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Best DIY Home Security in 2021

#1 - Cove

Cove Home Security Logo

Overall Score 9.2 / 10
Customer Score 4.8 / 5
Price $59/each (Indoor Cameras - Get 1 Free)
Deals 50% Off Sensors + Free Indoor Camera
Contract No Contract Required
Monitoring Fee $15/month

Whether you want an entire system or just a few security cameras, Cove is the right company to choose for ease of installation, customer satisfaction, and affordability.

Cove offers the YI Indoor Camera at $59.00 (is currently offering 1 free camera with the purchase of a starter security system).

The best part? Additional security cameras only cost $29.50 each.

One of Cove’s marketing campaigns suggests that Cove is security that’s so easy even a kid could install it — and that’s a pretty accurate statement.

Cove is one of the most affordable home security systems that we review. Focusing on cellular security systems that you can install yourself, Cove does not require a contract for professional monitoring, meaning you can cancel or move anytime.

The company also offers very generous discounts throughout the year. For example, Cove’s 2020 Fall Sale included a 45% discount on home security equipment and a free camera.

It is very common for Cove to have a Flash Sale for 50% off one security device or another. The company’s common discounts are the main reason we’ve chosen Cove smart security as our best home security camera for 2021.

Cove Security Reviews

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#2 - Blue by ADT

Blue by ADT Logo

Overall Score 8.8 / 10
Customer Score 3.4 / 5
Price $199.99
Contract Month-to-month
Monitoring Fee $19.99/month

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By far the highest quality cameras of our top 3 home security cameras for 2021, Blue by ADT offers indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, and doorbell cameras all at the same price: $199.99.

For those who’d like additional home protection, Blue by ADT offers security camera bundles for $449.97.

Blue by ADT is the DIY home security arm of the ADT, the largest home security brand in the industry — that’s why the best part of Blue’s offer is the quality of security cameras they provide.

Sure, it might not be quite as affordable or as easy to install as Cove (that’s why they’re ranked lower), but they definitely live up to their namesake’s high reputation.

#3 - abode

Overall Score 7.9 / 10
Customer Score 2 / 5
Price $89.00
Contract 12 month
Monitoring Fee $8.33/month

Abode Security review

We like abode’s affordability with both its refurbished security cameras and its monthly fees. Unfortunately, abode has a low customer score mostly because they have received a high number of reviews on our trusted review platform, BestCompany.com.

Despite the momentarily low scores (because of its quality, ease, and affordability, we expect its customer score to improve quickly), abode is one of the more affordable and easy-to-install DIY home security systems on the market.

How to Install a Home Security System (& Camera) by Yourself

Obviously, each security system installation will differ — the more security devices you have, the more complex the setup will be.

However, some home security companies have created DIY security systems that are both affordable and easy to install.

So how do you go about installing these home security systems on your own?

1. Install the hub or smart panel.

We recommend you place your home security hub on the wall near a main entryway. This way you can control your system right before leaving or after entering your home.

Most people hammer a single nail into the wall to place their home security panel on the wall — a good idea is to use normal picture hanging nails, which should be strong enough to hold the weight of your home security panel.

2. Place sensors and alarms on entryways.

Hopefully, you’ve purchased enough sensors for every entryway in your home. This means that you have entry sensors for every window and doorway that could be used for burglars hoping to break in.

How many window/door sensors should you purchase? We recommend buying on for every entryway. This usually amounts to between 7-15 entry sensors for each home.

Fortunately, they aren’t very expensive and can be purchased for $20-$50 depending on which home security company you choose.

3. Place home security cameras.

Where should you place the home security cameras?

The best places to put a home security camera are the most likely spots for burglars to enter your home — this usually means ground floor windows/doors or window wells to the basement.

Try to keep your cameras above 9 ft high to ensure burglars cannot tamper with the camera itself.

If there are ledges or ladders up to your second floor that an ambitious burglar might use to sneak into your home, place security cameras with a view of those climbing points.

The number of security cameras you should have is completely dependent on the size of your home.

However, we recommend at least 1 indoor camera inside your home, 1 doorbell camera, and 2 outdoor cameras (for the front yard and backyard).

We should also be aware that our cars are targets for burglars as well. If you have a car in the driveway most of the time, we recommend pointing an outdoor security camera at your vehicles.

How do you place your security cameras?

If you’ve chosen one of the above home security cameras like Cove, the camera installation process can be as easy as placing the sticky end on the desired location.

Unfortunately, most home security cameras are a bit more difficult to install than sticky placement. For a more complicated installation process (like mounting an outdoor home security camera), you’ll either need to request help from your home security company (costs about $150) or watch a tutorial video from the company that sold you the camera.

For our purposes, we’ll walk you through the general steps of installing a security camera.

First, find a place for the camera that gives a good view of trouble areas. For inside cameras, this might be high in the far corner of the room, away from entry areas. For outdoor cameras, you should place the camera high enough that a burglar can’t tamper with the device.

Next, you’ll need to drill a hole big enough to fit the necessary wires through it. You’ll need to make sure that you have a power source for the camera close to where you’re mounting it (or you may need some extension cables). The outlet above the garage is a popular choice for outdoor cameras’ power source.

Once you’ve got the hole drilled and wires pulled through, you’ll likely need to staple the wires along the corner of the ceiling until it reaches your home security panel or ethernet hub.

4. Test and verify your home security system.

Most DIY home security systems will make this part extremely easy. In the case of Cove home security, all you have to do is follow the step-by-step instructions on the hub itself and speak to a live home security advisor who will help you make sure your system is set up correctly.

From then on, it should be smooth sailing. Congratulations on your new home security camera!