LiveWatch's DIY Wireless Home Security System


LiveWatch's wireless home security service offers security equipment at a deep discount. The company offers consumers a choice between four monthly monitoring plans. What's really makes LiveWatch stand out is the fact that the home security service does not require people to enter into a prolonged service contract. Customers can cancel their service at any time. LiveWatch gives you a year to send back the equipment. Now, LiveWatch is not the greatest wireless home security provider. However, it does give people who don't want to be tied down to a contract another option.

LiveWatch Security System

LiveWatch's top sellers are its DIY wireless security system products. The first system offered by LiveWatch is the Plug & Play Basic. The other product is the company's Plug & Protect Complete. These packages come with a set of equipment. These packages are ideal for people who want home security. However, the packages let you choose from a selection of equipment to create your own LiveWatch system. Having a vast selection of equipment options may seem like a great idea; however, it can make it more complicated and expensive to determine what you want.

LiveWatch, much like other security providers, ex. Link Interactive and Frontpoint, get their security equipment from Alarm.com. Why is this fact important? It matters because you are getting same equipment from LiveWatch that you could easily get elsewhere. We aren't complaining about the quality of Alarm.com's equipment. It's the fact that some of LiveWatch's equipment does look like generic, mass-produced, plastic equipment.

What Equipment Does LiveWatch Offer as an A La Carte Option?

Here is a list of the security equipment you can purchase from LiveWatch.

  • A Remote Freeze Sensor,
  • A Smoke Detector,
  • A Keychain Remote,
  • Wireless Detector that Senses Glass Breaks,
  • A Door/Window Sensor,
  • Wireless Flood Detector,
  • Wireless Infrared Motion Detector,
  • The LiveWatch Firefighter Smoke Detector
  • Wireless Vibration Detector,
  • Wireless Sensor that Detects when the Garage Door Opens,
  • Motion Detector,
  • Wireless Sensor that Detects Flooding,and
  • Other types of equipment.

Having a lot of equipment to choose from can be overwhelming. However, having more options can be beneficial. Remember, LiveWatch is a do-it-yourself install and set up the security system. It actually makes sense that LiveWatch would have a lot of equipment options. The company allows you to customize your security system.

The Downside to Having a Plethora of Equipment Options is the Higher Price.

Price is the major downside to having a lot of equipment options. We compared prices for Alarm.com's equipment that is sold on LiveWatch and Amazon. Most of the equipment we compared cost less to buy on Amazon. The major downside to buying these products on Amazon is that some of the vendors on the sale's platform don't seem that trustworthy. So, it makes sense to spend more money buying these products from LiveWatch, then deal with an unreliable seller.

The Control Panel

Every home security system packages begin with the control panel. LiveWatch gives you two control panel options: The Simon XTi-5 and the IQ Gen 2. The majority of LiveWatch's equipment works with both control panels. However, some types of equipment work on specific control panels.

LiveWatch's XTi-5 Control Panel

LiveWatch's Plug & Play Basic plan is included with the Simon XTi-5 control panel. The Simon XTi-5 control panel is similar to control panels offered by other security systems. The one exception is that the control panel has a touchscreen. The five-inch LCD color screen works with both Android and iOS smartphones. The Simon XTi-5 supports the majority of LiveWatch's equipment. The equipment supported by the control panel includes keychain remotes, wireless motion sensors, and wireless sensors for your windows and doors.

According to LiveWatch, this control panel supports up to 40 equipment items. The average homeowner will probably not need any more than 40 items. However, should you want to add more, you may want to consider the IQ Gen 2 control panel.

IQ Gen 2 Control Panel

The XTi-5 has a larger touchscreen than they IQ Gen 2 Control Panel. This control panel is less than an inch deep. The XTi-5 is 2 inches deep, not including the depth of the wall mount. The XTi-5 is also not as bulky as the Simon XTi-5. If you want a sleeker unit that has more functionality, you will more than likely want the IQ Gen 2.

If you need a substantial amount of security hardware, the IQ Gen 2 connects p to 120 times. You can also disarm the system via Bluetooth. If the system can detect that your phone is nearby, it will automatically shut off.

Door and Window Monitors

There isn't anything the standout about LiveWatch's door and window sensors standout. They are similar to most home security system's door and window sensors. As with most do-it-yourself wireless security systems, the sensors are peel and stick sensors. They are easily seen, which is good for people who are concerned about equipment affecting the aesthetic of their home.

Home Automation and Smart Home Features

Mobile Control

LiveWatch's uses Alarm.com's mobile control app. This app is available with each of LiveWatch's plans. The app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS phones. What makes the mobile app strange is the fact that it is used by other home security companies like Armorax and Link Interactive. Because the mobile control app is used by several other home security companies, LiveWatch's mobile app doesn't set it apart from the competition. However, this criticism doesn’t mean the LiveWatch's mobile app is bad.

You don't have to have a technological mind to use the Alarm.com app. Most people can use the app without issue. This app lets you check the status of the system. You can control devices that are Z-wave compatible. The app performs tasks like turning off lights and controlling the thermostat. If the convenience of home automation interests you, LiveWatch's home security may be a product you want to consider.

One of the most important features of the Alarm.com app the ability to watch live or recorded video. If you have image sensors or video cameras set up with your system, you can watch the video feed. Of course, the quality of the video is affected by the quality of image sensors and cameras you use. You are required to have a Wi-Fi connection to use this feature.

Home Security Cameras

LiveWatch Motion Detector with Image Capture

LiveWatch's Motion Detector with Image Capture is a motion sensor that takes a picture. The lightweight plastic does make the sensor seem cheap.

