You don’t want to leave your home for work, fishing, grocery shopping, etc. to have some two-bit thief make off with your valuables you’re away.
That’s where a security system comes in.
It will chase most intruders away on sight. The bravest (aka dumbest) will still try to break in despite the cameras, but they will be caught on tape red-handed.
The only problem? Getting a security system installed is expensive.
But it doesn’t have to be. These days, many systems are quite easy to install yourself, saving thousands. On top of that, the technology has become much more accessible, making a quality DIY home security system affordable for everyone.
Let’s take a look at the best DIY surveillance systems on the market today, including many that sell for under $100.
Top Picks: DIY Security Systems
The table below shows our top picks for certain categories. Below you will find reviews of these picks and quite a few more, in case the table does not include the right option for you.
Best DIY Home Security Systems
The following are our recommended DIY security systems. We’ve included quite a few, to ensure that there are options for every budget and need. You’re sure to find the right system for you.
Smonet DIY Security Camera System
SMONET Security Camera System Outdoor,8 Channel Home Security System(1TB Hard Drive),6pcs...
- STUNNING VIEWING: 8CH 1080N AHD DVR+6PCS 1080P Cameras+1TB Hard Drive. AHD Home Security Camera...
- PLUG AND PLAY: HD Home Security System Supports 1080P Video Input, Connect All Cameras to Power...
- VIEW ANYTIME&ANYWHERE: FULL HD Outdoor Video Security System Allows You to View Live Video and...
- SUPERR WATERPROOF: 6pcs Bullet Cameras, IP66 Super Waterproof Grade, Durable Outdoor Weatherproof...
If you’re looking for a very reasonably priced, but robust option for home or business security, then you’ll want to consider the Smonet security system.
It has all the features that you expect and best of all, it’s a great DIY option, basically plug and play. It does have wires, which some people prefer, because a wired system is not as easy to hack as systems that are connected wirelessly.
- 1080P cameras (4,6 or 8 camera packages)
- 8 channel DVR hard drive (1 TB)
- Indoor/outdoor use
- 65 feet night vision
- Easy remote viewing with phone app (Danale)
- Cameras are waterproof
- 2-year warranty
- Lifetime of technical support
- Live viewing and playback options
- Automatic overwriting of oldest footage when hard drive is full
- Can view all cameras on a single screen (HDTV or computer monitor)
“Set up was pretty easy and all the cable that you need is included in the box. Video is clear, remote viewing via phone app works well. Just about the only negative is that there’s no audio capability, but this isn’t really a deal breaker in my opinion and overall, it’s a great system at a fair price.”
“Reasonably easy set up in a few hours. Within the first month, I’d already caught someone trying to break into my house. I immediately called the police and there were able to get there quickly and apprehend the burglar. Worth the money and way more!”
“Cameras are strong and seem to be well-built and durable. They are only 2 MP, so while the image is reasonably good, you won’t be able to do things like read license plates from a long distance. I like that 6 cameras are included, but that you can add up to 2 more cameras if you find that you don’t have enough coverage.”
Does Smonet sound like the right security solution for you? Check our our review of the Smonet system for more, or click the button below to see it on Amazon.
Zosi Security Camera System
ZOSI H.265+ 1080p 16 Channel Security Camera System, 16 Channel DVR Recorder and 8 x 1080p...
- (1). [ Advanced H.265+ High Efficiency Video Compression ] __ ZOSI self-developed H.265+ video...
- (2). [ 2MP Extendable System Overview ] __ Exclusive H.265+ 16 Channel 1080N DVR Recorder paired...
- (3). [ Local or Remote Access, Playback Anytime & Anywhere ] __ View and control your security...
- (4). [ Advance Motion Detection & Alert Push ] __ You can customize motion detection area in each...
- (5). [ Customize Each Camera with Different Record Modes ] __Our ZOSI DVR offers 4 kinds recording...
If you’re looking for an affordable, DIY home security camera then you’re going to seriously want to consider Zosi. Most people find them very easy to install and get up in running in just a couple of hours. Customer support is excellent should you happen to run into some problems along the way.
- A range of package options
- Night vision/motion detection features
- Can be used without the Internet to record to a DVR
- Zosi App allows for remote viewing with an Internet connection
- Excellent customer service
- Very reasonably priced
- Excellent picture quality
- Weatherproof indoor/outdoor cameras
What Do People Think About Zosi Cameras?
