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We have learned that there is a new firmware update available for Alarm.com Honeywell VISTA SEM Communicators. Firmware Upgrade Version 1.61 is a free over-the-air (OTA) upgrade to ensure that SEM VISTA Panels running 187h or 187i firmware and 1.60 gateway firmware have the newest features.


In order to receive Firmware Upgrade Version 1.61, it must be pushed down manually by your alarm monitoring company. Your Honeywell VISTA Alarm System must be in a disarmed state in order for the update to go through. It is recommended that the system be kept in a disarmed state while the upgrade is completed. The entire process should take roughly 20 to 40 minutes. No action is needed while the update is being performed.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer with a Honeywell VISTA System using an Alarm.com SEM Communicator, then you should email us to request the update. The best email to contact us at is support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a good email to use if you have a Honeywell VISTA Security System or any other alarm system that you are hoping to get monitored. We're here to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Important Update: Alarm Grid has opted out of the two-factor authentication (2FA) requirement for Alarm.com. The post below was written before Alarm Grid opted out, and it was believed that 2FA would soon be required for all Alarm Grid monitored customers who receive access to Alarm.com.

Alarm Grid has received notice from Alarm.com that two-factor authentication (2FA) will soon be required for all Alarm.com users. Alarm.com is making this requirement to protect user accounts against unauthorized access. Users can set up 2FA for Alarm.com through email or text message.


At the time of this writing in late January 2021, 2FA for Alarm.com is optional, but it is recommended for keeping accounts as secure as possible. However, starting on Monday, February 15, 2021, any user who has not yet set up 2FA will be required to do so upon logging into their Alarm.com account. According to Alarm.com, the goal is to have every Alarm.com user set up with 2FA by Spring of this year.

When setting up 2FA for Alarm.com, you can choose to have codes sent via text message or email. Once the feature has been set up, you will need to perform 2FA upon logging into Alarm.com on an unsaved device. After you provide your ADC username and password, Alarm.com will send you a secret code via text or email. You must provide this secret code to verify your identity. Only then will you gain access to your Alarm.com account. Alarm.com will then allow your to "save" that device so that you don't need to perform 2FA the next time you use that device.

For most users, this will only mean performing 2FA when logging into Alarm.com through the mobile app on a new phone or through the Alarm.com website after clearing cookies. It's good that Alarm.com allows you to "save" trusted devices, as it would be very inconvenient to be required to perform 2FA every single time you go to access the Alarm.com service. However, it's a nice extra layer of protection for those times if you ever access Alarm.com through a public computer or some other computer that you don't normally use. While we are a bit surprised to see Alarm.com requiring 2FA for every user, we understand their rationale in wanting to keep accounts as secure as possible. Remember, anyone who is able to access your Alarm.com account and disarm your security system basically has full access to your property. Therefore, any extra protection is appreciated!

You can enable 2FA for your Alarm.com account at any time through the website. Simply login to your account through the website, and then select the Settings option on the left-hand side of the screen. From there, choose Login Information, and then Two-Factor Authentication. Then choose to set up the feature through text or email by following the on-screen prompts.

If you have any extra questions, or if you are interested in starting new monitoring service for use with Alarm.com, please email our team at support@alarmgrid.com. We're here to check your emails and provide support from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get started with Alarm.com.

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Alarm Grid is now offering a new "alternate" version of the Resideo ProSeries 7" All-In-One Panel. In addition to the existing Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, Alarm Grid customers now have the option of the new Resideo PROA7PLUSC Security System. Both options are the same, except for one aspect.


Before you get super excited and full of anticipation, we're sorry to spoil the fun. The change really isn't anything too revolutionary. While the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS reads "Honeywell Home" across the front of the panel, the Resideo PROA7PLUSC instead reads "Resideo" across its front. Yes, other than that small aesthetic change, these are the same alarm panels, with the same features, the same compatibility, and the same performance.

Why did Resideo bother to do this? From what we can tell, it's a marketing decision. They wanted the brand recognition of the "Honeywell Home" namesake, but since businesses may not want to use a product with "Home" in the title, the "Resideo" version is available as well. Indeed, the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS is officially the "residential" version, while the Resideo PROA7PLUSC is officially the "commercial" version. We know, it's a bit redundant, but ask yourself this - are you really surprised?

