Reviews

2GIG DBELL1-345 - Wireless Doorbell for 2GIG Go!Control, GC3 systems

Great Wireless Doorbell Device
Submitted on 07/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG DBELL1-345 is a wireless doorbell that communicates at the 2GIG 345 MHz frequency. When the doorbell is pressed, it functions as a "fault" on the assigned zone. The system can then use this "fault" as a trigger for another programmed device, or it can simply provide a chime or voice annunciation on the system to let the user know that the doorbell was pressed. How exactly the device can be used will depend on the system it is programmed with. But regardless, this is a simple, yet effective doorbell for a security system, and we give it a 5 Star rating.

The main thing we like about the 2GIG DBELL1-345 is just its sheer convenience. It isn't a super fancy or overcomplicated doorbell by any means. You simply enroll it with your system on a wireless zone, and pressing the button will cause a zone fault. You can program the zone in any manner that you would like. But the most common programming setting involves a Sensor Type or a Response Type where no alarm will be triggered on the system, but a chime and/or voice annunciation will be made. Another common programming setting is to set the zone so that pressing the doorbell triggers an automation device, such as a light or garage door opener.

The biggest downside to the 2GIG DBELL1-345 is that fact that it has somewhat limited compatibility. As a 2GIG 345 MHz Sensor, it can only be used with 2GIG Panels and the Honeywell Lyric. If you have a different system like a LYNX Touch or a VISTA, then it will not be able to enroll. There is also the consideration that it will require periodic battery replacements. But these downsides are extremely minor, and they do not stop us from giving the 2GIG DBELL1-345 a 5 Star rating.

Good: Convenient, Trigger Chime/Voice, Activate Scenes

Bad: Limited Compatibility, Requires Battery Replacements

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB - AlarmNet Remote Weatherproof Cellular Antenna

Outstanding Outdoor Antenna!
Submitted on 07/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB is an outdoor cellular antenna designed to boost the signals of cellular communicators. It was originally called the Honeywell GSM-ANT3DB, but the name was changed to CELL-ANT3DB to reflect the fact that the antenna can boost both 3G and LTE signals. As an outdoor antenna, the CELL-ANT3DB is usually installed on a roof or inside an attic. It can provide a stronger signal boost than most indoor antennas. However, it does require some special hardware to set up, and it is only compatible with certain Honeywell Communicators. Overall, we think the Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB is a very useful antenna, so we give it a 5 Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB. For one, it provides a strong, 3dB gain, which should provide a major boost in cell signals, even for those in rural areas. The device is waterproof, which gives the user some good options in choosing a mounting location. You want to have the antenna high up and facing the nearest cell tower. Mounting hardware comes included, so that you can get started installing the antenna.

However, there are some downsides for the Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB that should also be considered. An SMA to N connector, such as the Honeywell WA7626-CA, must be purchased separately, as it is needed to connect the antenna to the communicator. Also, make sure to check compatibility, as the Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB will only work with certain Honeywell Cellular Communicators. And like any antenna, the Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB will need to be installed. This may be difficult for a DIYer if the antenna is being installed on the roof. But overall, these downsides are relatively minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB a 5 Star rating.

Good: 3dB Gain, Waterproof, Included Mounting Hardware

Bad: Extra Equipment Required, Must be Installed, Only Compatible w/ Certain Communicators

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

August Smart Lock Pro - Z-Wave Deadbolt Lock, 3rd Generation

Very Robust, But Has Flaws
Submitted on 07/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The August Smart Lock Pro is a multi-protocol smart lock that offers some great features and functions. As a Z-Wave Plus lock, it can interface with virtually any Z-Wave controller. The device is set up using the August Home App, which is available for both Android and iOS. You can use Bluetooth communication to set up the device using the app on your phone, with no additional equipment being required. But in order to get the most out of the August Smart Lock Pro, you will want to get the August Connect WIFI Bridge, which is sold separately. Otherwise, you will need to be within Bluetooth range for controlling the device, or you will need to have a remote interactive platform for operating the lock. While the August Smart Lock Pro is a robust, powerful lock in theory, we have found it to be rather wonky to set up and somewhat cumbersome. The idea of having HomeKit and Z-Wave in one smart lock device sounds tremendous on paper, we can only give this product a 4 Star rating, due to the number of issues we have experienced.

