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Google is ending support for conversational actions via their Google Home and Google Assistant platforms as of June 13, 2023. This will end Alarm.com users' ability to control their Alarm.com home automation devices using voice through the Google Assistant feature and Google Home devices.

It seems like yesterday, but it's been a couple of years since we brought you instructions on how to set up Alarm.com automation to be controlled using your voice via Google Home. Now that Google is deprecating its conversational actions feature, this integration is going away. This is a shame because we had many customers, and employees, who enjoyed this capability.

This is not something that is within Alarm.com's control. Google giveth, and Google taketh away. As of this writing, it doesn't appear that any new functionality will be replacing what is being removed. If you enjoy controlling devices using voice commands, and assuming you have an Android phone, your best bet for voice control moving forward is to use Amazon Alexa. Apple users also have the option to use Siri Shortcuts to achieve voice control.

We've had no word from Resideo as to how this change may affect the Total Connect 2.0 integration with Google Assistant and Google Home, so we reached out to technical support to ask them. According to their development team, "The sunset of Conversational Actions has no impact to our integration".

What do you think of this latest Smart Home functionality being deprecated by Google? Are you planning to move to Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri for voice-activated home automation? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We're always happy to hear from our readers.

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Alarm.com has made some nice feature enhancements for video customers. They will now have support for some 3rd party cameras. They've bumped up the maximum number of supported cameras to 64. They have introduced clip limit Auto-Restart. And perimeter guard is now available for ADC-VDB770 customers.



Alarm.com offers a wide range of video products. These include many different cameras and video doorbells. They continuously work on strengthening their video portfolio. Alarm.com, besides continuing to release new products, also focuses on improving current offerings. This announcement is proof of their dedication to their video customers.

Alarm.com has announced it will now support some 3rd-party camera setups. This enhancement is available for business accounts only. They will now make it possible to integrate hardwired cameras that use ONVIF Profile S and VAPIX communication protocols, to allow for operation with the Pro Series CSVR (ADC-CSVR2000P, ADC-CSVR2008P, or ADC-CSVR2016P). Businesses with those current video setups do not need to replace their entire camera lineup in order to begin using the features of alarm.com. This allows customers to begin taking advantage of things such as live view, 24/7 recording, and the SVR timeline, all accessible via Alarm.com website or mobile app (available for iPhone and Android devices).

Alarm.com will also allow twenty-five (25) live video feeds on a single Live View tab. Now you can live stream on more cameras, all at once. Making it easier to monitor or follow desired activity.

They have also bumped up the total number of cameras per location. Previously, it was 40 cameras max. Alarm.com will now allow a maximum of 64 cameras before requiring a second "location" to be set up. This enhancement is available for residential and commercial video services. Alarm Grid video customers still receive a max of eight (8) cameras per video package, but will no longer require the addition of a second location on their account for cameras 41-64.

Alarm.com still imposes a clip limit per service package. So, it is still important to set up your recording rules so that your cameras are only capturing the desired activity. For Alarm Grid Video customers, if you are surpassing your monthly limit every month, please contact us to discuss your options. For those customers who run into a "high" activity month from time to time, Alarm.com will auto-restart your recording rules on the first day of the following month. Previously, customers would have to log in on the first of the month to manually restart their recording rules. This update will only apply to cloud-saved clips. Clips will always continue to record on SVRs and onboard recording cameras.


Also, for customers with an ADC-VDB770, Alarm.com will now offer the Perimeter Guard feature. Perimeter Guard uses video analytics to detect people and then react with attention-grabbing audio alerts (for supported cameras) and blinking LED lights. The purpose is to alert unwanted guests and deter malicious activity. This has been available for some time on certain cameras, but will now be available on the ADC-VBD770 video doorbell. This feature is configured using the Customer Website or Customer app as part of the Video Analytics rules. There you choose your audio alert and LED options, for when the detection occurs.




Alarm.com has also updated their latest WIFI cameras to include manually-triggered warning sounds. Use this on-demand feature to deter potential intruders when you spot them in real-time. It can also be used after receiving a notification about unwanted activity. Access the desired camera from the customer website only, to manually activate warning sounds. This will sound an alert for thirty (30) seconds or until you manually turn it off. This feature is now available on ADC-V523, ADC-V523X, ADC-V724, ADC-V724X, ADC-VC727P, and ADC-VC728PF (LED only) cameras. This option is not offered on the mobile app at the time of this writing.

