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It does not come as much of a surprise that the smart home industry is thriving right now. Recent reports suggest that the worldwide smart home devices market is set to grow 31% over the course of 2018. Just under 650 million smart home device shipments will be made by the end of the year.

As part of this projection, smart speakers, video entertainment devices, smart lights, smart thermostats and home surveillance products are included. By 2022, it is expected that 1.3 billion smart home devices will be shipped annually. This is a compound annual growth rate of 20.8%. Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are set to experience the largest compound annual growth rate during this period at an astounding 39.1%.

These figures help to confirm the belief that alarm monitoring and home security is no longer just about security, life-safety and intrusion support. Smart home functionality is quickly becoming an integral feature of owning and operating a complete security system. The same system that keeps you and your family safe also works to control your lights, heat and cool your home and help you save money on your energy bills. And we fully expect for a user's smart home devices to become even more integrated with their alarm systems in the next few years.

Indeed, the future is now for security systems and smart home devices. Countless people operate their home automation devices and their alarm systems with the press of a button or a simple voice command. And while your security system will always be there to protect you and your loved ones, it will soon be doing so much more. Alarm monitoring and home automation are no-longer mutually exclusive. We've recognized this for a few years now, and it is just becoming more and more apparent over time. This trend is only going to increase as smart home technology continues to develop.

If you haven't already gotten started with smart home automation, the time is now. Alarm Grid isn't just your home for industry-leading security and protection. Our services are also here to make your life easier. We're constantly working to expand our smart home lineup and help our customers get the most our of their home automation functionality, whether it's through Apple's Siri, Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Just last month, we added Lutron Smart Lighting to our offerings. Even before that, we already offered a great lineup of Z-Wave devices that are compatible with the vast majority of our alarm panels. And we're only looking to grow from here. In the next few years, smart home automation will truly become just as important to us as providing the best alarm monitoring services possible.

Alarm Grid will always strive to provide users with reliable and dependable home and business monitoring for when they need it most. But smart home automation is something we feel extremely passionate about, and we recognize that the future of connectivity between security systems and smart functionality truly is now. Alarm Grid is proud to be your home for both alarm monitoring and smart home services. And we look forward to continuing to serve you and your family in the future.

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With the looming threat of Hurricane Michael and the recent events of Hurricane Florence, we sometimes hear concerned reports from customers wondering if their home or business will remain monitored during an emergency. We want all our customers to rest assured that they absolutely will.

The reason that we can guarantee active monitoring service for our customers is thanks to our partner Criticom Monitoring Services and the three central stations that they operate across the country. Criticom runs monitoring stations in Florida, New Jersey and California. If one station ever goes down due to an emergency or a natural disaster, the calls will be automatically rerouted to one of the other stations. Regardless of which CMS Station receives an alert, the local authorities in the customer's area will always be notified in the event of an alarm. The only requirement is that the panel can successfully send out communication signals. As long as the panel is communicating reliably, CMS will receive the alert every time.

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There's a good reason we chose CMS as our monitoring partner. They provide the most dependable and most reliable monitoring services in the country. We don't cut corners by working with a company that only operates from one location. With their three locations, Criticom will continue to operate. Should one location go down, the other two will be there to pick up the slack. There was even a precedent for this in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Northeastern part of the country. Although the CMS location in New Jersey was put out of commission for a few days, the offices in Florida and California were there to make sure that all of the people they protect day-in and day-out continued to receive the highest-level of monitoring services that they have come to expect.

We know that the Hurricane Season can be a nerve-wracking time for many people. Even if a storm doesn't strike your home or business, you never know if it could strike your monitoring company. But with Alarm Grid and Criticom Monitoring Services, there's no need to worry. However, you can do your part as well. Make sure you sign-up for a cellular monitoring plan so that your system utilizes the most reliable communication possible. Remember, unlike WIFI, cellular service doesn't go down as soon as the power goes out. It's also a good idea to keep multiple backup batteries on hand. If your home is hit by a storm and you experience an extended power outage, you will need the backup batteries to keep your system running. Many people in hurricane-prone areas keep a generator on hand to run important equipment, such as alarm systems, refrigerators, phone chargers and more.