You are free to throw caution to the wind of course. If you want to use the "commercial" Resideo PROA7PLUSC with the corporate sticker of "Resideo" boldly adorning the alarm panel that you use in your residence, feel free. Or conversely, if you're a business owner wanting to bring the comfort of "home" into the office, then you're welcome to use the "residential" Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS with the "Honeywell Home" moniker. It really won't make much of a difference, but you can go with whichever option makes you happier.

You may actually recall that Resideo did something similar with the new Tuxedo Keypad for their hardwired Honeywell VISTA Security Systems. In that realm, you can choose between the Honeywell Home TUXEDOW with "Honeywell Home" emblazoned across the front panel, or you can opt for the Resideo TUXEDOWC with "Resideo" taking the spotlight. Again, that is the only difference between the two keypad models. Now Resideo is doing it again with their wireless panels. Will it be the last time they do this? Our bets are on "No", but time will tell.

Anyway, whether you choose the PROA7PLUS or PROA7PLUSC, you are getting a fantastic wireless alarm panel with some outstanding features. We have already covered the system in extensive detail before, so please check out our introduction and buying guide for the system that we put out late last year.

We must also report that local programming is still yet to be released, so you will need your alarm monitoring company to perform virtually all tasks remotely when it comes to setting up the system. Our understanding is that the systems (yes, both of them) will soon be made to support local programming, hopefully in the coming months. We also have no word on when, or even if, Apple HomeKit functionality will become a reality. For now, if you want a panel that does support end-user programming AND offers a robust integration with Apple HomeKit, you might instead consider the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, which in many ways is still the superior option.

If you have any questions about the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, the Resideo PROA7PLUSC, the Honeywell Lyric, or if you just want to learn about alarm monitoring in general, contact our team via email at support@alarmgrid.com. We are here to check your email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm.com has announced that some of their most popular security cameras will soon be receiving important over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates. The models receiving firmware updates include the ADC-V523 Indoor Camera, the ADC-V723 Outdoor Camera, and the ADC-VDB770 Doorbell Camera.


End users will not need to take any special action to receive the automatic firmware updates. The updates will be pushed down to the cameras from the Alarm.com servers throughout the coming weeks. As long as the device is online and connected with Alarm.com, then it should receive the update successfully.

The ADC-V523 Indoor Camera and the ADC-V723 Outdoor Camera are both receiving Firmware Upgrade Version 0.6.1.151. The update will provide support for the recently released Onboard Recording Schedules Feature. Users can also expect general stability fixes and device performance improvements.

The Alarm.com ADC-VDB770 is receiving Firmware Upgrade Version 02088. As the Alarm.com Doorbell Camera was only released a couple of months ago, this is believed to be the first significant firmware update for the device. The update will primarily focus on improving WIFI connectivity and overall network stability for the doorbell camera. Users should notice fewer streaming disruptions as a result.

If you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer with questions about these upcoming firmware updates, or if you are interested in starting new alarm monitoring service so that you can use Alarm.com Security Cameras, then please email our support technicians and alarm system planners at support@alarm.com. We check email and respond to inquiries Monday thru Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Due to a technical issue, Alarm Grid is currently unable to receive incoming phone calls. This is due to a Twilio outage that prevents the TalkDesk service from working properly. For now, we are only able to place our own phone calls. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers.

If you need to contact Alarm Grid, then emailing us at support@alarmgrid.com is still a viable option as usual. You may also try using the Chat function found on various pages throughout the Alarm Grid website. We will provide an update when our regular phone service is restored. Our hope is that the issue will be resolved soon. Keep checking our blog for updates. As a reminder, you can subscribe to our blog using Feedburner service.

Update: Our phone service is believed to be working as usual again.

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Welcome to the first post of 2021 from Alarm Grid! It's almost cliché to say by this point, but we're just as happy to transition into 2021 as you are. And we're looking to start the year off on the right foot by having our Florida team members return to the Alarm Grid headquarters.


Since Thanksgiving, our Florida office has remained closed, and virtually all team members who normally work here have instead been performing their regular duties from their homes. Only our satellite offices in Kentucky and Connecticut have remained active during this time. Well now it's back to business as usual, as we have transitioned back into our usual location. We are happy to be back, as while we love our homes, the office is really the best place for staying focused and providing our customers with the support and assistance they need.

