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If you have a Honeywell System with access to Total Connect 2.0, then you will probably want to set up some TC2 notifications. These are used for sending you text and email alerts regarding activity on your alarm system. You will have no trouble setting them up once you know how they work.


Before fully diving into the process of setting up notifications, it's important to understand exactly how TC2 notifications are organized. Notifications are sent out when predetermined system activity events occur, such as arming, disarming, AC power loss, a system alarm, or even just a faulted zone. The recipients of any given notification are determined based on the assigned notification group. Each notification group will have at least one assigned user, and each user can have multiple email addresses and phone numbers set up on their profile.

To break it down, a user must be assigned to a notification group, and that notification group must be associated with the particular event or events that they want to be notified about. Once the event occurs, every user within the assigned notification group will receive the alert. Each user can assign email addresses for email alerts and/or phone numbers for text alerts. Every assigned email and phone number will ultimately be used for notifications, provided that everything has been set up correctly.

Where some people can have trouble with TC2 notifications is when trying to set them up for multiple users. This is usually the case for families, where multiple people in the household want to each receive their own set of notifications. The solution is often to set up a unique user profile for every person who will be using the system and receiving notifications. Each user will need to choose a user code for controlling the system locally. If you want to limit the number of codes on your system, then the other option is to assign multiple email addresses and/or phone numbers to a single user profile. But the downside to doing that is that you won't have any real way of setting who receives what. The point here is that there are multiple ways to ensure that everyone using the system can receive notifications.

Total Connect 2.0 notification can be set up and configured from both the Total Connect 2.0 website and the Total Connect 2.0 mobile app. For our examples, we will mostly be focusing on the website, but understand that these menus are mostly the same on the app. They just might be organized slightly differently to better fit the smaller dimensions of a mobile phone. Really, both the website and mobile app are laid out very similarly, so if you can use one, then you should have very little trouble switching over to the other if needed. The important thing is to understand what all of the various terms mean and how they are all related.

First, let's take a look at the Users Menu of Total Connect 2.0. Like we said earlier, the most common practice is to set up an individual user account for each person who will be regularly using the system and receiving notifications. But if you are trying to limit the number of codes on your panel, then assigning multiple email addresses and/or phone numbers to a single user profile is also an option. On the TC2 website, you can easily locate the Users drop-down menu on the left-hand side.

As you can see, the available options within Users are All Users, My Profile, and Add New User. The All Users option is useful if you are logged into a Total Connect 2.0 account with admin access. It will show all the users you have set up. My Profile is used for adjusting the settings for the user who is currently logged into TC2. This includes setting the user's name, preferred language, TC2 login password, assigned email addresses, assigned phone numbers, and even the security code they use with the panel. And the Add New User option is used for adding a new user to the Panel and if desired, to the Total Connect 2.0 account.


In the picture above, note the "Add SMS" and "Add Email" buttons. These are used for adding additional phone numbers and email addresses to a profile. Each assigned email and phone number will be used for notifications. If you don't want to create multiple users, then that is a method for ensuring that multiple people receive notifications. Just keep in mind that you will have no way of distinguishing which emails and phone numbers will receive which notifications. All emails and phone numbers assigned to the profile will be getting all the alerts.

Alternatively, if you create multiple user profiles, then you can pick and choose which profiles will be assigned to which notification groups. This is how you can set certain users to receive notifications regarding specific system events, while other users won't necessarily have to receive the same alerts for the same events. Whichever option you choose will work fine, and it's totally up to you. But you will have greater flexibility by creating multiple users.

Next, we would like to turn our attention to the Notifications Menu. This is where you will set up notification groups. Recall that different users can be assigned to different notification groups. Each notification group can correspondingly be assigned to different system events that will trigger notifications being sent out.


From the top, List shows the list of the specific system event triggers that will cause notifications to be sent out. Groups are the famous notification groups that we have been talking about throughout this post. Schedules are used for establishing set schedules for predetermined security and automation events to occur. Sensor Activities allows you to select specific sensors so that you can see if the sensor is faulted right from the main page of TC2, rather than having to access the complete system sensors list. For our purposes here, only List and Groups are really important.

After you have created the necessary user profiles and assigned email addresses and phone numbers to said profiles as needed, the next logical step is to create notification groups using the Groups option under the Notifications drop-down menu. If you click on the button with the two people and the + sign, then you can create a new notification group. This will involve providing a name for the notification group and choosing which users are included.


Upon building notification groups, you now get to the juicy step of actually building the triggers that will cause notifications to be sent out. These notification triggers are the actual system events that you want to be alerted about. To access this section, select List under the Notifications drop-down menu. You will likely find a bunch of notifications pre-assigned to the Default Group if you have never configured these settings before. To build new notifications, click the icon with three horizontal bars and the + sign. This will involve choosing the specific event that will trigger the notification to be sent out, as well as selecting the notification group that will receive the notification.


