Alarm Monitoring Communicators Posts

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If you are just beginning the process of looking for an alarm system, answer these really simple questions, and you'll be well on your way to finding what works for you.

1) Do you want a wired or wireless alarm system?

Honeywell L5100

We highly recommend going wireless. Our two biggest selling wireless systems are the L5100 and the L3000. Both of these systems are great. The only differences between them really, is that the L5100 has a beautiful touchscreen that the L3000 does not and the L5100 can be used as a home automation controller as well as a security system.

On the wired side, our best selling units are the VISTA 21iP and the VISTA 20P. The difference between these two systems is that the 21iP has a built-in IP module, and the 20P requires that you purchase one (the 7847i) separately. After you've done your research, if you are excited about the VISTA panels, but like the benefits that a wireless system can offer you, you can add a 6160RF keypad with integrated wireless receiver to your VISTA panel and turn it into a wireless system.

2) How many doors and windows do you want to protect?

Honeywell 5811Honeywell 5816

If you need three or more door and window sensors, and you have decided that a wireless system is for you, check out our L5100PK and L3000PK. They are the most cost-efficient way to get the sensors and system you want. If you need additional sensors, you can add more 5816s or 5811s. The 5816s are thick and boxy, the 5811s are thin like a wafer. Both are good, but we a lot of users prefer the look of the 5811s.

If you want wired door and window sensors, we have tons of those. Look through our selection, and pick the ones that you like best. They all work well, and each of them perform a slightly different function.

3) How many motion sensors do you need?

Honeywell 5800PIR-RES

A lot of people do not install motion sensors. They are a good way to add an extra layer of protection, but oftentimes, the door and window sensors are good enough. If you just need one motion sensor, the kits I wrote about earlier are great. If you need more, the kit is still good, but you'll need to grab some more 5800PIR-RES motion detectors individually.

4) What kind of communication do you want your panel to use?

If you add alarm monitoring to your system, when a sensor is tripped, your security panel will send a signal somewhere. Now, if you have Total Connect service, it will go to AlarmNet and send you an email and / or a text. If you are connected to a central station, it will also go there.

How does the signal get from your panel to the central station or AlarmNet?

Good question. The signal can be delivered in three basic ways. First, you can have your system use your land line to report the alarm signals to the central station. All Honeywell systems, wireless and wired, have a built-in phone dialer so nothing additional is needed. That said, no one has a traditional phone line anymore. Also, you can't get Total Connect using a phone line. Therefore, other communication pathways are more popular. If you don't want to use the phone line, the most popular communication pathway is over the internet. While the L5100 can be hooked up through ethernet with the iLP5 module, the more common way to hook up an L5100 to the internet is by using the L5100-WIFI module. The L3000 needs the 7847i-L for internet monitoring and the VISTA panels use the similarly named, but very different 7847i. The L3000 and VISTA panels do not have a WIFI option and require an Ethernet cord to be strung to the router. The final communication pathway is over cell towers. Basically, when you purchase one of Alarm Grid's monitoring plans that include Cellular Communications, you are buying an AT&T cell phone plan for your system. We handle the SIM card activation and billing so you don't have to worry about a separate cell phone bill. Your system will then send out a signal using the wireless GSM network (which is often regarded as the most reliable pathway). The L5100 requires a GSMVLP5-4G to accomplish this, the L3000 needs a GSMVLP4G installed, and the VISTA panels need either the GSMV4G or the GSMX4G (see our FAQ on these communicators if you want to understand the difference between the two), unless it is a VISTA 21iP which requires the VISTA-GSM4G.

It may come as a surprise for anyone who is just starting their search, but those are really the four basic questions you need to ask yourself. Once you have taken inventory of your door and window sensors, motion sensor needs, whether you want your system to be wired or wireless, and what sort of communication pathway you think sounds most attractive give us a call or chat with us. We'd love to help you.


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If you have been thinking about upgrading your existing Honeywell security system, now is the perfect time. In the past, Honeywell security systems did not see major new features added with newer versions of the alarm control panels. Aside from minor tweaks to the programming options, there was never really a compelling reason to spend the money and get a brand new control panel. However, there have been some recent technological changes from Honeywell and their AlarmNet division that finally give customers a real reason to look at making a change.

First, Total Connect 2.0 was released in 2011. Total Connect is an interactive monitoring service that allows you to remotely arm and disarm your security system from any computer or smartphone. It also allows you to receive instant emails and/or text messages whenever new security system events occur. The original Total Connect service was Honeywell's first offering that allowed customers to get more out of their alarm monitoring service but like most new technologies, it needed to be polished. Total Connect 2.0 is bright and shiny and gives customer what they want. Unfortunately, when AlarmNet released the new Total Connect 2.0 service, it was only compatible with newer Honeywell security systems.

The other major technological change that requires a Honeywell security system owner to consider upgrading is the development of 4G cellular alarm communicators. We have talked in the past about how AT&T is discontinuing their 2G cellular network at the end of 2016. The 2G cellular network was very popular in the past before cell phones turned into mobile computers. All cellular alarm manufacturers, including Honeywell, built their communicators to work on the 2G network. Now that AT&T has but announced an end to the network that these communicators work on, everyone that has an existing cellular communicator needs to start thinking about upgrading to a communicator that will work past 2016.

