Yale Sync Smart Home Alarm Starter Kit Review

When I think about home security in the UK, I think ADT, Chubb, Banham and Yale. Yale has been a force in the security sector for many years now and they continue to develop their products to keep up with today’s technological standards. Right now that’s wireless, app related, easy install and affordable. Yale now offers ‘Sync’, a new wave of smart home security alarms and today, we’re looking at the entry-level starter kit.

The Sync range includes four kits, plus a number of addons. The kits start from £229 and go up to £449. Each kit includes the network hub, a keypad, an external sounder and at least one type of detector. The kits can include presence detectors, door/window contacts, key fobs, smart plugs and smoke detectors.

Unboxing

The starter kit comes with the network hub, external sounder, one keypad and one presence detector. The presence detector is standard, not pet-proof but Yale does offer a pet-proof detector separately. All the equipment is white, apart from the sounder. The sounder itself is as you’d expect and I’m sure you’ve seen them located on the outside of buildings before. The sounder beacon is the first deterrent a burglar will see and most of the time, it’s enough to put them off and they will target somewhere without one. The sounder is large, it’s heavy and it’s bright yellow with a blue beacon underneath. It’s battery operated via 4 large D type batteries (provided) and needs to be positioned on the outside of your building and somewhere it will be seen.

The hub is about the size of Apple TV and needs to be plugged into your home router. Each device is wireless and will link directly to the hub, so a central position within the building is beneficial. The keypad is very discrete, far smaller than the standard Texcom wall mounted pads. It’s battery-operated and it can either be fixed to a wall via screws or left lose to be moved around. The presence detector looks like any other presence detector but it’s slightly shorter in height. There is a blue LED within the detector and shows up when there is a presence. The detector is also battery powered via AAA batteries and should ideally be wall-mounted in the corner of your room. Suggested positions and requirements are detailed within the provided instructions.

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Set Up

Set up was fairly straight forward and didn’t take very long at all. Firstly, you need to download the free Yale Home app onto your iOS or Android smart device. From there, it will run you through setting up the hub and getting that connected onto your home network. Once set up, it’s a matter of adding devices to your system. Now there is a limit of 200m from the hub to any device and for me, that wasn’t an issue but it’s worth bearing in mind.

As mentioned before, the presence detectors, keypads and smoke detectors can be wall or ceiling mounted. Door/window contacts need to be fixed to your door and door frame, or window and the sounder needs to be fixed on the outside of your building.

Performance

For this review, I put the presence detector at high level in the corner of a room, the keypad was remote and the sounder outside against a wall.

During the setup, you are asked to select a pin code, which is used to disarm the alarm but that isn’t the only way. Within the app itself, you can actually arm or disarm just by tapping on the screen. To set the alarm, you select arm in the app or hit the padlock button on the keypad. You’ll then hear a number of beeps, warning you the alarm is set and you should leave the space. Yes, the hub is a sounder too, so when the alarm triggers, there is both an internal and external siren. To disarm the alarm, you either input the code, followed by the unlocked padlock button or hit disarm in the app. You can zone the detectors and set a part-arm, ideal for night time and/or if you have pets etc. If you press the two siren symbol buttons on the keypad together at the same time, this will sound the alarm, acting like a panic button.

From the app itself, you are are able to delve into the various options and settings for the alarm system including adding & setting up the device, running tests, changing entry & exit delays, siren settings and changing keypad pin codes (multiple users). The number of settings and fine-tuning available is quite impressive and allows for a throughout system to be installed. All events and triggers are sent as notifications to your smart device and/or your email. All notifications can be set up how you wish.

The presence detector worked very well for me, it picked me up when I opened the door and then shortly after I triggered the alarm. The external sounder is incredibly loud and will defiantly warn others around about the situation. Setting and unsetting the alarm via the app and keypad was faultless.

The hub is mains powered, the devices take a variety of batteries and battery life will depend on size, usage and quality but I’d be surprised if you had to change any of the batteries in less than a year.

This is a smart system and it can be integrated with Alexa and Hue. If you have Alexa, you can use voice commands to set the alarm and if you have Philips Hue lighting, the lights can turn on when an alarm is triggered, as another warning or deterrent. Geofencing is also included, so you can be alert when you’ve left the area without setting your alarm.

Verdict

Now, this is just a starter kit, it offers just one form of detection, which is ideal for an outbuilding or a flat, with one form of entry. If your building has multiple entry points, this won’t offer adequate protection but the beauty of the system is that you can expand it as and when. If you’re looking for a system for your house, I recommend the system as a whole but I’d start with the Family Kit Plus, which will cover both a front and back door and two rooms.

The start kit retails at £229, it’s a one-off price, there are no monitoring fees and you can expand it how you wish. For more info, head over to the official Yale Sync webpage.

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