Small Business Security System DIY


Christine Lee

Jul 25, 2020


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DIY alarm systems help small businesses by avoiding costly installation rates. When you know the kind of security you need and how to install it yourself, you can get the same whole business security system without any unnecessary costs.

The best DIY alarm systems offer easy self-installation, wireless connectivity, smartphone integration, no contracts, and warranties.

We explore the top alarm systems for small businesses below to pick the best one to protect your store or office.

Small Business Security System DIY Reviews‍

When it comes to your business' security, you want to have all the top equipment with the latest connectivity and monitoring options. We tested the most popular alarm systems on the market and compared their features below.

ADT Alarm System: Best Overall for Small Business‍

ADT Alarm System

ADT has a ton of different products for DIY alarm systems. Whether you choose systems directly under ADT or look at their Blue by ADT systems, these alarms provide smart home capabilities, a 7-day money-back guarantee period (as well as a 6-month money-back guarantee) 24/7 professional monitoring, even with self-installation.

ADT is also flexible for any type of budget. There are so many systems that include Android and iOS apps, interactive video, smart lighting, motion-activated sensors, and no-contract services.

While not required, you can add professional monitoring, but if you purchase live video monitoring, you may want only to include emergency services. In addition to security monitoring, ADT systems also include climate control, temperature control, flood monitoring, and a silent hold-up alarm.

‍Ring for Business: Honorable Mention‍

With several different devices and systems for all budgets, Ring for Business is the perfect DIY alarm with contact sensors, motion sensors, cameras, panic buttons, door locks, and a range extender.

While this system can be installed in minutes on your own, you can also use Ring's professional installation through OneTouch. Self-monitoring or professional monitoring through Ring Protect Plus is also available for an affordable rate of $10/month or $100/year. This option also includes an extended equipment warranty.

Ring - Security Camera

For cameras, Ring for Business lets you install and connect several different views to keep watch over all of the crucial areas of your business. For example, indoor cameras can watch your register or key access points inside, while outdoor cameras can detect and record any movement.

Ring alarms also work with cameras to alert you when there are any issues through text messages and notifications. You never have to worry when you are out of town because you can monitor all activity through the app.

Do you have a back entrance or private area with a security door? You can add Ring Video Doorbell to monitor and communicate with anyone trying to get into your business when you're not there. With smart access features, you can also control locks with remote access entry controls within the Ring app.

Sleek and minimalistic, Ring devices and kits can be customized to what you want to protect—looking for real-time updates, emergency alerts, and sirens? Ring systems have all of this and more for a fraction of the cost. The Ring for Business smartphone app also works with Android and iPhones, making it easy to tap into your security system from wherever you are.

The locks are a unique feature that you can use with Key by Amazon and Schlage Smart WiFi deadbolts. You can receive deliveries directly inside your business without having to worry about being there to monitor activity.

Ring also makes it easier for businesses to stay connected and protect their WiFi connection. You can plug their device "eero" into our modem for a more robust, faster signal throughout every square inch of your business. Plus, it's encrypted so you can protect your business and guest networks with ease.

SimpliSafe: Most Affordable Plans‍

SimpliSafe Alarm System Package

With no-contract plans, affordable security packages, and even budget-friendly 24/7 monitoring, SimpliSafe offers a quick 15-minute setup with its basic security systems for small businesses. You don't have to jump into a contract to get set up either.

The central SimpliSafe base station includes anti-theft "Smash-Proof" protection, which sends for emergency help immediately. Text alerts, video monitoring, app control, and professional monitoring are also included.

If you want affordable security for less, SimpliSafe is the best option for small businesses who don't want to pay for installation or contracts. You can install this system quickly on your own, and it completely syncs up with your Android or iOS phone in real-time.

Frontpoint: Smart Security for Small Businesses‍

Are you looking for a DIY alarm that offers a complete smart home hub? Frontpoint is one of the best on the market. It includes activity detection, multiple cameras, smartphone access. You can also scale up your security and include professional monitoring services, including "Rapid Response Monitoring," which has received numerous awards. It's also UL-certified and fire-rated by the New York Fire Department.

One of the features that we loved about Frontpoint is its commitment to customer support. The pricing is exceptionally budget-friendly for all small businesses, and the system also has anti-theft protection and a 30-day trial period. If the alarm doesn't work for your business, you can simply get your money back. It's a month-to-month contract service.


Nest has been gaining popularity because of its smart automation and camera systems. The HD cameras included with the base Nest system are perfect for live monitoring of your business. There are also multiple plans to choose from, and while some are pretty pricey, you can easily set up a smart monitoring alarm system for your business within 15 minutes.

Nest Camera

Also, Nest has the best HD cameras. These are 1080p cameras that you can install at the most critical points of security threats. While most security systems have grainy cameras with blurry pictures in low light, Nest gives you a picture-perfect view of everything going on in your business.

Like other DIY alarm systems on this list, Nest offers contract-free plans, but you'll get the best price with their 3-year contract options. Nest does not include professional monitoring, but they partner with Brink Home Security to provide monitoring under a plan. However, Nest offers more assistance for live tracking, particularly when cash registers and inventory are involved. You don't need to worry about employees sneaking some extra cash from the register with a Nest camera above.

Fortress Security: Most Tech for the Money‍

One of the most highly-rated DIY alarm systems on Amazon, the Fortress security system, comes with Alexa and smartphone app control, WiFi connectivity, landline security, and easy installation. While 24/7 monitoring is optional, you can easily set up this system within 10 minutes and see your whole business from camera streams on your smartphone.

