ST as a reliable securty system

I’ve been trying to see if I could use ST as a reliable security system. I used to have ADT at my old house, so that is the standard I’ll base it against.

You can use a cheap UPS battery backup to keep your modem, router and ST hub up in case of power outage.

You can even get a 4G router as a backup internet connection in case you lose internet.

Issues I have are:

  1. Devices not always reporting (my back door doesn’t always report that it is closed).
  2. Presence not always reporting causing a ton of falses
  3. Delay sometimes between triggers and actions.
  4. Siren beep works sporadically (some times it doesn’t beep at all, sometimes it beeps 2 or 3 times instead of once, sometimes it is a full siren)
  5. Would like a 30 second time period to disable alarm before it actually activates SHM
    -I think SmartThings could easily fix this by updating the SHM app and add another page to each of the Alarm types (Security, Water, Smoke, Custom) that has delay (in seconds) before triggering full alarm, and then select which lights/sirens/notifications etc for the pre-alarm.

Any suggestions or solutions to these problems? Any problems you guys have run into?

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Not trying to sound rude out be a jerk, but honestly, call ADT for a new install.

ST is not anywhere near a standalone security system. It can however, enhance your already existing one, if you have it.

But there is no way I could possibly recommend ST add it is right now as a security system.


Samsung does not recommend using SmartThings for anything that impacts safety and security.

Data accuracy and consistency from SmartThings sensors, including those provided by SmartThings directly, resold by SmartThings, or supported by SmartThings, is not guaranteed. Therefore, you should not rely on that data for any use that impacts health, safety, security, property or financial interests.


Uh yeah you would think… But unfortunately they’ve made no progress on this front since launching SHM last year. I honestly can’t believe they launched an alarm system without entry delay,… But there you have it.


There are a ton of discussions about this, but in my honest opinion - until you resolve those issues (good luck with #5) I wouldn’t even dream about ST as your primary security system.

ST still has more to do in my eyes to prove to me that I can use it as my sole security system. I’ve spent a ton of time (and money) getting my ST environment healthy, and it’s made a difference (repeaters do make a difference). I’ve also spent a lot less time every night messing with stuff, but when I compare that to my primary system - I haven’t touched nothing but the number pad I bet in over a year. When I can do that with SmartThings, and things just run for months without incident, I may consider it as a dedicated security system.

For me, I use a separate dedicated security system, and ST just acts as a secondary solution. ST started out as a hobby for me, but it now has become something my entire family uses, and in some cases, we take for granted because our automations are working so well. So for a primary security system, not yet, not for a long time.


I’ve been using it as my primary security system for over a year and I’ve been very happy with it. I had an attempted break-in late at night about two months ago and the system did exactly what it was supposed to do; all of my lights came on and the siren went off. I don’t have central monitoring, but the SmartThings actions were enough to scare off the intruder. I also just installed a Arlo camera too so that it can record video when the alarm goes off. However, it is not without its issues especially when SmartThings goes down or they are having app issues. Reliability is not 100%, but it’s getting better.

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It’s worked pretty well for me. I don’t know why you need entry delay when geofence can set your away mode and timer can set your stay mode. I have several minimotes throughout the house to arm/disarm on demand, with VLC Thing running on a server with a bluetooth connected speaker to my living room to annouce when the alarm mode changes. It’s been working great. Occasionally I would open my garage door and activate the alarm, but that’s very rare.

I tend to set my geofence very large, so it gives the system time to disarm in case of any lag by the smartphone’s presence sensor.

Keypads and entry delays are old school. I think ST as a security system should be seamless. I want the criminals to hear the siren the moment they break in, not 30 seconds later.

One thing I wish ST would do is notifying us right way when the hub goes offline. I unplugged my hub from the Internet and SHM still told me everything is OK after a good 15 minutes. That needs to change.


I recently considered going back to ADT because I was a bit nervous. But, been using scout and the scenarios mentioned above and it has worked fantastic. Lights on, cameras roll, all the good stuff. Scout never missed a call to us in either of my locations.

We have a keypad but it’s rarely used. Geofence is big enough along with our arrival sensors that SHM does mostly what we need. I still want the delays for the off event it doesn’t work quite right…so as not to scare off visiting grandparents or early arriving children. (Which we kinda solved with the lock integration…successful code disables alarm…)

What keypad are you using?

I think you are letting ST off the hook for providing a system that lives up to their marketing.

