Abode Home Security Review 2021

Abode is a security system but also a smart home whiz
Abode logo
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Excellent smart home integrations
On-demand pro monitoring
Meh cameras
Deals

Abode systems are currently on sale

Abode is running a Tax Day Sale. You’ll save 10% on eligible accessories with a kit order. Enter the code TAX21 at checkout. See Abode’s website for full details.

Abode is a smart-home devotee’s dream. If you’ve automated everything from your lights to your locks, then Abode is the home security system that will protect your house and let you control all your smart stuff at the same time. (Apple HomeKit lovers, this one’s for you.)

We can’t think of another security system that integrates with as much smart stuff as Abode does. Sure, Abode works with Alexa and Google, but it also works with Apple HomeKit, Sonos, Bose, and about a dozen other well-known brands. Your house is about to get a whole lot smarter.

Abode home security system overview
Security companyPriceMonitoring typeSmart home integrationsDetails
Abode Home Security$0.00–$20.00/mo. Self-monitoring or professional monitoring HomeKit, Alexa, Google, Bose, Sonos, IFTTT, Z-Wave, ZigbeeView Plans

Data effective as of 4/8/21. Offers subject to change.

Abode pricing

Abode is pretty affordable, and it’s easy to find stuff on sale

As security systems go, Abode is pretty affordable. Its basic equipment pricing is roughly on par with the ever-affordable SimpliSafe. You can get Abode’s essentials-only Smart Security Kit for $229—and even less if it’s on sale.

Abode gateway hub shown with key fob, motion sensor, and entry sensor

Image source: Abode

Abode equipment package comparison
Package namePrice# sensorsIota camera hubLearn more
Smart Security Kit $229.002

No
View Plans
Iota Security Kit$329.001

Yes
View Plans

Data effective as of 4/8/21. Offers subject to change.
Abode’s Iota hub has built-in motion sensors.

You’ll pay about $100 more for a similar kit but with Abode’s Iota security hub. The regular hub is a rectangular device that plugs into your internet router and connects all your sensors and smart stuff. The Iota can do everything the regular hub can, plus it has a built-in indoor camera.

Light Bulb icon
What’s a gateway? What’s a smart hub?
Consider a gateway or hub to be the “brain” of your system through which all other devices communicate. It’s your central station, your mainframe, your home base. These smart hubs are usually compatible with various technologies, and Abode happens to be one of the most inclusive of the DIY home security systems we’ve reviewed.

Abode monitoring plans

Along with equipment, you might want to subscribe to an Abode monitoring plan. If you don’t pay for any monitoring at all, you can still use your Abode security system, but a lot of its features will be off limits to you.

You need at least an Abode Standard plan to get basics like cellular backup and home automation support.

Abode monitoring plan comparison
Plan namePriceMonitoring typeHome automation supportLearn more
Basic PlanNo cost Self-monitoring

No
View Plans
Standard Plan$6.00/mo. OR $60.00/yr.Self-monitoring with on-demand pro monitoring

Yes
View Plans
Pro Plan$20.00/mo. OR $200.00/yr.Professional monitoring

Yes
View Plans

Data effective as of 4/8/21. Offers subject to change.

Light Bulb icon
Professional monitoring available in 3-day or 7-day plans
On-demand monitoring is unique to Abode. No other home security company lets you get professional monitoring for less than a month at a time. This is great for those who want backup when they’re gone fishing, or just when they might be too distracted to pay attention to their phones (happens to us a lot).

How to get smart home support with Abode

You need the Standard or Pro Abode monitoring plan before you can use your Abode system in home automation routines.

Smart home routines are where you set a bunch of different things to happen at once. For example, you can have your lights turn off, your Abode system arm, your doors lock, and your oven turn off every time you leave your house.

Without a monitoring plan, Abode will let you create automation routines, but you can’t run them. So what’s the point, eh?

Info Box icon
What is cellular backup?
Your Abode system primarily runs off your Wi-Fi network. But what happens if your internet goes out? Is your home supposed to sit there unprotected for as long as you don’t have Wi-Fi?

If you subscribe to Abode’s Standard or Pro monitoring plans, you’ll get cellular backup that lets your security system keep functioning even if your internet connection fails you.

Abode equipment

Abode offers lots of security sensors, but its cameras are lacking

For such a smart-home-focused company, Abode still has quite a lot of different security sensors. Heck, it has four different kinds of entry sensors to choose from.

