Better Security Than SimpliSafe?
Reviewed by: Kyle Wood
This company has recently changed its primary company name from their original name, SafeMart. This change has been very gradual so the products and services offered have been slowly shifting and confusing many people. More than 200,000 people use the newly formed company for their home safety needs. Just like SafeMart, they offer decent wireless equipment that is accompanied by a DIY (do-it-yourself) installation. The primary focus for this new company is offering full home safety services and packages.
Mini Company Review
LiveWatch Security is a DIY home alarm system company with the goal of giving “superior service at more affordable prices.” Their contract length is only a short 12 months and also comes with a full refund guarantee for up to a full year if their service does not meet your expectations. As an added kind gesture, they actually give you the ability to cancel your contract at any time with zero early termination fees. Most of their customers are happy with how easy the installation proves to be. They actually pre-configure the system for your home before it is mailed to you. Once you receive your package all you need to do is mount and plug in the main control panel and then you are ready to activate your system. Should you run into any problems they provide instructions on their YouTube channel to help you along with installation.
The most attention grabbing feature of LiveWatch is the 12 month contract, zero fee cancellation policy. Most companies will require you to pay your remaining balance of your full contract before cancelling and this is almost always hundreds of dollars. Along with this great policy they offer monitoring for $29.95 which is lower than most companies. The 1-year contract can be very appealing to some who don’t want to sign a three or five-year contract with a more expensive service. The $29.95 per month basic monitoring is much less expensive than some of the top companies in the industry. Like most other plans, if more equipment is needed to fully cover your house, it’s super easy to create a more customized plan for your needs.
Plans And Packages
Each package features:
- 2 Door Sensors
- 1 Motion Detector
- 1 Simon XT / IQ Touchscreen
- 1 Key-chain Remote
- 1 Yard Sign and some window decals
Now, say you purchase the most expensive package, the Total Home + Video, they provide you an indoor surveillance camera.
- Basic Door/Window
- Basic Flood/Water
- Glass Break Detection
- Vibration Sensor
- Garage Door
- 1 Panic Button
- Quolsys IQ PIR Motion Detector
- Quolsys IQ Secondary Touchscreen
- Quolsys IQ Wireless Pin Pad
- Carbon Monoxide Detection
- Pan/Tilt Capable Wireless IP Surveillance Camera
- High Resolution
- Indoor Fixed IP Surveillance Camera with Night Vision
- Outdoor Bullet Camera with Infrared
Hi-Res Dome Video Cameras
Their indoor surveillance cameras have a fixed lens that supports 720P video resolution. There are also three compression options for when you are recording.
Indoor Wireless IP Camera w/ Night Vision
This model camera has an IR lens for better viewing and capture in extremely low-light areas. It can be used with an existing wireless network also.
Wireless Outdoor Bullet Cam with Infrared
This outdoor surveillance camera also night vision capabilities as well as a 120 x 800 resolution with 3 compression options.
Keypads & Keychain Remotes
The talking bi-directional and the talking touchscreen actually have built-in speakers and microphones with direct connections to the central monitoring station.
Z-Wave Light and Appliance Modules
They offer several different GE light modules. There is a version for fluorescent light bulbs that will also work with any small appliance. There is also an outdoor plug-in module for outdoor lighting needs.
You can also buy the wall receptacle attachment that plugs into the wall or a recessed, on-off switch that will replace an existing wall unit.
The GE smart thermostat can replace all existing thermostats and will allow for remote connectivity through your smartphone app or online portal.
Their Basic Motion Sensor
The GE 60-807-95R motion sensor is actually pet-friendly for any pets weighing under 40lbs. The device has 2 sensitivity settings and uses two, AA batteries with a internal tamper switch.
Flood/Water & Freeze
The freeze sensors can protect against many unforeseen things like frozen pipes and other hazards associated with below freezing temps.
As a bonus, the flood and water temperature sensors will actually detect any overflow from the dishwater, boiler, or any other appliance in the home that uses water.
The batteries in these devices should last about 5-8 years.
Plug and Protect XT – $99
The Plug & Protect XT basic package uses a cellular connected Simon XT Control Panel from GE. This panel is commonly used in the industry and is a staple in many of the top companies. It isn’t super fancy, but it certainly gets the job done.
This package includes a wireless motion detector, 2 door/window motion sensors, a key-chain remote, 2 yard signs, and window decals. You can also buy extra devices such as a flood sensor, an image sensor, a freeze sensor, or the Simon XT bi-directional keypad.
LiveWatch’s Plug & Protect is a good basic-level package and works well for those that want safety but don’t need smart home automation.
Plug and Protect IQ – $199
The other package offered by them is the Plug & Protect IQ. The difference between the first basic package and this one is the control panel. The IQ package features the Qolsys’ IQ Panel. It is a sleek touch-screen, Android-operated tablet enabled with Wi-Fi and also a cellular chip. You may use the Z-wave technology with this service to automate your lights, locks, and even thermostat. You are able to connect up to 40 devices to your control panel.
The other unique features of this service is the built-in surveillance camera that will take pictures every time your system detects something. It also makes use of remotely controlling your system via the LiveWatch mobile app.
What is ASAPer?
LiveWatch Security uses ASAPer. It is a communication center that connects your entire family and can be accessed by any internet-enabled device.
