The iSmartAlarm Preferred Package is the basic starter package from this company's DIY home security line of products. The beginner's kit includes the CubeOne, the system’s hub that connects to your router and allows all of the other components to communicate. It also includes a motion sensor, two contact sensors, two remote tags and window stickers. The contact sensors should be used near a door or window opening so that any attempts to open the entries trigger the alarm. Remote tags are like key fobs that allow you access to the system. You can quickly arm, disarm or set off the alarm with this remote.
We tested the siren on the iSmartAlarm with a sound meter and found that at 3 feet away, it reached 90 decibels, which is the equivalent of a motorcycle speeding by 25 feet away. At 20 feet, the siren was 80 decibels loud, or about the same noise level as a garbage disposal or a blender. This is the average decibel rating of the alarms we tested. To ensure maximum effect of the alarm, you can set up your hub near a door or window.
The iSmartAlarm was relatively easy to install – you simply plug the hub into an outlet and your router to get started. One of this system's weakest points is its web portal. You get access to the forum and can view your order history, but you cannot control the system from the website.
All of the DIY security systems we tested include a mobile app, so you can arm and disarm your system from your smartphone quickly and easily. Beyond those basic functions, though, iSmartAlarm's mobile app didn't impress.
If something triggers the alarm, iSmartAlarm calls your phone with an automated message, which is helpful because you might miss a text message or a push notification. You don't have the option of professional monitoring, but the phone call is a decent alternative. Unlike most of the systems we tested, iSmartAlarm does not have a battery backup, nor does it have a backup connection, so if your power and internet go out, your house is left unprotected.
The best DIY home security systems let you purchase extra equipment to protect your home, but iSmartAlarm doesn't have as many options as the top-rated systems. You can buy more remote tags, contact sensors and stickers, but the company doesn't sell a smoke alarm or smart home platform. However, you can integrate the system with your other smart home devices using IFTTT, a web-based automation service. To add voice control to iSmartAlarm, you can link it to Amazon Alexa via one of Amazon's popular Echo smart speakers.
Although iSmartAlarm doesn't offer as many extras as top-rated DIY home security systems and offers only a basic mobile app, it is easy enough for anyone to install and use. Keep in mind that your home will be left unprotected in the event of a power or internet outage.