2GIG STZ-1 Posts

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If you have been keeping up with Z-Wave home automation lately, then you have likely at least heard about the S2 Security Protocol. The security suite offers an advanced level of protection to keep smart home devices safe. Today, we're checking out the S2 Protocol to learn more about it.


Before we get into the specifics of Security 2 (S2), it is important to understand which Z-Wave setups will support it. In order to achieve a proper S2 setup, the Z-Wave controller and the paired device itself must both support the S2 Protocol. If either end is not S2-compatible, then the protocol will not be used. If you pair a non-S2 device with a controller that supports S2, then the device will simply pair using the S0 Protocol instead. Likewise if you have a hub that does not support S2, then none of the devices on the network will use S2, including those that technically are capable of supporting the protocol. Not to worry, if you do have an S2-compatible controller, then it is certainly possible to have a mixture of S2 and S0 devices on the same Z-Wave network.

The S2 Security Protocol is optional for 500-Series Z-Wave Plus devices and hubs. In other words, some 500-Series Z-Wave Plus smart home devices and controllers will support S2, while others will not. You need to check the specifications for the exact device and hub that you are working with to see if it is supported. In some cases, it may be possible to perform an over-the-air (OTA) update for a 500-Series accessory or controller so that it can support the S2 protocol, even if it did not previously. An example of this is when you upgrade the Z-Wave firmware on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus to Version 6.81.03. That is the first Z-Wave firmware version for the system that supports S2. Older versions do not. The panel firmware should be on version 2.5.3 or higher when using S2.

But for 700-Series Z-Wave Plus V2 equipment, support for S2 is required. In order for a device or hub to be certified as 700-Series by the Z-Wave Alliance, it must support the S2 Protocol. Therefore, if you see equipment listed as 700-Series, then you will know for certain that the technology is supported. As of October 2020, we have not seen many Z-Wave Plus V2 controllers or devices available. One 700-Series device that is available now is the 2GIG STZ-1 Thermostat. We hope that more 700-Series equipment will be hitting the market soon.

Looking at what S2 actually entails, you should understand that it isn't just one aspect or factor that makes the protocol what it is. There are many different components coming together to create a single protocol that is extremely secure. But perhaps the single most crucial aspect of S2 is that it is readily built into the Z-Wave framework for use by software developers. This makes it very easy for a developer to implement the technology into any given Z-Wave Plus device. Prior to the introduction of S2, there was no security built into the Z-Wave framework. The only option for a developer was to implement their own security protocol, and this was completely optional. Many develops would elect not to provide any security and just leave automation devices vulnerable. But when a device is listed as S2, you can be absolutely certain that it is meeting an advanced standard of security and protection.

Just like many other secure protocols, S2 makes use of an asymmetric key exchange, which at the simplest level involves a public key and a private key. Any command can be encrypted using the public key, but only the specific private key can unlock it. This ever-crucial private key is protected using Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) technology. Thanks to this advanced method, the task of deciphering the key is all but impossible. Additionally, different devices on the same network can be separated into different groups. Each device group can be assigned its own set of encryption keys. Often, devices that require greater security, such as door locks, are included with more secure groups that also require authentication during the network inclusion process. Meanwhile, the support of a highly secure TLS 1.1 Tunnel for all Z-Wave Over IP (Z/IP) traffic removes almost any possibility of cloud vulnerability. For the record, the S2 Protocol is rated at 128-bit AES in terms of overall security level.

One other big factor for the S2 Protocol is that it makes use of a single-frame transmission, which is a massive improvement over the three-frame transmission used by the S0 Protocol. Simply put, single-frame transmission is significantly more efficient than three-frame transmission. The improvement in efficiency allows for extended battery life, enhanced reliability, and a huge cut-down on latency. This means that a device using S2 technology will require less maintenance, including fewer battery changes. It will provide more consistent performance, and experience shorter operation delays. This alone makes S2 vital for anyone looking to achieve the most efficient automation network possible.

Understanding this technology in advanced detail may seem a bit daunting. But you just need to know that S2 makes Z-Wave home automation more secure, faster, and more efficient than ever before. If you have any further questions about S2, or if you want some tips for getting started with home automation, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm Eastern Time M-F. Also remember to check our monitoring page if you are interested in learning more about the monitoring services we offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

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As you may recall last week, the 2GIG STZ-1 Smart Thermostat became one of the first 700-Series Z-Wave devices available on the Alarm Grid website. We figured we would explore the Z-Wave 700-Series and see what it brings to the table, as it appears more products will be available soon.


We were a bit surprised with the release of the 2GIG STZ-1 Smart Thermostat, as there just aren't many controllers or hubs that take full advantage of 700-Series Z-Wave technology quite yet. Like prior generations of Z-Wave, the 700-Series devices should be compatible with older controllers and hubs. But you won't be able to take full advantage of these devices unless you use them with true Z-Wave 700-Series Controllers. And while we haven't seen many 700-Series Hubs available become available, we are sure they will be arriving soon.

