X10 is acceptable overall
I purchased an X10 security system about 18 months ago. I use 6 motion detectors. It’s all wireless. Set up was fairly straightforward and easy. I screwed up, had to start over, probably didn’t take 30 minutes to set it up again. Once up and operational, the system has served me pretty well. The initial batteries in the detectors are still operating, haven’t had to replace them yet. There is one thing that you need to know though – false alarms – my Blackberry has set the system off in the middle of the night several times….I finally figured out that the signal from the Blackberry was the thing setting off the alarm. After being awakened several times, it’s a bit unsettling. Also, the Video Sending unit that X10 sells – it too can set off the motion detectors. So, at night I disable the Blackberry and disconnect the video sending unit….disabling the Blackberry is no big deal – the video unit, well that’s a little inconvenient.
Anyway, you just need to beware that it’s possible for other wireless devices/frequencies to set off the X10. This may include garage door openers too. Their customer service is not very good – I had a question about the false alarms and some dude that sounded like he was half asleep basically couldn’t tell me what day it was….no help at all….a real cement head…. This is not a bad system for the money. I paid right around $225 for my package. Once I worked the false alarm issue out, it’s probably been worth it. My main concern was to just have something that would warn me of an intruder at night – that’s all – I have a 2 story house and could not hear a breakin downstairs if it occurred. For what I wanted to accomplish, the system has been acceptable.
Nice system, easy setup
My fiances father bought us an alarm system from made by X10 as a Christmas present. He has used a X10 system in his home for years and has been pleased; and with a break-in that occurred in our apartment complex, he thought it would make a good gift for us. Also lowered our renters insurance.
The box contained a central alarm unit, remote control, two keyfob controls, one motion sensor, one lamp module, and six door/window sensors. Setup was a breeze. Unboxed the central unit and wired it up. Programmed the remote and the keyfobs in about five minutes. Unboxed the door/window sensors and mounted them accordingly and got them programmed one by one. They probably took 5 minutes a piece with screwing the units to the wall and mounting the sensor magnets. Then mounted up the motion sensor to watch our entryway and living room and got it programmed in. Each time I installed a sensor I tested it to make sure it would trip the alarm, and each worked just fine. Tried to “break-in” and, as expected, the alarm went off, lights flashed and the high-pitched alarm makes it hard to determine where the sound is coming from. My cellphone immediately got the call from the central unit with my recorded message, and the other numbers programmed in also received the call. Good little system, easy to setup.
Not very useful
I purchased two wireless X10 Cameras with Pan/Tilt Pedestals. The ease in setting this system up was ok for me because I am a retired electrical engineer. I think that the average Internet savvy teenager could install this system in an afternoon including placing the cameras where desired. The wireless link is robust in my house and the most distant camera passes through at least three walls and one floor. My only complaint is with the Internet service port for streaming the cameras over the Internet. Frankly, it is next to worthless unless the user has no immediate need to see the cameras. I suspect that the X10 gateway is often overloaded thus service isn’t always available. If you have no need for immediate feeds these cameras are ok otherwise look for a Trend camera system connected to a real IP address server.
Pretty good system
I have used a wireless X10 alarm system for more than 2 years, and I like it. I only use motion sensors, not door/window sensors. The system isn’t perfectly bulletproof, but it is VERY good. The bad: Mine came with 2 lamp modules and one failed within 2 months. The 9V battery backup is only good for 1 day. I did have a couple of false alarms early on. Resetting the sensors fixed it. The idea that the neighbors will hear the alarm is nonsense. The good: It has already chased off one burglar. I can sleep at night knowing no one will sneak into my bedroom, which happened to a previous tenant. This is cheap peace of mind.
Okay for a very tight budget
I’ve installed two X-10 systems now (one at my house and one at my girlfriend’s house several years later – one year ago.). The total system cost is very low, but, you “pay” for it in terms of installation hassle (a full weekend) and reliability issues. Some sensors “refuse” to work, at all, upon installation. Even once you get the system up and running, some sensors will occasionally “balk” and you will then have to manually bypass them. However, overall, the system does work and the optional sirens are eardrum blowing loud. I recommend X-10 only in situations like mine or my girlfriend’s, where you’ve beefed up security in the rest of the house (i.e. double deadbolts, steel bars on windows, motion sensing outdoor spotlights, etc.) and therefore, the X-10 system is just a backup in case the burglar makes it past all your other defenses. If you’re situation is such that, other than locked doors and windows, you have to rely on an alarm system, then I advise that you get a professionally installed system or a do-it-yourself wired system. On the other hand, if you’re on a really tight budget, maybe the X-10 system is right for you.
Easy to work with
I have used X-10 home automation products (like the lamp remotes, universal remotes, audio senders and computer mouse-remotes), and those products have lasted ten years so I decided last week to give x-10 alarm products a try. After all, where else could I get 10 door/window and 2 motion sensors with lighting integration and 3 key fobs. Everything was a breeze to install and works perfectly. I’ve tried to “break-in” (defeat) the system and it was difficult. My only difficulty has been in getting an add-on siren to work in an outdoor plug.
A bunch of junk
If x10 put the money in product development they put in ads maybe they could have a product that actually worked. Poor customer support and lousy products just about says it all. Wasted 50 hours trying to make the junk work…shame on me…..
In my last house I used the combination of a Napco hard wired alarm and X10 products. Having home automation and security combined is an advantage to me. My new house has wires for a hard wired system. I installed some X10 equipment and will also be installing a monitored hard wired system. Having security lights, flashing lights and extra horns will make the system even better.
System is total crap
I was looking for an affordable, wireless surveilance system with remote access (internet) and e-mail alerts… I found the Vanguard system. Great Price for three cameras, software, and other necessary doo-dads. That is where the fun stopped. I have spent the last month setting up, re-setting up, tweaking, reloading, readjusting, re-configuring, calling tech support, writing to tech support, trouble-shooting device drivers, and on, and on, and on. I guess you get what you pay for! What a total piece of s–t!