Armorax Blackbox Home Security Review

Maybe you were driven here by the legions of spammy comments on other websites, maybe you legitimately landed here, or maybe you have no idea why you are reading this article. Regardless of how you got here, I’m here to tell you that Armorax is a real home security company.

I first learned of Armorax thanks to legions of spammy comments. Naturally when the CEO reached out to me, I deleted his email. And then he reached out again. Starting from such a place of distrust he had a long fight back toward trusted status. We started with a video Skype call and moved toward a trial of the Blackbox product.

What is Armorax Blackbox?

As they say, “Orange is the New Black”.

Blackbox is part home security part home automation shipped in one orange box. Having both security and automation in one package is nothing new. There are plenty of companies that do the same thing. What’s new is that Armorax offers the option for monitored home security or self-monitored security using the Alarm.com platform.

Alarm.com is used by both of our top recommended professionally monitored home security companies and is a technology company with a niche focus on home security. They create apps that are consistently top rated, security hardware, and patented technologies like Crash & Smash protection. Alarm.com will make it easier for you to set up your smart home and will provide a more stable platform than your typical startup.

The catch? The catch is that though you can use the Blackbox without a monthly fee, using the Alarm.com platform will cost you.

  • Local Z-Wave Control is $0 per month
  • Mobile is $20 per month.
  • And Mobile+ is $40 per month.

The Three Plans Explained

First of all you can use Blackbox for free. The panel comes unlocked which means that you can use the panel to locally control your Z-Wave devices. If you want to be able to control your smart things with a cell phone you need Mobile.

Mobile is Armorax’s self-monitored option. It provides full access to the Alarm.com app so that you can control your devices locally including any security devices that you have. For example you can set up text alerts should your front door open.

Mobile+ includes everything that Mobile includes plus 24/7 professional monitoring of your home security system.

Both Mobile and Mobile+ can be paid on a month-to-month basis though there is an incentive to sign a three year contract. If you sign a three year Mobile contract you will receive a $150 discount on the Blackbox hardware. If you sign a three year Mobile+ contract you will receive a $300 discount on your hardware purchase.

Contracts make you queasy? Armorax offers a 30 day risk-free trial so you can get your feet wet before plunging in.

Hands-On With Blackbox

While Alarm.com provides the software, the equipment is 2GIG. In fact, I’ve installed the same panel before.. But this time installation was a different experience. No need for a screwdriver. No need for pairing sensors. Blackbox is plug and play. As soon as my order was placed, the team at Armorax emailed my username and password. Once the box arrived I downloaded the app, opened the box, plugged in the panel, and everything … worked. Setup took around 30 seconds.

Blackbox Equipment

The Blackbox sells for $350 (unless you subscribe to a three year plan) and it comes with a touchscreen control panel, a motion sensor, two perimeter sensors, and a sign. All of the equipment is wireless and uses a cellular signal protected by battery backup. As the equipment was already connected to the panel, installation was a snap. In fact, you can use an industrial strength adhesive, similar to 3M strips, to place the sensors where you want, making them easy to install and portable. I tested both sensors multiple times over a three week period and they didn’t skip a beat.

The Blackbox may appear limited in terms of equipment but it is simply a “stepping stone”. Meaning that though it contains a set package, you can add equipment as needed. You can add compatible smoke alarms, smart thermostats, door locks, home security cameras, and other home automation devices and Armorax maintains a list of compatible security devices including products by Kwikset, LiftMaster, Yale, Alarm.com, Trane, and more.

According to Jay Khan, founder of Armorax, the ability for consumers to pick and choose what they want on their own is by design. In his own words,

This circles back to our philosophy of providing the customer with just enough to get started and empowering them with the ability to “control” their experience in a constantly evolving world of home security and home automation.

Regardless of how large or small your smart home, you will pay one price with Armorax.

Blackbox App

Blackbox I’ve been using the Alarm.com app connected to another security system for over a year. It has consistently performed, it’s stable, and allows for a great amount of customization.

