Home Security Blog

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Have you ever bought and set up your own furniture from IKEA? If you have, you probably felt pretty proud of your creation once it was ready to use. There's something to be said about building something yourself versus having a professional do it. And this is true for alarm systems as well.

Honeywell lyricpk10 lte enc encrypted at and t lte alarm system Researchers have often dubbed this phenomenon "The IKEA Effect". The basic concept is that a consumer will place a higher value on something they assembled themselves. The time investment and labor they put into their creation provides feelings of satisfaction, competence and accomplishment that just can't be obtained through a monetary purchase alone. By rolling up your sleeves, getting your hands a little dirty and working with something hands-on, you will psychologically gain a greater appreciation for your new purchase.

Of course, it's easy to apply this ideology to our own business model. Alarm Grid has always considered itself to be a true pioneer for the DIY security industry. One of our biggest goals is to try and help our customers understand their security systems. This way, they can make their own adjustments and changes, without having to rely on someone else to do it for them. Doing this offers feelings of empowerment, and it helps a person to truly understand how their system works and the type of monitoring service they are paying for every month.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

It's also important to understand that setting up your own security system in its entirety does not have to be a difficult process. It really depends on the type of system that is being used. Wireless systems are not challenging to install, and the programming options are actually very intuitive with just a little bit of assistance. Alarm Grid is happy to provide this support online or over the phone. You don't need to pay for an expensive installer to come out to your house when you can do just as good of a job on your own. Afterwards, you'll surely love your new alarm system you put in, and you will feel very proud that you actually did-it-yourself.

And if you want to make the job even easier, most new wireless panels support desk and table stands that eliminate the need for mounting. If you mount your wireless sensors with double-sided foam tape - it works great - you can set up a complete home security system using almost no tools. You might need a screwdriver to connect some wires and install some batteries, but that is it. Some great systems for this type of setup include the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

Qolsys iq panel 2 classic kit verizon wireless security system wAlarm Grid is proud to be a true DIY security company for DIY users. We know that customers feel happier and are more empowered when they install their systems. If you haven't already joined the Alarm Grid family, now is a great time to get started. Just click the orange "Alarm Monitoring" button at the top of this page to see more information about our monitoring plans.

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Hi there DIYers! It's time for another video recap. Our team uploaded a bunch of new videos over the past few days - 13 to be exact. Join your Alarm Grid pals Joe and Jorge, and learn how to get the most out of your security system. Let's take a closer look at the new videos from Alarm Grid.

Backup Battery on an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge talks about the backup battery that is used with the Interlogix Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Alarm Systems. A backup battery is very important for ensuring that an alarm panel remains powered on during an electrical outage. Normally, a system stays powered on through a plug-in transformer. But this is not possible during a power outage. Instead, the backup battery will supply power until the connected transformer is once again providing power. These systems both use the Interlogix 600-XTI-BAT Backup Battery.


Changing the Date or Time on an Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5

Jorge demonstrates how to adjust the date and time on an Interlogix Simon XTI or Simon XTi-5 Alarm System. You will most likely need to do this upon powering the system on for the first time. The date and time setting is easily accessible through the main settings menu of the system. In order to access this option, you must provide the Master Code for the system. This code is set to 1234 by default. You will first set the time, followed by the date.


How Do I Flash Upgrade my 2GIG GC3 Alarm System?

Jorge teaches users how they can perform a flash firmware update for their 2GIG GC3 Security System. Any GC3 System that was manufactured awhile ago might not be running on the latest firmware. You will need to upgrade it to the latest firmware in order to unlock the latest functions and features for the system. This includes the "smart areas" partitioning feature, a first-ever partitioning feature for wireless security systems. Alarm Grid has a webpage for information on upgrading the firmware on a GC3 System. It can be accessed here.


