Home video monitoring: DIY or Professional Monitoring?
Nobody wants to be included in burglary statistics. Break-ins in the US cost homeowners an average of $2800 per incident. With a reported break-in happening every 26 seconds, it’s high time you invested in a home video monitoring system.
Many options abound and choosing is always hard. Here’s a quick rundown on what to expect particularly when deciding whether to pick DIY self-monitoring or subscription-based professional monitoring service.
What DIY home video monitoring is vs. Professional Monitoring
Doing it yourself (DIY) means you’ll be responsible for your security. If your system alerts you to the presence of an intruder, it’s up to you to take action or call the police. Professional home video monitoring takes the drama out of your hands.
For a monthly fee of about $10 to $60 every month depending on the service level you choose, you can spend your day away in comfort while the pros handle it. But it will cost you.
To get a feel of what to expect, let's dive in and have a look at the options some of these home video monitoring companies are offering, starting with DIY.
DIY Home video monitoring
We recommend spending somewhere in the $200-$300 for a decent home video monitoring system. Also, keep in mind that DIY home video monitoring may likely mean that you have to install the system yourself. If you choose to involve a professional, that may cost you an extra $80 to $100.
Be sure to pick a self-monitored system that at least has basic home video monitoring tools such as mobile alerts, remote control, and short-term video storage. The ones mentioned below do.
For about $249, Abode offers more compatibility options than other security systems. It is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Home Kit, Z-Wave, IFTTT, and Zigbee - making it perfect for smart home enthusiasts who want to integrate different products from different manufacturers.
Their CUE automation platform allows you to control smart lights, garage doors, home theatre systems, and more. Alternatively, you can use Google Assistant or Alexa. Abode self-monitoring plan still allows you to receive immediate alerts on your phone, remotely view live feeds and control systems and devices on the abode app.
The Abode system contains a Gateway central hub, one door/window sensor, one motion sensor, and a key fob. Their self-monitoring plan features live camera views and smart-device integration.
They pride themselves on being the only home security provider to offer professional monitoring on demand – 3 or 7 days of 24/7 coverage with no commitments or strings attached.
For the $259 Essentials package, you get a base station hub, three entry sensors, a keypad, a motion sensor, a yard sign, and two window decals. The Simplisafe system integrates with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and August Smart locks.
Their self-monitoring option provides the essentials such as smartphone alerts and allows users to arm or disarm their security systems via the Simplisafe app.
For the $199 Ring Alarm Security Kit, you get a base station, a keypad, a contact sensor for doors or windows, and a range extender for long-distance communication. However, Ring allows you to curate your system from scratch, picking only what you want.
Their system integrates with Amazon Alexa (their parent company) and their proprietary platform Works with Ring. Ring self-monitoring allows live streaming, arming/disarming your home video security system, and automation.
The above-mentioned are the base packages. A starter kit to get you on the way to building your own smart home video monitoring security system. From there, you can tack on as many add-on devices and features as you like. Though the more you add, the higher the cost.
Self-monitoring solutions send you alerts to notify you but beyond that, it is up to you. Yet another feature commonly lacking in self-monitoring plans is cloud storage. Also, if you feel you cannot pay attention to alerts and act quickly, you’ll want to go with professional home video monitoring.
Finally, there are other options with good self-monitoring options.
Professional Home Video Monitoring Pricing
Most security professionals recommend professional monitoring because most people find themselves in positions where they aren't paying attention to their devices. Whether sleeping, busy working, or in the shower.
People with large homes, multiple entrances, or those frequently away will want to consider professional home video monitoring for peace of mind.
What does it cost to have 24/7 monitoring ready to call you, the police, or the fire department just in case?
- Ring – $20 a month
- Abode – 66 cents a day or about $20 per month
- Simplisafe - 93 cents a day or about $28 per month
- ADT – around $28 per month
In the end, the choice between DIY or professional home video monitoring comes down to how much you are willing to spend, how much you trust in your vigilance and your choice of hardware.