Security

Ooma Home Security Review: Does This Live Up to the Rest?

(Last Updated On: July 14, 2017)

Some people might recognize Ooma for the Telo, which provides voice over IP service without requiring you to pay a monthly fee for the service. The company has recently introduced the Ooma Home Security System. Ooma promises that its home monitoring system is easy to set up.

Features of the Ooma Home Security

Modular, you just add more sensors when you need to

The Ooma Home Security has a starter kit that sells for only $129.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), and this includes the Ooma Telo and a motion sensor.

While this starter kit may already work for smaller homes and apartments, the Ooma Home Security system allows you to add more sensors as you see fit.

You can add:

Wireless installation

These sensors connect to the Telo using Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication or DECT technology. This is the same technology that allows the Ooma Telo to work with Ooma cordless headsets.

Call 911 remotely using your home’s phone number

Ooma Home Security can call 911 for you even when you are away. You can also specify other numbers to make sure that somebody responds to any alerts. The remote 911 feature also reflects your home address.

The Ooma Home Security mobile app

The mobile app allows you to easily pair the different sensors with your Telo. All you need to do is to press on the “Add Sensor” button and then select the sensor type that you would like to add. You will then need to follow the simple steps shown on the screen.

The mobile app also allows you to use three preset modes – Away, Night, and Home – or to create your own personalized mode. These modes will help you disable or enable different sensors.

You can also schedule these modes to automatically be enabled or disabled, as well as specify which alerts you would like to receive notification of.

Using the mobile app, you can switch modes manually by swiping the main screen left or right and then toggle the modes found at the top part of the screen. Or you can go to the Mode screen and then choose the mode you want to enable.

Push notifications

If you are not using the app, and if it is running in the background, you will get push notifications. This way, you will still be alerted even when you are away from your phone.

Tamper-proof

If somebody has tampered with your sensors, you will know it because the red hand graphic on the mobile app dashboard will light up.

Free option

You can use the Ooma Home Security without having to pay a monthly fee. You have the option to subscribe to the basic service where you can monitor one sensor for free.

If you want to monitor two or more sensors, you only need to pay $5.99 per month. If you are already using Ooma Telo with the Premiere service tier, you can add monitoring for these sensors to your plan for free.

What you would love about the Ooma Home Security

The Ooma Home Security is a good option for those who are just renting their homes because there is no need for you to run wires.

Instead of using Wi-Fi, the sensors use the DECT technology to connect to your Ooma Telo, and it also saves energy. The batteries you find on the Ooma sensors are rated to last anywhere from 1.5 years to 2 years.

The use of DECT to connect the sensors with yourOoma Telo also gives you another benefit: security. Unlike Wi-Fi connected devices, these sensors do not use IP addresses that outsiders can use to hack into your home systems.

Moreover, the Ooma Home Security can protect you even when you do not avail of the monthly fee. You also do not have to enter into long-term contracts. You can easily cancel your monthly fee at any time you want.

Before you buy: Alternatives to Ooma Home Security

Scout is a home security solution that connects to your Wi-Fi network or other Zigbee devices that allow you to check on things at home even when you are away. Like the Ooma Home Security, it is modular and you only add the sensors you need. It does not need you to lay wires for it to connect to each other.

It does, however, support security cameras, allowing you to see for yourself what the sensors have detected.

It also has cellular backup, which guarantees that you can be safe even when the Wi-Fi or the electricity goes out in your house. Compared to the Ooma Home Security system, the sensors for Scout are more expensive.

The motion sensor sells for $49 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), the access sensor sells for $29, while the hub itself sells for $129. Monitoring plans start at $9.99 per month. While Scout costs more, it does offer professional monitoring for $19.99 per month.

Another modular DIY home security system is SimpliSafe. Like both Ooma and Scout, you can choose the sensors you want to add.

The company has different packages that range from $230 to $540 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), with different sensors included in each package.

Simplisafe, however, pales in comparison when it comes to monthly fees. You need to pay $20 if you want to get e-mail or SMS alerts, and $25 per month if you want to control your Simplisafe system using your smartphone. Live monitoring is offered for $15 monthly.

You can also consider Samsung SmartThings. While Samsung SmartThings help you work different devices using only one mobile app, it does offer a wide range of home security devices such as multipurpose sensors, motion sensors, arrival sensors, and leak sensors.

Additionally, it works with other smart devices. This means that you can turn on smart lights, sound a smart siren, or check security camera footage right from the SmartThings mobile app.

What could be better

The Ooma Home Security system does not have professional monitoring. That means that you would need to be available to call 911 when there are possible break-ins at home. If you are sleeping or if you miss the notifications for some reason, then there is nothing much you can do.

Also, the Ooma Telo only works with sensors coming from the same manufacturers. It does not work with Wi-Fi, which further limits the sensors and devices you could connect to it. If you already have motion sensors that use Wi-Fi, you cannot use them with your Ooma Home Security.

The Ooma Home Security also has a limited range of sensors. You can add more than one motion detector, door and window sensor, or water sensor, but that is pretty much it. For a home security system, it does not support security cameras or even an alarm siren. Of course, there is the cost.

If you add anothermotion sensor, water sensor, and door and window sensor to your starter kit, that means you would be spending $220. That cost can easily be higher for bigger houses that need more sensors.

The Ooma Home Security pretty much works on its own.  It does not have any integration with home automation platforms or smart home devices.

That means you cannot make the Ooma Home Security automatically operate other smart devices you have at home. Even if you detect movement at home, you cannot use the same mobile app to turn on your smart lights, or lock your smart lock.

Final recommendations for Ooma Home Security

Ooma Home Security feels like a security solution that was more of an afterthought, an add-on service to the Ooma Telo voice over IP service, and less of a home security system.

Ooma Home Security does not work with Samsung SmartThings, Wink, and any other home automation platforms. It does not even offer a way to connect security cameras and sirens, nor does it offer its own siren or cameras.

This makes the Ooma Home Security system very limited. You will have to settle on using the given motion sensor, water sensor, and door and window sensor. This effectively means that you miss out on a more holistic security solution.

When you get an alert, you would need to open another mobile app to check on your security camera footage to make sure there really is an intruder. Or you would need to switch to another app to sound a siren or to turn on your smart lights or lock your smart lock.

Still, if you do not currently own smart devices, the Ooma Home Security can be a good choice. It offers you an easy way to protect your home from burglars and intruders. Not only is the system modular, allowing you to add only the sensors that you need, it also offers affordable sensors.

Plus, you get the convenience of being able to call 911 remotely and still have your home phone number and address reflected automatically. If you already have the Ooma Telo, this home security system would make more sense than buying a different home security system that costs more.

However, if Ooma Home Security can provide professional monitoring, more sensor types, compatibility with security cameras and sirens from other manufactures, and lastly, smart home integrations even with the most popular platforms, then it would be a much better home security solution!

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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