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Hi DIYers! Did you know that SkyBell Video Doorbells can be viewed from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com? Many users prefer using one of these apps instead of the SkyBell App so that they can have all their security functions in one convenient location. This is great for Alarm Grid customers!



One of the biggest perks of having a video doorbell is being able to know immediately whenever there is activity in front of your house. The SkyBell will send you push notifications whenever its built-in motion sensor is activated or whenever someone rings the door bell. You will receive the alert from anywhere, even if you are away. Although you can still choose to receive these alerts through the SkyBell App, you can also choose to have them sent through TC2 or ADC. Keeping these alerts in TC2 or ADC is perfect for keeping all your security events nice and organized.

Once the user receives a push alert on their phone, they can press a button to immediately connect with their SkyBell Doorbell and see exactly who is at their door. Each SkyBell device also comes equipped with a microphone and speaker so that the user can have a live conversation with the present individual. This way, you can tell your friend that you'll unlock the door for them. Or you could ask a postal work to leave your package by the door. There are so many possible applications with SkyBell.

Additionally, a user can access their Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com account to pull up their video doorbell at any time and see if there is any activity occurring. This is excellent for getting a live look-in at the front of one's house. It doesn't matter if you are at home or across the country. With remote access, your home is at your fingertips from anywhere. The devices support video resolution of up to 1080p HD, so you know that the video will be crisp and clear every single time.

At this time, Alarm Grid offers four SkyBell models. Specifically, there are two models for Total Connect 2.0, along with another two for Alarm.com. Both TC2 and ADC have a round model and a trim model. The round and trim models perform the same functions, but the trim models are slightly more compact.

Our current lineup is as follows:

Honeywell SkyBell DBCAM - Round for TC2

Honeywell SkyBell DBCAM-TRIM - Trim for TC2

SkyBell ADC-VDB101 - Round for ADC

SkyBell ADC-VDB105 - Trim for ADC

You don't necessarily need an alarm monitoring plan with video surveillance to use one of these video doorbells. Alarm Grid can add the feature at no additional cost for any existing customer who has access to Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. For that reason, the SkyBell Doorbell Cameras are a great cost-saving option for any user considering traditional security cameras and a monitoring plan with video surveillance. Simply let us know that you want to add a video doorbell to your monitoring account, and we will take care of the rest.

Please note that the TC2 versions can be used with TC2 or the native SkyBell App. But for the ADC models, it is different. The ADC models should note be used with the native SkyBell App in any capacity. For the round ADC model, if you pair it with the native SkyBell App and update the camera, then it will forever lose its ability to interface with Alarm.com! Meanwhile, the rectangular slimline ADC cannot pair with the native SkyBell App in the first place. It only has the ability to be used with Alarm.com.

If you want to learn more about our monitoring plans, you can always check out our monitoring page or reach out to us. The best way to contact is us by email at support@alarmgrid.com. You can also call us during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you plan and design the perfect security system for your needs!

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Hi DIYers! If you're looking to get started with home security, we urge you to make sure your system has a cellular communication path. This is the best way to ensure that your system remains monitored and protected at all times. All you need is the right communicator and monitoring plan.

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

When it comes to alarm monitoring, cellular communication is the undisputed champion. This is due in large part to its exceptional reliability. Do you ever notice how the WIFI in your home or at work goes out from time to time. This almost never happens with cellular. Even lost calls really only occur in spotty coverage areas or due to changes in location. As long as you get good coverage and your system stays put, you can be sure that service will almost never go down.

With the widespread availability of cellular networks, almost everyone in the country receives strong cellular service in their area. If you are ever unsure, you can always check various coverage maps offered from cellular service providers. And even if you do live in a rural area with poor service, you may still be able to get the results you want using a cellular amplifier. Not only will this boost signal strength for your security system, it will also help you receive better cell service in general while you are at home.

One of the most important benefits of having cellular monitoring is that it will keep your home protected when the power is out. This is especially useful for those who live in areas with inclement weather that may frequently cause electrical outages. Cellular service does not require electricity, and it does not use a router. This is why your cell phone continues to work when the power is out. The same cannot be said for internet, which often goes down when the power is out. Most people don't have battery backup for their at-home WIFI routers.

