I’ve been putting off this review for a while because I was afraid it would be too complex to install a full home security system. Boy, was I wrong.
The LaserShield system is actually quite easy to use and install. It has three parts — a base station, a sensor, and two remotes. These devices all work in concert, wirelessly, and have a battery back-up in case power goes out. The sensor is about as big as a portable hard drive and the base station is acceptably small enough, although the fact that it screams at you when things change in the system might be a giveaway to thieves.
To set it up you connect the base to a phone line and power and pair it with the sensor and the keychain remotes. The system needs a landline but you can use the battery-powered Cyclone GSM device or the VoIP Sparrow — basically a rebadged Linksys VoIP terminal — to connect it to Ethernet. I initially tried to do this but it didn’t quite work so I just used our old Vonage line.
You then create an online account, pay $25 for activation and $19.95 a month for service, and you’re set. There are huge panic buttons on all of the devices and you can call your house to activate it or deactivate it from the road.
It also comes with a “pet shield” to keep Fido from setting things off with his constant wagging.
The $199 kit comes with only one sensor, which is bad news for folks in big houses. However, you can upgrade the system with sensors for $59.99 each. The Bluetooth-like pairing system is quite simple.
Overall, I’d say LaserShield is a strong, entry-level security system for folks who might be interested in protecting their precious but don’t want to go all OCD. It is available now at Best Buy and even Home Depot.