“Very reasonably priced DIY security camera system that gets the job done. You get what you pay for though and the app isn’t as good as some of the others I’ve used and customer service isn’t that helpful. If you want a hassle free experience, try something like Lorex. However, if you have some technical and trouble-shooting skills, save yourself a ton of money by checking out Zosi.”
“Well done! Overall, the quality of the cameras is good enough to clearly see what’s happening and the night vision/motion detection features work quite well. I did have a small problem and the combination of customer service/support videos allowed me to solve it quite quickly.”
“The cameras look and feel quite durable. Remote viewing took a little while to set up but it wasn’t too much of a hassle. The app doesn’t have a ton of features, but it’s enough to get what I need done. I’d definitely recommend this as one of the top budget options for security systems.”
Where Can I Buy It?
You can find more info in our Zosi review, or check it out on Amazon by clicking the button below.
Swann Security Cameras
Swann 8 Channel 6 Camera Security System, Wired Surveillance 4K HD NVR 2TB HDD, 2 Way Audio,...
- ULTRA HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO: This state-of-the-art 6 camera, 8 channel NVR-8580 wired surveillance...
- TIRED OF PAYING FOR EXTRA STORAGE? ENJOY FREE VIDEO STORAGE WITH NO ONGOING COSTS: This wired...
- TRUE DETECT HEAT & MOTION SENSING: This state-of-the-art NVR security system detects moving warm...
- SECURITY MADE SMARTER: "Alexa, show me the front door." Compatible with Alexa enabled smart devices...
- WE HAVE YOUR BACK: Not only do our security cameras have your back, we do too. Everything you need...
Another top DIY option for security cameras is this one from Swann. They make a huge range of packages, but the one we recommend comes with an 8-channel hard drive and 6 cameras. You have the option of adding 2 more cameras if necessary.
Because the system is hard-drive based, you’ll have to run cables from the camera to this device. It does take some time to set-up, but it’s an extremely secure option if you don’t want to run your camera through a wireless network.
That said, there is also the option of using wireless and getting push notifications on your mobile phone via phone app. You can also sound the alarm, and talk to people using this feature.
- Contains 6 cameras (1080P), and 8 channels
- 4K Ultra HD
- Records footage on an NVR hard drive (2 TB)
- Heat sensors
- Motion sensors (true detect PIR sensor)
- Auto recording when motion is detected and push notifications to mobile phone via Home Safe View App
- Siren that can be sounded via phone
- 2-way audio so you can talk to suspicious people via phone and scare them off
- Night vision
- Bright sensor lights that turn on when motion is detected
- Weatherproof cameras designed for outdoor use
- You have the option to add 2 more cameras
- Can link the hard drive to Drop Box for cloud storage
- No monthly storage fees, ever
- Easy to use mobile app (Android or iOS)
What Do People Think About It?
“It takes a while to install these cameras because you have to run cable from the cameras to the hard drive. But, once you’ve done that, it’s a nice set-up and does exactly what you want it to do: record footage to a huge hard drive, and also send you notifications to your phone.”
“6 cameras is enough to cover my property, but I like the option to add 2 more should I require that. It’s a nice total package at a pretty reasonable price. I paid a local security company to come set it up for me and it took them under an hour. It’s a good option for someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing and didn’t cost that much.”
“For the money? I’d probably stick with Lorex Security Cameras. They have similar products, but I think the technical support is far better.”
Where Can I Get It?
Does this sound like the right option for you? Then check out out Swann 1080P security camera system review or click the button below to learn more on Amazon.
Reolink Argus 2 Solar Powered Security Camera System
Reolink Outdoor Security Camera Wireless Rechargeable Battery 1080P Video Night Vision Motion...
- Work with Alexa & Google Assistant: Works with Amazon Alexa/ Echo Spot/ Echo Show/ Google Assistant...
- No Wires Simple Installation - Reolink Argus 2+Solar Panel wireless battery security camera is...
- Vivid 1080p HD and Stunning Night Vision - This wireless detachable battery powered security outdoor...
- Record to SD Card and Cloud Storage - Micro SD card slot accepts up to 64GB for home security camera...