We know we've covered a lot of information here, so let us give a quick recap of the steps involved:

  1. Make user profiles. Each user profile will be able to control the system locally using their own user code. And Standard and Admin profiles will be able to access Total Connect 2.0 to control the system remotely. In most cases, each user profile will represent a different individual who uses the security system.
  2. Assign phone numbers and/or email addresses to user profiles. These are the contact points for sending notifications. Every added phone number and email will be contacted when a notification is triggered to be sent to the associated user. Note that phone number contacts are for text message alerts, NOT phone calls.
  3. Build notification groups. Each notification group consists of one or more user profiles. Every user in the notification group will receive notifications based on their assigned phone number(s) and/or email address(es) when a notification is triggered to be sent out. If you only want some users to receive a certain type of notification, then build a notification group that includes the relevant users, while leaving out users who do not need to be notified or who may receive the intended notification based on their inclusion in a different group.
  4. Create notifications. These are the actual system triggers that will cause a notification to be sent out. When creating a notification, you must select what system event will trigger the notification, and you must also choose which notification group will receive the alert.

Lastly, we briefly want to touch on push notifications that you can set up on your Android or iOS device. A push notification is sort of like a text message notification, in the aspect that it will appear on your phone. But the big difference is that the alert will not appear through your text messaging app, but rather from the TC2 app itself. These push notifications can only be configured by using the Total Connect 2.0 mobile app on a mobile device or tablet. You cannot set up push notifications using a web browser. After enabling Push Notifications from within the TC2 app on your device, you will be prompted by your phone or tablet to allow the App to perform Push Notifications.

First, we will discuss enabling Push Notifications from within an Android device. Upon opening up the TC2 app and logging into your TC2 account, click the three horizontal bars in the upper-left corner. Then choose Settings, followed by Notifications. You can then toggle the Push Notifications option ON or OFF. To set which system events will trigger push notifications, use the My Notifications option.

When using an iOS device, you will reach the option for Push Notifications by clicking the "More" option in the lower right corner of the main screen. From there, go to Settings > Notifications > Push Notifications, making sure that the option is enabled. Once you enable this option through the app, you will be prompted by the phone or tablet to allow the TC2 App to send you Push Notifications.


We really hope that this helps some users overcome their struggles with receiving TC2 notifications. If you are monitored by Alarm Grid, and you are still struggling with Total Connect 2.0 notifications, please feel free to email us at support@alarmgrid.com for extra assistance. We are certainly happy to help you out so that you can get notifications set up exactly how you want them. Our hours for checking emails run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so keep that in mind. We look forward to hearing from you!

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One feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus that we have never discussed before is the Smart Start feature. This feature is used for conveniently enrolling compatible smart home automation devices by scanning a QR code. It is a nice alternative to the traditional inclusion process.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

The Smart Start feature was quietly included back in Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System Firmware Version 2.4.0. As it is a relatively minor feature, it was largely overlooked, and we never covered it in great detail. If your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus had System Firmware Version 2.4.0 or higher installed when it was brand-new, then it already has the Smart Start feature. If the system was running a lower firmware version when brand-new, then you need to upgrade the Z-Wave firmware for the system to unlock the feature. Upgrading the system firmware will not automatically update the Z-Wave firmware and provide access to the Smart Start feature. We wrote a comprehensive FAQ on upgrading the Z-Wave firmware on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, which you can view here.

The required Z-Wave firmware version for using the Smart Start feature on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is Z-Wave Firmware Version 6.81.03. In addition to providing access to the Smart Start feature, upgrading to this Z-Wave firmware version will also upgrade the Z-Wave security protocol for the system to S2. This protocol is more advanced and offers better security than the Z-Wave security protocol previously used with the system. You won't notice any real changes with the S2 protocol, but it is still a nice addition.

Before we continue any further, we do want to stress that updating the Z-Wave firmware for an IQ Panel 2 System is completely, 100%, optional. This isn't nearly as important as updating the system firmware to the latest version. We mention this fact because updating the system's Z-Wave firmware often requires clearing all of the Z-Wave devices from the network and then re-adding them once the update is complete. This can be extremely inconvenient if you have a large Z-Wave network. And since all you're really doing here is gaining access to the Smart Start feature and making a slight improvement to the security for your automation network, we totally understand if you just decide to skip this process. Also note that you can attempt the updating process without clearing your Z-Wave network first. It's just that this may result in errors that can only be solved by ultimately clearing the network and then re-adding the devices. You should only clear the network and re-add the devices if devices that were working fine previously are later giving you issues after the update.

Note: We have noticed issues when using the August Smart Lock Pro with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System running a Z-Wave Firmware Version of 6.81.03. If you intend on using the August Smart Lock Pro with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2, then do NOT upgrade the panel Z-Wave firmware!