Monitoring for a Self-Installed Interlogix Simon XT

Jorge explains how an Interlogix Simon XT System that was self-installed can be used with alarm monitoring services. A DIY monitoring company like Alarm Grid doesn't care whether a security system was installed by a professional or a DIY user. All that matters is that the system is set up properly. Once it has been installed, it can be activated by an alarm monitoring company for monitoring service. Alarm Grid offers phone and email support to assist users with this process.


Adding an External Keypad to the Interlogix Simon XT

Joe shows users how to add an external keypad to the Interlogix Simon XT Alarm System. A keypad is great for adding a second on-site access point for controlling the alarm system. For example, a user might add a keypad near their garage door so that they can conveniently disarm their system when they come through that entrance. In the case of the Simon XT, the Interlogix Two-Way Talking Touchscreen is used. A user might prefer using that keypad over the actual panel, since the panel is push-button only.


Programming a Door Sensor to the Interlogix Simon XTi or XTi-5

Joe walks users through the process of adding a door contact to an Interlogix Simon XTi or Simon XTI-5 Alarm System. The way that a door sensor works is with a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is installed on or inside the stationary frame of the door. The magnet is installed on or inside the moving portion of the door, usually within a half-inch of the sensor. When the door is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor and cause the sensor to activate. The sensor must be programmed with the system in order to operate.


Best Wiring Practices for the Simon XT

Joe covers the optimal wiring practices for the Simon XT Alarm System. This panel uses AC power from a plug-in transformer. The system comes included with its own 22-gauge power wire that is roughly eight feet long. The user can also use an 18-gauge or 16-gauge wire to power the system. The 18-gauge and 16-gauge wires are thicker, which allows for longer wire runs. The system comes with its own AC transformer for power. Since the system uses AC power, polarity doesn't matter. This means any color wire can connect to any terminal.


Changing the Volume on an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge explains how to adjust the volume level for an Interlogix Simon XTi or Simon XTi-5 Alarm System. Changing the volume will affect any system chimes and any beeps that occur when buttons on the system are pressed. This will be noticeable whenever the system armed or disarmed, when compatible sensors are activated and when buttons are pressed. The system has options for voice volume and beep volume which are adjusted separately from the same menu.


Changing the Volume on an Interlogix Simon XT

Jorge shows users how to adjust the volume on an Interlogix Simon XT Alarm System. The system has options for both voice volume and beep volume. Both of these options can be adjusted individually. The system will produce noises when the system is armed or disarmed, when compatible sensors are activated, and when buttons are pressed. You will need the Master, Installer or Dealer Code to change the volume for the Interlogix Simon XT Security Panel. The default Installer Code is 4321.


Internal Siren Overview on an Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge covers the internal siren that is present inside the Interlogix Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Alarm Systems. The siren is set to activate whenever a burglary or fire alarm occurs to let people inside the building know about the emergency. The siren is rated at 85 dB, which is about the same volume as a car alarm. The system has a menu for adjusting the siren settings. You will need to provide the Installer or Dealer Code to access this menu. Both of these codes are set to 4321 by default.


Use Alexa to Arm & Disarm a Honeywell System

Joe explains how a Honeywell Security System can be armed with a voice command sent through an Amazon Alexa device. The system will need to be set up with the Total Connect 2.0 interactive service platform in order for this to be possible. You will need to have the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill enabled from within the Alexa App. You must provide your Total Connect 2.0 account to link your system with Alexa. Please note that you cannot disarm your system using Alexa voice commands, as it would be a security risk.


Alarm.com and the Interlogix Simon XTi & XTi-5

Jorge talks about using Alarm.com with the Interlogix Simon XTi and Simon XTi-5 Alarm Systems. These systems can both connect with the Alarm.com platform as long as they have an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator installed and activated. A user can access the Alarm.com platform through the website or the Alarm.com Mobile App on Android or iOS devices to control their system. There are many great features available through ADC, and it certainly makes a user's life more convenient!