- Remotely Access Camera via Free Reolink Software - Live view and playback through the security...
One of the easiest solutions for home security cameras is the Reolink Argus 2. It’s so easy because it’s powered by solar and batteries and has no wires whatsoever. So put away that drill and get this thing up and running in minutes. Yes, it really is that easy!
Key Features Of This Wireless Solar Powered DIY Security Camera
- Solar panel/rechargeable battery powered camera
- Also has a USB charging function for additional charging if necessary (cameras are easily removed from their base)
- Installation in minutes without wires or drills
- Designed for outdoor use
- 1080p HD camera, with 130 degree field of view
- 2-way audio
- Night vision (33 feet)
- PIR motion detection
- SD card storage (up to 64GB), as well as in the Reolink Cloud
- Compatible with Google Assistant
- Remote access (live view and playback modes) for up to 10 people via iOS or Android phone or tablet app and no monthly fees
- 100% money-back guarantee
What Do People Think About It?
“I did a ton of research, looking at battery and solar powered options for security cameras and came up with the Argus 2. Now that I have it in my hands, there are a ton of things I love about it, including how easy it was to set up, the 2-way audio/siren, and alerts to my phone. A great security solution for when there isn’t power at hand.”
“Bought this to use for security on our front porch and I love the fact that I don’t even have to think about it. It just charges itself and I didn’t have to run wires or drill through anything. The alerts to my phone work well and I’ve seriously never had a problem with in the year that I’ve been using it. Highly recommended.”
“Nice security camera that doesn’t require power. I got one to keep an eye on my shed with all my expensive tools. The Wi-Fi signal is strong enough to get out there, but no power outlet unfortunately. This unit works well and does exactly what it says it’ll do. Plus, I love no fees for cloud storage because this kind of thing can add up really quickly month over month. If you’re on the fence, just for it.”
Reolink Argus 2 Video Review
Where Can I Find The Reolink Argus 2?
Does it sound like the right DIY security solution for your needs? Click the button below to find out more on Amazon or check out our in-depth review of the solar-powered Reolink Argus 2.
Samsung Wisenet Security Camera System
Wisenet SDH-B84045BF 8 Channel Super HD DVR Video Security System with 1TB Hard Drive and 4 5MP...
- Large Storage - The Super HD 8 channel DVR comes with 1TB hard drive, allowing you to store hours of...
- Weather Resistant Cameras - The 4 5MP Super HD Bullet Cameras (SDC-89445BF) are ideal for both...
- Wide Angle and Night Vision - Get a 104° Wide Angle Camera View. The True Day and Night with IR Cut...
- Motion Zone and Event Detection - Select the desired areas to detect motion and avoid false alarms...
- Remote Vewing - Monitor from anywhere, anytime using your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. By...
If you’re looking for a non-wireless security camera, then this one from Wisenet/Samsung makes a nice choice. Wired cameras, although they take a bit longer to set up, can be more secure and are not as easily accessible by hackers as wireless security cameras.
If you do choose to connect it up to the Internet, you can access the footage via mobile phone or computer. What you want to do is up to you, but it’s nice to have the choice! The picture quality is excellent, the hard drive has a large capacity and there are a ton of additional features.
- 8 channels, but comes with 4 cameras (can add more cameras if you wish)
- 5 MP super HD
- 1 TB hard drive
- 1080p cameras
- Weather resistant
- 104 degree viewing angle
- Night vision up to 130 feet
- Motion detection
- Easy set up with a QR code
- Remote viewing app for iPhone, Android, PC, and Macs
- Full 1 year warranty
What Do People Think About It?
“Very high quality picture and easy to wire and get set up. Love having remote viewing option as well as recording to a hard drive. The menu could be a bit better, but it was easy enough to figure out. Overall, a nice system and a great value for the money.”
“Nice system for the price, both the DVR and the cameras. The product description doesn’t mention it, but the cables you need to wire it are actually included. Please note that if you want the software on your desktop, you’ll have to call customer service, but this was actually no problem at all and they sent it right over.”
“Decent system at a fair price. But please note that this is not a wireless system. You’ll have to use a drill and run cables around your property. If you’re not good at stuff like that, then consider hiring something to do. It’ll take them only an hour or two and may be worth it to have it done properly. Once you get through installation, it’s a very user-friendly system and I love the mobile app with push notifications.”
