Home Security Blog

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The Business Intelligence Group has recognized Alarm.com by presenting their Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) Team with a 2020 Excellence in Customer Service Award in the Organization of the Year Category. Alarm Grid congratulates Alarm.com on their continued success!


Based out of the Minneapolis metropolitan area in Minnesota, the Alarm.com CORE Team works to provide top-quality customer service, technical support, and training to thousands of security providers on a daily basis. The group is responsible for helping to ensure that service providers like Alarm Grid have the knowledge and resources to help end users accomplish their security goals. The Alarm Grid team can attest to the excellent performance of Alarm.com and their CORE Team. To us, it's no surprise that Alarm.com was recognized in this way.

Alarm.com Vice President of Customer Operations Jason DaCosta said of the team, "We focus all of our efforts on delivering an unparalleled customer service experience to our partners and subscribers. In addition, we strive to identify and develop passionate and highly accountable team members, who share our all-hands-on-deck mentality, to continually elevate our customer service standards for the industry."

As you likely know, Alarm Grid offers many security systems for use with the Alarm.com platform. We have multiple monitoring plans that can be used with Alarm.com, including our most popular Gold Plan. More information is available on our monitoring page. If you want to learn more about Alarm.com or our monitoring services, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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One of the best perks of owning a home security system is that it can also serve as an automation hub for controlling compatible smart devices. Apple HomeKit is an excellent platform to build around if you are a frequent iOS or Apple user. And a new Lyric System can make a great addition!

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

If you aren't familiar with Apple HomeKit, it is an app for iOS devices that allows you to control and automate compatible devices around your home. What's really cool is that you can perform various actions from virtually anywhere in the world using spoken Siri voice commands. Possible actions include arming or disarming your security system, controlling Lutron Smart Lights, or performing a complete HomeKit scene in which multiple devices are controlled at once.

In order to get started using a Lyric with Apple HomeKit, you must have a Lyric System that is set up for alarm monitoring service automation control. For Alarm Grid monitored customers, this means that you will need a Silver Plan or higher. More information is available on our monitoring page. Your alarm monitoring company can then activate the HomeKit feature for your Lyric System. Then just follow this simple FAQ to get it set up.

Remember that having a dedicated HomeKit Hub as part of your automation network is strongly recommended. This can be an iPad, an Apple HomePod, or an AppleTV Gen 4 or higher. You might also want to check out this FAQ on creating HomeKit Automations. That is how you will have your HomeKit compatible devices activate automatically with certain system events or based upon a set schedule.

When expanding upon your HomeKit network, make sure to look for devices that feature the Apple Home logo or other marking identifying them as HomeKit-compatible.

The only way to get your Honeywell Lyric set up for use with Apple HomeKit is to get it monitored. Please email us at support@alarmgrid.com for more information. We check our email Monday thru Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. Our team will be happy to help you find new HomeKit devices and build a robust and powerful HomeKit network that you can control from anywhere using your voice. Getting started is super easy, and we will be there every step of the way!

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We are writing this post because in the last few days, a small minority of customers have called in frustrated by shipping times.

Our shipping team is working hard every day to get your product out to you quickly.

Unfortunately, once we pick, pack, and ship the products you ordered, we don't have any control about what happens to the product in the process of shipping. So far, we are noticing more packages arriving a day (sometimes 2 and rarely, but sometimes, 3 days) beyond our quoted timeframe. While our quoted timeframes are meant to be estimates, we understand that it can be frustrating to get a package after you expected it to be delivered.

At the moment, as the package carriers in the United States are being overwhelmed by people turning to online ordering. From what we can tell, a huge majority of products are being delivered just as they always have been. But a few more products than usual, for whatever reason, are showing up beyond what we would normally consider acceptable.

We ask for a little bit of patience. We are getting product out the door quickly - even as our warehouse is short-staffed. And UPS and USPS are getting your packages to you as fast as is humanly possible. Everyone is doing everything they can to get you the product and service you ordered as quickly as possible.

At this time, there are no refunds for late receipt of a shipment. When we ship the items, we are sending them in accordance with our shipping policy, as we normally do. Whether they arrive on time is not up to us. And our carriers have stopped refunding us for late arrival of product for the time being. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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Alarm Grid has received reports that some users have been getting excessive and unnecessary notifications regarding Total Connect 2.0 HD Cameras. The issue appears to have been the fault of the AlarmNet Servers, and it is nothing to worry about. It appears to have since been resolved.

Honeywell lyric c1 wifi indoor 720p hd total connect security ca

According to reports, the issue only affected Total Connect 2.0 HD Cameras, including the Honeywell IPCAM-WIC1, the Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2, and the Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1. None of the Total Connect 2.0 Legacy Cameras were affected. The issue caused many users to receive random text and email notifications simply stating that their cameras were "online". Most users reported that the notifications came through starting around 1pm ET yesterday and later stopped occurring shortly after midnight ET.

