Best Self-Monitored Home Alarms for 2017

Best Self-Monitored Home Alarms for 2017

Hey Y’all, it’s Rose, and we are going back
to my roots today to talk home security. Specifically, self-monitored home security,
meaning that you are responsible for checking and responding to alarm events. Of the dozens and dozens of systems I’ve tested,
Abode and iSmart are my top picks for self-monitoring in 2017. And Arlo is my top pick if you want a camera-based
approach, so let’s check ’em out. iSmart is a simple security system. For $160 you can get started with two key
fobs, two door sensors, a motion sensor, and the base station called the Cube One. Abode is more expensive but they do offer
more features including the option to add no-contract, professional monitoring. For $360 you an Abode Gateway, 2 door/window
sensors, an indoor motion sensor with a camera, and a key fob. Finally, Arlo Pro. Arlo Pro is a battery powered, wire-free camera
system that connects to a base station. For about $250 you can get started with a
base station and one camera. If you’re self-monitoring, you need a system
that can communicate. All three systems support multiple users to
help you share the workload, all three offer free event notifications, and they all work
with IFTTT. Through IFTTT, you can setup custom alerts
like phone calls, text alerts, or even have a special message blast through your Sonos
speaker when an alarm is triggered. However, using IFTTT is not as reliable as
native integrations. All three systems offer push notifications,
emails, and sirens, but beyond that is where they start to differ. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned,
Abode and iSmart both have the ability to sound a door chime. iSMART also offers phone call alerts and text
alerts natively. While abode makes sure alerts are always received
by providing battery backup and optional 3G cellular communication. The second thing a self-monitored system needs
to provide is control. All three systems offer app access and the
ability to arm and disarm the system from anywhere for free. If you self-monitor, you’re also going to
need a security camera to act as your eyes and ears. Using Arlo as a security camera is pretty
obvious. It records in HD 720p, runs on battery, works
inside and out, has a 130-degree field of view, two-way audio, and you can live stream
on demand. It also includes 7 days of free cloud storage. Abode has their own camera. Unfortunately, it’s a miss as it’s incapable
of sending alerts or triggering the siren. It does come with 3 days of timeline access
or you can pay for more. Abode also integrates with the indoor and
outdoor Nest Cam. iSmartAlarm has several cameras. I’ve tested both KEEP and Spot. Both cameras can live stream and record thirty
10-second video clips to the cloud for free. They also sell a robotic camera called the
iCamera KEEP Pro. KEEP Pro can track motion 350 degrees. If you’re self-monitoring, you might want
protection from things beyond burglaries as well as home automation. You already know that all three systems work
with IFTTT, but they do more than that. The reason I selected Arlo Pro as the best
camera-based approached for self-monitoring is that it connects to SmartThings. As a total ecosystem it provides protection
from burglaries and can monitor for smoke, leaks, carbon monoxide and more. ABODE works with Nest, and this includes the
Nest Protect to monitor for smoke and carbon monoxide. They also sell a water sensor as well as a
sensor that monitors for temperature and humidity. Abode also supports certain Z-Wave and Zigbee
devices and boasts compatibility with Amazon Alexa. Finally, iSmart. iSmart can’t really monitor for things beyond
burglary, but the Spot camera can detect the sound of a smoke or CO alarm. They also sell a Smart Switch which you can
use to automate small appliances and lamps. Let’s wrap it up and talk likes and dislikes. iSmartAlarm, I dislike that it lacks battery
backup. I dislike the cameras. The app is also a little bit slow to respond
at times, often reporting the incorrect system status for a few seconds. What I like about it is that it’s simple,
straightforward, affordable home security. abode, I also dislike the cameras and its
bulky hardware. What I like about it is how many home automation
features they offer for free. Arlo, I dislike that you have to connect it
to SmartThings to protect your doors and windows as that can make things a little but more
complicated. What I like about it is that it works indoors,
outdoors, and it also works with other Arlo-branded cameras. If y’all have any questions about the three
systems, feel free to comment below. I’ve also placed some helpful links for you
in the description below. And I’m just so thankful that y’all spent
time with me today, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

38 Replies to “Best Self-Monitored Home Alarms for 2017”

  1. love your videos. i recently had a bike stolen off the side of my house when i had been cleaning my garage out. Looking to get a camera set up and your videos have helped a bunch .

  2. i may look at one of these systems next year when the house is built. for now i'm using the ring pro. been to heck and back with the ring cameras, but their customer service is excellent.

  3. As always nice video about home security, I still waiting for your full review for Adobe before I decide between Adobe, SimpliSafe and iSmartAlarm. Since my house is not finished yet, I still have some time before decide but I would like to know in your opinion what company seen to be (1) adding more features (2) fixing problem like camera quality (3) improving the overall experiences and quality of the products.

    Also from what I will need, the price with the same components for Adobe may end $200 more when compared with the other two because Adobe don’t give much discounts. So my other question is if you think the cost different still make Adobe a good pick.

  4. Hello Rose,

    Thank you for another great security video! What do you think of these devices being un-monitored?

