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Hi DIYers! We have spooky good news for everyone today. We are proud to announce the unveiling of the brand-new Alarm Grid SiXTH Sensor. This is the world's first ever security system sensor that activates upon detecting any paranormal or spiritual activity. It is a must-have for all users!


As you may know, there are the five "standard" senses that we use on a daily basis. These are of course sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. But what you might not know is that there is paranormal activity lurking among us. You cannot detect such occurrences through normal means. You need a "sixth" sense to detect any paranormal, spiritual or otherworldly activity that may be cursing you and the people in your presence. That is why we created the all-new SiXTH Sensor.

We took inspiration from Honeywell's SiX Sensor Lineup in creating the Alarm Grid SiXTH Sensor. Just like the existing SiX Sensors, the SiXTH Sensor offers 128-bit AES encryption to thwart any real-life hacking attempts. We also added Advanced Spirit Stopping encryption to stop any hacking attempts initiated from the otherworld. You can count on the SiXTH Sensor to function perfectly both in our present world and the dimensions beyond our normal reach. Please be aware that you can only see the Advanced Spirit Stopping encryption through the use of various psychonautic substances that are neither sold nor endorsed by Alarm Grid. But trust us - it's there!

Now, you might be wondering how exactly the SiXTH Sensor works. Well we are happy to explain! The sensor pairs with a wireless zone on your alarm panel much like any "present world" sensor. But you will notice a few things new. You will set the Device Type as "Paranormal Detector". The Response Type should be set to "Bruce Willis". This is a brand-new Response Type designed exclusively for use with our SiXTH Sensor. You will only get this option upon setting the Device Type, so make sure to set the options accordingly. After you save your changes, your SiXTH Sensor will be ready to go!

If your SiXTH Sensor detects any paranormal or spiritual activity that should not be present in our present world, a silent spiritual alarm will be sent to your system. Within moments, the central station will get to work sending out a response. But you can't stop spirits, ghouls and curses with police officers, firefighters or emergency medical personnel. Oh no, you need something better. Instead, you can expect Bruce Willis (not that Bruce Willis) to show up at your home or business to rid the area of any paranormal activity.

Bruce Willis (not that Bruce Willis) will come equipped with sage and various incantations to cleanse the premises and protect the spirituality of yourself and those around you. While Bruce Willis (not that Bruce Willis) might appear to be in an uncomfortable or unusual state as he performs the necessary exorcism, we can assure you that this is perfectly normal. Additionally, you can expect a call from the central station to make sure that Bruce Willis (not that Bruce Willis) arrived safely and without real-life incident. Please note that Bruce Willis (not that Bruce Willis) does not come with cab fare, and you may be responsible for ensuring his departure. Alarm Grid cannot assist with this issue, and it is up to you to make the appropriate arrangements.

Alarm Grid has already tested the SiXTH Sensor with the Honeywell Lyric Controller with great success! We easily enrolled the device to the system, and we intentionally released a safe, but other-dimensional, spirit into our headquarters. We made sure to do this at night to protect the majority of our technicians and staff members. One brave soul working the late shift was around to see the SiXTH Sensor in action. Needless to say, our expectations were more than met.


The Alarm Grid SiXTH Sensor will be coming soon, sometime within your existence. We will make sure to keep you posted about any news related to the SiXTH Sensor as it becomes available. Thanks for being an Alarm Grid customer, and we hope that you have a happy April!

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Hi DIYers! Did you know that one of the best perks of owning a home security system is receiving a large discount in your homeowner's insurance? In many cases, an alarm system will pay for itself and save you money in the long-run! This goes beyond most security aspects and considerations.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

We hear of customers all the time who live in extremely safe areas, and the likelihood of them ever needing to use their security system is quite low. It's fair to wonder why these customers even bother to get security systems in the first place. Well the answer is that these individuals are likely saving substantial money in their homeowner's insurance.

Most insurance companies will offer their customers a premium discount of 5% to 10% for simply owning an active alarm system. Some companies even offer discounts as high as 20% in certain areas. The actual rate of the discount is dependent upon many different factors, and it's usually best to check with your insurance company to find out exactly how much you can save.

With Alarm Grid central station monitoring plans costing as little as $15 per month, sometimes it's a no-brainer to get monitoring service. Just think about it. You will be adding a new layer of security to your home, and you will have protective measures put in place in case an emergency ever does occur. Better safe than sorry!

