Companies large and small are jumping into the DIY home security market with a dizzying array of new models. At CES 2018, we’ve seen new DIY security systems, more affordable security cameras, combination security camera light fixtures, new video doorbells—a category that didn't really exist five years ago—and even new home security apps that crowdsource surveillance from your neighbors.

"Security devices are the pillar of the connected home in North America, and we expect that security will remain a primary pillar for driving consumers to the smart home," says Blake Kozak, a smart home and home security analyst with research firm IHS Markit.

According to IHS, smart home security devices made up a $920 million market in 2017.

The reason for the growth, according to Alex Hawkinson, CEO of Samsung SmartThings, is that these devices make home security "something now easily available to everyone."

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Hawkinson has something to sell, of course. But his company's interest and investment in the DIY home security space—along with that of many others—just means you'll have more choices if you decide you want to set up your own system to keep an eye on your home when you're not there.

Below, we break down some of the many new products you can expect to see sometime this year.

Existing Security Systems Up Their Game

Last fall we saw half a dozen companies announce or release new DIY home security systems, and CR ran a price analysis of the most popular options. There's even more competition entering the market in 2018.

Startup company Ring announced at CES this week that it was back on track with its alarm system, despite a recent legal dispute by ADT that forced it to cancel preorder shipments of its Ring Protect product back in November. The company is relauching the product under a new name, Ring Alarm, this spring. A spokeswoman told CR the name was changed to avoid confusion with the company’s Protect cloud storage and monitoring plans. 

SimpliSafe released the third generation of its DIY home security system (see photo, above), featuring a redesigned base station with battery backup, a sleek keypad with backlit buttons, and new, smaller sensors. The new system starts at $229 and is available now.

Not to be outdone by SimpliSafe, rival Abode announced a new combination security camera and base station for its system called Abode Iota. It talks to Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, and devices that use the Z-Wave and ZigBee standards, and more. On paper, that makes it a great command center for your smart home, allowing you build out a home system with the devices you prefer, regardless of the wireless standards they use. The Iota will cost $329 and will ship early this year, according to Abode.

New Lighting, Cameras, and Video Doorbells

To keep a digital eye on your home, there are many new security cameras and video doorbells from brands including ADT, Canary, D-Link, EZVIZ, Ring, SimpliSafe, Somfy, and even Brinks, the bank security firm, among others.

We’re also seeing cameras with integrated lighting, and standalone smart lighting accessories. Brinks brought two new security camera lights to CES, the Array Video Coach Light and Array Video Security Light, exterior devices that will go on sale in the second half of the year.

The concept of lighting integrated with cameras isn’t new—similar products are already available from startups Kuna and Ring. Speaking of Ring, the company also announced that it acquired a lighting company called Mr. Beams and will be releasing new outdoor security lighting called Ring Beams, which will work with the company’s existing cameras and doorbells.

Then there’s the relatively unknown security camera company EZVIZ, which showcased an unusual peephole video camera called EZVIZ Lookout. The camera replaces a standard peephole and features a display for viewing who is at your door, as well as a doorbell button. It will be released in the first quarter of 2018, for $229.

Apps to Protect You and Your Home

In addition to all the new hardware, there are a couple of upcoming security apps that bring new capabilities to existing products—Vivint’s Streety and ADT Go. Vivint is a smart home and security system installer, and its new, free Streety app, due out this spring, will allow neighbors to share access to security camera live feeds within a 300-yard radius.

Though some might find the concept creepy or have privacy concerns, Vivint points out that every aspect of the app is opt-in, from sharing your camera feed to granting access to individual neighbors. A similar feature exists for sharing video clips with Ring cameras called Ring Neighborhoods, but Vivint takes the concept further by letting owners of non-Vivint cameras share video clips in the Streety app.

ADT Go provides security both inside and outside the home and acts as a GPS tracker for family members. It uses each family member’s smartphone to track their location in real time and share it with the rest of the family. The app also features an SOS button that will alert ADT responders, as well as family members, in the event of an emergency. Families that sign up will receive 90 days of free monitoring, which costs $10 per month after the introductory period. 

Security Novices Offering You Protection

One important factor we advise consumers to keep in mind is that some of the companies making these products are very new to home security. For example, smart switch maker SimplySmartHome (formerly Switchmate) is launching a DIY home security system called SimplySmartHome Secure. It's the company’s second security product in less than six months.

In fairness, inexperience doesn't necessarily mean a product will perform poorly.

“Many of these lesser known brands are using the same [original equipment manufacturers] as the big name brands, which means the devices themselves can be similar,” says Kozak of IHS Markit. He also says smaller security camera brands might not offer the same product quality or breadth of features as bigger brands, but when it comes to security flaws, both large and small companies can be susceptible.

The only way to really know whether these products are good or bad is to test them. That's where Consumer Reports comes in. Check back for ratings and reviews of home security cameras and video doorbells, which we plan to launch in the coming weeks.

Smart Doorbells for Your Home

Looking for peace of mind and security when you're not home? On the 'Consumer 101' TV show, Consumer Reports' expert, Eric Hagerman, explains to host Jack Rico why a smart doorbell might be the answer.