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For example, you can create an applet that says if a garage door is opened to turn on the floodlight. Whether you decide to go with a DIY system or opt for a professionally installed system, you'll have to pay a monthly or annual fee if you require monitoring, and in some cases, you'll be hit with a monthly fee to pay off the cost of hardware components. With most DIY systems, such as the SimpliSafe Home Security Kit, the Ring Alarm Security Kit, and the Nest Secure, you purchase the hardware outright and can avoid any monthly fees if you decide to self monitor. If you add monitoring, fees will vary: SimpliSafe charges $14. 99 per month for its no contract monitoring service, while Nest charges $29 per month. If you commit to a three year contract, the price of the Nest service drops to $19 per month. Ring's Protect Plus plan goes for $10 per month and doesn't require a contract. 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.

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These systems offer the flexibility of either professional or DIY installation. As a partner with Nest, they also allow you to choose between using their own equipment or Nest Secure equipment and monitoring. If you choose Nest Secure, Brinks will provide the ongoing staff and support for that system. Choosing Brinks comes at a premium price, but they do offer financing options for equipment at low or no interest. The monitoring itself is low cost, and it comes with a 2 year warranty although some options also require a 3 year commitment. There are steep early termination fees, but if you go with Nest Secure, there is an alternative month to month plan.