While some SmartHome centers such as Wink and SmartThings, may used for home security, Abode creates a SmartHome system specifically designed for home security, making it the best choice if it’s a big deal for you. Here’s how to install and set up the Abode Starter Kit.
What is an Abode?
Not to be easily misinterpreted as the company that brought you Photoshop (Adobe), Abode creates easy-to-install home security systems with the devices and sensors you’ll find on other popular SmartHome platforms. However, Abode is specifically aimed at the home security market, rather than general convenience home automation like most other SmartHome hubs.
The starter kit comes with a master hub, two door/window sensors, one motion-activated camera, and a key fob controller that allows you to arm and disarm the system. Of course, you can add more sensors if you want, but the starter kit is great for those who live in a small apartment.
You can also sign up for inexpensive paid plans that will give you 24/7 professional monitoring as well as 3G data as a backup if your home internet ever goes down.
If you’ve decided to dive into the world of DIY home security, here’s how to set up the Abode starter kit and get your place ready in just 15 minutes.
Step One: Set Up the Master Hub
The first thing you need to do is set up your main hub by plugging it in and connecting it to your router.
Take the included power adapter and Ethernet cable and connect each to the back of the main hub. Then plug the other end of these cables into a power outlet and an available Ethernet port on the router, respectively. The hub will automatically start downloading.
Then locate the backup battery switch on the back of the hub and push it down to activate the backup battery (in case of a power failure).
Step Two: Install the Abode App
Once the hub is ready to go, download and install the Abode app on your smartphone. It is available for free for iPhone and Android devices.
After downloading the app, open it and click «Register» in the lower left corner of the screen.
Enter your email address and create a password for your Abode account. Then click «Create Account» to move on.
A pop-up window will appear stating that you need to verify your email address. Click on Close.
Open your email address and click «Activate your account». This will open the website, but you can close it and return to the app.
From there, enter your name, phone number, and address. Then click «Continue» at the bottom.
Click «Continue» again on the next screen.
At the bottom, enter the activation key, which is a six-digit code that can be found on the poster supplied in the starter kit box. Click «Continue» after entering the code.
Click «Continue» again after confirmation of activation.
Step Three: Connect Your Devices and Sensors
The next step in the app is to connect all your devices and sensors to the main hub. Again, the starter kit comes with two door/window sensors and a motion-sensing camera, so we’ll set up all three.
First click on «Door or Window A» to configure this sensor.
Select whether it will be a door sensor or a window sensor.
Take the sensor from the box marked «A». Remove this label and then remove the clear plastic tab on the bottom of the sensor to activate the internal battery as instructed in the app. Then click Continue.
The app will tell you that the sensor and magnet must be properly aligned in order to work properly. Click «Continue» to move on.
Then mount the sensor to the door or selected window using the supplied adhesive pads. Adhesive pads are already attached to the magnetic part.
Be sure to follow the instructions in the app and then click Continue.
Then name the sensor (eg «Front Door») and click Continue.
After that, you can set up the second sensor by repeating the steps above. Once you’ve configured and installed both sensors, it’s time to set up the motion camera. Click on «Motion Camera» to continue.
Start by removing the back cover with a small screwdriver and insert the three batteries included in the package. Replace the cover and click «Continue» in the app.
Then install the camera where you want using the included adhesive pad. Once the app is installed, click «Attach Photo» in the app.
If everything looks good, click Continue. Otherwise, if the image isn’t exactly what you want, make changes and click Retry.
Then give the camera a name and click Continue.
When all three devices and sensors are set up, click Continue at the bottom.
Step Four: Invite Family Members and Choose a Pricing Plan
The next step is to invite other family members to give them access to the system if you choose to do so. You can click «Invite by email» or click «Skip and add users later».
After that, you will choose a tariff plan. Click on «I want to choose a plan» at the bottom.
You can choose from three different plans. There is a free «Basic» plan, a «Connect» plan for $10/month, and a «Connect + Secure» plan for $30/month. Paid plans offer a longer history of time events as well as 3G data backup in case your home internet goes down. The Connect + Secure plan also includes 24/7 professional monitoring, similar to what you get with ADT or other professional security systems.
Once you select a plan and pay for it (if applicable), the app will notify you that the installation is complete. Click «Done» at the bottom to continue.
You will then be taken to the main screen where you will go through a quick layout guide and learn about some of the basic features such as arming/disarming and viewing the event timeline.
Once you reach the end of the lesson, click «Click to dismiss».
You will then be greeted by the main screen, where the timeline will be front and center, showing you each event that has taken place.
By default, your system will be idle after you set everything up, which means it won’t be turned on. So be sure to switch to Home or Away mode to get notified when activity is detected.
How the keychain works
In addition to being able to put the system on and off from your smartphone, you can also do it with a keychain, which is a bit more convenient to use.
The key fob only works when it’s within range of an Abode hub (less than 100 feet), so if you’re away from home and want to make changes to your system, you’ll want to do so in the Abode app on your computer. Telephone.
As for the buttons on the keyfob, the small circle puts the system in Away mode, the larger circle puts the system in Home mode, the X button puts it in standby/disarm mode, and the plus button is currently inoperative , but will be used in a future update, according to Abode.