Service Announcements Posts

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Last week, Yahoo made a change to their DMARC policy. DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. It is an email authentication method meant to curb spoofing of email addresses and other abuses. On the surface, this change seems like it might be a positive one. After all, who among us does not hate email abuse? But in practice, the change had a lot of unintended consequences.

The change that Yahoo made no longer allows their emails to be sent from outside of their system. What that means in practice is that if you send an email from a yahoo address to an email address whose provider checks against DMARC (which is most reputable email providers), the email will not get through.

You may never be affected by the DMARC change, then again, you may have already been affected and not even known about it. If you sent an email from a yahoo email address in the last week to Alarm Grid, for example, we didn't get it. The reason is that when you send an email to support@alarmgrid.com, the way it works is that it goes from your email to a ticketing system, that ticketing system then forwards your email to our techs who use Gmail. Gmail sees that your email was sent from a Yahoo address, but that it was forwarded from our ticketing system, checks the DMARC policy, then rejects your email because it wasn't sent directly from the Yahoo address.

As you can imagine, this has been a major headache for us being that we are absolutely 100% about customer service, and this change has caused us to miss a massive numbers of questions and requests from our customers. So we wanted to apologize to anyone who sent us an email in the last week from a Yahoo address. We were not trying to ignore you, we simply did not see your email. If you are one of Alarm Grid's customers that this affected, you should be receiving a response to your message promptly as they are sitting in our ticketing system and we are auditing missed messages as we speak.

That said, since Yahoo seems to be uncommitted to resolving the havoc-wreaking issue caused by their change, even lauding this adjustment as a pioneering change that the rest of the industry is sure to follow, we recommend that you strongly consider changing your email from Yahoo to a provider that, as of yet, has not made unilateral decisions that break the way most people use the internet. Internally at Alarm Grid, we use Gmail. It is free, its storage capacity is incredibly large, and it's functionality is better than any paid service we have yet seen. Even so, there are plenty of other services out there that are both free and very functional. Going forward, while we will do our best to make sure that all emails are answered, it is our belief that your life will be made much easier if you begin the search for a new email provider.

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Unfortunately, the President of Alarm Grid, Sterling Donnelly, has decided that tonight is the night to test out his new herd of flying reindeer. As you can imagine, flying reindeer through the air is a bit hazardous in this age of aviation. Because we don't want him getting hurt, all of us have decided to go and watch (supervise) President Donnelly as he performs his very unsafe antics. That said, as a result of Sterling's insistence on flying his reindeer around tonight, we are going to have to close the offices tomorrow, which means no tech support on Christmas day.

Tech support will also not be available on January 1st, but that's just because it's New Years day.

You can still reach the central station (as is always the case) and if there are problems, they will still be able to reach you.

That said, our hope is that all of you who are celebrating this very merry holiday are at home surrounded by those you love. And don't worry too much about us. Sterling is an experienced flying reindeer handler. He does this about once a year in a big red furry coat and hat, and he always insists on doing it Christmas Eve. We just like to watch to make sure that he's doing it as safely as possible.

We promise that we'll be back on December 26th, and we will be just as jolly the day after Christmas as we were the day before.

Oh, and before 2014 rolls on in, we just want to take a moment to thank you all for making Alarm Grid's first full year in service a successful one. We love serving you, and hope that 2014 brings with it many more opportunities to exceed your expectations.

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Hello deal shoppers!

I'm sorry, you're not going to find any big sales on Alarm Grid today. It's not because you haven't found the super special secret page where we list them just for certain customers. It's because we don't actually run deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.... Actually, since we started Alarm Grid, we've never run any deals at all.

Why you ask? Will we ever run a deal?

Well, the why is really simple. We do our best to price our products as low as we possibly can. When we are cut a deal by our suppliers, we try to pass it off to you right away. We also try to manage our inventory very closely, so we don't end up with much overage each month.

Now the question of whether Alarm Grid will ever run deals is a bit more difficult. We aren't opposed to running deals when it is necessary. But we do find something a bit objectionable to the idea of giving some people one price, while giving the rest of you a different price simply because you purchased 1 day later or earlier. Our philosophy has been to be fair, up front, and very honest, and in some very existential way, deals run counter to that philosophy.

We're not going to state definitively that we will never run a sale, but as for the moment, don't bet on it happening any time soon.

If you're looking for that perfect security system that you want today, and you like what you see on Alarm Grid, go ahead and ask us anything you'd like to know. We're available by chat, by phone (888-818-7728) or by email: support@alarmgrid.com.

