Reviews

Arlo VMA4200 - Arlo Pro and Pro 2 Camera Skins, 3-Pack 2 Green 1 Camo

Useful Camera Skins
Submitted on 08/11/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo VMA4200 is a pack of three (3) camera skins that can fit the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 Cameras. These external skins not only change the look of the cameras, they also provide valuable protection against water, harsh sunlight, and more. They are great if you want to use your Arlo Cameras outdoors, or if you just want to change the look of your cameras. Although there really isn't much to these external skins, they work great for their intended use. Alarm Grid gives the Arlo VMA4200 Camera Skin 3-Pack a perfect 5-Star rating.

The positive aspects regarding the Arlo VMA4200 are immediately evident. These skins add a nice personalized touch to your cameras. You get two (2) olive green skins and one (1) camouflage skin. These skin options blend-in nicely with an outdoor environment, which makes it easier to hide and disguise your cameras. As mentioned earlier, the external skins provide important protection for the cameras, as they keep out moisture and harmful UV rays. The lightweight silicone material is easy to apply and highly durable. Skins can be easily swapped out if a user wants to change the look of their camera.

There are some minor downsides regarding the Arlo VMA4200 Camera Skins that should also be considered. These camera skins are for Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 Cameras only. They will not fit other cameras. If you do not like the color green, then these skins are not for you. They have a real outdoorsy look that is great for hiding and disguising the cameras, but some users might just prefer the naked white camera look. To be honest, some might even call the olive green skin "ugly". But if you do like the look then these are great camera skins. That's why we rate the Arlo VMA4200 with 5 Stars.

Good: Personalize Your Cameras, Blend-In w/ Outdoors, Protect Cameras, Lightweight Silicone, Easy to Apply, Durable, Easy to Swap

Bad: Only for Arlo Pro & Arlo Pro 2, Some Might Think They're Ugly

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG 2GMV52-A - Alarm.com Go!Control Movistar Cell Communicator

Outdated Movistar Communicator
Submitted on 08/11/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG 2GMV52-A is a discontinued cellular communicator for a 2GIG GC2 Security System. This communicator connects the system with the Movistar Cellular Network in Mexico. Once it has been installed and activated, the GC2 System will be able to communicate with the Alarm.com servers. This is necessary for monitoring service and controlling the system remotely. However, the 2GIG 2GMV52-A has been discontinued, and it can no longer be activated for monitoring service. This is because Alarm.com no longer allows for 3G communicator activations. And since the 2GIG 2GMV52-A is a 3G communicator, it cannot be activated. There are plenty of LTE communicators for use in Mexico that can be used instead. As for the 2GIG 2GMV52-A, we give it a 3 Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the 2GIG 2GMV52-A. For one, the cellular communicator ensures reliable connectivity with the Alarm.com servers. Cellular connectivity almost never goes down or becomes unavailable, provided that the system is receiving an adequate cell signal. Being able to connect with Alarm.com is also a nice benefit, as you can use the Alarm.com platform to control your GC2 System remotely. Alarm.com allows you to arm and disarm, check system status, control Z-Wave devices, and more.

But the downsides to the 2GIG 2GMV52-A should not be ignored. The device is a 3G Movistar Communicator. Alarm.com no longer allows 3G activations, so this communicator cannot be activated for monitoring service. And existing 2GIG 2GMV52-A communicators that have already been activated will stop working once Movistar shuts down their 3G network. Any user with an existing 2GIG 2GMV52-A will want to upgrade to an LTE communicator before that time. Alarm Grid does not offer any LTE cellular communicators for use in Latin American countries, but if you find a model elsewhere, then we should be able to activate it. The only requirements are that the communicator is LTE and works with Alarm.com. But because of these downsides, we give the 2GIG 2GMV52-A 3 Stars.

