Home Security Systems Posts

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In today's real estate market, many homeowners are looking for ways to increase the value of their homes. One way to do this is to install a home security system. This is an easy and effective way to make your home more appealing. And getting alarm monitoring service is completely optional.

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Many people mistakenly believe that signing up for monitoring service is a requirement when buying an alarm system. Technically, this is not the case. An alarm panel, security sensors, and even home automation accessories are all items that you can purchase without signing up for anything. You can install this equipment in your home without any alarm monitoring plan. Then you can list a security system as feature in your home when you go to sell. This can help seal the deal for a buyer, as many people are looking for smart homes with state-of-the art security systems.

What makes this even better is that you can likely install this equipment by yourself. The biggest challenge is mounting the panel to the wall. This will require drilling some holes and maybe fishing some wire. But it's really nothing you can't do as a quick weekend project. If the idea still makes you uncomfortable, then you can get a desk or table stand for the system instead. Nearly every system has one available. Meanwhile, the sensors can be mounted without drilling any holes by using double-sided foam tape. And basic programming is a cinch with a wireless all-in-one panel.

An aspect of residential alarm systems that is sometimes overlooked is that these devices do more than just keep a home secure. Today, most home security systems double as complete smart home automation hubs. In other words, you can set up a security panel to serve as a one-stop controller for various smart devices in your home. This includes peripherals such as smart lights, smart door locks, smart thermostats, water shut-off valves, and more. Many alarm panels allow you to control these devices from one location, even if the system isn't monitored. And if you add a key fob, then you can control some of these devices from anywhere in your home with the press of a button!

The most important thing when choosing a home security system without professional monitoring is to make sure the system is non-proprietary and can be taken to any alarm monitoring company that will support it. For example, all of the security systems sold on the Alarm Grid website can be used with monitoring service from nearly any alarm company. This will give you or a new owner greater flexibility if you decide to sign-up for alarm monitoring later on. The last thing you want to do is tie yourself to a single monitoring company. A non-proprietary security system offers greater freedom!

Once you have the security system, you just need to install it. This includes mounting the panel and sensors, powering the system, and enrolling any accessories. Like we said earlier, this can all be easily done yourself as a quick weekend project. And just like that, you will have immediately raised the value of your home! Whether or not you use the system from there is up to you. An unmonitored system can still be armed and disarmed to serve as a local noisemaker. And you can still use it as an automation controller for your smart home devices. All while improving your home's sell value!

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Of course, we always recommend monitoring any alarm system. This is the only way to receive text and/or email alerts for any system activity that occurs. It is also the only way to receive service from a central monitoring station for automatic emergency dispatch in the event of a burglary or a fire. You can even control your smart home automation devices remotely from nearly anywhere in the world using a user-friendly platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com.

Also keep in mind that signing up for central station monitoring service can help you save money on your homeowner's insurance. The savings might even cover the full cost of your monitoring service! Remember, just because you don't sign-up for monitoring service right away doesn't mean you can't later on. As long as you have a non-proprietary system and a compatible alarm monitoring communicator, you will have a ton of options at your disposal. We recommend checking out our alarm monitoring page if you want to learn more about our monitoring services.

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And if you are in the market for alarm monitoring service, why not consider Alarm Grid? All of our monitoring plans are no-contract, and they feature no added fees. This means that you will not pay any extra cost when activating your monitoring service. If you ever decide to cancel your service, you can do at the end of your monthly cycle, without incurring any fees or penalties. And since your system is non-proprietary, you can always take it to a new alarm monitoring company. This gives us motivation to work hard each and every month to continue to earn your trust and your business.

If you need help choosing a home security system for use without professional monitoring, or if you have any questions about our products or monitoring services, you are always welcome to reach out to us. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. You are also invited to call us at (888) 818-7728. Just remember that our regular business hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find the perfect security system!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're presenting our own guide for installing the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. This system is very easy to use, and it can be installed by virtually anyone using nothing more than a screwdriver! This is the perfect security system for your home, office, or apartment!

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and Most of the information presented in this post can be found in the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 DIY Installation Manual. You are free to follow along with that manual, which can be found here. We also have three (3) videos that we will include along the way. Feel free to follow along with those as well. All of this information applies to both the original IQ Panel 2 and the newer IQ Panel 2 Plus. With that out of the way, let's get started!

The first thing you will want to do is power on the system. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus comes with everything you need to get started. Once you have opened up the box, you should locate the panel, the power supply transformer, the power wire, the panel back cover, and the table stand. You will also want to have a screwdriver on hand.


Start by connecting the spade lugs of the power cable to the transformer. The IQ Panel 2 Plus uses DC power, so you must make sure to follow polarity. That means connecting the positive (+) wire and negative (-) wire accordingly. The positive and negative ends on the IQ Panel 2 power cable are marked for this purpose. The positive (+) wire has grey dashes and ends in a red spade connector. The negative (-) wire is solid white without grey dashes and ends in a black spade connector. Make sure that the wires are connected with the proper terminals on the transformer. You can see the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals marked on the transformer. The connection should be nice and snug, but not overly tight.