To round up our list of features and enhancements, there are improvements that will be coming to the Alarm.com mobile app. These are not yet available but will include bottom navigation for easier accessibility. The purpose is to provide a faster, more streamlined, and more intuitive experience for all. An all-new activity feed with video clips and grouped events will also be added. Alarm.com will also include more modern, easy-to-use controls that better utilize the entire mobile screen, with refreshed action sheets. They will also provide additional performance and visual enhancements to improve the overall app experience. This provides us with some cool stuff to look forward to.

Check out some of the new enhancements and let us know how you are enjoying them. Please feel free to comment below and share your experience.

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Alarm.com has added a new product to its video doorbell lineup and Alarm Grid is proud to offer it. It is the ADC-VDB780B wireless video doorbell. This is the first video doorbell we've offered that is wire-free. It's powered by a rechargeable battery and does not require an existing wired chime.


The ADC-VDB780B wireless video doorbell uses the Alarm.com ADC-W115C as its chime. Because at least one (1) wireless chime is required, the doorbell is only being sold as a bundle. Alarm.com ADC-VDB780B-W115C-BNDL is the SKU for the battery-operated doorbell with one (1) wireless chime. The ADC-W115C plugs into any standard interior wall outlet.

Alarm.com is well known for its lineup of video cameras, including its video doorbells. But, the ADC-VDB780B doorbell is a game changer. Its wire-free setup does not limit you to installing only where existing, working, doorbell wiring exists.

Doorbell wiring is usually thin and solid core wiring. What happens to solid core wiring after bending it too many times? SNAP! It breaks. Having experienced this myself, I was left dead in the water unless I wanted to hire someone to re-run the doorbell wire.

But that is no longer the case. If your doorbell wire has broken or become damaged and you do not want to invest in fixing it. Or, if you have a side or a rear door where no doorbell was ever installed in the first place, and you would like a doorbell camera in that location, this new battery-operated doorbell from Alarm.com could be your new best friend.

The ADC-VDB780B wireless doorbell comes with a bracket that locks the doorbell into place. The doorbell has a battery that is expected to last up to six (6) months on a single charge. When it does need charging, just unlatch the bottom of the doorbell mount, remove the doorbell, then pull down and separate the battery pack from the main unit. Then, you can charge the battery with the included micro USB cable. The actual plug-in wall charger is not included. You will need to provide your own 5V/1.5A USB charger. This is similar to what you probably use to charge your phones and/or tablets. A fully drained battery takes around seven (7) hours to fully charge.

The operating temperature for the ADC-VDB780B is -4°F to 122°F (-20°C to 50°C). If the doorbell's temperature gets too low, or too high, it will shut down in order to prevent damage to the unit. You can set up low and/or high temperature notifications through the Alarm.com app or website. Colder temperatures are known to have a negative impact on lithium-ion batteries, so users in colder climates may notice that they need to charge the battery more often than advertised. A rapid drop in temperature may cause the battery to discharge more rapidly, and the battery indicator to provide incorrect information. Users in colder climates should plan on charging the battery more often.

The included ADC-W115C smart chime gets plugged into a standard, unswitched interior wall outlet near the doorbell. The chime is not rated for outdoor use. It connects to the local WIFI router and can provide an access point for the video doorbell. It can be customized with the desired chime sound through the Alarm.com app or website. At least one (1) ADC-W115C must be configured for each ADC-VDB780B, but from there, you can add as many of the wireless chimes as you like to the account. Once a wireless chime is added, and the "Send button press notifications to Alarm.com Smart Chime" option is enabled for the video doorbell all wireless chimes associated with the account will sound when that doorbell's button is pressed.

This bundle utilizes a 2.4GHz WIFI network. A router with an internet connection and 2.4GHz capability is required. This bundle also features HD video quality, two-way audio, a wide viewing angle, and a Li-ion rechargeable battery. The ADC-VDB780B video doorbell is also equipped with video analytics and night vision.

We expect many who were limited in installing a video doorbell only where they had a current working doorbell, to be excited about this new product. In fact, even one of our own, upon seeing this release, said "Oh wow. That’s what I want. Battery powered!!"

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Alarm Grid recently ran into an issue upgrading a customer's 2GIG GC2 with a new 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC2 communicator. The panel simply would not recognize the new radio. To compound the problem, we were unable to find anything online that would indicate that a firmware update was the solution.

After speaking with 2GIG technical support we found that recently, within the past couple of months, all newly manufactured 2GIG LTE communicators that are compatible with the 2GIG GC2 and the 2GIG GC2e require the newest available panel firmware in order to support the radio. For the 2GIG GC2 that means firmware version 1.19.4+ and for the 2GIG GC2e that means 1.24+.

