Digital Home Security – Do It Yourself with InGrid

InGrid Home Security is a new system with easy, do-it-yourself installation and reliable all digital technology that protects your high tech home or apartment.  You’re going to like it!

As one who has followed the home security industry for quite some time, I was a skeptic when InGrid suggested I take a look at what they were doing.  I’ve usually found the chink in the armor of other non-traditional systems.  InGrid impressed me.

What everyone needs to know

Their system relies on the user being only the average high tech consumer in today’s world. Nothing more. That you are reading this assures that you are a computer user. In order to use InGrid, you must also have high speed Internet service at the place of installation (cable or DSL) and, ideally but not critically, for backup sake, a traditional hard-wired phone or VoIP service (Internet-based phone, such as Vonage or Packet8).  It is not a requirement that you have a traditional phone line, but it may be helpful because those systems usually operate even during a power outage. The Handset, Base, Console and Grid Extender include a rechargeable battery that should keep things going for about 24 hours in the event of a power outage.  Each of the individual sensors contains a 10-year Lithium battery inside. Additional GSM cellular redundancy is part of InGrid’s product roadmap.  Now, that’s cool!

Easy as 1-2-3-4

It starts with a customized kit the user determines is right for his or her need – www.ingridhome.com – whether the dwelling is an apartment or a large home greater than 3,000 square feet, or, perhaps the user wishes to protect a vacation home. Users choose just the right number of door and window sensors as well as other pieces to provide the coverage needed.

Though reasonably priced, the InGrid protection is powerful and finely tuned according to the needs that the user determines, and that is the charm of InGrid.  And remember, installation is do-it-yourself.  It really is that easy.

Once the kit is received, the user goes about doing the installation, following the Quick Start Guide that is very well laid out, referring to each step along the way, through each of the boxes that are received.

Everything will be received in a large outer box. Inside that outer box will be a large box and one or more smaller ones with sensors inside. Inside the large box are four small ones, each marked 1-4 with unmistakable numbers. (The company knows you will succeed.)

The system consists of a base unit that resembles a cordless phone handset base.  Instructions call for this unit to connect to both a regular home phone jack (if you still have a regular phone in your home) as well as to an available port on the home’s Internet router.

 

Remember, the system relies on the Internet.  You’ll see why shortly.  If there is not a nearby phone jack on the wall, a line can be connected between two of the other components and the nearest wall phone jack.  This is Box #1.

Opening Box #2 will reveal the handset for the base in the photo above.  Connect and install the battery, and this part of the job is finished.  Note the contoured, gently curved handset.  It is very comfortable to hold and use, unlike the overwhelming majority of cordless phones.

Box #3 has the Console inside.  Connect and insert its battery and plug it in.  Box #3 is finished.

Box #4 contains an ingenious piece called a Grid Extender.  Connect and install the battery inside and then plug the Extender into the wall as instructed.  The Grid Extender is an integral piece of the technology that speaks, quite literally, to the way this system operates in the first place.  On the back side is a standard two-pronged plug.  Te whole thing plugs into the wall.  That’s it.

Visit the company Website to learn more about the grid system that provides an overlapping blanket of two-way communication with sensors and the grid controllers (the Base, Handset, Console).  This redundant path of communication means that even if one path is lost, the others are there.  No other system I know of for consumers provides this redundancy.

The other box or boxes contain the various sensors ordered with the system – for doors and windows.  Each has its own 10-year battery inside.

Each adheres with double-sided sticky tape and each needs to be registered with the system as part of the set-up procedure.  They speak to the console.  NO wires!  Just stick and go. This is why InGrid is so easy to install and to use. The only wires are the ones from the base and console to the wall plug for power, plus the wires from the base to the Internet router and to your modular phone jack in the wall.

Once all the pieces are in place, it’s time to go online, establish an account and activate the system.  More Grid Extenders can provide wider wireless coverage over a larger area.

It may take about two hours, start to finish, to get the system installed and operating. Not bad!  It took me a little less than two hours to get the job done.

Using the system is an intelligent exercise, as well.  There are scenarios for arming the system while at home and away.

 

Arming and Disarming is Easy – for the User

InGrid can be armed and disarmed from the handset or base as well as from the supplied keychain remote and remotely over the Internet. There is a Panic button on that remote, on the handset and on the base.  Additional handsets may be purchased to provide greater peace of mind. If you have connected the system to your existing home phone system, even if it is Internet-based, a VoIP system such as the aforementioned Vonage or Packet8, the InGrid Handset(s) become additional phones for that system.

The system can be used to notify the user on a work phone or mobile phone of any activity, be it an open door or window, or, perhaps, when a child returns home from school in the afternoon.  Users can even set their account to notify additional individuals of such activity.  Users can also go online to check in on the status of the system and of any sensors, any time, from anywhere.

The user interface is clean and uncomplicated.  I logged in from Macs and Windows PCs equally well.  During the first seven days after activation InGrid puts the system into an unmonitored “practice” mode to allow the users to get acquainted with the features and operation.  Thereafter, there is a $30 per month monitoring fee.

And monitor the system they do. They can detect and will notify the user of any anomalies, including if a sensor fails and if any part of the system malfunctions.  In the event of a break in, the monitoring service will contact the user first and if law enforcement needs to be summoned, the professional monitoring service will do that.  If the owner and any other designated party cannot be reached after a breach, they will alert local authorities.

They have done their homework in creating InGrid.  It is flexible and customizable.  If your needs are for greater coverage, they can provide additional modules or add integrated smoke and fire sensors.

A Little Something Extra

Here’s a little bonus to indicate they have been thinking about how to add value to the system.  InGrid is connected to the Internet. There is at least one handset in the system.  The InGrid designers used this integration to allow users to check local weather as viewed on the phone’s handset.  Why not?  The information is so easily available and viewing it on the handset seems like such a natural way to use the system.  As long as they are showing weather, they can also provide severe weather alerts on that handset. This is just very smart.

What’s Missing?

What’s missing?  The expense and complexity of the other systems.  What is included is redundancy the other systems do not offer except for a steep premium price, if at all.  The protection is there.  If the customer needs infrared motion sensors or wireless smoke/heat detectors that integrate into the system, they are available as additional cost accessories.

Let’s cover the expense of the InGrid system.  It makes no sense to me that a consumer would purchase a kit and install it and then not sign up for professional monitoring for at least one year. To that end, it makes even more sense to save money by purchasing the hardware along with up to three years of professional monitoring.  There are many ways to configure InGrid, with and without monitoring contracts, for those who would want to pay month-to-month, though these month-to-month plans cost more.  A basic kit for a small apartment along with a one-year contract starts at just $200.  With a three-year contract, that basic kit costs only $130.  A home-sized system starts at $270. Professional monitoring without a contract is at a cost of $30 per month. Go online to find what’s best for your needs.

I hope that your curiosity has been piqued.  Now, log on and learn more about this revolutionary do-it-yourself home security system.  More information is at http://www.InGridHome.com or call 1-877-INGRID7.  InGrid is available through the company Website at the link above and will soon be available through select broadband providers.