Nearly all alarm systems use some type of backup battery setup. This keeps them running even when the power is out. But it's only useful if the system can still communicate outward. Cellular communication makes this possible. Just imagine if the power was out and an intruder were to break into your home. With cellular service, you will know you're protected.

Cellular communication also provides all of the same benefits that are offered by IP. It is relatively fast, and it supports interactive service platforms like Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0. A user can access these services on their smartphone to arm and disarm their system, check current system status, and to control smart home devices. And fast communication speeds mean that any remote commands will go through nice and quickly. You can even add a cellular communicator to a panel that already supports WIFI to achieve an extra reliable dual-path communication setup!

You may be wondering what you need to get cellular communication for an alarm system. Well really it's as simple as having an alarm system with a cellular communicator and an appropriate alarm monitoring plan. Some panels, like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 come with one already installed. Others, like the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, need to have one added separately. If you decide to go with Alarm Grid Monitoring, you will want to make sure you choose a Gold-level plan or higher.

But you don't have to design a cellular security system on your own. The fantastic support at Alarm Grid is here to assist. We'll help you choose the perfect system and equipment for your needs so that you have proper peace of mind. Just send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You can also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you design an effective and reliable security system with cellular communication!

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Hi DIYers! We have a quick product highlight for your today. We're taking a look at the 2GIG IMAGE3. This is an image sensor module for a 2GIG GC3 that doubles as both a motion detecting sensor and camera. It sends four high-quality images to Alarm.com upon activation for easy viewing.


Motion sensors are great for users who want to easily confirm break-ins, without having to invest in security cameras. Just last week we took a look at the Qolsys Image Sensor. Now we're looking at the 2GIG version. Really, this device is pretty similar, but it works with the 2GIG GC3 instead. Please note that you will need 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 installed in the system to support the module, and the GC3 System needs to be running Firmware Version 3.0.1 or higher. Also keep in mind that any Alarm Grid customer will need a Gold-level Plan or higher.

The 2GIG IMAGE3 knows to produce images when its motion sensor is activated. This is a PIR motion sensor that responds to the changes in infrared energy that occur with movement. The device also includes IR night vision so that it can detect motion and capture images in the dark. It will produce four images when activated, and they can quickly be viewed remotely through Alarm.com. This is possible both through the Alarm.com Website and the Alarm.com Mobile App on Android and iOS Devices. A user can even have Alarm.com send them email and text alerts so that they are sure to be notified.

The images produced by the 2GIG IMAGE3 have a 320 x 240 resolution, and they are full-color. The sensor has a battery life of three years. An LED light on the sensor provides assistance with setup and general troubleshooting. Overall, this is a very convenient sensor for anyone who want to quickly confirm intrusions, without having to worry about false alarms.

You can buy the 2GIG IMAGE3 from Alarm Grid right now. Get one to improve the protection and security and your home!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a quick look at the Qolsys Image Sensor. This handy device will produce a high-quality image whenever it detects motion while your Qolsys Panel is armed. This is great for confirming a break-in while you are away and for presenting evidence to the authorities.

Qolsys image sensor qz8100 840

The best way to think of an image sensor is to imagine a motion sensor with a built-in picture camera. This is similar to a security camera that responds to motion. The difference is that an image sensor will only produce a still image rather than a video clip. This is perfect for quickly checking to see if a break-in really occurred, or if the motion sensor activated due to some other cause. The still images have a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, and any abnormal activity can be quickly spotted.

Once the Qolsys Image Sensor activates, the produced image will be visible through Alarm.com. To access the image, the user can check the Alarm.com Mobile App or go to the Alarm.com website. The user can also tell Alarm.com to send them text and email alerts whenever their image sensor takes a picture. They can also receive push notifications from the Alarm.com App. That way, they will immediately know when there is a picture to check.

Keep in mind though that the user will need an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to Alarm.com in order to do this. For Alarm Grid customers, this is the Gold Plan or higher. This is a big reason why many Alarm Grid customers choose to go with image sensors instead of full-video security cameras. Using a conventional security camera will require upgrading to a Platinum Plan. However, the Gold Plan is already standard for accessing Alarm.com and using a Qolsys System anyway.