Alarm.com and the Interlogix Simon XT

Jorge explains how the Interlogix Simon XT can be used with the Alarm.com service. This system also requires that an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator is installed and activated to access the platform. The Simon XT actually uses the same cellular communication modules as the Simon XTi and XTi-5 Systems for this purpose. A user can access Alarm.com at any time to arm or disarm their system, check current system status, control Z-Wave smart home devices, view the live feed for Alarm.com Security Cameras and more.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the Honeywell CELL-EXTST. This an antenna adapter cable designed for use with the Honeywell Lyric Panel. This adapter allows you to connect a cellular antenna with the the Lyric Cell Radio to boost its signal strength and communicate more reliably.

Normally, we recommend using cellular amplifiers to boost the strength of a cellular module. These tend to work more reliably than antennas, and they allow you to boost the cellular strength throughout the building. But if a user plans on using an antenna, they will need to make sure it is strong enough to achieve the reliable connection they want. Normally, the fixed-length Honeywell CELL-ANTU will work just fine for this role. This antenna offers a 1dB gain of signal strength, and it has a 10-foot cable that cannot be extended. The Honeywell CELL-ANTU already comes with the Honeywell CELL-EXTST Adapter for integrating with the Lyric Controller. But if a user requires a stronger antenna, they will need to use the Honeywell CELL-EXTST Adapter to complete the connection.

Sometimes, a larger antenna can make all the difference for ensuring reliable communication with the Honeywell AlarmNet Servers. This is especially true for those who live in rural areas that may be located very far away from a cellular tower. But since the Lyric Cellular Modules use a unique TS9 plug, they need the CELL-EXTST to work with the stronger outdoor antennas. For ultimate signal boosting, we recommend using the Honeywell CELL-EXTST with the Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB AlarmNet Weatherproof Antenna. This will provide up to an additional 3dB in signal strength. You will also need a COAX cable of the desired length to complete the connection. The proper extenders will allow the CELL-ANT3DB to reach a wire length of between 25 and 50 feet for flexible wiring options. But please note that a longer wire run will decrease the signal gain that is provided. By using the outdoor CELL-ANT3DB, your Lyric will certainly enjoy a better connection. This will give you great peace of mind in knowing that your home is monitored!

The Honeywell CELL-EXTST is what makes the connection possible, and it can now be purchased individually from Alarm Grid. Get one for your system, and achieve the reliable connectivity you need! For more information on Honeywell Cellular Antennas, please review this helpful document.

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Hi DIYers! Did you know that Alarm Grid offers certified refurbished versions of some of the most popular Honeywell Security Systems and accessories? Our refurbished offerings work just as well as any new equipment. Going this route can be a great option for cutting overall system costs.

All of our certified refurbished equipment is sent to us directly from the manufacturer, Honeywell. It starts when the previous owner of an eligible piece of Honeywell equipment sends the product back to Honeywell for one reason or another. Honeywell will clean up the equipment, restore any defects and basically ensure that it works good as new. With Honeywell's strict oversight, the refurbished equipment is guaranteed to function exactly the same as any new equipment. We then purchase this equipment from Honeywell. Any customer who buys this equipment will have it professionally sent to them from the Alarm Grid headquarters.

In the highly unlikely event that the refurbished equipment does not function as it should, Alarm Grid offers a warranty protection in conjunction with the original warranty Honeywell put on the product. The original warranty will depend upon the manufacture date of the equipment. We will honor any remaining warranty from Honeywell that is left on the equipment, or we will offer our own warranty of up to 90 days, whichever is longer. While we are very confident in all of the refurbished equipment we offer, we fully understand that some customers will want some protective measures put in place before buying this type of equipment.

At this time, our refurbished lineup is restricted to four Honeywell products. However, we may decide to expand this lineup sometime in the future. Our team will make sure to let you know if any new refurbished products become available. The following products are currently available as certified refurbished versions:

If you have any questions about our refurbished products, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! You may email us at any time at support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST Monday thru Friday.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the Honeywell PAL-T Hardwired Door and Window Contact. Although we often get very excited about the idea of using wireless contacts, we recognize that some people still want hardwired contacts. The PAL-T is one of the most versatile options we offer.

