Wireless Alarm Control Panels Posts

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Alarm Grid is proud to announce that the next generation Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS Security System is available for purchase on our site. Today, we're going to explore this new system and find out whether or not its worth buying. Let's take a deep dive into the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS!


We will cut right to the chase. The Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS from Resideo has been available on our site for a couple of months now. However, we have been hesitant to promote it due to one glaring factor. The system lacks support for local end user programming. This means that the system can only be programmed and configured by your monitoring provider. You will need to contact Alarm Grid, or whomever you are using for monitoring service, whenever you want to make changes to the system programming settings. You won't be able to enter programming locally and conveniently make adjustments to the majority of system settings and configurations. This goes against our primary principle as a DIY monitoring provider, and it is such a big concern that we have been reluctant to announce it.

Now, the news isn't all bad. Other than its lack of local programming, the PROA7PLUS is a very nice alarm panel. it's sleek, crisp, and it looks great mounted on a wall. The system turns heads with its gorgeous 7-inch full-color display screen that offers easy and convenient touchscreen control. And it wouldn't be complete without the panel's powerful features, which we will certainly be discussing later in this post. Plus, we have received a promise from Resideo that local programming support for the PROA7PLUS will be made available in a future update, which is expected to be made available sometime in the first half of 2021. For now, you are certainly welcome to purchase the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS from us, and we are happy to monitor the system and help you with setting it up and configuring it to your liking. But for the time being, it is not one of our top security system picks. If you want to learn more about some systems that we currently recommend purchasing instead of the PROA7PLUS, then please check out our 2020 Holiday Buying Guide for Alarm Panels, which includes the Honeywell Lyric, also from Resideo.

With that out of the way, we can begin focusing on the positive aspects of the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. And there really is a lot to discuss in that regard. The system supports up to 127 zones out of the box, and it can support up to 250 with the proper add-on, which we'll cover later. There are also 32 key fob slots. The main sensors you'll be using with the PROA7PLUS are the Honeywell Home PROSIX Series Sensors. These state-of-the art sensors are built exclusively for use with the PROA7PLUS. They utilize top-of-the-line 128-bit AES encryption, and they boast a wireless range of more then 300 nominal feet. You can also use the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors, which were originally built for use with the Lyric, with the PROA7PLUS. But be warned, once you pair an original SiX Series Sensor with a PROA7PLUS, it will receive an update and then you will never be able to use it with a Lyric System again.

For this buying guide, we'll primarily be focusing on the PROSIX Sensors built exclusively for the PROA7PLUS. Let's check out the PROSIX Series Sensors.

Model Notes
Honeywell Home PROSIXCO
Carbon monoxide sensor. Emits 85 dB Temporal 4 sounder upon activation. Includes One-Go-All-Go functionality.
Honeywell Home PROSIXCOMBO
Combination smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide sensor. Includes built-in 85 dB sounder that emits Temporal 3 sound for smoke and heat, and Temporal 4 sound for CO. Includes One-Go-All-Go functionality.
Honeywell Home PROSIXCT
Door and window contact sensor. Magnet spacing gap of 0.75". Includes terminal block for single NC wired contact sensor. Has battery life of approximately five (5) years. Offers wireless range of 300+ feet. Measures 3.13"L x 1.61"W x 1.0"D.

Honeywell Home PROSIXFLOOD
Flood sensor. Sends alert to system within 15 seconds of detecting liquid. Comes with detachable Honeywell FP280 Probe that measures 15 feet in length.
Honeywell Home PROSIXFOB
Four-button key fob. Allows for dual-button inputs, for a maximum total of eight (8) inputs. Includes key ring for easy carry.
Honeywell Home PROSIXGB
Glass break detection sensor. Includes 25-foot detection range, and four (4) sensitivity settings. Honeywell FG701 is recommended glass break simulator.
Honeywell Home PROSIXMED
Single-button medical alert. Activation requires pressing and holding single button for three (3) full seconds. Only uses one (1) zone on system. Water-resistant. Includes accessory clip for device to be worn as wristband, lanyard, or belt clip.
Honeywell Home PROSIXMINI
Mini door and window sensor. Magnet spacing gap of 1.15" on wood, and 0.5" on metal. Has battery life of approximately five (5) years. Offers wireless range of 200+ feet. Measures. 2.44"L x 1.25"W x 0.45"D.
Honeywell Home PROSIXMINI2
Mini door and window sensor. Magnet spacing gap of 1.15". Has battery life of approximately seven (7) years. Offers wireless range of 500+ feet. Measures 2.9"L x 1.15"W x 0.75"D.
Honeywell Home PROSIXPANIC
Dual-button panic. Activation requires pressing and holding BOTH buttons for three (3) full seconds. Only uses one (1) zone on system. Water resistant. Includes accessory clip for device to be worn as wristband, lanyard, or belt clip.
Honeywell Home PROSIXPIR
PIR motion detection sensor. Has maximum detection area of 40 by 56 feet with 90° viewing angle. Supports pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 80 lbs.
Honeywell Home PROSIXSHOCK
Three-zone, all-in-one shock, contact, and transmitter sensor. Each function (service) can be turned ON or OFF as needed. Shock coverage area of about 10 to 12 square feet (5 to 6 foot radius). Four (4) sensitivity options for shock detection. Contact magnet spacing gap is 0.75" on wood surface. Wireless transmitter is for NC contact sensors only. Measures 3.13"L x 1.61"W x 1"D.
Honeywell Home PROSIXSMOKEV
Smoke and heat detector. Photoelectric smoke detection. Heat sensor activates at Fixed Temperature of 135°F, or Rate-of-Rise of 15°F in single minute when temperature is 104°F or higher. Emits 85 dB Temporal 3 sounder upon activation. Includes One-Go-All-Go functionality.
Honeywell Home PROSIXTEMP
Temperature sensor. Uses two (2) zones - one for low-temperature detection (COLD), one for high-temperature detection (HOT). Low-temperature detection activates when temperature falls below 45°F for ten (10) minutes. High-temperature detection activates when temperature rises above 95°F. Faulted zone restores when temperature is inside normal threshold for at least ten (10) minutes. Accurate within +/- 3°F.
Honeywell Home PROINDMV
Full-motion video sensor. Combines a PIR motion detection sensor with a full-motion video camera, and begins recording video when activated while the system is Armed Away and an alarm is triggered. Video is sent from Total Connect 2.0 to the end user via text and/or email. User cannot request a video clip or a live look-in from TC2. Provides a coverage area of 39 by 54 feet with a 90° viewing angle. Offers pet immunity for small animals under 80 lbs.

But the PROSIX Sensors and classic SiX Series Sensors are not your only sensor options for the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. If you add a Honeywell Home PROTAKEOVER Module to the system, then your PROA7PLUS will be able to interface with wireless sensors from one (1) of five (5) selectable legacy sensor frequencies. The PROTAKEOVER Module has a dial that allows you to choose which one (1) legacy frequency you want to use. Your options include Honeywell 5800 Sensors, 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors, legacy DSC 433 MHz Sensors, legacy Qolsys & Interlogix/GE 319.5 MHz Sensors, and Bosch 433 MHz Sensors. In addition, this module is what allows the PROA7PLUS to support 250 zones. Of these maximum 250 zones, 127 are for use with PROSIX and classic SiX Series Sensors, and the other 123 are for the legacy sensors you can add after installing the PROTAKEOVER Module. One limitation of the PROTAKEOVER Module is that it should NOT be used to interface life-safety sensors like smoke detectors and CO detectors with the PROA7PLUS System.


There is one other important note about using the Honeywell Home PROTAKEOVER Module with the PROA7PLUS. Once you install the PROTAKEOVER inside the system, you will NOT be able to use the current Honeywell Home PROA7DM Desk Mount with the system. The PROA7DM is an accessory that allows you to conveniently rest the system upright on a table or desk, instead of hard-mounting it to a wall. In other words, you must choose between the PROTAKEOVER Module and the PROA7DM Desk Mount. Fortunately, you will still be able to mount the PROA7PLUS System on the wall like normal when using the PROTAKEOVER Module. The reason for this is that the PROTAKEOVER module comes with a replacement wall mounting plate which contains the antenna used for the legacy wireless devices. The PROA7DM also comes with a replacement mounting plate, but it does. not have the required antenna built-in. Resideo says that a new version of the PROA7DM Desk Mount will eventually be released that will allow you to use it with the PROTAKEOVER Module. Unfortunately, we do not have an estimated release date for the updated PROA7DM at this time.

