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Whether you choose to monitor yourself or have professionals do it for you, you’ll still be charged. Scout charges $10 per month just for DIY monitoring — there is no free monitoring plan. DIY monitoring is only $10 less than the professional plan. This isn’t exceptional when it comes to DIY home security, however, since many have cellular connections. These connections work similarly to your cell phone plan and are more secure than traditional Wi Fi or landline connections. But it’s important to note that even if you’re doing the monitoring yourself, you’ll still be charged to keep your system up and running. If you don’t buy the equipment outright, Vivint requires either a four or five year contract — a long time to commit, especially given that you only have three days from the date of install to cancel. Afterwards, you’ll have to pay out the remainder of your contract. If you may be moving in the near future, it’ll cost you $99 to take the system with you. You could alternatively renew your contract, but then you’d be locked in for even longer. Vivint will waive any cancellation fees for extenuating circumstances like death, military circumstances, bankruptcy, or a move to assisted living.

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Read more about what our team found with Simplisafe here. Protect America is another one of the best home alarm systems, and definitely makes our list. Some of the perks of using this system include a rate that’s locked in for life and a lifetime equipment warranty. Those are both great ways to provide strong customer service, and to show that the customers matter to the company. Additionally, you don’t need to pay an activation or installation fee with this DIY option security system. It’s great value for the money, and you can even try it for free for 30 days to see if you like the equipment, monitoring, and service.