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4 Ways to Improve Your Wi-Fi:

Whether you have bad connection or good connection, we can help you improve your Wi-Fi from where it is at currently. This will also help general problems in connecting Wi-Fi cameras/Wi-Fi equipment.

If you have ADT pulse, they use a cloudlink which creates a private Wi-Fi connection for ADT Pulse Cameras. The only way you can improve the Wi-Fi connection to an ADT Pulse camera is by adding an ADT Wi-Fi extender. You can also add any of the ADT Pulse Cameras that are there and they will connect to that private network.

Whereas cameras such as the Alarm.com or ADT Command Cameras uses your Wi-Fi network. If you have a bad connection to your Alarm.com or ADT doorbell I recommend you improve the Wi-Fi at your house by one of these options.
If you are looking for longer range, check out our blog post here on How To Connect Your WiFi Or Camera Over A Mile Away!
Follow These 4 Ways to Improve Your Wi-Fi Below:
1. Get a WiFi range extender
  • The primary advantage of using a wireless extender is that it is the easiest and lowest price way to try to improve a wireless cameras connectivity. The further a camera is from the wireless router, the weaker its wireless signal will tend to be.  An extender is usually placed somewhere in the middle between a far away camera and a router. Weak signals can result in slow or intermittent connectivity.
  • A Wi-Fi range extender is one of the cheapest options, however if the signal is still bad it will just extend the bad signal. So make sure the extender has a good signal while still trying to reach other areas.
2. Get a better Wireless Router
  • If you have an old router or one that is leased by the internet provider, you might want to get a new one that can handle faster speeds.
  • Also, if you have a router that does not have dual bands you might want to replace it with a new one.
  • Depending on the size of the home or business, the speeds you are paying for internet, and the number of devices you are connecting to the internet, you might want to get a new router.
3. Get a Wireless Mesh network router
  • If you need to cover a larger area than a single router will reach and cannot run a wire for an access point, a mesh network set up is the next best option.
  • A mesh network is better than a Wi-Fi Range Extender because every device connected through a mesh network communicates to each other through nodes which creates faster traffic unlike a router.
4. Add a Wireless Access Point to your existing router if you have an ethernet cable
  • If a router cannot cover an entire home or business you will want to use cat5 or cat6 wire to run to one or more access points. This is the best option for providing the fastest and best wireless coverage. Since they are all wired back to the main router you will have a better connection than what a mesh network or an extender can provide. This also might be a good reason to upgrade your router to one that works with access points better. If you cannot get a wire connection from the router to an access point you would want to consider a mesh network or a wifi range extender.

The post 4 Ways to Improve Your Wi-Fi appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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New ADT Command and Control Updates

New User Interface for ADT Command Panel

Since June 24th, New ADT Command and Control Updates were sent through an “Over the Air” (OTA) update to customers including firmware.

NOTE: Updates are currently only available for customers with panels connected to wifi. Once the update is sent out, plan on a new BLUE SCREEN to confirm update is complete. (Instead of the previous grey screen)

This update includes several improvements:

– Updated user interface

  • The keypad looks similar to the app now
  • Plan on a new BLUE SCREEN on panel to confirm update is complete
  • Minor UI improvements, including shortcuts for easier navigation
  • Active header bar to return home from any screen

– Chime Update:

  • Separate tone and voice so customers can choose if they want one or both
    • No Chime
    • Voice Chime and Tone Chime
    • Voice Chime Only
    • Tone Chime Only
  • Shorten tone to single chime instead of two chimes
  • Remove beeps
  • 2-Way Voice & Alexa in the panel – for Hybrid with 7” touchscreen

– Improved French & Spanish language

  • 1.1 Help Videos – English, French, Spanish

Protect Your Home With ADT Command - YouTube

New Peripherals – Updates

  • Wireless Exterior Siren – Now you can put a siren outside your home or business, anywhere you want!
  • Emergency Panic Pendant – Panic button for home or business
  • Wireless Flood Sensor – Detect if there is damaging water in your home or business
  • Wireless 2-Button Panic – If you want one that has 2 buttons that need to be pushed instead of one to reduce false alarms

Coming soon

Product Updates

ADT is continually working to make sure the ADT Control app offers the features and capabilities that our customers demand. This includes functionality that integrates with a number of industry partners!

