February 2019 Archives

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Hi DIYers! As you probably know by now, Amazon Alexa is a great tool to pair with any alarm system using Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. We thought that it would be nice give a quick refresher on how integrating Amazon Alexa with your home security system can make your life easier.







If you're like many people, you already have an Amazon Alexa device installed in your house. These devices offer great convenience and entertainment, and they are extremely simple to get started with. You can get updates on the news, weather and so much more. Some users even just keep Alexa around to ask random questions or to kill some time playing interactive games and solving brain teasers. Alexa really is great for anyone looking for an easy way to try out smart home functionality first-hand.

You don't necessarily need an intricate and fancy Amazon Alexa network to start using voice-control to operate your home alarm system. Even a basic Alexa Device like an Echo Dot will allow you to get started. You can set up your Alexa Device like normal and then integrate your alarm system later if you feel like it. There's no requirement to do it right away. But once you get started, you'll probably wonder how you ever lived with out the integration.

The first thing you need is a security system with access to either TC2 or ADC. This will require active monitoring service with an alarm monitoring company. Alarm Grid offers top-quality monitoring service and a wide variety of monitoring plans that include access to either of these platforms. We recommend checking out our monitoring page for more information about our plans. After you sign-up and activate your system, we will send you the resources needed to create your TC2 or ADC account.

Amazon Alexa integrates with both platforms using respective Skills. Successfully integrating your Alexa Device with your TC2 or ADC account is incredibly simple. First, open up the Alexa App on your Android or iOS device. Then open up the Skills & Games section. Do a search for either "Total Connect 2.0" or "Alarm.com" depending upon the interactive platform you use. You should be able to quickly find the appropriate Skill.

From there, choose "Enable Skill", and follow the necessary steps to complete the integration. The pairing process will involve providing your Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com account information. The Alexa App will walk you through the entire process and get you started in no time. Once the integration is complete, you'll have a completely new use for your Alexa Device!






What's really exciting is how you can control your system using your Alexa Device. Both Skills will allow you to arm your system, check the current system status and even run smart home automation scenes using quick and easy voice commands. You might say "Alexa, Ask Total Connect to run the Movie scene", or "Alexa Ask Alarm.com to set the thermostat to 70 degrees". There really are so many possibilities!

At this time, the Alarm.com Skill is a little bit more robust than the Total Connect 2.0 Skill. Both Skills currently allow for arming, checking current system status and quickly executing smart scenes. However, only Alarm.com allows users to disarm using voice commands and to control smart home devices on an individual basis, not necessarily through programmed scenes. We suspect that Total Connect 2.0 might also allow individual device control through Alexa at some point, but for now it is not possible.

If you're an Alarm Grid customer with questions about Amazon Alexa, you can always reach out to us to learn more! The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. You can also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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If you're looking to get started with DIY home security, then your first step is usually to get a system. What many people don't realize is that they don't necessarily need a brand-new panel and sensors to get started. Most users can achieve dependable security setups with used systems.

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Really, the decision to whether you get new or used equipment comes down to personal preference. For some users, there's nothing quite like taking a fresh panel out of the box and appreciating its modern beauty and shiny exterior. We understand. It's fun. Believe it or not, this is actually why many of the people at Alarm Grid chose this profession - we love working with the latest and most advanced security equipment on a regular basis!

For other users, this might not mean as much. They might not care how their system looks or if it is technically the most advanced model. They just want a reliable piece of equipment that will keep their home or business safe for many years to come. And that's fine. Alarm Grid embraces these customers just the same as those who are willing to shell out thousands of dollars for brand-new state-of-the-art equipment. In fact, we often view trying to use existing equipment as the true DIY spirit. If you have it and it works, why replace it?

From our perspective, we don't really care whether you use new or used equipment. We just want to get you monitored and keep your home or business safe. Our monitoring plans are not dependent upon which system and sensors you use. They are dependent upon the services you receive. Customers pay higher monthly fees for necessary services like cellular connectivity, central station monitoring, access to an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, smart home automation features and video surveillance.



