If you’re looking for a home security system, and don’t want to pay the price for a central monitoring security firm to come in and wire up your home with sensors and cameras, you might start with the Home8 Security Ultra-Secure Starter Kit. It’s a do-it-yourself security system, and just as the name clearly says, it’s a starting place for home security.
In the box is the base unit, called the Security Shuttle, which is a Wi-Fi router with a firewall, 4 GB of storage, and a siren. It gets plugged into your existing Internet connect with a supplied Ethernet cable, and of course, you’ll need to plug it into electrical power.
Next, you download and install Home8’s app to your smartphone or tablet. It is available for both Android and Apple devices. You setup an account, and move on to setting up your first security devices.
This Home8 starter kit comes with a security camera, an infrared motion detector, and 2 door or window sensors. Except for the camera, each is battery powered (batteries supplied). The camera needs to be plugged into a supplied power adapter. All the devices easily pair to the base station and then you set them up where needed, and configure as needed with the app. There’s also an included key fob to arm/disarm the system as you leave or enter your home.
The Home8 app on your phone is where you get notified of anything the system sees or senses, and you can, with one touch, summon help from the police – even send them a video – or use the app to reach out to a neighbor or family member for assistance (maybe you left a window open).
While the Home8 is not designed to communicate with a central monitoring system company, you can, for a monthly premium, upgrade to have up to 5 users who can see live video and get notifications, or pay to add additional locations to be monitored.
There are some limitations to the Home8, the most serious of which is that it relies on your home electrical power staying on for both the base unit, and cameras, and of course your Internet service, which has to stay connected too. Also while you can add additional sensors, you are limited to 4 cameras, which may or may not be enough to cover enough of your home.
We received the “Ultra-Secure Starter Kit” for review, but the Home8 system includes many different starter kits, including three designed specifically to help seniors or their elderly parents. The Elder Care Ultra-Secure Starter Kit, for instance, includes not only a camera but two activity trackers and a panic button. There are also two kits to make sure medication schedules are followed, one of which includes an automatic pill dispenser.
Other Home8 starter kits are for the garage, fire and water sensing, or outdoor cameras.
The Home8 is an easy-to-setup DIY home security system, and the various starter kits are available from their online store from $199 to $499, plus you can purchase extra sensors, cameras and other devices that work with the system.