Nexx Smart Alarm – control your alarm from anywhere
Our home came pre-wired with a security system when we bought it, but we never connected it with a home security company. Mark had a security system in a previous home, but I hadn’t, and I was never interested in having one. I was more worried about false alarms than someone actually breaking into my house, and I didn’t want to pay service fees every month for a monitoring system.
Affiliate Disclosure: This page contains links that may earn us a commission from Nexx. We received the Nexx Smart Alarm as part of this review. Opinions and conclusions are our own.
Once we began tinkering with smart home products, adding cameras and motion sensors in the house, we were curious about using the pre-wired window and door sensors. Luckily, Konnected.io developed a product that let us attach these to SmartThings, and now we can access most of those sensors within the SmartThings app.
We’ve also experimented using Wyze motion sensors tied to our cameras. With our set-up, we can easily self-monitor our house when we’re away, and get notified if something happens while we’re asleep, and we can tailor it however we want.
Home Alarm Panels
While we are comfortable with our set-up, a lot of our friends and neighbors have alarm panels at home. Some folks pay for a monitoring service every month, and others either had them in the house when they moved in and never hooked them up, or they got tired of paying the fees and disconnected the service. Almost everyone has had a false alarm experience and those can be expensive, depending on where you live and the local laws, especially if the police or fire department come out to the home to check.
Nexx Smart Alarm is now live on Kickstarter!
Homeowners with more recent systems, installed in the age of the smartphone, may already have a companion app, as part of a service contract or for an additional fee. But if you don’t have one of these more modern systems or you don’t want to pay for service, you can only arm and disarm your alarm at home, with the keys on the panel.
When we look at these alarm panels, they remind us of our old thermostat – old, clumsy with keypads and complex codes to program and remember. It’s definitely an area ripe for innovation. Enter the Nexx Smart Alarm.
A new, smarter alarm panel
Nexx contacted us to review the Nexx Smart Alarm after watching our video we created for the Nexx Garage smart garage door opener. We were skeptical about reviewing the product at first, since we don’t have an alarm panel installed, but we decided to give it a try.
Nexx sent us a pre-release version of the Smart Alarm with a couple of sample alarm panels. A large majority of the systems in use today, from companies like ADT and First Alert, use systems based on boards from two different manufacturers, Honeywell and DSC (Digital Security Controls). Nexx supports many of the boards from both of these companies, so there is a good chance your system is supported. If you’re considering buying, make sure you visit their website to check compatibility.
We set up a sample DSC board and attached it to an alarm panel with some sample sensors so we could test it out. Once we had our sample board set up, attaching the Nexx Smart Alarm couldn’t be simpler. We just connected four wires from the included cable to the alarm board, plugged it into the Nexx Smart Alarm, and we were all set.
If you already have a compatible system you don’t need to make any other hardware changes, though you may need to program the alarm system to know about the Nexx Smart Alarm. Don’t worry though, they have directions on how to do that. You can attach the Nexx Smart Alarm to the outside of your box or somewhere nearby with the included velcro tape. Your alarm system still works the same as it always has.
Using the Nexx App with the Nexx Smart Alarm
Once installed, the Nexx Smart Alarm becomes another remote for your system, using the Nexx Home App. The app allows you to arm and disarm your system from your phone – great if you have already left the house or got in bed without arming.
You can also connect the Nexx Smart Alarm to Alexa, Google Assistant, or create a Siri shortcut so you can arm and disarm just with your voice. We love the Siri shortcut that allows us to disarm the alarm when we are pulling up to the house.
Just being able to arm and disarm your alarm from anywhere, from work, school, a restaurant, from the beach, etc, provides a lot of peace of mind for homeowners. It’s also really useful if there is an actual emergency – for a lot of users, if the alarm goes off when they’re not home, they don’t find out unless the security company calls. With the Nexx Home App, you’ll be notified immediately on your phone, with a text and/or voice notification.
For security purposes, today Nexx won’t allow you to clear the alarm from your phone, to clear the alarm, you’ll still need to do it from your home panel or through your monitoring provider. But they do have a feature to help make it easier if you are not home – group monitoring.
Group Monitoring lets you create a set of trusted contacts that will be notified in case of an emergency if you can’t be reached. If the alarm triggers and you do not respond within a certain length of time, the app will automatically contact your first alternate, and so on down the line, until someone acknowledges the alarm.
The Nexx Smart Alarm includes this basic functionality with the product – the ability to arm and disarm, get notifications, see 30 days of history, and share your Nexx Smart Alarm with one other person in your household.
Additional Features with the Pro Plan
The Nexx Smart Alarm Pro plan offers even more features for an additional monthly fee. We think one of the most useful features is scheduling. This allows you to automatically arm and disarm your alarm on a daily schedule, for instance, arming for stay at night and disarming in the morning. You can tweak that schedule however you want, adjusting for weekends or leaving for work.
The pro plan also includes reminders – so if you leave the house without arming, the Nexx will send you a reminder via the app so you can do it right from the phone.
The pro plan also lets you share the alarm app with up to 10 different people, and see and download the full history from the system, great if you have a big household or second home.
We’ve been testing the Nexx Smart Alarm for several weeks and we’re impressed. It’s easy to install, lets you keep your existing panel, and can potentially save lots of money from monitoring fees and/or false alarms.