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Being in the alarm industry, we get to test out some of the newest security systems first-hand. Today, we will briefly discuss three juggernauts in the DIY security realm - the 2GIG Edge, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, and explain why they can all succeed.





Whenever you have multiple companies all putting their best offerings forward to compete in the same field, there is usually the expectation that there will be at least one winner, but also at least one loser. However, in this playing field of three wireless alarm panels, it really appears as though each company has put its best offering forward and presented something distinctly unique that can stand out and succeed in this competitive industry. Simply put, all three of these systems are winners. It was rough getting here at times. There were some mistakes and growing pains along the way. Some were really bad. We can definitely say that it took some perseverance, but we reached a point where our three most prominent security system manufacturers - 2GIG, Qolsys, and Honeywell Home - have all hit their strides. It really is a fantastic sight to behold.

Today, we're not doing an in-depth compare and contrast of these three great systems, nor are we going to provide a definitive "ranking" of these systems. Maybe that can happen another time. What we are going to give you today is just a look at one (1) feature or capability for each system that is not possible for the other two. That is a major reason why we believe all three of these systems will thrive - they each offer something that you aren't going to find or be able to achieve with their biggest competitors. In other words, each system we're discussing today has an important competitive advantage that should keep it relevant for quite some time. Also, note that we're focusing on the positive aspects today. This isn't a wish list, and we're also not going to pick apart these systems to point out any minor flaws or shortcomings. This is just a chance for us to talk about something we like about each system and why we think it's a benefit. Anyway, let's get started. Here is why the 2GIG Edge, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS can all win.


2GIG Edge - Facial Recognition Arming/Disarming


Our impression of the 2GIG Edge is that Nortek really wanted to bring the alarm industry to the future. The system is loaded with advanced features and functions that certainly work to turn heads and bring the wow factor. None of those features more so than the panel's facial recognition arming and disarming capability. Sure, the IQ Panel 2 Plus also has its own facial recognition capabilities, but their system just generates an email from Alarm.com letting you know that the panel didn't recognize the face the last time someone disarmed. Only with the 2GIG Edge can you have the front panel camera scan your face and automatically arm or disarm the system, all without needing to enter a code. Facial recognition arming comes in handy if the Quick Arm feature (Q113) is disabled in order to provide arming/disarming logs. By default, this feature is enabled, which means that the system can be armed simply by pressing the Arm Stay or Arm Away button. This is convenient, but in some circumstances, such as for a business, you may want to know which user is arming and disarming your system, as well as when the system is being armed and disarmed.

The facial recognition feature of the 2GIG Edge differs from the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus in another way. With the Qolsys panel, all of the heavy lifting is done by Alarm.com. The facial profile and recognition processing all occur on the Alarm.com servers. With the 2GIG Edge, the user's facial profile is stored locally on the panel, and facial recognition processing also takes place locally. This means your facial biometric information stays safe within your own network and is never sent out into the cloud. If you're concerned about keeping your facial biometric information private, then this is very important!

On top of that, the feature works shockingly well and consistently when set up properly, and unless you have an identical twin or a doppelganger hanging around, it's not a security risk in any way. This is the kind of feature that you brag about to your friends, as it's actually cool. Plus, once you get used to it and learn how to position your face just right, the feature is super convenient as well. Being able to arm or disarm your system while your hands are full is something you will absolutely appreciate at some point or another. Manufacturers are always looking for ways to futurize their alarm systems. Well, the 2GIg Edge has done exactly that with its facial recognition feature. We recommend checking our prior blog post dedicated to 2GIG Edge Facial Recognition to learn more.


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus - PowerG Sensor Range


As the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is the oldest security system on this list, features that were once exclusive and unique have since been replicated by their competition. That being said, one area where the IQ2+ still reigns supreme is in the wireless range of its PowerG Sensors. With a range of approximately 2,000 feet when used with the IQ2+, you just can't go wrong. Sure, that listed range is assuming a best-case scenario in an open-air environment, with no large metal objects or other obstacles around to cause interference. Still, it blows the other manufacturers out of the water. While we haven't done any of our own testing (that may be a fun experiment for a future blog), the reports we hear from customers seem to indicate that PowerG Sensors on the IQ2+ do indeed offer a noticeably longer transmitting range than what can be achieved with the other panels on this list. We have heard multiple stories of users who have managed to get PowerG Sensors to work in areas such as warehouses and storage facilities where wireless sensors were thought to be completely unviable. If that wasn't enough, there is also the DSC PG9920 PowerG Repeater, which boosts the theoretical maximum wireless range to a distance of up to 4,000 feet!

