Wyze home monitoring without subscription

Wyze home monitoring without subscription DEFAULT
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Wyze is well known in the smart home industry for one thing: pushing prices lower than they've ever been. At a time when Wi-Fi-connected cameras were regularly over $100, Wyze launched a $20 smart cam. While video doorbells are still almost all over $100, Wyze launched (a slightly less successful) $30 doorbell cam. And now, Wyze has entered the home security game with a $50 Home Monitoring security kit and $5/month professional monitoring.

Those prices are ridiculously low (I'll show you exactly how ridiculously low later), but the question is, how does the technology perform? I installed the system and tried out the monitoring, and it was surprisingly solid -- with one or two notable exceptions. If you're wanting the sleek, hassle-free, integrated smart security experience of a professionally installed system, Wyze isn't it. But if you're looking for reliable home monitoring for a third of your monthly Netflix subscription cost alone? You can't beat Wyze.

Like

  • The price
  • Smart home integration possibilities
  • Did I mention the price?

Don't Like

  • No cellular backup
  • Limited 3rd party device integration in the Wyze app

How cheap is it really

Home security systems have a reputation for exploitative contracts and expensive monitoring subscriptions. While many companies are improving these -- particularly by adding more transparency and removing contracts altogether -- prices are still fairly high, especially for professionally installed systems.

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To compare, Vivint and ADT charge $500-$600 for their base systems, which include a handful of sensors and a touchscreen hub. Comcast Xfinity's base system is $350. Among DIY systems like Simplisafe and Ring, starter kits start at around $200 (give or take; sales are common) and include sensors, a keypad and a bridge.

Wyze's system costs $50. Yes, fifty bucks. And it comes with one more door/window sensor than Simplisafe's and Ring's base kits (Ring does include a Wi-Fi range extender that Wyze doesn't). In addition, you can add a 3-pack of door/window sensors for $20, a motion detector for $8 and a variety of Wyze cams for as little as $24. Again, those prices are pretty unbeatable.

OK, but what about monitoring? Surely Wyze can't beat competitors on everything, price-wise.

Au contraire, reader. Wyze's professional monitoring fee is $5 per month, compared to Simplisafe's $15/month and Ring's $10/month base plans. The professional systems from ADT ($39/month), Vivint ($30/month) and Xfinity ($30/month) are even higher -- and you often have to pay significantly more for home automation features and cloud storage for cameras.

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Wyze includes all of its smart home features at no extra charge, and charges only $2/month per camera for comparable cloud storage. What's more, at the time of this review's writing, if you pay for a year of professional monitoring ($60), you get the starter kit for free and free cloud storage for one camera for a year.

How affordable is Wyze's Home Monitoring kit? As I said before, ridiculously affordable.

OK, but is it good?

The Wyze Home Monitoring security kit includes a hub with a built-in siren, two door/window sensors, a keypad and a motion detector. Setting it all up took me about twenty minutes, and went about as smoothly as most DIY security setups go these days. It wasn't quite as easy as, say, Abode Iota's setup -- Abode's devices come paired already -- but it was relatively painless.

The door/window sensors worked as they do in every system, accurately indicating when an entry point was closed or open. The motion sensor never missed me walking through a room -- even when I was over thirty feet away -- but also wasn't over-sensitive. It didn't report tree branches waving outside nearby windows, for instance.

The keypad is small, but feels well-made. All of the devices are battery-powered and should last about 18 months before needing those batteries replaced, according to Wyze. The batteries are AA and AAA, which makes those replacements relatively convenient.

The Wyze app itself is also super simple to understand and navigate. One problem, though: If you want to use the Wyze app for home monitoring and smart home integration, you'll need to use only Wyze devices -- its connected bulbs, cameras, plugs, locks and so on. Granted, we've liked many of these devices, but it's a more restrictive experience than what you might get with, say, Ring Alarm, where you can integrate some third-party gadgets from Yale, Kwikset and Leviton.

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To integrate Wyze's security system with other smart home devices, you'll need to use other integration platforms, like IFTTT (an app that specializes in connecting smart home devices from different developers). For some people, this won't be a problem at all -- Wyze is a DIY home security system, after all, so taking the time to set up triggers between Wyze's door/window sensors and, say, your Philips Hue lightbulbs may not bother you.

In fact, integrations with IFTTT can give you a ton of flexibility and freedom that you don't get (or don't get cheap) with higher-end home security systems. For instance, IFTTT can trigger connected devices like lights when a smart cam detects motion (and this can be accomplished using only Wyze devices). That level of depth isn't possible even on our favorite professional security system, Comcast Xfinity.

In addition, Wyze works well with both Google Assistant and Alexa. You can call up live camera feeds on Nest and Echo smart displays, and control your Wyze smart locks with a four-digit PIN. As of now, however, you can't arm or disarm your security system with a voice command and PIN.

The biggest drawback of Wyze Home Monitoring is the lack of cell backup. If your Wi-Fi goes down, the system will still detect breaches and set off the local alarm, but it won't contact the monitoring service. Most professional and DIY alternatives offer cell backup (occasionally for a small price bump), so this feels like Wyze's one big deficit compared to the competition.

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That said, as long as there isn't a power outage, monitoring seems to work well (and even if there is, Wyze still at least has battery backup to maintain the local security measures).

I tested Wyze's armed modes (home and away), but I didn't go through the process of triggering a real warning. According to the company, if you do so, you'll get a text message within five seconds, a phone call within thirty seconds, and authorities will be notified within a minute -- allowing you time to stop a false alarm, but also not wasting much time in case of a real emergency.

The best budget security system?

Wyze has jackhammered through the subfloor beneath another smart home gadget with the Home Monitoring system. It's cheap, effective and… well, did I mention cheap?

Of course, that $50 price tag and $5 monitoring fee mean Wyze can't compete with everything the pricier competitors offer, and cell backup is the most notable cut feature. But no cell backup is better than no professional monitoring -- so if you're between a fully self-monitored system and Wyze's $5/month system, Wyze will give you the much better value.

Sours: https://www.cnet.com/home/security/wyze-home-monitoring-kit-review-the-best-budget-security-system/

Wyze Home Monitoring review: A tremendous value for the price, if you can live with its limitations

Wyze Labs has adopted the old razor-and-blades business model to enter the home security market: It’s giving away its Wyze Home Monitoring starter kit to consumers who commit to one year of its professional monitoring service. As is its wont, however, Wyze is severely undercutting the competition on price: $60 buys the hardware and a full year of monitoring.

Mentioned in this article

At $60 per year, Wyze’s professional monitoring will dispatch law enforcement if the security system goes into an alarm state. Monitoring is outsourced to the third-party service provider Noonlight, and it costs about half what Ring charges for its Ring Alarm DIY home security system (that’s on top of the $250 Ring charges for its starter kit). Ring outsources its professional monitoring, too; as you’ll see, however, Ring’s offering is more robust overall.

Since Wyze’s service plan includes full support for just one home security camera, it’s conceivable that Wyze’s service could end up costing just as much as Ring’s plan. That’s because Ring includes an unlimited number of cameras—including its video doorbells and floodlight cams—in its plan. You can add more than one camera to the Wyze system, but you’ll need to pay for a Cam Plus subscription for the second and each subsequent camera to unlock all of those cameras’ features.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart home systems, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.

wyze home monitoring hub rear panelMichael Brown / IDG

Without a Cam Plus subscription, Wyze security cameras are limited to capturing just 12-second video clips, with a 5-minute cooldown between each recording, and you won’t get features such as person, package, and vehicle detection. You can see a comparison of the two service levels on Wyze’s website.

A Wyze Cam Plus subscription currently costs $14.99 per year ($1.25 per month) per camera, so in the unlikely event you decided to deploy eight more cameras, Wyze’s monitoring plan plus eight Cam Plus subscriptions would cost about the same as Ring’s service plan. Perhaps I should say in the impossible event you'll want to deploy eight more Wyze cameras, because the system is currently limited to supporting five. That just one of several reasons why Ring’s system is more powerful. Lots of other features I asked Wyze about are on the Wyze Home Monitoring product roadmap—with some planned for deployment in 2021—but they’re not available in this first iteration of the system. I’ll go into more detail on that later.

wyze camMichael Brown / IDG

What’s in the starter bundle?

