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Hi DIYers! We have a simple tip today that will be helpful for anyone looking to buy a new home security system. That tip is that the cellular communicator used with your panel is different than the one used with your phone. This is very important to keep in mind when buying a system.

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As you probably know, cellular communication is not the only communication path available for security systems. There are also internet (IP) communicators and even traditional telephone dialers. But cellular communication is by far the most reliable. Unlike other communication paths, cellular service almost never goes down or becomes unavailable. Modern cellular communication has also improved tremendously through the years, and it is now nearly as fast as IP communication. For that reason, we recommend that everyone uses cellular communication with their alarm systems.

You may be surprised to learn that many people think they have to get a cellular communicator for their alarm system that uses the same service provider as their cell phone. That is false. You can certainly use a different service provider with your security system than what you use with your phone. There is nothing wrong with using the same service provider, but this is by no means required.

Your phone and your alarm system are completely separate devices. They are not related in any way. They have separate billing cycles, and the service for one will not affect the other. Of course, you may receive text alerts regarding system activity. And if you have a system like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, you may use Bluetooth disarming with your phone. But the fact remains that your system and your smartphone are totally separate.

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The reason we bring this up is because we have customers all the time who think that they must have the same service provider for their phone as they do their alarm system. They don't. This is a complete fallacy. Your service provider for your phone should have very little impact on which service provider you choose for your system. For example, if you have an AT&T Phone, then there's nothing wrong with choosing a Verizon Communicator for your system, or vice-versa.

Now, there's nothing wrong with considering how the service for your smartphone fares in your home when you are choosing service for your alarm system. For instance, if you think, "Gee, I have an AT&T Phone, and my service works excellent while I am at home!", then by all means, go with an AT&T Communicator for your system. It's just important to understand that this isn't mandatory.

You should also understand that a cell phone and an alarm panel using cellular communication operate in a very similar manner. Both will send out signals across a cellular network. Both have a SIM Card. The only difference is that one communicator is inside a phone, while the other is inside an alarm panel. If you have a phone with a service provider that provides strong service in your home, then it's fair to expect that the same cellular network can also provide strong service for your alarm system.

But if you find that your phone does not receive strong cellular signal strength while you are at home, then please, choose a different service provider for your alarm system! With your phone, you might sacrifice signal strength at home because the network provides better signal strength while you are at work or while you are in town. But your alarm system isn't going anywhere. You should choose your alarm system's cellular service provider based solely on how it performs at the location where it is used.

You should also realize that the costs for cellular alarm monitoring will remain the same, regardless of which service provider you choose. This is different for your phone, where you may shop around for different rates. For an alarm system it's a little bit different. You do not pay the cellular service provider directly. Instead, you pay your alarm monitoring company all the fees for your monitoring service. Your monitoring company will then handle any of the fees for cellular service. No matter which cellular provider you go with, your monthly cost will remain the same. It is the same cost for AT&T, Verizon, or any other cellular service provider you might use.

Cost and the service provider for your phone should not be factors when choosing a cellular service provider for your alarm system. The only factor you should consider is how well that service provider fares in the location of the system. You should check coverage maps and select the service provider that works best in that area. Whether that service provider is the same as the one you use for your phone should not make any difference.

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Remember, to use any cellular communicator, you will need a monitoring plan that includes cellular service. We recommend choosing one of our Gold or Platinum Level Plans so that you can take full advantage of the great features that Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 have to offer. More information about these plans is available on our alarm monitoring page. If you don't need the convenience of interactive monitoring and smart home automation, we also offer a Cellular-Only Plan that is less expensive and doesn't include access to Alarm.com or Total Connect 2. This plan is perfect for users who want reliable central station monitoring service, and nothing more.

If you have any questions about cellular communicators or alarm monitoring in general, we encourage you to reach out to us. Our planning department is here to help any potential customer make the best decisions for their needs. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and respond back as soon as possible. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you with all your home security needs.

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Hi DIYers! It's time for another Alarm Grid video recap! We have videos from all the usual team members. Those team members are Jarrett, Joe, and Jorge, and they're all here to help you learn how to use your security system. Let's check out the latest videos from the Alarm Grid video team!