Upcoming Updates:
  • Enhancement of Notifications: Added the ability to more easily manage push notifications. Quickly enable and disable a current device (i.e., the one on which the app is installed) from the rules that already exist on the account.
  • Android Video Playback Improvements: Ability to stream video clips versus downloading it when the customer chooses to play video on their app.
  • Android Edit Home Screen: Ability to hide tiles that a customer doesn’t want to see on their home screen.
  • Sonos Integration: Sonos smart speakers can also be added to an ADT Control ecosystem to include audio automation as part of a smart home. Using the ADT Control app, customers can control and playback audio on their Sonos speakers, wherever they are. They also can make scenes to create the perfect ambiance.

The post New ADT Command and Control Updates appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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2GIG has its fair share of great security products, including security panels. But what’s the difference between GC2E Panel vs GC3E Panel? Well, that’s what we’re here to tell you.

Let’s compare and contrast these two panels and help you decide which one is best for you. These panels work as replacements for the older GC2 and GC3 Panels.

GC2E panel

The 2GIG GC2E panel is great for most things you need in a panel. It has a color touch screen interface that allows you to access it from your computer and phone wherever you want.

Another good feature is the LTE radio. With this radio, you don’t have to worry about cut phone lines or even residential phone lines in general. And with its integrated two-way voice, the panel allows the central station to talk to the homeowner when they receive the signal.

GC2E also has a built-in Z-Wave RF protocol, allowing you to control lighting, HVAC, and other Z-wave devices from the panel, phone, or internet.

With GC2E you’ve got a good solid panel that offers you many features dedicated to making your security experience simple and effective.

5" Color Touchscreen Smart Security 2GIG GC2E Panel - YouTube

  • Color touchscreen display
  • 5” Color Touchscreen Display
  • Encrypted Sensors
  • 60 Wireless zones
  • 2 Hardwire zones
  • 64 User codes
  • Fully self-contained
  • Remotely control panel settings over cellular
  • Two-way voice over POTS or cellular
  • Easily updateable for new features
  • Built-in Z-Wave Plus home control
  • Weather information display (with cell radio)
  • DC power receptacle
  • Quick arm/exit
GC3E panel

You could consider the GC3E panel as a step up in panels as it offers a lot of impressive features. One of its greatest features is that it has 100 wireless zones, which is more than most homes and businesses will need.

Additionally, the GC3E panel is a self-contained partitioning panel, which means it doesn’t have modules that require additional set up procedures. Combined with other features like at-a-glance programming and, this panel very easy and quick to install.

The panel also has over-the-air firmware updates and USB to allow you to update your panel either remotely or on site. With these features, no matter your preference, your panel will stay up to date with the latest features. It’s the panel that’s designed to change with the times.

7" Color Touchscreen Smart Security 2GIG GC3E Panel - YouTube

  • 7″ capacitive touchscreen – larger screen allows for larger buttons and controls; easier to see and use
  • Encrypted Sensors
  • One-touch arming – Arm button on home screen for one-touch arming
  • Capacitive-touch buttons – Home, Emergency
  • 5-day weather forecast – get your workweek forecast in one glance
  • Firmware Updates
  • Over-the-air – convenience of updating panel remotely to add new features and capabilities to the GC3E system
  • USB – fast on-site updates to make sure the GC3E is up-to-date with the latest features
  • Create Rooms – Group Smart Home devices for easy control of multiple devices in one screen
  • Bookmark screen – create your own home screen for most common features
  • 100 Wireless Zones – More than any other all-in-one panel
  • 2 Wired Zones
  • 8 Keypads
  • 32 Keyfobs – 8x more keyfobs than GC2E
  • The first self-contained partitioning panel –no modules that require additional set up procedures
  • Device recognition
  • Third-hand strap – for those times when you need one more hand during installation
  • Integrated level – to get it straight
  • Easy-to-align center mark
  • At-a-glance programming – see zone programming configurations on one screen
  • Add up to 4 partitions or “Smart Areas” to your location
    • Easy setup: control access for kids, renters, guests and service visitors
    • Simplified user interface: easy to find top commands and access ‘smart area’ partitions
    • Unique sounds: each smart area’s sound helps pinpoint any alert or notification
    • Added peace of mind: with intuitive, easy to use 2GIG Smart Areas
Which panel is better?

