Review: Abode Starter Kit Brings Flexibility & Compatibility to Home Security

Pros: flexibility, compatibility, simple to set up, IFTTT

Cons: gear prices,

When purchasing for a house safety system, GearBrain recommends asking your self a few questions to make sure you buy the best and right system for you home. For dwelling safety techniques, you might have three choices to select from: professionally put in & monitored techniques, Do-it-yourself (DIY) put in/professionally monitored techniques and DIY/Monitor-it-yourself (MIY) techniques. (To be taught extra about these techniques, go to Home Security Options: From DIY To Professionally-Installed.) If you aren’t positive for those who want a DIY/Professionally Monitored dwelling safety system or a DIY/MIY dwelling safety system for you dwelling, we’ve a product you need to think about which will be both of those types of home security systems. It’s referred to as Abode and its one in every of GearBrain’s advisable DIY/professionally monitored dwelling safety techniques however can be thought of a DIY/MIY dwelling safety system when utilizing their units with out a service plan. Here is our in-depth evaluation of Abode’s Starter Kit which will show you why we think it’s a good DIY/Professionally monitored home security system.

Abode Starter Kit

Abode affords a starter package which incorporates 1 Gateway, 2 Door/Window Sensors, 1 distant key Fob and 1 movement sensing digicam. For our evaluation, we had been additionally given a streaming IP digicam. Installation is easy. You will want to join your Gateway to your house router through ethernet connection. Abode Gateway makes use of long-range SecureRF (433 MHz) and is appropriate with Zigbee Pro (2.four GHz) and Z-Wave (908.four MHz) units. It additionally makes use of mobile dual-band radio (850-1900 MHz). There is a inbuilt 110 decibel siren and speaker and has a 7.2 NIMH rechargeable battery which might final up to eight+ hours in case your house loses energy. Abode makes use of AES256 Bit Encryption and is barely 5.5″x6.6″x1.four” and weighs just one.7 lbs.

Then you’ll need to obtain the Abode app, which is obtainable for each iOS and Android units and open an account. Once registered, now you can activate your account utilizing the activation code which you will discover on a card contained in the Abode field.

Once your account is activated, you can begin to arrange your sensors and cameras. The first digicam we arrange was Abode’s Motion Sensor with Camera. This distinctive digicam can take an image as soon as movement is detected. The photographs are 640×480 and may transmit wirelessly through Abode gateway. You can place the digicam anyplace in your house. The digicam has 3M adhesive tape on its bottom which can permit you to stick the digicam on a wall or in a nook in case you don’t need to drill holes in your partitions. They tape could be very robust and simply holds the digicam and sensors in place. The movement digicam comes with a built-in flash to assist with low-light situations. We actually like this machine due to the combining of Abode’s sensor know-how with a safety digicam.

The subsequent digicam we arrange was Abode’s Streaming IP Camera. This HD IP digicam makes use of your web connection (through Wi-Fi or Ethernet) to stream prime quality (720p) video in real-time. The digicam also can document occasions each earlier than and after an alarm went off.

Lastly, you want to connect to the suitable doorways and home windows in your house the movement sensors. All sensors have 3M adhesive tape on the bottom to make set up simpler.

During our set up course of, we did run in to a difficulty with connecting our IP digicam. We referred to as Abode customer support and had been greeted by Al. Al was extraordinarily useful in getting our IP digicam to work and made positive we did not have another points with the door/window sensors or movement digicam. He stayed on the telephone with us to be certain that we had all the things working correctly and we had no different points or questions. We had been good to go however I had to ask Al how he turned so educated about Abode and their merchandise. He was not your unusual customer support rep. It seems Al is Al Yarbrough, co-founder & VP of Hardware for Abode. I requested him why was he manning the telephones and he instructed me it helped him keep on prime of the issues or points clients had been having with Abode. I used to be impressed and it was good to see an organization take this kind of method to make their merchandise higher. So be looking out for Al or attainable Chris Carney (Abode’s CEO) if or whenever you name Abode customer support. You by no means know who may be on the opposite finish of the road.

How does abode work?

Abode has three completely different modes of operations: standby, away and residential. Standby mode is used to flip off all of your door and window sensors in addition to the movement digicam. If you might have different merchandise connected to your Abode system, like a CO2 or water leak detector, these units can be nonetheless be activated throughout standby mode.

Away mode is the mode you utilize when not at dwelling. It prompts all of your door/window sensors in addition to movement cameras and any IP safety digicam you might have linked to your system.

Home mode is used to lively all of sensors and cameras used to defend the skin of your house. Any inside units, like a movement sensor digicam can be deactivated on this mode.

Abode dwelling safety system does include exit and entry delays which is essential. You can have to time to activate and deactivate your system. The default settings for exist and entry delays is one minute. Would suggest adjusting these settings relying on your house.

Service Plans

What makes Abode completely different than different DIY/Professionally Monitored dwelling safety techniques? Their service plans. Many dwelling safety techniques provide quite a lot of skilled monitoring plans and require annual contracts or some form of long run settlement, particularly if they’re offering you with all of the units free of charge. Abode is likely one of the few dwelling safety corporations that provides buyer flexibility to select the protection they want for his or her dwelling. Abode affords simply three service plans: Basic, Connect and Connect + Secure.

