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Hi DIYers! As you all know by now, home security is important. But like many important things in life, home security isn't free. Fortunately, the cost for a home security system is probably not as much as you think. Today, we're breaking it down, to show you the true cost of home security.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Now first of all, we can't speak for other alarm monitoring companies. They may offer monitoring service and equipment that is more or less expensive than what is offered from Alarm Grid. But keep in mind that Alarm Grid has no-contracts, no added fees, and all of the equipment is non-proprietary and yours to keep. With Alarm Grid, what you see is exactly what you get, and customers choose to stay with us because of the top-level service and support that we provide. However, if you ever do choose to leave Alarm Grid, you can certainly bring your equipment to a different monitoring company.

So with that out of the way, let's focus on what a customer can expect to pay with Alarm Grid. First, they will need equipment. This includes a control panel, security sensors and any additional add-ons, like a keypad or a cellular communicator. Some customers might already own security equipment that they can use to get monitored with Alarm Grid. But let's assume the customer is starting from scratch. In this situation, the cheapest option is generally to obtain a security system kit.

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 3 1 kit wireless alarm system 3 door sA security system kit includes everything a new user needs to get started with home security. This usually includes a wireless all-in-one (AIO) panel, a few door and window contacts, a motion sensor and a cellular communicator. Of course, more sensors can be added, like smoke detectors, glass break detectors, flood sensors and more. But for a basic setup, a kit is a great start.

So how much does a kit cost? Well, it depends on the kit. Let's assume that the user has a small home or an apartment and they want the reliability and performance of an LTE cellular communicator. Let's also assume that they want the panel to have a built-in Z-Wave controller so that they have the option for adding Z-Wave devices later on.

In this case, the cheapest option is the 2GIG GC2 Verizon-LTE 3-1 Kit. This kit comes with a 2GIG GC2 System, 3 door and window contacts, a motion sensor, a Verizon LTE Communicator and a Honeywell LT-Cable for powering the system. The panel also has a built-in Z-Wave controller for operating up to 232 Z-Wave devices. Yes, there are more-advanced panels available. But all things considered, the GC2 will still get the job done in most situations. The complete kit linked above costs just $339. Add in an optional desk stand to make the installation even easier, and the cost is just under $350 dollars. So a complete security system can be obtained for just $350, assuming that the user cannot find any cheaper used equipment somewhere else.

2gig cp21 345 front

Once a user has a system, they just need a monitoring plan. Again, Alarm Grid has no activation fees, and since a desk mount was purchased, the hypothetical user will not need to pay an installer to set up their system. The most popular monitoring plan from Alarm Grid is the Gold Plan. This will provide the user with service from a central monitoring station, remote Z-Wave control, access to the Alarm.com interactive service and text and email alerts for system events. This plan is just $35 per month. Multiply that by 12, and the cost is just $420 per year. So adding things up, a user can achieve a complete and robust security setup with top-of-the-line alarm monitoring for just $770 the first year and $420 every following year.

But things can get even less expensive. If a user doesn't need central station monitoring, they can get a Self-Monitoring Plan. With this type of plan, a user will receive email and text alerts regarding any system events. They can then contact the authorities on their own. The Self-Gold Plan is just $25 per month, or $300 per year. So with that setup, a user will pay just $650 the first year, and $300 every year after.

Keep in mind, this is just assuming one type of scenario. If a user requires a more-advanced system, additional sensors or video surveillance, the costs will probably be higher. Likewise, if a user already has equipment or they can get by without cellular monitoring, the costs can be even less. But if you want a basic estimate of how much home security costs, it's just $350 down, and then $420 annually.

Of course, some people get stuck into long-term contracts with their security company, and they might pay upwards of thousands of dollars in installation and activation fees. But not with Alarm Grid! We provide top-quality alarm monitoring, exceptional customer service and support, and non-proprietary equipment at an affordable price. Remember, paying a small price to protect your home or business can save you a huge amount of hassle and expenses later. Sign-up for alarm monitoring today!

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Hi DIYers! Today we have great news regarding Total Connect 2.0. Honeywell has updated the website version of Total Connect 2.0, and they are also planning to update both the iOS and Android mobile app versions in the near future. Let's dive in and take a closer look at these changes!

On the website version of TC2, there is now a "Refresh Status" button under the "Locations" tab. Previously, this feature was only available for the mobile app versions of TC2. Pressing this button will send a "refresh status" signal between Total Connect and the alarm panel to help users determine if their panel is currently connected with the service. If the panel has recently lost its connection or has reconnected to the network, the Refresh Status button will allow users to confirm the current condition. This can be useful for making sure that the panel is currently communicating properly with Total Connect 2.0.


