Honeywell Lyric Alarm System Posts

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According to reports, Ubiquiti has corrected an issue affecting their UniFi Access Points (APs). Alarm Grid previously reported the issue back in February. The issue prevented various security systems from connecting. Users had to disable the Auto Optimize Network feature to connect.


It is our understanding that Ubiquiti pushed a firmware update to their UniFi Access Point devices. This firmware update made it so that a security system will not be booted from the network when the Auto Optimize Network feature is enabled for the AP. Users can now expect their systems to work while the AP is in this mode.

Before the issue was fixed, we were only aware of Honeywell Lyric Alarm Systems being affected. We later learned that other systems connecting with Ubiquity UniFi Access Points were believed to be affected as well. Regardless, there should no longer be any issues when using a UniFi AP with your system, as long as the AP received the firmware update.

If you are still experiencing issues, we recommend emailing us at support@alarmgrid.com. While we cannot push the update to an Ubiquiti AP, we can walk you through steps for making sure that your alarm system is doing its part. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Also make sure to check out our monitoring page if you are interested in learning more about our services. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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.

Honeywell lyricpk10 lte a new dual path security system w slash

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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One of the best perks of owning a home security system is that it can also serve as an automation hub for controlling compatible smart devices. Apple HomeKit is an excellent platform to build around if you are a frequent iOS or Apple user. And a new Lyric System can make a great addition!

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

If you aren't familiar with Apple HomeKit, it is an app for iOS devices that allows you to control and automate compatible devices around your home. What's really cool is that you can perform various actions from virtually anywhere in the world using spoken Siri voice commands. Possible actions include arming or disarming your security system, controlling Lutron Smart Lights, or performing a complete HomeKit scene in which multiple devices are controlled at once.

In order to get started using a Lyric with Apple HomeKit, you must have a Lyric System that is set up for alarm monitoring service automation control. For Alarm Grid monitored customers, this means that you will need a Silver Plan or higher. More information is available on our monitoring page. Your alarm monitoring company can then activate the HomeKit feature for your Lyric System. Then just follow this simple FAQ to get it set up.

Remember that having a dedicated HomeKit Hub as part of your automation network is strongly recommended. This can be an iPad, an Apple HomePod, or an AppleTV Gen 4 or higher. You might also want to check out this FAQ on creating HomeKit Automations. That is how you will have your HomeKit compatible devices activate automatically with certain system events or based upon a set schedule.

When expanding upon your HomeKit network, make sure to look for devices that feature the Apple Home logo or other marking identifying them as HomeKit-compatible.

The only way to get your Honeywell Lyric set up for use with Apple HomeKit is to get it monitored. Please email us at support@alarmgrid.com for more information. We check our email Monday thru Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. Our team will be happy to help you find new HomeKit devices and build a robust and powerful HomeKit network that you can control from anywhere using your voice. Getting started is super easy, and we will be there every step of the way!

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For those shopping for a low-cost security system, the Honeywell Lyric is our go-to option. The panel can be used with an IP-only communication path, which is considerably less expensive than a cellular or dual-path communication alarm system. This is the best way to cut monitoring expenses.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Having an active and reliable communication path is an absolute must for alarm monitoring service. Your alarm panel is basically the central security hub for your home or office. It needs to be able to send out signals and communicate with equipment in other locations. If your system detects activity that warrants attention, then it will send an alert to you and/or a central monitoring station so that proper action can be taken. This can include notifying the local authorities immediately, sending emergency rescue services, or just having a call and text sent to your phone. But no matter what action is taken, it's all possible because your system was able to communicate out reliably.

The most reliable communication path available for a security system is cellular communication. This is basically the same technology as what is used inside your phone when placing calls. If your system is in an area with good cellular reception, then it is highly unlikely that your system will ever go offline and leave you temporarily unmonitored. And an electrical outage will not be an issue, as cellular communication does not require a modem to remain online. This makes cellular communication extremely reliable and perfect for use with alarm systems. But cellular service providers charge a fee for their services, which makes cellular monitoring more expensive.

