Home Security Systems

Jay Roman

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Hey, So obviously everyone is running IP cams here,


I am curious what home security systems are you all also running ?


(ADT, Alarm.com/ vivint / frontpoint / simpli safe / )

Any recommendations? Why did you choose that specific system ?
 

wittaj

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Many here run the Ring alarm system. Unlike their cameras, the Ring alarm system is decent. Can go with optional monitoring for like $120 or so a year and provides cellular backup if your internet goes down and can notify police, fire, EMS, etc.
 

Jay Roman

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Many here run the Ring alarm system. Unlike their cameras, the Ring alarm system is decent. Can go with optional monitoring for like $120 or so a year and provides cellular backup if your internet goes down and can notify police, fire, EMS, etc.
Are you running any Smart Door locks ??
 

wittaj

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I am not, but the Ring system does allow for that.
 
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Hey, So obviously everyone is running IP cams here,


I am curious what home security systems are you all also running ?


(ADT, Alarm.com/ vivint / frontpoint / simpli safe / )

Any recommendations? Why did you choose that specific system ?
I'm running a Honeywell Vista 20p with IP/LTE interactive monitoring (Total Connect 2.0). The Ring alarm system seems to be popular on this forum but I'm not a fan of it. The Ring system is not capable of doing half of what I what I need it to do.

My system is not locked or proprietary to any specific alarm company so I can choose any alarm company that I want. I'm currently using AlarmGrid for my monitoring service. AlarmGrid is more expensive ($35.00 a month for IP/LTE and Interactive Services) than most DIY alarm companies. However, they have good customer service, and their technicians are knowledgeable, plus I trust them. I've used a couple different alarm companies in the past and I've had bad experiences with them. So, I'm willing to pay a little extra a month for a company I can trust. AlarmGrid does not make you sign a monitoring contact so you can cancel at any time.

In my opinion, having a properly installed and monitored alarm system is more important than having cameras for the purpose of detecting a burglary, unless you're going to have someone monitoring the cameras 24/7. The Vista 20p is a professional grade hardwired/wireless system that will monitor for Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide, and other environmental issues (Flood, low temp etc.)

One of the main reasons I prefer the Vista system over other systems like Ring, Simplisafe etc. is because the Vista system is not locked to that company. The Ring and Simplisafe systems are locked to that monitoring company. So, if you invested money in one of those systems and you are unhappy with the monitoring service there's nothing you can do besides buy an entire new system. The vista system can simply just be reprogrammed to transmit to a different monitoring service.

The Vista system also has a lot more of selection in sensors compared to Ring/Simplisafe. For example, the Vista system offers both wired and wireless Dual Tech motion detectors. Dual tech motion detectors use both microwave and PIR technologies to detect an intruder (they are also available with 100lb pet immunity). Dual tech sensors reduce false alarm compared to standard PIR sensors. So far, I've never had any of my dual tech sensors cause a false alarm. I'm also big on fire detection. I prefer to have photoelectric smoke detectors with built in heat sensors in every room/hallway, heat detectors in the kitchen, laundry room, garage, attic etc. along with CO detectors on each floor. The Ring/Simplisafe system is also lacking when it comes to fire detection.


With that being said, I can't recommend a system to you unless we know what you want it to do.

As far as those other companies you mentioned above, stay very far away from any large company that makes you sign a monitoring contract for any amount of time.
 

Jay Roman

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I'm running a Honeywell Vista 20p with IP/LTE interactive monitoring (Total Connect 2.0). The Ring alarm system seems to be popular on this forum but I'm not a fan of it. The Ring system is not capable of doing half of what I what I need it to do.

My system is not locked or proprietary to any specific alarm company so I can choose any alarm company that I want. I'm currently using AlarmGrid for my monitoring service. AlarmGrid is more expensive ($35.00 a month for IP/LTE and Interactive Services) than most DIY alarm companies. However, they have good customer service, and their technicians are knowledgeable, plus I trust them. I've used a couple different alarm companies in the past and I've had bad experiences with them. So, I'm willing to pay a little extra a month for a company I can trust. AlarmGrid does not make you sign a monitoring contact so you can cancel at any time.

