Home Automation Posts

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Alarm.com has recently announced that they will soon be dropping support for the Internet Explorer 11 web browser. The new change is being made to improve the overall experience for Alarm.com end users. Alarm.com recommends using a supported web browser or the Alarm.com Mobile App.


Beginning on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, Alarm.com will display a pop-up message to anyone who logs in using Internet Explorer 11. The message will let them know to switch to a supported web browser. The user will then be able to use Alarm.com like normal. But a month later in late June, Alarm.com will stop supporting IE11 entirely. Anyone who tries to login using IE11 will be denied.

According to Alarm.com, the best web browsers to use with their platform are the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge. If you already use one of these web browsers, then you should have no problems using Alarm.com. Just make sure that you are running the latest version and make an upgrade if necessary.

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

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Alarm.com has recently announced that they will soon be dropping support for the Internet Explorer 11 web browser. The new change is being made to improve the overall experience for Alarm.com end users. Alarm.com recommends using a supported web browser or the Alarm.com Mobile App.


Beginning on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, Alarm.com will display a pop-up message to anyone who logs in using Internet Explorer 11. The message will let them know to switch to a supported web browser. The user will then be able to use Alarm.com like normal. But a month later in late June, Alarm.com will stop supporting IE11 entirely. Anyone who tries to login using IE11 will be denied.

According to Alarm.com, the best web browsers to use with their platform are the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge. If you already use one of these web browsers, then you should have no problems using Alarm.com. Just make sure that you are running the latest version and make an upgrade if necessary.

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

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There's much more to the potential of your security system than just protecting your home or business. Most modern alarm panels offer the necessary built-in hardware to establish a complete smart automation network that you can control from virtually anywhere in the world using your phone.

Yale yrd216 brass front z wave push button deadbolt lock

In the world of smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT), an automation refers to an action that occurs automatically. The trigger for an automation to occur could be something like a sensor faulting on your security system, your system going into alarm, or even the time of day. Automations can also be triggered manually either at the panel or through a mobile app on your smartphone. Most Alarm Grid customers use the Total Connect 2.0 App or the Alarm.com App depending on which system they have. Remember, remote automation control is only included with the Silver Level Plans and higher for Alarm Grid.

There are all sorts of automation devices you can pair with your system and control remotely. Smart lights are a great place to start. It's very easy to replace an existing in-wall switch or dimmer module. There are also plug-in lamp modules that can be set up with needing to use any special tools or equipment. Just plug in the unit, enroll it with your automation hub, plug in a lamp to the designated socket, and enjoy. Setting up automations for your smart lights is perfect for those absentminded moments where you forget to turn off the lights before leaving. You can even have light turn on designated times while you are on vacation to make it look like you are home!

Smart door locks also represent a population automation option. These allow you to lock or unlock your door even while you are away from home. This can be very useful if you forgot to lock up before heading out for the day, and you can also use it to let trusted people inside, such a scheduled maintenance worker, a house maid, or your friend who arrived just a little too early. Many users also set up locks to respond automatically. For example, you might have your back door set to automatically lock whenever you set your security system to Arm Away.

Last and certainly not least, smart thermostats offer some really cool functionality, and they can provide you with tremendous savings in your energy expenses. You are most likely already familiar with programmable thermostats that you can use to have the temperature adjusted automatically at set time intervals. But smart thermostats take things to the next level. You can have your thermostat automatically switch to a more energy efficient level as soon as you arm for the system and leave. And if your automation platform allows for geofencing, then you can have the thermostat activate automatically once you back within a certain distance from your home. It's also really nice to be able to adjust the temperature remotely if needed, in case you have some invited guests arrive while you are away. You can easily monitor your energy usage.

Getting started with home automation for security systems is super easy. You should start by finding out if your panel already has a Z-Wave controller built-in. Most new wireless panels have this functionality. If your panel doesn't support Z-Wave, then there may be an add-on to provide the capability. Then you can start building the perfect smart home! If you have any questions about home automation, or if you would like to learn more about or monitoring plans, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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There's much more to the potential of your security system than just protecting your home or business. Most modern alarm panels offer the necessary built-in hardware to establish a complete smart automation network that you can control from virtually anywhere in the world using your phone.

Yale yrd216 brass front z wave push button deadbolt lock

In the world of smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT), an automation refers to an action that occurs automatically. The trigger for an automation to occur could be something like a sensor faulting on your security system, your system going into alarm, or even the time of day. Automations can also be triggered manually either at the panel or through a mobile app on your smartphone. Most Alarm Grid customers use the Total Connect 2.0 App or the Alarm.com App depending on which system they have. Remember, remote automation control is only included with the Silver Level Plans and higher for Alarm Grid.