From there, you can connect the other end of the power cable to the IQ Panel 2 Plus System. There is a simple barrel connection for this purpose. The transformer can then be plugged into a wall outlet. When applying the panel back cover, make sure to run both the power cable and the thin RF receiver cable out from the indentation on the back cover. The back cover should snap nicely into place. The convenient table stand can be installed by putting it into the keyhole slots on the back of the panel and then sliding up. You can power on the system by pressing and holding the side power button until the system LED remains lit.


After the system powers on and boots up, you will be greeted by the Setup Wizard. It is recommended that you go through the Setup Wizard, as it will walk you through the entire setup process. Note that some steps of the Wizard will require you to activate the system for monitoring service. This involves registering the panel's built-in cellular communicator with Alarm.com. This is optional for initial set up. You can always register the cellular communicator with Alarm.com later.

Remember that activating the system is something you will definitely want to do before too long, as that is the only way for it to send out signals to you and/or a central station. Remember that you will need to provide the IMEI Number for the system in order for your monitoring company to activate the cellular communicator. This can be found on a sticker on the back of the panel. It will also be shown as you move through the Wizard.

You will do several things as you go through the Setup Wizard. You will connect the system to a WIFI network, run an initial check for the system, add sensors, perform an initial sensor test, set up the built-in panel glass break sensor, add Z-Wave home automation devices, pair your phone for automatic Bluetooth disarming, pair secondary IQ Remote Keypads, and add system users. Remember that you will want to have a good idea of Sensor Groups when enrolling sensors. You can learn all about the IQ Panel 2 Sensor Groups in this helpful FAQ.


The last thing you will want to do is install your sensors. We only focused on door and window contacts and motion sensors, but many of the same principles apply across any sensor type. What's great about wireless sensors that are used with the IQ Panel 2 Plus is that they can be mounted without drilling holes into the wall or using any power tools. You can safely mount and secure these sensors using double-sided foam tape. Most wireless sensors come with their own double-sided tape for this purpose, or you can buy some off our site!

There are a few general tips when mounting these sensors. When mounting door and window contacts, you should have the magnet on the moving structure of the door or window, and the sensor itself on the door or window frame. Make sure the magnet is aligned with any indication marker shown on the sensor. Also remember to keep the magnet spacing gap in mind. Most Qolsys Door and Window Sensors allow for a magnet spacing gap of up to 0.75 inches.


As for motion sensors, you should have them mounted flat on a wall or corner-mounted. But keep in mind that only a flat-mount will allow you to install without drilling any holes. The motion sensor should be nice and level, and it should be installed at a height between 6 and 8 feet. Qolsys recommends 7.5 feet, which provides the best possible results. The motion sensor should not be facing any windows, vents, or air ducts. It should also not be facing any nearby furniture or stairwells if you have pets!

Most importantly, remember to test ALL your sensors after the final installation!


And that wraps up our Part 1 Guide for installing and using the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Look forward to Part 2 coming soon! If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or our monitoring service, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Last week, we sent a small team to Silicon Valley, California to check out the 2019 Qolsys Summit. Needless to say, we were absolutely blown away with what Qolsys will soon be offering. Today, we would like to focus on some of their new industry-changing products in the pipeline.


The biggest highlight of the Qolsys Summit was the opportunity to check out the newest upcoming panel from the company, the Qolsys IQ Hub. The IQ Hub represents the vision of Qolsys to bring home security closer and more accessible to the average consumer than ever before. This is truly the optimal system for any budget-conscious consumer who wants to bring state-of-the-art security and technology into their home. It is slated for a Q1 2020 release.

We do not have all the details on the Qolsys IQ Hub quite yet. But there is still a lot that we can talk about. The most obvious addition to the Qolsys IQ Hub is its prominent speaker on the front. Qolsys is expected to introduce some mind-blowing integrations for the system that will turn your alarm control panel into a compact entertainment center.

Remember that Alarm.com already offers an excellent Sonos integration. We are sure that the IQ Hub will take full advantage of this feature and truly put it to great use. Our team did get a chance to test the IQ Hub sound quality, and we can confirm it sounds just as good as any high-end portable speaker. This is highly impressive, and we expect many users to be thrilled that their alarm system can now essentially double as a party-starter.


The next aspect you will likely notice about the IQ Hub is its standout display screen. This is a 7" touchscreen display that appears to have even higher resolution than any existing security system on the market. We do not have the exact specifications on the screen just yet, but it certainly passes the eyeball test. And as you can see from the photo above, the slideshow feature returns. Get ready to show-off some of your best photos on the Qolsys IQ Hub!

As we mentioned earlier, Qolsys seems to be envisioning the IQ Hub as a way to make the home security market more accessible to the average consumer. The new system is not expected to replace the existing Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, but it is anticipated to have a lower price point. We also expect many existing features to return to the IQ Hub, including built-in WIFI, Bluetooth connectivity, cellular LTE, and Z-Wave Plus functionality.

One thing that will not be returning to the IQ Hub is support for legacy sensors (e.g. 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, and 433 MHz devices). The new system will be entirely PowerG, and you will need to use those sensors with the system. This is fine, as PowerG Sensors offer an impressive wireless range of up 2,000 feet when used with the IQ Hub in open air. They also utilize military grade 128-bit AES encryption in all their communication to ensure maximum wireless security.