One other option for adding sensors to the Honeywell PROA7PLUS Alarm System is to use a wired to wireless converter. This type of device will allow you to pair hardwired sensors with the system that otherwise wouldn't be able to interface. The way that this works is by having the wired sensors wire-in directly with the converter unit. The converter then sends a wireless signal to the alarm panel on behalf of the wired sensors. As far as the PROA7PLUS is concerned, it will just see the wired sensors as wireless devices and allow them to pair with wireless system zones. Resideo offers a special wired to wireless converter exclusively for the PROA7PLUS called the Honeywell Home PROSIXC2W. The PROSIXC2W transmits at the same encrypted wireless frequency as the PROSIX Series Sensors, making it extremely safe and secure. And it can communicate with the PROA7PLUS System from more than 300 nominal feet away. Overall, the PROSIXC2W is a fantastic option if you have existing wired sensors on an older system and you are looking to upgrade to a new PROA7PLUS Panel.


Now that we have discussed all the sensor options for the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, we now want to discuss automation options for the system. The Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS has a built-in Z-Wave Plus controller, just like what is inside the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the 2GIG GC3e. This is an upgrade of the standard classic Z-Wave controller that is found inside the Honeywell Lyric. By using certified Z-Wave Plus devices with the PROA7PLUS, you will be able to achieve an extended wireless range and battery life. We strongly recommend checking out our 2020 Holiday Buying Guide for Automation to learn more about the Z-Wave Plus devices we recommend pairing with the PROA7PLUS. Additionally, it is expected that the PROA7PLUS will eventually be able to support Apple HomeKit, just like the Honeywell Lyric. Unfortunately, we do not have an ETA for when this will be made available. For now, we recommend using Z-Wave Plus devices for automation with the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS Security Panel.

Please note that up to 78 total Z-Wave devices can be paired with the PROA7PLUS, which includes 60 lighting modules, 6 garage door controllers, 6 door locks, and 6 thermostats. Any Z-Wave device used with the system will also be pushed over to Total Connect 2.0 for remote control, assuming that the PROA7PLUS System is monitored.


Our next topic involves communicator options for the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. The system comes with a built-in WIFI card for IP connectivity. This means that you can get it monitored and set up with AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0 right out of the box, with no additional add-ons. This is great for users who want low-cost IP-only alarm monitoring service from an Alarm Grid Bronze Plan or an Alarm Grid Silver Plan. But you should keep in mind that by doing this, your monitoring service and your safety will be dependent upon your internet connection. If you experience an internet outage, then your PROA7PLUS Alarm System will have no way of communicating signals to you or to a monitoring station.

That is why we strongly recommend upgrading to cellular communication. By installing a compatible cellular communicator inside the system. This will require upgrading to a more expensive cellular alarm monitoring plan, such as an Alarm Grid Gold Plan or an Alarm Grid Platinum Plan. But the advantage to doing this is that your system will stay connected with AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0 even during an internet outage. You may want to review this post that thoroughly outlines our monitoring plans for more information. Remember, our Gold and Platinum Plans include BOTH cellular AND internet, meaning that you can set up your PROA7PLUS with what is commonly referred to as dual-path connectivity.

We currently have two (2) cellular communicator add-on options for the PROA7PLUS, and they are outlined below.

Model
Notes
Honeywell Home PROLTE-A
AT&T LTE AlarmNet Communicator for Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS.
Honeywell Home PROLTE-V
Verizon LTE AlarmNet Communicator for Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS.

The last thing we want to discuss are some miscellaneous accessories that you can use with the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. These are just various replacement parts and add-ons that can improve your user experience. Some of the most notable products listed here are secondary keypads that you can use to control your security system from a second on-site location. This section also includes wireless external sirens that you can use to spread out your system's alarm sound across a larger area to ensure that everyone is alerted in the event of an emergency. These products don't really fit in with any other category, so refer to the notes to learn more about these devices. Without further ado, let's take a look.

Model
Notes
Honeywell Home PROSIXLCDKP Alphanumeric keypad controller for PROA7PLUS. Offers two lines of 16 characters each, for a total of 32 characters displayed on the LCD screen. Supports chime, but not voice. Cannot be used for automation commands. Includes transformer and backup battery. Uses PROSIX technology to communicate with the panel.
Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH Portable touchscreen keypad controller for PROA7PLUS. Mimics the screen of the PROA7PLUS Alarm Panel. Suitable for both security and automation functions. Pairs with system across WIFI connection. Includes transformer and backup battery.
Honeywell Home PROSIXSIREN Wireless 85 dB siren. Emits Temporal 3 Sound for Fire, and Temporal 4 Sound for CO. LED light indicates current system status. Indoor use only.
Honeywell Home PROSIXSIRENO Wireless 85 dB siren. Emits Temporal 3 Sound for Fire, and Temporal 4 Sound for CO. LED light indicates current system status. For indoor or outdoor use.
Honeywell Home PROA7DM Desk mount for PROA7PLUS. Eliminates need for wall-mounting and drilling holes. Keeps panel upright at 30° or 60° angle. Comes with 8-foot power cord for panel. Currently cannot be used w/ PROTAKEOVER Module.
Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCHDM Desk mount and charging dock for Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH Touchscreen Keypad. Keeps keypad upright so that it can be conveniently displayed. The keypad power supply can connect to a port on the unit so that the keypad charges while docked.
Honeywell HOME PROWLTOUCHWM Wall mount and charging dock for Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH Touchscreen Keypad. Allows keypad to be prominently displayed on the wall. Mounting hardware comes included. The keypad power supply can connect to a port on the unit so that the keypad charges while docked.
Honeywell Home PROA7BARXUS
Prepared power cable for PROA7PLUS. Connects panel to transformer so that power can be provided. System does not come with cabling for the transformer, so purchasing this is strongly advised!
Honeywell Home PROA7XFMRUS Replacement transformer for PROA7PLUS. Rated at 9VDC, 2.5A. This is just a replacement transformer in case the original one is lost or broken.
Honeywell Home PROLTE-ANT Indoor/Outdoor cellular antenna used with PROLTE-A or PROLTE-V. Boosts cellular signals for users in areas where an adequate cellular signal cannot be otherwise obtained.
Honeywell Home PROWIFIZW
Replacement WIFI card and Z-Wave Plus module for PROA7PLUS. This is just a replacement module in case something goes wrong with the original one that comes pre-installed inside the panel.

Like always, if you have any questions about the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS or any of its accessories or add-ons, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a great email to use if you are interested in starting new monitoring service or if you simply want more information. Our technicians and security system planners are here to respond to incoming emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Posted By

Alarm Grid is proud to announce that the next generation Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS Security System is available for purchase on our site. Today, we're going to explore this new system and find out whether or not its worth buying. Let's take a deep dive into the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS!


We will cut right to the chase. The Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS from Resideo has been available on our site for a couple of months now. However, we have been hesitant to promote it due to one glaring factor. The system lacks support for local end user programming. This means that the system can only be programmed and configured by your monitoring provider. You will need to contact Alarm Grid, or whomever you are using for monitoring service, whenever you want to make changes to the system programming settings. You won't be able to enter programming locally and conveniently make adjustments to the majority of system settings and configurations. This goes against our primary principle as a DIY monitoring provider, and it is such a big concern that we have been reluctant to announce it.

Now, the news isn't all bad. Other than its lack of local programming, the PROA7PLUS is a very nice alarm panel. it's sleek, crisp, and it looks great mounted on a wall. The system turns heads with its gorgeous 7-inch full-color display screen that offers easy and convenient touchscreen control. And it wouldn't be complete without the panel's powerful features, which we will certainly be discussing later in this post. Plus, we have received a promise from Resideo that local programming support for the PROA7PLUS will be made available in a future update, which is expected to be made available sometime in the first half of 2021. For now, you are certainly welcome to purchase the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS from us, and we are happy to monitor the system and help you with setting it up and configuring it to your liking. But for the time being, it is not one of our top security system picks. If you want to learn more about some systems that we currently recommend purchasing instead of the PROA7PLUS, then please check out our 2020 Holiday Buying Guide for Alarm Panels, which includes the Honeywell Lyric, also from Resideo.

With that out of the way, we can begin focusing on the positive aspects of the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. And there really is a lot to discuss in that regard. The system supports up to 127 zones out of the box, and it can support up to 250 with the proper add-on, which we'll cover later. There are also 32 key fob slots. The main sensors you'll be using with the PROA7PLUS are the Honeywell Home PROSIX Series Sensors. These state-of-the art sensors are built exclusively for use with the PROA7PLUS. They utilize top-of-the-line 128-bit AES encryption, and they boast a wireless range of more then 300 nominal feet. You can also use the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors, which were originally built for use with the Lyric, with the PROA7PLUS. But be warned, once you pair an original SiX Series Sensor with a PROA7PLUS, it will receive an update and then you will never be able to use it with a Lyric System again.

For this buying guide, we'll primarily be focusing on the PROSIX Sensors built exclusively for the PROA7PLUS. Let's check out the PROSIX Series Sensors.

