Founded in 2015 in Houston, Texas, iSmartSafe is a DIY home security company that prides itself on its lack of monthly contracts. With iSmartSafe, you can customize your home security complete with smart cameras, motion, door and window detectors, along with environmental monitors like water leak and smoke detectors. Everything in the iSmartSafe system is completely wireless and comes equipped with cellular backup, which sounds great to me. All the systems are self-monitored through iSmartSafe’s app, which we’ll discuss in detail below.
In this review, we’ll discuss the iSmartSafe Home Security System Economy Package: what it includes, how well it works, and how convenient it was to set up. Next, I’ll go over your professional monitoring options, how customer support works, and to finish, the mobile app. Let’s get started.
We liked iSmartSafe's DIY installation, affordable price, and integrations with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.
What’s in the iSmartSafe System?
I purchased the iSmartSafe Home Security System Economy Package, which includes one iSmartSafe Alarm Panel, one iSmartSafe Indoor Smart Camera, two door sensors, one motion detector, two keychain remotes, and four iSmartSafe window stickers. I’m also going to talk about some of iSmartSafe’s other products that I didn’t buy, like the wireless siren, keypad, smoke detector, water leak detector, and Video Doorbell.
iSmartSafe Alarm Panel
The iSmartSafe Alarm Panel connects all of your sensors and communicates with your mobile app. It’s here that you’ll arm and disarm your system and monitor all of your connected devices.
The panel works through both Wi-Fi and a cellular connection, ensuring that your system will stay on even if you lose power. Plus, the panel has two-way audio, which enables you to speak to whoever’s in the room through your app. You can connect the panel to up to 100 sensors, plus, it has a built-in siren for scaring intruders and alerting your family of the intrusion.
The design of the iSmartSafe Alarm Panel is a bit clunky in my opinion- it’s not sleek like the control panels of the Nest Secure security system, for example. But to each his own!
To see when doors are opened or closed, you’ll use the door sensors. Of course, the sensors communicate with your Alarm Panel so you can receive a notification as soon as the sensor is triggered. The system I bought came with two door sensors, which are completely wireless. The sensor comes with a door chime so you’ll know when someone has entered or exited, plus, it checks itself every so often to ensure its battery life and connection with the Alarm Panel. You can also use the door sensors on your windows to monitor when they’re opened or closed.
Each door sensor comes with a magnet, to be installed on the door or window itself. When the sensor moves away from the magnet, it’ll alert the Alarm Panel and you’ll be notified.
The motion detector is pretty self-explanatory- it detects motion in a 35 foot radius. Unlike the door sensors, the motion detector is a bit clunkier, but it’s also wireless for easy installation. Worried your pet will constantly trigger the motion detector? Don’t be. The motion detector is less sensitive to motion closer to the ground, so you won’t be notified whenever your kitten chases around her yarn ball. As long as your pet weighs fewer than 30 pounds, it won’t trigger the motion detector.
Your car has a key. Your house has a key. So why shouldn’t your security system? With the keychain remote, you’ll be able to arm your system, disarm your system, turn your system completely off, and contact emergency services. It’s simple design makes it perfect for kids, the elderly, or anyone who’s not the most tech-savvy.
I love that the keychain remote works from up to 400 feet away from the Alarm Panel, as this means I can disarm my system before I enter my house. You can even get multiple keys for different people, like your friends, family, or hired help.
iSmartSafe Indoor Smart Camera
Note: Since the camera that comes with the Economy Package uses a separate app, we didn’t cover it in our video review. We would recommend that you purchase a better-quality camera, for example the Wyze Cam.
Unfortunately, the iSmartSafe Indoor Smart Camera’s video display is subpar. Although it can zoom in four times, which is awesome, the quality is 720p HD, which does not meet the industry standard of 1080p. Also, the camera’s field of view is incredibly narrow at 78 degrees, meaning you’d need five cameras to capture every angle of a room horizontally. Overall, the camera’s video capabilities could use a serious facelift.