Another interesting note about the panel is that it is not designed to be opened up. This is a significant change from most existing security systems, where you will occasionally need to open up the panel to make hardware changes. The battery on the IQ Hub is sled-replaceable, and it can easily be swapped out by the end user with little effort. All of the hardware is built right in, so you will never have to make any changes in that regard. Talk about DIY friendly!


Qolsys made other various enhancements to the IQ Hub System. They touted an improved integrated camera, and it can even double as a motion sensor by detecting changes in pixelation. We also expect this feature to be used in conjunction with Alarm.com so that you can take a peak-in at your home while you're on the go. You will also notice the LED light on the front of the panel. This light changes colors to let you know the current system status. How cool!

The system also features a built-in microphone that you can use to get alerts regarding loud sounds. You can even adjust the minimum sound level required to trigger alerts. This is perfect for parents who want to know if their baby is fussing or for owners of rental properties who may want to be alerted if their guests are throwing a loud party. It's just another way that Qolsys is working hard to keep you connected with your home.

We do expect that there will be some hardware limitations of the IQ Hub when compared with the IQ Panel 2 Plus, especially when you consider the anticipated lower price point. Qolsys most likely reduced costs by dropping legacy sensor support. It's also possible that the IQ Hub will support fewer zones than the IQ Panel 2 Plus (128 zones). But we cannot confirm the exact number of zone on the IQ Hub at this time. The IQ Hub is also slightly larger than the existing IQ2+ due to the added speaker.

As stated earlier, the Qolsys IQ Hub is scheduled for a Q1 2020 release. This groundbreaking new system is sure to make some big waves in the security industry, and we are confident that it will help many new users get their start with home security. We can't wait for its release, and we hope you're excited too!


Qolsys also unveiled another interesting product at the event, the Qolsys IQ Router. At first glance, you might be wondering what's the big deal. What's so exciting about an IP router? Well Qolsys packed in some game-changing features that are sure to make the IQ Router the perfect addition to your IQ Hub or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. It is sure to make your life more convenient in many ways. And we can also confirm, it is dual-band with support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz!

At the basic level, the IQ Router is exactly what it sounds like, an internet router. It replaces the existing router for your home's IP network. But what you get with the router is pretty ingenious. Any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System or Qolsys IQ Hub connected with the IQ Router can be accessed remotely by your alarm monitoring company for programming purposes. This is similar to what the DSC Iotega offers. But with the Qolsys Systems, it is optional rather than mandatory.

Of course, if you don't want your monitoring company accessing your panel, then you can disable the feature. But it's pretty nice if you want assistance with programming new devices. One thing you will certainly love is its ability to auto-discover your IQ Hub System and automatically enroll it with your WIFI network. You can even configure your IP settings right from the IQ Hub. This truly makes the IQ Hub the central controller for your entire network!

Another innovation from the IQ Router is the ability to auto-enroll guest WIFI devices. In other words you can get any visitors on your WIFI network, without making them enter a long, tedious password. The way this works is that your guest will request to join the network from their IP device. You will then approve the request from either your IQ Hub or an app on your phone. And just like that, your guest will be connected with your WIFI network. Super convenient!


As you will notice, the Qolsys IQ Router only has one (1) LAN port for connecting a hardwired ethernet device. This isn't a big deal, as most users might not even need one. If you need additional ports, then you can easily connect a network switch to the router and use it however you would like.

But one very exciting feature of the IQ Router is its ability to support up to eight (8) WIFI extenders or access points. This makes it truly suitable for even large commercial locations! The router facilitates a total mesh network to help ensure that all of your IP devices stay connected across even an incredibly expansive area. Whether your needs are big or small, you are sure to get great use out of the new IQ Router! Qolsys states that it should be out by the end of this year.

We would like to end this post with some smaller product announcements we heard at the Qolsys Summit. A PowerG 360-Degree Ceiling-Mount PIR Motion Sensor called the PG9862 was unveiled. This sensor is perfect for use in closets or in commercial locations where corner-mounting is not feasible. The PG9862 is available from Alarm Grid now, and you can get it right here.

Lastly, we heard rumors about a much-anticipated PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter. This is huge news, as it will allow you to takeover an existing hardwired system and use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or Qolsys IQ Hub in its place. And of course, all your hardwired sensors will enjoy the amazing range and security of the PowerG wireless protocol. We do not have any other details on the PowerG Converter at this time, but we will definitely keep our eyes peeled.

We hope that you are eagerly awaiting all of these new products just like we are! This was truly an awesome event that Qolsys put on, and we are thankful that we got to be a part of it. We are hopeful that Qolsys hosts a similar gathering next year in 2020! For now, check out these new and upcoming products, and email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions or thoughts. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. As usual, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we would like to discuss no-contract monitoring and why we feel that it is the best decision for anyone looking to get started with home or business security. The no-contract model offers many advantages that you will simply not receive with traditional "contract" plans.

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If you did not know, no-contract monitoring is exactly what it sounds like. You receive alarm monitoring service, without locking yourself into a long-term commitment. You pay for a small time period of service (usually one month), and you can cancel your service at any time. This is still a relatively new offering in the security industry, as the traditional model required customers to sign long-term agreements committing them to service. But with no-contract monitoring, consumers now have an alternative option available.

Below are three reasons why you should sign-up for no-contract alarm monitoring:


It Offers The Best Flexibility.


