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Today, in this final part of our 2020 holiday buying guides, we will be checking out various accessories for the Honeywell Lyric, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the 2GIG GC3e. Specifically, we will be looking at compatible cellular communicators, security cameras, keypads, and desk mounts.


Adding various accessories to your system can improve your overall experience and make your system easier to use. Most accessories are optional, though there some that are required for setting up new monitoring service. We'll be sure to discuss these factors along the way. The other very important thing to keep in mind is that compatibility is usually based on system. Check and make sure that any accessory you want works with your system.


Cellular Communicators

We'll start by looking at cellular communicators for our top alarm panels. All of our top security system picks have built-in WIFI for communicating right out of the box. But only the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus comes with a built-in cellular communication module. For the Lyric and the GC3e, you must add a cellular radio if you want one of these systems to use a cellular communication pathway. Keep in mind that this is optional for Total Connect 2.0 Systems like the Lyric, as TC2 allows system to be set up with IP-only service. But for Alarm.com Systems, having an active cellular communication set up is required. This means that you must buy a cellular communicator for a 2GIG GC3e to get it monitored. Keep in mind that using cellular communication on any system will require a monitoring plan that includes cellular service, such as an Alarm Grid Gold or Platinum Level Plan.

A good thing about the cellular communicators listed here is that they are all LTE communicators. The term LTE stands for "long-term evolution", and the associated networks and cell towers are expected to be kept running and in-service for a very long time. This will remain true even as 5G networks are rolled out, as LTE is positioned to serve as a valuable and reliable backup option to 5G. At this time (December 2020), 5G communicators for alarm systems do not yet exist. This makes LTE far and away the best option for cellular communication on alarm systems at this time.

You will notice that there are no cellular communicators listed here for the IQ Panel 2 Plus. This is because the IQ Panel 2 Plus comes with a cellular communicator that is pre-installed. It cannot be removed or replaced. This means that if the entire panel must be replaced in the event that its cellular radio fails. You will also see that carrier options for AT&T and Verizon are listed here. You should simply go with whichever carrier provides better service in the area where the system will be used. You can also check coverage maps if you are unsure. Remember, this choice will have no impact on your monthly monitoring costs, and it has nothing to do with the carrier for your personal phone. And just to restate it one last time, this is required for the GC3e, and optional for the Lyric.

Here are our top picks for cellular communicators.

Model Notes
2GIG LTEA-A-GC3
AT&T LTE Communicator for 2GIG GC3e. Requires system firmware version 3.2.3 or higher.
2GIG LTEV1-A-GC3
Verizon LTE Communicator for 2GIG GC3e. Requires system firmware 3.1.3 or higher.
Honeywell LYRICLTE-A
AT&T LTE Communicator for Honeywell Lyric. Requires system firmware version MR3 or higher.
Honeywell LYRICLTE-V
Verizon LTE Communicator for Honeywell Lyric. Requires system firmware version MR9 or higher.


Security Cameras

Next, we will be taking a look at various security cameras options for your system. Broadly speaking, these devices can be split into two (2) categories. There are security cameras for Alarm.com and security cameras for Total Connect 2.0. If you are building around a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or 2GIG GC3e, then you will want to get Alarm.com Security Cameras. But if you are building around the Honeywell Lyric, then you should get Total Connect 2.0 cameras. Remember that using any camera will require a monitoring plan that includes video surveillance, such as an Alarm Grid Platinum Level Plan. The only exception is for a SkyBell Video Doorbell, which we will be discussing later.

The cameras listed here are all IP cameras, meaning that they connect to the internet for remote access. You can use the Alarm.com Mobile App or the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App to get a live look-in for your camera from pretty much anywhere in the world. Most cameras connect across wireless WIFI, but some use wired ethernet connectivity. For those using wired ethernet, you will often see them listed as Powered over Ethernet, or PoE. This means that the camera can get both power and network connectivity from the same connection. Cameras that use WIFI will typically just have a plug-in transformer for power.

Let's start by exploring the Alarm.com Cameras. These are what you want if you are building around an IQ Panel 2 Plus, a 2GIG GC3e, or any other Alarm.com Security System.

