When most of us think of home security systems to protect our homes, PC repair shop, or another place of business, we likely think of the security systems from TV. Yet as geeks, we’re also aware that as good as those systems on TV might be, home security is completely doable from a DIY approach as well. There are literally countless companies out there right now that sell everything you need to recreate a security system that as good — or better — than the ones you might find on TV.

Aren’t the TV security systems better?

I think that might be a bit of a stretch. Let’s just say that the hardware provided is adequate and the services rendered for monitoring generally provide what is promised. None of it is all that exciting. But for the most part, you likely can either do it yourself for less or just do it better without being locked in with one choice of monitoring company for the new system. See, the big secret with home security is that there are tons of ways of doing it yourself. Even better, you are not limited to automatically taking the most expensive route, either.

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Photo by Jermaine Justice

For instance, while the hardware isn’t of the highest caliber, X10 alarm equipment is a very cool place to pick up a lot of gear on the cheap. The biggest challenge it has is keeping visitors on its Web site for any length of time. After all, one can only deal with the wild and crazy site appearance X10 provides for so long. Okay, that’s a bit harsh; it did recently do a nice site update to something less frightening.

X10, GE Security, ADT?

The basic breakdown is this. If you want someone to come to your home and sell you what they deem is best for your home security needs… then perhaps ADT/Brinks is right for you. If instead, however, you are a DIY type of person who prefers to get it done without someone telling them how to do it, going with X10 or perhaps something like GE Security would be a better match.

With the latter option, you’re to decide for yourself how many sensors to install, cameras to use, etc. It’s an empowering feeling being the one making the big decisions. But the flip side of this is that you are also the one responsible for setting the security system. This means that you’re the one who will be running wires (if needed) while standing on that ladder to get everything set up. Clearly this isn’t a match for everyone.

Use what works

So there you have it. If you are a DIYer, then clearly going with a non-TV advertised security system is going to make the most sense. For those who want help getting it set up, it’s best to go with the known brands you’re always hearing about. But as geeks reading this article, I’d like to think you have enough adventure in you to want to take up the challenge and go with the DIY approach. It’s so much more satisfying in the long run.