So which panel should you get after comparing the GC2E Panel vs GC3E Panel? It depends on your needs and your budget. Overall, the GC3E and GC2E have many of the same features, including easy installation, updateability, and built-in z-wave/z-wave plus automation. Where they differ the most is the wireless zones and capability of controlling multiple devices. The GC3E can handle 100 wireless zones, compared to GC2E’s 60 zones.

GC3E does offer quite a few new features and it has impressive capabilities to handle 100 wireless zones, which is great for larger buildings. But it does cost more than the GC2E panel.

If you’re on a budget and looking for a panel that won’t need to handle more than 60 wireless zones, the GC2E panel would work just fine for you. But if you need something that can handle more zones and easily manage control of multiple devices, it may be worth it to fork over the extra money for the GC3E panel.

Need help in determining what kind of panel you need? Contact us, and we can help you out!

The post GC2E Panel vs GC3E Panel appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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Facial Recognition

The new Security System with Facial Recognition feature is now available with the new Qolsys IQ Panel 2, empowers you to monitor for unauthorized code sharing and receive alerts whenever the person using a disarm code is different from the person assigned to that code. These alerts include a disarm image taken at the panel, so customers can see who accessed their home and take immediate action as needed. While it is the first of it’s kind, it provides an all new level of security to your home or business.

How does facial recognition work? Facial recognition is a way of recognizing a human face through technology. A facial recognition system uses biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or video. It compares the information with a database of known faces to find a match.

We’re using Face Recognition to enhance Unexpected Activity Alerts. Our technology delivers a new layer of protection by proactively alerting property owners to unexpected activity at their home or business – in this case, unauthorized user code sharing. Alarm.com’s advanced AI securely analyzes images captured by the panel camera, quickly recognizes authorized users, then flags non-matches with Unexpected Activity Alerts.

How It Works

First you need to make sure that your system is connected to the Wi-Fi network and that it is up to date. Once connected you can then enable “Disarm Photos” within your Panel Settings. To do so you must Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > Installer Code (default 1111) > Installation > Camera Settings.  From here you can then enable the Disarm Photos option.  You will then need to enable the same setting through alarm.com. While logged in with Alarm.com each user must have their own user code in order for the facial recognition feature to work.

Smart Security System with Face Recognition - YouTube

Configuration Steps:
  1. Login to the Alarm.com website, click the Settings tab on the left, and click “Facial Recognition”. This will tell the panel to start collecting data for facial recognition. However, in order to start you will first need to compile necessary images.
  2. Collect images through having each of your users arm and disarm the system using their code to have the panel recognize them.
  3. Once you have collected some images, go to alarm.com into settings into the Facial Recognition option. Press the blue Get Started button underneath Configuration. Then choose the user you want to configure facial recognition for. Choose the calibration option. Alarm.com will show you if there are any images to review. Go through and choose the check mark for any image that is yours. If you see any image without your face, press the X button. You will need a minimum of 10 images to enable the feature.
  4. Once you have 10 images, you can enable Unexpected Activity for facial recognition. From Alarm.com, choose the Notifications tab. Then find the Unexpected Activity option, and make sure it is turned on. Then press the pencil on the right to edit the settings. You will see the option for Facial Recognition. Make sure you enable it for the user with at least 10 approved images. Then choose where the notifications send at the bottom of the screen. Both emails and phones for text messages also configure easily if desired. Press Save when finished.

You will then receive alerts for any unexpected activity!

The post Security System with Facial Recognition appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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You may have heard about the upcoming 3G sunset, but you may not know just how that affects you, your home, and your security. So here is what you need to know about the 3G sunset, and how to migrate your devices to 4G (LTE) or even 5G networks.

