May 2020 Archives

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We have recently noticed a major shift in the security industry due to the COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting "new normal". Many companies that were traditionally opposed to the DIY model are now following our lead and implementing their own DIY practices to meet consumer needs.

Honeywell lyricpk lte enc encrypted at and t lte alarm system w There are many names for this rising practice. Some companies will call it "Do-It-Together" or "Do-It-With-Me" as an alternative to "Do-It-Yourself". But it's all the same principle. And it isn't anything new, even if other companies want you to believe that they are being innovative. Alarm Grid has been proudly offering DIY monitoring solutions since 2012. And only a very small handful of other companies have been providing similar solutions for the past several years. It wasn't until this "new normal" that DIY security even became the standard model.

Whether a security company calls their model DIY, DIT, or DIWM, it's all the same thing. They all refer to a company guiding an end user through the setup or installation process remotely through a phone call, text chat, or video call. The main principle behind this concept is that a modern security system is not difficult to install, and end users shouldn't have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an installation that they can easily complete on their own. The end user is empowered in being in full control of their security system, and the alarm company saves money by not having to send out a professional installer. Everybody wins.

For a long time, traditional security companies and equipment manufacturers stubbornly stood their ground and refused to adopt this new model. They continued hiding Installer Codes and making their systems difficult and frustrating for end users to work with. This allowed them to keep rolling trucks and charging their customers service fees. We have seen some improvements in this regard. For example, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is arguably the most DIY-friendly alarm panel we have ever seen. But for the most part, this industry has been slow to take action. It's somewhat shocking that it took something like a serious global health pandemic to implement these changes.

But Alarm Grid has been doing this before it became the norm. We have never sent out an in-house technician to anyone's home or business. Why? Because we never needed to. These systems can be self-installed, and our trained and knowledgeable technicians provide all the support you need, both online and over the phone. Being ahead of the curve has allowed Alarm Grid to establish a successful and thriving business in the highly competitive security industry. And we intend on keeping it that way, even during these trying times.

While most other security companies were left scrambling for solution that has been right under their noses for quite some time, Alarm Grid was already adapted for the global pandemic. The only change we made was mandating that the vast majority of employees work from home. And even that is only temporary, as we plan on returning to the Alarm Grid headquarters once we feel that it is safe. But other than that, it has been business as usual for Alarm Grid. We have continued to keep our customers informed, and we have continued providing simple and effective security solutions.

Other companies that are just now implementing DIY practices during this historic event are not being innovative. They are fighting for survival. We have been doing this for nearly eight years. And each year, more and more people jump ship to Alarm Grid. Customers love us for our top-notch support, our contract-free structure and our no nonsense attitude, where our only goal is to provide you with excellent monitoring service at a price that you can afford. We have been right about this industry this entire time, and other companies are only just now realizing it as a means of survival.

Remember that customers stick with Alarm Grid because they love our support and our efficient business model. Any customer that is not satisfied for whatever reason is free to take their system with them to a new company. All of the security systems we support are non-proprietary, and they can be readily used with virtually any alarm company. But we rarely have customers leave us, as we are always there to help them overcome any problems that they may encounter.

If you are interested in learning more about Alarm Grid, the original DIY security company, we invite you to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We would love to help you explore your options so that you can make an informed buying decision for your home or business. Also, make sure to check out our monitoring page so that you can learn all about our monitoring plans. If you'd prefer to call us, we can be reached at (888) 818-7728. Our team is available and ready to talk from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Just a month after their last update was released, Alarm.com is back again, this time with mobile app version 4.13 for both Android and iOS. The new version is expected to be made available for free download in the coming days from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.


Alarm.com Mobile App Version 4.13 includes two new features. The first is Trouble Condition Help. This provides end users with assistance in addressing system trouble conditions, such as a low battery or a loss of RF supervision. This new feature has also been made available for use in the Alarm.com website.

The other feature is called System Search, and it allows end users with ten (10) or more Alarm.com Security Systems on a single account to search for specific system names from a system selector found on the side menu of the app. This will likely prove to be very useful and convenient for those using many systems with the Alarm.com platform.

