Home Security Blog

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We have just launched an incredible system that you probably haven't found yet, but we're excited to tell you about it!

Testimonials!

"The experience that I have had working with Alarm Grid has been absolutely fantastic... the kind of customer service that you can't get anywhere else!"
Tyler C. from Albuquerque, NM

If you're on the fence about whether to sign up with Alarm Grid, check out our new customer testimonials section. Full disclosure, we have given anyone who gave us a testimonial a free month of monitoring. But we're pretty sure that didn't influence their perspective in any way. That said, we're not discriminatory. If you love us as much as they say they do, let us know you want to write a testimonial. We will send you out a list of questions and you can send us back a bunch of answers and a picture of your home. You, too, can get a free month of monitoring if you give us a testimonial.

I know it's a bit off-topic, but there are a lot of ways you can get a free month of monitoring with Alarm Grid: 1) tell a friend, get them to sign up, 2) give us a testimonial, 3) tell another friend. Ok, so there are just two ways to get free months. But I think that's pretty awesome.

Installer Directory!

To date, our focus has been on DIY installers. We love our DIYers, but there are a lot of different people in the world, many who do not have any desire to install their own system. If you fall into that category (which is most people), and you want to buy an alarm system for your home, either check out our brand spankin' new, still very sparse, alarm installer directory, or give us a call and let us know where you would like for us to find an installer. While we will actively be adding installers to our database, we are happy to add them based on need as well. If you're an installer and you want to be included in the directory, call us and let us know. We have some questions, will want some references, and we will happily add you.

These installers don't work for us, they aren't related to us, but they are recommended to us as good, honest people. If your experience is different, please let us know. We are going to depend on user feedback as we grow to maintain the directory.

Places Pages!

We are building monitoring pages for each individual city in the United States on Alarm Grid. We are trying to personalize your experience when you come to the site so that you feel like we are part of your community. After all, you're trusting us to secure your home, the least we could do is learn a few facts about your big or small town. Check out a few of the cities below:

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Now that Honeywell has finally made Total Connect home automation control available for Tuxedo Touch keypads, people with existing VISTA Series alarm systems can finally take full advantage of all of the great features Total Connect has to offer. In the past, only the LYNX Touch wireless security system supported remote home automation control through Total Connect. If you had a VISTA system, you could add a Tuxedo Touch or Tuxedo Touch WIFI if you wanted to use Z-Wave home automation devices in your home, but if you wanted to remotely control those devices, you had to setup complicated port forwarding. Unless you were knowledgeable about networks and router setup, you were left controlling your home's Z-Wave lights, Z-Wave locks and Z-Wave thermostats just from your Tuxedo screens.

Thankfully, Honeywell has finally released the long-awaited software update for all existing Tuxedo Touch WIFI units. If you go to the Tuxedo Touch Toolkit website, you will find the software update and steps on how to run the update for your Tuxedo Touch WIFI controller. With the new software downloaded and installed on your Tuxedo Touch WIFI, your Tuxedo Touch WIFI will work better locally even if you don't choose to sign up for the Remote Home Automation monitoring service.

You can now have Z-Wave scenes activated by a security system alarm, a security system event or even a specific zone status change. You can also setup Z-Wave lights to activate and then run for a programmed length of time. You can even program your lights to turn on at sunset and off at sunrise.

Of course, the real advantage of the new software update is the ability to control your Tuxedo Touch WIFI using your Total Connect interactive account. Once you setup your remote home automation control on your Total Connect account, you will have full access to your smart home for remote system control and notifications.

Unfortunately, as non-WIFI Tuxedo Touch keypads use a different operating system and circuit board, the software update will not work on those devices. If you have one of the non-WIFI Tuxedos and you want to get Total Connect home automation control, you will need to purchase a new Tuxedo Touch or Tuxedo Touch WIFI.

Please call us if you are interested in adding the remote home automation feature to your Alarm Grid monitoring service.

