Cellular Alarm Communicators Posts

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We have learned that there is a new firmware update available for Alarm.com Honeywell VISTA SEM Communicators. Firmware Upgrade Version 1.61 is a free over-the-air (OTA) upgrade to ensure that SEM VISTA Panels running 187h or 187i firmware and 1.60 gateway firmware have the newest features.


In order to receive Firmware Upgrade Version 1.61, it must be pushed down manually by your alarm monitoring company. Your Honeywell VISTA Alarm System must be in a disarmed state in order for the update to go through. It is recommended that the system be kept in a disarmed state while the upgrade is completed. The entire process should take roughly 20 to 40 minutes. No action is needed while the update is being performed.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer with a Honeywell VISTA System using an Alarm.com SEM Communicator, then you should email us to request the update. The best email to contact us at is support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a good email to use if you have a Honeywell VISTA Security System or any other alarm system that you are hoping to get monitored. We're here to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have learned that there is a new firmware update available for Alarm.com Honeywell VISTA SEM Communicators. Firmware Upgrade Version 1.61 is a free over-the-air (OTA) upgrade to ensure that SEM VISTA Panels running 187h or 187i firmware and 1.60 gateway firmware have the newest features.


In order to receive Firmware Upgrade Version 1.61, it must be pushed down manually by your alarm monitoring company. Your Honeywell VISTA Alarm System must be in a disarmed state in order for the update to go through. It is recommended that the system be kept in a disarmed state while the upgrade is completed. The entire process should take roughly 20 to 40 minutes. No action is needed while the update is being performed.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer with a Honeywell VISTA System using an Alarm.com SEM Communicator, then you should email us to request the update. The best email to contact us at is support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a good email to use if you have a Honeywell VISTA Security System or any other alarm system that you are hoping to get monitored. We're here to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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A few months ago, I got my first 5G phone. I didn't go out of my way to upgrade. I had simply broken my old smartphone and needed a new one. While I would love to tell you that it has made a huge difference, that is simply not the case. I have only noticed a slight uptick in speed at most.


But this post isn't designed to serve as a review for my newest smartphone. It's just to put the latest cellular technology into perspective. And the truth isn't all that shocking. 5G will not revolutionize how you use your security system. That's true from both a security perspective and from a smart home automation perspective. The reality is that the faster speeds that come with 5G cellular communication will not have a major impact on the usual tasks associated with alarm monitoring and remote automation connectivity.

It's hard to quantify just how much faster 5G is than 4G LTE. A brief bit of research will typically reveal that the new technology is supposed to be roughly 5 to 10 times faster. And you have likely heard the incredible promise that a 5G phone will be able to download a two-hour long movie in under 10 seconds, compared with roughly 7 minutes for a phone using 4G LTE. Of course, testing 5G speeds in practice has produced mixed results, but we'll give the cellular companies the benefit of the doubt in that they're still fine-tuning their 5G networks. The point is that 5G promises to be considerably faster than 4G LTE once the network issues are fully sorted out. And really, most speed tests will already show quantifiable improvement when comparing 5G with its predecessor.

But how does that translate into your security system communicating with the central station? Or what about using Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com to perform a smart home automation command remotely? Really, not in any manner that you are likely to notice. As we have mentioned before, alarm systems send and receive very small amounts of data when communicating with a central monitoring station and/or an interactive platform like TC2 or ADC. While the faster speeds of 5G communication technically improve data transfer rates, it honestly doesn't matter too much when you're considering data transfers this small.

The bigger benefit of 5G when it comes to security systems is associated with its reduced latency. If you are not familiar with latency, it refers to the amount of time it takes a connected device to make a request from the server and successfully receive a response. This initial request and response must occur before any actual data transfer can take place. Obviously, a low latency rate helps make a faster response possible. And while 4G LTE latency was already quite low - we're talking milliseconds here - the latency of 5G is almost nonexistent. That in itself is probably the best argument you can make for 5G connectivity improving your day-to-day security system experience once 5G radios are available.

Returning to my phone example from earlier, I haven't noticed much difference between when I was using 4G LTE connectivity and when I upgraded to a 5G model. The tasks I perform on my phone are much more demanding in terms of data transfer requirements than what you would ever conceivably request out of your alarm system. I have been known to use my phone for live-streaming events, such as sporting matches and concerts. With a 5G connection, it's maybe a second or two faster, but it's nothing life-changing like when my family upgraded from dial-up to high-speed internet during the days of my youth. And if a second or two is all I'm getting out of demanding tasks like live-streaming long events, then any difference for the routine security and automation tasks performed by your alarm system's cellular communicator (which is usually just a backup to its internet communicator anyway) will be negligible.

What does all of this mean? There are a few takeaways that we can apply to the alarm industry. First, if you are holding off getting an LTE communicator for your alarm system because you are "waiting for a 5G model to arrive", then don't bother. The difference will be virtually unnoticeable. An LTE communicator will almost certainly offer you the high-quality performance you expect, provided that you live in an area with decent cellular connectivity, which is roughly 98% of the United States. We have stressed the importance of upgrading to LTE sooner rather than later many times before, especially with the 3G sunset closing in on us. And remember that LTE is not going anywhere any time soon. Therefore, upgrading to LTE is still our recommended method for "future-proofing" your alarm system.