The Wyze Home Monitoring Bundle includes a base station—the Wyze Sense Hub—that connects to your home network (via Wi-Fi or ethernet cable); a 15-button, backlit keypad you’ll use to arm and disarm the system; two contact sensors you can attach to doors and/or windows; a motion sensor; and a couple of decals you can slap on your window to warn potential intruders that your home is protected by a security system. Advertising which home security system is protecting your home, however, is bad idea, because a well-educated intruder will know how to exploit any of its weaknesses (and the Wyze system has a significant weakness that I’ll get into later).

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Wyze’s battery-powered motion sensors (AAA), contact sensors (AAA), and keypad (AA) communicate with the Sense Hub using unlicensed sub-GHz radio spectrum, which endows them with excellent range: Wyze specifies 500 feet indoors or 152 meters in an open field. In the real world, the contact and motion sensors triggered everywhere I tried them in my 2,800-square-foot home.

The keypad and motion sensor can be mounted to the wall using either the adhesive pads attached to them or with the provided screws (drywall anchors are also provided). The small-but-chunky keypad comes with a backplate that you can attach to the wall, so you can detach the keypad and carry it with you. You can deploy more than one keypad in case you want to install one at the front door and one at the back. The motion sensor gives you the option of corner mounting, which will enhance its coverage.

wyze keypadMichael Brown / IDG

The two-piece contact sensors can only be mounted using their adhesive pads. These sensors are relatively small and unobtrusive, though they’re not the smallest I’ve seen. Relying on adhesive always makes me nervous, because I’ve never seen a species that didn’t eventually lose its grip. And for installations on doors, I prefer the barrel type that fit inside the door and door frame, so they are completely hidden. But for the price, who’s to complain?

Contact sensors can be programmed to send a push notification when the door or window is opened, when it’s closed, when it’s been left open for a defined period of time, and when it’s been left closed for a defined period of time. Motion sensors send push notifications when they detect movement, and they can be programmed with three levels of sensitivity in case you find you’re furry friends are always setting them off.

Can Wyze Home Monitoring be expanded?

Since your home likely has more than room and more than one door and/or window you’ll want to monitor, you can expand the system with more sensors. The system supports up to 100, including a mixture contact sensors, motion sensors, and keypads. Contact sensors are sold in a three-pack for $19.99, motion sensors cost $7.99 each, and keypads are priced at $14.99 each (additional contact sensors and keypads are only available for pre-order at launch).

wyze sense keypad backplateMichael Brown / IDG

You can further expand the system by adding Wyze’s Wi-Fi home security cameras (up to five for this release, though Wyze says it will increase that number down the road). The company sent its $24, indoor/outdoor Wyze Cam V3 in addition to the starter kit, so I could experience that integration. The camera connects to your 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network and from there to the Sense Hub. The other Wyze cameras you can link to the system are the Wyze Cam V2, the Wyze Cam Pan, and the Wyze Cam Outdoor. As I’ve already mentioned, a Home Monitoring license includes a Wyze Cam Plus subscription for one Wyze security camera; you’ll need to pay $14.99 per year for each additional Wyze cam to unlock all of each additional camera’s features.

Mentioned in this article

The Wyze Home Monitoring system can also trigger Wyze smart lighting products (Wyze Bulb, Wyze Bulb Color, and its indoor and outdoor smart plugs). With these add-ons, you can trigger a light to illuminate your way when you enter a dark house, trigger all the lights to turn on when the system goes into an alarm state, and so on. There is currently no support for third-party smart lighting—or third-party anything, for that matter—and I don’t get the impression that will change any time soon.

What’s installation and setup like?

wyze home monitoring setup processMichael Brown / IDG

The Wyze Home Monitoring system is very easy to install and setup. A well-written and illustrated foldout user manual guides you through the process and offers tips on how to achieve the best performance, suggesting that you mount the motion sensor around 7 feet above the floor, for instance, and to avoid heat sources such as vents and lamps.

Wyze says you should be able to get the system up and running in 40 minutes or less, and I wouldn’t argue with that—it took me a little longer, but I was taking notes about my experience the whole time.

The installation process is typical for this type of device, though Wyze goes the extra mile in suggesting that you set up two-factor authentication when you install the Wyze app on your smartphone and create your monitoring account.

The options are SMS or an authenticator app, with the latter being more secure, so that’s what I did. The app suggests Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator, but you can also search for another tool in your device’s app store. I elected for Google Authenticator since I’d already installed it on my iPhone. You’ll also designate a “safe word” that you can use to verify your identity when you interact with a representative of the Noonlight monitoring service. They'll call you in an attempt to verify an emergency before dispatching the police. I should also point out here that some jurisdictions require that you take out a permit to deploy a home-security system that can contact first responders. Check yours before you order this system.

You’ll set up the Sense Hub next, plugging it into an outlet and connecting it to your network via Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable plugged into your router. You’ll then move on to configuring the battery-powered devices, including assigning them unique names, typically based on their location: Front Door, Back Door, Living Room, and so on. The app methodically steps you through this process, and as you pull the battery tabs to activate each device and pair it with the Sense Hub, a voice emanating from the hub will confirm success. When you set up the keypad, you’ll create a four-digit PIN that you’ll use to disarm the system. You can elect to require the PIN to change modes (Disarmed, Home, and Away) or—as is more convenient—only to disarm the system. You can also change modes and arm/disarm the system via the app.

wyze motion sensor adhesive padsMichael Brown / IDG

The Sense Hub will sound a built-in siren for between 1 and 10 seconds (user choice) when the system goes into an alarm state, and it will sound a warning tone as it counts down to a mode change (Home or Away) or ahead of an alarm state (following any entry or exit delay you’ve programmed; more on that in a bit). The countdown tone and voice responses can be programmed with three volume levels—low, mid, and high—and the siren sounds louder than the 74db at 10 feet that Wyze specifies. That siren volume perception is a good thing, because you want to encourage an intruder to beat it.

You also have the option to have the Hub send a push notification or a critical alert to your phone when it goes into an alarm state. Critical alerts bypass your phone’s silent and do-not-disturb modes.

What’s it like to use Wyze Home Monitoring?

As is typical for a home security system, Wyze’s has three states—Disarmed, Home, and Away—which you can activate using dedicated buttons on the keypad or within the app. In its Disarmed state, nothing will trigger an alarm, but the camera will remain active, sending you push notifications according to whatever parameters you’ve established for it. Other sensors in the suite can also trigger the camera to record, so if you install the camera near your front door, you can have that contact sensor trigger the camera to record a clip of who’s entering or leaving.

wyze home monitoring modesMichael Brown / IDG

The motion sensor will also send push notifications unless you configure it otherwise. That got annoying quickly during my review, because I don’t need to know that someone is moving around inside my home when I’m there. On the other hand, you don’t want to disable the motion sensor’s push notifications altogether, because you do want to know if someone is moving around when you’re not there.

Fortunately, Wyze provides an easy solution: You can program rules that perform actions based on schedules, device triggers, or “shortcuts.” Shortcuts appear on the app’s home screen and execute when you tap them. I created an “I’m Home” shortcut that lets you turn off push notifications from the motion sensor. When I get home and disarm the system, I tap this button and it silences the motion sensor.

Each rule can have multiple actions, and you can arrange the actions in the order you want them performed. This is a really great feature.

With both the Home and Away modes, you have the option to set entry and exit delays that give you between 0 and 180 seconds to interact with the system before it goes into an alarm state. An entry delay gives you time to enter the house, reach the keypad, and enter your PIN to disarm the system before the siren goes off. An exit delay allows you to arm the system and get out of house before the system enters its armed state. Why would you want a zero-second delay in either case? If you use the app to disarm the system before you enter the house, and if you arm the system after you’ve left the house. A delayed state change in either of those scenarios is unnecessary and undesirable.

wyze entry sensor adhesive backMichael Brown / IDG

You can choose which sensors will trigger an alarm state, and your choices can be different for the Home and Away settings. But any selected contact sensor will initiate an entry delay before it puts the system in an armed state, whether it's installed on a window or a door.