If you want flexibility in your monitoring service, then a no-contract plan is definitely best for you. The ability to cancel service at any time can be very useful in certain situations. For example, if you are moving, then you might not need service for the month of your move. You can stop service on your old home and then start service at your new location when needed. Many people run intro trouble when they try to cancel a "contract" monitoring plan early for whatever reason. Some people are left on the hook for thousands of dollars for service they no longer need. This will not happen to you with a no-contract monitoring plan.

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It Makes Changing Plans Easy.


Many people who are new to alarm monitoring sign-up for a plan that isn't right for them. While they might be happy with the service they receive, they might soon find that they need features only available on a higher-tiered plan. Or maybe they find that they are paying extra for services they don't really need.
With no-contract monitoring, this is not a concern. You can quickly and easily change your monitoring plan to meet your needs. If you decide to upgrade to have your monitoring service include cellular connectivity or home automation you can quickly change. Or if you are finding that you don't really use the remote access app as often as you thought you would, you can certainly downgrade to reduce costs.

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It Keeps Monitoring Companies Honest.


When a customer signs-up for no-contract alarm service, the monitoring company must work hard to continue to earn their business each and every month. If the customer is ever unhappy with their service, then they can certainly leave and take their business elsewhere. But with a "contract" plan, the monitoring company has no reason to offer the best service. They have the customer right where they want them. A dissatisfied customer will still be locked in for the duration of the contract and on-the-hook for any of the costs involved. By going with a no-contract monitoring plan, you can be sure that your alarm company is always working hard to provide you with the very best service. And if you ever feel that they are not, then it is in your power to leave.

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Now that you have three great reasons to choose no-contract alarm monitoring, we would like to recommend service with Alarm Grid. While there are many no-contract alarm monitoring companies out there, we feel that Alarm Grid is the best. Our monitoring plans are all offered on a month-to-month basis. If you ever need to cancel or suspend your service, we can shut it down at the end of your pay cycle to avoid having you pay for another month. There are never any added fees, and the price you see is what you will pay. We also do not charge fees for starting or stopping service, so you will not have to worry about that. Best of all, any equipment used is yours to keep. If you are not happy with Alarm Grid, you can take your system elsewhere, without experiencing any problems.

If you would like to learn more about Alarm Grid, please click the orange Alarm Monitoring button at the top of this page. You may also email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We are always happy to talk about our alarm monitoring plans and help new and prospective customers get exactly what they need. Remember, our team is here to help you every step of the way. We will continue to work hard each and every month to prove to you and those around you that we are the very best at what we do. We would like to thank you for considering Alarm Grid, and we hope to become a trusted part of your home or business.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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If you're looking to obtain alarm monitoring service for your home, then you can't go wrong with one of our home security system kits. Each kit has everything you need to get started. One of our highly-trained technicians will call you to active your system, and your home will be protected!

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With an Alarm Grid Security System Kit, you can expect several essential components. You will receive a wireless alarm control panel that serves as the central hub for your system. This is where you can arm and disarm your system and make programming changes. You will also be able to access your system from an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. This is great if you need to control your system while you are away or if you just want to make sure you remembered to arm your system before you left!

Each kit also includes door and window sensors and a motion detecting sensor. The door and window sensors will alert your security system if a door is opened, while the motion sensor will respond to a person moving throughout the area. We offer kits with varying numbers of sensors so that you can choose a kit that is the perfect size for your home or apartment! We also sell individual sensors if needed. You can start with a small security system now and then expand upon it later. Do whatever works for your home!

Users can also expect a Honeywell LT-Cable with each kit. This cable makes it super easy to provide power to your system with the included transformer. You won't need to strip or prepare any wires. The cable comes completely ready. You will just need a screwdriver to attach it. We also recommend choosing a kit that comes with a cellular communicator. This will serve as a reliable backup in case there is ever an internet outage in your home. If the internet goes down, your system will automatically switch to its cellular backup. Not all our kits include a cellular communicator, but we strongly recommend getting one!

Also, don't feel intimidated if you have never installed a security system before! Some other companies may not want you to believe it, but installing your own system is super easy! In fact, most wireless alarm systems can be set up using nothing more than a screwdriver. Wireless sensors can be mounted with double-sided foam tape, and wireless panel menus are easy to navigate. And our technicians will be there to help you every step of the way with online and phone support. Remember, you get free support as an Alarm Grid monitored customer. Before you know it, your brand-new system will be up and running!

Alarm Grid is your home for all your security system kits! If you need help choosing a system, please reach out to us! You may email support@alarmgrid.com or call (888) 818-7728 during our business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. Just tell us about your home and what kind of monitoring service you want. Our planners will help you determine the best security system for your house or apartment. We are always happy to help, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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If you're taking the leap into the exciting world of home security, one of the first decisions you will make is whether to hire a professional installer or to install the system yourself. While most new users still hire a professional, installing your own system is often the better option.

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Many people mistakenly believe that a home security system is difficult to install and that it has to be done by a professional. But the industry has actually made great strides in recent years, and now alarm systems can be installed by almost anyone. DIY monitoring companies like Alarm Grid have helped to make this possible. We've shown the security industry why the DIY model is the right model for alarm systems. Now you too can install your own home or business security system! Simply obtain the equipment you need, either from our website or from somewhere else, and sign-up for one of our alarm monitoring plans to get started.