It should come as no surprise that extended wireless range and longer battery life will become a mainstay with Z-Wave 700-Series. We have heard that the 700-Series devices will consume 64% less power for wireless communication, and the technology allows for resting when the device is not being used. Thanks to this more efficient performance, it's likely that you will see many 700-Series devices go up to ten (10) years between battery changes. Furthermore, the 700-Series is expected to allow for communication that is 250% further than the Z-Wave Plus 500-Series. This translates into roughly 200 feet between signal hops!

But perhaps the biggest surprise with the 700-Series is its improvements in security. While the 500-Series devices introduced optional S2 Security, SmartStart capabilities, 128-bit AES encryption, Elliptic-curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) protocol technology, and Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) protection. These features will become mandatory in the 700-Series for any device to receive certification from the Z-Wave Alliance. In other words, a device will only be able to list itself as having 700-Series Certification if it uses some of the most advanced wireless protection capabilities ever seen in home automation.

While the 700-Series technically made its public debut in April of 2019, we still haven't seen its usage become widespread. We expect that the pandemic played a large part in slowing the rollout of this latest smart home technology. But the recent release from Nortek and 2GIG is certainly a good sign. Of course, we'll also need security manufacturers to step up and build systems with 700-Series support. With any luck, maybe we'll see 700-Series support from the Qolsys IQ Hub later this year!

If you have any questions about the 700-Series of Z-Wave or about home automation in general, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will be happy to discuss automation possibilities for your home or business and provide you with as much detail as we know about the exciting up-coming technology. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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We have some new offerings from 2GIG that have just been added to our website. These include the 2GIG STZ-1 Z-Wave Plus 700-Series Thermostat, the 2GIG CO8 Wireless Carbon Monoxide Sensor, and the 2GIG CO8e Encrypted Wireless Carbon Monoxide Sensor. All three are available as of now!


Starting with the 2GIG STZ-1, this is a smart thermostat that uses the latest Z-Wave Plus 700-Series technology. This represents the next generation of Z-Wave Smart Home Automation after the 500-Series of Z-Wave Plus. The 2GIG STZ-1 is actually one of the very first 700-Series Z-Wave Plus devices we have ever seen. You may also see this protocol referred to as Z-Wave Plus V2. Although we haven't encountered many 700-Series Z-Wave controllers or hubs quite yet, we are sure that they will begin to pop up before too long. This new generation of Z-Wave will provide even better battery life and wireless range capabilities than ever before.

For the time being, you will have no trouble using the 2GIG STZ-1 with Z-Wave Plus controllers like the 2GIG GC3e, 2GIG GC3, 2GIG GC2e, Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and Honeywell Home Tuxedo. However, 2GIG has stated that the STZ-1 Thermostat is not compatible with their older 2GIG Go!Control GC2, which only has a classic Z-Wave controller. Therefore, you may want to refrain from getting the 2GIG STZ-1 if your automation network is still centered around a classic Z-Wave hub. But the good news is that you can take advantage of advanced features like SmartStart QR Code Pairing and the S2 Security Protocol when using it with the latest Z-Wave Plus hubs.

The 2GIG STZ-1 is also no slouch when it comes to controlling an HVAC system. The thermostat supports 3-Stage Heating and 2-Stage Cooling, humidity and fan control, and the ability to be used without a "C" wire connection and rely solely on battery power. Like any Z-Wave thermostat, you can include the 2GIG STZ-1 with smart scenes so that it automatically begins heating or cooling your home or office on a set schedule. This is great for keeping energy costs to a minimum, while also ensuring that you stay comfortable!

Meanwhile, the 2GIG CO8 and the 2GIG CO8e serve as the latest carbon monoxide sensors from Nortek Control. The 2GIG CO8 joins the always popular 2GIG 345 MHz Sensor Lineup, while the 2GIG CO8e is part of the 2GIG eSeries Lineup of encrypted sensors. The 2GIG CO8 is a non-encrypted wireless sensor, and it is compatible with a wider selection of alarm systems, including all of the 2GIG Panels, the 345 MHz Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the Honeywell Lyric on Firmware Version MR3 or higher. The 2GIG CO8e is only compatible with the 2GIG GC2e and GC3e, but it uses encryption for better wireless security and protection.

Whether you go with the CO8 or CO8e, you will be providing valuable carbon monoxide detection for your home or office. Carbon monoxide (CO) gas is odorless and tasteless, and it kills hundreds of people every year in the United States. Most CO-related deaths occur in the winter months when heaters are more frequently used. With the winter quickly approaching us, now is a great time to get started using carbon monoxide sensors. You will have peace of mind in knowing that you and others around you will be alerted in case a CO gas situation occurs. And with central station monitoring service, help will be automatically sent to the location in the event of a carbon monoxide alarm. Remember to check out our monitoring page if you are interested in learning more about alarm monitoring.


If you have any questions about the 2GIG STZ-1 Thermostat, 2GIG CO8 Carbon Monoxide Sensor, or 2GIG CO8e Encrypted Carbon Monoxide Sensor, please email our support team at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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