A better solution would be to allow you to distinguish between contact sensors installed on windows from the ones installed on doors, so that opening a door would trigger an entry delay if the system is armed Home, but opening a window would trigger an immediate alarm state. Why? Because you’ll use the Home setting most often when you go to bed, and while someone might need to come and go during that time, they’re not going to enter or exit through a window. The Wyze system also doesn’t allow you to bypass any sensors when you arm the system, which means you can’t leave that upstairs window open to ventilate the house while you’re away (unless you never put a contact sensor on it, that is).

wyze motion sensorMichael Brown / IDG

What are Wyze Home Monitoring’s weak spots?

From a security standpoint, the Wyze Home Monitoring system’s biggest weakness is that it lacks broadband failover. A smart thief will attempt to cut your home off from the internet by severing your broadband connection, whether that be a phone line for DSL service or a coax cable for cable-modem service. Without broadband service, the core of Wyze’s system—the Sense Hub—cannot send alerts to its professional monitoring service, and it can’t send push notifications directly to you. You might as well not have a security system at all.

Paying for professional monitoring on Ring’s service, in contrast, activates an LTE radio in the Ring Alarm hub that will provide a broadband connection should your primary service fail. The Sense Hub does have a battery backup that’s rated to last seven hours in the event of a power outage (and so does the Ring Alarm), but I would recommend connecting your smart home hub, your cable or DSL modem, and your router to an uninterruptible power supply anyway.

wyze home monitoring contact sensor notificationsMichael Brown / IDG

Wyze Labs offers a great video doorbell, smart entry lock, and exterior keypad for the price, but none of those home security devices can be tied into its Wyze Home Monitoring system today. Those capabilities are on the product roadmap, but who knows when that connectivity might be offered.

Wyze Labs’ security cameras will listen for the sound of a smoke or carbon-monoxide detector sounding off—even without a Cam Plus subscription—and they’ll send you a push notification if they hear that sound. But this isn’t tied into the Noonlight monitoring service, and your fire department won’t be dispatched if a smoke or CO detector does go off.

Wyze doesn’t offer a smoke or carbon-monoxide detector of its own today, though that’s another thing on its roadmap, and the system doesn’t support any third-party detectors. There is also no provision for dispatching first responders for medical emergencies.

Unlike the Ring Alarm system, the Wyze Sense Hub isn’t outfitted with Z-Wave or Zigbee radios, so it will never form the heart of a broader smart home system. And the company doesn’t seem interested in embracing third-party smart home products, so you’ll be in a walled garden when it comes to expanding your system or adding new features, such as the smoke and CO detectors I mentioned earlier.

There’s no support for geofencing that will automatically arm the system when you leave and disarm it when you return home, though here again, Wyze says it’s on the product roadmap. And finally, Wyze Home Monitoring is fully integrated with Amazon Alexa, but professional monitoring is not part of its Google Assistant support. Yes, that feature is on the roadmap, too. There are currently no plans, however, to support IFTTT (If This Then That)—which, it’s worth noting—is no longer a free consumer service unless you’re running three applets or less.

The bottom line on Wyze Home Monitoring

The Wyze Home Monitoring system is a robust home security system—for the price. Pay $60 for one year of home monitoring and you get all the equipment for free. The add-ons for expansion aren’t expensive either. If after a year you decide you don’t like or don’t need the service, the hardware will continue to operate and send you push notifications, so you can self-monitor your home’s security. I don’t think many people will ultimately go down that path, though, provided the cost of professional monitoring remains this low.

All that said, make sure you don’t mind living in Wyze Labs’ walled garden, and that you can accept this system’s weak spots—or hope the company addresses them soon. Other systems—Ring Alarm being the closest in price—deliver more, but they also cost more.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

  • Wyze Home Monitoring Bundle

    There’s plenty of value packed into the Wyze Home Monitoring system, along with a few gotchas that will turn off smart home enthusiasts and hobble novices. Still, it’s a strong offering—if you can live with its limitations.

    Pros

    • Starter kit is essentially free
    • Least-expensive professional monitoring on the market
    • Also supports Wyze’s smart lighting products

    Cons

    • No provision for cellular failover
    • You’ll be in a walled garden
    • Professional monitoring covers law enforcement dispatch only
    • Lots of desireable features still in development

Michael covers the smart-home, home-entertainment, and home-networking beats, working in the smart home he built in 2007.

Sours: https://www.techhive.com/article/3614412/wyze-home-monitoring-review.html
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Wyze Home Security Monitoring Review: You Can’t Say No to $80

Rating: 9/10?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $80 - $100

A Wyze Home Monitoring hub and keypad, along with security stickers.

A few days ago, my mother-in-law’s neighbors woke up to bad news. Thieves broke into their home while they slept and stole a bunch of their stuff, including both of their cars. When my mother-in-law asked for security system recommendations, I gave her one: Wyze’s Home Monitoring system.

Here's What We Like

  • Super inexpensive hardware
  • And inexpensive subscription
  • Easy to setup

And What We Don't

  • Limited hardware options
  • Siren could be louder
  • If internet goes down, so does security monitoring

If you want the quick answer on why I immediately recommended the Wyze Home Monitoring system instead of Ring, SimpliSafe, or one of a dozen others, it all comes down to cost. If you can’t afford a system, it doesn’t matter how good it is—you won’t have it to protect you. Just like its other products, Wyze’s Home Monitoring system comes in at a fraction of the price for the competition. But, that price does come with a few missing components that you’ll want to take into consideration.

Table of Contents

Super Affordable, Missing Components

A small contact sensor next to a noticeably bigger contact sensor on the right.

You can buy the Wyze Home Monitoring system in one of two ways: in a $99.86 “core kit” starter pack that includes a year of 24/7 monitoring, or as a $79.98 “core kit” starter pack with a $5 monthly 24/7 monitoring plan. When it launched, the core kit by itself cost $49.99, and buying that with the first year of monitoring cost $59.99. Wyze said it would have to raise prices on some devices recently, and apparently, that includes the core kit. At least the price includes shipping now. If you opt for the core kit plus the first year of monitoring, you’ll pay $5 a month after the first year.

At $5 a month, Wyze’s 24/7 monitoring service undercuts the competition noticeably. Ring’s subscription service is $10 a month, and SimpliSafe’s is $15. That’s before you get into Wyze’s hardware, which is also far less expensive.

For $80, Wyze’s core starter kit comes with a base unit, keypad, two contact sensors, a motion sensor, and some sticker decals. Compare that to SimpliSafe, which offers a starter kit for $230 that comes with one base station, one keypad, one contact sensor, and one motion sensor. Ring’s $200 starter kit comes with a base station, keyboard, contact sensor, motion sensor, and a range extender. Neither includes 24/7 monitoring or stickers and decals; that’s extra (though not including stickers and decals isn’t a big deal, for reasons I’ll get into later).

Wyze’s Home Monitoring also comes with a Cam Plus subscription for a single camera, which provides continuous recording instead of 12-second clips with five-minute cooldowns. Cam Plus also activates Wyze’s AI detection options, like people and pet detection. If you want more cameras to have the same features, you’ll have to pay $15 a year for Cam Plus for each camera. That is a step down from SimpliSafe and Ring’s subscriptions, which will monitor an unlimited number of cameras.

Wyze's Home Monitoring views.Wyze's Home Monitoring views.Wyze's Home Monitoring views.It’s annoying you can’t group all the security stuff together. Or the old sensors with the new sensors. Click images for full size.

But even then, you’d have to buy Cam Plus for eight additional cameras before you’d spend as much in a month as you would on Ring’s subscription, let alone SimpliSafe’s more expensive option. Although, you can’t actually do that. Currently, Wyze limits you to five cameras, which feels like a miss for anyone with a larger home.

So right out of the gate, Wyze’s price just to get started is nearly a third of the cost. It also comes with more hardware and cheaper 24/7 monitoring. When you want to add more sensors, you’ll save money too. Wyze sells a three-pack of upgraded contact sensors for just under $30 ; you’ll spend $15 and $20 for a single contact sensor at SimpliSafe and Ring, respectively. Wyze’s new motion sensors are $15 each, half the cost of SimpliSafe and Ring. You can even grab another keypad for just under $25, again half the cost or more than Ring and Simplisafe’s keypads.

