Rating: 4.5 Reviewed by Paul The myfox home security system is a newly released remote monitoring wireless DIY home security system with some interesting features that set it apart from other recently developed systems.
In our review we look at those features and more to see how this works in securing and monitoring your home.
Currently it comes with an entry sensor (known as an Intellitag, siren, control hub (known as a Link) and a cloud based camera.
The entry sensor (like korner) is just 1 piece (not 2 like most) and can detect when the door or window is being attacked before it is opened.
It also has a back up feature to get notifications out in the event of your internet service being down.
I’ve spent a number of hours looking at the user guide, analyzed the specifications, check out reviews online and asked questions to complete this review.
The first step once you’ve received the system is to install and set it up.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Contract
- 3 Support
- 4 Cameras
- 5 Video Storage
- 6 Alarms
- 7 Myfox Security System Notification
- 8 Remote Monitoring
- 9 Battery
- 10 Sensors/Detection
- 11 Door/Window Contacts
- 12 Panic Button/Duress Codes
- 13 Setting The Alarm
- 14 Control Hub
- 15 Timers
- 16 Protection against it being switched off
- 17 Coverage
- 18 Wireless or Wired
- 19 Zones
- 20 Dimensions
- 21 Features
- 22 Accessories
- 23 Pros
- 24 Cons
- 25 Myfox Security System Consumer Ratings
- 26 Myfox Security System Price
- 27 Summary
The system will work with 2.4 Ghz home WiFi system (802.11 b/g/n) . You also need a mobile device that is iOS (iOS 7 and newer) and Android (4.0 and newer) smartphones. It doesn’t work with Blackberry or Windows.
For each camera you add, a 250 kbps average to 500 kbps peak bandwidth is required to take full advantage of the HD quality
Installation and set up is fairly straightforward. You download the free App to your phone and follow the instructions. There is a user guide included and a video on their site that you can use to help with the process. You first set up the control hub (Link) and then devices – siren, sensor, key fob and camera.
To attach the window/door sensor (Intellitag) to a door or window you peel off the backing tape and stick it on it. It appears there is no issue with the backing tape holding the Intellitag in place.
You can locate the siren on a table or fix to a wall. If you are mounting the siren to the wall there are 2 holes in siren cover that you use to screw to the wall. The screws are not included. Which is a bit annoying especially as they recommend that you mount it to the wall high enough that it is not easily reached by an intruder.
The camera is designed to be placed on a table or shelf and can’t be mounted on a wall. A wall bracket can bought separately for around $30. It comes with an 6.5 ft extension cord to help with mounting it away from the power supply.
You can get the system set up and running within minutes but you may want to take a little time to get all the settings just as you want . You can do this and change than anytime you want.
However, if you buy the camera and want to store video you need to pay a monthly fee for this.
You can contact the supplier via their website and submit a request for help.
There is no phone contact or opening hours listed on the site.
When I contacted them for more information they got back to me quickly and with complete answers.
The camera’s night vision is up to 19 feet using infra red LED to light the darkness giving a black and white view and recording (if subscribed).
The lens has a 130 degree view and has fixed focal length of 2 feet to infinity.
The image is going to be clear and should help in identifying an intruder and see what is going on but won’t be crystal clear and sharp so expect some blurring especially when an intruder is moving quickly – more like you see on some CCTV in shops rather than a HD TV.
The 4 X zoom is a digital zoom that uses magic zoom where you click or tap on the image to zoom in or out rather than analogue where the lens moves.
The camera includes a 2 way speaker so you can have a conversation with anyone in your home including your pets. It can be a great way to keep in touch with your spouse, kids or communicate anyone in your home authorized or otherwise.
The camera does have one unique feature the privacy shutter that you operate from your phone or you can set it to happen automatically when you arrive home with the remote key fob. The shutter comes down on the camera preventing anyone from being able to use the camera while you are a home giving added protection from prying eyes.
The camera is for internal use only and is not waterproof and should work between 32 – 113 Fahrenheit. It can be located on a shelf or table top but is not designed to fixed to a wall which does seem to be an oversight as I’d think you might want to put it in a corner of a room to cover all of the room as well as the doors.
