Dual-Path Alarm Communicators Posts

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Hi DIYers! We are excited to announce that we now have dual-path communicators available for the Interlogix Simon Series Systems. Compatible panels include the Simon XT (1.3+), Simon XTi, Simon XTi-5 and the upcoming Simon XTi-5i System. There are AT&T LTE and Verizon LTE options available.

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If you are an Interlogix Simon user, then you know how important it is to add an alarm monitoring communicator to your system. These systems don't come with an integrated communicator, and you need to add one if you want reliable alarm monitoring service and connectivity with the Alarm.com platform. By accessing Alarm.com, you can arm and disarm your system, check current system status, control Z-Wave devices, and view your ADC Cameras from virtually anywhere in the world.

What's great about these new communicators is that they utilize dual-path connectivity across an LTE network and a local IP network. In other words, you get the ultra-fast speeds of IP monitoring, plus the full reliability of cellular connectivity. If one path goes down or becomes unavailable, the other path will be there to back it up. This is ideal for situations where the internet goes down or when an electrical outage takes your router offline. Your system will still have cellular service to fall back on.

You get more than just trustworthy dual-path connectivity with one of these new communicators. They are also effective Z-Wave Plus controllers that you can use to start building a complete smart home network. You can add classic Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus devices to the panel for use with Alarm.com. This includes the ability to start creating smart scenes for automatic operation based on a set schedule or with certain system events. We recommend using Z-Wave Plus devices for optimal battery life and wireless signal range.

It's important to note that these are LTE and IP dual-path communicators. If you aren't aware, LTE stands for "Long-Term Evolution", and cellular service providers have promised to support their LTE networks well into the very distant future. By upgrading to one of these modules, you are ensuring that your Interlogix Alarm Panel can receive fast and reliable monitoring service for many years to come.

These dual-path communicators come in AT&T LTE and Verizon LTE options. Remember, this has nothing to do with the cellular service provider for your smartphone. You can certainly have an AT&T Smartphone and use a Verizon Communicator for your alarm system, or vice-versa. You should simply choose whichever service provider works more effectively in your area. The new communicators are as follows:

Remember, you will need a Gold Level Plan or higher from Alarm Grid to use these communicators. This is the only way to gain access to the Alarm.com platform for security and smart home control. More information about our alarm monitoring plans is available on our alarm monitoring page.

If you have any questions about these new Interlogix Dual-Path Communicators, please reach out to us. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We will check this email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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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.




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 ability to use image sensors is also included. 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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Hi DIYers! Unfortunately, we have to keep this news brief, as we are currently preparing for ISC West 2019 in Las Vegas, NV. But a new dual-path communicator from Resideo for their VISTA Systems is now available. Presenting, the all-new Honeywell LTE-IV Verizon LTE Dual-Path Communicator!

The Honeywell LTE-IV uses a hardwired ethernet cable to connect a VISTA Panel to an IP network. If the internet goes down, it will have the ultra-fast and reliable Verizon LTE Cellular Network as a backup. Either way, the system will remain connected with the AlarmNet 360 Servers and the Total Connect 2.0 Service.

This release is huge, as this is currently the only dual-path communicator for a VISTA System that can connect with an LTE Network. Before this, the VISTA Panels had to rely on the Honeywell LTE-XV and Honeywell LTE-XA modules, which had no IP capabilities. Now with the Honeywell LTE-IV, VISTA owners have a dual-path LTE option that will keep their system connected for many years to come!

Note that the Honeywell LTE-IV connects with the Verizon LTE Network. We expect a similar AT&T communicator to be released at some point. You can purchase the Honeywell LTE-IV from the Alarm Grid website. If you have any question, please email support@alarmgrid.com or call (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

Alarm Grid will post more information about the Honeywell LTE-IV as it becomes available.

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Alarm Grid has reduced the price on almost all of our VISTA GSMs!

Our best selling dual path unit, the iGSMV4G has gone from $239.99 to 190.99. If you need the upgrade chips, the iGSMV4G-TC2, has gone from $252.99 to $199.99. A 20% reduction across the board. It is now the same cost to go dual path with an upgrade chip as it would be to do GSM only!

The GSMV4G was $213.99 and is now $187.99 (12% reduction). If you need the upgrade kit, the GSMV4G-TC2, it's gone from $239.00 to 199.99, a 16% reduction in price.

