DIY Wireless Security Systems Posts

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Qolsys announced several new products at ISC West in August. However, product availability, including for the IQ Panel 4, has been nil. We now have one iteration of the panel that has limited stock available. The Qolsys IQ Panel 4 with Verizon LTE and Interlogix/GE SRF support in White.

The Qolsys Roadmap for product releases got a little rocky this year. We expected the Qolsys IQ Hub in the late Spring, with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 to be released in the late fall. That's understandable with all the things that have been going on. What with the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the recent global chip shortage, we consider ourselves fortunate to be seeing stock on existing products, let alone newly announced ones.

At this time, we have limited stock available on one specific version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. This is the panel with built-in WIFI, a Verizon LTE cellular communicator, and support for both PowerG and Interlogix/GE and Qolsys 319.5 MHz wireless devices with the panel in White. Eventually, there will also be another version with these exact same specifications, but with the panel in Black.

As the rollout continues, and the component availability and manufacturing bottleneck abates, we will eventually see several other variations of this panel become available. You can see a list of all of them below:

Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Variations

SKU Product Description Available Date
IQP4001 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, White Limited Availability Now!
IQP4001BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4004 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4004BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+319.5 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4003 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4003BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4006 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4006BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+345 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4002 IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4002BLK IQP4, Verizon-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022
IQP4005 IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, White Tentative 11/2021
IQP4005BLK IQP4, AT&T-LTE, PowerG+433 MHz, Black Tentative 01/2022

If you click on any of the links above for products that aren't yet available, they will show up as discontinued on our site. Once they become available, we will blog again, and those links will become live. This way, you can come back to this post at any time and check availability on whichever panel variation you happen to be interested in.

In addition to the options shown above, the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 currently uses the same User Interface (UI) as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Eventually they will offer a new look, and users will be able to choose between the new or the existing look. The panel has an 8 MP camera, which can be adjusted for tilt, increased signal range for all wireless cards that are built into the panel, more advanced speakers, three microphones, and many more hardware upgrades.

For those who may not know, Qolsys sought to make it easy to replace an existing panel that uses wireless sensors, without having to replace all of the sensors as well. So if you currently have an older Qolsys panel, or an Interlogix or GE panel, all of which used 319.5 MHz wireless sensors, then you would want to choose the corresponding Qolsys IQ Panel 4 in the color, and with the cellular communicator that best suits your needs.

Honeywell 5800 Series and 2GIG wireless both use 345 MHz wireless sensors. 2GIG has a lineup of encrypted sensors that also operate at 345 MHz, and those sensors will NOT be compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 that supports this frequency, but most other uni-directional 345 MHz wireless devices that work with either of these two product lines should also work with the Qolsys IQ Panel 4.

Older DSC panels used wireless sensors in the 433 MHz range. As you can see from the chart, there will also be a version of the IQ Panel 4 that supports these devices. DSC is also the manufacturer of PowerG wireless devices. All of the IQ Panel 4 variations will support PowerG. The idea being, once you replace the older panel, and begin to utilize the older RF sensors with the new Qolsys IQ Panel 4, if you need to replace the older devices, you can choose to replace them with the same older model sensor, or you can replace them with a PowerG version, which supports 128-bit AES encryption, and will have a range up to 4,000 feet with the IQ Panel 4. You can read all about why we love PowerG so much in this earlier post.

Qolsys released an RF Compatibility Document for firmware version 2.6.0. Both the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the IQ Panel 4 will use this firmware. This is the base version for the IQP4, so any devices listed on this document as compatible have been tested by Qolsys engineering and are known to work. Uni-directional devices (those that only transmit to the panel, but don't receive any information from the panel) that are not on the compatibility list may or may not work. Bi-directional devices such as the Honeywell 5800RL, 5800WAVE, or 5828 will definitely NOT work.

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Resideo's Pro Series Products, including the PROA7PLUS with Amazon Alexa built in, the PROWIFIZW, PROLTE-A, PROLTE-V and all of its other peripherals have won CEPro's BEST Award for Best Integrated Security System/Module/Device/Surveillance Cameras system. This is a big win for Resideo.

Each year, CEPro Magazine announces the winners of their BEST Awards at the CEDIA Expo. CEDIA is the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association. It represents professionals in the home automation/smart technology industry. This is the biggest trade show geared specifically toward smart home and automation integrators.

The CEDIA Expo, owned and operated by EmeraldX, LLC. was held in Indianapolis this year beginning on September 1. The 2021 show returned to an in-person format after the 2020 show was canceled due to concerns about COVID-19. Exhibitors and attendees alike were happy to meet in person once again.

The Integrated Security System/Module/Device/Surveillance Cameras award is given in the Control and Automation Category. Some other awards in this segment were for Lighting, Lighting Controls & Accessories, which was won by the Alisse Wall Control which is offered by Lutron Electronics, Motorized Shade Controls & Accessories, which was awarded to Somfy Systems for their PoE Touch Panel Room Controller. There were a number of other categories and winners.

Resideo's Honeywell Home Pro Series Products offer a comprehensive platform to support existing legacy RF sensors using the PROTAKEOVER module (available separately or in one of our kits). With the PROTAKEOVER, a customer can replace an older alarm system that used older wireless technology without having to also replace every single sensor.

This saves both time and money, allowing the customer to concentrate on adding more automation devices, or new sensors in areas that weren't protected before. For example, by not having to replace all of the existing burglary sensors, a homeowner may be able to add smoke detectors or other life safety sensors that are tied to the alarm system where they didn't have this type of protection on the older system. The PROTAKEOVER can support wireless devices from the Honeywell or 2GIG 345 MHz lineup (one or the other, but not both), sensors from the Qolsys or Interlogix/GE 319.5 MHz lineup, and 433 MHz Bosch, or 433 MHz DSC sensors.

