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Fortress Security Review 2019

: What To Know Before Buying Services

Fortress Security provides self-monitored, self-installed home security systems. They don't offer professional monitoring, but they provide cellular SIM cards to enable cellular backup on some of their equipment. Their security systems are affordable, and with no monthly monitoring fee to pay, Fortress Security has a low long-term usage cost.

Monitoring Type: Professional or Self-Monitored
Install Type: DIY

Pros

  • Equipment Variation
  • No Monthly Fees
  • Self-Monitoring Features Included
  • 3-Year Equipment Warranty

Cons

  • Lacks Professional Monitoring
  • Lacks Home Automation
  • Cameras Are Always Out Of Stock

The Good

Fortress offers a wide variety of equipment, and because there are no monthly fees, the long-term cost of using the system is lower.

The Bad

Fortress' large portfolio of devices can be confusing. It also lacks home automation devices, professional monitoring, and a decent camera for video monitoring.

Bottom Line

Fortress Security is an option if you’re looking for a home alarm system without monthly fees. However, its lack of professional monitoring service is a risk. Professionally monitored systems are more secure as they offer you a direct link to the authorities when needed.

Equipment Packages

Fortress typically offers its security systems in equipment packages, but you're free to build your own equipment or expand your security system by adding in more sensors and accessories. Fortress offers three base units: SO3, S1 Stealth, and S6 Titan.

The primary difference between the three is how they communicate alerts. SO3 uses Wi-Fi and landline. If you have both in your home, the SO3 base station will automatically choose the one that is active. S1 Stealth uses Wi-Fi only, but you have the option to use a Fortress SIM card to activate its cellular capabilities. The SIM card requires a monthly usage fee and a one-time activation fee on top of your initial purchase. The S6 Titan base unit uses all three communication methods: Wi-Fi, landline, and cellular. As with S1 Stealth, you must buy, activate, and maintain a Fortress SIM card to use cellular communication.

Another difference is how they look. SO3 has an analog screen and built-in keypad for arming and disarming your security system. S1 Stealth is a router-like device with no button at all. You can control it using the Fortress mobile app or using add-on key fobs. S6 Titan kind of looks like SO3, but instead of an analog screen, it has a colored display that you can use to manage your user settings or as an information hub. It displays the time, date, and weather information in your area.

Packages

Each of the three base units are offered as part of equipment kits. There are Starter kits, Classic kits, Deluxe Kits, and Deluxe Pet kits.

Starter Kits

SO3S1 StealthS6 Titan
Price$79.99$129.00$199.99
Base UnitSO3 PanelS1 Stealth HubS6 Tital Panel
Classic Motion Sensor111
Pet-Immune Motion SensorN/AN/AN/A
Door/Window Sensor111
RF Tags2N/A2
Key Fobs222
Indoor Siren1N/AN/A
Outdoor SirenN/AN/AN/A
Strobe SirenN/AN/AN/A

Classic Kits

SO3S1 StealthS6 Titan
Price$119.99$189.99$269.99
Base UnitSO3 PanelS1 Stealth HubS6 Titan Panel
Classic Motion Sensor222
Pet-Immune Motion SensorN/AN/AN/A
Door/Window Sensor555
RF Tags2N/A2
Key Fobs222
Panic Button111
Indoor Siren11N/A
Outdoor SirenN/AN/AN/A
Strobe SirenN/AN/A1

Deluxe Kits

SO3S1 StealthS6 Titan
Price$199.99$249.99$369.99
Base UnitSO3 PanelS1 Stealth HubS6 Titan Panel
Classic Motion Sensor333
Pet-Immune Motion SensorN/AN/AN/A
Door/Window Sensor888
RF Tags4N/A4
Key Fobs333
Indoor Siren11N/A
Outdoor Siren111
Strobe SirenN/AN/A1

Deluxe Pet Kits

SO3S1 StealthS6 Titan
Price$229.99$279.99$379.99
Base UnitN/AN/AN/A
Classic Motion Sensor333
Pet-Immune Motion Sensor333
Door/Window Sensor888
RF Tags4N/A34
Key Fobs333
Indoor Siren111
Outdoor SirenN/AN/AN/A
Strobe Siren111

Add-Ons

Aside from kits, you can purchase add-on equipment.

  • Standard Motion Sensor: $22.99
  • Pet-Immune Motion Sensor: $29.99
  • Contact Sensor: $12.99
  • Glass Break Sensor: $34.99
  • Vibration Sensor: $24.99
  • Smoke Sensor: $27.99
  • Gas Leak Detector: $34.99
  • Water Sensor: $24.99
  • Solar-Powered Siren: $99.99
  • Outdoor/Indoor Siren: $49.99
  • Indoor/Outdoor Strobe Siren: $59.99
  • Indoor Plug Siren: $39.99
  • Internal Siren: $19.99
  • Panic Button: $14.99
  • Remote Key Fob: $14.99
  • RFID Keypad w/ Tags: $59.99
  • Wireless Signal Repeater: $54.99

For more pricing details, you can read about Fortress Security's equipment packages, deals, and promotion here.

Self-Monitoring Features

As self-monitored systems, the key feature is generating alerts. All three security systems can send text alerts, call alerts, and push notifications.

Text alerts are messages sent to your mobile number from the control panel with specific details about the alarm. They look something like this:

Wireless Sensor Alarm

Name: Door Sensor 1

Zone: 1

Type: Door Sensor

Call alerts are actual phone calls from your security system to your phone number. If you take the call, a system-generated voice message will tell you the details of the alert. The advantage of call alerts over text alerts is that it's harder to miss. You can also program the system to call several phone numbers until one of them picks up.

Finally, push notifications are smartphone alerts sent to the Fortress smartphone app. They tell you when the alert occured, what sensor is triggered, and what type of sensor was triggered.

Optional GSM SIM Card

The S1 Stealth and S6 Titan base units both have cellular communication ability, but this feature needs a Fortress SIM Card to activate. Fortress sells the SIM card for $4.99. Once you receive the SIM card, you'll need to activate it for $9.99. On top of that, you must pay $7.99/month to use its call minutes.

Each SIM card comes with 100 call minutes per month, which your system will use to send alerts. Here are the actions that use call minutes.

  • Outbound Call Alerts: Depending on how long the call is active
  • Outbound Text Alerts: 1 text = 1 minute
  • Inbound Call From Your Phone To Control Panel (Two-Way Voice): Depending on how long the call is active
  • Inbound Text From Your Phone To Control Panel: 1 text = 1 minute

Once you use up all your call minutes, your system will start spending Overage Minutes. Each call minute is worth $0.08, which will be billed to you the next billing cycle.

Customer Service

We’ve been reading online customer reviews about Fortress and for the most part, they seem happy. Why? Mainly because of its policies.

Three-Year Warranty

Fortress covers all its equipment with a three-year service warranty. If, within the acceptable terms, your system became dysfunctional, Fortress will repair it for you at no cost.

Returns

Fortress also offers a generous 30-day return period. If you don't like the system after testing it, you can return it within 30 days for a 90% refund of your purchase. Fortress will even pay for return-shipping. However, they will keep the remaining 10% as a restocking.

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