Alarm.com Tested

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jul 13, 2017

Alarm.com has become the dominant force in smart home / remote service platform, with ~70% market share, combining their own traditional offering plus their acquisition of rival iControl business units.

But how well does the platform actually work? For this test, we connected the most interesting Alarm.com compatible and Z-Wave smarthome devices together to see how well they integrate.

Our system included:

Inside, we detail our findings on how well the system operates, where it is weak, and how it compares to other connected systems.

*****.****** ****** *** ******** ***** ** ***** **** / ****** service ********, **** ~**% ****** *****, ********* ***** *** *********** offering **** **************** ** ***** ******** ******** *****.

*** *** **** **** *** ******** ******** ****? *** **** test, ** ********* *** **** *********** *****.*** ********** *** *-**** smarthome ******* ******** ** *** *** **** **** *********.

*** ****** ********:

******, ** ****** *** ******** ** *** **** *** ****** operates, ***** ** ** ****, *** *** ** ******** ** other ********* *******.

[***************]

Key **** ********

*** **** ******* **** *****.***'* ********* ********* ******* ** * good ********* ** ******* *** ********, *********:

  • **** ***** ***********: *** *** **** ********* *******, ***'* *********** ** ***********, offering ******** ********** ** ***** ******, ******** ********, ******** *** thermostat ********, *** **** '*** ********' ******* **** **** **********. In **** *****, *** ******** ******* ********** ********** ******** *** offered ** *** ****** ******, **** ******** *********** ** *** thermostat.
  • ******** *****.*** ***: *****.***'* ********** *** ** ****** ** ********, *******, *** is ********* **** ****** **** *** *** ****** *** ** Push *************, ***-****** ******* ******, *** '****** *****' ******* ** camera *** ******** *****.
  • ** ****** ***** ***** *************: ** *** ****, *** ****** *** *** **** ** report ** ********* ***** ********** ** **** * ********* ****** or ****** ****** * ********. *** **** ********* *** *** video *******, ***** ******** ** **** *********** *** ***********, *** overall ** *** ***** ****** *******, **** *** *****.*** ******** successfully ********* ** ** *** ****.

*******, *** **** ****** ****** ********** ****** ********** **** ***** be *** ******** *** *********** *********:

  • ***** ***** ******** *** *****: ***'* **** ***** ************ *********** ***** ******* ** ****** laggy, ******* ****** ****** ** ******* **** **** ** ******* behind ****-****.
  • ****** ****** *********** ***** ********* **** ******: ******* ***** **** '****** *********' *********, *******, ** ********** controller ********* **** ** **** ** ** ******* **** ** communicate ** ******** ******** ** ******* ********** ********** ******* *** local ***** ***** ** * **********.
  • *** ****** ****** ******** ** ***: *** ***** ****** ** *** ********** ** ******* ** browser **** ********, *** ********* ** **** ********* ** ******** and *** **** ********* *********, **** ****** ******** ****** ********* over ****** ************.
  • *** ******* ****** *******: *** ***** ** ****** ****** ********* ** *** ** limited ** * *** ***** ***** **** * ******* ********** of ***** *** ***** ***** *******. ****** ******* *********** ************ is *** ****, *** ********* ****** ****** *** *** ***** for **** ********* ****** *** ******** ********** ************.

Alarm.com ********

*** (*****.***)** * ******* ***-** ** ********* *** **** ********** *******, most ***** **** ** * '********' ******* **** ******** ******** recurring ********** *** ****** ********** *** ********* *******. *** *** features *****.*** ****** ** ******* ******* *** ********** ** ********* alarms, ***** ************, **** ********** **** *********** *** *-****, *** other ****** *********** ****** ******** ******* **** ***** *********, **** locks, *** **** ********** *******.