The at-the-panel communicator has seen a big reduction as well. While we generally try recommend the GSMV4G units to any new customers since they do not require you to do a power calculation, there are people who prefer to use a device that goes on the panel itself. For you, the GSMX4G or the upgrade kit the GSMX4G-TC2 are the perfect option - not to mention the GSMX series communicators is seeing our biggest price reduction. From 200.99 to 141.99 for the GSMX4G, and from 213.99 to 154.99 for the GSMX4G-TC2, the units have been cut in price by 29% and 28% respectively.

These options are great for anyone who wants to add a little bit extra security to their system for a modest amount of money. For those who aren't sure whether they want to add cellular monitoring to their system, but definitely want to be monitored over IP in the short term, rather than purchasing the 7847i, which is the IP communicator option for VISTA panels, the iGSMV4G will allow for single path monitoring as well as dual path monitoring thus allowing maximum flexibility to any alarm system owner.

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Back in January of 2013, we discussed the compatibility issues with earlier revisions of the VISTA-21iP alarm system with the VISTA-GSM4G. Traditionally, Honeywell creates a new firmware revision to clearly mark which panels are compatible with specific features. In this case, we found out that revision 3.13 had some panels that supported the 4G communicator and others that did not.

At the time, we explained that Honeywell started tagging the panels with stickers that read, "Supports VISTA-GSM4G." Although Honeywell offers PROM chip upgrades for the VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P there are no PROM upgrades for the VISTA-21iP. The update meant that VISTA-21iP owners without this sticker would need to upgrade their entire alarm panel in order to integrate 4G cellular connectivity.

 The biggest factor in this discussion is the "2G sunset." AT&T announced that they have already started phasing out their GSM 2G cellular network. The kicker is that every 2G cell tower in the nation will be upgraded by the end of 2016. This may have seemed far way but it is only around the corner. So this discussion relates to any VISTA-21iP system owner using cellular communication; not just those looking to upgrade to a faster 4G communicator. The original post seemed like a doomsday if your panel did not have the sticker. Well think again...

Now for the good news! The VISTA-GSM4G is considered an internal communicator for the VISTA-21iP. It is designed to be used as a backup to the built-in IP communicator. However it can be used as a stand alone cellular communicator as well. The important thing here is that the VISTA-21iP supports external Honeywell communicators as well.

The GSMV4G is an external cellular communicator which can be used with any VISTA-21iP revision. If you plan to use the internet as your primary communication path with cellular as secondary, you can use the iGSMV4G instead. In order to tell your panel to use an external communication path you need to disable the internal communications by physically moving a jumper pin on the board. 

There is an "Internal IP/GSM Jumper" that is in the 'on' position by default. This jumper powers the internal communicators: Internet communicator on the panel, the VISTA-GSM4G or both if you have a dual path setup. The jumper is located just beneath the RJ-45 jack which can be found on the top left side of the board. In the 'on' position, the panel powers the internal communicators. In the 'off' position, the panel cuts off power to the internal comm paths.

If you would like to use an external communication path like the iGSMV4G you must power down the system and move the jumper to the 'off' position. Doing this will shut down both the IP and GSM internal communication paths. So if you were already using the on board IP communicator simply disconnect the ethernet cable from the panel and land it on the iGSMV4G!

Similar to a wired keypad, external communicators require a 4 wire connection to the panel's ECP bus which is located on terminals 4-7 on the VISTA-21iP. There is a power connection on terminals 4 and 5 on the panel and a data connection on terminals 6 and 7 on the panel. Although the communicator is already connected to ECP power, it still requires an AC power connection on terminals 1 and 2 of the communicator.

The GSMV4G and iGSMV4G are shipped with their own Honeywell 1361 AC transformer. You can wire the communicator directly to the transformer or you can use a shared transformer with the panel. If you do the shared transformer setup, you need to swap in the beefier 1361 that comes with the communicator. Simply swap the wired connections over to the new transformer. Then land terminals 1 and 2 from the communicator on terminals 1 and 2 on the panel. You can land them in parallel, right on top of the existing connections to the transformer. 

We have made available detailed instructions for installing the iGSMV4G. The wiring is exactly the same for the GSMV4G. The only difference is that you need to connect an Ethernet cable on the RJ-45 port on the iGSMV4G. 

We've already begun to see an increase in people with the older non-4G capable VISTA-21iP panels asking us for upgrade opportunities. We don't like being the bearers of bad news and having to tell those people that they need an entire new alarm control panel and a new cellular communicator so we have begun offering this as a less expensive alternative to upgrade to 4G cellular communications.

