. The device is loaded with an accelerometer, so, when the door moves, the device’s sensor will be able to sense it. Also, if your door or windows are painted white, Korner will be in perfect camouflage.

The Korner home security system also has a component called the “Korner stick.” The stick is the host of a ZigBee radio, which is a hackable device, so you should be careful on how you use it to send and receive data. Frequent network key change is needed to overcome this flaw.

After plugging in the Korner Stick, follow the application instructions to set it up. Expect that the app, even if it is not that polished, it’s quite intuitive and easy to set up. You can have the three remote tags ready in less than 5 minutes.

After the installation, you will immediately be able to monitor the alarm tags that you installed inside your house. Using the application, you can enable or disable an alarm, by toggling the lock icon. The application will record all the activities that took place during the entire day. This is helpful if you want to know who comes and goes out of your property.

You can edit the system’s settings by tapping the gear icon at the bottom part of the application. You can name the alarm that was installed in your house, turn it on and set the ring, as well as set the delay of the enabled alarm.

What do think of these home alarm systems? Will they be enough? If you have something to add to this post, leave your comments below.

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