Good: Reliable Connectivity, Alarm.com

Bad: Can No Longer Be Activated, Will Stop Working Once Movistar Shuts Down 3G Network

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Qolsys QR0030-840 - Replacement Magnet for Qolsys Door/Window Contacts

Great Replacement Magnet
Submitted on 08/11/2020 Alarm Grid

The Qolsys QR0030-840 is the replacement magnet for Qolsys Door and Window Contacts. This is a great accessory to purchase if your existing magnet becomes damaged or lost. While the magnet is built for use with surface-mounted Qolsys Contacts, you can really use it with almost any surface-mounted door and window contact sensor. This is a very useful replacement magnet that can be used nicely in many different applications. We give it a perfect 5-Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Qolsys QR0030-840 Replacement Magnet. For one, the magnet is extremely versatile. Although it was built for use with Qolsys Contact Sensors, it also works nicely with most other surface mount contacts. The magnet is very easy to mount. You have the option of using either double-sided foam tape or screws to mount the magnet. It is relatively small in size, meaning that you can easily position it to fit your door or window. The replacement magnet should match Qolsys door and window sensors perfectly, which can be important for users looking to maintain aesthetics.

But there are also some minor downsides regarding the Qolsys QR0030-840 Replacement Magnet. Although the magnet can be used with contact sensors from manufacturers besides Qolsys, it might not match non-Qolsys Sensors. It can look a little awkward when installed on a door or window with a non-matching sensor. The replacement magnet is available in white only, so it won't match any brown sensors. The replacement magnet is for indoor use only, so you shouldn't use it with outdoor door and window sensors. The magnet is decently strong, but it isn't the strongest magnet out there. Normally, you will need to have it within a half inch of the sensor when the door or window is closed. Overall, these downsides are fairly minor. They do not stop us from rating the Qolsys QR0030-840 a 5-Star rating.

Good: Versatile, Works w/ Most Indoor Surface-Mount Contacts, Mount Using Double-Sided Foam Tape or Screws, Compact Size, Perfectly Matches Qolsys Sensors

Bad: Won't Match Non-Qolsys Sensors Perfectly, No Brown Option Available, Indoor Use Only, Stronger Magnets Available

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Alarm.com ADC-S2000 - Wireless Temperature Sensor for T2000 Smart Themostat

Good ADC Temperature Sensor
Submitted on 08/11/2020 Alarm Grid

The Alarm.com ADC-S2000 is a wireless temperature sensor for use with the ADC-T2000 and ADC-T3000 Smart Thermostats. As a temperature sensor, the ADC-S2000 will provide a temperature reading for an additional location inside the building. This is in addition to the temperature reading from the main thermostat. You can pair up to ten (10) ADC-S2000 units with a single ADC-T2000 or ADC-T3000 Thermostat, which is great if you really need to get readings in specific areas across a larger building. You can even have notifications set up to alert you if the temperature goes outside of the normal range. This is a great temperature sensor to use if you need to check the temperature across multiple areas when using an Alarm.com Thermostat. We give the ADC-S2000 a 5 Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the ADC-S2000. For one, it reliably detects temperature in a second area. A maximum of ten (10) of these sensors can be used with a single Alarm.com Thermostat, so you can really spread them out across your home or business. These devices are wireless, which allows for easy installation. It is also possible to use the ADC-S2000 as a standalone device without a thermostat to report temperature readings to Alarm.com. But pairing it with an Alarm.com Smart Thermostat is ideal, as then the ADC-S2000 can control the HVAC system based on its readings.