    Also, are you registered on Amazon? I need to get you some jeans that don't have holes in them!

  5. Great job at showcasing the different systems. I use iSmartAlarm and like how they have greatly improved their app and camera software in just the six months that I've owned the system. But it seems like one can't go wrong with the others that you described.

  6. The missing battery backup is not a huge deal since you need to put you router and Wi-Fi on a battery backup too for any of this to matter.

  7. I like the convenience of the wireless cameras of Arlo Pro and the live video since we want to self monitor. But don't like that Arlo doesn't offer the support of other home automation devices like abode does. Any advice or recommendations ?

  8. Rose, the home security company I'm working with would like to contact you about reviewing it's product. What's an email to best reach you please?

  9. Does it become a pain in the ass to have to use the Scout app every time you want to arm or disarm the alarm when entering or leaving the house? A remote sounds simpler. I'm sold on the Arlo Pro but want a system with window alarms as well.

  10. iSmartAlarm has a ton of security issues allowing hackers to take over the whole system and look through your cameras.

    Issues explained here

    And documented here:

  11. Updates:
    10/17/2017 Arlo has launched Arlo Pro 2. Pro 2 has a 1080p resolution (Arlo Pro is 720p) and three new benefits if the camera is plugged-in and used indoors. When plugged-in, it offers activity zones, a 3-second pre-buffering feature, and optional continuous video recording if you pay for a CVR plan.
    10/12/2017 10/12/2017 abode has announced several updates including a new 1080p streaming camera with two-way audio, new door sensors, expanded Z-Wave compatibility, ecobee support, and smart RGB lighting support.
    10/4/2017 Not sure if these three systems will hold the top spots in 2018. Check out what's coming soon here:

    8/1/2017 Arlo now sells an outdoor power adapter and solar panel for Arlo Pro.

    7/25/2017 iSmart is currently working through security issues. Some of the vulnerabilities have already been resolved in past updates and changes, but some are still in progress. I recommend waiting until all issues are resolved.

    June 2, 2017 iSmartAlarm now has an Amazon Alexa skill.

  12. I moved from a personal to a brand account on YouTube. In doing so, I lost the hundreds of comments I’ve made since early 2016. I apologize that all the data was lost, but we can start again. Let me know if you have a question, even if it’s a repeat!

  13. I bought iSmart, & I love it except for some issues with the contact sensors. A couple of the sensors are showing "open" when they are closed. iSmart tech support seems to think it's the metal doors they're installed on(!) They recommended I put more padding to separate the sensor from the metal door/window frame. They also want me to try putting in new batteries. So I will be doing all this & we shall see. I will update here. I'd be interesting in knowing if anyone else has experienced this.

  14. Hi Rose

    Nest recently released their own self-monitored alarm system. I know it's early days but will you be doing a review of Nest's offering?

  15. Question: I understand the Scout requires a direct ethernet cable in order to work properly. That may be an issue for me as our modem is in the basement and we have an old brick home, not easy to run wires through. If I did a direct ethernet connection to a range extender would that work as well?

  16. It's nice the way it was presented. Video was great, too–not blurry & that it's steady. I like that she stooped down to say Hi to the camera. Just great. Also, the video length was just right. And might I add that her house was nice and neat.

  17. Couple of questions about abode.. 1) For the motion sensor with camera, how is the picture quality. I see its 640×480 which seems pretty low res. I wonder how effective that is if it was detecting someone moving 25 feet away. 2) Its hard to tell from the Abode docs, does the keyFob arm/disarm the alarm automatically thru its "long range abode RF" or do you need to press the buttons to do this?

  18. Security should be reviewed as priority, with smart features as nice ti have, IMHO. That said, you did not address cellular communication or dual path communication to insure you receive a notification when your cable is down or disabled. You also did not mention encryption of any of the communications which is really becoming a critical piece of a high security profile.

  19. I am leaning over to abode but the camera does seem to lack. But when installing a Nest camera do they have a camera that detects movement and sends it to you via Abode? And sound recording Nest camera that sends it over Abode? Thank you for taking time to read this and making these videos more importantly. Much appreciated. Thank you!

  20. Hello Rose, thank you for your great work! I have arlo pro 2 for outdoor cameras only, are they compatible with Abode? Thanks

  21. Hi Rose…I've been looking at a lot of reviews for different types of DIY home security systems. Your informative review of Abode is what convinced me to purchase that security system. Wanted to thank you and keep up the great job!

  22. Hi Rose, thank you for your reviews, I like them and find them very, very useful. There is something distracting (and kind of annoying) about watching them, though, and it is the fact that you are always looking at the camera from the side. It is hard to "have a conversation" with somebody who only looks at you sideways, and it makes it feel artificial, forced and uncomfortable. Would you consider looking straight at the camera please? Thank you very much. Respectfully.

  23. Hey, have you looked at the new Interlogix Ultrasync system? I looked at some of these you are talking about and turned all of them down because the one I got was less or about the same price and I could self monitor or get monitoring for less than that SimpliSafe company.

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