Model Notes
Alarm.com ADC-V522IR

Alarm.com Indoor 1080p camera. 113° Field of View. IR Night Vision range of 15 feet. Uses WIFI or ethernet connectivity, but does not support PoE.
Alarm.com ADC-V523
Alarm.com Indoor 1080p camera w/ High Dynamic Range. 117° Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 15 feet. Uses WIFI or ethernet connectivity, but does not support PoE.
Alarm.com ADC-V622- WELL

Alarm.com Indoor Wellness Camera w/ 1080p recording. 180° Field of View. IR Night Vision Rang of 15 feet. Uses WIFI or ethernet connectivity. Supports PoE if ethernet is used. Doubles as Bluetooth speaker for two-way audio.
Alarm.com ADC-V723

Alarm.com Outdoor 1080p camera w/ High Dynamic Range. 117° Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 40 feet. Uses WIFI connectivity. Does not support wired ethernet.
Alarm.com ADC-VC726
Alarm.com Commercial outdoor mini bullet 1080p camera. 86° Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 95 feet. Uses wired ethernet connectivity. Supports PoE.
Alarm.com ADC-VC736
Alarm.com Commercial outdoor large bullet 1080p camera. 86° Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 260 feet. Uses wired ethernet connectivity. Supports PoE.
Alarm.com ADC-VC826
Alarm.com Commercial outdoor dome 1080p camera. 108° Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 95 feet. Uses wired ethernet connectivity. Supports PoE.
Alarm.com ADC-VC836
Alarm.com Commercial outdoor turret 1080p camera. 108° Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 95 feet. Uses wired ethernet connectivity. Supports PoE.
Alarm.com ADC-VDB770
Alarm.com Video Doorbell 1080p Camera. 150° Vertical Field of View. 115° Horizontal Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 15 feet. Uses WIFI connectivity. Does not support wired ethernet.
Alarm.com ADC-SVR122
Alarm.com Stream Video Recorder. Used to facilitate 24-hour continuous recording. Supports up to 2TB of storage w/ proper hard drives. Not an actual camera.
Alarm.com ADC-CSVR126
Alarm.com Commercial Stream Video Recorder. Used to facilitate 24-hour continuous recording. Supports up to 16TB of storage w/ proper hard drives. Not an actual camera.


Next, we will be looking at the Total Connect IP Cameras. There are only thee (3) models available, but they are the ones to use if you have a Honeywell Lyric set up with the Total Connect 2.0 platform.

Model
Notes
Honeywell IPCAM-WIC1

Total Connect 2.0 Indoor 720p Camera. 135° Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 16.5 feet.
Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2
Total Connect 2.0 Indoor 1080p Camera. 110° Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 33 Feet.
Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1
Total Connect 2.0 Outdoor 1080p Camera. 117° Field of View. IR Night Vision Range of 65 Feet. Does not record audio.

Lastly, we want to give special recognition to the SkyBell Doorbell Cameras. These camera replace your existing doorbell, and you can receive push notifications on your phone when someone rings your doorbell. They can also begin recording upon detecting movement, making them ideal for monitoring the front of your home. What's also unique about these cameras do not require true video monitoring service. Up to five (5) can be added on a TC2 account, while those with ADC can only use one (1), unless they upgrade to a true video monitoring plan. Make sure to use one designed for TC2 or ADC depending on the interactive platform you are using. Please note that only the TC2 version can be used with the native SkyBell App. You cannot use the SkyBell App with the ADC models.

Model
Notes
Honeywell SkyBell DBCAM-TRIM
SkyBell Slimline Video Doorbell Camera for use w/ Total Connect 2.0 and SkyBell App. Up to 1080p recording quality. Uses WIFI connectivity. Available in Satin Nickel or Oil Rubbed Bronze.
Alarm.com ADC-VDB101

SkyBell Round Video Doorbell Camera for use w/ Alarm.com. Up to 1080p recording quality. Uses WIFI connectivity. Available in Satin Nickel or Oil Rubbed Bronze.
Alarm.com ADC-VDB105
SkyBell Slimline Video Doorbell Camera for use w/ Alarm.com. Up to 720p recording quality. Uses WIFI connectivity. Available in Satin Nickel or Oil Rubbed Bronze.


