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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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Alarm Grid is now offering a new "alternate" version of the Resideo ProSeries 7" All-In-One Panel. In addition to the existing Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, Alarm Grid customers now have the option of the new Resideo PROA7PLUSC Security System. Both options are the same, except for one aspect.


Before you get super excited and full of anticipation, we're sorry to spoil the fun. The change really isn't anything too revolutionary. While the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS reads "Honeywell Home" across the front of the panel, the Resideo PROA7PLUSC instead reads "Resideo" across its front. Yes, other than that small aesthetic change, these are the same alarm panels, with the same features, the same compatibility, and the same performance.

Why did Resideo bother to do this? From what we can tell, it's a marketing decision. They wanted the brand recognition of the "Honeywell Home" namesake, but since businesses may not want to use a product with "Home" in the title, the "Resideo" version is available as well. Indeed, the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS is officially the "residential" version, while the Resideo PROA7PLUSC is officially the "commercial" version. We know, it's a bit redundant, but ask yourself this - are you really surprised?

You are free to throw caution to the wind of course. If you want to use the "commercial" Resideo PROA7PLUSC with the corporate sticker of "Resideo" boldly adorning the alarm panel that you use in your residence, feel free. Or conversely, if you're a business owner wanting to bring the comfort of "home" into the office, then you're welcome to use the "residential" Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS with the "Honeywell Home" moniker. It really won't make much of a difference, but you can go with whichever option makes you happier.

You may actually recall that Resideo did something similar with the new Tuxedo Keypad for their hardwired Honeywell VISTA Security Systems. In that realm, you can choose between the Honeywell Home TUXEDOW with "Honeywell Home" emblazoned across the front panel, or you can opt for the Resideo TUXEDOWC with "Resideo" taking the spotlight. Again, that is the only difference between the two keypad models. Now Resideo is doing it again with their wireless panels. Will it be the last time they do this? Our bets are on "No", but time will tell.

Anyway, whether you choose the PROA7PLUS or PROA7PLUSC, you are getting a fantastic wireless alarm panel with some outstanding features. We have already covered the system in extensive detail before, so please check out our introduction and buying guide for the system that we put out late last year.

We must also report that local programming is still yet to be released, so you will need your alarm monitoring company to perform virtually all tasks remotely when it comes to setting up the system. Our understanding is that the systems (yes, both of them) will soon be made to support local programming, hopefully in the coming months. We also have no word on when, or even if, Apple HomeKit functionality will become a reality. For now, if you want a panel that does support end-user programming AND offers a robust integration with Apple HomeKit, you might instead consider the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, which in many ways is still the superior option.

If you have any questions about the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, the Resideo PROA7PLUSC, the Honeywell Lyric, or if you just want to learn about alarm monitoring in general, contact our team via email at support@alarmgrid.com. We are here to check your email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. 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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Just a month after their last update was released, Alarm.com is back again, this time with mobile app version 4.13 for both Android and iOS. The new version is expected to be made available for free download in the coming days from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.


Alarm.com Mobile App Version 4.13 includes two new features. The first is Trouble Condition Help. This provides end users with assistance in addressing system trouble conditions, such as a low battery or a loss of RF supervision. This new feature has also been made available for use in the Alarm.com website.

The other feature is called System Search, and it allows end users with ten (10) or more Alarm.com Security Systems on a single account to search for specific system names from a system selector found on the side menu of the app. This will likely prove to be very useful and convenient for those using many systems with the Alarm.com platform.

Additionally, 4.13 should also include general stability fixes and performance improvements. It is advised that all Alarm.com users update the app as soon a possible once it is made available. Android users will be able to download Version 4.13 for free from the Google Play Store, while iOS users will find their free download in the Apple App Store.

Alarm Grid customers with questions about the update should email us at support@alarmgri.com. That email is also a great way to contact us if you are looking to start monitoring service for use with Alarm.com. Keep in mind that our business hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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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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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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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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