If we haven't scared you away yet, let's take a look at the feature! Once your IQ Panel 2 is running a high enough Z-Wave firmware version, you will find the SMART START icon within the Z-Wave Devices Menu of Installer Programming. This menu is accessed by clicking the small grey bar at the top of the main screen and choosing Settings > Advanced Settings > enter Installer Code (default 1111) > Installation > Devices > Z-Wave Devices > SMART START.

Choosing SMART START will cause the panel to pull up the front camera for the IQ Panel 2. There will be a red square inside which you will position the QR code for the device. The QR code can be found either on the device itself or on its packaging. Simply position the QR code inside the red box, and the system will begin scanning.

Once the scan is successful, powering up the Z-Wave device will complete the setup process automatically. And just like that, you have saved yourself the trouble of performing the traditional exclusion/inclusion process for adding a new Z-Wave device. Petty cool!

At this time, the list of devices that can be added in this way is still very small. Here is the current list of devices that we know work with the feature:

For even more information regarding the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Smart Start feature, we strongly recommend checking out this comprehensive FAQ we wrote on the feature. It will tell you pretty much everything you would want to know about using Smart Start on the IQ Panel 2.

If you have any additional questions about the Smart Start feature or the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, including the system's Z-Wave firmware version, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. This email is also great if you want to contact us about starting monitoring service. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Did you know that your Alarm Grid Security System most likely has smart home automation capabilities? While keeping your home or business safe with trusted monitoring service is the main function of an alarm system, the world of home automation is easily accessible and very exciting.

Qolsys iq lightbulb dimmable z wave lightbulb for iq and iq pane

As a quick recap for anyone who may not be familiar with automation or the concept of a "smart home", it refers mostly to two (2) somewhat related ideas.

1) Being able to control devices remotely (aka, while you are away from the premises).

2) Being able to have devices activate automatically based on a schedule and/or predetermined events, with no action required on your part.

These devices that we speak of are collectively referred to as "smart devices". There are all sorts of smart devices that you can integrate into your automation network. Some examples include:

  • Smart Lights - Illumination devices that you can control remotely and turn ON or OFF automatically. These come in many forms, including light bulbs, in-wall switches, plug-in modules, and even wall outlets. Smart lights are perfect for making it appear as though someone is present while away or on vacation.
  • Smart Door Locks - Access control devices that you can operate remotely and LOCK or UNLOCK a door automatically. These are typically deadbolt devices that prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to your home or business. In addition to remote operation, these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or the condition of other devices in your home.
  • Smart Thermostats - Temperature control devices that you can be adjusted locally or remotely and INCREASE or DECREASE the temperature. The operation of these devices can also be automated based on a schedule or event. These wire in directly with the HVAC system in your home or business. The setup is surprisingly simple, and it can be easily completed by a DIY user.
  • Smart Water Valves - Water shut-off switches that you can trigger locally or remotely. If you CLOSE the valve, then the flow of water will be stopped. If you OPEN the valve, then the flow of water will proceed when a faucet is activated. Smart water valves can be very important if the building is prone to flooding or water damage. These devices can be automated based on the activation of a flood sensor.

Now that you know a little more about smart devices, you're probably wondering how to get started. The first thing that we advise doing is selecting a smart protocol to build around. This refers to the type of wireless communication that the individual smart devices will use to speak with the centralized hub.

The smart hub, also known as the controller, is the single most important piece of equipment in any smart home. All of your individual smart devices will communicate their status with this centralized hub. And when you go to control your devices remotely, all incoming commands will pass through the hub before ultimately being forwarded to the individual device. Without the smart hub, home automation is impossible.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

When you select a smart hub, you are also selecting the wireless protocol for your network. All of the individual smart devices in your network must use that same wireless protocol to communicate successfully with the main hub. As a result, your smart hub determines which devices can (and cannot) join the network.

A great aspect of most security systems sold by Alarm Grid is that they can double as smart hubs for your automation devices. The panels that we sell support the Z-Wave wireless communication protocol. Virtually any Z-Wave device can be enrolled with an alarm system that supports Z-Wave communication.

Once you have a Z-Wave device enrolled with your system, a few things become possible:

1) Operate your programmed Z-Wave devices on the main system display. This is the same place where you arm and disarm your system.

2) Control your programmed Z-Wave devices remotely using the same platform you use for controlling your system, namely, Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. This requires monitoring service.

3) Build complete smart scenes, in which multiple Z-Wave devices are controlled simultaneously. This is done through either Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. Again, alarm monitoring service is required.

While all of this certainly sounds exciting, we understand that it may seem a little daunting at first. If you are already an Alarm Grid monitored customer, then there's a good chance that your system is already capable of serving as a central hub for your Z-Wave network.

