Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Fortress Total Security basic starter kit includes a panel that serves as a hub and connects to your router. This panel also brings all of the sensors and devices in the DIY home security package together and allows them to communicate with each other. The package includes two contact sensors for doors or windows, a motion detector, and two remote key fobs. You also get two RFID keytags that use radio frequencies to automatically identify you as you enter your home – a quick swipe of the tag disarms the system.
Compared to the best DIY home security system, Fortress is the least useful when it comes to alerts and the mobile app. The app is simple and not as helpful as others; it doesn’t alert to issues like internet connection and power loss, and there's no activity feed. The remote fobs and RFID keytags make arming and disarming easier than doing so with the app.
The primary internet connection is cellular, and you need to provide your own SIM card, but it's easy enough to set up if you've ever set up a smartphone. The alarm on the hub is one of the weaker ones of those we tested. It projects sound at 65 decibels, which is about the same noise level as normal conversation, so it may not deter determined intruders.
Fortress excels with the extra equipment it offers – it has a wider variety than any other DIY security system we reviewed. You can purchase more contact sensors, and the hub can handle up to 150 total. You can also pick up more motion detectors or pet immune motion detectors, which don't trigger an alarm when a pet walks by. Fortress also sells smoke detectors, gas leak detectors, glass break sensors and vibration sensors – and they're all compatible with the Fortress hub.
Another benefit to choosing Fortress is its solid three-year warranty – only one other home system in our review offers a warranty that long. Fortress also has free email and phone support, and representatives can answer questions over live chat on its website.
Although Fortress’ mobile app isn’t very convenient and it doesn’t have a very loud siren, this is a system that has a lot of room for expansion and improvement. You can add on several devices to make your home more secure, and those devices are protected for up to three years with one of the best warranties we've seen in the industry.