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More ISC West excitement DIYers! Our team just checked out the Nortek and 2GIG booth at ISC West 2019. We can certainly say there were many intriguing new 2GIG products to look at. Nortek went all out this year, as the company has some great new systems and sensors coming in the pipeline!

The key word for 2GIG this year is "Encryption". The company is planning to release their new GC2e System this May and their new GC3e System this July. These systems are modeled after the existing GC2 and GC3 Systems respectively. The exact release dates are still up in the air, but 2GIG is confident that they will both hit the market by the aforementioned months.


The "e" in these names stands for encryption. 2GIG will finally offer systems that support encrypted sensors. The GC2e and GC3e will both support the company's brand-new lineup of encrypted "eSeries" devices that will stop hackers dead in their tracks. Although 2GIG is somewhat late to the party in adding encrypted sensors, this is still a huge addition to their lineup.


The new eSeries Sensors are designed exclusively for use with the GC2e and GC3e Systems, and they will not be backwards compatible with the current GC2 and GC3 models. However, you will be able to use current non-encrypted 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and the legacy Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors with the GC2e and GC3e Systems.

The GC2e System is the standard, more-affordable option of the two new panels. Modeled after the current Go!Control GC2, the new GC2e Panel offers a larger 5-inch touchscreen display and a slightly re-tooled designed. We tested this panel, and we were particularly impressed with the overall design and satisfying touch controls. It also offers Z-Wave Plus technology.


Meanwhile, the GC3e System offers everything available for the GC2e, plus a little bit extra. The panel adds WIFI connectivity, which is unavailable for the GC2e. The Smart Areas feature from the original GC3 is also being carried over to the GC3e, as the system will be capable of supporting up to four "Smart Area" partitions. Finally, GC3e users will appreciate the panel's 7-inch touchscreen display and its touched up design. Just like the GC2e, the GC3e also supports Z-Wave Plus devices.


It should be noted that there were no new keypads announced for either system. However, the systems will be able to support the existing models for their older counterparts. In other words, the GC2e will support the 2GIG TS1 Keypad, while the GC3e will support the 2GIG SP1 Keypad. Both will support the 2GIG PAD1-345 Touch Button Keypad.

We would also like to briefly touch upon new sensors, some of which are already available on our site. Just last week, the 2GIG STVGRL1-345 Stove and Grill Guard, the 2GIG GNGRD1-345 Gun Trigger Lock, the 2GIG DW30 Outdoor Sensor and the 2GIG F1-345 Personal Safety Pendant were all made available for purchase on the Alarm Grid site.




And it wouldn't be ISC West without some new sensors! We were particularly excited by the new 2GIG Water Leak Detector and the 2GIG Bypass Door and Window Sensor. The water leak detector has a useful design that should help it detect leaks more accurately than standard flood sensors. Meanwhile, the 2GIG Bypass Door and Window Sensor can be conveniently bypassed by pressing a button right on its front!



We plan on taking a closer look at the new 2GIG offerings later during ISC West 2019. Until then, stay tuned for more information from ISC West 2019 and Alarm Grid!

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Get ready DIYers! We're here to inform you that next week is the International Security Conference & Exhibition West, more commonly known as ISC West. Our content and video teams will be in Las Vegas, NV to cover all the exciting action and the latest news from the security industry!

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ISC West is the largest converged security industry trade show in the United States. This year's edition runs from Wednesday, April 10th thru Friday April 12th. Our content and video teams will be exploring the massive convention and talking to some of the brightest and sharpest minds in the security industry. We will learn all about the upcoming products and offerings from the industry's leading security and home automation manufacturers - products that you can expect on Alarm Grid soon. And you can be sure that we will keep you posted on all our findings. Expect exclusive pictures, videos, interviews and more, as we bring ISC West directly to you!

From Wednesday thru Friday of this week, you can expect multiple posts per day covering our findings at ISC West 2019. You will certainly want to be checking our blog often, as our goal is to get any important news out quickly. And don't worry if you need help or support during this time! Our support and planner teams will still be at Alarm Grid headquarters to provide you with any assistance you need. Remember, the best way to reach Alarm Grid is to email support@alarmgrid.com. If you need to call us, you can do so at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us, as we love supporting our monitored customers!