One other small note as we leave 2020 behind, we know that normally we do a "Year In Review" blog post around this time, to look back on all the events that occurred. But unfortunately, that will not be happening this year. We actually had one planned out, but due to technical difficulties, the content was deleted, and we were unable to recover it. Also, there has been so much security news as of late that we really haven't had the time. Not to mention the fact that most people consider 2020 to have been a "below average" year, so we're sure that most of our readers are ready to move forward rather than look into the rearview. But if you were looking forward to that, then we do apologize.

With that out of the way, let's start thinking about what we can expect for 2021. Our three biggest manufacturers - Resideo, Qolsys, and 2GIG - all have big plans for the year. We expect this to be the year that the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS Alarm Panel really comes into itself, as Resideo is expected to make local end user programming available for the system, and there is a good chance that Apple HomeKit support will also be added later this year. We've also heard that there will be a "stripped-down" version of the PROA7PLUS called simply the PROA7 that will not offer Z-Wave or WIFI connectivity unless added separately. And there have also been some small rumblings of a wired and wireless hybrid panel from Resideo that is tentatively being called the Honeywell Home PROH8PLUS.

Qolsys is likely going to debut their much-anticipated Qolsys IQ Hub in 2021. We were actually expecting it to hit the market in 2020, but that obviously never happened, possibly due to the ongoing pandemic. We have periodically asked Qolsys about the IQ Hub, and they continue to say that it should be available early this year. All signs point to it being released very soon. As we have mentioned before, we don't necessarily expect the IQ Hub to replace the IQ Panel 2 Plus, and instead it will be an option for users who don't really need all of the advanced features of the company's flagship alarm panel. We strongly recommend checking out this post to learn more about what may be coming for the IQ Hub.

Lastly, 2GIG is set to release their own brand-new security system, the 2GIG Edge, in February. The website promoting the upcoming panel is vague on details and specifications, but we're guessing that 2GIG is going to hold nothing back on their new panel. They have some very stiff competition with Resideo and Qolsys afterall. For more information on what the 2GIG Edge Security System might have to offer, please check out our initial post on the subject, where we made some interesting predictions and speculations based on information that is currently available.

Remember to stay tuned to our blog so that you can remain up-to-date on the latest security news and happening throughout 2021 and beyond. And if you ever need any help with your Alarm Grid System, or if you are looking to join Alarm Grid as a monitored customer, then please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We're available to check your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Happy New Year, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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Happy New Year! As you can tell from the title, we're discussing our holiday schedule. All Alarm Grid offices will be closing early at 6pm ET on Thursday, December 31st. We will remain closed all day Friday, January 1st. We will then reopen for business as usual on Monday, January 4th, 2021.


First, let us give the obligatory, "we're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause", but please understand that security experts also like to enjoy the new year! One place that will not be closing is our central station partner, Criticom Monitoring Services, and neither is Rapid Response for our monitored customers in Canada. These monitoring centers don't close for silly events like ringing-in the new year, and they will remain vigilant, protecting your homes and businesses like always.

Remember that we will not be answering our phones or checking emails while we are closed. If you need to contact us, then send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We will do our best to reply back when we reopen on Monday, January 4th. But please keep in mind that we expect to be confronted with a large number of emails when we groggily cheerfully return to our offices on Monday. We may not reply early in the day, so we ask that you be patient. We promise that we will get to you as soon as we can!

If you need to reach Criticom to put your system on test mode or to cancel a false alarm then please call our number (888) 818-7728, and choose option number [9]. Similar inquiries for Rapid Response can be made by calling (800) 932-3822. Remember to only call the central station for relevant matters. They are extremely busy handling emergencies, so we want to prevent any unnecessary calls that may clog their phone lines preventing them from handling priority issues. Send all other matters to our support email, and we will take it from there.

To everyone, please have a fun and safe New Year Holiday, as we move on from what has surely been a historic year. We are just as ready for 2021 as you are. And please, stay tuned to our blog for the latest security news and happenings. Thank you so much for being a loyal reader in 2020, and we'll see you next year!

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We have learned that Alarm.com has updated the video timeline used with their Streaming Video Recorder (SVR) devices. The changes were made to accommodate for the end of life of Adobe Flash, and to introduce the new Smart View feature. You can see the changes on the Alarm.com website.


