If you are looking for an alarm system, you naturally value reliability, quality and good support. AJAX Systems is a relatively new player in the alarm systems market and promises not to disappoint you in all three areas. We put it to the test and test a fully equipped AJAX alarm system
What is the AJAX Systems alarm?
AJAX Systems is a company that has been marketing security products since 2011 and should not be confused with the fire extinguishers or football club brand. The company is based in Ukraine, where R&D is also located, but there are offices all over the world.
The goal of AJAX Systems is simple: to develop a premium alarm system that stands for high quality, ease of use and premium design. This without pulling cables or emptying your entire savings account. AJAX Systems is therefore a wireless alarm, but without compromising security or reliability. Of course it is also a ‘smart’ alarm because you can operate the system with your smartphone or tablet, and you also have the option to perform some simple automation functions with the company’s own products.
Grade 2 alarm
The AJAX Systems alarm system is not a cheap system, especially when we compare it with the dozens of do-it-yourself alarm systems that you can buy today. But, on the other hand, there is very good support, high quality, an extensive range and – not unimportantly – a well-secured and reliable system. The alarm system is certified according to the Euro standard EN 50131-1 Grade 2 standard. This simply means that it is not easy to bypass or jam the system. Burglars with some experience and special equipment can be stopped. Of course it is not impossible to enter unseen, but you must be very eager to do this and bring really specialist equipment. Grade 2 is generally adequate for homes and small offices.
Finally, it is important to mention that the AJAX Systems alarm system offers several options for raising the alarm. The hub of the system can be connected via WiFi so that you get an alarm signal via an internet connection, but that is quite basic. You can also choose to connect the hub via ethernet (again slightly more secure) and you can even store one or two SIM cards in the hub, with which you can receive notification of an alarm via SMS or telephone call.
If you really want to secure your home optimally, you can easily link the alarm system to an alarm center in the Netherlands. For the latter, a subscription is required, the price of which depends on your situation and the chosen exchange. All other options come with no subscription or additional costs for full operation, although you must of course have some money on a SIM card to send SMS messages or start telephone calls.
Our AJAX alarm system
We have completely unpacked for our setup, mainly because we want to test the system as completely as possible. The products below have been installed. The prices mentioned can vary per store and moment, and in addition there are starter kits that are more attractively priced for sale. It is therefore mainly an indication.
- 1x Hub2 (with 2x GSM and IP): 309 euros
- 2x DoorProtect magnetic contact: 48 euros ps
- 1x MotionProtect Outdoor motion detector: 286 euros
- 1x MotionCam motion detector with camera: 187 euros
- 1x FireProtect smoke detector: 147 euros
- 1x LeaksProtect water leak detector: 65 euros
- 1x Button panic button: 41 euros
- 1x KeyPad code panel: 129 euros
- 1x SpaceControl remote control: 41 euros
- 1x HomeSiren indoor siren: 81 euros
- 1x Socket smart plug: 90 euros
In total, our system comes to around 1,500 euros, but the total price for your system depends entirely on the exact situation, how you want to protect it and what the requirements are in terms of sensors and products. The range is large and simpler variants are also available for certain products. You can also buy a standard motion detector instead of the motion detector with camera. There are also products that we have not included, including a glass break detector, a CO2 sensor and an outdoor siren.
A battery life of 5 to 7 years
The AJAX Systems alarm system, with the exception of the hub, is completely wireless. That means that every product comes with a battery (CR123A). It differs per sensor how long the battery lasts, but according to the company itself, this is between 5 and 7 years. So you don’t have to worry about the battery life of the products, and you also get to see in the app how the battery is doing. The Hub2 is equipped with a back-up battery, so that the alarm is active for another 16 hours in the event of a power failure.
One aspect that AJAX Systems also focuses on is design. According to the company, an alarm system doesn’t have to come with ugly sensors that fall out of control. A lot of attention has been paid to this. The AJAX products look very sleek, have a modern design, feel high-quality and come with green LEDs (where applicable). You can choose from white and black variants.
