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Abode Home Security Review

DIY security systems for your smart home

Barry Stingmore

In a Nutshell

Abode offers customizable home security systems with a ton of smart features. You can set up custom automations and integrate with most smart home devices. You can also control your entire system from your smartphone while you’re away. Abode offers a 24/7 monitoring service, but you can also self-monitor if you don’t want an ongoing subscription.

pros

  • Build your own security system
  • Custom automations
  • Integrates with most smart home devices

cons

  • Cellular backup requires a monitoring plan
  • Professional installation is pricey

Abode Features and Highlights

Abode offers an intelligent security system that allows you to set up automations and integrate with the rest of your home’s smart devices.

Custom Automations

With the Abode app, you can set up automations based on custom triggers and conditions. For example, you can set up an automation such that if your back door is open for more than 2 minutes after sunset, the backyard lights will automatically turn on. Your automations can track sunrise and sunset throughout the year, making it easy to activate them only when it’s dark outside.

You must subscribe to a paid Abode plan to activate automations.

Smart Home Integration

Abode offers a variety of smart home devices, including light and power switches. In addition, it integrates seamlessly with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Homekit. You can also connect Abode to Philips and LIFX smart lights and to smart locks from Yale, KwikSet, Schlage, August, and DanaLock. Smart lights and smart locks can even be integrated into Abode automations.

24/7 Video Recording

Abode supports connecting an unlimited number of cameras to your security system and you can record video 24/7. Recorded video is stored in the cloud for 10 days for you to review. The platform automatically highlights clips in which motion was detected, enabling you to quickly review the most important parts of each day.

Abode Equipment & Products

Home Security Systems

Abode offers two security system hubs, which start at $231.99. The basic alarm hub includes a 93dB siren, while the Iota hub ($269.99) adds a motion detector and video camera. Both hubs let you connect up to 160 devices, including compatible smart devices from manufacturers other than Abode

You can choose additional security devices, including cameras, motion detectors, glass-break sensors, temperature sensors, water leak sensors, and door and window sensors, on an a la carte basis.

All Abode home security devices are connected by WiFi or Ethernet by default, but come with SIM cards so they can use cellular networks as a backup. Cellular backup is only available with a Pro monitoring plan.

Home Security Cameras

Abode offers only a single model of security camera that’s designed for both indoor and outdoor use. At $27.99, it’s relatively inexpensive. The camera supports two-way voice communication and full-color capture at night. However, it does not have an integrated floodlight.

You can choose additional security devices, including cameras, motion detectors, glass-break sensors, temperature sensors, water leak sensors, and door and window sensors, on an a la carte basis.

All Abode home security devices are connected by WiFi or Ethernet by default, but come with SIM cards so they can use cellular networks as a backup. Cellular backup is only available with a Pro monitoring plan.

Home Security Cameras

Abode offers only a single model of security camera that’s designed for both indoor and outdoor use. At $27.99, it’s relatively inexpensive. The camera supports two-way voice communication and full-color capture at night. However, it does not have an integrated floodlight.

Abode also has a video doorbell, which costs $79.99. It’s a fully wireless camera, and the rechargeable battery lasts 6 months. It’s also compatible with Abode automations, so someone ringing the doorbell can turn on the lights or trigger custom notifications.

Life Safety Alarms

Abode has sirens for indoor ($38.99) and outdoor ($99.99) use. The outdoor siren rings at 107dB and has an integrated strobe.

Abode also offers a panic button ($19.99) that you can press in the event of an emergency. You can configure the alarm to be silent or to trigger any sirens you have integrated into your security system. Carbon monoxide detectors are also available.

Smart Home Automation

Abode offers smart light bulbs ($19.99 for two bulbs) and a smart power switch ($34.99). Alternatively, you can integrate your Abode system with smart devices from manufacturers like Philips and LIFX. Abode also integrates with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Homekit, and it’s compatible with smart speaker systems from Sonos and Bose.

Abode Plans - Packages & Pricing

All Abode home security systems require an alarm hub or Iota hub as well as a set of smart security devices. You can install your system yourself or purchase professional installation, which starts at $99.

While you’ll get the most from Abode by signing up for a security plan, you can use the system without paying for a subscription. You won’t be able to run automations and there’s no cellular backup or cloud storage for video, but you can use most other features.


Standard

Pro

Price

$6.99/month

$21.99/month

Installation Fee

Self-install or $99 + $25/5 devices

Self-install or $99 + $25/5 devices

Mobile Access

Professional 24/7 monitoring

X

Cellular backup

X

Automations

Smart Home Integration

Video Surveillance

Entry, smoke, and CO detection

Medical pendant support

X

X

Abode Services

When an alarm is triggered from one of your security devices, you’ll be able to live video from your security cameras and choose to verify or disable the alarm in the app. If you verify the alarm through the app, Abode will activate a local 911 response.

If you don’t verify an alarm through the app, dispatchers at the Abode monitoring center will contact you by phone. If you don’t answer or cannot provide your 4-digit PIN code for verification, the company will activate a local 911 response.

