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For user experience tests, we see what each system and its companion smartphone app can do. In our experience, the best DIY home security systems have many ways to arm and disarm so you don't always need your smartphone. They also let you use a keypad or key fob to accomplish the same goal. We look at activity feeds and the organization of the mobile app to see what information an app gives you when an alarm goes off and if the alert gives you instant info. The top performers in this test were abode and Scout Alarm, with Nest Secure and SimpliSafe tying for third place. During installation tests, we make sure the manual or mobile app can get you through the setup process without contacting the company. 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.

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99 monthly plan, the latter of which is waived for the first year. Read our full Arlo Ultra Review. 49 View at Amazon$431. 10View at The Home Depot$449. 99View at Walmart?Like its older sibling the Arlo Pro, the Arlo Pro 2 has motion detection, night vision and an intercom function, but the Pro 2 has a higher resolution 1080p vs. 720p with a wider 130 degree field of view. The Arlo Pro 2 can be plugged in or run off battery power, and can last for up to six months without needing a recharge. You'll also get Arlo's generous cloud subscription plan, which offers seven days' worth of footage for free. Read our full Arlo Pro 2 review. 10 View at The Home Depot$169View at AmazonRecommended Retailer$199View at Google Store?The Nest Cam Indoor is the third generation of the celebrated Dropcam, and bumps up its predecessors' video quality to 1080p. It's easy to set up and, thanks to its magnetic, swiveling base,it can be installed almost anywhere indoors.