Troubleshooting 2-Wire Smokes on the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F

Joe explains the best practices for troubleshooting 2-wire smoke detectors when they are used with a Qolsys Hardwire 16-F Wired to Wireless Converter. The Qolsys Hardwire 16-F supports 2-wire smoke detectors when they are wired at Zone 16. This wired to wireless converter can work with any 319.5 MHz wireless alarm system, including the 319.5 MHz version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Remember that you will need to wire the 2-wire smoke detectors to Zone 16 before enrolling the Hardwire 16-F with the system. You must also use a 4.7k end of line resistor.


Testing the Honeywell 5808W3 Smoke Detector on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Jarrett rocks some protective ear gear while he explains how to test the Honeywell 5808W3 Smoke and Heat Detector on the 345 MHz version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The Honeywell 5808W3 Smoke and Heat Detector has a recessed test button that you can test using a thin object like a screwdriver. If you want to test the actual functionality of the sensor, you can use a hair dryer for the heat detection function and canned smoke for the smoke detection function. Always remember to put your system on test mode before testing this sensor!


Using Power over Ethernet (PoE) on Alarm.com Cameras

Joe discusses how you can use Power over Ethernet (PoE) with certain Alarm.com Cameras. Power over Ethernet means that the camera will receive both power and data from the same ethernet cable. This means that you will not need to connect a power adapter to the camera. You can just use the ethernet cable. This can help reduce installation time and allow you to utilize a more flexible wiring configuration. In order to complete a PoE setup, you may need a PoE injector like the Alarm.com ADC-POE-INJ. This will depend on the network switch or router being used.


Using the Qolsys IQ Siren with a Honeywell LYNX Touch Panel

Jorge explains how to use the Qolsys IQ Siren with a LYNX Touch System. The Qolsys IQ Siren is a Z-Wave Siren that communicates with a system wirelessly. To pair this siren with a LYNX Touch System, the panel must have an L5100-ZWAVE Module installed. Since these panels will see the IQ Siren as a light switch, you must create special scenes for it to work properly. You need a scene to activate the siren during intrusion alarms, a scene to activate the siren during fire alarms, and a scene to stop the siren when an alarm is cleared.


Zone Status Indications on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Jarrett discusses the various zone status symbols that will appear next to zones on the main screen of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The different statuses that can be displayed include Open, Closed, Active, Idle, Unreachable, and Tampered. The Open and Closed statuses are for door and window contact sensors. The Active and Idle statuses are for motion sensors, glass break sensors, environmental sensors, and life-safety sensors. The Unreachable status refers to a sensor experiencing loss of RF supervision. The Tampered status means that someone has activated the tamper cover for the sensor.

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Hi DIYers! We have a simple, yet effective tip for you today. The tip is to keep a second key fob device by your bed for easy access. This can be a great way to trigger a panic and scare off an intruder if you hear a break-in. You can also use this key fob as a backup for your main one.

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Being woken up in the middle of the night due to a break-in can be a very scary feeling. Most users will arm their systems to stay mode at night so that an alarm will occur if someone tries to break-in. But maybe you forgot to arm your system, or maybe you want to activate a siren to try and scare off the intruder. In that case, having a key fob next to your bed can be very helpful.

Most key fobs have a designated panic button that you can use to activate an immediate intrusion alarm. By pressing and holding this button, you are telling your system that you are in danger and that help is needed immediately. It's a great resource to have in these rare, but extremely scary, situations. Just be aware that some panels may require you to specially enroll the panic zone. Additionally, some key fobs may require dual-button presses to activate panics.

Once you activate the panic button, your system will immediately go into alarm. This can involve triggering a siren to scare off any intruders. Alternatively, you could set up a silent alarm so that the police show up without the intruder knowing. However, a loud, audible alarm will be much more effective in scaring away an intruder. You might even set up on input for an audible alarm and another for a silent alarm. It's up to you.

But keeping a key fob next to your bed is more for than just having an option for triggering a panic in the middle of the night. It's also good to have a second key fob as a backup option in case you lose or misplace your first one. You can always grab the other key fob by your bed if you need to quickly grab a fob. You can also use it to set your system to arm stay from your bed if you forgot to do so while you were by your panel or keypad earlier.

Remember, a key fob isn't the only way to access your system remotely. You can always access your system from your Android or iOS device through Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. Both of these platforms offer mobile apps allow you to arm and disarm your system from anywhere. Just keep in mind that you will need a monitoring plan to use TC2 or ADC. And of course, you can always dial 911 if you believe you are in a dangerous situation. But a key fob panic can still be useful in certain situations.

