DIY Home Security Kits in 2021: Honeywell vs Fortress vs Ooma

In this post, we will take a look at three different DIY home security kits, the Honeywell Smart home alarm system, the Fortress home security kit and the Ooma home security kit. We will also compare these three kits with a more traditional DIY home security system and see how they stack up. Let’s dive right in!

Honeywell Hub

The Hub for the Honeywell Smart Home System has it all. It comes with built-in motion detectors that will alert you any time the Hub senses motion. It also includes a built-in camera that records in 1080p with a 147-degree field of view, and it has night vision technology which will allow you to capture images even when there is no light.

Another really cool feature is that the Hub has Alexa built-in allowing you to control your system with voice commands. This Hub can also detect sounds and send alerts for these events as well. The Hub also includes a three-microphone array that sports 2-way audio that allows you to hear and communicate in crystal clear audio quality with whomever is around your Hub directly through your app/phone.

If you are looking for a system with an internal siren, then Honeywell has you covered. The Honeywell Hub also includes a 90-decibel internal siren that can play siren sounds along with sounds like barking dogs meant to scare away any potential home invaders. If you are looking to expand your system to use some smart home automation devices, the Hub includes Z-Wave technology so that you can use a variety of smart home devices with your Honeywell Smart Home System.

The Hub also includes an 8 GB flash drive with 1 GB of Ram allowing for lots of storage. It is powered through an AC power source but also includes a battery backup in case the power goes out. The Honeywell Smart Home System is a DIY (do it yourself) style of system, and works by connecting to your home’s network via WIFI. It is a totally wireless system which means all the sensors and other devices will connect wirelessly to the Hub.

Honeywell Starter Kit

The Honeywell Smart Home Starter Kit includes the Hub, 2 door/window sensors, and a keyfob. The door/window sensors are wireless and battery operated with a battery life to up to 4-years. The key fob is a battery-operated remote control that allows you to quickly arm and disarm your system with a touch of a button.

You can purchase the Honeywell Smart Home Starter Kit for $449.99. If you are just interested in the base station itself, you can have it for $349.

Add-on equipment

Honeywell has a variety of other packages that include more equipment if the Honeywell Home Starter Kit is not enough equipment for you to get your home security setup started. Here are some of the additional sensors that go really well with the Honeywell Smart Home System.

Indoor Motion Sensor

You can purchase a honey a Honeywell Indoor Motion Sensor that will cover large rooms of your home. This motion sensor has a 40 ft. range and is pet immune for pets up to 79 lbs. The Honeywell Indoor Motion Sensor is battery operated and wireless with a battery life of up to 3 years.

Indoor MotionViewer

Honeywell offers Honey Well Indoor Motion Viewers that will allow you to capture short video clips when this sensor detects motion. It has a 33 ft. range with a 90-degree field of view for the camera. It is also wireless and battery operated with a battery life of up to 2 years.

Outdoor MotionViewer

Honeywell also offers a Honeywell Outdoor Motion Viewer which has the same specifications as the Honeywell Indoor Motion viewer but also includes night vision technology that will allow you to capture video clips in the dark.

App Features

To monitor your Honeywell Smart Home System, you can download the Honeywell app that allows to you to receive push notifications for security events, view video, remotely control your system, and control smart home devices. Honeywell only offers app monitoring also known as self-monitoring, but currently does not offer 24/7 professional monitoring through a professional monitoring station. The Honeywell app also allow you to use services like Geo-fencing which will automatically turn on different security and home automation devices when you are within range of the Geo-fence. Another added feature of the Honeywell app is that it allows you to set custom motion zones so you cover the areas that matter most to you. Honeywell also gives you 24 hours of free data storage including video clips via the Cloud. This free service allows you to store up to 50 video clips for 1 camera for 24 hours. If you are looking for more storage your can purchase a membership plan through Honeywell.


Honeywell has two monitoring plans for you to choose from, Standard Membership and Premium Membership. Their Standard Membership allows you to store and view up to 1500 video clips for 1 camera for 30 days. This plan also includes 5% discounts on all Honeywell Products. This service will only cost you $4.99 per month. If you are looking for even more video storage you can go with their Premium Membership which gives you the ability to store and view up to 3000 video clips for 60 days for unlimited cameras. This service also includes a 15% percent discount on Honeywell products. Their Premium Membership will cost you only $14.99 per month.

Fortress Security

Fortress Security provides a do-it-yourself (DIY) security system that caters to the needs of both small and large residential or commercial spaces. It’s one of the cheaper security options out there but is it worth the investment? Let’s find out.

Not particularly new to the security scene, Fortress Security has been providing security systems to homes and business across the United States since 2005.


In terms of equipment, Fortress gives you a variety of options to choose from. Fortress offers 3 lines of control panels: S03 Wi-Fi Panel, S1 Stealth Panel and the S6 Titan Panel. Once you decide on the main control unit that you want to go with, you can then build a package that caters to your personal requirements.

S03 WiFi Panel

This central unit has a simple push-button design. It requires an internet connection through a WiFi network or directly through an Ethenet cable. You may also connect the panel using a landline connection. The S03 panel is powered through an AC power source but also comes with a backup battery that lasts up to 48 hours. It has 32 security zones that you can set up for different security devices.

