Home Security Systems

Omayga

Silver Knight of the Realm
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31d 21h 16m
Pretty interested in getting one, anyone have feedback on something they like or hate? Ideally wireless / bluetooth would be best as I dont want to hardwire stuff if I can help it. Looking for something midrange for a 3000ish sq ft house.

Stuff in the range of SimpliSafe / Nest looks pretty good, but I dont see much negative reviews or how problematic the stuff is. Ideally looking at a camera or two, glass-break sensor, window / door sensors and maybe motion lights for outside

Something I can setup and install myself would be great, Im ok with the subscription services that monitor it (I think).

Thanks in advance
 

lurker

Molten Core Raider
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44d 9h 33m
Pretty interested in getting one, anyone have feedback on something they like or hate? Ideally wireless / bluetooth would be best as I dont want to hardwire stuff if I can help it. Looking for something midrange for a 3000ish sq ft house.

Stuff in the range of SimpliSafe / Nest looks pretty good, but I dont see much negative reviews or how problematic the stuff is. Ideally looking at a camera or two, glass-break sensor, window / door sensors and maybe motion lights for outside

Something I can setup and install myself would be great, Im ok with the subscription services that monitor it (I think).

Thanks in advance

I'm evaluating a SimpliSafe system. The hardware seems first rate. The Ring system that I looked at compares with the older SimpliSafe Gen2 stuff. The newer SimpliSafe Gen3 seems pretty sophisticated. There are also all the different sensors like entry, motion, broken glass, water, fire, key fob etc. The Ring system is not as comprehensive.

It was very simple to install, but if I keep it, I've got a lot more sensors to purchase. I bought the keypad, base station and 3 entry sensors and an indoor camera (free as a promo) for a little over $200. I'll be close to $450-$500 when I'm done. Lots of windows to protect and backup with broken glass sensors. I'm not going to get motion detectors. I have 2 cats that are everywhere. Everything installed and paired up without a hitch. Very impressed with that part. All the parts are unobtrusive and attractive. All are wireless.

Now the bad. The manual is worthless and doesn't go beyond the basics of mounting sensors and getting them paired up with the base station. The system is highly customizable with each sensor having multiple parameters you can adjust but you'd never know it by reading the manual or visiting the website. You'd also never know that the very good indoor camera, the doorbell camera and the soon to be announced outside camera are worthless without paying $25/month for monitoring. The cameras will only operate live and not store any footage without a monitoring plan. You also need that plan to have Alexa work with the system. Really pisses me off that I have to pay extra to have a device I own talk to another device I own over a network I own.

I originally wanted no monitoring because I'm cheap. SimpliSafe makes an auxiliary siren that squeals at 105db. I thought one of those inside and one outside would make anyone leave pronto. But without paying $25/month, I lose all the bells and whistles including a functioning iPhone app that would let me remote control things, Alexa integration and camera functionality. Very disappointed.

On the other hand, a similarly functioning ADT plan would be almost twice that a month and I'd have to sign a 3 year contract. So I'm torn. I'm not familiar with the Nest or others out there but I looked at the Ring because their plan is only $10/month. But their equipment is yesterdays news except for their camera which look first rate and the system (I believe, not real sure) requires I use ATT cellular. I have Verizon and SimpliSafe uses their own connection. Maybe someone will correct me.

If I've left anything out, let me know.
 
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Omayga

Silver Knight of the Realm
118
60
31d 21h 16m
excellent info

I thought I had read that the motion sensors had a setting where something under 50ish pounds would not trigger it and it also had less sensitivity on the ground (basically to avoid smaller pets)

sometimes the motion sensitivity on the cameras and sensors can be really picky though. We put CloudCams at the wifes workplace and even on the lowest sensitivity setting things like headlights shining in windows, shadows on the wall or cars driving by the street outside could cause it to record a session, which was causing tons of 5-10 second clips being saved so we had to get really precise with the blocked zones

I think for their external and internal cameras you would want the ability to block out certain high traffic areas (windows especially) or really dial down the sensitivity, which would probably require the app (which means the 25 dollar per month plan). Something I will have to look into to see if they offer. I had read that the SimpliSafe cameras used heat detection to only record on humans (and not pets they said) although it might have trouble with large dogs I would think.
 