Now, once 5G communicators are readily available, should you get one? It's still a bit early for us to answer that question, but we will try our best. Our take is yes, you should get one, but don't go out of your way. By that we mean, if you are (at that point in the future) readily in the market for a cellular security system, then yes, by all means, get a 5G cellular communicator. Getting the latest available cellular technology is always a good idea. There may be a slight mark-up in price between the older LTE models and the newer 5G models, much like the same mark-up exists if you go shopping for a smartphone right now. But in the case of cellular alarm monitoring communicators versus your cherished smartphone that you literally carry everywhere, the price mark-up for a 5G communicator versus an LTE communicator should be significantly less. And if it's within your budget, then yes, absolutely get a 5G communicator once they are available, assuming that you are actively looking for a new alarm system communicator. The 5G networks are going to be continuously improved and rigorously maintained, so it makes sense to get on-board if you are in the market.

But if you already have a perfectly capable alarm system using an LTE communicator, then honestly, there's not much of a need. A 5G communicator won't change how you use your security system, and it won't significantly improve your day-to-day operation. Unless you really want to brag to your friends, neighbors, and colleagues that "your security system uses 5G", then there's pretty much no need to upgrade just for the sake of it. There may come a day in the mid-to-late 2030s where we're urging you to "upgrade to 5G" in light of an "LTE sunset", but you have more pressing things to worry about right now. Real talk, if you have anxiety over the thought of your system's LTE communicator no longer being supported in 2035, then we promise you, it's going to be okay. We will have you covered when that time comes.

5G communicators for alarm systems are going to come. It's inevitable. But if you're wondering why they aren't already here yet, it's mostly because they honestly aren't going to provide that big of a difference over the current LTE models that we all know and love. If you're holding your breath waiting for one, then just don't bother. Get an LTE communicator if you haven't already, and rest easy in knowing that you have an effective, reliable, and trustworthy security system protecting your home or office.

And if you need someone to monitor your security system, that's where we come in! Our team at Alarm Grid would love to help protect you and those around you. Check out this page outlining all our monitoring plans for more information. Make sure to choose a plan that includes cellular connectivity if you plan to use a system with an LTE communicator, or eventually a 5G communicator. If you have any questions or concerns, then we invite you to reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com, and our team will be happy to help. This is also a great contact email to use if you are interested in signing-up for new alarm monitoring service. Our team is here to check your incoming emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so please expect all replies to come within that timeframe. We look forward to hearing from you!

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A few months ago, I got my first 5G phone. I didn't go out of my way to upgrade. I had simply broken my old smartphone and needed a new one. While I would love to tell you that it has made a huge difference, that is simply not the case. I have only noticed a slight uptick in speed at most.


But this post isn't designed to serve as a review for my newest smartphone. It's just to put the latest cellular technology into perspective. And the truth isn't all that shocking. 5G will not revolutionize how you use your security system. That's true from both a security perspective and from a smart home automation perspective. The reality is that the faster speeds that come with 5G cellular communication will not have a major impact on the usual tasks associated with alarm monitoring and remote automation connectivity.

It's hard to quantify just how much faster 5G is than 4G LTE. A brief bit of research will typically reveal that the new technology is supposed to be roughly 5 to 10 times faster. And you have likely heard the incredible promise that a 5G phone will be able to download a two-hour long movie in under 10 seconds, compared with roughly 7 minutes for a phone using 4G LTE. Of course, testing 5G speeds in practice has produced mixed results, but we'll give the cellular companies the benefit of the doubt in that they're still fine-tuning their 5G networks. The point is that 5G promises to be considerably faster than 4G LTE once the network issues are fully sorted out. And really, most speed tests will already show quantifiable improvement when comparing 5G with its predecessor.

But how does that translate into your security system communicating with the central station? Or what about using Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com to perform a smart home automation command remotely? Really, not in any manner that you are likely to notice. As we have mentioned before, alarm systems send and receive very small amounts of data when communicating with a central monitoring station and/or an interactive platform like TC2 or ADC. While the faster speeds of 5G communication technically improve data transfer rates, it honestly doesn't matter too much when you're considering data transfers this small.

The bigger benefit of 5G when it comes to security systems is associated with its reduced latency. If you are not familiar with latency, it refers to the amount of time it takes a connected device to make a request from the server and successfully receive a response. This initial request and response must occur before any actual data transfer can take place. Obviously, a low latency rate helps make a faster response possible. And while 4G LTE latency was already quite low - we're talking milliseconds here - the latency of 5G is almost nonexistent. That in itself is probably the best argument you can make for 5G connectivity improving your day-to-day security system experience once 5G radios are available.

Returning to my phone example from earlier, I haven't noticed much difference between when I was using 4G LTE connectivity and when I upgraded to a 5G model. The tasks I perform on my phone are much more demanding in terms of data transfer requirements than what you would ever conceivably request out of your alarm system. I have been known to use my phone for live-streaming events, such as sporting matches and concerts. With a 5G connection, it's maybe a second or two faster, but it's nothing life-changing like when my family upgraded from dial-up to high-speed internet during the days of my youth. And if a second or two is all I'm getting out of demanding tasks like live-streaming long events, then any difference for the routine security and automation tasks performed by your alarm system's cellular communicator (which is usually just a backup to its internet communicator anyway) will be negligible.

