Qolsys IQ Panel 2 AT&T LTE Posts

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Alarm.com announced via their Release Notes for the week of 10/24/22 that they will be hosting a firmware update for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2/2Plus panels. This firmware gives a programmer the option to set the panel to report to the monitoring station if the panel is manually powered down.

In addition to this added capability, there will be various fixes implemented. This includes an issue where the panel would sometimes report a false AC Failure trouble condition in error, and also an issue with controlling garage door openers from the panel touchscreen.

There could be more in this firmware upgrade, but Qolsys hasn't yet posted the full Release Notes for it. Nor have they posted the software itself, for those who have a panel that is not connected to WIFI. Once they do, we will update our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Updates page.

There have been instances in the past where a firmware patch is never posted to the Qolsys site. This usually only happens if there is some prerequisite that must be verified in the panel before the firmware is applied, and Qolsys deems it necessary to have the Alarm.com server verify this prerequisite prior to downloading the new firmware. If a situation like that arises with this software, we'll let you know.

If the panel has WIFI, then your alarm dealer can simply send the firmware to the panel over-the-air (OTA). You can also request the firmware update manually through the panel touchscreen. The only subscribers who may have an issue are those whose panel cannot connect to WIFI. Qolsys and Alarm.com prevent the Qolsys panels from updating their firmware OTA if there is no WIFI connection at the panel. In other words, the firmware file can't be sent using cellular data.

If you have a Qolsys IQ Panel 2/2 Plus panel and it doesn't have a connection to WIFI, you may still be able to update it OTA. If you have a cellular hotspot, either a stand-alone or by using your cellular phone, you can allow the Qolsys panel to join the hotspot, then request the update OTA while it is connected. Technically, this uses cellular data, but it's the phone or hotspot's cellular data. This tricks the panel and the Alarm.com server into thinking the panel is connected via WIFI.

If the above suggestion is not an option, then check back on our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Updates page. If this firmware is made available by Qolsys for SD Card updates to the panel, we will host it on our site.


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Alarm Grid announced in December that some Qolsys Panels, namely older IQ 2 and 2 Plus panels with AT&T LTE communicators, require a firmware update before the AT&T 3G Sunset this month. Alarm.com has been pushing those updates, but some panels still need the update, and time is running out.

As noted in December, Alarm.com has been automatically pushing the firmware update to those panels that need it. However, in order to get an update Over-the-Air (OTA) a Qolsys panel MUST have a connection to WIFI. That means if you have an older Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus with an AT&T LTE communicator built in, and your panel doesn't have a connection to WIFI, you may need to get a WIFI connection. At least long enough for the firmware update to come through. If you don't, and if your panel is one of the ones that requires this update, it will stop communicating via AT&T LTE Cellular soon after February 22, 2022.

AT&T doesn't have one big switch that they can turn off and then, "Voila, 3G is no more!" So, just because your system is still able to communicate on February 23, that doesn't necessarily mean that your panel doesn't require the firmware update. In addition, some panels will only need an update to the cellular firmware while other panels will need a panel firmware update first, followed by the cellular update. For this reason, it is best to connect your panel to WIFI and allow the Alarm.com server to connect and determine which updates, if any, need to be applied.

In order to make it as easy as possible to get a panel connected to WIFI, Alarm.com has made it possible to connect the panel to WIFI remotely using the Alarm.com customer app. To use the app to connect the panel to WIFI, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the app, completing any 2-factor authentication that may be necessary.
  2. Go to the 'Security System' card.


  3. Tap the Gear icon in the upper right.


  4. Select 'Panel WIFI'.

  5. From this point, there are two options:
    • If the network to be used is already connected to another device on the account, such as a video camera, it will display under a prompt for 'Access Ready Networks'. Since that device already has the network credentials, the panel can use those same credentials to connect to the same network.
    • If the WIFI network is not already connected to another device, then you should see a prompt that says 'Additional networks available to your panel'. Select the network, and then enter the proper password where indicated.



  6. Once the WIFI network is selected, and the password has been entered, if applicable, press 'Connect'.

  7. If you don't see your network, press 'Rescan' or tap, 'Don't see your network?', then follow the provided steps to add the device to the network manually.

If your panel simply doesn't have an option to connect to traditional WIFI, then you may need to briefly use your cell phone as a wireless hotspot, and contact your alarm dealer to ask them to manually push the update to your panel while you're onsite. Alternatively, you can visit our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update Page and download the update files to an SD Card, then follow the instructions listed on the page for updating via SD Card.