They fit perfectly in a contemporary interior, but they just remain sensors that you would rather not see. Some sensors are a bit on the large side, including the motion detectors. Especially the one for outside is very large, but that can also be explained because it contains two PIR detectors.
Install yourself or have it installed
The AJAX Systems alarm system is not an entry-level alarm system, but also not a high-end wired alarm system. So you can assemble and install the system yourself, but there are plenty of shops and companies that can also do it for you. To really be sure that everything is placed in the right position and functions correctly, AJAX Systems recommends having the installation done, but we Dutch like to save on this and therefore often prefer to do it ourselves.
We have chosen to install the entire system ourselves, in order to gain more insight into how easy or difficult this exactly is. And let’s get straight to the point: it really is very simple. The only reason you should call an installer is to be 100 percent sure that the sensors are in exactly the right place and have the optimal signal. However, you can see and test all this yourself in the app, but that takes some time in a large house.
Everything runs through the app
Before you start installing and mounting you need the app. The AJAX app is free to download for iOS and Android, and after downloading it is a matter of creating an account. Once done, you will be immediately guided through the process of adding a hub. The entire app is in perfect Dutch, but keep in mind that you have to read the manuals of the products via the app, which are in
ou connect the hub, follow the steps in the app and the hub is set up in no time. The hub is also the device with the most setting options and options. It is therefore good to read the manual carefully. I skip this step with many products, but in this case it is really advisable to sit down. There are various settings and options that require additional explanation and in this way you also get to know your own alarm system and its operation. For example, you can adjust how the hub communicates with the outside world (WiFi, ethernet, SIM), you can switch on geofencing, you can create security schemes (when the alarm needs to be on or off anyway), you can add an alarm center and get access. to various advanced settings about the communication between sensors and the hub, and between the hub and the outside world. Later in the review, we will take a closer look at a number of important settings.
Once the hub is active, you can start adding sensors and other products. This works almost the same with all sensors and products. You indicate in the app that you want to add a device, you scan the QR code on the device (or on the paper in the box) and each device is added with the push of a button. The app does require you to create rooms and also assign the various sensors and products to a specific room. We have not experienced any problems, but here too we recommend that you sit down for an hour with full focus. This way you prevent errors and you can be sure that everything is correctly added to the app.
If you already know where you want to place the various devices and sensors, you can also set them immediately after adding them. For example, you can indicate what the delay time should be when entering or leaving (wait a few seconds before sounding the alarm), you can tick whether the sensor should work in night mode or only with the full alarm, and you can enter the name of the sensor or the space in which it hangs. Depending on the product, there are some extra options, so read the manual carefully.
Mount with tape or screws
Once everything is in the app and working properly (for example, test the magnetic contacts by removing the magnet from the contact, which should immediately appear in the app as “open”), it is time to install the different products. to give. Again, read the manual. Each sensor works in its own way and certain requirements have been set for optimal security and an optimal signal. For example, you have to hang the motion detector at a height of 2.40 meters, but it must be mounted at a height of 80 centimeters for outside. The walkway is also important here, and whether, for example, there are moving objects in the image.
The magnetic contacts can be used reversed and for a door with more distance to the frame you can use the larger magnet. In short: read and then edit. For the motion sensors, you can also set the sensitivity (on the sensor itself or in the app). With the motion detector for indoors, the lowest setting is, for example, for those who have pets (maximum 20kg and 50cm high).
Most sensors can be attached in two ways: with the supplied double-sided tape or with screws. The tape is handy, but AJAX Systems recommends using the screws for optimal security. What you can do is first use the tape to test certain sensors for their position. Does the magnetic contact work well? Then you can use screws. Does the motion detector detect your movements? Then you can screw it on. In the app you can perform a signal strength test (Jeweler signal strength test and Damping test) and a test for detection (Detection zone test) for each sensor. You get the feedback at the sensor itself (via the LEDs) and in the app.
The place where you control, set and (possibly) operate everything is the AJAX app. This app is a relief when we compare it with apps from other alarm systems that we have tested. Everything is clearly displayed in perfect Dutch, the app has a very clear design and setting and operating the alarm is very smooth.
