The $100 Intrusion System Korner Tested

By Brian Rhodes, Published Aug 18, 2015, 12:00am EDT

Multi-year contracts at $30 per month are the norm.

Now a startup is offering an intrusion system for $59 up front and just ~$3 monthly.

The company, Korner, has billed itself as the "Home Security Anyone Can Use and Everyone Can Afford" and raised more than $400,000. It is even less expensive than mega VC funded intrusion company Simplisafe (who we tested here).

We ordered Korner last year, and it finally arrived, shown below:

*************, *** **** ** Korner's ********* *** **** and *********** ****** ** recommend ******** ***** **** are *****:

*********

  • ***** ***/*********:*** ******* ***** **** Korner ** ***** *** system **** *********.  ** experienced ******* '****' ** the ********* **** *** webportal *** *** *** in *********** *** ****** or ******* ************* ** events.  *** *******, *********** sensor **** ********** ***** out ** *** ***, but ****** ** *** webportal. *** ******** ***** notifications ****** ** ************* send ** *** - a **** ***********.
  • ****** ***** ** *******: ******'* "****" *** wireless *** *** ****** network *******. *** ******* claims **** ***** *** these **** ** '***** 100 **** (***)', ******* we *********** ************ ******** at ** ****, *** no *********** ** *** beyond ** ****. ****** is ******** ** ***** an '********' *** **** increases ***** ** '******* 100 ****', *** **** unit ** *** *** available *** *** **'* performance **** ******.
  • ** ******: **** ** ***** to ******* ******, ****** is '*** ** *******'.  There ** ** ********* to ****** ******* **** or ********* ** * quick *** ***** *** or ***** ***** *** been *********.  **** ** a ***** ******* *** even ***** *********** ******* that *** **** ** leave * **** ******* for ******* **** ******* or ***** ** *** which ****** *** **** inadvertantly **** ****.
  • ***** ******:******* ******* ** '** zoning', ***** ** * lengthy ***** ******* ****** the ****** *** ** actually ***** *****, ** a ****** ** ~** seconds ** ****.  *** delay ***** ** ****** if ******* ** ** 'exit *****' ** * specific ****, *** *** app ****** ******* ****** for ****** ******/********* *** no ******** ***** *** supported.  *******, *** **** time **** ***** ***** on ******* ** *** the ****** ** **********.
  • *** ****** ****:****** **** ****** * single ****** ****, * wireless ********* '******' ***** sensor. **** ** ********** sensors ***** (**** **** basic ****** ** *****-***** detectors) ** ***** ****, coverage ** ******* ** doors *** ******* ****.  
  • ***** ****** ******: *** ******* *** Korner ****** ***** ** system ******* ** ** emails. *******, **** ****** unreliable ** *******, **** emails ****** ** ******* of *** '******** ******' of ****-******* *********** *** no ***-** ****** *** app ***** ****.
  • **** ******* ******:*******, *** ************ ****** of ******'* **** ******* 'stick' *** ** * problem, ******* ** ** designed ** ** ******* into ******* ** ******.  With **** ***** ******* these ******* ** * cabinet ** *****, *** stick ********** *** ** the **** *** ** and ******* *****.  ********, the ***** ******** *** system *******, *** ** buried ** * ******* or ******* ** * distant ****, *** **** may *** ** ***** by ***** *********** ****** the ****** *******.

*********

*******, *** ********** *** poor.  ****** **** **** some ********* ** ***** on:

  • ****** *****: *** *** ** ****, and ****** ** ** both ******** *** ******** in ********* **** ** window *******. ******* ***** an *********/ **** *************, non-magnetic ******* ******, ** proved **** *** *** but ****, **** **** opening ******** *** ******* of * ******* '***** and ****' **** ** intrusion *******.
  • ** ***** ******: ** ****** ** handtools ** ********** ******* Korner. ***** *** **** are ********-******, *** **** was ****** ****** ** withstand ******** ******** *** temperature/humidity ******* ******* *******.  The ***** ***** *********, the '*****', **** ** RJ-45 ***** ********* ** plug **** * ****** and ** ******** ** necessary.  *** ********* ******** short ** *****, ** 'non-DIYers' ************* **** ********* installs, ****** ** **** to **********.
  • ***********:********* *** ***** *** a ****** ****** ****** between $** - $** for * ******** *** with *** ** ***** tags, *** * ********* annual **** ** $** for *** ******.

********

****** *********

** *** ***** *****, we **** *** **** app/system ********* ********* *** web ****** ** ********** app:

 

*** *** ******** *** system ******** ** **** while ****** ** ********, several ******** *** ****** (like *************) ** *** unreliable ** ***** (**** addings **** *** ****** the ******).

