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This is an important message for anyone with a Honeywell VISTA System that uses an LTE-XV Verizon Cellular Communicator. Honeywell will be sending out an automatic firmware update to these communicators. This firmware update will install version 4.0.30 on the communicator. With this automatic update, users can expect a performance upgrade and an enhancement of the module's auto-detect recovery mode.


During this update process, the following messages will generate::

Action

Code
Start FW E903
Power on Reset E339
Complete FW R903

These messages are completely normal, and they are nothing to worry about. The update will take place automatically sometime in the next few days. The update will not affect the usability of your security system. You will also not need to make any changes to your panel's settings. However, we recommend keeping your system powered on and connected to the cellular network during this time. This will allow the firmware update to go through as normal.

If you have any questions about this update and what it means for your panel, please contact support@alarmgrid.com.

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At first glance, setting up your own alarm system might seem like a task best left to a professional. But in reality, it's actually something you can do on your own with a small bit of guidance. Putting a home alarm system together is actually very easy with some basic knowledge. You will only need to know the basic components of the system. Then follow some simple steps to get everything ready. If you are adept at using tools, then you can choose to make the process more hands-on. Likewise, you don't know your way around a toolbox, there's a simple setup for you too. The possibilities are completely open when you're starting from scratch. Or you might already have some components and you want to integrate them into your setup. Either way, this guide will help you get your alarm system up and running.

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Understanding an Alarm System

An alarm system consists of many components. Each component serves a different purpose. You should first understand component before you rush out and start buying equipment. This will help you to better understand the workings of an alarm system. A simple way to think about this is to break every component into one of four categories. These are:

We'll go through each component and tell you what you should (and shouldn't) get for your alarm system.

The Panel

The panel serves as the central hub for a home alarm system. It goes by many names (control panel, security system, controller, etc.) But we'll refer to it as the panel. The panel represents the brains of the an alarm system. It is the device that receives signals from the other components of the setup. The panel can also tell other devices how to act or respond. But most importantly, the panel is what sends any outbound messages. If the system needs to alert you or the central station, the panel will send the signal. With that in mind, a good panel makes for a good alarm setup.

All panels are not built equal. Some come with more functions and features than others. A panel with more features will need fewer add-ons and save you money (more on that later). Also, some panels are easier for end users to set up and configure. As a general rule, wireless panels are easier to work with than wired panels. A wireless panel is an all-in-one panel that includes its own touchscreen display. These panels come with many built-in add-ons, preventing the need for users to buy more later. They are often easier to set up, and using a simple desk mount is an option. You may also need to buy a separate cable for a wireless panel, such as the Honeywell LT-Cable.

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That said, some users choose to go with a wired panel. This might be because they inherited the panel or they want more control over the setup. Wired panels can make for a great foundation to a home alarm system. But they are usually more difficult to work with, and they are not as forgiving as wireless panels. You will need various tools to install a wired panel, and the panel will need a greater number of add-ons. But don't let that deter you. A great alarm system is possible with a hardwired panel. But if you're looking for the easiest route possible, choose a wireless panel instead.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenAssuming that you choose a wireless panel, there are a few things to look for. You should choose a modern, new panel that will receive support and updates well into the future. It's wise to select a panel with many built-in add-ons so that you don't have to add more later. Also make sure you choose a panel with an appearance that you like. After all, the panel will be a mainstay in your home for many years to come. It doesn't make sense to buy a panel with a design that you aren't fond of! Some great panels for new users to choose from include:

Sensors

If panel is the brains of the alarm system, then the sensors are what it controls. These are the security and life-safety devices that are vital to any proper home alarm system. A sensor is what the panel uses to recognize that something is wrong. When choosing a sensor, you must always make sure that it is compatible with your panel. Our support team is happy to help you answer any questions for sensor compatibility.

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There are two main categories of sensors for security systems. These are wireless sensors and wired sensors. As the name implies, wireless sensors communicate with a panel wirelessly. This prevents the need for running a wire from the sensor to the panel or to a converter. The wireless sensors today are both reliable and easy to use. Some modern wireless sensors even use built-in encryption. This prevents others from hacking over or spoofing the sensor. Generally, wireless sensors are the preferred option. for anyone wants an easier time setting up their alarm system. But remember, wireless sensors will need battery replacements. The typical battery life for a wireless sensor is three to five years.

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But there are cases when choosing wired sensors makes sense. Some users might already have some wired sensors that they want to use with their system. Other users might have a wired panel for easy integration with wired sensors. And some users might not want to deal with battery replacements for sensors. Wired sensors can work great in these situations. But the downside with wired sensors is that they are more difficult to install. Each sensor will need to have a wire run to the panel. Also, wireless panels will need a wired to wireless converter to work with wired sensors.