While Honeywell engineers didn't design the original VISTA-21iP panel with the option to support the future VISTA-GSM4G communicators, the flexible design of the 21iP, which allows for an internal or external communicator means that their oversight won't have to cost you anymore than the price of a new external 4G communicator.

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AlarmNet's family of 4G cellular alarm communicators is finally complete! First we got the GSMVLP5-4G cellular communicator for the L5100 LYNX Touch wireless security system. Then the GSMX4G and GSMV4G cellular communicators that work with the VISTA Series alarm control panels came next. After a bit of delay, the iGSMV4G was released and brought the first communicator that used internet communications and 4G cellular communicators all in one device. Now, with the eagerly awaited release of the iGSMHS4G dual path communicator, there is a 4G cellular communicator that meets UL's strict line security requirements. The iGSMHS4G is the last 4G cellular communicator to be released but like the old saying, last is not least with this device!

Boasting the most secure alarm communications available today, the iGSMHS4G makes use of two communication paths and is supervised by AlarmNet servers every 200 seconds. If a signal is not received after 200 seconds go by, the AlarmNet servers will send out a ping to the iGSMHS4G. If that ping is not received back successfully, a communication failure signal is generated so that your central station can let you know there is something wrong with your security system.

Banks, jewelery stores and government facilities typically require an alarm communicator that meets the high security communication designation. While waiting for the iGSMHS4G, these facilities have had to live with using the older iGSMHS to meet the high security requirements. Unfortunately, as the 2G cellular network is nearing retirement, the people at these facilities that require the most secure alarm communications have been left wondering which day their iGSMHS would stop working. Now, with the iGSMHS4G, those people no longer have to worry. They can confidently upgrade to the iGSMHS4G knowing their Honeywell security system will be connected to police response when needed!


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As the date that AT&T has committed to retiring the 2G and 3G communicators inches closer, Honeywell has been working to confirm their commitment to making sure consumers have what they need to keep their security up and running. On the consumer side of things, the iGSMV is one of the final communicators needing to be updated. So finally, with this week's replacement of the iGSMV with its newer part, the iGSMV4G, you can now have a dual path communicator that will help you meet the 2G sunset without a hiccup.

So while the iGSMV is no longer available, we say good riddance. And while it may be improper to speak ill of the dead, we are pretty sure you'll be happier with its replacement the iGSMV4G. You won't even miss the old unit.

So if what you're looking for is reliable, 3G / 4G coverage, then say goodbye to the iGSMV and hello to its replacement, the iGSMV4G!

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Ever since AT&T announced that they would be discontinuing their 2G cellular network, Honeywell security system owners have been eagerly waiting for a new 3G / 4G dual path alarm monitoring communicator. While the 7847i internet alarm communicator provides a sole path internet solution and the GSMX4G and GSMV4G devices provide an option for cellular communications, AlarmNet has been lacking a 4G capable dual path option to round out it's fleet of alarm communicators.

A LYNX Touch security system could use both an L5100-WIFI internet communicator and a GSMVLP5-4G cellular communicator for dual path alarm monitoring and a VISTA-21iP with an added VISTA-GSM4G module was available as well, but for anyone with a VISTA-15P or VISTA-20P security system, there hasn't been a good dual path option up until now. Considering the VISTA-20P is arguably the most popular security system in America, there were a lot of people relying on the discontinued iGSMV, wondering when their cellular back up would stop working. Now, all of those people can upgrade to the iGSMV4G with confidence knowing that the 2G / 3G / 4G capable device will continue to provide industry leading alarm communications for their systems for many years to come. 

At the same time, anyone that has been holding off on signing up for monitoring service because they couldn't decide between the faster internet alarm monitoring path and the more reliable cellular path can now order the iGSMV4G without having to make that decision. With both an internet and cellular alarm communicator built into one device, the iGSMV4G brings together the advantages of both communication paths. The internet communicator is the primary path and provides the added speed of IP communications for anyone that has Honeywell's Total Connect service. With an iGSMV4G, your Total Connect remote control commands and instant email and text messages notifications will come through faster than if you just have a cellular alarm communicator. At the same time, there is a back up cellular communicator ready to take over if the less reliable internet path fails for any reason.

