Thursday, January 26, 2012

Viper SmartStart VSM250 GPS Car Alarm Review

If there is one word that is often synonymous with car alarms, it is Viper from Directed Electronics. They work well, and really last. They recently upped the anti with the SmartStart. And it will work with most Viper alarms installed in recent years, making for a great upgrade.
I have really enjoyed my more basic Viper HV350. It has worked for several years without a hitch. Probably the best complement is the fact that my Viper system hasn't gotten my attention. Performing as it should, I have had no issues to make me think about it and draw attention to itself. It just works!
So I was just that much more excited when I heard about the Viper SmartStart. Being able to control the alarm with your smart phone is really cool! And add to that the ability to control it and check on it from anywhere makes it even better. And the Viper SmartStart VSM250 is compatible with a majority of the alarms out there within the past few years (check your Viper dealer for compatibility to be sure). There are same killer features.
It's features and specs include:
Remote car starter
Trunk release
Panic or car finder
2-Way confirmation of commands received at vehicle.
Smart Alerts sent via text messaging (SMS).
Security alert messages (for security/RS or security systems only)
Error messages if command not executed at vehicle (all Viper systems)
Vehicle personalization – add a picture or change the name.
Dealer locator – find the nearest dealer quickly and easily using the Find a Dealer tool.
App passcode protection
Password management
Button confirmation sounds
SmartPark – Remembers where you parked your car everytime you lock your doors. Provides directions back to your car.
Viper Motor Club – Free 24/7/365 roadside assistance is included with all SmartStart Secure service plans. That's a $79/year value included at no additional charge.
SmartStart GPS – When combined with the new Viper SmartStart GPS module, you can locate your car, share activity on Facebook (because your car needs friends, too), and set safety notifications if your car is speeding or goes where it's not supposed to go.
Home Control – Now you can also control your home security system with Viper SmartStart!
New App Graphic Interface: Elegant user interface highlights all of the new and exclusive features in SmartStart.
User-selectable Custom Skins: Choose between a new pink UI, or rock the old school Viper look.
Updated "More" Tab: Additional features and new design.
Updated Viper Motor Club: Automatically retrieves subscriber information.
Improved SmartPark Features: Improved accuracy and interactive map UI.
Updated Parking Meter: Updated graphics and simplicity.
This alarm system is loaded! The Smart Start system will let you remote start your car, as well as basic alarm features such as lock/arm, unlock/disarm, trunk release, and panic/car finder. And since it works on the 3G cellular signal, you can do all these features from over 100's of miles away from your vehicle. Very cool.
But add GPS functionality, and it takes the functionality to a whole new level. It adds features like My Car, Smart Park, Parking Meter, and Viper Motor Club. Opening up the app on your smartphone, the home page is where you control the basic alarm features. The other pages are Alerts, Cars, GPS and More. The Alerts page is where you can review notifications such as when the car goes out of the area.
The Cars page is where you can customize it for your vehicle. You can name it, and add a picture of your car. The Locate History will give you a history of where your car has been. The Set Alerts option on the same page gives you just that option: to set alerts. Here you can set it to notify you through text messages if the vehicle goes over a certain speed, if the vehicle moves, if the vehicle goes to certain locations or areas called Hot Spots, notifies you if your battery is low, and also has a Smart Fence feature. This allows you to set an area or fence that the car is allowed to go. Once it crosses the line, you get notified. All of these features are especially handy for keeping tabs on young teenage drivers.
The GPS page pulls up a map of the area and has two icons in each top corner. One is a blue cell phone, and the other is a purple car. Touch the blue cell phone, and it tells you where you are. Touch the purple car and it will show you where your car is. Once it locates your car, it gives you options of last known info of location, traveling speed, and directions at the last known time. There is a share icon, where you can share your location via email or Facebook, and the third option takes you to the set alert page to set an alert.
And last is the More page. Here are options for Settings, Home Control, Viper Motor Club, Smart Park, Parking Meter, Facebook, Find a Dealer, Help, and Tell a Friend. Home Control will allow you to control your home alarm. Viper Motor Club will get you roadside assistance. SmartPark will help you find your car. Click on the Parking Car and it will remember your location. It even allows you to take a picture and take a note. Find your car will do just that. Once I parked in a large several story parking garage and could not remember where I parked. I searched and thought my car was stolen. I finally found it, but wish I had this feature then! The parking meter helps you keep track of how long you have been parked with a timer. The rest are also fairly self explanatory. Facebook will access your Facebook account. Find a dealer will find a local Viper dealer. Help will pull up video demos and app tutorials to help your learn how to use all the features. Tell a friend allows you to send out an email or text message.
Having used the Smart Start, I can't see going back to not having it. That is the best compliment I can think to give. Viper alarms work great. But what if someone breaks in and you are too far away to hear it? Or even worse, what if your car is stolen? Now you will get text notifications if the alarm is triggered, or even worse- moved. Add to that all of the other features, and this loaded alarm is something worth bragging about!!
And it doesn't end there. The SmartStart isn't just well designed with great features, the build quality was good as well. For the warranty to be valid, I had it installed at an authorized Viper dealer. And the SmartStart performed perfectly without a single glitch. If you want to protect your car and it's contents against theft, this is the alarm to get! Based on it's design, quality features and performance, the Viper Smart Start VSM250 has earned our Editor's Choice Award. Kudos to Viper for an amazing product! If you're like me, you research for the best products before your spend your hard earned cash. Save yourself the trouble , and just get the Viper SmartStart. For more information and complete specs, check out their website at