The other major way to divide sensors is by type. Of course, you most likely won't need every type of sensor for your alarm setup. Instead, you can pick and choose which sensors are most important for your system. The following are some of the types of sensors that you will come across:

  • Door and Window Contacts: These devices let the system know about an opened door or window. They are some of the most important sensors in a security system. The two types of these devices are surface-mount contacts and recessed contacts. Surface-mount contacts are easier to install, but they are visible on the door or window. Recessed contacts will mandate some drilling, but they are not visible once installed.
  • Motion Sensors: These sensors respond to the presence of motion. They are great for detecting intruders inside your home or on your property. Most motion sensors use one of two detection methods. These are passive infrared (PIR) and both PIR and microwave detection (dual-tec). Motion sensors are either designed for indoor use or outdoor use. The scope and range of motion sensors also varies between different devices. There even motion sensors that are pet-immune, making them great for homes with pets.
  • Glass Break Sensors: Glass break sensors respond to the sound of breaking glass. These devices will only activate if two distinct sounds occur at the same time. These are the "thud" of an object striking glass and the actual shattering of glass. Glass break sensors are great for monitoring windows. They can also oversee glass casings inside the home.
  • Shock Sensors: Shock sensors rest on the surface of a glass window or casing. These sensors will activate if they detect the shockwaves of breaking glass. These devices are great alternatives to sound-based glass break sensors.
  • Panic Buttons: A panic button is a button to press in the event of an emergency. Once activated, a panic button tells the system to perform a predetermined response. For example, some panic buttons will request medical dispatch. But others will request police dispatch. The type of response depends on the system programming settings of the device.
  • KeyFobs: A keyfob is a wireless device that allows a user to control their alarm system with ease. With the press of a button, a keyfob can arm or disarm the system, send a distress signal and more.
  • Sirens and Strobes: Sirens and strobes are devices used to alert others in case of an alarm. They produce loud alarms and/or flashing lights. They are great for warning others about present danger. These devices can also scare intruders off your property.
  • Smoke and Heat Sensors: A type of life-safety device, these sensors detect the presence of fire. If a fire is present, these devices will alert everyone in the building so they can evacuate. Some of these sensors only include standalone smoke or heat detection. But other devices include both smoke and heat sensing for extra protection.
  • Carbon Monoxide Sensors: These devices respond to the presence of carbon monoxide. This is an odorless and tasteless gas that is lethal if breathed in. These devices will alert everyone in the building so that they can escape in time. These life-saving devices are essential for any building.
  • Flood Sensors: Flood sensors are a type of environmental sensor. They alert a system about possible flooding. Upon detecting water, a flood sensor will send a signal to the panel to alert the system of the situation.
  • Temperature Sensors: Temperature sensors are a type of environmental sensor. They alert a system about the presence of extreme temperatures. These sensors are great for alerting a user to very low temperatures that may cause the pipes to freeze. They can also notify the user about very high temperatures caused by a broken AC unit.

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Add-Ons

Add-ons are devices used to increase the functionality of an alarm system. In most cases, wired panels will warrant a greater number of add-ons than wireless panels. This is because wireless often come pre-included with more capabilities than wired panels. For wired panels, it isn't uncommon for a user to apply every type of add-on to their system. Meanwhile, wireless panels usually have many add-ons already built-in and included. But to get the most out of your system, you may need to first buy one or more add-ons.

Here are some of the add-ons you may encounter when setting up your security system:

  • Communicators: Communicators allow a system to send outbound signals. This is necessary for communicating with a central monitoring station. It also allows for connection to an interactive service, such as Total Connect or Alarm.com. The two main types of communicators are IP communicators and cellular communicators. Dual-path communicators also exist. Almost every wired panel will need some type of communicator installed. Most wireless panels come pre-included with an IP communicator. But many users also add a cellular communicator to their wireless panel. This will provide them with a dual-path communication setup.
  • Wired to Wireless Converters: Wired to wireless converters are very useful. They allow wired sensors to function with wireless panels. This works by connecting a wired sensor to the converter. The converter will then send a wireless signal to the panel. This will allow the wired sensor to communicate with the wireless panel. These converters are great for upgrading from a wired panel, without replacing sensors.
  • Wireless Repeaters: Wireless repeaters can extend the range of wireless sensors. When a wireless sensor sends off a signal, the wireless repeater will pick it up. The repeater will then send out the signal a second time, thus "repeating" this signal. This doubles the range of the sensor. By using a repeater, you will have greater freedom in deciding sensor location. Some examples of wireless repeaters include the Honeywell 5800RP and the 2GIG RPTR1-345.
  • Keypads: A keypad enables a user to control their security panel. Most wireless panels are "all-in-one" and include a built-in touchscreen keypad. But for wired panels, an external keypad is mandatory. Still, many users will add a keypad to their wireless panel anyway. This provides them with a second point of access to their panel. In some cases, a keypad will offer the complete functionality of the actual panel. That said, other keypads offer limited usability, such as arming and disarming only.
  • Wireless Receivers: Wireless receivers allow panels to communicate with wireless sensors. Most wireless panels come with a built-in wireless receiver. But wired panels will need a separate device. A wireless receiver can come in the form of a standalone device, such as the Honeywell 5881ENH. A wireless receiver can also double as a keypad, like the Honeywell 6160RF.
  • Hardwired Zone Expanders: Hardwired zone expanders are only used by wired panels. These devices increase the number of hardwired zones on the panel. This is necessary for using a large number of wired sensors with a security system. Please note that each panel is still limited by the total number of zones it can support. An example of a hardwired zone expander is the Honeywell 4219.
  • Z-Wave Controllers &Devices: Z-Wave control is a great addition to any system. With a Z-Wave controller added, a panel can operate Z-Wave devices. A user can control Z-Wave devices in one of two ways. These include using the panel itself or with an interactive service like Alarm.com. It is also possible to operate these devices remotely using a mobile app on your smartphone. Some common Z-Wave devices include Z-Wave lights, Z-Wave door locks, Z-Wave thermostats and garage door openers. A monitoring plan that includes Z-Wave control is necessary for doing this.
  • Security Cameras: Security cameras are a great addition to any home security system. These devices provide video monitoring for your property. In the event of a burglary, a security camera can make all the difference in catching the culprits later. Security cameras also provide peace of mind for end users. Recording all activity on one's property can help make a person feel more comfortable. A user can view the live feed for a security camera from an interactive service, such as Total Connect or Alarm.com. Remember, the alarm monitoring plan must include video surveillance to use security cameras.

