At Alarm Grid, we truly believe that most security systems can be installed by end users, with no on-site support from professional installers or technicians. Installing your own DIY security system can save you money in the long run, and it will keep you and those around you safe.

There are many considerations you will want to make if you are just getting into the market for the first time. You should start by thinking about which alarm panel you want to use. There are several options out there. We recommend reading the three (3) statements below and deciding which one applies to you the most. We realize that all of these statements may apply to your situation, but for the sake of picking the best panel, try and narrow it down to the single most accurate statement. We can begin to steer you towards the optimal panel just based on that one answer, as it shows what is most important to you in this decision.

A. I want the best all-around DIY security system.

B. I want a security system for low-cost monitoring.

C. I want a system system that adds property value.

For those choosing A and wanting the best all-around DIY security system, the answer is most often the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. It has an attractive, modern design that looks great when on placed on a desk or table with its included stand. The entire installation can be complete using only a screwdriver in just a matter of minutes. Programming is made super easy and intuitive, and the vast majority of new users describe the simple setup process as a pleasant experience. The system has a great user interface (UI), and you will love how well the menus are laid out.

Since the IQ Panel 2 Plus has a built-in cellular communicator and an integrated WIFI card, you will not need to add any equipment to use dual-path connectivity with the system. It is ready to go, right out of the box. The panel is also loaded with features that really help make it appealing to those interested in home automation. This comes in six (6) variants, as there are three (3) legacy sensor support options (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz), and each one is available in AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE. The most popular model is the 319.5 MHZ Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, simply because it is the most affordable, but they are all fantastic.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

If B is most important for you, and you want to keep your monitoring costs as low as possible, then you will generally want to look at the Honeywell Alarm Panels. This is because Honeywell Panels can be set up for alarm monitoring service without needing use a cellular communicator. Although cellular communication allows for the optimal reliability, it also increases the cost of alarm monitoring due to the cellular service charges. If you have a strong WIFI internet connection in your home, then you can rely on an IP-only setup for alarm monitoring. An excellent panel for this type of setup is the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Honeywell Lyric Alarm System is professional-grade security system that is supported by alarm companies across the industry. The panel provides effective and reliable monitoring service to keep your home or business monitored and protected at all times. It is also no slouch when it comes to smart home functionality, as you will have no trouble setting up a complete automation network with the panel if desired. But the money saving aspect lies in the fact this panel is able to connect with monitoring servers without needing a registered cellular communicator. This can save you hundreds in annual monitoring expenses by strictly relying on IP connectivity. All you need to do is connect the Lyric to your WIFI network and have the panel activated by your alarm monitoring company. For more information on why the Lyric is a great option for low-cost alarm monitoring service, please check out this prior blog.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Lastly, those choosing C, where adding property value is the main consideration, you might want to look into a hardwired security system. This is especially true if you are building new construction and have the capacity to run wires throughout the new or unfinished building. An integrated, hardwired security system will add value to any property, and it gives the home or business a nice additional feature. But it should be noted that hardwired systems are more difficult to install. While we have seen some DIY users install their own hardwired systems, the task is usually completed by a professional due to the sheer amount of wiring involved. However, we are happy to work with a third-party installer in helping you install a wired system.

Most new installations today utilize wireless security systems. But if you decide that a wired system is for you, then there are plenty of options to choose from. Hardwired Honeywell Panels are great if you looking to minimize monitoring costs by using IP-only connectivity. We are particularly fond of the Honeywell VISTA-21iPLTE, as it already has a built-in IP communicator for supporting a wired ethernet connection. A cellular communicator can also be added if desired. Overall, the Honeywell VISTA-21iPLTE will provide more than enough functionality for any home or small to medium sized business. There are also commercial-grade panels like the Honeywell VISTA-128BPT, the Honeywell VISTA-250BPT, and the DSC PowerSeries NEO HS128NK, but those are more suited for large businesses and industrial complexes. Just remember that you will need to add extra accessories for all wired systems, such as alarm wiring, a siren, and keypads.

Honeywell vista 21ip internet alarm control panel open

Start by considering what is most important to you if you are looking for a new alarm system. Once you have committed to a panel, you can start building around it to establish security and automation capabilities. This will include choosing compatible sensors and other accessories. You can also start checking out various monitoring plans to determine which one is right for you. If you ever want to talk to us, we are best reached by emailing support@alrmgrid.com. Our support team answers email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!


Choosing the best DIY security system can be difficult if you don't know what to look for. Some considerations will be more important for certain users than for others. Things you might look at include what types of monitoring plans the system supports, the type of sensors the panel uses, where the system will be installed, how the system communicates with the central station for monitoring service, the automation services supported by the panel, and much more. Feel free to take a look at the different security systems sold on our site.If you are new to security systems, then we're here to help you make an informed and smart purchasing decision. We can help identify the best option based on your unique needs. Then you can take your panel to any monitoring company that will support it. We offer our own competitively priced monitoring plans, that are certainly worth checking out. Every plan we offer is no contract so that you can make changes or additions to your plan later on if needed. Make sure to take a look at our monitoring page to see what plans we can offer. You can always contact us if you need any help in choosing a plan.
One thing you will need to decide when choosing a security is how the system will communicate for monitoring service. Assuming you want to have the system monitored, the panel will need some way communicating out with the rest of the world. The most common ways to have your panel communicate are through IP connectivity and/or cellular connectivity. Both methods have their own PROs and CONs. Some users ultimately opt for a dual-path setup that uses both IP and cellular. Then they can really achieve the best of both worlds.Cellular service offers extremely reliable connectivity, but it requires a more expensive alarm monitoring plan. Some panels require cellular connectivity for alarm monitoring, so keep that in mind when choosing a system. IP-only monitoring is more affordable, but it is more prone to outages. If you're looking to keep monitoring costs as low as possible, then you should look at systems that allow for IP-only monitoring, such as the Honeywell Lyric Controller. You can always add a cellular communicator to the Lyric System and upgrade to a cellular plan later if you want to improve the system's reliability when communicating out. Since the Lyric already has a built-in WIFI card, adding a cellular communicator will make it dual-path ready. Whether you go IP, cellular, or dual-path will depend on your needs. Consider which communication method best meets your needs, and go with a panel that can support that type of setup. Remember, we're here to help if you need assistance in making a decision!
Many users often overlook the importance of where their security system will be installed. If it's being installed in new construction, you might want to consider a hardwired system. It will be fairly easy for a builder to run the wires in an unfinished building, and it can add to your property value. Hardwired sensors also require virtually no maintenance since they receive all their power from the main control panel. The Honeywell VISTA Series of wired security systems are perfect for new residential construction, ass they can be easily upgraded as technology continues to evolve and improve. This makes them the go-to choice for DIYers looking to get started with wired security panels.Or maybe you're just looking to monitor an apartment or small home, and you don't want to drill any holes in the wall. These users will appreciate all-in-one wireless systems that will readily support wireless sensors. The installation will be super easy for a DIYer, and you can always take the system with you when you move later on. You can even get a table-stand to avoid having to mount the panel to the wall. Systems like the Honeywell Lyric Controller, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the 2GIG GC3e all meet this bill. These are all professional-grade wireless security systems that end users can install and program on their own without any help from a hired installer. Alarm Grid customers receive all the support they need over the phone and online.

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