On test: Y-Cam home alarm system
I was asked to test the Y-Cam home alarm system and to start with I struggled to think what I would want to keep safe. We do not own many high value items in the home. But then I remembered my precious bikes and my computers (although I usually remove this from the house when travelling).
My bikes live in the house, rather than the shed, for exactly this reason. I do not want them vulnerable to thieves by keeping them outside.
So, when testing the Y-Cam alarm system I chose to fit the devices in the room where I keep my bikes.
The award-winning DIY house alarm system is almost as easy to set up as they suggest. I am not great with technology and I hate reading instructions but once I sat down to look, it all seemed fairly straightforward.
My set-up includes a hub, access sensor (door opening alarm), a motion sensor (movement detector) and a remote control. I also had to download the (initially) free Y-Cam app on to my phone.
The start-up instructions told me to attach the hub to my internet hub with a provided lead and plug it in.
The two sensors and remote devices are “added” to the hub set-up through wi-fi detection. You simply type in the code numbers when requested to do so on the phone.
Then you place the sensors in the home where you want them. I went for an access sensor on the door to the bike room and a movement sensor in the hall downstairs.
Next step is to active the devices to test them. You control this by the remote and as you do so the hub speaks to you to tell you it’s all set up.
If you trigger the alarm a load wailing is heard. If you are away from the home you receive instant alerts 24/7 wherever you are when motion is detected so you can take immediate action. (Eg call the neighbours or police.)
However, there are a number of extras that you need to make this alarm system truly useful though.
By adding a subscription of Plus Standard (£5.99) or Plus Premium (£9.99) per month you can make sure the alarm system offers a more comprehensive protection. For example, if you pay for a Premium subscription you get what is called Triple Layer Security.
This means that even when the home broadband internet connection is down there is a SIM card backup, internet backup and eight-hour battery back up so the Y-cam Protect system remains fully operational.
Apparently, one in five burglars will attempt to cut communication lines before breaking in so Y-cam Protect with Premium Plus keeps your alarm system working even if the lines are down.
You can also buy a camera monitor that allows you to see and hear what is going on at home while you are away. I think this would be one of the most useful assets although it did not come with my basic set up which is priced from £149.99. The camera costs £129.99 extra with free seven-day cloud storage for three years.
There are other useful additions, such as outside cameras.
I was sceptical at first about how well this small box of simple devices would work but I have been impressed. It is easy to set up and use. And relatively cheap when you compare to a full professionally fitted alarm system.