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Even though our team is still working from home, we will not be doing so on Monday, May 25, 2020. That is because our business will be closed in observance of Memorial Day. We will reopen on Tuesday. We appreciate your understanding, and we apologize for any resulting inconvenience.

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Due to our closure, we will not be responding to any emails, answering our phones, or shipping out any orders. We will resume these operations on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. We know that you would love to work on your security system or sign-up for monitoring service on Memorial Day, but instead, why not get out and try to enjoy the holiday? Make sure to stay safe out there!

Alarm Grid honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the military. We would also like to recognize those who are currently serving, as well as all the Veterans who did their part in keeping our country safe. We sincerely thank you for your commitment, sacrifices, and service.

If you have a security question that you just can't get out of your head, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will do our best to answer your question as soon as possible after we return on Tuesday. Remember that our regular business hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Alarm Grid has learned that 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicators will automatically roam to local cellular networks in Canada. This will allow Canadian users with 2GIG Systems to receive alarm monitoring service through Alarm.com. This is a fantastic solution for Alarm Grid customers in Canada.

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The 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicators include both the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC2 for the 2GIG GC2 and 2GIG GC2e Systems and the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3 for the 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC3e Systems. Both the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC2 and the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3 will roam to local Canadian cellular networks. Keep in mind that this only applies to the 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicators. The 2GIG Verizon LTE Communicators will not roam, and they cannot be used in Canada.

The 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicators will roam to the Bell, Telus, and Rogers Networks in Canada. As long as you have adequate coverage from one of those networks, you will be able to use a 2GIG AT&T LTE Communicator without any issue. If you live in a remote area and do not have adequate coverage from Bell, Telus, or Rogers, then using a compatible cellular antenna or a cellular amplifier is also an option.

With this revelation, Alarm Grid can now support both 2GIG and Qolsys Systems in Canada. If you decide to use a Qolsys System, you will want to get the AT&T version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The system's built-in AT&T LTE Communicator will similarly roam to the Bell, Telus, or Rogers Network in Canada. Again, the Verizon version of the IQ Panel 2 Plus cannot be used in Canada. Alarm Grid made an extensive post on alarm monitoring in Canada, which you can view here.

If you are looking to obtain alarm monitoring service for your Canadian home or business, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728. Our security system planning team will be happy to help you explore your options so that you can make an informed buying decision. Remember, our business hours run from 9am to 8pm Eastern Time Monday thru Friday, so keep that in mind when contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Did you know that your Alarm Grid Security System most likely has smart home automation capabilities? While keeping your home or business safe with trusted monitoring service is the main function of an alarm system, the world of home automation is easily accessible and very exciting.

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As a quick recap for anyone who may not be familiar with automation or the concept of a "smart home", it refers mostly to two (2) somewhat related ideas.

1) Being able to control devices remotely (aka, while you are away from the premises).

2) Being able to have devices activate automatically based on a schedule and/or predetermined events, with no action required on your part.

These devices that we speak of are collectively referred to as "smart devices". There are all sorts of smart devices that you can integrate into your automation network. Some examples include:

  • Smart Lights - Illumination devices that you can control remotely and turn ON or OFF automatically. These come in many forms, including light bulbs, in-wall switches, plug-in modules, and even wall outlets. Smart lights are perfect for making it appear as though someone is present while away or on vacation.
  • Smart Door Locks - Access control devices that you can operate remotely and LOCK or UNLOCK a door automatically. These are typically deadbolt devices that prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to your home or business. In addition to remote operation, these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or the condition of other devices in your home.
  • Smart Thermostats - Temperature control devices that you can be adjusted locally or remotely and INCREASE or DECREASE the temperature. The operation of these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or event. These wire in directly with the HVAC system in your home or business. The setup is surprisingly simple, and it can be easily completed by a DIY user.
  • Smart Water Valves - Water shut-off switches that you can trigger locally or remotely. If you CLOSE the valve, then the flow of water will be stopped. If you OPEN the valve, then the flow of water will proceed when a faucet is activated. Smart water valves can be very important if the building is prone to flooding or water damage. These devices can be automated based on the activation of a flood sensor.