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The Monitoring Plan

Okay, this isn't an actual physical component of an alarm system. But the monitoring plan is still very important. This plan determines what type of protection your home will receive. It also determines how much your will pay in alarm monitoring costs. Of course, extra services will cost more money. At the very least, a monitoring plan should have some way of alerting you or a central station about an alarm event. Every other feature is an add-on to the monitoring plan. We recommend checking out various monitoring plans before making a decision. This way, you will know if the plan you've selected is a good deal. You should only sign-up for a plan that includes what you need. There is no use in signing-up for a plan that includes bonus features that you will never even use.

It is common to divide alarm monitoring plans into one of two types. These are central station plans and self-monitored plans. Central station plans have the alarm system connect with a monitoring station. If an alarm event occurs, a central station will receive a signal from the panel. The station can then dispatch the appropriate authorities or personnel on their own. A self-plan does not connect the system to a central station. Instead, all alarm events will pass through an interactive service, like Total Connect. The interactive service will then send an alert to the user via text and/or email. It is then up to the end user to contact any needed authorities. It is also possible to have a central station plan where the end user also receives text and/or email alerts.

Some common add-ons for a monitoring plan include:

  • Central Station: This will allow the system to connect with a central station. A central station can contact the authorities in case of an alarm event. A central station plan is often needed for receiving any sort of discount in one's home insurance. If a user does not receive central station monitoring, then they have a self-plan. In that case, the user must contact the authorities on their own.
  • Cellular Monitoring: This allows for a cellular communicator to control an alarm system. Cellular communication is the most reliable communication path available for a security system. This is because cellular signals are readily available and rarely down. Even a power outage will not disrupt cellular service. If a cell communicator is not used, then the system must use a less reliable communication path. The monitoring company will cover any applicable cellular service fees. That is why cellular monitoring costs extra.
  • Interactive Service: This allows a user to access an interactive service. Some interactive services for alarm systems include Total Connect and Alarm.com. These services allow a user to remotely arm and disarm their system. They also allow users to check the current status of their security sensors at any time. These services are necessary for getting the most out of an alarm system.
  • Remote Z-Wave Control: This is necessary for using Z-Wave devices with your system. Remote Z-Wave control allows you to operate Z-Wave devices using an interactive service. Both Total Connect and Alarm.com offer their own mobile apps. These apps allow users to operate their Z-Wave devices from almost anywhere. That way, you can operate your Z-Wave devices from across the house or across the world.
  • Video Surveillance: This is what allows users to add security cameras to their system. A user can view their security cameras through their interactive service. This way, they can get a live look at their property from anywhere in the world.

It's also worth mentioning that it is possible to use an alarm system without a monitoring plan. But this will make its functionality almost non-existent. In this case, the alarm system will only serve as a local sounder, and nothing more. The system will have no way of contacting you or a central monitoring station. Remote Z-Wave control will be impossible. Finally, you will have no way of viewing any security cameras. This is not recommended, because it will leave your home unprotected in every sense.

