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There’s no relocation option if you need to move, so ADT works best for established homeowners who are going to be at the same location for a longer period of time. The franchise nature of ADT can also mean that you’ll find a somewhat inconsistent level of customer service and support depending upon where you are based, and that can be frustrating when you are used to receiving good service, but move somewhere else, and suddenly have poor service. On the whole, though, most ADT franchises are very good with customers, and are committed to providing a high level of quality and value for everyone who contracts with them. It’s a DIY installation system, so you don’t have to take the time out of your busy life to wait for someone to come hook things up for you. Instead, you can just get the equipment and set everything up on your own. It’s great for people who are on a budget, and it’s also great for people who rent—You can take the equipment with you when you move, and won’t have to worry about being charged another installation fee for setting things up in your new location.

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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. The most useful add ons are third party smart home devices.