While all of this doesn't really matter much for most users, as most users don't really need a sensor to work from 2,000+ feet away, the users who do benefit from the extended wireless range find it to be a complete game-changer. Just imagine, an installation that was once only possible with a super complex hardwired polling loop panel can now be achieved wirelessly with the IQ Panel 2 Plus! Not to mention that the PowerG Sensors offer some of the very best protection we have seen, with 128-bit AES encryption and Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) Technology. We're a bit surprised other manufacturers haven't followed suit and offered something comparable to PowerG. It's not to say that their alternative sensor offerings (e.g. Resideo PROSIX and SiX Series Sensors, 2GIG eSeries Sensors) aren't good devices in their own right, but the DSC PowerG Sensors are still at the top of the food chain... at least for now. As a result, there are still occasional installations where our only option is to recommend the IQ Panel 2 Plus with PowerG Sensors. It's totally cool though, as the IQ2+ remains a great panel that is loaded with tremendous features.


Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS - IP-Only Monitoring Option


We have an honorable mention with the PROA7PLUS. Namely, it's the only one of these three systems with replaceable components, meaning that you won't need to replace the entire panel if something like its WIFI & Z-Wave card or its added cellular communicator becomes damaged. While replaceable components are nice to have, they don't necessarily sell panels like the ability to monitor across internet protocol (IP) only. Although we love getting customers on our Gold Plan, and we can talk about the benefits of cellular monitoring until we're blue in the face, the fact remains that there are some customers who just want reliable monitoring service at a low price. We see it all the time - a customer just wants no-frills monitoring service to get a homeowner's insurance discount and to provide a basic layer of protection over their household. To them, the extra cost associated with cellular or dual-path monitoring isn't worth the benefit of their system staying monitored during internet outages. All we can do is try to give these customers what they want - an alarm panel that will allow them to keep their monitoring costs down. That is what they get with the PROA7PLUS, as it is the only one of these three systems that supports IP-only monitoring.

Technically, it's not the doing of the panel that makes IP-only monitoring possible, but rather it's the monitoring platform. The other panels on this list connect with Alarm.com, which mandates that cellular connectivity is set up on all their accounts. The PROA7PLUS on the other hand doesn't use Alarm.com, but rather it uses AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0. For the most part, Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 are relatively equal, but in a rare area of difference, TC2 allows for IP-only service, while ADC requires a cellular connection. The result is that when a customer comes to us wanting low-cost monitoring, after we explain the benefits of cellular, and they still want IP-only anyway, we go ahead with recommending the PROA7PLUS. That's not a bad thing either, as the system is super sleek, and it offers an incredible mix of great features and reliable performance. Though when it comes to the area where the PROA7PLUS stands out the most, it's the system's ability to be set up for IP-only alarm monitoring service. Unless Alarm.com drops its cellular requirement, or 2GIG and/or Qolsys team-up with another monitoring platform, Resideo and the PROA7PLUS will continue to dominate this market segment. There will always be people wanting monitoring service at the lowest possible price, even if it means giving up cellular connectivity. Luckily for those frugal folks, they have an excellent panel that gives them that option in the PROA7PLUS. That alone gives the PROA7PLUS plenty of opportunity to succeed. Also, just to be clear, a user can always add a cellular communicator to a PROA7PLUS and upgrade to cellular monitoring later on. We have many customers who want to start out on a low-cost plan and then upgrade to a more expensive plan later. That's perfectly understandable, and the PROA7PLUS makes that option possible.


What Do You Think?