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Get What You Need

Now that you know the ins and outs of a security system, you can get everything that you need. We understand that it can be tricky to remember everything. That is why we prepared a list of questions and recommendations to help you along the way:

  • What kind of panel will you use? Do you want a wireless panel or a wired panel? Most users find that wireless panels are easier to get started with. Is there a security package that has everything you need? Do you need a desk mount for your panel? Do you need a cable, such as a Honeywell LT-Cable?
  • What kind of sensors do you need? Do you want wireless sensors or hardwired sensors? Remember, wireless sensors are easier to program.
  • Do you only want a basic setup? Or do you want a more advanced security setup? Every setup should at least have door and window contacts and life-safety devices. A more complex setup might have with motion sensors, glass break sensors, keyfobs and more. Consider the type of protection you need and plan accordingly. Make sure to only choose sensors that are compatible with your security system.
  • What extra features do you want? Do you want Z-Wave devices? What about security cameras? Do you want a secondary keypad for controlling your system?
  • What add-ons will you need to make all this possible? Do you need a separate cellular communicator? Do you need a Z-Wave controller? If you have a wired system, you will most likely need a keypad and a wireless receiver. Make sure to get every needed add-on so that your system works as it should.
  • What type of monitoring plan will you need? Do you want access to an interactive service? Do you need cellular monitoring, or is IP monitoring okay? Do you need video surveillance?
  • Is everything within budget? Can you afford your home security setup?

Set it All Up

Once you have all your equipment, it's time to get your system set up. Start by getting your panel up an running. Many wireless panels can rest on a table with simple desk mount. This prevents the need for any drilling or difficult installations. If you do decide to wall-mount your panel, there are tutorials available online to help you. Install any necessary add-ons before powering your panel on. These include any communicators, Z-Wave controllers and hardwired zone expanders. We offer many videos and FAQs to assist you with installing these add-ons. Make sure to write down the MAC and CRC codes if you are installing a communicator. When powering your panel on, plug-in the transformer before connecting the backup battery.

After you have powered on your panel, you can then start preparing your sensors. Again, this is much easier if you are using wireless sensors. You can install most wireless sensors with double-sided sticky tape. This makes the installation process tool-free and very easy. We also offer several videos and FAQs to help you install your sensors. Make sure that the is within the range of the panel or the wireless receiver before mounting. You will also need to program every sensor to your panel. You can learn in most wireless sensors with the panel automatically. Again, we have a multitude of videos and FAQs to assist you. Try and make sure that every sensor is set up and programmed with your panel. This will make the activation process easier for your alarm technician. You can test these sensors even if your monitoring service is not yet active.

At this point, you can proceed forward with the activation. Your monitoring company will usually have you scheduled in an activation slot beforehand. This is the official activation of your monitoring service. Your alarm company will also register any communicators set up with your panel. We recommend having as much as possible ready with your alarm system. This will make the activation process as easy as possible. If you have any questions, you alarm technician can answer them for you during this time. Your alarm technician may run some tests to make sure that your system is working as it should. You must also set up the interactive service for your system, if applicable. You will receive an email with instructions to help you set up this service. You will need this service to test any Z-Wave devices and security cameras.

There's one last thing if your plan includes central station monitoring. This is setting a false alarm passcode and a duress code. If you receive a call from the central station, you may have to provide one of these codes. The false alarm code is a password for you to tell the central station that everything is alright. If you say this passcode, the central station will know not to send out any authorities to your home. The duress code is a way for you to tell the central station that you need help right away. If you say your duress code at anytime, the operate will hang up. They will then immediately send out the authorities to your home. This is very useful in certain emergency situations. Remember, only say your duress code if it is a real serious emergency.

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Enjoy Your System!

And that's it! You have set up your very own home alarm system. If you ever have any questions, you can check out our videos and FAQs for more information. Alarm Grid also offers further help for monitored customers. Our customers can contact our expert technicians online or over the phone at any time. Whether you need to change your monitoring plan or adjust a sensor, we're happy to help. Enjoy your new alarm system and the peace of mind that comes with it!

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Alarm Grid is proud to announce that new "Certificates of Alarm" (COA) are now available. These serve as proof that a monitoring company is protecting a person's home or business. Many insurance companies offer discounts to their customers who maintain alarm monitoring service.

By presenting one of these certificates, you can save money on your insurance bills. In some cases, the savings can even cover the entire cost of your alarm monitoring expenses. Any monitored customer should contact their insurance company to learn about these discounts.

These discounts are available for customers who receive central station monitoring. Self-monitored customers will first need to upgrade to a central station plan. Additionally, customers with a dual-path communication setup tend to receive the best discounts. This means having a monitoring plan that includes both cellular and IP connectivity. Alarm Grid's Gold and Platinum Plans both allow for dual-path communication. You can view every plan offered by Alarm Grid here.

Additionally, many insurance companies will want to know exactly what Alarm Grid is monitoring in your home. There are varying discounts for the following kinds of monitoring.

  • Intrusion
  • Fire
  • Freeze
  • Flood
  • Carbon Monoxide

Filling out an alarm certificate is very simple. You will only need to provide some very basic information. This includes your name, monitoring address and the type of services you receive. The certificate is then provided to your insurance company. This will allow them to apply any relevant discounts to your premium. You must test your system ever year in order for the certificate of alarm to remain valid.

To download your new COA, watch the video below or follow the instructions below the video...

