2GIG GC3e Posts

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It's Monday again, and this is normally when we would be present you with a video recap. But since we're still working on getting our entire video team together, we figured this was a good time to catch up on some videos we missed in previous recaps, as well as present some classic videos.


How Do I Clear a Latched Alarm Using a Tuxedo Touch Keypad?

I show you how to clear a latched alarm on a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad. This is done by performing a typical disarm and then clearing the faulted zone. The reason why alarms become latched or stuck is because of the alarm memory feature on the Honeywell VISTA Systems. The panel wants to be sure that you are aware that an alarm previously occurred, so it makes you clear the faulted zone, even after disarming at the keypad.


Programming a Zone to a 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to program a wireless sensor to a 2GIG GC3e Security System. This is a very important step when setting up a security system. Every sensor used with the system will require at least one zone on the system. When you program the zone, you will set various options and configurations that will determine how the system responds when the associated sensor is faulted. You will also enroll the Serial Number with the GC3e so that the panel can recognize the sensor.


Honeywell 5808W3: Program Low-Temp to Lyric

Alarm Grid Co-Founder Sterling shows you how to program the low-temperature detection function for a Honeywell 5808W3 Smoke Detector to a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. The Honeywell 5808W3 is a smoke and heat detector that also offers low-temperature detection, which is commonly referred to as freeze detection. The 5808W3 uses Loop Number 3 for low-temperature detection, and it activates a temperatures below 41°F. This is good for letting the user know before the pipes potentially freeze.


Lyric Security System: Change Master Code

Sterling shows you how to change the Master Code on a Honeywell Lyric Security System. The Master Code is used primarily for arming and disarming the system and accessing the Master Tools Menu. It can be used to adjust or change a limited selection of system settings. However, changing most advanced settings and making zone changes will require the Installer Code. We strongly recommend changing the Master Code from its default of 1234 for security purposes. But we advise leaving the Installer Code at its default of 4112.

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Alarm Grid has a short but sweet video recap for you! Last week's recap was skipped to spread the cheer about our headquarters reopening, but we're here now! Unfortunately, we only have three (3) videos to share. Also, our usual team wasn't quite ready yet, so I had to make more appearances.

2gig gc3e wireless encrypted alarm panelThis week's videos are centered around the 2GIG GC3e Security System. This is a wireless all-in-one panel with support for encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors, as well as non-encrypted 345 MHz sensors. The system has a beautiful 7-inch touchscreen, built-in WIFI, partitioning support, and an integrated Z-Wave Plus controller. We hope these videos help you feel more comfortable in setting up your own 2GIG GC3e System for your home or business!

Pairing a Z-Wave Device to the 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to pair a Z-Wave device with the 2GIG GC3e. The GC3e has a built-in Z-Wave Plus controller, which allows you to pair Z-Wave Plus and classic Z-Wave devices with the system. Common Z-Wave devices include lights, door locks, thermostats, and more. Programmed Z-Wave devices can be controlled from the panel and remotely from Alarm.com if the system is monitored. Most Z-Wave devices are excluded, or cleared, from the network before being added.


Programming a Key Fob Into a 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to add a key fob to a 2GIG GC3e. A key fob is a small handheld device that you can use to control your security system from a distance. Most key fobs will allow you to conveniently arm and disarm your system and operate programmed relay-triggered devices. Many key fobs also have the ability to set off panic alarms in distress situations. The 2GIG GC3e supports various 345 MHz wireless key fobs.


Adding or Changing User Codes on a 2GIG GC3e

I show you how to add, change, and delete user codes on a 2GIG GC3e. A user code is a sequence of numbers that you enter into a system to verify that you are an authorized user. The 2GIG GC3e supports up to 100 user codes. It is advised that each regular user has their own code. Each new code on the GC3e must be enabled for the use with system after it has been added.

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Alarm Grid has been releasing some useful new FAQs and guides on using and setting up the 2GIG GC2e and 2GIG GC3e Security Systems. We wanted to let you know about this content so that you can start getting the most out of these panels. Both can make a great addition to a home or business!

2gig gc3e wireless encrypted alarm panel

2gig gc2e wireless encrypted alarm panel

Both the 2GIG GC2e and 2GIG GC3e support the Alarm.com interactive service platform. By activating the system on a compatible monitoring plan, you will be able to control your 2GIG Panel remotely through the Alarm.com website and mobile app. This is great for operating your system while you are on the go! You will need a compatible LTE cellular communicator for the system to activate it for monitoring service!

