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Alarm Grid has co-branded Total Connect. For those who wanted to feel a bit more like they were part of the AG family, now is your chance. Every time you login to Total Connect 2.0 from your computer, you'll see our beautiful logo up in the right hand corner instead of the old Total Connect logo. On your phone, you will see it at login, and on our information page along with all the necessary information for connecting to support.

For our long-time self monitoring and monitoring plus customers, nothing has changed except the branding of the application. You should continue to get all your emails and texts just as you have in the past, and the application is the same easy to use application you've become familiar with. Just remember, if you have any questions at all regarding your Alarm Grid Total Connect experience, please email support@alarmgrid.com.

If you are new around these parts and are just looking to give Total Connect a try, we have setup a dummy account that will let you test drive Total Connect.

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The last few weeks, we have been hearing rumblings that Home Security Store has not been answering their phones or emails. We have to date not commented on it, since we really don't know anything at all about their financial situation. That said, we know they have sold a lot of product over the years, and that there seems to be a lot of customers feeling a little bit like they are caught in the lurch. And after this CEPro story came out, we thought it was probably time to say something.

While we can't offer advice for those who are waiting on product, other than to say that we offer many of the same products as HSS sells, we can certainly speak to the service/monitoring side. If this is your first time at Alarm Grid, you probably don't know anything about who we are. We are a well-reviewed alarm monitoring provider that happens to sell high quality home security equipment. Most recently, we've begun selling the Honeywell L7000 and L5200 security systems, which are some of our favorites, and which we highly recommend to anyone looking for a system. We pride ourselves on the free tech support we provide to all of our customers. In the last year, we have been over-run with the tech support needs of DIYers who love us!

So for those of you stuck in the middle of the HomeSecurityStore.com mess, we would love to hear from you. Please email support@alarmgrid.com (it's the best way to contact us), or call 888-818-7728. If you call in and don't get an answer, leave us a message. We are quick to respond, and will call you back ASAP. We've been inundated the last few weeks with calls about this Home Security Store situation. So forgive any waiting, and let us help you get the help you need for the products you have received.

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Longform PodcastWe love supporting projects that we both believe in and personally enjoy as a group. Longform is one such project. As avid listeners, we are happy to support such an incredible and well-tuned into podcast.

Alarm Grid is new to sponsorships, but we decided that we wanted to support projects that we were personally excited about as a team. Sure, Longform gives us some great coverage by mentioning our name and describing our monitoring service and our installation videos, but more than that, we are very happy to be getting a chance to support the podcast and it's wonderful team of personalities.

Longform is kind of neat, if you've never been to the site, we highly recommend it. Nothing to do with home security equipment, but a lot to do with reading. Since their inception, Longform has been dedicated to showcasing longer written pieces. Whether fiction, journalistic, or biographical, Longform has really been a powerful part of shaping the modern landscape of both online and offline written content. Whereas newspapers are busy cutting staff and pushing ambulance and fire-truck chasing journalism that Longform's readers tend to be interested in the more in-depth, beautiful prose of well-seasoned writers. And while we really don't have an interest in taking political positions here at Alarm Grid, what excites us about what Longform does is that they feature writings on their site and they interview writers on their podcast. Some of these pieces are political, some are fictional, some are just plain old good stories. They get into the heads of authors, and have them discuss their creative processes.

For those interested in listening to the most recent Longform podcast that Alarm Grid has sponsored, please simply click here.

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Happy holidays everyone!

Remember, while your systems are monitored 24/7 by the good folks at Criticom, our tech team is going to be taking a little break this holiday. Below are the Alarm Grid hours. If you need help, please email support@alarmgrid.com (emailing is the fastest way to get a response) or leave a message when you call 888-818-7728. We will do our best to respond quickly.

