Abode Security Review
No-contract home security and automation with a modern twist
The founder of Abode came from ADT, one of the biggest companies in the security world. He brought along several entrepreneurs that had backgrounds in technology, security, and energy to create an innovative home security system that stands out from other options in the marketplace. In 2014, their vision came to life as Abode. The company is based in San Francisco, California and has strong investment from Nice, an Italian technology company that has extensive experience with home automation and security.
The focus of Abode home security systems is supporting smart home devices out of the box and offering a simple but powerful experience.
Equipment & Tech
Iota All-in-One Security Device
Iota is an all-in-one home security device that acts as a powerful centralized solution for your smart home. It has a built-in camera, motion sensor, microphone, and speaker. It supports up to 160 connected devices, so it can grow with your home over the years. It also comes with a key fob and mini door and window sensor.
Use this handy accessory to arm and disarm your system easily.
Mini Door and Window Sensor
If the protected doors and windows open while you have an armed system, you receive a real-time notification. It can also set off various home automation routines based on different events. Installation is a straightforward process of peeling off the adhesive backing and putting it where you want it. The included battery lasts up to four years and is easy to replace. You can also get a standard door and window sensor if you don’t need the mini form factor for $25, and that sensor has a 10-year battery.
Smart Security Starter Kit
This starter kit comes with the home security and automation gateway, a motion sensor, key fob, and a mini door sensor. You can connect to 160 devices to it for full customization, and it also has some smart home functions.
Recessed Door/Window Sensor
If you want to ensure that criminals can’t see the door or window sensor, or you prefer not to have any part of the device getting in the way of your existing interior design, then you can set up this recessed option. It has a 10-year battery that is user replaceable. Installation is slightly more difficult than the peel and stick sensors, but all you need is a drill.
Slim Strip Door and Window Sensor
This is a special form factor sensor that operates with doors and windows that have a gap between the frame and the door or window.
Acoustic Glass Break Sensor
This handy sensor issues an alert if glass is broken within its 25-foot range. The battery lasts for 2.5 years, and you can choose between slight, low, medium, and max sensitivity settings.
Wide Angle Motion Camera
This camera is a motion detector and camera in one device. If it gets triggered, it captures three 640×480 photos and presents them to you for visual verification of an alarm trigger. The battery lasts for five years and you can mount this camera on a flat surface or on a corner. A flash is built into the camera to capture every detail during the night.
This device activates when you have your system set up in Away mode. It’s a smart sensor that minimizes the chances for false alarms, and a 110-degree field of view gives you great coverage with the 35-foot range. The battery life is five years.
You can get a first-hand view of your home 24×7 with the live streaming capabilities of this camera. The full HD quality of 1920×1080 is among the best in home security, and the wide angle 152-degree lens offers excellent coverage. Infrared illumination keeps everything in view even in the dark. If an alarm is triggered, it automatically starts recording so you can have those clips available in the event of a crime or emergency. Two-way communication is enabled by the built-in speakers and microphone. It also has a pre-alarm recording feature that captures what happens before the alarm goes off. This camera connects to the base station with Wi-Fi.
You can issue 40 unique PIN codes to your friends, family, and guests to arm and disarm the security system. This function works directly from the Abode app. It also has a panic alarm if a criminal tries to stop someone from arming the system or they need help in an emergency. The battery lasts for five years.
Water Leak Sensor
If water is detected within the range of this sensor, you’ll get an alert so you can begin the remediation process.
Smoke Alarm Monitor
This monitor listens for your existing smoke detector system, so you can receive smart alerts if they go off. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to upgrade every single smoke detector in your house. You just need to add this monitor if you have UL smoke detectors. The battery lasts for six years in this device.
System Status Indicator
You can get full information about your Abode system with this convenient panel. If an alarm is going off, it shows a red light. You can also see what mode it’s in, so you don’t accidentally trip a sensor.