The following systems readily support Z-Wave communication, with no add-ons being required:

Additionally, the following panels can be upgraded to support Z-Wave communication:

Of course, there are other options besides Z-Wave for home automation. If you are an iOS user, then you might consider getting a security panel that can support the robust and powerful Apple HomeKit automation platform. The Honeywell Lyric is a great option for this. You can learn more about HomeKit in this prior post.

Another option for lighting control is the Lutron devices that use their own communications protocol. Lutron is known for their tight integration with Alarm.com, and they certainly make for a great starting point if you are looking to establish a smart lighting setup. More info on using Lutron with Alarm.com can be found here.


Alarm Grid is about more than just security. We can help you establish the perfect automation network for your home or business. Getting started with smart home automation is easy, and it's a fantastic way to get the most out of your security system. Whether you go with Z-Wave, Apple HomeKit, Lutron, or use a combo setup, we will be there to help you every step of the way.

If you aren't already monitored by Alarm Grid, now is a great time to get started. Smart home automation is included with all of our Silver, Gold, and Platinum Level Plans. This post will tell you all about our monitoring plans so that you can make an informed decision. Alarm Grid monitored customers are provided with free technical support online and over the phone. This includes helping you create the perfect smart home.

The best way for an Alarm Grid monitored customer to get help with all of their smart home questions is to email support@alarmgrid.com or call (888) 818-7728. Our support technicians will be happy to help you in building your smart home network. Remember that our business hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so make sure to plan accordingly. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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At Alarm Grid, we truly believe that most security systems can be installed by end users, with no on-site support from professional installers or technicians. Installing your own DIY security system can save you money in the long run, and it will keep you and those around you safe.

Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 3 1 kit wireless alarm system 3 door sThere are many considerations you will want to make if you are just getting into the market for the first time. You should start by thinking about which alarm panel you want to use. There are several options out there. We recommend reading the three (3) statements below and deciding which one applies to you the most. We realize that all of these statements may apply to your situation, but for the sake of picking the best panel, try and narrow it down to the single most accurate statement. We can begin to steer you towards the optimal panel just based on that one answer, as it shows what is most important to you in this decision.

A. I want the best all-around DIY security system.

B. I want a security system for low-cost monitoring.

C. I want a system system that adds property value.

For those choosing A and wanting the best all-around DIY security system, the answer is most often the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. It has an attractive, modern design that looks great when on placed on a desk or table with its included stand. The entire installation can be complete using only a screwdriver in just a matter of minutes. Programming is made super easy and intuitive, and the vast majority of new users describe the simple setup process as a pleasant experience. The system has a great user interface (UI), and you will love how well the menus are laid out.

Since the IQ Panel 2 Plus has a built-in cellular communicator and an integrated WIFI card, you will not need to add any equipment to use dual-path connectivity with the system. It is ready to go, right out of the box. The panel is also loaded with features that really help make it appealing to those interested in home automation. This comes in six (6) variants, as there are three (3) legacy sensor support options (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz), and each one is available in AT&T LTE or Verizon LTE. The most popular model is the 319.5 MHZ Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, simply because it is the most affordable, but they are all fantastic.

Qolsys iq panel 2 plus verizon lte with powerg s line and legacy

If B is most important for you, and you want to keep your monitoring costs as low as possible, then you will generally want to look at the Honeywell Alarm Panels. This is because Honeywell Panels can be set up for alarm monitoring service without needing use a cellular communicator. Although cellular communication allows for the optimal reliability, it also increases the cost of alarm monitoring due to the cellular service charges. If you have a strong WIFI internet connection in your home, then you can rely on an IP-only setup for alarm monitoring. An excellent panel for this type of setup is the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

The Honeywell Lyric Alarm System is professional-grade security system that is supported by alarm companies across the industry. The panel provides effective and reliable monitoring service to keep your home or business monitored and protected at all times. It is also no slouch when it comes to smart home functionality, as you will have no trouble setting up a complete automation network with the panel if desired. But the money saving aspect lies in the fact this panel is able to connect with monitoring servers without needing a registered cellular communicator. This can save you hundreds in annual monitoring expenses by strictly relying on IP connectivity. All you need to do is connect the Lyric to your WIFI network and have the panel activated by your alarm monitoring company. For more information on why the Lyric is a great option for low-cost alarm monitoring service, please check out this prior blog.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Lastly, those choosing C, where adding property value is the main consideration, you might want to look into a hardwired security system. This is especially true if you are building new construction and have the capacity to run wires throughout the new or unfinished building. An integrated, hardwired security system will add value to any property, and it gives the home or business a nice additional feature. But it should be noted that hardwired systems are more difficult to install. While we have seen some DIY users install their own hardwired systems, the task is usually completed by a professional due to the sheer amount of wiring involved. However, we are happy to work with a third-party installer in helping you install a wired system.

