Reviews

Kwikset Obsidian - Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt Lock

Excellent Door Lock!
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The Kwikset Obsidian is a touchscreen Z-Wave Plus deadbolt lock. The keyless lock will keep the entry properly secured and protected. The lock features an attractive touchscreen, and many users are particularly fond of the touchscreen controls. All control is done from the touchscreen keypad, including device set up. We think this is an excellent Z-Wave Plus door lock, so we give it a 5 Star rating.

There is so much to like about the Kwikset Obsidian. It has a BHMA Grade 2 Rating, meaning that it will keep your home nice and secure once locked. Its design is absolutely beautiful, and it will look great on your front door. You can even choose between two (2) different finishes to match your decor. The device is easy to use, and its touchscreen is simple to understand once you get the hang of it. The lock even offers a security mechanism to prevent an intruder from guessing the user code based on fingerprints. Our technicians have found that this works quite well. The lock uses 128-bit AES encryption in its wireless communications to prevent anyone from hacking into the lock. This keeps it incredibly protected and secure. And with Z-Wave Plus technology, you can enjoy extended range and battery life when using the lock with a compatible Z-Wave Plus controller. Overall, this really is an excellent lock with a lot of great features.

The only real downside to this lock is that it needs to be physically installed. You will need to remove your existing door lock and install this one in its place. This isn't super difficult, but it is time-consuming, and it might be challenging if you aren't great with tools. But there really aren't many negative aspects to the Kwikset Obsidian. We think it deserves 5 Stars.

Good: BHMA Grade 2 Rating, Fantastic Design, Different Finishing Options, Easy to Use, Security Provisions, 128-Bit AES Encryption, Z-Wave Plus

Bad: Must be Installed

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Linear LBR30Z-1 - Z-Wave Flood Light Bulb

Great Z-Wave Flood Light Bulb!
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The Linear LBR30Z-1 is a Z-Wave flood light bulb that can be used with nearly any Z-Wave compatible security system or other Z-Wave controller. You enroll the light bulb as a Z-Wave light so that you can control the light from your Z-Wave hub. If you have a security system that uses an interactive automation platform like Total connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, then you can control it from that platform as well. You can even use it with smart scenes if the platform supports that feature. Overall, the Linear LBR30Z-1 works very well as a Z-Wave flood light. We give it 5 stars.

There are many things to like about the Linear LBR30Z-1. For one, it is easy to enroll. You simply clear it from the network and enroll it like any other Z-Wave device. The LBR30Z-1 installs like a standard light bulb, so you should have no trouble installing it into a compatible socket. The device only draws 7.5 Watts of power, so it is energy efficient as well. And it certainly provides a good amount of light as a flood light. Additionally, the flood light offers a nice "daylight" feel. And the bulb is dimmable!

There are some downsides to the Linear LBR30Z-1 that should be discussed. For one, it only uses standard Z-Wave. You will not get to take advantages of the extended range associated with Z-Wave Plus if you have a compatible Z-Wave Plus controller. The light is designed for indoor use only, which may restrict its use. It requires a recessed lighting can of 4 inches or larger. Make sure the bulb can fit the socket! The light has also been discontinued, so you can no longer purchase it from Alarm Grid.

The Linear LBR30Z-1 works great, and we definitely recommend as a flood light if you can find one. It earns a 5 Star rating.

Good: Easy to Enroll, Easy to Install, Energy Efficient, Nice "Daylight" Color, Dimmable

Bad: Standard Z-Wave, Indoor Use Only, Must Fit Lighting Socket, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC MPT - PowerG 915MHz Mini Wireless Proximity Tags, 8 Pack

Awesome Proximity Tags
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The DSC MPT is an eight (8) pack of proximity tags for a DSC PowerG Keypad that includes a proximity tag scanner. A proximity tag is something that you can hold up to the keypad in place of entering a valid system code. This is great for arming and disarming without needing to remembering a code. These devices work very well, but you will need to have a compatible keypad. We give the DSC MPT a 5 Star rating.

Using proximity tags can really make your life more convenient. These devices are really useful for people who are busy and on the go. They are also good for people who suffer from memory loss and may have trouble remembering a code. Each individual proximity tag must be enrolled with the system and assigned to one of the programmed codes. The DSC MPT is particularly useful for office settings where a regular set of individuals will be using the system. Each user can have their own tag so that they can easily arm and disarm the system when needed. These really work great as access control devices. And they come in eight (8) attractive colors, making each one uniquely identifiable. Their small size makes them easy to store in a pocket or purse. You can also clip them to key-chains.

