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Smanos W020 WiFi Alarm System review: Buy just the parts you need

Don Reisinger | Jan. 3, 2017
It’s effective enough, but a la carte pricing is really the only thing that sets this inexpensive DIY home security system apart from its competition.

Smanos W020  

The W020 is the heart of the Smanos system. It the battery-backed device houses the siren and services as the link between the various components and the internet.

The door/window sensors come with 3M adhesive tape, so you just peel the backing off and push one half onto the door or window you want to monitor and other half onto the door or window frame. The sensors stuck firmly to my doors and windows, but it’s hard to say how long the adhesion would last. We generally prefer sensors that can either be screwed into the surface or—better yet—sensors the can be inserted inside the door/window and the door/window frame, so that they disappear from view.

As is typical of this type of sensors, there’s a magnet embedded in one half and a metal plate in the other. When the magnetic field the two halves form is broken by the door or window opening, a message is sent to the W020. Unlike Smanos’ door/window sensors, the MD2300 motion sensor must be screwed into the wall. Deploying a motion sensor can reduce the number of door/window sensors you need to install. This one has range of about 20 feet, and in our tests, it detected only humans moving inside its perimeter. It correctly ignored small pets, so you don’t need to worry about Fido or Fifi triggering your alarm while you’re away from home and they’re not.

Once all the sensors were installed, we moved to Smanos’ IP6 security camera. It connects to your 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network and records HD video (720p) to an onboard microSD card (up to 32GB) in a continuous loop. An onboard mic and speaker enable two-way audio, so you can converse with people or pets in the home while you’re away.

Smanos security camera  

We found the Smanos IP6 security camera's night vision to be lacking.

There is no provision for storing video in the cloud, so if an intruder steals the card or—more likely—the entire camera, you won’t have any forensic video evidence of the crime. You can, however, use the smartphone app to monitor a live feed from anywhere you have internet access. If the alarm goes off, you can at least get a glimpse through the camera’s lens (which has a 110-degree field of view) to see what’s going on—and perhaps warn the perps that they’ve been seen.

Is this the security system for you?

The Smanos W020 WiFi Alarm System is an affordable home security solution, but it puts the onus on you to summon the police if there’s a break-in. That could be scary if it happens when you’re home. If you’re away and you don’t have your phone or you’ve silenced it for whatever reason—you’re in an important meeting, or you’re at the movies, for example—there could be a significant delay before you know about a break-in.

 

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