Users who are looking to reduce monitoring expenses will often turn to an IP-only security system. An IP-only system will not use cellular communication technology. Instead, it will communicate across internet protocol (IP). This will require either a wireless WIFI connection or a hardwired ethernet connection. In the case of the Lyric, the system already comes with a built-in WIFI card. You just need to connect it to the 2.4 GHz WIFI network in your home or office. This can all be done using the touchscreen display on the panel. It is very easy to connect a Lyric System to the internet, and you will be up and running in no time at all.

Now, you might still be wondering, why the Lyric? Lots of panels like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the 2GIG GC3e have built-in WIFI. What makes the Lyric noteworthy? The advantage that the Lyric holds over those panels when it comes to those looking for an IP-only setup is that the Lyric connects with the Resideo AlarmNet360 Servers. Resideo (formerly Honeywell) allows compatible panels to connect with their servers using IP-only communication. There is no requirement put in place from Resideo or AlarmNet mandating that a system connected with their monitoring and automation servers must have a cellular communicator that is registered and activated. This is very important because Alarm.com, the monitoring and automation platform for other alarm systems like the IQ2+ and GC3e, does in fact have this requirement. What it all comes down to, if you want to keep your monthly monitoring costs as low as possible, then you should go with a system from Honeywell or Resideo.

Just how much will you save by going with the Lyric on an IP-only communication path over another panel like the IQ2+ or GC3e? The exact figures will depend on the monitoring company. If you decide that Alarm Grid is the right solution for your home or business, then you can see the expenses on our monitoring page. Assuming your are just looking for basic central station service, you will see that our Gold Plan (our most popular plan) is the lowest of our main plans with cellular connectivity and central station service. While this plan also offers some nice features, such as automation and the ability to control your system remotely using a mobile app, we understand that these features and bonuses aren't for everyone. Many users just want affordable and effective alarm monitoring so that they can get an insurance discount. And at $35 a month, those extra features are sometimes seen as unnecessary expenses. Alarm Grid also offers a no-frills $25 per month Cellular-Only Plan. But you can drop the cost even lower by going IP-only.

If you look closely at our monitoring page, you will see our $15 per month Bronze Plan. That plan is ideal for Lyric users who just want to get their systems connected with a central station. This will provide the user with peace of mind in knowing that they have a reliable and proactive protection plan in place in case of trouble. And the insurance discount is nice too. Yes, remote automation and cellular connectivity are nice features to have, but not everyone really benefits from them. If your internet is reliable, and you don't care for fancy smart home automation features, then our $15 Bronze Plan might be your best choice.

Alarm Grid Central Station Plans
Cost
Bronze $15
Cell-Only $25
Gold $35

Over the course of a year going with a Bronze Plan over a Cell-Only Plan will save you $120. Going with a Bronze Plan over a Gold Plan will save you $240 per year. You will also save money right up-front by not having to buy a cellular communicator add-on for your Lyric System (either the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A or Honeywell LYRICLTE-V). Plus, if your budget ever increases and you have more money to spend, you can always add one of those communicators and upgrade your monitoring plan. All of our monitoring services are no-contract, with no added fees. You will not be required to pay any surprise or sudden charges to upgrade (or downgrade) your monitoring plan, and there are never any activation or cancellation fees. As one final assurance, all of our supported equipment is non-proprietary and can be taken to other alarm companies as needed. If you are ever not happy or satisfied with the level of service and support we are offering, then we challenge you to take your alarm system to a different monitoring company. Our customers come back to us only because of the fantastic support we provide. Now, we invite you to join our family.

If you are interested in starting service with Alarm Grid, or if you still have some questions, feel free to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support staff answers emails Monday thru Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. You might also consider browsing our website. We have plenty of resources and information that is freely available, whether you are monitored by us or not. As always, thank you for reading our blog, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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One of the best security systems on the market right now is the Honeywell Lyric Controller. While it's clear that Resideo is currently hard at work on their next-gen alarm panel, the Lyric still remains a viable option for many users. Here are five (5) things we love about the Lyric.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

1) HomeKit Compatibility

As of March 2020, the Lyric is hands-down the absolute best HomeKit compatible security system on the market. This is great news for iOS users who are looking to control their system remotely using Siri voice commands, as well as users who want to have their HomeKit smart home devices activate automatically with certain system events. For more on getting a Lyric set up with Apple HomeKit, we encourage you to check out this helpful FAQ.

