Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Verizon LTE Posts

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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. The following Alarm.com Security Cameras can be used with the IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus for panel streaming:

Additionally, the ADC-V521IR and the ADC-V522IR 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!

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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.

Qolsys iq lightbulb dimmable z wave lightbulb for iq and iq pane

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:


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.

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When it comes to home security, houses aren't the only residences that require adequate protection. Apartments are also vulnerable to being taken advantage of by intruders and burglars. Thankfully, with advances in alarm systems, it has never been easier to achieve a DIY security setup.

Because of their smaller size and limited entrances and exits, most apartments don't need as many security sensors as a fully outfitted home. Just a few door and window contacts and a motion sensor can often do the trick. But that said, there's no reason that an apartment resident can't also take full advantage of the exciting home automation capabilities that a modern alarm system has to offer. This handy guide will cover everything needed to obtain a complete security system for an apartment.

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensorHoneywell 5800pir res wireless pet immune motion detector close up

Choosing a Panel

Like any security setup, it all starts with the control panel. This device serves as the central hub for the rest of the alarm system. Any sensors that are used with the system will report to the panel to let the system know when an event occurs. The panel is also the device that will send outgoing alerts to a central monitoring station or to the end user. Finally, most system arming and disarming is done right at the panel itself. Since the user will typically interact with their panel on a daily basis, it's very important to select one that is reliable and easy to use. Luckily for users, there are many tremendous options to choose from.

For an apartment, we strongly recommend choosing a wireless security system. These panels are remarkably easy to set up, and they are excellent choices for DIY users. A wireless panel is an all-in-one device that includes its own touchscreen display and wireless receiver for interacting with wireless sensors. Most newer wireless systems also come with a built-in communicator and an integrated Z-Wave controller. A user can also obtain a desk mount for their wireless system. This will eliminate the need to mount the panel to the wall, which is often forbidden by apartment policies. In fact, with a wireless system and wireless alarm sensors, it is possible to achieve a total setup without drilling any holes whatsoever. And if the user decides to move out of their apartment, they can easily take their wireless system with them to their new residence.

Alarm Grid offers some outstanding wireless panels that are great for apartments. One fantastic option in particular is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. This system features a fresh, sleek design that is sure to fit in very well with any modern apartment. The system is simple to operate, and the menu options come across as very straightforward. The device also comes included with its own desk mount for easy setup. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 will function with all Qolsys-branded wireless sensors, including the fully encrypted S-Line of sensors. Additionally, the IQ Panel 2 is one of few panels to come with a cellular communicator that is already built-in to the system. It is also WIFI ready right out of the box.

Qolsys iq panel 2 classic kit verizon wireless security system wAnother panel option is the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The Lyric is the flagship alarm system from Honeywell, a company that has served as a leader in the security industry for decades. It comes WIFI ready, and it can interface with an impressive lineup of different security sensors. This includes the encrypted SiX Series Sensors, which are designed exclusively for the Honeywell Lyric System. The menus are easy to navigate, and getting started with the system is a breeze. With just a WIFI connection and an appropriate monitoring plan, a user can sync their Lyric with Total Connect. This service allows users to arm and disarm their system remotely and check the current status of their security sensors at any time. A special desk mount for the Lyric is available for purchase separately. This will allow the user to avoid mounting the panel to the wall.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

We also encourage users to check out our alarm system kits that include everything a new user needs to get started with a security system for their apartment. By going with a kit, a user can save a decent amount of money versus purchasing each component of the security system individually.

All About Sensors

The only types of alarm sensors that are used in most apartments are door and window contacts and motion detectors. Although other alarm sensors can definitely be used as well, they are usually unnecessary for an apartment. Just like with security panels, we advise users to install wireless sensors in an apartment. Wireless sensors are easy to program with an alarm system, and most are mounted using double-sided foam tape. This will prevent the user from having to drill any holes in their walls. Most wireless sensors will function for three to five years before requiring a simple battery replacement. If you are purchasing alarm sensors individually and not with a kit, make sure that the sensors you choose will interface with your alarm system.

