DIY Home security

I’m buying a home and debating what to do about home security. I’d rather not pay a monthly service fee and was looking into to some of the tech alternatives out there. Does anyone here have any recommendations?

I guess the big question is “what do you want out of it?”

The hardware is not really what you pay the silly monthly fee for - it’s the humans on the end of the line. Sure, they’ll up your fees based on other silly gimgaws, but if you’re building a new house you don’t have to put your remotely-operated garage door on the same system as your door alarms. In fact, most security companies will come out and replace the old hardware with new hardware if you switch companies every three or four years. The sensors are cheap, it’s the initial wiring of the alarms for doors and windows that is expensive (most of the stuff up on Amazon seems to be wireless).

If you’re just looking for an alarm that goes off if a door is opened, then there are all sorts of DIY kits you can get on Amazon… and I guess some will even call your cell to tell you that you’re being burgled. But to actually be monitored by a human that will call you up and ask what’s going on and/or send the fire department, then you’ll need the subscription.

And just as an aside: most home insurance firms offer a discount if you get a security system installed, so be sure that you factor that into your ROI calculation.

How do you feel about dogs? My security system is, along with a hardwired alarm, a small incredibly loud yohuahua that will bark at people talking a block away. In all seriousness, a barking dog is a serious deterrent. Most times the dog goes off and the alarm is never tripped.

I prefer more of a silent alarm that doesn’t alert the burglar and takes care of business . I am currently employing a Combative Anti-Terrorist device. It does everything the D.O.G. version does but in a compact sleek frame with silent running and self-sustaining modes.

I don’t know of any free solutions offhand. I use Simplisafe, which at $15 month is about as cheap as they come. DIY w a cellular base station that phones the alarm company if there’s a forced entry or tripped motion detection. You can pay more for mobile app and text notifications, but the $15 covers the monitoring service.

I prefer more of a silent alarm that doesn’t alert the burglar and takes care of business . I am currently employing a Combative Anti-Terrorist device or C.A.T. for short. It does everything the D.O.G. version does but in a smaller compact and sleek model with silent running and self-sustaining modes.


I’m currently looking into dropping ADT. The system is really old and triggered one night while we were all sleeping without any apparent cause. So I’m looking to replace our system (keypad, 3 door sensors, 2 smoke detectors). I hopped over to Wirecutter, which is still recommending SimpliSafe, but also has the Adobe and Ring systems listed as alternatives. However, SimpliSafe seems to get knocked around a lot in Amazon reviews and the Wirecutter comment section.

So I’m curious if there’s any updated opinions of current DIY security systems from Qt3ers. If it helps, app integration is less important to me than overall cost of the system and monitoring.

I already have a Ring camera so I was looking into the Ring alarm. I shoulda gotten it on Xmas, I believe there was a discount. Hmm it’s $10 a month which is much cheaper than ADT. Really pays itself off in a year.

There is a slight problem that if internet goes out so does everything else… I mean they provide a UPS for the thing but you’ll need one for your internet modem/router too.

I used to do hard wired alarms with my buddy. It’s not that hard. Find a place in a closet for a terminal box. Run wire through the house. Staple gun it. Magnets for the windows and the doors. Maybe a glass break sensor. Movement sensors if you want to save your paintings. It might cost $500 or for a bigger house, many thousands. It’s all about the effort to put the wires behind a wall or in the molding. And in certain cases we had to drill through concrete or actual stone with HUGE drill bits. On a hammer drill.

It was not always easy. But it was always fun.

Question for you guys. When we bought our home it came with security lights that are motion activated. They worked fine, but now that I have changed the bulbs they don’t ever shut off. They’re constantly on. I’ve tried different bulbs, adjusting the timer and switches, I even tried the breaker to reset it. Nothing works.

There should be a switch somewhere, seems like the switch got moved somehow?? Maybe it just decided to break.

You could always replace/add super cheap solar powered lights. Drill a couple of holes and mount. See I figure the battery will die in a few years but it’s no big deal because they aren’t on all night - they are only on when sensors are activated. I didn’t get this one exactly but something like it. Put 2-3 each wall and pretty much whole house is covered.

My understanding is that the $10/month monitoring includes cellular backup as well.

Ah okay. The $3 ring door-bell only plan doesn’t have cellular backup. If you lose internet you can’t hear the doorbell anymore which is an issue :) Hmm I see they backup the alarm system, but I’m guessing doorbell won’t work. Minor issue I guess.

Unfortunately all cameras are defeated by the low tech device called a mask.

I’ve had cameras stolen by an asshole wearing a cardboard box.

That said I now have a whole bunch of ring cameras (5). It is weird how they all have very different motion software options. People only still doesn’t work because it captures the cat most days, passing cars’s headlights, and yet manages to miss the mailman.

So half of me is like thats cool we’re going full on blade runner. The other half of me is like F that never in my home ever ever ever. Of course I could be convinced if there is an optional taser or weapon feature added.

Seriously, I have thought about Ringo, but was looking at their light system vs the doorbell version. Still think it’s too easy for burglar to take out.