I know it’s been a while and since Abode was so nice to send me this Abode Essentials Start Kit, I decided that today I’d tell you about it, what it has to offer, and what my thoughts are on this DIY home security system. The abode starter kit is basically everything you need to get started when setting up a Do It Yourself DIY home security system. It’s got the abode gateway, which is a wired gateway which does require an Ethernet cable to be plugged in directly from your router. It’s got a ZigBee and Z-wave radio in it which is great for additional accessories like adding your Phillips Hue Light Bulbs or your Ecobee thermostat.

Abode Starter Kit Review (Is it really THAT good?) 1Abode Starter Kit Review (Is it really THAT good?) 2

It’s got a fairly loud siren built in and it’s got optional cell backup. Abode supplies you with a motion sensor, door/window sensor. There is also a key fob, which you can put on your keychain and it allows you to arm or disarm the system as you’re leaving the house. Which is exactly what you need for a security system. Although this does work with Google assistant as well as Amazon’s ecosystem, the Abode it’s really an all-in-one type of system that you could use to almost completely to do just about anything in your house.

You don’t even have to connect it to a different hub which is great! It works with most smart home lightbulbs, thermostats, etc. The Abode essentials starter kit includes the gateway, ethernet cable, power adapter, mini door sensor, key fob and motion sensor. It is going to be ethernet connected and that should be one of your first considerations.

What Else Does Abode Offer?

In addition to what you get with the essentials starter kit, they have a bunch of other products and those are ranging from leak sensors and vibration, glass break sensors, temperature, humidity, light sensors, cameras strip sensors, smart plugs and various kinds of contact sensors. They also offer a keypad… I mean this is everything you would need for a security system. If you remember Time Warner Cable’s “Intelligent Home” system, this is very similar to their basic setups that I used to install. So it’s really robust for the money and they’ve got a ton of stuff packaged here that you could leverage.

Setting Up The Abode Essentials Starter Kit

The setup was pretty painless, first, you create an Abode account. Once you’ve verified via email then you put in your gateway activation key. The activation key is available on a piece of paper on a cardboard cutout that’s in the box and it’s absolutely necessary for you to create the security relationship between the application on your iPad or iOS device and the gateway itself. This does take a little bit of time but it does work, so make sure you are patient. Once that’s connected you’ll see that the gateway is connected and you get the green checkbox.

At this point, you are good to go! If you tap on the continue button the set up is going to take you through and attach the accessories. For example the window sensors and those kinds of things. You can also add family and friends.

The free tier of service that Abode offers is pretty good! Personally, I’m actually quite happy with its self-monitoring. I’ve got my phone with me all the time anyway so, in reality, the only time I’m really at risk is if my internet connection is out. In which case I’ll get no notifications but they will still let me know that the internet connection is out so at least.

I must say that I have read a couple of negative reviews out there and I just wasn’t able to replicate some of the issues that those reviewers found. But here are the pro’s and cons that I found to be accurate.

Abode Starter Kit Gateway


  • Quality Hardware
  • Easy Set Up
  • Excellent tiered service levels
  • Best home security system for DIYer’s
  • Compatible with IFTTT
  • Z-Wave, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and Abode RF connectivity


  • Some international users complain of service issues
  • Some compatibility issues with other smart home products like Blink XT cameras.


Having worked in the home security field I can say that my overall initial impression of the Abode Starter Kit is that it is an impressive home security starter kit with a lot packed in the box. It’s really like a DIYer’s dream. I really love the fact that their free service level offers me everything that I need, but I have options to upgrade if I see a need in the future.

It seems that Abode has really got DIY home security down. If you are thinking about picking one up I would definitely suggest checking out the other reviews over here on Amazon. But in my book, it’s a real winner due to it’s monitoring features.