Additionally, 4.13 should also include general stability fixes and performance improvements. It is advised that all Alarm.com users update the app as soon a possible once it is made available. Android users will be able to download Version 4.13 for free from the Google Play Store, while iOS users will find their free download in the Apple App Store.

Alarm Grid customers with questions about the update should email us at support@alarmgri.com. That email is also a great way to contact us if you are looking to start monitoring service for use with Alarm.com. Keep in mind that our business hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Even though our team is still working from home, we will not be doing so on Monday, May 25, 2020. That is because our business will be closed in observance of Memorial Day. We will reopen on Tuesday. We appreciate your understanding, and we apologize for any resulting inconvenience.

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Due to our closure, we will not be responding to any emails, answering our phones, or shipping out any orders. We will resume these operations on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. We know that you would love to work on your security system or sign-up for monitoring service on Memorial Day, but instead, why not get out and try to enjoy the holiday? Make sure to stay safe out there!

Alarm Grid honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the military. We would also like to recognize those who are currently serving, as well as all the Veterans who did their part in keeping our country safe. We sincerely thank you for your commitment, sacrifices, and service.

If you have a security question that you just can't get out of your head, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will do our best to answer your question as soon as possible after we return on Tuesday. Remember that our regular business hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Alarm Grid has learned that 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicators will automatically roam to local cellular networks in Canada. This will allow Canadian users with 2GIG Systems to receive alarm monitoring service through Alarm.com. This is a fantastic solution for Alarm Grid customers in Canada.

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The 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicators include both the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC2 for the 2GIG GC2 and 2GIG GC2e Systems and the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3 for the 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e Systems. Both the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC2 and the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3 will roam to local Canadian cellular networks. Keep in mind that this only applies to the 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicators. The 2GIG Verizon LTE Communicators will not roam, and they cannot be used in Canada.

The 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicators will roam to the Bell, Telus, and Rogers Networks in Canada. As long as you have adequate coverage from one of those networks, you will be able to use a 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicator without any issue. If you live in a remote area and do not have adequate coverage from Bell, Telus, or Rogers, then using a compatible cellular antenna or a cellular amplifier is also an option.

With this revelation, Alarm Grid can now support both 2GIG and Qolsys Systems in Canada. If you decide to use a Qolsys System, you will want to get the AT&T version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The system's built-in AT&T LTE Communicator will similarly roam to the Bell, Telus, or Rogers Network in Canada. Again, the Verizon version of the IQ Panel 2 Plus cannot be used in Canada. Alarm Grid made an extensive post on alarm monitoring in Canada, which you can view here.

If you are looking to obtain alarm monitoring service for your Canadian home or business, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728. Our security system planning team will be happy to help you explore your options so that you can make an informed buying decision. Remember, our business hours run from 9am to 8pm Eastern Time Monday thru Friday, so keep that in mind when contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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If you want to add multiple users to Total Connect 2.0 all at once, then you're in luck! The TC2 platform allows users to upload an Excel document with multiple new users. There is even a pre-prepared template on Total Connect 2.0 under the Users tab that you can use to get started.

The first thing you should know about the batch enrollment feature is that it is only accessible through the Total Connect 2.0 website. Batch enrollment is not possible through the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App. Make sure you are using the website when you go to get started.

Within the Users tab on the left side of the screen, you can choose the option for "Add New User". From there, you will choose the blue "Add Multiple Users" button.

Next, you can download a template for building the users list, and you can re-submit the template after filling it out. Once you do that, all of the new users will be added to your Total Connect 2.0 account. For more information on batch enrolling multiple users to TC2, please see this guide.

If you have any questions about the TC2 batch enrollment feature, or if you want to get started with alarm monitoring service, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Did you know that your Alarm Grid Security System most likely has smart home automation capabilities? While keeping your home or business safe with trusted monitoring service is the main function of an alarm system, the world of home automation is easily accessible and very exciting.

