Reviews

Interlogix Simon XT - Wireless Security System

Very Basic Panel
Submitted on 11/21/2019 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix Simon XT is a wireless all-in-one alarm panel. It is an extremely basic system with a push-button keypad. It is a good system for those who are looking for minimal functionality, and nothing more. With the proper support, it can do pretty much all of the basic functions you would expect out of a modern security system. Plus, it's a very affordable and cost-effective panel. But it certainly is primitive, and it's nowhere near as flashy as a touchscreen panel. And while the base cost is pretty low, you will still need to buy a communicator to get any real use out of the unit. If you already have an Interlogix Simon XT, or if you inherit one from someone else, then it's a great panel to use. Otherwise, you are usually better off getting something a little more substantial. All things considered, we give it 4 Stars.

When you step back and look at the Interlogix Simon XT, it's really not that bad of a panel. It's affordable and cost-effective. It can be upgraded to receive cellular monitoring service, which will also allow for connectivity with Alarm.com. Adding a cellular radio will also make Z-Wave home automation devices compatible with the system, but they will need to be controlled from Alarm.com. Compatible 319.5 MHz wireless sensors can be auto-enrolled, which is pretty convenient. Although the user will have to endure push-button keypad programming, the system is actually very easy to use once it has been set up.

But there are still numerous downsides to the Simon XT. The push-button keypad is very outdated, and it is much less convenient than a touchscreen keypad. The system really can't do much of anything without an added Alarm.com Cellular Communicator, as we strongly discourage anyone from using POTS (plain old telephone service) for alarm monitoring. Because of these weaknesses, we can only give the Interlogix Simon XT a 4 Star rating.

Good: Wireless All-In-One, Affordable, Easy Daily Use, Cellular Monitoring & ADC w/ Upgrade, Z-Wave w/ Upgrade, Auto-Enroll Sensors

Bad: Push-Button Keypad, Needs Upgrades for Most Features, Very Basic, Keypad Programming

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Honeywell GSMX-TC2 - AlarmNet Total Connect 2.0 Upgrade Kit

Defunct Communicator
Submitted on 11/20/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell GSMX-TC2 is an outdated upgrade kit for a Honeywell VISTA System. The kit included a Honeywell GSMX AT&T 2G Communicator and the PROM Chip upgrades. This communicator can no longer be activated for monitoring service. Additionally, the AT&T 2G Network has since been shut down, so this communicator is completely defunct. It can no longer be used in any fashion. However, the GSMX-TC2 was once a good upgrade kit for users who needed to upgrade the PROM Chips on their VISTA Systems to gain access to Total Connect. But even when this kit was available, it was still a smarter decision to get a 3G communicator instead. With that in mind we give it 4 Stars.

The good things about the Honeywell GSMX-TC2 are fairly obvious. It provided the latest PROM Chip upgrades for the VISTA 15P and VISTA 20P Systems. This is necessary for upgrading the panel to the latest firmware version. Additionally, the module provided reliable cellular connectivity for the panel. Cellular monitoring is more reliable than IP-only monitoring, as an internet outage will take the panel offline. Finally, using this module allowed you to use Total Connect with the system. This platform is good for arming and disarming, checking current system status, controlling Z-Wave devices, and more.

But the downsides to the GSMX-TC2 must also be discussed. The module can no longer be activated. And since the AT&T 2G Network has been shut down, the module can no longer be used in any manner whatsoever. It was once useful, but now it no longer is. But remember, the module was still outclassed by the 3G versions for much of its lifespan. And today, it is even further outclassed by LTE. However, it still served its intended purpose well. We give a 4 Star rating.

Good: Cellular Service, Total Connect, PROM Upgrades

Bad: Defunct Module, Cannot Be Activated, Outclassed by 3G & LTE

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Interlogix GE 600-1053-4-ZX-VZ - Alarm.com Verizon CDMA Cellular Communicator for Concord 4

Replaced by LTE Module
Submitted on 11/20/2019 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix GE 600-1053-4-ZX-VZ is a CDMA communicator for an Interlogix Concord 4 System. It provides cellular monitoring service for an Interlogix Concord 4 and allows you to use the system with Alarm.com. The module can no longer be activated, as Verizon is planning to shut down their CDMA Network in the coming years. Anyone looking for a Verizon Communicator for an Interlogix Concord 4 System should instead get the Interlogix GE 600-1053-LTE-VZ. But if you already have an Interlogix GE 600-1053-4-ZX-VZ activated, then it will continue to work until Verizon shuts down their CDMA network. While we can no longer recommend buying a new Interlogix GE 600-1053-LTE-VZ, it can still work well for the time being if you have one activated. For those reasons, we give it 4 Stars.

The biggest benefits to the Interlogix GE 600-1053-4-ZX-VZ are that it provides reliable cellular monitoring service and access to Alarm.com. Cellular monitoring is considerably more reliable than IP monitoring, as an internet outage will prevent a system using IP-only monitoring from communicating. Cellular outages are much less common than IP outages, so cellular monitoring really is preferred. Being able to access Alarm.com is also very nice. You can access the platform from pretty much anywhere using a web browser or a mobile phone. Once you have logged into Alarm.com, you can arm and disarm, check current system status, control Z-Wave devices, and more.

The downsides to the Interlogix GE 600-1053-4-ZX-VZ are that the module can no longer be activated, and that the ones that are currently active will stop working in a few years when Verizon shuts down their CDMA network. These are some serious downsides, and anyone with a CDMA communicator should upgrade to an LTE module as soon as possible. With that in mind, we give the Interlogix GE 600-1053-4-ZX-VZ a 4 Star rating.

