Having heard a lot of good things about the Era smart home alarm, I was interested to check it out for myself. Is it hard to set up? Does it work like it’s meant to? Are the smart features any good?
More importantly, can I entrust my home security to this product? In this Era Homeguard Pro Review, you’ll learn everything there is to know about this cloud-based alarm system.
Check the Era Homeguard’s price on Amazon
What is the Era HomeGuard Pro alarm?
Like the other smart alarm systems we’ve featured previously, the HomeGuard is a smart alarm system that can be installed in any home (or business for that matter). It works much like any other alarm system you might have had previously, with the benefits of added smart features. I’ll cover these in-depth with this review.
This WiFi home automation alarm aims to stop break-ins and burglaries by detecting intruders before they enter your house. When it’s triggered, it will emit a loud 110db siren, as well as sending cloud-based security alerts to your phone, such as ‘Front door triggered’.
One of the good things about this alarm is it can be installed without any need to call in a third party. There’s no wires to mess about with; the system is completely wireless *. Yipee!
* (Well, that’s a fib actually – the hub needs to be connected to the mains, and into a spare port on our Wi-fi router).
HomeGuard’s main features
Here’s a quick run down of the main features of the Era home alarm:
- Control with your smart phone – from anywhere in the world
- Email or phone alerts – if anything is detected
- Pet friendly sensors – dogs and cats won’t set of the alarm
- Strong encryption – uses same security level as banks
- Alexa compatible – use your voice through virtual assitants like Google assistant and Alexa
- Solar powered siren – 110db outdoor siren powers itself
- Weather proof – and waterproof to IP55 level
- IP cameras – view your property on your phone remotely
- Micro SD card recording – up to 32GB storage
- SIM card backup – standard size. Keeps alarm working, if your Wi-fi goes down
- Internal only CCTV cameras – 720p HD resolution
- Easy to set up – don’t need to pay someone else to get your HomeGuard installed
- Customer support line – to help if you get stuck
- Arm or disarm with your phone – or using ‘tags’
- Old school keypad – you don’t need your phone to operate the alarm
- Lithium ion batteries – they are included in the kit
- Free app – you’ll need to download the app to your phone
- Compatible with iOS and Android – tablets and phones
- Share the app – family members can download it to their phones to allow entry
- Expandable – Connect up to 50 sensors and 10 remote controls
- 2 Year Waranty
The alarm has a smart ‘hub’ – a central control unit which ties all the components together. The HomeGuard alarm is available in a number of different kits, each containing the hub and a selection of different security gadgets and each having it’s own price point.
One of the good things about the Era HomeGuard Pro, and a lot of other smart alarms, is that the system is modular. Once you’ve got your kit, you can buy extra sensors, cameras and other bits if and as you need them. Need another camera or door sensor? You can buy one online and install it quickly yourself.
Which components make up the Era HomeGuard alarm?
Let’s look at the different security gizmos that combine into the Era Alarm.
The PIR sensor is pet friendly
Smart alarm hub – the brains of the operation. Connects the separate ‘bits’ together.
These good old-fashioned motion detectors have been used in alarms for a long time. They use IR to detect anyone moving past them. The Era HomeGuard Pro ones are pet friendly, meaning dogs and cats won’t trigger them.
Magnetic Door / window sensors
These two-piece sensors trigger the alarm when moved apart. You can put them on doors, or windows.
Remote control key rings
All this smart home technology is all well and good but sometimes a nice button is all you need. HomeGuard Pro’s key-ring-sized remotes have simple buttons for home / alarm / disarm / SOS. The latter is like a panic button which sets off the Era’s alarm, and sends notifications to your phone too.
Motion detector indoor cameras
HomeGuard’s cameras record continuously in a loop. They also allow you to check your property wherever you are, using your smartphone.
This system uses your smart phone for all sorts of stuff like setting timers, simple arming and disarming and viewing video recordings.
Other HomeGuard components you might want to add
- Ceiling sensors
- Curtain motion sensors
- Wireless keypads
- Range extenders
- Water detectors
The Review Bit: Why you might like the Era HomeGuard Pro Alarm
As with any home alarm, there’s some things that the Era HomeGuard really does well, and some aspects that could use some work. Let’s get down to business, starting with the GOOD POINTS with this smart security system.