The key to setting up your own home security system without hiring a professional is to make the installation as easy as possible. Choose a wireless control panel and wireless sensors that don't require holes to be drilled. Most wireless panels can be rested on a desk or table with a compatible desk mount, and the sensors can be mounted using double-sided foam tape that often comes included. From there, you just need to program the sensors, which is super easy when you own your own system and know the proper access codes. Before you know it, you will be a true DIYer!

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Here are ten reasons why you should install alarm system instead of hiring a professional:

1. Understand Your System Better

When a professional installer sets up your own home or business security system, they usually aren't there to play teacher. They will often show you the bare minimum so that you can perform basic functions on the system. By setting up your own system, you can understand its features and capabilities better. This way, you can configure the system exactly to your liking to suit your lifestyle!

2. Choose Your Own Equipment

If you hire a professional, you might have little say over what equipment will be used in the installation. To have full control over what equipment is used, your best bet is to install the system yourself. If you need help choosing your equipment, Alarm Grid offers free support online and over the phone in planning home and business security systems. And with a DIY monitoring company like Alarm Grid, it doesn't matter where you find the equipment. If you can find it cheaper outside our website, go for it!

3. It's More Satisfying

We've discussed the IKEA Effect in the past and how customers who install their own equipment are more satisfied with the end result than if they had someone else do it for them. When you put in the time and effort to set up your own alarm system, it becomes much more valuable and personal to you than if you just throw money at someone to get the job done. Users who complete their own installation grow to love their alarm systems and the protection they provide for their families.

4. Save Money

This one is obvious. Installers charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for most alarm system installations. Just check out the hourly rates for most outside installers. It's staggering! The truth is that you can install your own equipment just as well as a professional, all without having to spend a cent. So roll up those sleeves, get an Alarm Grid Tech on the phone, and save some money by installing your own system!

5. Feel Empowered

Installing your own alarm system is empowering. It offers a feeling of accomplishment in knowing that you did it yourself. You don't have to rely on others to install the system for you. Instead, you are self-sufficient and in control. Of course, if you ever do need some assistance, our technicians can walk you through the process online or over the phone. But you're the one in control of the project. You have the power!

6. Learn Something New

Many people enjoy learning new processes and tasks. Why not learn how to install and program a security system? It can actually be a fun and amusing challenge to take on for yourself, and it's knowledge that might come in handy later. After you've installed your own alarm system, you can add it to the list of things you know how to do. And it might make for interesting conversation to teach others about the system as well.



7. Make Your Own System Changes

Almost all alarm system users will need to make changes and adjustments to the settings at some point or another. For users who hire a professional, they often don't know the system's Installer Code, and they have to have an installer come out to their home or business to make the changes. But if you install your own system, you'll know the Installer Code so you can go right in and make your own changes in a matter of minutes. How cool is that?

8. Easily Move Your System

Are you planning to move to a new home? Do you need to take your business security system to a new office? If you set up your own system, this process is a breeze. Simply dismount your equipment, and set it up in your new location. You will need to contact your monitoring company and let them know about the address change, but the transition is seamless overall. Remember to test your sensors after moving them to your new home or business!

9. Complete Ownership

It's a common tactic for other security companies to offer a free installation and a free security system when signing-up for their monitoring services. The problem with this is that most of these companies offer proprietary equipment that will only work with their services. So while you might own the system, it's no good if you want to take it somewhere else. When you choose and set up your own equipment, it is usually non-proprietary, and you can take it to a different monitoring company if you want to.

10. Future Installations

Once you have installed your own alarm system, you can repeat the process and steps for any future installations you might complete. Perhaps you're setting up a security system for your office, or maybe you need one for a summer home. What you've learned from your first installation can easily apply to a second one. Take what you've learned, and put it into action!

Whether you're installing your own system for a home or business, Alarm Grid is here to help you every step of the way. We offer support online and over the phone so that you can get your system exactly the way you want it. To get started, sign-up for one of our monitoring plans with the orange button above.

If you have any questions, you can always email us at support@alarmgrid.com, you can call us during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you and helping you complete your own security system installation!

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Hi DIYers! Are you looking to get started with a brand-new home security system? An alarm panel is crucial for protecting your family and for providing peace of mind. But with the many options available, the decision of which system to buy can seem overwhelming. But we are here to help.

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Our support team has worked with and tested many different alarm systems. Needless to say, we have a pretty good idea about what makes a great security panel. And while the perfect alarm system varies between different types of applications, there are a few things that almost any DIY user looks for. As always, having a system that is easy to use is very important, as it can save a user many headaches later on. This is important both for conducting the initial setup and for performing daily system tasks.

But there are a few other factors that have also come into prominence in more recent years. The design and aesthetics of a security system are more crucial than ever. An alarm system is no longer an anonymous metal box that you tuck away in the depths of your attic. New security systems have personality, and the best ones are pleasing in both appearance and function. The successful systems of today fit-in with virtually any decor, and they enhance the appearance of the home. Conversely, a system with a poor design can make a home appear old-fashioned or tacky. And while we love some hardwired systems like the VISTA Series, there's no denying that they just don't look as fun or exciting as a panel with a touchscreen.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

Finally, home automation is critical in 2018. And this goes beyond just being able to connect with an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The newest security systems can be controlled using voice commands sent through a smart home device. These voice commands can be used for performing both security functions and home automation functions. We've already encountered many cases where a buyer has based their purchasing decision on the automation features of an alarm panel.

