Y-cam Solutions Ltd is a British technology company specialising in home security and cloud-based security cameras for the home. Their latest package is the Protect Alarm System, an indoor-based alarm and motion sensor all-in-one pack that can use an app to connect to your mobile and send you updates about your home.
The package contains the Y-Cam main box, the brains of the operation, which needs to connect to the mains and to an Ethernet cable. We used a Powerline adaptor to provide the Ethernet as we had no socket nearby and the Y-Cam seems to be fine with this.
Also inside are a motion sensor and a door/window sensor. These need to be linked to the main box via the Android or iOS app before being placed on a wall. The code inside the device’s battery box allows you to link them up easily. 3M double sided tape sticks the motion sensor to the wall easily and is pretty strong. I pulled hard on the sensor but it refused to budge (worth noting if you think about taking these off again anytime soon!). The door sensor is the same, a 2 part device where one side goes on the door and the other on the frame and then it checks when they break apart.
It took about 10-15 minutes to get these all set up and registered on the App. Once done, it’s just a case of pressing a button on the app to turn the whole lot on, giving you a 10 second warning sound before the alarm activates. Deactivating is done in the same way, so you can deactivate before entering the house.
We tested the device by opening the door first, the alarm sounded quickly, though being an indoor alarm, it isn’t as loud as something that you’d stick on a wall outside. It’s still loud enough for neighbours in a terraced house to hear. The motion sensor was tested by trying to manoeuvre around it in a standard hallway, but it has a good coverage area and managed to detect even the slowest movement on the floor.
Now this is great unless you have pets. The issue with this Y-Cam Protect suite is that it doesn’t have a pet-safe sensor and can’t determine people from dogs and cats, meaning that leaving this on when they are in the house could be difficult. We also found that windowed doors can sometimes set off the alarm if placed in a hall, as can post coming through a front door, so you need to ideally install the motion sensor in a room not facing the door.
The newest feature added to the Y-Cam suite is that it works with Amazon’s Alexa products like the Echo and Echo Dot. The Y–cam Protect Skill allows you to control your Y–cam Protect via voice commands on the Echo, turning the device on and off without having to retrieve the app on your phone. It works well but, again, if your Echo device is near a door then someone could technically shout to the device to turn it off. Thankfully it has a 4 digit pass code to turn off the alarm and won’t work without this being said.
There is a subscription cost to use all the tools in the Y-Cam App. These include full remote functionality and message updates that show what state the alarm is in while you’re away. Without this subscription, the alarm still works well as a standard alarm and can be used remotely to turn on and off. The system can also be built up using Y-Cam’s cameras, which can also be added to the app and therefore the whole alarm system.
The Y-Cam Protect is a good set of basic alarm and motion system tools that are easy to install. Aside from the volume of the alarm, obviously not as loud as an outdoor one, it would have ideally have had the ability to determine pets from people and you need to work out where would be best to place the sensitive motion detector, but it certainly does a good job.