What is the 3G sunset?

If you’re not familiar with carrier terminology, the 3G sunset refers to manufacturers and carriers making the transition from 3G networks to 4G long-term evolution (LTE) networks. Eventually, they’ll stop manufacturing and supporting devices that use 3G networks. What’s notable about the 3G sunset is that it’s not far behind the 2G sunset, which doesn’t give those that use these networks a lot of time to make the switch.

And some device manufacturers will stop supporting 3G devices at the end of 2019. That’s not very far away!

Why is 3G getting phased out?

It’s a simple case of “out with the old and in with the new.” With the arrival of 5G, it only makes sense that carriers and manufacturers would start phasing out their older networks to make more room for the newer networks. Most have already stopped supporting 2G networks, and 3G is following closely behind.

What does this mean for me?

If you have devices that are supported by 3G networks, you could lose important data and functionality if you don’t make the switch to LTE before your carriers drop them.

There’s also the matter that if you have any IoT devices that operate on a carrier’s network, then you’ll lose that function for them as well. In this day and age where most devices are connected, you’ll need to make sure you’ve taken everything into account when migrating to a new network.

When do I need to migrate?

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to start converting any 3G network devices to LTE network right away. While some carriers won’t drop 3G support until after 2022, there are some like Verizon that will drop it after December 2019. So depending on your carrier, you could lose that 3G support as soon as the end of 2019. If you haven’t started transitioning, you should start as soon as possible.

What do I do to migrate?

Not sure where to start in migrating your devices? Here are some steps to take:

  • Do an inventory: Go through your devices and note what kind of network they’re operating on as well as which carrier supports them. This will affect what devices you need to upgrade or replace.
  • Determine your needs: Whether your devices are for your business or your personal home, you’ll need to look at what types of devices you need. This will determine whether you need to update their networks. It may just be more cost effective to drop some devices rather than migrate them to a new network.
  • Keep long-term in mind: It may be a good investment to migrate some of your devices up to the new 5G networks now. If you plan on keeping certain devices around for a long time, upgrading them to the latest network sooner can save you some time (and money) down the road.
  • Set up a schedule: You don’t have to migrate your devices all at once. Set up a schedule where you can migrate your devices based on priority.
How Zions Security can help

Need help in getting devices with the latest networks? Talk to us and we can get you set up!

The post 3G Sunset: What You Need to Know appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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Learn How to use Alexa with your ADT Command System; the hands-free convenience of Alexa with peace of mind from America’s leading security company. Amazon Alexa allows you to use voice control for select automations with your ADT Command System! The Alexa voice service is a seamless and easy way to access your ADT Control app using just your voice. You can also use the ADT Command Keypad to ask Alexa to help you with your everyday questions, timers, reminders, etc…

Once you have a monitoring package and when you enable the Amazon Alexa Smart Home Skill through the ADT mobile app, you can also easily add even more convenience for your system. Additionally, the smart home skill allows you to ask Alexa to arm and disarm your system, control your lights, locks, thermostats, and even open or close your garage door. See the chart below for security commands with Alexa as well as general commands that you can use everyday!

Common Alexa commands you can use:

Security System – You can Arm, Disarm and Query your security system.

  • Alexa, arm ADT in Away mode.
  • Alexa, arm ADT in Stay mode.
  • Alexa, disarm ADT.
  • Alexa, is ADT armed?

Lights – Control your smart lights with Alexa

  • Alexa, turn on the Bedroom Light.
  • Alexa, turn off the Porch Light.
  • Alexa, dim the Living Room Lamp.
  • Alexa, dim the Living Room Light to 25%.

Locks – You can Lock, Unlock and Query your smart locks with Alexa

  • Alexa, lock the Front Door Lock.
  • Alexa, unlock the Kitchen Door Lock.
  • Alexa, is the Front Door locked?

