A DIY home security system with rock-bottom equipment and monitoring prices.
When it comes to home security, professional monitoring is a wise choice. Especially if you decide to go with Seattle-based Wyze, the purveyor of Wyze security cameras.
Today we’re going to unpack the Wyze Home Monitoring kit — both literally and figuratively — and understand what makes it tick. You’ll learn how to use rules and modes to keep your home secure and protect yourself from unseen dangers. We’re also going to take a look at how they stack up against their competitors like Ring and SimpliSafe. So let’s get to it!
Pro Tip: Right now, you can save 50 percent on select equipment when you purchase an annual plan, and you’ll get a Wyze Sense Hub for free.
To get things rolling, I purchased a Wyze Home Monitoring Bundle. This included a Wyze Sense Hub, a motion sensor, a keypad, and a couple of entry sensors. It also included some window stickers to let everyone know my home is monitored – a nice touch when you’re thinking about theft deterrents.
Pro Tip: Since the time of this writing, Wyze has taken a more customizable approach to their monitoring options. Instead of offering kits, you’ll select your plan and pick out the exact pieces of equipment you need. You can install up to 100 sensors on one license and take all of your equipment with you if you move.
Not every kit is going to include this equipment, so if you need something else or would like to exclude some items, just head over to the Wyze website. They make it super easy to customize things.
All in all, Wyze offers seven pieces of equipment, including the hub itself and the keypad. For security, Wyze has entry and motion sensors. For environment monitoring, it has a climate sensor, leak sensor, and an extension probe that connects to the leak sensor for tight spaces. Those are the seven options available, so right off the bat, not super impressive.
What sets Wyze apart is the price. The kit I purchased cost me $99.99. From everywhere else – whether that’s SimpliSafe, abode, or ADT Self Setup – a kit like this would cost me $200 to $300. That’s a significant price difference, so if you’re looking for a budget security system, Wyze is definitely going to be a strong choice. Just don’t expect much in terms of equipment options.
On the bright side, Wyze makes affordable yet feature-rich cameras. They range in price from about $30 to $80 each and they include intuitive features like person detection. It’s not the only home security system from a security camera brand – there’s the Ring Alarm we reviewed, for instance – but again, it’s the most affordable system of its kind.
Did You Know? You can use Wyze Home Monitoring without paying any monthly fees, but keep in mind it’ll be a self-monitored system with no professional emergency response.
There’s not a steep learning curve when it comes to mastering the Wyze app. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and where you’re going to control all of your Wyze equipment — from your cameras to your sensors to your motion detectors to your keypad. Here’s what it looks like in action:
Each pairing took me about ten minutes from start to finish, save for two exceptions — the Wyze app and the Wyze Cam both needed firmware updates. This didn’t take too long, though; maybe five minutes each. All said and done, it took me about 45 minutes to get everything up and running. Keep in mind, though, if you purchase more sensors or monitors, your mileage might vary.
Fun fact: Wyze’s first-generation security system was called Wyze Sense. Its second-generation system (V2) is now called Wyze Home Monitoring, but still includes Wyze Sense equipment.
So what’s the final wisdom here?
If you’re looking for home security equipment that’s easy to use and won’t take the entire weekend to set up, you’re going to like Wyze. It’s not a flawless system, but there aren’t a whole lot of drawbacks, either.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking to compare DIY-forward security brands, make sure you pop over to our SimpliSafe review, too. They take a similar approach to home security as Wyze, and their prices aren’t half bad, either.
Now that we’ve talked about the setup, let’s talk about how well their home monitoring services performed.
I spent three full days testing Wyze Home Monitoring and getting into the finer details of installation, setup, and everyday use. None of it was difficult – that’s sort of Wyze’s thing – but there are a few things you should know before you try Wyze yourself.
To start things off, I’ll discuss the components of the Wyze Home Monitoring kit, as well as how and where I used them in my 1,900-square-foot home.
I placed the Wyze Sense keypad right next to the door that leads to my garage, which is where I enter and exit most frequently. That way, it was easy to arm and disarm the Wyze Sense system when someone walked into or out of the house. Believe it or not, this entering and exiting happens quite often around here, as my other job is to serve as head chauffeur to two sporty, active 12-year-olds.
I created a PIN during setup – no, I’m not going to tell you mine – and the rest was just peeling off the adhesive, powering on the keypad, and placing it on the wall.
The keypad is wireless and battery-powered, by the way, making installation a lot easier. It’s also worth noting that it has a very low profile (about one inch thick) and its matte white finish isn’t going to look out-of-place wherever you put it.
Another nifty thing about this device is that it has an emergency button on its right side. If you’re ever in a situation where someone is chasing you as you enter through your door, you can use this to sound an alarm quickly and easily.
