Alarm.com Review: So-So Equipment with an Impressive App

Alarm.com
Our rating:
2.5 out of 5.0
2.5 out of 5 stars2.5
Customer service
1 out of 5 stars1.0
Price
3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
Features & equipment
3 out of 5 stars3.0

    Equipment prices vary.

    Overview
    Alarm.com is a white-label brand that supplies equipment to different security providers and offers an app that lets you control compatible security systems. That includes some well-known companies, by the way: providers like Protect America and Frontpoint Home Security utilize Alarm.com’s equipment and app to help make your home more secure.

    Below, we’re looking at Alarm.com’s equipment selection and compatibility.

    Alarm.com Equipment

    Photo source: ASecureLife team


    Alarm.com pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletOffers equipment from trusted providers like Yale and Schlage
    • Pro BulletCompatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
    Cons
    • Con BulletOffers equipment from trusted providers like Yale and Schlage Some users report that equipment is unreliable
    • Con BulletPoor customer service reputation

    How much does Alarm.com cost?

    Alarm.com’s pricing depends on the equipment and monitoring plan that you or your security provider chooses, and whether your provider makes you pay for your equipment up front.

    Still, you can expect prices to be pretty in line with what other security brands are offering. Alarm.com has a high definition indoor/outdoor camera that retails for about $180, depending on the provider. That’s roughly the same price as Vivint’s Ping indoor camera, priced at $199.99.

    Outside of its white-label offerings, Alarm.com also carries a variety of other brands, like a garage door controller from LiftMaster, which retails for about $40, and smart door locks from Yale and Schlage, which typically cost between $200 and $250.

    Does Alarm.com do monitoring?

    Alarm.com does not provide a professional monitoring service. Typically, your provider—a local security company or a brand like Link Interactive—will do the monitoring for you. Alarm.com just provides the equipment, like the video doorbell or outdoor camera, that helps you keep track of who’s on your doorstep.


    Equipment

    Alarm.com offers a variety of equipment, from video cameras with two-way audio to temperature sensors that work alongside smart thermostats. Keep in mind that pricing will depend on what security provider you use: we saw one of Alarm.com’s video cameras listed for $149 on one website and $212.50 on another.

    Outdoor security cameras

    Outdoor 1080p Wi-Fi Camera

      The outdoor security cameras that Alarm.com offers don’t have a ton of extras when it comes to features, but they do cover the basics. The Outdoor 1080p Wi-Fi Camera has—you guessed it!—a high-definition 1080p resolution with high dynamic range (HDR). It’s also equipped with a 117° field of view and night vision up to 40 feet.

      Alarm.com’s Dome Camera can be used both indoors and outdoors and relies on a Power over Ethernet (PoE) connection. So if your power goes out, your camera will keep going. It also has a 108° field of view and night vision up to an impressive 95 feet.

      The Alarm.com Mini Bullet Camera can be used both indoors and outdoors too. Its field of view is quite low at 86°, so it’s best for narrow rooms or porches. It relies on a PoE connection and has night vision capabilities up to about 95 feet.

      Indoor security cameras

      Indoor 1080p Wi-Fi Camera

        The Alarm.com Indoor 1080p Wi-Fi Camera is a compact HD camera that can be mounted or placed on a bookshelf. It has a night vision range up to 15 feet and a viewing angle of 113°.

        Alarm.com’s 180° HD Camera is an unobtrusive indoor camera with 1080p HD video, two-way audio, and a 180° viewing angle. It, too, offers night vision up to 15 feet, which makes it a good get for your living room.

        Video doorbells

        Slim Line Doorbell Camera

          The Wi-Fi Doorbell Camera is Alarm.com’s take on the classic Skybell HD video doorbell. It has all of the same features, too: 1080p resolution, two-way communication, and a 180° field of view.

          Similarly, the Alarm.com Slim Line Doorbell Camera is the white-label brand’s version of the Skybell Trim Plus. Again, you can expect the same features, including 1080p resolution and a 180° viewing angle.

          Smart thermostats

          Alarm.com Smart Thermostat

            The Z-Wave Plus compatible Alarm.com Smart Thermostat lets you control the temperature of your home from your mobile device. It also allows you to set schedules, so if you’re away from home the same time every day, you can set it to turn off while you’re away.

            If you have an electric baseboard heater, consider the Stelpro Line Voltage Thermostat. The Alarm.com-compatible smart thermostat allows you to make schedules, and it’s Z-Wave compatible—so if a couple of compatible window sensors note that you’ve opened your window, the thermostat will automatically turn off.

            The Alarm.com Z-Wave Communicating Thermostat is pretty basic, but you’ll still be able to remotely control it from your smartphone. It’s also Z-Wave compatible, so you can integrate it with other compatible smart devices in your home.