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Qolsys IQ Panel 2 equipment that uses an AT&T LTE Cellular Communicator requires a firmware update prior to the AT&T 3G sunset date of 02/22/22. Without this update, these devices will lose their connection to the cellular network. The update can be performed over WIFI, or by using an SD Card

If a WIFI signal is available in the location where the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is installed, but the panel is not currently connected to it, there are a few different ways to connect:

  1. Locally: The connection can be made at the panel using the touchscreen. Instructions for connecting to WIFI locally can be found here.
  2. By dealer remotely: Alarm.com dealers, like Alarm Grid, can use the Partner Portal to connect the panel to WIFI. This is found on the Partner Portal website under the Signaling/Broadband Settings.
  3. By user remotely: Starting on 12/13/21, Alarm.com is enabling a tool that allows an end-user to connect the panel to WIFI through the Customer Alarm.com App or Alarm.com Website.

In order for the customer to connect their panel to WIFI using the customer app they will click on: Menu > Manage Devices > Select the 3-dots icon next to the panel's name > Select Device Settings > Select Panel WIFI. From there the user can either choose an existing camera to copy that device's WIFI settings, or select the SSID and complete the authentication process. Once the connection to WIFI is made, the communication path will be changed from Cell-only to Dual-Path. This may be useful for panels installed in locations where the building is not always occupied.

Starting on Monday, January 10, 2022 Alarm.com will begin to automatically deploy the firmware update to any WIFI connected panel that has not already received it. The automatic update process will proceed through the queue of needy panels 7 days per week during daytime hours (8am - 8pm panel time). As part of the update, a system reboot will occur.

In some cases, the panel's firmware may require an update before the cellular firmware update can be implemented. Panels that are on version 2.3.0 or lower must update to a minimum of 2.3.1 or higher. Panel firmware updates on panels that have a WIFI connection can also be performed locally from the panel with a Patch Tag, or can be done remotely via Alarm.com's Partner Portal. Once the panel's firmware is on a compatible version (see the link in the paragraph below) the cellular firmware can be installed using the patch tag: ATT3GSunset

For panels that have no WIFI connection available, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 can be updated locally using a Micro SD Card. The upgrade files, as well as instructions on how to perform the local upgrade are available on Alarm Grid's Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update page. Eventually, Qolsys will also make the cellular firmware update patch available for download and install via Micro SD. Once they do, we will also host it on our site. As of 12/10/21, it is not yet available.

This issue only affects AT&T LTE Cellular units. Verizon units are not affected. This issue is occurring because early Qolsys AT&T units used a provisional VoLTE Firmware Version. This later changed when VoLTE was fully released. Since the difference between the provisional firmware and the released version didn't affect a panel's ability to communicate via cellular, no action was required before. If you are unsure whether your panel requires the update or not, contact your alarm dealer. They will be able to verify this information for you, as this information is only available when checked through the Partner Portal Website, and is not available from the Alarm.com Customer App or Website. Read the full Qolsys Technical Service Bulletin here.

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Hi DIYers! We have received news that Qolsys has made the latest firmware version for the IQ Panel 2 available through downloader rather than having to apply a patch tag. The company has also refined the facial recognition feature on the IQ Panel 2 to work more effectively than before.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

As you may remember, we talked about the facial recognition feature last month. We found that it worked fairly well at the time, but we're happy to hear that Qolsys has been continuing to improve the feature. Users should now find that the panel camera now recognizes suspicious faces more accurately. Once a user has properly calibrated the feature, they can receive alerts regarding any suspicious activity via text and/or email. We recommend reading our previous blog for more information about the feature and how to get started.

If you haven't already updated your IQ Panel 2 System, now is a great time to do so. Start from the main screen of the panel. Then press the small grey bar at the top. Choose Settings, followed by Advanced Settings. Then provide the system's Installer Code, which is 1111 by default. Select Upgrade Software, and then Upgrade Using Network. Then complete the on-screen instructions to perform the upgrade. Please note, your IQ Panel 2 System must be connected with a local WIFI network for the upgrade to go through successfully.

Remember, you need at least 10 saved faces before the facial recognition feature goes into effect. And the more faces you have, the more accurate the software will be. We recommend the strategy of repeatedly arming and disarming to continuously take photos until you have enough images. The images you take might not appear on Alarm.com right away. You may need to logout and then log back in before the images will appear. But if you're like us, you will soon have a surplus of images!

