Monitored Home Security Systems Posts

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Fans of the video game franchise Super Smash Bros. are accustomed to the seemingly never-ending stream of rumors and speculation from fans. One of the hottest rumors right now is that Crash Bandicoot may soon be making his series debut. To Alarm.com though, "Crash & Smash" is nothing new.

If you aren't familiar with Super Smash Bros. and/or the speculation that Crash might soon "join" Smash, then let us take a quick second to get you up to speed. Super Smash Bros. is a video game franchise produced by Nintendo. It takes characters from many different series and pits them up against each other in combat. The newest entry in the series is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU) for the Nintendo Switch. Although SSBU first became available back in late 2018, Nintendo has offered several downloadable updates since the game's initial release. The updates provide bonus content, such as new characters to play as, and new stages to battle on. More recently, there has been a widespread rumor that Crash Bandicoot, the main character of his own self-titled video game series, will be added as a playable SSBU character in a future update. Many gamers have been getting excited for the possibility of "Crash In Smash", though it is still only a rumor for now.

While seeing the beloved Crash Bandicoot CRASH the Super Smash Bros. party would be a total blast, another company has been offering their own take on "Crash & Smash" for many years now. This company is a lot closer to home for Alarm Grid, as they're actually one of our most favorite security notification and automation platforms. It's none other than Alarm.com!

As you may have guessed, the Alarm.com version of "Crash & Smash" has nothing to do with video games, Crash Bandicoot, or Super Smash Brothers. We're sorry to disappoint you! Regardless, Crash & Smash is still an important feature that provides an extra layer of protection for your monitored home or business. The fact also remains that Alarm.com has been offering Crash & Smash technology since long before any serious "Crash In Smash" rumors began circulating the internet. Consider Alarm.com to be the pioneers of Crash & Smash, while Nintendo is simply playing catchup!

Silliness and wordplay aside, we're going to take the time to talk about Crash & Smash for Alarm.com, including how it works and why it is important. We actually put out a post two years ago on that very subject. Please go check it out if you haven't already seen it. That aside, we're still happy to provide a refresher.

Crash & Smash refers to special technology that helps ensure that a user and/or the central station are properly alerted in the event that an intruder destroys an alarm system and/or its alarm monitoring communicator, during the entry delay or communicator delay period. Without Crash & Smash logic, this could leave the system in a state where it is unable to send signals and communicate the alarm. Not only is Crash & Smash protection crucial in worst-case scenarios with the most persistent and destructive intruders, it also provides end-users with the safety and peace of mind that they deserve.

To understand Crash & Smash for Alarm.com, you must first understand Entry Delay periods and communicator delay periods and how they work. In simplest terms, an Entry Delay refers to a countdown timer that goes into effect after an Entry/Exit Zone (i.e. a door used for coming and going, like a front door or garage door) is faulted, or activated, while the security system is armed. The Entry Delay timer gives the user an opportunity to prove to the system that they are an authorized individual, and not an intruder breaking in. A communicator delay period actually prevents the system from communicating an alarm signal for a designated period of time after the panel begins signaling that an alarm has occurred. Many systems have this type of delay enabled by default as a false alarm reduction feature.

The most common way for a user to prove to a security system that they are an authorized individual is to enter a predetermined secret code that has been set up with the system. An authorized user will know the code, and they will be able to quickly enter it and disarm the system before the Entry Delay period expires. Meanwhile, an intruder who doesn't know the code would be highly unlikely to guess it during this relatively short countdown timer. The probable outcome then is that the timer would expire before a valid code is provided. Once that happens, the system will go into alarm. Assuming that the system is monitored, and no communication delay has been programmed, alerts would be sent to the central station and/or the end-user directly, depending upon the user's monitoring plan.

Some of the newest and most advanced alarm panels available today allow users to verify authorization using other methods besides classic code entry. For example, the 2GIG Edge uses facial recognition technology, and the panel's front camera can scan and identify the user's unique "facial biometrics", thus making it possible to verify authorization without entering a code. In any case, the general principle of an Entry Delay remains the same. A user must verify their authorization with the system within a short period of time, or else an alarm will occur.

