abode Starter Kit Review

Monitoring your home is easy with abode's DIY home security system. The starter kit includes the basics you need to get started, including a motion-detecting camera. The abode system can automate several components in your home, including lights, locks and smoke detectors.

Our Verdict

The abode DIY home security system is a great choice for monitoring your home's security through notifications and an option-packed mobile app, but it still offers the choice to pay for on-demand monitoring while vacationing.

For

  • This is the easiest DIY home security system we tested.

Against

  • The one-year warranty is short compared to some other systems.
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Monitoring your home is easy with abode's DIY home security system. The starter kit includes the basics you need to get started, including a motion-detecting camera. The abode system can automate several components in your home, including lights, locks and smoke detectors. You can also customize the notifications you receive from the system.

We set up the abode DIY security system in about 10 minutes, which is standard for most home security systems like this. It was simple to connect devices to the adobe Gateway, and the key fob is preprogrammed, so you can get started using your abode system immediately.

Although the mobile app has several ways for you to protect and monitor your home, some settings must be set or changed through the website. Notifications are customizable, so you can rename sensors to "bedroom window" or "front door," which makes it easy for you to know what's going on in at your home at a glance. You can set your home to vacation mode and set up on-demand professional monitoring if you leave for a three-day weekend ($8) or a week-long vacation ($15) and want abode to watch your home. This was the easiest DIY home security system we used and reviewed.

This system's primary connection is through an Ethernet cable to your router, which is the most common way of connecting such systems. You can set up a cellular backup connection in conjunction with abode's 10-hour battery backup, so your home can stay protected even if the power goes out. However, you have to sign up for the premium self-monitoring service to get this convenience.

There are three plans you can choose from with abode: Basic, for free self-monitoring service, which also gives you the on-demand monitoring option for three or seven days at a low price; the premium self- monitoring plan, Connect, which adds the cellular backup connection, 14 days of media storage and phone support for $10 a month; and the Connect + Secure plan, which gives you all of the Connect plan features for $30 a month, plus 90 days of media storage as well as professional monitoring.

Installing a DIY security system like abode involves more than just plugging an Ethernet cable into your router – you have to set up all of the sensors, connect all of the equipment to the base station, download the app and get everything to communicate. It all comes together quickly with abode. We tested the alarm several times, and the siren registered at 105 decibels, which is the equivalent of a loud concert or sporting event – and it's the loudest alarm in our comparison, only Nest Secure produced a similar result.

In the starter kit you get one door and window sensor, one key fob and a motion-detecting camera, along with the base station. The camera takes snapshots of events as they happen, and it includes an LED to illuminate the scene when it's dark. If someone tries to break in and your camera catches it, the intruder may be deterred by the flash of light. For more security, you can buy extra equipment. You can also purchase extra pieces from abode to make your home more secure. Along with extra door and window sensors, you can also add on glass break and vibration sensors, as well as a streaming indoor camera or an outdoor motion sensor with a camera.

Another benefit to using abode is that you can use IFTTT, a web-based automation service that lets you create security programs for your home. For example, you can set the system up to turn on lights plugged into smart plugs if your motion detector picks up movement. The system also works with third-party smart home devices from Nest, Amazon, Philips Hue, Google Home, ecobee and more. Additionally, you can use Z-Wave and ZigBee devices along with abode's DIY home security system, which can automate your home to a degree.

abode offers a one-year warranty for its equipment, so be sure to hold on to your receipt in case you find that your security starter kit has defective pieces. This standard warranty isn't very long compared to SimpliSafe, which offers three years of coverage. You can contact abode's customer support staff via social media, email and live chat if you have any issues with your system. abode only offers assistance over the phone if you subscribe to a paid service plan.

There are many reasons we consider abode one of the best DIY home security systems available, including how easy it is to use – from setting up options to using the mobile app to the preprogrammed key fob. It also has a loud alarm, customizable notifications and lots of home automation choices. However, its limited customer support prevents it from being the very best.