What does all of this mean? There are a few takeaways that we can apply to the alarm industry. First, if you are holding off getting an LTE communicator for your alarm system because you are "waiting for a 5G model to arrive", then don't bother. The difference will be virtually unnoticeable. An LTE communicator will almost certainly offer you the high-quality performance you expect, provided that you live in an area with decent cellular connectivity, which is roughly 98% of the United States. We have stressed the importance of upgrading to LTE sooner rather than later many times before, especially with the 3G sunset closing in on us. And remember that LTE is not going anywhere any time soon. Therefore, upgrading to LTE is still our recommended method for "future-proofing" your alarm system.

Now, once 5G communicators are readily available, should you get one? It's still a bit early for us to answer that question, but we will try our best. Our take is yes, you should get one, but don't go out of your way. By that we mean, if you are (at that point in the future) readily in the market for a cellular security system, then yes, by all means, get a 5G cellular communicator. Getting the latest available cellular technology is always a good idea. There may be a slight mark-up in price between the older LTE models and the newer 5G models, much like the same mark-up exists if you go shopping for a smartphone right now. But in the case of cellular alarm monitoring communicators versus your cherished smartphone that you literally carry everywhere, the price mark-up for a 5G communicator versus an LTE communicator should be significantly less. And if it's within your budget, then yes, absolutely get a 5G communicator once they are available, assuming that you are actively looking for a new alarm system communicator. The 5G networks are going to be continuously improved and rigorously maintained, so it makes sense to get on-board if you are in the market.

But if you already have a perfectly capable alarm system using an LTE communicator, then honestly, there's not much of a need. A 5G communicator won't change how you use your security system, and it won't significantly improve your day-to-day operation. Unless you really want to brag to your friends, neighbors, and colleagues that "your security system uses 5G", then there's pretty much no need to upgrade just for the sake of it. There may come a day in the mid-to-late 2030s where we're urging you to "upgrade to 5G" in light of an "LTE sunset", but you have more pressing things to worry about right now. Real talk, if you have anxiety over the thought of your system's LTE communicator no longer being supported in 2035, then we promise you, it's going to be okay. We will have you covered when that time comes.

5G communicators for alarm systems are going to come. It's inevitable. But if you're wondering why they aren't already here yet, it's mostly because they honestly aren't going to provide that big of a difference over the current LTE models that we all know and love. If you're holding your breath waiting for one, then just don't bother. Get an LTE communicator if you haven't already, and rest easy in knowing that you have an effective, reliable, and trustworthy security system protecting your home or office.

And if you need someone to monitor your security system, that's where we come in! Our team at Alarm Grid would love to help protect you and those around you. Check out this page outlining all our monitoring plans for more information. Make sure to choose a plan that includes cellular connectivity if you plan to use a system with an LTE communicator, or eventually a 5G communicator. If you have any questions or concerns, then we invite you to reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com, and our team will be happy to help. This is also a great contact email to use if you are interested in signing-up for new alarm monitoring service. Our team is here to check your incoming emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so please expect all replies to come within that timeframe. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid noticed a new addition to the AlarmNet360 platform for alarm dealers. There is now a banner counting down to the end of the respective AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA network shut downs. It's another indication that the 3G Sunset is indeed a very pressing matter in the alarm industry.


If you are not familiar with the 3G/CDMA Sunset, it refers to quickly approaching dates at which the AT&T 3G Cellular Network and the Verizon CDMA Network will be permanently shut down and deactivated. Other cellular service providers also have their own dates for when they will decommission their older networks in favor of faster and more reliable LTE and 5G cellular networks. But for the alarm industry in the United States, the AT&T and Verizon shutdowns are particularly important, as many alarm systems rely on communication through these networks.

According to the banner shown on AlarmNet360, the AT&T 3G Sunset is set to occur after January 31, 2022. Likewise, the Verizon CDMA Sunset, according to the banner, will occur after December 31, 2022. We want to make it very clear that Alarm Grid is NOT stating that these are "official" dates for the respective network shutdowns. This is just what AlarmNet is displaying on their dealer portal. But it is our understanding that these dates are accurate and very important for end users to consider.

When a cellular network is shut down, any device communicating across that network will stop working. This includes many cellular alarm monitoring communicators that security systems depend upon for providing trustworthy and effective monitoring service. Inevitably, there will be many homes and businesses that fail to make the proper transition and get left behind during this period of adjustment. Our goal is to ensure that this happens to as few Alarm Grid customers as possible.

In preparation for the 3G/CDMA Sunset, AlarmNet has stopped allowing activations for these older cellular modules. Similar measures have also been taken by Alarm.com. But just because new activations are no longer permitted does not change the fact that there are many existing communicators out there.

Alarm Grid has promised to continue providing support for these modules as long as possible. We know that there are many people who aren't necessarily in a position to purchase a new communicator and/or an entirely new alarm panel right away. We're doing our best to accommodate everyone. But once an associated cellular network is shut down, there is nothing we can do. This is completely in the hands of the cellular service providers, and it is entirely out of our control. We fully understand the need to decommission older networks in favor of better technology, and we know that cellular service providers are making these decisions in the best interest of everyone involved. But we need to urge our customers. Do not get left behind.

The 3G/CDMA Sunset is not something to take lightly. There will be some homes and business that do not get the memo and/or decide to not take any action. They will be left vulnerable and unprotected. That is an unfortunate reality of the situation. But you do not need to let that happen to you or those around you. Most systems will allow you to replace an existing 3G or CDMA Communicator with a newer LTE communicator.