Don't let hurricane season take away your peace of mind. Alarm Grid and Criticom are here to keep you safe at all times, even through a dangerous storm or disaster.

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Hi DIYers! We would like to announce that the Honeywell LTE-XA AT&T LTE Communicator for Honeywell VISTA Alarm Systems is now available for purchase on our website. This is the perfect solution for Honeywell VISTA users who are unable to get reliable Verizon LTE service in their area.

Alarm Grid already offers the LTE-XV for connecting a VISTA Panel to the Verizon LTE Network. But now, the LTE-XA Communicator presents users with an alternative option for getting their system monitored. This is very important for VISTA users who live in areas where Verizon service isn't the best. Now they will have the option of connecting with the AT&T LTE Network instead.

As an LTE communicator, the LTE-XA will provide fast transmission speeds and highly consistent communication with the AlarmNet360 servers. This communicator also allows the system to function with the Total Connect 2.0 service. A user can access this platform to arm and disarm their system, check the current status of sensors, control Z-Wave smart home devices and more. Please note that an appropriate alarm monitoring plan is needed.

Alarm Grid also offers the LTEXA-TC2 Upgrade Kit. This kit includes both the LTE-XA Communicator and the latest VISTA 15P and 20P PROM Chips for supporting the module. Any VISTA System that is not running firmware revision 9.12 or higher needs a PROM chip upgrade in order to be used with the Total Connect 2.0 service. With this kit, the system will receive the necessary upgrade, and it will obtain fast and reliable LTE communication from AT&T.

It is important to mention that there is currently no way to get dual-path (IP and cellular) communication on a VISTA System using LTE communication. Although dual-path is always the preferred option, a standalone LTE cellular radio will still provide consistent and reliable monitoring service for the user. And the user will receive the benefit of having the system remain monitored even as older cellular networks are slowly phased out. With LTE, a user is taking steps to future-proof their system.

Both the standalone LTE-XA Radio and the upgrade kit with PROM Chips are available now. Get your VISTA System connected for top-quality alarm monitoring services!

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Many people are very excited about 5G communication and what it will mean for the security industry. But users should keep in mind it may take awhile before this vision becomes a reality. We suspect that no 5G communicators for alarm systems will become available until at least 2020.

Even once 5G service is rolled out across the country and offered from cellular service providers, it does not mean that alarm systems will gain 5G functionality overnight. As you may know, a security system needs a cellular communicator to connect to a cellular network. This communicator determines which cellular network the system will access. In order for an alarm panel to connect with any given 5G network it will need a communicator that allows it to access the network. Until one of these communicators is released, security panels will have no way of connecting with 5G networks.

Historically, the release of new cellular communicators by alarm manufactures has not been an immediate process. It's fair to expect that it will take some time after the rollout of 5G for any 5G communicators to become available. In fact, there are still LTE communicators that have yet to be released for alarm systems. And LTE has been out for quite some time now. At this time, we have not received word from any alarm manufacturer on plans to release a 5G communicator for any system. And we don't expect to receive this type of news for quite some time.

Right now, we're in late 2018. Cellular service providers are only now just starting to test 5G networks in select areas. There certainly won't be any sort of nationwide 5G service until late next year at the earliest. And many cellular service providers may even wait until 2020 to rollout their networks. Of course, various 5G-compatible smartphones will be made available for these releases. But 5G communicators for alarm systems will be a lower priority. Most likely, one manufacturer will get on the ball and announce a 5G communicator. However, it probably wouldn't hit the market until at least 2020. That being said, this is only our prediction, and many things can change between now and then.

And even once a 5G module is released, it won't mean that every alarm system can suddenly use 5G communication. There will most likely only be 5G communicators made available for a very select number of alarm systems at first. We assume that the newer and most advanced systems will get priority, and it will probably be awhile before 5G communicators become available for older models. And it's fair to assume that some systems may never receive a 5G communicator, and they will only have LTE service available as their fastest cellular communication. This is fine though, as cellular service providers have repeatedly stated that their LTE networks will be supported well into the distant future.

So while 5G technology might be eagerly anticipated by the security industry, end users should not get their hopes up for any regularly used 5G communicators until 2020 or 2021. Of course, Alarm Grid will keep you up to date as we learn more about 5G networks and what customers can expect. For now, we'll keep looking forward to this exciting new technology.