Lanx

Golden Baron of the Realm
22,827
37,586
90d 53m
in the home improvement thread i posted about setting up my wired system


i have two closets for the master bedroom, so this was fine, i've since added two more cams and moved my router/modem over and wiring up the place w/ cat6

it's pretty clear at 720p, nitevision is a little iffy, and also there are like 10 red leds on the front of the cam for it, not bright tho. The cams are powered by whats called spoe, something something power over ethernet, just one cable you have to route, micro usb (at the cam) to ethernet, so you don't have to go crazy trying to find a way to power it up.

This is of course just video surveilance tho, it should be in addition to a security system, but i'm sure those ADT systems are some cheap ass pieces of junk. With just these cams i can see the license plate on a car parked on the st.

i went wired b/c i didn't want my wireless clogged up w/ 8 cams sending imgs and shit, sure it was annoying routing wires, but the system works nice, you can control it either throught he main console (i just have an old lcd attached) and mouse (i have an old trackball) or use the app.

the system i got does NOT have mandatory cloud subscription, i'm running everything off hd (again old 1.5tb), when i'm away from home and i get an alert, it'll show me that exact clip of what triggered it (from my hd).

I have no idea why anyone needs cloud subscription, it makes no sense, and just seems like a way to milk you for money that a 1tb hd could take care of.
 

lurker

Molten Core Raider
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44d 9h 33m
excellent info

I thought I had read that the motion sensors had a setting where something under 50ish pounds would not trigger it and it also had less sensitivity on the ground (basically to avoid smaller pets)

sometimes the motion sensitivity on the cameras and sensors can be really picky though. We put CloudCams at the wifes workplace and even on the lowest sensitivity setting things like headlights shining in windows, shadows on the wall or cars driving by the street outside could cause it to record a session, which was causing tons of 5-10 second clips being saved so we had to get really precise with the blocked zones

I think for their external and internal cameras you would want the ability to block out certain high traffic areas (windows especially) or really dial down the sensitivity, which would probably require the app (which means the 25 dollar per month plan). Something I will have to look into to see if they offer. I had read that the SimpliSafe cameras used heat detection to only record on humans (and not pets they said) although it might have trouble with large dogs I would think.
SimpliSafe does suggest different mounting positions for different size pets but I still don't trust them, the motion sensors, that is. Many moons ago I had an ADT system in a different house and the cats set it off a couple of times. I understand things have improved, but I'm installing a security system so I can leave the house and have peace of mind. I'd always be worried about a false alarm with the sensors.

2018092715121657-IMG_1192.jpg
 

Lanx

Golden Baron of the Realm
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SimpliSafe does suggest different mounting positions for different size pets but I still don't trust them, the motion sensors, that is. Many moons ago I had an ADT system in a different house and the cats set it off a couple of times. I understand things have improved, but I'm installing a security system so I can leave the house and have peace of mind. I'd always be worried about a false alarm with the sensors.

View attachment 182266
i mean tbh, interior video monitoring is kinda silly, sure it's good to have, i have the major garage/living room areas covered, but as long as you have your 4 sides of your house covered and unless they're santa clause, you'd get an external alert before you see someone lurking inside your home.

and yea, false alerts are annoying, i'm having to adjust milimeters to make sure the cams don't have tree limbs in view, b/c a strong 5s wind moves the leaves enough to trigger an event.
 

Frenzied Wombat

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I looked at Simplisafe but honestly any 2nd tier alarm security company (basically anybody but ADT) charges roughly $35/month with free equipment if you sign a 3 year contract. Considering the contract is transferable either to the new homeowner, or can be transferred to your new home, I don't see the contract being an issue.

I basically asked myself whether it was worth saving $10 a month for a system I will have to install and maintain myself, and I decided no.

If you don't care about an actual alarm that calls dispatches police, there are a ton of camera products out there like Ring/Nest.
 

Lanx

Golden Baron of the Realm
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so two weeks away from home and the security system performed like a champ to give me piece of mind.

i ended up grouping the two inside cameras (which showed zero activity for two weeks for obviuos reasons) and if there was an alert on that, i'd freak out.

My outside cameras were filled w/ alerts, my neighbors seemingly LOVE to walk across my lawn, heavy snow activates it like a twitchy mousetrap and car headlights are perceivable ghosts.

But not a single alert inside, the only real alert was when the postman delivered my ps4vr.