Let's get ready for a great ISC West 2019, and make sure to stay tuned for more updates!

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Hi DIYers! We are taking a look at two very interesting products today. The DSC PG9934P and the DSC PG9944 are the ideal PowerG Image Sensors for use with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Alarm System. They can both send quick and convenient images to Alarm.com upon activation for remote viewing.


When the original Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System was released, it required a Qolsys IQ CARD-IS to communicate with Qolsys Image Sensors. This is still the recommended image sensor option for those with a standardIQ Panel 2. However, the IQ CARD-IS actually uses the same antenna that is used by the PowerG daughtercard for the IQ Panel 2 Plus. As a result, it is not feasible to use both Qolsys Image Sensors and PowerG Wireless Sensors with an IQ Panel 2 System.

But with the DSC PG9934P and PG9944 PowerG Image Sensors, there now exist viable options for IQ Panel 2 Plus owners. Each device can auto-enroll with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System much like any other PowerG Sensor. Remember, there is a special trick to auto-enroll PowerG Sensors with an IQ Panel 2 Plus. Knowing this technique can save you some frustration when you go to enroll the sensors!

After putting the panel into its wireless enrollment mode, press and hold the learn button on the PowerG Sensor. An LED light will appear after a brief moment, but you should not stop holding the button. Keep it held down, and the light will disappear. Then it will reappear after a brief moment. At that point, you should release the button to auto-enroll. As image sensors, you can add up to five of these devices on a single IQ Panel 2 Plus System. This can be any combination of up to five total PG9934P and PG9944 sensors.

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

Both motion sensors function like any standard PIR motion detecting sensor by looking for changes in infrared (IR) energy that occur with movement. But as image sensors, they will take pictures using their built-in cameras. These devices can also be configured to send images upon a panel disarm or during alarm events. Only one image will be sent out at a time with the PowerG Image Sensors.

Any resulting image is first sent to the IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the system forwards the image to Alarm.com. From there, Alarm.com will pass the image to anyone included in the notifications group. The image can be sent through text and email. You just have to configure that notification settings on Alarm.com. More information about setting up this feature can be found in this FAQ.

In order to use the PG9934P or PG9944 with an IQ Panel 2 Plus, the system must be running firmware version 2.3.0 or higher. More information on this firmware update is available here. At this time, Alarm.com recognizes the photos produced by these sensors as "Panel Camera" images. This is the same category of images that the camera on the front of the panel uses when it takes Disarm photos.

We believe that Alarm.com may change this category name during a future IQ Panel 2 firmware update. After all, we expect that users would want a different category for images produced by the panel and images produced by their image sensors. But for now that is the category to look for if you are having trouble finding the resulting images. Also keep in mind that Panel Camera Images must be enabled on Alarm.com for the feature to work. Note that you can also view the images from the panel.

You can see image upload activity in the Events Log on the Alarm.com website, which looks like this:


And below is what the resulting images look like on the Alarm.com website. Note that the image is listed as "Panel Camera", but it is actually from a PowerG Image Sensor.


And if you get the image via text message:


The major difference between the PG9934P and the PG9944 is that the PG9944 is suitable for outdoor use. It is weather-resistant and capable of surviving harsh environments. But the PG9934P is designed for indoor use only, and it will become damaged if exposed to heavy rain, wind or dust. Additionally, the motion sensor for the PG9944 is slightly more advanced than the one used on the PG9934P.

But in principle, these devices function in largely the same manner. Both feature PowerG technology, which includes an extended communication range and 128-bit AES encryption for added security. They also both offer pet immunity options, with the PG9934P being suitable for small animals weighing up to 85 pounds, and the PG9944 being suitable for small animals weighing up to 40 pounds. Keep in mind that mounting location is very important for ensuring proper pet-immunity.

If you would like to learn more about the PG9934P or PG9944, please reach out to us! The best way to contact us is to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. Our team will review the email and get back to you as soon as possible. You may 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!