In other words, your monitoring fee is not affected by whether you use a brand-new Honeywell Lyric Controller with encrypted sensors or a 15-year old VISTA Panel running the same hardwired sensors since day one. If that VISTA is running cellular and the Lyric is WIFI-only, then the VISTA will have the higher monitoring costs. It's as simple as that. So really what you should be doing if you are new to monitoring is finding out what services you need.

When you think about it, the main job of an alarm system is being able to send reliable outbound alerts. Everything beyond that is just used to add extra features or to improve upon the end user's experience. It doesn't matter whether your system is brand-new or 20-years old. What does matter is whether or not it can function reliably based upon today's standards.

The main reason why alarm systems ultimately become obsolete is because they cannot keep up with the latest communication technology. These days, if a system cannot support cellular communication through an LTE network, then it could be considered obsolete. Older 2G networks are already a thing of the past, and 3G networks should follow suit in the coming years. For a long-term investment, getting on an LTE network or higher is a must.

But not all alarm system cellular communicators are created equal. Older modules can only connect to older cellular networks. And when these older networks become discontinued, the communicator becomes obsolete. The alarm manufacturer needs to decide whether or not it is worth releasing a new communicator for this older system. This is more difficult than it might initially seem. Releasing a new communicator might require a major system firmware update that could be difficult to apply, and many people might have already moved on to a new system.

The reality is that sometimes it's just best for an alarm manufacturer to drop support for a panel and try to steer their customers to their newer offerings. This is how they stay competitive and move the industry forward. What can be difficult for customers is knowing when they are best reviving an older system and when it's time to just buy a new model instead.

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There are many older panels that can do nearly anything a modern alarm system can. They can receive communicator upgrades to work across faster and more reliable networks. They can have smart home automation modules installed to support Z-Wave devices. Many even have touchscreen keypads available for a better end user experience! You just need to ask yourself if the system you are looking at can support a proper communication path and whether or not it can fulfill all your needs.

If you do decide that an older system is the way to go, then we think that's great! Our team will certainly help you embrace the task of helping you get your used alarm system up and running with Alarm Grid monitoring services. We even had s few tips for helping you find older equipment.

First and foremost, you should look around you. For example, you might have moved into a new home with an existing alarm system. Or maybe your friend or loved one has a system they don't use any more, and they don't mind giving it to you. Even if you just find some old sensors, they might be a start. Check around and see if you come across some older systems. You might be surprised!

If you do need to make some purchases, why not try an online auction site or your online classifieds? There is often perfectly functional security equipment available at shockingly low prices. You may be able to buy it for yourself and get it monitored. Just make sure to find out what the panel can and cannot do before you buy it! We strongly recommend getting a system that can support cellular communication and access to an interactive service platform. Used security sensors are also often a great option, since they can usually be obtained at a fraction of the price!

For users who want a quick and easy answer, they might consider buying refurbished equipment from Alarm Grid. We currently offer options for refurbished Honeywell Lyric Alarm Systems and refurbished Honeywell VISTA 21iP Systems. This equipment is sent to us directly from the manufacturer, and it is guaranteed to work just as well as a brand-new system. This way, you can get a system at an affordable cost and know that it will work just as well as a new one.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

If you're looking for used alarm system equipment, you don't have to go at it alone. Alarm Grid is here to help you so that you can get monitored. We can answer your questions about used security panels and sensors and determine whether or not they are right for your needs. We recommend sending an email to support@alarmgrid.com with any questions you might have. We also offer phone support for those interested in our monitoring services. Just call (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you find the best security equipment for your needs.

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Hi DIYers! If you're a business owner, they you know how important it is to make sure you are protected in every situation. Setting up security cameras in your shop or business can help protect you against fraud. That way, you'll have video evidence if someone tries to take you to court!

Honeywell lyric oc1 standalone wifi outdoor 1080p hd total conneIt's no secret that customer-oriented businesses and security cameras are the perfect match. A video surveillance system is great for catching theft and dishonest bait-and-switch tactics that a small number of dishonest people may try to get away with. But what you might not think of is using security cameras to protect your company in case of a lawsuit.