Then we had a different person disarm using that same code. Sure enough, we received a notification in our email!. The IQ Panel 2 was able to distinguish between the approved saved images and the different individual.


Remember, you must enable the feature in two different areas on Alarm.com. You must provide contact information in the Users tab and configure the feature:


And you must set the same recipient in Unexpected Activity within the Notifications tab:


We hope that you will enjoy using this new feature on your IQ Panel 2. Remember, you need a monitoring plan if you want to use this feature and Alarm.com. You can sign-up for monitoring by clicking the orange Alarm Monitoring button in the upper-left corner of this page. Please email support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions.

Note: Due to privacy concerns, this feature is currently available for users in the 50 US States. We are hopeful that this feature will be made available to users in Puerto Rico and Canada in the future.

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Hi DIYers! We have learned that Alarm.com has rolled out the facial recognition feature for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. This feature notifies a user if an unrecognized face disarms the system using a valid code. The user can receive these unexpected activity alerts via text and/or email.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

This is the first time we have seen a home security system using facial recognition technology. Although the feature is still in its early stages, we believe it will be very useful in helping end users remain safe and secure. Facial recognition will work with both the standard IQ Panel 2 and the IQ Panel 2 Plus, as long as the system is connected with a local WIFI network and running at least Firmware Version 2.3.0 or higher. More about this Firmware Update is available here.

In order to use this feature, you must enable the Capture Panel Camera Disarm Images from within the IQ Panel 2 settings. To do this start from the main screen of the system, and press the small grey bar at the top. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > Installer Code (default 1111) > Installation > Camera Settings. Then make sure the Disarm Photos option is enabled. Press the picture of the house at the bottom of the screen to return to the home screen when finished.


The setting will also need to be enabled and configured through Alarm.com. If you don't already have a monitoring plan with access to Alarm.com, you can check out our alarm monitoring page for more information. If necessary, check with your alarm monitoring company to make sure that the Unexpected Activity Alerts feature and the Images - Plus feature are both enabled. At this time, only customers in the United States can use this feature.

Each user should have their own access code for the system. This is necessary for the facial recognition feature to work properly. If you need to create a new user, you can login to Alarm.com through the website. Click the Users tab on the left, and then choose Add New User. Then follow the steps to add a new user to the system. This will involve choosing a system code and providing any notification information.

From there, you will proceed to turn on the facial recognition feature. Login to the Alarm.com website, and choose the Settings tab on the left. Then choose Facial Recognition. You must then approve the necessary agreements before continuing. This will tell the panel to start collecting data for facial recognition. However, you won't be able to use the feature right away. You need to collect some images first!

Most users should just go about their business collecting images as they use the panel. Or you can be like us and repeatedly arm and disarm the panel to quickly collect images. Make sure you are using the code associated with the user you want to enable the facial recognition feature for. Just be aware that it may take a few moments for the images to show up on alarm.com.

Once you have collected some images, choose the Settings option on the Alarm.com website, and choose the Facial Recognition option. Press the blue Get Started button underneath Configuration. Then choose the user you want to configure facial recognition for. Choose the calibration option. Alarm.com will show you if there are any images to review. Go through and choose the checkmark for any image that is yours. If you see any image without your face, press the X button. You will need a minimum of 10 images to enable the feature.

Once you have 10 images, you can enable Unexpected Activity for facial recognition. From Alarm.com, choose the Notifications tab. Then find the Unexpected Activity option, and make sure it is turned on. Then press the pencil on the right to edit the settings. You will see the option for Facial Recognition. Make sure it is enabled for the user with at least 10 approved images. Then you can choose where the notifications will be sent at the bottom of the screen. Both emails and phones for text messages can be configured. Press Save when finished.

You will then receive alerts for any unexpected activity!


If you have any questions about this feature, please reach out to us! You can email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you get the very most out of your IQ Panel 2 System.

Note: Due to privacy concerns, this feature is currently available for users in the 50 US States. We are hopeful that this feature will be made available to users in Puerto Rico and Canada in the future.

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Hi DIYers! We have very exciting news for Qolsys IQ Panel 2 users today. Software update 2.3.0 is now available! This biggest highlight of this update is the ability to control up to four distinct partitions with the system. Other great features are also provided to enhance the system.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and With the all-new partition support, the IQ Panel 2 is now the second wireless alarm panel we carry to support the feature, after the 2GIG GC3. This feature allows a user to essentially section off their alarm system so that they can restrict access to certain areas. Each partition can be assigned a certain set of user codes in order to determine who can access each part of the security system.