2) IP-Only Monitoring

Don't get us wrong. We always recommend dual-path monitoring with both IP and cellular. But we also understand that some users will want to save money by going IP-only. The Lyric is the newest and most advanced security system that can be set up for alarm monitoring using an IP-only path. This makes it eligible for the less expensive Bronze and Silver Level Monitoring Plans from Alarm Grid (Self or Full). You don't even need to add a communicator, as the system already has a built-in WIFI card. Of course, you can also add a Honeywell LYRICLTE-A (AT&T LTE) or a Honeywell LYRICLTE-V (Verizon LTE) if you want to use the system for cellular or dual-path monitoring. This will require an upgrade to one of the Gold plans.

3) Total Connect 2.0

Total Connect 2.0 represents one of the best features for the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. You can use this robust interactive platform to control your Lyric System from pretty much anywhere using a web browser or a mobile app on your smartphone. By accessing Total Connect 2.0, you can arm and disarm the system, control programmed Z-Wave devices, view the live feed for Total Connect IP Cameras, and so much more. Make sure that the monitoring plan for your Lyric includes access to this great platform.

4) Backwards Compatibility

The Lyric proved that just because you get a new security system doesn't mean you need to throw out your old sensors. All of the uni-directional 345 MHz Honeywell 5800 Sensors work with the Lyric, which is important for users upgrading from older Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels. And users with hardwired sensors could easily bring most of them over using a Honeywell 5800C2W Wired to Wireless Converter. Either way, users have a good option to set up the Lyric without having to buy new sensors. And if you do want to buy new sensors, the encrypted Honeywell SiX Sensors are an excellent option.

5) Ease of Use

If you are familiar with other Honeywell Security Systems, then you will have no problem making the jump over to the Lyric. The system features a very similar UI to that of the LYNX Touch Systems, and its programming has been largely retained. While there are some minor updates to freshen things up and to provide a more user friendly experience, the Lyric System is almost identical to its predecessors. Overall, it is very easy for end users to set up, thereby making it the perfect DIY alarm panel.

Get Your Lyric Controller Now!

Our team is happy to help you get started with a brand-new Lyric Controller! If you want to learn more about the Honeywell Lyric System or the monitoring services we provide, please contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support team is available from 9am to 8pm ET M-F to help you find the perfect alarm system for your unique needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We have very recently seen many customers looking for security systems that support the Apple HomeKit platform. Although the options are still rather limited, you can absolutely find a great HomeKit Security System. Today, we are going to discuss the options that are currently available.


If you aren't familiar with Apple HomeKit, it is the premier smart home and automation platform for iOS users. The market is filled with HomeKit devices that you can include with a HomeKit network. Once you have properly configured your HomeKit network, you can then control your devices remotely using Siri voice commands on your iPhone. You can also create HomeKit Smart Scenes to have your devices activate automatically based on a schedule or with predetermined events.

Integrating your security system with your HomeKit network opens up the door for some extremely useful automation functions. You can have devices on your network automatically respond to actions on your security system, such as arming/disarming or going into alarm. As your security system will likely be an important fixture in your home or business, it is likely that you will want to have your HomeKit devices respond to the events on your alarm system. That is why having a HomeKit Security System is so useful.

At this time, there are only two (2) security systems that support the Apple HomeKit platform. We are very hopeful that more systems will join this elite club in the near future. But for now you have the choice of two systems. Of these two, we highly recommend one over the other. But we will discuss both of these alarm panels so that you can learn all about the HomeKit System options.

Honeywell Lyric Alarm System

Honeywell lyricpk lte a wireless security system w slash at and The Honeywell Lyric Alarm System is currently our top pick as a HomeKit Security System. This is a very powerful alarm panel that includes support for 128 wireless zones, a built-in 7-inch full-color touchscreen, integrated WIFI, support for encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Sensors, and backwards compatibility with Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors. The panel connects with the Resideo AlarmNet Servers for monitoring service and access to the Total Connect 2.0 platform.

