LiveWatch home security ratings

Editor's Rating

LiveWatch advertises “cancel anytime” home security monitoring with especially fast processing of emergency alerts. They sell pre-programmed wireless alarm systems for do-it-yourself setup. These security systems can guard against intrusion and fire, plus LiveWatch systems can automate lighting, locks, heating and other home features. Customers with good credit pay as little as $99 for wireless security equipment.
customer service
3
value
4
equipment
4
features & technology
4
ease of use
5
4.0 overall score
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PROS

Competitive Price
Wireless Equipment
Do-It-Yourself Installation
Fast Processing of Alerts
Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Environmental Disaster Protection
Home Automation
Cancel Anytime Without Penalty

CONS

Aggressive Sales Team
Activation Fee
If Credit’s Low, Equipment Costs More


Overview

LiveWatch security systems use wireless equipment (no drilling required) and can use cellular or broadband connections to send emergency alerts. These systems are programmed by LiveWatch before shipment so you can easily complete setup on your own.

LiveWatch home alarm systems use live voice assist in case of emergency. They also use ASAPer or “as soon as possible emergency response.” ASAPer lets LiveWatch notify the alarm owner and trusted friends or relatives by text within 30 seconds of a potential security breach.

Each LiveWatch security system has Crash and Smash protection as well. This ensures that LiveWatch is immediately notified if somebody tries to disable the control panel.

You have a choice of two LiveWatch control panels. Each can be monitored by three plans. The starter plan is rather basic. The mid-level and top plans are feature-rich. Among the possibilities are entryway sensors, motion detectors, security cameras, and remote-controlled lights. Customers sign one-year contracts or convenience, but you can change or cancel your plan at any time. After one year you own the equipment. LiveWatch home alarm systems remain under warranty for another year after that.

LiveWatch, also known as SafeMart, is headquartered in Kansas. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2004. The LiveWatch security BBB rating was A+ in 2016.

Customer Service

LiveWatch is headquartered in Kansas. In our experience, the LiveWatch sales department had an especially aggressive approach. Within a month of making our first call to LiveWatch (but not yet signing up) we received a few emails, about ten phone calls and a couple of texts. However, LiveWatch security system reviews from customers tend to be positive. On average the company has less than one formal complaint to handle through the Better Business Bureau each month.

Value

LiveWatch sells wireless security equipment and offers three emergency monitoring packages. Customers pay just $99 to use the equipment. Monthly monitoring starts at $34.95.

Wireless Equipment

LiveWatch sells basic and advanced sets of wireless security equipment. Despite the differences, for a limited time, each set costs $99. We describe the equipment below. You can add other devices, like flood sensors and automated door locks, to each LiveWatch security system.

The LiveWatch Plug and Protect Basic home security set uses a pushbutton control panel called Simon XT. The set includes two entryway sensors and an indoor motion detector. The equipment can also be armed/disarmed with a LiveWatch mobile app or a keyfob remote (which also has a panic button). Window stickers and a yard sign are included too.

The advanced LiveWatch security system is Plug and Protect IQ 2.0. It uses an IQ 2.0 control panel, which has a 7” touchscreen and integrated camera. The panel runs easy-to-use apps for security, weather and more. It arrives with two entryway sensors, an indoor motion detector and a key fob with remote control and panic alert. Like the basic LiveWatch system, this security set can be monitored and controlled with a mobile app. Window stickers and a yard sign are provided.

Monitoring Plans

LiveWatch control panels can use cell radio or broadband Internet to alert emergency operators. LiveWatch provides three monitoring plans, plus the equipment they sell can be monitored by various competitors. The three LiveWatch monitoring plans are:

Mobile Pro: This $34.95/month home security plan features LiveVoice Assist, which is two-way voice communication through the control panel. Mobile Pro also includes Crash and Smash protection; if anyone tampers with the control panel, then LiveWatch will be notified to immediately dispatch police. As noted above, each LiveWatch system can be controlled with a keyfob and armed/disarmed with a mobile app.