But if you need more than cameras, keypads, or contact and motion sensors, that’s where Wyze falls short. With SimpliSafe, you can also buy Sirens, glass break sensors, panic buttons, temperature sensors, water sensors, and more. Ring also sells a variety of options you won’t find from Wyze, like open window sensors, smoke detectors, outdoor sirens, and even a retrofit kit to work with an existing wired security system.

Wyze is a clear winner when it comes to pricing, but only if you need the basics. For plenty of people, that might be enough—so long as it nails those basics. And the good news is, it does … mostly.

Wyze Fixed Its Reliability Issues and Improved Setup

Two contact sensors, the bottom noticeably longer than the other.

When Wyze debuted its original smart home sensors in 2019, I praised it as a great smart home system but not a viable security system. The sensors were cheap, easy to set up, and seemed to work well. But as time went on, that last bit proved not to be so true—the original Wyze Sensors just aren’t reliable.

At least once a month, all the original Wyze sensors stop working in my home. Sometimes it occurs more often, as much as once a week. If I wait long enough, they’ll come back. Or I’m impatient (I usually am), I’ll unplug the Wyze Cam that serves as the base station to force a reset, which generally brings the sensors back. (Usually, but not always.) Even Wyze admitted the problem and stopped selling the original sensors altogether.

I’m happy to say the new sensors are much more reliable. They’re larger than the original sensors, as is the base station. I suspect the real improvement came from that base station. Instead of a tiny little bridge device that plugs into the back of a Wyze camera, it’s a large beefy guy that looks like a Wi-Fi router. I’ve been using the new system for a month, and haven’t had any issues. They just work, which is how it should be.

When I praised the original Wyze sensors, I said, “it couldn’t be easier to set up,” but it turns out I was wrong. Wyze managed to improve even that process by dumping the one pain point to the original sensors—the need for a sim card ejector tool. Before, you’d put the bridge in pairing mode and then press the sim card ejector tool into tiny holes in the sensors to put them in pairing mode. Then you’d instantly lose the tool and have to find a paper clip the next time you need to pair your sensors.

The new Home Monitoring System bypasses that problem. To get started, you’ll add the base station to the Wyze app (for iOS and Android) and connect it to your internet. Then just go to the add device section of the app and choose the different motion sensors you want to add. Your base station will announce “ready to connect,” and you’ll press a button right on the contact or motion sensor. No need for a dumb sim card ejector tool. It’s pretty painless, and I paired everything, including the keypad, in about ten minutes.

I do have one nitpicky complaint, and that’s down to the app. Wyze uses the same app for all of its products, which is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you don’t need to remember which app turns on the lights and which app shows you live feeds from your cameras. That’s nice. On the other hand, my Wyze app is getting overcrowded with stuff, and the Home Monitoring system instantly adds four entries: hub, keypad, contact sensors, and motion sensors.

You can group things together, but they have to be the exact same thing. You can’t group standard Wyze bulbs with Wyze color bulbs. And you can’t group contact sensors with motion sensors. Which means the hub and keypad won’t group with anything. And you can’t group version one sensors with version two sensors. So I have a hub, keypad, a group for version contact sensors, another group for version one motion sensors, another group for version two contact sensors, and yet another group for version two motion sensors. It makes for a cluttered mess and I hope Wyze addresses it cause it will get worse as the security system expands.

It’ll Do for Home Security, but It Could Be Better

Wyze's Home Monitoring camera a motion system on a shelf.

So how does the Wyze System work for home security? Pretty good! But not perfect. If you opt for the $99.86 starter pack, you get a year of free 24/7 monitoring. Wyze farms that service out to Noonlight, a company well-known for safety apps and emergency services. And honestly, I’m glad Wyze chose to work with a reputable company—I’d be a little concerned if it tried to spin up its own call centers and emergency responder employees.

Just like nearly every security system, you arm and disarm the Wyze security system. And like most, you have three choices—-disarmed, home, and away. In the app, you tell Wyze which sensors and cameras you want it to pay attention to in each mode. That’s handy because when you’re asleep, you probably want the contact sensors on your doors and windows to trigger the alarm, but you might not want the motion sensors to pay too much attention. Especially the one you put in the hallway between your bedroom and the bathroom.

Wyze doesn’t sell a separate siren you can place in your home, so the base works as a siren. I wish it were louder, to be honest. Wyze claims it can reach up to 88 decibels at two feet, but it felt mildly noisy at best when I tested it on the loudest setting possible. Enough that if your hub is near the area, a thief broke into, they’ll probably hear it and run away. But it’s not ear-shattering, heart-shaking, loud. And that’s what I want in an siren.

And while the Wyze Sense Hub has a battery backup in case of failure, it doesn’t have an LTE backup for internet outages. That means if you lose the internet for any reason, the Wyze Monitoring System can’t contact emergency services if someone breaks into your home. It can’t even ping your phone with alerts.

Remember the stickers and decals Wyze includes in the starter pack? For that reason alone, you shouldn’t put them out. You should get some kind of “home protected by security system” decal to display because they might deter a thief looking for an easy target. But letting everyone know you use Wyze for security is also telling them how to defeat your system—cut your internet access.

Both SimpliSafe and Ring have battery backup and LTE backup, so even if you lose power AND the internet, those systems can still contact emergency services. That’s a big difference that you lose with Wyze’s large price cut. Beyond that, Noonlight’s service provides all the usuals—they’ll call you if your alarm goes off and call emergency services for you. You can even set up a safeword to let them know you’re OK (or tip-off that someone is forcing you to claim you’re OK).

One other thing I miss from my SimpliSafe system is the door chime. When someone opens a contact sensor (on doors or windows) on SimpliSafe, the base system sets off a chime to let you know. As someone who works from home in an office off to the side of my house, it’s easy to miss when people arrive, and it’s comforting to have that noise. Wyze’s base system doesn’t chime like that, but it’s on the roadmap for a future feature. In the meantime, if you have an Echo, you can set up something similar—but not quite as good. Because these sensors work for smart homes, too.

A Cheap(ish) Set of Smart Home Sensors

Wyze's Home Monitoring security views.Wyze's Home Monitoring security camera views.Wyze's Home Monitoring settings.The security section of the app is well put together and easy to use. Click images for full size.

Maybe you don’t want a security monitoring system; perhaps you just want a replacement for Wyze’s original smart home sensors. The good news is, you can do that! You’ll have to buy the core kit without a monitoring plan for $80 to get started, though. The sensors connect to the Wyze hub, which alas means one more hub for your smart home. Considering Wyze’s main focus here is a security system it makes sense, but I hate adding more hubs for the sake of smart home devices.

But once you get past hub hate, Wyze’s upgraded sensors work better than the original. I have both in my home, and in the last month, I’ve had to restart the original sensors’ hub three times because the Wyze app saw them all as offline. I haven’t had the issue once with the newly upgraded sensors.

The new sensors are larger than the originals but smaller than SimpliSafe’s offerings. And honestly, I’m pretty happy about the size increase. The original sensors ran off little watch batteries, which are a pain in the butt to source and replace. The new larger sensors use AAA batteries, and I always have those on hand.

More importantly, they can control your Wyze products through the Wyze app. You can set a motion sensor to turn on Wyze Light Bulbs or a contact sensor to turn on a Wyze plug. I plan to replace my original Wyze contact sensor in my Remote Control box with the newer sensor. When I open it, the sensor triggers my Wyze Plug connected to my entertainment system—turning everything on.

And if you want to control even more devices, you can connect your sensors to Amazon Alexa. Wyze recently updated its Alexa skill to work with the new sensors, which means you use them to control any smart home device in your home through routines. I have Alexas routine that turns on and off light switches throughout my home as I walk around it. It works so well my wife asked me to adjust the routines to only turn on lights at night because the cat and dog activated lights throughout the day.

And speaking of routines, I used Alexa to replicate SimpliSafe’s door chimes. I couldn’t get an exact match, though. Alexa’s noise options (church bells, bouncy ball noises, etc.) are either too soft or too weird. Instead, when someone opens a door, one of my Echo devices announces, “The Front Door is open.” The bonus is, I know which door my home someone just entered, which is more informative than chimes. Still, a random voice announcing that information is a little jarring, and I’d prefer chimes.