Instead of dealing with the large expense of buying a new security system and a new cellular alarm communicator to take advantage of both these advancements, the GSMV4G-TC2  and GSMX4G-TC2 provide an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade to Total Connect 2.0 and 4G cellular communications. Both AlarmNet Total Connect 2.0 upgrade kits include a 4G cellular alarm communicator and PROM chips for both a VISTA-20P and a VISTA-15P. The PROM chip upgrades an older model VISTA panel so that it will be revision 9.12 and compatible with the newer Total Connect 2.0 service. No wiring changes need to be made and the existing system programming even stays the same. Upgrading couldn't be easier. If you have a VISTA-20P that can't do Total Connect 2.0 or a cellular alarm communicator that will need to be replaced, stop thinking about upgrading and get a new GSMV4G-TC2 or GSMX4G-TC2 today!

  

While Honeywell won't officially endorse this, we have found that the PROM upgrade chips that come with the GSMV4G-TC2 and GSMX4G-TC2 will even work with an older model ADT Safewatch panel. Therefore, any VISTA-15P or VISTA-20P, even branded versions, can take advantage of the amazing cost savings that these upgrade kits provide.

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In conjunction with our AlarmNet partnership, we are proud to announce that we are now accepting new monitoring clients! 

We are offering three unique alarm monitoring plans which you can customize with add-on features to build the perfect monitoring plan for you and your family. Starting at only $10 per month, you will be amazed to find that you can get the same services other alarm monitoring companies are offering but at a fraction of their price. The best part of all is that here at Alarm Grid, we never make you sign an alarm monitoring contract! Enjoy the cost savings and enhanced security features that come with our alarm monitoring plans while enjoying the freedom of knowing that you are not locked into a contract. We are so confident in our central station and our customer service that we know, once you sign up with us, you will never have any reason to shop your alarm monitoring service again. 

Choose from our Self Monitoring, Basic Monitoring and Monitoring Plus plans.

The Self Monitoring plan includes an interactive service that allows you to remotely arm and disarm your security system from any web enabled computer or even from an app on your iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ or Blackberry® device. The Self Monitoring plan also includes instant emails and text message notifications that are sent direct to you from your security system so that you will know right away when an alarm occurs.

The Basic Monitoring plan includes traditional central station alarm monitoring services and is backed by our award winning network of UL-listed central stations. Our three central station facilities are spread out across the country but are also virtually connected at all times so that we can spread out our alarm traffic to ensure that no operator will ever be too busy to give your alarm signal the immediate response it requires. 

The Monitoring Plus plan is our best offering as it includes central station service and interactive control of your security system. With the Monitoring Plus plan, you can rest easy knowing that when an alarm occurs, the proper authorities will be notified. In addition, you will be able to control your security system no matter where you are. Starting at only $20 per month, the Monitoring Plus plan is the best alarm monitoring value in the industry!

As the Basic Monitoring and Monitoring Plus plans include UL-listed central station monitoring, you get the added bonus of a homeowner's insurance discount as insurance companies across the country recognize Alarm Grid as a provider of the highest quality alarm monitoring service available.

Once you choose the plan that works for you, you are able to include extra features like secure cellular communications, remote home automation control and even live video access. In fact, the Video Monitoring plan can even be ordered as a standalone service for someone that may not have a security system. Here at Alarm Grid, we give you the flexibility to design your ideal alarm monitoring plan. Don't forget, with Alarm Grid, you can always try out new features without the risk of signing up for a contract.

Give us a call at 888-818-7728 to speak with a security expert that can get your security system activated today!

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We are very excited to announce the exciting partnership between Alarm Grid and AlarmNet.

AlarmNet is Honeywell's communications division which has been providing alternative alarm communications to the security industry since 1986. As a security leader that continually revolutionizes the industry, even back in the 80s Honeywell had the foresight to see that phone line communications would not be around forever. They developed numerous different communication networks that are all backed by their powerful Network Control Center so that alarm dealers across the country would have a way to provide alarm monitoring services to their customers even when phone lines eventually become extinct. 

Now, internet and cellular are the preferred technologies for sending alarm signals to a central station and AlarmNet has many different internet and cellular alarm communicators that are designed to work with Honeywell security systems. Whether it's the L5100-WIFI for the L5100 LYNX Touch or the GSMV4G for the VISTA Series alarm control panels, security system owners now have secure and reliable options for making sure that when their alarm goes off, an operator will receive their signal and be able to dispatch the proper authorities.

As an AlarmNet dealer, Alarm Grid is also able to support AlarmNet's next generation interactive service, Total Connect. Total Connect allows a user to remotely arm and disarm their security system from a computer or a smartphone as long as their security system is equipped with an AlarmNet alarm monitoring communicator. Also, Total Connect allows a user to get instant emails and/or text message notifications whenever a new security system event occurs. Not only does AlarmNet provide alarm communications that do not require a traditional phone line, but now with Total Connect, a security system can do things that were never possible with a phone line. 

Stay tuned to learn about the great alarm monitoring plans that are available through Alarm Grid, now that we are connected to AlarmNet's advanced alarm communications network.

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