Model Notes
Honeywell Home PROSIXCO
Carbon monoxide sensor. Emits 85 dB Temporal 4 sounder upon activation. Includes One-Go-All-Go functionality.
Honeywell Home PROSIXCOMBO
Combination smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide sensor. Includes built-in 85 dB sounder that emits Temporal 3 sound for smoke and heat, and Temporal 4 sound for CO. Includes One-Go-All-Go functionality.
Honeywell Home PROSIXCT
Door and window contact sensor. Magnet spacing gap of 0.75". Includes terminal block for single NC wired contact sensor. Has battery life of approximately five (5) years. Offers wireless range of 300+ feet. Measures 3.13"L x 1.61"W x 1.0"D.

Honeywell Home PROSIXFLOOD
Flood sensor. Sends alert to system within 15 seconds of detecting liquid. Comes with detachable Honeywell FP280 Probe that measures 15 feet in length.
Honeywell Home PROSIXFOB
Four-button key fob. Allows for dual-button inputs, for a maximum total of eight (8) inputs. Includes key ring for easy carry.
Honeywell Home PROSIXGB
Glass break detection sensor. Includes 25-foot detection range, and four (4) sensitivity settings. Honeywell FG701 is recommended glass break simulator.
Honeywell Home PROSIXMED
Single-button medical alert. Activation requires pressing and holding single button for three (3) full seconds. Only uses one (1) zone on system. Water-resistant. Includes accessory clip for device to be worn as wristband, lanyard, or belt clip.
Honeywell Home PROSIXMINI
Mini door and window sensor. Magnet spacing gap of 1.15" on wood, and 0.5" on metal. Has battery life of approximately five (5) years. Offers wireless range of 200+ feet. Measures. 2.44"L x 1.25"W x 0.45"D.
Honeywell Home PROSIXMINI2
Mini door and window sensor. Magnet spacing gap of 1.15". Has battery life of approximately seven (7) years. Offers wireless range of 500+ feet. Measures 2.9"L x 1.15"W x 0.75"D.
Honeywell Home PROSIXPANIC
Dual-button panic. Activation requires pressing and holding BOTH buttons for three (3) full seconds. Only uses one (1) zone on system. Water resistant. Includes accessory clip for device to be worn as wristband, lanyard, or belt clip.
Honeywell Home PROSIXPIR
PIR motion detection sensor. Has maximum detection area of 40 by 56 feet with 90° viewing angle. Supports pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 80 lbs.
Honeywell Home PROSIXSHOCK
Three-zone, all-in-one shock, contact, and transmitter sensor. Each function (service) can be turned ON or OFF as needed. Shock coverage area of about 10 to 12 square feet (5 to 6 foot radius). Four (4) sensitivity options for shock detection. Contact magnet spacing gap is 0.75" on wood surface. Wireless transmitter is for NC contact sensors only. Measures 3.13"L x 1.61"W x 1"D.
Honeywell Home PROSIXSMOKEV
Smoke and heat detector. Photoelectric smoke detection. Heat sensor activates at Fixed Temperature of 135°F, or Rate-of-Rise of 15°F in single minute when temperature is 104°F or higher. Emits 85 dB Temporal 3 sounder upon activation. Includes One-Go-All-Go functionality.
Honeywell Home PROSIXTEMP
Temperature sensor. Uses two (2) zones - one for low-temperature detection (COLD), one for high-temperature detection (HOT). Low-temperature detection activates when temperature falls below 45°F for ten (10) minutes. High-temperature detection activates when temperature rises above 95°F. Faulted zone restores when temperature is inside normal threshold for at least ten (10) minutes. Accurate within +/- 3°F.
Honeywell Home PROINDMV
Full-motion video sensor. Combines a PIR motion detection sensor with a full-motion video camera, and begins recording video when activated while the system is Armed Away and an alarm is triggered. Video is sent from Total Connect 2.0 to the end user via text and/or email. User cannot request a video clip or a live look-in from TC2. Provides a coverage area of 39 by 54 feet with a 90° viewing angle. Offers pet immunity for small animals under 80 lbs.

But the PROSIX Sensors and classic SiX Series Sensors are not your only sensor options for the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. If you add a Honeywell Home PROTAKEOVER Module to the system, then your PROA7PLUS will be able to interface with wireless sensors from one (1) of five (5) selectable legacy sensor frequencies. The PROTAKEOVER Module has a dial that allows you to choose which one (1) legacy frequency you want to use. Your options include Honeywell 5800 Sensors, 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors, legacy DSC 433 MHz Sensors, legacy Qolsys & Interlogix/GE 319.5 MHz Sensors, and Bosch 433 MHz Sensors. In addition, this module is what allows the PROA7PLUS to support 250 zones. Of these maximum 250 zones, 127 are for use with PROSIX and classic SiX Series Sensors, and the other 123 are for the legacy sensors you can add after installing the PROTAKEOVER Module. One limitation of the PROTAKEOVER Module is that it should NOT be used to interface life-safety sensors like smoke detectors and CO detectors with the PROA7PLUS System.


There is one other important note about using the Honeywell Home PROTAKEOVER Module with the PROA7PLUS. Once you install the PROTAKEOVER inside the system, you will NOT be able to use the current Honeywell Home PROA7DM Desk Mount with the system. The PROA7DM is an accessory that allows you to conveniently rest the system upright on a table or desk, instead of hard-mounting it to a wall. In other words, you must choose between the PROTAKEOVER Module and the PROA7DM Desk Mount. Fortunately, you will still be able to mount the PROA7PLUS System on the wall like normal when using the PROTAKEOVER Module. The reason for this is that the PROTAKEOVER module comes with a replacement wall mounting plate which contains the antenna used for the legacy wireless devices. The PROA7DM also comes with a replacement mounting plate, but it does. not have the required antenna built-in. Resideo says that a new version of the PROA7DM Desk Mount will eventually be released that will allow you to use it with the PROTAKEOVER Module. Unfortunately, we do not have an estimated release date for the updated PROA7DM at this time.

One other option for adding sensors to the Honeywell PROA7PLUS Alarm System is to use a wired to wireless converter. This type of device will allow you to pair hardwired sensors with the system that otherwise wouldn't be able to interface. The way that this works is by having the wired sensors wire-in directly with the converter unit. The converter then sends a wireless signal to the alarm panel on behalf of the wired sensors. As far as the PROA7PLUS is concerned, it will just see the wired sensors as wireless devices and allow them to pair with wireless system zones. Resideo offers a special wired to wireless converter exclusively for the PROA7PLUS called the Honeywell Home PROSIXC2W. The PROSIXC2W transmits at the same encrypted wireless frequency as the PROSIX Series Sensors, making it extremely safe and secure. And it can communicate with the PROA7PLUS System from more than 300 nominal feet away. Overall, the PROSIXC2W is a fantastic option if you have existing wired sensors on an older system and you are looking to upgrade to a new PROA7PLUS Panel.


Now that we have discussed all the sensor options for the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, we now want to discuss automation options for the system. The Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS has a built-in Z-Wave Plus controller, just like what is inside the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the 2GIG GC3e. This is an upgrade of the standard classic Z-Wave controller that is found inside the Honeywell Lyric. By using certified Z-Wave Plus devices with the PROA7PLUS, you will be able to achieve an extended wireless range and battery life. We strongly recommend checking out our 2020 Holiday Buying Guide for Automation to learn more about the Z-Wave Plus devices we recommend pairing with the PROA7PLUS. Additionally, it is expected that the PROA7PLUS will eventually be able to support Apple HomeKit, just like the Honeywell Lyric. Unfortunately, we do not have an ETA for when this will be made available. For now, we recommend using Z-Wave Plus devices for automation with the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS Security Panel.

Please note that up to 78 total Z-Wave devices can be paired with the PROA7PLUS, which includes 60 lighting modules, 6 garage door controllers, 6 door locks, and 6 thermostats. Any Z-Wave device used with the system will also be pushed over to Total Connect 2.0 for remote control, assuming that the PROA7PLUS System is monitored.


Our next topic involves communicator options for the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. The system comes with a built-in WIFI card for IP connectivity. This means that you can get it monitored and set up with AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0 right out of the box, with no additional add-ons. This is great for users who want low-cost IP-only alarm monitoring service from an Alarm Grid Bronze Plan or an Alarm Grid Silver Plan. But you should keep in mind that by doing this, your monitoring service and your safety will be dependent upon your internet connection. If you experience an internet outage, then your PROA7PLUS Alarm System will have no way of communicating signals to you or to a monitoring station.

That is why we strongly recommend upgrading to cellular communication. By installing a compatible cellular communicator inside the system. This will require upgrading to a more expensive cellular alarm monitoring plan, such as an Alarm Grid Gold Plan or an Alarm Grid Platinum Plan. But the advantage to doing this is that your system will stay connected with AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0 even during an internet outage. You may want to review this post that thoroughly outlines our monitoring plans for more information. Remember, our Gold and Platinum Plans include BOTH cellular AND internet, meaning that you can set up your PROA7PLUS with what is commonly referred to as dual-path connectivity.