Total Connect will also soon be adding an option to use a fan icon in association with any Z-Wave smart home devices. This will be the recommended icon for any Z-Wave fans that may be used with the Total Connect 2.0 service.

Honeywell will also soon enable Total Connect 2.0 desktop notifications for the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox web browsers. In order to receive desktop notifications, the user must enable notifications from their web browser, and they must have email notifications enabled for their TC2 profile. Desktop notifications will only be sent while the web browser is open. Honeywell is also working on enabling notifications for the Safari Browser as well.

As for the mobile app versions, users will soon be able to conveniently access the TC2 Amazon Alexa Skill from the main settings menu. New users will also see a special Amazon Alexa Welcome screen upon first opening the app.

The Android version of the TC2 Mobile App will soon provide support for Total Connect Comfort and RedLINK Connected Thermostats. Users will be able to control these devices right from the TC2 Android Mobile App.

A new button will soon be added to the login screen for users to launch an option to login through face-recognition or fingerprint ID. The iOS app version will support both face-recognition and touch ID, depending upon which version of iOS is being used. The Android app version will only support fingerprint ID, at least initially. These features will be very useful for users who lost their password, have their password cleared or who have experienced a failed face-recognition or touch ID attempt.

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Not every building that receives monitoring service is a traditional home or business. Alarm monitoring services are often provided for abandoned or vacant buildings. This is done to monitor the premises and make sure that no unwanted intruders are present. Just a few simple sensors and a basic monitoring setup will allow you to protect an abandoned or vacant building.

People break into abandoned buildings for a number of different reasons. Some people vandalize these properties to steal any scrap or other building materials that they come across. Others may try and occupy the building as a shelter, or they might cause intentional damage to the structure. Regardless, you will want to do everything possible to keep these intruders out.

For abandoned buildings, there are a few different sensor types that are particularly useful. You may want to use door and window contacts to monitor any easily accessible doors and windows. Motions sensors are critical, as they will allow you to scan the building for any intruders. We recommend placing motions in key central areas so that anyone on the premises can be quickly identified. You may also want to install glass break detectors to listen for any window breakages that may occur.

Most abandoned buildings will not have WIFI or some other form of connectivity. For that reason, cellular service is absolutely necessary for monitoring a vacant building. This type of communication is extremely reliable, and it provides very fast connection speeds. Cellular connections are also nearly impossible for others to tamper with, and they are not affected by power outages. However, it is important to remember that you will still need to provide power to the alarm system as a whole. Monitoring a building without electricity is not currently possible.

Just because a building is unoccupied does not mean that it cannot benefit from alarm monitoring. Protect your unoccupied building with Alarm Grid monitoring services. You may reach us at support@alarmgrid.com or by calling us at 888-818-7228 between the hours of 9am and 8pm EST M-F.

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As the sunset for 3G cellular networks is quickly approaching, Alarm Grid has some important news regarding support for Verizon's 3G CDMA network. This news affects both the Alarm.com service and Honeywell's AlarmNet server.

As of today, June 1st, 2018, Verizon will no longer activate Alarm.com CDMA cellular communicator SIM cards as they prepare for their CDMA network sunset. If the Verizon SIM card is already activated, which is done during manufacturing, Alarm.com will still allow the account activation to go through.

However, if a communicator is manufactured and never activated with Alarm.com, or if it's activated with Alarm.com but then cancelled, the Verizon SIM will eventually become deactivated. Therefore, it's possible that a CDMA module you already have won't be able to be used if it's not currently active with Alarm.com.

If you have an existing Alarm.com CDMA communicator with a different monitoring company, it can still be "recycled" and brought over to a new alarm company, as long as the communicator is re-activated with the new monitoring company soon after it's cancelled by the existing monitoring company.

Any existing Alarm.com CDMA communicator that is already active with Alarm.com will continue to work for the time being, but will be sunsetting soon.

If you need to purchase a new cellular communicator for an Alarm.com panel, we recommend one of the following Verizon LTE options:

For 2GIG GC3:

For more information on GC3 Firmware Updates, please click here. Also see this guide to upgrade the GC3 communicator.

For 2GIG GC2:

For more information on GC2 Firmware Updates, please click here. Also see this guide to upgrade the GC2 communicator. You can also review the FAQs 2GIG GC2 Firmware Update Instructions Using UPCBL2 and How to Upgrade GC2 Firmware Using a Cable for more information.


