Abode Home Security System Review: A Humble, DIY, Contract-Free System

With its DIY and professional camera monitoring and certified third-party integrations, this brand is worth a try. This detailed Abode home security review considers things like cost, user-friendliness, accessibility, and special specs. Below are the grades for the system’s key metrics.

Natalie Mitchell

Natalie Mitchell - Editorial Staff

Updated: February 28, 2020

Abode Home Security System Review: In-Depth

Abode Home Security

Abode home security brings high-tech surveillance solutions without the need for a monthly commitment. It also boasts a simple DIY kit and the ability to sync with other smart home integration and alarms. As the descriptions below show, this system is a good team player that can contribute to a full residential safety plan.

Key Features

Consumers are first attracted to the brand’s safety systems for their rave reviews and wireless functionality. Even so, the devices offer much more, such as integrations, automation, sirens, and HD security cameras.

  • 4G cellular backup
  • 93-decibel siren
  • Door & motion sensors
  • Smart device integrations
  • Unlimited professional & self-monitoring
  • Wireless technology

Background Information

Background Information About

This corporation may be relatively new compared to other providers, but it arrived intending to make residential camera systems and kits more accessible to homeowners. The lack of long-term commitments and technician support brought in new consumers and raised the bar for DIY security systems. Interestingly, Abode’s founder, Christopher Carney, was a former ADT employee. That may explain this young company’s know-how and business savvy, as well as their high reviews.

Key Security Features

Unlike other DIY kits, the Abode security system offers a wide range of products and options for homeowners. There is also lots of room for customization, which appeals to consumers’ newfound love of individualism. Below is a closer look at what sets this brand apart.

Automation & Smart Home Features: Sync Up With Dozens of Smart Devices

Automation & Smart Home Abode

The system can integrate with Amazon Alexa, Z-Wave products, Hue Lighting, and many others. This makes Abode a wonderful team player that can outfit any home with top-rated security. Best of all, the items boast timeline and media storage, unlimited self-monitoring, and 4G cellular backup

24/7 Monitoring: Peace of Mind with Professional & DIY Options

The cameras constantly record footage that the brand’s trained experts can monitor for any unusual activity. Likewise, clients are in charge of their live video streaming and can check out what’s going on anytime, from anywhere.

Customizable Notifications & Mobile Alerts: Clients Get Texts on Their Terms

Instead of getting bombarded with text alerts for every little thing, customers can tell the home security system what they want notifications for. This helps them maintain their peace of mind as well as their sanity. Personalization is best since different families have their specific priorities.

Deep Integration With Third-Party Services & Platforms: Partner Up for Even More Power

Deep Integration With Third-Party Services

There are dozens of third-party apps and products that can integrate seamlessly with Abode. Things like IFTTT, Amazon Echo, and Google Nest are just a few examples. There are also lesser-known applications like Hue Lighting, which allows for smart lights and custom configurations.

Battery Backup: No More Worries

The trouble with wireless set-ups is that they are prone to power outages. Any time the Internet connection is lost, there goes the security. Fortunately, the software developers made it so that the system has a battery backup for such instances.

Wireless Devices: A Potentially Safer Solution

One of the upsides to wireless products is that they are less susceptible to cord-cutting and visibility. They’re more inconspicuous, and there aren’t any cables that pose a fall risk. That explains why the company opted for a WiFi connection.

Voice Control: Ease of Use and User Protection

Given its compatibility with services like Google Assistant and Z-Wave, the Abode security kits can work with voice commands. This allows for greater ease of use and even safety, as the device needs to recognize the voice to take action.

Automation Engine: For an Optimized Home

This is a cool feature that allows users to optimize their smart home automation. For instance, they can set up their technology to perform certain tasks at specific times. Since everything is automated and available on the app, it creates an easier way to manage devices around the house.

Visual Verification: Get Better Evidence

While this is a feature that is only available as an add-on, it can come in handy. It accesses and reviews the camera’s video footage to provide a visual identity on any criminal suspects, such as a robber. Homeowners can then present that evidence to the local authorities.