There are all sorts of automation devices you can pair with your system and control remotely. Smart lights are a great place to start. It's very easy to replace an existing in-wall switch or dimmer module. There are also plug-in lamp modules that can be set up with needing to use any special tools or equipment. Just plug in the unit, enroll it with your automation hub, plug in a lamp to the designated socket, and enjoy. Setting up automations for your smart lights is perfect for those absentminded moments where you forget to turn off the lights before leaving. You can even have light turn on designated times while you are on vacation to make it look like you are home!

Smart door locks also represent a population automation option. These allow you to lock or unlock your door even while you are away from home. This can be very useful if you forgot to lock up before heading out for the day, and you can also use it to let trusted people inside, such a scheduled maintenance worker, a house maid, or your friend who arrived just a little too early. Many users also set up locks to respond automatically. For example, you might have your back door set to automatically lock whenever you set your security system to Arm Away.

Last and certainly not least, smart thermostats offer some really cool functionality, and they can provide you with tremendous savings in your energy expenses. You are most likely already familiar with programmable thermostats that you can use to have the temperature adjusted automatically at set time intervals. But smart thermostats take things to the next level. You can have your thermostat automatically switch to a more energy efficient level as soon as you arm for the system and leave. And if your automation platform allows for geofencing, then you can have the thermostat activate automatically once you back within a certain distance from your home. It's also really nice to be able to adjust the temperature remotely if needed, in case you have some invited guests arrive while you are away. You can easily monitor your energy usage.

Getting started with home automation for security systems is super easy. You should start by finding out if your panel already has a Z-Wave controller built-in. Most new wireless panels have this functionality. If your panel doesn't support Z-Wave, then there may be an add-on to provide the capability. Then you can start building the perfect smart home! If you have any questions about home automation, or if you would like to learn more about or monitoring plans, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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When it comes to Z-Wave home automation devices, it is usually understood that they are universally compatible with all Z-Wave controllers and hubs. While this is generally true, some Z-Wave devices may appear as different device types than for what they were originally intended.


If you aren't familiar with Z-Wave, it is an automation protocol that is used with a variety of smart home devices. Some popular Z-Wave accessories include smart lights, door locks, thermostats, smart water valves, and more. In most cases, you can use any Z-Wave device with any Z-Wave controller. However, there are sometimes restrictions on how Z-Wave devices can be used. This depends on the Z-Wave hub that they are enrolled with

A few weeks ago, we wrote an interesting FAQ. It discussed whether not not mixing Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus devices on the same network is likely to cause issue. Normally, mixing the two protocols will not result in any problems. Z-Wave devices are known for being backwards compatible. You can typically bring a Z-Wave Plus device to a standard Z-Wave controller. And the opposite also applies, as you should have no trouble using a standard Z-Wave device with a Z-Wave Plus controller. The main thing to understand is that by mixing Z-Wave Plus with standard Z-Wave, the devices in which any signal passes (hops) through a standard Z-Wave device will result in the communications functioning as standard Z-Wave.

But there is another issue that we haven't talked about very often. This issue occurs when you pair a Z-Wave Plus device with a standard Z-Wave controller or hub. It's possible that the standard Z-Wave controller might not recognize the Z-Wave Plus device as its proper device type. Instead, the Z-Wave Plus device will still appear in the hub, but it will show up as different device type, usually as a Z-Wave switch.

Some examples of this issue that we've seen are if you try to pair a Qolsys IQ Siren (Z-Wave Plus) with a system that utilizes standard Z-Wave functionality, such as a Honeywell Lyric Controller or a 2GIG GC2. We actually created specific FAQs for using this siren with a Lyric and with a GC2. Another example we recently saw was when someone tried to us an Alarm.com ADC-SWV100 Z-Wave Plus Water Valve with an L7000 System that had an L5100-ZWAVE module. Instead of the system seeing the ADC-SWV100 as a Z-Wave water valve, it saw it as a Z-Wave Switch.

The problem with this issue is that a system only knows how to turn a switch ON or OFF. When a Z-Wave controller sees a device as a "switch", it can only perform the binary function of ON or OFF. And it's won't necessarily know when to automatically activate the device. For example, if a hub sees a Z-Wave siren as a "switch", then it won't know to automatically activate the siren during alarms and to automatically stop it when alarms are cleared.