There is an LED light at the front that lets you know the status of the camera including it has not yet been set up, it is connected to Myfox servers, connected and in operation, when someone is viewing the camera and when it is out of range of the WiFi or if there is a problem with the set up.
If there is an issue with the camera it is possible to reboot using the App or locally using the tool supplied and the reboot pinhole at the back of the camera. Being able to do this is a big help if there is an issue and you aren’t at home as many camera require you to do this locally.
There is an option to store video online in the companies cloud storage for up to 1 continuous recording day or up to 1 week continuous recording. It is a monthly charge and can be cancelled at any time.
The prices are $4.99 a month for 1 day and $9.99 a month for 7 days storage. This is the price for 1 camera, for additional cameras you receive a 50% discount. You do get this for free for the first 2 weeks to try it out.
The video is stored in chronological order on at timeline that allows you to quickly find key incidents and review them. It can be done from anywhere you can access the internet with your smartphone.
If the internet connection is lost it will record video for 1 hour internally if there is an internet or power outage.
Without paying for the storage option you can save snapshots to your phone using the App. but there is no option for storing video.
There is automatic video recording when motion is detected if you have the cloud video storage service (a monthly fee is payable for this).
The siren is 110 db loud (the equivalent loudness of standing close to a jackhammer) which will disorient an intruder and in many cases will be enough to scare them off as they don’t like to have anything that might bring attention to them while committing their crime.
It is an internal siren and should be heard through your house but your neighbors are unlikely to hear it unless you are living in an apartment.
Myfox Security System Notification
You can set up others to help with the monitoring of your system . These people are called your community and don’t have direct access to your system to make changes.
There are 2 levels to this community
Family and Friends. If there is a break in they receive email and push notifications. They can check the system and view the camera for up to 30 minutes after the event.
Neighbors – they can receive email and push notifications when there is a break in and have access to monitor the system for up 30 minutes. They do not have access to the cameras
The notifications for the camera received include an emergency number that can be contacted when there is an emergency – it can be a neighbor, friend or the local police number or any other number.
If you give your children a remote key fob you can set the system to notify you when they arrive home from school or they leave the house (if they take it with them). You can then talk to them through the two way speaker on the camera as well as see them from your smartphone.
The system is remotely monitored using the smartphone App for iOS or Android. This can be done from anywhere you can access the internet. You can see if it is armed/disarmed who has operated the system, list of security events and notifications.
The App is where you change settings to the system, arm or disarm the system and review camera live feed and recordings. You add and delete users to the system and assign them to groups.
The App is not the easiest to navigate around with it not being that intuitive but with a little perseverance you can work your way round. There are no instruction manual separate or video at the moment to help you.
From the home screen you can see who is at home, select camera to view and activate and deactivate the alarm.
The other issue is that after updates to the App it tends to be buggy and can crash but fixes are released to fix this but it is frustrating while it is sorted to say the least.
There are no limits to the amount of people you can add to the system to remotely monitor your system as part of the community or user groups (see Setting the Alarm).
You can monitor up to 4 cameras using the one App in various locations.
The camera is powered by the house supply using the 5v/1.5 transformer (supplied).The camera will run for an hour on its back up battery when there is a power outage.
The IntelliTag (entry sensor) uses 1 X AAA battery that will last 12 months before needing to be replaced. You remove the cover to access them.
The siren used 4 D batteries (supplied) and should last between 1 year and 1 years before they need replacing. Again you remove the cover to access the batteries and it is covered by the user guide that is available online.
The remote key fob battery is a coin style battery CR2032 and again it is easy to access it when it needs replacing in 12 months time. The batteries are readily available.
The control hub (Link) is powered by plugging it directly into the house supply using the adapter. It does have a back up battery that will keep the unit working for up to 6 hours. This is not replaceable by the user.
There are no motion sensors other than on the camera. This is a passive infra red detector which senses changes in heat. If you don’t but the camera there is no capability to detect motion in your home if the criminal has managed to bypass the entry sensors. The sensor is set to detect adults within a range of up to 19 feet.
There is no ability to change the sensitivity of the motion sensor – you can only turn it on or off.
As with all passive infra red motion detectors you need to ensure you don’t have it pointing direct at a window or heat source (such thermal heating etc) as sudden changes in temperature can cause a false alert.
The camera will record for 10 minutes (if you have cloud recording services) otherwise it wil just sned a snapshot and notification to the user groups.