After receiving the update, a screen lock feature will also be added to limit access to the panel. Please note that you must enable partitions from within Installer Settings before the feature can be used. This will also apply the screen lock. After you have done this, the main screen will reflect that partitioning has been enabled, and there will be a Partitions option within the Advanced Settings menu.



Also note that this update is available for both the original IQ Panel 2 System, as well as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Other features that also come with the update include:

  • Support for new PowerG devices for IQ Panel 2 Plus System, including the PG9936 Smoke Detector, PG9933 CO Detector, PG9307 Recessed Contact, PG9309 Vanishing Door and Window Contact, PG9309 Door and Window Contact with Auxiliary Input, PG9312 Outdoor Door and Window Contact, and PG9862 360-degree Ceiling Mount PIR Motion Sensor.
  • Ability to create 6-digit user codes.
  • Improvements to panel camera, including "peek-in now" and "peek-in next motion" from Alarm.com, as well as disarm photos after remote disarm through Bluetooth, key fob or ADC.
  • Local automation features for panels not yet set up with ADC, including automatic locking of all locks at night, setting all thermostats to automatic mode, and controlling lights to activate Light 1 at night and turning off all lights in the morning.
  • Maximum number of thermostats increased from 6 to 10.
  • Maximum number of door locks increased from 6 to 20.
  • User code names now sync automatically between the panel and ADC.
  • New Sensor Type of "Temperature - Group 51" for the PG9905 PowerG Temperature Sensor.
  • Fixed various bugs.

To perform the update, press the small grey bar at the top of the main screen. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > Installer Code (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag. Then enter in "iqpanel2.3.0". Press OK. Then choose "Upgrade Using Network". If the panel is connected via WIFI, you will be able to begin the installation process.

If you have any questions about this update, please reach out to us! You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. Please note that our office will be closing at 6pm on December 31st, and we will be closed all day on January 1st.

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Hi DIYers! Recently, we paired an Alarm.com Security Camera with our Alarm.com account so that we could try viewing it through a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Alarm System. We gotta say, we're extremely pleased with the crystal clear recording capabilities, and we're sure that you will be too!

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and Streaming video directly to the panel from Alarm.com is a feature available for both the standard Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems. The system just needs to be running firmware version 2.2.1 or higher, and the user needs an alarm monitoring plan with video surveillance that is set up with Alarm.com. For Alarm Grid customers, these are our Platinum Level Plans.

Only select camera models are compatible with this feature. At the time of this writing, the following Alarm.com Security Cameras can be used with the IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus for panel streaming:

Many of these cameras can support two-way audio as well. For our testing, we worked with the ADC-V522IR 1080P Indoor Security Camera. We were amazed with the quality of the video, both through Alarm.com and from the panel itself. The two-way audio functionality worked great as well.

If you don't believe it, just see for yourself. Here's a quick photo taken of our IQ Panel 2 System as it streams live video and audio. Yeah, our support room is a bit messy, but bear with us! The key point here is that the quality looks absolutely tremendous for an easy-to-use security camera. Just imagine putting one of these cameras in your home and streaming directly from Alarm.com and your IQ Panel 2 System!


We also took the opportunity to create some new FAQs to help users get started with this feature:

We have to give it to Qolsys for creating such a versatile alarm system with this outstanding feature. Now you can view your ADC Camera from Alarm.com when you're on the go, or from your alarm panel when you're at home!

You can get the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus and many great Alarm.com Security Cameras from the Alarm Grid website. If you ever need any help deciding please reach out to us any time at support@alarmgrid.com. You can also call us during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Update: When streaming cameras to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or Qolsys IQ Remote (keypad streaming introduced in FW Update 2.4.0), the stream will typically time out after three (3) minutes. At that point, the user may receive a "Video Device Not Responding" notification. They will need to refresh the screen to continue streaming. An Alarm.com Streaming Video Recorder (SVR) device can more reliably provide continuous local playback when connected with a stable network.

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Hi DIYers! As you know, we love the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Alarm System. It is definitely one of the most robust and advanced security systems available on the market today. But a feature that is sometimes overlooked is the built-in glass break sensor that is integrated with the system.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 internal glass break sensor functions in basically the same manner as any other standalone glass break sensor. It will actively listen for the sound of breaking glass and trigger an alarm if it detects this type of sound while the system is armed. This is great for monitoring a window in case an intruder tries to break-in. Both the standard Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and the new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems contain this sensor.

