LiveWatch Reviews: Cellular Monitoring for $29.95

Formerly known as SafeMart, this popular home security provider changed its name to LiveWatch in 2013. LiveWatch continues to be known for quality systems that you can install yourself, while still providing access to home monitoring, camera security, home automation, and other high-end features, making LiveWatch one of our top home security companies for 2017.

LiveWatch’s angle is to provide great security at a much lower price than the competition and offer the most reliable emergency response with their ASAPer communication system, which is one of the fastest response systems in the case of an emergency. With an entry point of $29.95 per month for cellular monitoring, the company makes good on this promise. This offsets the high upfront costs for starting up with LiveWatch.

Pros

  • Plug-and-play equipment with DIY installation
  • ASAPer (As Soon As Possible emergency response) service for rapid communication during a break-in
  • 100% wireless systems
  • Crash and smash protection
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Relocation friendly
  • Low-cost entry-level option
  • No long-term contracts (i.e., you can cancel your plan anytime with no fees)
  • 1-year guarantee and 2-year warranty on equipment

Cons

  • Some customers experienced equipment issues
  • Upfront costs can be pretty steep between $99 and $299
  • Some common equipment items can be priced higher than other leading competitors like Frontpoint or Link Interactive

How It Works

If you go with LiveWatch, you’ll purchase one of their security systems and pick a home monitoring plan to go with it. There’s the Basic Plan that comes without any bells and whistles, and then there are three premium options as well: Mobile Pro, Total Home, and Total Home + Video.

Plan NameBasicMobile ProTotal HomeTotal Home + Video
View Plans
Price$29.95$34.95$39.95$49.95
24/7 Professional Monitoring
ASAPer
Remote Arm & Disarm
Crash&Smash Protection
Live Voice Assist
Smartphone Control
Home Automation
Location-based Control
Real-time Alerts
Smart Image Capture
Live Video Streaming
Security Camera
Plan Name Basic
View Plans
Price
$29.95
24/7 Professional Monitoring
ASAPer
Remote Arm & Disarm
Crash&Smash Protection
Live Voice Assist
Smartphone Control
Home Automation
Location-based Control
Real-time Alerts
Smart Image Capture
Live Video Streaming
Security Camera
Plan Name Mobile Pro
View Plans
Price
$34.95
24/7 Professional Monitoring
ASAPer
Remote Arm & Disarm
Crash&Smash Protection
Live Voice Assist
Smartphone Control
Home Automation
Location-based Control
Real-time Alerts
Smart Image Capture
Live Video Streaming
Security Camera
Plan Name Total Home
View Plans
Price
$39.95
24/7 Professional Monitoring
ASAPer
Remote Arm & Disarm
Crash&Smash Protection
Live Voice Assist
Smartphone Control
Home Automation
Location-based Control
Real-time Alerts
Smart Image Capture
Live Video Streaming
Security Camera
Plan Name Total Home + Video
View Plans
Price
$49.95
24/7 Professional Monitoring
ASAPer
Remote Arm & Disarm
Crash&Smash Protection
Live Voice Assist
Smartphone Control
Home Automation
Location-based Control
Real-time Alerts
Smart Image Capture
Live Video Streaming
Security Camera

A huge selling point of LiveWatch is the service’s lack of long-term contracts. No matter which plan you choose, you start with just a 12-month contract and can cancel anytime. In fact, if you cancel within the first year, you even get a full refund on the equipment you bought. It’s admittedly a little odd that they even have contracts at all, because LiveWatch doesn’t require you to pay the remaining balance if you quit early. But as puzzling as this is, it’s still welcome in an industry full of rigid 3-to-5 year contracts with significant costs for early cancellation.The Basic Plan gets you 24/7 monitoring for a modest monthly fee of $29.95, and if you’re only looking for the fundamentals in a home security system, this plan is among the lowest costs in the industry.

On the other hand, a lot of the more advanced features that come standard with other home security providers, including home automation and video streaming, are missing in LiveWatch’s roster until you hit their most expensive plans. Aside from ASAPer and Crash&Smash, which we explain in greater detail later, LiveWatch isn’t as competitive on high-tech options.

Base Systems

The LiveWatch security systems you can choose from are Plug&Protect Basic and Plug&Protect IQ. Both systems come with the same set of sensors and accessories:

  • Two wireless door sensors
  • One wireless motion sensor
  • Two yard signs
  • Six window stickers
  • A free keychain remote

Up until recently, these base systems used to differ due to the control panels they offered. But as of 2016, LiveWatch upgraded their GE Simon XT keypad control panel to the GE Simon XTi 1.0 touchscreen. So now you get a touchscreen control panel for all plans.