Does it sound like this top-notch DIY system is right for you? Learn more in our Samsung/Wisenet review or click the button below to chick it out on Amazon.
Arlo Pro 2 Home Security System
Arlo (VMS4230P) Pro 2 - Wireless Home Security Camera System with Siren | Rechargeable, Night...
- 100 percent wire free: Free of power cords and wiring hassles
- 1080p HD high quality video with sharper and brighter details
- Flexible powering options use wire free, plugged in. Rechargeable battery
- Weatherproof Pro cameras are weatherproof so you can place them anywhere indoors and out
- 7 days of free cloud recordings pro comes with recurring 7 day free cloud recordings. Live stream or...
Next up on our list of the best DIY home security systems is this one from Arlo. If it’s quality, reliability and convenience you’re after, look no further than the Arlo Pro 2 Home Security Camera System.
It is highly regarded as one of the most powerful and wire-free security camera systems out there thanks to its 1080p video quality and weather-resistant design. It’s features include.
- Smart Siren: Initiates a 100 decibel siren that can be controlled remotely whenever sound or motion is detected.
- 3-Second Lookback: This feature captures activity three seconds before a triggered event so that you know exactly what happened.
- Optional 24/7 CVR: You can upgrade to limitless cloud-based recordings when the camera is plugged in or used indoors.
- 2-way Audio: You can listen to the voice of the visitor through the camera’s built-in speaker and mic straight from your smartphone.
“Great picture and quite easy to set up for the Arlo Pro 2. I had a small glitch with the phone app, but a quick call and customer service sorted me out. Not bad for such a reasonably priced home security device.”
Arlo Pro 2 Video Review
For more information, please check out our full review of the Arlo Home Security System or see it on Amazon.
Ring Alarm Home Security Kit
Ring Alarm 5-piece kit (2nd Gen) – home security system with optional 24/7 professional monitoring...
- A great fit for condos and apartments, this kit includes one base station, one keypad, one contact...
- Put whole-home security at your fingertips with Ring Alarm, a do-it-yourself alarm system with...
- Includes a more intuitive keypad with emergency buttons and smaller contact sensors to seamlessly...
- Receive mobile notifications when your system is triggered, change your Alarm modes, and monitor all...
- Choose the Ring Alarm kit that fits your needs and add additional components and accessories at any...
The power of whole home security now rests in the palm of your hands thanks to the Ring Alarm Home Security Kit. Apart from the cameras, of course.
You’ve probably noticed that the Ring system does not include any cameras. I decided to add it to this list anyway, to provide a DIY security system for other aspects of home security.
Ring comes with motion detectors and door and window sensors and instantly alerts you whenever your house doors or windows are opened or when motion is detected wherever you may be. The kit also features a keypad, base station, motion sensor, contact sensor and range extender.
- Base Station: It syncs all of your security cameras and ring video doorbells, allowing you to control your entire home system from just a simple app.
- Keypad: This allows you to easily arm or disarm your security system while you’re indoors.
- Ring Alarm: This sends alerts to your phone or tablet whenever your motion detector or contact sensor is triggered.
- Ring Protect Plus: Gives you 24/7 cellular backup, professional monitoring, video recording and sharing unlimited ring doorbells, exclusive discounts and cameras at home.
“The cost of this video doorbell, along with a year of monitoring was cheaper than most of the other options out there. It was easier to install that I thought it would be and I had it up and running, seamlessly in less than an hour. I’m impressed!”
Where To Buy
Sound like the right DIY home security system for you? Check out our full Ring Home Security System review or take a closer look on Amazon.
Toucan Porch Light Security Camera
Toucan Outdoor Security Camera, Waterproof HD Video Surveillance System, Smart Lighting, Motion...
- OUTDOOR SECURITY CAMERA WITH SMART OUTDOOR LIGHTING: Powered by compatible light fixture; Cover more...
- LIVE VIDEO, ALERT AND VIDEO RECORDING: Watch your visitors from anywhere on your mobile phone:...
- LOUD CLEAR 2 WAY TALKS WITH VISITORS, AUTO GREETINGS AND ALARM: Prerecorded sound, voice or dog...
