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Hi DIYers! Did you know that SkyBell Video Doorbells can be viewed from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com? Many users prefer using one of these apps instead of the SkyBell App so that they can have all their security functions in one convenient location. This is great for Alarm Grid customers!



One of the biggest perks of having a video doorbell is being able to know immediately whenever there is activity in front of your house. The SkyBell will send you push notifications whenever its built-in motion sensor is activated or whenever someone rings the door bell. You will receive the alert from anywhere, even if you are away. Although you can still choose to receive these alerts through the SkyBell App, you can also choose to have them sent through TC2 or ADC. Keeping these alerts in TC2 or ADC is perfect for keeping all your security events nice and organized.

Once the user receives a push alert on their phone, they can press a button to immediately connect with their SkyBell Doorbell and see exactly who is at their door. Each SkyBell device also comes equipped with a microphone and speaker so that the user can have a live conversation with the present individual. This way, you can tell your friend that you'll unlock the door for them. Or you could ask a postal work to leave your package by the door. There are so many possible applications with SkyBell.

Additionally, a user can access their Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com account to pull up their video doorbell at any time and see if there is any activity occurring. This is excellent for getting a live look-in at the front of one's house. It doesn't matter if you are at home or across the country. With remote access, your home is at your fingertips from anywhere. The devices support video resolution of up to 1080p HD, so you know that the video will be crisp and clear every single time.

At this time, Alarm Grid offers four SkyBell models. Specifically, there are two models for Total Connect 2.0, along with another two for Alarm.com. Both TC2 and ADC have a round model and a trim model. The round and trim models perform the same functions, but the trim models are slightly more compact.

Our current lineup is as follows:

Honeywell SkyBell DBCAM - Round for TC2

Honeywell SkyBell DBCAM-TRIM - Trim for TC2

SkyBell ADC-VDB101 - Round for ADC

SkyBell ADC-VDB105 - Trim for ADC

You don't necessarily need an alarm monitoring plan with video surveillance to use one of these video doorbells. Alarm Grid can add the feature at no additional cost for any existing customer who has access to Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. For that reason, the SkyBell Doorbell Cameras are a great cost-saving option for any user considering traditional security cameras and a monitoring plan with video surveillance. Simply let us know that you want to add a video doorbell to your monitoring account, and we will take care of the rest.

If you want to learn more about our monitoring plans, you can always check out our monitoring page or reach out to us. The best way to contact is us by email at support@alarmgrid.com. You can also call us during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you plan and design the perfect security system for your needs!

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Hi DIYers! We hear from customers all the time wondering how they can improve upon their existing security setup. Even if you already have a good alarm system, there are still things you can do to make it even better. Here are 5 ways for you to improve upon your home security system:

1. Take advantage of Z-Wave. Most alarm systems today have some way of supporting home automation. Z-Wave is one of the most popular smart home protocols around, and it has been thoroughly embraced by many alarm manufacturers. To get started, find out whether or not your system has a built-in Z-Wave controller. The Honeywell Lyric Controller. 2GIG GC3. 2GIG GC2 and Qolsys IQ Panel 2 all come with one installed. Meanwhile, the Honeywell LYNX Touch and Honeywell VISTA Panels can have a module added separately. From there, you can add Z-Wave devices like lights, locks and thermostats to expand upon your setup. All Z-Wave devices can be controlled remotely using an interactive service platform like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. They can also be set up to activate with certain system events or on a schedule. For example, you can have your lights turn on and have your smart thermostat activate automatically as soon as you return home and disarm your system!



2. Install security cameras. If you want to truly know what is happening in your home at any time, there is simply no alternative to security cameras. If you already use Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0, then getting a robust and reliable security camera setup is easier than you would think. You just need to upgrade to a Platinum-level monitoring plan and start including the cameras with your network. Alarm Grid offers both Alarm.com Cameras and Total Connect Cameras for you to use in your home. Many of these cameras can be simply rested on a desk or table so that no tools are needed for installation. If you do choose to mount your camera, all the hardware comes included, and the process is super easy. It's even possible to view these security cameras remotely by checking Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 from your mobile device. And if your camera captures any clips, you'll be sure to know about it thanks to text, email and push alerts!



3. Add a second keypad. A second alarm keypad can be a great for your to more easily operate your security system from a second area of your house or property. This is a very common practice for homes with multiple entrances, since a user will often want to quickly disarm from wherever they enter. Other users might put a keypad in their master bedroom so that they can conveniently set their system to Arm Stay mode before going to sleep. A security system in the bedroom is also a great way to quickly and discreetly activate a silent panic alarm if you hear an intrusion downstairs. Some keypads like the 2GIG SP1 and the Qolsys IQ Remote can perform automation functions as well. This is great if you want to quickly control or check the status of your devices without having to walk to your main panel. Larger properties might even include third or fourth keypads as well!



