Smart homes have made it possible for us to check everything online now. You can get a device that lets you talk to your dog while at work, check in with your kids or even set the kettle to boil just before you get home.
Remote monitoring is something that has become easy and inexpensive for us to do. It should come as no surprise then that monitoring the temperature of your home or office has become something that is simple enough to accomplish.
|Feature||Power Supply||Text Alerts||Email Alerts||Extra Sensors||Number of Sensors||Service Alerts Online||Historic Data|
Our Best Pick
|Batteries / AC||Yes||Yes||Yes||3||Yes||Yes|
|#3. La Crosse|
|Batteries / AC||Yes||Yes||Yes||1||Yes||Yes|
|#4. Temperature @lert|
What is a Remote Temperature Monitor?
This is basically a thermometer on steroids. The unit itself measures changes in the temperature around it and then streams the data wirelessly. This can be done via WiFi, GSM or even Bluetooth.
The information is then accessible via an app on your phone or by signing in online.
When You Would Use This
It can be a fun thing to be able to see what the temperature is in your apartment before leaving work. If it’s hot, you would know to grab some cold beer to cool you down. Okay, just kidding, the beers a given one way or the other.
Seriously, though, it could be useful to know what the temperature is in your home. If it is starting to swelter, you could remotely turn on the aircon, so it is comfortable when you get back.
Maybe you have a pet at home that you need to cool off, or maybe it’s getting cold enough to turn on the heating. Monitoring the temperature is quick and easy.
It is also extremely useful if you have a business. Most business owners don’t really want to run a sweatshop so monitoring the temperature could be a useful way of checking that the aircon, etc.is working properly.
Perhaps you have a product that needs to be kept at a certain temperature, or a server room to monitor; there are hundreds of reasons that it could be useful to monitor the temperatures at home or at work.
What Do You Want From a Monitoring System?
This is going to depend on how serious the information you are getting is for you. For example, if you are doing this as a fun hobby, your needs will be different from say a florist that must ensure that the cold room is kept at the optimal temperature.
Here are some things that you need to consider up front:
How Will You View the Data and Alerts
Say, for example, the system sends out alerts via text message. That’s great unless you are in an area that is out of cell range. Having a system that sends alerts a couple of different ways makes sense if you will be traveling.
Do you want access to the data at all times or are you happy with just being told about alerts? How you intend to use the data makes a big difference here. Do you need data that is updated every few minutes, or would you rather be able to pull up the details when you want them?
How do you access the data? Can you do so from any device, or just from your cell phone, for example.
How Much Information Do You Want?
I will admit that I love tech and am ready to try out just about every gadget I can get my hands on. I love the idea of being able to check in at home and see what the temperature in my living room is.
I would even enjoy going over the historical data and checking for trends. It could give me a good idea of how energy-efficient my home is. Do I need that data updated every minute? Am I really going to use all that information?
To be honest, once the novelty wears off, no. However, if you are running a server farm, a minute-by-minute history of temperature levels and humidity might be useful. Decide what information you will really use and then choose the model you like best.
How is the Device Powered?
How the device is powered can make an impact on how effective it is overall. If it’s battery-powered only, will you receive alerts for a low battery? How often does the battery need to be charged or replaced? What do you do in the interim?
#1. La Crosse Mobile Unit
This is a good option if you want to check the temperature at home or in storage facilities. The software is free to use for a year, and then you need to sign up for one of the company’s service plans.
It has a six-foot probe that can be used to get into places that are harder to reach, like your freezer. You are able to monitor the data on your laptop or a smart device such as a smartphone or watch.
You can monitor temperatures 24/7 and set a range of pre-set temperatures and humidity levels as well. If the system notes that the temperatures fall outside this range, it will alert you through email and text. The system will also give a warning if the battery is low or the connection drops.
You simply download the app, and you can have a look at the readings for the last day. If you want to go further back, you can download the history also. The settings can be changed whenever you like.
What I like about this is that it is really easy to install – you just need to plug the gateway into your router and then put in batteries. You can choose to connect the probe or not, depending on what information you need. It is also simple to use.
What I didn’t like about this is that the software glitches occasionally.
#2. The AcuRite 3-Sensor
If you have to monitor a few different rooms, this would probably be the better option for you. It has three sensors to help you track the humidity levels and temperatures in three different spaces.