With support for Adobe Flash ending after 2020, Alarm.com has updated the SVR Timeline on their website to now use native in-browser streaming. The most recent versions of recommended web browsers will provide the proper resources needed to support the feature. Alarm.com recommends using the latest version of Chrome, FireFox, Safari, or Edge with their services. Please note that the Microsoft Edge Legacy Browser cannot support the SVR Timeline if the browser version is less than Version 79. Alarm.com no longer recommends the use of the Microsoft Edge Legacy. Please see this post for more.

Additionally, Alarm.com has recently redesigned the SVR Timeline to accommodate its new "Smart View" feature. Smart View is an interactive video player that allows users to playback Alarm.com Camera recordings for up to four (4) cameras at a time. Users can also filter content to find important footage faster. Smart View also introduces a new activity timeline that shows system-wide events, such as doors and windows being opened, alarm panel arming and disarming, Video Analytics events, plus more. Keep in mind that the updated SVR Timeline is only accessible through the Alarm.com website. It cannot be accessed through the Alarm.com Mobile App. Current Alarm.com Streaming Video Recorders include the ADC-SVR122 and the ADC-CSVR126.

If you have any questions about the Alarm.com SVR Timeline, or if you are interested in starting new alarm monitoring service for use with Alarm.com, please email our team at 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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In observance of Christmas Eve and Day, Alarm Grid will be closed Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th. We will not be checking email or answering phone calls during this time. We will reopen on Monday, December 28th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you need to contact us while we are away, please email support@alarmgrid.com, and we will do our very best to reply back on Monday when we reopen. Please understand that we expect to have a large volume of emails in front of us upon our return, and many members of our team are still fighting illnesses. We ask you to please bear with us as we try to keep up!

Remember that our central station partner Criticom is open 24/7 every day of the year, and so is Rapid Response, the central station that services our monitored customers in Canada. You can still reach out to your appropriate central station if you need to cancel a false alarm or put your system on test mode. Criticom is best reached by calling our phone number (888) 818-7728, and choosing option [9]. Rapid Response can be contacted by calling (800) 932-3822. Please only call the central station for related matters. All other inquiries should be sent to our support email address.

We hope that everyone has a fun and safe holiday, whether you celebrate Christmas, another event, or nothing at all. We know that many of you may be reluctant to travel or visit with your family and friends this year. If you do decide to travel, make sure to arm your security system before you leave! We will see you again on Monday.

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We have received word that Qolsys has released Firmware Version 2.5.4 for the IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems. The main highlights for this latest firmware update include fixes with the Z-Wave S2 Encryption Protocol, plus fixes regarding the use of LiftMaster Garage Door Control.

We do have one thing to mention for users of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Solar Integration. If you are using the IQ2 Solar Integration then, DO NOT UPGRADE TO 2.5.4. Instead stay on 2.5.3. However, if you want to use the LiftMaster Garage Door Integration instead of the Solar Integration, then you should upgrade to 2.5.4, but you will LOSE the Solar Integration. On Version 2.5.4, it is IMPOSSIBLE to use BOTH the Solar Integration AND the LiftMaster Integration. Qolsys has said that this will be fixed in Firmware Version 2.6.0, which should hopefully be available in the coming months. For now, if the Solar Integration is more important to you than a LiftMaster Integration, then just STAY ON 2.5.3. This ONLY applies to users of the Solar Integration. If you do not care about the Solar Integration, or if the LiftMaster Integration is more important to you, then UPGRADE TO 2.5.4. All things considered, MOST USERS WILL WANT TO UPGRADE TO 2.5.4. Keep in mind that there is NO WAY TO DOWNGRADE TO A LOWER FIRMWARE VERSION AFTER UPGRADING.

Before we get into all of the exciting new changes for IQ2 Firmware Update 2.5.4, we will first explain how to apply the firmware update to your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. To get started, there are a few prerequisites to keep in mind. Your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus must be on at least Firmware Version 2.0.1 or higher to apply the update. It must also be connected to WIFI, it should be receiving AC power from its plug-in transformer, and it should not have a low battery condition.

Now, this may get a bit confusing, but stick with us. Depending on which firmware version your IQ2 is currently running, it may be necessary to update in stages to get to 2.5.4. Start by considering which firmware version your system is currently running, and then take the appropriate action(s) based on what is outlined below. The important thing to remember is that your IQ2 must be already on 2.52 or 2.5.3 OR between 2.0.1 and 2.4.2 to upgrade directly to 2.5.4. If that applies to your system, then just go directly to 2.5.4.