There are aspects we like about the August Smart Lock Pro. For one, it is compatible Apple HomeKit, which is fantastic for iOS users looking to build around the HomeKit network. Z-Wave Plus connectivity is also super important, as you can interface the lock with virtually any Z-Wave hub. If you successfully pair the device with a security system that features a built-in Z-Wave hub, then the system will automatically push the lock over to its associated interactive automation platform, such as Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The lock's Z-Wave functionality and HomeKit compatibility make it possible for the lock to interface with a wide selection of voice assistants, including Google Home, Amazon, Alexa, and Apple Siri. We also like the fact that the lock has built-in Bluetooth for local wireless communication.

But there are a couple of key downsides that we must mention regarding the August Smart Lock Pro. Most notably, its connectivity is rather wonky and unreliable in our experience. We have had trouble getting it to enroll with certain Z-Wave networks, and calibrating the lock can be somewhat of a chore. All of the setup and troubleshooting for the device is done through the August Home App, which is rather cumbersome. While most Z-Wave devices have some type of button or other method for including/excluding on the device itself, the August Smart Lock Pro requires this to be done through the app. This requires creating an account and going through a long list of inconveniences. There's also the fact that the lock cannot use WIFI unless an August Connect WIFI Bridge is added.

While the August Smart Lock Pro certainly boasts some impressive features on paper, we can only give it a 4 Star rating due to its flaws.

Good: HomeKit and Z-Wave Compatibility, Use w/ TC2 and ADC, Works w/ Many Voice Assistants, Built-In Bluetooth

Bad: Wonky and Unreliable Connectivity, Difficult Enrolling and Calibrating, Requires Use of August Home App, No WIFI Unless Connect Bridge is Added

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Arlo Pro 2 - 1080P Security Camera

Alright Camera
Submitted on 07/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo Pro 2 is an HD security camera option that is great for use in almost any home or business. The camera uses the Arlo Base Station (purchased separately) to connect with the internet and the Arlo Servers. This makes the base station a required add-on. While the Arlo Pro 2 is a very nice camera in general, it lacks the ability to interface with some of the most commonly used service platforms for security systems, including Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0. Due to these shortcomings, we only give the Arlo Pro 2 Camera a 4 Star rating.

There are many aspects to like about the Arlo Pro 2. It offers 1080p recording capabilities, which is a step up over its Arlo Pro predecessor. It also features a wider viewing angle than its predecessor, as the viewing angle for the Arlo Pro 2 is 130 degrees. Returning from the original Arlo Pro, the Arlo Pro 2 also supports a plethora of different power supply options and mounting options. We also appreciate the fact that the Arlo Pro 2 has a weather resistant rating of IP65, as well as IR night vision for capturing footage in the dark.

But there are also downsides regarding the Arlo Pro 2. The camera can only be used in combination with the Arlo Base Station, which must be purchased separately. The Arlo Pro 2 isn't necessarily ideal for Alarm Grid users, as it cannot directly interface with our most commonly supported interactive service platforms for security systems, which are Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com. Lastly, all control for the Arlo Pro 2, including viewing live video feeds, recorded clips, and configuring the camera must be done through the Arlo App. The Arlo App works quite well, but having an exclusive app just for your camera network is a bit cumbersome.

While we generally like the Arlo Pro 2 Camera, it does have some flaws, so it gets a 4 Star Score from us.

Good: 1080p, 130 Degree Viewing Angle, Multiple Power Supply Options, Multiple Mounting Options, IP65 Weather Resistance, IR Night Vision

Bad: Requires Base Station, Cannot Interface w/ TC2 or ADC, All Control Through Arlo App

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Arlo Pro - Smart Security Camera

Decent Camera Option
Submitted on 07/15/2020 Alarm Grid

The Arlo Pro is a security camera solution for homes and businesses. The camera is used with the Arlo App, which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. All operation and control is performed through this app. The Arlo Camera requires the use of the Arlo Base Station, which is used for connecting the device to the internet. This is important for being able to view the camera's live feed through the Arlo App and for sending captured video clips to the Arlo Cloud. Unfortunately, the Arlo Pro lacks integrations with most interactive service platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com. Coupled with the fact that the base station is mandatory, and we only give the Arlo Pro a 4 Star rating.