Another exciting feature is that both systems offer built-in Z-Wave Plus functionality, which allows you to build a robust and powerful smart automation network for automatic operation and control for various devices used around your home or business. You can also integrate the exclusive lineup of encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors with these systems for enhanced wireless security and protection.

The 2GIG GC3e is a bit more robust than the GC2e, as the GC3e offers additional features like built-in WIFI, Smart Area Partitioning, and a larger touchscreen. You also have the ability to set up more wireless zones on the GC3e, which can come in handy for a larger home or business. But really, both systems can adapt well to nearly any situation.

Here we have some recent FAQs we have written for the 2GIG GC2e:

And here are some on the 2GIG GC3e:

If you want to learn more about the 2GIG GC2e or 2GIG GC3e, or if you have questions about alarm monitoring in general, please email us at support@alrmgrid.com. Our team would love to help you out so that you can make an informed buying decision. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Are you moving into a new home? Alarm Grid will do its part to help make your relocation as easy as possible! You can usually bring your existing security system and activate it for monitoring service at your new house. We can help you every step of the way, from planning to testing!

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Before you cancel your existing service, you should remember that Alarm Grid charges you month to month. When you pay your monthly bill, you are essentially paying in advanced for your next month of monitoring service. If you plan to move then you should try and cancel your service before your next billing cycle. That way, you won't get charged an extra month. We are happy to cancel your plan at the last minute if it means preventing an extra bill. But we can't refund you once you have already been charged, so make sure to plan accordingly. Keep in mind that there are no fees to cancel service, or to start new service. You will not pay anything extra to bring your service from your old location to your new one. To us, this is the same as us cancelling an old account and opening a new one.

When making move, you are often left to decide whether you should bring your existing system or start fresh with a new one. And really, it depends. If you have a wired system that would be difficult to bring, or if you have an older wireless system, then it might worth getting a new system. This could also be a good time to get a new LTE cellular communicator if you have been using an older 3G or CDMA module. On the other hand if you have one of the newer wireless systems that we often talk about, like the Honeywell Lyric, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, or the 2GIG GC3e, then you should totally bring it! You can also bring your wireless sensors and set them up around your new home.

Whether you brought your existing system or found a new one, you will follow the same general process for setting it up. If you don't want to mount the panel to the wall, then a desk mount might be a great option. And if you are using double-sided foam tape to mount your wireless sensors, then you will probably want to pick some up. Double-sided foam tape isn't too expensive, and you can find it in pretty much any major retail outlet or a hardware store. You can always drill some holes and hard-mount your panel and sensors if you prefer. It's completely up to you.

Once you have your system set up, you can go through the same easy activation process as one of our new customers. Remember that you or a designated individual will need to be on-site and able to work with the system at the time of activation. Check these tips for making your activation as easy as possible. You should visit our monitoring page or email us at support@alarmgrid.com to choose an activation slot. The activation is a great time to get an updated Certificate of Alarm for an insurance discount at your new home. Just make sure to have all of the applicable sensors powered on and enrolled with your system before the activation. And please feel free to email us beforehand if you have any questions. We have activation slots available from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you during your move

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Alarm Grid welcomes you to June! The year has certainly flown by. While there have been some challenges, we're here to help you take a step back from it all, and instead focus on the ever-exciting world of security and home automation! Here is what you can expect soon from Alarm Grid.


Next Generation Systems

If you follow this blog regularly, then you will already know that the Resideo PROA7PLUS from Honeywell Home and the Qolsys IQ Hub will soon be entering the market as brand-new, state-of-the-art security systems. Both are expected to be fantastic options for anyone looking to outfit their home or business with a new system. We also believe that they will be great for existing security system users who want to spice things up with a brand new panel upgrade. While we unfortunately cannot provide an official release date for either of these systems just yet, we can say that they are coming soon. Stay tuned for further updates.

Resideo proa7plus next generation wireless security system



Home Automation for Summer

Summer is a great time to get started with home automation. As we have outlined previously, nearly all Alarm Grid customers have a system that can readily support Z-Wave Smart Home devices. A popular option for the summer months is to outfit the home with a new Z-Wave thermostat that can be controlled from anywhere. That way, you can enjoy maximum energy savings, while still returning to a home that is cool and comfortable. We also sell other smart home devices, such as smart lights and smart door locks. And if you are a regular iOS user, you might also consider building around the Apple HomeKit platform.