The term LTE stands for "Long-Term Evolution". Cellular service providers like AT&T and Verizon are planning to keep their LTE networks active and in-service for many, many years into the future, possibly even decades. The LTE networks will serve as a reliable backup for the new 5G networks, for which the infrastructure is still being rolled-out. Even as cellular technology continues to evolve and change, the LTE networks will remain as a stronghold, keeping millions of security systems monitored and protected. Cellular service providers will not let their LTE infrastructure go to waste. These networks will be there for your home or business when you need them the most.

If you haven't upgraded to LTE yet, please contact us. We will help you explore your options so that you can make an informed decision. Depending on your current equipment, you might only need to buy a new communicator. Others will need to replace entire alarm panels. Our technicians can provide more detail once we know exactly what you are working with. We understand that it might be difficult or impossible for you to purchase new alarm system equipment right now. That's fine. You still have time. But time is running out. You need to start preparing and thinking about these things now. That's why AlarmNet has slapped a giant banner marking the countdown dates. Take action now, if possible, so that you aren't racing to make an upgrade at the last minute.

For Alarm Grid customers it is important to note that, in most cases a communicator replacement will require that you work with one of our trained technicians. In some cases, this can be done without an appointment, but in many cases an appointment will be required. So please, also keep this in mind when you're planning to upgrade your equipment. If everyone who needs an upgrade waits until the last minute, the wait for an available appointment time may get longer than usual.

The best way to contact us regarding any questions or concerns you might have about the 3G/CDMA Sunset is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Please let us know about the security system equipment you currently have so that we can provide the most comprehensive and complete support possible. We may even ask for pictures of your panel and/or communicator so that we can help you to the best of our ability. Remember that our support hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and ensuring that your security system is kept monitored for many years to come!

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Alarm Grid noticed a new addition to the AlarmNet360 platform for alarm dealers. There is now a banner counting down to the end of the respective AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA network shut downs. It's another indication that the 3G Sunset is indeed a very pressing matter in the alarm industry.


If you are not familiar with the 3G/CDMA Sunset, it refers to quickly approaching dates at which the AT&T 3G Cellular Network and the Verizon CDMA Network will be permanently shut down and deactivated. Other cellular service providers also have their own dates for when they will decommission their older networks in favor of faster and more reliable LTE and 5G cellular networks. But for the alarm industry in the United States, the AT&T and Verizon shutdowns are particularly important, as many alarm systems rely on communication through these networks.

According to the banner shown on AlarmNet360, the AT&T 3G Sunset is set to occur after January 31, 2022. Likewise, the Verizon CDMA Sunset, according to the banner, will occur after December 31, 2022. We want to make it very clear that Alarm Grid is NOT stating that these are "official" dates for the respective network shutdowns. This is just what AlarmNet is displaying on their dealer portal. But it is our understanding that these dates are accurate and very important for end users to consider.

When a cellular network is shut down, any device communicating across that network will stop working. This includes many cellular alarm monitoring communicators that security systems depend upon for providing trustworthy and effective monitoring service. Inevitably, there will be many homes and businesses that fail to make the proper transition and get left behind during this period of adjustment. Our goal is to ensure that this happens to as few Alarm Grid customers as possible.

In preparation for the 3G/CDMA Sunset, AlarmNet has stopped allowing activations for these older cellular modules. Similar measures have also been taken by Alarm.com. But just because new activations are no longer permitted does not change the fact that there are many existing communicators out there.

Alarm Grid has promised to continue providing support for these modules as long as possible. We know that there are many people who aren't necessarily in a position to purchase a new communicator and/or an entirely new alarm panel right away. We're doing our best to accommodate everyone. But once an associated cellular network is shut down, there is nothing we can do. This is completely in the hands of the cellular service providers, and it is entirely out of our control. We fully understand the need to decommission older networks in favor of better technology, and we know that cellular service providers are making these decisions in the best interest of everyone involved. But we need to urge our customers. Do not get left behind.

The 3G/CDMA Sunset is not something to take lightly. There will be some homes and business that do not get the memo and/or decide to not take any action. They will be left vulnerable and unprotected. That is an unfortunate reality of the situation. But you do not need to let that happen to you or those around you. Most systems will allow you to replace an existing 3G or CDMA Communicator with a newer LTE communicator.

The term LTE stands for "Long-Term Evolution". Cellular service providers like AT&T and Verizon are planning to keep their LTE networks active and in-service for many, many years into the future, possibly even decades. The LTE networks will serve as a reliable backup for the new 5G networks, for which the infrastructure is still being rolled-out. Even as cellular technology continues to evolve and change, the LTE networks will remain as a stronghold, keeping millions of security systems monitored and protected. Cellular service providers will not let their LTE infrastructure go to waste. These networks will be there for your home or business when you need them the most.

If you haven't upgraded to LTE yet, please contact us. We will help you explore your options so that you can make an informed decision. Depending on your current equipment, you might only need to buy a new communicator. Others will need to replace entire alarm panels. Our technicians can provide more detail once we know exactly what you are working with. We understand that it might be difficult or impossible for you to purchase new alarm system equipment right now. That's fine. You still have time. But time is running out. You need to start preparing and thinking about these things now. That's why AlarmNet has slapped a giant banner marking the countdown dates. Take action now, if possible, so that you aren't racing to make an upgrade at the last minute.