Honeywell pal t wh surface mount door contact and window contactIn terms of operation the Honeywell PAL-T is extremely simple. The device consists of a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is wired-in directly with the panel, and it is installed on the stationary frame of a door or window. The magnet is then installed on the moving portion of the door or window within 1.125" of the sensor. As a surface mount sensor, the PAL-T and its magnet will be visible from the outside of the door or window. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor. This will cause a reed switch inside the sensor to trigger. Once this happens, the sensor will send an alert to the alarm system to let it know that the door or window has been opened. The system will then respond based on the programming settings for that zone.

As a hardwired sensor, the PAL-T is most commonly used with hardwired systems. However, it can also be used with wireless systems that have available zone terminals for hardwired sensors. Additionally, a user can convert the hardwired connection into a wireless transmission through the use of a wired to wireless converter, like the Honeywell 5800C2W. This works by connecting the PAL-T with the wired to wireless converter. The converter will then send a wireless signal to the alarm panel on the behalf of any connected sensors. This will allow the wired sensors to be used with the system as though they were wireless sensors. Doing this is a great way to bring over multiple existing wired contacts and set them up with a newer wireless alarm panel.

What's great about the Honeywell PAL-T is its small size that allows it to be used in a number of different security applications. It will fit on almost any door or window and provide effective monitoring of that opening. The vast array of programming options make it extremely versatile. Depending on the system, you might just have PAL-T instruct the system to chime whenever it is activated. A common option is to have it set as an entry/exit door. If an entry/exit sensor is activated while the system is armed, the user will need to disarm the system within a set entry delay period, or else an alarm will occur. Another possibility is to make a door or window truly off-limits and set it as a 24-hour zone. This will cause an immediate alarm if the sensor is activated, regardless of the system's current state. Setting a zone for this purpose can be great for fire doors or emergency door or windows.

And of course, one of the best aspects of the Honeywell PAL-T is that it is one of the cheapest sensors we offer. If you are fine using hardwired sensors, then this is a very affordable way to monitoring virtually any door or window. You can purchase the Honeywell PAL-T on the Alarm Grid website right now. Stock up on a few, and provide complete protection for your home or business!

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Hi DIYers! We recently made a post that compared wireless systems with hardwired ones. We ultimately concluded that most end users are better-suited with a wireless system. If you have decided that you need a wireless home security system, this buyer's guide can help you review the options.

Remember, no matter which system you buy, you will need an alarm monitoring plan to go along with with it. Please review our alarm monitoring page for more information. Below are some of the best wireless security systems on the market today and what makes them so great:

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is arguably the most robust alarm system on the market today. Each version provides support for PowerG 915 MHz Sensors and a choice of one legacy sensor type (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz or 433 MHz). The PowerG Sensors are particularly renowned for their ability to be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the system in open air. This is also one of the few wireless all-in-one panels with the ability to display the live feed for Alarm.com Security Cameras right from its screen. The panel also includes a built-in LTE cellular communicator (AT&T or Verizon) and a fully functional Z-Wave Plus Controller. In fact, this is one of the very few systems where virtually no add-ons are needed. However, the IQ Panel 2 Plus is one of the more expensive wireless panels available on the market. But users will certainly appreciate its sleek, modern design and superb functionality. The system uses Alarm.com as its interactive service platform, and it can readily connect with the service. All versions of the IQ Panel 2 Plus can be seen here.

Choose the IQ Panel 2 Plus if:

  • You want the remarkable signal range that comes with PowerG Sensors.
  • You want the ability to easily bring over existing wireless sensors (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz or 433 MHz) with your new security system.
  • You want the ability to view your security cameras right from your panel.
  • You don't mind paying top-dollar for an alarm system.