Crash & Smash protection addresses the possibility that the security system, or more specifically, the system's communicator, could be destroyed during the Entry Delay period. An uninformed intruder might think that if they destroy the alarm system before the Entry Delay period expires and the system goes into alarm that no alarm signal will be sent out, and the security system will fail. That is not the case with Crash & Smash Protection!

Something else happens when your Alarm.com Security System goes into an Entry Delay countdown. In addition to initiating a countdown timer, the system also transmits an "Entry Delay signal" to the Alarm.com servers. This happens the very instant that the system goes into its Entry Delay mode. Alarm.com then waits patiently for a few minutes, knowing that the system should logically follow-up with either a disarm signal from the user verifying their authorization, OR an alarm signal from the Entry Delay countdown and/or the communication delay expiring and authorization not being verified. If Alarm.com does not receive any follow-up signal from the system, then it concludes that the system must have been destroyed, and it triggers a Crash & Smash event. Alarm.com will then immediately notify the central station and/or the end-user directly, depending on their monitoring plan.

Virtually all Alarm.com Communicators manufactured in 2008 and later support Crash & Smash technology. If you don't have Alarm.com, but you instead have a Honeywell or Resideo Security System that uses AlarmNet with Total Connect 2.0, then don't worry! AlarmNet has a very similar feature called Advanced Protection Logic (APL) that operates in largely the same manner as Crash & Smash. One difference though is that AlarmNet cannot notify users directly regarding an APL event. Instead, APL can only be used to alert the central station. This means that APL is unavailable to any AlarmNet Total Connect 2.0 user with a self-monitoring plan. You must have central station monitoring service to use APL with Total Connect 2.0.

In conclusion, only Nintendo can put the Crash in Smash. However, they're super late to the party, as the Crash & Smash feature from Alarm.com has been keeping homes safe for years. While having Crash & Smash on your security system might not give you the same adrenaline rush as using Crash Bandicoot to beat-up fellow video game mascots, but let the record show - Alarm.com brought us Crash & Smash BEFORE it was cool!

Do you have any thoughts or questions about Crash & Smash from Alarm.com? Leave them in a comment down below. Or you can let us know what you think about the possibility of Crash Bandicoot appearing in Super Smash Bros. We're security system experts, not gaming experts, so we probably won't be able to help you out much with that. Still, we would love to hear what you have to say. Stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security system content coming soon!

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Qolsys has released the long-awaited Firmware Version 2.6.0. This will be the base version for the Qolsys IQ Hub and will allow users to configure the new IQ WIFI Mesh Router from the touchscreen of the IQ Panel 2. These are only a couple of the new features. This is truly an exciting update!

We've been talking about the Qolsys IQ Hub, well, forever, it seems. But honestly, it's been "coming soon" for over a year now. We are so glad that the wait is almost over. The Qolsys IQ Hub will truly be a DIY dream. Qolsys has taken a "see no green" approach to this panel, meaning there is no reason to open the panel fully, so you should never see the green printed circuit board (PCB). It won't even have screw terminals! The battery will be easily end-user replaceable with a minimum of "deconstruction" to the alarm panel itself. Some of the best features of the IQ Panel 2/2+ will be available in this new panel, such as Bluetooth disarming, and Alarm.com Camera Streaming at the panel.

A couple of things have been removed though. It will not have a built-in camera, nor will it offer 2-way voice capability. The IQ Hub is meant to be a slightly less expensive alternative to the IQ Panel 2 or 2 Plus, and to the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 that we should be seeing later this year. Initially, the IQ Hub will support PowerG Wireless Sensors, but later, there will be 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, and 433 MHz options available. Each IQ Hub is intended to support only one (1) RF frequency.

You might be saying, "I thought this was a blog about Firmware Version 2.6.0?" Well, it is. But the fact that we have Firmware Version 2.6.0 available now means that the full release of the Qolsys IQ Hub won't be far behind. The Qolsys IQ Hub is scheduled for a Q2 2021 release. Aside from all the new features and improvements for the IQ Panel 2 Plus itself, another exciting capability that is added in this firmware release is the ability to control and configure the new Qolsys IQ Router through the IQ Panel 2 or 2 Plus Touchscreen.