What's great about the Lyric is the fact that the system offers intuitive end user programming. This means that the end user can easily set up their own security system, without needing to hire an installer. You can quickly and conveniently make programming changes to your Lyric System when needed, and you can save a huge amount of money by setting up the system yourself. With a new Lyric Panel, you will have access to the default Installer Code (4112) to make your own system changes whenever you want.

You will also find that it is incredibly easy to set the Lyric up with your Apple HomeKit network. In order to activate HomeKit on the Lyric, you must get the system monitored by an alarm company. Any of the monitoring plans offered from Alarm Grid are perfect for this. You can even use a monitoring plan that is IP only, as opposed to a cellular monitoring plan. Although cellular monitoring is always recommended for optimal reliability, many users use IP only monitoring plans to keep expenses as low as possible.

Bottom Line: The Lyric is the best HomeKit Security System of 2020.

DSC Iotega

Dsc ws900 91lvza iotega 3 1 alarm system kitAt first glance, the DSC Iotega looks like an exceptional HomeKit System. It supports 128 wireless zones, and you can use PowerG Sensors, which are arguably the best in the security industry. The Iotega is also currently the only HomeKit Alarm Panel that can be used with the Alarm.com service, which many experts view as the go-to monitoring and automation platform. In those aspects, the Iotega fills some unique niches that are left unfulfilled by the Lyric.

But the Iotega has some glaring weaknesses. The system's biggest issue is that it offers no local end user programming. You cannot program the system without the help of a monitoring company. Any time you want to make a change to the system settings or add/edit/delete a sensor, you will need to contact your alarm company for help. This includes situations where you are just making a minor settings adjustment. The Iotega is known for being notoriously inconvenient in that aspect, and this limitation rightfully turns many potential customers away.

The aesthetics of the DSC Iotega are also a weakness. The system is just a simple black box with a numeric touchpad that appears when activated. There is no touchscreen, and all commands are made with numeric entries. This can be very non-intuitive for new users, and understanding the system is often very difficult. DSC does offer a touchscreen keypad for the Iotega, but most users prefer getting a system that already has a touchscreen built-in.

There are times where (unfortunately) the Iotega is the best option. PowerG Sensors offer a better wireless range than anything that is available for the Lyric. And if you need to build around the Alarm.com platform due to something like existing Alarm.com Cameras, then you may be tempted to get started with the Iotega. The fact remains that this is currently the only one of the HomeKit Alarm Systems that can be used with PowerG Sensors and Alarm.com.

Bottom Line: Only use the DSC Iotega as a HomeKit System in extremely niche scenarios.

If you have any questions about the Honeywell Lyric, the DSC Iotega, or any of the other products on our site, please reach out to us. We are also happy to discuss our monitoring services if you have any questions or concerns. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We maintain support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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One of our main principles at Alarm Grid is to always empower our customers. Anyone who has monitoring service with us should be able to make changes to their security system settings at any time they would like. This is an incredibly important value to us as a monitoring company.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

When we come across features and settings that can make it more difficult for our customers to get into programming, we make sure to discuss these features and explain why we do not recommend using them. One such feature that we never recommend using is the Lyric Lock feature on the Honeywell Lyric System. This feature provides zero benefits from an end's user's perspective, and it can lead to wasted time and frustration if it is mishandled. We strongly advise always keeping Lyric Lock disabled so that accessing programming is kept as easy and as simple as possible.

The Lyric Lock feature requires the end user to get a generated code from their alarm monitoring company whenever they want to enter the programming menu their panel. This feature can only be enabled for a Honeywell Lyric Panel that is actively monitored and connected with the AlarmNet360 servers. If you try to enter programming on a Lyric System with Lyric Lock enabled, then you will be prompted to enter a validated code to gain entry. The Lyric System will connect with the AlarmNet servers to verify the correct code before granting access to local programming. If you are unable to provide the correct validated code, then you will never be able to enter programming.


Since there is no way to "backdoor" a Lyric System, having the Lyric Lock feature enabled will make it impossible for you to make system changes if your monitoring company refuses to provide you with the generated code. Some monitoring companies may refuse to provide the generated code as a means of restricting when the user can enter programming and what changes they are able to make. By doing this, the alarm company can limit what the end user can do at the panel, and they may make it impossible for the user to switch monitoring companies without buying a new system.