A door and window contact is used to let the system know whenever a door or window is opened. These are very simple devices that are easy to understand. Basically, a door and window contact consist of a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is applied on the frame of the door or window, and the magnet is applied on the door or window itself, within a half-inch of the sensor. Double-sided foam tape can secure both of these components. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor. This will cause a reed switch inside the sensor to activate. When this happens, the sensor will send an signal to the alarm system to let it know about the event. The alarm system will then respond accordingly, based on the programmed Response Type for that zone. For apartments, we recommend using surface-mount contacts over recessed contacts. This is because recessed contacts require holes that are drilled into the door or window frame. If you are purchasing door and window contacts individually and not part of a kit, make sure that they are compatible with your alarm system. Putting a contact on the front door is an absolute must. Many users also place them on windows and interior doors.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensorQolsys iq dw mini extended s front

Motion detectors are also commonly used in apartments. Simply put, these devices recognize when motion is present, and they let the system know about the activity. A motion detector will certainly come in handy if an intruder is ever able to get inside the apartment without setting off a door or window contact. Most motion detectors operate using passive infrared (PIR) technology. This detection method involves looking out for the infrared energy given off by a potential intruder. When a PIR motion detector is activated, it will take a quick reading of the current infrared energy in the area. If a person or large object suddenly comes into the picture, it will cause a change in infrared energy. This will cause the motion sensor to activate, and the device will then send a signal to the alarm system to perform the programmed response. For most apartments, one motion detecting sensor is usually adequate. We recommend installing an apartment motion sensor in the main room for optimal sensor coverage.

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Other alarm sensors are typically not as important for apartments. Glass break sensors can be used to monitor glass windows, but this is usually covered using window contacts and a motion sensor. However, some apartment residents may use a glass break sensor to monitor a glass casing or artwork. Most apartments already come included with a smoke detector. This means that purchasing a separate smoke detector for the alarm system is unnecessary. But a user may want to integrate the conventional smoke detector with their alarm system. For that, we recommend using a smoke detector takeover module, such as an Encore FireFighter FF345. This device will actively listen for the sound of an activated smoke detector. If it detects this type of sound, it will send a signal to the system and trigger an alarm event. If you do use a takeover module, make sure that the model you select is compatible with your alarm system. Finally, most apartment systems will not require any flood sensors since any failed HVAC unit or serious water leak is typically the responsibility of the apartment management.

Honeywell 5853 wireless glass break detector exteriorEncore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover module

Communication is Key

Unless you plan on staying home 24/7, you will want an alarm system that can send outbound signals in some way. For monitoring plans, there are two primary options. These are central monitoring plans and self-monitoring plans. The primary difference between these two types of monitoring plans is who is contacted when an alarm event occurs. With self-monitoring, the user will receive a text or email alert letting them know about the alarm. It is then up to the user to contact the appropriate authorities. But with central station monitoring, the alarm event is forwarded to a dedicated central station that operates 24/7. The central station will then request emergency help on the behalf of the user. Regardless of which type of monitoring is used, the alarm system must have some way of sending outbound alerts and reports.

Most alarm systems rely on cellular services or an internet (IP) connection as their primary communication path. Some alarm systems will use both of these communication methods for added reliability. The type of communication that is used will have an effect on the user's security setup and their monitoring plan. Cellular communication is considered to be more reliable than IP communication. This is because cellular service is almost never down, and it will still continue to operate in the event of a power outage. Also some interactive service platforms, like Alarm.com, require that the panel utilize a cellular connection, and they cannot be accessed using WIFI alone. But the advantage with IP communication is that it is usually less expensive than cellular monitoring. Additionally, while many panels already come WIFI ready, only a few can use cellular communication without a separate cellular communicator being added. Overall, the choice between IP and cellular comes down to the type of alarm system the user has and how reliable they want their system to be.

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Additional Features and Possible Add-Ons

Some apartment residents might want their alarm system to go beyond just performing security tasks. Many newer alarm systems come complete with a Z-Wave controller for operating Z-Wave home automation devices. However, most apartments will only allow users to take advantage of Z-Wave lights. These lights can be operated right from the alarm panel or using an interactive service like Total Connect or Alarm.com. Other popular Z-Wave devices include Z-Wave thermostats and Z-Wave door locks, but these are less likely to be used in apartment. A Z-Wave thermostat allows a user to adjust the temperature inside their residence from virtually anywhere. But many users might not feel comfortable replacing their apartment's standard thermostat with their own. Z-Wave locks allow users to lock or unlock their doors remotely. They can also unlock the door and disarm their system simultaneously by entering in a valid system code into the keypad on the Z-Wave door lock. Unfortunately, most landlords will not allow apartment occupants to change the locks on their doors. With those considerations in mind, Z-Wave home automation is often skipped by apartment residents. Still, the features are always available if the user ever does decide to use them.