Having unsafe conditions in your store is a recipe for a costly lawsuit. That is why most business owners take every precaution to ensure that their customers are safe and that their company is not liable in case of an accident. However, this doesn't necessarily stop a dishonest individual or group from trying to pull a fast one.

This is actually a really easy scheme to pull off. Any individual can go into a store and intentionally put some water or loose objects on the floor. They might come back shortly thereafter and pretend to slip and fall on the hazard that they just laid out. From there, they claim to be injured and try to make a quick payday based on "negligence" of the company. That's not fair!

While it might seem crazy that some people would go to such lengths to try and make a quick buck, the practice is all too real. Just take a look at this video where one man pretended to slip on some ice cubes:


Fortunately, this company had security cameras installed to catch the man in the act. But just imagine if the cameras hadn't been there. This man could have easily gotten away with thousands of dollars once everything was said and done! This is another reason to invest in security cameras for your business! If you already have a business security system, then adding cameras is usually quite simple. You can usually keep your existing equipment and add cameras as a new addition.

At Alarm Grid, any customer can add security cameras by upgrading to a Platinum Monitoring Plan. In addition to supporting security cameras, this plan also includes dual-path connectivity through IP and cellular, remote alerts via text and/or email, and automatic emergency dispatch from a central monitoring station. Our Platinum Plan is only $10 more per month than Alarm Grid's standard cellular monitoring plan, the Gold Plan. This means that there really isn't any major up-charge for video monitoring.

Just $45 per month will get you all of the monitoring features mentioned above. You will purchase your system and your cameras outright from the start. These devices are yours to keep, and they can be taken to a different monitoring company if you ever decide to do so. They are also very easy to install, and most end users can complete the process with minimal online or phone support. Alarm Grid offers both Total Connect 2.0 Cameras and Alarm.com Cameras, depending on the customer's interactive service.

Please reach out to us if you're an Alarm Grid monitored customer interested in learning more about video surveillance. The best way to reach us is to send a quick email to support@alarmgrid.com. You can also call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F to talk with us on the phone. We look forward to working with you to keep your business safe!

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Hi DIYers! Did you know that one of the best perks of owning a home security system is receiving a large discount in your homeowner's insurance? In many cases, an alarm system will pay for itself and save you money in the long-run! This goes beyond most security aspects and considerations.

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We hear of customers all the time who live in extremely safe areas, and the likelihood of them ever needing to use their security system is quite low. It's fair to wonder why these customers even bother to get security systems in the first place. Well the answer is that these individuals are likely saving substantial money in their homeowner's insurance.

Most insurance companies will offer their customers a premium discount of 5% to 10% for simply owning an active alarm system. Some companies even offer discounts as high as 20% in certain areas. The actual rate of the discount is dependent upon many different factors, and it's usually best to check with your insurance company to find out exactly how much you can save.

With Alarm Grid central station monitoring plans costing as little as $15 per month, sometimes it's a no-brainer to get monitoring service. Just think about it. You will be adding a new layer of security to your home, and you will have protective measures put in place in case an emergency ever does occur. Better safe than sorry!

At the same time, you will actually be saving money just for having this equipment installed and activated. There really is no reason for you to not have an alarm system if you plan on maintaining an active homeowner's insurance policy!

The types of discounts offered from insurance companies typically varies by location. The only general rule is that the customer must have central station monitoring with automatic dispatch, as opposed to self-monitoring. We have heard of customers receiving discounts for the following types of monitoring:

  • Intrusion
  • Fire
  • Freeze
  • Flood
  • Carbon Monoxide

Receiving a Certificate of Alarm (CoA) that you can pass on to your insurance provider to receive a discount is very easy. Just activate a system with Alarm Grid. We will run tests to make sure your system is successfully sending signals to a central station. From there, you can download the certificate and send it online to your insurance provider. More information can be found here.

If you would like to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring service, we invite you to check our alarm monitoring page. This page is also a great spot to sign-up for new service. If you would like to talk with us first, you can always email support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you and helping you save money on your homeowner's insurance!

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Hi DIYers! We recently had a customer with an all too common story that is worth sharing. This customer obtained a Honeywell VISTA 20P System and was getting it activated with Alarm Grid. We had started the activation process, and began programming. But then the customer got cold feet.