*** ****** ******** *** ********* ****** ******* * ***-***** ****** or ********** *** *** ******, *** ******* **********. *** ***** appearance ** *** ******** ********* ** ***** ** *** ***** below:

** ****, *** ** *** * ******* ******* ********** ******. While **** ******* ** ***** ****** **** ***, ** ******* the *********** ** *** ******, *** ******, **** ** *** to ******* ****** **** * ******* *******. ** **** *****, Alarm.com ***** *** ********* ************ ********** ** ******** ****** ****-**********, but *** ********, *****, *** ******** ** *** ******* **** existing******** ********** ******** ** *******.

Uses *** ***** ******* ******

*****.*** (***) **** *** ***** ***** ****** *** *** **** intrusion *** ********** ***, *** ****** ******** ******** *** ***** offerings. *** **** **** ****'* *** *****, ***** ** ******** in ***** ** ******* ********* ******** (*** & *** ****** ******)******, ******** *** ***** **** ** * *********** ********** ** DIY *** ***** ******* *************. **** ***** ** * *****-***** appliance, **** * *********** ****** *** ******** ****** ********** **** a **** ******* *********. *** ******* *** *-**** ******* *** connected ** **** ***** *****, *** ********** ** *** *** a ******** ********** ******:

*** *****.*** ***, *** ****** ** **** ** * ******* default ********, *** ** *** ******** ************ *** ****** ***** into * **** **** ** *** **** ** *** ****:

**** *** **** ***** ** **** *****.*** *******, ***** *** in ** ********** **** ** *** ******* ** ******** ***** devices, *** ** ***** ************* ** ********. **** ***** ********** can ** **** **** *** *** ** **** * *** clicks ** **** **** * *******.

Other ********* ******

*******, **** ******* ***** **** **** *** ********* ** ***'* management ********. *********** *******:

** ***** ** ******, **** ** ***** ****** ******* ***** independent ********* *** ******* ********** ********* ******, *** **** ********** with *****.*** ** ******* *** '******' *** '***** **********' ******* of ***** *******. *** **** ***** ** ************* *** ******* of *-**** *******, ** *** ***** ********* ********** *******, ***** depends ** **** '******' ****** **********.

** **** ***, ** ***** ******* '*****.*** ******** * ********* *****. ***?' ** * ****** **********, **** **** ******* ********** ******** feedback ***** *** ***** ** ******* ******* ** *** *********** in ********** ********* ****** ** ****** ******* ****.

ADC ******** *******

*** ****** ******* *** ******* *** ******** ** '*** *******', available *** ********* ****** ***** *** ****** *** ******, ******* expanding *** ***** ** ********** *** ***** ******.

*** ~$*** *** ****** **** ** * *-**** ***, ****** automation ** ********* ********* ** ***-********** ********* *******.

Cloud ***** ********

*** ** ***'* '****** ***' ******** ** ****** ***** ****** access, ******** ***** ** *** ****** ********* '** ****' **** the **** *** *********** ***** ********* ******. ************* *** *****.***, our ******* ***** ***** ************ *** ** *** ****** ***** of *** ********. ** **** ** *** ***** ********* ** the **** ******* *****:

************ *** **** *******, *** ***** ****** ** ** **********, frequently ******** ****** ** ******, *** ********** *** *********** **** some ****** ***** ********* *** ******* ******* ******.

** ****, *** ********** **** ***** *** ****, *********** ** the ****** ********* *****. **** ***** ***** **** ********* ******* and **** ********. *********** ** *********** *** ******* ** ******** areas *** ********* ********* ** *** ********* **** *******, ***** is *** ************ **** ** ***, *** ** *** **** even **** ***** ******** *** ****** ** ********, ***** *********** was **********.

***'* **** ****** ***** ********, ************, ** *** *** ******** connection ****** ****** ******* ****** ** **** ** *** **** router. ** **********, *** **** ****** ** **** ** ****** connections ** **** ***** ******* ** ***** ** ******* ********* in ***** ******** ****** ****.

Limited ****** *********

*** ******** ***** **** ******* ******* **** ******* *** ********, which * ******** *** ***** **** ** ***** ************ ** *******.