Most new installations today utilize wireless security systems. But if you decide that a wired system is for you, then there are plenty of options to choose from. Hardwired Honeywell Panels are great if you looking to minimize monitoring costs by using IP-only connectivity. We are particularly fond of the Honeywell VISTA-21iPLTE, as it already has a built-in IP communicator for supporting a wired ethernet connection. A cellular communicator can also be added if desired. Overall, the Honeywell VISTA-21iPLTE will provide more than enough functionality for any home or small to medium sized business. There are also commercial-grade panels like the Honeywell VISTA-128BPT, the Honeywell VISTA-250BPT, and the DSC PowerSeries NEO HS128NK, but those are more suited for large businesses and industrial complexes. Just remember that you will need to add extra accessories for all wired systems, such as alarm wiring, a siren, and keypads.

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Start by considering what is most important to you if you are looking for a new alarm system. Once you have committed to a panel, you can start building around it to establish security and automation capabilities. This will include choosing compatible sensors and other accessories. You can also start checking out various monitoring plans to determine which one is right for you. If you ever want to talk to us, we are best reached by emailing support@alrmgrid.com. Our support team answers email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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For users looking to add smoke and heat detectors to their wireless systems, there are always some great options to consider. Of course, the specific models you can choose from will depend which alarm panel you are using. We're here to present the best options for some popular systems.

Honeywell 5800combo smoke heat and co detector

For this list, we are presenting our favorite combination smoke and heat detector and standalone heat detector for each system. Combination smoke and heat detectors are what you should use in most locations of your home or business. During a fire, smoke is usually detected before heat, so a combination sensor will rely on smoke detection as its primary method for detecting fires. Heat detection serves as a good backup to smoke detection.

But there are some rooms of a home where it is better to use standalone heat detectors. This is because using a regular smoke detector in these rooms could result in false alarms due to excessive dust, moisture, or smoke that is normally present. Examples of rooms where a standalone heat detector is often a better option include kitchens, attics, garages, and bathrooms. Remember that standalone heat sensors are one-and-done devices, and they must be replaced after activation. Do not test them using a hair dryer!

Below are our favorite smoke and heat detector options for various systems:


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus (319.5 MHz)

Smoke & Heat: DSC PG9936

Standalone Heat: Interlogix HDX-135


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus (345 MHz)

Smoke & Heat: DSC PG9936

Standalone Heat: Honeywell 5809SS


Honeywell Lyric Alarm System

Smoke & Heat: Honeywell SiXSMOKE

Standalone Heat: Honeywell 5809SS


2GIG GC3e & 2GIG GC2e

Smoke & Heat: 2GIG SMKT8e-345

Standalone Heat: Honeywell 5809SS


If you need any help setting up your new Alarm Grid Security System, or if you are interested in learning more about our monitoring services, please email us 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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Are you bored during the social distancing era from COVID-19 outbreak? If you're going crazy, wondering just what to do with yourself, you might try testing your home security system. It can be a great feeling to know that everything is working properly. And you can do it yourself!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

A complete security system test involves checking all of your sensors and making sure they report to the panel properly. This practice of testing a system is also sometimes referred to as a Walk Test. Many systems have a designated Walk Test mode for this purpose. This mode is often most convenient, as the faulted zones will appear on the screen. You can have a friend stand in front of the panel, while you go around and fault various sensors. This can be a good way to keep track of zones on your system in the event that you ever lose your zone list.

Before conducting any security system test, you should make sure to put your system on test mode. This is very important if you have monitoring service with a central station. If an alarm comes through on your central station account while your system is not in test mode, the central station operator will think that it is a legitimate alarm. This could result in unnecessary dispatch to your residence, and you may receive a fine from your local jurisdiction. Please do not waste the time and resources of your community, and always put your system into test mode when testing equipment!

The best way to put your system on test mode is by using the MyAlarms.com feature from our central station partner, Criticom Monitoring Services. This complementary service will allow you to put your system on test mode by yourself, without needing to receive verification or have someone else do it for you. We have a blog about the MyAlarms.com service, which you can view right here. Other ways to put your system on test mode include contacting us between 9am and 8pm ET M-F by emailing support@alarmgrid.com or by calling (888) 818-7728, or by contact CMS directly.

Each sensor will be tested in a different way. Some common examples include:

A regular system test is a routine affair that you should perform often. It is the best way to ensure that your system is working properly. And also remember that if you need an updated Certificate of Alarm (CoA) for a homeowner's insurance discount, then you must perform an annual test to prove that your system is working properly. Each CoA is good for one (1) calendar year, so make sure to keep up with this so you don't lose out on your insurance discount. We have more information on Certificate of Alarms that you can click here to view.

If you need further help testing your system, or if you are interested in learning more about our products or services, please contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. Although our support staff is currently working from home, we are still committed to providing you with the very best customer service and technical support. Our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, so keep that in mind when contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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We're back with a new video recap! We apologize that we were unable to post this recap yesterday. Since our Florida office has been closed, we won't be able to shoot new videos until it reopens. But we are working to resume business as usual as soon as possible. For now, let's check out our newest videos!