For users on Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1, things become a bit tricky. For these users, you need to upgrade to 2.5.2 or 2.5.3 first before you can get to 2.5.4. We recommend just updating to 2.5.2 and then going to 2.5.4, skipping 2.5.3. For information on updating to Version 2.5.2, please refer to this blog post. Once you are on 2.5.2 or 2.5.3, you can then follow the steps listed below.

Once you are on 2.5.2 or 2.5.3, or between 2.0.1 and 2.4.2, do the following:

  • Start from the main screen of the IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus.
  • Swipe down the small grey bar at the top.
  • Choose Settings > Advanced Settings.
  • Enter your Installer Code. Remember that this code is 1111 by default.
  • Choose Upgrade Software.
  • Find Patch Tag, and enter iqpanel2.5.4. You must enter the patch tag EXACTLY AS DISPLAYED. Choose OK.
  • Press Upgrade Using Network. If all the requirements have been met, the update will start.

Now, with that out of the way, we can start talking about what's new to 2.5.4. Here is a list of everything you can expect!

  • An issue involving the 6.81.03 Z-wave Firmware Version, also referred to as the 6.81 Z-Wave SDK, has been fixed. The issue caused Schlage Z-Wave Plus Door Locks and the Honeywell T6 PRO Z-Wave Plus Thermostat to not function properly when S2 encryption was used. These devices should now work properly when enrolled using the S2 protocol.
  • Corrections have been made to an issue that arose in Firmware Version 2.5.3 involving the use of LiftMaster Garage Door Control. The integration would not function properly from the panel UI. More information can be found in this document from Qolsys. Also, please see the message regarding the loss of the Solar Integration in 2.5.4 in the notes outlined above.
  • An issue involving the LED status light on PowerG Smoke and Heat Detectors, namely the DSC PG9936, has been fixed. Previously, the status light would not reset after an alarm had been cleared when using Installer Mode or Test Mode on the panel. More information on the issue is available in this document released by Qolsys.
  • The PowerG Radio Firmware has been upgraded to Version 80.34. This upgrade is designed to improve wireless communication, particularly when using multiple DSC PG9WLSHW8 PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter units.
  • Z-Wave Plus 500-Series Z-Wave Switches from Cooper and Eaton are now supported by the IQ Panel 2. The newly supported switches include RF9601, RF9617, RF9640-N, and RF9642-Z.
  • An issue involving PowerG Shock Sensors, namely the DSC PG9935, has been fixed. The issue occurred following a 15 minute placement test mode timeout. There have been further improvements made for false alarm prevention when shock sensors are paired as two (2) separate zones on the system.
  • The 2.5.4 Update now allows PowerG Keypads, namely the DSC WS9LCDWF9, to sound Fire Alarms triggered in other system partitions, provided that the Global Fire Setting is enabled. Please see this FAQ for more information.
  • PowerG Keypads, namely the DSC WS9LCDWF9, can now show special characters on their LCD screens if they are used as part of a Zone Description on the main Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System.
  • The Energy Optimizer for the system is now available locally on the IQ Panel 2. This is used to set Z-Wave thermostats and Z-Wave Plug-In Switches to reduce their energy usage during peak consumption hours. This feature should NOT be used alongside Alarm.com Thermostat Schedules. It is also NOT compatible with the "Give Back, Get Back" program offered by Alarm.com.
  • Certain improvements have been made to the Help Videos as part of the Easy Install Wizard for the system.
  • There have been small changes to facilitate support of Canadian ULC-S304 for Level II Residential and Level II Commercial Listings.
  • A new setting for ULC Commercial Power Restoration is now available.
  • PowerG Image Sensors, namely the DSC PG9934P and DSC PG9944, now take a picture upon the activation of a Fire Alarm or a Carbon Monoxide Alarm, for EU IQ Panel 2 Systems Only. Most United States users will not have this change applied. Furthermore, image sensors learned into Sensor Group 25 will also produce pictures if triggered while the panel is armed.
  • If the EN Grade 2 Security Settings is Enabled, then User Codes will be hidden with dots, rather than showing the entered numeric code.

If you have any questions about Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Firmware Update 2.5.4, or if you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer needing help upgrading to Version 2.5.4, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com for assistance. This email is also good to use if you are interested in starting new monitoring service with Alarm Grid. Our support and planner teams are available from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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