Kangaroo Security System Review

By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Oct 15, 2020
6.5
/10
Editor's Rating
Page Contents

Before you jump to conclusions, no, this is not an Australian-based security company. Kangaroo is a newcomer to the industry and is headquartered in New York City. Kangaroo’s small team focuses on simplicity, affordability, and reliability for their home security products. The question is, do they actually deliver in those aspects? In this review, we’re taking a look at the Kangaroo security system. Let’s jump into it!

Kangaroo System
Kangaroo System

What’s Included?

We ordered Kangaroo’s five-piece starter kit. Priced at $79, the system was actually free for us because we signed up for Kangaroo’s subscription plan, Kangaroo Complete, which costs $10 per month or $99 per year. Unlike other home security systems like SimpliSafe, which you can read more in our SimpliSafe security system review, the Kangaroo security system is WiFi-based, so no hub or base station was required. For an overview of Kangaroo’s equipment lineup and costs, check out our Kangaroo pricing page.

Here’s what we found in our starter kit:

  • Two motion and entry sensors: We placed these babies up on our bedroom door and kitchen window. Whenever activity occurred in the bedroom or kitchen, the motion sensor picked up the movement and the entry sensor alerted us whenever the door or window was opened.
  • One siren and keypad: We had several options for arming and disarming the security system: the mobile app, the PIN number on the keypad, and our Roo tags. As for the siren, we were startled by how loud it was — loud enough to get our neighbor’s dog barking (which is another siren in itself).
  • Two Roo tags: Cute as the name is, the Roo tags were alternatives to arming or disarming the Kangaroo security system. We liked that it was just a quick tap — no sweating bullets when we forgot the PIN number for the keypad.
Kangaroo Roo Tag
Kangaroo Roo Tag
  • Five window decals and one yard sign: While it’d be nice to advertise for the company, we didn’t bother putting up the decals or the yard sign. We live in an apartment, so there wasn’t room for us to stick the yard sign in the ground outside. Anyone who likes the bumblebee, black and white aesthetic will like Kangaroo’s decals and yard sign, though.

Tip: We don’t recommend putting up the Kangaroo window decals and yard sign. If you do, burglars could be able to figure out how to tap into your system based on the brand. A report revealed that 83% of burglars look to see if a home has a security system before deciding whether to break in or not.1 If you have a different yard sign from another security company, we recommend putting that up instead to throw off burglars.

Overall, the Kangaroo security system is pretty robust. We could do without the window decals and the yard sign for something more practical, though.

Favorites and Flaws

As we tested out the Kangaroo security system’s features, we picked out some of our favorite things as well as some flaws.

Favorites
  • Wireless system: We generally lean toward wireless security systems, aka WiFi-based security systems. Because we live in an apartment, we don’t always have the luxury of hardwiring wired security systems because they’re harder to install and remove without damaging our walls. With the Kangaroo security system, however, we set up everything without tools and we didn’t have to worry about connecting the system to a hub or base station.
  • 24/7 professional monitoring or free self-monitoring: Kangaroo hops on the bandwagon of providing monthly subscriptions, one of which includes 24/7 professional monitoring. Called Kangaroo Complete, we signed up for this plan because we’re busy people and we can’t always respond to alerts (also, we received the system for free). Kangaroo’s U.S-based monitoring team responded to activity that triggered our motion and entry sensors. We also had the option to self-monitor, in which case we received notifications whenever a motion event occurred.
PlanBasicKangaroo Complete
Monthly Cost$0$10
Annual Cost$0$99
DiscountsNone2 free months if purchased annually
CoverageAll devices per locationAll devices per location
NotificationsAppText, voice call
24/7 Professional MonitoringNoneYes
Theft or Damage Coverage MaximumNone$1,000
Smart Home IntegrationsNoneAlexa, Google Assistant
# of Days for Activity HistoryNone90
Homeowner’s Insurance DiscountNoneYes
  • Easy installation: Like we said, installing the Kangaroo security system was simple. Concerns about wires and drilling were next to none. We just had to pull tabs from the motion and entry sensors, sync the devices, and remove their adhesives to stick them in place.
  • Pet detection included: So, here’s the thing: we don’t actually have a pet. Most times, pet detection is an artificial intelligence feature that’s locked behind monthly subscriptions, so we liked that this wasn’t the case for the Kangaroo security system. We were pet-sitting our neighbor’s dog one weekend and turned on “Pet Parent” in the Kangaroo: Simple Home Security app. The motion sensors basically didn’t pick up activity from the dog because he was shorter than two feet and four inches.
Kangaroo System and Packaging
Kangaroo System and Packaging
Flaws
  • Lack of settings customization: For the Kangaroo security system, we couldn’t customize the settings like adjusting arming times or scheduling arming and disarming. The siren keypad didn’t allow us to change the volume or chime sound either, so whenever it updated during the middle of the night, the automated voice scared the living daylights out of us. Yes, we want our siren to be loud, but we have limits, as do our eardrums.
  • Overly sensitive sensors: Yes, it does sound a little silly given the purpose of sensors, but the Kangaroo motion sensors were too sensitive. The gust of air from the AC rustled the curtains in our bedroom, which triggered an alarm. At first, we panicked because we thought that an intruder had broken through the window, only to find a gentle curtain blowing in the breeze in the Kangaroo: Simple Home Security app. When we checked our other home security cameras covering the same area, we didn’t see anyone, either. Later when we came home, we found out the cause. Much to our dismay, the motion sensor didn’t have adjustable sensitivity, so we had to tie the curtains to restrict movement.

