LifeShield manufactures cellular-based wireless home and small business security systems, and are a frequent favorite because of the unique technology they apply. You are definitely leaving behind the more “traditional” home security systems with LifeShield.
Overall we like the LifeShield system and definitely recommend it, though it’s not necessarily the best fit for every home or small business owner. Read our review to see if LifeShield suits your needs.
Several LifeShield features make this particular home security system more functional that many others.
- Installation and Maintenance – Installation is simple. One of the main reasons that home security systems were never very popular with homeowners until recently was the difficulty of getting a system installed and maintained. The LifeShield sensors are small, portable, and the simple directions enable anyone able to install them in literally minutes. The console merely plugs in and is ready to use.
- Great Equipment – One of the biggest equipment advantages to the LifeShield system is the proprietary smoke and first alarm integration. This provides real peace of mind to home and business owners, in addition to being great technology. The sensor’s compatibility with the various types of fire safety detector units on the market is not an issue. The LifeShield alarm utilizes unique sound detection technology and requires no hookup or connection with the fire or smoke unit.
- Great mobile app technology – The innovative technology makes the LifeShield system very attractive. The smartphone integration, sensors, and equipment are some of the most advanced on the market. The app and mobile touchpad are user-friendly and require no complicated steps to use correctly.
- Minimal Ongoing Maintenance – There is minimal maintenance required. The sensors have had consistently good reliability ratings by users over the years. Each of the sensors comes with a one-year warranty.
Though overall we recommend LifeShield, we do have a few small complaints.
- Limited Equipment in Basic Packages – One of the biggest consumer concerns is the limited equipment included, even the professional package. The basic package comes with very little equipment, only two doors and window sensors and is only suitable for a very small apartment. It also does not include one of the best features of the system, the fire safety sensor. Most homeowners will need an upgraded package, which can up your monthly fees as much as $30. The additional equipment, though competitively priced, will add to your out-of-pocket expenses if you buy this system when you consider you are almost forced into buying more sensors and other additional items.
- Missing some key features – LifeShield does not incorporate some of the features toted by their competitors such as turning off lights, locking doors, or setting HVAC systems remotely.
Package Overview And Charges
Lifeshield offers three basic packages:
|Equipment||#1 Security |
|#2 Security |
|Wireless HD Camera||N/A||1||2|
|Video Storage||N/A||250 MB||1 GB|
|Door and Window Sensors||4||6||8|
|Base, Keypad, Keychain Remote||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Whole-Home Fire Protection||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|24/7 Monitoring Services||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mobile App (IOS and Android||Yes||Yes||Yes|
If you choose to have DirectTV install the system, they charge $99. There is no activation fee.There is a fourth, the Security Basics package, but it only has two doors or window sensors and no fire-safety package. It would only be suitable for a tiny apartment.
Lifeshield incorporates customizable digital wireless technology that uses new and simple components to secure a home, apartment or medium to small-sized office. One of the key selling points is the simplicity and integration. Lifestyle is wireless, compact, and the setup is not complicated. It is portable too and can easily be disconnected and moved to another location. The system monitoring integrates seamlessly with the owner’s smartphone.
One of the most exciting features of the Lifeshield’s offerings is the unique, patented smoke and fire alarm detector. The Lifeshield system has a particular sensor that connects directly to any make or model of smoke or fire detector. The sensor identifies when the alarm is activated, sends a signal to the central monitoring station, and the homeowner and the local fire department is notified.
The sensors use proprietary technology that has high industry and consumer approval ratings. The sensors do not require any external power, are small and simple to mount or remove.
There is a variety of additional options that you can purchase separately for the system. These include:
- Wireless Cameras
- Freeze Sensor
- Motion Detector
- Flood Sensors
Additional window and door sensors come as part of the premium package offerings or can be bought separately too.
The primary package monitors by broadband with cellular backup. The other three package offerings are cellular, with broadband and phone backup.
There may be a requirement in your city to register your system with the police or municipality. The local DirectTV installer will be able to tell you if this is required and where to call for registration.
Window and Door Sensors
The sensors are unobtrusive and small. The battery lasts years and there is a low-battery indicator light on each. There are three different arming modes you control by your PC or on your smartphone.
Lifeshield offers unlimited text and email notifications as part of the monthly package price.
The installation is simple. They have magnets that hold the sensors and brackets in place. Each has to be within a three-quarter inch of each other.
Fire Safety Sensor
The fire safety sensor is similar in appearance to a smoke detector. The unit should be placed about four inches from the smoke detector. It works best if you have a sensor next to each of your smoke detectors unless they are wired in series and if one goes off they all will.
Related: See more security system reviews
Motion Detection Sensor
Motion detectors are usually one of the first things a homeowner turns off with a home alarm system. Large pets, or people inadvertently going past the sensor when half awake at night, make this type of sensor often the first one permanently deactivated.
Motion detectors are good for basements, garages and patio areas that are not normally scenes of activity after bedtime. Even if they are disarmed most of the time, they give peace of mind when you are away for the night or on a trip as long as you remember to activate them.
The Lifeshield motion sensor has a detection radius of about 25 feet. The sensor technology good and includes the ability to remain quiescent will unless a moving object over 40 pounds is detected.
Glass break sensors are necessary for ground-floor apartments or homes with large picture windows. They can also save the home or business owner money. These sensors function as a motion detector but can detect the noise of glass breaking. The range is also 25 feet like the motion sensors. Glass-breaks can save you money if you have a large section of windows in your den or elsewhere where instead of individual sensors you can use one glass-break to cover the entire wall or area.
Freeze sensors are really temperature sensors. They can protect your home and belongings or your pets when you are away. If the temperature in the house drops below 45 or above 95 degrees for more than ten minutes, the alarm will sound, and notifications procedures initiated.