In my opinion, having a properly installed and monitored alarm system is more important than having cameras for the purpose of detecting a burglary, unless you're going to have someone monitoring the cameras 24/7. The Vista 20p is a professional grade hardwired/wireless system that will monitor for Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide, and other environmental issues (Flood, low temp etc.)

One of the main reasons I prefer the Vista system over other systems like Ring, Simplisafe etc. is because the Vista system is not locked to that company. The Ring and Simplisafe systems are locked to that monitoring company. So, if you invested money in one of those systems and you are unhappy with the monitoring service there's nothing you can do besides buy an entire new system. The vista system can simply just be reprogrammed to transmit to a different monitoring service.

The Vista system also has a lot more of selection in sensors compared to Ring/Simplisafe. For example, the Vista system offers both wired and wireless Dual Tech motion detectors. Dual tech motion detectors use both microwave and PIR technologies to detect an intruder (they are also available with 100lb pet immunity). Dual tech sensors reduce false alarm compared to standard PIR sensors. So far, I've never had any of my dual tech sensors cause a false alarm. I'm also big on fire detection. I prefer to have photoelectric smoke detectors with built in heat sensors in every room/hallway, heat detectors in the kitchen, laundry room, garage, attic etc. along with CO detectors on each floor. The Ring/Simplisafe system is also lacking when it comes to fire detection.


With that being said, I can't recommend a system to you unless we know what you want it to do.

As far as those other companies you mentioned above, stay very far away from any large company that makes you sign a monitoring contract for any amount of time.
Looking up the Vista 20P now.

I guess essentially start with the alarm panel and then go from there??

Did you wire and install it yourself ? or hire a professional company ?
 
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That's up to you. I do everything myself. I will never allow an alarm company to step foot inside of my house. If your walls are open, I would recommend hardwiring as much as you can. if not, hardwire the keypads, sirens and use wireless sensors if you don't feel comfortable running wires. You'll need a wireless receiver for the 20p. I can usually find good deals on eBay or Amazon on Vista 20p kits with a wireless receiver. The Vista 20p will only work with Honeywell 5800 series wireless sensors.

What is your main goal with this system? Do you want professional central station monitoring or self-monitoring? Is it going to detect just burglary or do fire also? This will determine what you're going to buy.
 
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I have to agree with @smiticans . I prefer a hard wired system over wireless. Wireless can be jammed however unlikely that may seem. Jamming equipment can be had from eBay so I don't think it'll be long before they get into common circulation. Sure, Ring and SimpliSafe can alert youthat the system is jammed but that's not really why you got a system in the first place.

I ran a security company for years and we used primarily Ademco/Honeywell equipment. Nothing beats a hardwired, supervised, system IMHO. I've never had to "tear out a wall" to get a system in, even with house built on slabs. Yes it is certainly more challenging and a lot more work, but it is reliable. The only "broken wires" I ever had to find were broken by squirrels getting into the attic. Cover every exterior opening, both doors and windows. Cover every interior door as well. Add in infrared, dual tech infrared and glass break where appropriate.

I'm also a fan of full blown fire detection. Smoke/ionization detectors in every room and "rate of rise" detectors in areas like the attic, laundry room and heating equipment areas. I don't think the wireless systems can even compare with fire detection which is even more critical than burglary detection.

I'm using a combination for monitoring the system. I'm using EnvisaLink as well as a monitoring service with IP and GSM. Backup power is a critical factor as well so make sure you've got more than enough capacity to handle the panel, sirens, motion detectors, remotes and communications gear. It can add up pretty quickly so be generous, batteries and charger for them are cheap enough. Another thing to install is LOUD sirens inside, as well as outside, to make it so uncomfortable inside that if anyone does get in they can't stay there due to the noise.
 

Jay Roman

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Is this a good starting point ?



or this ?