And we love to help!

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Turkey FryerFor Thanksgiving this year, our Alarm Grid's president, Sterling Donnelly, has decided to fry a turkey in our special Alarm Grid turkey fryer. It's dangerous, yes, but if you've seen any of our Alarm Grid videos, you would know that Sterling is a dangerous man, performing all of his own stunts.

That said, we're still all a little bit nervous, and have decided to close down the office for the day in order to make sure that Sterling doesn't do something foolish and burn the company to the ground. So if you try to call in tomorrow and you get the answering machine, now you know why. We should be back up and running Friday, and we'll be on in a limited capacity on Saturday and Sunday as usual.

As is always the case, Alarm Grid's central station never shuts down. If you need to contact the central station for any reason, call the main number, and select option '1.'

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Honeywell's award winning Tuxedo Touch keypads are not only beautiful touchscreen controllers for most Honeywell VISTA Series alarm control panels, they are also powerful Z-Wave home automation controllers. Adding a Tuxedo Touch keypad to your VISTA security system allows you protect your home and fully control your home's Z-Wave lights, Z-Wave locks and Z-Wave thermostats.


One feature that the Tuxedo Touch keypads has been lacking is the ability to control your home's Z-Wave devices using Honeywell's interactive Total Connect service. While you could turn on your Z-Wave lights from the actual touchscreen keypad, you could not use your Total Connect account to remotely control those same lights.

The original Tuxedo Touch and Tuxedo Touch WIFI both had internal web servers so that they could be connected to your IP network. If you connected your Tuxedo Touch to your network, you could access a virtual version of the Tuxedo screen to do home automation control. However, you had to setup complicated port forwarding if you wanted to access the virtual Tuxedo keypad while you were not home and connected to the same IP network.

We have all been patiently waiting for Honeywell to release new versions of the Tuxedo Touch keypads and we are happy to say our patience has finally been rewarded! The new Total Connect ready Tuxedo Touch and Tuxedo Touch WIFI keypads are available and shipping now!

With a new Tuxedo Touch and a monitoring plan that includes Remote Home Automation, you will have full control over your Honeywell VISTA Series security system. Not only will you be able to arm and disarm your system from your phone, but you will now be able to turn your home's lights on and off whenever you'd like. You will be able to set your thermostat to a specific temperature while you drive home from work. You can even unlock your door and disarm your system from anywhere in the world!

Even if you had an existing Tuxedo Touch and you have it setup to be controlled remotely, there are extra features that Total Connect remote home automation provides that a regular Tuxedo Touch will not.

The chart above highlights the advantages of upgrading your Total Connect service to include AlarmNet's remote home automation option. With extra available scenes on Total Connect and manual remote scene activation, connecting your Tuxedo Touch to Total Connect will bring total system control to the palm of your hand. You can even have Total Connect send you instant emails or text messages whenever a Z-Wave device or scene is activated so that you are kept aware of all things happening at your home.

If you already have a Tuxedo Touch WIFI installed, there is an available firmware update that will make Total Connect home automation control an option for you. Unfortunately, non-WIFI Tuxedo Touch units are built with a different circuit board and operate on an operating system that does not support this update. Therefore, if you have an existing Tuxedo Touch and want Total Connect home automation control, you will need to purchase a new Tuxedo Touch or Tuxedo Touch WIFI.

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Happy Birthday America!

Flickr - The U.S. Army - Young patriot

Alarm Grid has been in business just over a year now. And we celebrated our own birthday with cake, candles and a lot of high fives. Tomorrow, we're going to be celebrating America's independence day with giant rockets that go boom. We've bought thousands of bottle rockets, and we're going to make our glorious President, Sterling Donnelly, light them all while we watch at a safe distance.

Being as how lighting bottle rockets is a dangerous activity and requires the utmost concentration, we've decided to close our doors tomorrow so that we can ensure Sterling's safety. At this stage, we're just hoping that Sterling gets out of tomorrow with all his fingers (unlike last year).

Anyhow, it's a federal holiday, the post office is closed, and we're pretty sure that you will all be celebrating anyhow. So chances are you won't even notice that Alarm Grid is closed. But we thought we'd at least let you know why we're a bit inaccessible in case you decide to call in.

In the case that you need to reach us, please leave us a message, or email support@alarmgrid.com. We may not be in the office, but our staff will be checking messages and emails throughout the day.

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