*** ****** **** ****** *****, *** ****** *** ***** *******, *** * **** ** single ******* ****** *******. ************* ****, ***** ********** ** ******* to **** ** ***** *** ***** ****** *** *****, **** are *********** *** ******* *********** ************, *** *** *** ******* and ***** *** **** ****** ********** *******.

******** ** ****** ** *** ***** **** **** ********** ** **** *** ******/******* ******. ******* *** *** *** online ******* ******* *** ********* **** *****, ** ******* *** camera ********, *** * ******* **' - **' **** **** a ******** ****** ******* ******* ******** *****. ** ********* *** camera ***** **** *.* *** * ***, **** ** ********** differences.

*** ********** **** ** ****** ** *** **** ********* ****** of *** *** ********* ******, ******** *** ******-**** ** *** plastic **** ****** *** ***** ****** ******* ** ************* ***** specific ************.

App **. *******

*** ***** ******** **** ********* ******* ******* ** *** ***** some *********** ********* ***********. ** *******, *** ********** *** *** easier ** ******** *** ******* **** ******** ******* **** ********** and ******* **** *** *** ******* ******.

**** * ******** *** ****** **********, *** *** (***** *****) shows **** *** ***** ******* *** ********** ** ********* * single ****** ** ** * ****** ******** ****:

********** **** *** *** ******, ***** *** ******** *** ********* by * ****** *********, ********* ********* ******* ****** ** ******** to *** ******* ********:

***** *** *******, **** ****** ***** ************* *** **** ** miss ** *** *******, *** ******* ******** ** *** ***. From *** ***, ***** ************* *** ****** ** *** *** regardless ** **** ***** ******** *** **** ** **********, ** even ** *** ***** ** ****. *** **** ***** ***** shows *** **** ************* **** **** **** ******* *** ****** the ***:

***** *** ******* ******** ** ***** *** ** * ****** on *** **** ********* ******, *** ***** ****** *** *** pushed ** ******* *** **** ** ******* *** ******** *****.

*** ***** ***** ************ *** *** *********** ******* *** *** and ******* ******, ********* **********, **********, *** ******** ***********:

Doorbell ***********

*** **** *****, ** ********** ***** ******** **** ** * key *******, *********** ** ************ ******. *****.*** ******** ******* *********, including *** ******* ******, * ******* ***** ***** **** *** the ***** ****-****** ******* **.

** ***** ** ******* ***********, *****.***'* *** **** ******* ****** notifications **** *** ****** ** ****** ** ****** ** ********, compared ** *** *** ****** **** **** *******. *** *** allows *** ****** ***-*** ***** ************* ** **** ***** ** an *****-***** *******. *** ********** *********** *****, ***** ********** ** ************ *** ******** **** ** *** ******* ** **** *****, both ***** *****:

****** ********* *** **** ********* ** *** *** ******** **** local ***** ****** ** **** *** ********** ****. ***** ****** performance ** **** **** ***** ***'* ***, *** ******** ***** are ****** ** *** **** ******* '*****' **** ****** ** the **** ** *** ********* *******, *********** ******** ***** ********** to ****** *** ********.

***** **** ********* ** *****, **** **** ** ****** **** button *** '**** ** ****' ****** ***** *******. ** ******** VMD ** ***-*****/** ************ ******** *** ********* ** *** ***.

No **** *******

*** ******* ******** **** *** ******** ******* ** ******* ** Ring *******, **************** ******* ****** ******* ****** **** ******* **. *** **** ** support ******* ** ** * ******** ******** *** *** * technology **********, ***** **** ******* *** **** ******** ******* ********* with * ******** *******.

Thermostat ***********

******* ********* '********* ****' ******* ** ****** ******* *** ****** of ***********. ** ********* *** ******* *-**** ******* ********* ** ** *** ****** *** **********. *** *********** and ********** **** *** ** **** ****** *** ***** *** reliable **** ** ******.

