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In these cases, you may want to hire a professional with experience on prior camera installs. Finally, there are some circumstances where you can’t install your own cameras. Many leading providers of monitored home security systems such as ADT and Vivint require professional installation to make sure everything is in working order. In these cases, a trained technician visits your house to relieve you of this responsibility altogether. If you’re dedicated to doing it yourself and you want a professionally monitored security system, you do have plenty of DIY options: SimpliSafe, Frontpoint and Protect America are all strong choices. To learn more, check out our picks for the best outdoor security cameras or explore our comprehensive comparison guide on the leading home security systems.

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99. Monitoring for professionally installed systems tends to be more expensive. The ADT Pulse monitoring service starts at $28. 99 per month and requires a three year contract, but you also have to figure in the cost of things like hardware components, cellular backup, and installation. When we reviewed the Pulse system, our upfront cost was more than $3,000, with a monthly fee of over $60. Some vendors, such as LifeShield, will let you buy the components outright or lease them.