Fortress Security System Review

Fortress Security System Review


Gabe Turner: Hey, folks. This is Gabe at Security Baron. While your home may not be Castle Black, it
doesn’t mean you don’t want it to be a fortress. Today, we’re reviewing Fortress Security System. [music] Gabe: In today’s review of the Fortress Security
System, we’re going to talk about what you get in the package, how easy and convenient
it is to set up, what are the professional monitoring options, what are you going to
get in terms of customer support, before finally delving into its mobile application to make
sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision. If you’d like to see the list of our favorite
home security systems, google “Security Baron Best Home Security Systems.” If you have a question about today’s review,
leave us a comment, and I’ll get back to you. Let’s begin today’s review of the Fortress
Security System going over each of the components that you get with this system. We ordered the S6 Titan Classic Kit. With that, you get, of course, your main panel,
which allows you to control the system from within the house. You get two motion detectors that will pick
up any motion in a room. You’ve got your five window and door contact
sensors, which is pretty impressive. You can basically ensure that all of your
window frames and door frames are covered. You get two key fobs. These allow you to arm and disarm the home
remotely and two RFID tags. These RFID tags actually work directly with
the main panel, so whenever you come in or out of the home, you can just tap that RFID
key tag on the panel and it will work in the way in which it’s meant to. You also get a panic button, which you can
keep on your person, so anywhere you are within the home, you can actually just hit that panic
button and it will alert. What works with that panic button? This strobe siren. It’ll pulsate light and it’s very, very loud. These are all the components you get with
the Fortress Security System. Now that we’ve gone over all the components
you get with the Fortress Security System, let’s talk about that installation process,
beginning with the main panel. Setting up the main panel is pretty straightforward. You will take it out of the box, plug it in
and make sure you download that My Fortress App, for your iPhone or Android. With that app you will sync it together. Once they’re integrated it’s pretty straightforward. I will note one thing. When you’re setting up the WiFi on the Fortress
panel it can be a little cumbersome. Here at Security Baron we have a long password. It took me a while to dial it in here on the
main panel because I wasn’t able to do it from the mobile application. That’s one thing to note about the installation
process and probably the most time-consuming element. When it comes to putting this on the wall,
or you can put it on your desk like this, you can just screw it into this panel and
then place that panel on any wall that you would like. I will note you want to be careful when doing
that installation process because it is tamper proof. If it feels like you’re trying to do something
with the back of it, turning it on or off, that alarm will sound. Overall, it’s actually a pretty straightforward
main panel setup. Let’s move on to the motion detector. Setting up the motion detector with the Fortress
Security system is actually pretty easy because once you have that main panel integrated with
your mobile application, everything else is pre-programmed and syncs automatically. Make sure you turn on the motion sensor, which
you can do on the inside of this device and you place it where you’d like to. Make sure it’s at the proper height and the
right angle, and screw it where you’d like it to be. Pretty straightforward, no having to fangle
around with other elements of the system, put it where you would like, and you’re ready
to go. The next elements you’re going to want to
install with your Fortress Security system are the door and window contact centers. Once again, this is a very easy process, facilitated
by the fact that you’ve already set up your main panel. All of the door and window contact sensors
come pre-programmed with the panel, so you’re going to want to take out the battery tab,
make sure that Fortress contact sensor is working. Then, you’re going to take the adhesive tape,
place it onto the actual contact sensor, peel that adhesive back. Then put it where you’d want it to be on that
door or window frame, and you’re ready to go. The final piece for the installation process
is that loud strobe siren. You’ll just plug it into an outlet that is
free. Probably need two free spaces, because it
is a rather large siren, and you’re ready to go. That’s the entire set-up process for the Fortress
Security System, and overall, it’s pretty straight-forward. Now that we have looked at the installation
process for Fortress Security System, let’s check out the professional monitoring options. Fortress Security does not have their own
professional monitoring. They say that you should use a company called
“Alarm Relay.” Alarm Relay is a company that charges you