I’m pleased that the camera comes with two-way audio, which allows the person livestreaming the footage to communicate with whoever they’re recording. You’ll be able to tell your kids to fetch you a snack, tell your husband to take his dirty shoes off the couch, or even tell an intruder that you’ve already called 911. Pretty useful, right?
We liked iSmartSafe's DIY installation, affordable price, and integrations with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.
When it comes to night vision, I prefer infrared over bright white light because it’s less conspicuous. Sure, seeing night vision in full-color is cool, but the person you’re recording will be aware that they’re being recorded. You can see how this could be an issue if you have an intrusion.
Unfortunately, the iSmartSafe Indoor Smart Camera has color night vision from a bright white light, so that’s a definite minus in my book.
The Smart Camera has local storage with a slot for a micro-SD card up to 64 GB. Unfortunately, iSmartSafe does not provide any cloud storage, so you’ll probably want to upload your files to a personal Dropbox. That way, if you lose your micro-SD card, you’ll have a backup. Of course, you might need the footage in case you do have an emergency, or simply want a record of an event.
Smart Platform Integration
Rats! The iSmartSafe Indoor Smart Camera does not integrate with any smart platforms like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, which I find a bit surprising as the security system itself integrates with Alexa. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to command your camera using your voice.
In the same vein, the Smart Camera doesn’t have any artificial intelligence capabilities, meaning you’ll be notified when it detects motion from any object, be it a car, shadow, or person. That means you’ll receive unnecessary notifications as opposed to highly specific notifications, like that your plumber just arrived at your home. If artificial intelligence is a must for you, take a look at the best cameras for artificial intelligence. As the iSmartSafe system integrates with IFTTT, you’ll find cameras that can work with this system.
For some added protection, there’s the wireless siren. Along with its bright lights, the siren rings out in 110 decibels- about as loud as a jackhammer. You can either use the siren wirelessly through a lithium battery or plug it in through the detachable power cord. I would recommend plugging it and using the battery for backup in case the power goes out.
The keypad provides another way to disarm or arm your security system. It comes with two RFID tags. All you have to do disarm your system is swipe a tag in front of the keypad. Unfortunately, you cannot arm your system with the tag- that requires a passcode. The keypad is wireless and uses 3 AAA batteries. Even if the keypad is smashed, your security system will continue to work, as the system’s “brains” are located in the Alarm Panel. You should put your keypad near the door you use the most to enter and exit your home.
If you don’t already have a smoke detector installed or simply want to upgrade, the iSmartSafe smoke detector is a great choice. Not only will it sound an 85-decibel siren upon detecting dangerous levels of smoke (about as loud as a snow blower), but more importantly, it’ll communicate with your Alarm Panel. Even if you’re not home, you’ll still be the first to know if there’s a fire in your house. It’s also great for a detached building on your property, like a shed. Like all of the detectors, the smoke detector is wireless which saves you the hassle of hardwiring it to your home. That’s something I appreciate as one of the least handy people out there.
Water Leak Detector
A lot of people don’t know that water damage is completely preventable with a smart water leak detector. Put it in your basement or wherever there’s running water, and you’ll receive leak alerts via a test or phone call. The water leak detector on its own is less than $20, but could save you thousands in potential water damage. It’s battery-operated and installed with double-stick tape.
iSmartSafe Video Doorbell
Finally, there’s the video doorbell, a huge trend in home security. Through the doorbell, you’ll be able to see and speak to whoever’s at your doorstep- in HD vision, no less. The doorbell’s camera has night vision and a built-in motion sensor for timely alerts. Livestream footage directly in your app and you’ll never have to speak to a salesman again!
I’m disappointed to say that setting up iSmartSafe was pretty antiquated, particularly having to join the Wi-Fi network on the iSmartSafe Panel, which has basically the technological abilities of a rotary phone. After the taxing process of adding my Wi-Fi network to the alarm panel, the individual sensors and keychain remote were easy to add on. All I had to do was select the component on the menu and pull out the component’s battery tab for it to sync. Overall, this wasn’t the worst installation process I’ve ever had, but it was definitely not as smart as it could’ve been.
