Abode UK Review

Research found Abode UK security systems offer a variety of plans, but it misses the mark on major factors.
Our Pick
Abode
Abode
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2
  • Pros
    No contract
  • Pros
    Low monitoring fees
  • Cons
    Up-front costs
  • Cons
    Poor camera quality

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Alina Bradford
Senior Staff Writer, Safety & Security
Read More
Published on August 27, 2021

Abode is a DIY UK security system that’s all about choices and flexibility. You can pair it with just about any smart device and build your system any way you like. Plus, Abode offers subscription options that go above and beyond what other systems provide.

But Abode isn’t without flaws. There’s a substantial up-front investment, the customer support is lacking and the cameras are low quality.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet No contract
Pro Bullet DIY installation
Pro Bullet Professional install option
Pro Bullet Vast smart home compatibility
Pro Bullet Full price transparency
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Up-front costs
Con Bullet No doorbell camera
Con Bullet No smart lock
Con Bullet Limited packages
Con Bullet Poor camera quality

Abode cost

Abode equipment packages range from £275.99 to £389.99, and additional equipment runs from £24.99 to £199.99. Its prices are comparable to other top systems like SimpliSafe and Ring. One of our favorite things about Abode is that they are 100% up front about their prices, unlike Verisure (a top competitor).

While DIY installation is free, you’ll need to pay for professional installation. How much you’ll pay depends on how much equipment you order and your location.

Compare Abode monthly costs

With fees ranging from £3.59 a month to £17.99 a month, Abode has four delightfully inexpensive monitoring plans. You can get all the bells and whistles of the top-tier plan for less than $20 a month. ADT’s lowest monitoring package starts at almost £40 per month, so Abode’s fees feel like a steal.

The Basic package is for camera-less systems and DIY monitoring. You get push notifications if the system detects movement and cellular backup, but there’s no one to help in an emergency.

The Intermediate plan connects up to two cameras to your system and includes more features:

  • Unlimited users
  • Email and customizable notifications
  • Ability to view system events
  • Home automation
  • Geofencing
  • 7-day storage

Professional monitoring and insurance discounts are available only on the top two tiers. Monitored Advanced is set apart by 30 days of video storage and the ability to add up to five cameras to your system.

Monthly cost
Camera pairing
Professional monitoring
30-day video storage
Learn more
Basic
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Intermediate
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Monitored Intermediate
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Monitored Advanced
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes

Amazon.com list price as of 27/08/2021 at 08:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Pay as you go

Abode is the only security system we’ve seen that offers pay-as-you-go (PAYG) monitoring services. You can choose from a three-day bundle for £4 and a seven-day bundle for £6.

Say you like DIYing your home monitoring, but you’re going on holiday. With PAYG monitoring, you can get professional monitoring for the days you’re away.

We love this option for folks that don’t want a monthly fee but want a little extra security every now and then. Even better, you don’t need to ring Abode to set it up. Just access the billing section of the Abode app or browser dashboard, and select the days you need professional monitoring from there.

Is Abode right for you?

Abode is perfect for someone wanting simplicity and full customization. You install the Adobe system with no tools in less than an hour, and the company provides monitoring plans for every situation.

We especially like it for people whose life is constantly changing, since it offers pay-as-you-go professional monitoring, à la carte customization and devices that are easily moved from one flat to the next.

Abode isn’t a good choice if you want cameras since Abode’s are sub-par. Also, if you can’t pay up front for your system, you’ll need to break out the credit card, ask a mate for a loan or go with a system that doesn’t have up-front fees, like Versure or ADT.

How Abode compares

Brand
Lowest monitoring price
Starter equipment price
Contract
Installation
Learn more
Smart home picks
AbodeAbode
Icon No  LightNo
DIY
Best home alarm system
SimpliSafeSimpliSafe
Icon No  LightNo
DIY
Most trusted pick
ADT
Icon Yes  LightYes
Pro
Most comprehensive pick
VerisureVerisure
Icon Yes  LightYes
Pro
Budget pick
RingRing
Icon No  LightNo
DIY

Amazon.com list price as of 27/08/2021 at 08:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Abode contracts and warranties

Unlike Verisure and ADT, Abode doesn’t require a contract. You can come and go as you please. The only real downside is you need to pay up front for all your equipment instead of the costs getting folded into your monthly fees.

Abode equipment has a one-year warranty, which doesn’t seem like a lot since you’ll be putting the system through its paces for years to come. Other brands, like SimpliSafe, offer a three-year warranty or more.

Abode equipment and fees

Abode has two equipment packages. Nothing is exciting about them. Both offer basic security equipment, but you can add extra bits and bobs to fit your needs.

The only difference between the Smart Security Kit (£275.99) and the Smart Security Kit Plus (£389.99) is that the latter also includes an Abode Cam.

Compare Abode packages

Package
Equipment price
Equipment
What’s included
Smart Security Kit● Gen 2 Gateway
● 2 mini door/window sensors
● 1 motion sensor
● 1 key fob
Smart Security Kit Plus● Gen 2 Gateway
● 2 mini door/window sensors
● 1 motion sensor
● 1 key fob
● Abode Cam

Amazon.com list price as of 27/08/2021 at 08:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Bell
Abode iota coming soon

The Abode iota starter kit is a popular choice in the US. According to the Abode site, the UK will also be getting this equipment package soon. Sign up for availability updates on their iota page.

