iSmartAlarm is one of our favorite picks for DIY home security. The system provides affordable entry options and free cloud storage but limited home automation. The packages are divided between home sizes: studio, two-bedroom, and so on. While the system isn’t perfect for everyone, it is a solid choice for some people—like me!—who live in a small apartment. Maybe you have a vacation home or a hunting lodge that you only occupy part of the time and want to keep an eye on. In those cases, self-monitoring can work. Here’s our full review of how well iSmartAlarm fits the bill.
- The sensors are inexpensive, so expansion is easy.
- There are no monthly fees and no contracts of any sort.
- The system is completely wireless.
- Several days’ worth of free cloud storage is included with the system.
- As with all DIY systems, there is no professional monitoring.
- Some customers complain about poor customer service.
- The larger equipment packages are too expensive for the value they provide, especially with the lack of a camera.
- The options for home automation are extremely limited.
iSmartAlarm offers six packages, three of which are “exclusive” packages. For more information on what the equipment means for you, read our “iSmartAlarm equipment” section after our “packages” section.
The iSmartAlarm Deluxe Package
||Pan & Tilt
Pan & Tilt Smart Home Video Bundle
Although some other packages include more sensors, the Smart Home Video Bundle would be our number one package recommendation for a simple reason: it’s the only one that includes a camera. The package includes three contact sensors, one motion sensor, and one remote tag, so if you live in a larger home you’ll need to add additional accessories.
Frankly, the Preferred Package isn’t the greatest value. Although it comes with an extra remote tag, it has fewer contact sensors than the Plus Package, which is priced just cents more.
The Deluxe Package is a tiny bit more expensive than the Preferred Package, but it includes enough sensors to protect a one-bedroom apartment. Any apartment larger than a one-bedroom would likely need more motion sensors (and a more expensive package). But we’d recommend looking at the Plus Package.
The Plus Package offers more contact sensors for about the same price as the Deluxe Package. If you break it down, the Plus Package is the same as the Smart Home Video Package minus the camera. If you added an additional camera to the Plus Package, it would be the exact same price.
The Guard Package is the first of iSmartAlarm’s “exclusive” packages. These packages have more sensors included in them, which would better for larger households. The Guard Package is designed to fit most one- or two-bedroom homes, and it is likely the best value for serious home security. To round it out and make this package truly worthwhile, we suggest adding a camera.
The Protect Package is designed for two- to three-bedroom homes. With six contact sensors and five motion sensors, it can cover multiple angles and entryways. The downsides are that the package is much more expensive than most of the other packages and it doesn’t include a camera.
The Shield Package is the final option from iSmartAlarm, and it’s by far the most expensive. Although it includes a huge number of sensors, it lacks a camera—and honestly, for this price range, you’re better off paying for a proper security system with professional monitoring.
The company doesn’t offer a huge range of equipment, but the pieces it offers are inexpensive and easily expandable.
The CubeOne hub is the “brain” of the entire iSmartAlarm system. This hub supports up to 70 connected devices at any given time and has a 110dB siren built in. This piece of equipment cannot be purchased on its own (nor would it make sense to do so). It works with your other iSmartAlarm equipment.
Window & Door Sensors
The contact sensors sell in two-packs for a great deal on Amazon. These are placed on anything that opens—doors, windows, cabinets, etc. When the two sections of the sensor separate, the sensor signals the CubeOne hub and you receive an alert on your smartphone. These are great for monitoring specific areas, like the knife drawer in the kitchen or your liquor cabinet
Motion sensors have a 30-foot PIR range. These are battery-powered and totally wireless, and you can move them easily throughout the home to wherever you’d like. The sensors attach to the wall with double-sided adhesive, so installation and setup are quick. The angle of the sensor is also adjustable.
Remote tags let you control your system at home, without using your smartphone. The remote has four buttons: one to arm the alarm, one to disarm the alarm, one to trigger the siren, and one to silence the siren. You could use these for visitors in your home to give them access to the system.
The Spot Camera is the basic camera offering from iSmartAlarm. The camera includes features like two-way audio, smoke and carbon monoxide detection, and motion detection. You also receive up to 14 days of free cloud recordings and up to 32GB of local storage. You can connect up to 10 Spot cameras to a CubeOne hub, but unlike the other devices offered by iSmartAlarm, the Spot can work completely on its own—no hub required.
The iCamera Keep is the most powerful camera the iSmartAlarm offers, and it’s also on the more expensive side. The iCamera Keep has 720p resolution, night vision, the ability to pan and tilt, and up to 4x digital zoom. Like the Spot, up to 10 cameras can be connected to the CubeOne, but it also works as a completely standalone device.
iSmartAlarm has other equipment like the Satellite Siren, an additional siren that you can connect to the CubeOne. You can also purchase the Smart Switch, which allows you to remotely control any device plugged into the switch, such as a lamp or a coffee maker.
Installing the System
iSmartAlarm is one of the simplest systems to install. Most sensors are applied using double-sided adhesive. Since most of the sensors are wireless, you don’t have to drill holes for cable management. You can simply plug and play.
The system includes instructions on how to get started. In addition, you can download the Quick Installation Guide from the company’s website. It really is only three steps. Most of the sensors are connected to the CubeOne through the mobile app: scan the QR codes and follow the on-screen instructions to get started.
Here’s what customers have to say about iSmartAlarm.
“In my opinion it’s the best DIY security system anybody can buy these days. Super simple to set up and if you ever have any questions there’s an easy to understand and friendly contact support center. Their cameras are great, I’m just waiting for some outdoor models to come out. In a few months they will have a new “Pro” indoor camera that has motion tracking and other neat features built in. I would definitely recommend this to a friend or family member!”
— MikeT, Best Buy, 10/23/2016
“Was looking for a smart security solution that is portable since I rent..app could use some work but the system works great.”
— RandomT, Best Buy, 10/26/2016
“False alarms, going off and back online to many times. Sometimes multiple times in the same day. No I would not recommend it and I would not buy it again. I’m very disappointed with this product. If I can figure out a way to return it I will!”
— DrSailmaker, Best Buy, 7/6/2017
“While the iSmartAlarm system was functional, the biggest issue I had with it was that there are almost no devices that work with it other than the few that were in the Premier bundle. I ended up returning it and buying the Samsung SmartThings bundle instead. The iSmartAlarm is OK if all you want are door/window sensors and an alarm (not very loud). The Samsung SmartThings give you all that plus lets you control lights, various Wifi thermostats, a Wifi deadbolt and a growing list of IoT products made by several different manufacturers (ex. Nest, Honeywell, Cree, GE, etc.). I would sum up the iSmartAlarm as a “dead-end” product.”
— Kish, Best Buy, 1/30/2017
iSmartAlarm: Smart or Not?
The iSmartAlarm system could be great in certain scenarios. I live in a secured apartment building on an upper floor, so I don’t need to monitor my windows, but I appreciate that the Spot camera works as a standalone so I can monitor maintenance and pest control when I’m away from home. However, if I wanted a larger or more robust security system, I’d be more inclined to find something with professional monitoring and more smart home features.
If something goes wrong, all the push notifications in the world won’t notify the police for you—and if you’re away from your phone, all you’ll have is a little evidence after the theft has happened. iSmartAlarm is a great choice for limited situations but not for whole-home security. Think about how many valuables you have in your home and decide if you want to take on the responsibility for those yourself. If you decide a more comprehensive security system might be needed, take a look at our list of the top home security systems.