Oplink Hands on Owner ReviewBy - 01/12/2015
The holidays are over but my house is still covered in new toys, glitter, and random legos. If you’ve ever unluckily stepped on a loose Lego barefooted, you may think that laying down a minefield of these toy bricks is enough to secure your home from intruders. It really is a well laid plan but perhaps not as efficient as one controlled by a cell phone.
What Is Oplink?
Since you’re here you probably already have an idea about what Oplink is. However, for a more formal definition it’s safe to say that Oplink is a wireless plug and play platform that you can manipulate through a simple handheld gizmo via a mobile app.
Let’s kick things off by looking at the overall cost for the system. Securing your home is important but the last thing you want to do is spend more on automation than your mortgage and living necessities.
I was really impressed by how accessible Oplink security system are. You can purchase it from several online retailers such as Amazon, Microsoft Store, Walmart and Sears. If you are thinking about investing in Oplink, you can choose one of two options to get started: the TripleShield package or the AlarmShield package, both of which are do-it-yourself wireless systems. AlarmShield is a basic sensor-driven package available for $199.99 at most retailers or on sale here for under $150. It is designed to provide real-time alerts and intrusion alarms, but it does not provide surveillance coverage.
The TripleShield package adds two wireless IP cameras for a price of $285.00. It allows for intrusion alarms, multi-location video surveillance and real-time alerts through a cellular or broadband network. Infrared motion detectors, a 16 gigabyte memory stick to record intrusion, two remote control key chains, contact sensors, 3 window decals and two door sensors are included – not too bad if you ask me. With the free mobile app, you can control all facets of your system remotely. Just think of it as the portal into your system.
While some Oplink features are free, they do have premium packages that require a monthly payment. The Premium package attracts a charge of $19.99 per month. You can learn more about the different packages here.
Setting Up The System
We tested the TripleShield package with dual cameras and sensors. Setup was a breeze and the system worked equally well when tested with the Android and iPhone app. Oplink’s system requires a broadband connection and power to work. In total it took about 15 minutes to setup the system as many components were peel and stick. Also we chose to set the cameras on a countertop but you can wall-mount them. All you have to do is plug in the Optical Processing Unit (OPU) into your router, and download the free Oplink app. The app is compatible with iOS, Androids and Windows devices. Once the app is installed on the target device, you can begin placing the sensors in the desired locations. By using the sticky pads to place contact sensors and the mounting kit for the motion detector and panic siren, you’ll be done before you know it. If the motion sensors are placed too far away from the OPU they will not be recognized by the system, so try to place it in a central location in your home. Once setup is completed, you can rename all the sensors on your system – an essential step to making alerts more meaningful and helpful.
Likewise, pairing the cameras with the hub and activating them is relatively easy. After you have paired the camera with the hub, you will need to wait a few minutes before you are able to view videos from the app. The hub runs everything wirelessly through the Oplink cloud and frequently communicates with each device on the network. After new devices are added the hub automatically recognizes them as soon as they are plugged in. The Oplink cloud will also provide you with software updates.
Everything is controlled using the Oplink mobile app – from live streaming videos with night vision to checking on the status of your door and window sensors, among other devices on the system. You can use the app to play back videos and view multiple feeds at once in a split screen; add a 16G USB thumb drive and you will have all the storage space you need. Oplink cameras are equipped to record both video and audio, so you can listen in on exactly what is happening.
As mentioned earlier, everything can literally be setup with minutes. On a scale of 1-10 for difficulty, with 1 being the least difficult, I would give TripleShield package a 2. Therefore, with minimal stress even my mom and dad could get the system running in a few minutes.
What I like About Oplink
The most obvious benefit of setting up the TripleShield is that you will be made aware of burglars in your home from any location. Sure, there are many systems out there with the same feature, but the Oplink cameras are truly remarkable. Even if it is midnight and its pitch black in your house, the camera will still see what’s happening – and so will you.
The cameras have the ability to detect motion given off by an intruder, which will trigger the siren and send an alert to your phone. You can set up alerts for intrusion, fire, smoke, flooding, unsafe carbon monoxide levels and unsafe low temperature in your home that could cause damage to the plumbing. Oplink does not provide professional monitoring so this won’t automatically send the cops running to your door but it gives you just enough time to report the break-in, whether you’re at home or chilling at the bar.
Another feature that I admire about Oplink’s cameras is that: when the alarm goes off, the cameras on your system record 30 seconds of video automatically 5 seconds before the alarm is triggered and save it to the hard drive. Also, TripleShield can support up to eight cameras scattered throughout your home so you can monitor multiple locations at once from your smartphone using the app.
I’ve already mentioned some features of the app but it doesn’t end there. You can use it to view a timeline of alerts with corresponding videos that show you exactly what caused the alert. You’ll even be able to forward these videos to an email by the touch of a button – useful information for the cops or an insurance company. An individual email will be sent for each camera on your system and if you have subscribed to Oplink’s premium service your designated contact will also receive an SMS alert.
Aside from the mobile app, you can also use the keychain remote to arm your system. However, while you can arm/disarm the system remotely from the app worldwide you will need to be within range of the main unit to use the keychain to control the system. Another advantage of using the app over the keychain is the fact that an audio announcement is made whenever you change modes; but when using the keychain there is no direct feedback to let you know if the system is armed or not.
The Other Side of The Coin
I’ve yet to come across a system that is 100% gold but that does not mean that they are not worth the investment. If you care about aesthetics and you’re looking for a system that compliments the design of your home, Oplink may not be for you. The system is not the most attractive but if you are creative you can always design an aesthetically compatible case to cover the sensors and cameras.
I’ve mentioned before that Oplink does not provide professional monitoring, all packages have to be self-monitored and in some cases this may put you at a disadvantage. A professionally monitored system will offer you extra protection and a peace of mind. Don’t expect the same level of support you would receive from a hardwired service provider like FrontPoint.
Overall the system is a good, easy option. You don’t have to understand what pieces work with what. All the Oplink pieces work together and they’ve created multiple options that are truly plug and play.