Compared to most smart home sensors, Wyze sensors are inexpensive. You can expect to spend between $40 and $50 per sensor for most smart home contact and motion sensors. And in many cases, they work solely for smart homes and not security systems. Here you’re getting both.

It’s Hard to Say No at This Price

Do you want the absolute truth about home security systems? Most people probably don’t need one. Most people don’t get robbed. But that’s a numbers game, and you might be the unlucky person who does get robbed, like my mother-in-law’s neighbors. So it might be tempting to ask, is it worth spending hundreds of dollars plus subscription fees to protect you from an event that might never happen?

Well, Wyze bypasses that question. Because now you can spend tens of dollars on a system to protect you from an unlikely scenario. And when it’s just $100 to get started and just $5 a month to keep 24/7 monitoring after the first year, that’s a new different set of variables entirely. A security system you can’t afford isn’t any good at all. But the Wyze system is affordable.

So no, it’s not perfect. I want it to have LTE backup, door chimes, and a louder siren. But just like nearly every other Wzye product, the price is so low it’s easy to look over the imperfections. It’s 90% of the features the other guys have for 30% of the cost. And I’ll take that equation every time. You probably should, too.

Rating: 9/10

Price: $80 - $100

Here’s What We Like

  • Super inexpensive hardware
  • And inexpensive subscription
  • Easy to setup

And What We Don't

  • Limited hardware options
  • Siren could be louder
  • If internet goes down, so does security monitoring
Sours: https://www.reviewgeek.com/83315/wyze-home-security-monitoring-review-you-cant-say-no-to-60/
Wyze Home Monitoring - Professional Monitoring for $5!

Features

Wyze Home Monitoring Features

24/7 professional monitoring

24/7 emergency dispatch available

New security-focused hardware

Battery backup in hub

Works with Wyze Cams

Integrated video events

Ever-growing cloud-based AI assisted alerts

In-app arming panel

Sensor status dashboard

Monitoring events summary

Critical Alerts (iOS only)

Home and Away monitoring modes

Test Mode

Monitoring certificate for home insurance discounts

Single-tap export of video events

Hub

Wyze Sense Hub connects all sensors to the Wyze app and has a built-in siren to ward off would-be intruders. Placed in a central location of the home, Wyze Sense Hub can connect to the internet via WiFi or ethernet and has battery backup should it lose power.

Keypad

Arm and disarm the system directly from the Wyze Sense Keypad. With an adhesive back, Wyze Sense Keypad is mounted on a wall near the door, making it easy to arm and disarm the system without having to open the Wyze app. The LED back lit keys will light up when someone walks near the Keypad, making it easy to find at night.

Entry Sensor

Place the Wyze Sense Entry sensor on doors and any ground-floor windows to be notified if one is opened or left open.

Motion

Place the Motion Sensor around your home to be notified when motion is detected within the 25 ft and 120° FOV detection zone. With adjustable sensitivity settings and alternative “Large pet installation” instructions, Wyze Motion Sensor is designed to detect people, not pets. The adhesive back makes it easy to install on walls with the option to use screws for added security.

In the box

  • Wyze Sense Hub x1
  • Power Adapter x1
  • Ethernet Cable x1
  • Keypad x1
  • Entry Sensors x2
  • Motion Sensor x1
  • Window Decals x2
  • Quick Start Guide x1

Specs

Wyze Sense v2 Hub
Color

White base with grey speaker top

Finish

Matte

Dimensions (H x W x D)

4.5” x 4” x 1” / 114.3 x 101.6 x 25.4 mm

Battery

Built-in rechargeable battery

Battery backup life: 10 hours

Battery cell composition: 18650

Battery power: 3.7 V, 2600 mAh

Battery weight: 11.5 g

Number of battery Cells: 1

Communication Method

Ethernet, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 4.1+ BLE 5.1, 915MHz RF

Range

500 ft / 152 m to sensors

Operating Temperature

32°F - 104°F (0°C - 40°C)

Operating Humidity

≤ 85% at 86°F (30°C)

Weather Resistance

Indoor use only

Sensors Supported

Up to 100

Siren

88db @2 feet / 0.6 m

Wyze Sense Keypad
Color

White

Finish

Matte

Dimensions (H x W x D)

4.0” x 2.4” x 1.0” / 100.7 x 62.1 x 24.5 mm

Battery

AA batteries x 3

Battery life: 18 months

Battery cell composition: AA batteries x 3

Battery power: 1.5V x 3

Battery weight: 23.5 g

Number of battery cells: 3

Mounting Method

Adhesive back, optional screws

Communication Method

915MHz RF

Range

500 ft / 152 m

Operating Temperature

32°F - 104°F (0°C - 40°C)

Operating Humidity

≤ 85% at 86°F (30°C)

Weather Resistance

Indoor use only

Wyze Sense v2 Entry Sensor
Color

White

Finish

Matte

Dimensions (H x W x D)

Sensor body: 2.1" x 1.7" x .7" / 53 x 43 x 18 mm

Magnet: 1.2” x 0.4” x 0.4” / 30 x 11 x 11 mm

Battery

AAA x 1

Battery Life

1.5 years based on normal usage

Mounting Method

Adhesive back

Communication Method

915MHz RF

Range

500 ft / 152 m

Operating Temperature

32°F – 104°F (0°C – 40°C)

Operating Humidity

≤ 85% at 86°F (30°C)

Weather Resistance

Indoor use only

Max Distance Between Components

0.8” / 20 mm

Wyze Sense v2 Motion Sensor
Color

White

Finish

Matte

Dimensions (H x W x D)

2.0" x 2.0" x 1.1” / 51 x 51 x 25 mm

Battery

AAA x 2

Battery Life

1.5 years based on normal usage

Mounting Method

Adhesive back with option to screw in place

Communication Method

915MHz RF

Range

500 ft / 152 m

Operating Temperature

32°F – 104°F (0°C – 40°C)

Operating Humidity

≤ 85% at 86°F (30°C)

Weather Resistance

Indoor use only

Detection Range

25 ft / 7.62 m

Installation height

8.2 ft / 2.3 m

FOV

Max 120°

FAQ

What is the difference between Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) and my existing Wyze app experience?

We built HMS for security.

The existing Wyze app experience is casual, listing all your Wyze devices - including your bulbs, plugs, and other products. You can build Rules, set up notifications, and even trigger a siren on your Wyze Cam v3. But the experience is manual, and can take time if you have a lot of devices to scroll through and view.

For example, if you want to check all of your live streams, you have to tap each camera individually or create/open a camera group to view them all. Or if you receive a stream of event notifications, you have to check them all one by one.

Furthermore, your existing Wyze app experience isn’t built for home monitoring and security. It won’t sound alarms, prompt a monitoring service, or dispatch first responders in the event of an emergency.

Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) is an automated monitoring service designed to keep your home safe and report threats even when you can’t review Events by yourself. There are well-trained monitoring center staff that will verify emergencies with you and contact your local emergency dispatching services when necessary.

The involvement of a 24/7 staffed monitoring center makes Wyze Home Monitoring Service a professional service. You can enjoy peace of mind even when you’re away.

Is Wyze Home Monitoring just a security system?

It’s more than just a security system. It is a professionally monitored home protection system. We plan to start with home security and expand into protecting your home from threats such as fire and water damage.

Will cameras connected through Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) trigger an alarm?

No, those cameras can only trigger an “alert.”

Cameras assigned to Home Monitoring’s Security Camera list can only trigger an “alert”—a message delivered to you in the format you choose. You may select which Security Camera capabilities will trigger an alert.

By our definition, an “alarm” means an on-duty sensor has been triggered and the Home Monitoring system was not disarmed via PIN within the entry delay. By default, an alarm will trigger the siren to sound, and contact Noonlight to verify if first responder dispatching is needed.

What does “Security Camera” mean for Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS)?

A Security Camera is a Wyze Cam you designate for security purposes. This separates high-stakes cameras (such as those monitoring your doors and driveway) from other Wyze Cams you use for recreational purposes (such as watching your fish).

You can define which capabilities each Security Camera has that will trigger an alert—such as motion, person (Cam Plus-enabled only), or CO/smoke alarm sound, and how you prefer the alert to be delivered—via push notification or Critical Alert (iOS only).