Ge 14318 z wave in wall smart switch
Honeywell t6 z wave thermostat smart thermostat
Kwikset 888 bronze front smartcode z wave deadbolt touch button


ISC West 2020 in October

We just wanted to give a friendly reminder that ISC West 2020 has been pushed back to October this year. We know all the security enthusiasts out there are accustomed to having the event in the spring time. But we believe that an autumn ISC West will be a nice change of pace. And it also gives manufacturers more time to truly bring their A-game. Just like last year, Alarm Grid will have a full team on the demonstration floor covering the exciting action. We're sure that there will be a few surprises along the way, and you certainly won't want to miss this year's edition!


Get Monitored!

Remember that the only way to truly unlock the full potential of your security system is with Alarm Grid monitoring service. We have monitoring plans for all budgets and security and automation needs. If you haven't already, make sure to check out our monitoring page. You can also review this prior post to learn about our monitoring plans in full detail. If you have any questions, you are free to email us any time at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support and planner teams check email Monday thru Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. We look forward to hearing from you!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

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We have recently noticed a major shift in the security industry due to the COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting "new normal". Many companies that were traditionally opposed to the DIY model are now following our lead and implementing their own DIY practices to meet consumer needs.

Honeywell lyricpk lte enc encrypted at and t lte alarm system w There are many names for this rising practice. Some companies will call it "Do-It-Together" or "Do-It-With-Me" as an alternative to "Do-It-Yourself". But it's all the same principle. And it isn't anything new, even if other companies want you to believe that they are being innovative. Alarm Grid has been proudly offering DIY monitoring solutions since 2012. And only a very small handful of other companies have been providing similar solutions for the past several years. It wasn't until this "new normal" that DIY security even became the standard model.

Whether a security company calls their model DIY, DIT, or DIWM, it's all the same thing. They all refer to a company guiding an end user through the setup or installation process remotely through a phone call, text chat, or video call. The main principle behind this concept is that a modern security system is not difficult to install, and end users shouldn't have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an installation that they can easily complete on their own. The end user is empowered in being in full control of their security system, and the alarm company saves money by not having to send out a professional installer. Everybody wins.

For a long time, traditional security companies and equipment manufacturers stubbornly stood their ground and refused to adopt this new model. They continued hiding Installer Codes and making their systems difficult and frustrating for end users to work with. This allowed them to keep rolling trucks and charging their customers service fees. We have seen some improvements in this regard. For example, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is arguably the most DIY-friendly alarm panel we have ever seen. But for the most part, this industry has been slow to take action. It's somewhat shocking that it took something like a serious global health pandemic to implement these changes.

But Alarm Grid has been doing this before it became the norm. We have never sent out an in-house technician to anyone's home or business. Why? Because we never needed to. These systems can be self-installed, and our trained and knowledgeable technicians provide all the support you need, both online and over the phone. Being ahead of the curve has allowed Alarm Grid to establish a successful and thriving business in the highly competitive security industry. And we intend on keeping it that way, even during these trying times.

While most other security companies were left scrambling for solution that has been right under their noses for quite some time, Alarm Grid was already adapted for the global pandemic. The only change we made was mandating that the vast majority of employees work from home. And even that is only temporary, as we plan on returning to the Alarm Grid headquarters once we feel that it is safe. But other than that, it has been business as usual for Alarm Grid. We have continued to keep our customers informed, and we have continued providing simple and effective security solutions.

Other companies that are just now implementing DIY practices during this historic event are not being innovative. They are fighting for survival. We have been doing this for nearly eight years. And each year, more and more people jump ship to Alarm Grid. Customers love us for our top-notch support, our contract-free structure and our no nonsense attitude, where our only goal is to provide you with excellent monitoring service at a price that you can afford. We have been right about this industry this entire time, and other companies are only just now realizing it as a means of survival.

Remember that customers stick with Alarm Grid because they love our support and our efficient business model. Any customer that is not satisfied for whatever reason is free to take their system with them to a new company. All of the security systems we support are non-proprietary, and they can be readily used with virtually any alarm company. But we rarely have customers leave us, as we are always there to help them overcome any problems that they may encounter.

If you are interested in learning more about Alarm Grid, the original DIY security company, we invite you to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We would love to help you explore your options so that you can make an informed buying decision for your home or business. Also, make sure to check out our monitoring page so that you can learn all about our monitoring plans. If you'd prefer to call us, we can be reached at (888) 818-7728. Our team is available and ready to talk from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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A security system is either monitored or unmonitored. While you can use an unmonitored system, we're here to tell you why having your system monitored is so important. Alarm monitoring service is the best way to ensure that responders arrive as soon as possible during an emergency.

