March 2013 Archives

Posted By

Much like those cheesy Hair Club for Men commercials of the 90s, I'm proud to say, I'm not just one of the founders of Alarm Grid, I'm also a client!


In case you're wondering, yes, I even pay the same as everyone else!  Alarm Grid's prices are already so low, I gladly pay the same monitoring prices.

So, every week I'd like to highlight a different aspect of my alarm system I love and hopefully cover some cool features you might not even know you have!

First, some background.  Like most of you, I don't come from an alarm background.  This system?  The first one I've ever installed.

My previous house already had a Brinks system installed.  So I, like many people, just paid a silly amount to activate the thing and never even realized the cool stuff that was out there.  It was literally a fixed panel with 3 sensors that I paid close to $40 a month for.  What a silly waste!

So, of course, when I moved into my current house, I called up the usual big guys.  They came out, quoted astronomical prices to cover my home's many openings (4 sliding glass doors each requiring two sensors were just the beginning!) and required long term contracts.

After paying enough early termination fees in my life, I decided to make the unfortunate choice of just putting off my alarm system.  That's never an acceptable solution.

Luckily, I soon discovered the Honeywell L5100 and Total Connect 2.0.  It was love at first site.

A panel that required NO wires (except for its power supply) and offered remote control and  Z-Wave?  As a huge gadget geek that always tried and failed to wire smart homes in the past, I knew I met the panel of my dreams.

Now finding the service?  That was obviously an even easier decision for me.  And hopefully after you meet our amazing staff and learn about our incredible service, it will be an easy choice for you.

So stick with me over the coming weeks and learn about my security system and the cool stuff I'm doing every Friday.  

Tags: , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hey DIYers, it's Sterling here with my weekly column, "Ask Sterling." Every week I'll answer one of your questions and feature it here on the blog.

This week's question comes from John in Washington. John asked a basic, but important question, "How do you turn on a Honeywell L5100?"

Since the panel does not come with an easy power cable like the LT-CABLE by default, that's a solid question!

In the following video, I show John how to open the L5100 control panel and connect the LT-CABLE to the L5100. I also show how to connect the other end of the LT-CABLE to the LYNX Touch power supply.  Oh, and, of course, how to power it on!


Also, if you have any questions you'd like to see answered in Ask Sterling, ask below in the comments!

Tags: , ,

Comments


Posted By

Sometimes Alarm Grid's customers send us pictures of their DIY projects and how we helped or how we made a positive difference in their lives. Today, we thought we'd share a particularly cute one with you all since it warmed our little hearts.


After getting her Alarm Grid security signs and security stickers  this mother decided to use the box to pack her daughter up and send her to us. We're still waiting for the young lass to arrive in the mail, but we are all very excited about having a little girl to keep around the office. And before you get upset by the idea of sending your 3 foot tall child to Alarm Grid (which will fit perfectly into one of those boxes), just look at how happy she is.

Oh, and here's another great little picture of an Alarm Grid sign weathering the great Minnesota winter.


We feel bad for the sign, it looks awful cold and we're against subjecting these beautiful billboards to the elements; we're pretty sure that it's shivering. We asked the homeowners if they could get out there and put a jacket on it. We're hoping they do. If they don't, this sign's got a rough 6-8 months ahead of it.

Is that right? Minnesota has snow on the ground until September?

It's pictures like these that make us happy that we're in Florida. But we're proud of the fact that our Alarm Grid tendrils stretch all the way to the frozen tundras.

If you have a picture of an Alarm Grid sign, or if you have shoved your son or daughter into a box and want to show us, feel free to send your pictures to us at support@alarmgrid.com   If our signs look good in your yard or If we think your kid is cute enough, we might even add the picture to the blog!

Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hi guys and welcome to our first technology post.  As head of development, I'll be going over some of the cooler and more unique stuff we're doing at Alarm Grid.

Today I want to address a very serious concern, and a very appropriate one for an alarm monitoring company: security.

By now, I'm sure most of you know what SSL (Transport Layer Security / Secure Sockets Layer) websites are.  You know, the ones that start with https:// and have a pretty little green box in the address bar.


You'll generally notice these, or at least look out for them, when you're doing something that should involve privacy.  You know, like checking out from an e-commerce store (wait, you go to store other than Alarm Grid!?) or logging in to your favorite social network

But have you ever noticed some sites like Facebook and Google make the entire site SSL?  If so, ever wonder why?

It's because of a nasty little thing called session hacking.  That's when you're logged into a site and a user can steal your cookie and suddenly be logged in as you without ever even typing in your password!