The Qolsys IQ Router is also slated for release in Q2 of 2021. This is a mesh router system that will support up to eight (8) nodes, and both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. What's great about this product is that it allows a user to create a WIFI subnet inside their regular network. Any devices that use WIFI can be attached to the network, not just security devices, and multiple nodes (up to 8) can be added to strengthen the mesh network. If you change internet providers or even just internet equipment, you simply unplug the IQ Router from the existing router, plug it into the new router, and all of the WIFI devices will remain connected to the WIFI sub-network without having to reconfigure any of them. These are two upcoming products associated with the release of Firmware Version 2.6.0 that we're really looking forward to.

Below you'll find some of the additional new features supported on Firmware Version 2.6.0:

New Features:

  • Support for DSC hardwire keypads (HS2LCD, HS2ICN) via the CORBUS on the PowerG Hardwire to Wireless Translator (PG9WLSHW8) with Firmware V 1.1. Also added new PGM system triggers for Police, Fire, Aux & CO emergency.
  • Support for DSC NEO Wire-Free Keypads HS2LCDWFx, HS2LCDWFxENG.
  • Support for new V4 PowerG Daughter Card.
  • Panel now supports remote Z-Wave Smart Start integration from Alarm.com.
  • This update includes the critical firmware2 fix that resolves an issue where certain panels would automatically reboot with previous firmware applied.

Fixes & Improvements

  • Added a setting to allow the panel to send 1 or 10 images taken by PowerG Image Sensor Cameras (PG9934P, PG9944, NEXT CAM, PG2, NEXT CAM K9-85 PG2, BW-IRC, BW-IPC, TOWER CAM PG2, BW-ODC) during an alarm event to Alarm.com. Previously, ten (10) images were stored locally at the panel, but only the first image was sent to Alarm.com.
  • Added a setting allowing alarm dealers to select a specific time for Communication Tests to be sent to the monitoring station. If no selection is made, the time will be randomized.
  • Added a setting for detection direction on PG9902 Outdoor Curtain PIR. Users can choose left to right, right to left, or both.
  • Added the ability to disable PowerG activation LED on devices that have one in order to conserve battery.
  • Added Partition support for EN Grade 2 Panels.
  • Improved 700-Series Z-Wave performance on UK & EU Panels.
  • Bluetooth Disarm now available for UK & EU Panels.
  • Added language support for Spanish (Spain), French (France), Finnish, and Polish.
  • Added support for European date format: DD.MM.YYYY.
  • Improved cellular strength matching between Panel and Alarm.com for Latin America.
  • Silent and Audible Panics now report separate CID codes to central station.
  • Duress Alarm and Silent Police Panic can now be dismissed from Alarm.com.
  • Improvements to PowerG Wireless keypad functionality (WS9LCDWFx).
  • Keyfob arming now follows the Auto-Bypass setting on the panel.
  • Duress codes from KP-140 & KP-141 now transmit to Alarm.com.
  • Corrected an issue where a PG9905 Temperature Sensor would send double alarms for the same event.
  • Fixed an issue related to virtual device integration on the panel, which includes Liftmaster Garage Door control from the panel UI, and Solar Integration from Alarm.com. See TSB 201026 for additional details.

Into each life, a little rain must fall. It's not all good news, although, this is more of an inconvenience than actual bad news. Because Firmware Version 2.6.0 also contains the important firmware2 fix, it must be downloaded and installed from the Qolsys Server. The server has some logic built-in that allows it to tell if the panel being updated requires the firmware2 fix, or not. For this reason, much like Firmware version 2.5.5, Qolsys is not making this firmware file available for download. This means that Alarm Grid can't host it on our site.

What this means for the end-user is that in order to get 2.6.0, your panel must have a WIFI connection. Once it does, you have two ways in which you can get the firmware. You can request it from your alarm dealer, and they can push the update to your panel from Alarm.com. This will be a free update. As long as your panel has WIFI 24/7, this is a simple and no-fuss way to get your panel updated. Just remember, if for some reason your panel loses WIFI, the update won't go through. Alarm.com will not allow the panel to be updated via a cellular-only connection. You can also follow the instructions below to request the update via Patch Tag.