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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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Cellular communication is expected to make its next major leap forward later this year with the rise of 5G networks. This is exciting news for the security industry, as it will make alarm systems more versatile than ever. Let's take a quick look at how 5G will revolutionize alarm monitoring.

When a person says "5G", they are referring to the fifth generation of cellular communication. Most alarm systems today use 3G or 4G/LTE cellular modules for communicating. Inevitably, 5G communicators for alarm systems will eventually be released. Once the 5G networks grow and these new alarm communicators become available, end users and their home security systems will then be able to truly take advantage of what 5G offers.

The main benefit to 5G communication is how it will improve the end user experiencing with working with "Internet of Things" (IoT). This goes beyond simply streaming a video or downloading a file. IoT refers to a network of devices that goes beyond just phones and computers. In the world of alarm systems, this can include things like smart lights, thermostats, door locks and more. In other words, 5G technology will help alarm system continue their transition into becoming full-fledged smart home controllers.

There is a very large amount of activity that occurs when an alarm system controls a smart home device, such as a light. The command has to go from the system, to the interactive service, to the alarm system, and finally to the device itself. Although each action is relatively minor, the fact that there are multiple steps to this process can slow things down. By using 5G communication, almost every step of the process will be made quicker, and it will provide a better experience for the end user. Simply put, any action or command will become almost instant. The same principle applies when the command is initiated from another source, like a smartphone or smart assistant device.

When a user with a 5G connection pulls up the Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App and runs a smart scene, they can expect that the command will reach the servers for the interactive platform in a matter of milliseconds. And then the service will send the command to the alarm system (or other smart home controller) also in a matter of milliseconds. From there, the only transmission left is the local communication between the smart home controller and the device itself. With the support of a 5G network a user can expect these processes to occur basically in the blink of an eye, as any noticeable transmission latency will largely become a relic of the past.

Alarm systems are quickly becoming more than just security tools. Many people have already embraced security panels as central hubs for useful devices in their homes. We expect this trend to continue with the rise of 5G. The future of the security system is for it to do more than just keep you and your family safe. We expect the equipment we feature to become even more useful tools that will greatly benefit your everyday life and make your household more connected. Alarm monitoring is about to become so much more than security and protection. We're ready for every step of the journey.

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Hi DIYers! Since its inception in 2012, Alarm Grid has prided itself in being the premier no-contract option for home security. We believe that the no-contract model provides a better experience and greater flexibility for customers. Let's take a look at why no-contract monitoring is ideal.

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No-contract alarm monitoring is exactly what it sounds like. It means that the customer is not locked into any contract, and they are free to terminate their monitoring service at any time. Alarm Grid also does not charge any fees for cancelling service. The only thing keeping a customer with us is the simple fact that we provide the best monitoring service and customer support at a fair price. If a customer no longer wants to receive monitoring service, or if they find another company who they believe can do it better, they can leave whenever they would like. It's this level of freedom and versatility that has helped make Alarm Grid what it is today.

At first glance, an alarm monitoring contract might not seem like a big deal. A customer might think that they can just wait out the duration of their contract and then take their system to a different alarm monitoring company later. Unfortunately, it isn't always this easy and simple. Some monitoring contracts can run for several years, and the only way to escape the alarm contract is usually to pay a potentially costly cancellation fee. Plus, many alarm companies use proprietary equipment that can only be used with that particular company. Or they may refuse to release the communicator or provide the Installer Code for the system if the customer leaves. Even if you received the panel for free, it might not do any good if the system only works with that company. Recently, we have even heard of monitoring contracts specifically stating that the company would not be legally required to release the communicator even after the alarm contract expires!

However, Alarm Grid does not play these games. The equipment that we offer is all non-proprietary. It can be used with any alarm monitoring company that is willing to register it. We also encourage our customers to use the default Installer Codes for their systems so that they are empowered. They won't get locked out of programming, and they will be able to take their system to a new monitoring company if they choose to do so. And if a customer ever does decide to leave Alarm Grid, we will absolutely release the communicator for their system so that it can be easily reused. This is your system, not ours. You are free to do whatever you would like with it.