There are many positive aspects regarding the Arlo Pro Camera. For one, the camera comes with its own power cord and backup battery. A charging station and a solar panel charger are also available to give the camera additional charging options. Many mounting options are also available, including table and ceiling mounts, wall mounts, knob mounts, and flexible quadpod mounts. The camera has a built-in microphone for two-way communication, as well as pan and zoom capabilities. Other features include weather resistance, HD recording quality, and geofencing capabilities.

But the downsides to the Arlo Pro should not be ignored. The biggest downfall is the fact that the camera is not compatible with most of the popular interactive monitoring and automation platforms used with security systems. The most notables examples are Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. It does offer compatibility with the Telguard platform, but Telguard is less frequently used by Alarm Grid users. Another downside is that you are required to use the Arlo Base Station to connect the camera to the internet. Finally, the device must be controlled using the Arlo App, which is a bit limiting. With these downsides in mind, we only give the Arlo Pro a 4 star rating.

Good: Many Power Supply Options, Multiple Mounting Options, Built-In Microphone, Pan and Zoom, Weather Resistance, HD Recording, Geofencing

Bad: Not Compatible w/ Most Monitoring Platforms, Requires Base Station, Arlo App Mandatory

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Honeywell LTEXA-TC2 - AlarmNet AT&T LTE Total Connect 2.0 Upgrade Kit

Great Cellular Upgrade Kit!
Submitted on 06/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell LTEXA-TC2 is a communicator and upgrade kit for Honeywell VISTA Systems that need a new LTE communicator, plus a PROM Chip upgrade. Both 15P and 20P PROM Chip upgrades are included, so it doesn't really matter which system you are upgrading from. The important thing to remember here is that you need the chip upgrade to use Total Connect 2.0 if your VISTA-15P or VISTA-20P is running a firmware version of less than 9.12. If its current PROM Chip shows at least 9.12, then you are usually better off just buying a standalone communicator without the chip upgrade. Beyond Firmware Version 9.12, only minor changes are made to these systems. It's mostly just about getting on a high enough firmware version to support Total Connect 2.0. But if you need a new LTE communicator and a new PROM Chip, then this is a fantastic kit to get. We give it a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell LTEXA-TC2. For one, it provides both a brand-new AT&T LTE Communicator, as well as the necessary PROM Chips (15P and 20P) to get the system online with TC2. The AT&T LTE Network will provide extremely reliable connectivity to keep your VISTA System monitored at all times. And since LTE networks are supposed to be kept in service well into the very distant future, you can consider this a long-term solution in keeping your system monitored.

There are not many downsides regarding the Honeywell LTEXA-TC2. One issue is that it needs to be wired to the panel, much like any communicator would need to be wired. You will need to open up the panel, power it down, install the communicator, and power it back on. There is also the consideration that you really only need the PROM Chip upgrade if your VISTA System is running too low of a firmware version to otherwise support TC2. If it's already on a high enough firmware, then you should just buy a standalone LTE-XA Communicator. But these downsides are pretty minor, and they do not stop us from giving the Honeywell LTEXA-TC2 a 5-Star rating.