We mean it when we say that the Edge, IQ Panel 2 Plus, and PROA7PLUS are all fantastic alarm panels. We might do a ranking someday, but to us, they are all winners. The choice really comes down to your unique needs. If the convenience of arming or disarming using your face is most important, go with the Edge. If you need the extended wireless range of PowerG, go with the IQ Panel 2 Plus. If you want low-cost IP-only monitoring, go with the PROA7PLUS. Each panel has its own advantage. There are also many other talking points that we simply don't have time to get to today. However, you can start your own discussion in the comments below! We would love to hear your thoughts, opinions, viewpoints, and personal experiences. If you have used or tested out any of these panels, then we would love to know about it. Also, our comments section is a great place to ask questions. Maybe we have something that we didn't cover that you would like to learn more about? Our team of experts are happy to help you. Leave a comment below, and we will be sure to reply. Plus, don't forget to stay tuned to our blog for more security news and discussions coming soon!

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We have a relatively short post today, as we just wanted to say "Thank You" to 2GIG for featuring Alarm Grid on the 2GIG Instagram Page, @2gigsecurity. 2GIG posted our unboxing video of the new 2GIG Edge Security System. Thank you 2GIG, we're glad that you liked our unboxing video!


The 2GIG Edge is a wireless all-in-one alarm panel with a 7-inch touchscreen controller, built-in WIFI and LTE cellular, an integrated Z-Wave Plus V2 700-Series controller, support for up to 100 wireless zones, facial recognition disarming, Smart Area Partitions, optional Bluetooth disarming, full connectivity with the Alarm.com platform, and so much more! The system is available now on the Alarm Grid website in standalone AT&T and Verizon variants, or in one of our complete security system starter kits that include everything you need for alarm monitoring!

The unboxing video that 2GIG reposted is one of our very first in a new series by Alarm Grid, where "James the Video Guy" unboxes various alarm control panels and security system kits to show you exactly what's inside and what comes included. While James is usually known for his work behind the camera, this new series has given him a chance to step into the spotlight and showcase some of the most popular products offered by Alarm Grid. You can see the full 2GIG Edge Unboxing Video down below. We also made a blog post about our new unboxing videos back in April, which you can view here.

Thanks again to 2GIG for featuring us on their Instagram page. If you have any requests for what you would like to see in a future unboxing video from Alarm Grid, please let us know. You can leave a comment down below to make your request. We hope to have more videos like this available in the future. We will be sure to let you know as they come out. You can also leave a comment below to share your thoughts on our unboxing videos or any other videos featured on the Alarm Grid YouTube Channel. Thanks for reading, and we'll be back with more great security system content coming soon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We have a quick bit of news today. Certain commercial-grade Alarm.com Security Cameras will receive an automatic firmware update in the coming weeks. Models receiving the update include the ADC-VC726, ADC-VC736, ADC-VC826, and ADC-VC836. No special action is needed to receive the update.

At this time, Alarm.com has not provided much information regarding the update. All we know is that the update is for Firmware Version V5.5.82.210318 and that it includes multiple stability enhancements. Only the aforementioned commercial-grade security cameras from Alarm.com are set to receive the update. These are all Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras that only use hardwired ethernet for network connectivity, and they do not support WIFI connectivity. Although these are commercial-grade cameras designed for commercial or industrial use, they can certainly be used in residential settings as well.

Alarm.com has stated that these cameras will be automatically updated in the coming weeks. The update will occur as part of an automated overnight firmware upgrade process. Again, no special action is required to receive the update. Just make sure that your camera is powered on and connected to the network, and Alarm.com should take care of the reset.

Since this update is only for stability enhancements, it is very likely that you will not receive any direct notification that the update has been performed. However, you can easily check the installed firmware for your camera by accessing Alarm.com through a compatible web browser, logging into your account, clicking Video on the left-hand side, choosing Settings at the top, then choosing the first option of Video Device Info. From there, select the camera (Video Device) you want to view from the dropdown menu and note the Current Firmware Version. This can be seen in the following picture.


As we said, we don't know much about the firmware update that will be coming, and we only have "within the coming weeks" as a general timeframe. But still, feel free to leave your thoughts or start a discussion in the comments down below. We would love to hear what you think, And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more news coming soon!

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Welcome to a special Tuesday edition of an Alarm Grid Video Recap! We normally do these on Mondays, but we pushed this one back a day due to the time-sensitive nature of yesterday's post. Make sure to go and check that one out if you use the Nest Thermostat integration for Alarm.com.