For Alarm Grid customers it is important to note that, in most cases a communicator replacement will require that you work with one of our trained technicians. In some cases, this can be done without an appointment, but in many cases an appointment will be required. So please, also keep this in mind when you're planning to upgrade your equipment. If everyone who needs an upgrade waits until the last minute, the wait for an available appointment time may get longer than usual.

The best way to contact us regarding any questions or concerns you might have about the 3G/CDMA Sunset is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Please let us know about the security system equipment you currently have so that we can provide the most comprehensive and complete support possible. We may even ask for pictures of your panel and/or communicator so that we can help you to the best of our ability. Remember that our support hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and ensuring that your security system is kept monitored for many years to come!

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We have heard some recent buzz in the industry that other alarm monitoring companies may begin stopping all support for older 3G, 4G and CDMA Cellular Communicators. While the push to get everyone onto LTE is important, Alarm Grid plans to support these existing modules as long as possible.

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for the

If you have been keeping up with the latest events in the security industry, then you will know that both Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com will no longer allow activations for older cellular modules. The CDMA activation sunset occurred last year in 2018. Then this year in late June, Total Connect 2.0 stopped allowing AT&T 3G & 4G activations. From there, Alarm.com followed suit and also announced they would no longer allow new activations for 3G & 4G Communicators.

It is important to understand that these "sunset" events only affect new activations. If you have an existing 3G, 4G, or CDMA Communicator that is currently activated for use with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, then you can continue to use it, at least for now. As long as you keep it activated and your monitoring company continues to support it, then there will be no problem until the associated cellular network is permanently shut down.

For the record, the AT&T 3G Network is going to be shut down in February of 2022. We do not have an official date for the shutdown of the Verizon CDMA Network, but it is also expected to occur around this time. In preparation for this event, both Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com will only allow for new activations of LTE cellular communicators. In other words, if you want cellular alarm monitoring for your system, you should definitely go LTE.

Recently, we have heard that some other alarm monitoring companies are dropping support for these communicators sooner. Some will drop support as early as the end of 2019. This means that if you have monitoring service with that company and you have an older communicator, your monitoring service will be automatically terminated unless you upgrade to LTE before their self-imposed cut-off date.

Alarm Grid would like to state publicly that we plan to support existing 3G, 4G, and CDMA Communicators for as long as possible. We understand that not everyone can feasibly make the upgrade right away. We are doing everything we can to let our customers make the transition at their own pace. If you are still using a 3G, 4G, or CDMA Communicator with Alarm Grid, then rest assured that your communicator will still work for the next couple of years.

Now, just because we are still supporting these modules does not mean you shouldn't upgrade. LTE communication is faster, more reliable, and it will provide you with a better end user experience overall. Additionally, installing an LTE communicator will essentially "future-proof" your system against further advances in cellular technology. Cellular service providers have stated repeatedly that LTE networks will remain supported and in-service well into the very distant future.

Also remember that if you currently use a 3G, 4G, or CDMA Communicator, and you deactivate the module for ANY reason, you will NOT be able to reactivate it. This can be particularly important if you are trying to bring an older cellular module to Alarm Grid. If your communicator is still active with a different monitoring company, and you keep it active in your transition to Alarm Grid, we can help you reprogram it for use with our monitoring service.

At Alarm Grid, we are working to make sure all of our customers who use cellular monitoring will make a smooth and seamless transition over to LTE. We know that everyone moves at a different pace, and we are not going to rush you into doing something that you may not be ready for. While we certainly encourage you to make the jump to LTE as soon as possible, we will continue to work with you as long as we can.

If you have any questions about the 3G and CDMA sunset, or if you are trying to determine your best option for getting your panel on LTE, then by all mean, please reach out to us as soon as you can. Our team will be happy to work with you and assist you in any way possible. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours are 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! If you have an Alarm.com 3G Cellular Communicator, the time to activate it is NOW. This is your very last chance. If you do not get your Alarm.com 3G Communicator activated by the end of Friday, June 28th, you will be unable to do so. The deadline to activate is almost here.


The actual cutoff date for Alarm.com 3G activations is Sunday, June 30th. However, Alarm Grid does not perform activations on the weekends. If you want to activate your Alarm.com 3G Communicator for use with Alarm Grid monitoring services, you must do so by the end of this Friday. Our team will get your communicator up and running for alarm monitoring service so that you can use Alarm.com.

By activating an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator and signing up for cellular alarm monitoring service, you can start using your system with the Alarm.com platform. Alarm.com allows you to arm and disarm your system, check current system status, control Z-Wave smart home devices, view the live feed for Alarm.com IP Cameras, and more. You can access this great service using the convenient Alarm.com Mobile App on your Android or iOS device.

An activated 3G communicator will provide consistent and reliable monitoring service until the 3G networks are shut down. AT&T is planning to shutdown their 3G network in February 2022, and Verizon is expected to shutdown their 3G CDMA network around this time as well. Remember, if you deactivate a 3G communicator after the cutoff date for any reason, you will not be able to reactivate it. Trying to reactivate a communicator is considered the same as an initial activation.

If you miss the deadline for activating an Alarm.com 3G Communicator, you will still be able to activate an LTE communicator for use with Alarm.com. Cellular service providers have stated that they plan to keep their LTE networks activated well into the very distant future. Getting an LTE communicator is the best way to provide long-term monitoring service for your panel.

