Yale Real Living YRD 120 Touchscreen Digital Deadbolt T1L Review

Yale Real Living Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt T1L_group

Summary

The Yale YRD 120 Touchscreen Deadbolt T1L is a battery operated digital deadbolt that allows you to create (and cancel) up to 100 user codes. It looks stylish, is straightforward to install and set up, easy to use and feels like a more secure way to give access to your home than sharing keys. I would highly recommend the Yale YRD 120 Touchscreen Deadbolt T1L to bring your home security firmly into the 21st century.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Do you ever need to give access to your house when you aren’t home? Maybe a neighbor is feeding your cat whilst you are away, a workman needs to complete a job or someone is coming to walk your dog? Maybe you have a teenager who needs a key to let themselves in, but you are worried they may lose the key. All of these scenarios involve a risk that your key may be lost, stolen or copied and end up in the wrong hands. One solution to this dilemma is to install a digital deadbolt and create temporary access codes that you cancel when they no longer need it.

I recently had the opportunity to test out the YRD120 Touchscreen Deadbolt T1L with Z-Wave from Yale. This was great timing as I wanted to be able to give my Middle Schooler a way to get in to the house independently, but considering the rate at which he loses sweatshirts I wasn’t convinced he would manage to keep a physical key safe for very long.

Set Up

The lock comes in 3 color choices and I picked the Satin Nickel. The installation of the deadbolt was quite straightforward and similar to installing a traditional keyed deadbolt. The kit comes with a template to show where to cut the holes if installing in a new door. If you are lucky when replacing a traditional deadbolt you may just be able to re-use the same holes. In our case the holes were in the right location but we needed to enlarge them just a little to fit the new deadbolt. The lock is powered by 4 AA batteries, which are included.

Once you have installed the lock you need to create a master passcode- this then allows you to create other passcodes and control the unit. You can create up to 100 user codes. With the master passcode you can create or cancel other user codes, set or unset automatic re-lock and enable all code lockout mode.  If all code lockout mode is enabled the master code is the only one that will open the door, useful if you want to be extra secure at times.

In Use

At first I was a little nervous about having a totally keyless system, what if we were away on vacation and the batteries ran out ? How would we get in? It turns out Yale have thought of that, there is a low battery warning, but if you are away and miss it there is an emergency back up option. On the bottom of the lock there are attachment spots for a 9v battery- you can use this to power up the lock and enter your code as usual.

Most of the time the lock is in sleep mode – showing just a plain black face, to activate it you wave your hand over it, or touch the position where the check mark is. Individual access codes can be 4-8 digits long and I like that there is no indication as to whether a code is correct or not until the whole code has been entered followed by the enter key.

It takes a little practice to memorize your passcode but once you have done it a few times its like dialing a phone number, the muscle memory comes into play and you can tap out the code by feel without even really thinking about it.

I like the ability to set and unset automatic re-lock – it is a useful security feature to have on most of the time, but when my children are playing in the garden or driveway I like to switch it off so they can come in without needing to ring the bell.

I have found having the Digital Deadbolt has made leaving the house much easier and quicker. Instead of finding the key, locking the door and double-checking I’ve successfully locked it, all I have to do is wave my hand over the lock and I hear it securely clicking into place.

It has been a great option to use with my teen – on the rare occasion that he gets home and no-one is in, he knows he can let himself in and I don’t have to worry he’ll lose his key. It also feels much more secure if I have to give anyone else access whilst I’m out, as I can just cancel that passcode after they have used it.

I like how it looks too- it is very sleek and modern looking, my only problem is my old door handle looks very dated next to it, but luckily Yale has a whole range of matching door handles available so I’m going to upgrade that to match it too.

This lock is Z-wave enabled so can be used with security systems that work with Z-wave, I have not been able to test this as I don’t have a system set up to connect with it. It is nice to know however that this could potentially be integrated into a future #connectedhome system.

Overall, I am very happy with the YRD 120 Touchscreen Deadbolt T1L from Yale, it looks stylish, is straightforward to install and set up, it is easy to use and feels like a more secure way to give access to your home than sharing keys. I would highly recommend the Yale YRD 120 Touchscreen Deadbolt TL1 to bring your home security firmly into the 21st century.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Norton Security with Backup by Symantec – Review

Norton_Security

What we love…

easy to use protection for my online life which means that items with viruses don’t get downloaded to my computer by mistake.  Online backup keeps my photos safe and the app for iOS also secures all of my devices

Summary

Easy to use, keeps my computer safe and ensures that hackers can’t get into my computer with a satisfaction guarantee!

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Norton Mobile Security – Lost Phone FinderHow many times have you turned on your laptop or desktop and been casually browsing the web – when you download something only to realize that it was a virus or even worse it crashes your computer?  I like many other Moms have a significant digital life which includes using social media, paying my bills online, sharing pictures and news with friends and family via email, online shopping as well as children who use the internet as well.  All of those things make me a great target from a hacker’s perspective.  With Norton Security there is a dashboard that pops up every time I open up my computer so I can check to see that everything is secure.  In the image above, the backup needs to be done, so it does show an “at risk” but once you schedule it everything will show up in the green protected mode.