The PROA7PLUS comes with the PROWIFIZW already installed. This module adds support for WIFI (802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz only) as well as Z-Wave (908 MHz North American frequency). One of the big differences between the PROA7PLUS and the PROA7 is that the PROA7 does not have a WIFI module installed from the factory. Support for WIFI can be added using the PROWIFIZW, or if Z-Wave is not going to be used, then the PROWIFI can be installed. This modular design means that you will only pay for what you intend to use.

The modular design also means that if a component should fail, only the component needs to be replaced, rather than the entire panel. In the future, when technology changes and either WIFI or cellular technology requires an update, only the modules will have to be replaced in order to keep the panel current. If you've ever had to replace a panel with numerous security sensors, or Z-Wave automation devices, you'll know that this alone makes the Pro Series panels worth considering.

With built-in Amazon Alexa for both the PROA7PLUS panel itself, and the PROWLTOUCH Pro Wireless Touchscreen Keypad you can control the system as well as automation devices using just your voice and the Total Connect 2.0 Skill for Alexa. Some of the Alexa features supported are flash briefings, weather, time, add to calendar, create shopping lists, answer general questions, and more. Some features that are not supported are the ability to read books aloud (Audible) and the ability to place calls or Drop-in to another Alexa device.

Tell us what you think of the Resideo and Honeywell Home Pro Series Panels. Do you think these new panels are worthy of accolades? Have you had an experience with one of these systems that you'd like to tell us about? Leave a comment below, we'd love to hear what you think.


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2GIG has announced the release of their first big firmware update for the 2GIG Edge. This update adds support for image sensors in the form of the 2GIG-IMAGE3. In order to support image sensors, the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 must be installed. Image sensors can be used without losing any other features.

The 2GIG Edge is a great addition to the 2GIG panel lineup. It has built-in facial recognition, Z-Wave Plus V2 (700 Series) support, up to four (4) Smart Area partitions, Bluetooth disarming, and so much more. One of the disappointing aspects of the panel rollout, is that it didn't support image sensors at the time of its release. That problem is now rectified with the new 3.1.0.011 firmware.

If you have a 2GIG Edge, then there are a couple of ways that you can get your panel updated. Alarm.com is still in the testing phase with this firmware, so it can't be pushed remotely quite yet, but remote over-the-air (OTA) updates will be available soon. Once this form of upgrade is available, you'll need to request the update from your alarm dealer. If your panel has a WIFI connection, the update will be completely free. If your panel connects to Alarm.com via cellular only, then a small fee will be incurred when updating OTA.

If you're an Alarm Grid monitoring customer, you can request the upgrade by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Once the update is available, we'll verify the cost, if any, and if you give the go ahead, we'll push the update to your panel, and pass the cost along to you on your next monthly monitoring bill, with no markup. Remember, there will only be a fee if your panel connects to Alarm.com via cellular only. The cost for this type of update varies, depending on the size of the file to be downloaded. It could be as little as fifty-cents, or as much as a few dollars.

The other way that your panel can be updated is via USB. There is a USB port on the top of the 2GIG Edge. You can download the firmware update files from Alarm Grid here. This is a free download. Use a standard USB drive with at least 1GB capacity, and not more than 16GB capacity. Be sure the drive is formatted using FAT32, and that it has only one (1) partition. The file you download should be saved to the root directory of the USB drive. Full instructions for downloading and upgrading can be found here.

Once the file has been downloaded to the USB drive, remove the drive and take it to the 2GIG Edge panel. The USB port is on top of the panel, covered by a rubber boot. Remove the boot, and insert the drive. A message should appear on the panel, letting you know that an update is available. Press "Update", enter either the Installer Code (default 1561) or Master Code (1111) and the update will then proceed. Be sure the panel has AC power, and that AC power is not interrupted during the update process. The panel will reboot and provide a message letting you know when the update is complete. Remove the USB drive and reinsert the rubber boot.

If you have a 2GIG Edge Remote Keypad, it will be updated by the 2GIG Edge panel, once the panel has completed updating. Be sure the keypad has AC power and that it is connected to WIFI and to the Edge panel. You can verify this by making sure the keypad shows the panel home screen, and the proper panel status. Once the panel has been updated, it should automatically update the keypad. Again, once the firmware has been installed, the keypad will reboot to complete the update process.

In addition to support for image sensors, this firmware also corrects a few known issues regarding WIFI connection problems, and both remote keypad and main panel touchscreen issues. You can read the full firmware Release Notes Here.

So, what do you think about this firmware update? Do you have a 2GIG Edge and want to share your experience with it? Have you been anxiously awaiting image sensor support? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. We always look forward to hearing from you.

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After much waiting and anticipation, Resideo has delivered the firmware update we have all been wanting for ProSeries Panels. ProSeries System Update Version 3.591.92.0 for PROA7PLUS, PROA7PLUSC, PROA7, and PROA7C introduces local programming mode, as well as other system enhancements.

First, we want to cover how to receive the update. Only monitored ProSeries Systems can be updated. You must have your ProSeries System online and connected with the AlarmNet servers in order for the over-the-air (OTA) update to go through successfully. The system must be connected with a WIFI network, as the update cannot be sent across cellular. Remember that while the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC both come with integrated WIFI network cards, the PROA7 and PROA7C can only connect to WIFI if a PROWIFIZW or PROWIFI has been added separately.

