Looking for an on-line door monitoring solution from real users

(Maybe this belongs in IMHO because I’m trying to find recommendations, but I also need to know if something exists which is a fact so I’m letting the mods decide.)

I have a few doors that I would like to be able to check the open/closed status on, and be able to do it remotely. For example–but not limited too-is along the lines of telling if I left the garage door open once I’ve driven away.

The garage door isn’t the only thing I want to be able to check, but in all cases I only need a binary response: Is the item (usually a door. Could be a gate or even a cookie jar) currently open or closed?

I used to use Wyze™ equipment. A door sensor that connected to their cameras and could be viewed through their app. In addition, I could link a sensor to a wi-fi plug and turn on a light to, for example, let me know that someone entered an area.

But they stopped making that product. Now they only offer a “Professionally-monitored home security system” that keeps track of the sensors but that means I’d have to pay for a subscription and the monitoring service’s general response to a door opening is to call the police. Way more than I want to happen.

My searching for something to simply monitor status remotely doesn’t seem to be returning anything that just lets me do that, when I want, myself so I’m turning to the SD collective to see if someone can point me to something that does this and might be willing to answer a few questions about their experiences.

I use Ring products. They have door sensors that give you a binary open/closed signal, or you could set up cameras in a position to monitor the doors. All integrated. They have “professional monitoring”, but it’s optional. You can just just view everyting yourself (status, video feed) on your phone.

The best price you’d get would be to wait for the next Prime Day, the stuff is always on sale.

I don’t think the door sensors that work with a regular door would really work with a garage door. My garage door opening system is connected to WiFi and integrates with Alexa, as many of them do now. It does some cool stuff - I have mine set up to ding my phone if it’s left open more that two hours, and to close automatically (with a warning) at 9:30pm if it has been left open. I also have one of my Ring cameras set up in the garage, including a view of the garage door.

I looked at Ring but I hadn’t seen an option to self-monitor. I guess I need to look at them again.

But I would appreciate anyone else’s findings on other products, too.

I use sensors from a company called Monnit. I have [counts] 8 of them at the moment, keeping tabs on the temperatures of various coolers and freezers at my work.
I know they have door sensors as well. I’ve never used them, but I assume they work just as well as the temp sensors I use (they probably have nearly identical hardware too).

I don’t know how much you’re willing to spend on this project. While these aren’t cheap ebay junk, they’re not overly expensive considering they’re meant for industrial applications.
I think you’d be looking at about $100+ per sensor plus $250ish for a gateway plus a subscription (either free or $45/yr for up to 6 sensors, depending on various features.

However, I think they’ll do what you want. You can check the status of them on a website or an app on your phone as well as set up push notifications. You can also set up all kinds of other things to avoid nuisance alerts. For example, my freezers and coolers have to be above a certain temperature for a certain amount of time before it sends me an alert. I assume you can do the same with the door sensors (door has to be open for X minutes before it alerts you).

I keep looking at their system to replace our aging alarm system at work. In the day and age of smart phones, there’s not nearly as much need for fully monitored systems. I’m perfectly capable of getting an alert, checking the camera feed and calling the police if need be. I don’t need ADT for that.

Wow, $175 per sensor for the open/close type. I thank you for the information, but I am really hoping for something much cheaper. When I originally set up the Wyze system, I was able to equip for 3 sensors for under $100.

Sorry, I misspoke - my garage door system does not integrate with Alexa, I cannot give it voice commands, but it does integrate with Ring. It’s Chamberlain. (Chamberlain is the exact same product as Liftmaster for half the price.)


Moved to IMHO (from FQ).

Something to be aware of with Ring systems if you connect cameras - you can monitor video feeds from the cameras from the Ring app, and you can get motion alerts from the video cameras. But the cameras will not trigger the alarm. I thought this was a limitation when I first got the system, but I now realize it’s sensible. The cameras have a wide field of view, you want to see as much as you can, but shadows or movement outside the window can trigger their motion sensors.

So the way I have mine set up the alarm is triggered by the door open/closed sensors and the dedicated motion sensors, not the motion sensors on the cameras. The dedicated motion sensors are set up at key internal points that would be triggered by anyone inside the house, but are pointed away from doors and windows so you don’t get false alarms.

I would also recommend Ring, which I use extensively. The door sensors should work fine on an existing garage door. You should be able to place the two pieces on the rail and carriage for highly repeatable contact, or somewhere along the door itself even.

You can indeed use all Ring equipment without a subscription. This isn’t immediately obvious on their webpages because not having a subscription isn’t a “Plan” option – it’s just no plan. You don’t get cellular backup, saved video recordings, or professional monitoring. But just checking the app for sensor status, dealing with a doorbell presser, or viewing a live feed from a cam should all work without a subscription.