Professional Monitoring with iSmartSafe
Professional monitoring means that a team of people will be monitoring your system, 24/7. If an emergency does happen, they will be there to help you and contact emergency services if necessary.
Unfortunately, iSmartSafe does not provide any professional monitoring options. The good news? There’s no monthly fee– you’ll pay for your equipment and that’s it. The bad news? You’ll be completely on your own in terms of your home’s security and safety, self-monitoring through the iSmartSafe app.
If you want to purchase the iSmartSafe system but also want professional monitoring, you can use a third party monitoring company. Unfortunately, iSmartSafe doesn’t make any recommendations as to which third party company you should use, so this is something you’ll have to research on your own.
On a more positive note, all iSmartSafe systems include cellular backup, which means that your system will stay on even if your power goes out. I’m glad that cellular backup is built-in, although I’m disappointed that iSmartSafe gives you no professional monitoring options.
iSmartSafe Customer Support
So, you’ve bought your iSmartSafe security system and something went wrong. Who you gonna call? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not Ghostbusters. No, it’s iSmartSafe customer support!
How iSmartSafe’s Customer Support Works
You can contact customer support by phone Monday through Friday from nine AM until eight PM CST. If talking to a human scares you, you can also email, fill out an online form, or check out their section of FAQ’s.
Just how supportive is iSmartSafe’s customer support team? I took to the internet to found out.
The exact economy package I purchased wasn’t on Amazon, so I looked at reviews for the Basic Package. It includes everything but the iSmartSafe Indoor Smart Camera.
The Basic Package has a 3.7 rating on Amazon from just 15 reviews. Of the four reviews that mentioned customer service/ support, three were positive, which is pretty good!
“I am very satisfied with this alarm system and their customer service is the best that can find in these days. Never hesitate to call or email the customer service,”
wrote a happy customer in a five star review.
Customers were loving iSmartSafe on Google. It has a 4.9 out of five star rating– nearly perfect! The systems seemed to work well, and customers were loving the low prices and lack of monthly fees. Again, customer support seemed to do a great job of help customers with their systems in a timely manner.
The Carener2 App
As you’ll be self-monitoring your iSmartSafe system, your app will be your mobile command center.
Finding out which app to use required a lengthy call to customer service and a ton of confusion, as none of the links on the website worked for me. Finally, I found out that you control the iSmartSafe system with an app called Carener2. I’m not sure why it’s called that and not something more obvious, but let’s talk its features and what people think of it.
From the Carener2 app, you’ll be able to arm and disarm your system, livestream footage, control connected devices, receive notifications, review event history, and create an alarm schedule.
What do iSmartSafe customers think of the Carener2 app?
Unfortunately, the app only received a 2.6 rating from iTunes. I will say that it only has five reviews- two one star, two three star, and one five star. It’s safe to say that when it comes to the Carener2 app, Apple users had some technical difficulties.
Google users liked the app a bit more than Apple users, with a rating of 3.3. Many people said that the app wouldn’t work with their phones, but some people said it worked perfectly, so I guess it depends on what kind of phone you have.
iSmartSafe Security System Recap
I know what you’re thinking: cut to the chase, Gabe. Is this the security system for you or not?
The iSmartSafe security system has some great qualities, like:
- No monthly contracts
- Great customer support
- Smart Camera, Video Doorbell, and Alarm Panel with two-way audio
- Local storage
- System integrates with Amazon Alexa
- Cellular backup included
It’s less great qualities include:
- No professional monitoring options in-house
- Poorly rated app
- Night vision through a bright white light
- No cloud storage
- Smart Camera does not integrate with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
- Smart Camera has no artificial intelligence
Now, the choice is yours. Let me know if you need more help or have any comments. Until next time!
For more great options, check out the best security systems of 2019.
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