When you start the app, you immediately go to the Remote tab, where you can operate the alarm. This remote is exactly the same as the physical remote, including on, off, night mode and panic button. The tab next to it is the log. Here you can see what is happening, which sensor gives a message and who has operated the alarm. The third tab is the Rooms tab, where you get an overview per room, including temperature (more about this later). You can give each room its own name and image.
Finally, there is the Devices tab, where you can see a clear image of each device and icons indicate what the battery status is, what the signal strength is, whether the device has a delay when switching on / off and whether the device is active in night mode. If you click on a device, you will see an overview with more details, including the status of the lid (is the back of the sensor placed?) And the percentage of the battery. You can then use the gear to access the settings that can be adjusted, which differ per device. You can also do the signal strength test and the detection test from this screen.
Main settings and functions
Hundreds of settings and options can be found in the app. Too many to describe and explain all, so we’ll cover a few important functions.
An alarm is not a smart alarm if you cannot work with different users. You can easily add multiple users (maximum 50) via the app. You can limit these users yourself in terms of options. For example, you can determine which notifications and how they receive notifications and you can indicate which screens the user can see and adjust. Each user can also create his own alarm code (for disarming and arming) and set his own duress code. When every user uses their own codes on the KeyPad, you can see exactly who did what in the log.
The duress code is a special code that you use when you need to turn off the alarm under duress. The person who forces you will only notice that the alarm is going off, but in the background the alarm center (or another user) will receive a message that the alarm has been disabled under duress.
Emergency center (Control room)
In the control room list (settings of the hub) you will find a list of control room that you can register for. These are paid control rooms that can respond to an alarm from your system. However, you have to pay for this, but the amount depends on your alarm and the options that the exchange offers.
On, off or night mode
The AJAX Systems alarm has three alarm presets: full off, full on and a night mode (sleep mode). You can indicate for each sensor in which mode it should be active and what the delay time is. For example, we only turn on the magnetic contacts in night mode. The motion detector is switched off as someone can walk through the house at night.
You can operate the alarm manually, with the app, the button, the remote or the KeyPad. However, you can also opt for geofencing. With this option you indicate in the app within which radius around your house you want to receive a notification. For example, if you choose 500 meters, you will receive a notification on your smartphone (or smartwatch) as soon as you go outside this radius, asking if you want to activate the alarm. If the alarm is on and you come within that radius, you will receive the message asking whether you want to deactivate the alarm. The alarm is not automatically activated or deactivated for security reasons. We have seen this with other alarm systems, but this rarely worked perfectly. So in our opinion a good choice.
If necessary, there is the Panic function. Someone can press the Panic button via the button, the remote, the app or the KeyPad, after which an action of his choice is taken. For example, the control room can be switched on or other users can receive a report. You also have the choice to turn on the Siren, for example.
Where are the cameras?
You may have noticed that AJAX Systems does not offer cameras. According to the company itself, that is a different branch of sport, but fortunately there is the option to integrate cameras. You can add network cameras that support RTSP H.264 to the app. In addition, Dahua, Uniview, Hikvision and Safire cameras can also be added thanks to native support. If you choose to activate a control room, then it is actually a must, because control rooms use cameras as additional verification of an alarm. This minimizes the number of false reports.
Is the house properly secured?
The whole story above should ultimately lead to one important question: is the house properly and reliably secured? We can be quite short about that: Yes! We are very impressed with this alarm system, its reliability, but especially the possibilities. We have been using the AJAX alarm for two months now and not a single false alarm has been issued, sensors also function perfectly during tests and the alarm responds exactly as we have set it. What makes the alarm especially good is the way you can adjust it to your own liking. When you receive which notifications, how and when different sensors or detectors should respond and how and when different sensors should be active or inactive. The entire system can be tailored to your own situation and use.