This waterproof device has a three-year battery life and a loud 107-decibel siren, paired up with LED strobe lights. If someone sets off your security system, the whole neighborhood is going to know about it. You can change the sound based on the nature of the alert, such as fire and intruder alarms. You can get an indoor siren without the weatherproofing for $49. The siren on this model is slightly quieter at 95-decibels.
Home Automation Power Switch
This is a smart switch that turns your basic appliances and lighting into a smart device.
Temperature and Humidity Sensor
This small form factor sensor keeps track of the light levels, temperature, and humidity in your home. It has a two-year battery life.
This innovative device senses when someone is at home, based on the activity within the sensor’s range. It also tracks light and temperature levels. It can trigger smart lights and automation once pre-defined activity and temperature readings are met. It has a four-year battery life.
Monitoring & Features
Highly Compatible with Smart Home Devices
Abode has a broad range of compatibility with third-party smart home devices. It works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Nest, Hue, Ecobee, LIFX, Yale, Kwikset, Z-Wave and Zig-bee devices, First Alert and Linear. It also has IFTTT support. You can connect up to 160 devices to your Abode home security system kits.
UL Listed Monitoring Center
Get professional monitoring services when you need them the most. The Basic plan level doesn’t come with this monitoring, but either of the paid plans gets you access to this feature.
Multiple Ways to Arm and Disarm Your System
Choose the arming and disarming method that works best for you. You can use a key fob, keypad, or set up the app to automatically toggle the security off and on as you go.
Abode CUE (Custom Engine)
This powerful platform gives you a lot of home automation tools to work with. You can set up the scenes exactly how you want them with a point and click wizard that takes the complicated steps out of home automation.
The sensors and many of the other devices that connect to the home security system are wireless and use your home’s Wi-Fi network to communicate alerts and notifications.
Mobile and Web Access
You can access remote control functionality through the smartphone app or on your computer.
Grows with You
Since it supports up to 160 devices, you don’t have to worry about running out of room on your system as you need different smart home configurations or if you move to a larger house. It’s easy to take your system with you.
Installation & Usability
The installation process for Abode devices is as simple as you can get. Nearly all the devices simply need put in the location that they are going to stay at. Abode has done a respectable job at sticking to their simple and powerful focus. Wizard-based help takes you through the software and you can create complex home automation rules and triggers without getting overwhelmed.
Abode has an excellent customer support section set up on their website, with answers to many frequent questions. You can reach out for email support only if you’re on the basic plan. If you have the Connect plan, you can add phone support to that. If you’re on the Secure plan, then you get access to the 24/7 professional monitoring service and premium phone support.
Cost & Pricing
You do not sign up for a long-term contract with Abode and you can easily switch between plans as needed. They make the pricing as simple and transparent as possible.
This is a free plan that comes with both starter kits. You get three days of timeline and media storage, self-monitoring features for your home, access to the mobile app and web experience, support for 160 devices, unlimited user accounts, 100 CUE automations, IFTTT channel access
This is a $10 per month plan that adds 4G cellular backup to your plan and extends your timeline and media storage to 14 days.
If you want professional monitoring for your Basic or Connect plan, you can add it on an ad-hoc basis for three days for $8 and seven days for $15. These are the perfect lengths for weekend trips and longer vacations.
You pay $30 per month for this plan and get 24/7 professional monitoring and 90 days of timeline and media storage.
These plans are affordable, but you do need to pay for the equipment upfront. Abode works with Affirm for financing so you can spread that payment over time, if needed. They have an exceedingly small return window of 14 days, and a one-year warranty.
Abode does an excellent job of balancing a lot of features, future scalability, and affordability. While the product selection may be overwhelming at first as you figure out the ideal load out for your home security sensors and third-party smart home devices, they have resources to help you every step of the way. You can pick whether you want cellular backup and professional monitoring, and the ad-hoc temporary professional monitoring is excellent for those with occasional needs.