As for today's video recap, it's mostly just business as usual. We have three (3) new videos today, all of which feature the 2GIG Edge. This innovative and feature-rich security system has certainly kept us busy and given us a lot to explore and share with you. We have even received some comments from users on YouTube asking us to cover specific 2GIG Edge features and functions. If you have anything that you would like to see from Alarm Grid, then make sure to leave a comment on this post down below. There's a great chance that you will see it in a future Alarm Grid video!

We know that you're on the EDGE of your seat waiting to see these new 2GIG EDGE videos, so let's get started! Here are the latest tutorial videos from Alarm Grid:

2GIG Edge: Clearing a Tamper Error

I show you how to clear a tamper error trouble condition from the 2GIG Edge. A tamper error occurs when the panel's internal tamper switch is not held down probably. This is usually the result of the panel being opened. When the issue occurs, a trouble notification will appear as a yellow circle with number inside it. Also, the panel will begin emitting a soft beeping sound. Once you properly close the panel so that the tamper switch is pressed down, the trouble notification will go away, and the beeping will cease.


2GIG Edge: Adding a Z Wave Device

I show you how to pair a Z-Wave device with a 2GIG Edge. Inside every 2GIG Edge is a Z-Wave Plus V2 700-Series Controller. This allows users to enroll a wide selection of Z-Wave peripherals, such as smart lights, door locks, programmable thermostats, and more. Z-Wave devices can be controlled locally at the panel, plus remotely from Alarm.com if the system is monitored with a plan that includes automation services. You can also create customized Alarm.com Smart Scenes to have your Z-Wave activate automatically.


2GIG Edge: Removing a Z Wave Device

I show you how to clear a device from the Z-Wave network using the 2GIG Edge. When you remove, or clear, a Z-Wave device, you are wiping out all its Z-Wave network data. This will allow the device to pair with a new Z-wave controller or hub. A user will typically remove a Z-Wave device if they no longer intend on using it. However, a user should also perform the clearing process before attempting to pair a device. This will ensure that no residual Z-Wave network data remains lingering inside the device.

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We have an important update for all Google Nest Thermostat users who have integrated their Nest devices with Alarm.com. Any user who hasn't moved their Nest device over to a Google account by June 1st will have their Alarm.com/Nest integration reset. Take action now to avoid this!

According to Alarm.com, Google sent out a notice to all users still using Works With Nest accounts back in March 2020. The notice informed users that they needed to switch their Works With Nest accounts over to Google accounts. Now, Alarm.com is preparing to enforce this mandate, as they will reset the Alarm.com/Nest integration for any user who has not switched over to a Google account by June 1st. If this affects you, then you should take action immediately in order to avoid having your Nest integration reset. Alarm Grid previously covered the Nest integration for Alarm.com in late January 2020 when the integration was reintroduced. You can revisit that prior blog post here.

Fortunately, switching your Works With Nest account to a Google account is very easy. If you received an email from Google about this issue, you can click the option Switch to Google from within it to begin the migration. Otherwise, start by making sure you have the latest available version of the Nest App. Open the Nest App on your Android or iOS device. Once you are in the app, press the settings icon, which looks like a gear. Then choose the option for "Migrate to a Google Account". There will be important information that you should review. After reading, press the "Continue with Google" button. You can then select the Google account you want to use. If you use other Google Assistant and/or Google Home products, then it is recommended that you use the same Google account with your Nest Thermostat as you use with your other Google devices. You will also be given the option to create a new Google account if you do not have one already. After you have selected your account, press "Allow" to give the Nest App permission to access data from your Google account. If you have Works With Nest connections and/or the Google Home App, then extra steps may be presented to disconnect those connections and combine your homes into a unified Google Nest Home. Works With Nest connections cannot be used with a Google Account. From there, review the information, and follow the on-screen prompts to finish.