1. Click on "My Accounts" on the upper right-hand corner of the site. If you do not see "My Accounts" you are probably not logged in. Go to the Alarm Grid login page and sign in. If you don't remember your password, you can reset it there as well.

2. Click "Download Certificate" under the "Insurance Document" heading on the row corresponding with the property you want the discount on. When you select this, it will make sure that you have had a walk test in the last year. If you have not had a walk test, it will generate a ticket to our team to check your signals. If you don't have dispatch on your account, it will ask if you want to upgrade. If you select that you would like to upgrade, it will generate a ticket and take you to a page where you need to fill in the information that we hand to our central station. This will allow the central station to dispatch.

3. Fill out the information, and click "Send Certificate." A box will pop up and ask you to either verify the information that's already filled in or require that you fill in your insurance agent's information. Once you've done this, click the "Send Certificate" button. This will email your insurance agent and cc you a copy.

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At Alarm Grid, we consider ourselves to be the industry leader in DIY home security. We strive to show all our customers that setting up a home security system is both easy and rewarding. Our company conducts certain practices that help make the DIY experience highly pleasant and totally hassle-free for everyone. With Alarm Grid, you are in complete control of your home's protection, and you and your loved ones are kept safe and sound. Let's take a look at just some of the ways that Alarm Grid does DIY home security right.

Our Monitoring Partner

To provide the best protection possible for our customers, we can't do it alone. Alarm Grid is partnered with Criticom Monitoring Services, a company that has been dedicated to protecting people since 1978. All of our customers who sign up for an alarm plan that includes central station monitoring are connected with Criticom Monitoring Services. Criticom maintains three monitoring centers across the country - in Florida, California and New Jersey. If one monitoring station is ever down, calls will be rerouted to another station. This level of redundancy ensures that our customers are always monitored and always protected. You will not find a better team in the security industry than Alarm Grid and Criticom Monitoring.


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Easy Installation

The security panels and sensors sold by Alarm Grid were all hand-picked for their ease of use. We offer wireless systems and sensors that are known for being easy for end users to install and use on their own. Many of our wireless panels come with desk mounts so that they can be rested on a table with no drilling required. Also most wireless sensors can be mounted with special double-sided adhesives, again preventing the need for drilling. By choosing a wireless system, you will also eliminate the need for running or fishing any wires. All of this makes installing a security system super easy. However, we also offer and support hardwired systems for those who choose to use them. Once you know what you're doing, you'll find that setting up these system is surprisingly simple. And if you ever need any help, our support team can assist you every step of the way.

Our Amazing Support

Alarm Grid saves customers money through our DIY approach. We do not roll any trucks, and we never charge any added fees. When a customer needs support they can reach us online or over the phone for free. Our company maintains a trusted team of security experts who are ready to help with any problems or issues that a customer may experience. We are extremely proud of our support team, and the plethora of positive reviews across the internet reflect that. Whether you need help setting up your security system or a security sensor is giving you trouble, our team will work with you every step of the way to help you solve the problem. Additionally, we also offer hundreds of FAQs and online videos to further assist you when needed.

Non-Proprietary Equipment

Many other security companies use proprietary equipment that will only work with that security company. Even if the customer owns the equipment, it will be no good if they decide to leave that alarm company. At Alarm Grid, we do things a little differently. The equipment that we offer is all non-proprietary. It can be taken to any other monitoring company that will support it. Should you ever decide to leave Alarm Grid, you will already have excellent equipment to use with a different monitoring company. Plus if you come to Alarm Grid with unlocked equipment from another alarm company, then we are happy to monitor it. We always work to save our customers as much money as possible. Reusing a customer's perfectly good old equipment is just one way that we do this.

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No Hidden Fees

When you sign up for Alarm Grid, what you see is what you get. We never charge our customers any hidden fees. This includes no installer fees, no activation fees, no service fees and no cancellation fees. When you sign up for monitoring, we will activate you at no charge. Since all installation is do-it-yourself, there are no installation fees with our company. If you need some extra support online or over the phone, we will provide it at no cost to you. If you decide to leave us for any reason, you will not be charged for cancellation. The only things you will ever have to pay for with Alarm Grid are your monthly monitoring expense and the cost of the non-proprietary equipment that you own outright. This level of transparency is just another factor that makes Alarm Grid great.

Cancel Anytime

Alarm Grid understands that sometimes a customer needs to discontinue their service. Maybe they are moving to a new location. Maybe they have decided they no longer need home monitoring. Maybe they simply aren't happy with their monitoring. Whatever the reason, Alarm Grid allows its customers to leave at any time. They will not have to pay any cancellation fees, and any equipment they used is theirs to keep. This policy means that Alarm Grid must always work hard to maintain your trust by providing you with the best experience possible. We know that their our other choices in home security. We want to stay with Alarm Grid because you want to - not because you're locked into a ridiculous contract. The remarkable freedom from Alarm Grid is simply unrivaled in the home security industry.