Norton_Dashboard

True story – I had a PC with Norton on it and let it lapse because “I didn’t think it could happen to me”.  I was new to high speed internet at the time – using high speed cable and thought that I would be okay just for a month or so until I could renew my protection.  Turns out that was a bad mistake.  Hackers somehow got inside my computer and I lost many photos on my computer which I had unfortunately not backed up and the worst part was that I had to replace my computer since the hard drive couldn’t be salvaged.  I learned my lesson and now, I make sure I have up to date anti-virus software with Norton installed on my computers and devices at all times including my iPhone and my husband’s Android phone.  You can protect up to ten devices using one subscription which will cover your smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops all with one login and password.

security_report
One of my favorite features for the mobile version is the ability to remotely wipe your device as well as track it – something I can easily do from my desktop computer.   I also get a monthly security report which shows all of the things that I was protected from in my online activities which includes protection in scanning downloads, cleaning up of my computer, use of wireless hotspots and more.  This report helps me know that my devices are safe and secure no matter where I am.

One other reason I really like Norton Security is the ability to use the automated backup feature which provides online storage for all of my pictures, projects including upcoming blog posts and financial documents like backup copies of my bills are all saved – safe and secure not only on my hard drive but in the cloud.  I can use up to 25 gigabytes of storage space as part of my subscription.  This peace of mind for me is worth the cost of the software so I know that no matter what my pictures won’t disappear.  I also really like that there is a guaranteed protection, which means that if I do download something and Norton scans it and tells me it’s okay but I still get a virus they will fix my computer at no cost.  That’s awesome because although I do scan everything I do worry about the “what if” especially after having my computer crash on me.

As a practical note, I generally try to avoid doing important business on my laptop, tablet or smartphone when using a hotspot.  I generally will not do online banking or shopping via a hotspot as I don’t want to take a chance that my information won’t be encrypted.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a copy of Norton Security for your PC or Mac (valid for one year), please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to United States residents with a PC and a valid email and mailing is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.


Arlo Smart Home Wire -Free HD Security Camera System by NETGEAR – Review



Arlo, Netgear, Wireless security camera, Wifi camera, smart home, #CES2015

What we love…

Totally wireless camera installation, magnetic mounting system, free cloud storage with basic plan, weatherproof cameras with HD recording, motion detection and night vision, ability to schedule modes.

What we’d love to see…

More options to integrate with other Smart Home products, more detailed “how to” guide within the app

Summary

I find the Arlo security camera a really useful addition to my home. I really love the mounting system and that fact that the cameras are wireless -no need to worry about finding an electrical outlet, no wires to hide and really easy to reposition the cameras. I have been happy with the video quality, motion detection and night vision.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

NetGear Ambassaodor

Disclaimer: I am a NETGEAR Ambassador and I received this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion and review.

The Arlo Security system consists of a base station which you attach to your router, wireless cameras, and a cloud based storage system. The cameras can record in HD quality, are battery operated, have night vision, motion detection and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The camera feed can be accessed via a SmartPhone app or via the Arlo website, and can be set to send you alerts by text and email when motion is detected. I first got to see the Arlo home security camera system at it’s launch press conference in San Francisco in November 2014, and liked what I saw, so I was excited to get the opportunity to check it out in my home. I tested the Arlo home Security System and 2 cameras using the iPhone app and the Arlo website (via my Mac.)

Set Up

It was very easy to set up, after installing the camera batteries I plugged in the base unit and connected it to my router via an included ethernet cable. Then I created an online account which just took a few minutes, and as I also like to access my Arlo camera feed on the go  I installed the free Arlo app on my iPhone and iPad. Then I synced the cameras to the base station. This was very easy: you just bring the cameras close to the base unit and press the sync button on both cameras and base station and lights on the camera let you know when they have successfully synced.

 

Camera Mounting

One of my favorite features of the Arlo system is how easy it is to mount and move the cameras. They are totally wireless and mount by a clever magnetic mounting system, which makes mounting and moving them a breeze. They come with 4 mounts which you can put up with 1 screw each, these look like a metal ball cut in half, the camera attaches to it via a strong magnet and the semi-circular mount makes it really easy to change the camera angle. The cameras run on 4 CR123A batteries, they come with disposable batteries but you can easily buy rechargeable versions with a charger if you prefer.