Now that you know a little more about smart devices, you're probably wondering how to get started. The first thing that we advise doing is selecting a smart protocol to build around. This refers to the type of wireless communication that the individual smart devices will use to speak with the centralized hub.

The smart hub, also known as the controller, is the single most important piece of equipment in any smart home. All of your individual smart devices will communicate their status with this centralized hub. And when you go to control your devices remotely, all incoming commands will pass through the hub before ultimately being forwarded to the individual device. Without the smart hub, home automation is impossible.

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When you select a smart hub, you are also selecting the wireless protocol for your network. All of the individual smart devices in your network must use that same wireless protocol to communicate successfully with the main hub. As a result, your smart hub determines which devices can (and cannot) join the network.

A great aspect of most security systems sold by Alarm Grid is that they can double as smart hubs for your automation devices. The panels that we sell support the Z-Wave wireless communication protocol. Virtually any Z-Wave device can be enrolled with an alarm system that supports Z-Wave communication.

Once you have a Z-Wave device enrolled with your system, a few things become possible:

1) Operate your programmed Z-Wave devices on the main system display. This is the same place where you arm and disarm your system.

2) Control your programmed Z-Wave devices remotely using the same platform you use for controlling your system, namely, Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. This requires monitoring service.

3) Build complete smart scenes, in which multiple Z-Wave devices are controlled simultaneously. This is done through either Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. Again, alarm monitoring service is required.

While all of this certainly sounds exciting, we understand that it may seem a little daunting at first. If you are already an Alarm Grid monitored customer, then there's a good chance that your system is already capable of serving as a central hub for your Z-Wave network.

The following systems readily support Z-Wave communication, with no add-ons being required:

Additionally, the following panels can be upgraded to support Z-Wave communication:

Of course, there are other options besides Z-Wave for home automation. If you are an iOS user, then you might consider getting a security panel that can support the robust and powerful Apple HomeKit automation platform. The Honeywell Lyric is a great option for this. You can learn more about HomeKit in this prior post.

Another option for lighting control is the Lutron devices that use their own communications protocol. Lutron is known for their tight integration with Alarm.com, and they certainly make for a great starting point if you are looking to establish a smart lighting setup. More info on using Lutron with Alarm.com can be found here.


Alarm Grid is about more than just security. We can help you establish the perfect automation network for your home or business. Getting started with smart home automation is easy, and it's a fantastic way to get the most out of your security system. Whether you go with Z-Wave, Apple HomeKit, Lutron, or use a combo setup, we will be there to help you every step of the way.

If you aren't already monitored by Alarm Grid, now is a great time to get started. Smart home automation is included with all of our Silver, Gold, and Platinum Level Plans. This post will tell you all about our monitoring plans so that you can make an informed decision. Alarm Grid monitored customers are provided with free technical support online and over the phone. This includes helping you create the perfect smart home.

The best way for an Alarm Grid monitored customer to get help with all of their smart home questions is to email support@alarmgrid.com or call (888) 818-7728. Our support technicians will be happy to help you in building your smart home network. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so make sure to plan accordingly. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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When choosing a security system for your home or business, you need to decide whether you want it to use IP communication, cellular communication or dual-path communication. While these aren't the only methods available, they are by far the most dependable and the most widely used.

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A communication pathway is what allows a security system to communicate out to a signal processing platform. This platform redirects any incoming alert from the system to a central monitoring station and/or the end user directly via push notification, text, and/or email, depending on the user's monitoring plan. You need a communication path that is reliable and consistent so that your system always remains monitored.

The "entry level" communication path so to speak is IP communication. This involves using the local internet protocol (IP) network in your home or business. If you have internet service already, then you will be good to go. The alarm control panel for your system will either connect to your local WIFI network or use a wired ethernet connection for internet access. The advantage to IP communication is that it is the least expensive.