Affordable Protection

Protecting your home does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. While Alarm Grid doesn't always offer the lowest monthly costs, our rates are very competitive, and the level of support you receive is unmatched. Our most popular plan is our Gold Plan. This plan includes cellular monitoring, access to Criticom Monitoring Services, remote Z-Wave home automation control, access to either Total Connect or Alarm.com and both email and text alerts. The Gold Plan costs just $35 per month, making it affordable for almost any household. And with Alarm Grid's incredible support, this is a deal that is too good to pass up. Of course, not every customer will need this level of protection. Some will need more and some will need less. We encourage everyone to take a look at our Monitoring Page so that they can decide which deal is the best for them.

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The Alarm Grid office is closing at 4PM EST on Tuesday March 6, 2018. This means that technical support will be unavailable for the remainder of the day. During this time, the entire Alarm Grid team is taking the opportunity to participate in a special team building exercise. Normal business hours will be resumed tomorrow.

In case you are curious about what the Alarm Grid team is doing, we will be going go-kart racing, bowling, playing arcade games and socializing. This outing includes the Alarm Grid Owners, our entire technical support team, our entire sales team, our shipping team, our receptionist, our brand new video guy (more videos coming soon!) and the technical writer who is creating this nifty blog post. We look forward to a fun afternoon full of merriment and enjoyment.

If you have any questions or concerns about your security system, or if you wish to sign up for monitoring, you may contact us online or over the phone during normal business hours starting tomorrow, Wednesday March 7, 2018. As a reminder, our normal business hours are M-F 9AM to 9PM EST, with phone support stopping at 8PM EST.

Thank you for choosing Alarm Grid, and we'll see you tomorrow!

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Alarm Grid is excited to announce the brand-new LTE-XV Verizon LTE Communicator for Honeywell VISTA Panels. This is the first LTE cellular communicator available for VISTA Systems. LTE communications are touted for being faster and more reliable than their 4G and 3G predecessors. With Verizon's 3G CDMA communications being phased out over the next few years, now is a better time than ever to upgrade the communicator in your system. This lightning-fast and ultra-reliable LTE communicator will ensure that your VISTA Panel will maintain cellular service for many years to come.

The LTE-XV Communicator is a direct upgrade to the older Honeywell CDMA-X Communicator. This communicator connected to Verizon's 3G CDMA network. The new LTE-XV Communicator will provide faster speeds and greater reliability overall. This communicator will provide faster response times whenever the panel has to send outbound signals to AlarmNet or to a central station. If you have Z-Wave devices in your home, they will respond more quickly when they are activated through Total Connect. But perhaps most importantly, the CDMA-X Communicator will be obsolete once Verizon shuts down its CDMA network. By upgrading to the new LTE-XV, you can keep your VISTA connected well into the future.

As of now, only the Verizon version of the LTE communicator, the LTE-XV, is available. However, the AT&T version, the LTE-XA is expected to be released in the near future. Honeywell also plans on releasing a version for Canadian customers, the LTE-XC, as well. Please be aware that these communicators may have longer registration times than older communicators. Reports have stated that it can take up to 20 minutes for a monitoring company to register an LTE communicator on a VISTA system. Fortunately, this will only affect the initial registration, and the panel will experience much faster communications thereafter.

While the LTE-XV is an exciting new communicator, Alarm Grid still recommends using the IGSMV4G Communicator for anyone who wants a dual-path communication setup. This is the only way to provide a VISTA Panel with both IP and cellular communication. But for anyone who wants a strictly cellular setup, the LTE-XV is now the new gold standard for VISTA models. The LTE-XV Verizon Communicator is compatible with all VISTA 15P, 20P, 21iP, 128BPT and 250BPT models, though the appropriate PROM Chip upgrade may be needed.

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Remember the old days of alarms? 3 and 5 year contracts in exchange for large amounts off the monthly bill. Sometimes, companies would offer free equipment on signing.

In the last 5 years everything has changed. Alarm Grid pioneered the no-contract model. At the same time, other companies began pushing no-contracts. They also required homeowners purchase a proprietary system - made by them.

This should raise a consumer's hackles. Save for a couple companies, the alarm industry has always used open systems. Traditional alarm companies buy systems from Honeywell, DSC, GE, or another manufacturer.

The company will usually install these systems in the home of a consumer. The system is connected to a central station. If an intruder comes into the home, a signal is sent. The central station dispatches the police.

Alarm Grid's puzzle place in that old model is to remove the need for an installer. We do not go to a consumer's home to install the system. Instead, we make amazing content that helps you operate your security system. We help you install the security by using our resources, videos, and available tech support. Once you do, you sign up for monitoring, and we get you on your way. We never send anyone out. We don't have to gouge you on prices for "rolling a truck" because we don't have trucks.

In the end, you get a great, professional security system at an affordable price.

Additionally, Alarm Grid basically invented the month-to-month model in alarms. Before Alarm Grid, companies would require long-term contracts. Now, a lot of companies are moving to the month-to-month, no-contract model.