And if you just want a simple device for triggering panic alarms without having arming and disarming functions, we offer standalone panic buttons as well. These are convenient devices that you can activate if you hear something suspicious to trigger an immediate system alarm. You might also consider getting outdoor sirens that you can activate to try and scare away anyone lurking outside your home. And remember that if you have monitoring service, you can set up how your system responds during alarm events. This includes what action(s) the central station will take and when you receive text, email, and/or push notifications regarding any triggered panics.

If you do decide to get additional key fob devices or a panic button for your system, you will need to make sure they are compatible. Our team can help you with that. Remember that we offer free support for all our monitored customers. We can help you determine the perfect key fob option for your needs so that you can your family can feel safe at home. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We promised last week that new videos would be coming. Well we have four (4) new videos for you to enjoy. Jorge was the big winner this week with three (3) videos. And I actually contributed a rare video of my own. Let's take a look at the newest videos from our video team.


Pairing the Honeywell T6 Pro Thermostat with a Residio Lyric Controller

I show you how to pair a Honeywell T6 Pro Z-Wave Plus Thermostat with a Resideo Lyric Controller. By pairing the T6 Pro with your Lyric System, you will be able to adjust the temperature right from the Lyric Panel. You will also be able to control the T6 Pro from Total Connect 2.0 if you have a Silver Level monitoring plan or higher. TC2 will also allow you to create smart scenes to have the T6 Pro activate automatically with certain system events or on a predetermined schedule.


Turning Off the Siren on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Jorge explains how to disable a siren on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System so that it does not sound when an intrusion alarm occurs. This is great for testing the system so that you do not activate a loud siren when you need to test various sensors. You might also do this if you want all burglary alarms to be silent. In order to disable the siren, you will need to enter system programming. Please note that alarms for life-safety events will still activate a siren.


Enrolling a VERSA-GE Sensor into a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Jorge teaches users how to enroll a VERSA-GE Sensor with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. The VERSA-GE is a wireless door and window contact sensor that operates at 319.5 MHz. As a result, the sensor will only work with the 319.5 MHz version of the IQ2+. This is the version that comes in a white and gold box. If you have a 345 MHz IQ2+ (silver and white box), you can use the VERSA-2GIG Sensor. If you have a 433 MHz IQ2+ (red and white box), you can use the VERSA-DSC Sensor.


Siren Timeout on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Jorge discusses the siren timeout feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. This feature will have any siren programmed with the IQ Panel 2 Plus automatically stop sounding after a set period of time, even if the alarm is not properly cleared. This will prevent the siren from sounding indefinitely and annoying everyone in the area. This feature may also be referred to as a "bell timeout" period. The standard set siren timeout period is usually around four (4) minutes.

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Hi DIYers and future DIYers! If you've spent any time on our site, you have likely come across Total Connect 2.0 (TC2). Maybe you know all about it. Maybe you know nothing about it. But did you know that you can "Test Drive" TC2 to check out the platform? Today, we're gonna show you how.


For the uninitiated, Total Connect 2.0 is an interactive service platform designed exclusively for use with Resideo Alarm Systems. You can access this platform using a web browser or by using the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App on an Android or iOS device. From there, you must login to your TC2 account using your username and password. Make sure to keep this information a secret. After logging in, you can control your system in a number of different ways.

TC2 allows users to do all sorts of different actions. You can access TC2 to arm and disarm your system, bypass sensors, view the live feed for Total Connect 2.0 IP Cameras, control Z-Wave smart home devices, and more. What's great about this service is that you can quickly and conveniently access the platform from almost anywhere. As long as you have your smartphone, you can get on TC2 and control your system from across the street or across the world.

But maybe you want to see how great TC2 is for yourself? With the Total Connect 2.0 Test Drive feature, you certainly can. You don't need to sign-up for anything, and the feature is completely free to use. All you have to do, is go to the Total Connect 2.0 website or mobile app, and click the Test Drive button. Please note that the button will appear slightly different depending on whether you are using the website or mobile app.




After clicking the Test Drive button, you will be taken to an identical representation of the TC2 platform. You can then check out all of its features and see exactly how the platform looks and responds. This will show you first-hand exactly what the platform can do you for you. This way, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not TC2 is right for you.

If you decide that TC2 is for you, then getting started with the service is easy. You will need to obtain a Resideo Alarm System with an AlarmNet Communicator. You will then need to get an alarm monitoring plan from Alarm Grid. You will choose a time slot to activate your system. Make sure to follow these tips to make your activation as easy as possible. One of our trained activators will call you at the scheduled time to activate your system. After that, you will receive an email to set up a Total Connect 2.0 account.