The flood sensors are made to sense water that may be overflowing, spilling or accumulating in areas of your house. These sensors are useful to place by water heaters, in basements or by appliances like dishwashers or washing machines that may flood. These types of sensors are probably the easiest to use since you can leave them always armed, as you would the fire safety sensor, and forget about them.
The HD wireless cameras are good quality and provide crisp pictures when you access them on your PC or mobile device. There are two types, indoor and outdoor.
Other cameras are not compatible with the Lifeshield system so you must but them from Lifeshield. The cameras are fixed, and there is no pan and tilt or zoom function. Both the indoor and outdoor cameras, however, have infrared built-in, which gives excellent picture clarity at night.
They require an AC power outlet nearby also.
You can install up to four wireless entry keypads with each Lifeshield system. Like the cameras, an AC outlet must be nearby to power them though they have a battery backup in case of an outage. Each unit has a panic alarm feature. They can be placed on a counter or shelf, and they also come with hardware to mount on a wall if desired. The 100-decibel alarm is loud enough to wake you and the neighbors.
The security touchpad is similar to an iPad or another tablet. Login is just like from a mobile app or computer and has the same remote functions available.
An interesting feature that only Lifeshield offers is a crime alert feature that provides the user with crime alerts and updates for his or her particular neighborhood.
The keychain remote has a simple arm/disarm button for the alarm system. The system will send a signal to the remote confirming the activation or deactivation and a beep will sound. There is also a panic alarm feature.
Connecting the Cellular Gateway
Unless you get the basics package, which will have a modem/router gateway connector, the first step is to connect the cellular gateway. The gateway is what sends the signal over cellular networks.
After inserting the backup batteries, the gateway connects to any AC outlet. Lifeshield recommends plugging it in on the highest level of your home for better reception.
Connecting the Console
Connecting the console is as simple as connecting the gateway. All that is necessary is a free AC outlet. The console, however, must be located within 100 feet of the cellular gateway.
Mounting the Door and Window Sensors
Three of the sensors in each package are preprogrammed. The main door and secondary door sensors have a built-in, 30-second entry and 60-second exit delay. The window sensor has a zero delay. You can change the programming if you desire through your console.
The sensors have double-sided adhesive tape for the bracket and magnet. The bracket should be mounted on the frame of the door or window, and the magnet on the actual door or window. There are spacers for the bracket if there is a problem getting the bracket and magnet within the recommended three-quarters inch between them when closed.
Mounting the Fire-Safety Sensors
Like mounting most smoke detectors, you will need to attach the bracket to the wall. You can attach it permanently with the two screws provided or, like the other sensors; there is a double-sided tape you can use.
There is an installation template you place by the smoke detector so that the outer edge of the template is no more than four inches from the detector. Next the screw holes are marked, and the fire-safety sensor bracket is either mounted using the screws or tape. The battery insulator tab is pulled from the sensor and the sensor snaps on to the bracket.
Adding Sensors to the Console
Console operation is relatively straightforward. The first thing you will do is enter the factory Master Code and then select your own.
Next, you will be adding sensors. Once a new sensor is mounted, you press MENU, scroll to Security Setup and SELECT.
You enter the Master Code that you previously set, then scroll down to Sensors, press SELECT, scroll to Add New and press SELECT again.
In the case of the fire safety sensor, you scroll down until the name shows, press SELECT, and then after five seconds you press the button on the fire-safety sensor. The console will indicate once it finds the sensor signal, and it will be added to the system.
You then need to conduct an audio test by pressing the test button on the fire-safety sensor. The console should detect the test and will indicate so on the panel within 10-12 seconds.
There is an addition function that enables you to label the sensor as a fire or carbon monoxide detector too (some can detect both).
It is important to remember that whatever label you enable for the sensors is the message sent to the 24/7 monitoring station and your mobile device.
Adding Indoor and Outdoor Cameras
This is probably the most complicated part of the setup as it involves some steps. The first step is adding them to the console.
The mechanics of adding the cameras to the console are similar to that of adding the sensors. Once the cameras are plugged in, you access the menu function, find the camera selection, and press ADD NEW and AUTO SEARCH. Once the system picks up the camera’s signal, press OK and setup on the console is complete.
To add a camera to your network, you first must log into LifeView, the portal used by Lifeshield for monitoring. The user selects Camera, Settings, and Edit. Then the network name and any security password required is entered, and you press SAVE.
Once this is done, wait two minutes and unplug the power to the cameras and then the Ethernet. After two more minutes, plug the cameras back in first, wait for the power light to come on, and then plug the Ethernet back in and the camera should be operable.
The company began under a different name, InGrid, in 2004. It was the first all-digital wireless system. The founder of the business, Louis Stilp, filed multiple patents during the first few years associated with the Lifeshield/InGrid wireless alarm systems.
Michael Hagan took over the company in late 2009. Hagan was the driving force behind Nutrisystem and credited with increasing shareholder value significantly once he took over the company. At Lifeshield, Hagan changed the marketing and sales strategy to a direct-to-consumer model, including social media and expanded operations to all fifty states.
DirectTV bought the company in 2013 and now offers bundled packages, as do many traditional cable firms that include Lifeshield services. Lifeshield services are only provided through DirectTV.
LifeShield Security Reviews
Do you have any experience with LifeShield? Please leave a comment telling us about your experience! Please leave a comment with any questions on the system as well.
Do We Recommend LifeShield?
Lifeshield is simple to use and incorporates the latest technology, similar to Frontpoint or Protect America. The fire safety system makes it worth the possible additional expense of buying more equipment to supplement the packages offered. If you want a simple, reliable home or small office security system, then Lifestyle is for you.