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”How we tested DIY home automated systems For each new DIY security system, we test in two areas: user experience and ease of installation. These help build a picture of a system's effectiveness and how it affects you. For user experience tests, we see what each system and its companion smartphone app can do. In our experience, the best DIY home security systems have many ways to arm and disarm so you don't always need your smartphone. They also let you use a keypad or key fob to accomplish the same goal. We look at activity feeds and the organization of the mobile app to see what information an app gives you when an alarm goes off and if the alert gives you instant info. The top performers in this test were abode and Scout Alarm, with Nest Secure and SimpliSafe tying for third place. During installation tests, we make sure the manual or mobile app can get you through the setup process without contacting the company. We also look at whether the equipment in each system's starter kit requires additional tools such as screwdrivers and batteries. Finally, we time how long it takes to set up each component. We found Scout Alarm, SimpliSafe and abode easier to set up than most other DIY security systems.