The motion detector on the Qolsys Image Sensor is quite effective in its own right. It can respond to motion from up to 30 feet away, and it will work from up to 400 feet away from the panel in open air. For best results, the sensor should be mounted at a height of roughly 7.5 to 8 feet. Pet owners will appreciate the fact that the Qolsys Image Sensor offers pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 40 pounds.

For compatibility, the Qolsys Image Sensor will work with any original IQ Panel System, as well as any IQ Panel 2 that has a Qolsys Image Sensor Daughtercard installed. Please note that the Image Sensor Daughtercard uses the same antenna slot as the PowerG Daughtercard used with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems. As a result, there is no way for the IQ Panel 2 to use both an Alarm.com Image Sensor and PowerG Sensors. If a user has an IQ Panel 2 Plus and they want to use the Qolsys Image Sensor, they will need to remove the PowerG Daughtercard and insert the Image Sensor Daughtercard. Doing this will remove PowerG compatibility for the system.

However, the one advantage to using the IQ2+ and swapping out the PowerG Daughtercard is that the user will have the option of choosing either the 345 MHz or 433 MHz legacy daughtercard versions. If a user obtains a standard IQ Panel 2, they will only have the option of using 319.5 MHz sensors. The only way to use the Qolsys Image Sensor on an IQ2 System with 345 MHz or 433 MHz sensors is to get the IQ2 Plus and swap out the daughtercard.

The Qolsys Image Sensor, Qolsys Image Sensor Daughtercard and all Qolsys Systems are all available for purchase from Alarm Grid right now. Get one now to protect your home! If you need any help deciding on security equipment, please reach out to us by emailing 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.

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Hi DIYers! Have you ever thought about using a security system to monitor your boat or camper? It's a little bit out of the ordinary, but it's a great way to ensure that your property is protected. It's almost no different from using a standard security system, you just need to get creative.

Honeywell lyricpk lte a wireless security system w slash at and

If you're ever away from your boat or camper, having alarm monitoring can provide you with peace of mind in knowing that your property is safe. Although people usually think about security systems for homes and businesses, there's no reason why an intruder couldn't break into a boat, yacht, RV or camper to steal property and cause damage. And with the technology available today, it is certainly possible to achieve a great setup. We recently heard about one boat owner who keeps his yacht protected using a 2GIG GC3 Security System. Why not do the same for your boat or camper?

There are just a few things to keep in mind if you decide a alarm system for your boat or camper is right for you. First is the equipment. The alarm panel you use will likely be no different than one used in a conventional setting. You will definitely want to use a wireless system since internal wiring will be difficult or impossible. This is fine since wireless systems are easy to use, and they offer tremendous performance. Most wireless systems can be installed without a professional, and they are rugged enough to withstand continuous travel.

For sensors, you really won't have to add too many. A good door contact sensor can immediately let the system know if someone enters your vessel. If you are afraid that the sensor might be exposed to water, then an outdoor contact might be a good idea. A great sensor for this purpose is the Honeywell 5816OD. Some users may want to add a motion sensor as well, but they should make sure it won't cause false alarms from its mounting location. You might also want to add a smoke detector and a CO detector to monitor for environmental issues as well. The Honeywell 5800COMBO can detect for both fires and carbon monoxide outbreaks.

We strongly recommend that any security system used for a boat or camper to use a cellular connection. Even if your boat or camper is equipped with WIFI, cellular connectivity can't be beat in terms of reliability. Plus, the WIFI service might be inactive or go out when the boat or camper is not in use. Cellular communication will keep your system monitored no matter where you take your vessel, provided that there is adequate cell signal in the area. So if you're out camping, and someone else opens your camper or RV, then you will know about it. This is also perfect for when you leave your boat docked during the off-season.

Most boats and campers with a security system will use a self-monitoring plan. This type of monitoring means that the user will receive a text alert whenever their security system is activated. The user will then need to alert the proper authorities to the situation. While central station monitoring is technically possible for a boat or camper, it can be very tricky if the boat or camper isn't always left in the same location. You would also need to provide a valid address for the vessel so that emergency services can reach it. For those reasons, self-monitoring is usually the way to go here. You can learn more about Alarm Grid's monitoring plans by checking our monitoring page.

