Home Security Blog

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Last year, on August 16, 2012, at 10:08 PM, Alarm Grid's first order came through. It was a small order for a bunch of contacts - 5 944T-WH, but it was our very first. Now a year later, we've serviced countless systems, and have enjoyed doing business with all of the many customers who have purchased from Alarm Grid.

Our wonderful customers have given us an incredible amount of praise, and have shown us that there is a great need for the service we're providing. No-contract alarm systems with reliable, affordable monitoring is our bread and butter, and we aren't planning on changing much as we go forward.

The coming year is hopefully going to be as exciting as the one we just completed. We're not exactly sure what it will bring, but we hope to forge new partnerships, add new products, and improve our service by hiring wonderful professionals who are as dedicated to giving you the fast and free service you've become accustomed to.

Thank you so much for making Alarm Grid a success, and we hope to have another wonderful year of working with all of you.

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From time to time, we like to express our gratitude to all of our customers and would-be customers for the incredible amount of support they have given us. So, we're excited today to say thank you to everyone for watching the Alarm Grid YouTube channel. Since we started it way back in September of last year, our videos have been seen more than 50,000 times and well over 100,000 minutes (more than 70 full days) have been spent watching Sterling do installs or teaching you to program an L5100 panel.

We're going to add more videos as we go, and the channel will really become the focal point of our company's customer-centric strategy, so stay tuned. But in the meantime, we just wanted to say thanks for watching the videos. We're glad that they have helped so many people, and we are excited to continue making helpful content that will make your do-it-yourself installation go smoother than you could have ever imagined.

Below are the Top 10 most viewed videos of July (from most viewed to least viewed):











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AlarmNet's family of 4G cellular alarm communicators is finally complete! First we got the GSMVLP5-4G cellular communicator for the L5100 LYNX Touch wireless security system. Then the GSMX4G and GSMV4G cellular communicators that work with the VISTA Series alarm control panels came next. After a bit of delay, the iGSMV4G was released and brought the first communicator that used internet communications and 4G cellular communicators all in one device. Now, with the eagerly awaited release of the iGSMHS4G dual path communicator, there is a 4G cellular communicator that meets UL's strict line security requirements. The iGSMHS4G is the last 4G cellular communicator to be released but like the old saying, last is not least with this device!

Boasting the most secure alarm communications available today, the iGSMHS4G makes use of two communication paths and is supervised by AlarmNet servers every 200 seconds. If a signal is not received after 200 seconds go by, the AlarmNet servers will send out a ping to the iGSMHS4G. If that ping is not received back successfully, a communication failure signal is generated so that your central station can let you know there is something wrong with your security system.

Banks, jewelery stores and government facilities typically require an alarm communicator that meets the high security communication designation. While waiting for the iGSMHS4G, these facilities have had to live with using the older iGSMHS to meet the high security requirements. Unfortunately, as the 2G cellular network is nearing retirement, the people at these facilities that require the most secure alarm communications have been left wondering which day their iGSMHS would stop working. Now, with the iGSMHS4G, those people no longer have to worry. They can confidently upgrade to the iGSMHS4G knowing their Honeywell security system will be connected to police response when needed!


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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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