Honeywell Lyric Controller

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

The Honeywell Lyric Controller is still the flagship alarm system from Honeywell, and the time-tested company has once-again produced an excellent panel. The Lyric is perhaps the best system on the market today for use with Apple HomeKit. It can pair natively with HomeKit in order to provide all of the functionality that a user would expect with the feature. The Lyric System also has its own lineup of encrypted sensors, called the Honeywell SiX Series. Additionally, it is backwards compatible with the Honeywell 5800 Series. Another factor that separates the Lyric from other systems is its ability to be used with Total Connect 2.0. This service is designed exclusively for Honeywell Alarm Systems, and it offers similar functionality to that of Alarm.com. The system's built-in WIFI card allows it to readily connect with the service. One downside to the Lyric is that it only includes a Z-Wave classic controller as opposed to a Z-Wave Plus controller. While it can support Z-Wave Plus devices, they will only have the capabilities of Z-Wave classic devices when used with this system. Please note, a separate Lyric Cellular Module is needed for cellular connectivity.

Choose the Lyric Controller if:

  • You plan to use your alarm system with Apple HomeKit.
  • You prefer using Total Connect 2.0 over Alarm.com.
  • You want to use encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Sensors.
  • You don't require a Z-Wave Plus controller.

2GIG GC3

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenThe 2GIG GC3 just gave itself a major upgrade in the form of partitioning support. This makes the GC3 the first ever AIO wireless system to support partitioning. 2GIG refers to this feature as "smart areas", and the system on the latest firmware, and up to four of these areas can be supported. Beyond that, the GC3 is also highly regarded for its strong build quality. That's not to say the other panels are lacking in that department, but the GC3 is perhaps the sturdiest system we have ever worked with. Its touchscreen controls are extremely responsive, and its full-color 7-inch display is a joy to look at. The system can use 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors. One weakness of the system is that it does not support any type of encrypted sensors at this time. But it does include a built-in Z-Wave Plus Controller for smart home devices. Like the IQ Panel 2 Plus, the system uses the Alarm.com service. But the user will need to buy a separate GC3 cellular communicator to use ADC.

Choose the GC3 if:

  • You need partitioning support.
  • You want a system with superb build-quality.
  • You want to use the Alarm.com platform.
  • You don't need encrypted wireless sensors.

2GIG GC2

2gig cp21 345 front

The 2GIG GC2 is our pick as a "budget" security system. We know that many people getting into home security will not need all of the advanced features that the state-of-the-art systems have to offer. That is where is the 2GIG GC2 comes into play. With the right support, it can still serve as an extremely viable option for many users. The panel features a 3.75" by 2.25" touchscreen with very responsive controls. This is considerably smaller than the 7-inch touchscreen displays of the other panels on this list, but it will work just fine for many users. The panel can support up to 60 wireless zones. Again, this is considerably less robust than the other systems, but it will be perfectly acceptable for most smaller and medium-sized homes. The system includes a Z-Wave classic controller for supporting smart home automation devices. In order to get the GC2 connected with Alarm.com, a separate GC2 cellular communicator is needed. Overall, if you're looking for a new security system at a reasonable price, you can't go wrong with the 2GIG GC2.

Choose the GC2 if:

  • You're shopping for a system on a budget.
  • You want a simple, yet capable alarm system.
  • You don't need support for as many wireless zones.
  • You don't need a larger touchscreen display.

If you still need help deciding on a wireless system, don't hesitate to reach out to us for support! You may email us any time at support@alarmgrid.com. Or you can call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST Monday thru Friday. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid is experiencing temporary issues sending and receiving phone calls. Our phone system provider, Twilio, is currently having technical difficulties. We expect this problem to be resolved shortly. Alarm Grid apologizes for any inconveniences this may cause for our customers.

If you require support at this time, we recommend using our online chat function. You can use this feature to speak with one of our technicians and receive support in real time. You may also email us at support@alarmgrid.com. If you need to contact the central station, you may call (800) 432-1429. This will put you into direct contact with Criticom Monitoring Services.