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When a monitored system goes into alarm, it will activate a siren to alert those on-site, and it will send alerts to a central monitoring station and/or the end user directly via text and/or email, depending on the user's monitoring plan. If a system is not monitored, then the siren will still activate, but no remote alerts or notifications will be sent out.

The only way an unmonitored system is useful is if you are always on-site with the system. Then you will hear the siren and know to take action regarding the alarm. But what if you are away from your home or business and a fire or break-in occurs? That is when you count on your security system alarm monitoring service to ensure that the appropriate party is notified.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

There are two (2) types of alarm monitoring service. Central station monitoring involves having your system send an emergency alert to a central monitoring station where a highly trained operator will take immediate action. They can see the type of alarm that occurred (e.g. security, fire, carbon monoxide gas, medical, etc.) and contact the authorities in your area for help.

Some users prefer self-monitoring service. This involves having an alert sent to you via text, email, and/or push notification. The alert will tell you what type of alarm has occurred and which sensor or zone on your system caused the alarm. This way, you can take your own action regarding the alarm event. Just know that in order for help to arrive, you must be able to reliably respond to the alert.

It is also possible to get a central station monitoring plan that includes self-monitoring service. This way, you can still have emergency help sent out automatically by a central station operator, while also receiving a personal alert so that you immediately know what's going on. This is a "best of both worlds" option, and it is what most new users ultimately select when setting up their monitoring service.

Whether you go with central station monitoring, self monitoring, or a hybrid of both, having your system monitored is the best way to ensure that your home or business is protected while you are away. Alarm Grid offers monitoring plans for all types of homes and businesses, and we have a wide selection of security systems available. Our team is happy to help you every step of the way.

If you want to learn more about choosing and installing your own DIY security system and saving hundreds by not hiring a professional installer, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our system planners are available from 9am to 8pm ET to help you choose the best security system for your needs. You might also want to check out our monitoring page to learn more about what we offer. We look forward to helping you get started with your new security system!

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Nortek and 2GIG made waves last year with their release of the 2GIG GC3e System. This panel is known for its exceptional build quality and its robust and powerful features. It is a great option to consider if you are new to alarm monitoring. Here are five (5) things we love about the GC3e.

2gig gc3e wireless encrypted alarm panel

1) Many Sensor Options

When you get a 2GIG GC3e System, you will have the choice of many sensor lineups. Arguably the most powerful are the encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors. These are the only encrypted sensors available for the system, and they offer an impressive wireless range of 350 nominal feet. Other wireless sensor options include the 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and the Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors. And if you have hardwired sensors, you can bring them over using a Honeywell 5800C2W or a 2GIG TAKE-345.

2) Partitioning Support

Referred to as "Smart Areas", the 2GIG GC3e provides support for up to four (4) individually controlled partitions. If you aren't familiar with partitioning for alarm systems, it basically means splitting the system up into different sections that can each be armed and disarmed individually. Each Smart Area Partition can be assigned its own selection of zones its own set of user codes. This is perfect for businesses, multi-family homes, guest homes, rental properties and more.

3) Z-Wave Plus

The 2GIG GC3e features a built-in Z-Wave Plus controller for using smart home automation devices. You can add a variety of devices, including lights, locks, thermostats, and more to create a truly customized smart home that meets your needs. These connected devices can be controlled directly from the panel, and it is even possible to establish smart scenes to have multiple home automation devices activate automatically based on a set schedule or with certain system events.

4) Alarm.com

If you want to truly unlock the potential of your GC3e system, you will want to get it set up with an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to Alarm.com. This is an interactive service platform that you can use to control your GC3e from anywhere using a web browser or a mobile app on your phone. Once you have accessed Alarm.com, you can arm and disarm the system, control Z-Wave home automation devices, view the live feed for Alarm.com Security Cameras, and more.

5) Great Build Quality

While this is hard to measure, we are honest when we say that the 2GIG GC3e arguably has the best build quality out of any alarm panel we have ever seen. The panel is extremely tough and very well-made. It doesn't feel flimsy like some other security panels, but it is still sleek and compact enough that you will be proud to display it on your wall. If mounting an alarm panel isn't your style, then the 2GIG CP-DESK can be added to rest the system on a sturdy table or desk.