- SMART OUTDOOR LIGHTING CONTROL: The light works with Alexa and Google Home; Programmable Dusk to...
- ADJUSTABLE SENSITIVITY; Include LED light bulb; Patented smart socket; 720P HD camera; 120 degree...
If you’re looking for one of the simplest DIY home security solutions you can find, then you’ll want to seriously consider the Toucan Porch Light Security Camera.
It plugs into an existing light fixture and requires no wires or drilling. It hooks up to your smartphone with the Kuna app, which offers a range of controls and customizable options for controlling your lights and push notifications.
Key Features Of This DIY Porch Light Cam
- Wifi security camera
- Motion sensor alert
- Powered by light fixture or USB charger outlet
- Downloadable video
- 2 hours HD video cloud storage
- 720P HD camera
- 120 degree field of view
- 1 LED light bulb included
- Push notifications to mobile phone with the Kuna App
- 2-way audio
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Voice
- Porch light turns on at night when triggered by motion to allow for better video coverage than night vision cameras
- Good customer service, along with a 1 year warranty
- Built-in siren (100 db)
- Control the light via phone app
- One-touch dial for 911
- Easy installation
- Doesn’t require a monthly fee
“I didn’t really know I needed this thing until I started using it. Now, I find that I can’t really live without it! It has so many functions and features that I’m discovering more and more things it can do each week. The best part? It really did take me only about 15 minutes to get everything set up, including the Kuna app on my phone.”
“When it works, it works well. However, I’ve had some issues with reliability and it very inconveniently stopped working when I was away on vacation.”
“Does a nice job with the motion detection with very few false alarms so far. The 2 hours of free cloud storage is enough for my needs, but be sure to check and download the footage regularly so that you don’t hit your limit. Also love the sticky pad on the back which didn’t require drilling through anything.”
Get More Info
You can easily find this top-quality DIY security system that’s very quick and easy to install on Amazon. Click the button below to check it out. You can also learn more in our full review of the Toucan porch light camera.
Yi Outdoor Security Camera
Yi Security Camera Outdoor, 1080p Outside Surveillance Front Door IP Smart Cam with Waterproof,...
- Optional 24/7 Emergency Response Service - YI’s motion alerts and live video feeds are now...
- Full HD video quality - high resolution Images in 1080P resolution, combined with a 110° lens and...
- Weather-resistant - outdoor cameras are waterproof, so you can use them for outdoor and indoor....
- First-class night vision - 12 infrared LED Beads provides a night time viewing distance of up to 50...
- Two-way audio - 360° noise-canceling hypersensitive microphone eliminates excess environmental...
If you’re looking for a DIY security solution at one of the most affordable prices, then you should seriously consider Yi Outdoor Security Cameras. They are extremely reasonably priced, have some excellent customer reviews and most people find that they have plenty of features for their needs.
- Two-way audio
- No required cloud storage fee (can use an SD card)
- Waterproof camera
- Night vision enabled
- Motion detection
- iOS or Android
- Alerts to your smartphone
- 1 month free trial with the Yi Cloud
What Do People Think About It?
“For the price, it’s really, really hard to beat. And we didn’t need a security system with all the bells and whistles, so we opted for this simple, affordable one. Didn’t need a cloud subscription as the memory cards are adequate for our needs. Just about the only complaint is the motion sensor, which can sometimes be a little bit too sensitive.”
“Awesome camera, and I now have 6 Yi Cameras around my home, some indoors and some outdoors. The app could be a little bit more user-friendly, but that’s basically my only complaint with this thing. However, for the price? You really can’t beat it and I’m always happy to recommend a reasonably priced product that does what it says it’ll do.”
“Easy to install and the audio and video quality are pretty good. I love how it connects up to my phone app so I can see what’s going on at home when I’m not there, get snapshots, etc. Overall, one of the best purchases that I’ve made in a long time.”
You can easily find this affordable home security camera on Amazon. Click below to check the current price and learn more. You can also get more info in our in-depth review of Yi security cameras.
DIY Home Security Systems: Your Thoughts
What are your top picks for DIY home security systems? Leave a comment below and let us know. Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other people, like yourself who are concerned about home security find this useful resource guide.
Last update on 2020-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API