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Home Security System reviews in Aurora

  • A
    Avidia
    I had a fantastic experience with Avidia from start to finish on a complex project that included a complete renovation of my home theater, installation of multiple Ring devices around my entire house, and re-doing my home network to boost the WiFi signal. Special thanks to the owner, Matthew, for spending a ton of time with me up-front to help me find the perfect solution for all parts of this project. Also special thanks to Kamil for overseeing the project as it went along. And, finally, special thanks to Peter for doing a lot of the work up-front that laid the ground for this project and to Artur for completing the final install of all of the equipment. Everything works perfect and we especially love our new home theater! We will be using Avidia again soon and I highly recommend them!
    - Michael C.
  • A
    Livewatch Security
    We went with the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Home Automation Controller which is enabled for a Total Connect 2.0 security monitoring/home automation account.  With this, we also purchased a Vista 21IP alarm panel, a 5883H wireless receiver (which we installed into the panel), Honeywell wireless sensors for motion detection, glass breakage, door/window opening, fire/smoke detection, Carbon Monoxide detection and garage door tilt.  We also purchased some Honeywell sirens to scare off intruders and alert us to alarms going off anywhere in the house.  We already had cable internet and a gigabit wireless router with high level encryption.  LiveWatch once we signed up with them would provide the cellular 4G card for the alarm panel.  By breakdown in communication, we had to rush ship a 6160 keypad to program the panel.



    The most difficult part, and this is where I would suggest getting a licensed installer if your mind turns to mush just reading the manual for all the codes to enter for the numerous panel options.  I did, and I manage and configure computer equipment for a living, so don't feel bad about contracting this part out.  They'll configure the panel with all the appropriate settings, document all configuration parameters in the book (if they don't document in the provided pages in the manual, tell them they aren't getting paid.  they'll put the information in real quick or leave in which case you can get a better installer to program it).  This documentation should include installer and master codes, configuration codes chosen for each section and if applicable, email and phone numbers programmed into panel for notification of alarms.



    So now that the scary part is over, we can connect our security system's siren.  Wait?!  Siren!  Oh yeah, that thing that's going to be the most likely part of your home security system that will make an intruder want to leave immediately (other than your double-barreled rifle pointing at their face of course).  For this, we went with the Honeywell Wave2PD piezo siren (same as a smoke detector alarm, both in size and loudness (eg. decibel or db).  This we mounted to our central air ducts (think echo chamber) so the sound travels anywhere the air is heated or cooled.



    Note that US building codes say you can't have non-plenum wires in ducts.  What you CAN do with the sirens is mount them directly against the outside of the duct with the siren facing the duct.



    Now, you can program your Tuxedo Touch after powering up the alarm panel so that it can connect to your wireless router, or use the RJ45 (ie. Cat5e) hardwired connection to said router.  Use installer code which we won't be advertising here since it is in your manual and doesn't need to be handed out to criminals browsing the internet.  Setup year, month, day and time, set weather to your zipcode and setup some home automation via "scenes".  Scenes are what will be the brains behind our smart outlets, smart bulbs, etc.  Your Tuxedo will have access to see (not modify) the status of all sensors programmed into the alarm panel.



    Finally, if you haven't done so already, work with your Security installer and/or Security Representative (in our case a LiveWatch rep and security engineer) to activate your monitoring at which point they can provide you the Total Connect 2.0 login for your Tuxedo (and Smartphone if applicable) as well as your alarmnet.com login (assuming they are using alarmnet like 99% of monitoring companies).



    As for the experience with LiveWatch, I can say that overall I was very pleased.  The Service rep I worked with over both phone and chat (Dominic) was professional, patient and good-natured despite all my questions about LiveWatch.  When there was difficulty enrolling our alarm panel main board, he provided an email where I sent him the photo of the information he needed and he worked with an engineer there to complete enrollment for account creation.



    The only negative, which was rapidly addressed when it was brought to their attention, was that an incorrect model of cellular card was shipped to me.  But like I said, they rapidly addressed this, getting the correct card pre-configured, and shipped the next morning (FedEx doesn't pickup after 5PM normally).  In addition, without asking for it, the engineer I was speaking with applied a free month of service to my account for the mistake.  The next morning I got the support ticket resolution email, but didn't get a tracking number.  So I chatted with Dominic who apologized for the confusion and determined the package was awaiting pickup, at which point I would receive tracking information.  Again, before I could even ask (and I type pretty fast), Dominic applied Overnight shipping on the correct card awaiting pickup at no cost.