Through the mobile app (iOS, Android, Apple Watch, Pebble, Blackberry, and Windows Phone), I was able to set up notifications based upon different events and customize who should and should not receive notifications. For example, you might want to email your spouse but text your kids. You have complete control over recipients for different events as well. You can also setup alerts for major system actions. For example you can receive alerts if:

  • Your system is unable to arm.
  • A sensor was bypassed while armed.
  • Someone tries to tamper with any of your devices.
  • Your panel is not communicating.
  • The battery is running low on any of your devices
  • The control panel loses power and again when power is restored.
  • You forgot to arm your security system

At the same time you can use the app to tie events back to specific sensors to gather more intelligence about your home. For example, you can get a notification if your front door was left open for longer than X amount of minutes or you can get a notification that says “master bedroom window open”.

Blackbox vs Scout vs SimpliSafe

Though Blackbox is truly unique there are similar products that vary in their approach. The most comparable products being Scout Alarm and SimpliSafe. And though I have tested Scout, I have yet to test SimpliSafe. Regardless, here is a comparison of the three products including strengths and weaknesses.

 BlackboxScoutSimpliSafe
Entry Level Equipment Purchase Price$350.00$319.99$229.96
Included Base EquipmentTouchscreen Controller, 2 Door/Window Sensors, 1 Motion Sensor, signBase Station, Entry Door Panel, Motion Sensor, 2 Window/Door Sensors, 2 RFID key fobs, 1 RFID sticker, signBase Station, Keypad, Motion Sensor, Door/Window Sensor, Key fob, sign
Equipment Discount with Contract
Plug and Play
Integrated Cellular Chip
Integrated Battery Backup
Integrated Siren
 BlackboxScoutSimpliSafe
Option for Free Self Monitoring
Cost For Mobile App Access$20 per MonthFree$19.99-$24.99
Cost for Professional Monitoring$40 per Month$19.99 per Month$14.99 per Month
Option for Month to Month Monitoring
Works WithApple, Android, Apple Watch, Blackberry, Windows PhoneApple, Android, Apple Watch, Works with Nest, IFTTTApple, Android, Windows Phone
Home Automation
Satisfaction30 day risk-free trialReturn Policy Varies60 Day Returns
Warranty1 Year1 Year3 Years
Blackbox
Entry Level Equipment Purchase Price
$350.00
Included Base Equipment
Touchscreen Controller, 2 Door/Window Sensors, 1 Motion Sensor, sign
Equipment Discount with Contract
Plug and Play
Integrated Cellular Chip
Integrated Battery Backup
Integrated Siren
Blackbox
Option for Free Self Monitoring
Cost For Mobile App Access
$20 per Month
Cost for Professional Monitoring
$40 per Month
Option for Month to Month Monitoring
Works With
Apple, Android, Apple Watch, Blackberry, Windows Phone
Home Automation
Satisfaction
30 day risk-free trial
Warranty
1 Year
Scout
Entry Level Equipment Purchase Price
$319.99
Included Base Equipment
Base Station, Entry Door Panel, Motion Sensor, 2 Window/Door Sensors, 2 RFID key fobs, 1 RFID sticker, sign
Equipment Discount with Contract
Plug and Play
Integrated Cellular Chip
Integrated Battery Backup
Integrated Siren
Scout
Option for Free Self Monitoring
Cost For Mobile App Access
Free
Cost for Professional Monitoring
$19.99 per Month
Option for Month to Month Monitoring
Works With
Apple, Android, Apple Watch, Works with Nest, IFTTT
Home Automation
Satisfaction
Return Policy Varies
Warranty
1 Year
SimpliSafe
Entry Level Equipment Purchase Price
$229.96
Included Base Equipment
Base Station, Keypad, Motion Sensor, Door/Window Sensor, Key fob, sign
Equipment Discount with Contract
Plug and Play
Integrated Cellular Chip
Integrated Battery Backup
Integrated Siren
SimpliSafe
Option for Free Self Monitoring
Cost For Mobile App Access
$19.99-$24.99
Cost for Professional Monitoring
$14.99 per Month
Option for Month to Month Monitoring
Works With
Apple, Android, Windows Phone
Home Automation
Satisfaction
60 Day Returns
Warranty
3 Years

Final Thoughts on Armorax

With Armorax you are getting the same service and equipment used by professional companies but with the option to DIY. They use one of the most stable app platforms in the home security industry and they allow you to grow your smart home without penalty where other companies will charge you to add more hardware.

My only concern with Armorax is that they are a new company. Will they be able to support their customers the way customers deserve to be treated? Will they decide to pack up and move on? These questions remain to be answered.

if you want to learn more about Blackbox please visit Armorax.com.

Please note that I was provided a Blackbox for testing though the thoughts are my own.