Get a 2GIG GC3e System from Alarm Grid!

If you have decided that the 2GIG GC3e System is for you, then we would love to help you get started! You can email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions about the GC3e or our monitoring services in general. Our technical support specialists are available from 9am to 8pm ET M-F to provide you with the help you need. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Most of these best security systems lists are frustrating to navigate. Many of them include companies and their respective rating. ADT, Brinks, Vivint, or others will make the cut. We’re sad to never be included in these lists. But that reflects the state of the industry. Many people don’t know that other alarm monitoring companies exist. Still others only include the new DIY systems that are on the market like Simplisafe, Ring, Nest, or Scout. Consumer Reports, for example, only reviews Nest, Ring, Abode, Frontpoint, Simplisafe, and Samsung’s Smarthings integrated GC3 that they produced for ADT. This list is, in no way, a complete list of products. Moreover, it completely ignores legacy and current systems. And, while we like “new,” being in the industry, we are proud to say that the so-called “professional” systems that are out there are better than these systems for a few simple reasons.

Our list includes exclusively professional equipment. It is the same equipment that ADT or other installation companies might sell you. We’ve tested a lot of these DIY systems. They work well to varying degrees. But we have found that nothing surpasses the quality or features of a professional system. What’s more, we provide the help that you need to turn these professionally installed systems into the DIY systems that you may be looking for.

Yup! You heard that right. You don’t need a professional to install a professional home security system.

They are simple enough to install and operate that you can do it yourself. Additionally, you can have them monitored by anyone. We think that this feature is the feature that sets them apart from any of the new “DIY” systems. Simplisafe systems must be monitored by Simplisafe. Ring systems must be monitored by Amazon. Nest systems must be monitored by Google’s chosen provider: Monitronics (now Brinks).

But a professional system can be monitored by any alarm company. We certainly do monitor them. But if you’re interested in having a local installer at your beck and call, you can have Larry the alarm installer from down the road monitor it as well.

In all, these systems are not easy to rank. Each one comes with its own set of features and benefits. So we have organized the following list based on your own possible set of needs.

So without further ado, here are the 3 best alarm systems of 2020.

Best Interactive Service of 2020

Alarm.com

Interactive services are the apps that allow you to control your alarm system from your phone or computer. There are dozens of such services. Some companies, such as the ones we mentioned above have their own proprietary service. But then, there are a few universal services. These are sold by Interlogix, DSC, Alarmnet (Honeywell), Securenet and others. Our favorite of these interactive services is alarm.com. It is a great service that works with Qolsys products, DSC products, Interlogix products, 2GIG products, and more. Unfortunately, it does not work with most Honeywell products.

It provides a wide array of controls, including the ability to use SIRI to command your system and schedule Z-Wave scenes. The drawback is that Alarm.com requires users to sign up for cellular monitoring. This is the best, most robust kind of monitoring. But some users don’t want that level of connectivity. Some end users are satisfied with just IP monitoring. In the 90s, particularly, phone line monitoring was the norm. Modern monitoring has found other, better, more secure options. No one can cut the line of a cellular device, for example. IP monitoring suffers from many of the same problems as phone line monitoring. But it also allows users to get many of the advantages of cellular monitoring, including homeowner’s insurance discounts. Even still, despite this drawback of alarm.com, it is our preferred interactive service.

That said, its closest competition is Honeywell’s Total Connect. Total Connect only works with Honeywell. It does almost everything that Alarm.com does, with a few specific differences - no native SIRI control, for example. That said, Honeywell makes excellent equipment. The Lyric alarm, for example, works with HomeKit. This integration will allow individual control of the unit from SIRI. This is actually more robust than even alarm.com’s SIRI integration. And the only options that a HomeKit user has on the Alarm.com side is the DSC iotega, which is a system that works, but for many reasons, doesn’t make this list.

Ultimately, whether you use Alarm.com or Total Connect, it will depend on your system’s interactive service compatibility. If you are interested in system features, look at the systems below. If you are more concerned with the usability of the interactive service, you can certainly pick a system based on its qualities and compatibility with an interactive service.

Runner Up: Total Connect

Best Overall System of 2020

Qolsys IQ Panel 2+

This security system is an amazing piece of equipment. It is a great looking home automation controller as well as a security system. It’s Alarm.com compatibility is a great feature that makes the Qolsys IQ Panel 2+ a stratospherically better panel than almost anything on the market. The system is built on the Android operating system. Ultimately, the Qolsys is what you get when you beset a Silicon Valley company with the task of building a professional alarm system. It is feature filled, beautifully and competently built.