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Hi DIYers! Our video team was super productive over the past week, as they put up nine new videos for us all to enjoy. Jorge, Jarrett and Joe are all back and ready to help you get the most out of your system. Let's take a look at the latest content from the Alarm Grid video team.

Adding Additional User Codes to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jarrett teaches users how to add additional codes to the IQ Panel 2. User codes can be assigned as a "Master", "User" or "Guest. A Master User can change system settings in addition to arming and disarming. Despite the name difference, there is actually no difference between "User" codes and "Guest" codes, as they have the same authority level. Any new system code that is added will be available on Alarm.com for further control and configuration.


Disabling Chime on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jarret demonstrates how to disable the Chime function for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. Normally if a zone has Chime enabled, then the panel will produce a brief Chime tone when the associated sensor is activated. However, you can disable Chimes for the entire system so that no faulted zones result in a Chime. You can also configure the Chime settings individually for each zone so that some sensors result in a chime, while others do not.


Muting the Honeywell 5828V Wireless Keypad

Jorge explains how users can mute the voice annunciation function for the Honeywell 5828V Keypad. By muting the keypad, no voice annunciations will be produced when zones are faulted. It will also not announce any changes in the current Arming state. However, this will not affect voice annunciation for the panel itself if it has the feature enabled. Additionally, muting the keypad will not stop the device from producing tones when buttons are pressed. It only affects spoken voice.


Controlling the Volume in a Honeywell 5828

Jorge demonstrates how users can adjust the volume on a Honeywell 5828. This will affect the tones produced when keypad buttons are pressed. Unlike the the Honeywell 5828V, the standard Honeywell 5828 is relatively basic it terms of volume control. The volume can only be adjusted one level at a time, and it cannot be muted entirely. The keypad can be used with any LYNX Touch Panel and any Honeywell VISTA Panel that has an added wireless transceiver.


Updating the Firmware on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jarrett covers the process for updating the system firmware on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2. Performing a firmware update is often necessary for unlocking newly released system functions and capabilities. The IQ Panel 2 System will need to be connected with a local WIFI network and be running on transformer power for the update to go through. It also cannot have a low-battery condition. You can search the network for an update or apply a Patch Tag.


Basics of Alarm Keypad Operation

Jorge teaches users the basics of how to use an alarm system keypad. The main purpose of a keypad is to provide an on-site access point for controlling an alarm system. This includes Arming and Disarming. A keypad can be either a primary controller or a secondary access point depending on the system. A primary controller is used performing deep-level programming changes. If you use a keypad as a primary controller, you should make sure it is an Alphanumeric Keypad. A Fixed-English keypad cannot be used for deep-level programming.


Installing the Qolsys IQ Card-IS to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Joe shows users how to install the Qolsys IQ Card-IS inside the IQ Panel 2 System. The IQ Card-IS module allows you to use Qolsys Image Sensors with the system. These devices use PIR technology to detect motion. If motion is detected, the image sensor will take a photo and send it to Alarm.com. Since the IQ Card-IS uses the same antenna as the PowerG daughtercard used with the IQ Panel 2 Plus, it is only recommended to be used with the standard version of the system.


Resetting a Honeywell Tuxedo Keypad

Joe explains the different methods for resetting a Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Keypad. There are four reset options that can be performed. A Keypad Reboot Reset will simply power cycle the device. A Keypad Factory Reset will restore all settings and configurations to default, without clearing Z-Wave devices. But the Z-Wave devices will have their names reset. A Z-Wave Reboot Reset will power cycle the Z-Wave controller, without clearing devices. A Z-Wave Factory Reset will default all Z-Wave setting and clear all Z-Wave devices.


Qolsys Hardwire 16-F Overview

Joe goes through and explains how the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F functions. This is a wired to wireless converter that can support 2-wire smoke detectors on its 16th zone. It is primarily used for allowing wired sensors to communicate with wireless panels. The module works with nearly any system that accepts the 319.5 MHz frequency. Each zone terminal on the Hardwire 16-F must have a 4.7k end of line resistor, even if the zone is not used. Additionally, you must properly configure a zone as NC or NO before enrolling with the panel.