Besides those, it’s a pretty standard and simple keypad, which matches the theme of Wyze’s simple DIY security system.
Now we’re going to talk about the brains of the system. Your hub is essential for connecting everything to the Wyze app. The good news is it only takes a few minutes to sync to your Wi-Fi network, and it also can serve as a back-up security device as it comes packed with a siren that’s loud enough to scare any unwanted guests away should they make their way into your home.
Remember the emergency button on the keypad? Yeah, it triggers the hub’s siren. The siren also sounds whenever any of the sensors detect a security breach. That’s super important; professional monitoring is optional with Wyze, so if you’re self-monitoring the system, the siren is going to be your first and main line of defense to drive away intruders.
Design-wise, the Wyze Sense Hub looks a bit like a generic Wi-Fi router. It’s square and low-profile, and it even has antennas sticking from both sides. It has a mesh top, too, which is reminiscent of the mesh fabric you see in Amazon and Google smart speakers. I’m a little picky when it comes to the home tech I display in my home, but with the Wyze hub’s design, I feel confident sporting it next to my Amazon Echo.
I attached the two entry sensors that came with the Wyze Sense kit on my front and back doors. This helped me make sure one of those active preteens didn’t accidentally leave a door open, which could leave the house vulnerable to intruders. More importantly, these sensors can alert you to a break-in or burglary, whether you’re at home or away on vacation.
You’ve got a couple of choices when it comes to installing entry sensors. However, for the sensors to work correctly, you’ll need to make sure both pieces of the sensor are within an inch apart when you close the door.
One thing I don’t like about these entry sensors is the battery. One AAA battery goes into the main part of the sensor, and according to Wyze, it can last for about 18 months. Most entry sensors I test last for three to five years.
The use of an AAA battery instead of a coin cell battery (which is what’s typically used in entry sensors) also contributes to the sensor’s larger size. It’s not chunky, but I feel like Wyze could have designed the entry sensor smaller to go with the design theme of their other products.
Wyze Sense’s motion sensor detects motion up to 25 feet away and has a 120-degree field of view. Unlike Wyze’s cameras, the motion sensor only detects people, not pets. Knowing this, I decided to place the motion sensor high on my living room wall and let it track all the humans in the house. And it performed as expected.
Wyze specifically designed the motion sensor to diverge from the typical bulgy motion sensors we normally see. It’s square and, even though it has a bit of a bulge in the middle, it keeps a low profile overall. At the thickest, it measures only 1.1-inch. This makes the sensor great for tight spaces, especially for apartment residents with a limited space to work with.
By and large, installing the Wyze Sense kit was a breeze, and even on par with top DIY home security brands like SimpliSafe and Ring Alarm.
Truth be told, most of the time your security system is just going to help you keep an eye on the common comings and goings around your house. That said, will Wyze help protect you when the rubber meets the road? Will this system keep you protected from actual threats?
For me, this question goes back to peace of mind. I already knew Wyze was a reliable camera brand. With the new home monitoring kit, I had another layer of protection at my disposal, and I felt confident knowing it would kick in exactly when I needed it. Peace of mind? Wyze checked that box for me, too.
As I mentioned above, Wyze is a DIY security brand. You’re not going to run into big headaches setting up professional monitoring, especially now that Wyze lets you connect to the third-party monitoring center directly. Previously, with V1 Wyze Sense equipment, I could only access Noonlight through IFTTT (If This Then That) to get my system professionally monitored.2 Moreover, I couldn’t use the V1 Wyze Sense kit without purchasing a Wyze Cam, but that’s no longer necessary.
Take caution here, though: In the unboxing stage, I had trouble finding the activation code to access Wyze’s monitoring. That’s the first step to setting up the system, and without that code, I found myself … stuck.
But alas, all it took was a quick box inspection. I found the redemption code at the bottom of the Wyze starter kit box. That’s the code I used to add six months of professional monitoring to my account, which was included when I bought the Wyze sense kit. So make sure you look under that box – or, if you haven’t deleted your email receipt yet, you can find the code there, too.
With my system online, I set up a few “rules” and customized which notifications I wanted to receive in the Wyze app. For example, I set up a “rule” to arm the front door after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m. every Monday through Friday, so if someone tried to break in, an alarm would sound, and the monitoring center would be notified.
I also set rules for away mode, which was useful for times when I knew the house would be unoccupied for several hours at a time. Luckily, no such burglar approached during my tests. But I still wanted to see how Wyze would respond to a threat as I continued testing the system. Here’s what happened when I accidentally triggered the alarm from my front door sensor in my initial tests:
Wyze Sense Text Message Screenshot
Keep in mind here that the entire process – from the time the alarm went off to the time “Karen” canceled my (false) alarm – took no more than a minute. Response times can be critical in a real emergency, so knowing Wyze can act fast was extremely reassuring for me.
