[Today’s guest post is a review from Graeme, the winner of the January Link Home Security System contest. He’s had some time to install and see how the monitoring works and can now give us a good review of the installation and use. If you’re interested in getting one of these security systems, you can go to the Link Home Security page on the Costco.com website. I would encourage you to watch their videos to find out even more about the system and monitoring. If you do buy a new Link Home Security System until March 31, 2014 you can still get one free month of monitoring by entering code “addictedtocostco” into the comments section when you checkout through Costco.com.]
I had done a decent amount of research on security systems to protect my family in our home. I looked at traditional security companies and then realized that there were so many other companies out there. The Link Home Security system that I won was the Link Home Security Premium Plus Video, Energy and Security Package, along with 12 months of monitoring. This package included 1, Link Home Security Go!Control Cellular Panel, 5 Wireless Door/Window Sensor, 2 Wireless Motion Sensor, 1 Wireless Smoke/Heat/Freeze Sensor, 2 Z-Wave Light/Appliance Module, 1 Z-Wave Thermostat and 1, HD100 Indoor Camera with Night Vision. This package was a great starter package, however, since we have quite a few more windows/glass doors, I was able to purchase additional sensors to make sure that the house was well covered. The ordering process was very easy. I ordered through Link Home Security’s team. They were very knowledgeable and explained the pros and cons of the variety of equipment. I ended up not only ordering additional window/door sensors, but also a glass break sensor and a tilt garage sensor. While ordering I provided the names of the different locations for the sensors so that they could be pre-programmed.
About 5 days after placing my order, I received a package with all my equipment. Everything was neatly packaged and I couldn’t believe all that equipment fit so well into a box half the size of what I was expecting. Inside the package, there were detailed instructions to get started.
One of the instruction pages had said it would take 20 minutes to get up and running, however, I think this would be for a very basic system. Total install time and testing for all equipment was about 2 hours. At first I felt overwhelmed, but then I found the “Quickstart” guide and it mapped out the order of installing the components. Basically, the only tools needed were a power drill/screwdriver and small set of screwdrivers. It was useful to have a smart phone/tablet as the YouTube videos helped a lot!
The Control Panel by 2GIG is one of the best looking and most functional ones I have seen. I hadn’t seen this brand from the research I had done. It looks and is very sophisticated, however, it is VERY easy to use. The Control Panel was fast to plug in and get mounted.
Next, I installed the window/door sensors. Each window/door sensor is labelled which made installation easier. Double-sided tape was provided and had to be attached to each sensor and then to the door/window. I had many door/window sensors but after attaching the first two, the rest were very easy to attach.
The motion sensors were also pre-programmed and were fairly easy to get installed. There is mounting hardware included for the motion sensors which make them more secure than just mounting with double-sided tape. I recommend using the mounting brackets as I have heard that they can fall off the wall with just the tape.
The smoke detector and the light modules both took very little time to install. The light module is really great as it allows lights to be turned on/off with the app.
I was a bit nervous installing the Z-wave thermostat; however, I had a friend over to help. It was not as difficult as I had expected. Labels were provided so when I detached my original thermostat, I was able to attach the labels so that it would be easier to know which wire went in the right spot. The thermostat took a bit of time to get the wires screwed in tightly and get it linked to the control panel. It was worth it though as now we can control our thermostat from the app.
After installing the thermostat, the last thing to install was the video camera. That was the easy part as it can be moved around very easily.
I have been very happy with the service from Link Home Security and the monitoring has been great. I haven’t had any false alarms yet. I have tested the monitoring response and they have been very efficient. The control panel actually has two-way communication, so when the alarm is set off, the reps at the monitoring station can speak through the panel and can hear what is going on. The other useful aspect is when a door or window is opened, the unit actually says the word such as “Front Door”, “Garage”, etc. This helps rather than just a beep which doesn’t alert you what has opened.
I use the app constantly, which has been very useful. No longer am I questioning whether we set the alarm or not and if I do forget, I can set it remotely! As I mentioned the thermostat and lights can be controlled by the app, which is a huge plus! The video can be viewed from the app as well.
I have been very happy with the Link Home Security system. The team at Link Home has been very helpful. The system has worked very well and continues to do so. I would highly recommend this system!