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A greater number of apartment residents will take advantage of an interactive service with their system. These services allow users to access their alarm systems from anywhere using a convenient and easy to use mobile app. By accessing this type of service, a user can arm or disarm their system, check the status of sensors and control their Z-Wave devices from almost anywhere. These services are also used to contact the user during an alarm event. Two popular interactive service platforms for alarm systems are Total Connect and Alarm.com. Total Connect is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Alarm Panels, while Alarm.com will work with systems from many different companies, including Qolsys and 2GIG. To access the Alarm.com service, cellular communication is required. Bu with Total Connect, an IP connection or a cellular connection can be used. Both services offer similar functions and features, so the one that is used will really depend on the alarm system being used. Most monitoring plans include this type of service, so the user should take full advantage of it.

Finally, some users may decide to use additional add-ons with their security setups. That said, these are also less commonly used with apartment systems. A secondary keypad can provide an additional point of access for an alarm system. But since most apartments are relatively small, this is usually unnecessary. A wireless repeater can extend the range of wireless sensors. But again, since most apartments are quite small this is also usually not needed. If the setup is based around a hardwired system, then a wireless receiver is needed to use wireless sensors. For apartments though, we strongly encourage users to use wireless systems instead of hardwired panels. Finally, some users may want to use security cameras with their setup. These devices are easy to use and install, and many indoor cameras don't require any drilling. However, a user will most likely need to upgrade their monitoring plan if they want to use security cameras.

Honeywell lkp500 wireless keypad for lyric controllerHoneywell lyric c2 wifi indoor 1080p hd total connect security c


Getting started with an apartment alarm system is very easy. In most cases, fewer sensors and add-ons are required. A wireless panel and sensors will make it for easy for DIY users to setup their systems without having to drill any holes or perform any wiring. Once everything is setup, a user will receive complete piece of mind in knowing that their residence is fully protected. Now is a better time than ever to get started with home security. Get an alarm system for your apartment today!

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At Alarm Grid, we often encourage users to "roll with what they got" and get as much as they can out of their current system. But there are some cases where enough is enough, and upgrading to a brand-new panel is the best option. Here are 5 reasons for you to make a system upgrade.

1. You don't know the Installer Code. Virtually every alarm system comes equipped with a default Installer Code that is absolutely necessary for providing basic programming functions. We recommend leaving this code at the default because it can be very difficult to get into programming if you lose this code. Additionally, you might not know the system's Installer Code if it was monitored by a different company that intentionally changed the code.

Some systems will technically allow you to get back into programming even if you lose this code. However, this can be a tedious process, as you may need to reset the system to factory default settings. This would require you to reprogram every sensor for the system. And some systems don't even allow this. So if you lose your Installer Code and can't get back into programming, sometimes the best option is to just start fresh with a completely new security system. Depending on the system you choose, you may even be able to keep all your old sensors as well.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensor

2. You want more reliable communication. Nearly every alarm system on the market today is capable of achieving a dual-path communication setup with WIFI and cellular connectivity. This type of setup will provide ultra-fast speeds and excellent reliability. Even many older systems can be upgraded to achieve a similar setup. Cellular connectivity in particular is highly important for anyone who is serious about receiving reliable alarm monitoring services.

Unfortunately, some older systems are stuck using phone line monitoring, and they cannot be upgraded to a superior communication path. Using a phone line is extremely discouraged, as it is an outdated technology that offers unreliable service and slow connection speeds. Not to mention, phone service has some serious issues of its own. So if you're still using an alarm system with phone line connectivity, and you want more reliable and faster monitoring, it might time to make a change.

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3. You want easier daily access. Many older alarm systems are controlled through touch-button keypads that are wired in with the system. While this is fine for many users, it doesn't necessarily compare with the convenience of a touchscreen controller. This type of control will make it much easier to perform daily tasks like arming and disarming from the panel. And while there are certain touchscreen controllers for certain systems (e.g. the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch for VISTA Panels and the Interlogix Two-Way Talking TouchScreen for Interlogix Panels), they are often very expensive in their own right.

Many users often find that the best option is to simply ditch their hardwired system entirely and upgrade to a new wireless one with a touchscreen. And even if you have a large number of hardwired sensors, you can probably bring them over with a compatible wired to wireless converter. For example, the Honeywell 5800C2W will allow hardwired sensors to be used with a new wireless Honeywell System.