If you want to learn more about Total Connect 2.0 or our monitoring service, please reach out to us! The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email as soon as possible and reply back at our earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We have a quick tip today to help you save time. If you ever email us to make changes to your central station document, then you will need to provide your false alarm passcode or the last four (4) digits of your credit card on file. This is necessary for verifying your identity.

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This information is applicable for any Alarm Gird customer with monitoring service that includes central station service from Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS). Any customer with central station service will have a document on file with Alarm Grid that includes important instructions and information. For example, this document will include the phone numbers to call during an alarm, the order that these numbers should be called, your false alarm passcode and more.

The easiest way to make simple changes to your CMS document is to email us at support@alarmgrid.com with the changes. For example, you might want to add a new phone number to your account. Or maybe you want to have the central station call your spouse before they call your neighbor. Perhaps you want to change your false alarm passcode to something you can more easily remember. Emailing support@alarmgrid.com in these situations is a great way to get the change made as quickly as possible.

However, it isn't enough to just send us an email from your email address you have on file. We need verification to prove that it's you. At Alarm Grid, we take protecting your account information very seriously. If we get an email telling us to make changes to your account, we want to be certain it's you. For all we know, someone may have hacked your email and is trying to gain unlawful access to your account. That is why we strongly encourage all customers to keep their email passwords safe and protected.

Now you may be wondering, how can we prove that you are really who you say you are when you send us an email. The easiest way is to include your false alarm passcode or the last four (4) digits of the credit card that you have on file with Alarm Grid. This is classified information that only you and people you absolutely trust should know. On that note, we must also remind customers to never share this secure information with anyone who should not have access to their accounts. This is important.

Just to be clear, your false alarm passcode is not the same as your verbal duress code. Your false alarm passcode is what you say if the central station calls you and wants to know that everything is okay. The dispatcher will ask you for your secret false alarm passcode so that they know it's you on the line and not an intruder who made an unlawful entry.

Your verbal duress code is something completely different. This is also a secret code that you say to a central station dispatcher, but this code is used in an emergency hostage situation. As soon as the dispatcher hears this code, they will hang up and immediately call the police. This code is useful if an intruder is holding you hostage and you want to request emergency dispatch without actually calling for help.

Always make sure that you know the difference between your false alarm passcode and your verbal duress code. Never mix them up, as doing so can certainly lead to a false alarm. Remember, you can always contact us or CMS to change your false alarm passcode or your duress code. Our team is happy to help you with these issues whenever needed.

Keep this tip in mind the next time you email us to make account changes. Remember to include the last four (4) digits of your credit card or your false alarm passcode so that we can verify your identity and quickly make the changes. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We have a small video recap this week, as only four (4) new videos were produced. But they're really good ones from Jorge and Jarrett, who both had two (2) each. They're here to help you learn how to use your security system. Let's check out the new videos for June 18th thru 21st.

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Locations Suitable for Installing Heat Detectors

Jorge discusses the rooms in a home that are better-suited for standalone heat detectors than traditional smoke detectors. Normally, a user will use smoke detectors because they will detect a fire more quickly. But there are some rooms where it is better to use a heat detector, as a smoke detector may lead to false alarms. Popular locations for heat detectors include kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and attics. There are also combination smoke and heat detectors that use both detection methods.


Resideo Lyric Alarm System Vs. Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Jorge compares the Resideo Lyric Alarm System and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Systems. Both systems are some of the best on the market, and they offer some excellent features. Both offer support for up to 128 zones and feature a 7-inch touchscreen display. The advantages to the IQ Panel 2 Plus include its built-in Z-Wave Plus card, its integrated Alarm.com LTE Cellular Communicator, four (4) partitions, facial recognition, automatic Bluetooth disarming, and the ability to livestream cameras. But the Lyric offers HomeKit support.


Compatible Back-Up Battery for the 2GIG GC3

Jarrett is happy to talk about the backup battery for the 2GIG GC3 Security System. Normally, the system is powered using a plug in transformer. But if the electricity goes out, then a backup battery will keep the system running. The backup battery will slowly store a charge while the system is running on transformer power. That way, it will be ready for a power outage. The backup battery for the 2GIG GC3 is called the 2GIG BATTERY-GC3. The battery will provide up to 24 hours of backup power.