But as you know, occasional internet outages are still something that most people have to deal with. Not to mention, a power outage will also take your router and modem offline if you do not have a backup power supply available. That is why many people upgrade to cellular communication. With a strong cellular connection, it is highly unlikely that your system would ever go offline for any reason.

If you already have internet in your home or business, and you still want the reliability of cellular, then you can easily achieve a dual-path setup that uses both IP and cellular. This is the most popular type of alarm monitoring, and it is what we ultimately recommend in most cases. You also won't need to pay any more than what you would pay for cellular monitoring service, as most monitoring companies include IP service with a cellular monitoring plan.

If you are interested in learning more about IP, cellular, or dual-path monitoring, or if you want to learn more about the alarm monitoring services offered by Alarm Grid, we invite you to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8-m ET M-F. You are also welcome to check out our monitoring page to learn more about the monitoring plans we offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid would like to remind all of its monitored customers who receive cellular alarm monitoring service to upgrade to an LTE communicator as soon as possible. Older 3G cellular communicators will no longer function once their associated cellular networks are shut down in 2022.

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Without going too in-depth, an alarm panel uses a cellular communicator to send the necessary signals for alarm monitoring service to take place. When doing this, the communicator will send and receive signals across the same cellular networks that are used by mobile phones and other devices that utilize cellular communication technology.

Cellular communication is widely recognized as being the optimal communication path for security systems due to its exceptional reliability and generally fast speeds. Additionally, the Alarm.com platform requires that all systems using their service have a cellular communicator that is registered and activated. This differs from Total Connect 2.0, where a user can forgo a cellular communicator and strictly use an IP communicator with their system.

If you read this blog regularly, then you will likely have heard us discussing the 3G Sunset. This refers to the ongoing process of shutting down 3G cellular networks in favor of newer and more powerful LTE networks and 5G networks. Both Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 have stopped allowing 3G activations. A user who has a security system with a 3G communicator that is already activate can continue to use their communicator until the associated network is shut down. Once that happens, the communicator will no longer work for monitoring service.

Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 do not control the cellular networks, and it is not their decision when these networks are shut down. That decision falls on the cellular service providers. AT&T has stated that their 3G network is due to shut down by the end of February 2022. The Verizon CDMA Network (their 3G equivalent) is expected to be shut down in 2022 as well.

Alarm Grid urges everyone using a 3G communicator for monitoring service to upgrade to an LTE communicator as soon as they can. While 2022 might seem like a long time away, time is ticking by. Do not leave your home or business unmonitored and vulnerable. Upgrade to LTE now, and save yourself the hassle later on.

One concern that we have heard from some users is that LTE networks will also become outdated someday, and they will eventually be shut down as well. But AT&T and Verizon have both gone on record to say that their LTE networks will be supported and maintained well into the very distant future. This might seem surprising, especially considering that 5G is regularly mentioned in their advertisements. The reality though is that cellular service providers still intend on maintaining their LTE infrastructure for use as a backup to their 5G networks. Remember, even new and upcoming smartphones that utilize 5G technology are still designed to connect with LTE networks whenever 5G service is unavailable for whatever reason.

For more proof that LTE is here to stay, you do not need to look any further than the name itself. The term "LTE" is actually short for "Long-Term Evolution". Cellular service providers built their LTE networks with the intention that they would remain active and in service for many decades. They are not going anywhere any time soon, even as the excitement and anticipation of 5G continues to grow. And if that weren't enough, using 5G communication with a security system will not really be all that different than LTE. Alarm systems do not need to send large amounts of data, and LTE is more than capable of providing fast and reliable data transmissions as needed.