The biggest downside to the DSC MPT is that they can only be used with a very select set of PowerG Keypads. These include the DSC HS2LCDP N Keypad, the DSC HS2LCDWFPV9 Keypad, and the DSC HS2TCHP Touchscreen Keypad. Remember, these keypads are designed for use with DSC PowerSeries NEO Security Systems only. As a result, there is no way to use the DSC MPT Proximity Tags with other systems.

Overall, these proximity tags work very well, and they are easy to use. We give them 5 Stars.

Good: Use Instead of Codes, Associated with Users, Everyone Can Have Their Own, Compact Size, Attractive Colors, Attach to Key-Chains

Bad: Only Work w/ Certain Keypads, For PowerSeries NEO Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG GC3GR-A - Alarm.com Rogers 3G Cell Comm for Go!Control (Canada)

Good 3G Communicator
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG GC3GR-A is a 3G communicator for a 2GIG Go!Control GC2 System. It communicates across the Rogers 3G Network in Canada, and it allows the GC2 Panel to connect with Alarm.com for monitoring service. The communicator can still be activated as of November 2019, as Alarm.com will still allow users to activate 3G communicators in Canada. However, it is inevitable that the user will eventually need to get an LTE communicator instead. But for now and the foreseeable future, this communicator will continue to work great. We give it a 5 Star rating.

The biggest advantage to the 2GIG GC3GR-A is that it provides reliable monitoring service and access to Alarm.com. Cellular communication is perfect for alarm monitoring, as it rarely experiences outages. This is unlike IP monitoring, which isn't as reliable. And being able to access Alarm.com is a major benefit as well. You can access Alarm.com from a web browser or by using a convenient mobile app on your phone. After logging into your Alarm.com account, you can arm and disarm your system, control Z-Wave devices, view the live feed for Alarm.com Security Cameras, and more. This makes the 2GIG GC3GR-A a great investment for GC2 owners in Canada with strong service from the Rogers Cellular Network.

There are some downsides to the 2GIG GC3GR-A that should be considered. The most glaring weakness is that this is a 3G communicator. Most 3G communicators can no longer be activated for monitoring service or for use with Alarm.com. The 2GIG GC3GR-A is a rare exception, as it connects to a Canadian network. Rogers currently has no plans to shut down its 3G network. As a result, Alarm.com is still allowing activations. But you can be pretty sure that a day will come when you need to upgrade to LTE. With that in mind, you are probably just better off upgrading the panel. Also, keep in mind that this module must be physically installed inside the GC2 Panel.

Good: Reliable Monitoring Service, Access to Alarm.com

Bad: 3G Communicator, Requires Installation

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Qolsys QZ8103-840 Image Sensor - Alarm.com Image Sensor Compatible w/ Qolsys IQ & IQ Panel 2

Nice Image Sensor
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys QZ8103-840, also known as the Qolsys Image Sensor, is designed to confirm break-ins and fires. The device is basically a motion sensor combined with a camera. When the device detects movement, it will snap a photo and send it to both the panel and Alarm.com. You can then check the panel or Alarm.com to view the image that was produced. Being able to check the image from Alarm.com is particularly useful, as you can do so from pretty much anywhere. It must be mentioned that you need a Qolsys CARD-IS installed inside your IQ Panel 2 to use this image sensor. But because of its excellent benefits, we give the Qolsys Image Sensor a 5 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Qolsys Image Sensor. It is great for confirming intrusions and fires. Our techs have found that it works very reliably. And being able to check images from Alarm.com is very convenient and great while you're away. The sensor is a great alternative to buying Alarm.com IP Cameras and paying extra every month for video surveillance.

However, we must also mention the downsides to the Qolsys Image Sensor. For one, you need to install a Qolsys CARD-IS inside your IQ Panel 2 System. If you have a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The CARD-IS uses the same antenna as the PowerG Daughtercard for supporting PowerG Wireless Sensors. Although you can technically have both the CARD-IS and the PowerG Daughtercard installed inside the system at the same time, you can really only use one at a time in practice. If you have an IQ Panel 2 Plus, it is a much better decision to just get a PowerG Image Sensor rather than trying to make the Qolsys Image Sensor work. Finally, the Qolsys Image Sensor uses two (2) lithium AA batteries. With typical use, they last for two (2) years. This means that you will occasionally need to buy new batteries and replace them.