******** ********

** **** *****, ** examine *** ******** ****** and ******* **** ************ of *** **** '*****' unit:


*** ************ ****** ******** the ******'* ****, *** the ****** **** **** almost *" ** ******** modem ** ****** ** is ********* **, ****** for ** ******* ******* and ****** ******* *** sounder **** ** * cabinet ** ** * location *** ****** ***** by *****.

****** ****** ****

*******, ** ******* *** Korner '***' ****** *****, designed ** ** ****** on ***** *** *******.


***** *** ******* ************ is *****, *** **** and ***** ** *** tag *** *** ** aesthetically ******** ** *** doors *** *******. ************, while *** ******** ****** makes ******* ****, ** also ******** ******** ********* that *** ***** *** potential ******** ** ***** over ****.

System *******

**** ***** *********, ****** claimed $** ****** ***** with ** ********* **** ever.  ******* *** ******* has ******** ******** **** to:

  • $** *** **** ****** cost, ********* * ***** and * ****, ********** up ** ** **** (at * **** ** $25 ****)
  • $** *** **** ******* subscription ***** ** ******** connectivity ** **** *** configuration *** ******.

**** ****** **** ******* at ***** *** '********' that **** * ***-**** cost ** $** ** the ******.

***** ***** ******** *** ownership **** *** *** turn **** *** ** the ********* ****** ******* fee, Korner ***** ******* ************* cheaper **** *** ********* alarm ****** **** *** cost ********* *** ******* lengthy ********** *********.

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

**** *** ******** ***** of *** ****** ***** less **** ** **** and **** ********** * single ****, ****** *********** is **** * ********* fit *** *****, ****** floor ********* ***** ***** with * *** ***** or *******.  ***** ***** apartments *** *** ***** vertical ****** ** *********, the ******* **** ******* to ******** ***** *** system *** ****** ********** and *****-***** ******.

*********** *** *********, *** unreliability ** ******'* ***** notifications, *** **** *** DIY ****** **** ** consumer ***** *******, ************ are **** ** ****.

*** *********** ** *****, non-zoning, *** ****** ****** choice ***** ****** ******** for ****** ****** ** where **** ******** ***** sensors *** ********, **** for ******** *********** ********* systems.

Market **********

***** *** ****** ************ and *** ****, ****** is ******** ** * suddenly ******* *** ********* alarm ******. *******, ******** to ***** ******* **** Simplisafe (****** **** ****) ****** ** *** ******** at ***** ******.

*** *******, ***** ******* Simplisafe *** ****** ******* discrete *****, ********** ****** for ************* ** ********** sensors ** ****** ****** or ********* ****** ***** while ****** **** ***.

********** ****** * ***** of *******, *************** **** *** ********** detectors, ***** ****** ****** a ****** **** ** window ****.

********, ****** **** *** against **** ***********, **** most ********** ******* **** that $** ** ****** and **** **** $** per **** ** **** networked.  *** ********** ****** from********** **** ***** $***, *** ~$*** *** remote *************, ******** *********** ** likely ***** ** ** better **** ****** ************* that **** *** **** flexible ********* *******.

Our ************** 

**** **** **** ******.  Like **** *********** ********, the ******** ******* *** entered * ******* ***** not ****** ***** ** pushing ******** ******* *** hardware ****** **** ** reliable.  ** **** *****, Korner *** **** ***** the ******* ** ********* designs ** *** *****, and *** **** ***** is ******** *** *** company.

Comments (3)

Hey Brian,

I backed Korner in Kickstarter. It is an early product.

If it wasn't crowedsourced I doubt they would have shipped it this soon.

I think it will mature over time. I would adivce waiting til then for most people.

They did say there are lot of things needs to be fixed. It does have over the air upgrade capability.

One thing that annoys me is the sound from the stick. Everytime door/window is opened the thing emits loud sound. I have it in my home office. Everytime it goes off I jump!

Paresh

Here's a question, do you think crowdsourcing companies like this represent a serious threat to residential security from the big players?

Though companies like Dropcam/Nestcam and Korner have a host of bugs right now, they also represent newer technology, that is easy to deploy, that has the potential to provide a reliable, high resolution sensor set to an owner's house that they can easily interact with using smart phones, PCs, etc.

It feels like to me that within 5-10 years, such companies will eliminate about 95% of the residential market for the big players in that space.

Thoughts?

UPDATE: Korner Quits

I received this email today:

Customer acquisition in an increasingly crowded segment apparently was the biggest contributor: 

Despite the overwhelmingly positive response from our customers, it was surprisingly difficult (and expensive) to acquire new ones.

Given the system did not work well to begin with, it is somewhat surprisingly they lasted as long as they did.

 

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