Best Self-Monitored Home Alarms for 2017

Best Self-Monitored Home Alarms for 2017

If you are looking for a smartphone based, self-monitored home security system in 2017, I recommend either iSmartAlarm or Abode. If you prefer a camera based system, I recommend Arlo Pro backed by SmartThings. This video reviews the basics of all three systems including apps, remote access, security cameras, home automation, as well as pros and cons.


Comprehensive Review:
Arlo Pro vs. Canary Flex:
Abode vs. SimpliSafe:
Info on the New Nest Secure System:

Arlo Pro:

I purchased the iSmart camera and everything SmartThings on my own, but the iSmartAlarm system, Abode system, and Arlo cameras were given to me for testing. I was NOT paid to make this video. All opinions are my own. If you choose to buy Arlo Pro or iSmart using the links above, I will receive a small commission which I will use to keep this channel up and running.



it's Rose says:

10/17/2017 Arlo has launched Arlo Pro 2. Pro 2 has a 1080p resolution (Arlo Pro is 720p) and three new benefits if the camera is plugged-in and used indoors. When plugged-in, it offers activity zones, a 3-second pre-buffering feature, and optional continuous video recording if you pay for a CVR plan.
10/12/2017 10/12/2017 abode has announced several updates including a new 1080p streaming camera with two-way audio, new door sensors, expanded Z-Wave compatibility, ecobee support, and smart RGB lighting support.
10/4/2017 Not sure if these three systems will hold the top spots in 2018. Check out what's coming soon here:

8/1/2017 Arlo now sells an outdoor power adapter and solar panel for Arlo Pro.

7/25/2017 iSmart is currently working through security issues. Some of the vulnerabilities have already been resolved in past updates and changes, but some are still in progress. I recommend waiting until all issues are resolved.

June 2, 2017 iSmartAlarm now has an Amazon Alexa skill.

Jeff Tight says:

Security should be reviewed as priority, with smart features as nice ti have, IMHO. That said, you did not address cellular communication or dual path communication to insure you receive a notification when your cable is down or disabled. You also did not mention encryption of any of the communications which is really becoming a critical piece of a high security profile.

Steve McMillen says:

Couple of questions about abode.. 1) For the motion sensor with camera, how is the picture quality. I see its 640×480 which seems pretty low res. I wonder how effective that is if it was detecting someone moving 25 feet away. 2) Its hard to tell from the Abode docs, does the keyFob arm/disarm the alarm automatically thru its "long range abode RF" or do you need to press the buttons to do this?

mang isda says:

It's nice the way it was presented. Video was great, too–not blurry & that it's steady. I like that she stooped down to say Hi to the camera. Just great. Also, the video length was just right. And might I add that her house was nice and neat.

Abel Pierre says:

Question: I understand the Scout requires a direct ethernet cable in order to work properly. That may be an issue for me as our modem is in the basement and we have an old brick home, not easy to run wires through. If I did a direct ethernet connection to a range extender would that work as well?

TheNutzandBoltz says:

You speak amazingly at the rate of speed you deliver your message. Very impressive.

Dr Dwg says:

Rose, you fine AF

Paul L says:

Hi Rose

Nest recently released their own self-monitored alarm system. I know it's early days but will you be doing a review of Nest's offering?

V Pedrin says:

I bought iSmart, & I love it except for some issues with the contact sensors. A couple of the sensors are showing "open" when they are closed. iSmart tech support seems to think it's the metal doors they're installed on(!) They recommended I put more padding to separate the sensor from the metal door/window frame. They also want me to try putting in new batteries. So I will be doing all this & we shall see. I will update here. I'd be interesting in knowing if anyone else has experienced this.

it's Rose says:

I moved from a personal to a brand account on YouTube. In doing so, I lost the hundreds of comments I’ve made since early 2016. I apologize that all the data was lost, but we can start again. Let me know if you have a question, even if it’s a repeat!

V Pedrin says:

Do these systems work with both iOS & Android devices?

Mike Corpsegrinder says:

720p is not HD

Ryan Thomas says:

Does it become a pain in the ass to have to use the Scout app every time you want to arm or disarm the alarm when entering or leaving the house? A remote sounds simpler. I'm sold on the Arlo Pro but want a system with window alarms as well.

Lo & Sha Rucker says:

Do you plan to review the iKeep Pro?

Matt Lynn says:

Which system would work best with Apple HomeKit?

John F says:

Rose, the home security company I'm working with would like to contact you about reviewing it's product. What's an email to best reach you please?

Christopher Zarlenga says:

I like the convenience of the wireless cameras of Arlo Pro and the live video since we want to self monitor. But don't like that Arlo doesn't offer the support of other home automation devices like abode does. Any advice or recommendations ?

Guy Philbert says:

The missing battery backup is not a huge deal since you need to put you router and Wi-Fi on a battery backup too for any of this to matter.

Steven Falcon says:

Great job at showcasing the different systems. I use iSmartAlarm and like how they have greatly improved their app and camera software in just the six months that I've owned the system. But it seems like one can't go wrong with the others that you described.

John Christian says:

How does Arlo compare to simplySafe? Have you done a video comparison?

tempest411 says:

Hello Rose,

Thank you for another great security video! What do you think of these devices being un-monitored?

Also, are you registered on Amazon? I need to get you some jeans that don't have holes in them!

Vinh Bennett says:

Rose – As always – excellent and thorough review of each system!

Joseph Pup says:

Good job, Rose! I admire for what you share great feedbacks and information about a product. You rock!

Giorgio Giora says:

As always nice video about home security, I still waiting for your full review for Adobe before I decide between Adobe, SimpliSafe and iSmartAlarm. Since my house is not finished yet, I still have some time before decide but I would like to know in your opinion what company seen to be (1) adding more features (2) fixing problem like camera quality (3) improving the overall experiences and quality of the products.

Also from what I will need, the price with the same components for Adobe may end $200 more when compared with the other two because Adobe don’t give much discounts. So my other question is if you think the cost different still make Adobe a good pick.

eliran gibli says:

thanks very much! you open my eyes..

more jello please says:

i may look at one of these systems next year when the house is built. for now i'm using the ring pro. been to heck and back with the ring cameras, but their customer service is excellent.

Nate Muzquiz says:

love your videos. i recently had a bike stolen off the side of my house when i had been cleaning my garage out. Looking to get a camera set up and your videos have helped a bunch .

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