Alarm Keypads


Our next topic concerns alarm keypads. These devices serve as a secondary on-site controller for your system. Some of these are very basic devices that are only useful for minimal system arming and disarming. Others offer complete touchscreen displays and allow you to perform a robust selection of security and automation commands. The important thing to pay attention to here is compatibility. Each keypad listed here will only work with the system that it is intended to be used with.

Some common locations for secondary alarm system keypads are by back doors or garage doors, as a user might want to arm and disarm from those locations as they are coming and going, without needing to go all the way to their primary alarm panel. They are also popular for use in master bedrooms, as having a keypad by your bedside can be a convenient way to call for help in the event that you hear someone breaking into your home.

Here are the available keypads for our top system picks.

Model
Notes
Honeywell LKP500
LCD Keypad for Honeywell Lyric. Used for basic arming and disarming. Provides two lines of character display, with 16 characters per line. 32 characters total. Supports chime. Honeywell LKP500-DK Desk Stand is also available.
2GIG PAD1-345
Push-button Keypad for 2GIG Systems, including the 2GIG GC3e. Used for basic arming and disarming. Can also be used to trigger a panic during an emergency. No display screen. No chime or voice.
2GIG SP1-GC3
Touchscreen Keypad for 2GIG GC3e. Supports full suite of security and arming functions. Pairs w/ GC3e across WIFI or using a local Access Point (AP). Offers chime and voice. Mimics screen of GC3e once paired.
Qolsys IQ Remote
Touchscreen Keypad for Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Supports full suite of security and automation functions. Pairs with IQ2+ across WIFI. Mimics screen of IQ2+ once paired.


Desk Mounts

Our final category is desk mounts for alarm panels. Using a desk mount allows you to position your panel upright on a sturdy desk or table, instead of wall-mounting or just lying it flat. These devices are often preferred by DIY users who don't want to drill holes in the wall. They are also great for renters who have restrictions on drilling holes.

Of our top security system picks, only the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus comes with a desk mount included. However, the included desk mount is relatively small and flimsy. There is actually a more robust desk mount for the IQ Panel 2 Plus, which is included on this list. Using a proper desk mount makes it possible to perform a complete system installation with nothing more than a screwdriver in many cases.

Here are desk mounts for our top security system picks.

Model
Notes
Honeywell LCP500-DK
Desk mount for Honeywell Lyric. Allows for positioning at 30° or 60°.
2GIG CP-DESK
Desk mount for 2GIG GC3e. Also compatible with other 2GIG Wireless Alarm Panels.
Qolsys IQ Stand
Desk mount for Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Sturdier option than the standard table stand that comes included with the system.


Reach out to us!

This concludes our final buying guide for the 2020 holiday season. Make sure to check out our earlier buying guides on alarm panels, security sensors, environmental sensors, smart home automation, and our special guide for the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS Panel. If you have any questions regarding compatibility, or if you are interested in starting new alarm monitoring service and you need help planning your system, please email our team at support@alarmgrid.com. We will help you every step of the way, from ordering the right equipment, to activating your alarm monitoring service. Our team is available to help from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

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Just like any residence, an apartment is at-risk for a burglary or break-in. An unlocked door or a shattered window offers an easy entrance for an intruder. With an apartment security system you can be ready if this occurs. But picking a system can be daunting with so many options available!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Luckily, Alarm Grid is here to help you pick the best apartment alarm system for your needs. A good apartment security system usually features a wireless panel that can be installed using a desk or table stand. This will allow you to easily take the system with you when you move, and it will prevent you from having to drill holes in the wall. The wireless sensors can similarly be mounted using double-sided foam tape, and they can be easily removed if you relocate. You may also want the panel to include some cool smart home automation features to make your life more convenient.

It is strongly recommended that you select an apartment security system that is non-proprietary. This means that you will be able to take it to a new monitoring company if you cancel your current service. A great option is to go with a DIY no-contract alarm monitoring company like Alarm Grid. Our company does not charge you anything to start or stop monitoring service, which is really convenient if you ever need to take a month off of service while you are moving. We also offer systems that are super quick and easy to install without having to hire a professional installer!