Honeywell has not released a Total Connect 2.0 upgrade kit for the iGSMV4G but we anticipate that will be coming soon. In the meantime, if you want to add dual path alarm communications to your VISTA Series control panel and you also want to upgrade your system to be compatible with Total Connect 2.0, you can add a PROM chip upgrade to your iGSMV4G order. There is a chip upgrade available for the VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P panels so that you can bring your system up to speed with the latest technologies without having to change out any equipment or reprogram your entire system!

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Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 service is the best upgrade to your security system that you can make. With Total Connect 2.0 you can arm and disarm your system with the touch of a button from any computer or smartphone app. You can also have the system send you instant emails and text messages whenever a new security system event occurs. You can get a text message with the actual zone description of the device that went into alarm, the actual name of the user that armed or disarmed, even a message when your teenagers opened the liquor cabinet in the middle of the night. Once you try Total Connect 2.0 you will never look at your security system the same way again.

Of course, don't just take our word for it, try it out yourself. We now have a Total Connect Instructional demo that you can use to explore all of the exciting features of Total Connect 2.0. Even if you have already signed up for Total Connect, this demo can show you some features that you may not even know existed.

Once you have gone through the demo, go one step further and actually log into a live Total Connect 2.0 account at www.totalconnect2.com. Use 'alarmgrid' for the username and 'P@ssw0rd' for the password.

Don't forget that none of our alarm monitoring plans require a contract so if you are still on the fence about whether or not Total Connect 2.0 would work for you, try it risk free today! We even have a standalone Total Connect plan for people that don't want central station monitoring but would like the interactive features that Total Connect provides. If you decide it's not worth the cost, simply let us know and we would be happy to stop your plan.

Call us today to find out how easy it is to get fully connected to your security system with Total Connect 2.0!

UPDATE: The information from this post is now outdated. For information on how you can test drive Total Connect 2.0 now, please check this more recent post.

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Honeywell has an excellent interactive service called Total Connect. With a compatible AlarmNet alarm communicator and the Total Connect service, you are able to remotely control your Honeywell security system from a computer or from a free app on an iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ or Blackberry® device. It's great when you leave and can't remember if you armed the system or if you have to let someone in and don't want to give them your alarm code. 

Of course, the value of the service lies in the ability to control the system from anywhere at anytime. Unfortunately, ever since Apple released their new iOS 6.0, some Total Connect users have experienced problems using the Total Connect 2.0 app from their iPhone. With the release of iOS 6.0, Total Connect 2.0 wasn't the only app that has had problems. Apple has publicly acknowledged that the new software has caused some issues and they rolled out a very quick update with iOS 6.0.1 to try and fix most of the problems. Even with that fix, some Total Connect 2.0 users are still experiencing problems.

It's unfortunate because an otherwise great application with overwhelmingly positive reviews, is now down to only 2.5 stars on the iTunes store. If you look at the reviews, you can see all of the negative reviews are in the past couple of months since iOS 6.0 was released. Everyone seems to be experiencing the same issue. The app will work once properly, but then if you log out, the app crashes and closes upon any subsequent log-ins. While Honeywell recommends upgrading to the newest version of the Apple iPhone software (iOS 6.0.1) and if that doesn't work, doing a backup and restore of the phone, there are people that are still experience the same issues after doing those fixes. AlarmNet's app developers are working on a fix and hopefully will have an app update out soon. 

However, in the meantime, we seem to have figured out a way to stop the app from crashing. When you first log into the app, the security screen is displayed that allows you to arm or disarm your system. Along the bottom of the app, there is a button that says 'Security' with an open lock icon, an 'Events' button with an icon of a triangle with an exclamation point in it and a 'More' button with three dots. When you press the 'More' button, there are some options for changing settings. The 'Message Center' allows your AlarmNet dealer to send you new updates. The 'View Preferences' option allows you to change the default Total Connect 2.0 screen when you first log-in. The 'Navigation Order' option allows you to change the available buttons along the bottom of the app. It seems that by changing the navigation order is what is causing the issue. Our Total Connect 2.0 app works perfectly every time we do a fresh download of the app. As soon as we edit the navigation order and then log out, the app crashes every time we try to log back in.

Therefore, for anyone having issues with a crashing Total Connect 2.0 app, please don't edit the navigation order if you want to avoid problems. We are sure Honeywell and AlarmNet will have an update soon that will restore the app to full working condition, but hopefully this fix can alleviate some headaches in the meantime.

 

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