Honeywell Total Connect Security Reviews
Prices, History and how to use the Total Connect Security System
Maybe you have bought a cool tech gadget before that looked amazing and then didn't work as shown. Lots of toys like drones and RC cars fall into that category but should home security? The total connect by Honeywell Security is a new all in one automation system to turn your home into a smart-house. You can't buy this system directly online like you can other Honeywell systems, you must find a dealer.
Here's a glance at the good and the bad of a Total Connect security system:
- Great brand with a long track record of making security equipment
- Used by millions of customers
- Backup batteries
- Used by large and small security companies and businesses
- Smart-home optimized plus home automation integration
- Not a security monitoring company
- If purchasing on your own, you have to install it by yourself
- Installation is hard and requires HVAC certification
Time to pull out the wallet...
Pricing really depends on the dealer you buy the Total connect system through. They will be the ones charging you a monthly monitoring fee and installation fee. Because you cannot buy the Total Connect package online (only through a dealer) each dealer is going to offer different promotions and pricing. Based on our other reviews, here is what you can expect as a norm. Any higher than this and you should be suspicious.
Starting costs - This is a higher end system with full energy automation and video. Expect a $99-199 installation or activation fee.
Packages - Make sure you get a good deal. If it is a small local company they may be trying to rip you off. You should get up to 4 window/door sensors, 1-2 motion sensors and 1-2 smart devices such as their camera or thermostat. Anything else on top of that will most likely be out of pocket expenses.
Here is what one dealer is charging for monthly monitoring rates with the total connect plan:
They've been around a long time...
Over 100 years of history in making products related to the home.
Founded in 1906 in Indiana.
You may have seen their brand on equipment all throughout your house. Like General Electric, they aren't a standalone security product producer. That being said they are a very big name in home security and you can rely on the quality of their products.
You must purchase through dealers. Just like manufactures of cars sell to the distributors who you buy a car from, Honeywell sells to authorized dealers who then install their system into your home. Honeywell does not provide monitoring service of the any of their security systems including the Total Connect. This will be taken care of through whoever you sign up with and pay a monthly company too.
Their name carries weight. Over the years this has been a problem for dealers and Honeywell themselves. Because they have such a powerful brand name, several security companies over the years have done door to door scams claiming to be with Honeywell when they are really only a dealer. Remember, Honewell security will never knock on your door and try to you sell you an alarm system.
Smart security products that will do it all for you...
The Total Connect combines your home alarm system + thermostat + security camera's to your smart phone.
These are the touchscreen panels that accompany the system. They along with security cameras need a direct power source. Their other sensors and detectors are all wireless and can last up to 10 years on a single battery. The sensors will also beep to let you know they need a new battery if and when the time comes.
Upgrading... Thousands of current residents have an older Honeywell system in their home. When a tech comes out to install the Total Connect he may be able to use some of this equipment using a hardwired translator device. This can save you money or you can put the savings towards a free camera.
Home Automation. Most companies like Vivint or ADT Pulse have the lighting controls, smart locks, live streaming from camera's and smart thermostats in place. What the Total Connect can do what these smart security systems won't is:
- Operate the shades (window blinds) in your home. This will cost you extra.
- Control your ceiling fans. If you're just too lazy to get up and flick the switch, connect to your fan with Z-wave.
- GPS zone settings. This adds a level of convenience but talk to your dealer about setting this up first.
- Create automated 'scenes'. Make a 'goodnight scene' (setting) on the app and just by pressing that everything you have setup will take place. Example: Push the button and blinds will close, alarm system lock, fan turn on and baby monitor camera stream audio.
How well does this all work?
It all sounds nice and futuristic but how practical is it? Sadly, not much. Depending on the size of your home, if it is a large one it can come in handy. But for the average home under $250,000 you are better off using the standard app, turning on your own lights and not dealing with the hassle. The fact that over 70% of home security customers (those who pay a monthly monitoring rate) don't even arm their system as they leave each day because it is too much of a hassle tells us that people won't use all of these features as much as they initially think they would. If turning your system on and off from an app or key-fob is already too much of a hassle, this stuff will only clutter your to do list more.
Theft detection device -
This is something unique Honeywell. You can stick this sensor in any high valued product and if it gets stolen actually track it down using their app! Cons: Can't hide it on high valued items such as jewelry, guns, clothing and more. Good for big items only.
The Total Connect App - Majority of companies pay to get a White-labeled version of Alarm.com's app for their customers. This app however is made by them and has some cool advanced features. The video streaming works well and you can use it a baby monitor device to save some extra bucks. Streaming it via 3g and 4g can get a little bumpy but if you have WIFI (most places now do) when you are viewing it you will be impressed.
You can download the app for free here.
Our final verdict
With so many large and small home security dealers still pushing their keypad control panel and basic solution we hope to see more of them upgrade and start using this total connect system. It has some great features and potential. It is still in the infant and testing stage so you may want to hold off until their price comes down and bug fixes to their app have been fixed.
Hope you liked our review on this and please add any feedback or experience you have had with this product below.