Good: Confirms System Events, View Images from Panel & Alarm.com, Works Reliably

Bad: Requires CARD-IS, Uses Batteries

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG XCVR3-GC3 - 900MHz Transceiver and 345MHz receiver for GC3

WE LOVE IMAGE SENSORS!!!
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 is a transceiver module that allows you to use the 2GIG IMAGE3 Image Sensor with a 2GIG GC3 or 2GIG GC3e System. An image sensor is basically a motion sensor with a built-in camera. The camera will take one or more photos when movement is detected. This is good for confirming an intrusion or a fire. The 2GIG IMAGE3 in particular is known for providing high-quality images. In fact, it is a noticeable improvement over earlier image sensors. This makes the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 module a good purchase and a nice addition to your GC3 or GC3e System. That is why we give it 5 Stars.

Using an image sensor can be a great alternative to using a more expensive video surveillance setup. The images provided from the 2GIG IMAGE3 that is used with the 2GIG XCVR-GC3 are high-quality, and you can use the image sensor to confirm any intrusions or fires. The 2GIG IMAGE3 takes two (2) photos when activated, and they are sent to Alarm.com. This way, you can view the images remotely from a web browser or from a smartphone with the Alarm.com Mobile App. You can even manually request a photo using the peek-in feature from Alarm.com. This is ideal for requesting a photo at any time.

There are some downsides to the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3. It is a physical module that needs to be installed inside the panel, which can be inconvenient for some users. Additionally, if you use it with the GC3e, then you will lose the ability to use encrypted 2GIG eSeries Sensors with the system. In that sense, your GC3e will be basically no different than a 2GIG GC3. But despite these flaws, the 2GIG XCVR3-GC3 does its job well. For that reason, it earns 5 Stars.

Good: Alternative to Video Cameras, High-Quality Images, Peek-In from Alarm.com

Bad: Must be Installed, Removes Encrypted Sensor Support on GC3e

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1 - WIFI Outdoor 1080P HD Total Connect Security Camera

Excellent Outdoor Camera
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1 is an outdoor IP camera designed for use with Total Connect 2.0. It is a 1080p HD camera that uses video analytics to determine when to record clips. The device is easy to mount to a wall or ceiling, and it uses IR night vision to capture activity from up to 65 feet away in the dark. Some downsides to the camera include its lack of a microphone and the fact that it can only be used on a 2.4 GHz WIFI network. Still, it is a very robust and powerful camera that is easy to use. We give it 5 Stars.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1. Its recordings are crystal clear, and they certainly match the advertised 1080p quality. In fact, we use this camera outside the Alarm Grid office! And since our office is located in South Florida, we can definitely say it's weather-resistant. The camera's IR night vision is quite powerful, as it reliably detects activity from up to 65 feet away. We tested this camera in the dark, and it worked great. The video analytics feature is effective in triggering recordings, and its settings can be adjusted from TC2. We also found that the camera was very easy to install, and we would certainly recommend it for any home or business with a Honeywell System that uses Total Connect 2.0.

There are some downsides to the camera. It lacks a microphone, and it cannot be used for audio recording in any manner. This was likely an intentional design, as a microphone may result in unneeded clips due to cars passing in the area. Still, it would have been a nice feature to have, as you could have just disabled audio-triggered video recordings. The camera also cannot be used on a 5 GHz WIFI network, as it is for 2.4 GHz only.

Overall, we like the IPCAM-WOC1 a lot. We give it a 5 Star rating.

Good: 1080p, Weather-Resistant, IR Night Vision, Easy to Install, Effective Motion Detection using Video Analytics

Bad: No Microphone, 2.4 GHz Networks Only

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG DW20R - Wireless Recessed Door/Window Contact

Good Recessed Contact
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG DW20R is a recessed 345 MHz contact designed for use with 2GIG Security Systems. It is also compatible with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System (MR3 or higher) and the 345 MHz version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. As a recessed sensor, it is hidden from view once installed. This allows for an aesthetically pleasing installation. The sensor is also very easy to use, and it works very well. However, it is more difficult to install than a surface-mounted sensor. All things considered, we give it 5 Stars.

Many users prefer to use recessed contacts with their doors and windows so that they are hidden and out of view. While these devices are not as popular as the easier-to-install surface-mounted sensors, there are many users who won't mind going through the extra trouble to use these devices. The device is quite simple to use. When the magnet separates from the sensor, a metal reed switch inside the sensor becomes released. This tells the sensor to report to the security system. We also like the fact that the sensor is compatible with a good selection of systems.