4. Upgrade your communication path. The communicator is often seen as the unsung hero of an alarm system. After all, a system needs some way of reporting out in the event of an alarm. A faster communication path means a quicker response from the central monitoring station. This can be absolutely crucial in an emergency. You might also notice that your smart home devices respond a little bit faster as well. In other cases, it isn't about increasing speed, but rather improving reliability. Adding a cellular communicator will allow your system to send outbound signals even when there is a power outage. It is also a known fact that cellular service is usually a lot more consistent than an IP connection, which can sometimes go down for seemingly no reason. Users in rural areas might also consider using a cellular antenna or an amplifier to further improve upon their cellular signal strength so that signal reach their destination reliably every single time. Whether you're adding a new communicator or replacing an older CDMA communicator with an LTE model, a communicator upgrade can be arguably the most important investment you make for your system!

5. Enroll a key fob. Do you find yourself racing to disarm your system as soon as you return home? Do you want a quick way to arm your system without having to pull up Total Connect or Alarm.com? If so, then a key fob might be the perfect solution for you. These compact devices can be attached to a key ring and stored in a pocket or purse for easy access. Many users attach their security key fobs to their car keys so that all their keys are in one convenient spots. Just a press off a button can disarm your system or set it to either Arm Stay or Arm Away mode. You can even program a key fob to trigger an immediate panic, and some systems will let you use key fob button presses to activate smart scenes. And if that weren't enough, many key fobs will let you program more than four inputs by using dual-button presses. You can even give each regular system user their own personal key fob so that you know who used the system last!

If you need help finding ways to improve your security system, please reach out to us! We love helping our customers get the best security systems possible. You can reach us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to working with you and showing you all the great options available!

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Hi DIYers! Have you ever thought about using a security system to monitor your boat or camper? It's a little bit out of the ordinary, but it's a great way to ensure that your property is protected. It's almost no different from using a standard security system, you just need to get creative.

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If you're ever away from your boat or camper, having alarm monitoring can provide you with peace of mind in knowing that your property is safe. Although people usually think about security systems for homes and businesses, there's no reason why an intruder couldn't break into a boat, yacht, RV or camper to steal property and cause damage. And with the technology available today, it is certainly possible to achieve a great setup. We recently heard about one boat owner who keeps his yacht protected using a 2GIG GC3 Security System. Why not do the same for your boat or camper?

There are just a few things to keep in mind if you decide a alarm system for your boat or camper is right for you. First is the equipment. The alarm panel you use will likely be no different than one used in a conventional setting. You will definitely want to use a wireless system since internal wiring will be difficult or impossible. This is fine since wireless systems are easy to use, and they offer tremendous performance. Most wireless systems can be installed without a professional, and they are rugged enough to withstand continuous travel.

For sensors, you really won't have to add too many. A good door contact sensor can immediately let the system know if someone enters your vessel. If you are afraid that the sensor might be exposed to water, then an outdoor contact might be a good idea. A great sensor for this purpose is the Honeywell 5816OD. Some users may want to add a motion sensor as well, but they should make sure it won't cause false alarms from its mounting location. You might also want to add a smoke detector and a CO detector to monitor for environmental issues as well. The Honeywell 5800COMBO can detect for both fires and carbon monoxide outbreaks.

We strongly recommend that any security system used for a boat or camper to use a cellular connection. Even if your boat or camper is equipped with WIFI, cellular connectivity can't be beat in terms of reliability. Plus, the WIFI service might be inactive or go out when the boat or camper is not in use. Cellular communication will keep your system monitored no matter where you take your vessel, provided that there is adequate cell signal in the area. So if you're out camping, and someone else opens your camper or RV, then you will know about it. This is also perfect for when you leave your boat docked during the off-season.

Most boats and campers with a security system will use a self-monitoring plan. This type of monitoring means that the user will receive a text alert whenever their security system is activated. The user will then need to alert the proper authorities to the situation. While central station monitoring is technically possible for a boat or camper, it can be very tricky if the boat or camper isn't always left in the same location. You would also need to provide a valid address for the vessel so that emergency services can reach it. For those reasons, self-monitoring is usually the way to go here. You can learn more about Alarm Grid's monitoring plans by checking our monitoring page.

