How Does a Honeywell Communicator Work?

A Honeywell Communicator works by sending and receiving signals from Honeywell's AlarmNet servers. The AlarmNet servers host the Total Connect 2.0 interactive service. Using a Honeywell Alarm System with a Honeywell Communicator is needed for accessing and using Total Connect 2.0.

The main purpose of a Honeywell Communicator is to allow a Honeywell Control Panel to communicate with the AlarmNet servers that are operated by Honeywell. Although an end user will most likely never have to deal with AlarmNet directly, it's important to note that the AlarmNet servers host the Total Connect 2.0 platform. If a Honeywell Alarm System doesn't have a communicator, then it will not be able to interact with the AlarmNet servers. As a result, the end user will not be able to use Total Connect 2.0. This will limit the overall functionality of their alarm system. If you would like to learn more about the difference between AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0, please review this helpful FAQ.

There are several reasons why a Honeywell Alarm System would need to communicate with Total Connect 2.0. When an alarm event occurs, the Honeywell System will use its Honeywell Communicator to send a an alarm signal to the AlarmNet servers and the Total Connect 2.0 service. Total Connect 2.0 will then forward this message to a central monitoring station and/or the end user via text or email so that proper action can be taken. Additionally, if a user accesses the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App on their Android or iOS device, they can send a signal to their Honeywell Alarm Panel to arm or disarm their panel. This signal will be received using the system's Honeywell Communicator. Another way that a Honeywell Communicator can be used is for remote Z-Wave smart home control. When a user operates a Z-Wave device or a smart scene through Total Connect 2.0, the command is received by the Honeywell Communicator of the system. All of these functions make a Honeywell Communicator extremely important.

A Honeywell Communicator can communicate with AlarmNet through either internet or cellular communication. There are also dual-path communicators that utilize both internet and cellular communication for added reliability. Although both communication paths tend to work well, we encourage customers to get a cellular communicator if possible. This is because cellular communication is typically more reliable than IP communication when used with alarm systems. Cellular service almost never goes down, and unlike ethernet or WIFI, it is not affected by power outages. But regardless of whether IP or cellular communication is used, the Honeywell Communicator will need to be compatible with the user's alarm system.

Users should keep in mind that Honeywell Communicators will only work with Honeywell Alarm Systems. Honeywell specifically designed these communicators so that they cannot be used with alarm systems from other manufacturers. Furthermore, a Honeywell Communicator will typically only be compatible with only one type of Honeywell System. For example, a Honeywell Communicator for a Honeywell LYNX Touch System will not be the same as a Honeywell Communicator for a Honeywell VISTA Series System or a Honeywell Communicator for a Honeywell Lyric Controller. Please also note that some Honeywell Systems will come with a communicator already installed, while others will need to have one added separately. An example is the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System, which comes with a WIFI card already installed. But for a LYNX Touch to access WIFI, an L5100-WIFI Communicator is needed.

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