What’s in the Lifeshield Security System?
From the look of this website, I can tell I’m going to have to do some serious digging to get any objective product specs. To me, this is an immediate red flag. Why isn’t a company making it easy to learn about their products? Don’t worry- I did the hard work for you.
Lifeshield offers two packages- Security Essentials for $29.99 a month, and Security Advantage for $39.99 a month. They recommend that you use Security Essentials for homes of 950 square feet and up, and Security Advantage for homes 1500 square feet and up. As far as hardware goes, both packages include a base station, keypad, keychain remote, wireless security tablet, and motion, door/window, and fire safety sensors. Security Advantage comes with two motion sensors as opposed to one, plus, a Wifi-enabled video camera. I purchased the Security Advantage package, plus an extra outdoor camera to boot.
I’d like to note that whichever system you choose, it will provide four layers of back-up protection- internet, cellular, landline, and battery. This is extremely useful if your Wi-Fi goes out, if the intruder cuts your phone cords, or if your battery is dead. Even if the power in your entire neighborhood goes out, you’ll still have a working security system. All systems also include smash/ crash protection, meaning that they will continue working even if an intruder smashes your base station. While these may sound like givens, they aren’t always included with security systems, so I applaud Lifeshield for guaranteeing your coverage.
The base station is the center of your security system. You can either connect it through your Wi-Fi, or through an ethernet cable. The base station connects all the parts of your security system and communicates with each individual part.
You’ll control your security system through your security touchpad. It looks like any tablet and should be placed in an area of your home that you’re in a lot, like your kitchen. Unfortunately, the touchpad must be placed on a stand and can’t be mounted to a wall. Tap the yellow panic button, select emergency responder, and emergency services will be automatically dispatched to help you.
Place the entry keypad near your home’s entrance to securely arm and disarm your system using a four-digit code. You can either place it on a flat surface or mount it on a wall using the included mounting bracket. You can also press the “panic” button on the keypad by holding down the star and STAY buttons at the same time for two seconds.
Door and Window sensors
Door and window sensors do exactly what you’d expect- they can tell when doors and windows are opened and closed. Lifeshield recommends that you put sensors on every single entry point that your home has. The door and window sensors are mounted next to a magnet on the door or window itself. Once the sensor gets far enough from the magnet, the sensor will alert your base station.
Motion sensors protect your home’s interior spaces when you are away. If there is any movement in your home, it will trigger the motion sensors and they will alert your base station.
For rooms with multiple doors and windows, Lifeshield offers glassbreak sensors. If the sensors catch the sound of glass breaking, they’ll set off an alarm. They can either be used in the place of window sensors, or in addition to window sensors for a home’s first level.
Not near your touchpad? Arm or disarm your system with the keychain remote. We recommend that you get a remote for every member of your family, as well as some trusted neighbors.
Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras
For my Lifeshield security system, I purchased both the indoor and outdoor cameras. Both have the same specs.
I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed with Lifeshield’s cameras. They only have 720p HD, much worse than the industry standard at 1080p HD. On top of that, the cameras do not zoom and only have a field of view of 57.8 degrees- by far the smallest field of view I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, these cameras misses the mark in every metric.
Unfortunately, the cameras do not have two-way audio, so there’s no way to communicate with whoever is in the room you’re monitoring.
I’m pleased to say that the cameras do have night vision powered by eight infrared LED lightbulbs.
On another positive note, the cameras has both local and cloud storage. Either buy 30 or 60 days worth of cloud storage- prices negotiable with your sales person.
Smart Platform Integration / Artificial Intelligence
While the security system itself integrates with Amazon Alexa, the cameras does not have any smart platform integrations. Similarly, there is no artificial intelligence features like person detection or facial recognition. That means that the cameras can’t differentiate between people and pets, between moving cars and shadows, between your loved ones and intruders. Obviously, if you pay for 24/7 professional monitoring, artificial intelligence becomes unnecessary.
Fire Safety Sensor
Lifeshield’s fire safety sensor can integrate your existing smoke alarm with the Lifeshield system. Just place the sensor next to each smoke detector in your home. It’ll listen for smoke or carbon monoxide sirens and will notify the Lifeshield monitoring center. Make sure your existing smoke detector is compatible with the fire safety sensor before your purchase this sensor.
Installing the Lifeshield Security System
Unlike some other security companies, you install the Lifeshield security system completely on your own- no experts necessary. I started by plugging in my power adapter and ethernet cable. Because I had to plug it in for so many system components, I had to get a bigger hub, which was a bit annoying. Next, I set up the wireless security tablet, which comes pre-programmed with the base station. Setting up the cameras wasn’t difficult but it did require me to plug in each camera’s power adapter and ethernet adapter into the router hub. Similarly, installing the entry keypad wasn’t hard- I just had to make sure I had the right power adapter (do you see the theme?).
The entry sensors were easy to place in doors and windows next to their respective magnet, and I simply placed my glass break sensor near the windows- no real installation necessary there. I would recommend putting the motion sensor at least seven feet higher and in a corner– that way it’ll monitor the most space. If you have pets, I would recommend placing it a bit higher so you’re not bombarded with notifications. Finally, I placed my fire safety sensor near my existing smoke detector with a great 3M adhesive. Overall, not a bad installation process!