After you have finished moving over to a Google account, you may need to re-link your Nest Thermostat with Alarm.com. This can be done through the Alarm.com website. Login to Alarm.com using a compatible web browser, and then choose Settings on the left-hand side. Then choose Manage Devices, then Add Device, then Thermostat, then Google Nest Thermostat, and then Begin Installation. You will need to provide the Google account information associated with your Nest Thermostat. This is the same account you used when migrating from Works With Nest to Google. It will likely take a few minutes for the integration process to complete. If you are having trouble, you should reach out to your monitoring provider for further assistance. Alarm Grid customers can email support@alarmgrid.com for help. We respond to emails during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F.



Have you had a good experience using a Google Nest Thermostat with Alarm.com? Do you have any thoughts on the Alarm.com/Nest integration? Is there anything you particularly like or dislike about the integration or the Nest Thermostat in general? Let us know in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security system news coming soon!

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In a previous Beta Firmware Version available to industry insiders, Resideo introduced the ability to live-stream SkyBell Doorbell Cameras from the Honeywell Home ROA7PLUS and Resideo PROA7PLUSC. The new upcoming feature will likely be made available to the general public very soon.

We have known about the camera streaming capabilities for the PROA7PLUS for quite some time, but we had yet to see what form the feature would take. That changes with this beta release, as we now have our first glimpse at the feature. Users can live-stream any Total Connect 2.0 compatible SkyBell device right from their PROA7PLUS or PROA7PLUSC. Compatible doorbell cameras include the round Honeywell SkyBell DBCAM and the slimline Honeywell SkyBell DBCAM-TRIM. The round model has since been discontinued, but the slimline model remains available for purchase from the Alarm Grid website.


In addition to streaming from a compatible panel, the system will also display a message whenever someone is at your door and rings the SkyBell device. The camera streaming also includes audio streaming, and you can engage in a two-way voice conversation with the person at your door. This is thanks to the integrated microphone included in the ProSeries Security Systems. This is great for telling your friend that you will unlock the door for them, or for telling a solicitor that you're not interested. The possibilities will be endless!

And not only is this feature available for the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC, you can also stream from the compatible touchscreen keypads, those being the Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH Keypad and the Resideo PROWLTOUCHC Keypad. The touchscreen keypads support all of the same capabilities as the panels in this aspect, including doorbell camera streaming, audio streaming, and two-way voice. Remember that you must have WIFI capability enabled on the panel to integrate the touchscreen keypads as well as the Skybell.


One very important note about the SkyBell streaming feature is that it is only going to be supported by the "PLUS" versions of the ProSeries Panels, those being the PROA7PLUS and the PROA7PLUSC. It is our understanding that the PROA7 and PROA7C will not support the feature. If you were trying to decide between a "PLUS" and a "non-PLUS" version of a ProSeries System, well this is yet another reason to spring for one of the higher-end versions!

Although the feature has not been released to the public quite yet, we still have a general idea of how SkyBell Camera streaming will be implemented. First, you must have the system monitored and set up for service with Total Connect 2.0. You will then need to link your SkyBell device with your Total Connect 2.0 account. If you intend on buying a new SkyBell Camera for this purpose, then make sure that you are getting one of the Honeywell models for use with Total Connect 2.0. A user should never attempt to pair an Alarm.com SkyBell device with TC2 or with the native SkyBell App. After you link your ProSeries System with TC2, there will be a new Cameras option inside the main system menu. It is there that you can choose to stream a SkyBell Camera linked with your TC2 account. The device should show up after the doorbell camera has been successfully integrated with your TC2 account, and the panel has properly refreshed with the AlarmNet Servers.

We know that many Alarm Grid users will certainly take advantage of this feature once it is released. To ensure that you can get started with SkyBell Camera streaming as soon as it becomes available, make sure that you are monitored ahead of time. All TC2 users are entitled to have up to five (5) SkyBell devices linked with their accounts. You don't even need a true video monitoring plan to get started. More information on the subject can be found in this FAQ. If you're interested in signing up for monitoring service, and you haven't decided on a service provider as of yet, then you could consider one of Alarm Grid's monitoring plans. If you have questions, reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that we check and reply to emails during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F.