Or this starter kit?



Do you want professional central station monitoring or self-monitoring?
Do you recommend that AlarmGrid? I am moving into a completely new neighborhood, and I haven't had a chance to speak with my neighbors. (its only 3 of us)
The idea of running cable is new to me. Although I will already be trying to run Cat5 for my new cams.

Is it going to detect just burglary or do fire also?
I have smoke and Co2 detectors, but fuck it, redundancy is great. SO both fire and burglars.
 
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Jay Roman

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I have to agree with @smiticans . I prefer a hard wired system over wireless. Wireless can be jammed however unlikely that may seem. Jamming equipment can be had from eBay so I don't think it'll be long before they get into common circulation. Sure, Ring and SimpliSafe can alert youthat the system is jammed but that's not really why you got a system in the first place.

I ran a security company for years and we used primarily Ademco/Honeywell equipment. Nothing beats a hardwired, supervised, system IMHO. I've never had to "tear out a wall" to get a system in, even with house built on slabs. Yes it is certainly more challenging and a lot more work, but it is reliable. The only "broken wires" I ever had to find were broken by squirrels getting into the attic. Cover every exterior opening, both doors and windows. Cover every interior door as well. Add in infrared, dual tech infrared and glass break where appropriate.

I'm also a fan of full blown fire detection. Smoke/ionization detectors in every room and "rate of rise" detectors in areas like the attic, laundry room and heating equipment areas. I don't think the wireless systems can even compare with fire detection which is even more critical than burglary detection.

I'm using a combination for monitoring the system. I'm using EnvisaLink as well as a monitoring service with IP and GSM. Backup power is a critical factor as well so make sure you've got more than enough capacity to handle the panel, sirens, motion detectors, remotes and communications gear. It can add up pretty quickly so be generous, batteries and charger for them are cheap enough. Another thing to install is LOUD sirens inside, as well as outside, to make it so uncomfortable inside that if anyone does get in they can't stay there due to the noise.

Ive read on reddit many people recommending the "Eyez-on Envisalink EVL-4 IP Security Interface Module"

Does that device simply give your vista 20 network access? ( receive text and email messages as well as control your Honeywell Vista and DSC security systems through the internet.)
It appears as well compatibility with your smartphone

Where did you buy all your equipment? Straight from Honewell or were you waiting on sales/discounts ?
 
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While I agree with almost everything @sebastiantombs said in his post, the only thing I disagree with is the use of Ionization smoke detectors. Ionization smoke detectors will false alarm all day for burnt toast, however, they have a very long delay in detecting slow smoldering fires (These are the fires that will kill you). In some tests they didn't even activate. Just do a YouTube search of Photoelectric vs Ionization smoke detectors. I don't believe they even make ionization smoke detectors that interface with alarm systems but I could be wrong. Stick with Photoelectric smoke detectors. I like the Honeywell 5808W3, it's photoelectric with a built in 135 degree heat detector. System Sensor also makes reliable hardwired smoke detectors that will work with the 20p.

I do recommend full central station monitoring with AlarmGrid using IP as primary communication and LTE as backup. You would need the Honeywell LTE-IV (Verizon) or LTE-IA (AT&T) depending on which service is better in your area.

Those links you posted have items I wouldn't recommend, such as the wireless keyfob and 4ah battery. You're going to want a 12v 7 or 8ah battery for the system. I just did a search for bundles and it appears the prices have gone up, probably because of the pandemic. I could usually find a 20p with a 6160RF keypad for about $160.00 on Amazon or eBay. You might be better off buying the items separately.

The Envisalink 4 will allow you to self-monitor your system without any monthly fees using your internet connection. You'll receive email/text notification for system events like alarms, arm and disarms etc. You'll also be able to remotely arm and disarm your system.

Honeywell will not sell directly to end users. You will have to buy the equipment from Amazon, eBay or Alarmgrid, unless you have an account with ADI.

How big is your house and how many door/windows do you intend to protect? Do you have any pets such as cats or dogs?
 

