Rights & Money

Do-It-Yourself Home Security

Ensure the safety of your home and family with one of these easy-to-install smart security systems

By Matt Smith

Have you ever considered investing in a home security system only to be put off by the cost, the hassle, or the need for a contract? Thanks to the rise of smart home technology, these concerns are now a thing of the past. With today’s range of do-it-yourself options, you can take home security into your own hands and create a system tailored to your needs and budget.

While none of the options here require much tech savvy to install, all of them connect with apps on your smartphone, allowing you to monitor your home at any time, from anywhere. For extra peace of mind, many of these brands also offer professional monitoring services for an additional fee.

Many of these systems will also integrate with your other smart home devices, such as thermostats and light dimmers. A major advantage of these do-it-yourself options is that you have the ability to expand your system as your needs arise, without a huge initial investment. Most of these options are available in “starter pack” format—a pre-packaged bundle of all the devices needed to get your home secure.

Too many choices can be overwhelming, so here are five of the best options currently available to Canadians:

Samsung SmartThings
This is one of the more complete systems currently available, offering detectors for smoke, carbon monoxide, and water leaks in addition to security cameras and motion sensors. For those who want additional protection, SmartThings offers professional monitoring by ADT as an upgrade.

This easy-to-install option is designed to integrate very well with your existing smart home products including Google Home and Amazon Echo. However, you don’t get outdoor security cameras.

While most of these options operate on WiFi, Frontpoint’s DIY system works over cellular networks, making it a reliable choice for those in rural areas.

Ring Protect
Ring offers a number of devices at different price points, including security cameras and video doorbells. The app keeps you constantly updated, and Ring’s products allow you to both hear and talk to visitors to your property.

Another easy-to-install solution, iSmartAlarm offers a number of different devices to customize and expand your home security system. The app allows multiple users to access video and notifications, so your whole household can stay on top of things.

Photo: iStock/PhonlamaiPhoto.