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Honeywell's award winning Tuxedo Touch keypads are not only beautiful touchscreen controllers for most Honeywell VISTA Series alarm control panels, they are also powerful Z-Wave home automation controllers. Adding a Tuxedo Touch keypad to your VISTA security system allows you protect your home and fully control your home's Z-Wave lights, Z-Wave locks and Z-Wave thermostats.


One feature that the Tuxedo Touch keypads has been lacking is the ability to control your home's Z-Wave devices using Honeywell's interactive Total Connect service. While you could turn on your Z-Wave lights from the actual touchscreen keypad, you could not use your Total Connect account to remotely control those same lights.

The original Tuxedo Touch and Tuxedo Touch WIFI both had internal web servers so that they could be connected to your IP network. If you connected your Tuxedo Touch to your network, you could access a virtual version of the Tuxedo screen to do home automation control. However, you had to setup complicated port forwarding if you wanted to access the virtual Tuxedo keypad while you were not home and connected to the same IP network.

We have all been patiently waiting for Honeywell to release new versions of the Tuxedo Touch keypads and we are happy to say our patience has finally been rewarded! The new Total Connect ready Tuxedo Touch and Tuxedo Touch WIFI keypads are available and shipping now!

With a new Tuxedo Touch and a monitoring plan that includes Remote Home Automation, you will have full control over your Honeywell VISTA Series security system. Not only will you be able to arm and disarm your system from your phone, but you will now be able to turn your home's lights on and off whenever you'd like. You will be able to set your thermostat to a specific temperature while you drive home from work. You can even unlock your door and disarm your system from anywhere in the world!

Even if you had an existing Tuxedo Touch and you have it setup to be controlled remotely, there are extra features that Total Connect remote home automation provides that a regular Tuxedo Touch will not.

The chart above highlights the advantages of upgrading your Total Connect service to include AlarmNet's remote home automation option. With extra available scenes on Total Connect and manual remote scene activation, connecting your Tuxedo Touch to Total Connect will bring total system control to the palm of your hand. You can even have Total Connect send you instant emails or text messages whenever a Z-Wave device or scene is activated so that you are kept aware of all things happening at your home.

If you already have a Tuxedo Touch WIFI installed, there is an available firmware update that will make Total Connect home automation control an option for you. Unfortunately, non-WIFI Tuxedo Touch units are built with a different circuit board and operate on an operating system that does not support this update. Therefore, if you have an existing Tuxedo Touch and want Total Connect home automation control, you will need to purchase a new Tuxedo Touch or Tuxedo Touch WIFI.

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Happy Birthday America!

Flickr - The U.S. Army - Young patriot

Alarm Grid has been in business just over a year now. And we celebrated our own birthday with cake, candles and a lot of high fives. Tomorrow, we're going to be celebrating America's independence day with giant rockets that go boom. We've bought thousands of bottle rockets, and we're going to make our glorious President, Sterling Donnelly, light them all while we watch at a safe distance.

Being as how lighting bottle rockets is a dangerous activity and requires the utmost concentration, we've decided to close our doors tomorrow so that we can ensure Sterling's safety. At this stage, we're just hoping that Sterling gets out of tomorrow with all his fingers (unlike last year).

Anyhow, it's a federal holiday, the post office is closed, and we're pretty sure that you will all be celebrating anyhow. So chances are you won't even notice that Alarm Grid is closed. But we thought we'd at least let you know why we're a bit inaccessible in case you decide to call in.

In the case that you need to reach us, please leave us a message, or email support@alarmgrid.com. We may not be in the office, but our staff will be checking messages and emails throughout the day.

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You have demanded it and we have listened to those demands!

We are proud to now offer the L5100PK-5811 wireless security system kit which includes three attractive 5811 wireless door and window sensors instead of the much bigger 5816 wireless sensors that are included in the original L5100PK security system kit. The L5100PK is our most popular security system kit that we offer. However, the biggest complaint that we hear is that people would rather use a nicer looking sensor than the bigger bulkier 5816 sensors that are included in that kit. In the past, people have had to contact us to be able to swap out the 5816s for different sensors. Since the 5811 wireless door and window sensor is our most popular sensor, we decided to make this special kit so that no one will have to make a special request to get the items they would like.

