The Live Watch Home Security system is just one of dozens of DIY protection networks that have burst onto the scene in the past several years, using an array of older sensors alongside new technologies like external IP cameras to give homeowners a cheaper solution to industry-standard alternatives like Bay or ADT.
But will Live Watch really be able to trust the average user (like myself) with something as technologically complex as home security? Read on in my Live Watch Home Security System review to find out!
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Live Watch makes it simple for you to protect your whole home from the comfort of your smartphone.
Summary: The Live Watch Home Security system takes the hassle out of keeping your living space safe from intruders, and excels thanks to smartphone integrations courtesy of Alarm.com.
What We Liked
- Simple setup (with the help of an agent)
- Cheap monthly monitoring
- Alarm.com integration is top notch
What We Didn’t
- Lacks hardware integration options beyond Z-Wave
- Door/window sensors are finicky on molded surfaces
LiveWatch Home Security System Specs
Hardware and Design
Our evaluation setup included the entire kit and kaboodle that you can get in the Live Watch range, including seven door / window sensors, IP camera, two glass break detectors, motion detector and SmartIQ image sensor.
Overall – like the Scout alarm – nothing on the Live Watch system is particularly flashy or beautiful, but this is intentional by design. You do not want a motion detector or door sensor to attract the attention of a potential burglar if it wraps your site in advance, as this will only give them more information about the parts of the house that are protected, t.
The minimalist white-on-white accents of the devices are design at its most discreet, which again, is a good thing for us. As for the SmartIQ panel, its touchscreen was sufficiently responsive, while the two Home and Alert buttons were bright enough to be visible even in a dark room. If you needed to use this panel in a flash in an emergency (for example, a fire was raging in your kitchen), it would be fairly easy to get competent authorities to be alerted within seconds or less.
Setup and Installation
From opening the box to the fully functional system, it took about an hour and a half to be on the phone with a designated technician who was very accommodating and helpful at every step of the process.
Read More: Canary Home Security Review
The essential difference between a system like Live Watch and your ADT or Bay equivalent is that instead of paying for a technology to come to you, you simply sit on the phone and this same technology guides you through the configuration, from the acquisition of sensors installed / synchronized to create all necessary passwords on the panel itself.
Using adhesive pads on the back of each sensor made everything that was in place a breeze, rather than drilling into the brackets, which was also an option for anyone who does not trust the adhesive for tasks such as installing a motion sensor outside or under a canopy.
Software and Integrations
Despite running a custom version of the Android operating system, we were disappointed to see that the LiveWatch SmartIQ panel only had Z-Wave compatibility, and that was it.
Certainly, Z-Wave is ideal for many hardware integrations – be it a smart lock or a smart lamp – but personally, unless you’re on board IFTTT and Nest, you’re officially late. If the lack of IFTTT was enough to frighten you however, adding compatibility with the Alarm.com system might just be enough to bring you back.
The Alarm.com application is fully functional and makes managing your security system of your smartphone a dream come true. Just about any task you can think of can be processed directly from your phone, including arming and disarming via a simple 3D touch widget (at least in the case of my iPhone 7). Here you can do whatever you want, from the video that is pumped from the IP camera to the thermostat temperature (if your thermostat is Z-Wave compatible).
A terrifying scenario suggests that modern burglars work both as domestic invaders and network infiltrators, stealing your passwords and disabling your entire security system by guessing (or storing your password) your Alarm.com password . This is probably a little exaggerated on my part to assume, but keep in mind that if for some reason a potential invader was able to get your Alarm.com password, it would have the full control of your entire rear-end security system.
All in all, Live Watch’s home security system was incredibly powerful, although we did not expect anything less important to protect your home or apartment from intrusions. When testing each individual sensor, they all went off when they were supposed to be, and were rated as “closed” when all the windows and doors of the house were properly closed.
Read More: Netgear Arlo Q Security Camera Review
A small problem occurred when we installed the door sensor, originally spacing both parts of the device about 4 mm apart. Apparently both parts should be roughly touched so that the sensor recognizes the door closed, which could prove problematic for buyers who have some sort of molding around their door jam.
In order to trigger the glass break detector at a distance of 10 feet, we had to make about 75dB of noise according to the decibel companion we had in hand. Although this is about as strong as we expected a broken window to sound, the detector struggled to fire at a greater distance than that, so when you install it, make sure it is 10 feet or less.
Finally, the IP camera, both clear day and night, thanks to the infrared sensors included, gave it a night vision that could see about 20 feet before losing its clarity.
As tested, our system would run the average owner (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living / dining room covered) around $ 350 in advance, and $ 49.95 per month for a 24/7 live monitoring plan added. It’s cheaper than most of the competition, and just around what we would expect to pay for a full home security system that doubles as a DIY solution.
The Live Watch Home Security system is a solid option if you are trying to find a solution between low-end DIY options for smartphone like Scout Alarm and home security eruptions as you should pay with Bay or ADT. The SmartIQ panel integrates seamlessly into many different Z-Wave devices and the Alarm.com smartphone application is unique in convenience and easy monitoring options.
The Live Watch technology that helped us set up the system made things as stupid as possible, and no matter what the break-in scenario, we threw the system one (or five) steps forward of the game. want a system that offers lower monthly costs, a one-year limited contract option and does not break the bank, Live Watch is the one to get.