Tattletale Portable Security System ReviewBy - 04/24/2016
Total Score: 6.23 / 10
This portable system can protect you anywhere – camping, moving, in a temporary home.
Lacks video surveillance.
The Bottom Line
The Tattletale is portable and the perfect solution for RVs, renters, and people on the go.
If you are planning to adopt a mobile lifestyle like the Wynns, who live in an RV, or perhaps the pro baseball player who lives in a van, there is still a home security solution for you – Tattletale. Tattletale’s patented cell-burst HALO technology has protected the United States Constitution and even the Rolling Stone’s tour bus. It’s a wireless, cellular solution that is completely portable.
Protection & Equipment 9/10
As Tattletale is a portable system, it has a limited amount of components it can support. However, their HALO Advanced Technology is integrated into each system. This technology allows components to communicate through walls and to the base unit even when placed up to 300 feet away. This wide range of protection means that you need less equipment to cover the space you are trying to protect.
With technology that protects nuclear power plants, Black Hawk helicopters, and the United States Constitution, Tattletale’s dependable security relies on HALO Technology.
The Tattletale system starts with the base. The base unit is equipped with an integrated cellular chip for wireless communication and includes battery backup that can support the system for up to 20 hours. The base unit also has a built-in accelerometer, which will notify you if anyone tries to move or tamper with the unit. In fact, if anyone tampers with the unit at all, an alert can be sent to you or the authorities in six tenths of a second. And while we haven’t tested Tattletale, others have and others have smashes the device. In a review on HomeDepot.com, a user shares his experience after a home break-in.
The Bad guy got in the house (through) the garage, set the unit off, got scared, and unplugged the unit and smashed it in the garage. The unit, as you can see, is destroyed, but it did its job.
On top of a cellular chip, battery-backup, and being semi smash proof, the Tattletale base unit is equipped with a motion sensor, a siren, and a strobe. With your initial purchase, you will receive one base unit, a key fob, and 30 days of free text and email alerts. The initial setup costs $399 and comes in your choice of white or black. If you need more protection, you can add additional components as needed.
If you want to expand your coverage, you can select from several add-on devices. All of the devices are 100% wireless and they are all compatible with the base unit. One base unit can manage up to 50 sensors within a 300 foot radius.
For one, Tattletale sells a motion sensor for $59.95. The sensor uses the same passive infrared technology that is in the base unit, but can help expand coverage as needed. Two, they sell a connected smoke detector for $89.95. If smoke is detected, you will get a notification on your phone or you can have the system alert the fire department (assuming you are paying for service). Finally, they have a glass break sensor for $69.96, a wireless door & window sensor for $29.95, and a key fob for $34.95.
Monitoring Isn’t Free
Tattletale’s website reads as though it’s a self-monitored / professionally monitored hybrid with the option to add and remove service as needed. This is true, but what they don’t tell you is that without service, Tattletale will do very little besides make noise. Service is required for a cellular connection (chip included), alerts, and pretty much everything else that makes Tattletale a security system.
If you want service, you have two options:
One, you can pay for professional monitoring at $29.95 per month. Professional monitoring will connect you with a monitoring center in case of a burglary or a fire. The service is contract free and you can add and remove service month-to-month. However, if you are willing to sign a one year contract, you will receive a slight discount, bringing the cost to $25.95 per month of $311.40 for the year.
For a lower fee of $19.95 per month, you can activate the system and receive interactive alerts without professional monitoring. The catch here is that you must sign-up for one year of service.
Tattletale markets itself as a contract free option and I certainly haven’t heard any complaints contradicting this statement. However, it is interesting to note that the monitoring agreement you must sign specifically states that you must provide 90 days advance notice in writing before cancelling service.
I’m going to assume that this is related to their business service and not residential. However, making residential customers sign to this is not okay in my book.
- Control Panel with Battery Back-up
- No Drilling
- Tamperproof Design
Home Automation 0.7/10
Tattletale is a portable security system and as such, they do not offer home automation or video surveillance. They do have the option to set up text alerts and email alerts. This feature is included for free for the first 30 days following your initial purchase. After that, you can pay for it as a standalone service or you can pay for professional monitoring which includes text and email alerts through their mobile app.
Currently, Tattletale supports an app for iOS and Android. The app allows users to remotely arm and disarm the system, manage multiple locations, check your system status, and more.
Customer Service & Support 9/10
Tattletale provides good support to customers. They hold an A+ rating with the BBB and offer customers a 60 day money back guarantee. If you are researching on their website, don’t let the contradicting terminology fool you. Though their website occasionally states that they offer a 30 day guarantee, the 30 day guarantee is for commercial units; a 60 day guarantee is for residential units. In addition to a long return period, all base units carry a two year warranty, while the sensors are covered by a one year warranty. Finally, the device is made and manufactured in the US and that accounts for something in my book.
- 60-Day Money Back Guarantee.
- Good for Renters and for Homeowners
- A+ BBB Reputation
- 18+ years of Experience
Though Tattletale scored in the middle of the pack, it is simply because they are a portable system that we put through a traditional home security algorithm. However, if I were going on a camping trip or if I had a need for portable security, I would absolutely trust my security to Tattletale. I think the device fills a niche need in home security and does a darn good job of doing so.