CUE Home Automation Platform: Personalized Smart Technology

This is a customizable system that connects to IoT devices, which means, basically, everything. As a result, consumers can automate all kinds of things in their homes, such as doors, windows, thermostats, lights, and more.

Disaster Protection: Protect Against People & Nature

It’s not just people that pose a risk to home. Environmental damage is a real threat. Fortunately, there are Abode security devices, such as water leak sensors and smoke alarm monitors, that can help. They’ll even send a notification to the user’s phone in case they detect something.

Wireless Equipment: Show Off the Goods, Or Not

Again, not having to deal with cords and cables is a huge plus to many consumers. They want their products to be well-concealed to avoid theft. Then again, if they want to display their cameras proudly, they could deter burglars as well.

Mobile Alerts: For Ultimate Ease of Use

A convenient smartphone app will keep clients in the loop whether they’re chilling at home, they’re staying late at work, or they’re taking a week-long vacation. From the application, they can access live streaming footage, notifications, and remote controls.

Equipment & Installation

Besides its wide range of add-on equipment, the Abode security system also offers a couple of different plans for starter, standard, and premium surveillance. Below is a look at their comprehensive configurations as well as the installation process.

Smart Security Kit Gen 2: Standard Protection That’s Anything But Basic

Smart Security Kit Gen 2

This is the more basic equipment package, but it’s still a good deal. Ideally, individuals will keep the base panel in a safe location and place the sensors in strategic spots around the house. It is priced at $199 and can be combined with additional accessories for those who have larger properties.

  • Gateway base station
  • One motion detector
  • Mini door/window sensor
  • Remote key fob

Abode Iota All-in-One: Level Up the Surveillance

As the name suggests, this is a more inclusive kit that comes with the items in the standard package along with the Abode iota, the app, a wireless HD camera with two-way communication. This hub can be placed just about anywhere, and it has a built-in battery along with 4G cellular backup, just in case. It costs $329.

  • Iota
  • One key fo
  • Mini door/window sensor

Add-On Equipment: For Those Who Want More Bells & Whistles

If the Smart Kit or iota isn’t enough, clients can opt for one or more add-ons to round out their plan. A majority of these are sensors, but there are also sirens and camera options, too.

  • Glass Break & Vibration Sensor – $0
  • Door/Window Sensors – $25
  • Acoustic Glass Break Detector – $49
  • Mini Door Sensor – $27
  • Recessed Door Sensor – $36
  • Slim Strip Sensor – $40
  • Motion Detector – $40
  • Abode Cam – $112
  • Automation/Occupancy Sensor – $44
  • Remote Key Fob – $20
  • System Status Indicator – $36
  • Wireless Keypad – $79
  • Home Automation Power Outlet & Zigbee Extender – $49
  • Indoor Siren – $49
  • Outdoor Siren – $56
  • Smoke Alarm Monitor – $45
  • Temperature, Humidity, & Light Detector – $39
  • Water Leak Sensor – $49
  • Wide Angle Motion Camera – $99
  • Keypad – $6
  • System Status Indicator – $27
  • Home Automation Power Switch – $40

Installation

As mentioned previously, this is a do-it-yourself system, so there’s no need for a technician to come out to the house and set things up. Rather, customers can simply take the product out of the pack and install it themselves. The process is super straightforward and involves plugging the iota base station into the route and downloading the accompanying mobile app.

Abode Security Packages & Prices

Plans

Plans Abode

There are three different tiers to choose from, making it nice and easy for families to decide on the best plan. Even though the website lists the monthly costs, everything is paid on an annual basis. The good news is that individuals aren’t locked into an annoying contract.

Comparison Table for the Three Plan Tiers

Take a moment to review this chart for a side-by-side comparison of the three subscription plans. Depending on what a family needs, one option might outweigh the other. For instance, Basic is a good starter package, Connect is great for self-monitoring, and Secure brings professional surveillance to the table.

