Abode Home Security System 2024: Tested & Reviewed

Abode’s affordably priced kits and wide range of smart integrations make it a competitive home security system.
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Written by Dalia Ramirez
Writer
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Edited by Tina Orem
Assistant Assigning Editor
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Abode Security System
Abode Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$159.99
Base kit includes security hub, key fob and mini sensor for door/window.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$24.99
Self monitoring with extra features is $7.99 per month, but you can also use basic features for free.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke alarm monitor and leak detector.
No actual smoke/CO detector.
View details

Abode is a budget-priced home security provider that offers self-installed home security alarm systems, plus a camera and a doorbell available as add-ons. Abode’s devices and app itself are pretty minimal, but there’s a lot of potential for customization and integration.

Some of the other providers we tested are more streamlined or more user-friendly, but if you’re tech-savvy and looking for a system with lots of potential smart home integrations and automation, Abode is a great pick. It's one of the only home security providers with built-in Apple HomeKit compatibility, plus Alexa, Google Home and many others.

You can monitor an Abode security system yourself for free, purchase a self-monitoring plan with smart detection or purchase a professional monitoring plan for 24/7 emergency response at prices similar to those of other home security providers.

We tested an Abode alarm system and found the alarm system to be functional, flexible and very straightforward to get up and running. We weren’t as impressed with the add-on camera and doorbell, but the great thing about Abode is that you can purchase a camera or doorbell from another company and easily integrate it with an Abode alarm system.

Pros

Cons

Compatible with the widest range of smart home products of any provider we tested, including Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomeKit.

Doesn’t offer an actual smoke alarm, just a smoke alarm monitor.

Can connect directly to an ethernet cable or work wirelessly with your Wi-Fi network.

Differentiates between people and other motion (such as package deliveries) only if you have a paid subscription starting at $6.99 per month.

Deciding factors

One-time costs

$159.99 for a starter kit.

Monthly fees

None required.

Installation

DIY. No professional install available.

Video monitoring

  • $0 to self-monitor live video only, without advanced features.

  • $6.99 per month for self-monitoring with smart detection and smart notifications.

  • $24.99 per month for 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup.

Contract

None.

How much does Abode cost?

Abode offers three base security alarm bundles with different hub models, which are often discounted up to 75% or $100 off with the purchase of an annual monitoring plan. Abode also has several larger bundles that are basically the base kits with additional door sensors and other accessories. The prices below are list prices. We tested the Iota kit.

Bundles

Package

Price

What you get

Abode Security Kit

$159.99.

Security hub, door/window sensor and keyfob. This kit is not compatible with Apple HomeKit. It can connect with ethernet or wirelessly with Wi-Fi.

Smart Security Kit

$279.99.

Smart security hub, door/window sensor, motion sensor and keyfob. This kit is compatible with Apple HomeKit and only works with an ethernet cable.

Iota All-In-One Security Kit

$379.99

Iota hub with built-in camera, 93-decibel siren and motion detector; also has door/window sensor and keyfob. Works with WiFi or ethernet.

Items

Abode also offers one doorbell and one camera model, both of which you can buy and use separately without an Abode alarm kit. The prices below are list prices.

Item

Price

Description

Abode Cam 2

$59.99.

1080p HD resolution plug-in camera with color night vision, two-way voice and weatherproofing for outdoor use.

Wireless Video Doorbell

$99.99.

Video doorbell with rechargeable battery, two-way voice, color night vision and included separate wireless chime.

The Abode security hub, keyfob and door sensor.

How does Abode work?

Setup pros

We found Abode’s setup to be mostly straightforward. The system is highly customizable with a lot of integration options, but the app wasn’t as streamlined or reliable as some other providers we’ve tested. Here are a few features we liked.

  • Flexible Wi-Fi connectivity. The Iota hub we tested can connect to your Wi-Fi with an ethernet cable, or you can connect it to your Wi-Fi network after setup to keep it in a different location.

The Iota hub.

  • Items in the kit come pre-connected. The accessories that came in the hub kit were already connected to the hub and activated, so they’ll work as soon as you activate the hub without any additional setup.

  • Shareable. It was easy to add another user to the system, which is helpful if they want to monitor devices on their own device and disarm an alarm with their unique PIN.