Good: AT&T LTE Network, Includes PROM Chip Upgrades, Long-Term Solution

Bad: Must be Wired, Only Needed if PROM Chip Upgrade Required for TC2

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

Honeywell IS2560 - Wide Area PIR Motion Detector

Excellent Large-Range Motion Sensor!
Submitted on 06/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell IS2560 is a discontinued hardwired PIR motion sensor that offers a larger-than-average coverage area of up to 60 feet by 85 feet. It is a fairly standard motion sensor, as it connects with a wired panel using a 4-wire connection. Two (2) wires are for zone status, and the other two are for power. There are even four (4) different sensitivity level options for added customization based on the needs of the end-user. Despite this being a relatively old sensor, it still works great, and it is still used in many situations. For that reason, we give the Honeywell IS2560 a 5-Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell IS2560. For one, it offers a rather large coverage area, making it more suitable for industrial or commercial locations. Specifically, the sensor covers up to 60 feet by 85 feet, so plan accordingly. By using sensors with a larger coverage area, you will likely require fewer sensors for your installation, thereby saving you some money. There is an LED light on the sensor, which is good for testing purposes. The sensor has a look-down zone for added coverage. And you can choose between four different levels of sensitivity to meet your needs. We also really like the fact that this sensor has an EOL terminal that allows you to more easily add a resistor for supervision purposes. The end-of-line resistor is connected to the common terminal and the aforementioned EOL terminal. One side of the zone wire is also connected to the EOL terminal. This prevents the need for soldering or using wire nuts or B-connectors.

There are not many downsides regarding the Honeywell IS2560. Like any wired sensor, you will need to run a wire from the device to either the panel or a wired to wireless converter. If you have trouble wiring sensors, then this is something to keep in mind. Also, the Honeywell IS2560 does not offer any pet immunity, so that might a problem if you intend on using this sensor in a home with a dog, cat, or other small animal moving around. With its large coverage area, the sensor was mostly built with commercial or industrial use in mind, so it's not much of a surprise that a pet immunity feature was not included. Lastly, the Honeywell IS2560 is discontinued, and you cannot buy it new. But if you find a used model, then it should still work fine. Overall, we give the Honeywell IS2560 a 5-Star score.

Good: Large Coverage Area, LED Light, Look-Down Zone, Four (4) Sensitivity Options, EOL Terminal

Bad: Requires Wiring, No Pet-Immunity, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 5 Stars

2GIG CO3 - Wireless Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector

Short Product Life
Submitted on 06/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The 2GIG CO3 is a wireless carbon monoxide sensor that operates at the 2GIG 345 MHz frequency. This makes it compatible with systems like the Honeywell Lyric, the 2GIG GC3, and the 2GIG Go!Control. For the most part, this is a well-built and reliable CO detector. But unfortunately, it has a major flaw. This sensor only has a 5-year product life. Limited product life is nothing new for a CO detector, and it is something you will likely need to consider no matter which model you end up going with. But you can usually do a little bit better than just five years. And it's a shame because this is otherwise a great sensor. Overall, we give the 2GIG CO3 a 4-Star rating.

It's not like the 2GIG CO3 doesn't have positive aspects. Like most 2GIG products, the 2GIG CO3 has a good build quality. There is an LED light on the sensor to provide a visual indication of current status. It also has a built-in sounder to alert building occupants upon detecting carbon monoxide. And it uses the recognizable Temporal 4 sounding pattern to indicate a carbon monoxide alarm. Since this is an electrochemical CO detector, it works very reliably. Another benefit is that the sensor is versatile, as it can interface with the wireless 2GIG Systems and the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System.

But there is an important flaw for the 2GIG CO3. Its 5-year end-of-life is pretty disappointing, even for a CO detector. One of the biggest downsides to any CO detector is that it will only have a limited product life. This is because the electrochemical detection component loses sensitivity over time and cannot last forever. But we normally expect this lifespan to be roughly 8 to 10 years. Just five years is really lackluster. And you will be spending more money over time on a sensor that, while extremely important for life-safety purposes, will probably never be used. And that is enough to knock our score down to 4 Stars.

Good: Great Build Quality, LED Light, Built-In Sounder, Temporal 4 Sounding Pattern, Versatile

Bad: Five Year Product Life

Bottom Line: 4 Stars

Honeywell L5200PK-3G - Cellular Home Security System Kit with Sensors

Outdated Kit - Better Available!
Submitted on 06/23/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell L5200PK-3G is a defunct security system kit from Alarm Grid. It included a Honeywell L5200 System, three (3) Honeywell 5811 Door and Window Sensors, one (1) Honeywell 5834-4 Key Fob, one (1) Honeywell 5800PIR-RES Motion Sensor, and a Honeywell 3GL Cellular Communicator. The Honeywell L5200 is a somewhat rare system, and it did not last on the market very long. Honeywell very quickly replaced it with the Honeywell L5210 for various reasons.