This is great for consumers! But only if they own an open system.

Companies that sell cheap, closed equipment are no different than companies that get you to sign a long-term contract. Your stuck on their system. No one else can "take it over" and monitor it.

Alarm Grid is perfect for people who want to leave their current company!

Getting a new system can be a big burden. We try our hardest to use what you have. If we can't, we try to get you the best system for your situation. WE DO NOT MUCH MAKE MONEY WHEN YOU BUY A SYSTEM.

Also, Alarm Grid doesn't sell proprietary systems. If you hate us, you can leave us. We do not lock you into a contract, and we do not lock you into a system that can't be taken over. Alarm Grid's incentive is to make your experience amazing every day all the time.

If we ever do anything to frustrate you, there are literally thousands of other companies that you can select to monitor your system instead. If Alarm Grid fails at serving you adequately, you can leave, no matter what, no questions asked.

Join the family...

If you're coming from a company that sold you proprietary equipment, we'd love to have you. Sign up for monitoring using the link at the top of this page. Then, give us a call (888-818-7728) or email (support@alarmgrid.com). Let us know which company you're coming from. Let us know about the equipment you have installed. We'll do what we can to help you use what you have or to replace all your equipment as frugally as possible.

For anyone switching companies, we'll give you your first month free. If you need new equipment (this month only), we'll give you 10% off whatever you buy here. Simply send us an email after you purchase, ro let us know which company you came from. We'll apply the 10% coupon after checkout.

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Alarm Grid's monitoring partner, Criticom Monitoring Sevices (CMS), has made it easier than ever for customers to interact with their security systems. Now you can put your system on test mode, view your account info and view your signal history without having to call us or the central station.

All of this is possible thanks to the new MyAlarms.com service from Criticom. Once you have set up an account with MyAlarms.com, you can access your Alarm Grid account information and place your system on test mode on your own.

Getting started with MyAlarms.com is very easy. Simply provide us with the following information:

  1. Username for MyAlarms.com (cannot be an email)
  2. The email address associated with your Alarm Grid account
  3. Your monitoring address

You can provide us with this information using our online chat or over the phone (888-818-7728) during our business hours. Alternatively, you can simply send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. From there, we will contact CMS and let them know that you would like to create a MyAlarms.com account.

Once CMS has set everything up on their end, you will receive an email from noreply@myalarms.com to finish setting up your account. This includes creating a password for your MyAlarms.com account. We recommend adding this email address to your address book to prevent it from going into your junk folder. Make sure to check your spam folder if you have not added this email before requesting access!

If you have any questions about this new service, please reach out to us and let us know. We look forward to helping you get started with this outstanding new service!

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The IQ Panel 2 is the flagship panel from Qolsys, a relatively new security company that has already made great strides in the industry. Qolsys sought out to create a modern and easy to navigate security panel that would appeal to every type of homeowner and business owner. In the end, they accomplished exactly that, as the IQ Panel 2 meets all of the requirements that a new buyer would look for in a security system. Overall, it is pleasing to the eye, offers a quick learning curve and presents a plethora of outstanding features and capabilities.


The first aspect that one would most likely notice about the IQ Panel 2 is its sleek, yet humble appearance. It is a simple design, being completely white and with most of the panel consisting of its impressive screen. Yet, this design is perfect for the IQ Panel 2. When not being operated, the system blends pleasantly into the background, in a manner that could almost be described as discreet. But if it is ever necessary for the user to quickly locate their panel, the crisp, white finish of the system will make it easy to pick it out of the scenery. Perhaps most amazing is the sheer thinness of the system. Its compact profile prevents it from taking up too much space on a desk or protruding an excessive amount from a wall. The slim system can also be easily and comfortably held in a user's hand and operated like a tablet if necessary.

Whenever the system is activated, the user will be treated to the panel's big, beautiful 7-inch LCD display screen. It's difficult to imagine a security system with a more appropriate touchscreen display. The home screen includes everything that is needed to operate the system and quickly receive relevant information. The large system disarmed button is easy to identify, and it makes arming the system in a hurry a breeze. The outer portion of the screen presents useful information that can be beneficial for anyone. The top quickly and neatly displays the day's weather, current time and any important system notifications and events. A small panic button in the bottom-right corner is always there if needed, but it is unlikely to ever be disturbed inadvertently.

Navigating the IQ Panel 2 is an absolute joy. The colors are bright, and menu icons and options can be recognized in a quick and efficient manner. Most of the time, a user will likely be sticking to the home screen, where a quick touch of the green system disarmed button will present options for arming away and arming stay. When disarming, the system can be set to snap a photo of the person operating the system. Although the picture usually ends up being not very flattering with the user's concentrated face hovering directly over the system, it is a great feature for security purposes. In the event that an intruder ever manages to disarm the system, a clear picture of them will be waiting right from the camera menu.

