Why Does the Honeywell 6290W Have WIFI?

The Honeywell 6290W offers a WIFI connection to support over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates. Updates are pushed automatically from the AlarmNet server. The 6290W is the latest touchscreen keypad offered for use with VISTA Panels. It has a 7" WSVGA touchscreen with 1024 x 600 resolution.

The primary difference between the 6290W keypad, and the redesigned Honeywell Tuxedo, which will be released in the near future, is that the 6290W does not include a Z-Wave controller. For this reason, users often wonder why the keypad includes access to WIFI. The reason is so that firmware updates can be pushed to the keypad automatically from the AlarmNet server.

In order for the firmware to be updated in this way, the keypad must be connected to WIFI, and it must have Automatic Updates enabled. Honeywell published a handy addendum to the keypad's installation instructions and user guide showing how to enable both of these options.

Once the keypad has been connected to WIFI, and the OTA software update option has been enabled, it will check-in with the AlarmNet server. If any update is available, it will be downloaded to the keypad within 24 - 48 hours. Firmware downloads are managed in batches to prevent the servers at AlarmNet from being overwhelmed. Once the firmware has been downloaded, it will be handled in one of two ways:

Critical Updates

When an update is deemed to be critical, it will be applied to the 6290W without any prompt being displayed at the keypad itself. As soon as the system is disarmed with no zones faulted, no trouble conditions, and none of the following system conditions: Alarm Memory, Low Battery, AC Loss, or Panel in Programming Mode, the update will be applied. If any of these conditions exist, as soon as they are cleared, within about 15 seconds the keypad will reboot, and the update process will be completed.

Non-Critical Updates

When an update is considered to be non-critical it is treated a little bit differently. After the firmware is downloaded, and the system is disarmed with no system conditions of Low Battery or Alarm Memory, a pop-up notice will appear on the keypad display. This pop-up will indicate that a firmware update is waiting to be installed. The user can select "Accept", "Not Accept", or "Postpone". If Postpone is selected, the upgrade will be postponed, with a small icon appearing in the upper right corner of the keypad. This icon can be pressed at a later time, and the firmware update can then be accepted and will proceed as normal.

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