Alarm.com Examined

By John Honovich, Published Jul 27, 2009, 08:00pm EDT

Alarm.com is expanding into the video surveillance market with a hosted video offering similar to Axis STS. With 200,000 current customers and 800 dealers, Alarm.com is leveraging its foothold in the security monitoring market to expand into video surveillance. The video service was launched in November 2008.

The service consists of a series of IP cameras (basic, budget class indoor, outdoor and PTZ cameras) with special firmware loaded to automatically connect the cameras to Alarm.com's monitoring center and provide remote recording and client viewing. Alarm.com seeks to differentiate from tighter integration with its security monitoring services (for video verification, etc) and lower prices (since it is leveraging an existing monitoring center and customer base. While Alarm.com declined to share prices publicly, the price levels they cited to me were significantly lower than any video centric hosting provider (e.g., ByRemote, Secure-i, etc.) even for similar entry level packages. Alarm.com also offers a number of mobile viewing/remote control options that is consistent with the broader trend of many hosted providers.

Alarm.com's pricing tends to be fairly inexpensive yet more constrained on storage provided. Additionally, the pricing varies based on whether the customer is bundling video with alarm monitoring or is purchasing video only.

For video only, up to 4 cameras and 50 MB of storage has a $19.95 MSRP per month (note: unlike most providers, Alarm.com does not price per camera). Up to 8 cameras and 250 MB of storage is $29.95 MSRP per month. When bundled with alarm monitoring (the more common approach), the MSRP is $10 less. Cameras are sold separately.

Alarm.com only sells through dealers, ending its direct customer sales 2 years ago. Earlier this year, MicroStrategy, the previous majority shareholder sold their stake in Alarm.com for $27.7M USD.

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