The Kidde RemoteLync Monitor is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to products I’ve reviewed. This is the sort of product that you hope you’ll never have to use, but will feel good knowing it’s there. All things equal, I truly hope I never get an alert from the Kidde RemoteLync Monitor outside of the testing that I’ve done. I say this because the Kidde RemoteLync Monitor listens for your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and sends you a notification if they’ve gone off. This is obviously a huge benefit, but one I hope I never have to use.
The Kidde RemoteLync Monitor is a fairly unobtrusive device. It’s a white square, a couple of inches on each side. There are two buttons and an LED light on top that are used for the device setup, and a speaker/mic grill that covers almost the entire front of the device.
Ease of Installation
Installation is as easy as plugging the RemoteLync Monitor into the wall. From there you’ll need to download the companion app on your iPhone or Android device. The app recognizes the device and helps it to connect to your Wifi. After that, the app walks you through the setup and alarm learning process. You’ll need to run the test mode on your smoke and/or carbon monoxide alarms to allow the RemoteLync Monitor to recognize the alarms.
The RemoteLync Monitor should recognize any UL listed smoke or carbon monoxide alarm that’s been sold since 1999. Kidde definitely knows a thing or two about these types of alarms so regardless of what type of alarm you have the RemoteLync Monitor should be able to recognize it.
Difficulty/Ease of Use
After setup, there’s really hardly anything to do other than wait for your house to burn down. Since nobody wants that to happen, the RemoteLync Monitor will simply sit and listen for any possible alarms. It doesn’t get too much more difficult if an alarm actually goes off. When the RemoteLync Monitor registers an alarm it will notify you via text message, app notification, and e-mail. You can also set notifications for people on your contact list so that they’ll be notified in the event of an alarm as well. You can see the RemoteLync Monitor in action in the video provided by Kidde below:
Kidde suggests that one RemoteLync Monitor will pick up alarms throughout your house, though I didn’t quite find that to be the case. I set up the RemoteLync Monitor on the first floor and at least in my testing it wouldn’t pick up my fire alarm if I was standing in my basement. I let the alarm test run for over a minute, probably closer to two and I did not receive a notification. It’s possible that letting the alarm run longer would have provided better results, but that’s obviously not the best experience when you’re standing directly next to the alarm.
On the same floor results were much better, with usually only 30-45 seconds of the alarm required before notifications would pop through. Provided you have smoke alarms on every level of your home you will ultimately get notified that an alarm is going off, it’s only a matter of when. In that instance, any warning is better than none and may mean the difference between saving even some of your belongings and a total loss.
The Kidde RemoteLync Monitor is available with a list price of $99 (though it’s available for less via Amazon), and the companion app is free. While there are smoke detectors that have similar functionality to the RemoteLync Monitor, you’ll spend quite a bit more than the price of the RemoteLync Monitor for the detector on its own. The RemoteLync Monitor has the benefit of working with your existing alarms with very little setup. There are no additional fees, no monthly service charges or anything outside of the purchase price. The chance to get notified in case of an emergency is definitely worth the initial cost.
There are pieces of technology that are important that you hope you’ll never have to use. Things like fire extinguishers and other protective equipment definitely fall into that category as does the Kidde RemoteLync Monitor. While you could go without having any sort of notification in the event of an emergency, wouldn’t you rather have some sort of notice? I will be the first to tell you that I hope to never get a single notification from the Kidde RemoteLync Monitor, but I feel a little better knowing that if something were to happen, I’d be one of the first to know.