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As a quick recap for anyone who may not be familiar with automation or the concept of a "smart home", it refers mostly to two (2) somewhat related ideas.

1) Being able to control devices remotely (aka, while you are away from the premises).

2) Being able to have devices activate automatically based on a schedule and/or predetermined events, with no action required on your part.

These devices that we speak of are collectively referred to as "smart devices". There are all sorts of smart devices that you can integrate into your automation network. Some examples include:

  • Smart Lights - Illumination devices that you can control remotely and turn ON or OFF automatically. These come in many forms, including light bulbs, in-wall switches, plug-in modules, and even wall outlets. Smart lights are perfect for making it appear as though someone is present while away or on vacation.
  • Smart Door Locks - Access control devices that you can operate remotely and LOCK or UNLOCK a door automatically. These are typically deadbolt devices that prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to your home or business. In addition to remote operation, these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or the condition of other devices in your home.
  • Smart Thermostats - Temperature control devices that you can be adjusted locally or remotely and INCREASE or DECREASE the temperature. The operation of these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or event. These wire in directly with the HVAC system in your home or business. The setup is surprisingly simple, and it can be easily completed by a DIY user.
  • Smart Water Valves - Water shut-off switches that you can trigger locally or remotely. If you CLOSE the valve, then the flow of water will be stopped. If you OPEN the valve, then the flow of water will proceed when a faucet is activated. Smart water valves can be very important if the building is prone to flooding or water damage. These devices can be automated based on the activation of a flood sensor.

Now that you know a little more about smart devices, you're probably wondering how to get started. The first thing that we advise doing is selecting a smart protocol to build around. This refers to the type of wireless communication that the individual smart devices will use to speak with the centralized hub.

The smart hub, also known as the controller, is the single most important piece of equipment in any smart home. All of your individual smart devices will communicate their status with this centralized hub. And when you go to control your devices remotely, all incoming commands will pass through the hub before ultimately being forwarded to the individual device. Without the smart hub, home automation is impossible.

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When you select a smart hub, you are also selecting the wireless protocol for your network. All of the individual smart devices in your network must use that same wireless protocol to communicate successfully with the main hub. As a result, your smart hub determines which devices can (and cannot) join the network.

A great aspect of most security systems sold by Alarm Grid is that they can double as smart hubs for your automation devices. The panels that we sell support the Z-Wave wireless communication protocol. Virtually any Z-Wave device can be enrolled with an alarm system that supports Z-Wave communication.

Once you have a Z-Wave device enrolled with your system, a few things become possible:

1) Operate your programmed Z-Wave devices on the main system display. This is the same place where you arm and disarm your system.

2) Control your programmed Z-Wave devices remotely using the same platform you use for controlling your system, namely, Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. This requires monitoring service.

3) Build complete smart scenes, in which multiple Z-Wave devices are controlled simultaneously. This is done through either Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. Again, alarm monitoring service is required.

While all of this certainly sounds exciting, we understand that it may seem a little daunting at first. If you are already an Alarm Grid monitored customer, then there's a good chance that your system is already capable of serving as a central hub for your Z-Wave network.

The following systems readily support Z-Wave communication, with no add-ons being required:

Additionally, the following panels can be upgraded to support Z-Wave communication:

Of course, there are other options besides Z-Wave for home automation. If you are an iOS user, then you might consider getting a security panel that can support the robust and powerful Apple HomeKit automation platform. The Honeywell Lyric is a great option for this. You can learn more about HomeKit in this prior post.

Another option for lighting control is the Lutron devices that use their own communications protocol. Lutron is known for their tight integration with Alarm.com, and they certainly make for a great starting point if you are looking to establish a smart lighting setup. More info on using Lutron with Alarm.com can be found here.


Alarm Grid is about more than just security. We can help you establish the perfect automation network for your home or business. Getting started with smart home automation is easy, and it's a fantastic way to get the most out of your security system. Whether you go with Z-Wave, Apple HomeKit, Lutron, or use a combo setup, we will be there to help you every step of the way.

