Helmut K. from Chicago, IL
How Easy Was Installing the System on Your Own
Installing your own alarm system is not very difficult. I installed a Vista 20P system with a 6162RF keypad and an iGSMv4G communicator. All of my sensors (including door, smoke, and CO) are wireless. I also have two additional keypads, a wireless 5828 and 5827DB, and 3 key fobs. I had no prior experience and was armed only with the ability to read and Alarm Grid’s tech support.
I probably read the Vista 20P installation and programming guides at least twice prior to purchasing anything and I constantly was chatting with Alarm Grid online. Once I purchased my equipment, I installed and programmed it with relative ease.
The most complicated part of the programming is probably that pertaining to the communicator, but Alarm Grid did all of that remotely.
One thing worth noting, though, is that the 6162RF keypad has some features that make programming much easier than it must have been in the past. I highly recommend that keypad when partnering with a Vista system.
How much money did you save by installing this system on your own?
I’m not really sure. I think I spent a total of $1100 on equipment and now pay $30 per month. ADT wanted $45 or $50 per month with a 3 year contract and a “free” bare bones security system that didn’t include smoke/CO detectors, key fobs, a high quality keypad, wireless keypads, outdoor sensors, etc.
I could probably have installed an ADT equivalent system for $300 or $400. Given that I’ve had the system for 6 months now, the ADT system would have cost 6*$50 or $300. With Alarm Grid, the equivalent would be $400 + 6*$30 or $580.
So I probably haven’t “saved” money YET. But I will over time, especially over 3 years.
Plus, I believe that there is significant value in understanding the systems in your home, and you can’t put a price on that. Yes, I am an engineer.
Did you use Alarm Grid's YouTube channel or extensive collection of Q&As to install your system?
I primarily relied on chatting with Alarm Grid online with Connie (who is truly wonderful) or on the phone with Sterling (who is a treasure trove of alarm system information). I watched one or two videos on YouTube as well.
What Are Some of the Neat Automations You've Done w/ Your System?
I don’t have any home automation, per se. However I did hook up my garage doors to the main keypad so that we can open and close the garage doors from inside the house. The garage is detached, so that’s a plus. Doing this required some more complex programming as well as installation of a 4204 relay module. Sterling helped me out with this task.
What is your favorite part of your new Alarm Grid system?
I enjoy the peace of mind as well as how I programmed my keyfobs. The key fobs (5834-4) all can arm and disarm the system and also have the capability to open/close the garage doors.
What do you think about Alarm Grid's Support?
I’m a first timer with no previous experience.
Alarm Grid has superior technical support (I know, I’m a broken record), reasonable prices, and friendly people. I’m sold.
Also, I should mention that Alarm Grid helped me figure out some equipment that I had not purchased from them. That’s rare and awesome!
What do you think of Total Connect?
Total Connect 2.0 is neat. You can arm and disarm from your phone.
One time my dad went to my house when I was not there and set off the alarm. I immediately got a text message and remotely disarmed the system before the police came. Pretty cool, right?
Did You Take Advantage of the Homeowners Discount Your Insurance Company Offers?
Absolutely! I think that we got 5% off for having and alarm system with cellular backup and another 5% off for installing smoke detectors. Take note – always put smoke detectors in your system. They aren’t that much and could save your house from burning when you’re not there.
Can’t say enough positive things about the Alarm Grid team of Sterling, Connie, and others.