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A couple of weeks ago, we learned that AlarmNet announced an end date for activating 3G and 4G cellular communicators. Now Alarm.com has followed suit by announcing that they will no longer allow 3G activations starting June 30, 2019. Future activations must use LTE communicators.


Both AT&T and Verizon have made it clear that LTE and eventually 5G communication is the way of the future. They are beginning the process of phasing out their older 3G networks in favor of faster and more advanced technology. AT&T has publicly stated that their 3G network will be shutdown in February 2022. The shutdown for the Verizon CDMA Network is expected to occur around this time as well. Users should start preparing for the long-term now by getting LTE communicators for their systems.

If you have an Alarm.com 3G Cellular Communicator, you must activate it by June 30, 2019, or else it will not work. If you deactivate your Alarm.com 3G Communicator after this date, you will not be able to reactive it. Reactivating a communicator is considered the same as a new activation. If you have a 3G communicator that is already activated, then it will continue to work as long as the associated cellular network is kept in service. But once the network is shutdown, the communicator will stop working.

Any customer who has an Alarm.com 3G Communicator should get it activated as soon as possible to avoid missing the cut-off date. Customers who want to prepare for the long-term should obtain an LTE communicator. This may mean upgrading to a new alarm panel. To activate a communicator or to learn about the options available to you, please email support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

Note: Verizon stopped allowing activations for all CDMA communicators starting on December 22, 2018. More information about this can be found 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.

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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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Alarm Grid wants all of its customers to be aware that AT&T is now taking steps to formally discontinue their 3G and 4G networks. This is very important for anyone looking to activate an AT&T 3G or 4G communicator, as well as those who currently use either network with their alarm system.

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Starting Wednesday June 26th, 2019, it will no longer be possible to activate a new AT&T 3G or 4G Communicator with AlarmNet. If you want to activate an AT&T 3G or 4G Communicator on a Honeywell System for use with Total Connect 2.0, you must do so before this date. Additionally, if you deactivate an AT&T 3G or 4G Communicator for a Honeywell System on or after this date, then you will not be able to reactivate it. Trying to reactivate a deactivated communicator is considered the same as an activation.

Please note that this only applies to AT&T 3G and 4G Communicators on Honeywell Systems that are used with Total Connect 2.0. Alarm.com has not announced any deadline for activating an AT&T 3G or 4G Communicator. Alarm Grid will post any new information as it becomes available. For now, the deadline only affects communicators being used with AlarmNet.

A sole exception applies to any AT&T 3G or 4G Communicator that was manufactured within the past 180 days. These communicators come with SIM cards that are pre-activated by AT&T, and they can continue to be activated for the next 180 days, even after the June 26th, 2019 date has passed. You will not be able to activate the communicator after the 180 day period has elapsed. You will also not be able to deactivate the communicator and then have it reactivated. You can check the manufacture date both on the box and on the radio label sticker on the communicator.

Additionally, the AT&T 3G/4G Network is set to be shutdown in February 2022. After that, all AT&T 3G and 4G Communicators will stop working entirely. This applies to any AT&T 3G or AT&T 4G Communicator, including those used with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. End users will need to upgrade to a new communicator or alarm system to maintain cellular communication. This does not apply to AT&T 4G LTE Communicators.

In order to maintain an active cellular communication path, it is crucial that you upgrade to an LTE communicator. LTE stands for "Long-Term Evolution", and AT&T is expected to support their LTE network for many years to come. Most alarm systems that we support currently have an LTE communicator available, while others should be releasing one in the coming months. We recommend checking through our selection of cellular communicators to see if an LTE communicator is available for your system.

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If you are affected by the AT&T 3G/4G Sunset, now is the time to take action. You still have an opportunity to keep your system monitored or upgrade to a new system if necessary. The best thing you can do is contact Alarm Grid immediately. We can verify which communicator your system is using if you aren't sure. If you do need an upgrade, we can make a recommendation of which communicator to go with.

Some systems may have an LTE communicator readily available, while others may have one set to be released in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, some users may need to upgrade to a new system entirely. The experts at Alarm Grid know exactly what you need to stay monitored, and we can present you with all the possible options. Remember, by upgrading to a newer LTE communicator, you are guaranteeing that you equipment can stay monitored for many years to come. We fully expect that LTE networks will remain active and in-service even as 5G technology begins to emerge.