At this point, a 3G communicator is only a temporary solution. Additionally, an LTE communicator will provide faster connection speeds than a 3G communicator. The difference isn't huge for monitoring itself, but LTE can make a big difference when it comes to home automation. Anyone looking to keep their system running for many years to come should make the jump to LTE as soon as possible.

If you need to activate an Alarm.com 3G Communicator, please reach out to us immediately. You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728. Remember our office hours are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Hi DIYers! Have you activated your 3G or 4G cellular communicator yet? If not, you are running out of time. All 3G and 4G communicators must be activated by June 26, 2019 for AlarmNet and June 30, 2019 for Alarm.com. After that, it will no longer be possible to activate these modules.

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This is your very last chance to purchase a 3G or 4G communicator. If you wait much longer, we won't be able to guarantee that it will arrive to your address in time for you to install and activate it. And if you are still sitting on a 3G or 4G communicator, the time to activate it is now. You should reach out to Alarm Grid as soon as possible to get started with monitoring service. The following plans will work for cellular communication - Gold, Self-Gold, Platinum, Self-Platinum, Cellular-Only. Please read this blog post for more information about our monitoring plans.

Alarm Grid is still holding a sale on the iGSMV4G Communicator and the iGSMV4G-TC2 Kit. These products are currently available for $50 and $60, respectively. Buying a iGSMV4G from Alarm Grid right now is a strong choice if you want to get a VISTA Series System connected for cellular monitoring service for a very affordable price. More information about this sale can be found in this recent blog post.

Keep in mind that deactivating a communicator and then reactivating it counts as activating. If you discontinue monitoring service at any time after June 26th for AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0 or June 30th for Alarm.com, you will not be able to reactivate your old 3G or 4G communicator. This is something to consider if you expect that you may move or relocate your system sometime in the near future. At this time, it is no longer possible to activate a CDMA communicator.

Remember, a 3G, 4G, or CDMA communicator is only a temporary solution at this point. AT&T will be shutting down their 3G/4G cellular network in February 2022, and Verizon is expected to shutdown their CDMA network around this time as well. Any already-activated alarm monitoring communicator that connects with one of these cellular networks provide reliable monitoring service until that time. After that, it will be obsolete.

Getting a 3G or 4G communicator in the next few days for a quick activation is a viable option. However, the best option is to get an LTE cellular communicator for your system. Both AT&T and Verizon have stated that they will support their LTE networks for many years to come. An LTE cellular radio is the best way to ensure that your security system will receive fast and reliable monitoring service well into the very distant future. We have many LTE communicators available for purchase on our website.

If you need help choosing a communicator, or if you are trying to activate a communicator before the cut-off date, please contact us as soon as you can. The best way to get a hold of us is to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our team will check your email at our earliest convenience and respond as soon as possible. If you would prefer to call us, we are available at (888) 818-7728. Remember that our business hours are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. You must schedule an activation during these hours. We look forward to hearing from you and activating your system for monitoring service.

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Hi DIYers and future DIYers! Today, we're going to take an extensive look at the alarm monitoring plans offered from Alarm Grid. You can always reference this information on our alarm monitoring page. This helpful post will explain much of the terminology found on the monitoring page.

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What is Alarm Monitoring?

First, it can be helpful to understand what exactly alarm monitoring is. Alarm monitoring is a service that allows a security system to send out signals. These signals can be received by a central station and/or an interactive service network. This will depend on the user's alarm monitoring plan. Without alarm monitoring, a system can still go into alarm mode and activate sirens. But this won't do any good if the user is off-site. A system without alarm monitoring is referred to as a local system or an unmonitored system.

There are several major advantages to having your alarm system monitored. This service is the best way to receive off-site text and/or email alerts regarding any specific system activity and system events. It is also the only method for receiving automatic emergency dispatch from a central monitoring station. Many alarm monitoring plans will also allow you to control your system remotely using an interactive service platform. This is impossible for unmonitored systems. Alarm monitoring may also be able to save you money on your homeowner's insurance with a Certificate of Alarm.

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What is a Central Monitoring Station?

When you talk about alarm monitoring, one term that you will likely come across often is "central monitoring station". It's important to have a strong understanding of this term so that you know exactly what it entails. A central monitoring station is a center where trained dispatchers respond to incoming security system alarms. A good way to think of a central monitoring station is to picture a 911 dispatching center where dispatchers are answering emergency phone calls. The only difference is that the dispatchers at a central monitoring station are responding to security system alarms rather than emergency 911 phone calls.

A central monitoring station will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year (366 on leap years). Unless there is a very severe emergency, a central monitoring station will always be in operation, no matter what. The dispatchers at a central monitoring station are constantly checking for any incoming system alarms. When an alarm comes through, a dispatcher will be able to see the type of alarm and the location of the system. This is important because the dispatcher needs to know what type of alarm occurs. For example, the alarm could be a break-in, a fire, a medical emergency, or an outbreak of CO gas.