Users should expect these home automation features and capabilities to expand in the coming years. Over time, they should become increasingly essential and standard for a new alarm system. Automation and voice operation will most likely become a way for security systems to separate from one another in the coming years, as the technology is only continuing to grow. The systems that innovate and push the boundaries, while still keeping their systems accessible to everyone will thrive.

Qolsys iq lightbulb dimmable z wave lightbulb for iq and iq pane

Just like in recent years, wireless systems are the way to go in 2018. This is no surprise, since wireless systems are easier to program and more pleasing to use and display than their hardwired counterparts. But what may be surprising to some user is that all of our top system picks were initially released last year or earlier. It just goes to show that these panels continue to impress, even as technology progresses further.

With al that in mind, here are our top 3 picks for security systems in 2018, listed in alphabetical order:

2GIG GC3

There's something special to be said about the 2GIG GC3. And it goes back to 2GIG itself. The name stands for "2 Guys In a Garage", and that's exactly what the company was at its onset. While the company has grown since then, their ideology remains the same - they believe that they can do it better. And 2GIG truly delivered with their GC3.

Compared to some other modern systems, the 2GIG GC3 isn't the fanciest or the most feature-heavy. It's the choice for users who want a sneaky solid and dependable option for home security. The GC3 design is modest and uneventful, and it's certainly not going to draw attention to itself. But when you do look at the system, you'll find that it actually comes off as very pleasing. The crisp white design with two prominent front buttons is simple, yet mature. It can surely fit in with almost any setting. And for many users, that's all they really ask for.

Another thing we like about the GC3 is the level of care that was put into it. The panel is one of the sturdiest pieces of security equipment we have ever come across. Same with the 2GIG Sensors. The latest 2GIG equipment has a certain "weight" to it that helps it feel more stable and secure. Just picking up the panel conveys a sensation of quality craftsmanship. You can certainly tell that 2GIG put a huge amount of love and care into designing their system. That alone makes it one of the top wireless security systems to consider for your home in 2018.

Now, the system isn't perfect. The system does not have any compatible encrypted sensors. Instead, it is forced to rely on the unencrypted 345 MHz sensors from 2GIG and Honeywell. There's nothing wrong with these sensors, but users who want a more secure sensor option will have to look else where. Also the programming menus can have a steeper learning curve for new users than the other systems presented here. And keep in mind that Apple HomeKit support is not available for the GC3.

However, the system can connect with Alarm.com to achieve home automation support with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Alarm.com is an outstanding platform, and achieving a full smart home setup with the alarm panel is a relatively straightforward process. But a cellular communicator is needed to connect the GC3 with ADC. Having to buy a cellular communicator separately to access Alarm.com does turn some users away. But this is a necessary add-on for getting the most out of a 2GIG GC3.

Overall, the GC3 is your choice if you want a strong and sturdy system, and you don't necessarily mind not having access to every last frill presented by other panels.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenHoneywell Lyric Controller

If the other alarm manufacturers are challenging the status quo, then Honeywell is the status quo. Honeywell has been in business for a long time. 112 years at the time of this writing. And while they haven't always been involved in the home security industry, they have certainly been in it longer than the likes of 2GIG and Qolsys. Honeywell's home security roots actually date back to the 1960s. These decades of experience prove that Honeywell is doing something right. And the company used their experience and expertise to create their latest offering, the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Lyric Controller pushed some boundaries, and it presented features that had never really been seen before when it was released in 2016. Starting with the design, there's a lot to like about the panel. Its display is large and colorful, and its touchscreen feels very satisfying to use. The white boarder with accompanying grey accents is pleasing, and its digital picture-frame feature allows users to add a personalized touch for when the system is idle. This is a panel you will be proud to display in your home.

But the Lyric is more than just a pretty face. It was one of the first alarm systems to have its own lineup of encrypted security sensors. The Honeywell SiX Series Sensors communicate using 2.4 GHz WIFI, and they are protected by 128-bit AES encryption. They are virtually impossible to hack or takeover, making them some of the most secure sensors on the market today. Other compatible sensor options for the Lyric Controller include the legacy Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors and the 2GIG Sensors. The Lyric Controller also was innovative for including both a WIFI card and a Z-Wave controller into the system as standard.

So what else makes the Lyric Controller stand-out? For one, it is able to connect with Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 Service. This platform is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Panels, and it is continuing to make strides in home automation. Honeywell recently announced that the service will work with Amazon Alexa devices, opening up a world of new possibilities. Additionally, the Lyric Controller is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. This makes the Lyric essentially the default option for anyone hoping to use HomeKit with their alarm system. However, it is currently impossible to use Google Home with the Lyric.

Like the GC3, the Lyric does not readily include a built-in cellular communicator. One will need to be added separately if a user wants to receive cellular monitoring. But the Lyric has a few advantages here. While Alarm.com requires a cellular communicator, Total Connect 2.0 can be accessed over WIFI alone. In other words, the system can connect with the interactive service straight out of the box.

