livewatch logoLiveWatch was founded under the name SafeMart in 2002 by a former paramedic who saw a need for better, faster emergency alert systems in consumers’ homes. The new name was assumed in 2014, and in 2015 Dallas-based Monitronics bought the company.

The original founders remain at the helm, however, and LiveWatch has continued to grow, building a reputation as an affordable DIY home monitoring system with a suite of high-tech features and components. The company’s policies also offer customers a number of other industry-defying benefits.

Pros:

  • DIY installation which saves a considerable amount in upfront costs
  • An affordable entry-level service tier
  • 12-month contract as opposed to 3-5 years with most companies, and no cancellation penalty
  • Crash and smash protection (prevents burglars from interfering with the transmission of the alarm signal even if they destroy the control panel)
  • Comprehensive services, including home automation
  • ASAPer – LiveWatch’s proprietary system that sends you an alert within seconds of an event, giving you the opportunity to control it remotely; if you don’t respond, police are dispatched
  • One-year money back guarantee
  • Portable for simple moves
  • Lifetime warranty on Plug&Protect control panels

Cons:

  • No professional installation option
  • Only a two-year warranty on equipment besides Plug&Protect
  • Upfront costs can be on the steep side, and the website makes it confusing to figure out how much your package will actually cost until you fill your cart up with goods and services

Livewatch Security System Options

Plug and Protect Basic

livewatch basic system

The plug and protect system includes a Simon XT control panel, two wireless door sensors, one wireless motion sensor, and a free keychain remote.  In addition, you also get a few other accessories including two yard signs and six window decals.  The monitoring fee for this system is just a modest $19.95 per month.  The price for this equipment package is $499 if you buy it outright, or $99 if you finance it.

The Plug & Protect Basic features cellular connection, backup battery, fast-action emergency keys, and a 104dB siren.

Plug and Protect IQ 2.0

livewatch iq 2.0The Plug & Protect IQ offers everything that the Basic system has, plus a 7″ Android touchscreen, dual-band connectivity (cellular and Wi-Fi), a built-in camera for snapping an image of the intruder, apps, weather updates, and more.

The price for the Plug & Protect IQ 2.0 system is $599 if you buy it outright, or $99 if you qualify for credit.

LiveWatch Monitoring Plans

FeaturesMobile ProTotal HomeTotal Home + Video
24/7 MonitoringYesYesYes
Instant AlertsYesYesYes
2-Way VoiceYesYesYes
Remote Arm & DisarmYesYesYes
Crash & Smash ProtectionYesYesYes
Smartphone ControlYesYes
Home AutomationYesYes
Smart Image CaptureYesYes
Live Video StreamingYes
Security CameraIncluded
Monitoring Cost$34.95/mo$39.95/mo$49.95/mo

Additional Equipment

Once you choose a plan and control panel package, you are brought to a screen that allows you to add components. This is where things can add up quickly.

  • Door sensor – $29
  • Motion sensor – $78
  • Keychain remote – $30

Other Considerations

LiveWatch operates a bit differently in its equipment philosophy – rather than pushing the purchase of door/window sensors to cover every window, they believe that if you have motion sensors properly placed inside the home as well as a door sensor at every door, window sensors are largely unnecessary.

LiveWatch maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and has had just 17 complaints in their dozen years in business. This is an almost unbelievable number for a business with nearly a quarter of a million customers, and particularly in an industry in which BBB complaints are fairly common.

In a Nutshell

The company’s customer service reputation is solid, and they’re available by phone, text, and online chat. LiveWatch is a good choice for those who don’t mind a DIY install, and want a middle-of-the-road balance between price and high-tech features. For those who are nervous about going with a newer company (as far as the home security industry is concerned, less than 20 years is considered a new kid on the block), this may not be the best option, but the options are tough to resist. With virtually no contract risk (cancelable at any time), an advanced emergency response system in place, and reliable cellular signal as well as Wi-Fi backup, it’s one of the top home security options out there.

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