If you’re in the market for a DIY, self-monitored home security system, it’s worth taking a look at iSmartAlarm. It’s one of the leaders in the self-monitored security space alongside brands like Canary and Arlo. And for the most part, we find iSmartAlarm to be pretty competitive within the DIY security market.
iSmartAlarm pros and cons
- One-time reasonable fee
- Easy DIY setup
- Straightforward self-monitoring
- Aesthetic hardware
- No option for professional monitoring
- Poor home automation integration
iSmartAlarm package options
|Package name||Price||View package|
|Smart Home Video||$299.99||View package|
|Pan & Tilt Smart Home Video||$349.99||View package|
Data current as of 12/11/2018. Pricing and packages are subject to change.
iSmartAlarm offers up coupon codes for some of its more expensive security system packages, so don’t let the initial prices above deter you before you check the website.
iSmartAlarm offers up coupon codes for some of its more expensive security system packages, so don’t let the initial prices above deter you before you check the website. Discounts are subject to change, but at the time of writing this, both video bundles are discounted 40% or more.
What package should you get?
Every iSmartAlarm package starts with the CubeOne, the main hub for the iSmartAlarm system. From there, systems scale up from the Starter package to the more advanced systems with video integration.
Even for those with the simplest security needs, we wouldn’t recommend the starter package. Unless you’re living in a small apartment, you probably won’t have enough equipment to effectively monitor your home.
That said, we definitely recommend spending a little more to get a camera and add video integration to your system. The video integration will give you a much better idea as to what’s going on at home while you’re not there.
To get a feel for the setup process I brought an iSmartAlarm system home for the day. From the time I started the unboxing I set up the iSmartAlarm system within an hour. The contact sensors worked out of the box and adhered directly to my windows, doors, and frames. The motion sensor and Spot+ camera came with mounting plates and screws, but the Spot+ can also stand freely on a shelf or table.
Minor video troubles
Although the CubeOne and sensors were easy to get up and running, I had a little more trouble getting the video to work correctly with the Spot+ camera. At first I had a hard time connecting the camera to my iSmartAlarm system. But once I moved the camera to a different location closer to the router it connected.
I have a pretty decent internet speed and the camera still had trouble connecting from the other side of the room. Depending on your home Wi-Fi, you might run into the same issue. It could have been a fluke, but it could also limit your video placement options in your home.
Straightforward mobile app
The iSmartAlarm mobile app is admittedly barebones, but I had no trouble using it as intended. iSmartAlarm’s app functionality had some issues in the past but those were fixed when I tested. I had a pretty smooth experience controlling the system from my phone.
The iSmartAlarm app shows which doors are open and closed
Control the iSmartAlarm system from your the app
In addition to the base packages noted above, iSmartAlarm offers a whole bunch of extra devices that you can integrate into your security system and smart home. Some extras include a key tag that allows you to control the system without the app, a keypad that lets you control the system from within your home, and a smart switch outlet that allows you to control appliances and electronics from anywhere.
The CubeOne is a hub between your router and the iSmartAlarm devices throughout your home. It also works as the alarm for your system when your system detects a break-in, setting off a loud alarm that you can deactivate in the app.
Once you connect the CubeOne to your router, the rest of the system is wireless (unless you have a video package). The CubeOne acts as a link between your router and the wireless equipment throughout your home.
There’s something cute about iSmartAlarm’s small, box-like Spot+ camera. But above all else, this is a versatile camera loaded with useful features like HD video, night vision, and two-way audio in case you need to communicate with your kids or pets back home. This camera is handy enough that we’d recommend spending the extra money on a package that includes video.
iSmartAlarm motion sensors can detect movement up to 30 feet away, giving you plenty of options for setup locations in your home. The motion sensor can be set to trigger the CubeOne’s alarm as soon as it detects a motion. That might not be ideal if you have pets roaming around the house at night, but it can be a nice added layer of security in conjunction with contact sensors.
Every iSmartAlarm security package comes with two or more wireless battery-powered contact sensors. These sensors work on windows, doors, and cabinets so you can remotely monitor for unexpected entries. From the app you can set them to either trigger a 110 dB alarm or a much gentler chime for your doors.
iSmartAlarm gets mixed reviews from its users. A majority of its reviewers favorably note they’re very easy to set up and operate. And those reviewing iSmartAlarm negatively most often run into equipment glitches and are frustrated with the company’s customer support.
Do we recommend iSmartAlarm for DIY home security?
If you’re looking to go the DIY security route, iSmartAlarm offers premium equipment with plenty of flexibility to make its systems work for any home. Not only that, but its equipment is easy to set up and operate, which is often not the case with self-installed, self-monitored systems.
While we found the starter package to be too light on equipment for anyone’s needs, the Plus and Deluxe packages should give you all the tools you need to help secure your entire home. And as we mentioned above, we think it’s worth the extra money to get your hands on the Spot+ camera.
Of course, if you’re not sold on a self-monitored security system, or if you’d prefer the reassurance that comes with a 24/7 professionally monitored security system, take a look at our list of the best home security systems.
Do you use iSmartAlarm for your home security? We’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below.