Accessing system settings and programming new sensors with the IQ Panel 2 can be accomplished in straightforward manner. The Android 5.1 operating system is fully responsive and lightning fast, making it great for controlling the panel. Once the user has a basic understanding of how to proceed through the menus, they will most likely find that the device is one of the user-friendly security panels they have ever operated. To get started setting up devices, simply press the small grey bar at the top, choose settings, then advanced settings, and enter in the four-digit installer code. From there, most major settings for the system can be easily accessed and changed if needed. Pressing installation, followed by devices, will allow the user to make changes to programming, whether it be RF security sensors, WIFI devices or Z-Wave home automation settings.

Speaking of Z-Wave, the IQ Panel 2 boasts a remarkable number of features, with no add-ons being needed. Any Z-Wave device can be added with ease, and users will surely enjoy a noticeably fast response time when operating these devices. The panel will also easily connect with 319.5 MHz Qolsys RF sensors, allowing the system to function with everything from glass breaks to motions. Qolsys also offers its "S-Line" of security sensors, which utilize top-of-the-line encryption to prevent hacking or spoofing. These sensors are some of the most secure and reliable devices in the security industry, and they can easily connect with the IQ Panel 2. Up to 128 security zones can be programmed with the IQ Panel 2, meaning that users will be very hard-pressed to ever experience a shortage of available zones on their system.

Every IQ Panel 2 system also comes included with a built-in cellular communicator to ensure reliable connectivity with both the end user and the central monitoring station. Users can choose between a Verizon and an AT&T communicator based upon which service works best in their area. Both the Verizon and the AT&T communicators offer LTE speeds for the rapid connectivity that one would expect out of a state-of-the-art security system. Of course, a WIFI card is also included, instantly allowing the system to take full advantage of a dual-path communication setup. By using WIFI and LTE cellular communications together, the IQ Panel 2 will almost certainly never lose connectivity to the network, and it will constantly and continuously maintain the exceptionally fast speeds that will ensure optimal functionality.

To extend access outside the panel, the IQ Panel 2 is designed to connect with the Alarm.com interactive service. This fantastic service is absolutely essential for getting the most out of the IQ Panel 2 system. By using Alarm.com, users can arm and disarm their panel, check the status of their sensors, control Z-Wave devices and view live feeds of any security cameras that they have set up. With the Alarm.com mobile app, it is possible to perform these actions from virtually anywhere in the world, providing users with incredible accessibility for their security systems. This makes Alarm.com the ultimate compliment for the IQ Panel 2, offering complete control both at the panel and away.

Overall, the IQ Panel 2 is a tremendous security system for anyone who wants a complete and convenient setup. The device will work great in any home or small business as a way of ensuring full protection and functionality. New users will have a quick and easy experience in navigating the system and setting up all of their security devices. If aesthetics are a concern, the IQ Panel 2 is second-to-none with its slim, sleek design, neutral coloring and appealing display screen. Qolsys also offers an excellent lineup security sensors, and their S-Line encryption can provide users with complete peace of mind. Finally, the IQ Panel 2 comes loaded with everything needed to get started with a top-quality security setup, including a cellular communicator and instant WIFI connectivity. All of this makes the Qolsys IQ Panel one of the finest security systems on the market today. It is highly recommended for anyone who wants a modern, easy to use security panel with all of the bells and whistles that they would expect out of a system today.

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The all-new 2GIG SP1 Touchscreen Keypad has finally been released. This excellent device provides users with another access point to a 2GIG GC3 System. The new keypad offers all of the features and functionality of the 2GIG SP2 Keypad, along with some exciting new additions. Alarm Grid recommends this keypad for anyone who wants a new way to control their GC3 system while on-site. Please note that firmware version 3.1 or higher will be needed on the GC3 Panel to use the SP1 Keypad.

The SP1 looks remarkably similar to the GC3 System. Just like the GC3, the SP1 features buttons for instant access to the home screen and emergency services. It features a beautiful, full-color 7-inch touchscreen display, making it a complete joy to use and control. It connects via WIFI, which provides it with a very impressive range from the actual GC3 System. Just like the SP2, the new SP1 can arm and disarm the system. It can also bypass zones as needed.

However, the SP1 is also capable of some functions that could not be accomplished using the SP2. For one, the SP1 has full voice annunciation, which makes it easier for users to immediately recognize a faulted zone. The SP1 also provides a full weather display right from the main screen. This can be great for getting a quick update on what kind of weather to expect for the day. Another useful feature of the SP1 is its ability to connect to the network using an ethernet connection. This is not even possible on the GC3 System itself.

But where the SP1 really shines is in home automation. While the SP2 cannot perform any home automation actions, the SP1 can conduct the same home automation functions as the GC3 system. With the SP1, you can create and execute scenes, establish rooms and bookmark screens. This means that the SP1 boasts all of the security and automation capabilities of the GC3 Panel itself. In fact, you will really only need the GC3 System for making programming changes.

The 2GIG SP1 Keypad is available for purchase right now on the Alarm Grid website.

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