Using an LT-Cable With The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

Jarrett is back for a second round, as he shows users how to use the Honeywell LT-Cable with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The LT-Cable is a convenient option for providing power to an alarm panel. The wires come pre-prepared and ready to connect with the panel and transformer. All you need is a screwdriver. If you need to cut power to the system, you can unplug the male-female barrel connector. This means that you won't have to unplug the transformer from the wall.

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Hi DIYers! We have a tip today that might seem obvious, but it is absolutely crucial to remember. Our tip for everyone is to protect their Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com information. This means not sharing your username or password with anyone who should not access your account or your home.




Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com both allow users to Arm and Disarm their systems from anywhere. Giving someone access to your TC2 or ADC account is basically the same as giving someone your system's Master Code. In fact, it can be even worse. If you use these services for smart home automation to control smart locks, then a hacked account is essentially a key to your home. An intruder won't even have to break open a window. They can unlock your door, Disarm your system, and walk right in.

It's not enough to just protect your TC2 and ADC username and password. You must also protect your associated email address and your phone. Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com allow users to reset their passwords through their email and text messages. A hacked email or stolen phone can also be a major concern for your security. We recommend using Touch ID and/or Facial Recognition on your phone if possible. This will help protect your account from a security breach in the event of a stolen phone.

One thing you can do is enable the "Prompt for User Code" feature on TC2. This feature requires that the associated user code is provided when you Arm or Disarm from your phone. If an intruder gets your login information, they won't be able to Arm or Disarm your system from the TC2 Website or App unless they also know your secret code. However, an intruder will be able to find this code if they gain access to your phone. Additionally, ADC does not offer this feature at this time.

If your TC2 or ADC account becomes compromised, or if your email is hacked or your phone is stolen, you should contact us immediately. Anyone who accesses your TC2 or ADC account can change your password to keep you out. But you will still have Alarm Grid on your side. Only you know your false alarm passcode, and only you can contact us to make changes to your account. We will make the necessary adjustments on the dealer's end of TC2 or ADC to ensure that your account is protected.

Remember, such data breaches can have very serious consequences. Always make sure to keep your account information safe. Never share your username, password or email account information with anyone who should not have access to your home. Only share it with individuals you absolutely trust. And if you aren't sure your information is safe, make sure to change your account password immediately. Contact us at support@alarmgrid.com ASAP if you experience any problems. We're here to help ensure that your home or business is always kept safe. Do your part and protect your information.

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Hi DIYers and future DIYers! Today, we're going to take an extensive look at the alarm monitoring plans offered from Alarm Grid. You can always reference this information on our alarm monitoring page. This helpful post will explain much of the terminology found on the monitoring page.

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What is Alarm Monitoring?

First, it can be helpful to understand what exactly alarm monitoring is. Alarm monitoring is a service that allows a security system to send out signals. These signals can be received by a central station and/or an interactive service network. This will depend on the user's alarm monitoring plan. Without alarm monitoring, a system can still go into alarm mode and activate sirens. But this won't do any good if the user is off-site. A system without alarm monitoring is referred to as a local system or an unmonitored system.

There are several major advantages to having your alarm system monitored. This service is the best way to receive off-site text and/or email alerts regarding any specific system activity and system events. It is also the only method for receiving automatic emergency dispatch from a central monitoring station. Many alarm monitoring plans will also allow you to control your system remotely using an interactive service platform. This is impossible for unmonitored systems. Alarm monitoring may also be able to save you money on your homeowner's insurance with a Certificate of Alarm.

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What is a Central Monitoring Station?

When you talk about alarm monitoring, one term that you will likely come across often is "central monitoring station". It's important to have a strong understanding of this term so that you know exactly what it entails. A central monitoring station is a center where trained dispatchers respond to incoming security system alarms. A good way to think of a central monitoring station is to picture a 911 dispatching center where dispatchers are answering emergency phone calls. The only difference is that the dispatchers at a central monitoring station are responding to security system alarms rather than emergency 911 phone calls.

A central monitoring station will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year (366 on leap years). Unless there is a very severe emergency, a central monitoring station will always be in operation, no matter what. The dispatchers at a central monitoring station are constantly checking for any incoming system alarms. When an alarm comes through, a dispatcher will be able to see the type of alarm and the location of the system. This is important because the dispatcher needs to know what type of alarm occurs. For example, the alarm could be a break-in, a fire, a medical emergency, or an outbreak of CO gas.