S1 Stealth Panel

This panel is smaller and more simplistic in terms of functionality than its counterpart – the S03 panel. It does not have a push-button keyboard and can only be controlled through external sources such as the keyfob, external keypad, RFID tag or the My Fortress app. The S1 uses WiFi in addition to a cellular GSM chip, which is used to dial up to 6 phone numbers using the GSM SIM card. It is powered through an AC power source and also has a backup battery that comes in handy in the event of a power outage. The panel has a built-in siren and can connect up to 100 sensors.

S6 Titan Panel

This panel is the most versatile out of all the options for main units that Fortress has to offer and connects in 3 ways - over a WiFi, cellular SIM card or landline connection. The Fortress S6 Titan Panel sports a full-colored display for better viewing of the system status and unlike the S1 Stealth panel it has a push-button design. It is powered through an AC power source and has a backup battery.

Door/window sensor

The door/window sensors are wireless and battery-operated, allowing for an easy install. The My Fortress app will notify you any time a door/window is opened/closed.

Motion sensor

The motion sensors are wireless and battery-operated. A single motion sensor can cover several entry points (doors or windows), so you can actually save money by buying one motion sensor as opposed to several different door/window sensors. The motion sensor needs to be strategically placed in the corner of a large room, several feet off the ground and pointed in such a way that it covers the maximum area. The My Fortress app will notify you any time the motion is detected once the system is armed.

RFID tag

RFID tags work with the S03 and S1 security panels only. The tags are keychain-sized electronic tags that allow you to quickly arm/disarm the system with a simple tap to the panel.

Keychain remote

The keychain remote has a 4-button design that enables you to arm/disarm the panel with the simple push of a button. It also has a built-in panic button to notify your security contacts/central station in the event of an emergency.

Panic button

A separate panic button is also available and is particularly useful for elderly parents or family members. The panic button is wireless and battery-operated.

External keypad

External keypads are also available for purchase and are useful for larger homes or offices where users may require easy access to the keypad in different locations other than where the main unit is placed. The external keypad is required to control the S1 Stealth Panel (but having just a keychain remote, RFID tag or the app works too).

Pricing and contracts

Fortress Security is a good option particularly if you have a large home or office that you need lots of equipment for - they’re slightly cheaper than the competition, but that’s probably because not only are their systems not professionally-monitored but they also lack some important features like home automation. Their security systems are good for homeowners and renters alike and if you’re looking to monitor a temporary place like an RV or vacation home, this system could be for you. They’re also worth considering if you don’t want to get into a contract.

Pros and cons

What do we think about Fortress Security? Well, we like the fact that their system is DIY and that they offer different lines of security systems to choose from.

However, Fortress Security does come with its fair share of cons, and one that’s mentioned by many a user across various forums is the lack of quality in the hardware. Fortress also does not offer home automation.

Ooma Home Security

The Ooma home security system is another DIY system for the budget-minded. Let’s see how this system compares to the other two systems we’ve already gone over.

Before we go over what Ooma has to offer, we would first like to give our readers some background information about the company. Ooma is a tech company that provides security products for small business and consumers, and they also provide phone services for consumers and small business.


Control panel and sensors

The control panel that connects all of your Ooma home security devices is called the Ooma Telo. The Ooma Telo has a basic white design that goes well with any style of home. The hub is wireless which means it connects all your devices wirelessly, and is powered by an AC power source. The Ooma Telo doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. Most of the functions for this control panel will be controlled via the Ooma app or through their external keypad. The Ooma Telo works by connecting directly to your home’s WIFI network. The Ooma Telo also allows you to use it as a VoIP which means you can also make calls with the hub, and the Ooma Telo design even resembles a VoIP phone hub. Ooma Home Security offer a lot of great security devices to protect the interior of your home. They offer door/window sensors. Their door/window sensors are battery operated and are wireless. Their door/windows can be placed in a variety of different styled door or window frames. When a door or window has been open in which a door/window sensor has been placed, you will be notified instantly and it will trigger your system. Ooma Home Security offers motion sensors that are battery operated and wireless. Motion sensors are great at providing protection for large areas insides of your home. You generally want to place these in the upper corner of a large room. Ooma Home Security’s motion sensor will monitor the area in which they are placed for motion. If motion is dedicated you will be instantly notified along with your system being triggered.

Our take: Ooma Home Security offers high-quality basic sensors that are great at protecting the interior of your home. We like the design of their door/window sensors, and that they are battery operated. We also really like their motion sensor’s ability to cover large areas of your home. The one thing we didn’t really care for is that they do not offer glass break sensors which are important sensors for consumer who have a lot of breakable glass windows in their homes.