From what we can tell, Resideo has since corrected the issue, and no further problems should occur. If you find that you are still receiving unnecessary status notifications from Total Connect 2.0, please let us know by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Our support team will respond to incoming emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We will make sure to document any issues and pass on any problems or errors to the Resideo AlarmNet team.

Update: We have received official word from Resideo that they were experiencing technical issues last night. This resulted in issues, including random and repeated online/offline messages, failure to stream cameras, and the failure to register new devices. Resideo says that the vast majority of the issues have been resolved, though there are still a small number of false "camera offline" events.

2nd Update: Resideo has since confirmed that the issue has been fixed.

3rd Update: Resideo confirmed that the issue re-appeared Thursday April 23rd and Friday April 24th. The issue has since been resolved.

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When dealing with so many other things in life, it's easy to put off buying a home security system. But it's something you really might want to do sooner rather than later. Installing your own home security system is very easy, and the insurance savings often make it a great investment.

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 10 1 kit alarm system kit w slash 10 d

We understand that buying a security system isn't exactly the flashiest addition you can make to your home. But it's something that every homeowner should add sooner rather than later. With a security system, you are protecting yourself, your possessions, and your loved ones. We also strongly recommend checking with your insurance company to learn about potential discounts. These discounts alone make an alarm system a worthwhile investment. And the quicker you act, the better.

The great thing about the security systems offered from Alarm Grid is that you can always start small and expand later as needed. For example, you might just get an alarm panel, a single door and window sensor, and a single smoke detector for an insurance discount. This will likely you save you money on your homeowner's insurance. In that sense, the system will basically pay for itself over time. Many Alarm Grid customers find that their insurance savings are greater than their monitoring expenses.

Then once you have saved up more, you can easily build upon the system with more sensors. Many users like to have a sensor at each door so that they can hear chimes and voice annunciations whenever there is activity in their homes. By installing your own system, you can set up each zone to make its own sound effect. You can also turn off the chime and annunciation for any given zone if you prefer. And your insurance company may offer you additional discounts for things like low-temperature detection, flood detection, or carbon monoxide detection. You can add all of these devices to system later on, at your own pace.

And your home security system can be used for more than just keeping your family safe. Most home alarm systems can be set up as automation controllers for operating devices such as lights, door locks, smart thermostats, and more. These smart devices can be activated automatically based on a set schedule or with certain system events. We even offer monitoring plans that will allow you to control these devices from pretty much anywhere in the world using an app on your phone. And there are even options for interfacing with smart platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit. IFTTT, and more!

Designing and installing a complete security system can be a big project. But you can start small. And with a wireless system, you can even take it with you if you decide to move later on. These are many fantastic panels today that work just as well in a small apartment as they do in a spacious family ranch home. And you can do it all by yourself, without having to hire a professional installer. Take steps to protect your household before trouble strikes. Even if you start small now, you can always grow your system to meet your needs later.

Want to learn more about our security systems and alarm monitoring? Send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We would love to tell you more about how a security system can keep you safe and make your life more convenient. Our support technicians and system planners are available from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions!

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At Alarm Grid, we truly believe that most security systems can be installed by end users, with no on-site support from professional installers or technicians. Installing your own DIY security system can save you money in the long run, and it will keep you and those around you safe.

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 3 1 kit wireless alarm system 3 door sThere are many considerations you will want to make if you are just getting into the market for the first time. You should start by thinking about which alarm panel you want to use. There are several options out there. We recommend reading the three (3) statements below and deciding which one applies to you the most. We realize that all of these statements may apply to your situation, but for the sake of picking the best panel, try and narrow it down to the single most accurate statement. We can begin to steer you towards the optimal panel just based on that one answer, as it shows what is most important to you in this decision.

A. I want the best all-around DIY security system.

B. I want a security system for low-cost monitoring.

C. I want a system system that adds property value.

For those choosing A and wanting the best all-around DIY security system, the answer is most often the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. It has an attractive, modern design that looks great when on placed on a desk or table with its included stand. The entire installation can be complete using only a screwdriver in just a matter of minutes. Programming is made super easy and intuitive, and the vast majority of new users describe the simple setup process as a pleasant experience. The system has a great user interface (UI), and you will love how well the menus are laid out.

