abode home security system components on black background

Abode’s range of HD video cameras can be controlled via an app (image credit: Abode)

Abode offers complete, intelligent home security systems that will fit seamlessly into any modern home which are simple enough to install on your own. Homeowners can choose to self-monitor their Abode home security system, purchase on-demand 24/7 home monitoring without obligation, or subscribe to one of two monthly monitoring plans.

The company was founded by a former ADT Home Security executive — perhaps why they are uniquely positioned to challenge traditional security brands. They offer a range of compelling, sleek and wireless sensors and alarms that are perfect for renters and homeowners alike. Abode home security systems are also one of the few to work with the Apple HomeKit.

The Abode home security system starter system (known as the Smart Security Kit) includes a base station called the Gateway, one window or door sensor, a motion sensor and a key fob. The Abode companion app and the free plan are included. At the minimum free plan level, you’ll be alerted when motion is detected in your home or when a door or window is opened. The key fob has the buttons you’ll need to arm and disarm your system, as well as a panic button. The base station turns notifications from your sensors into convenient phone notifications and contains a loud 93dB siren. 

The premium packages include the more sophisticated iota Gateway, which is not only more compact but contains a motion sensor, loudspeaker and high-definition camera. It also comes equipped with a micro SD card slot so that videos can be recorded and stored on an SD card rather than the cloud. 

Both base stations plug into the mains but also have a ten-hour battery and cellular chip, so messages can be sent without wifi connectivity. 

The real standout of the Abode home security system is that it includes both Zigbee and Z-Wave, which enables the system to connect to up to 160 smart devices. While Abode has its own branded sensors and cameras, it also works with Nest, Philips Hue, Sonos and voice commands from Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. There are more than 100 CUE automations available, including using the app to arm the system whenever the phones are outside the geo-fenced zone around your home. The app will also inform you if you’ve left a window open when you arm the system. 

You can also build up your home security system with a range of nifty gadgets, including 1080p security cameras, indoor and outdoor sensors, smoke and water leak detectors and more. 

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60-second review

Rating: ★★★★

Abode is one of the newer systems on the market, but it’s certainly earned its place among the best home security systems in the UK. Slick software and nearly universally compatible hardware (not to mention its pleasing modern aesthetics) make Abode the perfect solution for smart homes, no matter what operating system you use. 

The range of devices, from sensors to cameras, all of which can be added or used in conjunction with your smart lighting and voice commands, are easy to install and use. If you use the Apple HomeKit, Abode home security systems are your only option, and it’s extremely future-proof across various other smart home solutions. 

On the downside, it’s pricier than some of the solutions on the market, so not necessarily the best choice if you are on a tight budget. That said, it’s a good option if you are looking for flexible smart home protection as you can purchase on-demand guarding. 

Technical information

Abode home security system app view

Abode will integrate seamlessly into a smart home (image credit: Abode)

The Abode home security system’s starter Smart Security Kit includes a keyfob, keypad and app control, Ethernet, battery backup, and more. Sensors are included, but additional sensors are available for purchase, inducing door/window, motion, wide-angle motion camera, slim strip and glass break sensors. 

The Gateway device forms the hub of the service. It’s equipped with an internal 93db siren and can be connected to up to 160 devices. The Gateway device is roughly 200mm tall, comes with AES256 Bit Encryption and can be plugged into a standard 230V UK plug socket. 

As an alternative, the iota Security Kit is an all-in-one solution with a built-in HD camera, motional sensor and two-way voice communication. The iota stands at about 18cm tall and can be placed in the spot which makes most sense for your home — perhaps a hallway or main living area. 

  • Installation type: DIY or paid professional installation 
  • Price range: £126.99 and up
  • Number of packages: Two
  • Monitoring: Self-monitoring, professional and on-demand

Key features

Highlights: Integrates seamlessly into nearly any smart home, with a wide range of accessories and components that can be added at any time. 

Service: Contract-free self-monitoring and home automation is available on the Standard plan for £7.99 per month, and professional monitoring can be purchased along with 4G backup on the Pro Plan for £13.99 per month. 

Warranty: One-year warranty and 14-day free returns.

Key Benefit: Abode offers on-demand professional monitoring with either three or seven-day commitments, contract-free. It’s ideal for homeowners going on holiday. 

Pros and cons

Before making a decision about your home security system, it’s important to consider all of the pros and cons. With Abode, we’ve picked up the following advantages: 

  • Appearance: The hardware is discreet, sleekly designed and highly attractive. 
  • DIY installation: The starter kit arrives with all devices synced, and the entire kit can be installed by plugging it into the wall. You can then switch over to wi-fi and move it anywhere in the house. 
  • Subscription-free: You can subscribe to Abode for a few pounds a month but Abode home security system subscriptions are non-obligatory so homeowners can go without and stay secure. 
  • Apple-enabled: Abode is one of the few home security systems that work with Apple Homekit (as well as a host of other services). 
  • On-demand monitoring: Homeowners can book 24-hour monitoring for three or seven days, on-demand, with zero obligation, perfect for weekends away or extended holidays. 
  • Integrations: There are several vocal command integrations and CUE home automation available via the Abode home security system. 

There are a few disadvantages to take into account as well:

  • Camera flaws: The cameras lack face or pet recognition which could waste footage. 
  • No wall panel: There is no touchscreen wall panel. Many homeowners prefer a wall panel control instead of keyfobs, with a screen display for ease of use. 
  • No professional installation: Unlike its competitors, Verisure and Vivant, free professional installation is not included in the price.