The alarm also appears to be very stable and safe. For the communication between the hub and the sensors and detectors, AJAX uses radio communication via the self-developed Jeweler protocol. This connection is secured so that it cannot be easily intercepted. When the frequency is ‘jammed’ by a malicious person, the system automatically chooses a different frequency in order to remain operational. The administrator of the alarm system also receives a notification that a hack attempt is being made. The sensors and products themselves are also extra protected, by means of so-called ‘tamper protection’. This means that they are protected against sabotage. Depending on the product, you will receive a notification as soon as the cover (lid) is removed, as soon as the product is moved or as soon as it feels a shock. For example, you can set the alarm to go off or to only receive a notification when the back cover (lid) is removed from the hub. Finally, the system has a range of 2000 meters (without obstacles), which is more than sufficient for the average house. With the hub on the ground floor and a sensor in the ridge of the house, the signal is still perfect. If it is the case that you still have a bad signal, then there is an amplifier for sale.
Almost all sensors also have a temperature sensor, the temperature of which you can read in the app. However, it is better to ignore this, because the sensor is built into the processor and in most cases does not give an accurate representation of the temperature. It is more an indication of the internal temperature of the sensor, so you can see if the device can still function properly. Incidentally, the system itself can monitor whether the entire system is still functioning properly. For example, if a door with a magnetic contact is open while you want to turn on the alarm, you will immediately receive a notification. You then have the choice to overrule this message and switch on the alarm or solve the problem first. The system continuously checks whether everything is still working correctly, which is a reassuring thought.
We have placed various sensors, and they all work perfectly. One is more interesting than the other in terms of possibilities and so we highlight a few products.
Apart from the hub, the MotionProtect Outdoor is the most expensive (and largest) product in our alarm system, and for a reason. This sensor is specially made for outdoors, and comes with two PIR sensors that work together in an advanced way to see what is happening. The bottom sensor keeps an eye on everything up to about a meter, while the top sensor picks up everything above it. Only when the two sensors see something moving together that also moves in the same way, then an alarm is sounded. A moving tree that is seen by one sensor but not by the other is therefore ignored. A pet that walks around up to 80 centimeters and is therefore only seen by one sensor does not give an alarm. This works almost perfectly. Almost because the cat is completely ignored while walking around, but when the cat jumped on the table and therefore came exactly in the field of view of both sensors, the alarm went off. The placement of this MotionProtect Outdoor is therefore very close, and its effect depends on what is in your garden and how animals and objects move in it. It is therefore a matter of trying and determining the optimal placement. Incidentally, this sensor also has an anti-masking function so that you receive a notification (or the alarm goes off) when someone hangs something in front of the sensor. If someone pulls the sensor off the wall, the alarm can also go off or you will receive a notification. and the effect depends on what is in your garden and how animals and objects move in it. It is therefore a matter of trying and determining the optimal placement. Incidentally, this sensor also has an anti-masking function so that you receive a notification (or the alarm goes off) when someone hangs something in front of the sensor. If someone pulls the sensor off the wall, the alarm can also go off or you will receive a notification. and the effect depends on what is in your garden and how animals and objects move in it. It is therefore a matter of trying and determining the optimal placement. Incidentally, this sensor also has an anti-masking function so that you receive a notification (or the alarm goes off) when someone hangs something in front of the sensor. If someone pulls the sensor off the wall, the alarm can also go off or you will receive a notification.
The MotionCam is also a pricey but interesting product. It is not just any simple PIR motion detector. This model comes with a built-in camera that automatically takes pictures as soon as a movement is detected. You can set the number of photos and the resolution (maximum 680 × 480 pixels) in the app. The higher the resolution, the longer it takes to see the photos. The most sensible choice is 320 × 240 pixel resolution as you will see your photos within seconds. If you choose the highest resolution, it can take up to a minute for the photos to appear. They are sent via a radio signal.
That said, the 320 × 240 resolution is enough to see what is happening in the house and then react. It is not intended to recognize faces in detail, but rather to be able to see whether the alarm is false or justified. The photos are of sufficient quality to clearly see what is happening with a lot or little (or no) light. In the app you can indicate how many photos you want to receive per movement (standard 3) and how often you want to take photos of a movement during an alarm. Finally, the MotionCam has a sensitivity setting from low to high. If your pets have a maximum height of 50cm and a weight of 20 kilos, they will be ignored with the ‘low’ setting, and that works very well. People walking around are immediately recognized,
The built-in camera makes this MotionCam the best sensor in the line-up in our opinion, and even the best sensor for an alarm system that we have tested so far. Not everyone wants to have a camera at home that records continuously and which also takes up extra space. This is a very handy alternative with which you (or the control room) can quickly check what is going on in the house.