annually for your professional monitoring, and it’s going to cost $107.40 or $8.95 a
month. One thing that we thought was a little weird
is that you also have to pay an installation fee with Alarm Relay, despite the fact that
it’s just a professional monitoring service. One thing that we wanted to mention is that
we called Alarm Relay, and they said that they do have issues sometimes connecting with
Fortress Home Security Systems. When we asked Fortress about that, they said,
“No, that’s not the case at all.” There’s a little bit of a concern with that
disconnect and that issue that seems to arise with Alarm Relay and Fortress Security System. Another point we’d like to make is that if
you want to move with Alarm Relay, you’re going to have to pay for a new installation
fee despite the fact that this is essentially a do-it-yourself system. We find that to be a little bit odd along
with the fact that the contract rule stipulate that you have to pay for Alarm Relay a year
in advance. Those were just a couple of things we wanted
to note about the Fortress Security System and its professional monitoring options. All right. Hold on quick break. I hope you’re enjoying our review of the Fortress
Security System. If you want to be kept up to date on the newest
and home security smart home technology and VPNs and password managers, subscribe to our
channel. We are updating it weekly. Let’s get back to the video. Now let’s jump into the customer support for
the Fortress Security System. With Fortress, there are a lot of ways to
get in touch with them. You can of course go to the website check
out their FAQs, their tutorials, their guides, then you can actually give them a call. They have a live phone number. You can live chat with a customer representative,
you can fill out an online form, you can email them and shockingly for 2019, you can even
write them a letter. However, despite all of these efforts to allow
you to be in communication with them, we found them to be not particularly knowledgeable
in terms of the customer service representatives that we dealt with. It was really hard for us to get the answers
to the questions that we had. That’s our own experience. Let’s see what other people thought on Amazon
and Google. With Amazon, the Fortress Security System
has very few reviews. In fact, just four. It has a 3.9 out of 5-star ratings. Unfortunately, none of them spoke directly
about customer support so we can’t really say how people felt. If any issues that people did have which was
only one person gave a two-star review. It was about the issues with the system itself
and not the customer support. With Google, we get a little bit more of an
idea. We had a 3.4 out of 5 star rating on Google. A little bit of a mixed bag, but the only
thing that we saw regarding customer support…It was a man actually complimenting the experience
he had. Our anecdotal evidence seems to maybe a little
bit counter to other people’s experiences on the Internet, but I just want to remind
you that the sample size is very, very small. We don’t think we can say anything super definitive
about the Fortress Security System’s Customer Support team. The final element we’ll dive into today for
the Fortress Security System is the mobile application. It is not looking too great because what you
want from a mobile application is for it to be intuitive and consistent. In the Apple App Store and in the Google Play
Store, people don’t seem to think that it’s actually doing that well. In the Apple App Store, it only has four ratings,
but a 2.5 out of 5 stars. In the Google Play Store, it has a 2.6 out
of 5 star rating with 42 different reviews. People seem to complain about the app crashing
or not connecting to the actual security system, and that is really problematic. Let’s go ahead and look at it on my iPhone
10. Here I am checking out the My Fortress mobile
application for the Fortress Home Security System. It’s pretty straightforward. If you note, I’m in the currently disarmed. That’s why the unlock icon isn’t green. It says that I have complete battery charge
because I’m plugged in. If you look in the top left corner there is
the Smart Alarm System, and let’s just dive in. If I hit “History,” at the bottom, I can look
at the alarm history. The wireless sensor’s going off. Of course, I have the motion sensors that
can go off, Zone 1. All the alarm history is right there. I can look at the arm and disarm history of
the system going back to March. Armed and disarmed…You can use the RFID
tag. You can use the remotes. All are noted here…app, RFID tag, remote. It’s pretty straightforward and one element
that I actually really like about the My Fortress App. You can remember how you came in and out of
your home. If I look at “Management,” here’s where you’ll
manage a lot of the elements of your system — your panel settings, your authorized users,
your app settings, and even the contacts. You can add people to your contact list. You can look at the various sensors, like
your remotes, your sensors, we have two motion sensors, the panic button, and we have five
door and window sensors. You’ll note here, Door Sensor 3, Door Sensor
