Alarmhandler was the first alarm system based on IP cameras – launching back in May 2015 before Nest Cam and the recent Amazon Cloud Cam. With the big brand solutions, you’re getting a walled-garden security system for better and worse. Learn how Alarmhandler differs – and what’s updated in the latest version 3.2 that ships today.
What does big brand video alarms offer?
The camera hardware is of good quality, but quite expensive – around 150EUR. The big brands bundle the camera hardware with their backend services to provide you with a basic solution, typically detecting motion / sound and alerting you when this happens. You can then open the app to see what happened. Recordings are only stored for a short time (typically a day), you cannot adjust detection much, and you’re not able to download the recordings. By paying a monthly subscription of around 10EUR, these restrictions are removed and you get a fully functional video alarm system.
The video alarms have integration capabilities with other hardware components, but only from the same “big brand” company 🙁
What’s an independent video alarm?
Compared to their offerings, Alarmhandler is an independent video alarm service. It let’s you use any brand of IP camera that’s able to do motion and sound detection and send data over ftp. We recommend using D-Link DCS-930 costing around 30EUR. Because we don’t sell hardware that can sponsor a free plan, we need to charge for our services after a free trial period. We store recordings for 30 days, allow download, and as you may adjust camera settings as much as you want in order to get them right. We ask 4EUR per month. You do the math, Alarmhandler is less inexpensive way to secure your home. At the same time, you avoid getting a “walled garden” solution that ties you to a single hardware vendor.
Alarmhandler also allows you to connect traditional SMS based alarm units. Any brand or model can be integrated with Alarmhandler and operated from the one and same app. So if you already have a functioning SMS alarm, Alarmhandler is the option for you.
Latest updates to Alarmhandler
Alarmhandler has an active roadmap and we’re updating the system regularly. Today, we ship Alarmhandler verison 3.2 featuring a bunch of minor changes.
Here’s what we’ve updated:
- Iphone X support and iOS11 optimization
- Increased geofence radius to 150m – this fixes the issue where some users previously experienced alarm deactivation happened too late when arriving
- Shows upload quota warnings – the system is not intended as a continious recording service, but to record upon alarms. The updated version detects unusual upload patterns and gives you a warning about it.
- The “record everything” toggle in the app is aimed at testing camera setup. The servers now reset this option every hour to avoid continuous recording by mistake.
- If you have an SMS alarm and you tap the refresh button in the app, an SMS is sent to the alarm to request the current SMS alarm state. This will be returned to you in the form of an SMS, so check the SMS response to understand what the current SMS alarm state is. Note: not all SMS alarms support requesting the current alarm state.
- Timestamp on mailed clip now returns the recording time (in GMT)
- Recording playback is now possible after sensor rename
We’ve also extended the FAQ a bit, now you can e.g. learn how to set up your camera settings correctly to avoid false alarm.
We hope you like the update, please write to let us know what you think on our social media channels or using the Send Message function on our homepage. Thanks!
The Alarmhandler Team