DIY Home Security: Abode Essentials Starter Kit Review 2020

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The Abode line of home security devices was founded in 2014 by a former ADT executive and has been offering excellent options for do-it-yourself home owners looking to get both reliability and quality without spending too much of the budget. Having been on the scene for several years now, abode has shown staying power that translates into service that can be relied on for years to come.

abode Essentials Starter Kit

What's In The Kit

The Abode Essentials Starter Kit provides an excellent opportunity to build a solid foundation for your home security needs. The kit falls in the middle of the price range for comparable starter kits but comes with the ability to greatly expand to meet your growing needs. It is also built on Z-Wave, Zigbee, and IFTTT technologies which gives it the ability to meld into many of the home automation systems on the market relatively seamlessly. The Essentials Starter Kit includes the following devices:

It should be noted that the Abode Essentials Starter Kit comes with the standard abode Gateway. In 2018 Abode released it’s Iota Gateway which is an updated hub with a built in camera and wi-fi capabilities (although it is still best practice for security and automation hubs to use a wired ethernet connection for reliable and fast connections).

The Benefits Of Abode

For the beginner at DIY home security or those on a budget the standard Gateway will preform just fine to link all your Abode devices and integrate into nearly any home automation system. The Abode system is very easy to expand later on and wide variety of accessories are available from both Abode and other vendors that will help to customize your home security as your needs grow. Some of these options from abode include: 

  • A wireless keypad for arming and disarming 
  • Glass break and vibration sensors 
  • Acoustic glass break sensors 
  • Recessed door sensors 
  • Water leak sensors 
  • Occupancy sensors (motion/light/temperature) 
  • An outdoor siren 
  • Wide angle cameras with motion sensors 
  • A 1080p HD indoor camera 
  • A smart home power switch 
  • And many, many more 

The Abode Gateway is built to work with Z-Wave, Zigbee, and IFTTT technologies which means it is well positioned to work seamlessly with many of the home automation products on the market today and for many years to come.  The list of compatible technologies companies many of the most popular brands and devices including: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Nest, Phillips Hue, First Alert, Aeotecx, Yale, Leviton, Kwikset, Danalock, Ecobee, Schlage, and LIFX. Along with these, Abode makes a dedicated effort to keep it’s technology as compatible as possible in order to give it’s customers the widest range in DIY home security options it can. 

Abode Essentials Starter Kit Review App Dashboard

Using Abode

Abode Essentials Starter Kit Review Door Sensor

Setting up the Abode system is quite easy. Wall mounted devices come with self-adhesive strips which allow for easy installation without drilling. There have been some suggestions from Abode users that stronger tape was needed than what was provided and, as always, self-adhesive tape runs the risk of damaging the paint or other wall coverings. Pairing devices in Abode kits is as easy as it can be. Devices sold as kits are paired before being packed at the factory so they are ready to go out of the box. The Abode Essentials Starter Kit can be self-installed and operating in as little as half an hour. The Gateway itself has a convenient and unobtrusive LED status light. When the system is operating normally the there is no light. If there has been a breech or an alert then a red light will appear and if there is a connectivity problem, either with the gateway itself or an outlying sensor, a yellow light will appear. The system has three basic security modes: 

  • Standby: The door/window sensors will chirp when the sensors are tripped. 
  • Home: The system goes silent after a 60 second countdown until it is armed again. 
  • Away: All of the system’s sensors will be armed and active after a 60 second countdown until the system is disarmed. 

ABODE ESSENTIALS STARTER KIT

Easy Reliable Do-It-Yourself Home Security

The abode line of home security has been around for a while and has been offering a wide variety of reliable options to the DIY home owner. The abode Essentials Starter Kit includes the standard abode Gateway (with Z-Wave, Zigbee, and ITFFF technology compatibility), a mini door or windows sensor, an indoor motion sensor, and a remote key fob. The system can be controlled via an Android or iOS mobile app or their web based interface.

abode Essentials Starter Kit

Pricing

One of the reasons for investing in a do-it-yourself home security system is to avoid high priced systems that require equally high priced monitoring to work. There are several pricing options to choose from that range from free self-monitoring to annual professional monitoring. There is even a range of short-term, on-demand monitoring options for when you are unable to self-monitor effectively, such has being away on vacation. There is an option to meet just about any budget. 

Free With Equipment Purchase

  • Online timeline and video storage
  • Home automation integrations
  • Push and email notifications

$6/month or $60/year

  • Online timeline and video storage
  • Home automation integrations
  • Push and email notifications

$20/month or $200/year

  • Online timeline and video storage
  • Home automation integrations
  • Push and email notifications
  • 4G cellular backup for when your internet connection is down
  • 24/7 professional monitoring

Pricing Varies

  • 3-day and 7-day options available.
  • Professional monitoring will occur for the time period chosen

*Pricing for plans and options are set solely by the manufacturer and are subject to change at their discretion.

Free With Equipment Purchase

  • Online timeline and video storage
  • Home automation integrations
  • Push and email notifications

$6/month or $60/year

  • Online timeline and video storage
  • Home automation integrations
  • Push and email notifications

$20/month or $200/year

  • Online timeline and video storage
  • Home automation integrations
  • Push and email notifications
  • 4G cellular backup for when your internet connection is down
  • 24/7 professional monitoring

Pricing Varies

  • 3-day and 7-day options available.
  • Professional monitoring will occur for the time period chosen

*Pricing for plans and options are set solely by the manufacturer and are subject to change at their discretion.

Reliable And Affordable

While the initial purchase price of the Abode Essentials Starter Kit is higher than some others it offers more expandability and meshes quite well with the most popular home automation systems. Abode itself offers a very wide range of optional add-ons which lets your system grow as your home safety needs do. The quick email and mobile alerts let you know instantly when a security parameter has been breached and there are several no-contract, no-strings monitoring options to fit your budget including short-term options. If you are looking for a reliable security kit that leaves you room to grow and shrink as your needs do then the Abode Essentials Starter Kit may be a good option for you. 

The product price is set by the manufacturer and/or seller and is subject to change without notice. The price shown below is only a reflection of the typical price found at the time of this writing and is in no way a guarantee of that price. 

abode Essentials Starter Kit

$240
3.8

Customer Service

3.5/5

Coverage

4.0/5

Ease Of Installation

4.0/5

Pricing

3.0/5

Expandability

4.5/5

Pros

  • Compatible with many of the home security and automation products on the market
  • Quick and responsive arming and disarming
  • Notification of alerts and status changes are extremely prompt
  • No-contract and short-term professional monitoring plans are available
  • 4G cellular backup for lost internet connections come with the Pro level plan

Cons

  • Rules and custom automation can only be done via the web based app and not on the mobile app
  • No dedicated control panel is included
  • Sensors can be a bit bulky
  • Sensitivity of the motion sensors cannot be dialed down which may be an issue pet owners

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1 thought on “DIY Home Security: Abode Essentials Starter Kit Review 2020”

  1. Customer Service

    3.5

    Coverage

    4

    Ease Of Installation

    4

    Pricing

    3

    Expandability

    4.5

    Good minimal setup for very basic and reliable home surveillance. While the price point isn’t the lowest the options for professional monitoring, especially for short-term on-demand, are a great feature many people could find useful.

    Reply

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