Thermostats – Control your connected thermostats with Alexa

  • Alexa, set the Kitchen temperature to 75°
  • Alexa, Increase (or decrease) the living room(any room) temperature
  • Alexa, what is the temperature in the house?
  • Alexa, what is my thermostat set to?”
Additional Commands

General Information
Weather Update “Alexa, what is the weather today?”
Flash News Briefing “Alexa, whats my flash Briefing?”
Sports Updates “Alexa, what is the score of the <team name> game?”
Traffic Updates “Alexa, how is traffic?”
Store Hours “Alexa, whats the store hours for <location name>?”
Recipes/Meal Ideas “Alexa, what is a good meal idea/recipe?”
Distance Calculations “Alexa, how many feet are in a mile?”
Math Calculations “Alexa, whats the square root of 334?”

Timers “Alexa, set a timer for <insert time>?”
Alarms “Alexa, whats my flash Briefing?”
To Do Lists “Alexa, create a to-do.”
Add Events to Calendar “Alexa, I need to make an eye appointment.”
Shopping Lists “Alexa, add garbage bags to my shopping list.”
Direct Shopping “Alexa, add (item) to my shopping cart.”
Reminders “Alexa, set a reminder for <insert reminder>”
Music Music NOT supported on device, but can request to play on other supported Alexa Devices. 
Audiobooks Listen to books through Audible.

Amazon Alexa Enablement:

Go to: Equipment > Panel > Scroll down through the Panel programming settings until you see “Alexa Feature Enable” > Select “Edit” > Change from “Disable” to “Enable” and select “Change”

Learn how to activate Alexa Guard by clicking here!

The post How to use Alexa with your ADT Command System appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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Google Home and Siri voice commands for Alarm.com work as a new voice control integration that lets you control your home through Google Home as well as activate Alarm.com Scenes and by talking to Siri using customizable voice ‘shortcuts’. These shortcuts integrate into your existing routines and reflect how you naturally talk, making it even easier and more intuitive to interact with your smart home. While Google Home enables you to control your Alarm.com-powered home with intuitive voice commands for your smart security system, lights, thermostat, locks and garage doors.

Okay, Alarm.com user: here’s what you can do:

‘Siri Shortcuts’

  1. Let Siri know it’s time for a Scene
  2. Voice-control your home from inside or outside
  3. Combine Alarm.com commands with other apps

‘Okay Google’

  • Arm your security system
  • Control access to your home
  • Check the status of devices
  • Change the temperature
  • Control whole groups of devices
  • Instructions for getting started
How to use Siri Shortcuts:

1: Let Siri know it’s time for a Scene

Alarm.com Scenes let you control any or all of your smart devices – lights, garage doors, locks, thermostat, or security system – with a single command.

Siri Shortcuts gives you a new way to activate Scenes with your voice alone. Just use your Alarm.com app to set up a custom Siri voice command to trigger any Alarm.com scene—you can be as creative or as natural with your commands as you like—and get talking.

You could start the day with a cheery “Hey Siri… good morning!” command to activate your Alarm.com Wake Up scene, which turns on your lights and disarms your security system.  Later on, a whispered “Hey Siri: baby’s nap time,” could activate a custom scene for your nursery that turns the lights down and switches on the smart plug for your baby’s sound machine.

2: Voice-control your home from inside or outside 

Siri Shortcuts for Alarm.com extends hands-free voice control outside your home to wherever your iPhone is. Next time you pull out of the driveway and wonder if you armed your security system, you can confirm it by triggering your Away scene with a pre-set Siri Shortcut like: “Hey Siri: secure the house!”

When you arrive home, you don’t even need to open your Alarm.com app. Just use Apple CarPlay or your iPhone to activate Siri and use your shortcut phrase to trigger your “Home” scene.

Note: As a home security precaution, Alarm.com requires your phone to be unlocked for Siri Shortcuts to activate a Scene.

3: Combine Alarm.com commands with other apps 

You can also use Apple’s Shortcuts app to create multitasking shortcuts that combine Alarm.com actions with other app commands. It’s a new way to eliminate ‘app overload’ and weave your smart home’s useful abilities closer together with the other technology you use every day.

