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And, many of them don’t require any special tools or knowledge to get the job done. Professional installation was practically the only way to put in a home security system 15 years ago. Technology has come such a long way that DIY systems can offer the same level of security and often more with a self installed system. Further, there can be additional benefits to a DIY system because they’re typically much easier to transfer to another home if you move. For someone looking for a more complex setup like home automation, or someone that wants a trained expert to make the recommendation for the setup, expert installation is a great option. We’ve found that most people that were apprehensive about self installing a home security system actually ended up finding the process very easy.

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Some vendors, such as LifeShield, will let you buy the components outright or lease them. For example, LifeShield's Security Essentials system will cost you $29. 99 per month for three years and includes monitoring, but you'll pay a $99 activation fee and you don't own the equipment at the end of the lease. Or, you can pay $299. 99 upfront for the hardware and still get monitoring but avoid the activation fee. If you live in a small apartment and want to keep tabs on things when you're not home, a security camera can get the job done for a lot less money than what you'll pay for a full security system. Nearly all standalone security cameras connect to your home's Wi Fi so you can see what's going on from your phone or tablet, and most have built in sensors that detect motion and sound and will send push and email notifications when those sensors are triggered. You can usually tweak the camera's motion sensitivity to prevent false alarms due to pet activity or passing cars if the camera is near a window, and you can create a schedule that turns the sensors on and off during certain hours of the day. A smart lock is typically part of a robust smart home security setup, but you don't have to invest in a full blown system to use one. If you're using a home automation hub to control things like lighting and thermostats, you can add a Z Wave or Zigbee smart lock to the system without much effort. Alternately, if you don't have a home automation hub, look for a Wi Fi or Bluetooth lock that comes with its own mobile app.