We currently have two (2) cellular communicator add-on options for the PROA7PLUS, and they are outlined below.

Model
Notes
Honeywell Home PROLTE-A
AT&T LTE AlarmNet Communicator for Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS.
Honeywell Home PROLTE-V
Verizon LTE AlarmNet Communicator for Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS.

The last thing we want to discuss are some miscellaneous accessories that you can use with the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS. These are just various replacement parts and add-ons that can improve your user experience. Some of the most notable products listed here are secondary keypads that you can use to control your security system from a second on-site location. This section also includes wireless external sirens that you can use to spread out your system's alarm sound across a larger area to ensure that everyone is alerted in the event of an emergency. These products don't really fit in with any other category, so refer to the notes to learn more about these devices. Without further ado, let's take a look.

Model
Notes
Honeywell Home PROSIXLCDKP Alphanumeric keypad controller for PROA7PLUS. Offers two lines of 16 characters each, for a total of 32 characters displayed on the LCD screen. Supports chime, but not voice. Cannot be used for automation commands. Includes transformer and backup battery. Uses PROSIX technology to communicate with the panel.
Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH Portable touchscreen keypad controller for PROA7PLUS. Mimics the screen of the PROA7PLUS Alarm Panel. Suitable for both security and automation functions. Pairs with system across WIFI connection. Includes transformer and backup battery.
Honeywell Home PROSIXSIREN Wireless 85 dB siren. Emits Temporal 3 Sound for Fire, and Temporal 4 Sound for CO. LED light indicates current system status. Indoor use only.
Honeywell Home PROSIXSIRENO Wireless 85 dB siren. Emits Temporal 3 Sound for Fire, and Temporal 4 Sound for CO. LED light indicates current system status. For indoor or outdoor use.
Honeywell Home PROA7DM Desk mount for PROA7PLUS. Eliminates need for wall-mounting and drilling holes. Keeps panel upright at 30° or 60° angle. Comes with 8-foot power cord for panel. Currently cannot be used w/ PROTAKEOVER Module.
Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCHDM Desk mount and charging dock for Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH Touchscreen Keypad. Keeps keypad upright so that it can be conveniently displayed. The keypad power supply can connect to a port on the unit so that the keypad charges while docked.
Honeywell HOME PROWLTOUCHWM Wall mount and charging dock for Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH Touchscreen Keypad. Allows keypad to be prominently displayed on the wall. Mounting hardware comes included. The keypad power supply can connect to a port on the unit so that the keypad charges while docked.
Honeywell Home PROA7BARXUS
Prepared power cable for PROA7PLUS. Connects panel to transformer so that power can be provided. System does not come with cabling for the transformer, so purchasing this is strongly advised!
Honeywell Home PROA7XFMRUS Replacement transformer for PROA7PLUS. Rated at 9VDC, 2.5A. This is just a replacement transformer in case the original one is lost or broken.
Honeywell Home PROLTE-ANT Indoor/Outdoor cellular antenna used with PROLTE-A or PROLTE-V. Boosts cellular signals for users in areas where an adequate cellular signal cannot be otherwise obtained.
Honeywell Home PROWIFIZW
Replacement WIFI card and Z-Wave Plus module for PROA7PLUS. This is just a replacement module in case something goes wrong with the original one that comes pre-installed inside the panel.

Like always, if you have any questions about the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS or any of its accessories or add-ons, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a great email to use if you are interested in starting new monitoring service or if you simply want more information. Our technicians and security system planners are here to respond to incoming emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has been hearing reports from 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e users with trouble conditions that they cannot clear. According to reports, these unclearable errors only occur on these systems when Smart Area Partitioning is enabled. While inconvenient, they shouldn't cause much issue.




When a "trouble" condition appears on a 2GIG GC3 or 2GIG GC3e with partitions enabled, the "Smart Areas" menu button on the panel will appear yellow. Normally, you fix the trouble condition itself first. Then, you acknowledge the trouble by clicking on Smart Areas, entering your Master Code, and clicking the "speech bubble" next to the partition associated with the trouble. Then the trouble should clear, and the Smart Areas button should return to its usual blue state, indicating that everything is normal. More information on the trouble-clearing process can be found in this FAQ.

In the case of our customers who have reported this issue, they received a valid trouble condition of "Console Broadband Network Failure" or "Cellphone Communication Failure" appearing on various Smart Areas of their GC3 and GC3e systems. Because this was a system trouble, it showed up on multiple partitions. The trouble condition was then resolved successfully, as evidenced by the ability to send successful test signals via all communication paths to Alarm.com. However, the trouble message became stuck in multiple partitions and could not be cleared by any means.

Alarm Grid was able to replicate a similar issue through a relatively unique method. We found that if you enrolled a sensor with a GC3 or GC3e, put the sensor into a trouble condition (e.g. loss of RF supervision, cover tamper, etc.), and then deleted that sensor from the system without ever correcting and clearing the trouble condition, then the same situation would occur. Whichever partition the sensor was assigned to would be stuck with a permanent trouble condition that could never be cleared, regardless of which troubleshooting method was attempted. Of course, this would rarely happen in practice, as a responsible user would fix a trouble condition before intentionally deleting a sensor. But nevertheless, we were able to replicate a similar problem in practice.

Various methods have been attempted to fix this issue, but nothing has worked at removing these seemingly unclearable troubles. Some of the methods attempted have included disabling and then reenabling partitions, powering down the panel for a hard reboot, performing a reboot through System Manager, upgrading the firmware version, and factory defaulting the system. Users have reported that once they acknowledge the error that the panel stops making any audible sounds associated with the trouble condition, but still, the Smart Areas button remains a disturbing yellow color.

Not every GC3 and GC3e with partitions enabled appears to be affected. From what we can tell, only a small number of these systems are displaying such an error. Either that, or most users have chosen simply to ignore the issue, and not report it to us. Most of our monitored customers with a GC3 or GC3e have not reported this issue. But the ones who have reported the issue have left us at a loss for a solution. We apologize to these users, as we know how frustrating this can be. We don't often encounter issues we can't solve with a little bit of thinking, but this is one of those rare cases where we are just as confused as you are.

While this issue is annoying and bothersome, it doesn't appear to have any major impact on the performance of the system. The GC3 or GC3e System will still report to Alarm.com as intended, and it can still be relied upon for security and life-safety purposes. The one pressing factor though is that this issue can make it difficult for a user to determine when in fact there is a legitimate trouble condition on their system. Most GC3 and GC3e users who use partitions rely on the Smart Areas button to tell them if something is wrong. If it's blue, then everything is okay. But if it's yellow, then something needs their attention. This is a pretty simple check, and when it's not functioning properly, it's understandably frustrating.

Unfortunately, we do not have a solid fix for this problem at the current time. But luckily, if a new trouble condition occurs, the system will provide a trouble beep locally. It will continue to beep until a user acknowledges the new trouble condition. In addition, if you have trouble notifications enabled through Alarm.com, then you will also receive a new trouble notification via text, email, and/or push notification should any new issues arise. Nortek and 2GIG have been apprised of this error, and advise they are working on a fix.

Our reports indicate that this issue is still present in both the latest GC3 Firmware and the latest GC3e Firmware. The highest firmware currently available for these panels is Version 3.2.5, and even systems on this latest firmware have been shown to be affected. We are hopeful that 2GIG and Nortek will release a fix for these unclearable trouble conditions in Firmware Version 3.2.6. But unfortunately, we have not yet received any indication that such a fix will be implemented. We also have no release date for Version 3.2.6 at this time. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience.

If you are affected by a trouble condition that you cannot clear, make sure to try the conventional methods of clearing it first. Correct the cause of the trouble, and then acknowledge the trouble by following the the steps in the FAQ linked earlier in this post. If you still can't clear the trouble, then please, report it to our support team by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Your data is valuable to us in reporting the problem to 2GIG and Nortek so that a fix can be implemented. Our support team is available to check and respond to emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. As always we look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has been hearing reports from 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e users with trouble conditions that they cannot clear. According to reports, these unclearable errors only occur on these systems when Smart Area Partitioning is enabled. While inconvenient, they shouldn't cause much issue.




When a "trouble" condition appears on a 2GIG GC3 or 2GIG GC3e with partitions enabled, the "Smart Areas" menu button on the panel will appear yellow. Normally, you fix the trouble condition itself first. Then, you acknowledge the trouble by clicking on Smart Areas, entering your Master Code, and clicking the "speech bubble" next to the partition associated with the trouble. Then the trouble should clear, and the Smart Areas button should return to its usual blue state, indicating that everything is normal. More information on the trouble-clearing process can be found in this FAQ.