If your panel happens to be in an area where there is no WIFI, maybe it's a hunting or fishing cabin, or a second home where WIFI is not readily available, then you may be able to use your cell phone as a mobile hotspot and fool the panel into thinking it's connected to WIFI. The amount of data in this file is about 250 MB according to Qolsys. Alternatively, you may be able to move the panel to a spot that has WIFI available just long enough to perform the upgrade. In a situation like this, you need to be in control of when the update begins, so in this case, you would want to use the "Patch Tag" method of updating. To do so, once your panel has a WIFI connection, do the following:

Follow these instructions after making sure your panel is on version 2.0.1 or higher. If the panel is on 2.5.0 or 2.5.1, the user must first update to 2.5.3 before running the update for 2.6.0:

  • Touch the small gray bar in the center at the top of the Home screen on the panel.
  • Touch “Settings”
  • Touch “Advanced Settings”
  • Enter a valid Installer or Dealer Code (defaults are 1111 and 2222 respectively)
  • Touch “Upgrade Software”.
  • Touch “Patch Tag” and enter: iqpanel2.6.0 then touch “OK”.
  • Important: If you need to install 2.5.3 prior to this update, the Patch Tag for that version is: iqpanel2.5.3. Run that update before running the Patch Tag for 2.6.0.
  • Touch “Upgrade Using Network”. If the panel is connected to WIFI, the system will begin downloading the update, it will be installed when the download completes. Once the update begins Do Not Touch The Screen! The update will take about five (5) minutes, and the panel will reboot as a part of the process. When the panel returns to the home screen and the Green LED at the right lights, the process has completed.

What do you think about the new Qolsys firmware, and the new products they have in the pipeline? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Is there a security topic you'd like to see us discuss? If so, leave a comment and we'll be happy to cover any security-related topics of interest. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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We are thrilled to announce that new Alarm Grid System Kits featuring the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS System are now available! We have twelve (12) kits in total, split into four (4) main categories, with options available for users in most situations. They're ready for your home or business!


If you aren't familiar with the PROA7PLUS, then we strongly recommend reviewing this introduction post and buying guide, as it will really help you get acquainted with the latest Resideo Security System. For this post, we mainly want to focus on the new kits, so that is what we will do.

Potential buyers should keep in mind that the PROA7PLUS does NOT support local end user programming at this time, though we have received word from Resideo that the feature is coming. And while we do not have a firm answer on Apple HomeKit compatibility, we suspect that HomeKit support will be coming later down the pipeline. Remember that the Honeywell Lyric and its system kits DO support local end user programming and Apple HomeKit, so that can be a really good alternative if you don't want to wait for Resideo to get their system ready.

With that out of the way, here are the kits! Like we said earlier, there are four (4) distinct categories, with three (3) system kit options in each category. Basically, in each category, you are choosing an IP-only option OR a dual-path IP & LTE cellular option with either AT&T OR Verizon. Find the category that makes the most sense for you, and then choose - IP-only, Dual-Path AT&T & IP, or Dual-Path Verizon & IP.

Remember that if you go dual-path, you will need a monitoring plan with cellular connectivity, such as an Alarm Grid Gold or Platinum Level Plan (Self or Full). We always recommend the use of cellular backup, as it is the only way to keep your system connected for monitoring service in the event of an internet outage. But whether you ultimately go with IP-only or dual-path is up to you. As a reference, the cellular communicator options for the PROA7PLUS are the PROLTE-A (AT&T LTE) and the PROLTE-V (Verizon LTE). And make sure that your monitoring plan includes access to Total Connect 2.0 if you want to control the PROA7PLUS System remotely from your phone or a web browser!

The first category we have is our 3-1 PROA7PLUS Kits. These include the PROA7PLUS System, three (3) PROSIXMINI2 Door and Window Sensors, one (1) PROSIXPIR Motion Sensor, and a Honeywell LT-Cable. These are great for smaller homes and apartments where only a few sensors are needed.

Next, we have our 10-1 PROA7PLUS Kits. These include the PROA7PLUS System, ten (10) PROSIXMINI2 Door and Window Sensors, one (1) PROSIXPIR Motion Sensor, and a Honeywell LT-Cable. These are great for larger homes and businesses where many sensors are needed.

Then, we have our Wired Upgrade PROA7PLUS Kits. These include the PROA7PLUS System, a PROSIXC2W Wired to Wireless Converter, and two (2) Honeywell LT-Cables. These are great if you are upgrading to the PROA7PLUS from a wired alarm system, and you want to keep using your existing hardwired sensors.

