NorthStar Alarm Review
NorthStar Alarm home security is a mid-sized security company based out of Orem, Utah, that serves about 50,000 customers. The company offers flexible home security packages, as well as options to include smart home automation technology and personal medical alert devices.
Overall, NorthStar security reviews indicate that customers receive responsive, reliable service from NorthStar. The Better Business Bureau gave the company a “B” rating, and they have a four-star rating based on over 300 customer ratings. Here’s what sets NorthStar apart.
NorthStar offers flexible, comprehensive home security with a long protection plan; however, their service is pricier than other companies and their contracts are lengthy.
- Hardware: 5 out of 5 stars. NorthStar offers a wide variety of hardware options with flexible install packages so their systems are highly customizable.
- Customer Service: 3.5 out of 5 stars. NorthStar has friendly customer service representatives and 24/7 monitoring, but it can be difficult to get in touch with them in non-emergency situations.
- Pricing: 3 out of 5 stars. NorthStar charges more than some of their competitors. The added expense comes with more flexibility, but the value of that will depend on the needs of the individual customer.
- The Mobile App: 4 out of 5 stars. Northstar Connect is a streamlined app with all the capabilities needed to manage your security system, but customers report delays in displaying video feeds and arming or disarming the system.
- SmartHome Capabilities: 3.5 out of 5 stars. NorthStar’s offers a limited roster of smart home products, though their security devices are compatible with many third party home automation products.
Each security package comes with a set number of security hardware, but customers have the flexibility to choose which hardware they want.
NorthStar requires a 5-year contract and customer reviews note that the contract automatically renews for another 18 months at the end of the 5-year term if it is not cancelled prior to the end date.
Equipment Available from NorthStar
NorthStar is an authorized dealer for Honeywell security equipment. Their devices are highly rated and can easily integrate with many third party home automation devices. One thing that makes NorthStar stand out is that each of their security packages allows customers to choose which devices they want included. NorthStar’s monitoring plans are designed based on a points system that functions as follows:
- Door and/or window sensors: 1 point
- Motion detector: 2 points
- Glass break detector: 2 points
- Smoke detector: 2 points
- Keychain Remote: 1 point
- Medical Pendant: 1 point
The NorthStar Mobile App
NorthStar products connect to an app called NorthStar Connect.
The app has a:
- 3.8 rating in the Google Play Store
- 4.5 rating in the Apple App Store.
With the app, you can:
- Arm and disarm the security system
- View and record camera footage
- Control smart thermostat, lighting, and locks
- Adds users to the system and manage their access
- Open and close the garage door
- Set up geofencing alerts so your home is never left unarmed
- Track registered assets, like vehicles, in real time
The app is meant to be a substitute for using the physical keypad, but customers note in the app’s reviews that it’s not always easy to use. One of the main complaints customers have is that the app can be slow to display video feeds, meaning homeowners miss seeing who is at the front door when they get an activity alert. Another common complaint is that battery alerts aren’t sent until devices have already stopped functioning.
NorthStar Smart Home Capabilities
NorthStar products and the phone app are compatible with a number of third-party smart home products. You can also purchase some of these products as a part of your NorthStar security package. They offer:
- Smart door locks
- Smart garage door opener
- Lyric WiFi thermostat
- Voice response
Northstar customer service
NorthStar offers 24-hour customer service, and their main call center is located in Orem, UT. That said, the company uses local agents and technicians at other call centers throughout the United States.
To test customer service, our Security Nerd analyzed each of the following processes:
- Sales: Our Security Nerd found that NorthStar’s agents are slower than other home security companies to respond to email and phone inquiries. A phone call to get a quote resulted in a 10-minute hold, and it took a representative about 48 hours to respond to an email inquiry.
- Design: Flexible package options allow you to create a more customized security system, and NorthStar technicians are trained to be able to assess security needs.
- Install: Install is always done by NorthStar professionals. Customers report in NorthStar security reviews that technicians are knowledgeable and helpful in explaining the company’s various offerings.
- Alarm: NorthStar products work as intended. Some customers have complained about systems being slow to arm and disarm via the app, but any security events are typically responded to quickly.
- Service: Customer service calls are put through to representatives quickly. There is only one automated menu to deal with, and pressing 4 will put you through to a representative immediately.
NorthStar is a growing company, but their services are not yet available in every state. Currently, North Star serves 30 states: California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia.
NorthStar pricing and packages
When purchasing a security system, here are the key costs to consider:
- Equipment costs: NorthStar offers its equipment for free when you sign a 60-month contract.
- Installation costs: Professional installation from NorthStar will cost you $199 for installation and an additional $199 for activation, regardless of which package you choose.
- Monthly costs: Monthly fees pay for monitoring and service. As of the date of publication, NorthStar’s monthly fees range from $54.99 to $74.99 per month.
- Activation fee: NorthStar charges an activation fee of $199 regardless of package, but they often run deals that lower the upfront costs.
- Taxes: Your state and local taxes may be applicable as well.
Because NorthStar’s security packages are so flexible, they do not sell security devices online or a la carte. Throughout the year, the company does run specials that offer $99 installation and activation. They also offer monitoring for $39.99 per month if the customer agrees to purchase or finance their security equipment, as opposed to leasing it for the length of the contract.
The Bottom Line
NorthStar combines many elements of a smaller, more personalized security experience with the convenience of working with a large company that has a national presence. Security packages are well-designed to meet the needs of many different families and lifestyles.
With a responsive phone app, 24-hour customer service, a lifetime warranty, and a commitment to customization, NorthStar is certainly a quality company. Nonetheless, longtime customers admit to facing occasional challenges with app functionality, video feeds, and with getting timely responses from customer service representatives.
NorthStar is a good company for anyone looking for long term security service and the ability to build their ideal system with an experienced technician.
About the Author
Kristen Bolig is the founder of SecurityNerd. When Kristen and her husband moved from Philadelphia to North Carolina, they bought their very first home. A month after moving in, a security system salesman knocked on her door selling a system that she had seen signs for all over her new neighborhood. Turns out - it was a bad deal. Kristen started SecurityNerd to help others and ensure they have all the info she needed before signing that two year commitment.