Since the IQ Panel 2 Plus has a built-in cellular communicator and an integrated WIFI card, you will not need to add any equipment to use dual-path connectivity with the system. It is ready to go, right out of the box. The panel is also loaded with features that really help make it appealing to those interested in home automation. This comes in six (6) variants, as there are three (3) legacy sensor support options (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz), and each one is available in AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE. The most popular model is the 319.5 MHZ Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, simply because it is the most affordable, but they are all fantastic.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

If B is most important for you, and you want to keep your monitoring costs as low as possible, then you will generally want to look at the Honeywell Alarm Panels. This is because Honeywell Panels can be set up for alarm monitoring service without needing use a cellular communicator. Although cellular communication allows for the optimal reliability, it also increases the cost of alarm monitoring due to the cellular service charges. If you have a strong WIFI internet connection in your home, then you can rely on an IP-only setup for alarm monitoring. An excellent panel for this type of setup is the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Honeywell Lyric Alarm System is professional-grade security system that is supported by alarm companies across the industry. The panel provides effective and reliable monitoring service to keep your home or business monitored and protected at all times. It is also no slouch when it comes to smart home functionality, as you will have no trouble setting up a complete automation network with the panel if desired. But the money saving aspect lies in the fact this panel is able to connect with monitoring servers without needing a registered cellular communicator. This can save you hundreds in annual monitoring expenses by strictly relying on IP connectivity. All you need to do is connect the Lyric to your WIFI network and have the panel activated by your alarm monitoring company. For more information on why the Lyric is a great option for low-cost alarm monitoring service, please check out this prior blog.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Lastly, those choosing C, where adding property value is the main consideration, you might want to look into a hardwired security system. This is especially true if you are building new construction and have the capacity to run wires throughout the new or unfinished building. An integrated, hardwired security system will add value to any property, and it gives the home or business a nice additional feature. But it should be noted that hardwired systems are more difficult to install. While we have seen some DIY users install their own hardwired systems, the task is usually completed by a professional due to the sheer amount of wiring involved. However, we are happy to work with a third-party installer in helping you install a wired system.

Most new installations today utilize wireless security systems. But if you decide that a wired system is for you, then there are plenty of options to choose from. Hardwired Honeywell Panels are great if you looking to minimize monitoring costs by using IP-only connectivity. We are particularly fond of the Honeywell VISTA-21iPLTE, as it already has a built-in IP communicator for supporting a wired ethernet connection. A cellular communicator can also be added if desired. Overall, the Honeywell VISTA-21iPLTE will provide more than enough functionality for any home or small to medium sized business. There are also commercial-grade panels like the Honeywell VISTA-128BPT, the Honeywell VISTA-250BPT, and the DSC PowerSeries NEO HS128NK, but those are more suited for large businesses and industrial complexes. Just remember that you will need to add extra accessories for all wired systems, such as alarm wiring, a siren, and keypads.

Honeywell vista 21ip internet alarm control panel open

Start by considering what is most important to you if you are looking for a new alarm system. Once you have committed to a panel, you can start building around it to establish security and automation capabilities. This will include choosing compatible sensors and other accessories. You can also start checking out various monitoring plans to determine which one is right for you. If you ever want to talk to us, we are best reached by emailing support@alrmgrid.com. Our support team answers email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have learned that Alarm.com is implementing some new features designed to protect end users against malicious attempts to access accounts. Although these new security features are nothing revolutionary or game-changing, they should still prove helpful in keeping customers safe.


The first new feature being implemented by Alarm.com is a password strength indicator that appears when making a new customer account or when changing the password for an existing customer account. An end user can use the indicator to determine whether or not their desired password is strong enough.

Seeing a password that is considered "weak" can prompt an end user to choose a more secure password that will better protect their account. Using a random password generator to come up with a strong password is recommended. It is also recommended that you do not use the same password for Alarm.com as you do for another website. We expect this feature to be made available in the coming days.

Additionally, Alarm.com has also announced that two-factor authentication is now supported when enabling the ability to live-stream Alarm.com Security Cameras to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. Previously, enabling two-factor authentication for the associated Alarm.com account would also result in the end user losing access to the camera live-streaming feature. More information on Alarm.com Camera Streaming for the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus can be found in this prior blog post. To enable two-factor authentication from the Alarm.com Customer Website, login to your account using the web browser, then choose Settings, followed by Login Information.

We're glad to see that Alarm.com is doing their part to protect end users. If you are interested in learning more about Alarm.com or Alarm Grid monitoring service, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our support email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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For users looking to add smoke and heat detectors to their wireless systems, there are always some great options to consider. Of course, the specific models you can choose from will depend which alarm panel you are using. We're here to present the best options for some popular systems.

Honeywell 5800combo smoke heat and co detector

For this list, we are presenting our favorite combination smoke and heat detector and standalone heat detector for each system. Combination smoke and heat detectors are what you should use in most locations of your home or business. During a fire, smoke is usually detected before heat, so a combination sensor will rely on smoke detection as its primary method for detecting fires. Heat detection serves as a good backup to smoke detection.