The motion sensor employs PIR (passive infrared) and grabs images at 320 X 250 resolution. While it's nowhere near high definition (1280 x 720), it still produces a decent quality image. You can make out the individuals in the images. And yes, the motion sensor does work at night. However, you will only see black and white images.

The Wireless Hi-Res IP Video Camera

LiveWatch's indoor video camera does capture images in high definition (1280 x 720). It's important to note that this camera is not included in LiveWatch's two system packages. You will have to purchase this camera separately.

LiveWatch's Indoor Wireless Fixed IP Night Vision Camera

This video camera is the sleekest camera LiveWatch offers. However, the specs are not that much better than the IP Hi-Res Camera. The camera's HD resolution is 1280x720. The major difference between this camera and the IP Hi-Res camera is that the fixed IP camera with night vision has a wider viewing field.

The Customer Experience

Ordering LiveWatch is more of an involved process than necessary. However, the customer support is not bad.

We honestly thought that ordering LiveWatch's Plug & Protect Complete security system would be a quick process. This was not the case. After placing an order over the phone or online, you will have to log into livewatchsecurity.com and create a profile.

Creating the profile was not a long process. However, after completing the profile, we had to call LiveWatch to schedule our own activation call. We also had to e-mail the company our completed monitoring agreement. Because there wasn't an easy way to check the status of our order and setup process, we needed to contact customers service to get a status update.

Having to monitor our email for documents from LiveWatch. We also need to log into the company's online portal often. Needless to say, setting up our system took some effort. We didn't need to do nearly as much to establish an account with LiveWatch's competitors. Hopefully, LiveWatch will simplify their signup process.

While LiveWatch's signup process is convoluted, the customer service is great. The representatives we dealt with were patient and extremely helpful. We don't enjoy contacting customer service, so it was nice to know that we could get the assistance we needed when we contacted them.

The System Monitoring

The security system will tell the monitoring center that the alarm is activated. If the situation warrants it, the monitoring center will send the appropriate emergency services. Because LiveWatch includes ASAPer, every emergency contact will get notified to verify the alarm.

The Installation Process

LiveWatch is not the easiest home security system to install, but it is possible for the average homeowner to be able to install it. You should know that when you open your box, there's going to be a lot of equipment which may seem intimidating.

Once we sorted through the equipment, we couldn't help to think that someone with no home security experience may have a tough time. The equipment was not packaged as well as some of the LiveWatch's competitors. Frontpoint, for example, was labeled and came with instructions that were easy to follow.

Should you need assistance, you can speak with LiveWatch's technician who will guide you through the installation process. The technicians will assist for free. Because all of LiveWatch's equipment is peel and stick, you won't need tools or hardware for the installation.

We don't like having to wait for an installer to put our system together. However, we also recognize the fact that other people may need professional assistance. If the idea of doing your own installation seems problematic, you may want to consider another option. However, if you are adventurous and have a few hours to spare, you can try to install the LiveWatch security system yourself.

LiveWatch Pricing

LiveWatch has four monthly monitoring plans. The monthly charges for these plans aren't too bad when compared to the competition.

The Basic Plan

This plan is 19.95 a month and includes the following:

  • ASAPer
  • 24/7 monitoring

Mobile Pro

The plan is $29.95 a month and includes:

  • 24/7 monitoring
  • ASAPer
  • Remote Arm and Disarm
  • LiveVoice® Assist
  • Crash & Smash protection

Total Home

The Total Home plan is $39.95 a month. This plan includes:

  • 24/7 Monitoring
  • ASAPer
  • Remote Arm and Disarm
  • LiveVoice® Assist
  • Crash & Smash Protection
  • Location-Based Control
  • Home Automation
  • Real-Time Alerts

Total Home & Video

This package is $49.95 a month. It includes the following features:

  • 24/7 Monitoring
  • ASAPer
  • Remote Arm and Disarm
  • Smartphone Control
  • Live Video Streaming
  • Smart Video Capture
  • A camera is included

Regardless of the monitoring plan you choose, you will receive LiveWatch's ASAPer service. ASAPer is LiveWatch's emergency response service. ASAPer will send an email, call, or text message to the people you listed as emergency contacts. This service lets the people on your contact list confirm whether or not the alarm is an emergency or false alarm. If no one on the contact lists responds, LiveWatch's monitoring center will call the police.

The Cost of Equipment

LiveWatch has you pay for all of your security equipment when you receive the service. The company offers two bundled security system packages. Customers can choose from two packages, LiveWatch offers consumers the Plug & Protect Complete package. You may also want to consider the Plug & Protect Basic package. By using these pre-packaged systems, you will enjoy substantial savings on the cost of the equipment. The Plug & Protect Basic plan comes with one motion sensor, the XTi-5 control panel, two window/door sensors, and one keychain remote. For $99, you can get the Plug & Protect Basic plan. Without the discount, this package would cost $599.

If your credit is good, you might be able to get a discount on LiveWatch's security packages. Home security providers may be flexible on the pricing for their system and equipment packages. So, you might want to ask the representative if the company is offering any discounts.

The Contracts

LiveWatch's strength is its monitoring agreement. They offer an initial 12-month service agreement. However, if you decide that you want to cancel the service, you won't be subjected to an early termination fee. You can cancel LiveWatch's service at any time. If you return the equipment within a year, the company will return the money you paid for the equipment back.

Most home security providers offer three-year contracts. If you aren't into prolonged contracts, LiveWatch is a great no-contract home security service.

LiveWatch's Home Security Recap

LiveWatch is a service worth trying due to its monthly service fees and cancel-anytime policy. The service is not perfect. It has a complicated sign-up process and the equipment does feel a little cheap. However, there is enough good about LiveWatch that we can honestly say that it's worth using the product.