Homeowners with old, wired alarm systems often feel as though they’re stuck with what they have. But not taking advantage of all those wired sensors embedded in the walls seems foolish. Why discard and replace perfectly functional components if you can incorporate them into a modern smart home system?

The good news is that new technologies are giving old alarm systems new life. I reviewed Safe by HUB6 last year and found it a capable if complex way to add wireless features to your old alarm panel. The Konnected Alarm Panel has a similar goal, but gets there in a different way. Rather than adding a new board on top of your old, wired system, the Konnected Alarm Panel system replaces the old board entirely. (Konnected also offers a separate system similar to Safe by HUB6—the $35 Konnected Interface Module, which lets you use your old system in parallel with the new one, but that is not reviewed here.)

So, why would you want to remove your old alarm board? If the panel doesn’t work, but you suspect the sensors are intact, Konnected’s approach makes a lot of sense. Ditto if you move into a new house that has an alarm system that you don’t know how to activate—or maybe you just don’t want to pay for professional monitoring and would rather get alarm system alerts on your phone.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart home systems, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

The $99 Konnected Alarm Panel board is a surprisingly tiny thing, a bare circuit board about 2.5 x 1 inches in size. A row of terminal posts along one side allows you to connect up to 6 sensors. That may sound low, so if you need more sensors, a 12-sensor version of the board is available for $199. You can also run multiple boards in parallel, and it’s even possible to connect multiple door sensors to a single terminal post if they’re wired in series.

Updated September 8, 2020 to report that Konnected is now shipping a new version of this product that adds ethernet, power-over-ethernet (PoE), and the ability to control up to 12 zones from a single board. The Konnected Alarm Panel Pro is now available for $209 at the company’s website.

Konnected

If you have lots of wired sensors, you can install multiples of the Konnected circuit board.

The small size of the board makes wiring tricky but easily doable with some care and attention to detail. You’ll need a tiny flathead screwdriver to secure the posts and relocate the wires from your old panel to the new board. Take special care to photograph the old panel before you start pulling out wires, and label it if possible. Konnected walks you through this process, but only on its website. The scant quick-start guide included in the box is of minimal help.

Connecting the Konnected board to your Wi-Fi network is, surprisingly, the more daunting task. The extremely arcane setup routine requires you to connect your phone to Konnected’s temporary Wi-Fi network, then open a web browser and tap in a hard-coded IP address. At this point, a page directs you to provide your home Wi-Fi network credentials, then reset the board. After this, you can use the Konnected mobile app to configure the alarm panel.

I ran into significant trouble throughout this process because the Wi-Fi setting process failed repeatedly, and then after it finally succeeded, the Konnected app couldn’t find the hardware, even though I confirmed through my router’s interface that it was connected to the network. The catch? After a troubleshooting session with the company, we found that Konnected didn’t like working through a nearby repeater. Once I unplugged the repeater and got the Konnected board connected directly to the router, I was able to connect to it through the app.



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