At the same time, you will actually be saving money just for having this equipment installed and activated. There really is no reason for you to not have an alarm system if you plan on maintaining an active homeowner's insurance policy!

The types of discounts offered from insurance companies typically varies by location. The only general rule is that the customer must have central station monitoring with automatic dispatch, as opposed to self-monitoring. We have heard of customers receiving discounts for the following types of monitoring:

  • Intrusion
  • Fire
  • Freeze
  • Flood
  • Carbon Monoxide

Receiving a Certificate of Alarm (CoA) that you can pass on to your insurance provider to receive a discount is very easy. Just activate a system with Alarm Grid. We will run tests to make sure your system is successfully sending signals to a central station. From there, you can download the certificate and send it online to your insurance provider. More information can be found here.

If you would like to learn more about Alarm Grid monitoring service, we invite you to check our alarm monitoring page. This page is also a great spot to sign-up for new service. If you would like to talk with us first, you can always email support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you and helping you save money on your homeowner's insurance!

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Hi DIYers! We're thrilled to announce that the Honeywell SiXCOMBO is finally here, just in time for the holidays! This Honeywell SiX Series Sensor offers support for smoke, heat and CO detection all in one convenient device. Additionally, new Honeywell 5800C2W Kits are also available!


With support for smoke, heat and CO sensing, the Honeywell SiXCOMBO is the first-ever encrypted combination life-safety sensor available for the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. The device includes a built-in photoelectric smoke detector, a heat sensor that activates at temperatures of 135°F or higher, an IR sensor that measures ambient light and flame signatures, and a carbon monoxide sensor that responds to dangerous levels of CO gas. These four integrated sensors all work together to ensure that your home or business stays protected against fires and CO outbreaks at all times.

Users will also appreciate the One-Go-All-Go feature of the Honeywell SiXCOMBO. If the device activates for a fire or CO alarm, any additional SiXCOMBO devices that are also programmed with the system will also activate. This One-Go-All-Go feature affects Honeywell SiXSMOKE devices as well, so all your SiX Series life-safety devices will respond to the emergency. Each sensor includes an 85 dB sounder, which is plenty loud enough to alert anyone in the building.

The Honeywell SiXCOMBO is very easy to program with the Honeywell SiX Programming feature. This option is found within Installer-level programming. Once you have accessed the feature, you can power the SiXCOMBO on by removing its battery tab to have it auto-enrolled with the system. This can also be done by pressing and holding one of its test buttons until it auto-enrolls. The sensor will take up three zones on the system - one for smoke detection, one for heat detection, and one for CO detection.

In addition to the Honeywell SiXCOMBO, we are also glad to announce that Honeywell 5800C2W Kits are now available. We have two kits available - one of a Lyric Controller and 5800C2W Combo and another with just the 5800C2W and accessories. Both kits include enough LT-Cables for wiring and an UltraTech 1240 Backup Battery. Each 5800C2W is capable of supporting 9 hardwired sensors, so keep that in mind when system planning.

Honeywell 5800c2w hardwire to wireless system 9 zone conversion moduleThese kits are perfect for anyone upgrading from an older hardwired system who wants to continue to use their existing hardwired sensors. If the user needs a new system, the Lyric 5800C2W Combo Kit is a great option. As you know, the Lyric is HomeKit compatible for use with HomeKit Smart Scenes and Siri voice commands. Meanwhile, the 5800C2W itself will work with any alarm system that accepts 345 MHz sensors. This includes the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels, the 2GIG GC2 and GC3 Systems and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus with Honeywell Legacy Daughtercard.

Finally, we'd also like to briefly announce our office hours for the upcoming holidays. As usual, our office will be closed this weekend, which is Saturday December 22nd and Sunday December 23rd. Our office will then remain closed Monday December 24th and Tuesday December 25th in observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day respectively. We will resume our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST on Wednesday December 26th. If you have any questions or concerns during this four-day period, we strongly encourage you to email us at support@alarmgrid.com, and we will do our very best to get back with you after we return from holiday on Wednesday the 26th. Once we return, you can also reach us by phone at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours. We also have online chat support available on our website.