Only a monitoring company with access to AlarmNet360 can enable/disable the Lyric Lock feature. This isn't something that can be turned ON or OFF freely by end users. If you find that your Lyric System has the Lyric Lock feature enabled, then the company that is actively monitoring the system will need to disable the feature. This because only that monitoring company can access the associated AlarmNet360 account and turn the feature OFF. You can identify the feature as being enabled by seeing "Yes" under the Lyric Lock option after you enter your system's Installer Code when trying to enter programming.


If you are an alarm grid monitored customer, then we will never enable the Lyric Lock feature on your account. However, we sometimes come across prospective customers who have Lyric Panels that were previously monitored by other alarm companies. These other monitoring companies may have enabled the feature for one reason or another. Unfortunately, since we are not the ones with access to the AlarmNet360 account, we are unable to disable the feature in these situations. Only the monitoring company with access to the account can turn off the Lyric Lock feature.

We have one main piece of advice for anyone in possession of a Lyric System with Lyric Lock enabled. That advice is to contact Alarm Grid directly. We will point you in the proper direction for getting the feature disabled so that you may ultimately begin service with Alarm Grid. If your old alarm company refuses to disable the feature or ignores your request entirely, we may be able to work with Resideo directly to disable Lyric Lock on your panel so that you can enter programming. Remember, entering programming is an important step for taking over a Lyric System so that you can use it with a new monitoring company.

The best way to contact Alarm Grid if you need help dealing with the Lyric Lock feature is to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our team will be happy to help you get into programming so that you can continue using your current Lyric System with Alarm Grid monitoring services. Make sure to provide us as much information as possible when emailing us so that we are able to provide you with top-quality support. Keep in mind that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to working with you and helping you get the very most out of your security system.

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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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With the holiday season quickly approaching us, we thought it was a good time to present some holiday buying guides for various security systems. Today, we are focusing on the Honeywell Lyric. This guide will help whether you are considering a new Lyric or adding upon an existing one.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

The Honeywell Lyric is currently the flagship all-in-one wireless security system from Resideo. It has been one of the most highly regarded alarm systems for the past few years for several reasons. The system supports up to 128 wireless zones, making it suitable for applications big and small. It has a built-in Z-Wave controller, and you can pair up to 72 Z-Wave devices for home automation purposes. The Lyric is also one of the very few alarm panels that can support Apple HomeKit, making it perfect for iOS users looking to expand upon their HomeKit Network. In fact, we believe that the Lyric is the top HomeKit Security System on the market at this time.

The other major appeal of the Lyric is the fact that it can technically be monitored using an IP only communication path. This is because it connects with AlarmNet360 and the Total Connect 2.0 platform. Unlike most other monitoring platforms like Alarm.com which require cellular connectivity, Resideo allows IP only monitoring for panels connected with TC2. The Lyric has a built-in WIFI card, so you can connect with a local network right out of the box. Although we always recommend cellular communication for optimal reliability, we do understand that many users will want to use IP only service as a cost-cutting measure. Additionally, you can always add a cellular communicator to the Lyric System if you decide that you want to go cellular later on. Both the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A (AT&T LTE) and the Honeywell LYRICLTE-V (Verizon LTE) are great options.

Building a Lyric System from Scratch

Honeywell lyricpk lte enc encrypted at and t lte alarm system w For new users starting from scratch, the best option is typically to buy a complete Honeywell Lyric Security System Kit. This will include everything you need to get started with alarm monitoring. Whether you plan to use IP only monitoring service, or you intend on setting up cellular service, there is a perfect kit for you. For those planning to go IP only, no cellular communicator is needed, and you should choose a kit labeled "WIFI Only". If you intend to use the system for cellular monitoring, then both AT&T and Verizon system kits are available. Whether you go with a 3-1 kit (3 contacts and 1 motion) or a 10-1 kit (10 contacts and 1 motion) should depend on the size of the building you are monitoring. You will need more contacts to cover more doors and windows.

We recommend going through the Lyric System Kit Page linked above and finding the perfect Lyric Kit for your needs. In addition to the system, sensors, and optional communicator, you will also get a Honeywell LT-Cable with every kit. This makes it super easy to get the system up and running without having to prepare any standard alarm wiring.