Entry sensors are the little devices you attach to doors and windows so your alarm system will sound if someone sneaks through. Most DIY security systems offer only one kind.

Abode Iota hub shown with an entry sensor and a key fob

Image source: Abode

You’ll also find glass break sensors, multiple motion detectors, and a water leak sensor from Abode.

Abode security sensor options:

  • Door/window sensor
  • Mini door/window sensor
  • Recessed door/window sensor
  • Slim strip door/window sensor
  • Vibration glass break detector
  • Acoustic glass break detector
  • Wide-angle motion detector with camera
  • Motion sensor
  • Multi sensor (detects motion, light, humidity, and temperature)
  • Leak sensor
  • Smoke alarm listener
  • Indoor siren
  • Outdoor siren
  • System status indicator
  • Panic button
  • Keypad
  • Key fob

Abode cameras

Abode isn’t known for its cameras. It recently released the Abode Cam 2, which is set to start shipping April 2021. But even with this new addition to the lineup, Abode still doesn’t make our favorite home security cameras.

The good news is that you don’t have to use Abode cameras at all. Abode integrates with Alexa, Google, and HomeKit, so if you’d rather go with cameras that integrate with one of those three things, then you’ll still be able to control your cameras with either your voice or the Google Home or Apple Home apps.

If you prefer to go with Abode’s own cameras, then you have two options:

  • Outdoor Smart Cam
  • Abode Cam 2

Abode Outdoor Smart Cam

The Abode Outdoor Smart Cam is trying to be all things to all people. It works as an indoor, outdoor, or doorbell camera. That’s right, you can hardwire this camera into your doorbell wiring.

Abode Outdoor Smart Cam

Image source: Abode

As a doorbell camera, the Abode Outdoor Smart Cam might confuse your guests, since it doesn’t look like a doorbell camera and there’s no button to press to ring your doorbell. Instead, the Outdoor Smart Cam relies on motion detection and alerts you when there’s a person on your porch.

Abode Outdoor Smart Cam features: 

  • Uses doorbell wiring or power cord
  • Indoor/outdoor/doorbell functionality
  • 1080p video resolution
  • 152º field of view
  • IP65 weatherproof rating
  • Operating temperature 14°–130° F
  • Person detection
  • Two-way talk
  • Night vision

Abode Cam 2

This camera isn’t out quite yet at the time of this writing, but it’s to come out in 2021. The Abode Cam 2 comes at a remarkably affordable $29.99 price. Abode says it will also work both indoors and outdoors and have some things we generally see in more expensive cameras, like color night vision (instead of black and white.)

Three Abode Cam 2 cameras arranged in a circle

Image source: Abode

At first glance, the Abode Cam 2 looks a lot like the also-affordable Wyze Cam v3. We’ll see if the similarities go beyond appearances.

Most security companies include keypads or control panels in their basic equipment packages—so it’s worth noting that Abode does not.

Abode’s basic equipment packages do not include keypads, which means you’ll have to use your phone or the included key fob to turn your system on and off. If you have Alexa, Google, or HomeKit, you could also use your voice to arm and disarm your Abode system.

You don’t necessarily need a keypad, but in our experience, it’s more convenient to have one. You don’t want to walk through the door, hear that ominous beep, beep, beep of the alarm counting down and have to frantically search your bag for your phone so you can pull up the Abode app. Just get the dang keypad.

Abode keypad

Most security companies include keypads or control panels in their basic equipment packages—so it’s worth noting that Abode does not.

Abode’s basic equipment packages do not include keypads, which means you’ll have to use your phone or the included key fob to turn your system on and off. If you have Alexa, Google, or HomeKit, you could also use your voice to arm and disarm your Abode system.

You don’t necessarily need a keypad, but in our experience, it’s more convenient to have one. You don’t want to walk through the door, hear that ominous beep, beep, beep of the alarm counting down and have to frantically search your bag for your phone so you can pull up the Abode app. Just get the dang keypad.

Abode home automation

Abode is one of few security systems to work with HomeKit

Home automation is Abode’s time to shine. This system has more smart home integrations and compatible smart home devices than just about any other system we review. And certainly more than other affordable security systems like SimpliSafe or Cove.

