boundary alarm

Boundary – The Smart Alarm of the Future (AD)

The smart alarm and security start-up Boundary has been on my radar for a while. I first noticed it on Kickstarter back in 2019 and have since seen it pop up on buzzfeed style articles like ‘top 10 UK start-ups to watch.’

On billboards it’s “the first smart security alarm in the UK to offer professional monitoring with a police response.” It’s got a tonne of features, nice design and a nifty looking mobile app.

I happen to be looking for a burglar alarm at the moment. Post-lockdown, I’m going to fully embrace the outdoors. I’ve got day trips and weekend breaks planned and I don’t expect to be in the house very much at all. So, now, I need a burglar alarm to look after my home while I’m away.

Whilst researching burglar alarms one thing was clear; it’s not easy to choose between them. In the end, Boundary came up trumps. I’ve broken down the key characteristics of their service:

Hardware

The Boundary alarm uses sensors to monitor the home. There are motion sensors to watch over the rooms and contact sensors to guard the doors and windows. Sensor-based alarms have been around for years, but it’s only in the past few years that wireless ‘smart’ technology has been added.

Boundary has an outdoor siren too, which glows during the night. I’d rather that burglars didn’t even consider setting foot on my property, so this outdoor siren seems like a good deterrent.

Boundary’s website also has a nifty tool which allows you to answer questions and get a quote. This made the whole process of designing an alarm much easier, especially as I’ve never owned a burglar alarm.

The design of the Boundary alarm system is modern and simple and will look good in most homes.

The system is also really straightforward to install so even the least tech-savvy amongst us should be able to get it set up without any problems.

Monthly Plans

There are four plans to choose from, ranging in cost and features. The plan prices start as low as £4 per month and go up to £25 a month if you want professional monitoring and a police response.

Boundary was the only alarm to offer plans where you genuinely had a choice. I found that other burglar alarm brands push you into taking the top plan, because all the useful features are in the top plan. Some wouldn’t even let you
use the mobile app without the top plan!

Features

Some of the features included with the Boundary plans are push notifications, alarm set reminders, IFTTT, automated keyholder calling and partial set. Not bad!

As I mentioned, there’s also the option of a police response. This is the top level of home security monitoring in the UK. For this you do have to get your system professionally installed but Boundary offers professional installation at an additional charge.

If you are looking for a well priced Smart Home Security system that looks good, is really easy to use and set up and has a large number of features to make your life easier Boundary is the alarm system for you.

A note on other alarm brands…

Many alarm brands have cheap up-front costs but are expensive in the long-run. You might have to pay for annual maintenance that wasn’t made clear when you signed the contract.

Some have hidden fees; one alarm brand has a guard call-out fee of £75 and £45 every 30 minutes that the guard sticks around! The same alarm brand reserves all the best features for the most subscription plan, so you’re sort of pushed into getting it.

I think it’s really important to know how much it’ll cost, so pick a brand that’s transparent. For me, Boundary stands out in this, and it’s definitely my alarm of choice!




Do you use the Boundary smart alarm system? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Up for more savvy reading? Why not check out my articles on Hiro smart home insurance or How to save on your commute with a Xiaomi m365 pro electric scooter

2 Comments

  • A mem

    May 4, 2022 at 11:59 am

    I purchased with my own money (not a freebie from the company) in May 2022.

    My advice is to let them iron out the basic issues that should have been fixed at product testing stage and maybe come back to them a year or two on.

    Quick glance:

    The system malfunctioned on day one of installation with multiple parts contributing to its failure, coupled with software glitches it’s a nightmare to install and in my view from experience, not reliable enough to secure your home and your loved ones. Until the glitches are ironed out and hardware quality is reassessed, I’d give this company a miss for now until they’ve matured. Great potential, but you’ll be paying monthly to pretty much be their product testers, Boundary should have delayed bringing this to market.

    A smart alarm that gets confused.
    A wireless system that drops its wireless signal.
    A support team, that is hard to access when things go wrong.

    For and against

    For:
    Nicely presented product design of sensors, keypad hub, contact sensors, key fobs and an outdoor siren that all look slick. Monthly subscription plans are exciting when compared to others .

    Against:
    – really poor customer service access. No phone number, no after hours or weekend contact response. Be prepared to write emails back and forth…what year are we in again?
    – room sensors have poor quality tamper systems that need to be cleared again and again with a lot of fiddling. Be prepared to go up and down ladders. The app will show they’re fine, yet the hub will disagree.
    – room sensors have very inaccurate temperature readings, a great feature but they’re out by up to 3°c rendering them pointless.
    – contact sensors and room sensors can (and do) go offline, you are warned when this happens, Boundary support (a person called Leslie) just suggests that you keep an eye on it… That could be your front door sensor offline!
    – outdoor siren lacks a quality build, mine registered tampered, which I needed to fiddle with multiple times to clear. The alarm bell went off, it is supposed to cut out in 15mins, but it didn’t stop. I had to climb up and break it open. It actually disconnects from the system as the batteries use up too much power, not good when you’re testing it out.
    – outdoor siren lid has holding screws that screw into weak plastic thread which die during installation, which means not being able to open the siren in case of manual intervention, due to hardware failure, which happened to me on day one. Be prepared to console your kids as it likely will greatly upset them.
    – the hub control unit has a limited cable run, most will find this too short if wishing to install it on the wall which is the most desired location.
    – the hub’s table stand in my opinion should be included but instead the company decided to charge for it.
    – sensor pairing during installation is hit and miss, 3 out of eight had issues. Even if the system shows they’re all paired, you’re best to contact support (good luck after normal budnesd hrs or weekends) to confirm all are actually 100% paired, they don’t tell you this step) or you risk your system malfunctioning in all sort of ways .
    – 3m double-sided tape provided with sensors are hit and miss, some won’t hold and risk damaging your sensors if they fail to hold.
    – the app and the hub can give you conflicting readings which are really confusing.
    – do NOT use screws to install any of your sensors, as should you want to return for a full refund, you’ll have to fill these holes and paint (if you have that colour) to make good. Boundary’s support team (Leslie) will suggest you make a trip to B&Q or similar, negating the effort, time and money you’ve lost and are about to lose more of.

    An apologetic reply on 3rd May 2022 from the CEO (Robin Knox) who I reached out to, suggested they know about issues

    “some of this is out with our control and caused by a third party protocol that we are awaiting an update for. Other improvements are in the design & engineering process.It seems like you had several issues in combination, creating a frustrating experience so again I must apologise.”

    Yet none of this is mentioned to you as a consumer when buying into this platform, which you pay a recurring subscription to. He was happy to refund fully (takes 14 days) to” part ways amicably” (strange language use, I thought).

    That’s at least something, though I now need to fill holes and rematch paint to my external and internal walls plus doors. Live and learn.

    Reply

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