One major perk of having an alarm system for your boat or camper is that you can use it for Z-Wave smart home automation. Every boat and camper has lights, and you can use smart home functionality to control them remotely or have them activate automatically with predetermined events. You can also get a smart thermostat for your yacht or RV and integrate it into the network as well. Everything will be controlled right from your phone using Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. With Z-Wave functionality, your boat or camper will be ready to party as soon as your disarm your system!

If you have a boat or camper that you'd like to get protected, we would love to help you out! Our security system experts are happy to help you design a new security system for your boat, camper, RV or yacht. We know exactly what you need to achieve a robust and reliable setup. If you would like to get started, please send an email to support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! One of the best services we offer is video surveillance. This feature lets the user view the live feed for compatible security cameras that are installed throughout the property. Video surveillance truly represents an outstanding addition to nearly any alarm monitoring setup.

Alarm dot com adc v522ir indoor 1080p fixed camera with night vi

With our video cameras, you can get a live look at your property from anywhere at any time. All you have to do is pull up Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 on your smartphone, login to your account, and navigate to the video section to view the camera feed. This is super convenient for checking to make sure that everything is alright inside your home or business when you receive an unexpected notification. Both Alarm.com Security Cameras and Honeywell Total Connect 2.0 Security Cameras are available.

One of the most important factors for us when providing you with video surveillance services is making sure that only you can view your security cameras. The video cameras we support are encrypted, and they only communicate across protected servers. There is no way for anyone other than the customer and those who are granted special permission to view the camera. This includes both the live video feed and any still images that are produced.

Many of our customers will be happy to know that there is no way for Alarm Grid technicians, employees or management to view your cameras. Both Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 maintain these conditions for the privacy of their users, and we would not have it any other way. If we ever need to access your account, we will only be able to load a "read-only" version, and any video device on your account will not be accessible. An example from Alarm.com can be seen in the picture below:

There may occasionally be situations where we need to access the customer's devices and settings for troubleshooting purposes. Even then, we still need the customer's permission to access this information. We can do this by requesting access, which the customer would then have to approve via email. If we obtain access in this manner, then it would still only be temporary for a set amount of minutes. After that, the customer would have to approve of us accessing their video devices.



Both Alarm.com and AlarmNet operate extremely secure severs, and their cameras utilize encrypted communication signals. Outsiders will have no way of accessing the video, and the user can have proper peace of mind in knowing that their privacy is always maintained. Alarm Grid takes the privacy of its customers very seriously, and we choose to work with Alarm.com and AlarmNet because of the high protection standards they maintain. We work very hard to ensure the security of all our customers whenever they receive video surveillance services from us.

In order to receive video surveillance, you must sign-up for one of our Platinum Level Monitoring Plans. These plans include all of the same great features of our lower level monitoring plans, along with support for video recording devices. However, there is an exception for the SkyBell DoorBell Cameras. These devices can be used with any existing monitoring plan, without having to upgrade to Platinum. The SkyBell Cameras provide an easy and efficient way to monitor the home's entryway and quickly see who is at the door.

If you have any questions about how we protect the privacy of our customers, or if you would like to learn more about our monitoring services, please reach out to us. You may email us any time at support@alarmgrid.com, or you may call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you!

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Hi DIYers! We have learned that Alarm.com is adding a feature that will let you place an image of Santa Claus directly into a security camera screenshot! Now, as we all know, you can't actually capture a real picture of Santa - he's magic! But you can at least pretend with this fun feature!


Alarm.com is making this feature for any Alarm Grid customer on a Platinum Level Plan who uses the Alarm.com interactive service platform. The feature will only be available from December 21st thru the 26th. This will give you a chance to test the feature before Christmas Day. But once Christmas is over, the feature will disappear. You'll have to catch Santa next year instead!

The feature will be supported by the following Alarm.com Security Camera models only:

To get started, simply pull up the Alarm.com App or website. Navigate to the Cameras Section, and select the video feed for a compatible camera. Then press the Santa icon:


You can then choose which Santa image to add to the screenshot:


You can even move or resize Santa to fit your home's setting. Finally, download the image or share it via text or email. Then you can show all your friends and family that Santa paid you a visit! If you have any questions about this feature, reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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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! A couple of weeks ago, we took an initial look at Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts. This function allows ADC users to control their security system and smart home automation devices through Siri voice commands. Today, we're taking a closer look at this new feature and what it provides.


Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts are available for any iOS device that is running Apple iOS Version 12. This includes iPhones, iPads, HomePods, the Apple Watch and even Apple CarPlay. They allow you to use voice commands through Siri to control basic system functions and to run any smart scene that has been set up with Alarm.com. If you haven't already created smart scenes, we recommend doing that before attempting to set up any Siri Shortcuts. This is because any created smart scenes will conveniently appear in the "Suggested Shortcuts" list for easy creation.

To get started, you will need to have the Alarm.com Mobile App downloaded for the device you want to use with Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts. If you do not have the app, it can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store. From there, you will need to enable Siri Shortcuts. To do this, click on the settings icon (the gears), then "Siri Shortcuts", then "Edit" in the upper-right corner, and finally the button below the Edit button to share activity with Siri.


From there, you will be able to create your own Siri Shortcuts for use with Alarm.com. While this can be done from the settings menu on your iOS device, we have found that it is easiest to do this right from the Alarm.com App. If you scroll down, you will see all of the current Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts that have been set up. Please note that any Alarm.com Siri Shortcut will need to be custom-recorded before they can be used. This includes any basic system functions that are automatically suggested by Alarm.com. Some of the suggested actions for Alarm.com Siri Shortcuts include:

  • Disarm
  • Arm Away
  • Arm Stay
  • Home
  • Away
  • Sleep
  • Wake Up
  • Any Custom Scenes

Below the existing shortcuts are suggested actions can be set to trigger with a voice-activated Siri Shortcut. This includes basic system functions, such as arming and disarming, and any custom smart scenes that you have previously created. Remember, you may need to press the "Edit" button in the upper-right corner before you can begin creating Siri Shortcuts. Simply choose the action you want to use. For this example, we created a "CUSTOM SCENE" that disarms the system and unlocks a Z-Wave door lock. You will then be taken to a screen where you can record the Siri Shortcut. Press the Red Circle to record the command. You can say anything you want to trigger the shortcut. Finally, press "Done" in the upper-right corner to save the recording. Then press "Done" in the upper-right corner of the Alarm.com screen to save your new shortcut.




Once you have created your Siri Shortcut, simply activate Siri, and state the command you recorded earlier. Alarm.com will then perform the programmed action as through it had been activated through the ADC Mobile App. You can even perform these actions remotely so that you can use Siri and your own voice to control your alarm system and run smart scenes from virtually anywhere in the world. Overall, this is a super easy and user-friendly way to perform everyday actions right from your iOS device!

We're huge fans of this new feature, and we can't wait for you to get started so that you can get the most out of your Alarm.com system. If you have any questions about Siri Shortcuts, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us from 9am to 8pm EST M-F at 888-818-7728. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We would like to inform you that Alarm.com has recently updated their iOS Mobile App to version 4.8. The big change that comes with this release is the ability to perform various Alarm.com functions through Siri voice commands. This is done through voice shortcuts on iOS 12.


Before this update, the only system we offered that could be used with Siri was the Honeywell Lyric Controller, which can be controlled using Apple HomeKit. But this update gives nearly every Alarm.com System a convenient new option for quick access and control. Although the feature is somewhat limited at this time, we expect additional capabilities to be announced in the coming months, including automation functionality for smart home devices.

The voice feature is only compatible with Apple iOS Version 12. This is the latest iOS version as of October 2018. A user can set up the voice feature under the App Settings Menu of the Alarm.com Mobile App.

Each voice command will need to be set up with its own unique Siri shortcut. Users can also opt to share their in-app activity so that Siri can recommend commands that are commonly used to appear on the lock screen or through spotlight search. Once the command has been set up, the user can conveniently ask Siri whenever they want to perform a basic system function.


Alarm.com iOS Version 4.8 also includes minor enhancements and fixes that should allow the app to operate more smoothly. Alarm Grid will be sure to pass on any further updates regarding Alarm.com as we learn more. Keep an eye on our blog to stay updated for the latest information.

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