If you aren't already monitored by Alarm Grid, now is a great time to get started. Smart home automation is included with all of our Silver, Gold, and Platinum Level Plans. This post will tell you all about our monitoring plans so that you can make an informed decision. Alarm Grid monitored customers are provided with free technical support online and over the phone. This includes helping you create the perfect smart home.

The best way for an Alarm Grid monitored customer to get help with all of their smart home questions is to email support@alarmgrid.com or call (888) 818-7728. Our support technicians will be happy to help you in building your smart home network. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so make sure to plan accordingly. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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When choosing a security system for your home or business, you need to decide whether you want it to use IP communication, cellular communication or dual-path communication. While these aren't the only methods available, they are by far the most dependable and the most widely used.

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A communication pathway is what allows a security system to communicate out to a signal processing platform. This platform redirects any incoming alert from the system to a central monitoring station and/or the end user directly via push notification, text, and/or email, depending on the user's monitoring plan. You need a communication path that is reliable and consistent so that your system always remains monitored.

The "entry level" communication path so to speak is IP communication. This involves using the local internet protocol (IP) network in your home or business. If you have internet service already, then you will be good to go. The alarm control panel for your system will either connect to your local WIFI network or use a wired ethernet connection for internet access. The advantage to IP communication is that it is the least expensive.

But as you know, occasional internet outages are still something that most people have to deal with. Not to mention, a power outage will also take your router and modem offline if you do not have a backup power supply available. That is why many people upgrade to cellular communication. With a strong cellular connection, it is highly unlikely that your system would ever go offline for any reason.

If you already have internet in your home or business, and you still want the reliability of cellular, then you can easily achieve a dual-path setup that uses both IP and cellular. This is the most popular type of alarm monitoring, and it is what we ultimately recommend in most cases. You also won't need to pay any more than what you would pay for cellular monitoring service, as most monitoring companies include IP service with a cellular monitoring plan.

If you are interested in learning more about IP, cellular, or dual-path monitoring, or if you want to learn more about the alarm monitoring services offered by Alarm Grid, we invite you to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8-m ET M-F. You are also welcome to check out our monitoring page to learn more about the monitoring plans we offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid would like to remind all of its monitored customers who receive cellular alarm monitoring service to upgrade to an LTE communicator as soon as possible. Older 3G cellular communicators will no longer function once their associated cellular networks are shut down in 2022.

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Without going too in-depth, an alarm panel uses a cellular communicator to send the necessary signals for alarm monitoring service to take place. When doing this, the communicator will send and receive signals across the same cellular networks that are used by mobile phones and other devices that utilize cellular communication technology.

Cellular communication is widely recognized as being the optimal communication path for security systems due to its exceptional reliability and generally fast speeds. Additionally, the Alarm.com platform requires that all systems using their service have a cellular communicator that is registered and activated. This differs from Total Connect 2.0, where a user can forgo a cellular communicator and strictly use an IP communicator with their system.

If you read this blog regularly, then you will likely have heard us discussing the 3G Sunset. This refers to the ongoing process of shutting down 3G cellular networks in favor of newer and more powerful LTE networks and 5G networks. Both Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 have stopped allowing 3G activations. A user who has a security system with a 3G communicator that is already activate can continue to use their communicator until the associated network is shut down. Once that happens, the communicator will no longer work for monitoring service.

Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 do not control the cellular networks, and it is not their decision when these networks are shut down. That decision falls on the cellular service providers. AT&T has stated that their 3G network is due to shut down by the end of February 2022. The Verizon CDMA Network (their 3G equivalent) is expected to be shut down in 2022 as well.

Alarm Grid urges everyone using a 3G communicator for monitoring service to upgrade to an LTE communicator as soon as they can. While 2022 might seem like a long time away, time is ticking by. Do not leave your home or business unmonitored and vulnerable. Upgrade to LTE now, and save yourself the hassle later on.