Tip: Avoid setting up your motion and entry sensors where the slightest draft could trigger them. We recommend turning off any fans or the AC when you’re not home.

  • Arming and disarming is a bit of a hassle: There are three security modes: arm the doors and windows, arm the house, or disarm the house. We noticed that the system took three minutes to arm. We couldn’t dial it down, although there was an option to increase arming time to six minutes to conserve battery life. If the system was triggered while armed, it would begin to sound the alarm, which beeped, and if we hit panic, the alarm would sound more like a banshee.
  • Wonky notifications: We received push notifications anytime there was activity, but because we signed up for Kangaroo Complete, the monitoring team sometimes stepped in to either dismiss the alert or call 911. There were a few instances where the monitoring team reached out to us and asked if our motion and entry sensors were working properly because they received alerts a minute or two after when the activity occurred. We tested our sensors after hearing this and, sure enough, there were some alerts that popped up on our phones about a minute later than in real life. This didn’t happen all the time, but an emergency would have occured within that delayed time frame.

To sum it all up, we were left wanting more from the Kangaroo security system features. There were certainly some features that we loved, but the system still lacked in performance when it came to the delayed notifications, overly-sensitive sensors, and lack of customization.

Video Review

For all the action, check out our video review of the Kangaroo security system below. We cover the same topics with helpful demonstrations.

Setting up the Kangaroo Security System

When we began setting up our Kangaroo security system in our apartment, we just needed to plug the siren keypad cord in an outlet. We decided to place the siren keypad on our console table in the hallway leading to the front door. After that, we downloaded the Kangaroo: Simple Home Security app, which walked us through the rest of the setup process. We added our devices and then pulled the yellow tabs from the motion sensors, which automatically synced with the system. To sync our Roo Tags, we simply tapped them against the siren keypad.

Kangaroo System - Installing Motion Sensors
Kangaroo System – Installing Motion Sensors

Like we mentioned earlier, we placed the motion and entry sensors on our bedroom door and kitchen window. We peeled and stuck the sensors against the flat surface, and it stayed! Even when we slammed the bedroom door, the sensors didn’t budge or fall off. All in all, we were pleased with how effortless the installation process was.

Tip: Don’t forget to test the motion and entry sensors right after you sync them! Sometimes the sensors don’t sync right away so you’ll have to re-sync, swap out the batteries, or, worst case scenario, contact Kangaroo’s customer support for replacements.

Using the Kangaroo Mobile App

Kangaroo App - Arming the System
Kangaroo App – Arming the System

Most if not all home security systems have a companion mobile app that makes arming, disarming, and monitoring our home so much easier. From our experience with the Kangaroo: Simple Home Security app, we enjoyed the cute and colorful illustrations of our “home.” There were four tabs on the bottom to tap: Camera, Security, Climate, and Activity. The Security tab was where we armed and disarmed the Kangaroo security system. An animation of a glass dome encasing the house illustration on the app played out whenever we armed the apartment. When we disarmed, the glass dome disappeared.

On the Activity tab, we reviewed a list of events that occurred throughout the day or the week based on motion detection. There were icons for each type of event like when we armed the apartment or when water leaks were detected. In short, the app was a breeze to use, and it helped that there were illustrations.

Integrating Alexa and Google Assistant

Our Kangaroo Complete plan included Alexa and Google Assistant integrations, but without the plan, we wouldn’t have been able to use them. We scratched our heads over this because most security systems already include smart home integrations without a monthly subscription. For both Alexa and Google Assistant, the commands were pretty basic: arming and disarming the entire apartment’s system or just the doors and window sensors.

Recap: Is Kangaroo Is A ‘Roo-se?

Kangaroo Keypad Lit Up
Kangaroo Keypad Lit Up

We tried to be a little soft on the company as they’re fairly new to the scene, but when it came to protecting our home and easing our concerns, there was a lot to be desired. Our main issue was the security system’s performance, whether it was the sensitive sensors or inconsistent notifications. However, we did like that the monthly subscription was pretty affordable with prices that are comparable to Ring Protect plans, which you can read more about in our Ring Alarm review.

We recommend the Kangaroo security system for:
  • Anyone who wants a minimalist system
  • Someone who doesn’t want to mess around with sensors’ and siren settings
  • Anyone who wants an affordable system with professional monitoring for $10 per month
We don’t recommend the Kangaroo security system for:
  • A person who wants customizable settings for their security system
  • Anyone who doesn’t want to pay extra for smart home integrations
  • Someone who doesn’t mind delayed notifications

It’s always a pleasant surprise when we come across a new security brand, as we look forward to testing out their products and seeing how they either improve upon or fall back on the current industry standards. North America is the largest and fastest-growing market for home security systems,2 so Kangaroo has some major competition and definitely has room for improvement. Kangaroo could easily become one of the best affordable security systems, but only if and when they improve its features.

Citations
  1. UNC Charlotte. (2018). Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender's Perspective.
    airef.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/BurglarSurveyStudyFinalReport.pdf

  2. Mordor Intelligence. (2020). Home Security System Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020-2025).
    mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/home-security-system-market