We hope that many people will be happy to see that this kit is now available but if you have any other special kits that you'd like to see offered, please let us know in the comments section below so that we can continue to add the products you need most!

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As the date that AT&T has committed to retiring the 2G and 3G communicators inches closer, Honeywell has been working to confirm their commitment to making sure consumers have what they need to keep their security up and running. On the consumer side of things, the iGSMV is one of the final communicators needing to be updated. So finally, with this week's replacement of the iGSMV with its newer part, the iGSMV4G, you can now have a dual path communicator that will help you meet the 2G sunset without a hiccup.

So while the iGSMV is no longer available, we say good riddance. And while it may be improper to speak ill of the dead, we are pretty sure you'll be happier with its replacement the iGSMV4G. You won't even miss the old unit.

So if what you're looking for is reliable, 3G / 4G coverage, then say goodbye to the iGSMV and hello to its replacement, the iGSMV4G!

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Ever since AT&T announced that they would be discontinuing their 2G cellular network, Honeywell security system owners have been eagerly waiting for a new 3G / 4G dual path alarm monitoring communicator. While the 7847i internet alarm communicator provides a sole path internet solution and the GSMX4G and GSMV4G devices provide an option for cellular communications, AlarmNet has been lacking a 4G capable dual path option to round out it's fleet of alarm communicators.

A LYNX Touch security system could use both an L5100-WIFI internet communicator and a GSMVLP5-4G cellular communicator for dual path alarm monitoring and a VISTA-21iP with an added VISTA-GSM4G module was available as well, but for anyone with a VISTA-15P or VISTA-20P security system, there hasn't been a good dual path option up until now. Considering the VISTA-20P is arguably the most popular security system in America, there were a lot of people relying on the discontinued iGSMV, wondering when their cellular back up would stop working. Now, all of those people can upgrade to the iGSMV4G with confidence knowing that the 2G / 3G / 4G capable device will continue to provide industry leading alarm communications for their systems for many years to come. 

At the same time, anyone that has been holding off on signing up for monitoring service because they couldn't decide between the faster internet alarm monitoring path and the more reliable cellular path can now order the iGSMV4G without having to make that decision. With both an internet and cellular alarm communicator built into one device, the iGSMV4G brings together the advantages of both communication paths. The internet communicator is the primary path and provides the added speed of IP communications for anyone that has Honeywell's Total Connect service. With an iGSMV4G, your Total Connect remote control commands and instant email and text messages notifications will come through faster than if you just have a cellular alarm communicator. At the same time, there is a back up cellular communicator ready to take over if the less reliable internet path fails for any reason.

Honeywell has not released a Total Connect 2.0 upgrade kit for the iGSMV4G but we anticipate that will be coming soon. In the meantime, if you want to add dual path alarm communications to your VISTA Series control panel and you also want to upgrade your system to be compatible with Total Connect 2.0, you can add a PROM chip upgrade to your iGSMV4G order. There is a chip upgrade available for the VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P panels so that you can bring your system up to speed with the latest technologies without having to change out any equipment or reprogram your entire system!

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If you have been lamenting Alarm Grid's indoor security stickers, longing for stickers that will stick to the outside of a building or door, then you will be ecstatic at this new piece of news. Alarm Grid now has outdoor security stickers in stock. They look just like the indoor security stickers, but the sticky side is on the back (like a normal sticker) instead of the front (like a weird sticker).

We have a simple, you might even say minimalist aesthetic, and we are glad we can give you our incredibly good looking security stickers and security yard signs for such a great price. We know that these stickers look really... really good, but we don't want you to get too excited. You don't NEED one for every window. But if you do end up buying too many, give them to your friends. Security stickers and signs are a great first deterrent from burglars, and if you're friend doesn't have a security sticker in their window... what do you think that says about you as their friend? Friends don't let friends go without security stickers on the windows of their home.