If a user is confident in their WIFI setup, and they feel they can forgo cellular service, then the Lyric is an ideal selection. Keep in mind though, if the power goes out or WIFI goes down, then the Lyric will be a sitting duck. For the record, Alarm Grid encourages users to use cellular monitoring if possible. But we won't stop you from using WIFI only. And if a user does decide to install a cellular communicator for the system, there is a convenient side slot for this purpose.

Overall, there are many reasons to choose the Lyric Controller. It is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. So if you want to use HomeKit this is the system to use! And the Lyric is arguably the best option for users who are content with an IP monitoring plan and no cellular backup. The Lyric is also ideal for users who trust the Honeywell name. After all, it's hard to top an ongoing legacy of 112 years.

But if you want to use Google Home, or if you like Alarm.com more than Total Connect 2.0, then you should look elsewhere.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemQolsys IQ Panel 2

Qolsys is a rather interesting company in the security industry. Its unique name is short for "Quality of Life Systems", implying that their systems will improve the quality of one's life. Qolsys is by far the youngest system manufacturer featured on the Alarm Grid website, having just been founded in 2010. So while Qolsys might not yet offer major-name recognition, it does offer lots of ambition! The young company maintains its headquarters in San Jose, California, and its West-Coast ideology certainly shows in its products.

At face value, there is a lot to love about the IQ Panel 2. We have never encountered an alarm system that comes as loaded and as stacked as this innovative piece of hardware. For starters, the IQ Panel 2 is the only system to date that comes with a built-in cellular communicator standard. Yeah, nearly every system has special packages that include a cell module. But only the IQ Panel 2 comes with this standard. The cell module is not an "add-on". It is a basic component here.

That is exactly the type of forward thinking we have come to expect with Qolsys. They know that cellular service is the optimal communication path for an alarm system. So rather than forcing a user to buy this simple accessory separately, Qolsys decided to give the people what they want. Most users will choose between the AT&T and the Verizon versions of the system to access a cellular network. We recommend going with whichever service works better in the area.

And we mean it when we say the IQ Panel 2 is stacked. Beyond the cellular module, the IQ Panel 2 also has a built-in WIFI card and a built-in Z-Wave controller. Right out of the box, the system is ready for dual-path communication and full home automation control. The system connects with Alarm.com, making it compatible with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa. But unfortunately, it cannot be used with Apple HomeKit. However, it is the only alarm system we know of that allows for Bluetooth disarming.

Moving on to sensors, there is actually a lot to discuss with Qolsys. The company produces its own sensors that operate at the 319.5 MHz frequency. This is the same frequency used by the Interlogix/GE Sensors, which have been around for many years. The Interlogix/GE Sensors can be used with the IQ Panel 2 System just fine. As for the Qolsys Sensors, they are split into two categories. These are the standard unencrypted Qolsys Sensors and the encrypted Qolsys S-Line Sensors.

Again, both Qolsys Sensor types will work with the IQ Panel 2. And the S-Line Sensors are the only encrypted 319.5 MHz sensors that can be used with the IQ Panel 2. But it must be mentioned that the S-Line Sensors use rolling code encryption. They are not as secure as the SiX Sensors that use 128-bit AES encryption when enrolled with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But the S-Line Sensors are still more secure than anything offered from 2GIG, at least at this time.

But, it actually gets a lot more complicated than that. In the very near future, Qolsys is planning to release various daughtercards for the IQ Panel 2 System. These daughtercards will essentially serve as wireless receivers for the system. So the type of sensors that can be used with the system will depend on the daughtercards that are installed. The panel has slots available for two daughtercards, but they cannot be mixed freely.

The first slot will have one of the following cards: 319.5 MHz (the traditional Qolsys/Interlogix/GE option, outlined above), 345 MHz (for use with Honeywell 5800 Sensors and 2GIG Sensors), or 433 MHz (for use with legacy DSC Sensors). Then, in the second slot, a user can choose between an image sensor module card or a PowerG 915 MHz daughtercard.

And we need to stop and talk about PowerG for a second. PowerG Sensors are the most advanced security sensors we have ever seen. They boast a remarkable range of 2km in open air, and they are protected with full 128-bit AES encryption. This makes them extremely versatile and highly secure. Range should not be an issue when using PowerG Sensor. But if it ever is, DSC makes a PowerG Wireless Repeater to further expand on this ridiculous range.

So, long story short, a new buyer of an IQ Panel 2 can use PowerG Sensors and one other type of wireless sensors in a 300-400 MHz frequency. That is, unless they use an image sensor module, in which case they cannot use PowerG with the IQ Panel 2. This might seem very complicated (and it is!), but the point is, once Qolsys releases these upcoming daughtercards (very soon!), the IQ Panel 2 will be unparalleled in terms of sensor compatibility. Needless to say, we are looking forward to it.

And regardless of which sensor type you choose, learning the devices in is very easy on the IQ Panel 2. The system has an extremely intuitive programming process that is very easy for new users to learn. In fact, we'd even go as far to say that it is the easiest pairing process we have ever encountered for an alarm system. Let's put it like this - GC3 programming is easy, Lyric Controller programming is easier, and IQ Panel 2 programming is the easiest. This makes the IQ Panel 2 ideal for beginners.