Alarm Grid is on your side. We want you to stay monitored and protected. That is our absolute top priority as a company. If you are affected by the AT&T 3G/4G Sunset, we urge you to reach out to us. Likewise, we also urge you to reach out to us if you are not sure. We can check your equipment and confirm whether or not an upgrade is needed.

The best way to reach us is to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. Our team will reply to it as soon as possible so that you receive the support you need. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you determine the best solution for your home or business.

Note: For information on the Verizon CDMA Sunset that went into effect last year, please click here.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're going to discuss why dual-path alarm monitoring is so great. Simply put, it is the most reliable alarm monitoring available. This fast and reliable communication path offers all the benefits of both IP monitoring and cellular monitoring in one convenient package!

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Dual-path monitoring means that the security system uses two communication paths for alarm monitoring service. The vast majority of the time these two communication paths are IP (WIFI or ethernet) and cellular. While it is technically possible to use POTS (plain old telephone service) connectivity as one of the communication paths, this is becoming increasingly rare due to to the poor performance of phone lines. For our discussion, we will assume that dual-path is referring to IP and cellular connectivity being used together on the same system.

Depending on the system, dual-path monitoring is performed in different ways. Panels that use Alarm.com will send out all alerts and notifications across both IP and cellular paths at once. These outgoing signals will be sent to Alarm.com, where they will be processed and forwarded to the monitoring station and/or to the customer via text, email or push notification. The first message received by Alarm.com is processed, and the other message is discarded. In this way, Alarm.com assures that each individual signal uses the fastest path available. An important note here is that Alarm.com requires a special cellular radio to communicate with their service. This is why Alarm Grid customers who want Alarm.com must sign-up for a Gold Plan or higher.

Alarm panels that use AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0 behave a little differently. These panels supervise the IP connection. As long as the IP connection is available, all signals are sent via this path. If the panel senses that the IP connection is down, it will then revert to the cellular path. AlarmNet receives these signals and sends them to the central monitoring station and/or Total Connect 2.0. From there, TC2 forwards the appropriate notifications to the end user's phone or email address based on the user's notification settings.

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While it's technically true that an alarm system only needs one active and reliable communication path for monitoring, using a dual-path setup with two active communication paths offers some key benefits. Whether your system uses Alarm.com or AlarmNet/TC2, dual-path connectivity will let you be sure that your alarm signals are always received and processed successfully.

A dual-path connection can be a saving grace if one signal path fails. While having an IP or cellular signal fail to reach its intended destination is quite rare, it certainly happens every once in awhile. But with dual-path connectivity, it's okay if one signal doesn't make it through. As long as the other signal still reaches its intended destination, the end user's monitoring service will continue to work as intended. Signaling on either path will accomplish the same goal. Whether both paths are utilized at the same time or only the cellular path is used due to the IP path being down, either will provide the same information. Whichever signal reaches the destination will be processed.

More often than not, it's the IP signal that fails to reach its intended destination. Most people will still experience short and temporary internet outages from time to time. Additionally, a power outage can knock out a router and cause the internet to go down. If this were to happen during an alarm event, and your security panel only used an IP communication path, you would certainly be in a very troubling situation. For that reason, you will definitely want that cellular backup to keep your home safe! In fact, this is why we generally view modern cellular service as superior to IP connectivity.

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Cellular communication is extremely reliable and consistent, making it perfect for alarm systems. Cellular towers almost never go out of service, and coverage maps are continuously increasing in scope. This allows cellular to reign supreme as the single-best communication path. You might be asking yourself - why not just use cellular only? That is because IP connectivity is still technically faster in most cases. Plus, in the highly unlikely event that cellular service is ever down, you can actually use your IP service to back it up. While it's incredibly rare for a cell tower to be out of service, it has happened before! Also, our cellular monitoring plans already include internet anyway.