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The customer then decided to explore their options and possibly have their system monitored by a different company. That's fine; we hadn't activated their system yet, and we always give our customers the option to cancel their service. We wished that customer the best and then moved on as if nothing had happened.

But a few days later, this customer decided to come back to us. They weren't happy with the service the other monitoring company offered, and they realized that Alarm Grid was the best option all along. We laughed it off, and decided to get started with the activation. The only problem was that the other company had actually locked the customer out of *29 communicator programming!

Because of that, we had no way of properly setting up their communicator for monitoring. The only options for that communicator were to activate it with the other company or to convince the other company to release it. There was nothing that we could do with that communicator, even though it was perfectly capable of being monitored just a few days prior. We couldn't even backdoor into programming, since only local communication programming was locked out. In the end, the customer had to buy a whole new communicator!

Admittedly, our technical support team found this pretty funny. The customer should have just stayed with Alarm Grid all along! But joking aside, there is a serious concern about users being locked out of programming. Companies often do this to prevent customers from taking their equipment elsewhere. They will essentially be locked in with that company. A company may also force a customer to rely on them for programming their system so that they are forced to pay extra service fees.

In this case, the customer was lucky. They were only locked out of communicator programming, and they only needed to buy a new communicator. There are deep-level programming options that could have permanently locked them out of system programming entirely. If that were the case, the customer would have needed to purchase a whole new system. It really could have been a lot worse!

Alarm Grid never locks its customers out of programming. We want our customers to be able to access every programming field so that they are empowered and can make their own system changes. We will also never brick equipment and make it proprietary for our use only. If you want to take your system elsewhere, that is your choice. We will cut all ties, and you can take your panel to a new monitoring company. That is the freedom you receive whenever you sign-up as an Alarm Grid customer.

We are not saying that every other alarm monitoring company will lock you out of system programming. There are certainly other honest companies out there. But what we can say is that we will never use such tactics. Your alarm system and communicator both belong to do, and what you do with them should be your business. With Alarm Grid, you can be absolutely certain that we will never keep you out of programming or brick your equipment. What the other guys do is none of our business.

If you would like to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring services, we would love to talk to you! The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. If you prefer to speak with a live person, we have phone hours available from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. The number to call is (888) 818-7728. We also invite you to check out our alarm monitoring page for quick information online. You can even sign-up for monitoring right from the page!

We look forward to working with you and providing you with all your home and business security needs.

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Hi DIYers! Did you know that there's a great way to get immediate answers to most of your security questions? The Alarm Grid FAQ section has the resources you need to receive fast answers and solve your own problems like a true DIYer! We have solutions and answers for all types of systems!

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In our FAQ section, we take commonly asked security-related questions and provide complete answers designed with end users in mind. These questions cover an extremely wide variety of topics like programming new sensors, installing a communicator, troubleshooting a panel and so much more. This is an excellent way to receive fast answers to your biggest security questions, without having to call in or wait for an email response. Our FAQ section is open to anyone, even those who do not have active alarm monitoring service with Alarm Grid.

Our content team is always busy producing new content so that end users can learn how to get the very most out of their alarm systems. In addition to our ever-expanding YouTube Channel, we also take great pride in our written content. We listen carefully to our customers and produce new content based on the problems we encounter when helping end users troubleshoot their systems. We also make it very easy to search our website and find helpful FAQs to address your most pressing questions.

If you want to try using our website to find answers, simply use the search bar in the upper-right corner of the Alarm Grid home page. Enter in your question and/or keywords to see if we have an answer that can help you.


Just yesterday, we produced eight new FAQs, and we are creating new ones almost every day. The FAQs created yesterday include:

We can't promise that our FAQ section will have every answer. But it's a great place to start if you're ever in a pinch. We also invite you to send us ideas for new questions and other content. If you're an Alarm Grid monitored customer, you can also receive one-on-one support online or over the phone. Simply email support@alarmgrid.com, or call (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

Keep in mind that we only offer personalized support for monitored customers. If you're interested in learning about Alarm Grid monitoring service, we encourage you to check out our alarm monitoring page for more information. We look forward to working with you and helping you keep your home or business safe!

