Bay Alarm Home Security ReviewBy - 07/17/2015
Our Overall Rating
The Bottom Line
Bay Alarm Equipment & Protection
Bay Alarm has been providing security resources to over 100,000 clients both commercial and residential since their establishment in 1946. They use a wide collection of security products from prominent manufactures in the industry, such as: Honeywell, Bosch, GE Security, Linear, DMP, Videofied and Aiphone.
One of the most impressive pieces of equipment in their collection is the IP 5000 camera from Bosch that is equipped to capture clear license plate footage with 50 percent less storage and bandwidth requirement. And while that might be better suited to protect your business, Bay Alarm can protect your home too.
Bay Alarm’s security system provides users with fire, burglary and emergency protection. They use microcomputer technology to monitor system status, display relevant information on the keypad and initiate the appropriate alarm. Users can opt to program their system to send automatic status messages over a phone line to the monitoring station or you can upgrade to cellular/GSM based alarm monitoring, which is what we recommend. Cellular monitoring is faster and more reliable since the system will remain active even if your telephone line is disconnected.
Home Security Equipment
Bay Alarm systems start with a control panel. They offer multiple control panel options ranging from the basic to a full color touchscreen option. On option, the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad, can make the system more interactive. This keypad uses a touch interface, listens to limited voice commands, communicates through a web-server to any web-connected device, and controls your security system and home automation products. Microcomputer technology is used to monitor system status, display relevant information on the keypad and initiate the appropriate alarm. With this kind of keypad, you can control smart door locks, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, lighting and several sensors that provide perimeter and interior protection against intruders.
Bay Alarm also has a fairly robust offer to protect against home fires. BayGuard sensors are placed along hallways, bedroom and stairways, while heat detectors are installed in areas with a lot of steam or particulate matter. This makes smoke detection smarter and also helps to minimize in-home casualties.
The downside to all of this is that you can’t shop online and pick what you want. Instead, they use an in-home sales model to customize an equipment package. Similar to ADT, a sales person is sent to your home to help you assess what’s best for you. Once you’ve decided on a plan, professional installation is also required.
- Offered to California residents only.
- No DIY Systems. Bay Alarm’s technicians do all installations.
- 24/7 Emergency Monitoring
- A landline is not required for system installation. Cellular monitoring is required for added security.
- Systems include battery backup.
- Fire and Smoke Monitoring
Bay Alarm Home Automation 9.8 / 10
Bay Alarm’s Total Connect services are customizable and include 24-hour monitoring. If you have a compatible touch screen panel, the system can be controlled directly from the device. Otherwise, you will control your smart home from the mobile app. The Total Connect app will allow you to opt into smartphone alerts for events of your choosing. You will receive notifications when at home and also when you are away from home. The app allows you to arm and disarm your home security system and it allows for complete control over electronic appliances, locks, lights, and thermostats. The app is compatible with iPhones, iPads, Androids, and Blackberry.
In addition to alerts and control, you can create rules. For example, you can create a schedule that tells your door locks to lock every night at 8pm. Or one that turns your lights off every night at 11:00pm. While this may sound like a parlor trick, it actually increases your home’s security by creating the illusion that your house is occupied – even when it’s not.
Beyond smart home automation, Bay Alarm also offers Total Connect Video. This feature allows users to receive 10 second video clips when different events are triggered and view live video footage from anywhere.
- Wireless and Wired Camera Options
- Remote Monitoring
- Total Connect app can be used from Android, Blackberry and iOS device to monitor the system.
- Live video surveillance is made possible with the total connect video.
Customer Service & Support 7 / 10
Bay Alarm provides access to Baynet, an online service made to support their customers. Using the system, you can access the customer center, review your account, make payments, and request system updates and repairs. While the system is robust, it isn’t complete. One problem? They do not provide adequate user manuals for devices.
A lack of online information is somewhat negated by the fact that they offer 24-hour emergency repair service. While you may not be able to resolve your own problem online, should something go wrong with your system, they will get someone out to help you. Oh, but there is a catch. While they will send someone to help you, it might cost you. Your equipment includes a one-year warranty. After that, you will come out of pocket for both parts and labor. To compare, Frontpoint Security offers a 3-year warranty on equipment. But even if your Frontpoint equipment wasn’t covered, it would still be cheaper. Some companies like Frontpoint have a full device replacement policy. If a device isn’t working, they will send you a new one that is. If your warranty has run dry, you pay for the part only. With Bay Alarm, you will pay for the part, but also for the service. Some customers say that service charges can reach toward $100.
Beyond 24/7 365 technical support, they have other policies, both good and bad. Good. They offer a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your system, they will provide a full refund so long as you let them know in 90 days. Bad. They hold the right to increase your monthly fee, even if you are under contract. Bad. They are regional to California. Local company = awesome. But, when it comes to relocating, you might lose. Relocation is possible within their service areas only, but once you leave the borders of California, you are out of luck.
- Family Owned
- A+ Rating with the BBB
- Relocation guaranteed in service areas only
- Auto Renew Policy Warning