  • Group devices. You can group devices into categories — door and window, motion, streaming camera, access control, or a new group, such as a room or part of the home.

Users can group their gear for easier management.

  • Highly programmable. We were able to automate the system to turn it on and off at set times, such as at bedtime and in the morning, or at home and away.

  • Location detection. You can turn on a feature that allows your system to automatically detect when you and your device leave your property and arm the alarm system in response.

Users can automate parts of the system.

  • Manage subscription in-app. Unlike some providers that require you to call the company or leave the app to manage your monitoring plan, you can easily purchase, upgrade or downgrade your Abode plan in the app.

  • Immediate alerts. When we were setting up the door/window sensors, we got push notifications instantly when moving the pieces apart and together. With other providers, we needed to fiddle with notification settings first in order to send alerts.

Setup cons

The setup for Abode wasn’t as seamless as home security systems such as SimpliSafe, for example, which had a very user-friendly setup process. With Abode, we had some issues with the app and camera staying connected to Wi-Fi, and there weren’t instructions included for sensor installation. These are a few of the other frustrations we had.

  • Camera quality. In both the live feed and the recordings, the footage quality from the Iota hub camera and the Abode camera was significantly less clear and had a longer lag than many other cameras we’ve tried. The Abode camera, especially at its discounted price, is a very budget-oriented device, so this wasn’t surprising. 

  • Alert differences between devices. The door/window sensor and Iota hub easily sent push notifications with alerts, but we had trouble getting the separate motion sensor and camera to do the same. With such an easy setup for the base kit, we were surprised the accessory items were less functional. 

  • Advanced features require a paid monthly subscription. A monitoring plan starting at $6.99 per month is required for features such as person and package detection, cellular backup and emergency response. Several other providers, such as Ring, work similarly.

Monitoring

With Abode, you can use the alarm system without having to pay a monthly fee, or you can opt to purchase a self- or professional monitoring plan.

Abode’s monitoring plans are similarly priced to other home security providers, though the company doesn’t offer as many features with its plans. Here are the available features, by plan.

Standard: $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year

  • View up to 10 days of events in the app.

  • Smart detection, which can differentiate between people, packages and pets.

  • 24/7 monitoring, though you’ll need to forward the alarm to the monitoring center yourself.

  • Receive device-specific push notifications.

Pro: $24.99 per month or $229.99 per year

  • 24/7 emergency response, which automatically forwards a triggered alarm to the Abode monitoring center, which can then contact emergency services.

  • Cellular backup to keep your system running in case of a power or connection loss.

Alternatives to Abode

SimpliSafe Security System
SimpliSafe Security System

5.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Get started

on SimpliSafe's website

View details

5.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$249.96
Base kit includes one base station, one keypad, one entry sensor and one motion sensor. Sometimes you can get a free Smart Alarm wireless indoor security camera and a free trial of professional monitoring if they're running a promotion.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$19.99
Self monitoring available for $9.99 per month. You can also access basic features with no plan.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke/CO detector, water and temperature sensor.
View details
Ring Security System
Ring Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Read review

on NerdWallet

View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$244.95
Base kit includes alarm base station, keypad, door/window contact sensor, motion detector, alarm range extender and free 30-day trial of Ring Protect professional monitoring. Pro starter kit comes with a Wifi router.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$20
Other features/self monitoring available with plans starting at $4.99 per month. You'll need at least the basic plan to arm and disarm your system remotely.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke/CO detector and listener, flood and freeze sensor.
View details
Arlo Security System
Arlo Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$199.99
Base kit includes one keypad sensor hub, two sensors, and a free three-month pro monitoring trial.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$24.99
Some sensor features not available without subscription. Self monitoring for cameras starts at $7.99 per month.

Hazard detection
Sensors can detect water and temperature and alert you when a smoke/CO detector goes off.
No actual smoke/CO detector, and you'll need a paid monthly plan to use the sensor's alarm listening feature.
View details

Methodology

We collect data from providers and do firsthand testing as necessary. Our process starts by gathering information from providers and contacting providers for further information where needed. This information, combined with our specialists’ hands-on research, makes up our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance. The final output produces star ratings from poor (1 star) to excellent (5 stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star. Learn more about our ratings methodology here.

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