Arlo_VMC3030_Camera_Std_Mount_LeftSide

Recording

For each camera you can set up rules as to when to record – you can record when motion in sensed by that camera or by another camera, and you can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection and how long to record- from 10 second clips up to 120 seconds. The motion sensor works best when the movement is occurring across the viewfinder of the camera rather than straight towards it, so it is good to bear that in mind when positioning the cameras. You can use “motion detection mode” during set up, which flashes lights to tell you when motion is detected, to adjust the sensitivity to the level you want.  To get the best camera positioning there is a “position mode” which lets you view the camera feed in real time as you adjust its positioning. You can also change the video quality settings depending on whether you want to the best video quality or want to optimize battery life. The camera can record up to 720p quality, I set mine at the medium quality level, and I’m happy with the video quality and have seen no noticeable decrease in the battery level after a month’s usage.

The camera system is set up to allow “if,then” programming, at the moment the options for are limited to: when motion is detected record on your choice of cameras +/- sending alerts, but the system is set up to allow more options in future. I hope that in the near future that we will see more options available for integrating Arlo with other smart home products. NETGEAR have already announced a partnership with LIFX, so I’m looking forward to having the option to automatically turn on my LIFX bulbs when Arlo detects motion by the front door.

Scheduling

Once you have set up your various modes and rules for those modes you can switch between modes manually or set up a schedule. I love having the schedule option as it means I can set up for my regular day- having my “security” mode on during the times I am usually out so I can get notified if there is any activity, and my “home and awake” where I don’t get notified of any activity in the house but do get notified if someone is at the door, and then a sleeping mode for night time. I also have a vacation mode that I manually switch on when we are away.  If my schedule changes from my pre-set routine I can just switch off the schedule from the Arlo app and manually pick the mode instead.

Arlo schedulearlo

In Use

I was going out on vacation just after I installed the Arlo system so I set it up to monitor my front door and inside the house, this gave me great peace of mind from a security viewpoint, but also let me know when we had some packages delivered so I could contact a neighbor and ask her to look after them until we returned home. Now I am leaving one camera set up permanently near the front door, and as the camera is weather proof I don’t have to worry about it being affected by the fog or rain. The second camera I use indoors and move its position depending on what I am using it for at the time – sometimes it is a child monitor, other times a pet monitor or an indoor security camera. With the magnetic mounting system and no wires to worry about, I love how easily I can move the camera.

As well as recording with the Arlo you can look at your camera feed in real time via the app or website – I find this useful to check on my pets remotely when I’m not home and to watch what my children are up to when they are supposed to be going to sleep! When using it as a baby/ child monitor remember it does not have audio, just video, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your viewpoint!

iPad Screenshot 1

 

The night vision also works well – this is great for security if someone rings the doorbell after dark as you can see who it is before answering the door.  I also have a child with Sleep Apnea who can have difficulty getting to sleep or problems with waking up in the night, so it is useful for me to be able to check on her without going in to disturb her.

The first time I used Arlo I came back from vacation and got about 30 text messages and recordings due to motion being detected as we unpacked the car, before I worked out how to switch it off! So I would recommend taking a little time to get familiar with how the settings and modes work. It would be nice to see a detailed “how to guide” within the app, this information is available on the website and in YouTube videos, but it would be nice to have it right at your fingertips on your smartphone.

Video Storage and Pricing

Your video clips are stored in the cloud and can be accessed via the app or website. In the library there is a calendar, days you have clips stored from are marked in green, and you can view collections of clips by the day.  You can mark clips as favorites (which won’t be automatically deleted), share them, delete or download them from the library.

There are 3 levels of service for the Arlo system – basic is free, supports 1 base station and up to 5 cameras and includes 7 days of cloud recording (up to 1GB cloud storage); Premium is $99/ year, supports up 10 cameras, 30 Days of Cloud Recording (Up to 10 GB Cloud Storage), Elite is $149.00/year, supports up to 15 cameras and 3 Base Stations, and includes 60 Days of Cloud Recording (Up to 100 GB Cloud Storage.) I do like that you have the option of having a free service as not all systems offer this, but with the basic service you do need to be quite “on top” of your storage-checking it regularly to see if there are any clips you wish to download or favorite so that you don’t miss them before they are deleted.

The Arlo Security system comes in a variety of packages I tested the 2 camera starter system which includes 2 cameras, 4 mounts and 1 base station its RRP is $349 it is available from Amazon and other retailers, additional cameras sold separately.

 

Overall, I find the Arlo security camera a really useful addition to my home. I really love the mounting system and that fact that the cameras are wireless -no need to worry about finding an electrical outlet, no wires to hide and really easy to reposition the cameras. I have been happy with the video quality, motion detection and night vision. I love that the cameras can be used inside and out, though it does make me a little nervous that it is so easy to remove the outside camera- although at least if a thief it take a camera I’d get a video of them doing so!

 

 

 

 

Arlo – NETGEAR

Arlo Arlo by NETGEAR

Price: $FREE

Arlo is the worldwide leader in Smart Home Security, and the creator of the world’s first ever 100% wire-free, weatherproof HD security camera.

Arlo cameras make it easy to keep tabs on all the.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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