Tattletale Portable Security System ReviewBy - 04/19/2017
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, each system includes HALO Advanced Technology. 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 smashed 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-smashproof, the Tattletale Home 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 95 sensors within a 500-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. It is designed for indoor use, but if you want something you can use outdoors, there’s the $179.95 outdoor motion sensor. It is weather resistant and tamper-proof. It is designed to reduce false alarms using Dual-Beam detection, which prevents the detection of moving animals or other outdoor elements such as cars. 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). Three, they have a glass break sensor for $69.96, a wireless door & window sensor for $29.95, and a key fob for $34.95. Finally, they offer two new devices: the Rattler and the Loop.
The Rattler is a tamper detector that sells for $189.95. It uses the same technology to detect tampering as the Tattletale Home. The Rattler can sit on top of any device to monitor for movement, or you can attach it magnetically to a surface. The Loop is a $299 bike lock. It’s tamper-proof and weather resistant. It connects to your Tattletale Home unit and will let you know if anyone tries to move your bike or the lock itself.
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 $28.95 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.
For $20.95 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 their monitoring agreement states that you must provide 90 days notice in writing before canceling service. They also talk about waiting until your six month anniversary.
However, a Tattletale employee reached out to us explaining that they are truly contract-free, and customers, whether residential or commercial, can cancel anytime without penalty. Why they specifically mention 90-days advanced notice in their agreement is unclear to me.
- 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 an extended return period, all base units carry a two-year warranty, while a one-year warranty covers the sensors. Finally, the device is made and manufactured in the US, and that counts 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 lower than many of the home security systems we’ve reviewed, this is simply because they offer a portable system that we put through a traditional home security system algorithm. However, if I were going on a camping trip or if I had a need for portable security, I would trust my security to Tattletale. I think the device fills a niche need and does a darn good job of doing so.