The sensor must be activated from within the Installer Settings menu in order for it to be used. The internal glass break sensor is essentially treated as a wireless zone by the system. Once activated, the internal sensor will count towards the system's 128 available wireless zones. A user may want to keep this in mind if they use an extremely large number of sensors with their IQ Panel 2 System.

For the best possible detection, there should be no obstacles between the system and the window. The recommended distance between the panel and the window is from 3 to 15 feet. The internal glass break sensor will only be active when the system is armed and receiving power from its plug-in DC transformer. Depending on the sensor's programming settings, a user can set the glass break sensor to be active when the system is set to Arm Away only or both Arm Away and Arm Stay. Both "Low" and "Normal" Sensitivity options are available.

Both the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems with an integrated glass break detector can be purchased from the Alarm Grid website. Protect your home or business with one of the world's best alarm systems!

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An exciting new feature is now available for users of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. It is now possible to view the live video feed for Alarm.com Cameras directly from the panel itself. This is made possible through firmware update 2.2.1, which can be easily downloaded to the IQ Panel 2 System.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and The feature is compatible with both the IQ Panel 2 Plus and the standard IQ Panel 2 System. There are a few things to keep in mind about the live video feature. First, the panel must be connected to an active WIFI network in order for the feature to work. If the WIFI goes down, the panel will be unable to stream live video.

Second, the feature only works with compatible Alarm.com Cameras. Some cameras will allow the IQ Panel 2 to stream both video and audio, while others are for video only. The compatible cameras are listed below:

Note: The ADC-V521IR needs Firmware IP8137-ALAM-0100d1 or higher for two-way audio. The ADC-V522IR Must be Hardware Version 0101 with Firmware IP8168-ALAM-0100b9 or higher for two-way audio.

Additionally, the cameras below are for video only:

Third, a user will need to have an alarm monitoring plan that supports video. For Alarm Grid customers, these are the Platinum Level Plans. For two-way audio, the feature "Audio for Non-Doorbell Cameras" must be enabled on the user's Alarm.com account.

Remember, Firmware Version 2.2.1 is needed on the IQ Panel 2 System to support this feature. The IQ Panel 2 Plus should arrive with this firmware update already applied. But the standard IQ Panel 2 may need to have the firmware update applied. The panel should be connected with a WIFI network, have its transformer plugged-in and have a charged battery before performing the update to the system. If you need to upgrade the firmware, complete the following steps first:

1. Access the upgrade menu. Start from the home screen of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. Press the small grey bar at the top. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > Enter Installer Code (default 1111) > Upgrade Software. This will take you to the upgrade menu.

2. Provide the Patch Tag. Press "Patch Tag". Then enter in "iqpanel2.2.1". Press OK. This will provide the Patch Tag associated with the update.


3. Perform the update. Click "Upgrade Using Network". The update should begin to install. Press OK when prompted. The panel should reboot, and the update will be applied. This will take about five minutes. The home screen should be displayed once the update has been successfully applied.

Next, the feature must be enabled for the IQ Panel 2. This is done from Alarm.com. Login to Alarm.com website. Then choose the "Video" option on the left, followed by "Settings" at the top. Then choose "Stream Video to Security Panel Screen". Every compatible camera will have an "Authorize" toggle switch that must be selected to be used with this feature. Once all the cameras have been enabled, you can log-out of Alarm.com.

Finally, you can try streaming the live video feed from your Qolsys IQ Panel 2. Swipe left on the screen until you reach the "Live Video Cameras" page. Find the camera you want to view, and press the Play button. The panel will begin streaming the live video of the camera.

Firmware Version 2.2.1 also provided some other fixes and changes for the IQ Panel 2. These include:

  • Improved reliability and performance for Live Answer and Live View features
  • Filtering out unneeded "Motion Activated" messages sent from Alarm.com
  • Corrects a Chime and Voice problem that resets settings to "Nighttime Mode" after performing a Software Update
  • Corrects an issue where extra zones numbered 130 - 136 could be present on Alarm.com
  • Corrects a problem where the panel was reporting cellular strength signals when disconnected fro the network

If you have any questions about this new feature, please reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com. Or call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am thru 8pm Monday thru Friday. We hope you enjoy using the video feature with your IQ Panel 2!