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Hi DIYers! Lately, we have heard reports of users having trouble enrolling their SiX Series Sensors with their Honeywell Lyric Systems. The problem has to do with Lyric Systems running older firmware versions that don't support the newer SiX Series Sensors with a newer MAC prefix.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

As you may know, Honeywell SiX Sensors are encrypted sensors designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Lyric Systems. These are highly secure sensors that use bi-directional 128-bit AES encryption for added security. They learn-in with a Lyric System using a MAC address rather than a Serial Number. This MAC address is very important for determining whether or not the sensor will work with the Lyric System.

Older SiX Series Sensors had a MAC address that began with 00:D0:2D. If a SiX Series Sensor has this MAC prefix, then it will work with any Lyric System. However, SiX Sensors with this prefix are no longer manufactured. If you purchase a SiX Series Sensor today, it will most likely have a MAC prefix of either B8:2C:A0 or 8A:CB:A4. SiX Sensors with either MAC prefix will only work with a Lyric System that is running firmware version MR5 or higher. Honeywell actually never officially released updates for MR5 or MR6. Instead, they lumped those updates into the MR7 release, which is offered from Alarm Grid.

You can identify a new SiX Sensor by having the following yellow sticker on the box:

You can also check the MAC prefix on following white sticker on the sensor itself:


Newly manufactured Lyric Systems should already be running the latest firmware, and they will be able to support the newest SiX Sensors. But if you have an older Lyric System that hasn't been provided a firmware update, then you might be wondering why your new SiX Sensors will not work with the system. Alarm Grid recently attempted to address this by pushing down firmware update MR7 to all monitored customers with Lyric Systems that weren't already running that firmware version or higher. If you noticed that your Lyric System suddenly rebooted at one point, that is most likely why. For more information about firmware update MR7, click here.

Thanks to this recent mass update push, all Alarm Grid customers with Honeywell Lyric Alarm Systems should now be able to use the latest SiX Sensors with the newest MAC prefix. Keep in mind that we can only push down a firmware update to our monitored customers. If you are not monitored with Alarm Grid, then it's possible that your Lyric is still running an older firmware version that is incompatible with the SiX Sensors with the new MAC address. In that case, you must upgrade the firmware to use these sensors.

The only way to upgrade the firmware on a Honeywell Lyric Controller is to connect the system with the AlarmNet360 Servers. This requires alarm monitoring service. The firmware can be requested manually from the panel, or it can be pushed down automatically by the alarm monitoring company. But either way, you will need monitoring service to gain access to AlarmNet360.

Since Alarm Grid is month-to-month with no-contract and no cancellation fees, an easy option is to just sign-up for a month of monitoring service with Alarm Grid. We can then push down and automatic firmware update to the system so that it supports the newest SiX Sensors. You also have the option of requesting a manual firmware update from the panel. If you no longer want to receive monitoring at the end of the month, you can simply cancel your service. By choosing our Self-Bronze Plan, this whole process will only cost $10.

Signing-up for a month of Self-Bronze monitoring will offer additional benefits beyond just upgrading your system's firmware. You can also use this opportunity to active Apple HomeKit for the system. HomeKit is great for iOS users, and it will greatly improve your system's automation capabilities. You will also be able to try out the Total Connect 2.0 Service and gain remote access to your Lyric System. If you like the service, you can certainly remain as an Alarm Grid monitored customer for just $10 per month. Many users appreciate the fact that TC2 offers features and capabilities that are not available through Apple HomeKit.

We invite you to reach out to us if you want to learn more about your options. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 to speak with one of our security system planners. We look forward to working with you!

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There are plenty of horror stories of people being locked into long-term security contracts. Many companies are more than willing to take advantage of customers and get them on the hook for thousands of dollars across a multi-year period. But there are things you can do to protect yourself.