Alarm Grid has released many panel-specific guides to upgrading to LTE that we have linked below. You may notice that one noticeable absence from the list is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. These systems already come with built-in LTE communicators, so no upgrade is necessary. Please check out our LTE upgrade guides linked below:

Remember that if you have any questions about the 3G sunset or upgrading to LTE, you can email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We will be happy to discuss your options for keeping your existing system monitored. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm.com has recently announced that they will soon be dropping support for the Internet Explorer 11 web browser. The new change is being made to improve the overall experience for Alarm.com end users. Alarm.com recommends using a supported web browser or the Alarm.com Mobile App.


Beginning on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, Alarm.com will display a pop-up message to anyone who logs in using Internet Explorer 11. The message will let them know to switch to a supported web browser. The user will then be able to use Alarm.com like normal. But a month later in late June, Alarm.com will stop supporting IE11 entirely. Anyone who tries to login using IE11 will be denied.

According to Alarm.com, the best web browsers to use with their platform are the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge. If you already use one of these web browsers, then you should have no problems using Alarm.com. Just make sure that you are running the latest version and make an upgrade if necessary.

If you have any questions about this change for Alarm.com, or if you are interested in starting monitoring service for use with Alarm.com, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get the most out of Alarm.com.

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Alarm Grid has learned that NextAlarm will be ceasing its IP monitoring service on June 30, 2020. Existing NextAlarm users will need to start new monitoring service in order to continue protecting their homes and businesses. A great option for new alarm monitoring service is Alarm Grid.

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According to a press release from NextAlarm, the company will be shutting down its Internet monitoring service at the end of next month. Any NextAlarm customer who has prepaid service that extends beyond the shutdown date should contact NextAlarm so that a refund can be arranged. NextAlarm did not release any information stating whether or not their cellular monitoring services would also be affected.

If you are a current NextAlarm customer with IP service, and you are looking to continue using your system for IP monitoring, we recommend checking out Alarm Grid. We can take over most systems that currently use NextAlarm Monitoring Service and set you up with one of our own monitoring plans. This is great for anyone looking to maintain inexpensive and reliable monitoring service for their home or business.

We recommend emailing us at support@alarmgrid.com with a picture of your current security system. This will help us determine if we can take over your system and use it with our monitoring service. If your system is housed inside a metal cabinet, make sure to include a picture of the inner circuit board. We may ask for detailed pictures of the system's PROM Chip if applicable, as that is often the best way for us to determine which system is being used.

Once we check your email, we'll send you a response letting you know your options. Many users will be able to activate without needing to purchase any additional equipment. This is a super easy way to maintain reliable and affordable monitoring service for former NextAlarm users. Our team checks new emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so please keep that in mind when emailing us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Baltimore Gas & Electric is now allowing their customers who use Alarm.com for smart thermostat control to sign-up for a demand response program that will enable them to earn credits toward their bills. The free program can help BGE customers save money and preserve natural resources.


The BGE program is designed to curb demand for electricity during peak hours. By participating in the program, BGE customers can earn credits that will help them save money on their energy costs. This is in addition to the savings presented from owning a smart thermostat and programming it to match the needs of your lifestyle. The program is optional, though anyone looking to save money can greatly benefit. No new equipment needs to be installed, making it super easy for Alarm.com users with BGE service to get started.

Upon enrolling, an end user will be giving permission to BGE to make small temperature adjustments to their thermostats. These adjustments should be very small and only occur during peak hours of electrical consumption. An example would be during a hot summer day when virtually everyone is simultaneously running their air conditioning systems. This will allow BGE to more effectively manage the distribution of electricity, prevent cost spikes for their customers, and delay the need for new power plants.

Alarm.com users should soon receive notification of the program through both the Alarm.com Mobile App and the Alarm.com Website. The notification will provide instructions for getting started. Please note that this program is available only for BGE customers who use ADC for thermostat control. If you are not with BGE, then check with your utility provider to see if any special rebates or demand response programs are available for you. Such programs are a great way to save money and manage resources more effectively.

