Before we get started you should probably understand what the Iris is. Iris is basically a smart system for your home that really does everything except make coffee. You can detect intruders, set pin codes for your door locks, monitor the temperature in your home and more. Bottom line this is a complete smart solution for your home.
The Iris has lots of products to choose from, but you do need a couple basic items to get started. Iris offers three different kits, so you don’t have to buy everything individually. If you are just worried about protecting your home from intruders, you can buy the Safe and Secure package. If your goal is for home comfort, they you can buy the Comfort and Control kit. However if you want the best of both worlds, then you can buy the Smart Kit which does both security and home comfort. Here is the best thing about the system, you can add on different items whenever you want. You don’t have to buy everything at once. If you want to add a panic button, a door knob, an outlet or more, just buy the item and add it on. You can check out the Iris page to see everything you can add to your system.
I have been eyeing the Iris system for a while. I have been holding off because I have seen some bad reviews, which I am not sure why and will talk about later on. For this review we are going to take a look at the Iris Smart Kit, plus the camera. The camera has to be bought separately. In the Smart kit you get the Wireless Hub (which is the heart of the system and needed for the system to work), Keypad, Thermostat, Smart Plug, 2 Contact Sensors, Motion Sensor and Range Extender.
I am not a huge tech guy and really don’t like messing with my router or other computer stuff because it always turns into a nightmare. So I told Dan, who is a computer geek, to come over and install this. Well after hearing every excuse in the book why he couldn’t make it over, I decided to install it myself. All I can say is if everything was this easy, I would feel like a genius. This system was so easy to set up, I couldn’t even believe some people said it was hard. I went to the Iris Site and registered for an account. After registering, it walked me through everything step by step. Whoever created this website did an awesome job and should be in charge of creating all directions for everything. Very easy to use and follow. All I had to do was plug the hub into my router and it took it from there. The Iris system found the hub and I was set to go. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. So I thought when I would install the other items, that’s where it would get hard. So I decided to start easy with the smart plug and range extender. I went up stairs and plugged in the range extender and the smart plug. When I went downstairs to the computer, there it was, right on the screen showing me that it found both devices and they were ready to go. The same applied for everything else I installed. Everything is pretty much dummy proof. I still can’t believe I see some reviews where people complain that it is hard to install. It really doesn’t get any easier. The camera was just as easy. You plug the camera in using the cat 5 cable and it takes a couple minutes, but then it recognizes the camera and you’re set to go.
Once you have everything set up, you can pretty much customize everything to work around you. I really like all the different options you have to customize your home system. For me this is a huge key. Even better, you can control everything from your iPhone, Android phone or the computer. I haven’t used the Android app, but I am using the iPhone app and again, it doesn’t get any easier. You can customize how the app works and pretty much everything. It shows you the history of what door or motion sensors were activated, control your temperature and even watch your camera, right from your phone. I am a huge fan because on the home screen, you can hit one button to have a Home setting, a night setting, an away and vacation setting. I don’t have to hit each button, I can just hit one button and it knows what to set everything at.
Iris offers a couple different service plans. You have a free plan and a $9.99 a month plan. You can see what each plan offers at Iris. You can also add a couple smaller services in addition to the $9.99 month depending upon your needs. Considering other services charge $45 a month, the $9.99 is a steal.
Now I haven’t tried the door locks, outlets or key fobs, but I am hoping we get to try those and report back to you. I think with all these items you can truly make a complete smart home solution for you and your family.
So is this better than ADT or Brinks? Well ADT bought Brinks, so now they are the same company. So which one is better? Well that really depends upon your need. They both have their pro’s and con’s. I think ADT has an advantage because they can monitor smoke and fire, where the Iris can not. I also like the fact if I am home and someone breaks in, with ADT I know the police will be called and heading my way, where with the Iris, that’s not the case. For me that is okay because I have self protection at home and if someone breaks in, they won’t need the police, they will need an ambulance. The other pro for ADT is if you have an elderly person at home, they can hit a panic button and the first responders will be called. Iris does have a panic button, but it will alert my phone, then I have to figure out what is going on instead of calling the first responders first. Other than those three pro’s for ADT, I think the Iris is a much better deal. If my family is away and someone breaks in, I will get an alert, I can look at the camera and call the police. I also don’t have to worry about paying for false alarms with the Iris. The monthly cost is a quarter of the cost of what ADT charges. I can upgrade and make changes myself with the Iris. I don’t have to call ADT and get extra installation charges and more. The Iris is also more of a smart system to control more than just medical, burglary and fire protection. The Iris is a complete smart home system.
Iris Smart Kit
In the future, I would like to see more products from Iris such as smoke detectors, an outdoor camera or a system for my garage door opener. While the Iris has been out for a while, it’s still fairly new in many eyes, so I would expect to see new and exciting products coming down the road.
Bottom line, the Iris rocks. Very easy to install, easy to set up and use. It is a valuable tool for you and your family. We would like to see Iris expand their offerings into new areas. For anyone looking to create a smart home, the Iris has huge advantages over other systems. You can upgrade whenever you need, no long term contracts and very easy to use software. This system is hard to beat. If you are serious about getting a smart home and not paying out the nose, the Iris will make your home a smart home.