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    Konnected Alarm Panel Starter Kit review: Ditch your outdated alarm panel, but re-use all its sensors

    Homeowners with outdated, wired alarm programs usually really feel as if they’re caught with what they’ve. But not making the most of all these wired sensors embedded within the partitions appears silly. Why discard and change completely purposeful parts in the event you can incorporate them into a contemporary good dwelling system?

    The excellent news is that new applied sciences are giving outdated alarm programs new life. I reviewed Safe by HUB6 final yr and located it a succesful if complicated method so as to add wi-fi options to your outdated alarm panel. The Konnected Alarm Panel has an analogous purpose, however will get there differently. Rather than including a brand new board on prime of your outdated, wired system, the Konnected Alarm Panel system replaces the outdated board solely. (Konnected additionally presents a separate system just like Safe by HUB6—the $35 Konnected Interface Module, which helps you to use your outdated system in parallel with the brand new one, however that’s not reviewed right here.)

    So, why would you wish to take away your outdated alarm board? If the panel doesn’t work, however you think the sensors are intact, Konnected’s strategy makes a number of sense. Ditto in the event you transfer into a brand new home that has an alarm system that you just don’t know the right way to activate—or perhaps you simply don’t wish to pay for skilled monitoring and would somewhat get alarm system alerts in your telephone.

    This evaluation is a part of TechHive’s protection of the best smart home systems, the place you’ll discover opinions of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you must think about when procuring.

    The $99 Konnected Alarm Panel board is a surprisingly tiny factor, a naked circuit board about 2.5 x 1 inches in dimension. A row of terminal posts alongside one facet permits you to join as much as 6 sensors. That could sound low, so in the event you want extra sensors, a 12-sensor model of the board is obtainable for $199. You also can run a number of boards in parallel, and it’s even attainable to attach a number of door sensors to a single terminal put up in the event that they’re wired in collection.

    Konnected

    If you may have a lot of wired sensors, you may set up multiples of the Konnected circuit board.

    The small dimension of the board makes wiring difficult however simply doable with some care and a spotlight to element. You’ll want a tiny flathead screwdriver to safe the posts and relocate the wires out of your outdated panel to the brand new board. Take particular care to {photograph} the outdated panel earlier than you begin pulling out wires, and label it if attainable. Konnected walks you thru this course of, however solely on its web site. The scant quick-start information included within the field is of minimal assist.

    Connecting the Konnected board to your Wi-Fi community is, surprisingly, the extra daunting job. The extraordinarily arcane setup routine requires you to attach your telephone to Konnected’s non permanent Wi-Fi community, then open an online browser and faucet in a hard-coded IP handle. At this level, a web page directs you to supply your house Wi-Fi community credentials, then reset the board. After this, you should use the Konnected cellular app to configure the alarm panel.

    I bumped into important bother all through this course of as a result of the Wi-Fi setting course of failed repeatedly, after which after it lastly succeeded, the Konnected app couldn’t discover the {hardware}, though I confirmed by way of my router’s interface that it was linked to the community. The catch? After a troubleshooting session with the corporate, we discovered that Konnected didn’t like working by way of a close-by repeater. Once I unplugged the repeater and received the Konnected board linked on to the router, I used to be ready to hook up with it by way of the app.

    konnected kooky setup instructions Christopher Null / IDG

    Konnected depends on an arcane course of by which you hook up with a brief Wi-Fi community, navigate to a hard-coded IP handle the place you’ll select your Wi-Fi from a drop-down checklist and supply your Wi-Fi password. Then you’ll reset the board itself.

    If all of this sounds user-unfriendly to work with, that’s as a result of it’s, and the product is bound to lose many novice customers at the 1st step. There’s actually no excuse in 2020 for requiring a consumer to make use of an online browser to configure wi-fi settings; this type of operation ought to have been constructed straight into the app, as it’s with just about each different good machine round. I in the end spent a number of hours troubleshooting the quirky system—all simply to get it linked to my community—partly as a result of the system may be very gradual to reboot, and each change made within the app appears to take an eternity earlier than it efficiently updates.

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