Internet Alarm Communicators Posts

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We have already talked about the phase out of AT&T's 2G cellular network, but if you haven't read our previous article about the new GSMX4G and GSMV4G cellular alarm communicators, then you may not know that all existing AlarmNet cellular alarm communicators will become obsolete by the end of 2016.

Here at Alarm Grid, we urge everyone looking for a new cellular alarm communicator to only invest in 4G capable communicators. AT&T has formally announced that they will have completely dropped support of the 2G cellular network by the end of 2016. As cellular data use increases, AT&T has to find ways to add new throughput to their most advanced networks. One easy way to expand that throughput is to cannibalize their older and slower 2G network. As it is extremely rare to find a cellular phone in use today that still uses the 2G network, AT&T has no problems sacrificing the older 2G network to make the newer 4G network bigger and faster. Unfortunately, the alarm industry will be affected by the discontinuation of the 2G network as nearly all cellular alarm communicators in existence today use the 2G network. Since the difference in speed between the 2G and the 3G or 4G network wasn't needed when transmitting alarm signals, cellular alarm manufacturers never bothered to upgrade their communicators to support the faster networks. Now however, all alarm companies must act and act quickly. While the end of 2016 is the formal end of the 2G cellular network, certain areas of the country will lost 2G support well before 2016.

For most people, upgrading to the newer cellular network will be as simple as swapping their existing communicator to a newer communicator that has 3G and 4G support. Unfortunately, for everyone that invested in Honeywell's VISTA-21iP alarm control panel, the change to 4G cellular alarm communications won't be so easy. The VISTA-21iP is a great security system because it has a built-in internet alarm communicator.

While internet alarm monitoring is fast and inexpensive, it is not as reliable or secure as cellular alarm communications. Therefore, the VISTA-GSM was available as a snap-on module to the VISTA-21iP to provide an integrated back up cellular communication path. For some reason, Honeywell's engineers did not design the new VISTA-GSM4G to be backwards compatible with existing VISTA-21iP security systems. Therefore, all people that have dual path alarm monitoring using a VISTA-21iP and the VISTA-GSM cellular communicator will have to replace both their VISTA-GSM communicator AND their VISTA-21iP alarm control panel if they want a system that is supported by the 3G/4G cellular network.


We are fully aware of the burden this will place on people looking to upgrade to the future of cellular communications and we will do everything we can to help those people that are left having to replace their system and their communicator. If you have a VISTA-21iP and you are wondering if it is compatible with the VISTA-GSM4G cellular add on, you will have to look at your VISTA-21iP circuit board. If there is a sticker that says "SUPPORTS VISTA-GSM/4G" then it is compatible. Without that sticker, your system will not accept a new VISTA-GSM4G. We are not sure of the exact date that Honeywell began manufacturing the new VISTA-21iP panels, and the model and revision number are the same, but we do know that it was sometime in November. Chances are, unless you got your VISTA-21iP from a reputable source in the past month or so, your system will not support the 4G cellular communicator.

Of course, here at Alarm Grid, we only ship brand new VISTA-21iP panels that have the sticker and do support the VISTA-GSM4G. If you have questions about upgrading your VISTA-21iP, please call us today.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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While wireless security systems like the L5100PK LYNX Touch are easier to install then traditional wired security systems, there are some applications where the LYNX Series control panels will not be the right fit. When you have an older existing wired security system and you want to upgrade it to take advantage of today's  technology, the VISTA-21iP-6160KT is a great choice. 

The VISTA-21iP-6160KT includes a VISTA-21iP alarm control panel and a 6160 alphanumeric alarm keypad. You can use the VISTA-21iP control panel to replace any existing wired security system and the 6160 will provide a keypad that you can use to program and control the VISTA-21iP. If you need additional alarm keypads because your existing wired system has more than one keypad, you can add any of the Honeywell wired alarm keypads. Every Honeywell security system needs at least one alphanumeric alarm keypad to access the more advanced programming menus. The 6160 that is included with the VISTA-21iP-6160KT will provide you with ability to program the system but you can use regular fixed English alarm keypads like the 6150 for places in your home that you'd want regular system control. 

The VISTA-21iP is different than most wired alarm control panels, because it has a built-in AlarmNet internet alarm monitoring communicator that you can use to get central station monitoring. The VISTA-21iP is also compatible with AlarmNet's Total Connect interactive service. By signing up for an alarm monitoring plan that includes Total Connect, you will be able to remotely arm and disarm your VISTA-21iP from any computer or iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ or Blackberry® device. You can also setup the VISTA-21iP to send you instant emails and/or text message notifications when different security system events occur. 