If you’re wondering why Noonlight texted instead of calling me, good catch! Most monitoring services will call you immediately in case of an alarm, but not so with Noonlight. First, they send you a text. If you don’t respond within 20 seconds, they give you a call.
That’s kind of like a double-edged sword in my opinion. On one hand, it makes canceling false alarms easier; just text back that it’s a false alarm and give them your safe word. On the other hand, in case of a real emergency, it extends the response by about 20 seconds. They’ll call the police only when you don’t respond to the call. 20 seconds is not a lot of time, but during a break-in, it’s an eternity.
While Wyze products have tons of great qualities, Wyze Home Monitoring might not be the system for you if you’re a hard-core smart home enthusiast. If you’re a fan of security systems that work with Alexa, you may be pleased with the Wyze skill in the Alexa app. You can tell Alexa to show your cameras’ livestreams, and you can ask her if your front door is open. If you added a Wyze smart light bulb to your purchase, you can tell Alexa to turn on your lights when you wake up in the morning.
If you’re not sure which voice commands you can use, the Alexa app comes in handy with tips for how to use Wyze with an Alexa device. But keep in mind you will have to spend some time linking the two accounts together. This is in addition to connecting each Wyze device individually to the app before you can use voice commands to control the Wyze system. It took me about 20 minutes to get everything linked up, and that was just for the core starter kit.
FYI: If I’d bought more equipment and add-ons to the system, I’d be adding more setup time, which sort of cancels out the extra convenience of using voice commands, to be honest. But don’t worry; Wyze makes up for that with a new person detection feature. If you have the V3 Wyze Cam like I do, you can get real-time voice alerts from Alexa, like “Person detected in living room cam!”
In the long run, it’s fairly easy to use an Echo Show or another Alexa-enabled smart speaker to control Wyze devices around the house, but limitations abound. Alexa won’t contact the monitoring center on your behalf in case of an emergency, and it won’t give you battery life updates for Wyze’s sensors.
By and large, using Wyze with smart home speakers is helpful, but it’s not going to provide much in the way of emergency response. For that, a fully monitored system might be a better fit. Check out our review of Vivint, one of the smartest security systems we’ve tested.
The Wyze Cam v3 isn’t a core component of the Wyze Sense starter kit, but I purchased one as an add-on. The third-generation, 1080p HD, plug-in camera came with some sweet upgrades over the original (V1) Wyze Cam. This includes things like a Starlight sensor for even sharper video quality at night, as well as more motion detection options. (Note: person, pet, and vehicle detection are available, too). The two features combine to record sharper images than V1, which you can learn more about in our full Wyze Cam review.
The new V3 cam also came prepared for the outdoors, with IP65-rated protection from water and dust. The original V1 Wyze Cams had no such weather protection, so again, you’re looking at a more flexible camera that works both indoors or outdoors. Do keep in mind, though, that the Wyze Cam is still plug-in only, with no battery backup.
I used the Wyze Cam for various functions around the house, like making sure the kids started their homework as soon as they arrived home from school (and not a minute later!). I loved that when I set the camera to detect people only, Wyze drew a green rectangle to “tag” people in the frame, like my spouse in the background of the image above. This smart detection can help to isolate and notify you of a threat.
Since it’s protected for outdoor use, Wyze Cam also came in handy for me as a discrete set of eyes on my wrap-around porch. OK, I admit, it was actually a plan I hatched to catch my neighbor’s cat in the act of eating my fresh-grown tomatoes off the vine. My plan derailed, but the camera still worked well and even continued to record through an overnight rainstorm without missing a beat.
Throughout the testing period, the camera delivered colorful recordings in 1080p HD, even at night (though things got a little blurry from time to time, but I blamed my occasionally slow Wi-Fi and not the camera itself). Watch my clip below for a pleasant moonlight view:
Later on, when I set the camera to detect pets as well as people, the Wyze Cam helped me make sure our two puppies’ food and water bowls were full while I worked just a room away, as you can see in this video:
There’s no two ways around this — Wyze has recently increased some of their prices. When they first came out, the first iteration of the Wyze Cam retailed for $19.99. The current version costs $35.98, and the pro model runs $53.99. There have been some significant increases in the technology Wyze is packing into these little cameras, but you always hate to see prices creep up as a brand becomes more popular.
This puts Wyze Cam V3 in the same pricing ballpark as the Blink Mini, another affordable (and similarly styled) security camera that you can read all about in our in-depth Blink Mini review, as well as our Blink camera pricing breakdown.
The good news? Despite the upgrades and equipment price hikes, Wyze’s Cam Plus video storage costs have remained staggeringly low at $2.99 per camera per month. Check Wyze’s camera pricing page for more cost considerations.