Long-term contracts are an extremely common practice in this industry. This is because companies want the easy guarantee of a customer being locked into service rather than working hard to continuously earn and maintain their trust. By locking yourself into a contract, you are giving up your rights as a consumer. The company doesn't need to keep you happy because they have already locked you in! If you want to move or cancel your service early, you might need to pay thousands to get out.

Worse yet, we've heard of some dishonest companies promising to pay-off an existing contract in exchange for signing on with their company. The only problem is that they don't actually pay-off the contract. Suddenly the customer is locked into two contracts and paying outrageous fees for services they don't even need! If you do find yourself stuck in a contract, don't make the problem worse by locking yourself into two.

Here are a few tips you can follow so that you don't get locked into a contract.

Ask Questions

A legitimate alarm monitoring company should have no problem answering any questions you might have. While you will certainly want to ask about alarm control panels and sensors, you should also inquire about any terms of service. The two things you should ask about are agreement lengths and cancellation fees. A no-contract monitoring company will let you leave any time and have no cancellation fees.

If you're in talks with a security company, then make sure to ask questions. Particularly, you should ask if there is any minimum commitment period or if there are cancellation fees. These are both signs of a security contract. As a reference, Alarm Grid charges its customers monthly, and customers are always free to leave before their next monthly payment. There is absolutely no fee to cancel your service with Alarm Grid.

Do Your Research

You should always do your research before signing-on with any alarm company. A good monitoring company is transparent and has nothing to hide. Go online and read about the experiences of other customers. Make sure that others are getting the service and the experience that they expect. If possible, check out the company's rating with the BBB and check to see if they are a reputable company.

One thing to be wary of is door to door salespeople. We're not saying that all door to door security companies are out to trick you, but it's a lot easier to do research on your own time than if a stranger is right in front of you trying to win a sale. Never rush into an agreement with your security company. Take some time, wait a few days and do your own research. If possible, sign-up online rather than agreeing in person. And always read the fine print!

Know Your Rights

Always know your rights when dealing with a security company. Remember that you don't have to agree to anything that you aren't comfortable with. And keep in mind that the Consumer Protection Act puts various restrictions into place for your benefit. Security companies are forbidden from making false or misleading statements to attempt you to make a purchase. Also, if you ask a door to door sales person to leave, then they are required by law to leave.

If a salesperson seems over-eager or aggressive, then it's probably not worth your time. Ask for more time or politely decline. If an in-person salesperson refuses to leave, or if you are being harassed, contact the police. You might also want to be extra wary if you are an elderly citizen or incapacitated in any way. Many security companies will try to take advantage of these people to take their hard-earned money. Remember, there's no shame in asking a loved one for a second opinion before making an agreement.

If you are looking for an honest, no-contract security company, we hope that you will do your research and look into Alarm Grid. We encourage you to read through our monitoring page to learn more about what we offer. You are certainly welcome to talk with us before signing-up. Our security planners are happy to answer all your questions and let you know exactly what you are getting. We want to eliminate any confusion you might have so you know for sure that we are right for you.

Getting in touch with an Alarm Grid planner is easy. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email regularly, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you prefer to talk on the phone, you may call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. Our team looks forward to working with you so that you can determine the best option for your security needs.

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Hi DIYers! We have learned that Alarm.com has rolled out the facial recognition feature for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. This feature notifies a user if an unrecognized face disarms the system using a valid code. The user can receive these unexpected activity alerts via text and/or email.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

This is the first time we have seen a home security system using facial recognition technology. Although the feature is still in its early stages, we believe it will be very useful in helping end users remain safe and secure. Facial recognition will work with both the standard IQ Panel 2 and the IQ Panel 2 Plus, as long as the system is connected with a local WIFI network and running at least Firmware Version 2.3.0 or higher. More about this Firmware Update is available here.

In order to use this feature, you must enable the Capture Panel Camera Disarm Images from within the IQ Panel 2 settings. To do this start from the main screen of the system, and press the small grey bar at the top. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > Installer Code (default 1111) > Installation > Camera Settings. Then make sure the Disarm Photos option is enabled. Press the picture of the house at the bottom of the screen to return to the home screen when finished.