Jay Roman

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1800 sQ ft.


I believe 3 Doors of Entry + the garage door.

A big majority of the windows I shall keep secured/close with typhoon shutters.


Video of the house

 
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I always recommend covering all of your entry points with contacts and glassbreaks if there's a window. I don't know what the layout of the interior is but I'd recommend a dual tech motion detector (Honeywell DT8035 for hardwired or Honeywell 5898 for wireless) in the hallway and master bedroom at a minimum.

Also, you don't have to buy everything at once either. You can get the system up and running with just a few sensors and add as you want. The system design is really going to depend on how you want it.

At a bare minimum you're probably going to want a keypad by the entry door and/or master bedroom, siren, communication module (Honeywell LTE or Envisalink 4), DT motion detector and all of your entry doors covered.
 

th182

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Ive read on reddit many people recommending the "Eyez-on Envisalink EVL-4 IP Security Interface Module"

Does that device simply give your vista 20 network access? ( receive text and email messages as well as control your Honeywell Vista and DSC security systems through the internet.)
It appears as well compatibility with your smartphone

Where did you buy all your equipment? Straight from Honewell or were you waiting on sales/discounts ?
I have the eyezon module on my DSC hardwire system. Self ordered and installed. I don't use a monitoring service and instead rely on the eyezon alerts, which are way faster than a monitoring company. I use Home Assistant which also integrates directly with the eyezon module (not relying on the cloud) so my alarm zones can trigger lights and such to come on.

I'm always tied to my personal and work phone so I get instant notifications from. Eyezon. Then I can check cameras and determine a course of action.

My experience is it's at least 5-10 minutes before police dispatch by an alarm monitoring company. The alarm triggers, then most people have a calling tree the alarm company goes through before calling the police (call me first, if not then try the neighbor, etc). Then they call the police if the person they get a hold of requests or if they can't reach anyone. Then of course it takes time for a squad to be dispatched and respond. Unless verified as burglaries in progress, it's going to be a low priority response.

I will say, regardless of how you monitor.. have a loud and obnoxious siren and strobes. You are better off having a burglar scared off the second they force a door than hoping they are still there when the police get there. I'd much rather fix my door than have to replace a bunch of stolen stuff.


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SouthernYankee

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I use a Honeywell alarm system self installed a long time ago.

For home security start with a wired monitored alarm system, door sensors, window sensors, internal motion sensors, add two or more loud sirens(+120 DB). Sirens are inside, and at the front and Back of the house. Also add a flashing red light visible from the street. I use an multiple outside sirens in the house, when they go off you do not want to be in the house.
 

bluer101

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I to have a Honeywell Vista 20 system with Envisalink 4. It was one of the best purchases I have ever made. I did the full install all hardwired accept some window sensors are wireless. Got a touchscreen at the front entrance and 6160RF in garage for programming.
 
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I to have a Honeywell Vista 20 system with Envisalink 4. It was one of the best purchases I have ever made. I did the full install all hardwired accept some window sensors are wireless. Got a touchscreen at the front entrance and 6160RF in garage for programming.
I have almost the exact same setup, and love it after moving from an old GE Concord 4 system. I did retain some of the wireless sensors from the Concord system by using a standalone wireless translator. Very cheap mod that, at $20, works flawlessly. I have to say the Envisaling 4 is also a bargain. They now have a Cellular card too, if you want a backup for the IP card, that is very reasonable in cost.
 

oknoob

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Im about to instalk the envisaling 4 today into my old DSC 1555MX panel. I was looking the cell module too,but that module look like only will work with honeywell.Lets see how it goes in my install.
 
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Now...if you really want to get fancy... you can integrate home automation (Home Assistant or HomeSeer or what have you) with your Vista/DSC security panels along with Blue Iris or directly to IP cameras.
My setup has a smart tv turn on and dispaly outdoor cameras from Blue Iris upon either camera IVS tripwire AI motion or via Bosch PIR detectors.
 
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