LifeShield Home Security Advantage review
LifeShield, which became part of DirecTV from 2013 to 2017, is now an unbiased operation. As such, it has long passed all-in on domestic security as a service. You’re now not buying a home security system here; you’re signing a period agreement in which you agree to pay a monthly rate to apply a professionally monitored home safety system. This is intended to be a turnkey operation, so it’s exceptional to bear in mind carefully before you lock into the three-yr settlement. That is going double since the equipment should be back if you don’t renew the payment.
LifeShield offers two primary setups: a restricted Security Essentials kit for $29.95 in line with the month and the extra sizable package reviewed here called Security Advantage for $39.Ninety-five consistent with the month. The most crucial distinction is that the Security Advantage kit includes cloud-primarily based video monitoring, while the Security Essentials package does now not. From a sheer hardware perspective, the box is one of the most exhaustive I’ve encountered. While the components inside the box appear to alternate a chunk from month to month, right here’s what turned into included within the kit I turned into sent for review:
[ Further reading: The best innovative home systems ]
A base station with an included siren, battery backup, and mobile backup
A separate numeric keypad
Two motion sensors
Six doors/window sensors
An indoor safety digital camera (in all likelihood, relying on the special provisions of the day). A “fireplace protection sensor” is designed to concentrate on the sound of a smoke detector going off and relay that on your protection device. A “security touchpad” that’s genuinely an Asus Memo Pad 7 skinned to run LifeShield’s Android app exclusively. LifeShield notes the retail cost of all this equipment at more than $1,500, but an “on the spot cut-price” gets it for you for an activation charge of simply $99.99, plus the month-to-month monitoring bill.
The product listing can be custom designed throughout your initial configuration (with extra merchandise to be had, such as an outside digicam, flood sensor, freeze sensor, glass-wreck sensor, or different devices of most of the above). But don’t get too stuck up inside the developing charge tag. A rep I spoke to online promised access to promotions that could get me the extra system at no cost. Be persistent.
Remember but that every one of these tools is leased. When your contract expires, or you cancel early (early termination costs are essentially the same as the final fee of the settlement), all the gadgets have to be lower back to LifeShield. To save you the mathematics, $a hundred plus $40 per month for 36 months comes out to $1,540, which isn’t a horrible deal considering that it consists of 24/7 monitoring and a cloud video garage. If the gadget becomes more tremendous robust than it’s far, it is probably really worth buying. But because it stands, it simply isn’t.
Let’s start with setup.
LifeShield started whacking me with email before I even had the hardware in hand. As it sat on my desk, ready its flip for an overview, LifeShield pelted me with seven messages over the route of a week, plus as a minimum one cellphone name, all encouraging me to install the gadget pronto. LifeShield also knowledgeable me thru a shape letter that my municipality requires residents to acquire a permit from the city if they install a protection device. A copy of this allows it to be remitted to LifeShield or terminate its monitoring carrier.
I, in reality, have a permit for a security device, but I don’t preserve a duplicate of it on hand, and I assume few owners do because nobody has ever asked for a copy of it in the five years I’ve lived here. You are probably in for a journey to city hall if you decide to put in any safety system, in case your nearby government requires a permit. Still, LifeShield’s oversight feels a bit Orwellian.
When my hardware arrived, I became confronted with a titanic series of gear. Opening the box found out four more bins interior, and then more containers inside the ones. I counted 14 bins overall—now not, including all of the little plastic luggage in each box. I mention this because unboxing and unbagging provide your setup time while also creating a large amount of waste. It’s now not even all that adequately prepared, both: The strength supply for the numeric keypad was discovered inside the box with the base station equipment.
While it’s a massive hit, certainly there’s a better way to deal with all this initial setup requires a hardwired ethernet connection from the bottom station for your router. While the bottom station is supposed to work wirelessly, this never worked for me, possibly because no antenna was blanketed for the base station. Setup is fine done via a web browser, but control can also be carried out thru a downloadable app in your clever tool or via the covered tablet. In popular, I determined operating on LifeShield through the web app the fastest and maximum reliable approach.
LifeShield’s various sensors are pre-registered to work with the bottom station, so no additional configuration needs to be undertaken once you interact with the batteries by pulling out the usual plastic tab. All the tools are on the largish aspect, and none of it has a constant design theme, all in exceptional sun shades of white and one-of-a-kind stages of glossiness. These are reasonably-priced sensors, to be sure, but they work—each the door/window sensors and the motion sensor triggering correct indicators. Alerts may be set to ship via push notification, electronic mail, or each.
During setup, I had preliminary trouble with the digital camera, which requires a hardwired ethernet connection to your router. Following the instructions to unplug energy and the link of the facts, the camera fed facts to the dashboard, though it simultaneously claimed to be disconnected. Overnight, this difficulty corrected itself, as did trouble with the key fob, which didn’t make paintings in any respect when I first tried to set it up. After disassembling it and letting it sit in a single day in portions, I placed all of it returned together, and, like magic, it too operated generally.