The setting will also need to be enabled and configured through Alarm.com. If you don't already have a monitoring plan with access to Alarm.com, you can check out our alarm monitoring page for more information. If necessary, check with your alarm monitoring company to make sure that the Unexpected Activity Alerts feature and the Images - Plus feature are both enabled. At this time, only customers in the United States can use this feature.

Each user should have their own access code for the system. This is necessary for the facial recognition feature to work properly. If you need to create a new user, you can login to Alarm.com through the website. Click the Users tab on the left, and then choose Add New User. Then follow the steps to add a new user to the system. This will involve choosing a system code and providing any notification information.

From there, you will proceed to turn on the facial recognition feature. Login to the Alarm.com website, and choose the Settings tab on the left. Then choose Facial Recognition. You must then approve the necessary agreements before continuing. This will tell the panel to start collecting data for facial recognition. However, you won't be able to use the feature right away. You need to collect some images first!

Most users should just go about their business collecting images as they use the panel. Or you can be like us and repeatedly arm and disarm the panel to quickly collect images. Make sure you are using the code associated with the user you want to enable the facial recognition feature for. Just be aware that it may take a few moments for the images to show up on alarm.com.

Once you have collected some images, choose the Settings option on the Alarm.com website, and choose the Facial Recognition option. Press the blue Get Started button underneath Configuration. Then choose the user you want to configure facial recognition for. Choose the calibration option. Alarm.com will show you if there are any images to review. Go through and choose the checkmark for any image that is yours. If you see any image without your face, press the X button. You will need a minimum of 10 images to enable the feature.

Once you have 10 images, you can enable Unexpected Activity for facial recognition. From Alarm.com, choose the Notifications tab. Then find the Unexpected Activity option, and make sure it is turned on. Then press the pencil on the right to edit the settings. You will see the option for Facial Recognition. Make sure it is enabled for the user with at least 10 approved images. Then you can choose where the notifications will be sent at the bottom of the screen. Both emails and phones for text messages can be configured. Press Save when finished.

You will then receive alerts for any unexpected activity!


If you have any questions about this feature, please reach out to us! You can email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you get the very most out of your IQ Panel 2 System.

Note: Due to privacy concerns, this feature is currently available for users in the 50 US States. We are hopeful that this feature will be made available to users in Puerto Rico and Canada in the future.

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Hi DIYers! After you sign-up for monitoring service and get your system, you still need to have it activated! This is a one-time process that is used to get your system up and running and communicating properly. We have some tips to make sure that your alarm system activation is successful.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Alarm Grid is a DIY monitoring company. All the support we provide is either online or over the phone. When you sign up for one of our self-monitoring plans, we can usually activate your account remotely, with no one onsite. However, if you sign up for one of our central station monitored accounts, the process is slightly more involved and requires an appointment. Anyone on-site can complete this process, so you can certainly ask a spouse, relative or other roommate to do this on your behalf.

During your activation appointment, you will be on a live phone call with one of our support technicians. The technician will create your account, verify the information you have provided for the monitoring company, and walk you through a test to verify a working system. Our activation appointments are allotted one hour. We know that your time is valuable, so we want to ensure that the process goes smoothly and quickly and results in a successful activation!

The basic premise behind an activation is that you will have a pre-arranged time slot during which an Alarm Grid activator will call you and provide you with one-on-one and focused attention to help program your system to communicate successfully. You will receive information beforehand via email with some basic guidelines to follow. This is designed to help get you ready for your activation. Remember, nobody is going to come out to your home or business. Your Alarm Grid activation will be completed over the phone, and you will be the one working at the panel.

While our team members will certainly do their jobs, you have to do your part as well for the activation to be successful! By following these five tips, you can help us perform our duties more effectively and make the overall process easier for both of us:

1. Be on-site. Although our support is provided over the phone, an activation occurs at the panel or keypad. Security systems cannot be initially setup or programmed remotely. You, or a designee, need to be on-site with the system to complete the activation. If you aren't on-site, we will need to reschedule the activation. There are no exceptions to this rule, and a rescheduled activation is very inconvenient for both of us. Don't think that you can activate your system while you are driving, on a plane, or on vacation. You must be at your home or business directly in front of the panel. All the work will be completed right there.

