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InGrid Home Kit Wireless Home Security System

At a Glance
  • InGrid Home Kit

    PCWorld Rating

Most home security systems are sold and installed by such companies as ADT, businesses that have their roots planted firmly in analog, phone-line-dependent technology. Now, however, a new breed of broadband-dependent digital systems is making its way to consumers. I tested one of these systems, the InGrid Home Kit, and while getting it up and running can take a little work, the functionality and control it gives you are well worth the time and effort.

The $300 InGrid kit (a $200 version is available for apartments) is a system of devices and sensors that you set up to form a wireless web of protection in your home. You can monitor and manage the system from a Web site. InGrid requires a one-year contract ($30 per month) with Guardian Protection Services, a private security firm that receives notifications when problems arise. The firm works with your local emergency response if necessary.

The four main parts are the console, which you place by your front door to control the system; the handset, which looks like a cordless phone and essentially operates as a mobile console; the base, which charges the handset; and the grid extender, which increases the reach of your system. You also get a series of wireless door-and-window and motion sensors to place wherever you want, even at no-kid zones such as liquor cabinets and media closets.

Setting up the console and handset was a breeze, as was positioning the necessary sensors around my house. Unfortunately, though, I had trouble when I tried to connect my system to the Web-based control center at MyInGrid.com. After receiving some misinformation from a support rep, I eventually realized (with the help of the instruction manual) that I needed to make a formal introduction (complete with bows and curtsies) between InGrid and my Belkin router. After that, the InGrid system in my home began to register its actions with InGrid's command center and with my control center at MyInGrid.com.

To control and monitor your new high-tech security force field, you can use the console, the handset, or the InGrid Web site. When you go out, you simply press the 'Away' button on the console and enter your security code; you then leave the house within 1 minute, and the system is armed. When you return home you must enter your security code again, so the system knows you're not an intruder.

If something goes wrong in your home while you're away, InGrid will let you know via the Web interface, e-mail, a text message to your cell phone, or a call to any specified phone. A loud alarm will sound in the house, and InGrid and Guardian will immediately begin working on the problem. Meanwhile you can monitor the situation from your online control center.

The wireless system and its ease of use are nice, but the broadband remote-control capability of the system is what really pushes it ahead of conventional, analog home-security products. From your control panel at MyInGrid.com, you can see every sensor in the house, view a log of sensor "events," and arm or disarm the system. If the housekeeper has to get in, for example, you just disarm the system until she leaves.

Setting up the system may take some work, but in the end the control it gives you over the security of your home makes it a good deal.

--Mark Sullivan

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Worth the time and effort it takes to install.

    Pros

    • Hardware is easy to set up
    • Allows remote access via the Web

    Cons

    • Connecting the system to the Web can be hard
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