Plug&Protect Basic

LiveWatch Simon XTi 1.0 touch screen control panelThe Plug&Protect Basic panel has recently updated their base control panel. What was previously a GE Simon XT keypad control panel, LiveWatch has upgraded customers to a basic Simon XTi 1.0 touch screen instead. This new control panel supports two-way communication and is built in with quick buttons for immediate outreach and response to local emergency services. With LiveWatch making the moves to offer continuous innovation without sacrificing simplicity, LiveWatch has an impressive control panel selection, no matter what type of price package you opt for.  And while the base control panel has been upgraded from a keypad to a touch screen, the cost remains the same at $99 under all four plans. You can purchase an additional keypad for $119.95 if needed.

Plug&Protect IQ

LiveWatch IQ 2.0 touch screen control panelThe IQ 2.0 Touchscreen Panel comes with a 7-inch Android touchscreen, dual-band connectivity, and a built-in camera. It also features easy wireless updates and comes with apps and weather included within the display. Overall, it’s identical to Frontpoint’s IQ panel, which is another leading security company we recommend.

Depending on the plan you opt in for, this handy IQ 2.0 touch screen panel will come included in your initial equipment package at $149. You can purchase an additional keypad for $45 if you have a larger home. We highly recommend the nicer IQ system, even if it’s paired with the Basic Plan, because it supports up to 100 sensors, has better historical event tracking than the Simon XTi 1.0 and also offers more room for innovation if you were to opt in for home automation and video surveillance.

LiveWatch Video Surveillance Review

Livewatch offers their customers the option of adding video surveillance to any package for an additional $10 per month plus the cost of the cameras.

LiveWatch IP CameraThe LiveWatch video surveillance service provides owners access to live streaming footage, online video storage, event based recording, scheduled recording, and mobile control. The video surveillance feature can be controlled using a PC or a phone. Smartphone control is backed by the top rated Alarm.com app which is compatible with iPhones, Androids, the iPad, Windows phones, and Blackberry phones.

How Are Alerts Sent?

In addition to controlling the cameras remotely you can also use the app to send real-time alerts. LiveWatch gives customers the option of receiving alerts via email, text, or both. As LiveWatch cameras are dependent upon both power and internet, they have added a feature that will send you an alert in the event of a power failure. You can also receive alerts based upon motion or event. For example, you can set the cameras to record when the front door is opened and ask to receive notification of the same.

Alarm.com’s Video Monitoring service offers a best-in-class end-to-end video solution. It includes anytime live streaming, smart clip capture with secure cloud storage, instant video alerts and continuous high definition recording.

What Are the Camera Options?

LiveWatch offers a wide range of options for video surveillance. They offer an outdoor IP camera with night, image sensors, and several indoor IP camera options.

While the list below is not a comprehensive list, this chart should give you an idea of a few options available through LiveWatch.

Camera TypeWireless Pan and Tilt CameraiPCAM-PT Wireless Pan/Tilt IP CameraWireless Motion Activated Image SensorLiveWatch IP Video Camera
Purchase Price$279.99$295.00$129.00$199.00
Top Resolution1280x800640x480320x240640x480
Wireless EncryptionWEP, WPA, WPA2WEP, WPA, WPA2UnknownWEP, WPA, WPA2
Night Vision
Battery Backup
Wireless Connection
Ethernet Connection
Pan and Tilt
Zoom
Camera Type Wireless Pan and Tilt Camera
Purchase Price
$279.99
Top Resolution
1280x800
Wireless Encryption
WEP, WPA, WPA2
Night Vision
Battery Backup
Wireless Connection
Ethernet Connection
Pan and Tilt
Zoom
Camera Type iPCAM-PT Wireless Pan/Tilt IP Camera
Purchase Price
$295.00
Top Resolution
640x480
Wireless Encryption
WEP, WPA, WPA2
Night Vision
Battery Backup
Wireless Connection
Ethernet Connection
Pan and Tilt
Zoom
Camera Type Wireless Motion Activated Image Sensor
Purchase Price
$129.00
Top Resolution
320x240
Wireless Encryption
Unknown
Night Vision
Battery Backup
Wireless Connection
Ethernet Connection
Pan and Tilt
Zoom
Camera Type LiveWatch IP Video Camera
Purchase Price
$199.00
Top Resolution
640x480
Wireless Encryption
WEP, WPA, WPA2
Night Vision
Battery Backup
Wireless Connection
Ethernet Connection
Pan and Tilt
Zoom

For more info on all the equipment included, read our LiveWatch equipment and cost breakdown that covers every piece of equipment they offer.

Key Features from LiveWatch

ASAPer Communication System

ASAPer (As Soon As Possible emergency response) integration is probably LiveWatch’s most distinctive feature and is included with all of LiveWatch’s plans except for the Basic. The system  rapidly notifies you and everyone else on your emergency call list via text, phone call, or email all at once instead of one at a time—whichever you chose for being notified—when your alarm is triggered. LiveWatch claims ASAPer contacts you within 30 seconds after the alarm is triggered, compared to five-and-a-half minutes with traditional systems.

