As an Amazon Associate, Step by Step Websites earns from qualifying purchases but the price you pay is not affected. For more info, see terms and conditions.
Both the Govee Motion Sensor and the Kangaroo Motion Sensor are low cost tech products with high ratings on Amazon. There are, however, distinct differences that the tech shopper should know about when using these products to protect a home, business, or car.
How Each Sensor Works
Both sensors use IR waves to determine motion. The difference between the products is how the IR sensor relays the alert.
When the Govee detects motion, it sends a signal the the hub that is plugged into your home’s power. When the hub receives the signal, it lights up and plays the alert you prefer at the volume you prefer. There is no connection to your wifi/ internet system with this device.
On the other hand, the Kangaroo system does not have a hub as a default. It requires you to connect the sensor to your wifi system with the phone app. When the Kangaroo detects motion, it sends an alert through your wifi system (router) to the servers at Kangaroo, which sends the push notification alert to your phone.
The Govee will not depend on your wifi system, but it requires the hub. The Kangaroo, on the other hand, will need your home’s wifi to send the alert to your phone.
These two motion sensors were specifically chosen because they differ in alert method. The Kangaroo is the best motion sensor that sends the alert to the app on the user’s phone, and the Govee motion sensor is the best motion sensor that sends the alert to a hub located inside the house.
Since the Govee does not require your wifi to work, if your internet is cut or temporarily goes out, the sensor keeps working (as long as you have power). This is simple monitoring at its best.
On the other hand, the Kangaroo requires wifi to work. As long as the sensor can communicate with the router, you can monitor activity around the sensor from anywhere.
Implications of Wifi Differences
The Govee will alert the hub of motion, so you need to be present to hear the alert. That makes this motion sensor the most simple and reliable option for “at home” monitoring while the user is sleeping. You can also take the sensor and hub with you, and monitor anything locally, as described below.
The Kangaroo motion sensor sends the alert through the home’s wifi and eventually to the user’s phone. As a result, this motion sensor is the best option for monitoring motion while the user is out of town, and not at home. The phone will still alert while you are home, but it is more complicated than the Govee because it is dependent on the wifi system.
The Govee can easily go with you on a road trip if you want to place the sensor in your car or RV. The hub/ sensor pairing is all you need, so this sensor might be more versatile as you travel. By parking outside the hotel room (request a specific room on the parking lot side of the hotel), you can monitor your car from the hotel room.
The Kangaroo does not lend effectively to road trips because it would require you to pair it to the hotel’s system, which might not accept smart devices.
Installation of both products was simple. The Govee requires you to pair the sensor with the hub. It also comes with some step by step instructions.
The Kangaroo sensor requires you to download the app and connect it to your wifi. This process was also very painless.
Both items use batteries for power. Govee requires 3 AAA batteries, and Kangaroo requires 2 AA.
The range for the Govee is listed as 328 feet, greater than a football field, and is totally dependent on the sensor and the hub (not wifi signal). Whether the signal reaches the hub depends on distance and number of walls.
The range for the Kangaroo is dependent on the sensor and the wifi signal. If your sensor can’t find your router signal, distance will suffer. If you have a good wifi signal, you might be able to push the range. One reviewer said it worked at 200 feet.
At low prices, many users are testing these sensors under creative conditions. While both are rated for indoor uses, at $7 – $16, you might be able try these sensors in a protected area outdoors. They are specifically rated for indoor use, but at such low prices, one could easily experiment with different weather conditions. As with all IR sensors, they don’t like direct sunlight, so a protected patio or a sheltered area from sun and moisture would limit the sensor’s limitation to extreme temperatures. In this case, lower temperatures need to be tested for each individual test case. Battery life will be affected negatively, so batteries might need to be switched out more frequently, or the sensor would have to be brought inside during the winter if freezing temperatures cause the sensor to stop working.
Another creative use that is gaining popularity is car monitoring with motion sensors. Motion sensors are a cheap alternative to car alarms because they allow you to monitor activity within the cabin of your nearby vehicle. A logical extension of this tech solution is monitoring an RV parked in front of the house with motion sensors. Both of these tech solutions could save you hundreds of dollars.
See Kangaroo Motion Sensor Review for more details.
See Govee Motion Sensor Review for more details.
Both the Govee Motion Sensor and the Kangaroo Motion Sensor are great products with low prices. The largest difference between these products is that one uses wifi, and the other is “Old School,” not requiring your router’s wifi. To simplify the overall choice, if you prefer to receive alerts directly on your phone, try the Kangaroo motion sensor. If you don’t want to use another app and install another device on your wifi, and you want to receive alerts on an independent hub, the Govee motion sensor is a great option.