Fortunately, these situations can often be addressed by creating specific rules and smart scenes that have these devices activate automatically when desired events occurred. This usually requires some very specific instructions, with one scene & rule designed to automatically start the device, and another scene & rule to automatically stop the device. It can be a little tricky to get up, but there is usually some type of work-around other there. Depending on your setup, this may be done locally at the panel, or it may be done through an interactive platform like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0.

If you are an Alarm Grid customer needing help setting up your automation devices in the way that you want, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, and we will be happy to help. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We know by now you are probably aware of the Alarm.com integration for Amazon Alexa. Today, we just wanted to remind you of the superb features and functions this integration offers and how it can make your life more convenient. Prepare to learn about the Alarm.com Alexa Skill!


It goes without saying that Amazon Alexa is one of the most popular smart home automation platforms available today. This is due in large part to its accessibility. An Alexa Hub is extremely easy to set up and use. And since so many people use Amazon Prime for ordering products online, they realize that adding a simple Alexa Hub in their homes makes sense.

There are many functions you can perform through Amazon Alexa voice commands if you have an Alarm.com Security System. You can have Alexa arm your system, check the current system status, perform entire smart scenes, and control individual Z-Wave smart home devices. Truly, the automation features offered from Alexa voice commands for Alarm.com are particularly exciting.

Alexa even allows you to set up special "Secure Commands" for Alarm.com, which include disarming your system, opening your garage door, and unlocking your Z-Wave door locks. These Secure Commands require you to provide a valid PIN code when speaking with Alexa. This way, you can be sure that it is you or someone you trust controlling your system through the hub!


To get started using Amazon Alexa with Alarm.com, you must first have access to the Alarm.com Platform. This will require having a system with a compatible Alarm.com Cellular Communicator. You will also need to get an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to Alarm.com. Two of the best plans to choose from are the Alarm Grid Gold Plan and the Alarm Grid Platinum Plan. You can learn more about these plans, plus all our other monitoring plans, on our alarm monitoring page.

Once your system is activated for monitoring service, and you have successfully created your Alarm.com account, you can then enable the Alarm.com Alexa Skill. Simply search for Alarm.com in the Skills & Games section of the Alexa App, and locate the Alarm.com Skill. You will need to provide your Alarm.com account information when you go to enable the skill. This will allow Alexa to communicate with your Alarm.com account.

You can then try controlling your system and paired smart home devices through Alexa voice commands! Remember that commands for use with your system will lead in with "Alexa, tell Alarm.com to..." As long as you remember that, you will have no shortage of exciting and convenient voice commands that you can use with Amazon Alexa and Alarm.com!

If you have any questions, then remember that the Alarm Grid Support Team is happy to help! We will answer any questions you have about the Alarm.com Alexa Integration or about the Alarm.com platform or our monitoring services in general. The best way to contact us if you have questions is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We have been talking about the IQ Panel 2 Plus a lot lately. First we revealed the new Firmware Version 2.4.0 upgrade. Then we took an in-depth look at the new firmware. Today, we're going to examine the new Control4 Integration available for the IQ2 on Firmware 2.4.0 or higher.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

By using the Control4 Integration, you can control basic security functions for your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System from your Control4 Touchscreen. This includes arming and disarming from the C4 System. In other words, your Control4 System will become somewhat of a secondary keypad for your IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Meanwhile, you can still use your IQ2 as a primary Z-Wave Controller and have full functionality with Alarm.com. How cool!

The C4 Integration will work with any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus that is running Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher. To get started, you will want to download the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Driver to your Control4 System running OS Version 2.6.0 or higher. The driver can be found within the C4 Driver Database. From there, make sure your IQ Panel 2 and your Control4 System are on the same WIFI network.

Next, turn your attention to your IQ Panel 2 System. From the main screen, click the small grey bar at the top. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Dealer Code (default 2222) > Installation > Devices > WIFI Devices > 3rd Party Connections > enable Remote Device Access > OK. The panel will then reboot to apply the changes. Return back to the 3rd Party Connections Menu, and click on "Reveal Secure Token". Then apply the token at your C4 System to pair. Remember, you must use the Dealer Code (default 2222) to access this setting. It will not be displayed when using the Installer Code (default 1111).

As this integration is still very new, it is somewhat limited at the moment. Right now, we can only confirm that the integration allows for system arming/disarming from the C4 Panel. It's possible that new features and functions may be released in due time. Still, this is quite a nice integration for anyone with an IQ Panel 2 and a C4 Home Automation setup.