One of the frustrations with the Qolsys is its lack of modularity. It is an expensive system. Everything is built in to the panel. Whereas most security systems allow a user to install (and uninstall) a cellular communicator, the Qolsys builds the communicator right into the panel itself. This sounds like a great feature, and it is. But that’s until the system’s communicator becomes obsolete. It’s something that doesn’t happen very often, but every 10 or so years, the cellular companies deprecate one or more of their networks. At this very moment, Alarm Grid’s subscribers are preparing to replace thousands of communicators. As Verizon and AT&T deprecate their old CDMA and 3G networks, the systems that have included these communicators are coming due for an upgrade. The drawback of the Qolsys is that there is no upgrade per se. Rather, end users with an older Qolsys will have to replace the entire panel.

Despite this drawback, the Qolsys is a great unit. One of its best features is its ability to take over old systems. For those that are looking to replace an old system, the Qolsys is a great choice. The new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus’s come in different varieties, each with a daughter card that allows them to grab the signals from other company’s wireless sensors.

Just awesome!

In our opinion the best feature of the new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, however, is not its amazing home automation features or its ability to take over other systems. It’s not even its slick Android interface. All those features can and are replicated by its competitors. Rather, our favorite feature of the Qolsys is its sensor’s ranges. The Qolsys is a panel whose PowerG sensors, which are encrypted, are capable of being monitored over HUGE ranges. We have seen the Qolsys detect sensors that are nearly a half mile away. This makes the PowerG line of sensors that are compatible with the Qolsys an amazing feature that no other all-in-one system has. These sensors basically remove the need for expensive repeaters. They are modern sensors that no other company has.

Eat your heart out Google, Amazon, and all ya’ll Silicon Valley companies trying to build better systems. None of these systems even touch the quality of the Qolsys in our opinion.

Runner-up: 2GIG GC3e

Best HomeKit Compatible System of 2020

Honeywell Lyric

The Lyric is in competition with DSC’s Iotega, which works as a HomeKit controller. If you’re looking for HomeKit control, and your home is filled with DSC sensors, the Iotega might be a better choice for you. But if you’re starting from scratch, nothing is better than the Lyric controller. This system is compatible with a wide range of sensors, including America’s most sold sensor, the 5816. It looks great on a wall. It’s fairly priced, and it does everything you’d want from a good looking system, including a photo album feature.

We sold more Lyric’s in 2019 than any other system on the market. This is largely due to Honeywell’s trusted name. The quality exemplified by the brand is epitomized in this sleek wall unit. Its versatility is buttressed by the hundreds of compatible sensors that Honeywell has released over the years.

We like Honeywell’s no-nonsense approach to monitoring. They put security over all. They were the first mainstream system on the market with both a panel and encrypted sensors. And the sensors work immensely well. We love Honeywell. We love the Lyric. At the moment, we believe that the Qolsys has surpassed the features of Honeywell’s alarm system. But the Lyric has one feature that Qolsys simply does not: the ability to be monitored by WiFi only. In fact, nearly all of Honeywell’s all-in-one systems can be monitored by WiFi only. For an end user, this means that they can be professionally monitored at a price that is significantly cheaper than that of a cellular system. For the budget conscience consumer, this presents an amazing opportunity to save money while getting all the benefits of a monitored system, including insurance discounts. We are a big fan of cellular monitoring. But the option is there for those who simply don’t think it’s as important as we do or for those who don’t want to pay the cost of cellular monitoring.

Runner Up: DSC iotega

Best Budget Alarm System

Honeywell L3000


We spent a lot of time debating whether the L3000 would be the best system for someone on a budget. We actually prefer the GC2e as a system. It’s a great looking system, it’s inexpensive, and it uses Alarm.com. But here’s the problem: it requires that anyone using it purchase a cellular communicator. Additionally, because its most minimal monitoring will include Alarm.com. This puts anyone purchasing it into a different category of spending. That said, if it’s not outside of your budget, the GC2e is a great system. It is our runner-up, because it is a good budget system, but it’s not great.

The low price of the L3000 is no indication of its quality. It is because it is a legacy system. It is often used by alarm companies that are putting systems into big apartment buildings. The system is amazing. It’s effective, will last for a very long time. Unfortunately, it’s ugly and can be a bear to program. Luckily for owners, programming is not something you do more than one time. And if you’re with Alarm Grid, there is a strong chance that we can program it for you.