Basic is Abode’s free plan and included in Abode Starter package. It gives self-monitoring, safety and residential automation. You get three days of timeline and media storage to your movies and photographs. You can join to 15 units and have limitless person accounts. Abode gives buyer assist through e mail and web site assist. If conversant in IFTTT, you’ll be able to customise Abode system utilizing IFTTT Channel Access. Abode’s primary service additionally affords optional-on-demand skilled monitoring: three days for $eight or $15 for every week. This is a good choice for those who do not really want skilled monitoring providers until for these weekend gateways or annual holidays.

Connect service prices $10 per thirty days and gives the identical options as Abode’s Basic plan with a number of upgrades: 14 days of timeline and media storage in addition to telephone and e mail assist. It additionally contains 3G mobile backup connection which is designed to preserve your system on-line whenever you lose your broadband connection. Connect does provide optionally available on-demand skilled monitoring for three days ($eight) and one week ($15).

For the person search for a extra strong dwelling safety monitoring plan., Abode affords the Connect + Secure plan. It prices $30 per thirty days or $240 for the 12 months (annual cost). This plan has all of the options of Abode’s Connect plan in addition to 24×7 skilled monitoring providers with a UL-Listed monitoring heart, 90 days of timeline and media storage and a premium buyer telephone assist.


Another good function of Abode dwelling safety system is their monitoring providers. Depending on the Abode service plans you select, your alarm indicators can be despatched to the Central Monitoring Center or CMC. The purpose for Abode is to reply to your alarm as quick as attainable when it is an actual and never a false alarm. Abode has constructed into sure procedures to assist stop false alarms or human error when alarming your house safety system. As a person, you’ll be able to both confirm alarm or disable alarm utilizing Abode cell app. By urgent the Verify Alarm, you might be confirming this can be a actual emergency and CMC will start the method of calling the authorities in addition to the individuals in your emergency name record. If you choose Disable Alarm, you might be confirming for CMC the alarm is fake and no motion is critical. CMC will cancel all actions associated to this alarm. You want to know for those who do not choose disable alarm quick sufficient, you may nonetheless get a name to your home by CMC. If you do, you want to be certain that the one who solutions the telephone gives the alarm monitoring cross code. If the person offers the improper cross code, CMC act as it could for a confirm alarm.


An further function Abode affords is its capacity to work with different linked units. Many dwelling safety corporations are increasing into dwelling automation and are determining methods for householders to combine their current linked units, like sensible thermostats, sensible locks or sensible lights into their dwelling safety techniques. This permits the house owner to construct a customized resolution for his or her sensible dwelling. Abode is likely one of the few DIY/Professionally monitored corporations that has a really strong record of appropriate units. Abode Gateway helps up to 160 safety and residential automation units. Besides working with Nest units, you’ll be able to combine Abode with your Amazon Echo in addition to compatible Z-Wave and ZigBee units. You may even add a further siren to your Abode system if wanted. And if formidable and wish to customise your Abode system with different linked units, you should use IFTTT to create recipes to join channels to carry out the capabilities you prefer to in your sensible dwelling. (To be taught extra about what linked units work with Abode, visit their website.)

Abode’s starter kit costs $299 and contains the Gateway, 2 door/window sensors, indoor movement sensor with digicam, distant key fob and iOS and Android app entry. This is barely excessive compared to simply the gear prices from different DIY/Professionally Monitored Home Security Systems. But, you may make up for the excessive gear prices for those who benefit from the 3 or 7-day service plans.

You can simply add merchandise to the starter package, corresponding to further door/window sensors which value $29 every. You also can get an acoustic glass break sensor for $59 or a glass break and vibration sensor for $39. Abode affords a number of safety cameras to add to your starter package if you want extra video protection. The cameras vary from indoor streaming Wi-Fi digicam ($149 every) to movement sensor with vast angle digicam ($115). You be taught extra concerning the merchandise to add to your Abode Starter Kit on Abode’s website.


If you might be available in the market for a DIY/professionally monitored dwelling safety system, you want to think about Abode. They are one of many few DIY/professionally monitored home security systems which supplies you flexibility with service plans. You is not going to discover many dwelling safety corporations providing both three days or 7 days of professionally monitored safety service not to mention for $eight or $15 respectively. Most provide a minimal of 30 days. This is a pleasant function for the house owner who wants skilled safety sometimes.

In addition, Abode has achieved a pleasant job in making their dwelling safety system appropriate with different important linked units for at this time’s sensible dwelling, like smart locks and smart lights. If you at present personal Nest products, particularly Nest Protect, you should use Abode to broaden your house safety protection with ease. For occasion, by connecting your Nest Protect to Abode, Nest Protect’s standing updates and alerts will seem in your Abode timeline, permitting you to use one app for management.

Home safety is a significant funding for at this time’s house owner. You need to be sure you get the system which protects your funding however would not value you an arm and a leg every month. Abode is one of the DIY/professionally monitored home security systems which affords you the pliability to construct the most effective smart home security system on the proper value at this time and over time.