You can also view all Security Cameras in the Wyze app Monitoring tab. We display the most recent capture from all your Security Cameras, and you can watch the live stream for all your Security Cameras on the “More” page.

Will Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) work with Cam Plus?

Yes, it even comes with an included Cam Plus license.

What happens if someone steals or disables the Keypad? Is the siren in the Hub, or the Keypad?

Your monitoring system will continue working normally.

The Keypad is just an input device - it doesn’t process rules or save data. So if the Keypad is disabled, destroyed or stolen, your system will work as usual.

The Hub is where sensor (including Keypad) data is aggregated and routed to the Wyze server. It’s also where the siren is.

Even further, as we have a dual-countdown mechanism, after someone triggers a sensor, even if the Hub is also disabled, you and the monitoring center will still be notified of the alarm.

Can I share Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) with my family over the Wyze app? How many users can use the system at the same time?

Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) cannot be shared between users at this time. We plan to support Home Monitoring sharing in the future.

What is a Critical Alert? Do both iOS and Android support Critical Alerts?

A Critical Alert is an advanced notification feature on iOS devices for important messages.

Critical Alerts ignore the mute and Do Not Disturb settings, and will always send an alert sound when received.

We researched the Android platform and did not find an equivalent feature, so it’s only available on iOS devices at this time.

What will happen during an alarm?

During an alarm, we will execute the list of actions you’ve selected in the Home Monitoring settings.

By default, the siren will go off, you will receive a Critical Alert (iOS only, push notification for Android users), and our system will let Noonlight know there is an alarm at your home.

You may cancel the alarm by entering your PIN on the physical Keypad or in the Wyze app. If you are contacted by Noonlight, tell the agent your Safe Word to cancel emergency dispatching.

Please note that if law enforcement has been dispatched, even if you cancel the alarm, it would be up to the officer’s discretion to decide whether to proceed with visiting your place or cancel the patrol.

What is Test Mode? Can I practice using Wyze Home Monitoring without triggering a false alarm?

Yes, you can definitely practice using the service. In fact, we strongly recommend it using our Home Monitoring system for 7 days.

Test Mode is a feature allowing you to practice using Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) without worrying about alerting the monitoring center by accident.

This is especially helpful when you have just finished the setup process and want to test if the sensors and the system are working properly.

In Test Mode, all hardware and software components will work as designed except that we will disconnect your system from the monitoring center.

You can enter or exit Test Mode at any time.

Can I monitor multiple locations with Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS)?

Not while using a single Wyze account. We plan to support multiple Home Monitoring services under one Wyze account in the future.

Is Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) compatible with Sense V1 sensors?

No, HMS is not compatible with older sensors. For a more reliable experience, we are introducing a new line of hardware, including new Sense Entry Sensor v2, and new Sense Motion Sensor v2.

Does it work with existing Wyze devices?

Yes, HMS works with Wyze Cam v2/v3, Wyze Cam Pan, and Wyze Cam Outdoor. Shortly after launch, it will work with Wyze Lock and Wyze Video Doorbell.

We are also introducing a new line of hardware that will provide the reliability needed for home security—Sense v2.

Does Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) have cellular backup support?

No, we do not support cellular backup.

A cellular backup feature would only be useful if your home has an internet outage during a home intrusion. As it is unlikely that both incidents would happen simultaneously, we felt it would not justify the increase in monthly cost.

Although we don’t support cellular backup, the Sense Hub has a battery backup in the case of a power outage. And if your internet connection drops, Wyze Home Monitoring Service will still work locally with its local siren.

How much area does the service cover?

Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) is designed to cover an average single family home usage in the US.

Can I switch from a monthly plan to an annual plan?

Yes, you can switch between plans any time. Even more, we will refund the price of the Starter Core Kit if you switch from a monthly plan to an annual plan.

What does Try Worry-Free for 30 Days mean? What is the return policy of Wyze Home Monitoring/Core Starter Kit?

For Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS) annual plan users: If you cancel your annual plan within 30 days after shipping, you must return your Core Starter Kit hardware to get a refund.

For HMS monthly plan users: If you cancel your monthly plan any time, you can still keep the Core Starter Kit hardware.

If you need to process a return, the policy is the same as our other Wyze products: customers can return them within 30 days after delivery, and they come with a 1-year warranty.

Learn more about it our return policy here: https://wyze.com/return-warranty-policy

How is the price of Wyze Home Monitoring so low?

Noonlight is a nationwide modern platform for professional security monitoring and law enforcement dispatching. The monitoring center they use is UL listed, TMA Five Diamond certified and bi-directionally redundant.

Wyze is collaborating with Noonlight to offer customers a modern home monitoring experience.

Will monitoring service (Noonlight) have access to the video feeds and/or local storage?

No, Noonlight will not have access to your videos on cloud or local storage (microSD card).

How is my data stored? Is my privacy protected?

Wyze is serious about customer privacy.

Your private data, such as your name, phone number, home address, PIN, and Safe Word are encrypted.

We will send your name, phone number, home address and Safe Word to the monitoring center (Noonlight) for safety verification and dispatching purposes. Once the alarm is resolved, our collaborating monitoring center will remove your personal data.

Your PIN will never be seen by Wyze employees or third parties.

Videos and/or the live streams from your Security Cameras are not shared with any Wyze employees or third parties (including Noonlight and the monitoring center).

Do I need a permit to use Wyze Home Monitoring Service (HMS)?

Not in most cities. Here is a detailed page about this from the city of Seattle: https://www.seattle.gov/business-regulations/alarm-system-monitoring.

Some cities may require a permit for a professional home security system. Please check with your local government for specific requirements and rules.

When is this going to start shipping?

We will start to ship in March 2021.

Sours: https://wyze.com/home-security-monitoring

Without wyze subscription monitoring home

Wyze Home Monitoring Review

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We tested how Wyze Home Monitoring compares with other DIY security systems—spoiler alert, it's a sweet deal.

Info current as of 8/6/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Is Wyze Home Monitoring right for you?

Wyze Home Monitoring has the most affordable professional monitoring of any security system on the market. We're also big fans of Wyze's sensors and security cameras, which do their jobs well for far less money than other brands. There's no cellular backup or third-party smart home compatibility, but that's a worthwhile tradeoff for monitoring that costs less per month than most streaming services.

Keep reading to learn how Wyze Home Monitoring performed during our tests and what else we like about the DIY security system.

Pro Heading

Pros

Pro BulletMost affordable monitoring
Pro BulletFree starter kit with Annual Plan
Pro BulletNo contract
Pro Bullet10-hour battery backup
Pro BulletCheap security cameras
Pro BulletIncludes cloud video storage for one Wyze camera
Con Heading

Cons

Con BulletNo cellular backup
Con BulletDoesn't come with a camera
Con BulletShort warranty
Con BulletCan't share app access with household
Con BulletWeak smart home support

How Wyze Home Monitoring stacks up

Wyze has the cheapest monitoring and equipment prices of any home security system, but its selection is pretty limited compared to more established brands like Abode, Ring Alarm, and SimpliSafe. Ultimately, it comes down to what you're willing to give up for a Wyze system.

All of these DIY systems have sensors similar to Wyze, and all are standalone systems with options to dodge mandatory monthly fees. Still, SimpliSafe, Ring Alarm, and Abode all offer cellular connections to connect to the monitoring station when the internet goes down—unlike Wyze. Still, none of these systems comes close to Wyze in price. But Wyze falls short when it comes to smart home compatibility.

Watch our video about Wyze professional monitoring

Subscribe to our Youtube channel for more videos like this one! Learn how to protect your home, your loved ones, yourself, and your belongings.

Info current as of 8/6/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

With Wyze monitoring, professionals will reach out to you when something triggers your system. You also get Cam Plus cloud storage for one camera.

Wyze can offer low monitoring fees because it doesn't use a cellular connection like most security systems. There's no backup if both the internet and power go out, but this is uncommon for most people.

By paying $4.99 for monitoring every month, you also need to shoulder the equipment costs up front (starting around $50). But, if you choose the annual plan, you get a Core Starter Kit for free. In either case, you spend the same amount on a year of monitoring ($59.88 per year). Considering the low prices of Wyze, this is more attractive than with other DIY security systems like SimpliSafe and Ring Alarm—their least expensive starter kits cost around four times as much.