It’s easy to set up
Every smart alarm harps on about how easy it is to set up. In the case of the HomeGuard, it’s actually true. As mentioned earlier, the only bit you have to wire up is the smart hub. I suck at wiring, but I can plug something into the wall socket, and plug something into my router. There’s no wires to run all over the home.
Having one smart hub that connects to the router makes things a bit easier. There’s a mounting bracket that lets you screw this onto the wall, which makes for a more tidy living room. But I won’t judge if you just want to slide it behind that plant pot.
Pairing up the components is painless
Each of the Era’s components, like the PIR sensors, need to be individually paired up with the smart hub. (You’ll need your smart phone, and the free app to do do all of this). I’m happy to report there’s nothing geeky to do here. The app is simple and intuitive.
Phone support is friendly and helpful
Another thing I liked with HomeGuard’s smart alarm while I was writing this review, is there are real people you can talk to on the phone. None of this support ticket stuff. If you like to get stuff set up now, not sometime in the next 24-hours, this is great. They know what they’re talking about and can answer a problem that is holding things up.
The app based system works well
It doesn’t matter how good the components of a smart alarm are, if the main app is naff, you’re going to end up sending it all back. Era’s home alarm app is actually pretty good. It’s well laid out, has a clean interface and is simple to use.
There’s two main things you’ll want to figure out first. Arming and disarming, with the app. And also how to monitor your video cameras.
Also worth mentioning is that the app is it can be installed on different family member’s phones. If your kids are a bit older and have their own key, this will let them arm and disarm the system easily.
Solar powered Sirens are a great idea
I’ve seen my fair share of smart alarms and I don’t remember one having a solar-powered siren, like the Era HomeGuard does (Let me know in the comments if you know of one I’ve missed!) It means you don’t have to wire it up to the mains, and you’ll have one less thing to maintain.
While it’s not a major factor when choosing a good smart alarm, The Era HomeGuard siren looks pretty cool too. As it should. If you’re whacking something like this on the frot of your home, it should look like it means business. It looks stylish (for an alarm!) and it lets would-be burglars know your property is ARMED!
The SIM card ‘backup’ is a good idea
One of the most commonly asked questions I’ve had is what happens to a Wifi based smart alarm when the Wifi goes down? From little dips, to (shudder) weeks without the Internet, it can happen. The Era has a nifty SIM card socket that you can add a pre-paid SIM card to, to cover you on any periods of web downtime.
It’s completely optional but I could see this being really useful when I’m on holiday. It’s not like you can zip back from Spain and fix the Wifi.
Things I you may not like about the HomeGuard Pro
To balance things out in this review, here’s some of the things I’m not too keen on with this alarm.
720p HD video, instead of 1080p
This was a bit of a surprise, considering this isn’t a budget alarm system, I was slightly disappointed to see that the resolution on the cameras wasn’t a full 1080p. Having said that, the video recordings look sharp enough.
Not the cheapest smart alarm on the market
Obviously a subjective one, but there are cheaper smart alarms on the market in 2020. If you get the bigger ‘kits’ the price can stack up a fair bit.
No external cameras available
Another disappointing omission I have to mention in this review is the lack of any external cameras for the system. The cameras available in the kits are for indoor use only. As far as I’m aware, there are no plans to release any, but this could change in the future.
Conclusion: Should you buy the Era homeGuard Pro?
If you’re in the market for a proper smart home alarm, one you won’t need to replace again in in a few years, this is a serious bit of kit. It’s blissfully simple to setup compared to other smart alarms, and both feature set and quality of components are impressive. The app is effective and simple to use, making tasks like checking your property from while on holiday painless.
Overall Era’s pro alarm is definitely worth a buy.
References, resources and further reading
- The Era Security website has information and help on all their security products.
- If you need to contact them, their support number is Helpline: +44 (0) 1922 490 050
- The police website has some good tips on preventing burglaries, especially when going on holiday.
- There’s a handy setup video from the Era on Youtube, that should help you install this smart alarm.