In most cases, the dispatcher will make two (2) attempts to contact the end user before requesting immediate emergency dispatch. Users will define a custom pre-dispatch and post-dispatch call list that must meet local ECV (enhanced call verification) laws. The dispatcher will attempt to contact the end user at any listed phone numbers. This is done to prevent false alarms. The end user will need to answer the phone and provide their false alarm passcode if the alarm was caused by accident. If the dispatcher is unable to contact the end user, if the user is unable to provide the correct false alarm passcode, or if the end user says their secret duress code, then emergency help will be sent out immediately. Please note that special restrictions may apply to areas where verified response is required. Additionally, some users put a note on their accounts to have the central station skip the step of attempting to contact before dispatch. For these users, emergency dispatch will be sent out as soon as an alarm occurs. Alarm Grid does not recommend this, as this can lead to false alarms.

Alarm Grid customers with central monitoring service have their systems connected with Criticom Monitoring Services. Criticom operates three (3) monitoring centers located across the United States. These centers are located in Florida, New Jersey, and California. These monitoring centers are networked and load-balanced so that calls are distributed most efficiently across these locations. In various situations, one monitoring center may go offline. An example of why a monitoring center may go offline is due to a major hurricane. But if this happens, there is nothing to worry about. Calls will be automatically rerouted to one of the other monitoring centers in these very rare situations. Please note that central station monitoring service from Alarm Grid and Criticom is only available to customers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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What is Self-Monitoring?

Not everyone with alarm monitoring service receives central station monitoring. There is also self-monitoring. A self-monitoring plan will not connect the system with a central station. Instead, the system will be connected with an interactive service network. The end user will receive text and/or email notifications regarding any alarm events. These alerts will describe exactly which system zone caused the alarm. The end user will then need to contact the necessary authorities on their own. Since no central station is involved, these self-monitoring plans are less expensive than central station monitoring plans. Self-monitoring is made possible using an interactive service platform.

There are many reasons why a customer might choose self-monitoring instead of central station monitoring. They might believe that they can respond reliably to text and/or email alerts and that they do not benefit from central monitoring service. The customer might be located outside of the United States and Canada and is therefore ineligible for central monitoring service. Maybe they are only really using their system for Z-Wave smart home control and they don't care about being connected with a central station. Regardless, a self-monitoring plan can be a great option for users who want effective and affordable alarm monitoring service. Please be aware that users with self-monitoring service will be ineligible for receiving Certificates of Alarm. As a result, it is unlikely that they will receive any discount in their homeowner's insurance.

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What is an Interactive Service Platform?

Most Alarm Grid customers receive connectivity with either the Total Connect 2.0 service or the Alarm.com service. These are both interactive service platforms that provide a diverse range of functions. When an alarm occurs, the system uses its alarm monitoring communicator to send a signal to either the AlarmNet Servers for Total Connect 2.0 users or the Alarm.com Servers for Alarm.com users. These servers will then forward the alert to a central monitoring station and/or the end user via text and/or email. There are also a small number of Alarm Grid customers with access to the Telguard HomeControl Flex service using a Telguard Communicator. However, this is less common. All Alarm Grid customers with self-monitoring service will receive access to Total Connect 2.0, Alarm.com or Telguard HomeControl Flex. Alarm Grid customers with central station monitoring service will also receive access to one of these services, with the exception of those with a Standard Bronze Plan or a Cellular Only Monitoring Plan.

Interactive service platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com offer many excellent functions and features. For one, you can access your system remotely to arm, disarm and check its current status. This is made possible using the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App or the Alarm.com Mobile App. Both of these mobile apps are available for free download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. You can also use TC2 and ADC to control Z-Wave devices (Silver Plan or higher required), view the live feed for security cameras (Platinum Plan or Video-Only Plan required), and more.




Let's Discuss Monitoring Plans!

Now that we have talked about some basic terms, we can finally get into monitoring plans. The main monitoring plans from Alarm Grid are broken into four (4) tiers. These tiers - ranked lowest to highest - are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each tier is split into Central Station Monitoring Plans (aka, Standard Plans) and Self-Monitoring Plans (aka, Self Plans). This gives us a total of eight (8) main plans offered from Alarm Grid. As you move up in our monitoring plan tiers, you will get all of the services offered in the lower tiers, plus some new features. There are also some special monitoring plans that we will discuss in greater detail later. The type of monitoring plan you choose is a very personal decision. You should base your decision on your budget, the system you own, and the monitoring needs of your household or business.