A couple ST quotes

Monitor your home more affordably than a traditional home security system. - ST

The safety and security of your home are fundamental to our mission at SmartThings. - ST

For some intruders are the big issue, for some it’s sensing a flood or earthquake, for some it’s air quality with a kid at home with allergies, with others it’s whether their pet sitter showed up on time. - Alex

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Yes, number 5 is the absolute biggest problem I have with the SmartThings platform. I can understand compatibility issues, connectivity issues, and evolutionary hurdles that can only be cured with time and reported user experience, but the fact that they cant add a simple delay before an intrusion is reported is just laziness. I get daily intrusions when my daughter’s successfully enter their code into the Schlage lock because SmartThings jumps on an intrusion before detecting if the system is being disarmed.


What is the best way to contact Samsung/SmartThings support to request features or provide feedback?

Try :wink:

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I agree, I bought into smartthings after these quotes:

“SmartThings lets you easily monitor, control, and secure your home from anywhere.”

“With no contracts, required monthly fees, or messy installation, SmartThings is the easiest way to protect your home.”

“…you can receive immediate alerts on your smartphone if someone is trying to enter”

“You can send would-be intruders running by adding a SmartThings-compatible alarm that will emit a loud, flashing siren if there’s unwanted entry or movement in your home.”

Security and protection from burglary is plastered all over the UK smartthings website. Together with quotes from “real customers with real stories” explaining how great the system is at securing their homes. It was only after buying into the system heavily and investing time and money into this forum did I realise that I was misled.

However, I have since refocused my efforts into home automation but I don’t think everyone would be able to accept this.

Apparently, SmartThings’ marketing department lives in the parallel universe created by Reality Distortion Field.


IMHO Smartthings is a home monitoring system not a home security system and does quite a good job at monitoring your home and notifying you of anything happening in your home, so I think the advertising is not misleading but reliability will always be an issue when only the internet is sending and receiving data. Smartthings has improved its reliability quite a bit over the past year.
I also use a paid, dedicated Security System in conjunction with Smartthings for a variety of reasons, The Security System is cellular only so it is very secure, reliable and works if the power goes out or if the internet goes out or is very slow, (it is not connected to the internet at all where as my Smarttthings is). If I am away from my home in an area where I cannot be reached or my iPhone is not receiving a signal the monitoring station will call the police if they can’t reach me.Since my Security System’s controller only requires a power outlet I can hide it making it harder for the intruder to find and disable it. With Smartthings, even with battery backup for the modem/router if the intruder cuts or disconnect the internet cable either outside the home or once he has entered the home you will be out of luck.
So why use Smartthings in conjunction with the Security System? Smartthings offers much more flexibility and has a much larger selection of various manufacturers devices not to mention these devices are much cheaper to purchase than the Security System’s devices. I can do so much more customization with Smartthings to modify my home monitoring to suit my particular needs. I can fiddle around and experiment with settings and devices to my hearts content with Smartthings without worrying about a false alarm sending the police over to my home. If Smartthings becomes unstable I still have my Security System,
As far as Geofencing I would not completely rely on that as I have had delays as long as 25 minutes after leaving my home to get a notification. That might not be Smartthing’s fault. After locking my doors when leaving I arm both the SecuriitySystem and Smartthings using my iPhone while I am sitting in mu car. Even if the Geofencing works and disarms the system when I return, I always perform a “I’m Back” routine.

That seems like splitting hairs. ST is advertised as an alternative to security systems. Does your actual security system say somewhere in its TOS that you shouldn’t expect to actually rely on it as a security system?

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All of these seem to be critical use cases.

and most importantly keeping the booz safe.

Saying all of these things and then in the TOS saying don’t trust us with anything important is BS.

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Yes, I may be splitting hairs here a little bit. My point is that Smartthings can protect your home and I believe that burglars have been caught or at least scared away by using Smartthings so in that sense is is acting as a home security system. But if you value your property and the safety of your loved ones, IMHO you should not put all your trust in Smartthings.It works well most of the time but is not quite ready for prime time. It works well as a compliment to a true Security System. I am neither defending Smartthings Advertising Department nor am I knocking them. When you are trying your best to protect your family and property know the strengths and limitations of each purchase you make and have a well thought out strategy to prevent disaster as much as you can.
My Security System did fail me once when extremely strong winds knocked out my power which shouldn’t have been a problem except they also took out the cell tower. I couldn’t arm or disarm my Security System. So, nothing is 100% reliable.

I agree.

I am, if they are going mass market which they have said they are I think it is misleading.

For sure.