  • Dec. 24th - Half day. Closing at 2PM EST.
  • Dec. 25th - CLOSED
  • Dec. 26th-Dec. 30th - Open
  • Dec. 31 - Closing at 5PM EST
  • Jan 1st - CLOSED
  • Jan 2nd - Normal hours resume (Monday-Friday - 9AM-9PM EST, Saturday & Sunday - CLOSED)

We wish you all very well this holiday season, and hope you all have a wonderful week filled with cheer, happiness, and of course, safety. We sent out a nice little e-card to those who are signed up for our monitoring service. So, for those of you who didn't get to see the card, here it is. Please, leave the Alarm Grid team a message. We love hearing from all of you, and we promise that we are reading them all!

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One of the big gripes people have with the LYNX panels is that the only siren that it works with is the 5800WAVE. The truth is that Honeywell's wireless security system can be made to work with any wired siren. It just takes a little bit more work. We've done our best to make it simple with FAQsmanuals, and even an Alarm Grid kit, but we have been missing the most important, helpful element: videos. The following video can be viewed as a series on YouTube (if you head over there, be sure to subscribe to the Alarm Grid channel), or you can watch it in order right below.

In this first video, we show you the Alarm Grid LYNX-EXT. It's the simplest, cheapest way to get an external sounder to work with your wireless security system without having to run a wire. The LYNX-WEXT works roughly the same way as the one in the video below, however, a wire needs to be run from the relay in the WEXT to the system itself.

Putting everything together in the LYNX-EXT is really simple. Sterling goes through the wiring, and how to connect it to the wireless security system.

Sterling goes in depth about how to choose the wired sirens you would like to use, and how to do a quick power calculation on your system. In this video, we demonstrate the strongest siren we sell, the Amseco 52s, which will make a 120dB fuss if the system is breached.

Sterling gives a quick explanation about how to properly wire the siren and the strobe. Once this is done, all that is left to do is set the house ID codes in the system and the 5800RL.

Setting the House ID Codes on the LYNX Touch Units

All three of the next videos demonstrate how to set the house ID whether your system is an older, discontinued L5100, or the newer L5200 and L7000.

Setting the House ID on the 5800RL

Like most Honeywell sensors, the 5800RL uses dip switches to pick its House ID. It is the same way that the 5800WAVE works. Setting these dip switches will allow the system to communicate with the horn so that the siren can start blaring the second you need it most.


Honeywell's AD12612 is the best selling power supply in any kit. Sterling takes us through how to wire the LYNX-EXT to the power supply and external sounder. 


The Panics!

Both to show it works, as well as allowing anyone who is curious a chance to listen to the panic sounds. Below are videos of Sterling demonstrating both the Police Panic and the Fire Panic.



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We're giving the site a facelift! We've partnered with POW Photography in Chicago, IL to make sure that our site is filled with high-resolution product photos. The first pictures we've had them take are our most popular items. So this won't all happen over night, but over the next few months, as you come back to research your new alarm system, don't be surprised when you see a new, beautiful photo suddenly take the place of an old, blurry part.

If you want to see a gallery of the new photos, I'll be including them below as we add them to the site:

Honeywell 5834-4 Wireless Key FobHoneywell 5816 thick wireless door and window sensorHoneywell 5811 wafer thin door and window sensor for the L5100Honeywell GSMVLP5-4G wireless cellular communicator for the L5100Honeywell 300-04705 L5100 LYNXTouch TransformerHoneywell LYNXRCHKIT-SC battery backup for the LYNX Touch security systemHoneywell L5100-ZWAVE module for the LYNXTouch L5100 Security SystemHoneywell L5100-Zwave AnteriorHoneywell L5100-WIFI AlarmNet Communicator for the L5100 LYNX TouchHoneywell 7847i-L AlarmNet communicator for the L3000LYNX Plus GSMVLP4G AlarmNet CommunicatorHoneywell 5800PIR-RES Pet Immune Motion SensorHoneywell LT-Cable for the LYNX Touch L5100

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Our alarm monitoring is not expensive in the slightest. Alarm Grid offers a number of simple plans for your system, that we have done our best to keep very reasonable. We are happy to say that nearly everyone we talk to is amazed to find no-contract monitoring service at the rates we offer, and that our current customers are very happy with their service. That said, we are often asked by more price-conscious consumers why they are better off becoming customers of Alarm Grid than one of those super-cheap central stations. Since we spend so much time explaining anyway, I figured it was about time to do a little write-up on the subject.

