January 2014 Archives

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I'm not into saying "never", so I won't say that Alarm Grid will never make its own security system. But we get a significant number of people asking why we don't do it now, so I've had a lot of practice answering this question. While it might be in the cards someday, let me explain our thinking on why we have made the decision to sell other company's security systems rather than make our own. Our decision is, I hope you will see, consumer-centric. We think that it is better for you, and after you read this, I am certain you'll agree.

1) Creating a better security system than already exists would be really really really expensive...

Modern security systems have hours and hours and hours and hours of R&D. Hardware requires some incredible expertise, and the best hardware designers do not work at Alarm Grid. In fact, those engineers capable of making amazing systems are at places like General Electric and Honeywell. 2Gig is a lab full of former Honeywell-ers, and there are a few other companies that are full of pretty capable hardware creators.

Creating a security system that is better than any of these companies is going to be nearly impossible. There are options available to us. We could, for example, go to a wholesale site like alibaba.com and source foreign-made security systems, slap our sticker on them, and ship them to you. But whatever the case, there is one thing I can be sure of in a world where we go that route: our security system will be inferior to the high quality Honeywell security systems we sell now.

A lot of the systems that are "made" by other companies lack many of the basic features that Honeywell builds into their most popular system, the Honeywell LYNX such as APL (colloquially known as smash & crash), baby-sitter codes, or a graphical user interface that is simple to use and program. Honeywell and these other companies that make big systems have poured many millions of dollars into their R&D. Are their systems perfect? Not by a long shot. But they are very good.

If we ever put our name on a security system, if we are going to willingly call something a product that we created, we are only going to do it because the quality of the system is so incredibly high and the features included in the system are so surprisingly many. Until then, you can expect a store full of Honeywell security systems (and eventually other brands will make it into our catalog as well).

2) Generally companies that make their own security systems are doing it to give the impression of being the good guys... but they aren't...

There are a lot of companies out there that have decided to go the make-their-own-security-system route. They pitch them as more affordable than the alternatives, and many of them have positioned their company as the security company that is responding to the evils of deceptive contracts and pushy sales.

While these companies may provide no-contract alarm monitoring, much like we do, the fact that they have a proprietary system effectively guarantees that their customers don't leave. Unhappy with your system or service after 5 or 6 months? Too bad. If you want to secure your home with someone else's service after you've purchased their equipment, you're going to have to shell out money for an entirely new security system. So while you don't have to pay to terminate a contract early, the price of leaving their company is going to be between $200 and $500 (more if your house is very large). That's about what it would cost to terminate a contract early. So... what's the difference?

3) We View Ourselves Fundamentally as Service Providers

Alarm Grid isn't a hardware manufacturer. We just aren't.

We know a lot about the products we sell. If you check out our reviews.

You will see that people think that we are more knowledgeable than any other company with regard to our featured product lines. What we have built this company on is the desire to make sure that our customers get the best service they can. We don't think that the gap in the industry is on the hardware side. There are a lot of really competent hardware manufacturers. But all you need to do is look at the public facing twitter feeds or read a few reviews of some of the nations biggest alarm companies to see that there is a huge gap on the service side.

We see it a lot when our technicians answer phone calls. Customers call after having left a company that tied them into a long-term contract, pushed them into getting services they didn't need, and they are suspicious of us when they call. We are able to restore their faith in humanity by being kind and answering their question with no pretense.

Focusing on doing things outside of our core competency - such as trying to build a team to put together a hardware system - would require us to sacrifice the human side of our business which is what we're more interested in the first place.

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We hear from apartment renters pretty often wondering if a security system is right for them. One of our goals has been to make sure that anybody and everybody has access to state-of-the-art security, and it's no different for apartment dwellers.

We know that just because you don't own the place where you're living, it doesn't mean that you don't want to protect your property. Thieves don't care whether you own the house or rent it. That's why we've made it simple to setup your system and even simpler to pick it up and move it if you leave your home.

Setting up an apartment security system is easy. So take a look below, we'll explain exactly how we would go about it.

L5100

1) Pick the right system: Honeywell's L5100 panel is the best option for any renter looking for a beautiful, but affordable way to get big-home security. The Honeywell Lynx comes with an energy efficient touch screen, and a 95 db speaker built right into the unit. With the help of our Youtube videos, you can figure out how to use almost every single function of the unit with relative ease.

2) Don't wreck the walls: The L5100 is wireless, except for its need for power. While most security systems are mounted on the wall, no one says you have to be conventional. And, since the wall is owned by your landlord, we would hate to have to lose your security deposit because you punched a hole near the door for a security system. So with the help of an LT Cable and a handy dandy desk mount, you don't have to run wire behind the drywall, and the system will look great just sitting on top of your counter.

3) Wireless means no wires, and sticky tape means no holes: Since this system's wireless, you won't have to go into any attics and pull up wire. All you need to do is teach the system about all the different sensors you've installed in your apartment. You do that by typing in the serial number of your various sensors.

3) Even the communication is wireless: The L5100 can connect to the central station using either the phone line, WIFI, an ethernet cord, or over the cell network. While using the phone line or running an ethernet cord will require some wire, using wifi or cellular (GSM) means that you can have the system sit on a counter top, monitor your wireless sensors, and have nothing more than a power wire running from the system to an outlet. The WIFI communication path is the most commonly used pathway by Alarm Grid customers, but the GSM pathway is a little bit more secure (although it costs $10/month more to be monitored over cellular). All you have to do is decide how you want to be monitored. For WIFI, use the L5100-WIFI; for GSM use the GSMVLP5-4G. Installation is as easy as 1-2-3.