For example, you could incorporate your “Sleep” Alarm.com scene into a “Good Night” Siri shortcut. As well as turning your lights downlocking the doors and arming the security system, you could have this shortcut set your iPhone’s morning alarm and activate its “Do Not Disturb” mode.

For the morning, you could incorporate your “Away” Alarm.com scene into a “Heading Out” Siri shortcut that not only secures your house and turns the thermostat down, but also pulls up directions to your next calendar appointment via car, walking, or even metro.

How to use Google Home:

Arm your security system

Kids in bed for the night? Finally sitting down for a movie? There’s no need to get up again—or even reach for your phone—to arm your security system for the night.

“Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to arm the security system.”

Control access to your home

Our Action makes it easy to secure your home’s perimeter, with voice control for smart locks and garage doors.

Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to close the garage.

Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to lock the front door.

Check the status of devices

Sometimes, you just need to know the status of things around your home. We’ve made it easy to ask:

Okay Google: ask Alarm.com: is the security system armed?

Okay Google: ask Alarm.com: what’s the thermostat temperature? 

Change the temperature

Knowing the temperature is good, but when you’re too hot, you just want to cool down. So, we included the ability to voice-adjust your thermostat by value or comfort level.

Adjust by value: Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to turn down thermostat by three degrees. 

Adjust by comfort level: Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to turn the temperature down. A comfort level command will adjust the thermostat by two degrees Fahrenheit.

Of course, you can always specify a temperature: Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to set the temperature to 72.

Control whole groups of devices

For your home’s smart lights, which you likely have in several locations, you can interact with them by calling out a single device, group, or general device type. For example:

Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to switch on the living room lamp.

Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to switch on the office lights.

And, at bedtime: Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to turn off the lights.

The same goes for your smart locks, with the ability to lock the house down with a single command: Okay Google: ask Alarm.com to lock the doors.

Instructions for getting started 

Already got Google Home and Alarm.com and raring to go? Here’s how to get started.

First, enable the Alarm.com action by telling your Google Home: “Okay Google, talk to Alarm.com.”

Next, open the Google Home app. Enter your Alarm.com account login and password to sync your account. You’ll have the option to create your PIN as part of the setup process.

Don’t have Alarm.com yet? Find out more about getting Alarm.com by contacting us here.

The post How to integrate Google Home and Siri with your Alarm.com System appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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If you’ve been shopping around for a security camera, you’ve likely noticed the words 2MP, 4MP, maybe even 4K (8MP) etc. And if you’re new to the world of cameras and camera resolution, you may not know what that means, or which type you should get. So here’s what you need to know about cameras and their MP.

What does MP mean?

MP refers to the megapixel, which is the measurement of a camera’s resolution. 1 megapixel is the equivalent of 1 million pixels. So the higher the megapixel count (1MP, 2MP, etc.), the better the resolution the camera has.

Gaia CCTV: What do megapixels mean to your CCTV system? Resolutions 1MP-8MP compared. - YouTube

What’s the difference between the 4MP and 8MP?

In general, with each increase in MP, the resolution increases by 1 million pixels. Here’s a quick list of the megapixels and their respective height and width dimensions in screens.

  • 1MP = 1280 x 720 (AKA 720)
  • 2MP = 1920 x 1080 (AKA 1080)
  • 3MP = 2048 x 1536
  • 4MP = 2688 x 1520 (AKA 2K)
  • 6MP = 3072 x 2048
  • 8MP = 3840 x 2160 (AKA 4K / UHD)
What type of camera resolution should I get?

So should you get a 4MP or 8MP? Well, it depends on what you need the camera for. As a general rule of thumb, a higher resolution is better, but that also means you have to account for more storage and bandwidth. In situations where you want a clearer picture, a higher resolution camera is preferable. But in situations where you may only need to see basic movement, lower resolutions may be preferable to save bandwidth. If you are going to show it on a large monitor the higher resolutions will make a difference. We start off most people with 4MP Cameras now and then we can discuss if they have a need for 8MP.

Also, if you want the ability to virtually zoom in and get more data you will also want as many pixels as you can like the 8MP/4K cameras. (Not to be confused with optical zoom, which varifocal and pan tilt zoom cameras can do)

And of course, pricing can come into play. The higher the resolution, the more expensive the camera will usually be. So, it also comes down to what you’re willing to pay for and how much budget you have for your cameras.