In most cases, the dispatcher will make two (2) attempts to contact the end user before requesting immediate emergency dispatch. Users will define a custom pre-dispatch and post-dispatch call list that must meet local ECV (enhanced call verification) laws. The dispatcher will attempt to contact the end user at any listed phone numbers. This is done to prevent false alarms. The end user will need to answer the phone and provide their false alarm passcode if the alarm was caused by accident. If the dispatcher is unable to contact the end user, if the user is unable to provide the correct false alarm passcode, or if the end user says their secret duress code, then emergency help will be sent out immediately. Please note that special restrictions may apply to areas where verified response is required. Additionally, some users put a note on their accounts to have the central station skip the step of attempting to contact before dispatch. For these users, emergency dispatch will be sent out as soon as an alarm occurs. Alarm Grid does not recommend this, as this can lead to false alarms.

Alarm Grid customers with central monitoring service have their systems connected with Criticom Monitoring Services. Criticom operates three (3) monitoring centers located across the United States. These centers are located in Florida, New Jersey, and California. These monitoring centers are networked and load-balanced so that calls are distributed most efficiently across these locations. In various situations, one monitoring center may go offline. An example of why a monitoring center may go offline is due to a major hurricane. But if this happens, there is nothing to worry about. Calls will be automatically rerouted to one of the other monitoring centers in these very rare situations. Please note that central station monitoring service from Alarm Grid and Criticom is only available to customers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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What is Self-Monitoring?

Not everyone with alarm monitoring service receives central station monitoring. There is also self-monitoring. A self-monitoring plan will not connect the system with a central station. Instead, the system will be connected with an interactive service network. The end user will receive text and/or email notifications regarding any alarm events. These alerts will describe exactly which system zone caused the alarm. The end user will then need to contact the necessary authorities on their own. Since no central station is involved, these self-monitoring plans are less expensive than central station monitoring plans. Self-monitoring is made possible using an interactive service platform.

There are many reasons why a customer might choose self-monitoring instead of central station monitoring. They might believe that they can respond reliably to text and/or email alerts and that they do not benefit from central monitoring service. The customer might be located outside of the United States and Canada and is therefore ineligible for central monitoring service. Maybe they are only really using their system for Z-Wave smart home control and they don't care about being connected with a central station. Regardless, a self-monitoring plan can be a great option for users who want effective and affordable alarm monitoring service. Please be aware that users with self-monitoring service will be ineligible for receiving Certificates of Alarm. As a result, it is unlikely that they will receive any discount in their homeowner's insurance.

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What is an Interactive Service Platform?

Most Alarm Grid customers receive connectivity with either the Total Connect 2.0 service or the Alarm.com service. These are both interactive service platforms that provide a diverse range of functions. When an alarm occurs, the system uses its alarm monitoring communicator to send a signal to either the AlarmNet Servers for Total Connect 2.0 users or the Alarm.com Servers for Alarm.com users. These servers will then forward the alert to a central monitoring station and/or the end user via text and/or email. There are also a small number of Alarm Grid customers with access to the Telguard HomeControl Flex service using a Telguard Communicator. However, this is less common. All Alarm Grid customers with self-monitoring service will receive access to Total Connect 2.0, Alarm.com or Telguard HomeControl Flex. Alarm Grid customers with central station monitoring service will also receive access to one of these services, with the exception of those with a Standard Bronze Plan or a Cellular Only Monitoring Plan.

Interactive service platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com offer many excellent functions and features. For one, you can access your system remotely to arm, disarm and check its current status. This is made possible using the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App or the Alarm.com Mobile App. Both of these mobile apps are available for free download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. You can also use TC2 and ADC to control Z-Wave devices (Silver Plan or higher required), view the live feed for security cameras (Platinum Plan or Video-Only Plan required), and more.




Let's Discuss Monitoring Plans!

Now that we have talked about some basic terms, we can finally get into monitoring plans. The main monitoring plans from Alarm Grid are broken into four (4) tiers. These tiers - ranked lowest to highest - are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each tier is split into Central Station Monitoring Plans (aka, Standard Plans) and Self-Monitoring Plans (aka, Self Plans). This gives us a total of eight (8) main plans offered from Alarm Grid. As you move up in our monitoring plan tiers, you will get all of the services offered in the lower tiers, plus some new features. There are also some special monitoring plans that we will discuss in greater detail later. The type of monitoring plan you choose is a very personal decision. You should base your decision on your budget, the system you own, and the monitoring needs of your household or business.

One very important thing to note is that Alarm.com Service requires a plan that includes cellular monitoring service. These plans include Gold, Self-Gold, Platinum, Self-Platinum, and the Cellular-Only Plan. The reason this is required is because panels that use the Alarm.com Service require an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator and cellular monitoring service to connect with the Alarm.com Servers. The 2GIG GC2 can technically connect with Alarm.com with a 2GIG Go!Bridge IP Communicator and forgo cellular. But even then, the user will still need to sign-up for a Gold Plan or higher and pay the corresponding fee. If you plan to use an Alarm.com System, expect to sign-up for a Gold Plan or higher. This is a very important consideration when choosing an alarm system.

Also note that each monitoring plan can only cover one (1) security system. If you want to add a second security system or a second alarm control panel, you will need a second alarm monitoring plan. This is true whether the systems are installed in different locations or in the same building.

With that out of the way, let's look into our monitoring plans!

Bronze & Self-Bronze

The Bronze Level Plans from Alarm Grid represent our most basic and least expensive plans. With Standard Bronze, you get connectivity with a central monitoring station through either IP (internet protocol) or phone line (strongly discouraged). This will allow you to receive automatic dispatch in the event of an emergency. No other service is included in this very minimal plan. Standard Bronze customers will not be able to access an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0.