I know what you're thinking.  It's what we all think when it comes to hacking.  Pff, that only happens to other people. 

Well, you'd be suprised how easy it is and how out of your hands it is.  Have you ever logged in to a non-full SSL site at a coffee shop?  Then you're vulnerable.   

There's actually applications out there any one of you, no matter how little of a tech background you have, could use to session hack.  (Google it.  Just don't tell them I sent you.)

Even if you login to a secure part of the site and go to a single non-secure part of the website, that cookie (unless they specify it's only for secure pages) is likely out in the open.  Suddenly, you just gave a hacker access to that site as you!

That's why Alarm Grid we decided to make the entire site SSL secure throughout the whole page from day one.  Just try finding an insecure page.  We dare you.

So why don't other companies?  Generally, because it's complicated and expensive. But we take your security seriously.  Both your home's and your identity's.

If you have any questions for me, please ask me below in the comments!  

Tags:

Comments


Posted By

Mid-7HA few years ago, Honeywell released an Android keypad made by Coby called the Mid-7H. Like most Android tablets, it was pretty enough, but the system was plagued by its slow processor, low resolution screen, and a generally poor public reception. To be honest, it is a bit of an inelegant addition to their wireless LYNX product line. That said, the app for controlling your L5100 which is installed on the device is well-loved by users and if that's what you were looking for, you might be sad to see it go.

Then again, it's not gone quite yet. So if you are desperate to get a Mid-7H for yourself, we will carry them until the product line is exhausted.

The good news for those of you who just wanted the L5100 software, Honeywell has told us that they are going to be making the software available in the Apple store and eventually will make the program available for download on Androids. We're not sure when that will happen, but in the meantime, go ahead and get your hands on one of the few remaining Mid-7Hs. These things are going to be a collectors item like pogs, beanie babies, and old Barbie dolls.

We anticipate that once the world hears of the tablets demise, collectors will scramble to get their hands on one like WalMart shoppers looking for Tickle-me-Elmo the day after Thanksgiving.

Tags: , ,

Comments


Posted By

We are proud to say that our customers really enjoy our service. You don't need to look any further than the wonderful reviews that our many excited customers have left.

We are excited each time that we see a review crop up on our Merchant Circle or Yelp page, but we do get a lot of questions about whether our reviews are real or whether we pay one of those review companies to leave good reviews on these sites periodically.


I'm proud to say that we have never paid for a review, and that every single review we get (and any review we ever will get) are 100% authored by real customers. We're a pretty young company, so for the moment, that means we have no bad reviews. I'm certain that that will change one of these days. But for the time, we're pretty proud of being well liked and we strive to do all the things you can read about in those reviews. We are working hard to offer great customer support, great prices on products, and all the on-site help you can get regarding how to install or set up your security system.

That said, I fully understand why consumers are skeptical of reviews. A lot of companies do pay to have reviews put up, and Business Week recently ran an article that as many as 30% of reviewers for some products are fake I would suspect that there are some industries where the fake to real review ratio is even higher, maybe even as high as 50%.

In all, I'm amazed that when I look at other security companies, it's clear that consumers generally hate dealing with them. I think the perception, on the whole, is that home security companies are manned by unfriendly staff, we don't care about customer service, and we are just interested in making a buck. All we've had to do to get our customers to write the reviews we have gotten is to treat you well, and help you find exactly what you need. As we grow, our biggest struggle is maintaining a balance between getting bigger and not sacrificing the customer service you've come to know so well. So, keep letting us know how we're doing. We're going to rely on your feedback going forward, and we're happy to be able to work with such wonderful customers.

Here's to all of you. Salud!

CHEERS!

Comments


Posted By

We have made lots and lots of videos that we are going to be trickling out over the next few months. We hope you love these, and we invite you to subscribe to the Alarm Grid YouTube channel (which you should definitely subscribe to).

We will be blogging about these videos twice a week. One on Monday and one on Friday. They are mostly DIY install videos designed to teach you everything from how to program sensors into your system to little segments about what makes each product unique.

This first video is simple. If you have one of Honeywell's much loved LYNX Touch control panels, then these first few segments will be very helpful. Today, I'm introducing you to how to do some very simple programming. This short two minute video explains how to change the volume, contrast and brightness on one of our favorite panels.


If you don't like looking at me, most of these videos are just hands on demonstrations of FAQs we've already produced. Learn in your own way. If you want to read these instructions rather than watch them you can read each individual FAQ on changing your LYNX Touch's volumecontrast  and brightness .

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments