Qolsys IQ Hub Posts

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The security industry is in a peculiar spot as of early 2021. Almost every manufacturer has a major question right now. Today, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at current industry questions and share our thoughts. These are the biggest questions for each security manufacturer.



Resideo: Can the PROA7PLUS regain the trust of DIY users?

The decision by Resideo to initially release the ProSeries 7" All-In-One Panel, also known as the PROA7PLUS, without end user programming is something that we still wholeheartedly disagree with. At the time of this writing in early February, the system still does not support local programming. Many DIY users have already jumped ship and switched to systems that leave them empowered, rather than at the mercy of their monitoring providers.

By all accounts, people love the PROA7PLUS System. It has an extremely attractive design, and it is loaded with great features that help it stand-out in a highly competitive market. But there are more users each and every day who instead choose a different option so that they can perform their own programming. It's funny to think that this same company was once seen as the champion of DIY security systems, as their Honeywell LYNX Touch and Honeywell Lyric Systems definitively proved that an end-user could easily install and program their alarm system on their own and save huge amounts of money.

Resideo says that local end-user programming will eventually be made available for the PROA7PLUS, and we are eagerly awaiting this update. But with an increasing number of users switching to manufacturers who never abandoned the concept in the first place, we have to wonder if it will be too little too late?


Qolsys: Is the IQ Hub a mistake?

When I think about any given company in the security industry, I usually start by considering where they are right now, and also where they are going. For years now, Qolsys has been riding the wave of their IQ Panel 2, and later their IQ Panel 2 Plus. No matter how you slice it, the IQ Panel 2 has been a highly successful security system. So when we first learned about the IQ Hub, which was nearly two and a half years ago, our initial reaction was excitement, followed by us scratching our heads, and then us oddly trying to block it from our memories. You can read more about our predictions regarding the IQ Hub here.

Every clue associated with the IQ Hub suggests that its purpose is to serve as a lower entry point, a "budget" system, if you will, in relation to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. And while that's not inherently a bad thing, it's just that we're not really sure if the IQ Panel 2 Plus needs a lower entry point. If there ever was a true "one-size-fits-all" security system, then the IQ Panel 2 Plus might very well be that golden child. Additionally, the IQ Panel 2 has become the very "face" of Qolsys, and the company wouldn't have it any other way. Their premier system is well-known for being sleek, easy to operate, and extremely versatile.

Then you bring in the IQ Hub, and well, from aesthetics alone, it looks like an ugly stepchild. Pair that with the fact that we have now gone two and a half years with no major updates regarding the system, and we're starting to wonder if maybe Qolsys is trying to just sweep this one under the rug and hope we all forget about it? Granted, there was a serious pandemic in the past year, but we haven't even gotten a delay notice. We will give it a few more months before we call this system a total lost cause, but this might be a mistake that never sees the light of day. Or maybe it will make a big splash at a certain security tradeshow in the summer? Crazier things have happened.


2GIG: Is the 2GIG Edge a Hail Mary attempt?

It's no secret that Nortek, the parent company of 2GIG, is going all-in on their 2GIG Edge System. The associated website is bold, and the campaign surrounding the system seems to be far more aggressive than anything we have previously seen out of the company. If we're being honest though, 2GIG seems to be acting a bit wild right now. They're trying very hard to draw up hype for the Edge with "giveaways" and by posting particularly bold quotes from the system's beta testing cycle.

It kind of makes us wonder - why is 2GIG acting with such urgency? Not to mention, they tried to discreetly push back the system's "countdown timer" by a few weeks, as if nobody would notice. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, the company has just axed the only remaining touchscreen keypad option for their current flagship system. And speaking of that current flagship system, the 2GIG GC3e was only released less than two (2) years ago. Now they're already trying to generate hype for a new system?

We still haven't even asked why 2GIG feels the need to be so "artsy" and "revolutionary" with their Edge website. Why not just show us a full image of the panel and list some important features? That would be more helpful than telling us that we have "Reached the Edge", whatever that means. Actually, they're correct. I have reached the edge of my patience.

All of this seems fishy to me. 2GIG is desperate here. And to be fair, the panel looks like it has some great features. There is no reason why the Edge can't be a roaring success. We have always appreciated the exceptional build-quality associated with 2GIG Alarm Panels. And now it looks like 2GIG will finally have an option with all the fancy bells and whistles of their competition. Think a feature-packed system like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, but with better build quality. If all goes well, then the Edge should serve 2GIG very well for many years to come. But we also get the vibe that this might be a do or die situation for 2GIG.


DSC: Are the days of DSC Residential Security Systems gone?

When we talk about DSC these days, it's usually for the PowerG Sensors that have become the go-to option for IQ Panel 2 Plus users. The only time a DSC Security System is brought up is if it's a commercial user considering a hardwired DSC PowerSeries NEO or DSC PowerSeries PRO. But while DSC is still highly regarded for its commercial security system offerings, its residential offerings are non-existent.

The DSC Iotega is a total flop of a system, and we can't imagine it ever being relevant. That's really no surprise, as the Iotega basically mirrors the Honeywell Lyric Gateway, which had its own product life cut short due to its poor performance. You will still come across DSC Impassa Systems in the field, and many users opt to upgrade them and extend their useful life. But really, nobody is actively seeking out a brand-new DSC Impassa to build around.

Every time we look at DSC, it just seems like they are inching closer to the likes of Napco and Bosch and becoming exclusively known for their commercial and industrial offerings. Again, it makes sense. Now that both Qolsys and DSC are under the Johnson Controls banner, the divide seems clearer than ever. Qolsys is for residential and small business applications, and DSC is for larger commercial and enterprise applications. Maybe a few of you out there have a fond memory of working on a DSC Impassa System. But we can't picture a new DSC System entering the residential market anytime soon.


Got your own alarm system questions? You can send them to us at support@alarmgrid.com. We're here to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. This is also a great email to use if you are wanting to learn more about how you can get started with Alarm Grid monitoring services. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Welcome to the first post of 2021 from Alarm Grid! It's almost cliché to say by this point, but we're just as happy to transition into 2021 as you are. And we're looking to start the year off on the right foot by having our Florida team members return to the Alarm Grid headquarters.


Since Thanksgiving, our Florida office has remained closed, and virtually all team members who normally work here have instead been performing their regular duties from their homes. Only our satellite offices in Kentucky and Connecticut have remained active during this time. Well now it's back to business as usual, as we have transitioned back into our usual location. We are happy to be back, as while we love our homes, the office is really the best place for staying focused and providing our customers with the support and assistance they need.

One other small note as we leave 2020 behind, we know that normally we do a "Year In Review" blog post around this time, to look back on all the events that occurred. But unfortunately, that will not be happening this year. We actually had one planned out, but due to technical difficulties, the content was deleted, and we were unable to recover it. Also, there has been so much security news as of late that we really haven't had the time. Not to mention the fact that most people consider 2020 to have been a "below average" year, so we're sure that most of our readers are ready to move forward rather than look into the rearview. But if you were looking forward to that, then we do apologize.

With that out of the way, let's start thinking about what we can expect for 2021. Our three biggest manufacturers - Resideo, Qolsys, and 2GIG - all have big plans for the year. We expect this to be the year that the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS Alarm Panel really comes into itself, as Resideo is expected to make local end user programming available for the system, and there is a good chance that Apple HomeKit support will also be added later this year. We've also heard that there will be a "stripped-down" version of the PROA7PLUS called simply the PROA7 that will not offer Z-Wave or WIFI connectivity unless added separately. And there have also been some small rumblings of a wired and wireless hybrid panel from Resideo that is tentatively being called the Honeywell Home PROH8PLUS.

Qolsys is likely going to debut their much-anticipated Qolsys IQ Hub in 2021. We were actually expecting it to hit the market in 2020, but that obviously never happened, possibly due to the ongoing pandemic. We have periodically asked Qolsys about the IQ Hub, and they continue to say that it should be available early this year. All signs point to it being released very soon. As we have mentioned before, we don't necessarily expect the IQ Hub to replace the IQ Panel 2 Plus, and instead it will be an option for users who don't really need all of the advanced features of the company's flagship alarm panel. We strongly recommend checking out this post to learn more about what may be coming for the IQ Hub.

Lastly, 2GIG is set to release their own brand-new security system, the 2GIG Edge, in February. The website promoting the upcoming panel is vague on details and specifications, but we're guessing that 2GIG is going to hold nothing back on their new panel. They have some very stiff competition with Resideo and Qolsys afterall. For more information on what the 2GIG Edge Security System might have to offer, please check out our initial post on the subject, where we made some interesting predictions and speculations based on information that is currently available.

Remember to stay tuned to our blog so that you can remain up-to-date on the latest security news and happening throughout 2021 and beyond. And if you ever need any help with your Alarm Grid System, or if you are looking to join Alarm Grid as a monitored customer, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We're available to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Happy New Year, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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Today, we're discussing the upcoming Qolsys IQ Hub Security System to share our thoughts and feelings on the much-anticipated alarm panel. Qolsys has regularly impressed us during their young tenure as a system manufacturer. Can they continue their hot streak with the new IQ hub?


To start our discussions on the IQ Hub, we first want to consider what it is. From what we understand, the IQ Hub is not necessarily meant to serve as a replacement or a successor to the wildly successful and versatile Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Instead, the widespread belief is that the Qolsys IQ Hub will serve more as a budget or entry-level system, while the IQ Panel 2 Plus continues to serve as the main panel.

This line of thought is not shocking. Security systems have gotten sleeker and more slimlined in recent years, as aesthetics have become more important than ever for a panel designed to be placed prominently on your wall. When comparing the IQ Hub and the IQ Panel 2 Plus, the IQ Hub is the larger of the two systems. And its design looks more like something to come out of the mid 2010s than fresh out of the early 2020s. Indeed, the IQ Hub is bulkier, more obtrusive, and less adaptive to its surroundings than the IQ2+. From that perspective alone, it would be odd to see something like the IQ Hub take the reins from the current Qolsys entry.

We don't have all the details on the specifications and capabilities of the Qolsys IQ Hub at this time. Our understanding is that many of the great features from the IQ Panel 2 Plus will return to the IQ Hub. These returning features include built-in WIFI and cellular connectivity, integrated automation capabilities, disarm photos, optional automatic Bluetooth disarming, and the ability to interface with Alarm.com. While these features are great, they aren't anything new from what the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus already offers.

We are also unsure of some more advanced features returning, such as Alarm.com Camera streaming, facial recognition, the wellness platform, partitioning, and the ability to perform Alarm.com Smart Scenes right from the panel. Users might not need these extra features, so Qolsys offering a stripped-down version makes sense. In that way, the IQ Hub might indeed fulfill an important role. Sometimes we forget the fact that not every installation requires a superpower or beast of a panel. Being able to offer end users something simple and basic without all the bells and whistles is good once in awhile. With that in mind, we totally appreciate what the IQ Hub is supposedly going to offer.

We're also not entirely sure what automation will look like on the IQ Hub. Will it use 500-Series Z-Wave Plus, or the new state-of-the-art 700-Series? Will we be able to control devices and scenes locally at the panel, or will we be restricted to using Alarm.com? Will there be any important limits or restrictions on the number of automation devices that can be paired, beyond the standard 232 device limit? All of these are important questions that have yet to be answered.

Sensor compatibility is also still a question mark. From what we hear, the IQ Hub will only support the PowerG frequency sensors. This means that your only options will be to use wireless PowerG Sensors, and/or wired sensors through the PowerG wired to wireless converter, assuming that support for the module is added. In other words, non-encrypted, legacy sensor support will be dropped for the IQ Hub. This probably won't matter much for users starting from scratch, but it may discourage users with older wireless systems from upgrading to the IQ Hub. They will probably choose the proper IQ Panel 2 Plus model instead. Also, there won't be any taking advantage of sweet deals or discounts on older, non-encrypted sensors with the IQ Hub.

But besides all of this, the single most polarizing issue with the IQ Hub remains the big grey speaker on the front. It's very in-your-face and almost impossible to ignore. When we ask other people their thoughts on the speaker, they either call it ugly, or they simply don't care one way or another. But almost nobody we have asked has called it attractive. With that in mind, we beg Qolsys - please put the speaker to use. If you're going to have such a polarizing, glaring design feature, then at least make it functional. Have the system double as a Bluetooth speaker. That would be a cool feature. You have your IQ Hub on the wall, you pair your phone, and you begin playing music. To us, that idea sounds neat. The line between security and entertainment is becoming increasingly blurred anyway. Why not make this possible for the IQ Hub. And yet, we keep hearing that Qolsys has little interest in turning the IQ Hub into a mini boombox. We really hope they change their tune.

One other thing we have heard about the IQ Hub is that it cannot be opened. The replaceable battery slides in using a side compartment, and the panel is never designed to be opened up or for the panel's interior to see the light of day. That's fine, especially with all the struggles users have had closing the IQ Panel 2 Plus, but we do question the inability of the system to have its inner components replaced if something goes wrong. Is the IQ Hub really being seen as that disposable? The system's build-quality and final price point should determine that. But Qolsys is clearly taking a risk there.

Also in limbo is the release date for the IQ Hub. Originally, it was set for a Q1 2020 release. But with the pandemic, that date came and went. We (along with the rest of the world) had bigger things to worry about. Now our best guess is that it will hit the market early in 2021, roughly a year and a half after we first spoke of it in September 2019. Qolsys insists that it's still coming whenever we bring it up, and they seem genuinely enthusiastic about it. Here's hoping that we see it soon. And hey, with the 2GIG Edge also set for an early 2021 release, we expect that next year could be an ultra-competitive time for the security industry. Do you think we're excited? You bet we are!

Overall, there is a lot to look forward to in regard to the Qolsys IQ Hub. If all goes well, it could definitely become the Qolsys System we recommend for users on a budget or in an apartment or starter home. Even if it doesn't become the new flagship Qolsys Panel, there are still plenty of things to like. Email us at support@alarmgrid.com with any questions or thoughts you have about the IQ Hub. We would love to hear what you have to say. Our team is here to check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Today, we're going to discuss three (3) security and automation predictions that are almost certain to occur next year. As the title implies, these predictions aren't anything too bold or revolutionary, but they should get you prepared for next year. Let's get into predicting and discussing!


1. Continued Rush to Upgrade to LTE

One topic that we discuss very regularly in this blog is the 3G Sunset and the importance of upgrading to LTE as soon as possible. If you have been living under a rock, then the "Sunset" refers to the impending shut down of older 3G and CDMA cellular networks. Once these networks are shut down, any equipment that uses them will no longer work properly. This includes any cellular security systems. As such, there is currently a big rush to upgrade existing security systems to use LTE communication so that they can remain online and connected for monitoring service.

This obviously won't change in 2021, as cellular service providers remain determined to achieve their goal of completing the transition by the end of 2022. But what is going to be unique about 2021 is that it will be the final full year for users to make the transition, before there is inevitably a final scramble at the very end. If you thought that LTE upgrade talk was inescapable throughout the industry in 2020, well just look forward to 2021. Next year represents the final year for users to make the switch before they are considered to be doing it "last minute". AT&T is slated to shut down its 3G equipment in the first quarter of 2022. Verizon is waiting a bit longer, shutting down the CDMA network in Q4 of that year. Keep in mind that by upgrading early, you are not only saving yourself the hassle, you are also preventing yourself from being left behind later when a big chunk of procrastinators are all trying to upgrade at the last minute, and there just aren't enough resources and/or manpower to get everyone in before the cutoff. Long story short, do not wait to upgrade!


2. New "Big 3" of Alarm Grid Security Systems

Let's shift focus to something a bit more positive than the eventual shutdown of older technology. One thing you can almost bank on for 2021 is the rise of three (3) new security systems. These are the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, the Qolsys IQ Hub, and the 2GIG Edge. While they probably won't replace the Lyric, the IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the GC3e entirely, there is a good chance that they will become our top recommended system picks by the end of next year. Whether or not all of them succeed remains to be seen, but we will say that the future looks bright. Though, we must admit there is still some uncertainty.

Of these "next generation" systems, only the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS is currently available. And until it gets local end user programming (supposedly coming early next year), we can't exactly give it a ringing endorsement. But with its sleek design, support for up to 250 zones, and Z-Wave Plus capabilities, the system is no slouch. It's also heavily rumored that it will soon gain Apple HomeKit support, much like its Lyric predecessor. Once that happens, the sky is the limit.

The Qolsys IQ Hub has more questions than answers at this time. Qolsys seems to get excited about it whenever it is discussed. But there is also this notion that it will end up being the "budget" system for Qolsys, while the IQ Panel 2 Plus remains their flagship alarm panel. And while there's nothing wrong with an affordable alarm system, it's hard to say whether or not we'll be able to recommend it over the IQ2+. But with PowerG Sensor support and possibly other features waiting in the wings, we won't count this system out just yet. We really hope that Qolsys puts that large, prominent speaker on the front to good use. To us, it screams Bluetooth speaker. Remember, if your security system is only used for security purposes in 2021, then you're doing it wrong. We look at the IQ Hub and see three things - Security Controller, Automation Controller, Bluetooth Speaker.


Lastly, the 2GIG Edge is the one shrouded in the most mystery. Apart from its edgy website, we still don't know a lot about it. 2GIG and Nortek Control have been mum on releasing pertinent information. We've even reached out to them personally via phone, and we keep being told to just "be patient". The air of unknown around it and the artsy promotion sure has 2GIG talking a big game, but we're really hoping they can walk the walk when it comes time. If there's one thing that's often true about the security industry, it's that gimmicky promotions and slick advertisements don't usually work on their own. People want products with proven reliability, strong performance, and quantifiable specifications. The 2GIG Edge looks like it's going to have its outer presentation down pact. Now we're ready to see what make it unique.




3. More 700-Series Z-Wave Devices

You can pretty much always count on Z-Wave smart home technology to keep moving forward. And while we saw some innovations in 2020 for Z-Wave - namely the rise of the s2 Security Protocol, and QR scanning becoming more commonplace - we didn't necessarily see the big leap into the 700-Series. In fact, the only 700-Series Z-Wave Device that we recall from this past year is the 2GIG STZ-1 Smart Thermostat.

Will 2021 be the year of the 700-Series? We're not entirely sure, but there's a good chance it will. There's no stopping the momentum that home automation carries, and as we move past an unprecedented 2020, smart home companies will be looking to get back on track this year. And what better way for Z-Wave to make a big splash than touting its next upgrade?

The 700-Series of Z-Wave promises to be the most efficient and most powerful yet. With the right hardware, users will enjoy extended wireless range, better battery life, and security that can be trusted. Whether or not we see alarm panels adopt 700-Series technology next year could be a different story. But for individual devices and dedicated automation controllers, this upcoming year seems to be the prime time to get heads turning. Don't be surprised to see some 700-Series lights and locks, as well as some more thermostats. And from there, it won't be long before alarm panels also get in the game.


We hope you found some amusement out of these three (admittedly, not so bold) predictions. If you are surprised by anything we said here, then 2021 is really going to knock your socks off. Technology is only getting better, and more innovations are on the way! Remember to email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions about what's coming soon to the exciting world of security and automation, or if you just want to learn more about our monitoring services. Our team is here to check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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.


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.

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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!

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