2gig ltev a gc3 alarm dot com verizon lte communicator for 2gig

Starting June 30th, 2018, Honeywell AlarmNet CDMA cellular communicators that were manufactured before March 1st, 2018 can no longer be activated. If you have an AlarmNet CDMA communicator that was manufactured before this date, you must activate it by June 30th.

At that time, it will also be impossible to bring a Honeywell CDMA radio from one monitoring company to another. AlarmNet CDMA communicators that were manufactured after March 1st, 2018 can be activated until December 22nd, 2018. Any AlarmNet CDMA communicator that has already been activated will continue to work until the CDMA network is shutdown.

If you need to purchase a new cellular communicator for a Honeywell Alarm System, we suggest buying an LTE module. Alarm Grid recommends the following options based on system type:

Honeywell Lyric Controller: LYRICLTE-V supports Verizon LTE

Honeywell L5210 and L7000 (Firmware 9+): LTE-L57V supports Verizon LTE

Honeywell VISTA Systems: LTE-XV supports Verizon LTE or LTE-IV supports Verizon LTE & IP

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for the

Additionally, if you have a CDMA communicator that has not been activated, you will no longer be able to return it to Alarm Grid for a refund. We will not be taking any CDMA returns as of today. Our company stopped selling CDMA communicators roughly three months ago, and we have been preparing for the 3G sunset for quite some time.

Cellular service providers have already discontinued support for their 2G networks, and they are currently preparing to do the same for their 3G networks. This includes the Verizon 3G CDMA network. Instead, cellular service providers are shifting their focus to their newer and more advanced 4G and LTE networks. If you need to upgrade an alarm system to cellular, you should purchase an LTE module if possible.

Remember, existing CDMA communicators that have already been activated can still be used for the time being. These modules will continue to work until the CDMA network is discontinued. At that point, any CDMA cellular module will need to be replaced and upgraded to a newer communicator.

If you have any questions about this news, please send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

Edit (6/8/18): This blog post previously stated that as of June 1st, no Alarm.com CDMA module that wasn't currently active with Alarm.com service could be activated on a new Alarm.com account, which has changed since it was written. It has been edited to reflect the correct information.

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Alarm Grid has received important information from Honeywell, stating that any Lyric Controller using a WIFI-only communication setup is currently unable to work with an existing Apple HomeKit integration. Additionally, Honeywell has temporarily disabled the ability to activate new HomeKit service for all Lyric Controller Systems.

According to Honeywell, the Lyric Controller Security Systems are experiencing problems with WIFI connectivity when they are used with the HomeKit service. Honeywell is currently taking action to address this problem. The company says these issues should be fully resolved sometime in the third week of June.

Starting on Wednesday, May 23rd, Honeywell will disable all HomeKit features for any Lyric Controller that uses WIFI as its only communication path. This update will come in the form of a panel reboot while the system is in a disarmed state. The update may require up to three minutes to fully complete.

After the reboot, the panel should function as normal, though the HomeKit service will be disabled. Please note that this update is only being applied to Lyric Controller Systems that use a strictly WIFI connection. Lyric Controller Systems that use a dual-path setup with both WIFI and cellular, as well as those that use strictly cellular, are unaffected. Furthermore, Honeywell Lyric Gateway Systems are also unaffected.

Additionally, Honeywell has temporarily disabled the Apple HomeKit feature in AlarmNet 360. This makes it currently impossible to activate HomeKit service for any Lyric Controller System. New HomeKit activations will be possible once Honeywell restores the HomeKit feature sometime in the third week of June. Honeywell says that they plan to release more information regarding the restoration in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions regarding these issues, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 between 9am and 8pm EST M-F. We apologize for any issues that this may cause.

Note: This issue has since been fixed.

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Qolsys is releasing an automatic firmware update for any IQ Panel 2 that is running firmware version 2.0.6 or lower. This is firmware update 2.1.1, and it is designed to improve the overall stability of the system. The update will be applied on Monday, June 4th, and it will take about 12 minutes to complete.

The panel will then reboot once the update has finished. The update will only be applied when the system is in a disarmed state. Users should not notice any difference to their IQ Panel 2 System after the update has gone through.

If you have any questions about this automatic update, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 between 9am and 8pm EST M-F.

