GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm Review

GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm Review

The GE Simon XT Wireless alarm is what is commonly called an “all-in-one” Home Security System. It allows you to protect up to forty different zones, meaning you can use up to forty different wireless transmitters, including a wide selection of Door and Windows transmitters from “micro contacts to standard contacts and even recessed contacts”, Motion Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Freeze Detectors, Smoke Detectors, Glass Break Detectors, Panic Buttons, and Wireless Key chain Remotes called “Key fobs”, the list goes on and on.

There are two different common kits for the GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm Home Security System. The “the Deluxe Kit” or the “Starter Kit”. The Starter Kit is just a basic Security System with the core required components, but no sensors.

The Starter Kit includes:
1) – GE Simon XT wireless alarm system main console
1) – Plug in power transformer
1) – Transformer cord with terminals
1) – 24 hour system backup battery
1) – RJ31X telephone jack and cord set
Installation manual, user manual and user DVD

The deluxe kit has everything that the starter kit does, plus includes several sensor and a remote.

The Deluxe Kit includes:
1) – GE Simon XT wireless alarm system main console
1) – Plug in power transformer
1) – Transformer cord with terminals
1) – 24 hour system backup battery
1) – RJ31X telephone jack and cord set
1) – Wireless Pet Immune Motion Sensor (60-807-95r / NX-481
3) – Wireless Door / Window Transmitters (60-670-95R / NX-450
1) – Four button keychain remote (60-659-95R / NX-470)
Installation manual, user manual and user DVD

Unless you are just dead set on using different door / window sensors than those that come in the deluxe kit, such as the recessed type, the Deluxe Kit it is definitely going to save you a lot of money and is probably the way to go.

GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm Review – Impressions

I’ve been playing with one of these GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm Deluxe Kits for a couple months now and I have to tell you, I am impressed! I normally prefer a hardwired system and have had a preference for DSC ever since the Power Series came out about 12 years ago, but I must say I like this little wireless alarm system! Not only is setup and installation a breeze, I expected that, but this system has some very nice features.

Before I get into the installation and setup portion of this review, I want to discuss features and basic specs. Firstly, the GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm will do everything any other security system will do and then some. It features up to 40 wireless zones and up to two can be hardwired. Wireless range in open air is rated at 500 feet without repeaters. It can be professionally monitored by any central station and includes two way voice capability.

Unique to the GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm, it also has a built in voice dialer that can call you directly if you want to forgo monitoring fees and self monitor. This is a huge positive to many people as it can save you $20 or $30 a month in monitoring service fees. The GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm also features voice prompted menus and you can even call into this system remotely to check status and arm or disarm the system.

Other features include one master code and eight user codes, a chime feature for monitoring opening and closing of doors and windows while in disarmed state and it has a built in siren with the capability to add an external hardwired siren. Also, new to the XT from previous Simon versions is the addition of an LCD display which is very informative and looks great.

So what sets it apart from other systems on the market? The built in voice dialer for self monitoring for one. I don’t know of any other system at this writing that has that capability out of the box. Other nice features that many systems don’t have out of the box is the voice prompting menus and the ability to remotely call into the system and control it from any touch tone phone. And no dedicated line is needed to do this I might add.

What’s missing? Very little really. GE has done an excellent job with the GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm overall and I find it plenty capable for any home or small business that doesn’t want or have the ability to use a hardwired system. The only missing thing I can see is X10 home automation support. This is not a security feature, but is an option on most security systems these days. That said though, GE does have plans for adding this feature in the near future. Next up, Installation and setup…

Because it’s all wireless installation is really a snap. More important than that however is that programming and setup is a snap too. You can literally install this system start to finish in less than an hour. I find that the manuals are excellent compared to other systems, however if you want to dive right in and skip the wordy manual, see our quickstart programming guide here on our site, courtesy of AlarmSystemStore.com.

GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm Review – Ease of Installation Test

This really is a system that anyone can install and setup. To prove that theory I had my wife try programming it without any help from me. Now, let me preface this by saying that my wife is not technical at all and can barely use her cell phone. It’s not because she’s dumb, but she just lacks interest in gadgets in general and certainly doesn’t care to take the time to read a manual! As such, I gave her a copy of the quick start programming guide and a promise of dinner out as an incentive to peek her interest and to help me evaluate the true easy install and setup claims that are commonly stated for this system.

I did not have her mount any of the sensors because we all know anyone can do that. You can use double sided tape if a drill scares you… My instructions to her were, set one sensor to have a 30 second delay, the other two to be instant and the motion to be as a bypassable motion and of course the remote to work as the buttons indicate. I also told her to change the default master code to a number of my choosing.

So how did she do? Well, better than expected really. From the moment that she picked up the quick start program guide to completion I clocked her at a little over 15 minutes. But did she have it right…. YES, she did! I checked her work and found everything done as it was supposed to be. Conclusion – So easy a caveman can do it… or your wife, LOL.

All in all I really like the new GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm and I can’t say that I was a fan of earlier versions of this system. The new XT version is a hit though. I have to say, if I was installing a system in my home today, I would probably go with this system based on it’s rich features out of the box more than anything else. The only caveat being that wireless is more expensive than hardwired. That said though, I think I’m done crawling in attics and crawl spaces. To me at this point and age in my life the extra expense of wireless would be worth it.

Many people worry about the reliability of a wireless alarm system, but as a security professional and former installer, I can tell you from experience, don’t. Sure wireless 15 years ago was of poor quality and I wouldn’t use it then, and that’s why UL wouldn’t approve it then either, but today’s wireless security systems and sensors are a whole different animal than they were then. The data sent back and forth is encrypted and the sensors all send in periodic “health” and status checks to the main console to insure that they are alive and kicking as they should be. I can tamper with a wire nowadays easier than I can an encrypted and supervised wireless signal. The GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm is a fine system and I have no problem in recommending it to friends and family.

**Update: The GE Simon XT Wireless Alarm has been around awhile, this article is pretty dated now we wrote it long ago.  However you can still find them for sale on Amazon because they are still just really good solid bullet proof alarms and they are very cheap.  Here is a link (We are not affiliates, due to the popularity of this particular article we have been asked so much to provide links we updated it.) to some we found. http://www.amazon.com/80-649-3N-XT-SIMON-WIRELESS-Security-System/dp/B001VSCALW/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

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