Last, we have our Wireless Upgrade PROA7PLUS Kits. These include the PROA7PLUS System, a PROTAKEOVER Legacy RF Receiver Module, an a Honeywell LT-Cable. These are great if you are upgrading to the PROA7PLUS from a wireless alarm system, and you want to keep using your existing compatible wireless sensors.

Like always, if you have any questions about compatibility, or if you are interested in signing-up for new monitoring service, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We are here to help you from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get started with your new PROA7PLUS Alarm Panel!

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Are you moving into a new home? Alarm Grid will do its part to help make your relocation as easy as possible! You can usually bring your existing security system and activate it for monitoring service at your new house. We can help you every step of the way, from planning to testing!

2gig gc3e at and t lte 3 1 kit wireless encrypted alarm system 3

Before you cancel your existing service, you should remember that Alarm Grid charges you month to month. When you pay your monthly bill, you are essentially paying in advanced for your next month of monitoring service. If you plan to move then you should try and cancel your service before your next billing cycle. That way, you won't get charged an extra month. We are happy to cancel your plan at the last minute if it means preventing an extra bill. But we can't refund you once you have already been charged, so make sure to plan accordingly. Keep in mind that there are no fees to cancel service, or to start new service. You will not pay anything extra to bring your service from your old location to your new one. To us, this is the same as us cancelling an old account and opening a new one.

When making move, you are often left to decide whether you should bring your existing system or start fresh with a new one. And really, it depends. If you have a wired system that would be difficult to bring, or if you have an older wireless system, then it might worth getting a new system. This could also be a good time to get a new LTE cellular communicator if you have been using an older 3G or CDMA module. On the other hand if you have one of the newer wireless systems that we often talk about, like the Honeywell Lyric, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, or the 2GIG GC3e, then you should totally bring it! You can also bring your wireless sensors and set them up around your new home.

Whether you brought your existing system or found a new one, you will follow the same general process for setting it up. If you don't want to mount the panel to the wall, then a desk mount might be a great option. And if you are using double-sided foam tape to mount your wireless sensors, then you will probably want to pick some up. Double-sided foam tape isn't too expensive, and you can find it in pretty much any major retail outlet or a hardware store. You can always drill some holes and hard-mount your panel and sensors if you prefer. It's completely up to you.

Once you have your system set up, you can go through the same easy activation process as one of our new customers. Remember that you or a designated individual will need to be on-site and able to work with the system at the time of activation. Check these tips for making your activation as easy as possible. You should visit our monitoring page or email us at support@alarmgrid.com to choose an activation slot. The activation is a great time to get an updated Certificate of Alarm for an insurance discount at your new home. Just make sure to have all of the applicable sensors powered on and enrolled with your system before the activation. And please feel free to email us beforehand if you have any questions. We have activation slots available from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you during your move

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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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At Alarm Grid, we provide top-quality monitoring services for users throughout the United States. Obtaining a monitored security system is important no matter where you live, as crime can occur anywhere at any time. But there are some areas where protecting your home is even more crucial.

According to the FBI, burglary is defined as the unlawful entry of a structure to commit felony or theft. A burglary does not require the use of force to gain entry. A study from UNC Charlotte found that homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized and that 83% of convicted burglars say that they check to see if a home has an alarm. Furthermore, 60% of convicted burglars say that they would change their minds about committing a burglary if they discover that a home has an alarm system installed.

*Icons made by Nikita Golubev & Freepik from www.flaticon.com

With the unpredictable nature of burglaries, we urge everyone to protect their homes and keep their families and possessions safe. The best way to do this is by installing monitored security systems. This is even more important if you live in an area where burglaries occur more frequently.

To find out the areas where burglaries are most common, we constructed a list of burglaries per capita. Our methodology was simple. We used FBI crime data from 2018 and took the number of burglaries in a city and divided it by the city's population. We then multiplied that by 10,000 to get burglaries per 10,000 residents. Only cities with a population of 10,000 or higher were included in our list.