With all of Wyze’s changes over the years, you might be wondering just how affordable a Wyze Home Monitoring kit is compared to its competitors. We’ve got lots of details in our full Wyze Sense pricing page, but for now, here’s what you can expect to pay for Wyze Home Monitoring:
|Wyze Sense Entry Sensor 3-pack||$23.99|
|Wyze Sense Leak Sensor Probe 3-sensors, 1 probe||$33.99|
|Wyze Sense Climate Sensor 3-pack||$23.99|
|Wyze Sense Keypad||$18.99|
|Wyze Sense Motion Sensor||$8.99|
The Seattle-based Wyze has become quite popular with renters looking to secure their apartments and is a big draw for pet owners because of their pet-friendly sensors and cameras. While cameras are Wyze’s bread and butter, the brand has added some interesting and unconventional accessories to its lineup over the years, like robot vacuums, sprinkler systems, and even remote-control cars. Some, not all, of these accessories can be controlled using the Wyze app.
|Wyze Plug Outdoor||Smart plug||$14.99|
|Wyze Watch||Smart/fitness watch||$33.99|
|Wyze Robot Vacuum||Room-mapping floor vacuum||$293.99|
|Wyze Thermostat||Smart thermostat||$73.99|
|Wyze Headphones||Noise-canceling headphones||$89.99|
Wyze’s monitoring works differently than traditional security systems with in-house professional monitoring services. Wyze’s monitoring is significantly cheaper than those traditional brands, especially ADT, which charges up to $60 per month.
With Wyze, you’re getting a third-party monitoring center, Noonlight, at the low price of $9.99 per month with the purchase of a Wyze Home Monitoring starter kit. That’s Wyze’s only option to access professional monitoring. If these monitoring options seem too restrictive for you, pop over to our full ADT analysis page or read our Brinks review. Both brands have several monitoring options.
That said, it’s hard to compare dedicated professional monitoring to a third-party monitoring service. With Noonlight, you’re communicating through SMS texts with no guarantee you’re dealing with a real human. That’s one reason Wyze’s monitoring is so much cheaper than those traditional brands.
On the bright side, a professional monitoring plan from Wyze includes a free subscription to Wyze Cam Plus, which is equal to 14 days of video storage for all your Wyze cameras.
Additionally, you can get discounts on the professional monitoring fee if you pay yearly. You’ll only pay $99.99 per year (about $8.33 monthly cost) and you’ll even receive a free Wyze Sense Hub, perfect if you’re still building out your system. This, once again, highlights Wyze’s advantage as a budget-friendly option for DIYers, renters, or even homeowners with basic security needs.
FYI:Choosing home security equipment comes down to your needs and preferences, but monitoring will usually be a fixed cost once you decide on your provider. With that in mind, Wyze’s professional monitoring — at just $9.99 per month — is just about the lowest we’ve seen.
While it doesn’t have the same time-honored reputation as classic security systems like ADT, Alder, and Frontpoint, Wyze is gaining ground in the home security industry as a leading budget brand.
For basic intruder protection, Wyze Home Monitoring is a solid pick. Equipment is lightweight and very easy to install with peel-and-stick backings. You can add more Wyze Cams, like the Wyze Cam Pan (with 360-degree views, to boot) and Wyze Cam Black, to your system, as well as a flurry of Wyze accessories and add-ons such as smart plugs, a smart floor lamp, and even a remote-control car.
Clearly, this brand has something different to bring to the table, and as a working mom, I couldn’t help feeling a little giddy that all of this equipment was so inexpensive. That said, I soundly recommend Wyze Home Monitoring as a great choice for the budget-conscious, but if you’re looking for a system with greater protections, this might not be for you.
The Wyze core starter kit comes with a Wyze Sense hub, a keypad, two entry sensors, and one motion sensor. Cameras are not included.
No, Wyze is an independent security brand and is not owned by Amazon. The company’s founders did meet while working at Amazon, though.
Yes. With both the Wyze Home Monitoring kit and the Wyze Cam V3, you can set Wyze to detect people, vehicles, or just all motion.
Wyze Home Monitoring is very easy to install. Its sensors are battery-powered, wireless, and come with adhesives, so all you have to do is peel and stick the equipment wherever you’d like. Wyze Cams, however, are wired and require access to a power outlet.
Yes, but it’ll become a local alarm system, and you won’t have access to push notifications, professional monitoring, or two-way audio.
Roston, Brittany A. (2021, Apr 13). Wyze teams with Noonlight to offer smart home users 24/7 monitoring. Slash Gear.
Martin, James A. and Matthew Finnegan. (2020, Sep 25). What is IFTTT? How to use If This, Then That services. COMPUTERWORLD.