If you have any questions about this integration, please reach out to us. We offer free online and phone support for Alarm Grid monitored customers. The best way to reach us is by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email as soon as we can and reply back promptly. If you prefer to call us, you can reach us at (888) 818-7728 during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you with the new Qolsys Control4 Integration!

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Hi DIYers! We have been talking about the IQ Panel 2 Plus a lot lately. First we revealed the new Firmware Version 2.4.0 upgrade. Then we took an in-depth look at the new firmware. Today, we're going to examine the new Control4 Integration available for the IQ2 on Firmware 2.4.0 or higher.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

By using the Control4 Integration, you can control basic security functions for your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System from your Control4 Touchscreen. This includes arming and disarming from the C4 System. In other words, your Control4 System will become somewhat of a secondary keypad for your IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Meanwhile, you can still use your IQ2 as a primary Z-Wave Controller and have full functionality with Alarm.com. How cool!

The C4 Integration will work with any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus that is running Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher. To get started, you will want to download the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Driver to your Control4 System running OS Version 2.6.0 or higher. The driver can be found within the C4 Driver Database. From there, make sure your IQ Panel 2 and your Control4 System are on the same WIFI network.

Next, turn your attention to your IQ Panel 2 System. From the main screen, click the small grey bar at the top. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Dealer Code (default 2222) > Installation > Devices > WIFI Devices > 3rd Party Connections > enable Remote Device Access > OK. The panel will then reboot to apply the changes. Return back to the 3rd Party Connections Menu, and click on "Reveal Secure Token". Then apply the token at your C4 System to pair. Remember, you must use the Dealer Code (default 2222) to access this setting. It will not be displayed when using the Installer Code (default 1111).

As this integration is still very new, it is somewhat limited at the moment. Right now, we can only confirm that the integration allows for system arming/disarming from the C4 Panel. It's possible that new features and functions may be released in due time. Still, this is quite a nice integration for anyone with an IQ Panel 2 and a C4 Home Automation setup.

If you have any questions about this integration, please reach out to us. We offer free online and phone support for Alarm Grid monitored customers. The best way to reach us is by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email as soon as we can and reply back promptly. If you prefer to call us, you can reach us at (888) 818-7728 during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you with the new Qolsys Control4 Integration!

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Taking a summer trip DIYers? You need peace of mind to maximize your fun. Knowing that your home is safe and operational is a great feeling. You have a lot of planning before you go on vacation, and we're here to help you get ready. Here are some ways you can prepare for your next vacation.


Get a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat is the perfect accessory if you plan on taking a trip during the summer months. It's hot out! You don't want to come home and suddenly discover that your HVAC system has stopped working. The last thing you need when you come home is an uncomfortable house. You can pair your smart thermostat with your security system and start using it with an interactive platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. While you're on the beach or lounging by the pool, you can check your home's temperature and make sure it's reasonable. You don't want to set the temperature too low; there's no reason to waste the extra energy. But you can check and make sure that it's at a reasonable level to know that your HVAC system is working properly. You can even set up automatic notifications if the temperature gets too high.

We actually just made a post showing-off some of the best smart thermostats on our site. Check it out!

Honeywell t6 z wave thermostat smart thermostat

Get a Smart Door Lock

Let's say that your smart thermostat shows a very high temperature, and you suspect your HVAC system might be broken. How are you gonna let the repair person inside? You're on vacation, and you triple-checked to make sure your doors are locked! Well with your smart door lock, you can let the repair person inside and then lock the door behind them when they leave. What about your plants or your puppy? Your friendly neighbor is going to need to get inside to take care of them. You don't have to give them a key. Just make them a guest code on your smart lock, along with a guest code on the panel. Or if you are extra cautious, you can always lock and unlock the door and arm and disarm your system from TC2 or ADC. This is the perfect way to make sure that your home stays in order while you're off relaxing somewhere far away.

We did a post a few months ago on some great smart door looks. Take a look!

August smart lock pro dark gray z wave deadbolt lock 3rd generat

Get Alarm Monitoring

You won't able to use your smart door lock and your smart thermostat without a hub. And what better hub than a brand-new security system? At Alarm Grid, we have all you need to make sure that your home is safe and secure while you are gone. If someone dares to break-in to your house while you're off on the vacation you worked hard for, we'll make sure that they pay the price. We offer monitoring plans that will connect your alarm system with a 24/7 central station for automatic police dispatch in these serious situations. The smart home control features are a nice touch, but keeping your home and your possessions safe is always a top priority. We have many alarm panels and security sensors to protect homes big and small.