But there are some rooms of a home where it is better to use standalone heat detectors. This is because using a regular smoke detector in these rooms could result in false alarms due to excessive dust, moisture, or smoke that is normally present. Examples of rooms where a standalone heat detector is often a better option include kitchens, attics, garages, and bathrooms. Remember that standalone heat sensors are one-and-done devices, and they must be replaced after activation. Do not test them using a hair dryer!

Below are our favorite smoke and heat detector options for various systems:


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus (319.5 MHz)

Smoke & Heat: DSC PG9936

Standalone Heat: Interlogix HDX-135


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus (345 MHz)

Smoke & Heat: DSC PG9936

Standalone Heat: Honeywell 5809SS


Honeywell Lyric Alarm System

Smoke & Heat: Honeywell SiXSMOKE

Standalone Heat: Honeywell 5809SS


2GIG GC3e & 2GIG GC2e

Smoke & Heat: 2GIG SMKT8e-345

Standalone Heat: Honeywell 5809SS


If you need any help setting up your new Alarm Grid Security System, or if you are interested in learning more about our monitoring services, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Looking for an easy way to improve upon your security system? Adding security cameras and integrating them with your existing setup will really let you unlock your system's full potential. You can have your cameras activate and begin recording as soon as activity occurs on your system.

Alarm dot com adc v522ir indoor 1080p fixed camera with night vi

The main thing you should consider when choosing cameras for an existing system is to think about which alarm panel you have. Your alarm panel, by extension, determines which interactive service platform you use. Most Alarm Grid monitored customers use either Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. If you have a Honeywell Security System, then you most likely use Total Connect 2.0. If you have Alarm Grid monitoring service using a panel from a different manufacturer, such as Qolsys, 2GIG, or DSC, then you most likely use Alarm.com.

Both Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com have their own selection of cameras to choose from. Total Connect 2.0 keeps things simple with just three (3) cameras to choose from as of April 2020. These cameras are the Honeywell IPCAM-WIC1, the Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2, and the Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1. Alarm.com seems to release updated models more frequently, as they continue to update their camera lineup. At this time some of our favorite Alarm.com Camera Models include the Alarm.com ADC-V522IR, the Alarm.com ADC-V622-WELL, and the Alarm.com ADC-V723.

Once you know which camera lineup to choose from, there are many factors for you to consider when deciding which camera to buy. Some of these factors include whether the camera is for indoor or outdoor use, the recording quality of the camera, the camera's viewing angle, and how much money you would like to spend. Since Honeywell only has three cameras currently on the market, it's usually pretty cut and dry which one is best for your needs. With Alarm.com, there are more options to consider.

Whether you are using TC2 or ADC, you can view the live feed for your camera remotely from anywhere in the world using an app on your phone. You can also set a camera to begin recording, whenever activity occurs on your system. For example, if someone faults an Entry/Exit Zone and triggers an Entry Delay countdown, then you can have your camera record all the action. Usually, it will just the routine activity of an authorized individual arming the system, but you will be ready if anyone tries to make an unauthorized entry into your home or business. And you can set your cameras for all sorts of triggers, included faulted sensors, system alarms, at certain times of day, and more.

Remember that you will need a monitoring plan that includes video surveillance to use security cameras. If you already have a monitored system with Alarm Grid, then the easiest option is to upgrade to a Platinum Level Plan (Self or Full). To learn more, or if you have any questions about security cameras or our monitoring services, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our support emails from Monday thru Friday, 9am to 8pm ET. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have learned that Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.2 is now available. Anyone with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus can download this update. This is a universal update that will improve system performance and connectivity with Alarm.com. Apply it as soon as possible.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

There isn't too much exciting to talk about with this update, but it is still very important. The only definitive noticeable change is that it fixes an error involving low-battery alerts while using a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16 Wired to Wireless Converter. Other than that, the update mostly serves to improve the communication between the panel and Alarm.com.

You can read the entire Technical Service Bulletin TSB# 200413 here.

To apply this update, make sure that your panel is running at least Firmware Version 2.0.1, and have your system connected with a local WIFI network. The system should be connected with its transformer, and its backup battery should be charged. Please also note that if you are updating from Firmware Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1, you must change the Log Level to "Verbose". This is done by clicking the small grey bar at the top of the system screen and choosing Settings > Advanced Settings > Installer Code (default 1111) > Installation > System Logs.

Once you are ready, from the primary panel, click the small grey bar at the top of the screen. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > provide the Installer Code (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.5.2 > OK > Upgrade using network. The upgrade process should then begin. It normally takes less than 30 minutes. Remember that you must enter the Patch Tag exactly, or else the process will fail.

If you have any questions about this update, please email support@alarmgrid.com. We offer free technical support for monitored customers. Our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: This new Qolsys update should not be confused with Total Connect 2.0 Update Version 2.5.2, which was released in October of 2018.

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