Instead of traditional 2 part entry sensors the system employs vibration sensors that are fitted to a door or a window. They are known as IntelliTags. This has a big advantage over traditional 2 part sensors aos you don’t have 2 line up 2 the pieces close to each other which can be difficult when you have curved frames preventing them to line up properly.
It works with all types of doors and windows whether they swing or slide open.
It has an algorithm set up to be able to tell the difference between someone knocking at the door and someone trying to break in so you are notified only when there is a security event and not receiving a load of false alerts. If it detects someone trying to force the door it sounds the alarm and sends a notification to your phone.
The advantage of this is that you get a notification before the criminals have opened the door giving you extra time to respond to the threat.
It is clever enough to distinguish between everyday things like some knocking on the door or a ball hitting the door and someone trying to break in.
Panic Button/Duress Codes
There is a panic button on the remote key fob and the App that can be used when there is an intruder and the system has not been armed or for other emergencies. By pressing the button once an alert is sent to the designated phones and by pressing the button twice the siren is sounded.
Setting The Alarm
To set up people to use the system you need to set them up into one of 3 users groups
Owner – they have full access to the system. They receive notifications by text. email and push notification to the App
Kids – they can arm and disarm the system only
Guests – they have limited access to the system. They can arm and disarm the system and can receive notifications if you choose
The system can be armed and disarmed using the App or the remote key fob.
Remote key fob can be set to automatically disarm the system when it is in range when a door with an IntelliTag is opened it recognizes the key fob and disarms the system
It has 4 buttons on it that can be used to arm, disarm, partial arm and disarm.
The partial disarm or night mode is used to arm the Intellitags but doesn’t arm the camera to detect motion so you can move around the house freely without setting off recording and motion alerts from the camera. Also Intellitags configured on internal doors aren’t armed. Notifications are sent just to the owner group and not to the community.
You can do the same from your smartphone except automatically disarm the system when in range.
It is possible to set schedules for the system to be arned and disarmed at certain times during the day so when you leave for the day it will come on by itself and turn itself off just before oyu expect to be coming home from work.
The system doesn’t have a control panel in the traditional sense as there is no key pad , this is all done using your smartphone.
Instead it has a control hub that communicates with your phone via the internet using WiFi to connect to your router. It is a small round device that is plugged directly into your house supply and is called Link.
It can control up to 50 window sensors (Intellitags), 50 remote key fobs, 1 siren.
It works best between the temperature range of 32 to 113 Fahrenheit, outside this range it may stop working.
Ideally it should be installed close to the WiFi and centrally in your home to give the best coverage for communicating with the security devices.
If the system has not been disarmed when someone with a remote key fob enters through a door with an IntelliTag the alarm will sound a 30 second musical alert and after that the 110 db siren sound. The system does this if the door is opened but will sound the siren if it detects that the door is being forced.
Protection against it being switched off
The camera has a backup battery and internal recording for up to an hour in the event of power outage or the internet being down. You receive a push notification of either event.
The security system has a battery backup to allow it to continue in the event of a power outage. If there is an internet outage the system will look for other myfox systems locally to get notifications out to the owner but at this stage this backup is of limited use at best but more likely not at all because not many households have the system.
The siren and the IntelliTag (window sensor) can work up to 328 ft away from the control hub (Link) (depending on walls and other obstructions). The remote key fob works up to 164 ft way
The camera connects directly with your WiFi and it can be placed where ever your WiFi signal is strong enough, so it is dependent on your router.
Wireless or Wired
The Link communicates wirelessly with the Intellitags and siren using encrypted 433 MHZ radio frequency to prevent hacking. It also can detect jamming and will alert you if this detected.
The keyfobs interact with the Link hub using bluetooth.
It is constantly checking that it is contact with the sensors and siren and will let you know if the signal is lost
Although it doesn’t have zones it is possible to have the Intellitags set as external and internal. This allows you to have them armed when in night mode – the internal don’t arm but the external do.
It is possible to know which sensor has detected an intruder as you can give them names that mean something to you.