Please also note that we will be closing our office early at 6pm on Monday December 31st in observance of New Year's Eve. We will remain closed on Tuesday January 1st in observance of New Year's Day. We will resume our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST on Wednesday January 2nd. Again, if you need to contact us while we are away, your best option is to use the email listed above. We would like to wish all of you a very happy and safe holiday season, and we invite you to keep checking our blog in the following days for more information.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

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Alarm Grid is proud to announce that Arlo Security Cameras are now available on our site! These are versatile and easy-to-use security cameras that provide exceptional performance for virtually any residential application. It has never been easier to set up video surveillance for your home!


Arlo Cameras are unique for their ability to operate 100% wire-free. They receive power from removable batteries. Depending on the camera model, the batteries can be rechargeable for easy use. The cameras can remain powered for several months at a time with a single charge. However, this duration varies significantly based on overall usage. For communication, the cameras send wireless signals to a central base station. This module serves as a central hub for the setup, and it allows the cameras to connect with a local WIFI network.

The cameras will activate for recording whenever motion or sound is detected. The user can configure the settings for the cameras so that they only activate when they need them to. For example, a user might set up a GeoFence so that their camera only records while they are away from home. All recordings are stored on the Arlo App, which is free to download for Android and iOS devices. The app will store recordings for up to 7 days. All of the Arlo Cameras we offer are water and UV resistant, making them great for outdoor use.

One of the best options is to pair an Arlo Camera setup with a home security system and an Alarm Grid monitoring plan. This way, you can receive notifications from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com and then check your Arlo Camera to see exactly what happened. The cameras are also compatible with various smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Stringify and Samsung SmartThings (select models only).


At this time, we are proud to offer the following Arlo Camera models:

Note that the Arlo HD Camera is a certified refurbished model. Alarm Grid is not offering a new model of the Arlo HD at this time. A four-pack of refurbished Arlo HD Cameras is also available. Meanwhile, the Pro and Pro 2 Cameras are both new models. There are no refurbished versions available for either of these cameras.

The Arlo HD uses four replaceable lithium CR123A batteries, while the pro models use rechargeable batteries. Both the Pro and Pro 2 come with a single rechargeable battery. Additional rechargeable batteries can be purchased through the following link:

Remember that the Arlo HD, Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 all require an Arlo Base Station for basic operation. The cameras communicate wirelessly with this module, and it connects to the internet on their behalf. The base station uses a hardwired ethernet connection to communicate with your home's WIFI router. Without a base station, you will not be able to use any of the Arlo Camera models mentioned above. One Arlo Base Station can support up to five Arlo Cameras. This module also allows for local video storage by inserting a USB flash drive.


Alarm Grid offers both a new Arlo Base Station model and refurbished Arlo Base Station model:

Arlo Cameras are also known for their flexible mounting options. Each camera comes with a magnetic mount for basic installation. Users can also purchase any of the following separate mounting options.

Finally, we are also proud to offer the following optional Arlo Camera accessories:

Arlo Dual Battery Charging Station

Arlo Solar Panel Charger

Arlo Camera Skins for Pro and Pro 2

Arlo Indoor Power Adapter Replacement

If you have any questions about Arlo products, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! You may email us anytime at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm Monday thru Friday. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Today we're taking a look at a classic Honeywell 5800 Series Sensor. The Honeywell 5820L Wireless Slim Line Door and Window Sensor is known for being one of the easiest to use and effective contacts around. Its slim profile makes it ideal for use with sliding doors and windows.

Honeywell 5820l super slim wireless door and window sensorThe 5820L provides the same function as virtually any wireless door and window sensor. But its long, thin profile makes it perfect for certain applications. The way that the sensor works is fairly standard. The sensor has an integrated reed switch, and it is installed alongside a separate magnet that comes included. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor and cause the internal reed switch to activate. The sensor will then send an alert to the alarm system. As a 345 MHz sensor, the 5820L will work with most wireless Honeywell and 2GIG Panels. It will also work with the new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus with 345 MHz daughtercard.

What separates the 5820L from other 345 MHz contacts is its slim profile. This makes it exceptional for use with sliding doors and windows where a smaller sensor is needed. Even better is that the sensor is extremely easy to install by mounting it with double-sided foam tape. This means that no drilling or nails are needed to securely mount the sensor. And since the device uses a single AAA battery with an average battery life of 10 years, keeping the 5820L powered is a breeze. The one downside to the sensor is that it features are relatively short wireless range of about 150 feet. But a user can effectively double this range to 300 feet with the use of a Honeywell 5800RP Wireless Repeater.