Basic Connect Secure
Monthly Fee$0$3.44$8.33
Mobile AccessYesYesYes
Pro MonitoringYesYesN/A
Unlimited AccountsYesYesYes
AutomationsYesYesYes
4G Cellular BackupNoYesYes
Premium SupportNoNoYes
Warranty1 year limited1 year limitedUnlimited

Secure

This comprehensive package includes the most features and tools. It also comes with the option to take advantage of 24/7 expert monitoring and premium phone support. It has the 4G cellular backup of the Connect plan as well as three months’ worth of timeline and event media storage.

Pros:

  • 24/7 pro monitoring
  • 90 days of stored files
  • Premium phone support

Cons:

  • May require extra equipment, which adds up

Connect

Connect is capable of 14 days of timeline file storage, and grants access to an unlimited number of user accounts, so the whole family can be involved. It also has a 4G cellular backup in case of a power outage. It lacks round-the-clock professional monitoring, but clients can get the service on-demand for an additional fee. Three days cost $8 and a week costs $15 per month.

Pros:

  • Cellular backup
  • IFTTT channel access
  • Over 100 automations and integrations

Cons:

  • Lacks professional monitoring

Basic

This is the starter kit that every new customer will receive. It’s free with the purchase of a device. It has a lot of the same features as the Connect and Secure plans, albeit with more limitations. For example, it doesn’t offer expert monitor reviews, and the media file storage only goes up to three days. Moreover, it comes with a limited one-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Dozens of unit integrations
  • Free with a product purchase
  • Unlimited mobile app accounts

Cons:

  • Limited 1-year warranty

Abode Equipment Costs & Price List

The three subscription plans are just the tip of the iceberg. The company has a large line-up of additional accessories and tools that can round out any of the security systems. Whether a family wants environmental protection, smash and crash detection, sturdy cameras, or more, they can find it in one of these kits.

Pricing Chart for Add-on Accessories

Type of Equipment Price Highlights
Glass BreakSensor$36Alarm/app notifications
Door/Window SensorsSensor$25Easy peel & stick
Acoustic Glass BreakSensor$49Sound-based
Mini Door SensorSensor$27Low-profile option
Recessed DoorSensor$36Hides in door frame
Slim StripSensor$40Remains hidden
Motion DetectorSensor$40Sends notifications
Abode CamCamera$112HD streaming
OccupancySensor$44Triggers temp & activity
Remote Key FobAccessory$20Easy arm/disam
System StatusDevice$36Identifies armed devices
Wireless KeypadAccessory$79Arm/disarm
Power Outlet/ExtenderDevice$49Remote on/off
Indoor SirenAccessory$4993 decibels
Outdoor SirenAccessory$56107 decibel
Smoke AlarmMonitor$45Sends notifications
Temperature, Humidity, LightSensor$39Detects environmental changes
Water LeakSensor$49Prevents property damage
Wide Angle CameraCamera$99Senses motion
KeypadAccessory$69Use up to 40 PINs
System Status IndicatorDevice$27Senses on/off
Power SwitchDevice$40Converts items to smart devices

Ease of Use

Lots of clients say that they admire how the creators made the systems so easy to use. It works in a similar way to a plug-and-play kit, and only really requires an Internet connection. Plus, there are many different spots where customers can place their devices. Surprisingly, a good number of buyers are okay with the fact that there are quite a few add-on accessories. In a way, this allows for more customization. The ability to choose a starter tier and add app alarms and more is super convenient.

Customer Experience

Since the founder was once an ADT employee, there is some added assurance that Abode security products will be up to snuff. The company’s reputation is strong and healthy, even if it is only a few years old.