The sensors can either be wall-mounted or just put onto a table or flat surface. The sensors are easy to label so that you know exactly which ones you are looking at immediately.
This also allows you to set your parameters for humidity and temperature. You will be notified by email and text is something is outside the norm.
You need to have access to an Android device, or an iPhone, or the internet to work the sensors. All the data is nicely presented in a series of graphs and charts.
The system also allows you to add up to seven additional sensors. So, if you want to moisture leakage from broken pipes, for example, you can.
What I like about this system is that you can have more than one sensor and that it is easy to use overall. The app is also free, so that is good. It takes a little longer to set up, and you must label your sensors correctly.
What I don’t like is that the sensors have a limited range.
This device is as unobtrusive as it gets at less than two inches square. This is a case of dynamite coming in small packages, though. It has a range of 325 feet if unobstructed. Which means that anything that remains in its line of sight for 325 feet can be measured.
It relays information using Bluetooth, but you can also get a gateway if you prefer to get information online. The app works on iOS 8 and above or on Android 4.3 and above. All you need to do is to place it against your phone with the sensor facing forward to set it up.
The system holds a lot of data. It can hold more than twenty days’ worth at a stretch. It takes readings minute by minute and time stamps each. The data is populated into a detailed graph that you can then export to Excel.
You have a 60-day satisfaction guaranteed, money-back warranty. If you do not like the product for any reason, you can return it for a full refund. If it malfunctions, send it back, and they will fix it.
The company itself has established a reputation for service excellence.
What I liked about this was how compact it is and how much data it can hold. The app itself is free and exporting the data is usually done via Bluetooth. The sensor’s reach is truly exceptional.
What I didn’t like is that you need to buy a separate gateway to access the readings online. It’s not much extra in terms of cost, but I do think that it is important to be able to access the data when you are away, not just when you are in range of Bluetooth.
That said, if you are monitoring a computer room in the same building, this is perfect.
#4. Temperature@lert USB
This is another compact device that is mainly intended for monitoring the temperature in a room of servers. It looks like a plain old USB stick and can be plugged into your computer just like a normal USB and works with Windows systems.
It is a highly accurate system that can measure between zero and six hundred degrees Celsius. You choose what you consider a reasonable temperature range, and if the system exceeds this, you will receive a warning email. You can choose if the warning is sent continuously or just once.
You can also choose whether to have the readings done in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
It is plug and play but does take longer to install than the other options we have reviewed here. However, it is the best option if you have a server room.
If you want access to the data online or want to view it on your phone, you will need to sign up for the company’s cloud service. This is not essential, though.
The system will create a log entry in the event log of the PC it is attached to. There is also a PC shutdown option that you can select in need.
The log alerts will record on your PC’s event log. Also featured is an optional PC shutdown.
What I like about this is that once it is installed, you don’t have to worry about it. It draws power from the computer, so you do not have to worry about batteries running out, etc. It is small and can easily be plugged into a standard USB port.
What I didn’t like is that the install process is more complicated than for other units.
#5. The MarCELL 500
This is a good option for those without access to the internet or a fixed line phone. It is easy to set up and works with towers within the Verizon network. The advantage of this is that there is less downtime and the system is more secure.
The device does connect into the power but also has a lithium battery as backup. It will not interfere with your cell service in any way.
It sends an alert via email, voice, or text if the temperature rises sharply, if there is a lot of humidity, if the power is out and when the power goes back on.
The company does have a cloud-based application so that you can access the information on your smartphone or computer. Data is updated to the cloud three to four times every hour.
You do have the option of adding in extra sensors that increase the range to as much as 200 feet and enable you to monitor more zones. The sensors can be set to alert you about water leakage.
The sensors themselves are small and unobtrusive and run on batteries. You can set them up anywhere you need to quite easily.
What I like about this system is that you don’t need internet access for it to work.
There is a joke on Facebook. In the sixties, the government installed listening devices, and it was called spying. Now we call it Google Echo. Tech has advanced to such a stage that we can now afford to simply and easily monitor every aspect of our lives.
You will know straight away if something goes wrong, even if you are miles from your home or office. All you need is one of these monitoring devices and a good cell or internet service.
For my money, the SensorPush the best in terms of engineering, value and for it’s extremely good data storage capacities. I just wish it had other connectivity options.