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What Is abode?

abode is an all-in-one provider of home security systems that sells security sensors, cameras, and smart home products. They are also actively innovating their products and integrating them with third-party brands such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit.

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abode History & Overview

Based in San Francisco, CA, abode offers self-monitored security systems that include a wide range of security and smart home equipment. Their systems are free to use, but they also offer subscription-based, no-contract professional monitoring and self-monitoring plans. Currently, abode is our #1 self-monitored security system provider.

abode was founded in 2014 by Christopher Carney, a former ADT exec, with the help of several entrepreneurs. The people behind abode have a combined experience in security, tech, and energy management market.

abode, like many startups, launched their first product on Kickstarter. Interestingly, their campaign wasn't a big hit and they barely made their goal. However, they delivered on their promises and made a security system that works without monthly fees. abode steadily improved since then.

Why They're Different

What makes abode different is their system's flexibility. It's expandable, it works with or without a subscription, it can be paid for in full or in monthly installments, it can be DIY or professionally installed, and it's compatible with a number of third-party smart home and home security products. abode gives their customers options, and it's one of the reasons why they're the best at what they do.

abode Equipment Overview

abode offers a wide range of security equipment, but in the middle of it all is a hub. abode offers two types of hubs: abode Gateway and iota. Gateway was the first and original abode hub. It plugs to a power source, connects to the internet using an Ethernet cable, and it uses abode's proprietary wireless standard abodeRF to connect with sensors and other wireless devices. iota is much newer, only released in 2018, and shares much of the same features as Gateway. However, it has a built-in camera with motion detection and it can connect to the internet through Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable.

Whichever of the two hubs you choose, the abode system is designed to protect your home with the help of sensors and other security products. abode offers:

  • Regular Door/Window Sensors — $27.00
  • Mini Door/Window Sensors — $29.00
  • Recessed Door/Window Sensors — $38.00
  • Slim Strip Door/Window Sensors — $38.00
  • Vibration Glass Break Sensor — $36.00
  • Acoustic Glass Break Sensor — $49.00
  • Motion Sensors — $42.00
  • Wide-Angle Motion Camera — $99.00
  • Keypads — $69.00
  • Key Fobs — $25.00
  • Water Leak Sensors — $49.00
  • Smoke Alarm Monitor — $45.00
  • Indoor Siren — $49.00
  • Outdoor Siren — $59.00
  • System Status Indicator — $29.00
  • Occupancy Sensor — $44.00
  • Smart Home Power Switch — $39.00
  • Temperature/Light Sensor — $39.00
  • abode Cam — $129.00
  • Yard Sign With Solar-Powered Light — $24.00
  • Window Decal — $2.00

For more information on the equipment and features offered by abode, check out our comprehensive abode review.

Installation

abode is designed for DIY installation. The entire system connects to the hub wirelessly and the set-up process is guided by the abode app. Based on our tester's experience setting up abode, the installation process is easy to follow. However, if you're not comfortable installing the system yourself, abode does offer professional installation fulfilled by HelloTech, a third-party in-home tech support company, for a small charge. abode customers can request for professional installation upon checkout.

abode Monitoring Overview

abode is all about providing their customers options, and when it comes to monitoring, abode offers three monitoring plans: professional monitoring, self-monitoring without a fee, and self-monitoring with a subscription. If you opt to get professional monitoring or subscription-based self-monitoring, you also have the choice to pay monthly or annually. Paying annually will save you up to 33% on your subscription, but abode doesn't offer refunds. Should you cancel the service before the one-year subscription ends, you will get nothing back.

As far as the monitoring method, abode primarily uses broadband monitoring. Your hub must be connected to the internet to send alerts. However, getting a paid subscription (either professional or self-monitoring) will activate your Gateway or iota's cellular chip, allowing it to send alerts even if your internet is down. If you choose the subscription-free plan, the cellular backup won't work.

In general, whatever monitoring plan you choose, you'll get:

  • Smartphone & Computer Access
  • Unlimited User Accounts For Family Sharing
  • Home Automation Features

abode Customer Service Overview

Aside from their flexibility, another reason that abode is highly-rated on our website and by customers is their stellar customer service performance. All abode customers, whether paying for a subscription or not, get phone, email, and live chat support. In our multiple interactions with their support team, we've found them to be very professional, knowledgeable, and accessible. Customers paying for professional monitoring get even better treatment as they have access to abode's premium phone support available 24/7.

Besides treating their customers right, abode also has customer-friendly policies:

  • No-Contract Professional Monitoring
  • Cancel Anytime Without Penalties
  • No Activation or Installation Fees
  • 30-Day Return Period
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty on All Products
  • Lifetime Warranty for Professionally Monitored Systems Billed Annually

FAQ

  • Where is abode available?

    abode sells their products in the U.S., Canada, and several other countries. However, professional monitoring is only available in the U.S.

  • Do I have to pay for the equipment upfront?

    No. Although most abode users pay for their system upfront, abode offers financing.

  • Do I have to use abode with professional monitoring?

    No. abode is a self-monitored system and professional monitoring is an optional service. If you want to learn more about abode's monitoring plans, check out our guide to abode's pricing plans, deals, and promotions.

  • Is the system easy to install?

    Yes. Everything is wireless and the setup process is guided by the app. However, if you'd rather have a technician come over to install your system, abode offers professional installation through HelloTech for a small fee.

  • Does the system need landline to work?

    No, but it needs an internet connection to work.

  • Where can I find out more about abode?

    You may check out our abode in-depth review or our comparison guide where we compared it to Nest Secure and Ring Alarm, two other hybrid security systems. We also compared abode to Scout here.