Kangaroo Security Motion + Entry Sensor
A budget-friendly option for home security lacks some functionality
Security is key. And these days there is no shortage of home security devices that you can easily set up yourself. Kangaroo Security actually specializes in this exact type of device design — simple, affordable home security. Last year, I reviewed their Motion Sensor and found that it was a very useful device but lacked some features that some other home security devices have — the Kangaroo Motion Sensor. While I really liked the simplicity of the device, it’s function didn’t quite live up to my expectations. At the time, Kangaroo Security was a startup so I felt that it was a valiant effort for their first product. A few weeks ago, I received one of their newest products, the Motion + Entry Sensor, and decided to give them a second look.
The Kangaroo Motion + Entry Sensor is designed to help you keep tabs on your doors, windows, and hallways. The devices will send an alert directly to your phone when the sensor is tripped by someone opening a point of entry. The system is completely app-based and no hub is required to enable the system in your home. It’s a simplified security system that detects motion along with an entry point being opened. Professional monitoring is available as a premium option and the system comes with a 1-year ‘worry-free’ warranty. A smartphone and WiFi is required for the system to be functional.
- Size & Dimensions:
- Height: 3.55 in (9.0 cm)
- Width: 1.55 in (3.9 cm)
- Depth: 0.70 in (1.8 cm)
- Weight: 2.37 oz (67.2g)
- Detects motion up to 20 feet (6m) away
- Peel-and-stick installation
- No hub required. Connects seamlessly to your home WiFi network
- Built-in pet rejection for pets up to 2' 4" (0.7m) tall
- Motion sensing (110° field of view, up to 20ft away)
- Tamper detection
- Product Requirements:
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz (WEP, WPA, or WPA2 encryption) compatible router.
- Mobile device with iOS 10.0 and above or Android 5.0 and above.
- Active Internet and cellular connections are required on the mobile device.
- Alarm monitoring service requires subscription.
- For indoor use only.
- Sends alerts to you, members of your household, or your neighbors if motion or entry is detected.
- Pro-monitoring enables the alerts to be automatically sent to emergency services. Alert response can be customized via Kangaroo Security app.
The first thing I noticed about the Kangaroo Motion + Entry Sensor was that the packaging for this product was different from the standard motion sensor. Basic details are included on the box and an image is printed on the front of the product. The box does include the network requirements for the system (WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz) but I feel that some people might miss this detail as it’s ‘fine print.’ Inside the box, you’ll find the motion and entry sensors along with a “Protected by Kangaroo” sticker, mounting materials for the devices, and a user manual.
The set-up experience for the Motion + Entry Sensor was very similar to the Motion Sensor. When you turn over the Motion sensor, you will see a sticker that reads “Before you peel me off, download the Kangaroo Security app to get started.” So, I did and found that the app had been updated a bit since the last time I used it. The app takes you through the set-up process of the device step-by-step. You do have to set-up an account using your email address. Once the account is established, you can activ a te the device by removing the yellow tab on the device itself. After that, you will select your WiFi Network and the system will verify their connection with the server.
That is pretty much it for set-up. It’s quick, easy and pretty painless. As far as function goes, I found this system to be a bit unreliable and tricky as far as what the product can offer. While it does have an entry sensor and motion sensor included, both functions don’t work 100% of the time. When it’s in Arm-Home mode, the system will notify you when it detects motion, but it won’t when it’s in Arm-Doors & Windows mode. While I appreciate the design of this function and the division of the modes, I think that Kangaroo could do a better job of explaining this. When I was setting up the device, I saw a screen that stated that motion will be detected anywhere within a 20-foot distance of the motion sensor. It didn’t say “only in Arm-Home mode” on that screen so I thought motion would be continually detected. When I thought that maybe I set something up wrong, I looked up the FAQ about the product and found this:
“ I want to monitor entry but not motion. Will this product work for me? Yes! In Armed Doors & Windows mode, the sensor monitors only entry. If you’d like to monitor motion but not entry, don’t mount the magnet. “
I thought it was strange that this would be a suggestion for someone who bought the Motion + Entry Sensor when just a Motion Sensor is available from Kangaroo. I would just like to see some consistency in messaging about this feature since it seems that someone wanting the Motion + Entry sensor would want both features at the same time.
One of Kangaroo’s greatest features is the fact that it’s a very budget-friendly security option for the equipment. This device is only $30 and the Motion Sensor alone is only $15. The catch is that it comes with a ‘basic’ plan with the option to upgrade. With the basic plan, you only get app push notifications to your phone and unlimited user invites as well as the system monitoring. With the ‘complete’ plan, which is $9/month, you also get text notifications, voice call notifications, 24/7 Pro monitoring, a 20% homeowner’s insurance discount, and Alexa integration. That complete price of $9/month doesn’t seem too outrageous considering that SimpliSafe charges $15/month for their premium 24/7 monitoring plan on top of the premium pricing for the product itself. I’m just not a huge fan of subscriptions and prefer to have products/services bundled together. I noticed when I was reviewing the pricing plans that the trial period is now 14 days — it used to be 100 days.
The biggest issue I have with this system is that it’s only good for real-time monitoring. There are no events notifications saved so you can review them at a later time. You get an instant notification and that’s it. If I were to fully integrate this into my home, I would likely pair it with a security camera in the same room so that if I were away from the home, I could pull up the security camera when I received the notification from the Kangaroo system to see what was going on. It would be nice to be able to review multiple notifications throughout the day rather than just see it once.
When I reviewed the Kangaroo system last year, the following passage was my conclusion of the product.
“According to Kangaroo, only 16% of households in the United States have home security. It’s estimated that the main reason for this is cost. “No matter how much your home or personal items cost, they should be able to be protected. Most importantly, everyone should be able to protect what’s truly irreplaceable — your life and your loved ones.” While I do agree with this concept, I have some doubts about the Kangaroo system based on my testing. I wish my experience had been more positive because I love how small the devices are and the incredibly easy set-up is hard to beat.”
Even though the system has been updated a bit, I still think some additional modifications could be made to make the system more accurate for security monitoring in your home. It’s still easy to set-up, but I miss some functionality that I get with other systems. I hope Kangaroo continues to update their systems and release more products.
Originally published at https://macsources.com on July 19, 2019.