Are you excited about SkyBell Doorbell Camera streaming for the PROA7PLUS, PROA7PLUSC? We're sorry to tease you with a feature that hasn't seen its official release quite yet, but we figured that it would be okay to build up some hype. With the SkyBell Camera Streaming and Local End-User Programming for the ProSeries Panels both in Beta Development, it's fair to expect the features to be fully released any time now. We will provide updates in the Alarm Grid Blog regarding any major releases. For now, make sure to comment down below to share your thoughts on this upcoming feature. Also feel free to let us know about any security system coverage you would like to see us focus on in the future. That's it for today's blog, stay tuned for more Alarm Grid content coming soon!

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Qolsys has released information regarding an issue affecting IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.4 and Firmware Version 2.5.5. The issue affects the Z-Wave Home Automation functionality for IQ2 Systems on those firmware versions. The issue can be fixed by upgrading the system to 2.6.0.

According to Qolsys TSB# 210511, which can be viewed here, Z-Wave devices paired with an IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System on Firmware Version 2.5.4 or Firmware Version 2.5.5 may occasionally buffer and repeatedly send the same command to the device every thirty (30) minutes. Although it's possible that any Z-Wave device could demonstrate this behavior, Qolsys says that it is most likely to affect the GoControl GD00Z-8-GC Z-Wave Plus Garage Door Opener.

Fortunately, Qolsys also adds that the issue can be easily corrected by upgrading to Firmware Version 2.6.0. If you haven't already, make sure to upgrade to Firmware Version 2.6.0 so that all of your programmed Z-Wave devices work as intended. More information on IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.6.0, including what comes with the update and how to perform the update, can be found in this helpful blog post.

Alarm Grid will provide a future update if we learn anything more from Qolsys. But for now, it can be assumed that upgrading to Firmware Version 2.6.0 will resolve the issue. Remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more updates coming soon!

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A new alarm panel hitting the market often means an old one is discontinued. That is the case here today, as the 2GIG GC3e has been formally discontinued by Nortek Control. The GC3e has been replaced by the 2GIG Edge, which is available in both an AT&T variant and a Verizon variant.

As we look back on the 2GIG GC3e, we gotta admit that the panel was in an unfavorable position from the start. The system was a direct replacement to the 2GIG GC3, as it retained largely the same user interface, and its design only received a minor refresh. The big new addition with the GC3e was its ability to support 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors. Along with the 2GIG GC2e, this marked the first time that 2GIG Alarm Panels could support encrypted sensors.

Unfortunately, 2GIG was late to the party, as other security systems like the Honeywell Lyric and Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus already had encrypted sensor support, not to mention a wide selection of sensors to choose from. Coupled with the fact that Qolsys continued to release new features for the IQ2+, and Resideo (formerly Honeywell) had the PROA7PLUS on the way, it quickly became clear that 2GIG would need to do better in order to keep up.

Thus began development on the 2GIG Edge. We first learned about the system in October of last year. With a bold new website and heavy promotion, hype around the Edge grew quickly. But this also brought questions in the back of our minds - what would happen to the GC2e and the GC3e? These panels had been on the market for less than two (2) years. Would 2GIG really abandon them so quickly? Well, today we have the verdict. The 2GIG GC2e stays, and the 2GIG GC3e heads off to the old alarm system graveyard in the sky.

First released in late July 2019, the 2GIG GC3e became known for its strong build quality and stark similarities to its GC3 predecessor. But it had a hard time competing with fellow Alarm.com Security System, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Buyers continued to flock to the IQ2+, which offered Automatic Bluetooth Disarming and Facial Recognition. Those features could not be easily added to the GC3e, so 2GIG decided to cut their losses and add those features into a new alarm panel, the 2GIG Edge. 2GIG even one-upped Qolsys by making it so that the Edge's Facial Recognition feature can be used for disarming the system!

With the Edge firmly in place as 2GIG's new flagship panel, and the 2GIG GC2e set as their "budget-friendly" option, some wondered if the 2GIG GC3e might be kept in production as a sort of "middle-of-the-road" offering. But nope, apparently, three panels is too many at 2GIG, and it's the GC3e biting the dust. And now, less than two years after hitting the market, and barely more than two years removed from its unveiling at ISC West 2019, we are saying goodbye to the 2GIG GC3e. It wasn't a long ride, but it was a good one.