One very important thing to note is that Alarm.com Service requires a plan that includes cellular monitoring service. These plans include Gold, Self-Gold, Platinum, Self-Platinum, and the Cellular-Only Plan. The reason this is required is because panels that use the Alarm.com Service require an Alarm.com Cellular Communicator and cellular monitoring service to connect with the Alarm.com Servers. The 2GIG GC2 can technically connect with Alarm.com with a 2GIG Go!Bridge IP Communicator and forgo cellular. But even then, the user will still need to sign-up for a Gold Plan or higher and pay the corresponding fee. If you plan to use an Alarm.com System, expect to sign-up for a Gold Plan or higher. This is a very important consideration when choosing an alarm system.

Also note that each monitoring plan can only cover one (1) security system. If you want to add a second security system or a second alarm control panel, you will need a second alarm monitoring plan. This is true whether the systems are installed in different locations or in the same building.

With that out of the way, let's look into our monitoring plans!

Bronze & Self-Bronze

The Bronze Level Plans from Alarm Grid represent our most basic and least expensive plans. With Standard Bronze, you get connectivity with a central monitoring station through either IP (internet protocol) or phone line (strongly discouraged). This will allow you to receive automatic dispatch in the event of an emergency. No other service is included in this very minimal plan. Standard Bronze customers will not be able to access an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0.

Self-Bronze customers will get the ability to receive text and/or email alerts from Total Connect 2.0. They will also be able to use the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile app to arm and disarm their systems remotely and check the current status for their systems.

Since cellular monitoring is impossible with the Bronze Plans, you should get a system that can do IP-only monitoring. This is possible for most Resideo Alarm Systems that connect with the AlarmNet Servers. Some examples of appropriate systems for Bronze customers include the Resideo Lyric Controller, the Resideo VISTA 21iP, and the Resideo L5210 with an added L5100-WIFI Card.

If you only want the most basic of alarm monitoring services for the lowest possible price, then a Bronze Level Plan is for you. The Standard Bronze Plan with central station monitoring is available for $15 per month. The Self-Bronze Plan is available for $10 per month.




Silver & Self-Silver

The Silver Level Plans introduce the ability to control Z-Wave smart home automation devices remotely. Without a Silver Plan or higher, you will be unable to control Z-Wave devices setup with your system remotely. Central Station Customers need a Silver Plan or higher to access Total Connect 2.0. This will allow remote access to their systems through the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App. All Silver customers receive the features offered in the Bronze Level Plans.

Silver customers can also use Total Connect 2.0 to create Smart Scenes for their Z-Wave devices. This will allow these devices to activate automatically based on a set schedule or with certain system events. Total Connect 2.0 is also required if you want to control your Resideo System and connected smart home devices with voice commands through Amazon Alexa.

If you plan to use a Resideo System with IP-only monitoring and you want smart home automation functionality, then a Silver Plan is for you. The Standard Silver Plan with central station monitoring is available for $25 per month. The Self-Silver Plan is available for $15 per month.




Gold & Self-Gold

The Gold Level Plans introduce the ability to use cellular alarm monitoring service. Cellular alarm monitoring is more reliable than IP monitoring. This is because cellular connectivity is not dependent upon AC power, and it is extremely rare for a cellular communication path to go down or become unavailable. The same cannot be said for an IP communication path, which can sometimes go down for seemingly no reason.

Additionally, internet routers are dependent upon AC power. A power outage will take an IP-only monitored system offline, unless the IP router has a backup battery. Internet monitoring is also included with the Gold Level Plans, so any customer with one of these plans can use dual-path connectivity (IP and cellular) if they have the proper equipment. A Gold Plan is required for any customer who wants to use Alarm.com. It is also required for Total Connect 2.0 users who want to use a cellular communication path.

A Gold Level Plan is for you if you want the most reliable monitoring service possible. It is also for anyone who plans to use an Alarm.com-compatible system, like a 2GIG GC3 or a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The Standard Gold Plan with central station monitoring is available for $35 per month. The Self-Gold Plan is available for $25 per month.