The one thing Alarm Grid will never do is trap its customers. We know that our service is the best, and we don't need to force our customers to stick with us. If an Alarm Grid customer wakes up one day and realizes that our service isn't for them, they are free to leave. We won't hold it against them. But they won't have that level of freedom with alarm monitoring companies that use contracts.

Make the smart choice. Choose Alarm Grid no-contract monitoring so that you are in control of your monitoring service. We're sure that you'll love what we have to offer. And if you don't, then you can leave at no cost. Please check out our monitoring page for more information about our no-contract monitoring plans.

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

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

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

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

Additionally, the cameras below are for video only:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hi DIYers! We've received news from Honeywell that Total Connect 2.0 has been updated. While this is not a major update, there are a couple of new features that may improve the experience for end users. The update primarily concerns TC2 notifications and partitions for VISTA Systems.

Under the Notifications tab, notifications are now auto-grouped into different subcategories. This will make it easier for users to quickly sort through notifications. Sorting notifications can also be accomplished by using the filter button located in the upper right corner. Pressing the filter button gives the user many different filtering options.


As for the Partitions Feature, users with multiple locations can now select the number of locations displayed from the main screen of Total Connect 2.0. This can help with screen loading and make it easier to view the desired location:


Finally, Honeywell has corrected an issue that prevented VISTA users from adding new users to TC2 after replacing the panel's cellular communicator. Now, all VISTA users should be able to add new users to TC2 successfully.

If you have any questions about this update, please feel free to reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am thru 8pm EST Monday thru Friday.

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Hi DIYers! Today we are extremely pleased to announce that the brand-new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Security Systems are here! Three different versions of the system are currently available on the Alarm Grid website. This is truly very exciting news, as we are sure you will love these systems.




With the IQ Panel 2 Plus, Qolsys has raised the bar for wireless all-in-one Alarm Systems. These are definitely some of the most robust and powerful panels we have ever offered from Alarm Grid. Currently, there are three versions of the system available:

All of the IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems provide support for the top-of-the-line PowerG Wireless Sensors. These sensors operate at 915 MHz, and they can be used from up to 2,000 feet away from the IQ Panel 2 Plus in open air. This will allow users to setup their sensors from virtually anywhere on the property, regardless of where their alarm system is located. The sensors are also protected by 128-bit AES encryption, making them nearly impossible to be hacked or taken over by others. These are definitely some of the most versatile and secure alarm sensors that we have ever encountered.

In addition to PowerG, each IQ Panel 2 Plus System will provide support for a sensor lineup at a lower wireless frequency. There are three different "flavors" that a user can choose from. These are support for 319 MHz Qolsys Sensors and Interlogix/GE Sensors, 345 MHz Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors and 2GIG Sensors, and 433 MHz legacy DSC Sensors. The 319 MHz and 345 MHz options are already available, and the 433 MHz option should be available soon. Also note that a Verizon LTE version of the 345 MHz sensor option should also be arriving in the near future.



Every IQ Panel 2 Plus System comes with a built-in WIFI card and an LTE cellular communicator. This will provide an immediate dual-path communication setup for the system. The only thing that an end user will need is an appropriate alarm monitoring plan. If either path ever goes down, the IQ Panel 2 Plus will still be able to use the other communication path and remain monitored. Both AT&T and Verizon LTE options for cellular monitoring are available.



The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus has also made great strides in video surveillance. Users can view the live feed for their Alarm.com Security Cameras right from the panel itself. And Qolsys worked to better-integrate the system with the SkyBell Doorbell Cameras. Now, a users can answer their SkyBell doorbell from their panel. They can even have a live conversation with the person at their door from their IQ Panel 2 Plus! This is also possible for any ADC Camera that supports two-way voice.

The IQ Panel 2 Plus also supports a plethora of other features. These include Bluetooth disarming, an integrated glass break detector, a built-in 5MP camera, an integrated Z-Wave Plus Controller and an easy-to-use setup wizard for getting started with the system. All of this makes the IQ Panel 2 Plus one of the best systems we have ever had the pleasure of using.



The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus is available from Alarm Grid now. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST Monday through Friday. We hope that you will enjoy this system as much as we do, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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