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Hi DIYers! Are you looking to get started with a brand-new home security system? An alarm panel is crucial for protecting your family and for providing peace of mind. But with the many options available, the decision of which system to buy can seem overwhelming. But we are here to help.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Our support team has worked with and tested many different alarm systems. Needless to say, we have a pretty good idea about what makes a great security panel. And while the perfect alarm system varies between different types of applications, there are a few things that almost any DIY user looks for. As always, having a system that is easy to use is very important, as it can save a user many headaches later on. This is important both for conducting the initial setup and for performing daily system tasks.

But there are a few other factors that have also come into prominence in more recent years. The design and aesthetics of a security system are more crucial than ever. An alarm system is no longer an anonymous metal box that you tuck away in the depths of your attic. New security systems have personality, and the best ones are pleasing in both appearance and function. The successful systems of today fit-in with virtually any decor, and they enhance the appearance of the home. Conversely, a system with a poor design can make a home appear old-fashioned or tacky. And while we love some hardwired systems like the VISTA Series, there's no denying that they just don't look as fun or exciting as a panel with a touchscreen.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

Finally, home automation is critical in 2018. And this goes beyond just being able to connect with an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The newest security systems can be controlled using voice commands sent through a smart home device. These voice commands can be used for performing both security functions and home automation functions. We've already encountered many cases where a buyer has based their purchasing decision on the automation features of an alarm panel.

Users should expect these home automation features and capabilities to expand in the coming years. Over time, they should become increasingly essential and standard for a new alarm system. Automation and voice operation will most likely become a way for security systems to separate from one another in the coming years, as the technology is only continuing to grow. The systems that innovate and push the boundaries, while still keeping their systems accessible to everyone will thrive.

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Just like in recent years, wireless systems are the way to go in 2018. This is no surprise, since wireless systems are easier to program and more pleasing to use and display than their hardwired counterparts. But what may be surprising to some user is that all of our top system picks were initially released last year or earlier. It just goes to show that these panels continue to impress, even as technology progresses further.

With al that in mind, here are our top 3 picks for security systems in 2018, listed in alphabetical order:

2GIG GC3

There's something special to be said about the 2GIG GC3. And it goes back to 2GIG itself. The name stands for "2 Guys In a Garage", and that's exactly what the company was at its onset. While the company has grown since then, their ideology remains the same - they believe that they can do it better. And 2GIG truly delivered with their GC3.

Compared to some other modern systems, the 2GIG GC3 isn't the fanciest or the most feature-heavy. It's the choice for users who want a sneaky solid and dependable option for home security. The GC3 design is modest and uneventful, and it's certainly not going to draw attention to itself. But when you do look at the system, you'll find that it actually comes off as very pleasing. The crisp white design with two prominent front buttons is simple, yet mature. It can surely fit in with almost any setting. And for many users, that's all they really ask for.

Another thing we like about the GC3 is the level of care that was put into it. The panel is one of the sturdiest pieces of security equipment we have ever come across. Same with the 2GIG Sensors. The latest 2GIG equipment has a certain "weight" to it that helps it feel more stable and secure. Just picking up the panel conveys a sensation of quality craftsmanship. You can certainly tell that 2GIG put a huge amount of love and care into designing their system. That alone makes it one of the top wireless security systems to consider for your home in 2018.

Now, the system isn't perfect. The system does not have any compatible encrypted sensors. Instead, it is forced to rely on the unencrypted 345 MHz sensors from 2GIG and Honeywell. There's nothing wrong with these sensors, but users who want a more secure sensor option will have to look else where. Also the programming menus can have a steeper learning curve for new users than the other systems presented here. And keep in mind that Apple HomeKit support is not available for the GC3.

However, the system can connect with Alarm.com to achieve home automation support with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Alarm.com is an outstanding platform, and achieving a full smart home setup with the alarm panel is a relatively straightforward process. But a cellular communicator is needed to connect the GC3 with ADC. Having to buy a cellular communicator separately to access Alarm.com does turn some users away. But this is a necessary add-on for getting the most out of a 2GIG GC3.