There are a few downsides regarding the Alarm.com ADC-S2000. The temperature sensor can only pair with Alarm.com Thermostats. If you have a different smart thermostat model, then you will not be able to use the ADC-S2000 with it. This really limits the number of thermostats that can support the device. The ADC-S2000 has an operating temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that you really won't be able to use it in an outdoor environment. There is also the consideration that the device will require occasional battery replacements. A single CR123A battery is used to power the ADC-S2000. There is also the fact that the ADC-S2000 is discontinued, and it has been replaced by the ADC-S2000-T-RB. But if you find a used model, then it should still work well. But really, these downsides are relatively minor, and we can still give the ADC-S2000 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Reliable Temperature Detector, Pair Up to 10 w/ a Thermostat, Wireless, Report Readings to Alarm.com

Bad: For ADC Thermostats Only, Indoor Use Only, Will Require Battery Replacements, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 4204 - Intelligent Relay Board for Wired Security Systems

Great Relay Module Add-On
Submitted on 08/11/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 4204 is a relay board add-on for Honeywell VISTA Security Systems. This device will add up to four (4) programmable relay outputs for a compatible system. The relay outputs can then be used to activated relay-triggered devices, such as sirens and strobe lights. The device is compact enough to fit inside the main panel's metal enclosure, but it can also be installed outside the enclosure if desired. Overall, the Honeywell 4204 is a great device to use if you need to add additional relay outputs to your Honeywell VISTA System. We give the Honeywell 4204 a 5 Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell 4204. Adding four relay outputs to a system is a great benefit. This will provide you with many options for setting up relay-triggered devices. And even if you don't use all four relay outputs right away, you can always go back and add additional devices later on. The size of the unit is definitely a benefit, as you have the choice to mount the unit either inside or outside the panel's metal enclosure. Most users choose to install the device inside the metal cabinet, but you may want to mount it outside if the metal enclosure is already filled up. The device is UL listed for both burglary and fire in residential and commercial installations. A tamper switch can be enabled to let the system know if someone opens up the module. The relay outputs are Form C, meaning that either Normally Open (NO) or Normally Closed (NC) wiring can be used.

There are not many downsides regarding the Honeywell 4204. It will need to be installed and wired to the panel. Programming the Honeywell 4204 can be a bit tricky. Luckily, you only need to set it up once. The device will draw some power from the panel, so make sure to consider it when doing your power calculation. But really, these downsides are very minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell 4204 a perfect 5 Star score.

Good: Four Relay Outputs, Compact Size, UL Listed, Tamper Switch, Form C

Bad: Installation Required, Difficult to Program, Draws Power

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

DSC FSA-210BT - 2-Wire Photoelectric Smoke & Heat Detector w/ Tamper

Great 2-Wire Smoke & Heat Sensor!
Submitted on 08/10/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC FSA-210BT is a 2-wire smoke and heat detector for use with wired alarm systems that support 2-wire smoke detectors from DSC. It can also be used with certain wired to wireless converter modules that support 2-wire smoke detectors, including the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F and the DSC PG9WLSHW8 PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter. The device is quite versatile, and it offers some great features to help it stand-out when compared with similar devices. However, the product has been discontinued, and you are unlikely to find a new model anywhere. But if you come across a used model, then it should still work fine, provided that it has not been damaged. Overall, we really like the DSC FSA-210BT, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the DSC FSA-210BT. For one, it packs both smoke and heat detection into one device. This means that it will be more likely to quickly respond to a fire. The DSC FSA-210BT utilizes drift compensation, and that helps it maintain sensitivity even if dust has started to build-up. It also features a removable smoke chamber, which makes cleaning the device easy. There is also a convenient test button on the sensor. And a mounting bracket is included for easy installation. We also like the fact that the smoke detector is photoelectric. We find photoelectric smoke detectors to be the most reliable. The fixed-temperature heat detector (135 degrees Fahrenheit) also works very reliably. The device has a tamper cover to alert the system if someone tries to open it up.

There are not many downsides regarding the DSC FSA-210BT. There may be compatibility concerns if you try to use the sensor with a non-DSC System. And like any 2-wire smoke detector, the device will need to be installed. This will require running wires. But really, we don't have many negative things to say about the DSC FSA-210BT. It gets a 5 Star rating from Alarm Grid.