How the Abode home security system works

Abode home security cameras on black background

Abode’s packages include indoor and outdoor cameras, glass break sensors and entry sensors (image credit: Abode)

The Smart Security Kit includes a basic Gateway with a siren while the iota Gateway base station starter kit includes motion sensor, siren, built-in HD security camera and two-way voice. Devices can be connected via either Z-wave or Zigbee and controlled via voice, and the iota base station connects to the mobile app via wifi. 

The camera shoots in 1080p HD. The camera’s field of vision is 127 degrees, and it has solid infrared night vision (although it’s not as clear as Vivant’s cameras). There is also two-way audio, which enables homeowners to speak to unexpected visitors or intruders if you spot them via the Abode system. It’s a powerful deterrent. 

Footage can be uploaded to the cloud, where it will remain for three to 90 days, depending on which package you’ve chosen. Or, you can use the SD card capabilities of the iota package. 

You can integrate both base stations with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Nest, Phillips Hue lightbulbs, LIFX, Yale, Z-wave, First Alert, IFTTT, ecobee and more. 

How does Abode compare to other home security systems?

The Abode home security system is more affordable than many traditional security brands, including Brinks and ADT, which both require professional installation and monitoring. The DIY package is simple to install and can secure your home at half the cost of the traditional system. However, there are cheaper DIY brands on the market. 

The closest rivals to Abode include SimpliSafe and Ring, which both offer DIY installation and the option of 24/7 monitoring as well. However, the pricing and devices differ, and neither offers as many smart home integrations as Abode’s home security solution. SimpliSafe offers more flexible pricing but isn’t compatible with Apple HomeKit or several leading voice commands. Ring is much cheaper but with fewer devices and monitoring options. 

How much does the Abode home security system cost?

The Abode home security system isn’t the cheapest home security system on the market, but its rich features and smart device connectivity makes it among the best home security systems in the UK. 

Here’s how it compares to its competitors:

SystemCost (excluding installation and monthly monitoring)
SimpliSafeFrom £200 for the basic package
AbodeFrom £294.99 for the basic package
RingFrom £159.98 for the basic package

How to maintain your Abode home security system

The Abode home security system doesn’t require much more than basic maintenance. It’s a good idea to check the battery life on your sensors and other devices and replace them every five years or so. 

All external devices should be checked periodically to ensure that they haven’t been tampered with.

What the professionals say

Woman at table opening abode home security package

Homeowners can either install the system themselves, or pay for professional help (image credit: Abode)

“A newer security company on the block, Abode’s iota system has the smartest platform integrations we’ve seen from a security system. Not only could we command our system using Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, but we could also have it trigger a slew of Internet of Things devices from companies like Nest, Philips Hue, ecobee, and more.”

“Abode is the ideal smart security solution for anyone who wants to save some money by installing it themselves and avoid committing to a hefty subscription. The slick software and Apple-friendly hardware mark Abode out from the other DIY security specialists, while its flexible pricing and competitive monitoring fee make it one of the most affordable too.”

“Abode iota is a solid DIY home security system, and if you’re looking to secure a small house or apartment, it could be perfect for you. The other big appeal is its Apple HomeKit integration, which sets it apart from much of the direct competition.

That said, Iota still isn’t perfect. Expanding the system is more expensive than it is with SimpliSafe or Ring Alarm, and the professional monitoring subscription is the most expensive of the lot. Its app can also be a tad clunky. In addition, Abode still doesn’t require multifactor authentication for signing into its apps, which should be more of an industry norm by this point.”

What customers say

“Be prepared for a glitch nightmare at least once per year, if not more. When it’s working right, it works great, but when it’s not, you’ll pull your hair out, getting it straightened out. And that will happen a minimum of once per year. Every time this company does a software or firmware upgrade, you’ll go through a gauntlet of uninstalls, and reinstalls, try this, try to fix some malfunctioning aspect of the system it creates. Also, you never talk to anyone. Instead, it’s a drawn-out saga through multiple emails with outsourced techs in India. I bought this system directly from Abode roughly 6-7 years ago. I just want to get the word out to anyone wanting a good self-install system that they may want to nix that idea and go with a pro install of another maker. You’ll be chasing your tail with this company for the entire time you own it.”

“I’ve been using Abode’s products now for 18 months now in my home. I use the window and door sensors and several cameras to monitor activity in and around the house. Everything has been easy to install and operate through the app. I’m very pleased with this company. Keep it up!”

“So far, so good – a couple of times accidentally triggered the alarm and was surprised by the intimidating volume of the alarm siren. The alarm was set off by a cat once, so I’ll have to leave the motion sensors off when we leave, I guess. Also still wondering about the red pulsing logo on the keypad- can’t seem to find the reason behind that. Otherwise, everything is user-friendly and convenient.”

Final verdict

Considering Abode’s versatility of add-on devices to their Smart Security and iota Kits, their home security system is one of the most flexible and customisable on the market. This packages and DIY method for creating an individual set-up, including affordable cameras, sensors and accessories, as well as it’s smart home compatibility, really makes Abode an excellent choice suitable for just about every style of home.

While the monthly fees and initial investment might not be for everyone’s budgets, the company’s commitment to thorough security and safety from other threats (including fire and flooring) is worthy of serious consideration.

Rating: ★★★★


We’ve compiled this review by reading hundreds of unsolicited customer reviews and media articles. We also consulted technical documentation and sought advice on professional forums. 

In order to accurately rate Abode against its competition, we devised a detailed scoring system considering the following factors:

  • Reputation, including customer reviews
  • Variety of packages available
  • Security features and functionality
  • Upfront and contract pricing
  • Usability

For more information, read our article on how we review home security systems.


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