You have the choice to add more to the alarm system packages à la carte, including:

  • Additional window/door sensors (£24.99)
  • Outdoor siren (£69.99)
  • Water leak detector (£59.99)
  • Panic button (£29.99)
  • Keypad (£89.99)
  • Multi-sensor (£50.55)
  • Glass break detector (£29.99)
  • Abode cameras (£126.99 to £199.99)
Light Bulb
Abode camera upgrade

The Abode Cam 2 is coming to the UK in late 2021. The Abode Cam 2 can be used outdoors and indoors and features color night vision, unlike its predecessor.

You can also build your system from scratch. The Abode website walks you through the process so you can get the equipment your flat needs. The experience took us less than five minutes.

Camera problems

Let’s be honest. Abode cameras are a load of tosh. We’ve found that Abode cameras have poor video and audio quality, and they tend to lag. This may be okay when you’re watching your pup in the garden, but not in an emergency situation.

Many customers are gobsmacked over how poorly their cameras perform and voiced their disappointment online. Some reported that the cameras didn’t detect motion properly and often sent false notifications. Others reported the cameras stopped working altogether after just a short time.

Our recommendation? Pair a third-party camera to the Abode system using IFTTT. There are several cameras that pair with Abode, including:

What's in the box

The Smart Security Kit comes with these items:

  • Gen 2 Gateway
  • 2 mini door/window sensors
  • 1 motion sensor
  • 1 key fob
  • Power cords
  • Introduction booklet

Abode setup and installation

Installing Abode is easy peasy. Sensors stick to doors, and the hub doesn’t need installing. You can just set it on a shelf. There are no tools required for the installation of any of the components. Most people get even sizable equipment bundles set up in an hour.

Too busy to spare an hour? There’s also a professional installation option available.

Once the installation is complete, the problems seem to start. Customers report that their systems often don’t work well after the initial installation. Some customers said that the system didn’t contact the alarm receiving center in an emergency. Other customers report that the gateway often goes offline and needs a manual restart. We’re skeptical of a system that doesn’t work right out of the box.

Watch: How to install door and window sensors

Subscribe to our Youtube channel for more videos like this one! Learn how to protect your home, your loved ones, yourself, and your belongings.


Abode smart home features and compatibility

The Abode alarm system can automatically run other smart devices. It can turn on your porch light and close your garage door automatically when the system’s armed before bed, for example.

You’ll need the right subscription, though. Smart home automation is only available with the Intermediate, Monitored Intermediate, and Monitored Advanced subscription plans. The Basic plan lets you connect devices to your system, but they won’t work together in automated processes.

Abode’s home security system is compatible with just about every type of smart device. If it’s in your home, it probably works with Abode.

If you love Apple products, Abode is a solid choice. It’s one of the only security systems that’s compatible with Apple HomeKit.

Not an Apple fan? Abode is compatible with many others:

With Google Assistant, Alexa and Apple HomeKit, you can arm your system from bed using voice commands. We love this feature when we’re too exhausted to even reach for our phones.

Z-Wave, ZigBee, and IFFT connect the smart devices around your house to your home security system so they all work together in harmony. From the Abode app, you can turn on your smart lights, arm your system and shut the garage door without switching to another app.

Learn more about how Abode integrates with your smart home by taking a look at our US Abode compatibility guide.

Abode customer service and support

You can reach Abode through email or live chat support or give them a ring at +44 0330 6781104.

At first glance, customers seem to love Abode’s customer service. We scoured online reviews, though, and found many less-than-glowing reports. Often, the customer service rep would promise a follow-up and then not follow through.

We put them to the test and found they didn’t answer our emailed questions. They didn’t even answer our live-chat questions. During a chat, we got a notification that stated the answer to our question would be emailed to us in 10 minutes. That email never arrived.

Even worse, not every customer gets top-level support. Only customers that have Premium Support get around-the-clock priority help. It’s bundled with Abode’s top-tier monitoring package. We’re a bit cheesed off that you have to pay to be treated like an important customer when other security companies offer day and night support for free.

Final word

While Abode is aces for monitoring options and customizations, it doesn’t follow through with quality equipment or customer service. We wanted to love Abode, but we think you should go with some other top security picks.

Abode FAQ

No, you have to at least sign up for the £3.59 per month Basic package.

No, all equipment must be from the same country. They are built with different frequencies that aren’t compatible.

Yes, you can record around the clock with any of the Abode cameras.

How we reviewed Abode

Our Abode UK review came from dozens of hours of research, reading hundreds of customer reviews and direct contact with the company. We focused on how well the system would work for a variety of people, with an emphasis on costs, usability and options.

To learn more about how we review products and services, take a look at our Safewise methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Disclaimers

Amazon: *Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina has been reviewing the latest tech for more than a decade and has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. She specializes in smart home and security technology, working to make gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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