So what do you need to achieve a fast and reliable dual-path communication setup? You just need a compatible system and a Gold Level Plan or higher from Alarm Grid. Your system will need an IP communicator and a cellular communicator both installed. Currently, the only system we sell that is both WIFI and cellular ready right out of the box is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. This also includes the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems. Most other alarm systems can also be configured to use a dual-path setup. However, you may need to purchase an IP communicator or a cellular communicator separately. We also advise checking out our kits, which often include both communicators.

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If you're looking to get started with monitoring service, we invite you to check out our alarm monitoring page for more information. Remember, you will need a Gold Plan or higher for a dual-path setup. The Gold Plan is listed as "Cellular Monitoring", but it includes internet connectivity as well. If you have any questions, you can always contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. For users who prefer to speak on the phone, you can call (888) 818-7728 to talk with one of our security planners. We operate phone hours from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you and helping you achieve your security goals!

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Hi DIYers! As you probably know by now, Amazon Alexa is a great tool to pair with any alarm system using Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. We thought that it would be nice give a quick refresher on how integrating Amazon Alexa with your home security system can make your life easier.







If you're like many people, you already have an Amazon Alexa device installed in your house. These devices offer great convenience and entertainment, and they are extremely simple to get started with. You can get updates on the news, weather and so much more. Some users even just keep Alexa around to ask random questions or to kill some time playing interactive games and solving brain teasers. Alexa really is great for anyone looking for an easy way to try out smart home functionality first-hand.

You don't necessarily need an intricate and fancy Amazon Alexa network to start using voice-control to operate your home alarm system. Even a basic Alexa Device like an Echo Dot will allow you to get started. You can set up your Alexa Device like normal and then integrate your alarm system later if you feel like it. There's no requirement to do it right away. But once you get started, you'll probably wonder how you ever lived with out the integration.

The first thing you need is a security system with access to either TC2 or ADC. This will require active monitoring service with an alarm monitoring company. Alarm Grid offers top-quality monitoring service and a wide variety of monitoring plans that include access to either of these platforms. We recommend checking out our monitoring page for more information about our plans. After you sign-up and activate your system, we will send you the resources needed to create your TC2 or ADC account.

Amazon Alexa integrates with both platforms using respective Skills. Successfully integrating your Alexa Device with your TC2 or ADC account is incredibly simple. First, open up the Alexa App on your Android or iOS device. Then open up the Skills & Games section. Do a search for either "Total Connect 2.0" or "Alarm.com" depending upon the interactive platform you use. You should be able to quickly find the appropriate Skill.

From there, choose "Enable Skill", and follow the necessary steps to complete the integration. The pairing process will involve providing your Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com account information. The Alexa App will walk you through the entire process and get you started in no time. Once the integration is complete, you'll have a completely new use for your Alexa Device!






What's really exciting is how you can control your system using your Alexa Device. Both Skills will allow you to arm your system, check the current system status and even run smart home automation scenes using quick and easy voice commands. You might say "Alexa, Ask Total Connect to run the Movie scene", or "Alexa Ask Alarm.com to set the thermostat to 70 degrees". There really are so many possibilities!

At this time, the Alarm.com Skill is a little bit more robust than the Total Connect 2.0 Skill. Both Skills currently allow for arming, checking current system status and quickly executing smart scenes. However, only Alarm.com allows users to disarm using voice commands and to control smart home devices on an individual basis, not necessarily through programmed scenes. We suspect that Total Connect 2.0 might also allow individual device control through Alexa at some point, but for now it is not possible.

If you're an Alarm Grid customer with questions about Amazon Alexa, you can always reach out to us to learn more! The best way to contact us is to email 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!

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If you're looking to get started with DIY home security, then your first step is usually to get a system. What many people don't realize is that they don't necessarily need a brand-new panel and sensors to get started. Most users can achieve dependable security setups with used systems.

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Really, the decision to whether you get new or used equipment comes down to personal preference. For some users, there's nothing quite like taking a fresh panel out of the box and appreciating its modern beauty and shiny exterior. We understand. It's fun. Believe it or not, this is actually why many of the people at Alarm Grid chose this profession - we love working with the latest and most advanced security equipment on a regular basis!