As a one-time event Alarm Grid is planning to send down the new firmware update to all its monitored customers with ProSeries Panels sometime in the coming days. This OTA update is being done in one mass shot to try to update as many users as possible all at once. No special action should be required on your part. Just have your ProSeries Panel powered on and connected to WIFI. While this process isn't perfect, and there will inevitably be some users who miss out on the update for one reason or another, this is the best way for us to ensure that as many end-users as possible have their panels updated. Remember, we can only update ProSeries Systems that are actively monitored by Alarm Grid. If you have a different monitoring provider, then ask them to help you update your system.

If your automatic OTA update fails for whatever reason, or if you didn't have your panel ready at the time of the mass OTA update, then you can request that the update be sent down manually. Alarm Grid customers can email support@alarmgrid.com to request a manual OTA update. Please make sure that you have your ProSeries Panel powered on and connected to WIFI when we push down the OTA update, or else the update process will fail. Our support hours run from 9 am to 8 pm ET M-F, so keep that in mind when contacting us. Furthermore, we cannot push down a manual OTA update to your panel if you receive alarm monitoring service from a different provider. If you are monitored by a different company, then you should instead reach out to your provider for further assistance.

There are some big highlights here in ProSeries Firmware Update 3.591.92.0. Obviously, the elephant in the room is the introduction of local programming mode. Previously, users were forced to have all system programming completed remotely by their monitoring provider. This included basic system setup tasks like enrolling sensors and configuring zone settings. Not only will the introduction of local programming make activations easier for professional technicians, but it will also empower end-users and give them greater control over their systems. This is a huge deal, as it officially makes the ProSeries Panels DIY-friendly alarm systems.

There are other major introductions in ProSeries Firmware Update 3.591.92.0, though they are likely to be overshadowed by the introduction of local programming. Nonetheless, we are still very excited about these smaller, but still important, introductions. For one, there is a boost to system partitioning, as a common lobby partition option is now available. You can set Partition 3 or Partition 4 as the common lobby, depending on how many partitions are being used. The highest number partition will always be the common lobby, and you must have at least 3 partitions in order to enable the common lobby feature.

There are some principles to keep in mind regarding the lobby function. You cannot set both Partition 3 and Partition 4 as the common lobby. Only one can be the common lobby partition at any given time. The way that the common lobby partition works is that disarming any other partition will also disarm the common lobby partition. Additionally, if ALL other partitions are armed, then the common lobby will also automatically arm. The only way you can arm/disarm the common lobby partition independently is if all the other system partitions are in an armed state. All system users have authority over the common lobby partition. Finally, any 24-hour zones assigned to the common lobby partition will sound on keypads of all partitions, but you can only silence alarms and troubles from these zones using the common partition keypad. Any faulted zone in the common lobby partition will be automatically bypassed when the common lobby partition is armed, even if it is armed automatically due to all other partitions being armed.

The ProSeries Firmware Update 3.591.92.0 brings support for some upcoming PROSiX Sensors that we hope to have available on our site very soon. Specifically, we are talking about support for the PROSiX Wireless Repeater (PROSIXRPTR) and support for the PROSiX Wireless Heat (PROSIXHEAT).

A local alarm mode is now supported, meaning you can trigger a localized system alarm, complete with siren, but without the system reporting out. This can be good for scaring away on-site intruders, while also resting easy in knowing that the authorities will not be sent to the premises. This is basically how the system behaves if an intrusion alarm occurs on a system that is not being monitored. When local alarm mode is enabled, all communication to AlarmNet is halted, including access to Total Connect 2.0 features.

The panel will now provide severe weather alerts. This feature requires that the system is set up with Total Connect 2.0 and the corresponding weather package. Remember, this is only possible if the system is monitored and set up with Total Connect 2.0. Ask your monitoring company about receiving weather alerts on the panel.

If you are using the system in Canada, you can now use the PROTLE-CN Communicator. This communicator may be carried by Alarm Grid in the future. Alarm Grid is not provided with the option to sell the Resideo and Honeywell Home lineup of Canadian communicators, however, we can get potential customers in touch with a Canadian distributor. Once you obtain a PROLTE-CN elsewhere, then we will be able to set it up for monitoring.

On the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC only, you can now stream the live video feed for Total Connect 2.0 IP Cameras and SkyBell Video Doorbell Cameras from both the Panel, as well as any PROWLTOUCH or PROWLTOUCHC Keypad. The PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC also now both support disarm photos from the PROWLTOUCH and PROWLTOUCHC Keypads. Again, these two (2) features are for use with the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC only.

For all ProSeries Panels, there is backlight timeout improvement. You can now set the backlight timeout for a ProSeries Panel or a PROWLTOUCH/PROWLTOUCHC Keypad to Disable and have the screen go completely dark. This is instead of going to the "inactivity screen" that shows the weather, time & date, 1st thermostat temperature, partition arming status, panic icons, and CELL/WIFI/AC/BLE status.

Other updates include:

  • You can now have Partition 1 Disarm automatically when a Z-Wave Door Lock is UNLOCKED.
  • There are improvements to the 7-Day Z-Wave Thermostat Schedule on Total Connect 2.0.
  • There is now optional device supervision for PROWLTOUCH & PROWLTOUCHC Keypads.
  • The PROSIX Wireless Technology is now more accurate in displaying signal strength and remaining battery life.
  • There is now improvement in enrollment range for PROSIXSMOKEV and PROSIXHEATV.
  • There is now improved multi-language display on the PROSIXLCDKP Keypads.
  • If you use a cellular communicator in Canada then you may notice Cellular Roaming Improvement.
  • Updates to the ProSeries Cyber Security.
  • The PROINDMV Indoor Motion Viewer and Z-Wave Devices are now supported during the AlarmNet360 Panel Replacement Process. This is only for the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC.