*** ***** ***** ******** *** ********* ** *** **********, *** other ********* *******, ** **** *** *** *** *** ******. In *******, ********** *********** *** ****** ******* ** ***** ******* was **** *** ******* ******** *****:

Schedules ** ***, *** **********

*** *********** ****** ** *** ******** *** **** ****** ********** was ***** ****** ** *** *** *** **** ** *** device *****. *** *******, ******** *******/******* ********* ** * **** feature ** **** ***** ***********, *** **** ******** *** *** ADC *** ******** ** *** **** *****. *** ***** ***** shows *** '***** & ******' ****** ***** *********** ** *** browser ******, *** ** ******** *********** ** ** *********** **********:

Price *** ********** *********

**** * ********* **** ***********, *****.*** ******** *** ***** ***** to *********** **** ***** *******, **** * ******* ******* **** of $** - $** *** *****.

*** **** ********** *** ******* *****, *** ******* **** ** ADC **** ** ****** ** $**, ***** ***** ******** ******* connecting ***** ** ******** ****** *** ** ** ** ****. In *******, ******** **** ***** ***** *** ******** ******* *** to ***** *****, *** *** **** ********* ****** *** **** play * ****** ** *** ********* ****** ******** **, ***** native ******* ** *-****, ******, ** ***** ************.

******** ************ ** *** ******* *** ****** *******:

****(******** ***********)

** **** ********, *** ***** *** ******** *********** **** ****. Like ***, **** ******** **** * ****** ** *********, ********* the **** **** *** ****** ******, *** ******** **** **** of *** **** *******, *-**** *******, *** ******* *******. **** ADC, **** **** ******** * ********** *** ***** *******, ** aggressive ****** *** ******* *******, *** **** ***** *********** ************ not ********* **** *** **** **** *** ******.

*******, ** ***** ** ******** ***********, *** *** * **** established ******** **** *** *********** ** *********** ******* ****** ******* new ***********, ******* **** **** ********** ** ******* ******* *** may ****** **** ********* ********* *** *******.

*********

** ***** ** ************ ***** ******* *.* ************, *** ***** ********** *********** **** * ******* ********* **** in *** ****** *****. **** * ************* ***** ** ****, ADC ***** ******* *********** ** ***** *******, ********* ******* ****** choices *** *-**** **** (*** ******) **********.

*******, *** *** * ******** ******* **** ********* ** **** it ** *** ****** ** ******* **** **** *** ***** of ********* *****. **** * ***** ******** ***** ** ****, ADC *** ******* **** *** *********** **** **** * **** number ** ******* ******** ** ***** *******. ***** ********* ********** are * ******* ***** ** ****** ***** ***** ************, *** has *** ********* ** *********** ******* **** **** ********.

Comments (10)

***** ******. * ******** *** ***** * *** ** ******** into *** ****** ******* ***** ***** ** **** ***** ** me *** ******* *** ***** **** ******** ******** *********. ****** up * ***** ******* **** ** *** ****** **** **** a ***** ****** *** ** ** ****. ** *** **** out ***** **** **** *** ***** *** **** ** ***** are **** * ******* ****** **** **** *** *** ********* by *******.

*****://***.******.***/***/***.*********.***/*******/*******/********/**-****-*-****-*******-****-*******-**-********-*****-***-*******-*-****-*******.***.****

**** *** * ***** ********** *** ****** **** *** **'* pretty **** ** **** *** ***** **.

*'** **** ***** *****.*** ****** **** ****** ** * ***** commercial ******** ** ******** *********, **, **** ***** ** ********** users **** ********* ****** ** ****** ******. ****** * ****** good ********** ***** ***** ** * ******* ********* **** *** Alarm.com ************ *****: ** ** ******** ****** (*.*. ******, *****, etc) **** *** *** **** ***** *** , *** **** time ** ********** **** ***** *** **** ** *** ********, the ****** ***** **** ***** ** ** ****** ******, ** the ***** **** *** *********** ****** *** **** *** ***** his ****. ****, **** **** ** ********** ******** *** *** panel *** *** "****** ********." **** ********** ***** ***'* *********** have **** ****. ************, ******* ** ********** ** ***** ** verify, *** ******* ******* (*********) **** ***** *** ****. **** has **** ** $*** ** ***** ***** ******* **** ** local **.