    At this point, I'm just awaiting delivery at which point, Justin from LiveWatch will be calling at the scheduled time of day to guide me through installing the cellular card into the alarm panel and any other required steps at which point he will provide my TC2.0 and alarmnet.com account details when he verifies monitoring is successfully activated.



    Update 10/15/2015

    So I received a replacement GSMV4G cellular communicator and connected it to the charged battery from the one I already had plugged in.  I did this so that I could walk around the house checking for the best cellular signal possible in places where I could run network cables and power to the external device.  Eventually I found the best location (ironically) was right underneath a stairway.  I say ironically because it was actually fairly close to several large metal appliances/electronic devices.  I tested the new location by moving the communicator 6 inches to the left, the right and one step down and signal strength went from 4 of 5 bars down to 1 or 2 bars.



    I mounted the communicator in the new location, ran new network and power cable to it and worked with Pablo from LiveWatch (Level 2 technician) who confirmed excellent signal strength and full connectivity from the communicator, to the cell tower, to the alarmnet servers and finally to their central monitoring station.



    We then performed a test on the system by opening the front door to fault the sensor after arming the system in test mode (test mode at CMS).  It took less than 1 second for him to see the fault notification which was perfect!  After that was completed, Pablo sent me the login information for Total Connect 2.0 login for the default user which was under my email that I provided him previously.



    I also retrieved my home insurance policy number and called LiveWatch support to have them assist with getting my insurance discount.  I provided the policy number, agent first and last name, agent email and agent phone number and confirmed my home address.  The LiveWatch agent entered all the information into the form and sent it via email to my insurance agent and to my registered email address.



    Due to the requirements of the city I live in, I will have to contact a specific individual for a permit form to authorize LiveWatch to contact Police/Fire/Medical (all one permit which has no cost) on my behalf.  Once I get the permit form, fill it out and get it approved, all LiveWatch requires is the permit number, though I'll probably just email them a copy of it along with a blank form so they can have it in their system for other Aurora, IL residents.



    Update 10/21/2015

    I had to purchase some more 14 gauge electrical cable to power the cellular communicator since the 24 gauge network cable can't power the equipment and backup battery.



    Additionally, I purchased a 3-gangbox, a pack of 10 lightswitches, a pack of 10 15-amp duplex power outlets and I'm in the process of ordering a 3-gang custom cover plate to seal the deal.  Why custom you may ask, well, the transformers together are too bulky to fit with the outlets directly next to each other in the gangbox.  Put the toggle switch in the middle and you can now turn off utility power to system and transformers have plenty of room.  Security system still has battery backup, so don't worry about an intruder flipping the switch.

     

    Update 10/24/2015

    So I gathered my Wave2PD siren, a length of spare thermostat wire (18g/4c), a precision screw driver with common (flat) tip and proceeded to call LiveWatch support to request guidance on wiring of the siren and to have them put the monitoring into test (1 hour minimum allowed on test).

     

    Eventually, I discovered that #1 and #2 connections are identified as Steady and Warble modes respectively via raised plastic lettering on the inside front flip-up cover of the siren.  Following the wiring diagram, I fed my cable into the "can" and had LiveWatch put my monitoring into test mode so that I didn't have police dispatched when I disconnected panel power as well as during the pre-live siren test.  For my wiring, despite white and black being the common colors for the hot and neutral, I chose yellow and red since the bell and ground contacts are used on the siren.  Yellow for security system and red for emergency.

     

    After connecting the wires on the panel, I restored power to it, allowed it to boot up completely, armed the system, tripped the front door and allowed the 30 second delay to expire.  As expected, the siren could be heard in the living room coming out of the vents, however, as expected, the decible level was a little low, but I had only connected a single siren on the entire house.

     

    I disarmed the alarm and system and went down to check on the dogs who were closest to the siren, and while they were shaken up, they soon recovered and calmed down.  After completing the test, I ended the LiveWatch service call and finished the first siren install by using 3 strips of aluminum tape to secure the siren firmly to the ductwork.