Adding a Wireless Zone to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge shows you how to add a new zone to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Security System. The process is the same, regardless of which version of the IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus System you are using. You need to put the system in its auto-enrollment mode and then fault the sensor you are adding to transmit a signal to the panel. The system should then receive the signal and allow you to add the sensor to the system and configure the settings for that zone.


Adding a 2GIG GB1 to the 2GIG GC3

Your friend Jarrett shows you how to add a 2GIG GB1 Glass Break Detector to a 2GIG GC3 Security System. The 2GIG GB1 is a glass break detector that transmits signals at 345 MHz. The device actively listens for glass break events. It must hear both the low-pitched "thud" of an object striking against the glass and the high-pitched "shattering" of the glass breaking in order to activate. This dual-detection method helps prevent false alarms on the system.


Using a 5853 Glass Break Detector with a 2GIG GC3

Jarrett explains how you can use a Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Sensor with a 2GIG GC3 Alarm System. The Honeywell 5853 is part of the Honeywell 5800 Sensor lineup, and it transmits signals at a wireless frequency of 345 MHz. The sensor can be conveniently auto-enrolled with the GC3 System by putting the panel into its auto-enrollment mode and then activating the tamper cover for the sensor. You will need to adjust the Loop Number for the sensor when programming.


Using WIFI as Primary and GSM as Backup On My Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge explains how the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System uses both cellular and IP connectivity to communicate with the Alarm.com servers. Alarm.com requires that any system connected with its servers has a cellular communicator installed and registered. The IQ Panel 2 System has both an LTE cellular communicator and a WIFI card built inside. Most users will set up the system to communicate across both pathways for optimal performance and reliability. This will require a monitoring plan that includes cellular connectivity.


Adding a Remote Keypad to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge covers the process for adding a Qolsys IQ Remote Keypad to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Security System. In order for the pairing to work, the IQ Remote Keypad and the IQ Panel 2 System should be connected with the same WIFI network. If no WIFI is available, then the system and keypad can connect using a wireless access point (AP). Once you have completed the pairing process, you should test the IQ Remote by arming and disarming the system to ensure that it is working properly.


Using the Chime feature On a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge explains how chimes work on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Security System. A chime is a quick sound the system makes when a connected sensor is faulted or activated. They are useful for quickly letting you know about system events. You can set up individual chimes for each zone on the system. However, no chimes will be produced if system-wide chimes are disabled. If there is a zone for which you don't want any chime sounds to occur, then you can set its chime setting to None.


Using 2GIG Sensors On a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jarrett explains how you can use 2GIG Sensors with the 345 MHz version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Any sensor you want to use with the system will first need to be enrolled. We recommend auto-enrolling, as this ensures that the sensor can communicate with the panel successfully. Any uni-directional 2GIG 345 MHz Sensor can be used with the 345 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus. Please note that this does not include the 2GIG eSeries Encrypted Sensors, which are for the 2GIG GC2e and 2GIG GC3e only.

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If you're setting up a new security system for use with Alarm.com, then you might be wondering which door and window sensors to use. The answer really comes down to which system you are using and how you intend on using your sensors. Plenty of contact sensor options are usually available!


Alarm sensors do not communicate directly with Alarm.com. Instead, sensors communicate with alarm panels. From there, the panel will use an alarm monitoring communicator to send signals to Alarm.com. This communicator must be activated and registered for Alarm.com service. Per Alarm.com requirements, cellular connectivity is required. This means that your system must use a cellular communicator or a dual-path communicator that is built for use with Alarm.com.

As far as choosing specific sensors, it comes down to determining whether or not they will work with the system you are intending to use with Alarm.com. Today, we're going to break down some of the most popular Alarm.com Security Systems and help you determine the best sensors to use. Remember that our security system kits already come with some compatible sensors to get started. It may only be that you just need to add a few more door and window sensors, or you might not need to add any extra ones at all!

We will give you three (3) scenarios for each system. These are:

  1. Surface-Mounted Door/Window Sensors
  2. Recessed Door/Window Sensors
  3. Outdoor Door/Window Sensors

In most situations, surface-mounted sensors are what you want to go with. These are the standard regular sensors that you would use with virtually any door or window. They are super easy to install, and they are some of the most basic security devices you will encounter.

If appearance is important to you, and you want the sensor to remain hidden while the door or window is closed, then you may consider getting recessed sensors instead. Just remember that recessed sensors will require you rolling up your sleeves and drilling holes into your door/window and its frame. In addition to the added work, this may also have warranty ramifications with regard to the door or window.

And of course, if you plan on using the door/window sensor in an outdoor environment, then you will want to make sure the sensor is approved for outdoor use. Trying to use an indoor-only sensor in an outdoor environment will likely result in damage to the device due to exposure to rain, dust, etc. This also typically applies if you plan on using the sensor in an area that is not insulated, such as a shed, a gate or a barn.