Self-Bronze customers will get the ability to receive text and/or email alerts from Total Connect 2.0. They will also be able to use the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile app to arm and disarm their systems remotely and check the current status for their systems.

Since cellular monitoring is impossible with the Bronze Plans, you should get a system that can do IP-only monitoring. This is possible for most Resideo Alarm Systems that connect with the AlarmNet Servers. Some examples of appropriate systems for Bronze customers include the Resideo Lyric Controller, the Resideo VISTA 21iP, and the Resideo L5210 with an added L5100-WIFI Card.

If you only want the most basic of alarm monitoring services for the lowest possible price, then a Bronze Level Plan is for you. The Standard Bronze Plan with central station monitoring is available for $15 per month. The Self-Bronze Plan is available for $10 per month.




Silver & Self-Silver

The Silver Level Plans introduce the ability to control Z-Wave smart home automation devices remotely. Without a Silver Plan or higher, you will be unable to control Z-Wave devices setup with your system remotely. Central Station Customers need a Silver Plan or higher to access Total Connect 2.0. This will allow remote access to their systems through the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App. All Silver customers receive the features offered in the Bronze Level Plans.

Silver customers can also use Total Connect 2.0 to create Smart Scenes for their Z-Wave devices. This will allow these devices to activate automatically based on a set schedule or with certain system events. Total Connect 2.0 is also required if you want to control your Resideo System and connected smart home devices with voice commands through Amazon Alexa.

If you plan to use a Resideo System with IP-only monitoring and you want smart home automation functionality, then a Silver Plan is for you. The Standard Silver Plan with central station monitoring is available for $25 per month. The Self-Silver Plan is available for $15 per month.




Gold & Self-Gold

The Gold Level Plans introduce the ability to use cellular alarm monitoring service. Cellular alarm monitoring is more reliable than IP monitoring. This is because cellular connectivity is not dependent upon AC power, and it is extremely rare for a cellular communication path to go down or become unavailable. The same cannot be said for an IP communication path, which can sometimes go down for seemingly no reason.

Additionally, internet routers are dependent upon AC power. A power outage will take an IP-only monitored system offline, unless the IP router has a backup battery. Internet monitoring is also included with the Gold Level Plans, so any customer with one of these plans can use dual-path connectivity (IP and cellular) if they have the proper equipment. A Gold Plan is required for any customer who wants to use Alarm.com. It is also required for Total Connect 2.0 users who want to use a cellular communication path.

A Gold Level Plan is for you if you want the most reliable monitoring service possible. It is also for anyone who plans to use an Alarm.com-compatible system, like a 2GIG GC3 or a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The Standard Gold Plan with central station monitoring is available for $35 per month. The Self-Gold Plan is available for $25 per month.

Note: Although Image Sensor support is not listed under the Gold Plans, you can use them as well!




Platinum & Self-Platinum

The Platinum & Self-Platinum Plans introduce video surveillance. This allows users to view IP security cameras from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The live feeds for these cameras can be viewed from virtually anywhere in the world using the respective mobile apps. The user can also download recorded clips for permanent storage and future use. The Platinum Level Plans also include all of the services offered from the Bronze, Silver, Gold Plans. These are the highest level plans available from Alarm Grid.

A Platinum Level Plan is for you if you want to use video surveillance with your security system. The Standard Platinum Plan with central station monitoring is available for $45 per month. The Self-Platinum Plan is available for $35 per month.



Other Monitoring Plans

Alarm Grid also offers some alternative monitoring plans. These monitoring plans are used with less frequency. They are designed for customers who do not fit the mold of our traditional monitoring plans. These alternative plans include the Cellular-Only Plan and the Video-Only Plan.

The Cellular-Only Plan is like the Standard Bronze Plan, except it allows for cellular monitoring service. The user will not have access to an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. They will also be unable to control home automation devices remotely. However, they will get connectivity with a central monitoring station. This plan can also be used with Alarm.com Systems. You won't get access to the Alarm.com Interactive Service, but connectivity with the Alarm.com Servers will allow for central station monitoring. The Cellular-Only Plan is for you if you want the added reliability of cellular or dual-path monitoring, but you don't need the benefits of an interactive service platform or smart home automation. The Cellular-Only plan is available for $25 per month.

The Video-Only Plan allows for connectivity with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com strictly for the use of security cameras. You do not even need a security system to use this plan. You can also combine this plan with another plan (e.g. Standard Bronze, Self-Silver) to add video surveillance to your existing monitoring service. The Video-Only Plan is for you if you want video surveillance for your home or business, but you don't have an alarm system, or you don't need cellular connectivity or smart home automation capabilities. The Video-Only Plan is available for $15 per month.

Get Alarm Monitoring

The best way to sign-up for alarm monitoring service from Alarm Grid is to click the orange Alarm Monitoring button at the top of this page. You can choose the best monitoring plan for your needs. Of course, you can always reach out to us if you need help making your decision. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Our planning team will check your email and respond as soon as possible. If you would prefer to speak over the phone, you may call us at (888) 818-7228. We are available by phone during our regular office hours of 9am to 8pm EST Monday thru Friday. We look forward to helping you determine the perfect alarm monitoring plan for your needs.

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