Still, we think the annual plan is the better deal since you can cancel your monitoring subscription after the first 30 days without returning the equipment—you break even with the monthly plan after 60 days. This means you have longer to decide if professional monitoring is right for you and if you want to self-monitor your equipment without a recurring fee.

Light Bulb

Wyze self-monitoring

You can cancel your professional monitoring plan and monitor the system yourself if you don't want a recurring fee.

Wyze Home Monitoring equipment

Core Starter Kit cost

Core Starter Kit equipment

Monthly plan$49.99Hub, keypad,
motion sensor,
entry sensors (2)
Annual planFreeHub, keypad,
motion sensor,
entry sensors (2)

Info current as of 8/6/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

No other security system offers equipment that's even close to Wyze's value. It's not just the sensors either—all of Wyze's equipment (including its security cameras) delivers high quality for a low price.

There are two ways to get Wyze Home Monitoring equipment, but both involve signing up for a monitoring plan. You can choose between monthly and annual monitoring plans.

With the annual plan, the Core Starter kit equipment is included. When you sign up for monthly monitoring, you’ll pay $49.99 up front for equipment.

What's in the Core Starter kit box

  • Wyze Sense v2 Hub
  • Wyze Sense Keypad
  • Wyze Sense v2 Motion Sensor
  • Wyze Sense v2 Entry Sensor (2)
  • Window decals (2)
  • Mounting screws
  • Power adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Quick start guide
Wyze Home Monitoring items that come in the box
Wyze Sense Hub v2

The hub manages the sensors and sounds a siren when something triggers an alarm. It also connects to the internet to enable the Wyze mobile app and Noonlight monitoring.

Wyze Sense Keypad

The keypad controls the system's arming status and allows users without mobile app access to disarm the system.

Wyze Sense Motion Sensor v2

Wyze Sense Motion Sensor v2

The motion sensor uses infrared light to spot people moving through a room.

Wyze Sense Entry Sensor v2

Wyze Sense Entry Sensor v2

The entry sensor uses magnets to tell if the door or window it's attached to is open or closed.

Regardless of the plan you choose, you can buy additional equipment during the checkout process for your system. This is currently the only way to purchase extra sensors for Wyze Home Monitoring since it doesn't sell them separately.

Extra sensors aren't part of the starter kit, so you pay upfront, but they all cost less than a pair of movie tickets.

  • $14.99 for an extra Wyze Sense Keypad
  • $19.99 for a three-pack of extra Wyze Sense Entry Sensors (about $6.66 per sensor)
  • $7.99 for an extra Wyze Sense Motion Sensor

When you consider the average cost for keypads (about $63 each), motion sensors (about $38 each), and entry sensors (about $27 each) in a security system, Wyze is the most affordable option on the market by a huge margin. It's easy to outfit every door, window, and main room in your house, even on a limited budget.

You can also buy security cameras for your Wyze Home Monitoring system during checkout. Unlike the add-on sensors, these are readily available in the Wyze shop and at other retailers, so you can hold off until later to save on your order. Still, we recommend getting at least one Wyze security camera (especially since they're so cheap) for this security system to take advantage of the included cloud storage plan.

Wyze Home Monitoring works with the following Wyze cameras:

Check out our Wyze security cameras review to learn more about the brand's home security camera offerings.

Bell

Designated security cameras

You can designate up to five of your Wyze security cameras to work with Wyze Home Monitoring. Designated security cameras have a higher priority for triggering notifications than normal ones. You can also simultaneously livestream all five designated cameras together in the Wyze app.

Wyze makes many smart home devices that will eventually work directly with Wyze Home Monitoring—like a smart lock and video doorbell. Until then, you can use the devices below in the Wyze app as you would any other Wyze product:

We'll update our review as Wyze adds more smart home device team ups to Wyze Home Monitoring.

Wyze setup and installation

To set up your Wyze security system, you first need to activate it using a code that Wyze delivers via email. Then, install the hub and connect it to the internet using the Wyze app. After that, the app walks you through the rest of the process. Here's a quick overview of the steps from the Wyze support website:

  • Pair the keypad and sensors.
  • Add contact information so Noonlight monitoring can reach you during an alarm event.
  • Set up alarm triggers so the system knows which sensors to use in the Home and Away modes.
  • Set up a PIN code for disarming or canceling the alarm.
  • Set up an entry/exit delay to reduce false alarms.
  • Add Wyze security cameras to your system.
  • Set up a safe word for canceling an alarm after Noonlight calls you.
  • Set notification preferences.
  • Enter Test Mode before activating the live monitoring service.
Notepad

Set up sensors first

It's easier to set up all of the sensors before you install them in their final places. This saves time by not having you run back and forth. It also allows you to test if a sensor works in the intended location before removing the adhesive backing.

Installing the starter kit was a breeze. It took only about 15 minutes to set up all three sensors, the hub, and the keypad—nice and simple. The hub connects to your home network using Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. (Wyze recommends using Ethernet if possible—wired connections are generally more reliable.)

The keypad and sensors all come with batteries installed, so you need only to remove a plastic tab to turn them on. They also have a peel-off adhesive backing that makes them easy to attach to any surface. The motion and entry sensors run on replaceable AAA batteries while the keypad trades up for AA batteries.

We like that the batteries are readily available in stores, unlike the specialty batteries that some other brands use. Both the motion and entry sensors are a bit larger than Wyze's first-generation versions but benefit from larger batteries that last longer (up to 18 months) than the older sensors' coin batteries (up to 12 months).

Checklist

Wyze mobile app

In addition to helping you set up the system, the Wyze app also gives you access to other Wyze devices and settings. As it relates to Wyze Home Monitoring, you'll mostly use it for checking on notifications, arming and disarming your system, and watching videos from your security cameras. Overall, we found it pleasant and easy to use during our testing.

Wyze smart home features and compatibility

The Wyze DIY security system doesn't offer third-party compatibility with other smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT (even though other Wyze products support them). This means you can't control the system with voice commands or other apps.

But there is one smart home service that Wyze Home Monitoring supports: Alexa Guard Plus.

Alexa Guard Plus is a paid subscription (about $5 a month) that allows Amazon Echo smart speakers and displays to detect specific sounds (like smoke alarms and glass breaking), act as a deterrent to scare away intruders, and help you connect with first responders in an emergency.

When you link Wyze Home Monitoring with Alexa Guard Plus, you'll receive Alexa Guard alerts in the Wyze app. This is helpful because you get improved sound detection and deterrence tools with Wyze's professional monitoring.

Personally, we don't see much benefit from adding Alexa Guard Plus since it doubles your monthly costs—and Wyze security cameras already offer similar sound detection. Still, it might be worth it if you value the extra deterrents and the emergency helpline feature.

Wyze customer service and support

Wyze Home Monitoring has extensive self-serve customer support resources on the main Wyze support website. We found it easy to look up setup instructions, FAQ articles, and troubleshooting guides whenever we had a question (making our job much simpler). You can also contact Wyze directly through the helpful live chat tool, though we didn't see a phone number if that's something you prefer.

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Wyze user community

One of our favorite things about Wyze support is its vast user community spread across various platforms like the Wyze forum, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube. Social media accounts like these are one of the best ways to learn about common problems, cool new features, and compare experiences with other customers—even if they're not always as direct as a customer support page.

Wyze contract and warranty

There's no contract with either Wyze monitoring plan—you can cancel anytime without penalties. The only difference is for annual subscribers, where you must return your starter kit if canceling within 30 days of shipping. This cancellation policy is similar to that of Ring Alarm, while SimipliSafe's trial period is 60 days.

Among DIY security companies, Wyze has one of the shortest warranties—only a single year. The company won't replace defective equipment after that. Although one year is shorter than the average DIY security system warranty, Wyze's equipment is much more affordable to replace compared to the sensors, cameras, and hubs of other brands. This helps balance out the short warranty.

Wyze Home Monitoring is an easy, inexpensive option for keeping tabs on your home while you're away. It won't give you the cellular backup or equipment selection of a pricier security system, but competitors can't match its rock-bottom monitoring and equipment prices. Plus, it's an excellent companion to Wyze's security cameras. In short, it's discreet and easy to use, it functions well, and the price is hard to beat.