One major perk of having an alarm system for your boat or camper is that you can use it for Z-Wave smart home automation. Every boat and camper has lights, and you can use smart home functionality to control them remotely or have them activate automatically with predetermined events. You can also get a smart thermostat for your yacht or RV and integrate it into the network as well. Everything will be controlled right from your phone using Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. With Z-Wave functionality, your boat or camper will be ready to party as soon as your disarm your system!

If you have a boat or camper that you'd like to get protected, we would love to help you out! Our security system experts are happy to help you design a new security system for your boat, camper, RV or yacht. We know exactly what you need to achieve a robust and reliable setup. If you would like to get started, please send an email to support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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There was recent news that the newest firmware update for the Logitech Harmony Smart Home Hub restricts local access to the device. Because of this, there are now many users who cannot control their connected smart devices. The problem has mainly affected those using third-party API's.

The firmware update was released a couple of weeks, and there have been several complaints. Many users have reported being unable to control their connected devices, including things like smart TVs, sound systems and more. Both the Harmony Hub and its associated remote have been affected by the issue. With the update, it is now virtually impossible to use most third-party devices with the Harmony Hub.

Users who have been impacted are now essentially left with two options. They must either replace their smart home equipment with devices that are officially supported by the Harmony Hub, or they must buy a new smart hub entirely. While Logitech states that this was done for security purposes, it has left many people without a properly functioning smart home system.

This goes to show the advantage of using smart home automation equipment that is tested, approved and run through encrypted and secure servers. Of course, we can provide this with our alarm monitoring service. Alarm Grid offers connectivity with the Total Connect 2.0 and the Alarm.com platforms, both of which are great for use with a smart home. Using automation through one of these networks will ensure that your setup is secure, and it won't suddenly stop working if insecure methods are shut down.

Alarm Grid provides support to get your system and home automation devices set up with excellent platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Samsung SmartThings. We even offer the state-of-the-art Honeywell Lyric Controller, which is one of the few wireless HomeKit-compatible alarm systems available today! With Alarm Grid, you can count on the fact that your smart home setup will not become bricked or lose features.

If you want to learn more about the monitoring plans we offer and how we can help you achieve a robust smart home, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! You can email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728. Our normal business hours are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you so that we can help you design the perfect smart home!

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Hi DIYers! We have learned that Alarm.com is adding a feature that will let you place an image of Santa Claus directly into a security camera screenshot! Now, as we all know, you can't actually capture a real picture of Santa - he's magic! But you can at least pretend with this fun feature!


Alarm.com is making this feature for any Alarm Grid customer on a Platinum Level Plan who uses the Alarm.com interactive service platform. The feature will only be available from December 21st thru the 26th. This will give you a chance to test the feature before Christmas Day. But once Christmas is over, the feature will disappear. You'll have to catch Santa next year instead!

The feature will be supported by the following Alarm.com Security Camera models only:

To get started, simply pull up the Alarm.com App or website. Navigate to the Cameras Section, and select the video feed for a compatible camera. Then press the Santa icon:


You can then choose which Santa image to add to the screenshot:


You can even move or resize Santa to fit your home's setting. Finally, download the image or share it via text or email. Then you can show all your friends and family that Santa paid you a visit! If you have any questions about this feature, reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at (888) 818-7728 from 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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Hi DIYers! As you may have heard, smart home automation scene control was recently made available for the Total Connect 2.0 Alexa Skill. We thought this would be the perfect time to show Honeywell System users how they can get started with the Total Connect 2.0 Skill for Amazon Alexa.


Before getting started, let's go over everything that is required. You will need a Honeywell Security System with active monitoring service. If your panel isn't monitored, check out our monitoring page to learn more about our alarm monitoring plans. The monitoring plan you choose must include access to the Total Connect 2.0 service. Your alarm monitoring company should give you the resources needed for you to create a Total Connect 2.0 account. This account is what will link your Honeywell System with your Amazon Alexa Device.

Your Honeywell Panel must have an active internet or cellular connection in order to communicate with the Honeywell AlarmNet360 Servers and Total Connect 2.0. You must also have an Amazon Alexa Device, and you must download the Amazon Alexa App on a compatible Android or iOS Device. If you do not have the Amazon Alexa App, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. The app can be identified by its light blue background with a white circle in the middle.


Before starting, make sure your Alexa Device is linked with your Android or iOS Device. This will require linking your Amazon account. Please see the manual for your Amazon Alexa Device for more information about the pairing process.

Start by opening up the Alexa App on your Android or iOS Device. Navigate to the Skills & Games Menu, which is found in the main toolbar. Search for the "Total Connect 2.0 Skill". Then click the "Enable Button".