You can control your alarm directly from the MyFortress app, which works with Android and iOS phones. You can also add all of your smart devices to your Fortress, arming and disarming appliances or other devices that are compatible with WiFi.

Also, Fortress includes 2-way chat, 360-degree cameras, 720p HD picture quality, and real-time alarm notifications. You can instantly see and hear everything going on with your business, even when you are a thousand miles away.

Buyer's Guide to DIY Small Business Alarms

Alarm System mounted on wall

There are many types of alarm systems for businesses, so when you decide to purchase one, you want to make sure that it has everything you need to protect your office, store, inventory, cash, and employees. Perhaps you simply want a monitoring and alarm system, or maybe you want something more that includes professional monitoring.

Overview of Alarm System Types‍

Here are the main types of DIY small business security systems:

  1. Wired or Wireless: Wireless systems are more advanced but rely on batteries and WiFi connections. Wired systems are cheaper but require a more advanced physical installation. You can easily install sensors, cameras, and monitoring without wires for more efficiency and less risk of tampering.
  2. Professionally monitored or self-monitored: If you want more security and surveillance, then 24/7 professional monitoring may be what you need. Almost all DIY business alarm systems offer this feature. However, it's cheaper to have self-monitoring, but it may make you anxious to check your camera feeds or monitor motion sensors 24/7.

Camera Quality‍

Camera Footage on a tablet

The standard today is 1080p cameras, but 720p quality is mostly okay if you are on a budget. However, you also want cams streaming in real-time and offer multiple modes, such as a clear night-time mode if you want exterior surveillance.

Surveillance cameras should also have a 360-degree vision of the area. The most popular models will have night vision, cloud storage, and heat tracking.

To prevent hacking, look for alarm systems with 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption.

Camera systems also include spotlight cameras, dome cameras, bullet cameras, and exterior cameras. The latest systems allow you to connect all these feeds and streams to a smartphone app.

Motion Sensors‍

Motion sensor activated when someone is trying to open the door.

One of the main problems with motion sensors is that these are sensitive devices that commonly pick up wind movements instead of actual threats. This is the most crucial aspect when shopping for motion sensor alarms. To figure out whether a system is too touchy, just read customer reviews. Any motion sensor alarm that sends out too many alerts will get on your nerves quickly.

Remote Access & Monitoring‍

You want to have real-time monitoring and 24/7 access to camera streams. Most DIY alarm systems have 2 to 5 cameras that you place around your business that can be accessed from an Android or iOS app, depending on your smartphone type. Others also have notification systems that work with Alexa and Google Home.

With the ability to monitor cameras and alerts from anywhere, you can protect your business. The ability to check in on video streams or rewind footage stored in the cloud is also important. Not all alarm systems include cloud storage for your video, but it's vital to save footage in case of an event.

Smart integrated alarms also allow you to control warnings and alerts through the app. You can adjust all smart appliances within your business as well. For example, you may be able to turn off lights, lock doors, and arm or disarm systems from your smartphone.

Real-Time Notifications‍

If you don't want to tune in to your video streams 24/7, you can opt for real-time notifications. These are available through the alarm system's app or even through smart automation apps on Alexa and Google Home. You can receive alerts for motion sensors, tampering, or other activity that your alarm detects while you are away.

24/7 Professional Monitoring or Self-Monitoring‍

Professional Monitoring - Security looking at the computer with camera footage.

The real benefit of 24/7 professional monitoring is that security experts are looking at your cameras at all times, waiting for threats. These services can alert emergency authorities quickly in case of an event. This takes all of the responsibility off of you.

However, if you are self-monitoring, you can save some money. If you've never had any threats or want to wait on scaling up your security, self-monitoring through an app on your smartphone may be all you need.

Environmental Monitoring‍

Do you have a business in a vulnerable area? Perhaps you are worried about hot temperatures, flooding, or other environmental factors. Some alarm systems have sensors that detect all kinds of threats, including when extremely hot temperatures or gas leaks, create issues for your business.

How Much Do Small Business Alarms Cost?‍

Most business security systems range in cost, from very budget-friendly $100 systems to thousands of dollars. The amount of your investment depends on several factors, ranging from crime in the area to the value of the merchandise within your store or office.

DIY alarm systems typically don't require you to have a contract or to purchase the whole system upfront. This is why it's easy to scale up. If you want to start with the necessary equipment that includes a sensor, a camera, and an app, you can start monitoring your business for a low cost.

However, if you have multiple areas in your business that need monitoring, you may want to upgrade and add more cameras and 24/7 monitoring. It's essential to look for systems that provide the ability to scale and add on more equipment.

Costs are also broken down between equipment, monitoring, installation (for more complicated systems), and activation/termination fees (if you opt for a contract).

‍Which Small Business Security System DIY Service to Choose‍

The more components and security features needed for your business--the higher the costs will be. When it comes to effective time management, you don't want to worry about an alarm that doesn't work.

Person holding a phone, with a notification of the alarm system activated.

Small business owners have to look at alarms as guardians. This is why you have to decide beforehand what you want to do with your business. If you are looking for smart alarms, smartphone access, real-time alerts, and motion sensors, you'll need to look at DIY alarm systems that are wireless and low-budget.

Finally, you should also call any alarm company and talk to their customer support team if you plan on spending money. How do their customer support teams respond to your questions and needs? Once you call, you'll know whether their brand truly has the best security alarm.

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