Unlike the GC2e, the L3000 allows users to do IP-only monitoring. It also allows old-school phone line monitoring. That means, for the budget-conscious consumer, the L3000 is both cheaper to purchase than the GC2e, and will save an end user between $10 and $20 per month. In all, the L3000 will save anyone who installs it between $120 and $240 per year, while also being incredibly affordable at the outset. Huzzah! Oh, and for those concerned about sensors, the L3000 works great with any of the Honeywell’s 5800 sensors. You will have a ton of sensors to pick from, which also makes the system the most versatile budget system on the market.

We love the L3000 as a budget system.

Runner-Up: 2GIG GC2e

Best Wired Alarm System of 2020

Honeywell VISTA 20P

This is an oldie but a goodie. The VISTA 20P has been produced by Honeywell for many many years now. It's an excellent system with great, modern features. Honeywell produces update chips that they release every once in a while. These updates allow the system to take advantage of modern features like those available in the VAM or Tuxedo Touch. Home Automation? You can do it using the VISTA 20P. Manage both wired and wireless sensors? You can do that very easily with the VISTA 20P by adding a wireless receiver or a keypad with a wireless receiver built in. In all, this system has all the same great features of its all-in-one wireless contemporaries. 2 drawbacks to speak of, though: 1) it's big and bulky; 2) programming these systems sucks.

Runner-up: Honeywell VISTA 21iP

What Else is Coming in 2020?

Every year, professional systems get better and better. The systems that are coming soon are no different. In the coming months, we are expecting the release of Qolsys’s new Hub as well as Honeywell’s ProSeries panel. 2GIG hasn’t announced anything yet. But they just released the encrypted versions of their panels.

Unfortunately, 2019 saw the close of Interlogix’s security systems production division. While interlogix was not known for the incredible innovation of their systems, they made great budget models that gave users a simple, cheap entry point into security systems. They will be missed. But the three main producers--2GIG, Qolsys, and Resideo (formerly Honeywell)--are continuing to pioneer new and innovative features.

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The 2GIG GC3e is one of the more interesting security system options for the 2019 holiday season. The system was just released earlier this year, and it comes from a strong manufacturer in 2GIG and Nortek. This buying guide will help whether you are considering the system or expanding upon one.

2gig gc3e wireless encrypted alarm panelAt first glance, the 2GIG GC3e is kind of an odd system to choose when considering the other options out there. It doesn't have the option for IP only monitoring like the Lyric, as Alarm.com requires you to activate a cellular communicator. It also doesn't offer as many features as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and it isn't as easy to program. Also unlike the IQ2+, the GC3e needs you to add a separate cellular communicator module. That's something else you will need to consider when buying this system. But beyond all of these downsides, the 2GIG GC3e really is one of the best panels on the market today. It has some great features, and its build-quality is second to none.

If you aren't already aware, the 2GIG GC3e is a wireless all-in-one system from 2GIG, which is owned by Nortek. The system offers support for up to 100 wireless zones, four (4) "Smart Area" partitions, integrated WIFI, built-in Z-Wave Plus, encrypted wireless sensor support, one-touch arming, capacitive touch buttons, and more. It is the successor to the successful 2GIG GC3 System, which has been used by countless homes and businesses alike. If you are familiar with 2GIG programming, or you don't need all of the flashy features of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, then the 2GIG GC3e might be the system for you.

Building a 2GIG GC3e from Scratch

2gig gc3e at and t lte 10 1 kit wireless encrypted alarm system

As we mentioned earlier, you will need an added cellular communicator if you intend on using a 2GIG GC3e System for alarm monitoring service. You have two main choices, which are the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3 (AT&T LTE) and the 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC3 (Verizon LTE). It is recommended that you just go with whichever service works better in your area, regardless of what you use for a personal smartphone. Choosing one over the other will not save you any money in monitoring expenses, as the cellular service charges are covered by your alarm company as part of your monitoring plan. If you decide to get monitoring service with Alarm Grid, then you will want a Gold or Platinum Level Plan (Self or Full) or a Cellular-Only Plan. By choosing a Gold or Platinum Plan, you will be able to control your GC3e System remotely using the ultra-convenient Alarm.com platform app on your phone!