With that in mind, we have our picks for the top 5 apartment security systems of 2019. All of these systems work great if you are looking to set up your own apartment alarm system that you can take with you if you decide to move later on. These systems are all very easy to use, and you can set them up in a matter of minutes. Let's check out the systems!

5. Interlogix Simon XTi-5i

Interlogix has long been known for their cost-effective systems. While they are ceasing operations at the end of the year, they are leaving us with a very good system. The Interlogix Simon XTi-5i is great if you need a no-frills alarm panel for basic operation. It has a 5-inch touchscreen display, support for up to 80 wireless zones, and some great communicators available, including some dual-path options. Adding a communicator will also make the system Z-Wave ready. You can even choose from an exclusive lineup of Interlogix Encrypted Sensors to add to the system. And for apartments, there is an excellent table stand you can buy for the system!

4. 2GIG GC2e

2gig gc2e wireless encrypted alarm panelThe 2GIG GC2e is the current entry-level option from 2GIG. It packs some great features into a small package, and it provides some nice upgrades over its 2GIG GC2 predecessor. With the GC2e, you will enjoy a larger 5-inch touchscreen, built-in Z-Wave Plus, and support for 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors. Some other specs include support for up to 60 wireless zones and 64 different user codes. Remember to add a cellular communicator so that you can use with system for monitoring service through Alarm.com. And don't forget about the desk mount!

3. 2GIG GC3e

2gig gc3e wireless encrypted alarm panel2GIG offers an impressive high-end security system with their GC3e. It still retains a lot of similarities to the discontinued 2GIG GC3, while offering some new upgrades in its own right. Namely, the panel now supports the 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors, and it offers a fresh redesign over its predecessor. Returning features to the GC3e include a 7-inch touchscreen, support for up to 100 wireless zones, 100 user codes, partitioning, integrated WIFI, and built-in Z-Wave Plus. Note that you will still need a cellular communicator to monitor the system and use it with Alarm.com. Interestingly, the system uses the same desk mount as the 2GIG GC2e.

2. Honeywell Lyric Controller

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemThere are many reasons why we can confidently say that the Honeywell Lyric Security System is one of the best panels on the market today. It is one of very few panels (and currently the only one on this list) that can support Apple HomeKit. The Lyric offers a very impressive 128 wireless zones, 64 user codes, built-in Z-Wave, and a 7-inch touchscreen. You will have no trouble filling up the zones with Honeywell SiX Series Sensors, which offer military-grade 128-bit encryption! Other features include a built-in 2MP camera for disarm photos and ten (10) different chime settings.

The panel also comes with built-in WIFI, and unlike the other systems on this list, it can be monitored across IP only. Not only does this mean you do not need to add a communicator, you can use the Lyric on a less expensive IP-only monitoring plan. This is perfect for users looking to cut-down on monitoring costs. But you can still add a Lyric Cellular Communicator if you want. The Honeywell LCP500-DK is the recommended desk mount.

1. Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

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

There is so much to like about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus as an apartment security system. It is sleek and modern with its thin profile and beautiful 7-inch touchscreen. You will love its built-in glass break sensor, integrated 5MP camera, and support for up to four (4) partitions. This is also the only system on the list that is dual-path ready right out of the box, as it has both an LTE communicator (AT&T or Verizon) and a WIFI card. You can even live-stream compatible Alarm.com Cameras right from the panel once you have connected the system with Alarm.com.

Other features include built-in Z-Wave Plus technology for smart home integrations, as well as integrated Bluetooth for optional automatic disarming. If that weren't enough, the system offers support for PowerG Sensors, as well as one legacy frequency (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, or 433 MHz). The PowerG support is particularly useful, as PowerG Sensors utilize military grade 128-bit AES encryption and a wireless range of up to 2,000 feet away from the panel. This is way further than you will likely need in an apartment, but it's still cool nonetheless! A standard desk mount comes included with the system, but you can also purchase the Qolsys IQ Stand if you want something a little more robust. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is without a doubt the pinnacle of apartment security systems in 2019.

If you need help choosing a system, or if you want to learn more about the alarm monitoring plans offered from Alarm Grid, then please reach out to us! The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. You are also welcome to call us at (888) 818-7728. Just keep in mind that our regular business hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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