You can also trigger an alarm by pressing a physical panic button or by activating the panic button in the Abode app. When you use a panic button, Abode will activate a 911 response immediately without calling to confirm the alarm, even if you subscribe to the Standard plan, which doesn’t include monitoring for your other devices.

Monitoring

Abode’s 24/7 monitoring comes with its Pro security plan. The company has two monitoring centers in the US and can automatically dispatch police, fire, and emergency medical services to your home based on the type of alarm received. Abode dispatchers have temporary access to your live security camera footage when an alarm is triggered.

Abode Home Security Mobile

Abode App

Abode offers mobile apps for iOS and Android as well as an app for Apple Watch devices. The apps are easy to use and are the primary way that most users will interact with their security system. With a few taps, you can arm or disarm your security system, view a live stream from your cameras, or trigger any of your connected smart home devices.

To set up automations, you’ll need to use Abode’s separate CUE app, available for iOS and Android. While we’d like to see this integrated into the main Abode app, it is significantly more technical so it does make some sense to keep them separate. The CUE app allows you to select triggers, conditions, and relevant devices for an unlimited number of automations.

Mobile Alerts

The Abode mobile app offers push notification alerts anytime your home security system is armed and triggered. You can also use the CUE app to set up automations that trigger notifications through the Abode app. The Abode app includes a timeline of all alerts so you can review any sensor activity at the end of each day.

Abode Installation

Abode home security systems are designed so that you can install them yourself. Each device comes with detailed installation instructions, and the Abode website offers tutorials and videos to walk you through the process. Depending on how many devices you purchase, installation can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.

Abode has also partnered with HelloTech to offer a professional installation option. Installation costs $99 plus $25 per 5 devices.

Abode Contracts and Warranties

Abode smart security doesn’t require a contract, although you must sign up for a Standard or Pro security plan to activate automations and video recording. Both the Standard and Pro plans can be purchased month-to-month or annually. You can cancel your plan at any time, but Abode does not refund annual plans if more than 30 days have passed.

Abode offers a 30-day return window for devices. Your devices must be unused and in the original packaging to be eligible for a return. All devices come with a one-year warranty.

Abode Support & Customer Service

Abode offers customer support by phone, email, and live chat from 6AM-8PM (PT) 7 days a week. We contacted the company by live chat and were connected with a representative in about two minutes.

Abode also offers a detailed online knowledge base complete with video tutorials. The video library is extensive and shows you how to install your security system, how to set up devices, and how to customize your system using the Abode app. Abode also has a blog to offer ideas for how to use your security system.

How Does Abode Compare to Other Home Security Services?


Abode

Nest

SimpliSafe

Ring

Best for

Smart home integrations

Google Home integration

Customizable security packages

Security cameras

Price per Month

From $6.99

From $19

$27.90

From $3

Money-back guarantee

30 days

30 days

60 days

30 days

Warranty

One year

Two years

One year

One year

Mobile

iOS & Android

iOS & Android

iOS & Android

iOS & Android

Abode vs Nest

Nest is Google’s home security system. It offers many of the same integrations as Abode, although you won’t find the same flexibility when it comes to defining security automations. Nest devices are very aesthetically pleasing, but they’re much more expensive than their counterparts from Abode. Unless you already rely heavily on Google smart devices, Abode offers better value for your money.

Abode vs SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe offers both pre-designed home security packages and the option to build your own custom security system. It offers a comparable range of devices to Abode, although devices from SimpliSafe are somewhat more expensive. Notably, SimpliSafe offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, so it may be the better option if you’re not sure what devices you need for your home.

Abode vs Ring

Ring specializes in security cameras, offering a range of indoor and outdoor cameras as well as a video doorbell. That’s in contrast to Abode, which only offers a single security camera and a video doorbell. Ring doesn’t offer the same breadth of other security devices, however, so Abode is the better option if you want to build a comprehensive home security system.

The Bottom Line

Abode offers customizable home security systems that are perfect for the connected smart home. The company’s devices integrate with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Homekit, as well as with a wide range of smart light bulbs, locks, and speakers. The fact that you can control your security system and your other smart devices from the Abode app is a major plus.

On top of that, Abode’s automations are a unique selling point. You can turn on lights, lock doors, and arm your security system automatically based on custom triggers and conditions. Few other home security systems offer this degree of control.

Frequently Asked Questions
Who created Abode home security?
-
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Abode was founded in 2014 by Christopher Carney, a former ADT executive, and Brent Franks, an entrepreneur in the solar industry.
How secure is Abode?
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Abode offers a wide range of security devices, including door and window sensors, glass-break sensors, motion detectors, and security cameras. The company also offers 24/7 monitoring, sirens, and a panic button.
Does Abode work without a subscription?
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You can operate an Abode home security system without a subscription, but you won’t have the ability to record video or run automations. Abode subscriptions start at $6.99 per month.
Barry is a veteran who has served as a front-line officer for 10 years. Responding to hundreds of residential burglary incidents during his career, he has built up a wealth of experience surveying crime scenes and delivering crime prevention advice.