Alternatively, you can enable the TC2 Amazon Alexa Skill from the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App on an Android or iOS Device. Simply open up the app, and login to your Total Connect 2.0 account. Then navigate to the "Settings" menu, and choose the "Alexa" option. The Settings Menu in the Android App can be found by pressing the menu bar in the top left (three horizontal lines), and choosing "Settings". On iOS, press "More" on the bottom toolbar, and choose "Settings". After choosing "Alexa", you will then be taken to a page where you can login to your Amazon account and enable the Total Connect 2.0 Skill.

After taking the first step to enable the skill, provide your login information for your Total Connect 2.0 account.

Press "Allow" to continue.


Choose all the devices you wish to connect, and press the blue "Connect" button.

The pairing process will complete!

You will now be able to perform the following voice commands through Alexa:

  • “Alexa, ask Total Connect, What is the status of my security system?”
  • “Alexa, ask Total Connect, Is my security system armed?”
  • “Alexa, tell Total Connect to Arm.”
  • “Alexa, tell Total Connect to Arm Away.”
  • “Alexa, tell Total Connect to Arm Stay.”
  • "Alexa, tell Total Connect to run (scene name)."

Please note that you cannot ask Alexa to disarm the system, as that would present a security risk. The ability to control individual Z-Wave smart home devices is also not available at this time. Instead, any Z-Wave operation must be done through scenes. Any automation scene that is set up with your TC2 account can be performed through a spoken Alexa voice command.

To test scene control for spoken commands, we created a nifty Total Connect 2.0 Smart Scene called "Example". This scene will lock a Z-Wave door lock and set our Honeywell Lyric Security System to Arm Away. We simply say to our Alexa Device "Alexa, tell Total Connect to run Example". And just like that, our Z-Wave lock will activate, and our Lyric Alarm Panel will Arm Way!

If you have any questions about linking your Total Connect 2.0 account with your Alexa Device, or if you need help using Alexa voice commands, do not hesitate to reach out to us! You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or you can call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We are happy to announce that the TC2 Alexa Skill can now be used for smart home scene control. Previously, the feature only allowed users to arm or disarm their systems and check their current arming status. This feature will make things much easier for Alexa users with Total Connect 2.0.


Any voice commands for your system that are made through Alexa will be forwarded to the Honeywell AlarmNet Servers and Total Connect 2.0. From there, the command will be sent to the panel so that the action can be performed. This will obviously require that the user has an active Total Connect 2.0 account and that their panel is synced with their account. Check out our monitoring page for more information on how you can get started with the Total Connect 2.0 service.

At this time, users can only use spoken Alexa voice commands to run specific scenes. This is done with the spoken command, "Alexa, tell Total Connect to run (scene name)." The ability to control specific Z-Wave smart home devices is expected to be made available at a later date. To use this feature, you must enable the TC2 Skill in the Alexa App. More information is available in this FAQ, which while written for the Lyric specifically, could apply to virtually any Honeywell System that is set up with Total Connect 2.0.

If you have more questions about the Alexa Skill for TC2, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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Hi DIYers! We recently received news that the integration between the Honeywell Lyric Controller and Apple HomeKit won the inaugural IoT integration award for Physical Security - Intrusion from CE PRO. This award highlights the brilliance of the integration between the Lyric and HomeKit.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

The Internet of Things (IoT) Awards showcases various IoT-related products that serve residential and commercial markets. The 2018 edition represented the inaugural IoT awards. The entries were judged based on innovation and technological advancement, their ability to integrate with other products, end-user benefits, integrator benefits and overall value. With this award, the tech community has recognized the compatibility between the Lyric and HomeKit for being incredibly valuable to the security and intrusion industry.

There are many factors to love about the integration between the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System and the Apple HomeKit Platform. Countless iOS users have taken advantage of the Apple HomeKit service and the smart features if offers. By using HomeKit, a user can control their Lyric System using voice commands that are sent through Siri. This can be done from virtually anywhere, as long as the user has access to their iOS device. The user can also have their Lyric System respond automatically with various HomeKit smart scenes that have been created. This offers much convenience for the user in creating a robust and functional smart home. Users can also check the current status for their Lyric System and its security sensors through HomeKit as well. We recommended checking this FAQ on the differences between Total Connect 2.0 and HomeKit for more information on what HomeKit can offer. Even as a HomeKit Security system, it is recommended that the user still keeps the Total Connect 2.0 service.