But that doesn't make the L5200 a bad system. In fact, some people still use it today. Since Resideo (formerly Honeywell) upgraded the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Upgrade Tool to work with the L5200, it is possible to upgrade the firmware for an L5200 System. This will allow you to add an LTE cellular communicator to the system and use it for monitoring service. Another option is to add a Honeywell L5100-WIFI Communicator for internet service. But this Honeywell L5200PK-3G kit came with a 3G cellular communicator that can no longer be activated for monitoring service. Couple that with the kit being discontinued, and we can only give this a 3-Star rating.

There are some positive aspects regarding the Honeywell L5200PK-3G. The included sensors have a nice build quality. You can upgrade the firmware for the Honeywell L5200 and set it up with a new LTE communicator or a WIFI communicator then set it up for alarm monitoring service. You will have a nice selection of sensors to choose from with the L5200, as all of the Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors are supported.

But this L5200 kit has some downsides that should not be ignored. First of all, the L5200 is known for being somewhat of a wonky system. That is one reason why it was fairly quickly replaced by the L5210, which is known for being a more stable system. With the 3G sunset, the communicator included with this kit cannot be activated. You will need to buy a different communicator, like a Honeywell LTE-L57A, Honeywell LTE-L57V, or Honeywell L5100-WIFI. You will likely also need to invest in a Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Upgrader Tool to update the system firmware. There is also the fact that this system is discontinued and can no longer be purchased new. And be careful about buying this system new, as L5200 Panels have less-than-stellar longevity. Because of these negatives, we only give the Honeywell L5200PK-3G a 3-Star rating.

Good: Strong Sensors, Can be Firmware Upgraded, Nice Selection of Sensors

Bad: L5200 is Wonky, Communicator Cannot be Activated, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 3 Stars

Honeywell WEL-Y - Street Smart Wireless Emergency Line Kit

Difficult to Set Up
Submitted on 06/12/2020 Alarm Grid

The Honeywell WEL-Y is an add-on kit that includes a wireless receiver module and a panic switch. The receiver is not a traditional RF wireless receiver for security system sensors. Instead, it is a receiver module designed for use exclusively with the included panic switch. You can pair up to 7 of these panic switches on a single receiver, so that is a nice addition. But on the other hand, the Honeywell WEL-Y is quite old, and it was really only intended for older hardwired systems that would mostly be considered archaic today. These systems are seldom used so it is doubtful that you have a panel compatible with one. But if you happen to be using one of these older panels, then the Honeywell WEL-Y might be useful in your situation. This a very old device, but it still works well. That being said, it is somewhat difficult to set up, so it only gets a 4 Star rating.

There are many things to like about the Honeywell WEL-Y. It allows you to add panic switches to your compatible hardwired system. It offers functionality with a wide selection of older wired panels, including those from ADEMCO, DSC, First Alert, Caddx, and Moose. This can be very useful if you want to use panic switches, but don't need a full wireless receiver for adding wireless sensors. The panic button can be triggered for police, fire, or medical and can also be used to trigger a relay device. There is even the ability to program it for instant activation or a three (3) second delay for preventing false alarms. It uses more than 4 billion encrypted codes through the Honeywell Street Smart wireless protocol. This makes the panic switches extremely secure.

However, there are some downsides regarding the Honeywell WEL-Y. For one, it is discontinued, and you will be unlikely to find it new. A used model should still work well though. Second, the device is really only meant for use with a selection of older hardwired panels, which can be seen in the description. The panic button has a 6V coin battery, and it will need to be replaced periodically. Although a receiver module is used, it cannot be used with traditional RF sensors, only compatible panic switches. Also, the unit has been known to be difficult to set up. For that reason, we only give it a 4-Star rating.

Good: Works with a Diverse Selection of Older Wired Panels, Optional Delayed Activation, Multiple Programming Options, Can be Used as a Relay Trigger, Extremely Secure

Bad: Discontinued, For Certain Wired Panels Only, Requires Battery Replacements, Difficult to Set Up

Bottom Line: 4 Stars