Better Alternative: Link Interactive >

Additional Equipment

Ooma Home Security doesn’t have much variety when it comes to what they have to offer for their addon equipment. Ooma Home Security offers flood sensors. Their flood sensors are wireless and batter operated. They can detect any leaks or rises of water in the area that they are placed. When these are detected the sensor will trigger your system, and you will be instantly notified. Ooma Home Security offers an external siren that has 105-decible siren. It is battery operated and wireless. It can be placed in numerous places around your home so that you can easily hear when your system has been triggered. Ooma Home Security also offers external keypads that are wireless. Their keypads have a push-button design. You can quickly arm and disarm your system with the push of button using Ooma Home Security’s external keypad. The last piece of add-on equipment that they offer is their garage sensor. Their garage sensor is wireless and battery operated. This sensor will send you an alert when you garage door has been opened and closed, and you can even customize it to trigger your system to create an event when you garage door has been opened.

Our Take: **Ooma’s home security system may not have a large selection of add-on equipment, but what they do offer is high-quality made. We really like the fact that they offer garage sensors because many times people often forget to close their garage doors which can cause a lot of stress. We also really like that they have an external keypad for another way to quickly arm and disarm their system. We do however wish they had more to offer when it comes to life safety devices like a CO2 detector.

Better Alternative: Link Interactive >

Ooma Video Surveillance Cameras

One of the better things about owning an Ooma home security system is that you can use their Butterfleye Smart Security Camera. Ooma Home Security’s Butterfleye Smart Security Camera has a rectangle shaped design that is modern, and very easy to place.

The Butterfleye Smart Security Camera has a built-in rechargeable battery that will keep it running even when the power goes out. It works by connecting to your home’s WIFI network wirelessly. The camera also has a video resolution of 1080p HD. It has low light technology that allows it to capture video in low light scenarios.

The Butterfleye Smart Security Camera also uses facial recognition technology that allows it to distinguish between known and unknown faces. This technology helps to cut down on the number of unnecessary alerts. The camera’s facial recognition technology also allows you to tag familiar faces to help cut down on unnecessary alerts.

It includes motion and sound sensors that will trigger it to start to record. And then it has a 2-way audio feature that well let you directly communicate and hear whomever is around your camera.

The Butterfleye Smart Security Camera has a 16GB internal storage system that allows you to store you video clips easily. Ooma also includes 7-day free cloud storage at no cost for 5 second video clips. You can purchase a month to month plan that allows for more storage, and allows you to use the facial recognition technology. You do not have to have the Ooma control panel to use the Butterfleye Smart Security Camera, but it can be linked with your Ooma home security system.

Our take: We really like the Butterfleye Smart Security Camera that has to offer. We really like the fact that it offers internal storage as well as free cloud storage. The facial recognition technology is also a really cool feature that we really like especially the fact that it lets you tag familiar faces.


Ooma has a variety of monitoring services that you can use to monitor your system and equipment. First off, they have traditional 24/7 professional monitoring services. This service watches over your home through a professional monitoring station for any security event that is triggered, and they make sure you are always protected.

They also offer self-monitoring services which is done through their app. The app also incorporates video monitoring services for all of your Ooma Butterfleye cameras.

Ooma Home Security App

Ooma’s self-monitoring service takes place on their app. Their app works for Apple and Android devices, and it is free to download. The app allows you to receive push-notifications whenever your system or equipment connected to your system has been triggered. You can also use the app’s remote services to arm and disarm your system, customize features, and view video while on the go. The Ooma Home Security app also offers Geo-fencing technology as well. Geo-fencing technology allows your equipment and system to automatically arm or disarm along with other various functions when you arrive or leave home without you having to do anything.


Ooma Home Security does make you pay for your equipment upfront. By the way, this is where a home security company like Link Interactive shines; minimal upfront costs. Ooma Home Security also offers a few different monitoring plans. Their Mobile Plan is actually free, but it only includes the very basics of the self-monitoring services. Their Security Plan is $5.99 per month and it includes all the features for your self-monitoring services but no professional monitoring services. The last plan that Ooma Home Security has to offer is their Pro Secure Plan. This plan includes all of the features for the self-monitoring services and 24/7 professional monitoring. It cost $14.99 per month.

Our take: **When it comes to monitoring services what Ooma Home Security has to offer is pretty standard. Their app is really easy to use, and it has a lot of features that allows for in-depth customization, however we feel it lags behind - the most popular home security monitoring service in America.

The Better Alternative: Link Interactive

Here’s a better alternative: Link Interactive. A Link Interactive system can provide you with an unbeatable security solution that fits your budget. is the holy grail when it comes to smart home security (it’s the backbone of any great home alarm system in today’s day and age). Being one of the top powered home security companies on the market, the Link system is an easy to use security solution, with month to month monitoring costs being some of the most affordable out there. Link Interactive’s control panel has a lot of great features, and the system is super expandable too!

Recommended Alternative: Link Interactive

We offer a superior security solution without making you skimp on features and quality of service. Take a look at the Link Interactive home alarm system.

Our Link Interactive system is built on the platform. With our Z-Wave compatible system, you can connect several home automation devices such as smart thermostats, automated door locks, light switches and modules to convert your home into a smart home. If you’re not into home automation, you can simply use the system as a basic home security system.

Link Interactive both offers DIY, self-install systems. However, the major difference is in the monitoring app, customer services and variety of hardware. To learn more about our system and to get a quote, click here.