Overall, the GC3 is your choice if you want a strong and sturdy system, and you don't necessarily mind not having access to every last frill presented by other panels.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenHoneywell Lyric Controller

If the other alarm manufacturers are challenging the status quo, then Honeywell is the status quo. Honeywell has been in business for a long time. 112 years at the time of this writing. And while they haven't always been involved in the home security industry, they have certainly been in it longer than the likes of 2GIG and Qolsys. Honeywell's home security roots actually date back to the 1960s. These decades of experience prove that Honeywell is doing something right. And the company used their experience and expertise to create their latest offering, the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Lyric Controller pushed some boundaries, and it presented features that had never really been seen before when it was released in 2016. Starting with the design, there's a lot to like about the panel. Its display is large and colorful, and its touchscreen feels very satisfying to use. The white boarder with accompanying grey accents is pleasing, and its digital picture-frame feature allows users to add a personalized touch for when the system is idle. This is a panel you will be proud to display in your home.

But the Lyric is more than just a pretty face. It was one of the first alarm systems to have its own lineup of encrypted security sensors. The Honeywell SiX Series Sensors communicate using 2.4 GHz WIFI, and they are protected by 128-bit AES encryption. They are virtually impossible to hack or takeover, making them some of the most secure sensors on the market today. Other compatible sensor options for the Lyric Controller include the legacy Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors and the 2GIG Sensors. The Lyric Controller also was innovative for including both a WIFI card and a Z-Wave controller into the system as standard.

So what else makes the Lyric Controller stand-out? For one, it is able to connect with Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 Service. This platform is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Panels, and it is continuing to make strides in home automation. Honeywell recently announced that the service will work with Amazon Alexa devices, opening up a world of new possibilities. Additionally, the Lyric Controller is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. This makes the Lyric essentially the default option for anyone hoping to use HomeKit with their alarm system. However, it is currently impossible to use Google Home with the Lyric.

Like the GC3, the Lyric does not readily include a built-in cellular communicator. One will need to be added separately if a user wants to receive cellular monitoring. But the Lyric has a few advantages here. While Alarm.com requires a cellular communicator, Total Connect 2.0 can be accessed over WIFI alone. In other words, the system can connect with the interactive service straight out of the box.

If a user is confident in their WIFI setup, and they feel they can forgo cellular service, then the Lyric is an ideal selection. Keep in mind though, if the power goes out or WIFI goes down, then the Lyric will be a sitting duck. For the record, Alarm Grid encourages users to use cellular monitoring if possible. But we won't stop you from using WIFI only. And if a user does decide to install a cellular communicator for the system, there is a convenient side slot for this purpose.

Overall, there are many reasons to choose the Lyric Controller. It is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. So if you want to use HomeKit this is the system to use! And the Lyric is arguably the best option for users who are content with an IP monitoring plan and no cellular backup. The Lyric is also ideal for users who trust the Honeywell name. After all, it's hard to top an ongoing legacy of 112 years.

But if you want to use Google Home, or if you like Alarm.com more than Total Connect 2.0, then you should look elsewhere.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemQolsys IQ Panel 2

Qolsys is a rather interesting company in the security industry. Its unique name is short for "Quality of Life Systems", implying that their systems will improve the quality of one's life. Qolsys is by far the youngest system manufacturer featured on the Alarm Grid website, having just been founded in 2010. So while Qolsys might not yet offer major-name recognition, it does offer lots of ambition! The young company maintains its headquarters in San Jose, California, and its West-Coast ideology certainly shows in its products.

At face value, there is a lot to love about the IQ Panel 2. We have never encountered an alarm system that comes as loaded and as stacked as this innovative piece of hardware. For starters, the IQ Panel 2 is the only system to date that comes with a built-in cellular communicator standard. Yeah, nearly every system has special packages that include a cell module. But only the IQ Panel 2 comes with this standard. The cell module is not an "add-on". It is a basic component here.

That is exactly the type of forward thinking we have come to expect with Qolsys. They know that cellular service is the optimal communication path for an alarm system. So rather than forcing a user to buy this simple accessory separately, Qolsys decided to give the people what they want. Most users will choose between the AT&T and the Verizon versions of the system to access a cellular network. We recommend going with whichever service works better in the area.

And we mean it when we say the IQ Panel 2 is stacked. Beyond the cellular module, the IQ Panel 2 also has a built-in WIFI card and a built-in Z-Wave controller. Right out of the box, the system is ready for dual-path communication and full home automation control. The system connects with Alarm.com, making it compatible with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa. But unfortunately, it cannot be used with Apple HomeKit. However, it is the only alarm system we know of that allows for Bluetooth disarming.