With that out of the way, here are the Top 100 US Cities for Burglaries Per Capita:


City
Population
Burglaries
Burglaries Per 10,000
Rank
Bastrop, LA 10,270 342 333.009 1
El Dorado, AR 17,916 576 321.500 2
Hammond, LA 20,550 622 302.676 3
Fairfield, AL 10,625 284 267.294 4
Lake Charles, LA 77,852 1,845 236.988 5
Opelousas, LA 16,262 379 233.0587 6
Alexandria, LA 47,238 996 210.847 7
Hot Springs, AR 37,006 740 199.968 8
Vallejo, CA 122,974 2,456 199.717 9
Anniston, AL 21,592 413 191.275 10
Crowley, LA 12,779 234 183.1129 11
Morgan City, LA 11,066 192 173.504 12
Natchitoches, LA 17,981 308 171.292 13
Henderson, NC 14,780 248 167.794 14
Deming, NM 14,094 232 164.609 15
Santa Fe, NM 84,176 1,380 163.942 16
Brookhaven, MI 12,125 195 160.825 17
Gallup, NM 21,980 351 159.691 18
Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO 10,597 169 159.479 19
Pine Bluff, AR 42,195 665 157.601 20
Monroe, LA 48,291 749 155.101 21
Kinston, NC 20,341 313 153.876 22
West Monroe, LA 12,594 193 153.248 23
Helena-West Helena, AR 10,477 160 152.715 24
Starkville, MI 25,559 390 152.588 25
Warr Acres, OK 10,372 158 152.333 26
Fremont, OH 16,125 244 151.318 27
East Point, GA 35,486 531 149.636 28
Bogalusa, LA 11,730 175 149.190 29
Jonesboro, AR 77,134 1,150 149.091 30
Kennett, MO 10,326 153 148.170 31
Laurel, MI 18,486 271 146.597 32
West Memphis, AR 24,668 357 144.722 33
Barstow, CA 24,095 348 144.428 34
Prichard, AL 21,615 309 142.956 35
Camden, AR 10,880 155 142.463 36
California City, CA 14,051 196 139.492 37
Charleston, WV 47,470 660 139.035 38
Cordele, CT 10,669 147 137.782 39
Canton, OH 70,605 970 137.384 40
Athens, TN 13,627 187 137.228 41
Greenwood, SC 23,265 314 134.967 42
Tukwila, WA 20,288 273 134.562 43
Biloxi, MI 46,148 619 134.134 44
Sweetwater, TX 10,530 139 132.004 45
Dyersburg, TN 16,382 216 131.852 46
Memphis, TN 652,226 8,494 130.231 47
Shawnee, OK 31,422 409 130.164 48
Alice, TX 18,925 246 129.987 49
Lima, OH 36,948 479 129.642 50
Warren, OH 39,280 508 129.328 51
Youngstown, OH 64,282 825 128.341 52
Ponca City, OK 24,066 305 126.735 53
Cambridge, MD 12,364 156 126.173 54
Muskogee, OK 37,659 474 125.866 55
Clearlake, CA 15,037 188 125.025 56
Jackson, MI 166,024 2,073 124.861 57
Vinita Park, MO 11,003 136 123.603 58
Poplar Bluff, MO 17,074 210 122.994 59
Centralia, IL 12,372 151 122.050 60
Myrtle Beach, SC 33,687 410 121.709 61
Danville, IL 31,203 379 121.463 62
Birmingham, AL 210,564 2,555 121.341 63
Dayton, OH 140,094 1,697 121.133 64
Cleveland, OH 384,666 4,658 121.092 65
Cahokia, IL 14,004 169 120.680 66
Muskegon Heights, MI 10,720 129 120.336 67
El Segundo, CA 16,881 202 119.661 68
Baton Rouge, LA 224,790 2,686 119.489 69
Tulsa, OK 403,147 4,800 119.063 70
Springfield, OH 59,016 699 118.442 71
Broussard, LA 12,672 150 118.371 72
Cumberland, MD 19,555 231 118.128 73
Elizabeth City, NC 17,629 208 117.987 74
Beverly Hills, CA 34,557 405 117.198 75
Springfield, MO 168,537 1,975 117.185 76
Talladega, AL 15,341 179 116.681 77
Gadsden, AL 35,204 409 116.180 78
Marion, AR 12,426 143 115.081 79
North Myrtle Beach, SC 16,688 192 115.053 80
Calera, AL 14,334 164 114.413 81
Albuquerque, NM 560,235 6,378 113.845 82
Panama City, FL 37,318 423 113.350 83
Mount Vernon, IL 14,914 168 112.646 84
Miami, OK 13,162 147 111.685 85
McAlester, OK 17,999 201 111.673 86
Branson, MO 11,589 129 111.312 87
Thomasville, GA 18,507 206 111.309 88
El Mirage, AZ 35,733 397 111.102 89
Detroit, MI 671,275 7,440 110.834 90
Kalamazoo, MI 76,020 842 110.760 91
Portales, NM 11,768 130 110.469 92
Albemarle, NC 15,991 176 110.062 93
Lenoir, NC 17,904 197 110.031 94
Lawton, OK 93,140 1,023 109.835 95
Pittsfield, MA 42,298 464 109.698 96
Pueblo, CO 111,756 1,224 109.524 97
Lake City, FL 12,182 133 109.177 98
Blythe, CA 19,517 213 109.136 99
Okmulgee, OK 11,919 130 109.070 100