In the case of our customers who have reported this issue, they received a valid trouble condition of "Console Broadband Network Failure" or "Cellphone Communication Failure" appearing on various Smart Areas of their GC3 and GC3e systems. Because this was a system trouble, it showed up on multiple partitions. The trouble condition was then resolved successfully, as evidenced by the ability to send successful test signals via all communication paths to Alarm.com. However, the trouble message became stuck in multiple partitions and could not be cleared by any means.

Alarm Grid was able to replicate a similar issue through a relatively unique method. We found that if you enrolled a sensor with a GC3 or GC3e, put the sensor into a trouble condition (e.g. loss of RF supervision, cover tamper, etc.), and then deleted that sensor from the system without ever correcting and clearing the trouble condition, then the same situation would occur. Whichever partition the sensor was assigned to would be stuck with a permanent trouble condition that could never be cleared, regardless of which troubleshooting method was attempted. Of course, this would rarely happen in practice, as a responsible user would fix a trouble condition before intentionally deleting a sensor. But nevertheless, we were able to replicate a similar problem in practice.

Various methods have been attempted to fix this issue, but nothing has worked at removing these seemingly unclearable troubles. Some of the methods attempted have included disabling and then reenabling partitions, powering down the panel for a hard reboot, performing a reboot through System Manager, upgrading the firmware version, and factory defaulting the system. Users have reported that once they acknowledge the error that the panel stops making any audible sounds associated with the trouble condition, but still, the Smart Areas button remains a disturbing yellow color.

Not every GC3 and GC3e with partitions enabled appears to be affected. From what we can tell, only a small number of these systems are displaying such an error. Either that, or most users have chosen simply to ignore the issue, and not report it to us. Most of our monitored customers with a GC3 or GC3e have not reported this issue. But the ones who have reported the issue have left us at a loss for a solution. We apologize to these users, as we know how frustrating this can be. We don't often encounter issues we can't solve with a little bit of thinking, but this is one of those rare cases where we are just as confused as you are.

While this issue is annoying and bothersome, it doesn't appear to have any major impact on the performance of the system. The GC3 or GC3e System will still report to Alarm.com as intended, and it can still be relied upon for security and life-safety purposes. The one pressing factor though is that this issue can make it difficult for a user to determine when in fact there is a legitimate trouble condition on their system. Most GC3 and GC3e users who use partitions rely on the Smart Areas button to tell them if something is wrong. If it's blue, then everything is okay. But if it's yellow, then something needs their attention. This is a pretty simple check, and when it's not functioning properly, it's understandably frustrating.

Unfortunately, we do not have a solid fix for this problem at the current time. But luckily, if a new trouble condition occurs, the system will provide a trouble beep locally. It will continue to beep until a user acknowledges the new trouble condition. In addition, if you have trouble notifications enabled through Alarm.com, then you will also receive a new trouble notification via text, email, and/or push notification should any new issues arise. Nortek and 2GIG have been apprised of this error, and advise they are working on a fix.

Our reports indicate that this issue is still present in both the latest GC3 Firmware and the latest GC3e Firmware. The highest firmware currently available for these panels is Version 3.2.5, and even systems on this latest firmware have been shown to be affected. We are hopeful that 2GIG and Nortek will release a fix for these unclearable trouble conditions in Firmware Version 3.2.6. But unfortunately, we have not yet received any indication that such a fix will be implemented. We also have no release date for Version 3.2.6 at this time. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience.

If you are affected by a trouble condition that you cannot clear, make sure to try the conventional methods of clearing it first. Correct the cause of the trouble, and then acknowledge the trouble by following the the steps in the FAQ linked earlier in this post. If you still can't clear the trouble, then please, report it to our support team by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Your data is valuable to us in reporting the problem to 2GIG and Nortek so that a fix can be implemented. Our support team is available to check and respond to emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. As always we look forward to hearing from you!

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If you're planning to give the gift of security this holiday season, then we're here to help! Today, we're looking at the best alarm panels available for the 2020 holiday season. Finding the right panel is the first step to building the perfect security system for your home or office.


The panel serves as the central hub for an alarm system. All sensors programmed with the system will communicate with the panel. The panel is also the piece of equipment that communicates with the outside world, namely a central station and/or a monitoring platform. To do this, the panel must have a communicator that is installed and activated. Some alarm panels come with a communicator already built-in, while others will require you to purchase one separately.

Today, most alarm panels are wireless, all-in-one devices, where the panel itself serves as the keypad for controlling the system. There are still hardwired panels available, but these are less common due to the sheer convenience and ease of wireless all-in-one panels. For the purpose of this buying guide, we will only be focusing on wireless panels, as most new users today opt to go the wireless route. We especially recommend wireless panels for anyone looking to save money by installing their own system without hiring a professional installer. It's easier than you might think, as many installations are done using a screwdriver as the only tool!

The panel you choose will affect virtually every other aspect of your security system. Your panel selection determines sensor compatibility, available communication paths, the user interface (UI) for the system, what accessories you can use with the system, and even the interactive platform you use when controlling your system through your phone. In a way, the panel itself IS the system. It's such an important decision, so you really want to get it right.

Today, we're going to be presenting you with our three (3) most favorite alarm systems available for the 2020 holiday season. What's great about all these systems is that they are all extremely DIY-friendly, and they can be taken to virtually any monitoring company, whether that is Alarm Grid, or someone else entirely. With all of that out of the way, let's get started!

Honeywell Lyric Controller

The Honeywell Lyric Alarm System still represents our favorite alarm panel from Resideo, and it is the most popular system for use with Alarm Grid monitoring services. It is the oldest panel on this list, and it doesn't support some of the more high-tech features offered by the other panels presented here. But when it comes down to choosing an all-around great system for alarm monitoring, the Lyric is hard to beat.

There are three (3) things that the Lyric can do that are impossible for the other panels on this list. If you choose the Lyric, it's usually because of one or more of these aspects. The Lyric is the only panel here that can be set up with an IP-only communication path, without cellular. While cellular is always recommended, some users opt to go internet only for alarm monitoring. The advantage of doing this is that the user can obtain monitoring service at a lower monthly rate. A Lyric System user can sign-up for an Alarm Grid Bronze Plan with central station service for just $15 per month. But a user with a system that requires cellular monitoring will need to pay a minimum of $25 per month for the Alarm Grid Cellular Alarm Monitoring Plan. That $10 monthly saving equates to $120 annually. The user should understand that an internet outage will take their system offline and leave their home or business vulnerable in that situation. But if a user is confident enough in their internet service, then they can certainly take that chance. Of course, the Lyric can be upgraded to use cellular at any time, but if you are trying to save money by setting up IP-only monitoring, then the Lyric offers you that option.

Second, the Lyric is one of the very few alarm systems that is able to interface with Apple HomeKit. This is the premier automation platform used with iOS devices, and many users have existing HomeKit networks that they build around. If you already have HomeKit devices in your home, then it is natural that you would want a security system that can also integrate with that network. It's important to note that the HomeKit integration isn't perfect, as Apple HomeKit can only provide specific alerts for a limited selection of system activity. But the integration makes it possible to perform some basic commands through HomeKit. The integration also allows you to set up automations so that your HomeKit devices activate automatically with activity on your security system. Overall, it's a great feature, and we often recommend the Lyric over other systems just for this feature.

Third, the Lyric is the only system on this list that uses Total Connect 2.0 as its interactive monitoring platform. This is the service that you will use to control your Lyric System remotely through a web browser or an app on your smartphone. The platform allows you to arm and disarm, check the current status of your system, and control automation devices. Remember that you will need to upgrade to a Silver level plan to take advantage of these great features. We think Total Connect 2.0 works just as well as any other monitoring and automation platform, but we have heard of users specifically choosing the Lyric to use this platform over the other ones out there.

You have no shortage of sensor options for the Lyric, as the system has its own lineup of encrypted wireless sensors in the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors. It is also backwards compatible with the widely popular Honeywell 5800 Sensors. As we mentioned earlier, the system is a bit on the older side, and it lacks some of the more advanced features like partitioning and automatic Bluetooth disarming. The panel does technically support camera streaming, but that's only for older legacy cameras that are no longer being manufactured. Also, the system only offers classic Z-Wave functionality, so you won't be able to take advantage of the the extended wireless range and longer battery life of Z-Wave Plus. If you want Z-Wave Plus, and you have the Lyric, then you will need to replace the panel entirely. There is no way to upgrade the existing classic Z-Wave firmware for the Lyric and make it Z-Wave Plus. But if you need HomeKit compatibility, or if you are trying to keep your monthly monitoring costs as low as possible, then the Lyric is almost certainly your best option. With its support of local end user programming, the Lyric is the best system from Honeywell and Resideo as of late 2020. There is a good reason why it remains the most popular Alarm Grid security system.

