Can I Use a WIFI Communicator w/ a Honeywell Alarm System?
Yes, you can use a WIFI communicator on a Honeywell Alarm System. Most wireless Honeywell Panels have a WIFI communicator available. However, wired Honeywell Panels can only use hardwired ethernet for IP connectivity. Most wired VISTA Panels will require an IP communicator for ethernet use.
In order for an alarm system to connect to a local WIFI network, it must have a WIFI card. The general rule for Honeywell Panels is that wireless Honeywell Systems can do WIFI, while wired Honeywell Systems cannot. There are some exceptions to this rule. Some examples are the wireless L3000 and L5000, both of which have no WIFI module available. In most cases though, if you have a wireless Honeywell Panel, you can use it with WIFI.
That being said, most wireless Honeywell Systems cannot use WIFI right out of the box. The only one that can is the Lyric Controller and the upcoming Resideo ProSeries Panel. These systems both have built-in WIFI cards that will allow them to connect to WIFI, with no add-ons being needed. But for the LYNX Touch Systems, you need to add an L5100-WIFI module. This is a WIFI card that will allow the LYNX Touch Systems to connect to local WIFI for alarm monitoring service.
There is something very important to consider if you decide to use an L5100-WIFI module with your LYNX Touch System. Newly manufactured L5100-WIFI devices have an updated MAC-prefix that requires the panel to be running firmware revision 8.00.183 or higher. You can identify a newly manufactured L5100-WIFI module by having the following sticker on the box:
If you find that your L5100-WIFI module is a newer model, then you must upgrade your LYNX Touch Panel to firmware revision 8.00.183 or higher. For an L5210 or L7000, you can update the firmware using the LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Updater Tool. For more information on using the updater tool, please review this helpful FAQ.
For an L5200, you can only update the firmware by having it pushed down from the AlarmNet Servers. This will require that the panel is already connected with AlarmNet for monitoring service. However, Resideo says that it will eventually be possible to use the LYNXTOUCH-MSD Updater Tool with the L5200 System as well. But at the time of this writing (July 2019), it is not possible. Update: As of November 2019, you can now upgrade an L5200 using the updater tool. More information can be found here.
For an L5100, it is no longer possible to update the firmware. That means it is impossible to use a newly manufactured L5100-WIFI module with that system. But keep in mind that you can still use an older L5100-WIFI module that was manufactured before the MAC-prefix update. In fact, an older L5100-WIFI module will work with any L5100, L5200, L5210 or L7000 System, regardless of firmware version.
An older L5100-WIFI module can be very useful if you have a LYNX Touch that isn't running firmware version 8 or higher. Older versions of the L5100-WIFI typically are not sold anymore, but you may be able to find a used model somewhere. If you do, it can still be activated for alarm monitoring. The best way to determine if an L5100-WIFI module is an older model is to see if it has a MAC-prefix of 00D02D. This indicates that it is an older model. More information about identifying an L5100-WIFI module as a newer or older model can be found in this blog post.
As for the hardwired Honeywell VISTA Security Systems, there is no way to do WIFI connectivity. However, you can still do ethernet connectivity for IP service. In most cases, this will require an added IP communicator. An exception is the VISTA 21iP, which already has a built-in IP communicator for ethernet connectivity. Most other VISTA Systems do not have IP capabilities right out of the box.
Remember, you will need an alarm monitoring plan to activate your panel for internet monitoring service. This is true for both WIFI and ethernet. All of our alarm monitoring plans include IP connectivity. You might also consider adding cellular connectivity, as cellular service is typically more reliable. You will need a cellular communicator and a monitoring plan that includes cellular connectivity in order to do this.
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