Good: Both Smoke & Heat, Drift Compensation, Removable Smoke Chamber, Mounting Bracket Included, Photoelectric Smoke Detector, Fixed-Temp Heat Sensor, Tamper Cover

Bad: May Not Work w/ Non-DSC Systems, Must Be Installed

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Leviton VRS15-1LZ - 15A Incandescent and Fluorescent Z-Wave Switch

Standard Z-Wave Switch
Submitted on 08/10/2020 Alarm Grid

The Leviton VRS15-1LZ is a Z-Wave switch that can control up to 15A of power for incandescent or compact fluorescent (CFL) lights. The device can be easily paired with a Z-Wave controller so that you can operate the connected lights remotely. Although the Leviton VRS15-1LZ was once considered to be a state-of-the-art Z-Wave light switch, that is no longer the case, and it has been discontinued. If you find a used model somewhere, then it should still work fine. But we really recommend getting a Z-Wave Plus light switch for superior range. Leviton has since come out with various Z-Wave Plus models that should work well on your system. As for the Leviton VRS15-1LZ, we give it a 4 Star rating. It should still work well, but there are better options available.

There are positive aspects regarding the Leviton VRS15-1LZ. For one, the device supports both incandescent and CFL lights, making it quite versatile. The switch can be used in both single pole and multi-pole installations, again adding to its versatility. The 15A max load is quite generous, and you should have no problem using the device in virtually any room of your home. The device comes with white, ivory, and almond switch paddles for added personalization.

But the downsides to the Leviton VRS15-1LZ should not be ignored. The most pressing matter is that the Leviton VRS15-1LZ is discontinued, and you are unlikely to find a new model anywhere. A used model should still work fine though. Another concern is that the switch is standard Z-Wave, not Z-Wave Plus. This isn't really a big deal if the rest of your network is standard Z-Wave. But if you are building around Z-Wave Plus, then you really should get a Z-Wave Plus switch to keep your network consistent. And like any in-wall switch, the Leviton VRS15-1LZ must be installed. This isn't super difficult, but it is something to keep in mind. We give the Leviton VRS15-1LZ a 4 Star score, largley because more powerful Z-Wave Plus options are readily available.

Good: Supports Both Incandescent and CFL, Single Pole & Multi-Pole Installations, Generous Max Load, Interchangeable Switch Paddles

Bad: Discontinued, Standard Z-Wave, Must Be Installed

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Kwikset 914 - Z-Wave Deadbolt Smart Lock

Simple, Effective Z-Wave Lock
Submitted on 08/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The Kwikset 914 Smartcode Deadbolt Lock is a Z-Wave Plus door lock that is frequently used with security systems and other Z-Wave controllers. This is a relatively simple smart door lock that features a touch button design. It has a large lock button at the top to lock the door with the press of a button. The door can then be unlocked by entering a valid code into the keypad. The lock comes in three (3) different finishing options, which allows the user to add a nice personal touch to their home. We think this is a great product, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Kwikset 914. For one, the lock utilizes Z-Wave Plus. This means that the Kwikset 914 will offer superior range and battery life over a classic Z-Wave lock, as long as the device is used with a Z-Wave Plus controller. However, it is still backwards compatible with most classic Z-Wave controllers. The three (3) finishing options make it more likely that the user can find a color that matches their home's decor. The backlit keys on the lock are a nice touch, as they make it easier to operate the lock in a dark setting. We like the fact that the lock rated BHMA Grade 2 and uses 128-bit encryption for added security.