Below is the L5100-WIFI Installation Video


Below is the GSMVLP5-4G Installation Video


5) Home automation is for everyone: This system can be equipped with a Z-Wave module. What that means is that even renters can get creative with home automation. Whether you install Honeywell's ZWStat, or use the Leviton's z-wave plug-in outlet so that you can control the lights in your home.

Below is the L5100-ZWave Installation Video

This system will allow any apartment owner to pick up and go when they are ready to leave their home. And the sensors can go too. Whether you move into another apartment or you end up buying a home of your own, this system really is the most modern security system on the market.

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Our headquarters is in Lighthouse Point, FL, not so far from the quaint little city of Boca Raton. Alarm Grid has clients all throughout Florida, and in much of the United States. We are proud of how we treat our clients, and do whatever we can to serve them well.

Part of serving you is making sure that our municipal registrations are up to date, a daunting task, as you can imagine considering there are around 9,000 municipalities in the United States.

But that, combined with our state of the art equipment, like the Honeywell L5100, our reliable alarm monitoring service, are what ensure that you get an expeditious response from Boca's friendly police force if your property is being compromised.

Alarm Grid has received its permit to provide alarm monitoring services in Boca Raton under account #581.

If you are a resident of Boca Raton, you are responsible for knowing your city's ordinances and regulations. While we are permitted to monitor your system, you are responsible for paying any municipal fees that are owed to the city of Boca Raton or filling in any required registration forms.

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We originally published this last year in December. Since we published it, the article has taken on a life of its own. We never intended for this to be a place where customers would leave reviews. But if you look at the comments, you will see that while many of our passionate customers have left reviews on the many popular review sites we list below, many others have left them right on this page, which is what happens sometimes on the internet: things that were never intended take on a life of their own. I also thought it was worth modifying this post a little bit since things have changed so much in the last year. Sure, we're a bit full of ourselves; we love it when our customers talk about us. And to that end, we've created a lot of ways for you to do just that. So, without further ado, I will list them below, and you can go ahead and take advantage of one or all of the opportunities you have to tell the world about your Alarm Grid experience!

Online Reviews

At Alarm Grid, we do our best to offer an incomparable product: great service, fast shipping, top-of-the-line monitoring. If you have ad an outstanding experience with us, we'd love for you to tell the world about it on one (or more) of the following sites. In exchange, you will get a handwritten thank you note (if we can find you), thanking you for your incredible, kind words.

If you don't like the idea of leaving Alarm Grid's site, you can go ahead and make a comment below, right here in this post. We appreciate the kind words, wherever they are posted.

Just as a side note. While we do our best to live up to a high standard of quality that we have set for ourselves, sometimes we fail. After all, we're only human. If you have had an experience with Alarm Grid that is less than wonderful, before you publish a tirade about it on the internet, we would love for you to send us an email to support@alarmgrid.com and let us know what we can do to make things better. We promise to be reasonable.

Testimonials

So you've had Alarm Grid's monitoring service for some time now, and you want to let the world know that you loved both the product and the service... right? Well, we don't want to get in your way. In fact, we will actually publish your experience right here on our site, and we'll pull out the most flattering quote too. So make sure to say things like, "Alarm Grid is first rate and cares about their customers!" or "The experience that I have had working with Alarm Grid has been absolutely fantastic…" or you might consider saying simply, "I don’t know how much better than this it can get".

All of these were comments and testimonials written by real Alarm Grid customers. We are proud of them, and would love to see many more of these get posted to the site. We really want to let others know that we aren't your average home security company... that said, we'll admit that we do bribe our customers for these testimonials. We give one free month of monitoring away to anyone who writes them and provides us with a picture.

If you want to participate, it's easy, though we do ask that you meet some minimum requirements: 1) you need to have been an Alarm Grid customer for at least 6 months, 2) you need to send us a photo of your home with an Alarm Grid sign in the yard (see current pictures for examples of what we're looking for), and 3) you need to answer at least 5 of the following questions with 3-5 sentence answers (you can make up your own questions too, we really just want to make sure that the testimonial tells a story, and isn't simply yes and no answers). When you're ready, go ahead and email support@alarmgrid.com with your answers to the questions and we will give you your coming month free.

QUESTIONS

  1. If you installed your system on your own, how easy was it?
  2. Why did you pick Alarm Grid over other monitoring companies?
  3. Do you feel safer as a result of Alarm Grid monitoring your house?
  4. How much money did you save by installing this system on your own?
  5. Did you use Alarm Grid's YouTube channel or extensive collection of Q&As to install your system?
  6. If you have home automation, let us know how you use it, and how your security system has improved your life by saving you money or just by doing something awesome that you figured out?
  7. What is your favorite part of your new Alarm Grid system? Do you love its sleek design? Its home automation capabilities? Does the fact that it says "Front door" when you walk into the house make you feel like you have a friend? Whatever it is, let us know!
  8. Did you have an Alarm System before? How does your new Alarm Grid security system compare to your old system?
  9. Why should other people consider Alarm Grid? What made your experience different with us than with any other company you've dealt with?
  10. If you have interactive services such as Total Connect, please talk about how that application has improved your alarm monitoring experience.
  11. Have you taken advantage of the homeowners insurance discount available to central station monitored customers? Talk about how that's been a great cost savings for you!
  12. Many of you have had the opportunity to experience Alarm Grid's incredible customer service. If you have had a great experience with Alarm Grid, tell us a little bit about it. How did we help you?

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