Apparently my neighborhood is still super nice, huge box still sitting at my front door when i came back home a week later (i actually asked for late delivery (nov 28, but i guess amazon didn't give a fuck).
 

BrutulTM

Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun.
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Do you guys actually have problems with crime/burglary in your neighborhood? Everyone I've known with a house alarm just has to deal with tons of false alarms and zero actual burglaries stopped. Sounds like a lot of expense and hassle for a very small chance of benefit to me.
 

lurker

Molten Core Raider
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44d 9h 33m
Do you guys actually have problems with crime/burglary in your neighborhood? Everyone I've known with a house alarm just has to deal with tons of false alarms and zero actual burglaries stopped. Sounds like a lot of expense and hassle for a very small chance of benefit to me.
Mostly I'm paranoid. The house in ID is in a housing development in a fairly populated area. There is more crime here because there are more people here than in AZ, where I leave the door mostly unlocked when I'm there. I just want to make my house less attractive to assholes than my neighbors'. I've never had a false or real alarm, including at a previous house in CA that had an ADT system on it. I don't know why other people do but I suspect they have motion detectors that detect their pets. I don't use those.

The expense with the SimpliSafe system will be minimal. About $500-$600 in parts and $300/year to monitor. It's just peace of mind.
 

Lanx

Golden Baron of the Realm
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ADT signs and cameras on every angle of my house should tell thieves to fuck off to rob my neighbors instead
 

Lanx

Golden Baron of the Realm
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neighbor a few houses down got robbed, i suspect its cuz last week they threw our their black friday tv boxes and theres this huge 75in box for trash day.

i played the good neighbor made a usb clip of my front driveway cam that captures the street, was pretty easy, just took a few mins to copy over, 1gig in size.

I think what i'll do now is since i have that 8th cam(i just have to fix the wire) i'll have it capture the whole street/block, as i don't have have my driveway cam motion detect the street. (the software fast forwards anything that doesn't activate motion sensor)
 

Frenzied Wombat

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Do you guys actually have problems with crime/burglary in your neighborhood? Everyone I've known with a house alarm just has to deal with tons of false alarms and zero actual burglaries stopped. Sounds like a lot of expense and hassle for a very small chance of benefit to me.
If you live in a major city there are always house robberies. IMHO false alarms are usually people who use motion detectors instead of glass break detectors, since the former have been known to trigger off shadows.
 

BrutulTM

Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun.
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If you live in a major city there are always house robberies.
I lived in major cities for 13 years and 3 of those were in the shithole of Phoenix, AZ and the only burglary I ever heard of was a drug dealer that was selling out of the apartment 3 doors down from mine who got robbed at gunpoint and reported that he lost $3000 in cash which of course made the cops assume that he was a drug dealer.
 

BrutulTM

Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun.
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Burglary.png


~2% nationwide, which is more than I would have thought, but I bet the numbers go down exponentially the further you get from the ghetto.
 

Frenzied Wombat

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View attachment 185123

~2% nationwide, which is more than I would have thought, but I bet the numbers go down exponentially the further you get from the ghetto.
I live in North Dallas, hardly the hood, and not a day goes by where I don't see a post on NextDoor about someone's car being broken into, or a Ring alert that a robbery has been reported in the neighborhood. Daily someone posts a Ring video of some hispanic guy smashing their car window on the street/driveway and grabbing something-- always a hispanic guy. I'm told the crime rate has gone up significantly because of all the new home construction in the area which adds not only cover, but that some of the actual construction workers scope out potential targets. Also weekly reports of some contractor having his tools stolen off a half built property.
 

Frenzied Wombat

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Well there's your problem. That site's only purpose is to convince you that you're in danger at all times. If burglar alarm companies didn't invent that shit, they should have.
Well, it's not the histrionic posts from random housewise posting someone "suspicious" who really isn't, we're talking actual videos of crimes in progress. I mean yeah, I guess it instills "fear", but doesn't change the fact that they are real crimes.

Here are the rates for Dallas.

Dallas, TX Crime Rates and Statistics - NeighborhoodScout
 

lurker

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Well there's your problem. That site's only purpose is to convince you that you're in danger at all times. If burglar alarm companies didn't invent that shit, they should have.
I’ll admit our Nextdoor has ads for ADT or SimpliSafe on a rotation.