Note: If you are totally new to door and window sensors and want to know more about how they operate, please check out this FAQ.


Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus (PowerG)




Arguably the most popular system to use with Alarm.com right now in 2020 is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. There are three (3) versions of the system, with each one supporting a different legacy sensor frequency (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, 433 MHz). We will discuss the legacy sensor options in a minute. But one of the biggest reasons to purchase an IQ Panel 2 Plus is to use PowerG Sensors. All three versions of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus support the PowerG Sensors. These sensors can communicate with the IQ Panel 2 Plus System from up to 2,000 feet away in open air, and they utilize 128-bit AES encryption and frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) for enhanced wireless security. For anyone with an IQ Panel 2 Plus, these are the sensors we would point to first.


2GIG GC3e & 2GIG GC2e (eSeries)

2gig gc3e wireless encrypted alarm panel

2gig gc2e wireless encrypted alarm panel

Right now, we view the 2GIG GC3e and the 2GIG GC2e as the best alternatives for users who want to get started with Alarm.com, but don't want to use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The most popular sensors to use with these systems are the encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors. They are built for the GC3e and GC2e Systems, and they utilize encryption for protection against wireless hacking or takeover attempts. Remember that these systems are both backwards compatible with 345 MHz sensors (more on those later). But if you're running a GC3e or a GC2e, then we're going to recommend the eSeries products.


Original Qolsys IQ Panel 2, IQ Panel, Interlogix Simon Systems (Legacy 319.5 MHz)

Interlogix simon xti 5 80 632 3n xt5 front image
Qolsys iq panel 2 verizon 7 security panel w slash z wave ready
Qolsys iq panel rogers 7 security panel w slash z wave rogers ce

Things become a little tricky when we get into the legacy sensor frequencies. There is usually a lot of inter-compatibility across manufacturers, so often the choice comes down to preference. We will list our favorites based on value and functionality. But understand that you have a lot of options available when it comes to 319.5 MHz sensors. This frequency is used with the original Qolsys IQ Panel 2, the original Qolsys IQ Panel, and all of the legacy Interlogix Simon Series Panels. Keep in mind that you can also use these sensors with the 319.5 MHz version of the IQ Panel 2 Plus as an alternative to PowerG. The 319.5 MHz frequency is also typically used with any wired Interlogix NetworX Panel that has a wireless receiver added.


2GIG GC3 & 2GIG GC2 (Legacy 345 MHz)

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screen

2gig cp21 345 front

If you are working with a 2GIG GC3 or a 2GIG Go!Control GC2, then you will be enrolling legacy 345 MHz sensors with your system. This frequency was popularized by the Honeywell 5800 Sensors, and later the 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors. The GC2 and GC3 support both of these lineups, so you really have a lot of options to choose from. We're just going to list our particular favorites. Remember that you can also use these sensors with a 345 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus as an alternative to PowerG.


DSC Impassa & DSC PowerSeries (Legacy 433 MHz)


DSC popularized their own wireless frequency of 433 MHz. If you have a DSC Impassa, then these will be the sensors you are using. The 433 MHz sensors can also be used with a DSC PowerSeries Panel that has a wireless receiver added. Although we do not sell the original DSC PowerSeries Systems, we do offer the DSC RF5132-433 Wireless Receiver that will allow support for these sensors. And of course, you can also use these 433 MHz sensors with the 433 MHz version of the IQ Panel 2 Plus as an alternative to PowerG. Unfortunately, we don't have a good recommendation for a 433 MHz outdoor door and window sensor. so we'll just list the other two types instead.


Honeywell VISTA, DSC PowerSeries, DSC PowerSeries NEO, Interlogix/GE NetworX (Wired Sensors)

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

Many hardwired security systems can connect with Alarm.com using what is known as an Alarm.com System Enhancement Module (SEM). And since hardwired panels often use wired sensors, this makes hardwired door and window contacts technically compatible with Alarm.com as well! Honeywell VISTA Systems, DSC PowerSeries Systems, DSC PowerSeries NEO Systems, and Interlogix/GE NetworX Systems all have compatible SEM communicators available.

The great thing about hardwired contacts is that they are pretty much universal across all wired systems, provided that the system is not using polling loop sensors. We'll focus on standard non-polling loop sensors here, but these are all good options for most hardwired alarm panels. Also keep in mind that there are MANY options when it comes to wired contacts. Don't feel like you are restricted to the ones we happened to pick!


