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Piper Reviews

An affordable home security and automation solution with no monthly fees

SecureScore™: 7.0 /10
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7.0 SecureScore™
Customer Service
6.3
Value
7.5
Equipment
7.3
Features & Technology
6.9
Ease Of Use
7.0

Piper Home Security Ratings

Piper offers an integrated home security and home automation hub. The combination includes some innovative features, but ultimately it falls a little short due to poor video quality and limited equipment options.

PROS
  • All-in-one device for home automation and home security
  • Straightforward equipment choice
  • No monthly fee
  • Z-Wave compatibility

CONS
  • Video quality is well below industry standards
  • Limited ways to expand your system without third-party equipment

Overview

Piper was developed by the Ottawa, Canada team of iControl Networks. This company started in 2003 and focused on solutions that improved the home’s energy management and security. They wanted to make everything more convenient for their customers and did this through home automation. Alarm.com acquired Piper and iControl Networks in 2017.

Features & Technology

Loud Siren

The 105-dB siren is one of the loudest that you’ll find in a home security system, and it’s more than enough to make the bad guys think twice about robbing your home.

Wide Angle Camera

Get a better view of what’s going on with the 180-degree camera.

Pan, Tilt and Zoom

See more detail by interacting with the video recordings.

Two-Way Talk

Communicate with people on the other end of the camera with a two-way talk feature.

Piper App

This full-featured app has three security modes for easy arming and disarming. You can choose home, away and vacation with preconfigured settings. The app lets you know when notable events happen, like the siren going off. You can receive these notices through a phone call, email, text message or push notification. Get video on demand from your mobile device. You can connect five Pipers to the app.

Lighting and Appliance Control

Smart switch, micro smart switch, or dimmer switch to connect your home furnishings and appliances to the Piper.

Environmental Data Tracking

Know the exact conditions of your home with the sensors included in the Piper.

Store Up to 100 Video Snippets in the Cloud

You don’t have to pay anything for these short event videos.

Z-Wave Compatibility

Integrate your Piper with the rest of your smart home systems.

IFTTT Compatibility

You can set up complex automation with the help of IFTTT, which ties Piper in with other services.

Ease of Use

Piper supports DIY setup – all you need to do is get the app, plug in your device, and connect it to your wireless network. The process is self-explanatory, and all the controls are user-friendly.

Customer Service

The customer service options for Piper is handled through phone and email, along with a knowledge base that answers many questions about basic functionality. Since Piper only has two products, the representatives have a lot of expertise with them.

Value

If you like smart home and home security products that don’t come with a monthly fee, then you’re going to love the value that Piper brings. You only have to worry about the equipment cost, and then you get all the functionality for the life of the product.

Equipment

Piper Classic

The Piper Classic is the base-level device that has 2-megapixel video, a 180-degree view, and support for panning, tilting, zooming and quad views. It has a two-way microphone and a 105-dB siren to keep your home safe. Motion, temperature, humidity, light, and sound sensors are included on this home security device. It connects to your home network via 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and is compatible with Series 300 Z-Wave controllers.

Piper NV

This upgraded device has all the features of the Classic model, but improves video quality to 3.4 megapixels, has an enhanced immersive video features, adds night vision and is compatible with Series 500 Z-Wave controllers.

Door and Window Sensors

You can create a security perimeter by putting these sensors on vulnerable entry points in your home.

Summary

Piper supplies a lot of features packed into a single device, but it does fall short of what you might expect from a home security system, especially when it comes to video quality. The lack of a subscription is useful for people who want to make a one-time purchase.

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6 Comments

  1. Avatar Vince says:

    I just learned today that effective May 1, 2019, Piper will no longer play with IFTTT. This creates a big hole in Piper’s capability.

  2. Avatar Helen says:

    Sounds like it’s another one bites the dust. Hope not. I love the Piper. I have two and a lot of window sensors. From reading other posts, it seem like they are preparing to shut down and not returning calls. So it isn’t so.

  3. Avatar mike casey says:

    As a long term user and early adopter of this product, I can say that there are a lot of issues with these units. I have been using a pair for over 4 years. When they work, they are wonderful, when they don’t work (which is often) they can cause a real headache. Installed at your primary residence helps as they need to be manually rebooted often. I have my units at a cabin hours away. I have had issues with reliability since day one. After 3.5yrs of support through email, they have finally come to the conclusion that they are not compatible with Satellite internet due to the high latency. Unfortunately now that its past the 90day period since purchase, they will not take the units back even thought it took over 3.5 years to diagnose the issue. When the units go offline, they are unusable. For instance, if you have the piper set to turn on lights or external siren when it detects motion, it will do so, but if the unit does this and has lost connection with the network, you are unable to shut anything off, which results in a trip to the location to unplug the units, remove batteries and reset. I have had times where an external siren was on for over a week because I was unable to get to the location. What is almost worst is that the units are unusable even when you get to the location and get on the same network. Piper units NEED to be on the internet to function at all. End of the day, interesting product, but definitely not a security device. I have been reviewing many other products over the years and this is by far the least reliable. Save your money and invest in Arlo or abode.

    1. Avatar Doug Ford says:

      You are spot on. Encountered same issueson numerous occasions, of course always when in travel. Been waiting for a firmware upgrade that would allow a remote reboot and connection but they’ve never done that (I’ve asked). System is useless when connectivity issues happen. Piper’s answer? Have someone come over and reset the system for you. Unacceptable.

    2. Avatar mike casey says:

      Update… upgraded our internet to 16ms latency speeds and over 50Mbps up and down and units still consistently go off line.

  4. Avatar VW says:

    After talks with Piper “tech support” the bottom line is that IFTTT isn’t playing with Piper any longer, and Piper has no plans to update its app capabilities. This means the really useful auto functions handled by IFTTT – auto arm, auto disarm, ANY commands using Google Home (including auto-on smart lights in case of an alarm trigger) are now dead (though I assume it still activates zwave smart switches, which are rendered unusable via voice commands because of IFTTT’s departure, and who wants to fire up Piper app just to dim a light?) Essentially, that leaves a dummy Piper unit that doesn’t allow any integration with Google (and I assume Echo) using timers, voice commands, etc. – and with no plans to replace IFTTT functions or upgrade its own software, Piper just shot itself in the foot. Once a real fan, I can only recommend it for a dorm room or dog house, but no longer for home automation. Too bad. It had a good run.

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