The Honeywell 5820L is available for purchase from Alarm Grid now. Protect your sliding doors and windows with this versatile sensor!

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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 system 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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When people think of security cameras, they often imagine that they are complex and expensive pieces of equipment that require an intricate setup. But that is not the case. The latest security cameras for alarm systems are actually very easy to use, affordable and incredibly simple.

When looking for security camera for an apartment, there are a few things to consider. Most apartment residents are not able to drill holes in their walls. So having an easy-to-use camera that can be placed on a desk or table is usually ideal. It is also important that the camera has good night vision so that it can capture clear video even the lighting isn't the best. Finally, most apartment residents won't need to spend the extra money on a camera suitable for outdoor use. Instead, an indoor camera will work just fine. In summary, the requirements are a free-standing camera with night vision that works best in an indoor environment.

So with that in mind, there are a few different camera models we can recommend. The decision of which camera to get typically comes down to whether a user has access to Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. Total Connect 2.0 is used with Honeywell Systems, and Alarm.com is used with systems from other manufacturers, such as 2GIG and Qolsys. The service that they connect with will ultimately determine which camera they use. Keep in mind that most security systems do not allow users to view the feed of their cameras right from the panel. Instead, this must be done from the interactive service platform. Simply put, if a user has Total Connect, they will need a Total Connect Camera. And if they have Alarm.com, they will need an Alarm.com Camera.

For Total Connect users, there are two viable options available. These are the Lyric C1 and the Lyric C2 Cameras. The Lyric C2 is a little more robust than the Lyric C1, but both are outstanding cameras for use in an apartment. The Lyric C1 features 720p recording quality, a 135 degree viewing angle and an IR night vision range of 16.5 feet. It can be mounted on a desk or a table for easy access. This is the perfect camera for any TC2 user who wants a basic recording option for their apartment.

Honeywell lyric c1 wifi indoor 720p hd total connect security caAs for the Lyric C2, it offers a superior, high-definition 1080p recording quality. And some users will prefer its rounder design. Its IR night vision range is also double that of the Lyric C2, coming in at an impressive 33 feet. Both the Lyric C1 and C2 can be easily integrated with a user's Total Connect account by having the camera scan a QR code that is produced by the Total Connect Mobile App. From there, the user can connect the camera to their local WIFI network. This makes both devices excellent for DIY users who are setting up their own system. A user should choose the C2 over the C1 if they require a more-advanced camera with greater recording capabilities.

Honeywell lyric c2 wifi indoor 1080p hd total connect security cMeanwhile, Alarm.com users will have to use a different set of cameras. For apartment residents, we definitely recommend the Alarm.com ADC-V522IR. This is the best ADC-compatible that can rest comfortably on a desk or table. The device features a 1080p recording quality, an IR night vision range of 15 feet, and a 113 degree viewing angle. The camera connects to a 2.4 GHz or a 5 GHz WIFI network, and it can be learned-in with Alarm.com through a simple pairing process. Once a user has set the camera up, they can view its live feed from Alarm.com at any time. Overall, it is the perfect camera for any Alarm.com user who lives an apartment.

Alarm dot com adc v522ir indoor 1080p fixed camera with night vi

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Very recently, we made a post highlighting the best smart thermostats on the market today. We made it clear that smart thermostats offer huge convenience, and they can help users save money on energy bills. But just how much can a household save by using a smart thermostat? Let's find out.

Honeywell zwstat z wave thermostat

The idea behind a smart thermostat is that it will allow a home's HVAC system to run only when it is needed. The HVAC system is typically the largest contributor to one's energy bill. With a traditional analogue thermostat, a user has to choose between running the HVAC system all the time (expensive) or coming home to house where the HVAC system hasn't been running all day (uncomfortable). This can be somewhat mitigated using a standard programmable thermostat set on pre-determined schedule. However, a user will still be unable to adjust their HVAC system while they are away.

A smart thermostat offers major convenience, since it allows for the HVAC System to respond automatically with certain events. For example, a smart thermostat can be "taught" to turn off the HVAC system when a user presumedly leaves their house because they set their security system to arm away. That way, the HVAC system turns off at exactly the right moment. If you ever plan on leaving your home at different times of the day, a standard programmable thermostat won't be able to achieve this same level of automatic precision.


