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Myfox Home Security review: Reality fails to live up to the promise of the demo

Michael Brown | Aug. 5, 2015
As is too often the case, my enthusiasm for the Myfox Home Security System--engendered by a 30-minute pre-launch demo--has waned following real-world testing in my home. Quality-control concerns let some air out of the balloon; discovering the system's limitations lowered my opinion a bit more.

Myfox Home Security

As is too often the case, my enthusiasm for the Myfox Home Security System--engendered by a 30-minute pre-launch demo--has waned following real-world testing in my home. Quality-control concerns let some air out of the balloon; discovering the system's limitations lowered my opinion a bit more. Myfox's innovative IntelliTag door/window sensor mostly lives up to the hype, but I quickly discovered that it has at least one major shortcoming.

The axiom you only get once chance to make a first impression doesn't really hold true with new product coverage. Manufacturers get two chances: The demo is the first; putting the product in the reviewer's hands is the second. Myfox's demo was terrific; its delivery was much less impressive.

The $279 Myfox Home Security starter kit consists of four components: One siren, one key fob, one door/window sensor, and a wireless bridge. The bridge establishes a wireless connection to the other components and relays messages from them to your Wi-Fi router.

When I plugged the bridge into an electrical outlet, I discovered that it was DOA, so I had to put off my review until Myfox could send a replacement (they sent an entire second kit, just to be safe). Setting up the second kit was easy enough. You install an app on your smartphone (there are Android and iOS apps), and it steps you through the process of registering the components via the bridge.

Myfox also offers a home security camera that can be used on its own or incorporated into the rest of the system, and the company sent one of these as well. Since I couldn't get the rest of the system to work, I installed the camera on its own, but never got around to reviewing it by itself. When the replacement Home Security kit arrived, I performed a hardware reset on the camera (using the typical method of inserting the end of a paperclip into a recessed hole) so that I could reconfigure it as part of the home-security system.

But when I used the home-security app to add the camera, the app instructed me to reset the camera again. And again. And again. The fourth time I did this, the camera just stopped responding--the LED wouldn't light and there was no indication that the camera was even powered up. I unplugged the camera and set it aside so I could test the rest of the system. The camera finally powered up again when I plugged it in the next day, but I still couldn't add it to the home-security system no matter how many times I reset it. The camera is a $199 add-on--it's not part of the $279 kit reviewed here--so I'll publish a separate review of that component later.

 

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