Sensors for New and Existing Lyric Systems

Honeywell sixgb wireless glass break detector

One of the best aspects of the Lyric is that it has one of the most diverse and complete lineup of supported sensors in the entire security industry. Resideo created a sensor lineup designed exclusively for their Lyric System in the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors. These powerful sensors offer an impressive communication range of up to 300 feet indoors and 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless protection. The lineup includes the following products:

With this great lineup, you can achieve a total and complete Lyric Security System by only using SiX Series devices. And for most Lyric users, that is the best option. But these are not the only sensors you can use with the Lyric System. The Lyric is also compatible with nearly any uni-directional 345 MHz sensor, which includes most devices from the Honeywell 5800 Series and the 2GIG 345 MHz lineup. Additionally, these lineups are both a little more fleshed out than the SiX lineup. There are certain sensor types (e.g. outdoor sensors) where you will need to turn to one of these product lineups.

Many users will also supplement their SiX Series devices with Honeywell 5800 Sensors and 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors as a cost-saving measure. These 345 MHz sensors will work just as well as the SiX Series devices on the Lyric. The only difference is that the 345 MHz sensors will not utilize any encryption, making them more susceptible to wireless attacks. The Lyric does have protection against 345 MHz RF jamming, but it can offer some users better peace of mind to know that their wireless sensors are encrypted. But if you are comfortable using non-encrypted wireless devices, then 345 MHz sensors can save you a lot of money when designing your Lyric System.

Some of our favorite Honeywell and 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors for use with the Lyric include:

Other Accessories for Your Lyric

Yale yrd216 brass front z wave push button deadbolt lock

We have already covered the sensors you will use with your Lyric System. However, there are still other devices you may want to add to your setup. The biggest attraction are Z-Wave devices like lights, door locks, and smart thermostats. One admitted weakness of the Lyric is that its automation controller is only a standard Z-Wave controller. The Lyric does not offer a Z-Wave Plus controller, and Lyric users cannot take advantage of the extended range and increased battery life of Z-Wave Plus. You can still use Z-Wave Plus devices with the Lyric System, but they will only offer the functionality of classic Z-Wave peripherals.

With that limitation in mind, you can still use the Lyric as a perfectly capable smart home automation hub. You can even pair the system as a secondary controller to other automation hubs (e.g. Samsung SmartThings) for added flexibility in your smart home. Nearly any Z-Wave automation device can be used with the system, so feel free to explore your options. We have plenty of devices on our website. Just remember that the Lyric System cannot support Z-Wave security devices. The Lyric Z-Wave controller is for automation purposes only. Alarm Grid does not sell Z-Wave security sensors on its website.

If you want to use your Lyric to control your garage door, then you will want to invest in a Honeywell 5877GDPK. This kit includes everything you need to get started with garage door operation for your Lyric System. Inside the kit there is a Honeywell 5877 Z-Wave Garage Door Relay, a Honeywell 5822T Garage Door Tilt Sensor, and a FortrezZ Z-Wave Siren/Strobe. You can purchase these items separately, but this convenient kit makes things easier.

The Lyric has only one compatible wireless keypad option, which is the Honeywell LKP500. This is a fairly standard push-button keypad with an LCD screen. You might also consider getting a cheap tablet and mounting it to the wall and using that as a keypad. You can download the Honeywell My Home Controller App to the tablet and essentially make the device a permanently mounted touchscreen keypad for your Lyric.

Lastly, you might want to get a desk mount for your Lyric System. This will eliminate the need for mounting the panel to the wall. Desk mounts are great for people living in apartments or rental homes, as well as users who simply do not want to drill holes. Using a desk mount sure beats laying the system flat on a counter! The Lyric Desk Mount is called the Honeywell LCP500-DK. There is also a desk mount for the Honeywell LKP500 Lyric Keypad called the Honeywell LKP500-DK.

Ask Us Questions!


Don't be afraid to reach out to us at Alarm Grid if you have any questions about the Lyric, or if you need any help choosing a system and accessories. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. You may also reach us over the phone at (888) 818-7728. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. 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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