Again, we expect the problem to be fixed shortly, and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Update: As of 12:49pm EST, our phones are back and working. Please let us know if you are still experiencing any issues.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're examining the DSC PG9916 PowerG Wireless Smoke and Heat Detector. This is one of the best wireless smoke detectors available on the market today. It offers reliable fire detection, and its signal range is second-to-none. It works with any PowerG-compatible system.

Dsc pg9916 powerg 915mhz wireless smoke and heat detector

As you probably know by now, we're major fans of the 915 MHz PowerG wireless sensors. When used with a DSC PowerSeries Neo Alarm Panel, these sensors boast a remarkable wireless signal range of up to 2 kilometers in open air. The smaller wireless antenna used with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems limits this range to 2,000 feet in open air. But this is still a very impressive range for a wireless device. And a repeater can always be used to extend the range if needed. This strong range gives the user a lot of options when choosing a place for the DSC PG9916. For example, they could place it in a guest house across the property and experience no communication issues whatsoever.

As a versatile life-safety sensor, the DSC PG9916 provides both reliable smoke and heat detection. This gives it two methods for detecting any fires that may occur. The smoke detector is a photoelectric sensor that includes an internal light. When smoke enters the detection chamber, the light will be refracted. The sensor will respond to this action and alert the security system. The heat sensor uses fixed temperature detection, and it will activate at a temperature of 140°F or higher. Once the sensor has been activated, the alarm system can request automatic emergency dispatch from a central monitoring station if this feature is included in the user's alarm monitoring plan. The sensor will also produce its own 85 dB alarm to alert those inside the building. And like all PowerG Sensors, the PG9916 uses 128-bit AES encryption to prevent any hacking or takeover attempts.

In addition to the PG9916, Alarm Grid also offers the DSC PG9926. This is a standalone smoke detector with no heat detection function. This sensor can be better-suited for areas that regularly reach above 100°F. Both sensors are available for purchase on the Alarm Grid website now, and they both make great additions to any PowerG-compatible alarm system. Get one for your system today!

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We have received news from Honeywell that there is a temporary problem with SkyBell Cameras being used with Total Connect 2.0. At this time, users cannot view saved SkyBell recordings through Total Connect 2.0. However, a user can still view the live feed for their SkyBell Camera.

Honeywell doesn't have an ETA on a fix at this time, but they are working on a resolution. Please note that users can still view saved recordings through the SkyBell App. We recommend using that app if you need to view any saved recordings during this time. Alarm Grid will let you know when we receive word from Honeywell that the problem has been fixed. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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If you're in the market for a new home security system, you are likely faced with the decision to go hardwired or wireless. Both options have their merits, but it really comes down to the needs of the user. But we will say that in most cases, a homeowner will want to go the wireless route.

Honeywell vista 21ip internet alarm control panel open

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

That's not to say that hardwired home security systems aren't right in certain situations. It's just that they offer greater challenges than wireless systems. Most users will want the convenience and ease-of-use that hardwired systems simply cannot offer. Perhaps the most obvious factor is that wireless systems are much easier to install and get started with than hardwired systems. This can be very important for DIY users who don't want to hire a professional installer.

Many wireless alarm systems can be installed without even drilling any holes. Although they can certainly be mounted, most wireless systems support desk stands that allow them to be conveniently rested on any desk or table. Wireless systems can also be readily used with wireless sensors. These sensors can often be mounted using double-sided foam tape, thereby eliminating the need to drill holes.

On the other hand, a hardwired system will almost certainly need to be mounted. These systems provide ready support for hardwired sensors. Any hardwired sensor will need to have a wire that is connected directly with the system. This can mean running wires across the entire premises for a complete hardwired setup. Although most wired systems can be configured to use wireless sensors, they will usually require a separately purchased wireless receiver to make this possible.