One last note is that while a plug-in transformer comes included with the Lyric, no power cable for connecting the system to the transformer is included. We recommend purchasing a Honeywell LT-Cable for this purpose.

The Lyric is for you if:

  • You want to save money by going IP only.
  • You want compatibility with Apple HomeKit.
  • You want to use Total Connect 2.0 as your interactive platform.
  • You don't need automatic Bluetooth disarming, partitioning, or Z-Wave Plus functionality.

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is without a doubt the most feature-packed system we offer at this time. It has totally changed the game with its advanced features like automatic Bluetooth disarming, camera streaming from the panel, partitioning, facial recognition, and a super innovative wellness platform. The IQ2+ offers a seamless integration with Alarm.com, which serves as the interactive monitoring and automation platform used with the system. It is also currently the only system where you can perform Alarm.com Smart Scenes directly from the main panel. We also love the system's UI, as automation devices like lights, door locks, and smart thermostats can all be accessed from the main panel screen. It is easy to navigate, and we find that it is arguably the most intuitive panel for users who have never used a security system before. Really, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is the system we almost always recommend for any user not needing HomeKit functionality or low-cost IP-only monitoring.

Since this system, communicates through Alarm.com, you must have a cellular connection set up with the system. The good news is that you won't have to buy a communicator, as the IQ2+ already has one built-in (AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE). The bad news is that monitoring for this system starts at $25 per month, assuming you get service with Alarm Grid. And if you want central station service and the ability to do cool things through Alarm.com, such as arming and disarming remotely and setting up automated smart scenes, then the minimum cost jumps up to $35 per month for our Gold Plan. You may want to review this post that explains our monitoring plans in more depth.

One other awesome aspect of the IQ2+ is that it supports DSC PowerG Sensors. These wireless sensors are some of the best in the industry. They can be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus in an open air environment, and they utilize 128-bit AES encryption for advanced protection and security. You also get the choice of one of three (3) legacy sensor frequencies (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, or 433 MHz). If you are upgrading from an older system, this is fantastic, as there is almost certainly a version of the IQ2+ that will let you bring over your old wireless sensors.

But even with all its bells and whistles, the IQ Panel 2 Plus is still not a perfect alarm system. We aren't blown away with its build quality, as some users have reported struggles in properly closing the panel after opening it up. And having an integrated communicator might seem like a good thing, but it also means that the entire panel must be replaced if the one inside fails for any reason. The same will hold true when the inevitable LTE Sunset occurs, though that should be years into the future. All that being said, if you are looking for the most feature-rich alarm system on the market today, you would be hard pressed to find a better option.

And unlike the other systems listed here, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus comes complete with BOTH a plug-in transformer AND a power cable for connecting. It is ready to be set up and powered on using nothing more than a screwdriver! Also included is a small table stand for keeping the system upright if wall-mounting is not desired.

The IQ Panel 2 Plus is for you if:

  • You want a system with the most advanced features.
  • You want easy access to smart home automation.
  • You want to use PowerG Wireless Sensors.
  • You can accept a system without replaceable components.

2GIG GC3e

The 2GIG GC3e is the current flagship system from 2GIG, though that might soon change with the 2GIG Edge on the horizon. This panel was introduced in 2019, as 2GIG was a fairly late arriver to the encryption game. But it's here now, and it's ready to support 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors, while still being backwards compatible with older 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and Honeywell 5800 Sensors.

If we're being completely honest, we rarely recommend the 2GIG GC3e over the Lyric or the IQ2+. The Lyric offers some unique features (HomeKit support and IP-only monitoring) that make it the best option in many cases, while the IQ2+ is the most feature-rich system we offer. The GC3e just doesn't have any one particular feature that helps it stand-out from the other two. We usually only steer people toward the GC3e if they want an Alarm.com System, but don't want the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus for whatever reason. We must also admit that the GC3e local end user programming is a bit more cumbersome than the Lyric or the IQ2+. People who choose the GC3e are usually those who are accustomed to the 2GIG panel, and are upgrading from an older 2GIG GC2 or 2GIG GC3.

That doesn't mean the GC3e is a bad system. The truth is that it actually has the best build-quality out of any system listed here. The panel just feels well-made and durable, especially when compared with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. And while you don't get fancy features like panel camera streaming, Bluetooth disarming, or Apple HomeKit support, you do get a nice partitioning suite, and Z-Wave Plus functionality with the ability to create localized smart scenes. Also, unlike the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, you can actually swap out the cellular communicator in the GC3e. It is rather inconvenient that you have to buy a communication module add-on to get the system monitored, but this is a good thing if you ever need to replace your system's communicator for whatever reason.

This is matter of subjective personal opinion, but I can say one very nice thing about the GC3e. Out of every panel we offer, the 2GIG GC3e looks the nicest on the wall, and has the most fluid and satisfying touchscreen controls out of any panel I have personally ever used. And sometimes, that alone is the selling factor. There are users out there who don't care about fancy technical features or easily accessible automation menus, and they just want a high-quality system that looks good and does what they need it to do. If that is you, then maybe you should consider the GC3e.

Remember that while the 2GIG GC3e includes a plug-in transformer for providing power, it does not include a power cable for connecting the transformer to the panel. Just like with the Lyric, the Honeywell LT-Cable makes a fantastic power cable for this purpose.

The GC3e is for you if:

  • You want the panel with the best build-quality.
  • You don't care about fancy extra features.
  • You want an Alarm.com System with a replaceable communicator.
  • You can deal with programming that is a bit more cumbersome.

We hope that this post has given you some insight into choosing a new system for alarm monitoring. Stay tuned to our blog, as we will soon present a buying guide for the various security sensors you can choose from. Remember to email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions. We are available to respond to emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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If you're planning to give the gift of security this holiday season, then we're here to help! Today, we're looking at the best alarm panels available for the 2020 holiday season. Finding the right panel is the first step to building the perfect security system for your home or office.


The panel serves as the central hub for an alarm system. All sensors programmed with the system will communicate with the panel. The panel is also the piece of equipment that communicates with the outside world, namely a central station and/or a monitoring platform. To do this, the panel must have a communicator that is installed and activated. Some alarm panels come with a communicator already built-in, while others will require you to purchase one separately.

Today, most alarm panels are wireless, all-in-one devices, where the panel itself serves as the keypad for controlling the system. There are still hardwired panels available, but these are less common due to the sheer convenience and ease of wireless all-in-one panels. For the purpose of this buying guide, we will only be focusing on wireless panels, as most new users today opt to go the wireless route. We especially recommend wireless panels for anyone looking to save money by installing their own system without hiring a professional installer. It's easier than you might think, as many installations are done using a screwdriver as the only tool!

The panel you choose will affect virtually every other aspect of your security system. Your panel selection determines sensor compatibility, available communication paths, the user interface (UI) for the system, what accessories you can use with the system, and even the interactive platform you use when controlling your system through your phone. In a way, the panel itself IS the system. It's such an important decision, so you really want to get it right.

Today, we're going to be presenting you with our three (3) most favorite alarm systems available for the 2020 holiday season. What's great about all these systems is that they are all extremely DIY-friendly, and they can be taken to virtually any monitoring company, whether that is Alarm Grid, or someone else entirely. With all of that out of the way, let's get started!

Honeywell Lyric Controller

The Honeywell Lyric Alarm System still represents our favorite alarm panel from Resideo, and it is the most popular system for use with Alarm Grid monitoring services. It is the oldest panel on this list, and it doesn't support some of the more high-tech features offered by the other panels presented here. But when it comes down to choosing an all-around great system for alarm monitoring, the Lyric is hard to beat.

There are three (3) things that the Lyric can do that are impossible for the other panels on this list. If you choose the Lyric, it's usually because of one or more of these aspects. The Lyric is the only panel here that can be set up with an IP-only communication path, without cellular. While cellular is always recommended, some users opt to go internet only for alarm monitoring. The advantage of doing this is that the user can obtain monitoring service at a lower monthly rate. A Lyric System user can sign-up for an Alarm Grid Bronze Plan with central station service for just $15 per month. But a user with a system that requires cellular monitoring will need to pay a minimum of $25 per month for the Alarm Grid Cellular Alarm Monitoring Plan. That $10 monthly saving equates to $120 annually. The user should understand that an internet outage will take their system offline and leave their home or business vulnerable in that situation. But if a user is confident enough in their internet service, then they can certainly take that chance. Of course, the Lyric can be upgraded to use cellular at any time, but if you are trying to save money by setting up IP-only monitoring, then the Lyric offers you that option.

Second, the Lyric is one of the very few alarm systems that is able to interface with Apple HomeKit. This is the premier automation platform used with iOS devices, and many users have existing HomeKit networks that they build around. If you already have HomeKit devices in your home, then it is natural that you would want a security system that can also integrate with that network. It's important to note that the HomeKit integration isn't perfect, as Apple HomeKit can only provide specific alerts for a limited selection of system activity. But the integration makes it possible to perform some basic commands through HomeKit. The integration also allows you to set up automations so that your HomeKit devices activate automatically with activity on your security system. Overall, it's a great feature, and we often recommend the Lyric over other systems just for this feature.