If you have an existing 2GIG GC3e, then don't worry! The system will continue to be supported for alarm monitoring and service with the Alarm.com platform. Given the system's great build quality, it's fair to expect that existing GC3e Panels already out in the field will likely stay in service for quite some time, probably for the duration of LTE cellular networks. And speaking of LTE communication, Alarm Grid is continuing to offer LTE communicators for the 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e. These are the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3 (AT&T LTE) and the 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC3 (Verizon LTE). If you need to get your GC3 updated, or your GC3e monitored, then either one of these modules is an excellent option. They're super easy to install, and they provide ultra-reliable cellular connectivity for the peace of mind that you deserve.

Meanwhile, the 2GIG GC2e will remain in production as the company's budget panel. However, we don't usually recommend that system for alarm monitoring, as it has no internet connectivity option to serve as an additional communication path, and it is relatively bare-bones in terms of features. But it is still an available option, and many users find that the GC2e is a strong offering as a replacement for the 2GIG GC2 or as a non-monitored system serving as a local noisemaker.

But for our top 2GIG pick, it should come as no surprise that we are recommending the new 2GIG Edge Alarm System. With its great features like 7-inch touchscreen controller, Facial Recognition, optional Automatic Bluetooth Disarming, Smart Area Partitioning support, 700-Series Z-Wave Plus V2 Smart Home Automation, and being dual-path ready right out of the box, we are proud to say that this system is available now on the Alarm Grid website. While we might miss the 2GIG GC3e, the 2GIG Edge certainly fills the void. Time will tell how the Edge fares against other competing systems like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS.

What do you think of the 2GIG GC3e? Will you miss the system? Are you surprised to see 2GIG discontinue the system after less than two years? Did you ever get to try the system out for yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And remember to stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security system content coming soon. We promise, we don't discontinue systems every day, but when we do, we always make sure to say a proper goodbye. Farewell 2GIG GC3e!

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If you have Alarm.com Video Surveillance service, then you likely know that the lineup of compatible security cameras is quite deep. It can be a bit daunting to decide which camera is best for you. Today, we're going to present our list of our Top 5 Best Alarm.com Cameras for use at home.


Keep in mind that we're not presenting any "commercial" cameras on the list. Only residential cameras will be considered. You can usually tell the difference based on the name. The Alarm.com Commercial Cameras will have a "VC" somewhere in the title, whereas the Alarm.com Residential Cameras only have a "V" in the title. We also considered Alarm.com Doorbell Cameras for this list, and those can be identified by having "VDB" for "Video Door Bell", in the name. Other than that, there's really not much else to think about. These are just the residential cameras that we think are most useful. We also want to mention that every camera on this list is compatible with Alarm.com Video Analytics, to at least some degree. If you aren't familiar with Alarm.com Video Analytics, we recommend checking out this FAQ to learn more. With that out of the way, let's get started!

5. Alarm.com ADC-V515 Budget Indoor Camera

The ADC-V515 is often seen as the "budget version" for another camera higher on this list. But despite being a low-cost option, the ADC-V515 still packs some impressive features. It offers 1080p recording capabilities, IR night vision of up to 15 feet, a 110° viewing angle, a nice 3.19mm F2.2 lens, and WIFI connectivity (2.4 GHz networks only). If that weren't enough, the ADC-V515 even offers High Dynamic Range (HDR) to make recordings appear deeper and more luminous. The camera might feel a bit more "flimsy" compared with the other models on this list, but still, it has the strong quality to keep your home safe for a very long time. This is a great starter camera for those who want to get into video surveillance, without breaking the bank.

Best For: Anyone needing a great indoor-only camera on a budget.

4. Alarm.com ADC-V622-WELL Wellness Camera

While it's specifically designed for monitoring an elderly or mobility challenged loved one and helping them live independently, the ADC-V622-WELL, also called the Alarm.com Wellcam, actually boasts some excellent security capabilities as well. This is a camera tower that can be easily mounted to a wall or conveniently placed on a table or desk. In addition to its 1080p recording quality, 1.62mm F2.3 lens, and IR night vision of up to 15 feet, the Wellcam is perhaps best known for its "press to call" feature and its two-way audio capability. This is also the only camera on this list that supports Power over Ethernet (PoE), which is usually reserved for commercial cameras. However, you might feel a bit silly buying this camera for strictly security purposes, as the packaging really emphasizes the "wellness" aspect.