If you are already with Baltimore Gas & Electric, but are looking to get started with Alarm.com, then we advise checking out our monitoring page to learn more about our plans that include Alarm.com service. Alarm Grid offers many security systems that are readily supported by Alarm.com. If you need help choosing a system, or if you have any questions for us, please email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Qolsys updated the recent Technical Service Bulletin TSB# 200413 regarding Software Update 2.5.2 for the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. The revised version provides new instructions on successfully performing the update using a Patch Tag. You can view the revised Qolsys TSB here.

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 7 security panel w slash z wave ready In the revised TSB, Qolsys suggests first changing the system Log Level to Verbose, then waiting two (2) minutes, then changing the Log Level to Debug, then waiting another two (2) minutes, then rebooting the panel, and then finally performing the update via a Patch Tag. These new instructions only apply if you are updating the system via Patch Tag. If you have the update pushed down automatically from Alarm.com, then no action is needed.

The previous version of the TSB did not mention waiting 2 minutes, and it did not mention changing the Log Level to Debug. It only said to change the Log Level to Verbose and then perform the update immediately afterward without waiting. We are hopeful that this updated TSB will help end users avoid any confusion or frustration.

In order to change the Log Level, start from the main screen, click the small grey bar at the top, and choose Settings > Advanced Settings > enter the Installer Code or Dealer Code (default 1111 and 2222 respectively) > Installation > System Logs.

Remember you must set the Log Level to Verbose, wait 2 minutes, set the Log Level to Debug, reboot the panel, and then perform the update via patch tag like usual. The reboot can be performed by clicking the grey bar at the top of the screen, and choosing Settings > Advanced Settings > enter IC or DC > Panel Reboot.

The process for updating via Patch Tag involves clicking the small grey bar at the top of the main screen and choosing Settings > Advanced Settings > enter IC or DC > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.5.2 > OK. The update will then begin. It should take less than 30 minutes for the update to finish. Remember, you must enter iqpanel2.5.2 exactly. The IQ2 must be monitored and connected with a local WIFI network for the update to be performed. It should have its backup battery charged, and the system should be receiving AC power from its plug-in transformer.

If you have any questions about this update, please contact your monitoring company. If you are monitored by Alarm Grid, you may email us at support@alarmgrid.com for assistance. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm.com has announced that there is a new update for the Alarm.com Round SkyBell Security Doorbell Camera. This is known as the ADC-VDB101 for the "Satin Nickel" finish, and the ADC-VDB102 for the "Oil-Rubbed Bronze" finish. The update can be pushed down by your monitoring company.

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The new Alarm.com SkyBell update is known as Version 5039. According to Alarm.com, the new update fixes a bug that caused the indoor chime for the doorbell camera to not ring when the ambient temperature dropped below a certain point. It was also possible that the SkyBell would perform an unusual ringing pattern if the temperature dropped too low. Another resolved issue caused the SkyBell device to not upload video clips to the Alarm.com servers until the device was rebooted. Alarm.com says that these issues should be resolved with the new update.

Remember that this update is only for the round Alarm.com SkyBell Doorbell Camera. If you have the rectangular "slim-line" model, also known as the Alarm.com ADC-VDB105 or ADC-VBD106, then this update does not apply to you. In order to receive the update, you must have your Alarm.com ADC-VDB101 or ADC-VDB102 powered on and connected with the Alarm.com servers. You can then have your monitoring company push down an update. We advice contacting your monitoring company to have the update pushed down as soon as possible.

If you are monitored by Alarm Grid, then we recommend emailing us at support@alarmgrid.com at your earliest convenience. Just let us know that you want the latest update for your Alarm.com SkyBell, and we'll take care of the rest. There is no charge to receive the update, but keep in mind that the update will not go through if the device is offline. Make sure your WIFI is running and that the device is powered on. Also remember that we only check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Please also email us if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Update: It turns out that this is update will be pushed down automatically by Alarm.com, and no action is required on the part of the customer. Once the update is available, dealers as well as end-users will also be able to manually request the update through the dealer portal, or the customer website.

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