Are you excited about this new update? What do you think about local programming finally being available for the ProSeries Panels. Is there some other new feature that you're also really eager to check out. Let us know in a comment down below. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more news and updates coming soon.

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In an effort to clear out existing stock, the 2GIG GC3e Alarm Panel is now available at the bargain price of $189.99. This is an excellent chance to get a modern and reliable alarm panel for your home or business at a super low price. Act quickly, because supplies will run out very soon!

We announced earlier this month that the 2GIG GC3e was discontinued. However, due to existing stock, the GC3e Panel is effectively back from the dead for one final run. Once the limited stock runs out, the 2GIG GC3e will be discontinued forever. Room needs to be made for newer panels, so we're offering the 2GIG GC3e for the low price of $189.99. This is a rare opportunity to get a great alarm panel to build around. It can certainly fulfill all of your security and smart home automation needs once you get it set up and running!

The GC3e is fantastic for alarm monitoring. Just add either a 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3 AT&T LTE Communicator or a 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC3 Verizon LTE Communicator, and you will be able to connect the GC3e with the Alarm.com Servers for monitoring service. Since the 2GIG GC3e already has an internal WIFI card, adding the cellular communicator will make it into a dual-path system that will stay monitored even if one path goes down or becomes unavailable. Alarm.com requires cellular connectivity, so you will need a monitoring plan that includes cellular communication, such as an Alarm Grid Gold Plan (Self or Full).

Although the 2GIG GC3e doesn't support more advanced features like Bluetooth Disarming and Facial Recognition Disarming, the GC3e does support the robust lineup of 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors. You can also supplement those encrypted sensors with non-encrypted sensors from the 2GIG 345 MHz Series and the Honeywell 5800 Series for good measure. The panel also has an integrated Z-Wave Plus controller so that you can start building a smart home network to make your life more convenient.

Overall, the 2GIG GC3e is an outstanding choice if you want more of a simple, no-frills panel that is still unmistakably modern and offers all the remote access and function through Alarm.com. If you do want something more advanced, than the 2GIG GC3e's effective replacement, the 2GIG Edge is available in AT&T LTE and Verizon LTE variants. Both the GC3e and the Edge connect with the same Alarm.com platform, and both offer the same sensor compatibility. The main benefit to going with the Edge is that you get access to some more advanced features, such as the aforementioned Bluetooth Disarming and Facial Recognition Disarming. If you don't mind missing out on those features, then the 2GIG GC3e is basically just as good. Both systems feature very similar menus and user interfaces (UIs), so if you know one, then you pretty much already know the other!

In addition, we are also offering special pricing on 2GIG GC3e System Kits. Each kit includes a cellular communicator for getting the system monitored a Honeywell LT-Cable for providing power, one (1) 2GIG PIR1e-345 Motion Sensor, and either three (3) or ten (10) VERSA-2GIG Door and Window Contact Sensors. Just decide whether you want AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE, and also whether you want three (3) door and window sensors or ten (10) door and window sensors. Then find the corresponding kit below. Hurry, before time runs out!

Remember, once supplies of the 2GIG GC3e run out, then the system is gone forever. If you have any questions about the GC3e, or any of the other security systems on our website, or if you want to speak with a security system expert who can help you build the perfect setup for your home or business, then please do not hesitate to send an email to our dedicated team at support@alarmgrid.com. We're here to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Whether you go with the 2GIG GC3e, its replacement, the 2GIG Edge, or a different system entirely, we will be there to help you every step of the way. Thank you for reading the Alarm Grid Blog, and we will be back with more news and promotions real soon!

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After much anticipation and speculation, the 2GIG Edge Alarm System is finally here! We have the Edge Panel available in two (2) cellular communicator options (AT&T or Verizon), plus complete 2GIG Edge System Kits, and various alarm system accessories exclusively for use with the Edge.


If you have been keeping up with the Alarm Grid blog, then you probably already know that the Edge is perhaps the single most highly anticipated thing we have ever seen out of Nortek Control and 2GIG. The state-of-the-art wireless all-in-one (AiO) panel retains virtually all of the same great features and capabilities of the 2GIG GC3e System that came before it, including a 7-inch LCD touchscreen for easy and seamless navigation, 100 wireless zones, support for 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors, and legacy 345 MHz sensors (both Honeywell 5800 and 2GIG 345 MHz), the ability to build and customize up to four (4) individually controlled and operated Smart Area Partitions, One-Touch Arming, Chime & Voice functionality, Alarm.com connectivity, a digital slideshow picture frame, and much more.

But what makes the 2GIG Edge different and unique is its new features. First of all, the Edge has a completely refreshed design for a 2GIG Panel, as it is the first system from 2GIG to break away from the traditional all-white panel. Instead, the Edge comes in a black design that looks impressively modern and fits in nicely with almost any setting. We're also pleased to say that 2GIG was able to fit more hardware into the Edge Panel, putting it in on par with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2+ panels. This includes a built-in glass break detector, a front panel camera that offers facial recognition, and an 85 dB sounder for alarm events.