Honeywell lyric thermostat smart programmable wifi thermostat th

But the real money saving ability of a smart thermostat comes from the ability to control the HVAC system remotely. This is done by accessing an interactive service platform, such as Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. When this setup is done using an alarm system, the command will go from the interactive servers servers to the control panel (through WIFI or cellular communication), then to the smart thermostat (usually through WIFI or Z-Wave), and finally to the HVAC system (through a wired connection). Since most interactive services have their own mobile apps, this type of control and access can be achieved from virtually anywhere in the world.

So say you're away from home, and you're running late. Instead of arriving home at your expected time, it will now be several hours or even the next day until you get back. But oh no, your home's heating and cooling system is still running! If you don't shut it off, the energy bills are going to rack up! In this situation, just pull out your smart phone, access your interactive service account, and tell your smart thermostat to shut off the HVAC system. Just like that, you have saved money. And if you want your house to be comfortable when you arrive, access your account a little bit before you come home and activate your thermostat. It's that easy.


Alarm dot com t2000 smart thermostat

So how much can you really save on your energy bills with a smart thermostat? Well it depends. Obviously, the savings will be largest if you had a traditional thermostat that had the HVAC system running 24/7. Once you adjust to a programmable thermostat, assuming you use it as designed, you will save money in energy costs every time you leave the home and have the HVAC system stop running. But if you had an analogue or programmable thermostat that you adjusted meticulously, or if you almost never leave your home and always run your HVAC system, the savings won't be as large.

As for actual numbers, various studies have found that a typical smart thermostat will save users on average about 10% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs. This translates to a savings of about $130 per year, or slightly more than $10 per month. But keep in mind, these savings will be larger in certain cases. We've heard of many users saving more than $200 per year in energy costs by using a smart thermostat. For these users, a smart thermostat essentially pays for itself in just a year's time.

The best option is to consider your energy-using habits and determine whether or not a smart thermostat is a good investment for your household. Either way, it will certainly be more convenient and offer more features than a traditional thermostat. And if you're wondering which smart thermostat we recommend, we gotta say we're pretty big fans of the new Honeywell T6 Z-Wave Thermostat.


Honeywell t6 z wave thermostat smart thermostat

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Hi DIYers! Are you looking to get started with a brand-new home security system? An alarm panel is crucial for protecting your family and for providing peace of mind. But with the many options available, the decision of which system to buy can seem overwhelming. But we are here to help.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Our support team has worked with and tested many different alarm systems. Needless to say, we have a pretty good idea about what makes a great security panel. And while the perfect alarm system varies between different types of applications, there are a few things that almost any DIY user looks for. As always, having a system that is easy to use is very important, as it can save a user many headaches later on. This is important both for conducting the initial setup and for performing daily system tasks.

But there are a few other factors that have also come into prominence in more recent years. The design and aesthetics of a security system are more crucial than ever. An alarm system is no longer an anonymous metal box that you tuck away in the depths of your attic. New security systems have personality, and the best ones are pleasing in both appearance and function. The successful systems of today fit-in with virtually any decor, and they enhance the appearance of the home. Conversely, a system with a poor design can make a home appear old-fashioned or tacky. And while we love some hardwired systems like the VISTA Series, there's no denying that they just don't look as fun or exciting as a panel with a touchscreen.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

Finally, home automation is critical in 2018. And this goes beyond just being able to connect with an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The newest security systems can be controlled using voice commands sent through a smart home device. These voice commands can be used for performing both security functions and home automation functions. We've already encountered many cases where a buyer has based their purchasing decision on the automation features of an alarm panel.

Users should expect these home automation features and capabilities to expand in the coming years. Over time, they should become increasingly essential and standard for a new alarm system. Automation and voice operation will most likely become a way for security systems to separate from one another in the coming years, as the technology is only continuing to grow. The systems that innovate and push the boundaries, while still keeping their systems accessible to everyone will thrive.

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Just like in recent years, wireless systems are the way to go in 2018. This is no surprise, since wireless systems are easier to program and more pleasing to use and display than their hardwired counterparts. But what may be surprising to some user is that all of our top system picks were initially released last year or earlier. It just goes to show that these panels continue to impress, even as technology progresses further.