We recently did a comprehensive post covering all our available monitoring plans. Here it is!

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t 10 1 kit alarm system kit w slash 10

Get Environmental Sensors

Protecting your home from a robbery is important, but what about environmental conditions? There could be a water leak that causes a flood in your basement, or maybe a wildfire affects your property. It would also be a real bummer to come home to a natural gas leak. We have sensors for all these situations. You can get flood sensors, smoke and heat detectors, and natural gas detectors all from Alarm Grid. Your Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com service will send you a text and/or email alert so that you know about the activated sensor as soon as it happens. And if it's something serious like a fire, emergency help will be sent out if you have central station service. Alarm Grid has all the environmental sensors you need to know that your home is ready for your vacation.

We know what happens when people don't use environmental sensors. Don't let this happen to you!

2gig ft1 345 flood and temperature sensor

Contact Us!

You need to do one last thing before you Arm Away, lock your smart lock and set your smart thermostat schedule. That is contact Alarm Grid to let us know about your vacation plans! If you want any changes for the dispatching process, make sure to inform us. This could include something like having the central station call your neighbor or your friend instead of you while you're away. Letting us know about your vacation schedule is also extremely important if you plan on having someone else looking after your house while you are away. You should let us know that a neighbor or a friend will be using your system during this time. You might even tell us which user code they will be using so that we know to look out for anything unusual. This is really only necessary if you need temporary changes to your account while you are gone.

If you need to let us know about your vacation plans, you should send a quick email to support@alarmgrid.com. Our support team will check your email as soon as possible and put the necessary information on your account. Enjoy your vacation, and stay safe and relaxed with Alarm Grid on your side!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

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Great news DIYers! The Total Connect 2.0 Service used with Honeywell and Resideo Alarm Panels now supports If This, Then That, otherwise known as IFTTT. This is huge for TC2, as a plethora of new integrations and features are now possible! TC2 users can visit this page to get started.


As you may know, Total Connect 2.0 is an interactive service platform used with Resideo Alarm Systems. The service can be used with any compatible panel that has an AlarmNet Cellular or IP Communicator installed and activated. Once a user has a Total Connect 2.0 account, they can access the platform through the Total Connect 2.0 website or through a mobile app on their Android or iOS device.

Accessing TC2 allows an end user to perform various system functions. These functions include Arming and Disarming their system, checking current system status, controlling connected Z-Wave smart home devices, viewing connected Resideo IP Cameras and more. The end user will need an active monitoring plan that includes access to the TC2 platform. Users who are not currently monitored should check out our monitoring page for more information about alarm monitoring service.

It was already possible to use Total Connect 2.0 to trigger security system and Z-Wave actions based around certain predetermined events and time schedules. But IFTTT support adds a world of new possibilities. Thanks to IFTTT, end users can now quickly and easily integrate peripherals like Lutron Smart Lights, Sonos Speakers, Phillips Hue Lights, Roomba devices, Rachio Sprinklers, MyQ Garage Doors, Somfy Blinds and more.

IFTTT works by using Triggers and Actions. Basically when a certain "Trigger" occurs, an "Action" will follow. Currently, IFTTT only allows TC2 "Triggers" caused by changing the arming status of your system, or an alarm event on your system. We are hopeful that IFTTT will allow specific sensor triggers sometime in the future. Additionally, IFTTT can be used to create Triggers based on date & time or a predetermined schedule. The Action that follows a Trigger could be something like telling your Sonos Sound System to start playing music, your Lutron Lights to all turn off, or your Rachio Sprinkler System to start watering the grass.

What's great about IFTTT is that it is ultra-customizable and offers nearly any possible combination of connected devices and responses. You can have multiple Actions corresponding to the same Trigger, or multiple Triggers to cause the same Action. And despite being extremely intricate in terms of possible combinations, creating individual commands in IFTTT is actually quite easy. We are sure that end users will love this new integration and the ease of use that it provides.

We expect to release new content in the near future to help users get started with IFTTT for TC2. This will likely include all-new FAQs and videos designed to walk users through the process of creating new Triggers and Actions for use with their Resideo Alarm Systems and their connected smart devices. Stay tuned for more content coming soon!

For now, if you want to learn more about IFTTT and how it can be used with TC2, the best way is to reach out to us. We recommend sending an email to support@alarmgrid.com with your question or concern. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and respond back as quickly as possible. If you prefer to call us, you can do so at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you learn all about IFTTT.

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