One noteworthy difference with regard to 2GIG Edge facial recognition is that it can be used for automatically arming and disarming the system upon detecting the user's face, which is not possible on the IQ Panel 2 Plus. Other familiar IQ2+ features also offered with the Edge include optional automatic Bluetooth disarming for your phone, panel live-streaming for compatible Alarm.com Cameras, and full connectivity with the Alarm.com security and automation platform.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the 2GIG Edge is the fact that it has a built-in LTE cellular communicator. This is used for connecting the system with Alarm.com, since ADC requires that all systems using their services have an active cellular communication path. This is in addition to the internal WIFI card for the 2GIG Edge that is also used for communicating with Alarm.com. Using cellular and internet communication together on a security system is often referred to as dual-path connectivity, and it is great because it helps to ensure that the system stays monitored during any type of communication outage. But while internet connectivity is technically optional, cellular communication is required. This means that you will need a monitoring plan that includes cellular communication to get the 2GIG Edge monitored. Some monitoring plans you may consider include the Gold and Platinum Level Plans from Alarm Grid (Self or Full). You can learn all about Alarm Grid monitoring plans in this comprehensive blog post.


As we mentioned before, the cellular communicator for the 2GIG Edge is built into the panel. While this might seem like a positive attribute, it is a bit of a double-EDGEd sword when you consider the issue more closely. On one hand, this means that there is no need to purchase a separate communicator for the 2GIG Edge. Everything needed for the system to connect with Alarm.com is built into the panel. But this also means that if something ever goes wrong with the communicator, then it will be necessary to replace the entire panel, rather than just simply swapping out the communicator. The same is true for the system's WIFI card. If it is damaged, then a completely new system is needed. There is also no word on how a built-in LTE cellular communicator will affect the system in the very distant future when LTE will inevitably face its own sunset. Fortunately, this is unlikely to be a concern for at least 15 to 20 years. We've also seen the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus experience tremendous success while also opting for an integrated, irreplaceable LTE cellular communicator and WIFI card, so there's a good chance that the Edge will end up being just as successful. But we do want to give recognition to Resideo and their PROA7PLUS System for having the foresight to use fully replaceable LTE cellular radios (AT&T or Verizon), plus fully replaceable WIFI modules.

One thing new to the Edge that we have never seen on any other alarm control panel before is a 700-Series Z-Wave Controller. Also known as Z-Wave Plus Version 2, the 700-Series of Z-Wave Smart Home Automation promises significantly better wireless range and battery life, as well as much stronger wireless security when compared with previous iterations of Z-Wave technology. Although we haven't seen many 700-Series Z-wave devices hit the market just yet, it is worth mentioning that 2GIG recently released their own Z-Wave 700-Series Smart Thermostat, the 2GIG STZ-1. This smart thermostat can make a great addition to your new 2GIG Edge System and the automation network you plan to build around it. Remember that we have all sorts of Z-Wave lights and Z-Wave door locks available on our site for you to construct a complete smart home to make your life easier. But if you want to hold out a bit longer for the 700-Series Z-wave devices that will inevitably make their way to the marketplace sooner rather than later, then we don't blame you at all. And as you may have guessed, every Z-Wave home automation device that you pair locally with the 2GIG Edge will also be accessible remotely through Alarm.com once you get the system monitored with a plan that includes remote access.

With all of the introduction and explanation out of the way, let's take a look at the new products. First up is the base 2GIG Edge Panel, available in AT&T LTE and Verizon LTE:

If you are starting from scratch, then you might prefer to purchase one of our 2GIG Edge Starter Kits, which also include some sensors for you to pair with the system, as well as a Honeywell LT-Cable for easily powering the system. You can choose whether you want a fully encrypted kit with only encrypted sensors or a standard wireless kit, where the included door and window sensors don't utilize wireless encryption. Keep in mind that you can always upgrade to encrypted sensors later if you start out with a non-encrypted system. And also remember that you will need to decide whether you want your 2GIG Edge System to have an AT&T LTE Communicator or a Verizon LTE Communicator. This may be the most important consideration prior to purchase since the LTE communicator can't be replaced. Be sure to check coverage maps for the area where the panel will be used, and choose whichever carrier will have the best signal in the area.

Our system kits come in two (2) sizes. First, we will look at the 3-1 Edge System Kits that include three (3) wireless door and window sensors, and one (1) wireless motion detection sensor. These 3-1 Kits are best-suited for use in a smaller home or an apartment. Here are our 2GIG Edge 3-1 System Kits:

We also have our 10-1 Edge System Kits that come with ten (10) door and window alarm sensors, and one (1) motion sensor. This size kit is best used for a larger home or a small business. Again, the same equivalents apply to this size, so you have four (4) possible kits to choose from. Here are the 2GIG Edge 10-1 System Kits from Alarm Grid:

Lastly, we want to check out the system accessories for the 2GIG Edge. There are a few usual suspects here, including a replacement transformer and a replacement backup battery, plus a specially prepared power cord released by 2GIG. But we think the most interesting accessory is the wireless touchscreen keypad built exclusively for use with the 2GIG Edge Alarm System. Again in a similar fashion to the IQ Panel 2 Plus, the 2GIG Edge Remote Keypad mimics the system's display and can perform virtually any system function, much like the IQ Remote. But unlike Qolsys and the IQ Remote, 2GIG has made their remote keypad with an end-user replaceable battery, which is a huge improvement in our eyes.

