The starter kit comes with a hub, camera, and garage door opener. It serves as the basis for your new home security system. Home8 offers other components to fill out the rest of one's needs, like door, window, and motion sensors, more cameras, and even a medication monitoring system.
Despite the mess of wires, setup of the system was actually comparably easy. The big white thing in the middle is the shuttle intelligent hub. Follow the other two white plugs to see the other components. The hub gets wired into your router. After downloading the Home8 app from your Android/iOS app store, you can then setup the connected devices. For the camera, you scan the QR code on the back of the device and it is automatically connected to the hub. You can then hang the device anywhere within range of the hub. The garage door opener doesn't require any extra setup on the hub end, but can be connected to your garage door opener in multiple ways. I chose the direct connection to the garage door opener as that was where the power source was located. The other options involved setup where your existing wall button is located. I didn't have a power source there so didn't consider those options.
The mini cube HD camera was easy to install in the garage. In theory, it can go anywhere in the home where you want a camera that will report on any motion detected, where the system sends you a push notification to your phone to see what's going on. Picture quality is HD but brightness of area determines how well you can see what's going on. Basically, when the camera detects anything when armed, you'll get an SMS message to your phone, such that you can then follow link in message to see video of what triggered the alarm. You can then easily call 911 directly from the app if necessary.
What the garage door opener buys you is the ability to get SMS messages whenever the garage door opens or closes. Combined with the camera, you can see if you left the garage door opener. And, more importantly perhaps, you can open or close the garage door from your phone now.
Security of the system should be brought up as you don't want anyone hacking into the system to see video inside your home, or use the system to perhaps open your garage door when you're not at home. It relies on a closed network with advanced security measures to protect your privacy. The app comes with free access for a single user (yourself) to monitor your new security setup. If however you want additional people to monitor the system, there are monthly fees associated with that. But, as long as you stick to a single user / single location setup, you're home free.
Overall, I like the system and was pleasantly surprised at how easy setup was. The monitoring of the security system yourself from your own phone will be something to get used to. I do think it makes sense to upgrade to group level monitoring where you can designate other people to watch out for you when you're unavailable, at $10 / month.
Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions stated are my own and may differ from yours. See my disclosure policy for more information. Java John Z's is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.