Honeywell 5881enh unlimited zone wireless receiverThe next consideration that a user should make is the ease of use for the system. Most users find that wireless panels are much easier to use and program. These systems often feature built-in touchscreen controls and menus that are easy to navigate. With some minor instructions, an end user will be able to set up their wireless system in its entirety. Additionally, the touchscreen navigation will make it easier for the user to perform basic system functions like arming and disarming. This can be very important for users who aren't always the most tech-savvy.

Hardwired systems function differently. These panels typically use external hardwired keypads that are wired-in directly to the panel. Although there are some wired touchscreen keypads, most wired keypads are of the push-button variety. This means that a user will have to enter-in various codes to perform basic system functions. The menus will not be as easy to navigate, and deep-level programming will often require the use of an intricate and sophisticated programming guide. In fact, many users of hardwired systems do not even attempt programming, and they leave the task to a professional installer.


Another advantage that wireless systems offer is that they usually come more "ready" than hardwired systems. That is, wireless systems typically require fewer add-ons than hardwired systems. Many wireless systems come ready-to-go right out of the box. As mentioned earlier, these systems come with integrated touchscreen controls so that no external keypad is needed. Wireless panels also come with built-in wireless receivers so that they can support wireless sensors. If a user wants to use wireless sensors with a hardwired system, they will almost certainly need to add a wireless receiver. Modern wireless panels will also usually come with some type of communicator so that they can readily connect with a central monitoring station. But please note that many wireless systems will still need to have a cellular communicator added for cellular monitoring services.

Hardwired systems don't come nearly as ready. Virtually every system function for a hardwired panel will require some type of add-on. Even basic functionality will require an external keypad. And hardwired systems almost never come with a built-in communicator. Instead, a separate communicator will need to be added and installed if a user wants reliable connectivity with a central station or an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com.

Honeywell lte xv alarmnet verizon lte cellular communicator

One area where wired systems do reign supreme is adding value to the property. A hardwired system with wired sensors will essentially integrate in with the building itself. This is something you can actually list when selling the building, and it can certainly increase the property's resell value. But a wireless system is not necessarily considered a fixture in the home, and it will not add to the home's value.

However, the upside is that wireless systems can be taken to a new property much more easily than wired systems. The user will just need to unplug the panel, dismount their sensors, put them in a box, and bring them to their new house. But for hardwired systems that have wires running throughout the building, the process is much more challenging. Many wires and sensors may be inaccessible, and a professional might need to remove them. For that reason, it's not much of a surprise that a user will often leave their hardwired system behind when moving to a new property. As mentioned earlier, this can provide the added benefit of increasing the home's resell value.

One final consideration is that wired systems usually require less maintenance than wireless systems. Wired sensors use power provided from the panel, and they will almost never require any type of maintenance. In other words, once a hardwired system has been installed and programmed, a user will almost never need to make any adjustments. The only thing they will need to worry about is replacing the panel's backup battery every few years.

But the wireless sensors that are used with wireless systems cannot receive power directly from the panel. Instead, these sensors rely on internal batteries that must be replaced every few years. If a user has many wireless sensors, they can expect that they will need to replace many sensor batteries at some point in the years to come. Fortunately, the wireless panel will let the user know when the sensor batteries are low and in need of replacing. It's also important to remember that most wireless sensors offer fairly impressive battery lifespans, and batteries will not need to be replaced very often. But this is still more maintenance than what is required with wired systems.

Consideration
Winner
Ease of Installation Wireless Systems
Ease of Use
Wireless Systems
Readiness Wireless Systems
Adding Property Value Wired Systems
Bringing to New Location Wireless Systems
Required Maintenance Wired Systems

In conclusion, most users find that wireless alarm systems are the superior option for home security. They are easier to set up and use, require fewer add-ons and are easier to bring to a new location. But a user might prefer a wired system in situations where they want to add to the property's value or if they want a system that requires as little maintenance as possible.

If you still can't decide between a wired or wireless system, feel free to reach out to us for help! You may email us at any time at support@alarmgrid.com. Or if you prefer to call us, you can reach us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm Monday thru Friday. We look forward to hearing from you!

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