The Honeywell Lyric Controller is available for purchase on the Alarm Grid website right now. We also offer a certified refurbished version of the system that will provide the same great HomeKit compatibility as a new system at a lower cost. You can get your Lyric started with HomeKit as soon as you have it activated with an alarm monitoring plan from Alarm Grid. Monitoring service is required to activate the HomeKit functionality on the Lyric Controller. More information about pairing the Lyric System with Apple HomeKit can be found in this helpful FAQ. Our team looks forward to working with you!

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Alarm Grid is happy to announce that many of the wireless modules from iDevices are now available on our site! These convenient modules are all compatible with the Apple HomeKit platform, as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. No external hub is needed to get these modules connected.


All of the iDevices modules are set up using the iDevices Connected App that allows the user to connect them to a local WIFI network. The modules can then be set up for voice control using Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The HomeKit compatibility is particularly exciting, as the user can operate the module from virtually anywhere using their iPad or iPhone. They can also integrate the module into HomeKit Smart Scenes for automatic operation and control. These modules also offer energy consumption data so that users can better manage their energy costs.

The following smart modules from iDevices are now available:

These modules are also compatible with the iDevices Wireless Instant Switch that serves as a connected wireless remote controller for on-site operation. The switch can be wall-mounted for a neat and tidy installation. Alarm Grid is also now offering various kits that include an iDevices Wireless Instant Switch and an iDevices Smart Module.

The following iDevices Kits are available:

Also available from iDevices is the iDevices Smart WIFI Thermostat. This smart thermostat is also HomeKit-compatible, and it replaces the existing thermostat in a home or business. It offers an effective any convenient way to control almost any HVAC system. Voice functionality for the iDevices Smart Thermostat is available through Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Programming options for the module allows a user to control their HVAC system in a way that suits their lifestyle, while also saving them money.

Alarm Grid is also now offering the WIFI version of the Honeywell T6 Pro Thermostat. Previously, we only offered the Z-Wave Version of the T6 Pro. The T6 Pro Z-Wave is still recommended for users who want to control the thermostat from their HomeKit security system, as well as those who want to use their thermostat with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. But the advantage to the WIFI version is that it is compatible with Apple HomeKit. Any iOS user who has a HomeKit setup or is looking to get started with the HomeKit service should strongly consider this outstanding device!

Finally, we have also added the additional smart products:

If you have any questions about these new products, do not hesitate to reach out to use. You may contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

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It does not come as much of a surprise that the smart home industry is thriving right now. Recent reports suggest that the worldwide smart home devices market is set to grow 31% over the course of 2018. Just under 650 million smart home device shipments will be made by the end of the year.

As part of this projection, smart speakers, video entertainment devices, smart lights, smart thermostats and home surveillance products are included. By 2022, it is expected that 1.3 billion smart home devices will be shipped annually. This is a compound annual growth rate of 20.8%. Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are set to experience the largest compound annual growth rate during this period at an astounding 39.1%.

These figures help to confirm the belief that alarm monitoring and home security is no longer just about security, life-safety and intrusion support. Smart home functionality is quickly becoming an integral feature of owning and operating a complete security system. The same system that keeps you and your family safe also works to control your lights, heat and cool your home and help you save money on your energy bills. And we fully expect for a user's smart home devices to become even more integrated with their alarm systems in the next few years.

Indeed, the future is now for security systems and smart home devices. Countless people operate their home automation devices and their alarm systems with the press of a button or a simple voice command. And while your security system will always be there to protect you and your loved ones, it will soon be doing so much more. Alarm monitoring and home automation are no-longer mutually exclusive. We've recognized this for a few years now, and it is just becoming more and more apparent over time. This trend is only going to increase as smart home technology continues to develop.

If you haven't already gotten started with smart home automation, the time is now. Alarm Grid isn't just your home for industry-leading security and protection. Our services are also here to make your life easier. We're constantly working to expand our smart home lineup and help our customers get the most our of their home automation functionality, whether it's through Apple's Siri, Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Just last month, we added Lutron Smart Lighting to our offerings. Even before that, we already offered a great lineup of Z-Wave devices that are compatible with the vast majority of our alarm panels. And we're only looking to grow from here. In the next few years, smart home automation will truly become just as important to us as providing the best alarm monitoring services possible.

Alarm Grid will always strive to provide users with reliable and dependable home and business monitoring for when they need it most. But smart home automation is something we feel extremely passionate about, and we recognize that the future of connectivity between security systems and smart functionality truly is now. Alarm Grid is proud to be your home for both alarm monitoring and smart home services. And we look forward to continuing to serve you and your family in the future.

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