Who Does the Monitoring... because Not All Central Stations are Created Equal

One of the dirty little secrets of the home security industry is that the company that actually does the alarm monitoring and alarm dispatching is usually an un-named central station that answers as the company you're paying. Most alarm companies don't even admit that they use a third party for the central station service. Central station monitoring is a commoditized service that companies like Alarm Grid purchase on behalf of their clients. Just like those concerned about price will often try to find the best deal for monitoring, alarm companies do the same. They shop their accounts around so that they can get the cheapest deal on alarm monitoring. Unfortunately, that can result in a under-staffed, under-technologized UL listed central station providing you your monitoring service.

The central station we work with is a company called Criticom. We picked them because they are well-regarded as a central station. For our customers, the average response time over the last 6 months is just over 11 seconds. This kind of response time is incredible, even a little unprecedented. Your accounts are not cheap for us to have monitored. We didn't pick Criticom because of incredible cut-rate pricing. We picked them, over less expensive central stations, because we think they are the best. They have three central stations (something that is not required for a UL listed central station). They have incredible response times, a 30+ year history and they are armed with the best, most modern technology available today. They are always modernizing so that any new technology in the industry is adopted quickly. 

Simply choosing a central station because it's UL listed doesn't cut it anymore. It's important for you to ask your alarm company the detailed questions about who they use for central station service and then to research how that central station may differ from others. Before we selected Criticom to be the official Alarm Grid monitoring partner, we spoke to countless other UL listed centrals. Criticom had the best feature set we could find.

Additionally, Alarm Grid is in control of the phone number that your system uses to communicate with the central station. This is a pretty important fact that most consumers wouldn't even know to ask about. Very simply, it means that if Criticom begins performing poorly (if our customers do not continue to get the same great level of service they've received up to this point) we can simply change which central station we work with.

You Don't Get to Test Your Monitoring Until You Need It

This is a pretty critical point. With cheap alarm monitoring, oftentimes what you're getting is monitoring from a central station that is nothing more than a couple of guys sitting in a cement room, fulfilling the minimal requirements to be a UL listed central station. These alarm companies may say that they can charge less because there is no middleman - they are the ones providing the monitoring. This is often true. However, it's important to realize that there are typically two businesses in the industry: alarm service companies and central station companies. Running a central station competently is not something an alarm service company is necessarily well suited to do.

Alarm companies are generally staffed to the hilt, with installers, technicians and sales people. For companies whose primary business is selling security system service and attempting to get customers to sign up for long, unreadable contracts, running a central station is an afterthought. How can you know that your company will be there when you need them, the one time that you actually get robbed? Well, again, we work with a company that does nothing but central station monitoring. Their job is to be there. We encourage you to test their track record, read as much as you can about them. Criticom's years and years of service are unparalleled. And that level of certainty is what you pay for in an alarm monitoring company.

An Explanation of Alarm Grid's Costs

So given all that, how does Alarm Grid keep our prices so low? The traditional alarm company acquires customers through a number of channels, including offering them free systems in exchange for signing a long-term contract. This free-system scam is one of the most insidious in the industry. Often a company's cost will be around $300, but the monitoring that they sell will end up locking consumers into contracts where they pay for the monitoring, and then pay enough on top of it that they could have purchased a brand new system every single year. We believe in transparency. So, at Alarm Grid, we offer the equipment at as low of a price as we can and only offer alarm monitoring packages that are month-to-month.

