Pros and Cons
- No Contract and Subscriptions
- Security System, Cameras & Smart Home Provider
- Low-Cost & Affordable
- No Professional Monitoring Option
- Limited Equipment Choice
- Low Customer Rating
iSmartAlarm is a DIY alarm company that provides self-monitored systems. Their products have low long-term costs due to the fact that there are no monthly fees. They also don't hide premium features behind a paywall.
iSmartAlarm has a poor customer service track record. They also lack professional monitoring options unlike other DIY companies that offer optional professional monitoring.
iSmartAlarm is still a solid option but they've lagged in recent years. They used to be one of our top picks for a DIY alarm company, but their lack of professional monitoring option and limited product lineup forced us to reconsider our ranking, placing them behind abode, Nest, and Ring.
Who's It For?
iSmartAlarm is for homeowners and renters alike, but it's not ideal for everybody. While its flexibility is appealing to customers who are looking for a system that just goes with the flow, iSmartAlarm doesn't offer professional monitoring nor can you find a third-party monitoring company that works with the system. That said, if you're looking for a self-monitored option and you're sure you won't need professional monitoring in the future, iSmartAlarm is a good option.
iSmartAlarm Sales Process
To get started with iSmartAlarm, you need to buy a system. iSmartAlarm's sales process is purely done online, which means no dealing with pushy sales reps and you get to truly customize your security system for your specific needs.
iSmartAlarm lets you build your system from scratch, but they recommend buying in packages and bundles. For one, packages and bundles will help you save. They are offered at a lower price when compared to systems built from scratch. In addition, iSmartAlarm customized their packages for different purposes. There are packages designed for single-story homes with 1 to 2 bedrooms, average-sized homes with 3 bedrooms or more, and large-sized homes. Their packages are also tailored to different customer needs. For example, they have a package built specifically for customers who want to use a combination of sensors and cameras and they also have bundles that only include security sensors. Of course, after choosing a package, you're free to expand your system by adding more components.
iSmartAlarm Equipment Review
iSmartAlarm's equipment packages and bundles are all built around CubeOne — a hub which functions as the heart and brain of the entire system. Its main job is to tie together all components into a single comprehensive system while simultaniously linking the system to you via the iSmartAlarm smartphone app. The hub lacks an interface, so it relies mostly on the app for control. Using the app, you can relay commands to the hub, like arming or disarming the system.
CubeOne is reliant on both internet and power. It must be plugged into a power source and connected to Wi-Fi to work. It's vulnerable to power outages and internet failures. If it loses connection to either one of those, it loses all its functionality.
Equipment That Controls
There are also devices you can use to control your iSmartAlarm system besides the smartphone app.
First, iSmartAlarm offers a remote keypad. Using the keypad, you can arm or disarm your security system, enter Home Mode, and trigger a panic alarm. You can also customize it and have as many as seven users, with each user having a different disarm code. That way, you can monitor who arms and disarms your security system. In addition, you can create conditional permissions based on the time, date, or day.
Second, iSmartAlarm offers Remote Tags. Like the remote keypad, Remote Tags let you arm or disarm your security system and trigger a panic alarm. In an emergency situation, simply press the panic button to make your system's siren and sound and send alerts to your emergency contacts. Unlike the keypad, it has only four buttons and it's portable. You can take it with you anywhere you go as a keychain.
Equipment That Detects
In order to provide protection to your home, iSmartAlarm offers motion sensors and door/window sensors. These two types of sensors wirelessly connect to CubeOne and relay any possible intrusion they detect. In turn, CubeOne sends alerts to you, the user, over Wi-Fi by generating SMS, phone, or push notifications.
Over the years, iSmartAlarm has offered several security cameras. Currently, however, only two remain available: Spot and iCamera KEEP.
Spot is a small and inexpensive camera with a decent resolution, night vision, and motion detection. It also has a smart listening feature that allows it to detect the sound of smoke alarms or carbon monoxide sensors. It doesn't detect smoke or carbon monoxide itself, but it can warn you if it hears your existing smoke alarms go off. We've tested the camera before and compared it to other inexpensive cameras in this article.
iCamera KEEP is also an indoor camera, and like Spot, it has a decent image quality and it offers night vision and motion detection. However, it does have an added feature: pan and tilt. The camera's head can rotate, allowing you to gain a full 360-degree perspective of the room where it's in. It also slightly tilts upward and downward. Like Spot, it can also detect the sound of smoke alarms.
Finally, in the smart home department, iSmartAlarm offers a smart plug. It plugs directly into your wall outlet and lets you control appliances or electronics plugs into itself. For example, you can plug a table lamp into it to remotely turn the lamp on or off. You can also schedule to turn your appliances on or off to give the impression that you're home even though you're not.
iSmartAlarm Monitoring Review
As mentioned earlier, iSmartAlarm is a self-monitored security system. What does that mean? It means it's up to you to monitor it. All alerts are sent to you and it's your job to verify them. The task of calling the police also falls upon you. That said, iSmartAlarm is best for homeowners who want and can be hands-on in monitoring their homes.
iSmartAlarm provides helpful features to make the task of monitoring your home a bit easier.
Alerts generation is a vital feature in every self-monitored security system. iSmartAlarm generates three types of alerts: push notifications, phone, and SMS.
Push notifications are notifications sent to your smartphone via the iSmartAlarm app. Your phone must be connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data to receive push alerts, and because of that, push alerts are easy to miss.
Phone call alerts are much more reliable. Using your internet connection, iSmartAlarm dials your phone number and up to five other emergency contacts and plays a recorded message when answered.
iSmartAlarm also sends SMS alerts. Unfortunately, phone call and SMS alerts are not available in area codes 867 and 907.
If you have security cameras, you can use the iSmartAlarm app to verify alerts before calling the cops. All iSmartAlarm cameras connect directly to Wi-Fi and they are capable of streaming live video feeds to the smartphone app. Simply open up the app, select the camera you want to view, and the feed will start streaming. Take note that this feature requires that your phone is connected to Wi-Fi or a has a strong mobile data.
While live streaming, you can also use two-way talk to potentially scare away an intruder or simply talk the person on the camera's end.
iSmartAlarm Customer Service Review
iSmartAlarm's customer support is accessible through phone and email. iSmartAlarm's phone support is available Mondays to Fridays between 8:30 AM and 6:00 PM. Our testers had hands-on experience with iSmartAlarm's customer support, and according to them, they are quick to respond to email queries (less than 4 hours) and they answered their questions thoroughly. However, they noted that iSmartAlarm's phone line went straight to voicemail during the time of testing.
As far as policies, iSmartAlarm has two policies that you're going to want to know before buying their products.
First, all products are covered by a 1-year limited warranty. In iSmartAlarm's own words,1
"Under this Limited Warranty, if a defect arises and a valid claim is received by iSmartAlarm within the Warranty Period regarding the Product, at its option and to the extent permitted by law, iSmartAlarm will either (1) repair the Product, using new or refurbished replacement parts or (2) exchange the Product with a new or refurbished Product. "
Second, iSmartAlarm only has a 30-day return period. Within 30 days after the purchase of a product, you can requests a return material authorization (RMA) from iSmartAlarm. Only with an RMA can you return any equipment. Take note that the return shipping and other takes will be paid by you, and that iSmartAlarm denies all responsibility to damages to the product during shipping.