Third, the Lyric is the only system on this list that uses Total Connect 2.0 as its interactive monitoring platform. This is the service that you will use to control your Lyric System remotely through a web browser or an app on your smartphone. The platform allows you to arm and disarm, check the current status of your system, and control automation devices. Remember that you will need to upgrade to a Silver level plan to take advantage of these great features. We think Total Connect 2.0 works just as well as any other monitoring and automation platform, but we have heard of users specifically choosing the Lyric to use this platform over the other ones out there.

You have no shortage of sensor options for the Lyric, as the system has its own lineup of encrypted wireless sensors in the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors. It is also backwards compatible with the widely popular Honeywell 5800 Sensors. As we mentioned earlier, the system is a bit on the older side, and it lacks some of the more advanced features like partitioning and automatic Bluetooth disarming. The panel does technically support camera streaming, but that's only for older legacy cameras that are no longer being manufactured. Also, the system only offers classic Z-Wave functionality, so you won't be able to take advantage of the the extended wireless range and longer battery life of Z-Wave Plus. If you want Z-Wave Plus, and you have the Lyric, then you will need to replace the panel entirely. There is no way to upgrade the existing classic Z-Wave firmware for the Lyric and make it Z-Wave Plus. But if you need HomeKit compatibility, or if you are trying to keep your monthly monitoring costs as low as possible, then the Lyric is almost certainly your best option. With its support of local end user programming, the Lyric is the best system from Honeywell and Resideo as of late 2020. There is a good reason why it remains the most popular Alarm Grid security system.

One last note is that while a plug-in transformer comes included with the Lyric, no power cable for connecting the system to the transformer is included. We recommend purchasing a Honeywell LT-Cable for this purpose.

The Lyric is for you if:

  • You want to save money by going IP only.
  • You want compatibility with Apple HomeKit.
  • You want to use Total Connect 2.0 as your interactive platform.
  • You don't need automatic Bluetooth disarming, partitioning, or Z-Wave Plus functionality.

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is without a doubt the most feature-packed system we offer at this time. It has totally changed the game with its advanced features like automatic Bluetooth disarming, camera streaming from the panel, partitioning, facial recognition, and a super innovative wellness platform. The IQ2+ offers a seamless integration with Alarm.com, which serves as the interactive monitoring and automation platform used with the system. It is also currently the only system where you can perform Alarm.com Smart Scenes directly from the main panel. We also love the system's UI, as automation devices like lights, door locks, and smart thermostats can all be accessed from the main panel screen. It is easy to navigate, and we find that it is arguably the most intuitive panel for users who have never used a security system before. Really, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is the system we almost always recommend for any user not needing HomeKit functionality or low-cost IP-only monitoring.

Since this system, communicates through Alarm.com, you must have a cellular connection set up with the system. The good news is that you won't have to buy a communicator, as the IQ2+ already has one built-in (AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE). The bad news is that monitoring for this system starts at $25 per month, assuming you get service with Alarm Grid. And if you want central station service and the ability to do cool things through Alarm.com, such as arming and disarming remotely and setting up automated smart scenes, then the minimum cost jumps up to $35 per month for our Gold Plan. You may want to review this post that explains our monitoring plans in more depth.

One other awesome aspect of the IQ2+ is that it supports DSC PowerG Sensors. These wireless sensors are some of the best in the industry. They can be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus in an open air environment, and they utilize 128-bit AES encryption for advanced protection and security. You also get the choice of one of three (3) legacy sensor frequencies (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, or 433 MHz). If you are upgrading from an older system, this is fantastic, as there is almost certainly a version of the IQ2+ that will let you bring over your old wireless sensors.

But even with all its bells and whistles, the IQ Panel 2 Plus is still not a perfect alarm system. We aren't blown away with its build quality, as some users have reported struggles in properly closing the panel after opening it up. And having an integrated communicator might seem like a good thing, but it also means that the entire panel must be replaced if the one inside fails for any reason. The same will hold true when the inevitable LTE Sunset occurs, though that should be years into the future. All that being said, if you are looking for the most feature-rich alarm system on the market today, you would be hard pressed to find a better option.

And unlike the other systems listed here, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus comes complete with BOTH a plug-in transformer AND a power cable for connecting. It is ready to be set up and powered on using nothing more than a screwdriver! Also included is a small table stand for keeping the system upright if wall-mounting is not desired.

The IQ Panel 2 Plus is for you if:

  • You want a system with the most advanced features.
  • You want easy access to smart home automation.
  • You want to use PowerG Wireless Sensors.
  • You can accept a system without replaceable components.

2GIG GC3e

The 2GIG GC3e is the current flagship system from 2GIG, though that might soon change with the 2GIG Edge on the horizon. This panel was introduced in 2019, as 2GIG was a fairly late arriver to the encryption game. But it's here now, and it's ready to support 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors, while still being backwards compatible with older 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and Honeywell 5800 Sensors.

If we're being completely honest, we rarely recommend the 2GIG GC3e over the Lyric or the IQ2+. The Lyric offers some unique features (HomeKit support and IP-only monitoring) that make it the best option in many cases, while the IQ2+ is the most feature-rich system we offer. The GC3e just doesn't have any one particular feature that helps it stand-out from the other two. We usually only steer people toward the GC3e if they want an Alarm.com System, but don't want the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus for whatever reason. We must also admit that the GC3e local end user programming is a bit more cumbersome than the Lyric or the IQ2+. People who choose the GC3e are usually those who are accustomed to the 2GIG panel, and are upgrading from an older 2GIG GC2 or 2GIG GC3.

That doesn't mean the GC3e is a bad system. The truth is that it actually has the best build-quality out of any system listed here. The panel just feels well-made and durable, especially when compared with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. And while you don't get fancy features like panel camera streaming, Bluetooth disarming, or Apple HomeKit support, you do get a nice partitioning suite, and Z-Wave Plus functionality with the ability to create localized smart scenes. Also, unlike the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, you can actually swap out the cellular communicator in the GC3e. It is rather inconvenient that you have to buy a communication module add-on to get the system monitored, but this is a good thing if you ever need to replace your system's communicator for whatever reason.

This is matter of subjective personal opinion, but I can say one very nice thing about the GC3e. Out of every panel we offer, the 2GIG GC3e looks the nicest on the wall, and has the most fluid and satisfying touchscreen controls out of any panel I have personally ever used. And sometimes, that alone is the selling factor. There are users out there who don't care about fancy technical features or easily accessible automation menus, and they just want a high-quality system that looks good and does what they need it to do. If that is you, then maybe you should consider the GC3e.

Remember that while the 2GIG GC3e includes a plug-in transformer for providing power, it does not include a power cable for connecting the transformer to the panel. Just like with the Lyric, the Honeywell LT-Cable makes a fantastic power cable for this purpose.

The GC3e is for you if:

  • You want the panel with the best build-quality.
  • You don't care about fancy extra features.
  • You want an Alarm.com System with a replaceable communicator.
  • You can deal with programming that is a bit more cumbersome.

We hope that this post has given you some insight into choosing a new system for alarm monitoring. Stay tuned to our blog, as we will soon present a buying guide for the various security sensors you can choose from. Remember to email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions. We are available to respond to emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid is proud to offer the Honeywell Lyric LCP500-L24 with 24-Hour Backup Battery. This deal comes with the same great Honeywell Lyric Alarm System that is loved by thousands of Alarm Grid monitored customers, plus an extended LCP500-24B Battery for longer runtime during power outages.


Like most security systems, the Lyric uses a backup battery to stay running when the system experiences AC power loss. This can occur during electrical outages, or when the system's plug-in transformer has been disconnected. Traditionally, the Lyric System comes with a standard 4-hour battery called the Honeywell LCP500-4B.

But with our special Honeywell LCP500-L24 deal, you can get a Lyric System that includes the Honeywell LCP500-24B 24-Hour Backup Battery. This bundled deal is less expensive than buying the Lyric System and the LCP500-24B separately a la carte, so taking advantage of this offer is strongly advised. The battery is advertised to keep the Lyric Alarm Panel and its connected accessories running for at least 24 hours during power outages.

Normally, the Lyric comes with the 4-hour LCP500-4B Battery pre-installed. When you order the Honeywell Lyric LCP500-L24 Deal, your Lyric System will arrive with no battery installed. The 24-hour LCP500-24B Battery will be included in the package separately. You will need to open up the Lyric Panel and connect the battery during setup. We recommend doing this prior to powering on the system using its included plug-in transformer. For more information on powering the Honeywell Lyric, please see this FAQ.