There are not many downsides regarding the Kwikset 914. One issue is that it will need to be installed. It isn't too difficult to install a door lock, but it will require a screwdriver and a little bit of installation time. The lock uses four (4) AA batteries, and they must be replaced periodically. It is recommended that you use alkaline batteries with Z-Wave locks like the Kwikset 914, rather than lithium batteries. But really, these downsides are minor, and we can still give the Kwikset 914 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Z-Wave Plus, 3 Finishing Options, Backlit Keys, BHMA Grade 2, 128-Bit AES Encryption Communication

Bad: Must Be Installed, Requires Battery Replacements

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell 746 - Indoor Speaker

Good Speaker
Submitted on 08/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell 746 is an indoor speaker designed for use with security systems. In order for the speaker to work properly, you must add a siren driver. The siren driver provides the logic that the speaker needs to produce a specific tone or audible frequency. The speaker can still produce a light sound without a siren driver, but it won't really be of any use for a security application. Most users just prefer to get an all-in-one siren, rather than buying a speaker and a separate siren driver. But the Honeywell 746 does feature good build quality from Honeywell, and it can be very useful if you only need a standalone speaker. But due to the lack of a siren driver, we only give the Honeywell 746 a 4-Star rating.

There are positive aspects regarding the Honeywell 746. For one, it is rather compact in size, so it won't take up too much space. The voice coil is double-coated with polyurethane to prevent corrosion. Despite its small size, it can still produce some loud sounds when set up properly, as its maximum power output is 20 watts. Mounting hardware for the speaker comes included, so you should have no trouble setting it up. The device is relatively easy to mount. And like most Honeywell products, the Honeywell 746 has a great build quality, so it can be used reliably for many years.

But the lack of a siren driver is a big downside here. This is why many people will choose to buy a legitimate siren rather than a speaker and a siren driver separately. It does force us to knock a star off the rating. There is also the fact that this speaker is built for indoor use only. All things considered, we give the Honeywell 746 a 4-Star score.

Good: Compact, Not Prone to Corrosion, Powerful Speaker, Mounting Hardware Included, Easy to Mount, Great Build Quality

Bad: No Siren Driver, Indoor Use Only

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Interlogix NetworX NX-592E-LTE-ZX-VZ - Alarm.com Verizon LTE Cellular Communicator for NX-4V2, NX-6V2, NX-8V2, and NX-8E

Useful NetworX Communicator!
Submitted on 08/07/2020 Alarm Grid

The Interlogix NetworX NX-592E-LTE-ZX-VZ is a Verizon LTE cellular communicator for hardwired Interlogix NetworX Panels, including the NetworX 4V2, 6V2, 8V2, and 8E. The device allows one of these compatible panels to communicate with the Alarm.com servers for monitoring service. The unit also includes a built-in Z-Wave controller to open up automation possibilities for the system. This is a great module if you have an existing NetworX System that you want to keep using, but you need to get it running with an LTE communicator. Overall, we really like the Interlogix NetworX NX-592E-LTE-ZX-VZ, and we award it 5 Stars.

There are many aspects to like about this product. For one, it provides the panel with cellular connectivity across the Verizon LTE Network. As long as the system has adequate coverage from Verizon, it will always maintain connectivity with Alarm.com. The fact that this is an LTE communicator is also very important, as Verizon plans on maintaining support for their LTE network well into the very distant future. We also appreciate the fact that the module doubles as a Z-Wave controller. This way, you can pair various Z-Wave devices with your system so that they can be controlled remotely through Alarm.com and included with smart scenes.

There are not many downsides to this product. One issue is that it is for compatible Interlogix NetworX Panels only, which somewhat limits its versatility. Although the device has a built-in Z-Wave controller, an Interlogix NetworX Panel won't allow for local Z-Wave control. Therefore, all Z-Wave operation will need to occur through Alarm.com. We are also a little disappointed by the fact that this is a cell-only communicator, rather than a dual-path communicator with both IP and cellular. But really, these downsides are fairly minor. We can wholeheartedly give the Interlogix NetworX NX-592E-LTE-ZX-VZ a 5-Star rating.

Good: Reliable Cellular Connectivity, LTE, Z-Wave Functionality

Bad: For NetworX Only, No Local Z-Wave Control, Not Dual-Path

Bottom Line: 5 Stars