After you’re informed about the alarm, you have the chance to resolve the situation using your smartphone or computer, by either notifying the police or canceling the response, and even communicate with others that are all contacted on the emergency contact list. This system is efficient and helps you circumvent the consequences of false alarms that automatically get the authorities involved. However, if you are unavailable when ASAPer contacts you, the LiveWatch monitoring center will dispatch the police.

The Benefits of ASAPer

The number one benefit of ASAPer is reduced risk of false alarm. False alarms are a major concern for security system owners and account for the majority of alarm calls. False alarms tie up police resources and can lead to hefty fines for homeowners. Many local governments claim that their false alarm rate is over 90%. That’s huge! ASAPer reduces your risk of false alarm and the fees associated with a false alarm by introducing one-click alarm resolution. When your alarm system is triggered you will receive an alert in the manner your requested. For example let’s assume that you’ve asked for a text alert. When the alert is received on your phone you will be given the option of declaring an emergency or declaring a false alarm. This may sound scary. What if a bad guy forces you to enter a false alarm? ASAPer took care of that. You can’t simply press false alarm. You have to press false alarm and enter your master code to disable the alarm.

The second benefit to ASAPer is the creation of a cohesive communication platform. What does that mean? Essentially once your family receives the emergency alert, you can all participate in a group chat. You can text all of your family members at the same time “don’t worry, it’s just the dog” or “let’s meet at Grandma’s house until we know the house is safe”. Pretty cool right? As a mother I think this rocks. There is nothing worse then worrying about getting everyone on the same page.

Does ASAPer work on my system?

Right now ASAPer is exclusively LiveWatch customers and provides online instructions for integration with the Simon Xti, Simon XT, Simon 3, Concord 4, Ademco Honeywell Vista Panels, and the Lynx Plus. If you have a different control panel, you may want to check with LiveWatch to confirm compatibility.

Crash & Smash Protection

Crash&Smash Protection is an extra line of defense if a determined criminal breaks in and goes straight to destroy the home security control panel before the system has a chance to communicate with headquarters.

With Crash&Smash Protection, the criminal may destroy the unit, but a notification will be sent to the alarm monitoring center that dispatches police. The burglar will think they’re safe because the alarm system is silent, but they’ll know better once they’re being carted off in handcuffs. Crash&Smash Protection is included with every plan except for the Basic Plan.

LiveWatch Customer Service

If you’re in the middle of an emergency, ASAPer will feel like pretty great customer service, considering it lets you know almost immediately when the alarm has been triggered. However, customer service extends beyond this. If you’re on a LiveWatch monitoring plan and ever have trouble, LiveWatch is available by chat, text, or phone call. With an A+ and only 17 customer complaints on their BBB page after nearly 11 years, LiveWatch’s customer service continues to earn top marks in the home security systems industry.

How Does LiveWatch Deliver Support?

Certain products may have a limited hardware warranty but LiveWatch offers additional support at no additional cost to customers with active monitoring contracts. Their support program is called Advantage and includes phone, chat, and email support for all customers with alarm monitoring packages at $29.95 per month or more. If you do not have a monitoring package they offer tons of self-help documents online including guides and videos.

The Advantage program is considered best effort support. While LiveWatch agrees to do their best to help, they can’t guarantee a solution. If they can’t find a solution they may suggest that you update your equipment or even your monitoring service.

Advantage support is offered during normal business hours though it is possible to get help outside of normal business hours for an additional charge.

And remember, you can also cancel your service at anytime or return equipment within 365 days. Choosing LiveWatch is a fairly low risk decision.

Is LiveWatch the Right Pick For You?

The fact that you can sign up for LiveWatch without a long-term contract is a major advantage compared to other systems that try to lock you into a 3-year or even 5-year contract. After the first year, your agreement with LiveWatch goes month-to-month, and you can cancel anytime with no termination fee during or after the initial contract.

LiveWatch is also relocation-friendly, another major sticking point for other providers. If you ever move, because their systems are wireless and portable, LiveWatch is exceptionally easy to move to a new home without any disruption to your service. If you’re receiving your LiveWatch security system for the first time, you’ll also be pleased to know that your system will be configured and ready to use straight out of the box. Similarly to Frontpoint, another one of our top choices in home security, the majority of LiveWatch equipment require a simple peel-and-stick installation and a quick synchronization with your control panel to get started on securing your home.

LiveWatch is a very strong offering at each of its price points considering it’s 30% to 50% cheaper than the competition without sacrificing quality monitoring and service. If you’re in the market for a solid security system and you can find the features you need in one of their plans, LiveWatch is a highly recommended home security provider.

In Summary a Few Things to Think About

  • A+ Rating with the BBB & Angie’s List Super Service Award
  • Z-Wave Smart Home Technology
  • Cancel Service At Anytime Without Penalty
  • ASAPer Family Communication System Keeps Everyone Connected.
  • Their sales tactics are high pressure so make sure you are prepared for this going in.
  • Wireless Means That You Can Move Your System at Anytime Without Penalty

Call 1-888-990-5125 or visit LiveWatch to begin building a custom security plan for you.