The easiest way to get started with a new 2GIG GC3e System, cellular communicator and all, is by purchasing a 2GIG System Kit from Alarm Grid. A new 2GIG GC3e System Kit will include a GC3e System, a cellular communicator, some sensors, and a Honeywell LT-Cable for powering the panel. We have kits with either the AT&T LTE Communicator or the Verizon LTE Communicator. You will also need to decide whether you want a 3-1 kit with three (3) door and window sensors and one (1) motion sensor, or a 10-1 kit with ten (10) door and window sensors and one (1) motion sensor.

In total, we have four (4) 2GIG GC3e Kits available. They are listed here:

Sensors for New and Existing GC3e Systems

2gig dw10 wireless slim door slash window contact

There are two (2) main categories of wireless sensors that you can use with a 2GIG GC3e System. These are non-encrypted 345 MHz sensors, and encrypted 2GIG Sensors. Both types work great with the system, and you can certainly mix the two! The encrypted sensors are good for preventing any wireless hacking or takeover attempts by savvy intruders. But the non-encrypted 345 MHz sensors have more options available, as the encrypted lineup was only released earlier this year.

The 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Wireless Sensors are good for preventing wireless attacks that could cause non-encrypted sensors to not work properly. These brand-new sensors are designed exclusively for use with the 2GIG GC3e and its little brother, the 2GIG GC2e. The lineup is very small at this time, as we only have five (5) sensors available on our website. But the good news is that we hope to have several new sensors from this lineup available soon!

Here are the 2GIG eSeries Sensors that are available from Alarm Grid at the time of this writing:

Of course, you will need to supplement these devices with 345 MHz sensors if you really want to broaden the capabilities of your 2GIG GC3e System. You can use both 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors, as well as various third-party 345 MHz sensors. For our discussion, we will focus on the 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors, but don't be afraid to look to the Honeywell 5800 Series for some extra devices!

The 2GIG 345 MHz lineup is quite robust, and it really has everything you need. What's great is that the lineup includes some rather unique sensors that you probably won't find elsewhere. We won't list every 2GIG 345 MHz Sensor here, but we will cover some of the more notable and the more interesting ones. Check them out:

Accessories for Your GC3e

As we mentioned earlier, the 2GIG GC3e has a built-in Z-Wave Plus controller for you to start adding Z-Wave devices. We recommend using certified Z-Wave Plus devices for optimal range and battery life, but you can use classic Z-Wave devices as well. By activating your GC3e System with Alarm.com you can control these devices from pretty much anywhere using your phone. You can also create smart scenes through Alarm.com to have your Z-Wave devices activate automatically based on a schedule or with predetermined system events.

There really are many Z-Wave devices to choose from, but here are just some of our favorites:

If you decide to sign up for a monitoring plan that includes video surveillance, such as an Alarm Grid Platinum Plan (Self or Full), then you will want to get some Alarm.com Security Cameras as well. Alarm.com has some great cameras to choose from, which gives your some nice options. Remember that you can view your cameras remotely using the Alarm.com Mobile App on your Android or iOS device. This is awesome if you want to take a look at what is going on in or around your home while you are away.

We won't list every Alarm.com Camera here, but we have three really good ones that you should make sure to check out:


And there are certainly some extra accessories you can get for your 2GIG GC3e. If you are looking for a keypad, then we recommend the 2GIG SP1-GC3. This is a full-color touchscreen keypad that offers some great features like the ability to bypass zones, voice annunciation, home automation control, a 5-day weather forecast, and more. If you only need a basic secondary keypad, then you might also consider the 2GIG PAD1-345 Push-Button Keypad. Although this keypad is extremely simple, it is perfect if you just want to setup another spot in your business for arming and disarming.

2gig sp1 gc3 wireless touchscreen keypad for gc3Finally, there is a great desk mount for the 2GIG GC3e called the 2GIG CP-DESK. This is actually the same desk mount used with the other 2GIG Security Systems. It will keep the GC3e Panel nice and sturdy if you decide to not mount it to a wall. A desk mount like this is perfect if you want to avoid drilling holes in the wall and hard-mounting the panel. This is also ideal if you know that you may be moving sometime in the future, and you want to bring the system with you on your move!

2gig cp desk go control panel desktop mountWe hope this buying guide helps you whether you are considering a new 2GIG GC3e, or expanding upon an existing panel. As always, you can email us with any questions at support@alarmgrid.com. We also invite you to call us at (888) 818-7728 to learn more about any of our products or our alarm monitoring services. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you!

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