            Smart locks

            Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt

              Alarm.com also supports some of our favorite smart locks, including the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt. While the Schlage Connect lacks a built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, it’s Z-Wave compatible and can be integrated with Alexa, SmartThings, and Wink.

              The Kwikset Obsidian Z-Wave Plus is a sleek smart lock that’s compatible with both Z-Wave Plus and Zigbee. Its keyless design supports up to 30 customizable user codes, which is enough for you, your loved ones, and your dog walker. Plus, it works with Alexa for voice control.

              The Yale SL Key Free Touchscreen smart lock allows you to unlock the door by voice command using Siri on your Apple device or by one of up to 250 unique PIN codes. It’s also a boon if you have a pretty consistent day-to-day life: you can set the door to lock automatically when you leave for the morning, and you can create daily schedules to make sure the door is locked or unlocked at the same time every day.

              Additional compatibility

              Alarm.com also offers some other compatible products:

              • Door and window sensors
              • Glass break sensors
              • Motion sensors
              • Water and flood sensors
              • Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
              • Energy monitoring devices
              • Smart light bulbs
              • Smart dimmers
              • Smart outlets

              Automation

              Alarm.com can be accessed via app on Android and Apple devices. You can also control your Alarm.com app via voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. That way, when you’re too lazy to peel yourself off of the couch, you can still make sure your security system is armed.

              Professional or DIY?
              Protip

              With Alarm.com, you can choose between professional installation and the do-it-yourself route. If you want someone to come in and install the Alarm.com equipment for you, choose a provider that offers that service. If you’d rather go it alone, choose one of Alarm.com’s providers that specialize in self-installed security systems. They’ll test out the system before sending it over to you.

              Alarm.com app

              The Alarm.com app lets you control your system—from arming and disarming your alarm to accessing live video—from your mobile device. The app itself has decent reviews in the Google Play store and the Apple App store, with users saying it’s intuitive and easy to use.


              Installation

              Unless you’re a security provider, you won’t be able to purchase Alarm.com’s equipment. Instead, the brand sells directly to authorized service providers. If you choose a provider with professional installation, a representative will come to your home and set up and monitor the equipment for you. If you’d rather do it yourself, you can choose a provider that specializes in self-installed systems. They’ll still purchase Alarm.com’s equipment on your behalf and monitor your system, but you’ll be responsible for installing it in your home.


              Customer service

              Customer service is mixed for Alarm.com, but it seems that’s because of its confusing premise. Although Alarm.com provides equipment, it doesn’t do any monitoring. Any issues you have with Alarm.com equipment should be directed towards the security company that installed it.

              In our research, we found some complaints that users ran into issues where the Alarm.com app stopped responding to commands. Alarm.com representatives claim that issue is not typically because of the app but because of issues with the control panel. At best, it’s an issue your security provider can resolve. At worst, it means the quality of Alarm.com’s equipment is unreliable.

              If you’re a security provider that needs to get in touch with Alarm.com, practice patience. Reviewers say that customer support is difficult to reach, and a couple warn that you may be on hold for an hour or so.


              Alarm.com vs. the competition

              Alarm.com is pretty unique in that it provides equipment and mobile app access to security providers but not directly to consumers. Here’s how it shapes up against the competition.

              Ring Alarm

              Ring Alarm—Ring’s relatively new DIY security system—is easy to install and has some impressive features. Ring.com stands out by letting you decide how much equipment you need: you can choose from a 5-piece security system, an 8-piece security system, or a 14-piece system. You may be able to customize your Alarm.com equipment, too, depending on your security provider.

              ADT

              ADT offers professional monitoring and about 140 years of experience with home security. But it doesn’t offer a ton of control via mobile app. Comparatively, Alarm.com’s app is pretty robust and gets high marks from customers on its ease of use.

              SimpliSafe home security

              SimpliSafe offers a super customizable DIY way to up your home’s security. You can pick and choose what equipment works best for you, and you can decide between professional monitoring and monitoring your system on your own. If you’re not too concerned with working with a professional security company, or you’re looking to save some coin, SimpliSafe may be the way to go.


              Frequently asked questions

              Vivint does not use Alarm.com equipment as part of its security package
              A few national brands, like Link Interactive and Frontpoint Security, utilize Alarm.com equipment. It’s also often used by local security companies. You can search for nearby security providers that use Alarm.com equipment on Alarm.com’s website, using your zip code.

              Our recommendation

              While Alarm.com doesn’t offer a professional monitoring service, the brand offers a variety of security equipment and a robust app to control compatible security systems. Because of that, we recommend going with a brand that offers reliable equipment, an easy-to-use app, and professional monitoring all in one.

              >>Serious security. Check out our favorite security systems.