Good: Cellular Monitoring, Access to Alarm.com

Bad: Cannot Activate, CDMA Network Being Shut Down

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Honeywell SiXCT - Wireless Door/Window Contact for Lyric Controller

Awesome Sensor!
Submitted on 11/20/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell SiXCT is a wireless door and window contact designed for use with the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System. The sensor can be used reliably from up to 300 feet away from the system without issue. It utilizes 128-bit AES encryption for added security. The SiXCT also has a wired input that allows the sensor to be used as a wireless transmitter for a single Normally Closed contact. We think the Honeywell SiXCT is a great sensor, and we give a perfect 5 Star rating.

There are many positives to the Honeywell SiXCT. It has a good wireless range, as it can be used reliably from up to 300 feet away from the Lyric in an indoor environment. Keep in mind that is not an open air environment, so the sensor's nominal range is considerably further. The 128-bit AES encryption is a great feature, as it helps ensure that all wireless communications are secure and protected. We also love the wireless transmitting capabilities of the sensor. The feature really comes in handy if you want to use a hardwired overhead contact with the Lyric System. It also has a good battery life, as you should only need to make a replacement about every five (5) years.

But there are still some downsides to the Honeywell SiXCT. It can only be used with the Honeywell Lyric Security System. This really limits its versatility. Additionally, it is a rather bulky sensor. It measures 3.13"L by 1.61"W by 1"H. There are certainly smaller sensors on the market, including the Honeywell SiXMINICT. But still, we really like the Honeywell SiXCT. It is great at what it does, and it makes a nice addition to any Lyric System. It gets 5 Stars.

Good: Nice Range, Encryption, Wireless Transmitter, Strong Battery Life

Bad: Only for Lyric, Bulky

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell LTE-L57A - AT&T LTE Cellular Communicator for L5200, L5210 & L7000

Great LTE Communicator!
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell LTE-L57A is an AT&T LTE Communicator designed for use with Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels. It is compatible with any Honeywell L5200, L5210, and L7000 that is running Firmware Revision 9 or higher. If the panel is running a lower firmware, then it must be upgraded using the upgrader tool. By using this communicator, the LYNX Touch System can connect with AlarmNet360 for monitoring service. The communicator is easy to use, and it will allow you to keep your panel monitored well into the very distant future. And once activated it will allow you to use your system with Total Connect 2.0. This is an excellent communicator, and we give it 5 Stars.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell LTE-L57A. For one, it will provide reliable cellular monitoring for a compatible system. Cellular monitoring is perfect for security systems, as it is much more reliable than IP only monitoring. Once you install and activate the LTE-L57A, you will be able to use the system with AlarmNet360 and Total Connect 2.0. This is an interactive monitoring and automation platform that you can access from anywhere using a web browser or a mobile app on your phone. This service allows you to arm and disarm, check current system status, control Z-Wave devices, and more.

The biggest downside to the LTE-L57A is that it needs to be physically installed inside a panel. This isn't difficult, but it will require you to power down the panel and open it up. Also note that the LTE-L57A can only be used with a LYNX Touch System running Firmware Version 9.00.209 or higher. This is only possible on an L5200, L5210, and L7000. Older LYNX Touch Panels cannot receive the upgrade. Additionally, the module requires a monitoring plan that supports cellular communication. This could lead to higher monitoring costs if you are currently on an IP-only plan.

Overall, we really like the Honeywell LTE-L57A. It is a great module if you have a LYNX Touch System and strong service from the AT&T LTE Network. It gets a 5 Star Rating.

Good: Reliable Cellular Communication, Access to ANet and TC2

Bad: Must be Installed, Select Panel Compatibility, Requires Cellular Plan

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Alarm.com ADC-VC826 - Outdoor 1080P POE Fixed Dome Camera with Night Vision

Great Dome Camera!
Submitted on 11/19/2019 Alarm Grid

The Alarm.com ADC-VC826 is an outdoor fixed dome camera built for use with the Alarm.com platform. This dome camera can capture video at up to 1080p quality, and it is weather-resistant to withstand the elements. The camera reliably captures high-quality video, and it is particularly great for businesses looking for an effective video surveillance option. We think this is an outstanding camera, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There really are many things to like about the Alarm.com VC826 Outdoor Dome Camera. Its 1080p recording quality is excellent, and it can really capture some clear video. This is extremely important if you ever need to identify a suspect or confirm certain types of activity. The device has a vandal-resistant exterior casing that will prevent others from tampering or disabling the device. The ADC-VC826 is both waterproof and dust-tight with an IP67 rating, so you can rely on it to work in pretty much any weather. The camera supports power over ethernet (PoE), which makes it easier to provide power. It also includes IR night vision, which makes it easier for the camera to work in a dark environment. It also has a discreet and compact design at just 4.4" by 3.2". Also the device is surprisingly easy to install.

There aren't many negatives to the ADC-VC826, but there are some to mention. For one, it cannot do WIFI without the use of an ethernet converter. Really, your best option with this device is to just use PoE. And if the IP router doesn't support PoE, then a PoE injector should be used. Another thing to consider is that it can only be used with Alarm.com. If you do not have Alarm.com, then you cannot use this camera. But overall, this camera has so many positives that it deserves 5 Stars.

Good: 1080p, Protective Exterior, IP67 Rating, PoE, IR Night Vision, Compact Design, Easy to Install

Bad: Cannot Use WIFI, Only for Alarm.com

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

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