You can save over $100 by designing your new wired security system around the VISTA-21iP-6160KT instead of ordering the VISTA-21iP alarm control panel and the 6160 alarm keypads separately. Call us at 888-818-7728 to speak with a security expert who can advise you on which security products to add to your VISTA-21iP-6160KT so that you can get the perfect security system for your property.

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The Honeywell L5100PK-WIFI-4G is the perfect choice for anyone that wants the most secure and reliable alarm monitoring communications available. In the past, Honeywell did not have an option for dual path alarm monitoring using the wireless all-in-one LYNX Series alarm control panels. There was no dual path alarm communicator compatible with the LYNX Series alarm control panels and you could not install both an internet alarm communicator and cellular alarm communicator inside a single LYNX system. Therefore, you had to choose between the faster, less expensive internet communications and the more reliable cellular communications. This was a disadvantage of the easier to install LYNX Series wireless alarm control panels and forced people over to the VISTA Series alarm control panels which were compatible with the discontinued 7845-iGSM and the iGSMV dual path alarm communicators.  

Now however, with the Honeywell L5100 LYNX Touch system, you can use the L5100-WIFI internet communicator in conjunction with the GSMVLP5-4G cellular communicator for a true dual path alarm monitoring option using a LYNX Series wireless alarm control panel. If the internet connection ever goes down (due to a power outage or service interruption), the system will switch over to the GSMVLP5-4G and your alarm signals will go out over the AT&T cellular network. 

The L5100PK-WIFI-4G includes the same (3) 5816 wireless door and window contacts, 5800PIR-RES wireless motion detector and 5834-4 wireless key fob that are included in the L5100PK LYNX Touch security system kit, but it also comes with the L5100-WIFI and GSMVLP5-4G AlarmNet communicators so you can get the peace of mind that only dual path alarm monitoring can provide. 

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In conjunction with our AlarmNet partnership, we are proud to announce that we are now accepting new monitoring clients! 

We are offering three unique alarm monitoring plans which you can customize with add-on features to build the perfect monitoring plan for you and your family. Starting at only $10 per month, you will be amazed to find that you can get the same services other alarm monitoring companies are offering but at a fraction of their price. The best part of all is that here at Alarm Grid, we never make you sign an alarm monitoring contract! Enjoy the cost savings and enhanced security features that come with our alarm monitoring plans while enjoying the freedom of knowing that you are not locked into a contract. We are so confident in our central station and our customer service that we know, once you sign up with us, you will never have any reason to shop your alarm monitoring service again. 

Choose from our Self Monitoring, Basic Monitoring and Monitoring Plus plans.

The Self Monitoring plan includes an interactive service that allows you to remotely arm and disarm your security system from any web enabled computer or even from an app on your iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ or Blackberry® device. The Self Monitoring plan also includes instant emails and text message notifications that are sent direct to you from your security system so that you will know right away when an alarm occurs.

The Basic Monitoring plan includes traditional central station alarm monitoring services and is backed by our award winning network of UL-listed central stations. Our three central station facilities are spread out across the country but are also virtually connected at all times so that we can spread out our alarm traffic to ensure that no operator will ever be too busy to give your alarm signal the immediate response it requires. 

The Monitoring Plus plan is our best offering as it includes central station service and interactive control of your security system. With the Monitoring Plus plan, you can rest easy knowing that when an alarm occurs, the proper authorities will be notified. In addition, you will be able to control your security system no matter where you are. Starting at only $20 per month, the Monitoring Plus plan is the best alarm monitoring value in the industry!

As the Basic Monitoring and Monitoring Plus plans include UL-listed central station monitoring, you get the added bonus of a homeowner's insurance discount as insurance companies across the country recognize Alarm Grid as a provider of the highest quality alarm monitoring service available.

Once you choose the plan that works for you, you are able to include extra features like secure cellular communications, remote home automation control and even live video access. In fact, the Video Monitoring plan can even be ordered as a standalone service for someone that may not have a security system. Here at Alarm Grid, we give you the flexibility to design your ideal alarm monitoring plan. Don't forget, with Alarm Grid, you can always try out new features without the risk of signing up for a contract.

Give us a call at 888-818-7728 to speak with a security expert that can get your security system activated today!

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