I'd like to install a security system on my truck. Preferably one that has a little key fob that will let me know what's going on. Id like to have it go off if any door or the hood is opened. I'm not sure how hard it would be to install a quality security system myself.
Vipers are pretty good. I've had them on my last few vehicles. Personally, I like having the remote start also, but it's definitely not required.
Viper is actually made by Directed Electronics, as are several other brands of alarms. For the most part they're all pretty much the same. Viper, Clifford, and Python are all made by directed, among others.
Sounds like you're looking for a 2 way alarm. Those are the ones that the key fob makes noise if your alarm is going off. Most of them don't have incredible range, maybe a couple hundred yards of open air space. Go inside a building and all bets are off. Directed does have a product that ties the alarm into your iphone. I've never looked into it, but I think it sends you a text or something when the alarm goes off. That's not a cheap little add on though if I remember correctly.
It should work for the doors and hood right out of the box (hood requires a part installed, but typically that's part of a 'normal' alarm install). You can also have the installer add contacts to just about anything else you want tied to the alarm. I have contacts on the lids of my tool box also.
to install it yourself you better be willing to get up under your dash for a while searching for wires, and have a good reference for what wires you need. Most alarms have like 30 different wires that have to be spliced into things, and if you get one with remote start you also have to install an imobilizer bypass module, there's a bunch more wiring. I used to do custom home theater for a living and do all my own work on my cars. I opened my alarm thinking I might be able to do it myself and decided it wasn't worth the trouble. Probably would have taken me a week. An experienced installer can do it in a few hours.
Hope that helps