With al that in mind, here are our top 3 picks for security systems in 2018, listed in alphabetical order:

2GIG GC3

There's something special to be said about the 2GIG GC3. And it goes back to 2GIG itself. The name stands for "2 Guys In a Garage", and that's exactly what the company was at its onset. While the company has grown since then, their ideology remains the same - they believe that they can do it better. And 2GIG truly delivered with their GC3.

Compared to some other modern systems, the 2GIG GC3 isn't the fanciest or the most feature-heavy. It's the choice for users who want a sneaky solid and dependable option for home security. The GC3 design is modest and uneventful, and it's certainly not going to draw attention to itself. But when you do look at the system, you'll find that it actually comes off as very pleasing. The crisp white design with two prominent front buttons is simple, yet mature. It can surely fit in with almost any setting. And for many users, that's all they really ask for.

Another thing we like about the GC3 is the level of care that was put into it. The panel is one of the sturdiest pieces of security equipment we have ever come across. Same with the 2GIG Sensors. The latest 2GIG equipment has a certain "weight" to it that helps it feel more stable and secure. Just picking up the panel conveys a sensation of quality craftsmanship. You can certainly tell that 2GIG put a huge amount of love and care into designing their system. That alone makes it one of the top wireless security systems to consider for your home in 2018.

Now, the system isn't perfect. The system does not have any compatible encrypted sensors. Instead, it is forced to rely on the unencrypted 345 MHz sensors from 2GIG and Honeywell. There's nothing wrong with these sensors, but users who want a more secure sensor option will have to look else where. Also the programming menus can have a steeper learning curve for new users than the other systems presented here. And keep in mind that Apple HomeKit support is not available for the GC3.

However, the system can connect with Alarm.com to achieve home automation support with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Alarm.com is an outstanding platform, and achieving a full smart home setup with the alarm panel is a relatively straightforward process. But a cellular communicator is needed to connect the GC3 with ADC. Having to buy a cellular communicator separately to access Alarm.com does turn some users away. But this is a necessary add-on for getting the most out of a 2GIG GC3.

Overall, the GC3 is your choice if you want a strong and sturdy system, and you don't necessarily mind not having access to every last frill presented by other panels.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenHoneywell Lyric Controller

If the other alarm manufacturers are challenging the status quo, then Honeywell is the status quo. Honeywell has been in business for a long time. 112 years at the time of this writing. And while they haven't always been involved in the home security industry, they have certainly been in it longer than the likes of 2GIG and Qolsys. Honeywell's home security roots actually date back to the 1960s. These decades of experience prove that Honeywell is doing something right. And the company used their experience and expertise to create their latest offering, the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Lyric Controller pushed some boundaries, and it presented features that had never really been seen before when it was released in 2016. Starting with the design, there's a lot to like about the panel. Its display is large and colorful, and its touchscreen feels very satisfying to use. The white boarder with accompanying grey accents is pleasing, and its digital picture-frame feature allows users to add a personalized touch for when the system is idle. This is a panel you will be proud to display in your home.

But the Lyric is more than just a pretty face. It was one of the first alarm systems to have its own lineup of encrypted security sensors. The Honeywell SiX Series Sensors communicate using 2.4 GHz WIFI, and they are protected by 128-bit AES encryption. They are virtually impossible to hack or takeover, making them some of the most secure sensors on the market today. Other compatible sensor options for the Lyric Controller include the legacy Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors and the 2GIG Sensors. The Lyric Controller also was innovative for including both a WIFI card and a Z-Wave controller into the system as standard.

So what else makes the Lyric Controller stand-out? For one, it is able to connect with Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 Service. This platform is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Panels, and it is continuing to make strides in home automation. Honeywell recently announced that the service will work with Amazon Alexa devices, opening up a world of new possibilities. Additionally, the Lyric Controller is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. This makes the Lyric essentially the default option for anyone hoping to use HomeKit with their alarm system. However, it is currently impossible to use Google Home with the Lyric.

Like the GC3, the Lyric does not readily include a built-in cellular communicator. One will need to be added separately if a user wants to receive cellular monitoring. But the Lyric has a few advantages here. While Alarm.com requires a cellular communicator, Total Connect 2.0 can be accessed over WIFI alone. In other words, the system can connect with the interactive service straight out of the box.