One concern that we have heard from some users is that LTE networks will also become outdated someday, and they will eventually be shut down as well. But AT&T and Verizon have both gone on record to say that their LTE networks will be supported and maintained well into the very distant future. This might seem surprising, especially considering that 5G is regularly mentioned in their advertisements. The reality though is that cellular service providers still intend on maintaining their LTE infrastructure for use as a backup to their 5G networks. Remember, even new and upcoming smartphones that utilize 5G technology are still designed to connect with LTE networks whenever 5G service is unavailable for whatever reason.

For more proof that LTE is here to stay, you do not need to look any further than the name itself. The term "LTE" is actually short for "Long-Term Evolution". Cellular service providers built their LTE networks with the intention that they would remain active and in service for many decades. They are not going anywhere any time soon, even as the excitement and anticipation of 5G continues to grow. And if that weren't enough, using 5G communication with a security system will not really be all that different than LTE. Alarm systems do not need to send large amounts of data, and LTE is more than capable of providing fast and reliable data transmissions as needed.

Alarm Grid has released many panel-specific guides to upgrading to LTE that we have linked below. You may notice that one noticeable absence from the list is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. These systems already come with built-in LTE communicators, so no upgrade is necessary. Please check out our LTE upgrade guides linked below:

Remember that if you have any questions about the 3G sunset or upgrading to LTE, you can email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will be happy to discuss your options for keeping your existing system monitored. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm.com will soon be pushing automatic firmware updates to all their doorbell camera devices. This includes the round ADC-VDB101 and ADC-VDB102, as well as the slim line ADC-VDB105 and ADC-VDB106. No action is needed by end users, and no major interruption in service should occur.

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According to Alarm.com, the upcoming firmware update will provide enhanced monitoring and control for their video doorbell camera devices. The update process is fully automated, and end users will not need to take any action. Both the round and slim line models will receive the update.

In order to receive the update, your Alarm.com Doorbell Camera must be online and connected with the Alarm.com servers. We expect that Alarm.com will push the same update on multiple occasions over the next week. Even if your doorbell camera is not online to receive the update from the initial push-down, there should be additional push-downs to ensure that your device is updated.

We recommend making sure that your Alarm.com Video Doorbell is online and working properly so that the impending update can go through successfully. Alarm Grid monitored customers who have questions about the update or require assistance using their video doorbell should email our team at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App for Android now allows users to arm, disarm, and check current system status using Google spoken voice commands. This handy new feature can be very useful for quickly and conveniently controlling your Honeywell Security System from almost anywhere.


In order to use Google voice commands with TC2, you must have the feature set up for your phone. To enable, go to Settings > Apps > Total Connect 2.0 > Enable Microphone. Once configured, you should see a blue microphone button in the bottom-right corner of the TC2 App. You can click on this button to have your phone begin listening for voice commands. At this time, only arming/disarming and status commands are available. We are hopeful that more commands will be arriving in the future.

Also keep in mind that you will need to give Total Connect 2.0 permission to use the microphone for your phone. Make sure to adjust the appropriate app permissions if you have not already done this. Remember that you can only make TC2 voice commands while you have the app opened. Google will not be able to understand any commands intended for TC2 unless they are performed through the app.

Please note that some commands may require a valid code entry. The following voice commands are available within the TC2 Android App:

  • Arm Stay: Puts the system in Arm Stay mode.
  • Arm Away: Puts the system in Arm Away mode.
  • Disarm: Disarms the system.
  • Home: Returns you to TC2 App home screen.
  • Sensors: Displays list of programmed sensors.
  • Keypad: Displays on-screen virtual keypad.
  • Events: Displays Events list.
  • Settings: Opens the TC2 Settings Menu.
  • Profile: Opens your TC2 Profile.
  • Location Settings: Opens the TC2 Locations Menu.
  • Manage Locations: Opens the Manage Locations tab within the Locations Menu.
  • Change Password: Opens the Change Password tab within your TC2 Profile.
  • Help: Opens the Help Menu.
  • Sign Out: Logs you out of TC2 and closes the app.

If you have any questions about this feature, or if you are interested in starting monitoring service for use with Total Connect 2.0, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get the most out of Total Connect 2.0.

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