Alarm Grid Outdoor Sticker

Hopefully by now you know that at Alarm Grid, we are alarm system geeks. We are pretty darn knowledgable about the Honeywell line of product in particular, but know quite a bit about other sundry things as well. We believe that serving our customers best involves giving them incredibly detailed information that they are seeking, for free. Likewise, we enjoy working with companies that are geeks in their own right. So we thought it would be a good time to give a little shout-out to the sticker geeks over at Sticker Mule (did you even know there was such a thing?) who made these wonderful stickers. They are weather proof as well as durable, and they look really great, to boot.

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Honeywell's L5000 security panel was in its day the most state of the art wireless security system on the market. We have been proud to offer it  along with its various parts throughout its life cycle, and are glad to be putting it to rest. The L5000 was an incredible piece of equipment, allowing users some of the simplest programming options available, and Honeywell's now-familiar and simple to use "Advanced User Interface" (AUI). This was one of the company's first touch-screen panels, and its legacy is seen in the modern design of Honeywell's current line of consumer AUI panels.

It's close cousin, the LYNX Touch 5100, is everything that it was and more. The L5100 can do home automation with the simple addition of a Z-WAVE module, which is something the L5000 was never capable of. This huge improvement makes the L5100 a wonderfully versatile panel that makes your security system more powerful than a security system has ever been. So while we thank the L5000 for paving the way to the newest line of Honeywell consumer-facing security products, we understand Honeywell's decision to retire the much-loved panel.

In the meantime, feel free to pay your respects to the wonderful work of the L5000, but know that the old panel is moving on to greener pastures.

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There are a few different security industry conferences held throughout the country each year. At these conferences, new products are showcased and security companies get a chance to meet and interact with the security manufacturers. It's a great way for new technologies to be introduced and for us dealers to let our manufacturers know what our customers are looking for.

The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) is a unique conference because it is owned by the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) and the Electronic Security Association (ESA). The CSAA and ESA are independent organizations looking to further the industry and all proceeds received at ESX are used to improve the overall industry. Whether it's developing new programming parameters to reduce false alarms or working with legislators to ensure police continue to dispatch on alarm systems monitored by a central station, you can be confident that both the CSAA and ESA have the security industry's best interests in mind.

Also, the ESX Maximum Impact Awards program is the first and only program to place a critical perspective on the impact that new and recently introduced products and services have on security integration and  monitoring businesses.

Therefore, when a product is recognized by the panel of judges at ESX, it is definitely something consumers should pay attention to. This year's expo was help in Nashville and wrapped up today. We are very proud to announce that Honeywell was the unofficial MVP of the expo.


The amazing L5100 LYNX Touch security system took home the Best Overall award at this year's show and as a company that specializes in supporting the LYNX Touch we are not at all surprised! Winning the Best Overall award I'm sure would have been enough for Honeywell to feel like they were successful at the expo, but they weren't done there. The Honeywell Security Group also won the Best Alarm Equipment award in the Wireless Alarm System category because of the LYNX Touch L5100. Anyone looking for a new wireless security system can stop looking. The LYNX Touch is the best in the industry and it's not just us saying it anymore!

For those that still prefer a wired VISTA Series alarm control panel over the easier to install, all-in-one wireless systems, should note that the Honeywell Security Group also took home the Best Alarm Equipment award in the Intrusion Alarm Control Panels category for their Tuxedo Touch keypad. The Tuxedo Touch has revolutionized the wired alarm control panel market in just the same way that the LYNX Touch has done to the wireless market. By integrating Z-Wave home automation with a beautiful touchscreen keypad, Honeywell now has a powerful 1-2 punch behind the Tuxedo Touch and LYNX Touch.

With the Total Connect remote home automation feature coming in the next week or so, Honeywell will have finally tied in all of their products with their amazing interactive monitoring services. We are proud to be a Honeywell dealer and these awards help prove what we've been saying all along - Honeywell is truly the best in the industry!

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