The packaging on these new communicators, both the 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC2 and the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC2 will have information on the firmware update requirement if the communicator is new enough. It should be on the outside packaging, as well as the inside. However, if you don't pay attention to the packaging and discard it, there is no way to look at the communicator itself and tell which firmware it requires. So, if you have a 2GIG GC2 or 2GIG GC2e and you're updating to an LTE communicator, pay attention to the packaging, or at least hold onto it.

If you're in a position to be upgrading your GC2 or GC2e to LTE, you may have an existing communicator that is no longer working. If that's the case, and you need a firmware upgrade before the new LTE communicator will work, don't worry, Alarm Grid has you covered. We host the firmware files for both the 2GIG GC2 and the 2GIG GC2e on our site. There are two ways you can update. You can use the 2GIG UPCBL2 updater cable and a Windows computer, or you can use the 2GIG UPDV EZ Updater Tool.

If you don't want to purchase the EZ Updater Tool, and you don't have a Windows computer to use with the updater cable, Alarm Grid offers a loaner program for the EZ Updater Tool. Contact us at support@alarmgrid.com to inquire about the specifics of the loaner program. If you purchase the EZ Updater Tool, there is a good chance you will need to update it before you can use it. Doing so will require the use of a Windows computer.

This situation is a good reminder to always pay attention to all information you receive with new alarm equipment, including what's written on the packaging itself. You never know when you may have to return a piece of equipment, so keeping the packaging, at least until everything is set up and working, is a good idea.

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The maker of the 2GIG GC3 and GC3e recommends that all users with a panel approaching 3 years of age replace the backup battery. Initially, the expected battery life was between three and five years. With the recent notice Nice, 2GIG's parent company is now suggesting a battery replacement ahead of schedule.


Apparently, swelling has been observed in some of these panels' lithium-polymer batteries. The manufacturer notes that some minor swelling is normal, but based on the notice it sounds like some batteries may be swelling beyond what is normal.



Once you open up the GC3/GC3 panel to access the battery, Nice is also warning not to puncture the battery upon removal. Do not use any type of sharp object to remove the battery. Puncturing the battery could allow dangerous chemicals to spill from the casing. Once the battery is removed, please follow local guidelines with regard to the proper disposal of lithium-ion batteries.

It is also recommended in this notice to do a firmware upgrade of your 2GIG GC3 or GC3e alarm panel at the time you replace the battery. The latest revision for these panels is 3.2.6.6770.

Reading through the firmware release notes, it does mention that the latest firmware update includes the addition of battery testing, and conditioning, as well as a status indicator for battery replacement. So, we will double down on the advice to update your panel's firmware. This revision also includes compliance with UL 985 edition 6. This standard requires that the panel recognize batteries that can no longer provide battery backup for at least 5 minutes worth of alarm signaling. When the panel recognizes that the battery lacks this capacity, it will alert the user of a low battery and the battery should be replaced at that time.

The 2GIG GC3 and GC3e use the same firmware beginning with revision 3.2.3. If you already have revision 3.2.1 or higher, then you can find all updates on the GC3e firmware update page. Older revisions may require a stepped approach to upgrading and cannot be updated all-at-once. You can find the older firmware versions on the GC3 firmware update page.

You must update to the base build of each revision, and then you can skip to the latest build of that revision. The base of each version is 3.0.x then 3.1.x, then 3.2.x. If you have an earlier revision and attempt to update directly to 3.2.1, your panel will very likely be damaged and will have to be replaced. Updating over the air using Alarm.com can help with this process, as their server should only allow you to update in the proper order.

GC3/GC3e firmware updates can be sent by your alarm dealer. When the update can be sent using WIFI at the panel, there is usually no charge, though different dealers may have different policies on this. An upgrade that has to be sent using cellular data will incur a fee, which will likely be passed onto the user by the dealer. Alarm Grid always passes these fees along with no markup. We recommend that you update using the USB port at the top of the panel. We have written detailed instructions on updating the firmware using the USB port to make this process easier to accomplish.


If your panel is approaching or past the 3-year mark, it is best to be proactive and purchase your new GC3/GC3e battery today. Then make sure to install the latest firmware, as recommended.


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A New Rules Builder feature has been added for customers who have a monitoring plan with Alarm.com. It was designed to simplify the process of automating actions for scenes and rules. The feature can easily be accessed using either the customer website or the iOS or Android app.