Abode works with a slew of smart speakers, smart lights, smart locks, and smart thermostats. And if you don’t see the device you want right away, Abode works with both Z-Wave and Zigbee, so you can integrate third-party devices that work with one of those protocols.

Smart home brands that integrate with Abode: 

  • Apple HomeKit
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Home
  • Ecobee
  • Philips Hue
  • Leviton
  • LIFX
  • Kwikset
  • Yale
  • Schlage
  • First Alert
  • Aeotec
  • Bose
  • Danalock
  • Sonos
  • IFTTT
  • Z-Wave
  • Zigbee

Abode Works with Apple HomeKit

Finally, a smart home security system for the Apple crowd. If you’re an Apple HomeKit fan, then you know better than anyone how few devices work with your ecosystem. Abode is one of only four home security systems that work with Apple’s smart home setup.

You can even use the Apple Home app to control your Abode system so you can keep all your iOS stuff together.

Megaphone icon
Heads up, HomeKit fans
Abode cameras don’t work with HomeKit. At least not yet. We recommend HomeKit-compatible Arloor Eufycameras instead.

Abode installation

Abode is easy to install, and its sensors use removable adhesives

Abode is a DIY security system, so you set everything up yourself. All of Abode’s equipment arrives preconfigured, so all you have to do is follow instructions in the Abode mobile app (or web app) to set everything up. Installation shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes (tops).

Abode installation steps: 

  1. Download the Abode app or create an account on the Abode web app.
  2. Input the starter activation key that came with your equipment. It should be on a paper card in the box.
  3. Plug in your Abode Gateway’s power cord, then connect the Gateway to your internet router with the included Ethernet cable.
  4. Flip up the battery switch on the Gateway to enable battery back-up power (in case your power goes out).
  5. Pull the battery tabs out of your security sensors and press the test button on top to make sure they’re working.
  6. Use the adhesive backing to stick the sensors on the entry points you want to monitor.

Abode customer experience

Abode has support across multiple channels

If you need help with your Abode system, you can reach Abode reps through a few different channels: phone, email, live chat, Twitter, or Facebook.

We reached out to Abode through the live chat function and an agent responded to us within a minute. If you’re just browsing, be warned that agents will ask for your name and email address before they’ll answer any questions.

Abode’s customer service reps also aren’t available 24/7. Phone and live chat hours are restricted to between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT. If you need something during the off-hours, Abode does have a pretty robust online support section.

Is your house ready for Abode?

Abode is built for smart homes, and smart homes eat internet bandwidth for breakfast. If your internet is already a bit slow, now’s a great time to upgrade to a faster plan with more data.

Recommended internet plans for smart homes
ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Xfinity Internet - WestBlast! Pro$80*300 MbpsView Plan
Verizon Internet - Fios GigInternet 500/500$59.99/mo.500 MbpsView Plan
AT&T FiberAT&T Internet 1000$60/mo.940 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/04/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges.
Ltd. avail/areas for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. Autopay & Paperless Bill req'd. $10/mo equip. fee applies

Recommended mobile plans

Recap: Is Abode good?

Abode is an obvious choice for HomeKit fans and other smart home users

If you’re a HomeKit user, or just a smart home junkie who wants to customize everything yourself, then it doesn’t get much better than Abode. Abode supports tons of different smart home devices, and it’s one of very few security systems that work with Apple HomeKit.

  • Pricing: Abode is quite affordable, especially compared to pricey professionally installed systems. Plan on spending around $250 up front for a starter kit and a monitoring plan. (Less if you can catch a sale.)
  • Equipment: Abode offers a bunch of different security sensors, and it integrates with so many devices from other brands that it’s easy to get whatever you need. Abode’s security cameras aren’t our fave, but they’ll work in a pinch. And whatever cameras you prefer can probably integrate with Abode somehow anyway.
  • Home automation: Abode is the home automation king. Its security system works with Apple HomeKit (although its cameras don’t), and it integrates with popular brands for smart locks, smart lights, and other smart home essentials.
  • Installation: Abode is easy to set up yourself. All your sensors come preprogrammed, and the mobile app gives clear instructions on how to get everything installed.
  • Customer experience: Abode offers customers support through multiple channels, including phone, chat, and social media. Customer service hours are limited, but Abode’s online support section has most of the answers people need.

Not sure if Abode is right for you? See our Best Home Security Systems review for some of the other best alarm systems on the market.