Moving on to sensors, there is actually a lot to discuss with Qolsys. The company produces its own sensors that operate at the 319.5 MHz frequency. This is the same frequency used by the Interlogix/GE Sensors, which have been around for many years. The Interlogix/GE Sensors can be used with the IQ Panel 2 System just fine. As for the Qolsys Sensors, they are split into two categories. These are the standard unencrypted Qolsys Sensors and the encrypted Qolsys S-Line Sensors.

Again, both Qolsys Sensor types will work with the IQ Panel 2. And the S-Line Sensors are the only encrypted 319.5 MHz sensors that can be used with the IQ Panel 2. But it must be mentioned that the S-Line Sensors use rolling code encryption. They are not as secure as the SiX Sensors that use 128-bit AES encryption when enrolled with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But the S-Line Sensors are still more secure than anything offered from 2GIG, at least at this time.

But, it actually gets a lot more complicated than that. In the very near future, Qolsys is planning to release various daughtercards for the IQ Panel 2 System. These daughtercards will essentially serve as wireless receivers for the system. So the type of sensors that can be used with the system will depend on the daughtercards that are installed. The panel has slots available for two daughtercards, but they cannot be mixed freely.

The first slot will have one of the following cards: 319.5 MHz (the traditional Qolsys/Interlogix/GE option, outlined above), 345 MHz (for use with Honeywell 5800 Sensors and 2GIG Sensors), or 433 MHz (for use with legacy DSC Sensors). Then, in the second slot, a user can choose between an image sensor module card or a PowerG 915 MHz daughtercard.

And we need to stop and talk about PowerG for a second. PowerG Sensors are the most advanced security sensors we have ever seen. They boast a remarkable range of 2km in open air, and they are protected with full 128-bit AES encryption. This makes them extremely versatile and highly secure. Range should not be an issue when using PowerG Sensor. But if it ever is, DSC makes a PowerG Wireless Repeater to further expand on this ridiculous range.

So, long story short, a new buyer of an IQ Panel 2 can use PowerG Sensors and one other type of wireless sensors in a 300-400 MHz frequency. That is, unless they use an image sensor module, in which case they cannot use PowerG with the IQ Panel 2. This might seem very complicated (and it is!), but the point is, once Qolsys releases these upcoming daughtercards (very soon!), the IQ Panel 2 will be unparalleled in terms of sensor compatibility. Needless to say, we are looking forward to it.

And regardless of which sensor type you choose, learning the devices in is very easy on the IQ Panel 2. The system has an extremely intuitive programming process that is very easy for new users to learn. In fact, we'd even go as far to say that it is the easiest pairing process we have ever encountered for an alarm system. Let's put it like this - GC3 programming is easy, Lyric Controller programming is easier, and IQ Panel 2 programming is the easiest. This makes the IQ Panel 2 ideal for beginners.

Our final praise for the IQ Panel 2 System comes in the form of its design. It is incredibly sleek and modern, and its thin profile helps it stay out of the way when not in use. But when you are using the system, it is a beauty. The screen is large, bright and very colorful. The touchscreen controller is also very responsive, and it feels like a joy to use on a daily basis. Whether you're operating Z-Wave devices, programming the system or just arming and disarming, using the IQ Panel 2 will be breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to the IQ Panel 2 design. It is a more flimsy system than the likes of the GC3 and the Lyric Controller. Don't get us wrong, the IQ Panel 2 is built well enough for users who don't abuse their equipment. But it doesn't feel as sturdy as other top systems. Qolsys is a young company, and their build-quality might not be quite there yet. This can come into play when opening up the system for wiring purposes or for providing power to the system. Opening up the system is somewhat of a challenge, and closing it properly can be difficult at times. We hate to describe a system as "flimsy", but that is sometimes the case with the IQ Panel 2. As long as you're careful with it, then it should be fine. But don't expect a total tank like the GC3.

All things considered, there are many reasons to choose the IQ Panel 2. If you want a complete and total system right out of the box, it is perfect. If you are intrigued by the DSC PowerG Sensors, the IQ Panel 2 will be your best bet once the daughtercard is released. Its thin-profile and sleek, modern design make the IQ Panel 2 ideal when aesthetics are a factor. It's also the perfect match for users who want to use equipment from an exciting newcomer in the security industry like Qolsys. And the system is perfect for new DIY users because of its incredibly easy programming process.

But keep in mind, the system can be flimsy at times. If you can take good care of your equipment, then this won't be an issue. But if you want something sturdier, go with the GC3 or the Lyric Controller instead. Users should also choose the Lyric Controller over the IQ Panel 2 if they hope to use Apple HomeKit with their security system.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

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