DIY Home Security Systems Basics

Home security used to mean a dog, a fence and a gate.

But today it usually means motion sensors,alarms and cameras.

Almost every home implements some elements of home security. Common are:

  • Doorbell cameras
  • Door and window alarms.
  • Outdoor cameras

Do-it-yourself (DIY) home security systems are gaining more popularity due to the low cost and ease of installation.

These systems are easy to set up and less expensive than traditional security options such as alarm monitoring services.

System Installation

Many years ago home security systems were wired and as such were time consuming to install and left mainly to professional installers.

Today almost all home security sensors are wireless, making them very suitable for DIY installation.

However you can order a DIY system and have someone install it.

In fact all of the DIY home security providers provide installation services.

Security Sensors

Common sensors used in home security are:

  • Motion detectors
  • Door/window contact sensors

These are available as wireless sensors and can use Wi-fi, Zigbee or Zwave wireless.

They can be battery operated or may require a power supply. This is an important consideration when doing a DIY install.

Security Cameras

You can have both indoor and outdoor cameras. Both types usually incorporate a motion sensor and notifications.

Depending on your needs, you can select between wireless and hard wired cameras.

Hard wired cameras provide the best picture quality and are harder to defeat because they require an electrical connection.

Wireless cameras are easier to place and don’t require an electrical outlet, but they are also more difficult to install.

Many also have night vision so you can see even in the dark.

Wireless Cameras will use Wi-Fi due to the hight data rate of video.

Again they can be battery operated or require connection to power supply.

Most of the vendors offer surveillance services that come with a monthly fee.

DIY Security System Providers

These will vary depending on your location.

Top 6 DIY Home Security Systems of 2022 In the UK According To PC magazine are:
  • SimpliSafe: Best for Easy Installation.
  • Blue by ADT: Best for No Contract.
  • Abode: Best for Customization.
  • Alder: Best for Medical Alerts.
  • Cove Security: Best for DIY Value.
  • Ooma: Best for Self-Monitoring.

System Design

Before you can design your system you need a good idea of what security you need below is a quick list of things you should ask yourself.

  • Do I need  window or door sensors or are motion sensor sufficient?
  • Do I need security cameras inside the house and if so where?
  • Do I need security cameras outside the house and if so where?
  • Do I need to record cameras and if so how long do I need to keep the recordings.
  • Do I need alerting on a security breach?
  • Do I need an external monitoring service?

Most vendors will provide an online design wizard which consists of a number of forms that you complete but you need to be aware of your requirements first.

Below is a screen shot to the entry for the Simplisafe wizard.


SimpliSafe Setup Video

Here is a very good video showing you the set up of the Simplisafe system showing really how easy it is.

Simplisafe Review


Choosing a DIY security system is a very cost effective way of implementing home security.

It also simplifies the entire process as the products all work together by design. This is very important if you aren’t very technically minded.

The main drawback is that you have a larger upfront cost than if you took a piecemeal approach to building your system.

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