Platinum & Self-Platinum

The Platinum & Self-Platinum Plans introduce video surveillance. This allows users to view IP security cameras from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The live feeds for these cameras can be viewed from virtually anywhere in the world using the respective mobile apps. The user can also download recorded clips for permanent storage and future use. The ability to use image sensors is also included. The Platinum Level Plans also include all of the services offered from the Bronze, Silver, Gold Plans. These are the highest level plans available from Alarm Grid.

A Platinum Level Plan is for you if you want to use video surveillance with your security system. The Standard Platinum Plan with central station monitoring is available for $45 per month. The Self-Platinum Plan is available for $35 per month.



Other Monitoring Plans

Alarm Grid also offers some alternative monitoring plans. These monitoring plans are used with less frequency. They are designed for customers who do not fit the mold of our traditional monitoring plans. These alternative plans include the Cellular-Only Plan and the Video-Only Plan.

The Cellular-Only Plan is like the Standard Bronze Plan, except it allows for cellular monitoring service. The user will not have access to an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. They will also be unable to control home automation devices remotely. However, they will get connectivity with a central monitoring station. This plan can also be used with Alarm.com Systems. You won't get access to the Alarm.com Interactive Service, but connectivity with the Alarm.com Servers will allow for central station monitoring. The Cellular-Only Plan is for you if you want the added reliability of cellular or dual-path monitoring, but you don't need the benefits of an interactive service platform or smart home automation. The Cellular-Only plan is available for $25 per month.

The Video-Only Plan allows for connectivity with Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com strictly for the use of security cameras. You do not even need a security system to use this plan. You can also combine this plan with another plan (e.g. Standard Bronze, Self-Silver) to add video surveillance to your existing monitoring service. The Video-Only Plan is for you if you want video surveillance for your home or business, but you don't have an alarm system, or you don't need cellular connectivity or smart home automation capabilities. The Video-Only Plan is available for $15 per month.

Get Alarm Monitoring

The best way to sign-up for alarm monitoring service from Alarm Grid is to click the orange Alarm Monitoring button at the top of this page. You can choose the best monitoring plan for your needs. Of course, you can always reach out to us if you need help making your decision. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Our planning team will check your email and respond as soon as possible. If you would prefer to speak over the phone, you may call us at (888) 818-7228. We are available by phone during our regular office hours of 9am to 8pm EST Monday thru Friday. We look forward to helping you determine the perfect alarm monitoring plan for your needs.

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Hi DIYers. We have a relatively small video recap this time. Our team managed to make four (4) new videos. This includes three (3) from Jorge and one (1) from Jarrett. They are both ready and eager to help you learn your security system. Let's check out the new videos for this week.

Arming a Honeywell Alarm System Using Alexa

Jorge talks about how you can use Amazon Alexa to Arm your Honeywell Security System. This is made possible using Total Connect 2.0. You must open the Alexa App on your Android or iOS device and link your Total Connect 2.0 account. In order to use Total Connect 2.0, you will need an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to the service. You can use Alexa to Arm Away, Arm Stay and activate TC2 smart scenes. You cannot use Alexa to Disarm your system.


Low Battery Supervision On The 2GIG TAKE-345

Jorge explains how if your 2GIG TAKE-345 has a low backup battery, then all the associated zones will show a low-battery trouble condition. The 2GIG TAKE-345 is a wired to wireless converter designed for use with 2GIG Security Panels. Hardwired sensors connect with the TAKE-345. The module then sends a 2GIG 345 MHz Signal to the panel. The system sees these sensors as wireless sensors. If the 2GIG TAKE-345 has a low battery, then the associated wireless zones will show low battery. You cannot use hardwired life-safety sensors with the TAKE-345.


Getting Power To The Lyric Security System

Jarrett teaches users how to power the Resideo Lyric Alarm System. The system receives primary power from a plug-in DC transformer. If the electricity goes out, a backup battery will keep it powered on. There are 4-hour and 24-hour backup battery options available. We recommend using a Honeywell LT-Cable to connect the panel to its transformer. You can also use 18-gauge, 2-conductor wire to complete the connection. The system will power off if it is not receiving plug-in or battery power.


Testing My Alarm Panel Through Alarm Grid

Jorge explains how Alarm Grid customers can test their security systems. We recommend testing your system monthly. You must test your system once per year to receive an updated certificate of alarm (CoA). By receiving a CoA from Alarm Grid, you can save money on your homeowner's insurance. You must always put your system on test mode before testing your system. You can put your system on test mode by contacting us, contacting our central station partner Criticom, or use the MyAlarms.com feature.

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