Morepork is Spark’s security system that was launched this week and offered to the telco’s broadband customers. The basic kit comes with a central wireless panel, a wireless motion detector with a small camera in it, 3 door/window sensors and a wireless video camera. You can also buy extra add-on sensors and arrange external monitoring so security will show up when it detects someone breaking in. The starter kit costs $498 and you pay $29.95 for a self-monitoring plan or $49.95 for a professionally monitored plan.

Morepork is one of a lot of self-monitored home security systems in the market now. These systems are connected to the internet and monitored by you using an app or website.

Morepork’s set-up is very simple. The only issue I had was finding the right places for the video camera and panel as they both need to be plugged into a power outlet and the camera needs to be in an ideal place to spot an intruder breaking in. The service is run through the website Alarm.com, which you use along with the Morepork app (iOS or Android) to set up your system. I was actually surprised how simple the set-up steps were.

However, after setting up the image sensor I must have bumped it, which tagged it as “tampered” in the system. I couldn’t remove this tag from the system so that sensor always registered an alert as soon as the alarm was set.

Once set up and armed, the system will send alerts to your device and designated email account when the sensors are triggered. Using the app on your device or the website, you can watch live video being recorded by the video camera and images captured by the motion sensor.

The main panel works on the Spark mobile network so you need to have coverage.

The alarm is triggered when either the motion detector goes off or the door/window sensors register as open. When this happens, the camera in the motion detector will take two photos, one normal and one low-light. When the alarm is triggered, the camera saves the 30 seconds of video before the alarm went off and one and a half minutes after.

Verdict

Home security isn’t cheap, even when you self-monitor but the $50/month plan is professionally monitored as well. There is definitely more of a secure feeling that comes with being able to check my phone to see if my house is safe. I received an alert within seconds when I triggered the alarm while testing it at home. A downside was the slight delay in getting the video to start when I opened the app but this is to do with the time it takes to send data over networks.

First Looks are trials of new or interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons. The Morepork security system was loaned to us for this trial.

By Hadyn Green.