AlarmForce Review: New VideoRelay Service
AlarmForce is a longtime player in the home alarm and security market. They originally made their name with their “live two-way voice” system that barks at a burgalar if they enter your home. Given this pedigree, most of their features fall into our “5 Reasons to Ditch your Alarm Company” list, with one exception: Unlike most traditional alarm companies, they are taking steps to modernize.
Recently they’ve introduced a VideoRelay system that provides video monitoring of your property with remote video access, mobile integration, and other features you’d expect to see. Let’s breakdown their offering and see how it stacks up.
1. Core Features. According to their website, it provides two-way audio communication, indoor/outdoor cameras, smartphone and web access. The two-way audio communication is fairly unique compared to other offerings but it looks like you need their traditional alarm offering to get this feature. When you take that away, the rest are table stakes for a video monitoring system: ability to view your cameras from anywhere, motion detection built-in to the camera, along with recording and archiving of video events.
2. Additional Options. Most of their enhanced options really amount to adopting their traditional alarm service. With this you get their two-way communication feature, as well the siren, motion detectors, etc.
3. Price. Well, it’s steep. The core VideoRelay system is $249 installation, then $20/month. Additional cameras are $99 installation and an extra $8/month. When you couple that with a 3 year contract term, you’re committing to a lot of money for this service. If you add their legacy alarm service, it’s an extra $25/month but the VideoRelay fee goes down to $10/month.
Net result? If you’re looking for the full spectrum of alarm features — from sirens, to motion detection, to security personnel monitoring, and ultimately video monitoring — AlarmForce looks like a decent option to investigate. I don’t personally have experience with them (I have my own terrible experiences with another traditional alarm company), but they certainly seem like one to consider.
Having said that, I suspect this is overkill for many homeowners — whether it’s their pricing or avalanche of features, or both. The good news is that other options do exist. There are other video monitoring systems with similar pricing and business models as AlarmForce such as Rogers (read our Rogers Review), or video monitoring services that don’t require a multi-year contract and use webcams or IP cameras like the one we offer, Camcloud. Whatever you decide, there’s enough selection in the market now that it’s worth doing some shopping around.
If any readers have experience with Alarmforce, chime-in with your comments!