Let’s pretend you have an alarm go off at your house. You have no idea whether it’s a false alarm or an actual emergency and you still have to call your wife and kids to warn them to stay safe until the alarm is cleared. That is a lot of calls that need to be made and that obviously takes time. ASAPer will send a simultaneous message to everyone in your circle, saving you time and making sure your loved ones stay safe.
A traditional notification system takes about 5 minutes to notify contacts if an alarm is triggered. ASAPer contacts everyone almost instantly. The whole thing takes about 30 seconds. While this is very fast, mobile apps today have improved most alert systems. The biggest benefit is really just the consolidated alert.
They use brand-named, GE sensors, and control consoles. They also offer ASAPer and Crash and Smash protection that help them stand out from their competition.
You may choose either their standard Cellular Monitoring service, or go for the Total Home Monitoring package. Both options include a wireless alarm panel featuring a sleek, user-friendly touch-screen, and both feature message alerts as a part of the 24/7 monitoring. You have the ability to customize the products and services with a wide range of equipment like smoke and heat sensors, energy-efficient thermostats, and video surveillance cameras.
LiveWatch Security has 3 monitoring centers across the U.S. The two-way talking touchscreen on the control panel gives you real-time information on your entire home, and gives you the ability to control your system whenever you want all from one convenient spot. Set up a range of customized notifications which you receive via text or email, and their iPhone, iPad, and Android apps let you control your system from just about anywhere via any smart device. Service provided by Alarm.com and Honeywell are also available with this system.
Phone Line plan only costs $9.95 per month and it includes the basics someone would need to protect their house from intruders and natural disasters. Home insurance discounts of up to 20% are possible with some insurance companies while using an alarm service.
Cellular Monitoring plan costs $29.95 a month and features a wireless cellular connection eliminating the worry of your phone line being cut or simply being slow. This package includes a wireless touchscreen control panel and the option to receive customized alert notifications via e-mail or text.
Total Home Monitoring plan costs $39.95 a month and includes all the benefits above with additional features including image sensor devices and automatic lighting, locks, and thermostat. This package also includes LiveWatch Security’s patented Crash & Smash technology that eliminates the possibility of intruders disabling your alarm system by trying to smash it. You can also choose to receive severe weather alerts, and schedule plans such as no-show or even location based alerts.
They use a DIY installation approach and because all the equipment is wireless it is extremely easy to do. You can take the system with you if you move, and easily transfer your devices to your new house. The whole setup usually takes only 30 minutes from top to bottom, and there is even tutorials on their main website to help you if need be. All of LiveWatch’s security systems come configured by professional technicians and once installed, your only one convenient phone call away from activating your service. You will then be connected to one of the three control centers to ensure your home receives 24/7/365 monitoring.
Help and Support
They will preprogram every unit before they even ship it to your home. If later on you decide you want a different function on some or all of your equipment. Using the instruction guide or by using their 24-hour technical support hotline. You can contact also contact their customer service via e-mail or their live chat, but the live chat is only available during certain hours. Their website also offers features tutorials and guidance videos to help you through the process.
If one of your devices starts to malfunction the tech support team will try and help you isolate the problem over the phone. Similar to most other companies selling DIY equipment, they do not have repair techs that can visit your house and check for you. The installation, repairs and the maintenance will all be your responsibility. Even though they do not have repair techs, they do offer a lifetime warranty on every device they sell.
LiveWatch Customer Service Reviews
In some ways, they appear to be customer friendly and their doing a lot of things the right way. They have a policy that lets you cancel at any time with no fees and although they still ask for a contract, the contracts are literally 1/3 of the industry average. They have received many awards for their excellence in customer service and their operators can be contacted 24/7 by phone or during normal business hours with the live chat feature on the website. You can also contact them via email, or their Twitter or Facebook accounts if that’s easier for you.
As of lately, most of the customer reviews have been looking like this..
My wife and I are quite satisfied with our new alarm system. If you ever require assistance from them, it’s available. the system we had before worked well but if the power went out, as it frequently does and we were away from the house no one would be notified as our phone cut off as well. this system is very easy to install and use and I would highly recommend it.Darwin S.
The LiveWatch team is amazing! The agents and Tech support were extremely helpful and very friendly! I used to have ADT before this and switched, best choice I’ve made in a long time. The equipment is top of the line and user friendly. I’d recommend them to everyone I know if i could. Thanks for a great experience!Cameron H.
Let’s review some of the positive aspects:
- $29.95/Month Advanced Monitoring
- 1-Year Money-back Guarantee
- Zero Early Termination Fees
- A+ BBB Rating
- Customizable Packages
- 100% Wireless
- Short 1-Year Contracts
- Support for Z-Wave home automation technology
- 2-Year Warranties
- Huge range of products offered
They also have a few less desirable aspects:
- Very Little Equipment Included
- $99 – $299 Upfront Costs
- $19.95 Activation Fee
- No Professional Installation Available
- LiveWatch website can be confusing
LiveWatch Home Security Verdict
They haven’t been around as long as some home companies, but they really strive to satisfy their customers. Their diverse product selection and customer service definitely make it a company to consider. If you are interested in a DIY company that has a short contract, incredibly awesome guarantee, and above average equipment and policies, you should most definitely check out LiveWatch Security.
For anyone that wants a do-it-yourself home alarm system, this company would be an excellent choice. If you do not want to sign a long multiple year contract, they may also be a good option for you. The lack of any contract cancellation penalties is not very common. If you want you can try it with a 1 year full money-back guarantee, how can you beat that?
If you need or want professional installation, then you will need to consider going with a different company.