In addition to powering the Lyric, the LCP500-24B will also keep any connected system accessories running. Most notably, this includes the system's communicator that is used for monitoring service. The Lyric has a built-in WIFI card for connecting to the internet, and you can also add a cellular communicator to provide an additional communication pathway for the system. This is important because an internet outage, which often accompanies a power outage, would otherwise take your system offline, even if the panel itself remains powered on with its battery backup during this time.

Available cellular communicator options for the Honeywell Lyric include the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator and the Honeywell LYIRICLTE-V Verizon LTE Communicator. Alarm Grid also sells the Honeywell LYRICUPGRADE-A and the Honeywell LYRICUPGRADE-V bundles that include the Lyric System and one of the aforementioned cellular communicators. Keep in mind that our Lyric LTE bundles only come with the standard 4-hour battery, so you must buy the Honeywell LCP500-24B Battery separately if you want to provide an extended backup power option for your Lyric. Remember that you will need a monitoring plan that includes cellular service in order to use a cellular communicator with your Lyric System. Examples of monitoring plans that include cellular service are the Alarm Grid Gold Level Plans, the Alarm Grid Platinum Level Plans, and the Alarm Grid Cell-Only Plan. More information on all our monitoring plans can be found here.

The Honeywell Lyric is one of the top security systems on the market today. We love the Lyric and its 7-inch touchscreen display, support for 128 wireless zones, local end user programming, built-in Z-Wave, Apple HomeKit compatibility, and its ability to interface with the Total Connect 2.0 platform for controlling the system remotely though a mobile app or web browser. This is truly a state-of-the-art alarm system, and it gets even better with its extended 24-hour backup battery to stay running when it matters most.

If you want to learn more about Lyric, or if you are interested in starting alarm monitoring service, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will review your message at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. Our team checks emails during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Alarm Grid is proud to offer the Honeywell Lyric LCP500-L24 with 24-Hour Backup Battery. This deal comes with the same great Honeywell Lyric Alarm System that is loved by thousands of Alarm Grid monitored customers, plus an extended LCP500-24B Battery for longer runtime during power outages.


Like most security systems, the Lyric uses a backup battery to stay running when the system experiences AC power loss. This can occur during electrical outages, or when the system's plug-in transformer has been disconnected. Traditionally, the Lyric System comes with a standard 4-hour battery called the Honeywell LCP500-4B.

But with our special Honeywell LCP500-L24 deal, you can get a Lyric System that includes the Honeywell LCP500-24B 24-Hour Backup Battery. This bundled deal is less expensive than buying the Lyric System and the LCP500-24B separately a la carte, so taking advantage of this offer is strongly advised. The battery is advertised to keep the Lyric Alarm Panel and its connected accessories running for at least 24 hours during power outages.

Normally, the Lyric comes with the 4-hour LCP500-4B Battery pre-installed. When you order the Honeywell Lyric LCP500-L24 Deal, your Lyric System will arrive with no battery installed. The 24-hour LCP500-24B Battery will be included in the package separately. You will need to open up the Lyric Panel and connect the battery during setup. We recommend doing this prior to powering on the system using its included plug-in transformer. For more information on powering the Honeywell Lyric, please see this FAQ.

In addition to powering the Lyric, the LCP500-24B will also keep any connected system accessories running. Most notably, this includes the system's communicator that is used for monitoring service. The Lyric has a built-in WIFI card for connecting to the internet, and you can also add a cellular communicator to provide an additional communication pathway for the system. This is important because an internet outage, which often accompanies a power outage, would otherwise take your system offline, even if the panel itself remains powered on with its battery backup during this time.

Available cellular communicator options for the Honeywell Lyric include the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator and the Honeywell LYIRICLTE-V Verizon LTE Communicator. Alarm Grid also sells the Honeywell LYRICUPGRADE-A and the Honeywell LYRICUPGRADE-V bundles that include the Lyric System and one of the aforementioned cellular communicators. Keep in mind that our Lyric LTE bundles only come with the standard 4-hour battery, so you must buy the Honeywell LCP500-24B Battery separately if you want to provide an extended backup power option for your Lyric. Remember that you will need a monitoring plan that includes cellular service in order to use a cellular communicator with your Lyric System. Examples of monitoring plans that include cellular service are the Alarm Grid Gold Level Plans, the Alarm Grid Platinum Level Plans, and the Alarm Grid Cell-Only Plan. More information on all our monitoring plans can be found here.

The Honeywell Lyric is one of the top security systems on the market today. We love the Lyric and its 7-inch touchscreen display, support for 128 wireless zones, local end user programming, built-in Z-Wave, Apple HomeKit compatibility, and its ability to interface with the Total Connect 2.0 platform for controlling the system remotely though a mobile app or web browser. This is truly a state-of-the-art alarm system, and it gets even better with its extended 24-hour backup battery to stay running when it matters most.

If you want to learn more about Lyric, or if you are interested in starting alarm monitoring service, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will review your message at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. Our team checks emails during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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As security professionals, we often encounter myths regarding security systems. There is a lot of untrue information out there, so we figured it would be a good idea to debunk a few security system myths to help end users understand the facts. Here are three false security system myths.


Myth #1 - Only Professionals Can Install a Security System

There was once a time when security systems were hardwired, and it was virtually impossible for a DIY user to install one. But with the rise of wireless alarm panels, many security systems can be installed using nothing more than a screwdriver. An end user can install their own system, program their own sensors, and get their system activated for monitoring service. Most wireless alarm panels even support desk mounts that allow a user to install a system without drilling holes in the walls. This can help a user save a lot of money by not having to hire a professional installer.

Myth #2 - Wireless Security Systems Are Not Secure

When wireless security systems first hit the market, many were easily defeated by third party devices. An intruder could block the signals from wireless sensors and prevent them from reaching the panel. They could also send false signals to the panel to make it appear as though a break-in was occurring, when really nothing was happening. But most modern wireless panels support encryption to prevent this from happening. This makes foul play all but impossible. There are many encrypted sensor options to choose from, including the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors for the Honeywell Lyric, the PowerG Sensors for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the eSeries Sensors for the 2GIG GC3e.

Honeywell sixminict wireless door slash window contact for lyric

Myth #3 - Security Systems Only Perform Security Functions

When shopping for a security system, many buyers only consider the security aspects. The reality is that a modern security system does so much more than just keep you and those around you safe. Nearly every security system on the market today also offers smart home automation capabilities. You can pair a variety of smart home devices with your system, including smart lights, door locks, programmable thermostats, and more. You can then control these devices from the panel and have them activate automatically with programmed smart scenes. And if your system is monitored, then you can control the devices from anywhere using a web browser or a mobile app on your phone.


Security systems today are more powerful and easier to use than ever before. Now is a great time to get started with a new security system for your home or business. Check out this post to learn more about the monitoring plans offered by Alarm Grid. If you're interested in getting started, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com for more information. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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As security professionals, we often encounter myths regarding security systems. There is a lot of untrue information out there, so we figured it would be a good idea to debunk a few security system myths to help end users understand the facts. Here are three false security system myths.


Myth #1 - Only Professionals Can Install a Security System

There was once a time when security systems were hardwired, and it was virtually impossible for a DIY user to install one. But with the rise of wireless alarm panels, many security systems can be installed using nothing more than a screwdriver. An end user can install their own system, program their own sensors, and get their system activated for monitoring service. Most wireless alarm panels even support desk mounts that allow a user to install a system without drilling holes in the walls. This can help a user save a lot of money by not having to hire a professional installer.

Myth #2 - Wireless Security Systems Are Not Secure

When wireless security systems first hit the market, many were easily defeated by third party devices. An intruder could block the signals from wireless sensors and prevent them from reaching the panel. They could also send false signals to the panel to make it appear as though a break-in was occurring, when really nothing was happening. But most modern wireless panels support encryption to prevent this from happening. This makes foul play all but impossible. There are many encrypted sensor options to choose from, including the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors for the Honeywell Lyric, the PowerG Sensors for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the eSeries Sensors for the 2GIG GC3e.

Honeywell sixminict wireless door slash window contact for lyric

Myth #3 - Security Systems Only Perform Security Functions

When shopping for a security system, many buyers only consider the security aspects. The reality is that a modern security system does so much more than just keep you and those around you safe. Nearly every security system on the market today also offers smart home automation capabilities. You can pair a variety of smart home devices with your system, including smart lights, door locks, programmable thermostats, and more. You can then control these devices from the panel and have them activate automatically with programmed smart scenes. And if your system is monitored, then you can control the devices from anywhere using a web browser or a mobile app on your phone.


Security systems today are more powerful and easier to use than ever before. Now is a great time to get started with a new security system for your home or business. Check out this post to learn more about the monitoring plans offered by Alarm Grid. If you're interested in getting started, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com for more information. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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