If you want to learn more about keeping your home and your family safe, we invite you to reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: This post was done in conjunction with our Top 100 Least Burgled Cities in America list. You can download and use a unmodified version of our "100 most and least burgled cities in America" infographic as well.

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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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If you have a security system, then you will want to make sure that it can detect intruders coming into your home. But predicting how an intruder will enter your home can be easier said than done. You need to be prepared for all situations. Here are the Top 5 ways intruders enter homes.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Through the Front Door

It really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that many intruders simply walk right through a home's main point of entry - the front door. We've all forgotten to leave a door locked at some point. Many intruders will simply try the front door to see if it's unlocked. This is often associated with burglaries that aren't pre-meditated. Keep in mind that many burglars don't plan ahead of time. Instead, they just see a house that looks attractive, and walk in through the front door.

Arguably the most important sensors you should have enrolled with any security system are door contacts, and for good reason. These are the devices that will alert your system in case someone ever enters your home through the most obvious way. Door sensors are extremely easy to enroll, and there are so many different options available. You will have no trouble finding a door sensor that meets your needs and requirements.

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Breaking a Window

Not every intruder will enter your home in a "polite" manner. There are many burglars who won't hesitate to use brute force and smash in a glass window. And this can be more difficult to stop, as a locked window won't really stop an intruder from smashing. This isn't as common as walking in through an open door, but it certainly does happen, and you really should be prepared.

There are two sensor types that come to mind for detecting broken windows. The most obvious is a glass break sensor. These devices will actively listen for the sound of glass being broken, and they work great with nearly all types of windows. You might also consider installing motion sensors in rooms with windows. Then an intruder will be detected as soon as they enter through the window. It is always a good idea to back up a glass break sensors with a good motion sensor. There are instances where a glass break sensor cannot detect glass breaking. An example of this is when a bullet is fired through glass.

Honeywell sixgb wireless glass break detector

Through the Garage Door

Forgetting to close your garage door on an attached garage can provide easy access to your home. It can be easy to have that daily task slip your mind. There are many times when we get home tired after a long day, and just forget to close the garage door. Or maybe you forgot to close it as you were leaving for work. It happens to all of us. But a potential burglar walking by will see this as an opportunity!

Just like the other points of entry for your home, garage doors can be monitored. There are special garage door sensors available for this exact purpose. You might also consider getting a Z-Wave garage door controller for the system. This way, you can use Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com to close your garage door from pretty much anywhere. This is great if you ever forget to close it!

Honeywell 5822t wireless garage tilt sensor

Climbing a Tree or Fence

Okay, you might think this is a bit silly, but we're serious here. If you have a multi-story house, don't think that an intruder will hesitate to use your home's surrounding to gain entry to a higher floor. This could include climbing a tree or a large fence and then entering through an unlocked window. Like we said, it's best to be prepared for any and all situations.

There are a few things you might do to combat this. The most obvious is to always make sure all your windows are locked, even the ones that cannot be easily accessed. But you might also want one or more outdoor motion sensors to detect any movement that may occur around your home. Outdoor security cameras are also a great idea!