A benefit of modern-day alarm systems is the ability to add smart devices to them. This allows for control directly from your alarm panel, remote app, computer, or by using your voice (when connected to Google Home or Alexa). Rules allow you to automate many of these actions rather than having to manually activate your devices over and over.

Previously, there was only an option to create event triggered rules, which is still a thing on the customer website, but Alarm.com has also made this new rules builder available. Alarm.com can be accessed via an app on a mobile device or a web browser on a computer. The Alarm.com mobile app is available on iOS and Android app stores. On a computer, navigate to alarm.com to log into the website.

If you always want the connected lights to come on when you enter a room that has a motion detector, you can set up a rule for that to occur any time the motion detector is activated. In an attempt to make building these types of rules easier, Alarm.com created the New Rules Builder to assist.

For example, to set up a light to turn on when motion is activated:

After logging in and selecting Automation, select +ADD NEW RULE then New Rules Builder.



Select "when." When is the trigger or what initiates the automation rule to run. In this case, when motion is detected in the Living Room. Next, you select "then." Then is the action(s) that the rule will perform after it is triggered. In our example, we want the Office Hallway light to turn on. Next, decide if the rule will run at all times or only during specific time windows. Finally, don't forget to "Save" your work.

The creation of rules can automate many repetitive functions to save time and make life easier. Rules can also go a long way toward going green and becoming more energy efficient. They provide convenience and can save you precious time and money.

Try out the new rules builder and let us know what cool things you are doing with it, and what you think of the feature.


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Alarm.com partners with electrical power companies all across the country to offer a demand response program they call "Give Back, Get Back". They have recently announced they will be adding AEP I&M to this program. AEP I&M is the power company for some Indiana and Michigan customers.

When summer comes along and temperatures rise, so does the demand for energy. Managing this energy consumption and controlling energy use during high-demand periods, allows the power company to rely on more renewable sources of energy. These high-demand times are called "Peak Energy Use Events". According to the program, there are usually up to fifteen (15) of these events per summer.

When you opt into the program, you will receive notifications when any Peak Energy Use Events occur. Each event typically lasts between two (2) and three (3) hours. During these times, AEP I&M will make slight adjustments to your thermostat in order to decrease overall energy demand. Before a peak event, AEP I&M may alter your set point to help with an expected increased demand. You still maintain control of your thermostat, and you can adjust your thermostat during an event. You also have the ability to opt-out of a particular energy event, or out of the entire program. If you manually adjust your thermostat during an event it may affect your ability to obtain credit for that particular high-demand event.

Alarm.com customers with a compatible thermostat can now enroll in this rewards program through AEP I&M. Upon enrollment, Give Back Get Back participants will receive a $25 credit per device for up to two (2) devices. Plus, Michigan customers will receive a bill credit of $1.95 and Indiana customers will receive a bill credit of $2.40 per Peak Energy Use Event when your participation is at least 50% of the event’s duration.

To be eligible for the program, it does require a compatible WIFI-Connected Smart Thermostat with central air conditioning. Compatible thermostats are listed in the chart below.

AEP I&M Qualifying Thermostats:
Manufacturer Approved Thermostats
ecobee ecobee3; ecobee3 Lite; ecobee4; ecobee Smart; ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control
Honeywell Home WIFI Smart Color Thermostat; WIFI 7-Day Programmable Thermostat; WIFI 9000 7-Day Programmable Thermostat; 9000 Smart Thermostat; 7-Day Programmable Smart Thermostat; VisionPro 8000 Smart Thermostat; Round Smart Thermostat; T5+ Smart Thermostat; T6 Pro Smart Thermostat; T9 Smart Thermostat, T10 Smart Thermostat
Amazon Amazon Smart Thermostat

Thermostats and discounts vary, based on your utility provider. If you have Alarm.com and a WIFI thermostat, check enroll my thermostat to see if you qualify for the program in your area. Check our website, to look into adding a compatible thermostat.

To opt-in from the customer website only, login and click the > symbol on the Thermostat card. If you have an eligible thermostat, you should see an option for "Give Back, Get Back". Click this option, then click Settings and Notifications and follow the instructions. Alarm Grid customers needing additional assistance, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support hours are from 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM Eastern, Monday - Friday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Qolsys recently released firmware version 4.2.0, which added a lot of new features as well as fixes and improvements to the panel. However, after updating, a small number of panels reported receiving an error message regarding a panel shut down due to high temperature. This issue is corrected in firmware version 4.2.1.