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Recently, Honeywell re-launched Total Connect 2.0 with a new, sleeker user interface. The new site, which leaves Flash behind, and uses HTML5 instead, has a more modern look and is, somewhat uncharacteristically, a truly collaborative undertaking on Honeywell's part.

As TC2 is updated, Honeywell provides an "About" screen showing version information, and a "What's New in Total Connect 2.0" link. When you click the link, you get a list of recent additions and fixes, as well as a link to provide feedback directly to Honeywell. They seem to be taking this feedback to heart, and continually make improvements based on customer suggestions.

The new user interface is much cleaner than the original. Gone is the dark blue background, with the cartoonish icons. One of the great things about HTML5 is that you can access the TC2 site from just about any browser, on any device, including Windows mobile devices. This wasn't possible on the flash based site, and since there was no app for Windows phones or tablets, users with these devices couldn't take advantage of all that Total Connect 2.0 has to offer.

Another improvement is the fact that both the web page, and the iOS app, offer the same capabilities. You can admin users from both the web page, and the app. You can sync zones and automation devices from either location. The Android app does seem to lag a bit behind the iOS version. There are a few things you can't do on it that you can do from the web site. The good news is, you can log into the web site from the browser on your phone, making it a non-issue.

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AT&T has been announcing a deprecation of the 2G radios for a number of years. At midnight January 1, 2017, the network was turned off.

If you're one of the many Americans who has a 2G alarm system, and you've been caught flatfooted for one reason or another, Alarm Grid is here to help. For those who upgrade their 2G radio programmed to a different company's service to a new radio, Alarm Grid will provide 2 months of free monitoring.

If you have a bf error showing on your panel or a Check 103 error, we have some great FAQs explaining what you need to do to fix the error. Additionally, below, you will find a guide explaining how to go about fixing the problems. Generally you will need to replace your radio - a move that is dependent on the type of system you have. The following alert is on our FAQs pertaining to this issue, and will walk you through what you need to do to upgrade.

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The last few weeks, we have been hearing rumblings that Home Security Store has not been answering their phones or emails. We have to date not commented on it, since we really don't know anything at all about their financial situation. That said, we know they have sold a lot of product over the years, and that there seems to be a lot of customers feeling a little bit like they are caught in the lurch. And after this CEPro story came out, we thought it was probably time to say something.

While we can't offer advice for those who are waiting on product, other than to say that we offer many of the same products as HSS sells, we can certainly speak to the service/monitoring side. If this is your first time at Alarm Grid, you probably don't know anything about who we are. We are a well-reviewed alarm monitoring provider that happens to sell high quality home security equipment. Most recently, we've begun selling the Honeywell L7000 and L5200 security systems, which are some of our favorites, and which we highly recommend to anyone looking for a system. We pride ourselves on the free tech support we provide to all of our customers. In the last year, we have been over-run with the tech support needs of DIYers who love us!

So for those of you stuck in the middle of the HomeSecurityStore.com mess, we would love to hear from you. Please email support@alarmgrid.com (it's the best way to contact us), or call 888-818-7728. If you call in and don't get an answer, leave us a message. We are quick to respond, and will call you back ASAP. We've been inundated the last few weeks with calls about this Home Security Store situation. So forgive any waiting, and let us help you get the help you need for the products you have received.

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Honeywell has released the newest revisions for the Tuxedo Touch WIFI, and there are some really exciting new additions. The most notable, perhaps, is the much anticipated voice command feature. When announced at ISC, most of us thought that the Tuxedo Touch with Voice control was going to be an altogether new Tuxedo Touch much like the other voice-enabled keypads in the Honeywell wired series like the 6162V. Instead, Honeywell is making the feature available to anyone with a Tuxedo Touch WIFI installed in their home.

For now the feature is pretty limited, but it is neat, nonetheless. Using commands such as "Bedtime," "Evening Time," "Leaving the House," "Returning Home," "Wake Up," and "Cameras," an user can arm the system, control scenes, and summon Zombies....

Ok, maybe not zombies, but the other stuff is all true.

The new revision update has a lot more than just voice capabilities though. Local video recording lets an user record 2 minute videos using the installed SD card. As much video as the card has capacity to store can be put on the system. Perhaps the most value-add feature is the increase in scenes from 10 to 30. Accompanying the increase is the ability to group like-Z-Wave devices, which makes scenes way more powerful and the programming of Z-wave devices much more intuitive and fast (a really good feature if you've ever had to do it.

We are working on some articles on how to install the new update, so check back here in a little while. We will have more information as we get it.

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