Alarm companies often resort to these tactics because they have to pay for the overhead of a bloated installation, sales and tech support team. As a DIY company, we employ only tech support and customer service agents. We are lean, green, and uninhibited by the need to pay a bloated staff. If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting our beautiful live chatters, you'll know that Alarm Grid strives to give you as many communication channels as possible. That said, the content we produce - the FAQs, the videos, our posting of the user manuals, and everything else, is done to make sure that you can do much of what needs to be accomplished on your own. For simple problems, the kind that you might have called an installer to come and fix in the past at a cost of $50 to $100 (like installing a 5811 sensor or changing the master code on a wired Honeywell system), you can now do yourself in a matter of minutes.

As a result of our cost saving measures, we do not need to sacrifice the quality of monitoring by using a cheap central station. So, while we may not have the absolute lowest priced monitoring plans, our rates are anything but cheap and we know that you will be hard pressed to find a company that offers the service on a month-to-month basis at these rates. That said, we will do everything in our power to make sure that we can keep it low cost as possible. Because, while we believe it is important to continue to offer alarm monitoring at a low price, you have our word that we will never sacrifice your safety for our bottom line. If the price of monitoring has to go up someday, we can assure you that the hike will have been very carefully considered and only done if necessary. Such a move would only be done if we had no other choice. And while that may happen some day, we promise that if it does, we will be as transparent about it as we have been with everything.

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According to the Detroit Free Press, many of Detroit's cash-strapped fire departments use a Faygo can filled with metallic objects and puts it precariously at the edge of a fax machine (that's right, they get their fire alerts by fax). When a fax comes in, the paper tips over the can, and a nearby firefighter alerts the rest of the station.

We sell some of the best, state of the art residential monitoring equipment you can find. Using an L7000 and a 5808W3 sensor are going to protect your home using the incredibly reliable, wireless technologies that have been perfected by Honeywell. So when we see low-tech stuff like this, it's astounding. That said, we have to commend those Detroit firefighters for making the most of a hard situation.

It just goes to show, just because you may have a state of the art security system and fire detection system. That doesn't mean that your fire department does. 

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The L5100 is the security system that changed the industry forever. Honeywell gave things a try with its predecessor, the L5000, but it just wasn't right. While the L5000 may not have hit on all cylinders, the L5100 was a smashing success. A Z-Wave controller, a security system, and a beautiful, simple to use user interface ushered in a new era of home security. Responsive, colorful, and simple to use, the L5100 made home security accessible to the common man. The result of the simple 3-touch auto-enrolling process for zone programming, or simple typing in of a serial number, made it so there were no longer complicated button presses to get in and out of programming.

Moreover, this wireless panel was the first full-scale wireless panel that truly won over the old-timers who resisted the transition from wired to wireless. The modular approach to adding communicators gave consumers choices about what exactly they want their system to do.

As of today, stock across the country has been exhausted of this groundbreaking panel, and we have discontinued its sale in our store. It has been replaced by Honeywell's newer, bigger, better panels the L5200 and the L7000. These two new panels are wonderful replacements for this workhorse, and we're sure they are going to become the industry standard for years to come. While different in some ways, the L5200 and L7000 are wonderful additions to the Honeywell family and welcome replacements for what was once a revolutionary panel.

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We were all affected by 9/11. For those in my generation, there is nothing like it that has ever happened. I remember my father telling stories about the Kennedy assassination and how he remembers where he was when he heard the news. Likewise, I remember sitting in period C math class when over the loudspeaker, all the students were asked to come to the gymnasium where the our principal proceeded to tell us what had just happened. I remember it vividly as a confusing day. Planes were grounded, save for the occasional military aircraft patrolling the sky. People were stuck on vacations. No one knew who had done the act or why.

Now, 13 years later, I find myself working in a company that relies on the same first responders who responded on that fateful day to do routine checks on homes, protecting us from unseen dangers. At Alarm Grid, we hope that all of you who are protected by our monitored security systems are always safe and sound. But we can all be incredibly grateful that when we need them the incredible courage exhibited by police and firemen are welcomed.

So while we can all be a little bit sad today, remembering our fallen fellow Americans, don't forget to say thank you to all of the people whom make our lives a little bit better by keeping us safe.

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