    - Steven W.
  • A
    SimpliSafe Home Security
    Love it!  I accidentally cut the power to the base and immediately received a text letting me know my power was out.  The system is full of many little extras like that for much cheaper than the other security guys.
    - Bridget H.
  • A
    One Stop Intercom
    We scheduled an estimate for replacing our Intercom system, and after a few missed phone calls, Jay was able to come to our house and provide an estimate and some different options. We chose the option that included the iPod and CD player and scheduled the work, which was to be completed in one day.
    Jay and his colleague arrived at our house on time, and needed the full day to remove the old units, and install the new system (one master console, four room units, one front-door unit and one deck/patio unit). Jay did have some problems with re-using the wiring of the old unit and it took some time (plus one extra trip to Home Depot to get extra parts) to make the unit fully operational and safe. Jay did not charge us for the extra time or cost of the minor parts to complete the wiring process. They took care to clean up the house when they were completed, and sat down with us to go through the instruction book and set up the unit properly, and tested each unit in our presence before leaving.
    We were very happy with the finished product and would be very happy to recommend One Stop Intercom for any other similar needs.
    - Richard F.
  • A
    Frontpoint
    They are there for you if you need customer service. Their way of handling it is totally different. I was amazed by it because I dealt some other security companies. They send it to you in a kit, everything is numbered, instructions are extremely understand and stuff. Little bit of issues came up with trying to get the sensors to stick and stuff but that was easily resolved. I am very impressed with the system because it gives you the opportunity to be involved in it to know what is going on and where it is at so I did like that. I actually asked them to put something together for my business and for my own home. I found out now that they have cameras as well. You can actually go online and open and close it yourself. I really liked it. Their service people are extremely user friendly. It is a totally wireless system. I think of all the different security systems I have seen, it is probably one of the better ones. They have other sensors now that you can actually put on the system to turn on and off lights. You can set the system to open and close automatically. The telephone line has got it's own communication through airwaves so if the power goes down and the phone lines are cut, it does not make any difference, it is still communicating. It is a neat system, you don't have to be a rocket scientist for it either.
    - robert b.
  • D
    ADT Securities LLC
    Their customer service people and dispatch people are very arrogant and rude. They are hard to deal with. They just are not friendly people. If you have an issue with your alarm system, and this has happenedto me thrice where a device went down, I have the maintenance agreement down there too as well and maintenance insurance and in the three cases that happened when something went wrong they said I had to wait two to three weeks to get the tech to come out here. When you call in because of an alarm issue, they ask you for your phone number and they tell you we have no record of it. And, when they tell you they have no record of it, you got to go through all of this rigmarole to try and figure out. Their setup is horrible.
    - robert b.
  • B
    Frontpoint
    I was thinking about getting a home seciruty system and thought of calling ADT but after I saw the good reviews of frontpoint security through Angie's list, I figured I would contact them and get an estimate and see what their service entails. I called frontpoint and spoke to Glenn and he was very professional and knowledable about his product. I ended up not getting their service not because of anything that they did or didn't do but because I was no longer in need of it. In the future if I do need a security system, I will contact frontpoint.
    - Ricardo E.
  • A
    Frontpoint
    So far, we have liked FrontPoint very much.  The system is REALLY nice.  We are home owners, but I can see how it would be handy for renters because there isn't any damage to the walls or structure.  The entire system works over your cell phone, email, and text messages.  They system is very convenient, it's not difficult to use, and it's very configurable.  I like it, and it's easy.  I would give them an A so far, but we haven't had to make an emergency call yet.
    - Patrick and Mindy C.
  • A
    Frontpoint
    I purchased an Angie's List deal for the security equipment plus one month of service for $99.  To get that price, I also had to sign up for 3 years of service.  Previously ADT was my security company, but for the same monthly price ($43) I receive the same service plus fire monitoring and online/mobile access.  Installation is a piece of cake since everything is wireless.  What I love about this system is that I am able to add more sensors by purchasing them online and making a simple phone call.  I even received 2 months free by referring 2 friends.
    - Michael B.
  • A
    ADT Security Services, Inc
    I have actually had services with ADT since I have moved in my home. They have been wonderful. I have never had any problems or anything like that. I also have fire protection with them and they charge me monthly for the entire service.
    - RENEE T.
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Home Security Companies in Aurora

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