KeyPad of AJAX Systems’ alarm system
The KeyPad from AJAX Systems is a code panel as you would expect a code panel, but we would still improve it. The panel looks sleek, is neatly finished and works well, but since the panel does not have physical heads, operation can sometimes be a bit clumsy. After all, you first have to touch the panel on one of the buttons, after which the panel switches on and you can only enter a code or press a button. That is an extra action, and although the beep of activation is different from that of pressing a button, it is sometimes not clear whether you have pressed a button or whether the panel is activated. In addition, the touch buttons do not provide feedback (apart from sound), which also sometimes causes confusion. It is not a big downside, but a next version may have normal buttons in our opinion.
Finally, the notifications, which is an important part of an alarm system. In this area nothing but praise for the AJAX Systems alarm system. Notifications are short but sweet, appear on your smartphone very quickly and contain enough information to immediately know what is going on. Even if you use geofencing, you will immediately receive a notification as soon as you enter the radius, asking if you want to activate the alarm. If you click on the notification, you will go directly to the app to unlock the alarm. We have had no empty or erroneous notifications, 100 percent of the notifications appeared on the smartphone within 1-3 seconds and all notifications were clear.
Integration with standards and platforms
If there is a downside to be mentioned, it is the still inadequate integration possibilities with other systems and platforms. In today’s smart home you naturally want your alarm system to be part of the smart home. For example: you set the alarm to night mode and immediately your lights go out, the TV switches off and the shutters go down. AJAX Systems does offer that possibility, with its own smart plugs, built-in switches and relay switches that can switch equipment and lamps and can be operated via the app. However, you are then bound to the products of AJAX Systems themselves and the automation options within the app are still limited. For example, you can switch on the smart plug (Socket) with a lamp connected to it when the alarm goes off, or just when the alarm is turned on. You can also create a schedule so that the plug goes on or off at a specific time. The products also indicate how much power is being consumed and provide voltage protection.
For those who want to expand their alarm with a few simple scenes with lamps or devices linked to it, it is fine, but for those who already have their house full of smart equipment or use another hub or platform for automation, it is not enough. . Fortunately, AJAX Systems is a very active company that really listens to customers. For example, the company promises to come up with an API this year that allows integration with various platforms and standards, making it even more interesting for the true smart home enthusiast. On this pagefrom AJAX Systems you can even vote for features you would like to see, including the integration of standards and platforms. For the time being we have to make do with the products of AJAX Systems themselves, which is not a punishment when looking at the reliable and high-quality security, but we are looking forward to the extra possibilities that will be unlocked in the coming months to make it a real part of a smart home. to be able to make.
Apart from some very small points for improvement, the AJAX Systems alarm system is, in our opinion, the best smart alarm system that we have tested to date. There is nothing that does not work well about this system: the improvement is mainly in expanding the possibilities to link the alarm system with home automation applications. It is certain that this will happen, it is only a matter of time. However, the price is an important point. After all, the alarm system from AJAX Systems is not cheap. For a basic package with which you can secure your entire home, you will quickly go towards 1,000 euros. But, on the other hand, there is a flawless working system, high quality and innovative products, no need for a paid subscription, good support, great ease of use, many setting options and future proof. As far as we are concerned, this system is well worth its price if safety and quality are high on your wish list. And as a true Dutchman you can save on the professional installation because the system is easy to place and install yourself. In short, if you are looking for a good and reliable alarm system but do not want to install an expensive, wired system then AJAX Systems is an absolute must.
Pros of AJAX Systems’ alarm system
- High quality and innovative components
- Very user-friendly
- Alarm functions quickly and without errors
- Reliable and safe
- No subscription required
- Many setting options
Negatives of AJAX Systems’ alarm system
- No (simple) integration with the smart home yet
- Code panel could be more user-friendly
- Not cheap