If you see a message on your Qolsys IQ Panel 4, or IQ4 Hub, that mentions an overheating situation, and/or if the panel shuts itself down without you having a chance to see the message, don't worry. Use the power button on the side of the panel to turn it back on. Press and hold the button for three (3) seconds. Once the panel powers back on, update the firmware to 4.2.1. This should take care of the erroneous panel logic that is making the panel think the battery is too hot. Read the TSB# 221017 IQ Panel 4/IQ4 Hub - 4.2.1 Software Update - Release Notes and Instructions here.

As always, you have three (3) ways to update the panel firmware. If the panel is monitored and has a connection to WIFI, you can have your alarm dealer push the update to your panel over-the-air (OTA) using Alarm.com. You can also choose to request the update from the panel using a Patch Tag. Instructions for how to perform this type of update are included on our Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Firmware Updates page along with the update file, for those who don't have WIFI.

If you don't have a WIFI connection at the panel, then the previous two options are not available to you. In that case, you'll need to download the firmware file, which you can get at our above-linked page, and then use the panel's access point feature to perform the update. Instructions for this type of update are also included on Alarm Grid's IQ Panel 4 Firmware Updates page. We'll post them here as well to make things as easy as possible.

Instructions for Updating the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 Via Access Point

  1. Download and save the required file from our site. You'll need to use a smartphone, tablet, or computer with WIFI capability to perform the update. Remember, the panel should have had 4.1.1 installed prior to installing the 4.2.0 (or higher) firmware.
  2. On the IQ Panel 4, go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Enter Installer or Dealer Code (Default 1111, or 2222 respectively) > Upgrade Software > "Upgrade Using Access Point". The Access Point will need to be enabled in order to use this feature.
    • To enable the Access Point, be sure the panel has WIFI enabled, then go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Enter Installer or Dealer Code > Installation > Devices > WIFI Devices. First, click on WIFI and be sure Activate WIFI has a Check in the box to the right. Then press the back arrow at the bottom of the screen. Go to Access Point Settings. Be sure the WIFI Access Point is enabled with a check in the box at the right. Press the Home button at the bottom of the screen, then go back to Step 2 and continue.
  3. A QR Code will be displayed on the panel. Scan it with your phone or tablet. If you're on a device that won't allow you to scan the QR Code, then you will have to manually join the panel's access point network by entering the panel's SSID and Password which will be displayed on the same screen as the QR Code.


  4. Press "Start" to begin the local server session, then from your device, scan the second QR code provided by the IQ Panel 4. If that is not an option, navigate to the "https:" URL shown on the panel's screen.

  5. Follow the prompts on your phone, tablet, or computer to select the correct files and transfer them to the panel. The file you download is in .zip format. It should automatically unzip and create a folder called Software-Patch-421. This folder will have three (3) files in it.

    When you go to the URL or use the 2nd QR Code, you'll see a screen that will allow you to choose each of these three (3) files. When you click Choose File on each option, it will only allow you to select the correct file from those available. The other two files will be grayed out.



    Once all three files have been successfully chosen, press "Send Files". A progress bar will be shown on the phone, tablet, or computer, showing that the files are being uploaded to the IQ Panel 4. A message will come up saying "Uploaded ALL files successfully". Hit "Close" on the phone, tablet, or computer.
  6. Once the files have been loaded to the IQ Panel 4, it should automatically begin the update. Once the update begins, don't touch the panel screen. The panel will reboot as part of the firmware update process.
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Alarm.com first reported issues with remote commands failing or being heavily delayed at 3:40 AM this morning 10/10/2022. The delay in receiving commands at a customer's system, would also result in notifications being delayed. Alarm.com assured dealers that they were working on the issue.

At 5:10 AM, Alarm.com notified that commands were being processed at that time. When an issue like this occurs, commands that aren't immediately processed aren't necessarily lost. Often they are queued, and once the issue is resolved, those queued commands must then be processed in order. This can make it seem as though an issue still exists when in reality the delay is caused by those queued commands.

At 6:35 AM Alarm.com advised that there was still some delay in remote commands being processed. We can't say for certain these delays were caused by earlier queued commands that were working their way through the system, but that could very well be the case.

At 7:45 AM, Alarm.com provided another update. According to them, the situation had improved, but at this time, there were still some delays in remote commands being received at the alarm system. This was still causing some delays with notifications as well.

At 10:00 AM Eastern Time, Alarm.com advised that this issue has been resolved, remote commands are being processed normally. They are still monitoring the system, and if any issues should appear, they will begin the resolution process immediately.

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