Which Cellular Communicators Work w/ a Honeywell VISTA 20P?

There are many cellular communicators that work with a Honeywell VISTA 20P. At this time, only LTE cellular communicators can be activated for monitoring service. You should make sure to buy an LTE communicator if you need a new one. Dual-path radios (IP & cellular) are also available.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

Adding a cellular communicator to your Honeywell VISTA System is very important. This is the best way to ensure that your panel is able to provide reliable and consistent alarm monitoring for your home or business. In order to use a cellular communicator, you will need an alarm monitoring plan that includes cellular connectivity. For Alarm Grid customers, this is a Gold Level Plan or higher. More information is available on our alarm monitoring page. Alternatively, if you don't need the remote access capabilities from Total Connect 2.0 and the smart home features of a Gold Plan, you can also activate a cellular communicator using a Cellular-Only Plan. More info is available here.

It is very important to understand that while there are several cellular communicators that are technically compatible with the VISTA Series Panels, you can only activate an LTE communicator at the time of this writing (July 2019). Cellular service providers are currently in the process of shutting down their older 2G and 3G networks. Most 2G networks are already shut down, and the last of them will be terminated by the end of 2020. As for the 3G networks, most major service providers are set to terminate these by the end of 2022.

With this in mind, alarm monitoring platforms have recently blocked off activations for older 3G communicators. The same goes for 4G "non-LTE" communicators, whose networks should be shut down in the coming years. If you have one of these communicators already activated, then they will still work until the associated network is shut down. But if you try to activate or re-activate one of these modules for service, then it will not work. As such, it is only possible to activate an LTE communicator for cellular monitoring service. This is fine, as cellular service providers have promised to support their LTE networks well into the very distant future. By going LTE, you will ensure that your panel can remain monitored for many years to come.

For that reason, you should make sure the communicator you purchase is an LTE module. There are only a few LTE modules available. The main options are the Honeywell LTE-XA (AT&T LTE) and the Honeywell LTE-XV (Verizon LTE). These are both standalone cellular communicators that will allow your system to connect with the AlarmNet Servers for alarm monitoring service.

But if you want to choose a more robust option, you might purchase a dual-path communicator. This type of radio will allow your Honeywell Panel to connect with the AlarmNet Servers through two (2) distinct communication paths (IP and cellular). Whenever the panel needs to communicate with AlarmNet, it will send and receive signals through both IP and cellular. Whichever signal goes through first will take effect. It doesn't matter which signal reaches the destination first, just as long as one of them goes through. This basically means that the signals are there to back each other up. Usually, the IP signal will go through first, but having cellular backup can be very important. The two most popular dual-path radios for the VISTA Panels are the Honeywell LTE-IA (AT&T LTE & hardwired ethernet) and the Honeywell LTE-IV (Verizon LTE & hardwired ethernet.

Another interesting cellular option that will work with a VISTA Panel is the Telguard TG-1 Express. This is a device that connects with the panel's phone dialer. When the panel needs to send out a signal, it will think that it is dialing out using a POTS (plain old telephone service) connection. But in reality, the Telguard TG-1 Express is taking that telephone signal and sending it out across a cellular network. This will provide the reliability of cellular service. One important thing to remember with this module is that you will not be able to use Total Connect 2.0. Instead, you will have to use the similar interactive service platform from Telguard, which is called Telguard Home Control Flex. Please note that there is both an AT&T LTE option and a Verizon LTE option available for the Telguard TG-1 Express.

Of course, you can also choose to forgo cellular connectivity altogether and go IP-only. To do this, you would want an IP communicator like the Honeywell 7847i. But just remember that by using strictly IP, you are putting your monitoring service at the mercy of internet connection. If the internet goes down, your panel will not be able to communicate with AlarmNet. This includes situations where an electrical outage takes your internet router offline. Unlike an IP connection, a cellular connection will almost never go down or become unavailable. That is why Alarm Grid recommend using a cellular connection whenever possible. But if you are looking to save money with less expensive monitoring service, then going IP-only is an option.

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