Link (Hub) is 3.1 by 1.2 inches and weighs 4.7 ounces
Intellitag is 2.4 by 1.1 by 0.5 inches and weighs 1 ounce
Remote key fob is 1.3 by 0.4 inches and weighs 0.4 ounces
Siren is 6.7 by 1.6 inches and weighs 35 ounces
Camera is 1.7 by 3.5 inches and weighs 16 ounces.
The camera comes with the following:
Micro USB cable, USB adaptor, plug and reset tool
The security system includes:
1 Link (control hub)
1 remote key fob and ring
1 110db internal siren
1 plug for Link
The only accessory currently available is the wall mount for the camera. It includes everything required to complete mounting including a 6.5 extension cord.
The system will work with IFTT (if this then that) which enables to work with other smart home devices and web sites to give option like turning on lights when you come home or arm/disarm the alarm or the camera detect movement but doesn’t work directly with home automation controllers.
Set up and installation is quick – it can be done in minutes
It is wireless so there is no need to drill holes in the home and this all means that it is to take with you if you move home. It could also be used in an apartment too as you don’t need to screw in anything to the walls or doors
Siren is separate to the hub and camera so that an intruder is drawn away from them and doesn’t smash them so that you can continue to receive alerts and see what is happening
Camera shutter to protect privacy when you are at home
Works with home WiFi systems on 2.4 Ghz Frequency
Camera has a battery and internal video storage for up to 1 hour in event of power or internet outage
The ability for it to use neighbors myfox systems to receive alert notifications in the event of an internet outage is a good security feature once more people have the system
No motion sensors for detecting unauthorized except on camera if bought in addition
Expensive when compared to other DIY home security systems
You are dependent on the companies cloud servers being up for remote monitoring and notification
It can be integrated to work with Nest but functionality is limited to turn the camera on and off when you leave or return home.
Need to pay a monthly fee to store video on company’s servers and there is no option for storing locally or on the internet or on your phone
Camera can’t be mounted on the wall which can restrict placement without making an additional purchase
No outdoor siren available to alert neighbors to a security event
The App is a little difficult to navigate around and can be buggy at times
The keyfob buttons are not recessed so they maybe accidentally
When the system is disarmed you can’t set the system to chime
Myfox Security System Consumer Ratings
As the Security system has only been recently released there are very few customer reviews to assess how well it is working people’s homes. The comments so far have been positive but they do appear to be from people who have received it free.
The camera has more reviews to look at. Most people are very pleased with the ease of set up and the quality of the images and how easy it is to use. The negatives are to do with the fact you need to pay a monthly fee for video storage, also there is discussion about the instructions being brief and that it only works with Android and iOs phones.
Myfox Security System Price
This is an expensive system for what you get as part of kit. You can get more for your money with other systems such as iSmartAlarm.
For $20 less than this kit (excluding camera) you can get the Simplisafe2 security system which includes 4 entry sensors, 1 motion sensors, key fob, siren/base unit and keypad. It sends notifications via cellular network and not internet. It doesn’t have an App or camera at this time (but coming soon). To access remote monitoring you do need to pay a monthly charge but that is cancellable at any time.
An all-in-one solution security system is the Piper NV which is priced at around $279 (the same cost of the kit without the camera) comes with a 180 degree camera, siren, motion sensor, alerts, remote monitoring and free cloud storage for up 1000 video clips. It is possible to buy entry sensors and light control units separately.
When I checked myfox qualified for free shipping and prime at Amazon. You can check if that is still the case by clicking here: Myfox security System
There are a number of good things about the Myfox. But to start with biggest negative, it is the cost of the unit and the storage cost of video. When compared to other DIY systems it is more expensive than most of them but it does work as described. It is reliable and can be relied on when you need it.
There are some niggles with it. Not all the installation hardware is included (screws and camera mounting), the bugs in the App after each release and then the App being a little difficult to navigate around.
The highlights of the system are the 1 piece entry sensor being a vibration sensor that makes installation easier, the separate siren, that it integrates with a camera system, it can through IFTT.com work with other smart home products and internet applications.
It is an easy install and once you get used to the App it is easy to monitor and control the system, you can know what is going on at home when you are away and keep an eye on what is going on with video that is clear enough to get a good view of what is going on.
Overall it is a good system that you can monitor and secure your home as well as keep an eye on your pets, your kids and in home workers like nannies etc from your phone anywhere in the world.
Filed under: Reviews
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