If a user is confident in their WIFI setup, and they feel they can forgo cellular service, then the Lyric is an ideal selection. Keep in mind though, if the power goes out or WIFI goes down, then the Lyric will be a sitting duck. For the record, Alarm Grid encourages users to use cellular monitoring if possible. But we won't stop you from using WIFI only. And if a user does decide to install a cellular communicator for the system, there is a convenient side slot for this purpose.

Overall, there are many reasons to choose the Lyric Controller. It is currently the only system that can be used with Apple HomeKit. So if you want to use HomeKit this is the system to use! And the Lyric is arguably the best option for users who are content with an IP monitoring plan and no cellular backup. The Lyric is also ideal for users who trust the Honeywell name. After all, it's hard to top an ongoing legacy of 112 years.

But if you want to use Google Home, or if you like Alarm.com more than Total Connect 2.0, then you should look elsewhere.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemQolsys IQ Panel 2

Qolsys is a rather interesting company in the security industry. Its unique name is short for "Quality of Life Systems", implying that their systems will improve the quality of one's life. Qolsys is by far the youngest system manufacturer featured on the Alarm Grid website, having just been founded in 2010. So while Qolsys might not yet offer major-name recognition, it does offer lots of ambition! The young company maintains its headquarters in San Jose, California, and its West-Coast ideology certainly shows in its products.

At face value, there is a lot to love about the IQ Panel 2. We have never encountered an alarm system that comes as loaded and as stacked as this innovative piece of hardware. For starters, the IQ Panel 2 is the only system to date that comes with a built-in cellular communicator standard. Yeah, nearly every system has special packages that include a cell module. But only the IQ Panel 2 comes with this standard. The cell module is not an "add-on". It is a basic component here.

That is exactly the type of forward thinking we have come to expect with Qolsys. They know that cellular service is the optimal communication path for an alarm system. So rather than forcing a user to buy this simple accessory separately, Qolsys decided to give the people what they want. Most users will choose between the AT&T and the Verizon versions of the system to access a cellular network. We recommend going with whichever service works better in the area.

And we mean it when we say the IQ Panel 2 is stacked. Beyond the cellular module, the IQ Panel 2 also has a built-in WIFI card and a built-in Z-Wave controller. Right out of the box, the system is ready for dual-path communication and full home automation control. The system connects with Alarm.com, making it compatible with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa. But unfortunately, it cannot be used with Apple HomeKit. However, it is the only alarm system we know of that allows for Bluetooth disarming.

Moving on to sensors, there is actually a lot to discuss with Qolsys. The company produces its own sensors that operate at the 319.5 MHz frequency. This is the same frequency used by the Interlogix/GE Sensors, which have been around for many years. The Interlogix/GE Sensors can be used with the IQ Panel 2 System just fine. As for the Qolsys Sensors, they are split into two categories. These are the standard unencrypted Qolsys Sensors and the encrypted Qolsys S-Line Sensors.

Again, both Qolsys Sensor types will work with the IQ Panel 2. And the S-Line Sensors are the only encrypted 319.5 MHz sensors that can be used with the IQ Panel 2. But it must be mentioned that the S-Line Sensors use rolling code encryption. They are not as secure as the SiX Sensors that use 128-bit AES encryption when enrolled with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. But the S-Line Sensors are still more secure than anything offered from 2GIG, at least at this time.

But, it actually gets a lot more complicated than that. In the very near future, Qolsys is planning to release various daughtercards for the IQ Panel 2 System. These daughtercards will essentially serve as wireless receivers for the system. So the type of sensors that can be used with the system will depend on the daughtercards that are installed. The panel has slots available for two daughtercards, but they cannot be mixed freely.

The first slot will have one of the following cards: 319.5 MHz (the traditional Qolsys/Interlogix/GE option, outlined above), 345 MHz (for use with Honeywell 5800 Sensors and 2GIG Sensors), or 433 MHz (for use with legacy DSC Sensors). Then, in the second slot, a user can choose between an image sensor module card or a PowerG 915 MHz daughtercard.

And we need to stop and talk about PowerG for a second. PowerG Sensors are the most advanced security sensors we have ever seen. They boast a remarkable range of 2km in open air, and they are protected with full 128-bit AES encryption. This makes them extremely versatile and highly secure. Range should not be an issue when using PowerG Sensor. But if it ever is, DSC makes a PowerG Wireless Repeater to further expand on this ridiculous range.