There are some negatives of the DW20R which must be mentioned. For one, it is more challenging to install than a surface-mounted sensor as holes need to be drilled. The sensor itself needs 2.6 inches of depth, which is fairly deep for a recessed contact. Meanwhile, the magnet requires 0.5 inches of depth, which isn't too much, but it might be impossible for certain windows. The sensor is not designed for use with steel doors and windows, which somewhat limits its versatility. The DW20R also has somewhat of a lackluster range, as it is recommended to use the device within 100 feet of the panel. However, the sensor can technically work from up to 450 feet away in open air.

Although the 2GIG DW20R has its flaws, it is still a very good contact. We give it 5 Stars.

Good: Hidden From View, Easy to Use, Good System Compatibility

Bad: Requires Drilling Holes, Large Sensor, Not For Steel Doors/Windows, Weak Range

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC WT5500 - 2-Way Wireless Push Button Keypad

Great Impassa Keypad!
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The DSC WT5500 is a wireless push-button keypad designed for use with the DSC Impassa and the DSC PowerSeries Panels if a wireless transceiver module is added. It operates at the 433 MHz frequency, which makes it compatible with those systems. This is a very simple push-button keypad, but it does offer some nice features. As this is the best keypad option for a DSC Impassa, we give it a 5 Star Rating.

There are actually quite a few things to like about the DSC WT5500 Keypad. It can access Installer level programming, so you can actually use it to program your Impassa or PowerSeries System. Granted, you would usually just use the Impassa Panel or a wired keypad on a PowerSeries Panel, but it's still a nice touch. The keypad offers great convenience, as you can place it by a second entrance to have another spot for arming and disarming. The Impassa System will support up to four (4) of these keypads, so you probably won't run out of keypad slots. The keypad is also highly regarded for its strong backlight, which makes it easy to use in the dark. It even has a backup battery to stay running when the power is out. And a built-in chime will have the keypad produce a sound when an Entry/Exit Zone is activated. The keypad will also display the local ambient temperature on the main screen. Our technicians have found that the keypad works well and is reliable.

The biggest downside to the DSC WT5500 is the fact that it's a push-button keypad, and not a touchscreen keypad. This is rather outdated, and new users might feel intimidated when working with a push-button keypad. Still, if you're just looking for something simple, then this is a fine keypad to use. It gets 5 Stars.

Good: Installer Programming Support, Offers Convenience, Impassa has 4 Keypad Slots, Strong Backlight, Backup Battery, Chime, Local Temperature Display

Bad: Push-Button Keypad, PowerSeries Panel Requires Transceiver

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

AG Outdoor Security Stickers - Window Stickers with Adhesive Back

Tremendous Stickers!
Submitted on 11/15/2019 Alarm Grid

Alarm Grid Outdoor Security Stickers feature an adhesive back, and they are designed to be used in an outdoor environment. They are very tough and durable, and we think they look great. We absolutely love these stickers, so they get an easy 5 Star rating.

There are so many things to love about the Alarm Grid Outdoor Security Stickers. They proudly feature the Alarm Grid blue, and they let anyone who passes your home or business know that you are monitored by Alarm Grid. The stickers also feature our phone number and website so that you can conveniently reference them if needed. Since the stickers are mounted on the outside of a window, it is less likely that children will tear them or peel them off. The stickers are weatherproof, and they will withstand whatever nature throws at them. You can put them on pretty much any outdoor surface. This includes a window, your mailbox, or even your car if you want. Our technicians have found that they stay up very reliably, and they look great in our opinion. These are large window stickers, so others are sure to notice them. You will love the octagon design and the awesome blue color. Simply put, these are some of the best stickers you will ever encounter. And best of all, they will most likely scare off any intruder!

The only downside to the stickers is that they cannot physically stop an intruder from entering your home or business. Sure, a security sticker is likely to scare off an intruder. But if they decide to break-in anyway, the sticker isn't exactly going to stop them. That's why it's important to have a real security system and monitoring service from Alarm Grid. You can use a sticker without a security system, but don't be upset with us if an intruder decides to call your bluff!

These stickers are excellent, and everyone should have them. We give them 5 Stars.

Good: Cool Design, Phone # & Website Listed, Weatherproof, Large & Prominent, Strong Adhesive Backing, Scare Away Intruders

Bad: Will Not Physically Stop Intruders

Bottom Line: 5 Stars