Our final praise for the IQ Panel 2 System comes in the form of its design. It is incredibly sleek and modern, and its thin profile helps it stay out of the way when not in use. But when you are using the system, it is a beauty. The screen is large, bright and very colorful. The touchscreen controller is also very responsive, and it feels like a joy to use on a daily basis. Whether you're operating Z-Wave devices, programming the system or just arming and disarming, using the IQ Panel 2 will be breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to the IQ Panel 2 design. It is a more flimsy system than the likes of the GC3 and the Lyric Controller. Don't get us wrong, the IQ Panel 2 is built well enough for users who don't abuse their equipment. But it doesn't feel as sturdy as other top systems. Qolsys is a young company, and their build-quality might not be quite there yet. This can come into play when opening up the system for wiring purposes or for providing power to the system. Opening up the system is somewhat of a challenge, and closing it properly can be difficult at times. We hate to describe a system as "flimsy", but that is sometimes the case with the IQ Panel 2. As long as you're careful with it, then it should be fine. But don't expect a total tank like the GC3.

All things considered, there are many reasons to choose the IQ Panel 2. If you want a complete and total system right out of the box, it is perfect. If you are intrigued by the DSC PowerG Sensors, the IQ Panel 2 will be your best bet once the daughtercard is released. Its thin-profile and sleek, modern design make the IQ Panel 2 ideal when aesthetics are a factor. It's also the perfect match for users who want to use equipment from an exciting newcomer in the security industry like Qolsys. And the system is perfect for new DIY users because of its incredibly easy programming process.

But keep in mind, the system can be flimsy at times. If you can take good care of your equipment, then this won't be an issue. But if you want something sturdier, go with the GC3 or the Lyric Controller instead. Users should also choose the Lyric Controller over the IQ Panel 2 if they hope to use Apple HomeKit with their security system.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

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Alarm Grid is excited to announce that we are now selling a brand new security panel, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. This state-of-the-art system is an excellent option for any DIY user who is looking to get started with home security. The panel offers a sleek and modern look, and it comes fully loaded with everything a new user needs to get an alarm system up and running. It is also very easy to use, and its intuitive programming process makes setting up the system a very simple task.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

The IQ Panel 2 is the first-ever system offered on our site to come pre-included with a built-in cellular communicator. This means that an end user won't have to purchase a cellular communicator separately. Users can choose between an AT&T version and a Verizon version of the panel. This has nothing to do with the user's personal cellular service, and we recommend choosing whichever service works better in the area. Both versions provide lightning-fast LTE speeds, which will surely provide a tremendous user experience.

The IQ Panel 2 also comes WIFI ready, allowing the user to take full advantage of the exceptional speed and reliability of a dual-path communication setup. This will definitely come in handy if the system ever needs to communicate out to a central monitoring station. In order to use cellular communication, a user will need to obtain a monitoring plan at either the Gold or Platinum level.

We expect that users will thoroughly enjoy navigating the IQ Panel 2. The system boasts a beautiful, full-color, 7-inch touchscreen display with large and easy to identify buttons and menu options. Our early experience is that new sensors integrate with the system with ease, and the quick learning curve will be appreciated by new users. This truly makes it a great panel for both new users of alarm systems, as well experienced users looking for a new wireless system to get up and running.

The other exciting aspect of the IQ Panel 2 is the amount of features and capabilities that the system is ready to use right out of the box. The panel is Z-Wave ready, making it a fantastic choice for any user who is looking to get started with home automation. It can also sync with the Alarm.com interactive service. This allows users to arm or disarm their IQ Panel 2, check the status of security sensors, and even control Z-Wave devices from virtually anywhere in the world. This is all possible thanks to the Total Connect Mobile App, which is available for free on Android and iOS devices.

A unique aspect of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is that it is designed to interface with its own lineup of Qolsys security sensors. These wireless sensors communicate at a frequency of 319.5 MHz, making them compatible exclusively with Qolsys Systems. In addition to standard, uni-directional sensors, Qolsys also offers its S-Line of security products. The S-Line Sensors are fully protected by 128-bit AES encryption, making them impossible to be hacked or taken over by others. This is great for any user who wants to achieve a setup with the strongest level of protection possible. Up to 128 different wireless zones can be used with the system, providing the user with outstanding programming flexibility. Additionally, Qolsys also offers its encrypted Hardwired 16-S, making it easy for users who want to bring older hardwired sensors over to their new Qolsys IQ Panel 2.

The IQ Panel 2 is available for purchase right now on the Alarm Grid website. Now is a better time than ever to upgrade to a brand-new wireless alarm system. Order yours today!

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You have demanded it and we have listened to those demands!

We are proud to now offer the L5100PK-5811 wireless security system kit which includes three attractive 5811 wireless door and window sensors instead of the much bigger 5816 wireless sensors that are included in the original L5100PK security system kit. The L5100PK is our most popular security system kit that we offer. However, the biggest complaint that we hear is that people would rather use a nicer looking sensor than the bigger bulkier 5816 sensors that are included in that kit. In the past, people have had to contact us to be able to swap out the 5816s for different sensors. Since the 5811 wireless door and window sensor is our most popular sensor, we decided to make this special kit so that no one will have to make a special request to get the items they would like.

We hope that many people will be happy to see that this kit is now available but if you have any other special kits that you'd like to see offered, please let us know in the comments section below so that we can continue to add the products you need most!

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