So, long story short, a new buyer of an IQ Panel 2 can use PowerG Sensors and one other type of wireless sensors in a 300-400 MHz frequency. That is, unless they use an image sensor module, in which case they cannot use PowerG with the IQ Panel 2. This might seem very complicated (and it is!), but the point is, once Qolsys releases these upcoming daughtercards (very soon!), the IQ Panel 2 will be unparalleled in terms of sensor compatibility. Needless to say, we are looking forward to it.

And regardless of which sensor type you choose, learning the devices in is very easy on the IQ Panel 2. The system has an extremely intuitive programming process that is very easy for new users to learn. In fact, we'd even go as far to say that it is the easiest pairing process we have ever encountered for an alarm system. Let's put it like this - GC3 programming is easy, Lyric Controller programming is easier, and IQ Panel 2 programming is the easiest. This makes the IQ Panel 2 ideal for beginners.

Our final praise for the IQ Panel 2 System comes in the form of its design. It is incredibly sleek and modern, and its thin profile helps it stay out of the way when not in use. But when you are using the system, it is a beauty. The screen is large, bright and very colorful. The touchscreen controller is also very responsive, and it feels like a joy to use on a daily basis. Whether you're operating Z-Wave devices, programming the system or just arming and disarming, using the IQ Panel 2 will be breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to the IQ Panel 2 design. It is a more flimsy system than the likes of the GC3 and the Lyric Controller. Don't get us wrong, the IQ Panel 2 is built well enough for users who don't abuse their equipment. But it doesn't feel as sturdy as other top systems. Qolsys is a young company, and their build-quality might not be quite there yet. This can come into play when opening up the system for wiring purposes or for providing power to the system. Opening up the system is somewhat of a challenge, and closing it properly can be difficult at times. We hate to describe a system as "flimsy", but that is sometimes the case with the IQ Panel 2. As long as you're careful with it, then it should be fine. But don't expect a total tank like the GC3.

All things considered, there are many reasons to choose the IQ Panel 2. If you want a complete and total system right out of the box, it is perfect. If you are intrigued by the DSC PowerG Sensors, the IQ Panel 2 will be your best bet once the daughtercard is released. Its thin-profile and sleek, modern design make the IQ Panel 2 ideal when aesthetics are a factor. It's also the perfect match for users who want to use equipment from an exciting newcomer in the security industry like Qolsys. And the system is perfect for new DIY users because of its incredibly easy programming process.

But keep in mind, the system can be flimsy at times. If you can take good care of your equipment, then this won't be an issue. But if you want something sturdier, go with the GC3 or the Lyric Controller instead. Users should also choose the Lyric Controller over the IQ Panel 2 if they hope to use Apple HomeKit with their security system.

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

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S. This is a wired to wireless converter that communicates at the 319.5 MHz frequency. At this frequency, the IQ Hardwire 16-S is compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2, the original Qolsys IQ Panel and Interlogix Systems.

Qolsys iq hardwire 16 s qs7131 840The main reason to use the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S is to use hardwired security sensors with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. This works by connecting any hardwired sensors directly to the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S. The converter will then send a 319.5 MHz signal to the IQ Panel 2 System on the behalf of the hardwired sensors. By doing this, each hardwired sensor will be able to use its own wireless zone on the system. As the name implies to 16 wired sensors can be connected with the IQ Hardwire 16-S. If a user doesn't need this many terminals, the IQ Hardwire 8-S provides identical function.

Another benefit of the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S is that it utilizes 128-bit AES encryption to prevent the module from being taken over by hackers and potential intruders. Any time that the Hardwire 16-S sends a command to the IQ Panel 2, the system will need to send an appropriate response in order for the command to go through. This advanced level of protection is great for keeping the security setup secure at all times.

The Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S can also be used with other panels that communicate at the 319.5 MHz frequency. However, the encryption feature will only be active when the device is used with the IQ Panel 2. With other systems, the device will still work, but it will operate as an unencrypted 319.5 MHz sensor. Qolsys also offers a similar device that doesn't utilize encryption, the IQ Hardwire 8. However, this module only supports eight hardwired sensors.

The IQ Hardwire 8-S is perfect for users who want to upgrade to a brand-new IQ Panel 2 System while still keeping their older hardwired sensors. You can purchase one today on our website.

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