Get Started with Alarm Grid & Alarm.com


If you are interested in signing-up for Alarm.com service through Alarm Grid, make sure to check out our monitoring page. We support Alarm.com with our Gold and Platinum Level Plans (Self & Full) and our Cell-Only Plan. If you have any questions about our products or monitoring services, be sure to shoot us an email at support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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For a security system owner, remembering to properly arm the system before leaving can be a tough task. It's one of those little things that's easy forget. You forget to grab your your car keys. You leave a door unlocked. You accidentally leave the lights on overnight. These things happen.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Another concern we often hear from customers is whether or not they really need to arm their systems if they are just stepping outside for a minute. Maybe they're just taking their dog around the block, or visiting a neighbor across the street, or walking over to a nearby convenience store. They will only be gone for a minute or two. Is it okay to leave the system disarmed in these situations?

Obviously, if you leave your system disarmed while you are away and an intruder decides to make a quick break-in, there is little that can be done. Security cameras can capture the event happening, but they aren't going to trigger an emergency response if your system is disarmed. If your system isn't ready to trigger an alarm, and you aren't around to stop an intruder, then there is very little that can be done.

With that in mind, we at Alarm Grid recommend that you always arm your system before heading out, even if it's only going to be for a brief moment. You invest into your security system for a reason. Don't let it go to waste. Protect your belongings and your property. Take the extra second or two and arm your system.

Of course, that is just our advice to you as a monitoring company. We totally understand that some users are going that have that "ah, I'll only be gone a second" mentality. And that's up to you. As an end user, you are in complete control, and if you are comfortable leaving your system disarmed when stepping out for a brief moment, then that is up to you. Just understand that we are not liable if you forget or decide not to arm your home alarm system.

One thing you might do is consider your own personal situation. Maybe it's okay to leave your system disarmed if you're just over at the neighbors, and you can visibly see your house? Maybe you can bring your Android or iOS Phone with you and arm using Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com if it turns out you're going to be away longer than you thought? Maybe your can add a key fob to your system to make it easier to quickly arm when walking out the door, instead of needing to enter a code or pull up a mobile app.

Ultimately, how you use your system is up to you. We recommend always arming, even if you're only going to be gone for a little bit. It's not worth the risk to your property, and securely arming/disarming your system can be such a quick and easy task if you add the right equipment. Nearly every alarm panel can be set up with some type of one-touch arming and disarming function to make the process as simple as possible.

We also understand that some users might have the intention of always arming, but they simply forget to do so. We have some tips for these users as well. You might have a secondary keypad right by the door that you will always see when walking out. That way, you will always remember to arm your system. If you don't want to add a new keypad, you could just put a sticky note on the door to remind you. And if your system is monitored, then you can set up geofencing arming reminders through an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. There are many options available.

Remember that many wireless security systems today also often serve as automation controllers. This way, you can use an app on your phone to control the various devices around your home from anywhere. If you forget to turn off your lights, leave your thermostat running, or leave your door unlocked, then you can control the affected device while you are away. This is great for anyone who might be a little absentminded from time to time! Plus, it's good to know that you can always lock/unlock your door or turn your lights ON or OFF if needed. You just need the proper equipment.

Our job is to provide you with reliable monitoring service and the equipment you need to stay protected and secure. You just need to make sure you arm your system when leaving your home. If you need any more tips for remembering to arm your system, or if you want to learn more about any of our products or services that may make it easier for your to use your system, just reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, and we are happy to help you out. We look forward to hearing from you!

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It's time for another Alarm Grid video recap. We only have three (3) videos for the week. But the good news is that all of the videos this week feature Jorge. We hope that you find them helpful in learning how to use your security system. Let's take a look at the new videos from Alarm Grid!

Connecting an iPhone to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge explains how you can use an iPhone to control a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. This is done using the iOS version of the Alarm.com Mobile App. You will need an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to Alarm.com. The panel will communicate with the Alarm.com Servers using an LTE cellular connection, and you can also set up an IP (internet protocol) communication path as well. By accessing the ADC App on your iPhone, you can arm/disarm, check system status, control automation devices, and more.


The Number of Hardwired Zones Supported On a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge explains how there are two (2) hardwired zones built into the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. These hardwired zones are for normally closed contact sensors. You can connect the sensors and then enroll them with the panel by putting the system into its auto-enrollment mode and faulting the sensors. If you want to use additional hardwired zones with an IQ Panel 2 Plus, then a wired to wireless converter is a good option. Just make sure the converter communicates at a frequency compatible with the version of the IQ Panel 2 Plus that you have (319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, or 433 MHz).


Upgrading a Honeywell LYNX Touch to Use LTE

Jorge shows you how to upgrade a Honeywell LYNX Touch System to use an LTE cellular communicator. This is possible on an L5200, L5210, or L7000 LYNX Touch System. There are two (2) LTE communicators available for these systems. These are the Honeywell LTE-L57A (AT&T LTE) and the Honeywell LTE-L57V (Verizon LTE). You must make sure your LYNX Touch System is on a high enough firmware version to support one of these communicators. If you need to upgrade the firmware, you can do so using the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater Tool.

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