2. Know your codes. Many panel activations are stalled or terminated because a customer does not know their codes. We have no way of seeing any system codes until the system is activated. You really need to know these codes to complete the process.For an activation, you will need to know the system's Installer Code. This is the system code used for deep-level programming. If the system is brand-new, then the Installer Code is almost certainly at its default. If the system has been monitored before, then a different monitoring company may have changed the code to lock the customer out of programming.

Knowing your Installer Code is crucial as a DIY user. After all, you will want to be able to make your own system programming changes when needed. At Alarm Grid, we work to empower our customers and prevent them from ever being locked out of programming mode. That is why we advise our customers to keep their Installer Codes at the default. If you don't know your Installer Code, trying the default first is always a good option. If that code doesn't work, then you may need to get the information from your prior monitoring company. If they are refusing to provide your Installer Code, then they are holding your system hostage, and you can often threaten legal action!

Keep in mind that some systems offer the option for a backdoor method that can be used to get into programming if the Installer Code is lost. Once you are inside programming, you can change the Installer Code to something you know. However, this process is not possible for every panel. Any backdoor steps should be completed prior to your activation, as it takes up valuable time to complete the process. Alarm Grid offers the following FAQs that cover the backdoor process:

The default Installer Code can usually be determined by the manufacturer of the panel. Keep in mind that there are occasionally some panels that break this norm. The typical default Installer Code and Master Code for various alarm system manufacturers is shown in the table below:

Manufacturer
Installer Code
Master Code
Honeywell
4112 1234
2GIG
1561 1111
Qolsys
1111 1234
Interlogix/GE
4321 1234
DSC
5555 1234

3. Program beforehand. Having to go through and program a panel will slow down any system activation. You really should have most or all of this process completed prior to your scheduled activation slot. Of course, if you have any questions or troubles with programming, then our team is happy to help. But just remember that it gets in the way of our main task of configuring the system. Getting an early start with programming is a great way to start learning your system and setting things up the way you want. This includes things like learning-in sensors and adjusting Entry and Exit Delay timers to your liking.

We offer many FAQs and videos that can help you complete various programming tasks. We also encourage you to use the search bar in the upper-right corner of our website to browse through any content we have created. Also keep in mind that there may be answers elsewhere. You can always search Google or YouTube to see what solutions and guides you come across. We fully understand that the typical DIY user will have a few minor programming questions; that is to be expected. But whatever you can figure out and complete yourself will save trouble and time during your appointment!

4. Listen to your technician. One thing you can most definitely expect during your activation is to receive instructions from your Alarm Grid technician. It is very important that you listen carefully and follow these instructions exactly as described. Your technician is working to get you through the process as quickly and accurately as possible. The steps we provide and the tasks we ask you to complete are given for a reason. We're trying to help you to keep your family, and your property safe. So put on your best listening ears and follow our instructions. Before you know it, you'll be ready to go with a complete security system!

5. Minimize conversation. Our support technicians are all very friendly, and we will gladly listen to you. But just remember that we're here to get a job done within a relatively small time window. We understand that you may be very excited about getting a new alarm system. And if you just moved into a new home, then you most definitely have some interesting stories to tell about the experience. We realize that you probably want to tell everyone about your new house that you've worked hard for. While that's great, it also slows down our activation.

Look, we know that some small talk is to be expected. We enjoy talking with our customers and providing friendly service. That's one of our top-goals. But we also want to move through the process efficiently. If you start getting off-task, then it will not be in the best interest of our activation. While we won't shoot down any customer who wants to socialize, we will be trying to subtly move the process along. You're certainly free to talk with us during your activation, but you may want to save any deep conversations or lengthy stories for a neighbor, your family or your co-workers at the water-cooler. It's nothing personal, we just have a job to do!

Have you signed-up for Alarm Grid monitoring yet? If not, now is a great time to get started. Just click the orange Monitoring button at the top of the page to check out our plans. You can also start browsing our site for a security system to install in your home or business. If you need help planning an Alarm Grid security system, reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We also accept phone calls at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you during your activation!

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