Honeywell 5800c2w hardwire to wireless system 9 zone conversion module4. You want more advanced sensors. Alarm sensors are continuing to become more and more advanced over time. And eventually, certain features that are added will simply be incompatible with an older system. An example of this involves the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors and the Qolsys S-Line Sensors. These sensors are both protected by 128-bit AES encryption, which makes them virtually impossible to takeover or hack into. However, this encryption limits their system compatibility. For the SiX Series Sensors, they can only work with Honeywell Lyric Panels. Meanwhile, the Qolsys S-Line Sensors will only work with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2.

It's not to say that older legacy sensors are bad or anything. They will work just fine with a security setup. But they aren't always going to offer the same advanced features and capabilities as newer sensors. So any users who want to incorporate more advanced system sensors into their setup may need to make an upgrade.

Honeywell sixpir lyric smart sensor motion

5. You want to obtain a smart home. Older alarm systems are often limited in how they can be controlled remotely. They are also sometimes restricted in their functionality with smart home applications, such as Google Home and Apple HomeKit. Most of this is done through an interactive service platform, like Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. In fact, most security experts would agree that an alarm system is fairly outdate if it cannot connect with an interactive service platform.

An interactive service is usually accessed through a web browser or through a mobile app on a smartphone. There are some useful basic features that come with virtually any interactive service. These features include arming and disarming the system, checking the status of sensors, controlling Z-Wave home automation devices and viewing the live feed of programmed security sensors. So with access to an interactive service platform, these actions can be performed from nearly anywhere in the world.

Most smart home devices follow a certain protocol when interacting with an alarm system. In these cases, an interactive service platform typically acts as a "middleman" between the smart device and the security system. Any command that is is sent through the smart device (e.g. a Google Home device or an Amazon Alexa device) will first be sent to the interactive service server (e.g. Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com) and then to the system (e.g. the Honeywell Lyric Controller or the 2GIG GC3).

However, this type of access can be impossible for older alarm systems. So if you want to obtain a smarter home security setup, upgrading your system may be a good first step.

So, which system is right for me?

If you're in the market for a new system, we generally recommend choosing a wireless system. Most users find that wireless systems are easier to program, and they will provide all-in-one access for the user. These systems are also compatible with some of the most advanced sensors on the market, and they can all be used with an interactive service platform.

Our most favorite systems are the Honeywell Lyric Controller, the 2GIG GC3 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. These are all outstanding wireless systems that will provide tremendous functions and features for an end user. They are also each compatible with certain smart home applications. Make sure to check compatibility before making your decision if you want to achieve a smart home setup. But regardless, you can't go wrong with any of these outstanding systems.

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One of Alarm Grid's best partners Qolsys has announced that their upcoming IQ Panels with PowerG support have officially received UL certification. It appears as though the company is currently on track to have these new systems ready for a public release later this summer season.

PowerG is a wireless sensor lineup from DSC. These are state-of-the-art security sensors that boast some highly impressive capabilities and features. They operate at a considerably higher frequency (915 MHz) than most other wireless sensors, meaning that they will not interfere with other devices. The range of these sensors is absolutely insane, as they can operate from nearly half a mile away from the panel when used indoors. The sensor also use 128-bit AES encryption to prevent them from being hacked or spoofed. Needless to say, we are very excited that Qolsys Systems will soon be able to support these sensors.

Qolsys previously announced at ISC West 2018 that a PowerG daughtercard would be made available for their IQ Panel 2. By installing this daughtercard, the system will be able to support PowerG sensors. Qolsys will also likely produce IQ Panel 2 Systems with the daughtercard already integrated, and also possibly other PowerG-compatible systems as well. So far the PowerG lineup includes outdoor PIR motion detectors with integrated cameras, outdoor siren/strobe devices and a door contact with a wired input for long-range expansion.

ISC West 2018 was also when Qolsys announced that they would soon be offering legacy daughtercards for the IQ Panel 2. These daughtercards are available in 319.5 MHz (Qolsys and Interlogix/GE Sensors), 345 MHz (legacy Honeywell and 2GIG Sensors) and 433 MHz (legacy DSC Sensors). Please note that the system will only support one PowerG daughtercard and one legacy daughtercard at any given time.

Alarm Grid will make sure to keep you up to date with any of the latest news regarding Qolsys and PowerG support. Keep an eye on our blog for more information.

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