Wyze Home Monitoring can watch your home at a very low cost

Cindy F. Cape

I was sitting at home minding my own business one day when I received an email from AT&T Digital Life, my home alarm provider.

The email said that due to the February 2022 sunset of the 3G cellular network, AT&T would not be supporting the Digital Life alarm service for the long term, and it had arranged for Brinks Home to take over the monitoring.

Digital Life uses my broadband internet connection for monitoring, with a 3G modem as a backup.

Since I was having to switch alarm companies, I decided to look around a bit to see what was available that I could install myself.

I decided to try out Wyze Home Monitoring, which is monitored by Noonlight.

This is an alarm system you can install and customize yourself.

I chose Wyze because I’m a happy user of several Wyze products, including cameras, a doorbell and many light bulbs.

Customize your system

To order the Wyze Home Monitoring system, you first choose your monitoring plan — either $4.99 per month or $59.88 per year. Both options include a free hub, which is the heart of the system.

Then you choose your sensors. You can get three entry (door/window) sensors for $24.99, motion sensors for $9.99 and wireless keypads for $19.99.

The system can also include water leak sensors (three for $34.99) and climate sensors to monitor temperature and humidity (three for $24.99). You can also integrate the Wyze Video doorbell ($49.99) and the current Wyze Cam v3 ($35.98).

You can pick and choose which sensors to include, but the entry and motion sensors are the only sensors that can trigger an alarm.

You can also buy a basic system at Home Depot that includes a hub, two entry sensors, one motion sensor and a keypad with six months of monitoring for $99.99.

According to Wyze, you can connect up to 100 sensors, and the hub has a range of up to 500 feet.

Installation

You’ll need to download the Wyze app and set up an account. If you have other Wyze products, you already have the right app.

The hub is the heart of the Wyze Home Monitoring system.

You’ll set up the hub first, which connects to your home network via ethernet cable or Wi-Fi.

Note that the Wyze Home Monitoring system does not have a cellular backup, so if your home internet or Wi-Fi is down, the system will not relay alarm events to the monitoring company. Cellular backup is important if you want your home’s alarm to be monitored during a power outage. It may or may not be a priority for you.

The hub is the main communication point for all the sensors, and it also has a speaker for the siren that sounds when the alarm is tripped. The hub has a battery backup to keep it running if the hub loses power, but remember, if the power is out to your neighborhood, your internet will be out and monitoring will not be sent to Noonlight.

Once the hub is set up, the Wyze app will walk you through setting up any sensors you’d like to add to the system.

Entry sensors and motion sensors use regular AAA batteries and adhesive tape to stick to doors and walls. Wyze says the batteries will last up to a year. The adhesive sticks well.

The keypad uses three AA batteries. I installed the keypad using 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips (think heavy duty hook and loop) for easy removal from the wall.

You will get warnings in the app when it’s time to change the batteries.

Once the sensors are added, you’ll use the app to configure the system to choose things like how long the delay will be for entering or leaving your house.

You can also set up which sensors are used for the Home or Away modes.

For instance, you can choose to not enable the motion sensor when you are in Home mode so you don’t trigger the system by moving around in the house.

You’ll also set up your contact information, a keypad PIN to disarm the system and a safe word for when alarms are triggered. You can change these settings from the app whenever you like.

You can only add one phone number to the system, so you’ll need to decide who gets called if the alarm is triggered.

In action

When the alarm system is set for either Home or Away mode, if anything trips the active sensors, you’ll receive a text message from Noonlight in about five seconds.

The home monitoring page from the Wyze app lets you arm or disarm the system.
The home monitoring page from the Wyze app lets you arm or disarm the system.

You’ll be asked whether you need emergency services dispatched. If you reply that you do not need help, you’ll be asked for your safe word, and the alarm will be silenced.

If you don’t reply to the text in 30 seconds, your contact phone number will be called. If you don’t answer the phone, the police will be contacted.

If you look on the Wyze website, you’ll find Noonight’s phone numbers. It’s a good idea to add them to your phone’s contact list so you’ll see who’s calling and don’t ignore the call.

The keypad is easy to use. The alarm mode buttons are on the top row for Home, Away or Disarmed.

Below that is a number keypad for entering the PIN to disarm the system.

The system works

The first day I armed the system at my house, we set off the alarm.

I can assure you that the monitoring and notification system works as advertised.

I armed the system for the first time before going out to meet my wife. I thought we would come home together, but I decided to go pick up food for dinner and my wife returned home without me.

The Wyze Home Monitoring keypad.
The Wyze Home Monitoring keypad.

I forgot to tell her that I’d armed the new Wyze system, so when she opened the door, the hub started beeping and she had 60 seconds to input the PIN on the keypad.

This normally wouldn’t be a problem, but I had not yet mounted the keypad on the wall (it was sitting on a table in the living room).

Since she couldn’t find the keypad, she knew the alarm would go off — and it did.

When I was in the drive-through lane picking up dinner, two things happened at almost the same time: I got a call from my wife telling me the alarm was going off and a text from Noonlight asking whether I needed them to contact the police.

I answered the text that we had set off the alarm and sent my safe word and Noonlight turned off the alarm. You are texting with a real person, not an automated system.

My wife was a good sport and didn’t give me much grief about putting her in that situation.

There is a button in the app to put the system into test mode, which means you can test the sensors without triggering an alarm with Noonlight. You can use test mode any time you like if you are adding or testing sensors.

Conclusions

The Wyze Home Monitoring system is inexpensive for both the hardware and the monthly monitoring. You can sign up by the month or annually, and there is no contract.

The sensors and hub are easy to install, and the app is simple to use.

Arming and disarming can be done from the keypad or the app.

The interactions with Noonlight personnel are very professional, and the system notifications worked perfectly.

The only knock on the Wyze Home Monitoring system is the lack of cellular backup for communicating alarms to Noonlight if your internet is out.

We like the system at our home so far. The good experience with Noonlight when we set off the alarm put us at ease.

If you are looking for a self-installed system with inexpensive monitoring, the Wyze system is a good one.

Pros: Inexpensive to buy and for monthly monitoring. Easy to arm and disarm through the app.

Cons: No cellular backup.

Bottom line: Simple to set up, and it works as advertised. I hope the company offers a cellular backup option in the future.

https://www.dallasnews.com/business/technology/2022/01/06/wyze-home-monitoring-can-watch-your-home-at-a-very-low-cost/

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