Professional Monitoring with Lifeshield
While you’re free to monitor the equipment yourself, there’s also professional monitoring available at an additional monthly fee. We recommend that you purchase professional monitoring with any security system. Without professional monitoring, you’re completely responsible for your home’s security and safety. That includes when you’re on vacation, in business meetings, and stuck in reception-less subway cars. What I’m trying to say is that no one can deal with emergencies 24/7. Your monitoring team will work around the clock to keep you safe, so you don’t have to worry about it.
How monitoring works
Both monthly packages- Security Essentials and Security Advantage- come with 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup. Like I said before, Security Essentials is an additional $29.99 a month, while Security Advantage is an additional $39.99 per month. The only difference between the two packages lies in the hardware and video storage, described in more detail above.
You have two options when it comes to Lifeshield’s contracts. You can either select a flexible month-to-month contract, or sign a three year contract. Early termination fees depend on a few factors. Every month that you’re with Lifeshield, the fee goes down. The fee is also based on the circumstances under which you want to cancel. I would check Groupon before signing anything, as Lifeshield puts discounts there. Remember that with Lifeshield, everything is negotiable- so feel free to haggle with your sales person on pricing.
Lifeshield Customer Support
How It Works
You have a few different options when it comes to Lifeshield’s customer support. You can go to the online support center, which has articles on products, the app, Lifeshield’s policies, as well as videos on usage. You can also chat online with a customer service representative or call them directly.
I will say that I was pretty disappointed with the online support center. I clicked on the “Services/ Policies/ Warranty” section, hoping to find some information that I couldn’t find elsewhere. I was redirected here:
From there, I clicked on cancellations/ early termination fee. Then this page popped up:
Like a good customer, I did what the page said and clicked on the support center link. I was redirected to the original page I was on:
All in all, not a great experience. The website in general does not have much information, which is annoying.
I also called LifeShield’s customer support line, and much like the online help center, I was not impressed with the support I received. I wanted to get some technical specifications for all of the products. I was told to go on the website- I replied that there is no specific product information there. My representative then directed me to the online help center- I again said that there is no product information available there either. Finally, after giving me another non-working link, he led me to a 17-page installation guide, which is available online but very hard to find. The guide didn’t have any product technical specifications. Finally, I called back and asked for a few specs about the indoor camera specifically. I was put on hold multiple times for simple questions like how many infrared LED lights the camera has. I could go on, but I’m sure you don’t have all day. The phone line is available weekdays from eight AM until nine PM and weekends from nine AM until six PM, EST. In sum, it was a very disappointing customer service experience.
I can’t trust businesses’ websites to tell me how well their customer support works. That’s why I check out customer reviews. They’re painfully honest, sometimes funny, and often helpful when it comes to assessing how a company treats its customers.
Lifeshield has only received six reviews on Google, a shockingly low number. Overall, they have a five out of five star reputation on Google. As half the reviews were only a star rating with no written context, I don’t find these reviews to be particularly reliable. One of the reviews says that the person interviewed for a customer service position- I hope that leaving this review wasn’t part of the application process!
This is a problem not just with Lifeshield, but with Google reviews in general. Google accepts all customer reviews, meaning that they’re susceptible to fake reviews. With this few reviews, the five star rating does look a bit suspicious.
Better Business Bureau
Although Lifeshield is not a Better Business Bureau (or BBB) accredited business, they do have a BBB rating of A+. They’ve received only 50 customer complaints in the past three years, which is remarkably low for a security business of this size. However, it seems like not many people are finding this page, considering there’s only 11 customer reviews. Overall, Lifeshield refused a customer rating of just over one star, one of the worst ratings I’ve seen from a security company. About 60% of the complaints were about problems with products and services. Looking at the reviews, I was surprised to see that very few of them mentioned customer service- rather, it seemed like the system did not work for many people. Similarly, 10 out of the 11 customer reviews were one star, with many complaints of bad customer service and systems that didn’t work.
The Lifeshield App
Okay, so Lifeshield got mixed results from the Better Business Bureau and Google. But what about the app?
From the Lifeshield Interactive App, you’ll be able to arm and disarm your system, control security codes, livestream your video camera footage from anywhere in the world, and control any connected devices. You can also set up customer alerts, check out the crime in your area, and review recent events, including your video and photo storage.
An app without customer reviews is like a paper without a grade. What did customers think of Lifeshield’s app?
In general, people seemed to like the Lifeshield app on the Apple Store. It has a 3.9 out of five star rating, with the large majority of the reviews at five stars. Not incredible, but I’ll take it.
I’m happy to say that the Lifeshield app received a 3.7 rating on the Google Play Store. While it’s not great, it’s certainly better than some of their other reviews. “The LifeShield app is much better than it used to be – clear, concise, simple, easy to use and quick to perform talks,” wrote Gregory Smith in a five star review.
Recap of the Lifeshield Security System
Okay, I know that was a lot, so I’m going to make it really simple for you. Lifeshield might be a good security system for you if you want:
- Four layers of protection in the form of internet, cellular, landline, and battery
- Cloud/ local storage
- System integration with Amazon Alexa
- Flexible, month-to-month contract option
However, if any of the following concern you, Lifeshield might not be your best match:
- 720p HD video
- A field of view narrower than 60 degrees
- No ability for the camera to pan/zoom
- No two-way audio
- Camera does not have any smart platform integrations
- No artificial intelligence
- Bad customer support