Abode's home security systems enable families to protect their homes at only a fraction of the cost of a premium subscription-based service. For less than $400, you can install motion sensors, cameras, and alarms, and control them all from your smartphone or computer.
Although a DIY home security system will almost always require more time to install and operate than a premium system, we think the benefits will outweigh the costs for many potential customers. Our Abode Home Security evaluation considers the platform’s strengths and weaknesses and compares it to its competitors.
Abode: Plans and pricing
Abode offers two starter packages, the iota All-in-one Security Kit and the Smart Security Kit. The iota Kit includes the iota gateway, one mini door/window sensor, and one key fob. It costs $279. The Smart Kit consists of a basic Abode gateway, a mini door/window sensor, a motion sensor, and a key fob. It costs $199.
Once you’ve bought a starter kit, you can purchase additional accessories as needed.
The major advantage of purchasing an Abode starter package is that there are no ongoing costs. Once you’ve bought the hardware, it is yours to keep. However, if you choose one of the subscription-based add-ons, such as data backup or online monitoring, there will be recurring charges.
Abode: How it works
Abode Home Security is a DIY product, so you will be responsible for its setup and maintenance. For some customers, this will be an advantage, as it helps reduce costs and enables you to set the system up exactly how you want it. For others, however, DIY might be too complicated. In this case, we’d recommend a premium security provider that offers installation and ongoing maintenance as part of the package.
If you’re unable to install the system yourself, you can add installation at checkout for an additional $99.
Abode: Features and services
There are three components to all Abode Home Security systems: the Gateway, the accessories, and the Abode app. We will discuss each of these separately, as well as the smart home functionalities included with all products.
The gateway in an Abode system is what other providers call the base station or control panel. Abode offers two types of gateways for its customers, named (somewhat confusingly) iota and Gateway. The iota gateway is the premium product and is fully wireless, whereas the so-called Abode Gateway is the basic product and requires an ethernet connection. If you’re serious about installing a security system in your home, we think the iota gateway is a non-negotiable. The Abode Gateway just doesn’t compete with products offered by the competition.
There are so many accessories to connect to your Abode gateway that we can’t list them all here. Generally, however, accessories fall into three categories: motion sensors, cameras, or miscellaneous. Whereas the first two categories are self-explanatory, it’s worth describing some of the more innovative miscellaneous accessories on offer.
These include sirens, smoke and water detectors, panic buttons, and smart home powers switches and sensors. In particular, we were impressed with the Multi Sensor, which can measure light, temperature, and humidity. The sensor connects to Apple HomeKit and enables numerous smart home capabilities.
This app enables you to control your entire home security system on the go and can be downloaded on both iOS and Android. It is perfect for monitoring your home when you’re away and for controlling accessories remotely. Although we think the app is great, and performs as described, it doesn’t offer any particularly innovative features.
All Abode systems are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant, a big plus. This enables customers to control a wide range of devices, such as thermostats, lighting, and home entertainment, from their home security system.
Abode: Support and customer care
Unless you pay an additional cost for online monitoring, Abode doesn’t provide 24/7 customer support. Customers can contact the company during business hours or find help via the online support center.
If you want a home security service that can contact emergency services on your behalf or that can respond when alarms are triggered, then we recommend purchasing online monitoring or looking for a more premium home security provider.
Abode sells DIY security products, and in this space, its closest competitors are Ring Alarm and Frontpoint.
If, however, you’re looking for a home security package that includes installation and ongoing maintenance and support, we’d recommend one of the premium providers such as ADT or Vivint. Although these packages are significantly more expensive, the product quality and customer service level are undoubtedly better.
Abode provides some of the best DIY home security systems we’ve seen. They are feature rich, affordable, and perform as described. If you want a top-performing home security system on a budget, it’s hard to go past Abode.
However, it is ultimately a DIY service, so for those with specific security needs or a preference for end-to-end support and monitoring, we would consider one of the more premium home security providers.