**** ** **** (******* ** ** **** *****.***) ** **** Qolsys ******* *** *****-***** ******* ** * *** *****: * had ******** ***** ****** **** *** ********** ***** **** ********* when ********** **** *** ****** *****. *** ******* **** **** when * ******* ***** *** *** ****** **** *********. *'** also *** * ****** ** ***** **** *** ******** ******** door ******* **** ************ ****** ** ****** *** **** ****, resulting ** ****** ***** *** *** ** *** ******** ****** sensor. **** ******* ***** ******, ******* ************.

**** ****** *** ** *** **** ** *****.*** **** *** call *** ****. ** *** ** ** **** ** * central *******. * ******* *** **** **** ******* ******* *** find *** *** **** *** ***********.

***'** *****, * ****** **** **** **** ***** *** **** edit ** ******** ********. *** * *** **** *** ******* station (*********) **** **** **** ***** ********, **** ****** *****.***, and ******* **** **** ***** ******'* ** *******. **** *** I ************ **** ****** ** *** **** **** ****** *** cops.

*** ** **** *******? * **** ******* ******* **** ******* to ********** ******* *** **** **** ** ********* ** ** not ******* ** *******-**** ** ** **.

********* ** ***** ** ****. *** **** *** **** ** monitor **** (*********) ***** ** *** *********** ***/** ** ****'** transitioned.

**** ******, ****** *** **** ** ******* **** *** *-**** device *******, **** *****, ******, ***. *** *** ****** * door **** *** ***** ******** ****** ***** ** * **** cool *******. **** ********** ** *** ********** ****** **** *********** and **** ********* ***********.

*** ******* **** ***** *** ** ********** *****. **** **** THE ***** ******** ********* ***-*** ******* ******* **** ********* **** to ** ****** ** **** ** * **** ****** **** 90% ****** ******** - ******* **** *** *** ****** **** their ***** *** ****-**** *** ******* ***** *** **** ********* HIK *******. *** * **** **** ** ******** ** *** on ****, *** *** ******* *** ******** *** **** ******* camera *** ***** ** ***** ** *******, *******, ******** *** compatibility/reliability. **'** ******* *** ** *** *** *** *** ******* to **** ****, *** ** *********** **** *** *** ****** Video ******** (***) **** *** ****** ***'* ****** *** *** the **** ******. **** ** ****** **** ***** ******* *** easy *****, *** *** **** ******* ** ******** *****/***********. *** ADC ******* **** *** ***'* ***** ** * **** *******.

*** ** ** ******* ******* - *** ****'** *** ****** inexpensive, ** *'* ********* **** ***'* **** **** ***********. ***** be *********** ** *** * ******* ** *** ***** **% of **** ****** **** *** *****'* ***. *** **** *** good?

**** ******, ****** *** **** ** ******* **** *** *-**** device *******, **** *****, ******, ***.

**** *****, ****** * ***** ** ******** *** ***** ******** characteristics (**** *** **** ********* ** *** *****) **** ***. So *-**** *******, *** *** **** ** *****, ***** ** a ***** *** ********* ** ***** ******** ***** *** *** using.

*******, **** **** ****, * ***** **** **** *** *** have *** *-**** **** **** **** *** ** ***** ****. Not * ******** *****, **** *********** *** **** ************** ****** **** **.

*** * **** **** ** ******** ** *** ** ****, but *** ******* *** ******** *** **** ******* ****** *** there ** ***** ** *******, *******, ******** *** *************/***********.

**** ********* ********* *** ********, *** ***** ***** ** * good ********* *** **** ** *** ********* *** *******. **** calls ** ***** ** ******* **********.

***** ** *********** ** *** * ******* ** *** ***** 30% ** **** ****** **** *** *****'* ***. *** **** any ****?

** *** ******* *********'* ***** ******* *.* ****** **. **** tuned *** ****.

* ****** **** ** *** *** ******* ******** **** ** a ****** *****?

********* ** *** **********, *****.*** ******** ** ** * - 16 *********** *** *******.

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