Arnold C. from Wallace, CA
We moved and wanted to get an alarm in our new home. I have experience with several companies through previous purchases and for my business. I wanted a wireless solution with a redundant backup that I could just install myself. I needed to have good tech support that wouldn't leave me hanging after the purchase. I didn't want to be stuck in a contract and pay overpriced fees to monitor.
Alarm Grid fulfilled all of these areas. I found them by doing a Google search and had researched solutions from ISIS, Viper, and Simplisafe. All had good reviews, but I didn't want to opt for the cheapest mainstream solution from the local hardware store.
First off, the most compelling part of this was that Alarm Grid is a Honeywell dealer. Honeywell is a long-standing, SOLID company with a great reputation for making quality products. It gave me options for home automation down the road if I decide to go with it. My home has lots of entry points, so I needed to have a lot more zones that your typical home.
CNET had a "Top 5" review of the DIY home alarms in the sub-$299 range. My experience has been "Buy once, cry once." You get what you pay for and I didn't want to hassle with changing out parts (other than batteries) that can't stand the test of time. I wasn't going to trust my home security to the lowest price product.
HARDWARE: I purchased the Honeywell L5200 series. Mine is configured to work off of Wi-Fi and a built-in cellular backup and battery. If someone cuts phones or power to my home, the alarm system will still continue to function.
The motion sensors and door/window contact sensors were very easy to install. Just put them there you want them. Contact sensors are two pieces (sensor and magnet) that use double-stick tape. I also used the enclosed screw to fasten them. Programming the each sensor to the main panel is a cinch. AG has a library of videos on "How-to" for each of their products. Easy to follow and understand.
I enjoyed doing all of this. Video surveillance is available, but it is a proprietary Honeywell Total Connect feature which costs and extra $10 / month. Remote video monitoring is available with a number of security camera systems and it doesn't necessarily have to go through your alarm system.
MONITORING: AG offers several options to self monitor via the Internet, or going through their Central Station. I opted for their "Basic" package and added the cell communication backup which was part of my system. Once I had everything installed in my home, I setup and appointment to activate my alarm.
This process has them checking your system communication remotely, programming, and establishing all of your call numbers. It was quite comprehensive and took about 30 minutes. There is no contract or deposit to sign. I give them my credit card number and they bill every month. No hassles.
It sure beats paying the twice the amount through other commercial companies you see on TV and being stuck in a contract.
SUPPORT: Sterling is your main guy for support. He speaks clear English, is located in the United States, and doesn't talk to you in tech-speak. Very patient and walks you through any questions you may have about installation. He made reference to videos being available and emailed me the links to them. Even with that, he didn't pawn me off to watch videos. He was engaged and took the time to answer my pre-sales and support inquiries.
OVERALL: If you're looking for a DIY system that has a solid reputation, and a company that will offer you tremendous service and support, this is the way to go. You buy your system on the front end and pay about half the price for monitoring with no contract obligation. Looking for the cheapest system out there? This isn't for you. You get what you pay for. If you're looking for a "Free" alarm system with a monitoring contract, this isn't for you. All I can say is that my overall experience was excellent, and I'm very particular. I would recommend Alarm Grid for your home alarm.