Terms & Guarantees

The policies were last updated in July 2019, so they’re fairly recent. On the whole, the brand has the same rules as competitors regarding 4G data plans and battery backup. Of course, the company is not responsible for any problems or malfunctioning on the part of third-party services and equipment. There is a Standard Return Policy, which states that any offerings shipped overseas are not valid for a refund. There are also return restrictions for U.S. buyers. Moreover, the business has a $35 cancellation fee on any returned plans

Customer Support

It’s not hard to get in touch with the business team. They are on social media, and there is a live chat feature on the website, courtesy of Zendesk. Besides the help page and blog, individuals can reach the representatives at 650-443-7834 or support@goabode.com.

Trust Score (Trustpilot & BBB.org)

According to Trustpilot customer feedback, the company outperforms competitors such as Nest, Ring, and SimpliSafe, with 4.5 out of 5 stars. The primary complaints center around the confusion about the additional equipment and how they fit into the pricing plans. Overall though, the brand has received high marks from all kinds of tech providers, such as CNET, Gearbrain, and SafeHome.org. The hardest thing for consumers will most likely be trying to determine which of the three kits best suits their needs, and then if they should invest in any extra cameras or monitors. Furthermore, the lack of contract terms means that people don’t feel like they’re locked into a lengthy agreement, and there is less fear of breaking the contract and paying hefty fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Abode Smart Home?

    It’s a contract-free, DIY residential surveillance system. Customers can pay by the month, and there are customizable kits available. Most of the time, people choose one of the three service plans, which include an iota base station, motion detectors, and door sensors. There are additional items that they can tack on, such as smoke alarms, indoor cameras, and more. Abode offers high-tech solutions like live video recording and media storage for future play-back.

  • Does Abode Security Work for Nest Doorbell?

    Yes. Since the company’s products can integrate with Google devices, an Abode customer with a Nest doorbell can use both of them simultaneously. This makes the Smart Home System a great partner to other automated accessories, such as video doorbells, smart locks, alarms, and lighting. There are many other accessories and providers that the security kits work with, so clients can create an all-in-one surveillance package to suit their needs.

  • Does Abode Work With HomeKit?

    The system is not compatible with HomeKit. However, the team announced in August that integration was in the works, so future customers may be able to experience this partnership. HomeKit is software from Apple that allows users to control their smart home devices through an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.

  • Does Abode Security Work with Alexa?

    Yes, clients can sync the entire security system to their Amazon Alexa device and keep everything connected. This can add even more protection, as the unit uses voice recognition software and other automated sequences. With the two of them combined, it makes for a secured house and convenient self-monitoring.

  • How to Connect Alexa to Abode?

    Users can do this through the Goabode.com website. The “Integrations” page lists all of the compatible devices, so clients can click on “Add Smart Home Skill” and continue to Amazon. From there, they can sign into their Alexa account and enable the syncing process with their Abode package. From there, they might need to manage and review their account settings, but everything should be hooked up and connected.

Abode Home Security Pros & Cons

To review, there are a lot of good things to say about this corporation. They’re young, but they appeal to a wide audience with their DIY approach and their focus on the bare necessities. Even those who want more bells and whistles can find it here with the add-on equipment. Installation is straightforward, and the support team is decent. On the other hand, it takes a lot of brainpower to find the right package plan simply.

Pros:

  • No contracts
  • Owned by a previous ADT employee
  • The starter kit comes free with any purchase
  • Wide range of motion and environmental sensors
  • WiFi connection with battery backup

Cons:

  • Confusing equipment packages
  • Plans typically require additional accessories

Is It Good Enough for a Humble Abode?

It’s easy to see why this system is highly recommended by many industry insiders. The DIY installation, optional add-ons, and starter kits help the company to keep prices on the lower end. Plus, the products can support a wide clientele, from large families to couples and solo travelers. Abode might not be well-known, but they’re growing every day.


Natalie Mitchell

Natalie Mitchell

Editorial Staff

Natalie contributes her expertise by her professional writing and years working in editorial offices and with online publishers. Natalie is a true leader who has exceptional skills to be a team player. She excels at conducting research on robberies and thefts using open police data and is inspired by her husband’s work as a detective. With such interests, she continues to write excellent articles about security systems in general and Securing Home in particular.


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