2GIG AC1

Here are the 2GIG Edge System Accessories:

One final note about the 2GIG Edge is that there has been no indication that 2GIG intends to release a new "exclusive" sensor lineup for use with the system. Historically, this is a bit unusual, as you traditionally see a new security system (especially one as heavily promoted and anticipated as the 2GIG Edge) released alongside a new lineup of sensors designed specifically to accompany the system. Even the last major releases from 2GIG saw this, as the 2GIG GC2e and 2GIG GC3e became synonymous with the encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors. We only mention this because it's likely that some users out there will be actively looking for sensors to add to their new 2GIG Edge System, and they may be surprised to learn that there is no special 2GIG Edge Sensor Family. However, you still have a plethora of great sensor options to choose from, as the 2GIG Edge thrives in terms of backward compatibility. As we mentioned earlier, the system supports encrypted sensors from the 2GIG eSeries Lineup, plus non-encrypted Honeywell 5800 Sensors (uni-directional only) and 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors. If you are looking to expand upon your 2GIG Edge Alarm System, then those three (3) sensor families give you some awesome options to choose from!

The 2GIG Edge System, our 2GIG Edge System Kits, and the 2GIG Edge Accessories are all available now, and they can be purchased from the Alarm Grid website. Do you have any thoughts or questions about the 2GIG Edge? Leave them down below as a comment. We would love to get some discussions started on this super exciting new security system. Do you think the 2GIG Edge has what it takes to compete with strong systems like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and Resideo PROA7PLUS? What aspect of the 2GIG Edge has you the most excited? Is there anything you would like to see in a future firmware update or patch for the Edge? Get the discussions started down below, as we look forward to hearing from you. And stay tuned to our blog for more security system news coming soon!

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Alarm Grid is now offering a new "alternate" version of the Resideo ProSeries 7" All-In-One Panel. In addition to the existing Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, Alarm Grid customers now have the option of the new Resideo PROA7PLUSC Security System. Both options are the same, except for one aspect.


Before you get super excited and full of anticipation, we're sorry to spoil the fun. The change really isn't anything too revolutionary. While the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS reads "Honeywell Home" across the front of the panel, the Resideo PROA7PLUSC instead reads "Resideo" across its front. Yes, other than that small aesthetic change, these are the same alarm panels, with the same features, the same compatibility, and the same performance.

Why did Resideo bother to do this? From what we can tell, it's a marketing decision. They wanted the brand recognition of the "Honeywell Home" namesake, but since businesses may not want to use a product with "Home" in the title, the "Resideo" version is available as well. Indeed, the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS is officially the "residential" version, while the Resideo PROA7PLUSC is officially the "commercial" version. We know, it's a bit redundant, but ask yourself this - are you really surprised?

You are free to throw caution to the wind of course. If you want to use the "commercial" Resideo PROA7PLUSC with the corporate sticker of "Resideo" boldly adorning the alarm panel that you use in your residence, feel free. Or conversely, if you're a business owner wanting to bring the comfort of "home" into the office, then you're welcome to use the "residential" Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS with the "Honeywell Home" moniker. It really won't make much of a difference, but you can go with whichever option makes you happier.

You may actually recall that Resideo did something similar with the new Tuxedo Keypad for their hardwired Honeywell VISTA Security Systems. In that realm, you can choose between the Honeywell Home TUXEDOW with "Honeywell Home" emblazoned across the front panel, or you can opt for the Resideo TUXEDOWC with "Resideo" taking the spotlight. Again, that is the only difference between the two keypad models. Now Resideo is doing it again with their wireless panels. Will it be the last time they do this? Our bets are on "No", but time will tell.

Anyway, whether you choose the PROA7PLUS or PROA7PLUSC, you are getting a fantastic wireless alarm panel with some outstanding features. We have already covered the system in extensive detail before, so please check out our introduction and buying guide for the system that we put out late last year.

We must also report that local programming is still yet to be released, so you will need your alarm monitoring company to perform virtually all tasks remotely when it comes to setting up the system. Our understanding is that the systems (yes, both of them) will soon be made to support local programming, hopefully in the coming months. We also have no word on when, or even if, Apple HomeKit functionality will become a reality. For now, if you want a panel that does support end-user programming AND offers a robust integration with Apple HomeKit, you might instead consider the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, which in many ways is still the superior option.

If you have any questions about the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, the Resideo PROA7PLUSC, the Honeywell Lyric, or if you just want to learn about alarm monitoring in general, contact our team via email at support@alarmgrid.com. We are here to check your email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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If you're planning to give the gift of security this holiday season, then we're here to help! Today, we're looking at the best alarm panels available for the 2020 holiday season. Finding the right panel is the first step to building the perfect security system for your home or office.


The panel serves as the central hub for an alarm system. All sensors programmed with the system will communicate with the panel. The panel is also the piece of equipment that communicates with the outside world, namely a central station and/or a monitoring platform. To do this, the panel must have a communicator that is installed and activated. Some alarm panels come with a communicator already built-in, while others will require you to purchase one separately.

Today, most alarm panels are wireless, all-in-one devices, where the panel itself serves as the keypad for controlling the system. There are still hardwired panels available, but these are less common due to the sheer convenience and ease of wireless all-in-one panels. For the purpose of this buying guide, we will only be focusing on wireless panels, as most new users today opt to go the wireless route. We especially recommend wireless panels for anyone looking to save money by installing their own system without hiring a professional installer. It's easier than you might think, as many installations are done using a screwdriver as the only tool!

The panel you choose will affect virtually every other aspect of your security system. Your panel selection determines sensor compatibility, available communication paths, the user interface (UI) for the system, what accessories you can use with the system, and even the interactive platform you use when controlling your system through your phone. In a way, the panel itself IS the system. It's such an important decision, so you really want to get it right.

Today, we're going to be presenting you with our three (3) most favorite alarm systems available for the 2020 holiday season. What's great about all these systems is that they are all extremely DIY-friendly, and they can be taken to virtually any monitoring company, whether that is Alarm Grid, or someone else entirely. With all of that out of the way, let's get started!