Best For: Anyone needing to monitor a family member to help them live independently.

3. Alarm.com ADC-VDB770 Doorbell Camera

When it comes to doorbell cameras, Alarm.com has no shortage of options. But few would argue that the ADC-VDB770 isn't the single best doorbell camera offering from Alarm.com. In fact, many would say that it's the single best video doorbell on the market, period. This incredible device offers resolution of up to 1440x1920 Full HD, a Field of View of 150° Vertical and 115° Horizontal, IR night vision of up to 15 feet, and two-way voice for communicating with whomever is at your door. If that weren't enough, the doorbell camera even offers HDR recording, a feature normally reserved for traditional HD cameras. It is worth mentioning that unlike the other cameras on this list that support the full range of Alarm.com Video Analytics, the ADC-VDB770 only supports limited range of Video Analytics, in which only one (1) Ground Zone rule can be configured. But for a video doorbell, that's usually all you will need. Best of all, while this camera still counts towards your total ADC camera limit, you can actually use a single video doorbell device like the ADC-VDB770, on your Alarm.com account, even if you don't have a traditional video monitoring plan. This makes the device fantastic for monitoring your home's primary entrance, without needing to upgrade to a higher-cost monitoring plan.

Best For: Those wanting a top-of-the-line doorbell camera to integrate with Alarm.com.

2. Alarm.com ADC-V523 Premium Indoor Camera

When we said earlier that the ADC-V515 was the "budget" version of another camera on this list, the ADC-V523 is that camera. This is considered the standard "go-to" camera for use with Alarm.com. Any residential user who is just looking for a great, all-around camera for general use should absolutely consider the ADC-V523. It is basically everything that the ADC-V515 offers, but better. The lens is boosted to 3.0mm F2.0, the viewing angle has been increased to 117°, and you can connect with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WIFI networks. Even the build quality is improved, as the ADC-V523 has a heavier feel to it, and you can quickly identify that this is the premium offering from Alarm.com. Also returning to the ADC-V523 is the 1080p Full HD recording quality and HDR recording for deeper-looking footage. The only weakness with regard to this camera is that it cannot be used outside. It's for indoor use only.

Best For: Anyone needing the very best residential Alarm.com Camera for strictly indoor use.

1. Alarm.com ADC-V723 Premium Outdoor Camera

The ADC-V723 eliminates the most glaring drawback of the ADC-V523, as our top Alarm.com Camera pick can be used both indoors and outdoors. For the most part, the ADC-V723 offers the same specifications as the ADC-V523, but there are a few improvements. Returning to the ADC-V723 from the ADC-V523 is the 3.0mm F2.0 Lens, the 117° Viewing Angle, Full HD recording with HDR for more luminous footage, and the full suite of Alarm.com Video Analytics. But the ADC-V723 offers a few unique upgrades in its own right. This camera introduces ingress protection (IP66) for keeping out the harsh outside elements. It also offers further IR night vision of up to 40 feet, so that individuals standing even further away can still be properly identified in nighttime recordings. It's safe to say that the ADC-V723 is basically the same as the ADC-V523, only better. But the "upgrades" really only come in handy if you need an outdoor camera. If you intend on keeping the ADC-V723 tucked inside, then you may as well just get the ADC-V523. When used indoors though, the two cameras have to be considered equal. In this case, we have to give the ADC-V723 the edge for its ability to function as an outdoor camera.

Best For: Anyone needing the very best outdoor camera for use with Alarm.com.

Do you agree with our list? Do you have any of these cameras at your house? Maybe some of these cameras are on your wish list? Let us know in a comment down below. Remember that you need an alarm monitoring plan with video surveillance, such as an Alarm Grid Platinum Plan or Video-Only Plan, to get started with most of these cameras. The only exception is the ADC-VDB770, as you can add a single compatible video doorbell device to an existing Alarm.com account, without a true video surveillance plan. If you need help getting started with any of these cameras, please email our team at suppor@alarmgrid.com. We're here to check incoming emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Also don't forget to comment down below, and stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more content coming real soon!

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