Total Home: This $39.95 home security deal includes the features described above, plus extra smartphone controls and home automation. Whereas the cheaper Mobile Pro plan gives smartphone control just for arming/disarming the security system, the Total Home plan sends real-time mobile alerts and also lets the user see recent security system activity anytime, including any still images captured by the control panel. For home automation, the Total Home plan supports centralized control of door locks, lighting, temperature and more.

Total Home + Video: LiveWatch’s top plan for home security costs $49.95/month. It’s identical to the Total Home plan described above, but instead of capturing still images it captures video. Video can be remotely viewed in real-time and is saved automatically.

Contract

LiveWatch customers sign one-year monitoring contracts, but customers can choose to cancel monitoring anytime without penalty. At the end of their one-year contracts, customers can move to month-to-month agreements.

Equipment in good condition can be returned for a full refund within a year. The equipment is still functionable though without professional monitoring.

Each LiveWatch home security contract includes a nonrefundable $19.95 activation fee.

Equipment

LiveWatch home security systems feature a choice of pushbutton and touchscreen control panels. Each control panel can link to entryway sensors, motion detectors, smoke detectors, thermostats and more. Below are examples of devices that LiveWatch systems may include. With the top two monitoring plans from LiveWatch, up to 40 devices from LiveWatch and other brands can be included.

Controls

  • Pushbutton Simon XT Control Panel
  • Touchscreen LiveWatch Control Panel with Camera
  • Keyfob with Arm/Disarm and Panic Buttons
  • Panic Button with Wrist Strap

Sensors

  • Entry Sensors
  • Garage Door Sensors
  • Glass Break Sensors
  • Motion Detectors
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Smoke and Heat Detectors
  • Water Leak/Flood Sensors
  • Freeze Sensors

Video Cameras
LiveWatch sells cameras that can capture high definition and night vision images from as far as 50 feet. The cameras are activated by motion and their footage is stored online.

  • Indoor Fixed Camera with Night Vision
  • Indoor Fixed Camera with Dome
  • Indoor Camera with Pan and Tilt
  • Outdoor Wide-Angle Camera

Home Automation

  • Keypad Door Locks
  • Remote Light Dimmer
  • Remote Thermostat Control

Features & Technology

LiveWatch has affordable wireless security solutions for renters and homeowners. Here are some top selling points.

ASAPer (As Soon As Possible Emergency Response)
ASAPer lets LiveWatch operators process alerts especially quickly. When any alarm system is triggered, local law may prohibit the monitoring company from making related phone calls until 30 seconds have elapsed — but there isn’t a similar law about texting. With LiveWatch ASAPer a text alert is immediately sent to the owner and anyone on their alert list. This allows for faster-than-average confirmation that emergency personnel should be dispatched.

No Cancellation Fee
LiveWatch customers sign one-year contracts but can cancel these contracts without paying termination fees. In contrast, many other security companies hold customers to agreements of one to five years.

Video Cameras
LiveWatch leases and sells a variety of motion-triggered Z-wave security cameras for indoor and outdoor use. If a LiveWatch security camera doesn’t meet your criteria, consider adding a Z-wave wireless camera from any brand. In any case, video can be live streamed to a LiveWatch mobile app and saved to cloud storage.

Automated Door Locks
LiveWatch control panels can monitor up to 40 devices. Automated door locks are popular add-ons that add security and convenience. They can be remotely controlled and also programmed to engage at specific times.

Location-Based Control
Location-based control works with a smartphone. This technology detects when the user has traveled a certain distance from home and then takes actions such as adjusting the thermostat and making sure that the alarm system is activated.

Ease of Use

LiveWatch security systems are DIY with support. Each system is configured for the purchaser before it’s shipped. Setup effort is minimal because the equipment is wireless. Technical help is available with online chat, an online database and by phone.

Summary

LiveWatch is a top recommendation for wireless home security without the pressure of a long-term contract. Each plan includes a tamper-proof control panel and top monitoring options support home automation and video.


LiveWatch Home Security

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