Honeywell Lyric Controller

The Honeywell Lyric Alarm System still represents our favorite alarm panel from Resideo, and it is the most popular system for use with Alarm Grid monitoring services. It is the oldest panel on this list, and it doesn't support some of the more high-tech features offered by the other panels presented here. But when it comes down to choosing an all-around great system for alarm monitoring, the Lyric is hard to beat.

There are three (3) things that the Lyric can do that are impossible for the other panels on this list. If you choose the Lyric, it's usually because of one or more of these aspects. The Lyric is the only panel here that can be set up with an IP-only communication path, without cellular. While cellular is always recommended, some users opt to go internet only for alarm monitoring. The advantage of doing this is that the user can obtain monitoring service at a lower monthly rate. A Lyric System user can sign-up for an Alarm Grid Bronze Plan with central station service for just $15 per month. But a user with a system that requires cellular monitoring will need to pay a minimum of $25 per month for the Alarm Grid Cellular Alarm Monitoring Plan. That $10 monthly saving equates to $120 annually. The user should understand that an internet outage will take their system offline and leave their home or business vulnerable in that situation. But if a user is confident enough in their internet service, then they can certainly take that chance. Of course, the Lyric can be upgraded to use cellular at any time, but if you are trying to save money by setting up IP-only monitoring, then the Lyric offers you that option.

Second, the Lyric is one of the very few alarm systems that is able to interface with Apple HomeKit. This is the premier automation platform used with iOS devices, and many users have existing HomeKit networks that they build around. If you already have HomeKit devices in your home, then it is natural that you would want a security system that can also integrate with that network. It's important to note that the HomeKit integration isn't perfect, as Apple HomeKit can only provide specific alerts for a limited selection of system activity. But the integration makes it possible to perform some basic commands through HomeKit. The integration also allows you to set up automations so that your HomeKit devices activate automatically with activity on your security system. Overall, it's a great feature, and we often recommend the Lyric over other systems just for this feature.

Third, the Lyric is the only system on this list that uses Total Connect 2.0 as its interactive monitoring platform. This is the service that you will use to control your Lyric System remotely through a web browser or an app on your smartphone. The platform allows you to arm and disarm, check the current status of your system, and control automation devices. Remember that you will need to upgrade to a Silver level plan to take advantage of these great features. We think Total Connect 2.0 works just as well as any other monitoring and automation platform, but we have heard of users specifically choosing the Lyric to use this platform over the other ones out there.

You have no shortage of sensor options for the Lyric, as the system has its own lineup of encrypted wireless sensors in the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors. It is also backwards compatible with the widely popular Honeywell 5800 Sensors. As we mentioned earlier, the system is a bit on the older side, and it lacks some of the more advanced features like partitioning and automatic Bluetooth disarming. The panel does technically support camera streaming, but that's only for older legacy cameras that are no longer being manufactured. Also, the system only offers classic Z-Wave functionality, so you won't be able to take advantage of the the extended wireless range and longer battery life of Z-Wave Plus. If you want Z-Wave Plus, and you have the Lyric, then you will need to replace the panel entirely. There is no way to upgrade the existing classic Z-Wave firmware for the Lyric and make it Z-Wave Plus. But if you need HomeKit compatibility, or if you are trying to keep your monthly monitoring costs as low as possible, then the Lyric is almost certainly your best option. With its support of local end user programming, the Lyric is the best system from Honeywell and Resideo as of late 2020. There is a good reason why it remains the most popular Alarm Grid security system.

One last note is that while a plug-in transformer comes included with the Lyric, no power cable for connecting the system to the transformer is included. We recommend purchasing a Honeywell LT-Cable for this purpose.

The Lyric is for you if:

  • You want to save money by going IP only.
  • You want compatibility with Apple HomeKit.
  • You want to use Total Connect 2.0 as your interactive platform.
  • You don't need automatic Bluetooth disarming, partitioning, or Z-Wave Plus functionality.

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is without a doubt the most feature-packed system we offer at this time. It has totally changed the game with its advanced features like automatic Bluetooth disarming, camera streaming from the panel, partitioning, facial recognition, and a super innovative wellness platform. The IQ2+ offers a seamless integration with Alarm.com, which serves as the interactive monitoring and automation platform used with the system. It is also currently the only system where you can perform Alarm.com Smart Scenes directly from the main panel. We also love the system's UI, as automation devices like lights, door locks, and smart thermostats can all be accessed from the main panel screen. It is easy to navigate, and we find that it is arguably the most intuitive panel for users who have never used a security system before. Really, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is the system we almost always recommend for any user not needing HomeKit functionality or low-cost IP-only monitoring.

Since this system, communicates through Alarm.com, you must have a cellular connection set up with the system. The good news is that you won't have to buy a communicator, as the IQ2+ already has one built-in (AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE). The bad news is that monitoring for this system starts at $25 per month, assuming you get service with Alarm Grid. And if you want central station service and the ability to do cool things through Alarm.com, such as arming and disarming remotely and setting up automated smart scenes, then the minimum cost jumps up to $35 per month for our Gold Plan. You may want to review this post that explains our monitoring plans in more depth.

One other awesome aspect of the IQ2+ is that it supports DSC PowerG Sensors. These wireless sensors are some of the best in the industry. They can be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus in an open air environment, and they utilize 128-bit AES encryption for advanced protection and security. You also get the choice of one of three (3) legacy sensor frequencies (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, or 433 MHz). If you are upgrading from an older system, this is fantastic, as there is almost certainly a version of the IQ2+ that will let you bring over your old wireless sensors.