Interlogix tx 2810 01 4 internals wireless outdoor pir motion de

Skylights

If your home has skylight windows, don't rule them out as a point of entry for an intruder! These high up windows look great in a home, but they can be easy pickings for a burglar who can reach these points. This isn't something every homeowner will need to worry about, but do keep this possibility in mind if your house has this decorative feature.

Many of the previously mentioned devices are good for monitoring skylights. You can put motion sensors in a room with skylights for the system to detect if anyone comes in from high above. Glass skylights are also perfect for use with glass break detectors. And installing some security cameras in the room never hurts!

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Alarm Grid is here to help you provide top-quality protection for your home. We have all the gear you need to make sure that your system can detect intruders from any point of entry. If you need help choosing equipment, or if you want to learn more about our monitoring services, please reach out to us. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you set up the perfect security system!

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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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When thinking about home security, many people mistakenly believe that it is always an expensive endeavor. The truth is that the cost can range from extremely affordable to exceedingly pricey. Today, we're here to tell you that home security does not have to cost you an arm and a leg.


Setting up a home security system is a worthwhile investment for any homeowner or renter. Protecting your assets is extremely important, and you can even save money on your homeowner's insurance. And if you decide to move, you can either bring the system with you, or leave it at the property to increase your home's resell value.

How much you spend on home security truly depends upon your needs. While you can certainly spend a large sum of money monitoring your home, the reality is that you don't have to break the bank. At Alarm Grid, we offer monitoring plans for all budgets. Our self-monitoring plans start at just $10 per month, while our central station monitoring plans start at just $15 per month.

Keep in mind that you will needs a central station monitoring plan to receive a certificate of alarm (CoA) and save money on your homeowner's insurance premium. These savings can vary significantly, so make sure to check with your insurance company to find out how much you can save. Many homeowners find that monitoring an alarm system actually pays for itself due to the insurance savings!

Honeywell sixminict wireless door slash window contact for lyric

The system you purchase also makes a big difference in your monthly monitoring costs. Many panels require you to upgrade to a cellular plan for monitoring service. Cellular monitoring has a higher monthly cost than IP-only monitoring, so make sure to keep this in mind. Although we always recommend using cellular for its superb reliability, we also understand that some users are comfortable with IP monitoring service.

If you do decide to go with IP-only monitoring, just make sure that the internet in your home is reliable. A downed internet connection will leave your home unmonitored and vulnerable. You will also want to get a panel that can be used with IP-only service. Nearly all of the Honeywell Panels we sell are suitable for this type of monitoring.

We recommend the Resideo Lyric Controller for IP-only monitoring. This system has a built-in WIFI card, so you won't need to get any add-ons to get the panel up and running.You can also easily add a cellular communicator if you decide to upgrade your service later on. We also sell some Lyric System Kits that include everything you need to get started with alarm monitoring service. There is a 3-1 kit for smaller homes, and a 10-1 kit for larger homes.

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Also remember that you do not need to buy a system from Alarm Grid to receive our monitoring service. If you can find a system elsewhere for a lower price, then go for it. We do recommend contacting us before making the purchase to make sure it's a system we can monitor. Our security system planners will be glad to help you design your system from start to finish.

What else can you do to keep costs low? Well we definitely recommend going with a DIY, no-contract monitoring company like Alarm Grid. DIY means do-it-yourself. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by installing your security system yourself. While installing your own system might seem like a challenge, it really doesn't have to be. In fact, the Lyric Kits we mentioned before can technically be installed using nothing more than a screwdriver!

The other important thing is to make sure the security company you choose is no-contract. You can be left on the hook for huge amounts of money if you get stuck in a contract. And if there's ever an emergency and you need to suddenly cancel your service, you will be very glad that you chose a no-contract company. At Alarm Grid, you can easily discontinue your monitoring service at the end of your monthly payment cycle and then resume service when you are ready.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Also remember that Alarm Grid has no added fees. This means that you never pay extra to start or stop your service. What you see is exactly what you get. We do this to make our monitoring service as accessible to many people as possible. If you are intereste in learning more about what we offer, we encourage you to check out our monitoring page for more information.

You are also more than welcome to talk with us before you make your decision. We would love to speak with you if you have any questions or concerns. The best way to get a hold of us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm EST. We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope to make you a valued member of the Alarm Grid family!

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