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What other security/ alarm systems are you considering?

Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:30 pm
by jb5ep
Thanks for Alerty! I am (/was) a Safe and Secure customer and Alerty has effectively extended the life of my alarm by a couple of years. I always thought that the safe and secure system was pretty much what a DIY alarm setup would look like if Apple did one - easy to install, solid platform, ‘just works’. After BG stopped selling S&S,I guess this was inevitable though. Just ahead of its time!

I don’t have the skills/patience to mess around with local servers to replace the hub so I’m looking at alternatives with the same/similar functionality. And there’s not many. Most of the systems I’m seeing are

- recent (last few months)
- Available in the US only
- ‘Notification’ only (no real options on external sirens)

....e.g the new systems from Nest,Ring.

I was actually ready to drop a few hundred quick on the Honeywell Evohome security setup - which is the closest I can find in terms of features to Alertme/S&S. But then Honeywell launched a new smart home/connected system on indiegogo today that’s not compatible with their Evohome range. On top of that,they’ve spun out their security division as a separate company and the last thing I want to do is buy a(nother) product that’s going to be defunct/unsupported in a couple of years.

So....if you’re looking at other alarm/security systems, which ones are you interested in?

Re: What other security/ alarm systems are you considering?

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:06 am
by roobarb!
I'd say if you're looking for the security side of things, Hive is definitely not the place to be right now. I think they'll get there eventually, but it's certainly not their focus, so that's probably out for you.

The most similar system with probably decent longevity would be the new Nest Secure product. I'd stop worrying about an external alarm box though; if you really want one, just buy any old siren box and connect the end cables to a PSU of the correct voltage and current rating. Use a SmartPlug equivalent to switch it on or off when the alarm is triggered or deactivated and voila; external siren. Personally I hate sirens - it's true that everyone ignores them and any thief would have been and gone. My system has a beacon on the house and sends SMS alerts to me, my family and some neighbours and that works so much better - everyone knows that when they get that message, they should check a camera or take a peek out of the window at my place. That's a totally DIY job, though.

Definitely post back here if you make a decision - really interested to know what people wind up doing.

Re: What other security/ alarm systems are you considering?

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:43 pm
by mw631774
The Nest Secure looks really good; I especially like the door/window/motion sensors; great idea to combine motion and door/window sensors into one; also like the kill button and the light feature; only thing is it's still not Homekit compatible although Nest said back in JUN it is “open to supporting” the platform and that it will indeed “consider HomeKit” (see ... te-ios-11/).

Anyway, maybe this will even come true by the time Nest Secure is available in the UK ...

Re: What other security/ alarm systems are you considering?

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:37 pm
by jb5ep
The Nest system does look pretty good. And yes, agree that Hive is far from optimal for security right now. One thing I’m considering is just leaving the safe and secure system until the market develops in the UK and these other systems start to become available.

However - I’m still not clear what will happen when they switch off the backend to S&S. I’m asssuming we’ll still:

- be able to arm/disarm the system using the key fob
- have working smoke alarms (without notifications)
- have a working alarm system (in that PIR/contact sensor events trigger an alarm)

However, we won’t:

- be able to do anything in the app/alerty
- be able to do anything on the BG web UI (change mode, add/edit/remove devices, change config)
- get any email/SMS notifications

Does that sound about right? Or does the whole thing just stop?

Re: What other security/ alarm systems are you considering?

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:30 pm
by roobarb!
So far as I'm aware, you're correct. I'd already started disassembling my system to test with the XBee modules, so my Hub no longer has any working rules, so I can't confirm for certain. However, anything pre-programmed into the Hub should continue working - it just won't have any connectivity to the outside world, so you won't be able to change anything or get notifications, or have anything through from the SIM card.

I quizzed one of the Hive team who has been dealing with the AlertMe server shutdown (he kindly exported 1500MB of sensor logs for me, dating all the way back to the first day I turned the system on) and there's no official end date for S&S that he's been told - but that there would be further communication by email. I'll let you know if I receive anything.

Re: What other security/ alarm systems are you considering?

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:00 pm
by jb5ep
Ha, interesting. Thanks. He sounds like a good contact to have!

I guess if you have a load of unused devices (key fobs, sensors, etc) it would be worth adding them to the system now - as there won't be any UI to do it once they close everything off.

I'll post back here once I've decided what to do.... Interested to hear what others are thinking too...

Re: What other security/ alarm systems are you considering?

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:52 pm
by jb5ep
FWIW, I ended up going with the Somfy alarm system (formerly 'myfox). Ring Protect looks great, but they're being dragged through the US courts on IP issues (even before they look at the UK market). Nest looks great, but no word on US availability.

So far (4 weeks) Somfy is excellent - all robust, all Alexa/IFTTT connected and support has been good. Not sure it'll be as adaptable as the Alertme platform, but it's solid, is annoyingly loud and very usable.

My brother lives in the US and uses the Lowes Iris system, so i'm sending him most of my old S&S/Alertme Kit!