For more information on how Wyze Home Monitoring holds up against its security system rivals, check our review of the best cheap security systems.

You can use the Wyze app to request a downloadable Noonlight Monitoring Certificate to share with your insurance company. From there, the availability and amount of a discount depend on your insurance company.

While you can still use older Wyze Sense v1 equipment with the Wyze app, it's not compatible with the Wyze Home Monitoring systems that use Wyze Sense v2 devices.

Switching from a monthly Wyze plan to an annual one results in Wyze refunding the cost of your Core Starter Kit. Both the monthly and yearly plans cost $59.88 per year, so it's mostly a matter of saving on the equipment and if you want to spread out the costs over time.

Wyze doesn't yet offer devices for detecting smoke or carbon monoxide. Still, Wyze security cameras have sound detection features to alert you with a push notification if the camera detects a smoke alarm in your home.

Yes, but you might need to replace the adhesive. We recommend getting some Command strips if you need to reattach sensors to a new surface.

How we reviewed Wyze Home Monitoring

We tested the Wyze Home Monitoring Core Starter Kit in a small apartment for a few days. Since it was new to us, we kept to Wyze's recommendations and used the system in Test Mode, which disables the connection to the monitoring center. (No need to summon the police accidentally.) Here are some things we looked at during our tests:

  • Setup and installation
  • Mobile app controls
  • System arming modes
  • Sensor responsiveness
  • Noonlight terms and conditions
  • Wyze security camera integration

Our simple (yet effective) setup for testing Wyze Home Monitoring in a small apartment

To find out more about how we test and review products, read our full methodology.

Related articles on SafeWise

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

John Carlsen

Written by

John Carlsen

John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over eight years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

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Our Verdict

The Wyze Home Security System is inexpensive and easy to set up. However, there’s no cellular backup, and it has limited compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant

For

  • Easy to install and use
  • Includes two-factor authentication
  • Inexpensive professional monitoring
  • Battery backup

Against

  • Alarm could be a little louder
  • Limited compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • No cellular backup

When it comes to DIY home security systems, the Wyze Home Security System gets a lot right. It has  easy-to-read instructions in the included user manual and — even more importantly — in the mobile app, and makes it a cinch to add components and automations to your system. But perhaps the most enticing aspect of this home monitoring system is the price—it’s among the most affordable DIY home monitoring systems on the market. However, it’s not very compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

For this Wyze Home Security System review, I tested the Wyze Home Monitoring Bundle along with the Wyze Cam v3 ($29.98), which won one of our Tom’s Guide Awards 2021. 

Wyze Home Security System review: Price and availability

The Wyze Home Security System is available often with 6 months of the Wyze Home Monitoring service for $99.98. You can also buy it from the company’s website, and you can save money by buying a yearly plan. 

You can also buy additional accessories for your Wyze system, such as the Wyze Sense Leak Sensor (3-Pack) for $29.98, which detects leaks in areas of your house where a leak might occur, or a Wyze Sense Climate Sensor (3-Pack) for $24.98, which can track the temperature and humidity in any room or space in your home. 

Wyze Home Security System review: Professional monitoring

As far as DIY home monitoring services go, the Wyze Home Security System is among the cheapest services available. You’ll pay a monthly fee, which is very inexpensive at just $4.99 a month. But if you pay for the annual fee, which is $59.88 a year, you’ll get $40 off. So, with the monthly plan, this bundle costs $79.98. But with the annual plan, it’s $39.98. 

Wyze Home Security System review: Design and setup

The Wyze Home Security System comes with the following : The Wyze Sense Hub (which is the largest component), the Wyze Sense Keypad, two Wyze Sense Entry Sensors, a Wyze Sense Motion Sensor, two Window Decals and a short user manual. To install the bundle, you’ll need to activate the system, which I did via email and then clicked a link in the email to activate it. But the system also includes two-factor authentication on the mobile app, which is a nice safety feature to have in a home security system.

There’s a short, nicely designed user manual, which is more of a getting-started guide than a full-fledged manual, but it’s informative and helps you understand the setup. It also has a hardware overview (telling you what each item is for), illustrations on where to place your sensors, info on the different modes, changing your PIN code, creating a Safe Word and other tips.

To set up the system, you can simply follow along with the mobile app on your phone, which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Overall, I found the instructions clear and easy to follow. It even gives an estimate on how long it will take to set up your system.

The Wyze Synse Hub is the “brains of your new security system,” according to the manual. It’s about the size of a coaster, although it’s thicker, and can connect to your router via Wi-Fi (it has two antennas) or an Ethernet port. It also uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone. 

It has a speaker, which will play various phrases once you’re connected, such as “connection successful.” Once the Hub is set up, it’s fairly easy to follow along with the app and pair the Keypad, motion sensor and two entry sensors, as well as the Wyze camera, which did not come with the system. In fact, to set up the camera, all I needed to do was plug it in and point it at a QR code. Then, the system handled the rest. The next step is naming the various sensors to indicate where they’re placed in your house. Overall, it took me about 30-40 minutes from start to finish to set it up.

If there’s a power failure, each component in the Wyze bundle includes batteries — including the Hub. However, there’s no cellular backup, so if your Internet connection goes down, then there’s no way for the system to alert you or the professional monitoring service.

Wyze Home Security System review: Performance

As you might imagine, the Hub and the Keypad are the heart of the monitoring system. You’ll use the Home, Away and Disarmed keys to set it on the proper mode. For instance, when setting the system up, it’s in Disarmed mode so that none of the sensors trigger an emergency alarm. For the Home and Away buttons, you’ll choose the sensors that will be active and will set off an alarm if those entries are opened or if the motion sensor detects motion in the house. All of those settings are set up in the mobile app.

Even when the system is in Disarmed mode, the mobile app will indicate when a door is open or closed, or when it detects motion in a room. If you choose, you can also get emails or texts alerting you to those events. Each sensor has three levels of sensitivity: low, medium and high. You can also adjust the time on the keypad to arm and disarm the unit.

To test the system in action, I put the system in Home mode. It then prompted me to enter my PIN number. I then opened one of the doors (which had an entry detectors on it) and activated the emergency alarm for the system. It worked like clockwork, but I did think the alarm could be a little louder. (Wyze does not advertise its decibel level.)

In order to prevent Wyze from calling me to see if there was a problem, I typed in my pin and disarmed the system. (Wyze says in the user manual that is is collaborating with Noonlight, which it says “is a nationwide modern platform for professional security monitoring and law enforcement dispatching.”) If the monitoring service did call me on my cellphone, I could also give them my Safe Word, which would also deactivate the system. If I didn’t provide that safe word, Wyze says in the user manual that a Wyze “monitoring agent may dispatch emergency services to your location.”

Overall, I found the Wyze mobile app (which I downloaded and used on my iPhone 12) to be very clearly and cleanly designed. The Home page includes all the components I set up on my system. The Monitoring page shows what mode your system is in (Disarmed, Home or Away) and provides recent footage from your security camera, if it’s active. It also lists various events, including sensors that have detected open doors or windows, motion or if alarms have been activated or cancelled. From the mobile app, you can also access your PIN code and safe word info, setting delays for entry and exits, and other settings.

Wyze Home Security System review: Smart home compatibility

The one area where the Wyze home monitoring system falls short is in smart-home compatibility. At the moment, The company support page indicates that the Wyze Home Monitoring bundle does not work with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, or any other voice assistants. However, Wyze support does indicate that the entry sensors and motion sensors can work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. So, you do have some compatibility, although it’s minimal.

Wyze Home Security System review: Verdict

The Wyze Home Security System was very easy to set up and use. Plus, it was a breeze when you wanted to add components to the system. It also has one of the lowest monthly fees in the marketplace. 

However, Wyze’s system has a few drawbacks. The first is that it has limited compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can’t easily integrate it with your other smart home devices. The other thing that’s missing is a cellular connection, which is found on virtually every other DIY home security system; this feature allows you and professional monitors to get alerts even if your internet connection goes down. 

Sours: https://www.tomsguide.com/reviews/wyze-home-security

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