When it comes to security systems, I am a more of a DIY kind of guy, and depend on getting alerts to my phone. I never used a monitoring service and I never even considered paying a monthly fee. So services that offered live monitoring, were never on my radar.
When the LifeShield system arrived, I was impressed by the packaging. When the box was opened you were greeted with the steps you needed to complete, no need to read a manual just look in the box. The step by step process made it really simple to set up. So simple I had my 6-year-old niece plug everything in.
The system I received comes with a LifeShield base station v3 which has a 24-hour backup battery in case the crooks cut your electricity, 4 layer protection (cellular, cellular text, broadband and phone line), 2 motion sensors 4 sensors for either a door or window, 1 camera, a keypad, a tablet specifically for the security system (can only use it for the system), a keychain remote, two window decals and a lawn sign. I, later on, received a repeater but I will go into that later on.
The base also works with Alexa and IFTTT. Set up with both is super easy.
Sample of what was Included with the system.
It took my niece and myself about 20 minutes to plug everything in and placing all the equipment. She really only needed my help with placing sensors as she could not reach up high. We used extra strong mounting tape instead of drilling and screwing things into place. Had we screwed the mounts to the walls, I suspect it would have taken another 10 to 15 more minutes depending on the type of wall you were attaching it too. Mounting tape in our case was a better option, as installed everything in my moms apartment and leaving drill holes everywhere may not sit well with her landlord when she moves out.
While installing, I began to receive tamper notifications, which I liked a lot.
If you jiggle or try to remove a sensor from its place, even if your system is disarmed, you are alerted with a tamper warning push notification. This is a great feature in my opinion. Just think about it, you are home, someone drops by to make some sort of sales pitch but they are really staking out your home, you’ll get notified if they touch a sensor while you aren’t looking. Or as my mom said, it would be a great feature for her to have when I was younger and would try to sneak out of the house.
After the system was set up, I tested it out and from day one the system worked flawlessly. The only error it gave me was, the keypad wasn’t plugged in. Which I wanted it that way as we stuck it to the entryway door. It can be powered by AA batteries, but I guess the system prefers that it is plugged in, for obvious reasons. (I eventually set it up so that it’s plugged in.)
After a few days of having the system, LifeShield began to monitor. On the first day if I am not mistaken my mom who hadn’t gotten use to the system. She entered her apartment ran to the bathroom and about 30 seconds later the alarm went off. Possibly a combination of bad hearing and being far from the base station which has the siren inside.
LifeShield eventually called me and I disarmed the system via the app. The LifeShield agent asked for the password which I had forgotten. Thankfully disarming the system eliminated the need for the password. (She now has it memorized) But had I not answered my phone I am sure the police may have been dispatched. My mother prefers to use the remote keychain now over the keypad as she doesn’t need to remember any codes as well.
The remote also has a panic button which is a great option for her, especially in the part of Brooklyn she lives in.
She does like that she can ask Alexa to arm the system as well, but with her echo-dot in her bedroom and with a 1-minute exit delay not wise for her to enable the system with Alexa as it’s too much of a distance and short of a time for her. I am however thinking of getting her an echo dot to place in her living room near the door, so she can enable the system with her voice.
When my mom told me she could barely hear the siren, I went over to her apartment and I agreed with her. The siren although loud and annoying when within 30 to 50 feet of it, further into the apartment especially in the back rooms, you can barely hear it. This is where the repeater came into play. Which by the way was easy to install, took about 30 seconds to connect to the system and 10 seconds to place on a table.
After the repeater was installed, the siren could be heard throughout the entire apartment with no issues, and the back room sensors seemed to have a better connection to the system.
Repeater can be wall mounted or placed on table.
The camera while not the best looking camera on the market, does great. The video is clear and the motion detection on it works well. Night vision is also fantastic and better than most cameras I have tested. I really like being able to view stored media from the camera via the web interface and the app . Only downside no audio but hey I don’t want to talk to the robber. As you can see from the screenshot below, the web user interface is easy to understand and use and its easy to navigate media recorded by the camera.
The App is just as easy to use and responsive. The problem I have faced with apps for security devices such as cameras and even my DIY wink system that I have in my home, is the app isn’t always responsive there always seems to be an excessive delay that I find unacceptable at times. But for the past 2 weeks that I have tested the Lifes Shield system, the delay is not noticeable. All communication seems to be instant. Again just like the web interface the app is easy to understand and use.
The tablet is an added bonus, it allows you to place an additional keypad anywhere in your home and comes with a wall mount and stand. I simply placed it on my mothers night table.
The tablet lets you do everything the app does, you can easily search your camera media, view the status of your system, view any alerts, arm and disarm the system and the feature my mom seems to love the most, that it allows her to see the current time, the status of the alarm system and the weather as it were a desktop clock.
She just wishes she could set an alarm clock, and after at first not knowing where to adjust the tablet brightness, we found it in the settings. Sorry, it’s not an alarm clock mom.
Overall I really enjoy the system my mom loves it, it’s super easy to use and it’s affordable. You can be up and running for less than 300 dollars and for under $30 a month for the monitoring service. There are also leasing options available. You can easily add additional cameras and equipment to the system. While I personally haven’t owned an ADT or Brinks system, my sister does and she’s envious of how much easier everything is with LifeShield. She wishes she could break her contract with ADT so she could switch.
So check out LifeShield over at LifeShield.com and find the best set up for you. We here at HardwareGeeks.com give the system 4 Stars!
4 Stars from the Hardware Geek!
Publication Source: Hardware Geeks