4, Door Sensor 5, Door Sensor 6, Door Sensor 7. Your wireless siren. Your two RFID tags. I like to hit that main panel, and arm and
disarm the system. One thing about this system that is pretty
great is that, right here on this home page that I’ve returned to, I can arm and disarm
the system. If I hit it on that top lock icon, you’ll
hear that it arms the system. Automated Voice: System armed. Gabe: When the system is armed, you’ll note
that it’s red. Automated Voice: System disarmed. Gabe: When it’s red, your system is armed. Then as soon as any motion is detected, or
an entry alarm is opened or closed, it will set off that alarm. If you look on the right, I can click. Automated Voice: Home armed. Gabe: Now on Home Armed. This is a different type of Home. If you note on the top, that thing comes on
that says wireless sensor. What happens when your Home Alarm is your
motion detectors are not on. As long as no one opens a window or a door,
it won’t go off because it knows that you’re home and you’d be the person that is setting
off those motion detectors. Let’s go back to fully disarmed. Automated Voice: System disarmed. Gabe: Of course, below that you have your
SOS and you can make a call with the bottom if you have that cellular SIM card installed. Overall, you’ll note that the My Fortress
mobile application actually does have some functionality, some capacity. We’ll note that it’s not completely flushed
out because if you look at the cameras, for example, you cannot add cameras to the system. If you tap on that, you’ll end up going to
a 404 page and [non-English speech] . It’s in simplified Chinese. I spent some time in China, but I’ll tell
you right now, I cannot read what is on this 404 page. Let’s go ahead and go back. To recap, you do get some functionality out
of the My Fortress Home Security app. You can arm and disarm your system, look at
your history, both in terms of the alarm history, and the arm and disarm history. It even tells you what you use to arm and
disarm, be it the fob, the RFID tags, or the mobile application itself, along with the
capacity to manage your sensors and contacts, and various security elements. That’s our look at My Fortress, the mobile
application for the Fortress Home Security System on my iPhone 10. Here I am checking out the main panel for
the Fortress Home Security System. The coolest thing I [laughs] find about the
Fortress system, and maybe this proves I’m a big kid, is the RFID key tag arming and
disarming capability. I take this here, RFID tag, and I put it here. Automated Voice: System armed. Gabe: Now, I’ve armed the system. If I want to go out and disarm it, walking
in and out of the home, I can… Automated Voice: System disarmed. Gabe: There I am. I’ve armed and disarmed the system just using
this key tag that I can place on anything, like a key chain or a belt loop. If I wanted to go ahead and arm and disarm
it using the key fob, I can do so here. I want to arm the system. Automated Voice: System armed. Gabe: Boom. If I want to disarm the system. Automated Voice: System disarmed. Gabe: There you have it. You have a lot of ways of controlling the
Fortress main panel and Fortress Home Security System. We’ve come a long way with the Fortress Home
Security System. You want to know, “Gabe, is this the right
system for me?” Look, I’ll say this. In terms of initial setup and doing the things
that one expects from a home security system in a self-monitoring sense, yeah, Fortress
can do that. You have motion detection, you’ve got a ton
of contact sensors that you can place on your door and windows. You will know what’s going on in your home
and be able to use your RFID tags or your key fobs or even your mobile application to
arm and disarm the system. That’s basically where it stops. You’re not going to get a lot more functionality
out of Fortress Security System. You’re not going to get really great professional
monitoring. Your customer support team is going to be
lacking, at least in our experience. The mobile application doesn’t work at the
level that many of the other competitors can. When it comes to recommending the system,
I’m not sure if I can do that. I just think that there are other systems
comparably priced that can do more. Those are my thoughts on the Fortress Home
Security System. That concludes our review of the Fortress
Home Security System. If you appreciate today’s video, give us a
like and hit that “Subscribe” button. As always, this is Gabe at Security Baron. Be secure. [music]

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4 Replies to “Fortress Security System Review”

  1. Very disappointed with the S03. The panel goes crazy during the exit delay countdown. I armed through the panel. The countdown started by saying my front door was open, which it wasn't. The countdown from 30 seconds went like this: 38(yes, 38)29,28.27,28, 89, 28,22,21,20,19,18,17,6,15,19,13,8,11,10,09,08,07,06,05,04,03,02,01 with a line going left from the number 1. Fortress said this has been an issue before and I needed a new power cord. No help!!

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