But even with all its bells and whistles, the IQ Panel 2 Plus is still not a perfect alarm system. We aren't blown away with its build quality, as some users have reported struggles in properly closing the panel after opening it up. And having an integrated communicator might seem like a good thing, but it also means that the entire panel must be replaced if the one inside fails for any reason. The same will hold true when the inevitable LTE Sunset occurs, though that should be years into the future. All that being said, if you are looking for the most feature-rich alarm system on the market today, you would be hard pressed to find a better option.

And unlike the other systems listed here, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus comes complete with BOTH a plug-in transformer AND a power cable for connecting. It is ready to be set up and powered on using nothing more than a screwdriver! Also included is a small table stand for keeping the system upright if wall-mounting is not desired.

The IQ Panel 2 Plus is for you if:

  • You want a system with the most advanced features.
  • You want easy access to smart home automation.
  • You want to use PowerG Wireless Sensors.
  • You can accept a system without replaceable components.

2GIG GC3e

The 2GIG GC3e is the current flagship system from 2GIG, though that might soon change with the 2GIG Edge on the horizon. This panel was introduced in 2019, as 2GIG was a fairly late arriver to the encryption game. But it's here now, and it's ready to support 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors, while still being backwards compatible with older 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and Honeywell 5800 Sensors.

If we're being completely honest, we rarely recommend the 2GIG GC3e over the Lyric or the IQ2+. The Lyric offers some unique features (HomeKit support and IP-only monitoring) that make it the best option in many cases, while the IQ2+ is the most feature-rich system we offer. The GC3e just doesn't have any one particular feature that helps it stand-out from the other two. We usually only steer people toward the GC3e if they want an Alarm.com System, but don't want the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus for whatever reason. We must also admit that the GC3e local end user programming is a bit more cumbersome than the Lyric or the IQ2+. People who choose the GC3e are usually those who are accustomed to the 2GIG panel, and are upgrading from an older 2GIG GC2 or 2GIG GC3.

That doesn't mean the GC3e is a bad system. The truth is that it actually has the best build-quality out of any system listed here. The panel just feels well-made and durable, especially when compared with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. And while you don't get fancy features like panel camera streaming, Bluetooth disarming, or Apple HomeKit support, you do get a nice partitioning suite, and Z-Wave Plus functionality with the ability to create localized smart scenes. Also, unlike the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, you can actually swap out the cellular communicator in the GC3e. It is rather inconvenient that you have to buy a communication module add-on to get the system monitored, but this is a good thing if you ever need to replace your system's communicator for whatever reason.

This is matter of subjective personal opinion, but I can say one very nice thing about the GC3e. Out of every panel we offer, the 2GIG GC3e looks the nicest on the wall, and has the most fluid and satisfying touchscreen controls out of any panel I have personally ever used. And sometimes, that alone is the selling factor. There are users out there who don't care about fancy technical features or easily accessible automation menus, and they just want a high-quality system that looks good and does what they need it to do. If that is you, then maybe you should consider the GC3e.

Remember that while the 2GIG GC3e includes a plug-in transformer for providing power, it does not include a power cable for connecting the transformer to the panel. Just like with the Lyric, the Honeywell LT-Cable makes a fantastic power cable for this purpose.

The GC3e is for you if:

  • You want the panel with the best build-quality.
  • You don't care about fancy extra features.
  • You want an Alarm.com System with a replaceable communicator.
  • You can deal with programming that is a bit more cumbersome.

We hope that this post has given you some insight into choosing a new system for alarm monitoring. Stay tuned to our blog, as we will soon present a buying guide for the various security sensors you can choose from. Remember to email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions. We are available to respond to emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has a short but sweet video recap for you! Last week's recap was skipped to spread the cheer about our headquarters reopening, but we're here now! Unfortunately, we only have three (3) videos to share. Also, our usual team wasn't quite ready yet, so I had to make more appearances.

2gig gc3e wireless encrypted alarm panelThis week's videos are centered around the 2GIG GC3e Security System. This is a wireless all-in-one panel with support for encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors, as well as non-encrypted 345 MHz sensors. The system has a beautiful 7-inch touchscreen, built-in WIFI, partitioning support, and an integrated Z-Wave Plus controller. We hope these videos help you feel more comfortable in setting up your own 2GIG GC3e System for your home or business!

Pairing a Z-Wave Device to the 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to pair a Z-Wave device with the 2GIG GC3e. The GC3e has a built-in Z-Wave Plus controller, which allows you to pair Z-Wave Plus and classic Z-Wave devices with the system. Common Z-Wave devices include lights, door locks, thermostats, and more. Programmed Z-Wave devices can be controlled from the panel and remotely from Alarm.com if the system is monitored. Most Z-Wave devices are excluded, or cleared, from the network before being added.


Programming a Key Fob Into a 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to add a key fob to a 2GIG GC3e. A key fob is a small handheld device that you can use to control your security system from a distance. Most key fobs will allow you to conveniently arm and disarm your system and operate programmed relay-triggered devices. Many key fobs also have the ability to set off panic alarms in distress situations. The 2GIG GC3e supports various 345 MHz wireless key fobs.


Adding or Changing User Codes on a 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to add, change, and delete user codes on a 2GIG GC3e. A user code is a sequence of numbers that you enter into a system to verify that you are an authorized user. The 2GIG GC3e supports up to 100 user codes. It is advised that each regular user has their own code. Each new code on the GC3e must be enabled for the use with system after it has been added.

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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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