(I do subscribe to the mid-tier service so that I can have multiple video feeds saved to the cloud, but I stop short of the monitoring service, since I always have my phone on me anyway.)

Same here. To add, the standalone motion sensors are passive infrared (PIR) sensors, so you can freely point them with view of windows and whatnot, and they won’t trigger on motion outside the glass (while the video-based cam sensing certainly will).

If the OP doesn’t mind… I’m searching for a sensor that lights up (no audio) while a door is open. The only thing I’ve found alarms when the door is opened. All the sensors I’ve found want to alert me of the event only, then fall dark/silent.

We have a driveway gate which is out of sight of the kitchen/LR areas. Frequently someone lets the dogs out, not realizing the gate has been left open. I want a warning light near the kitchen door that remains on while the gate is open, and (obviously) off when it’s closed. Everything I’ve found tells me of the open event, not the open state.

How far away is the gate? You could use a magnetic reed switch and a twisted pair of wires to a low voltage light and battery pack. Light ON, gate OPEN.

I am also looking for a garage door open alert thing. But a simple wired solution. A red light goes on in the house if the door is open. No Bluetooth, no phone app, just a simple light. But everything has to be “smart” nowadays.

Looking around, a DIY solution seems to be the only option.

Just remembered, you could use a doorbell transformer instead of a battery pack if that’s more convenient.

I have not used these but I’ve been doing a lot of reseach recently and have looked at the following. I think they all have something like what you want.

Ring Ring is owned by Amazon
Prepackaged kits available for bundle prices
Supports partner “Works With Ring” devices
The app lets you link all of your Ring devices to work with the Alarm. For example, you can have a Ring Stick Up Cam begin recording and have Ring lights turn on when an Alarm sensor is triggered.
Additional devices include a First Alert smoke/CO detector, a flood/freeze detector, and a panic button
doesn’t send push or email notifications when a sensor is triggered while in disarmed mode
105 dB siren
This is not for the Ring Pro version which includes a mesh WiFi system
Ring Alarm Security Kit Review | PCMag
85 on Consumer Reports
Ring Alarm Pro review: A giant leap for home security - CNET
SimpliSafe does a great job of distinguishing between people and pets.
Reviewer thought cameras did not compare favorably with Nest, Ring
offers excellent value relative to the competition
Supports up to 100 sensors, up to 4 cameras
little integration with third-party cameras, lights, door locks, or video doorbells. In most cases, you can install these devices alongside the SimpliSafe system, but you’ll have to use a separate app to control them independently.
SimpliSafe Home Security review: Great, but getting pricier - CNET
86 (top) on Consumer Reports
Wyze Budget system.
Does not integrate readily with other manufacturer’s smart home devices (e.g., difficult to set a light to come on when the motion sensor detects you entered the room). Need 3P platform like IFTTT
No cell backup
If you buy a year of monitoring, Cam Plus is included, starter kit discounted from $80 to $40.
Optional Cam Plus subscription offers extra features such as unlimited video length, unlimited triggers, person and vehicle detection, and package detection.
Wyze Home Monitoring Review | PCMag
Abode 78 on Consumer Reports
Abode iota All-In-One Security Kit Review | PCMag
Abode Smart Security Kit Review | PCMag
Vivint Professional installation
Also offers a DIY version, but outside camera requires professional installation.
You don’t have to subscribe to monitoring but then you don’t get the mobile app or remote access, no 24/7 tech support.

Poor customer service record, poor ratings on BBB page.
Vivint Smart Home Review | PCMag

That’s a nice list, CookingWithGas and thank you for it. Based only on personal experience, I would not recommend the Wyze product line.

I initially bought into it with gusto, picking up several cameras, wi-fi plugs, and sensors. But it has been problematic from day one. Despite keeping my apps and hardware up to date, I have been plagued with cameras and sensors going off line for no discernible reason–culminating in the time I was out of state and the cameras, despite being on-line, neglected to notify me that someone was in the house and moving around as he burglarized it. I’ve since stopped using their cameras for anything critical.

My sensors tend to go off line as well and their support does not help. The V1 sensors I used are no longer in production. The V2 sensors that replaced them are not available for stand-alone purchase requiring a subscription. (Actually, it’s not the sensors. I can buy those. But I can’t buy the required bridge to interface them without a subscription.) As I mentioned in the OP, I want a simple, cheap solution for something for my non-critical needs.

Again, just my personal experience but I’m very disappointed with the company.