For other users, this might not mean as much. They might not care how their system looks or if it is technically the most advanced model. They just want a reliable piece of equipment that will keep their home or business safe for many years to come. And that's fine. Alarm Grid embraces these customers just the same as those who are willing to shell out thousands of dollars for brand-new state-of-the-art equipment. In fact, we often view trying to use existing equipment as the true DIY spirit. If you have it and it works, why replace it?

From our perspective, we don't really care whether you use new or used equipment. We just want to get you monitored and keep your home or business safe. Our monitoring plans are not dependent upon which system and sensors you use. They are dependent upon the services you receive. Customers pay higher monthly fees for necessary services like cellular connectivity, central station monitoring, access to an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, smart home automation features and video surveillance.



In other words, your monitoring fee is not affected by whether you use a brand-new Honeywell Lyric Controller with encrypted sensors or a 15-year old VISTA Panel running the same hardwired sensors since day one. If that VISTA is running cellular and the Lyric is WIFI-only, then the VISTA will have the higher monitoring costs. It's as simple as that. So really what you should be doing if you are new to monitoring is finding out what services you need.

When you think about it, the main job of an alarm system is being able to send reliable outbound alerts. Everything beyond that is just used to add extra features or to improve upon the end user's experience. It doesn't matter whether your system is brand-new or 20-years old. What does matter is whether or not it can function reliably based upon today's standards.

The main reason why alarm systems ultimately become obsolete is because they cannot keep up with the latest communication technology. These days, if a system cannot support cellular communication through an LTE network, then it could be considered obsolete. Older 2G networks are already a thing of the past, and 3G networks should follow suit in the coming years. For a long-term investment, getting on an LTE network or higher is a must.

But not all alarm system cellular communicators are created equal. Older modules can only connect to older cellular networks. And when these older networks become discontinued, the communicator becomes obsolete. The alarm manufacturer needs to decide whether or not it is worth releasing a new communicator for this older system. This is more difficult than it might initially seem. Releasing a new communicator might require a major system firmware update that could be difficult to apply, and many people might have already moved on to a new system.

The reality is that sometimes it's just best for an alarm manufacturer to drop support for a panel and try to steer their customers to their newer offerings. This is how they stay competitive and move the industry forward. What can be difficult for customers is knowing when they are best reviving an older system and when it's time to just buy a new model instead.

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There are many older panels that can do nearly anything a modern alarm system can. They can receive communicator upgrades to work across faster and more reliable networks. They can have smart home automation modules installed to support Z-Wave devices. Many even have touchscreen keypads available for a better end user experience! You just need to ask yourself if the system you are looking at can support a proper communication path and whether or not it can fulfill all your needs.

If you do decide that an older system is the way to go, then we think that's great! Our team will certainly help you embrace the task of helping you get your used alarm system up and running with Alarm Grid monitoring services. We even had s few tips for helping you find older equipment.

First and foremost, you should look around you. For example, you might have moved into a new home with an existing alarm system. Or maybe your friend or loved one has a system they don't use any more, and they don't mind giving it to you. Even if you just find some old sensors, they might be a start. Check around and see if you come across some older systems. You might be surprised!

If you do need to make some purchases, why not try an online auction site or your online classifieds? There is often perfectly functional security equipment available at shockingly low prices. You may be able to buy it for yourself and get it monitored. Just make sure to find out what the panel can and cannot do before you buy it! We strongly recommend getting a system that can support cellular communication and access to an interactive service platform. Used security sensors are also often a great option, since they can usually be obtained at a fraction of the price!

For users who want a quick and easy answer, they might consider buying refurbished equipment from Alarm Grid. We currently offer options for refurbished Honeywell Lyric Alarm Systems and refurbished Honeywell VISTA 21iP Systems. This equipment is sent to us directly from the manufacturer, and it is guaranteed to work just as well as a brand-new system. This way, you can get a system at an affordable cost and know that it will work just as well as a new one.

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If you're looking for used alarm system equipment, you don't have to go at it alone. Alarm Grid is here to help you so that you can get monitored. We can answer your questions about used security panels and sensors and determine whether or not they are right for your needs. We recommend sending an email to support@alarmgrid.com with any questions you might have. We also offer phone support for those interested in our monitoring services. Just call (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you find the best security equipment for your needs.

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