How Zions Security can help

Need help in choosing a camera with the right resolution? Talk to us and we can help you out in getting the best security cameras for your setup.

The post 4MP or 8MP: What Camera Resolution Means for You appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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Do you have devices that have Z-Wave? You may want to know that Z-Wave Plus is now available. But what’s the difference between the two? That’s what I’m here to talk about. So let’s look at Z-Wave vs Z-Wave Plus!

What is Z-Wave Plus?

According to its website, “Z-Wave Plus™ is a new certification program that helps consumers identify products that take advantage of the recently introduced ‘Next Gen’ Z-Wave hardware platform, also known as 500 Series or 5th Generation Z-Wave. Z-Wave Plus certified solutions feature a selected set of extended features and capabilities that enhance the end user experience and make Z-Wave installations even faster and easier to install and set up.”

How is Z-Wave Plus better?

Here are some of the features of the new Z-Wave Plus vs the Z-Wave:

  • 50% improvement in battery life
  • 67% improvement in range(Z-wave Plus devices now have a range of 50-70 ft compared to its predecessor’s range of 25-30 ft.)
  • 250% more bandwidth
  • Three RF channels for improved noise immunity and higher bandwidth
  • New Plug-n-Play Network-wide Inclusion feature
  • Improved self-healing and fault tolerance with Explorer Frame feature
  • Standardized method for Over the Air firmware updates (OTA)
  • Improved product information capture for product certification database

But Z-Wave Plus and Z-wave both have a few elements that affect its effectiveness:

  • Absorption (certain materials will absorb an amount of the z-wave frequency)
  • Jamming (900Mhz devices intercom, baby monitors, cordless phones)
  • Reflection (microwaves, windows, TVs, mirrors)

Those things could vastly shorten the distance and reliability of your home automation network with Z-wave.

What panels have Z-Wave Plus?

Most of the newer panels have Z-Wave Plus, like the ADT Command and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Unfortunately, the older models and ADT Pulse gateways don’t have it.

But all Z-Wave Plus devices are backwards compatible with Z-Wave devices. So if you don’t want to replace all of your Z-Wave devices, you can still integrate them into new Z-wave Plus panels.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 plus even has diagnostics on the keypad to help determine the strength of the Z-wave Plus network. (See image)

Does Z-Wave Plus cost more?

While there is a small difference in prices with Z-Wave Plus compared to Z-Wave, it has more to do with additional features. Ultimately, you’re getting a lot more for the small increase in price of products.

How Zions Security can help

Zions Security offers many devices that are Z-wave enabled. If you need help getting devices with Z-Wave Plus, talk to us! They can all be found in the shop.

The post Z-Wave vs Z-Wave Plus: Making Your Security Smarter appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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What is Alexa Guard?

Learn How to Enhance your ADT Smart Home with Amazon Alexa Guard through ADT, the #1 Smart Home Security Service Provider, is proud to help bring Alexa Guard to market. Configure supported Echo devices to detect specific sounds they select, such as the sound of Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alerts or Glass Break breaking. When the Echo device detects a sound, it creates an alert. Then you can decide to send it to ADT or not. The Alexa Guard works with ADT Pulse and ADT Control.

Practically speaking, homeowners can’t always be monitoring their home when they are away, so now super-techy, voice-enabled Alexa Guard pairs with ADT to help bring increased awareness to their home.  This is also an exciting advancement in alarm verification.

When paired with their ADT smart home, Amazon Alexa Guard allows customers to have alerts sent directly to ADT, in addition to their mobile devices. ADT will verify the alarm and call the customer to see if emergency help is needed.

A Seamless Addition to Your ADT System

The Alexa voice service is a seamless and easy way to access your ADT mobile app using just your voice. Ask Alexa to arm and disarm your system, control your lights and locks, and even open or close your garage door. Setup is as easy as adding a new skill to Alexa.

Benefits of Adding Alexa Guard to your ADT Smart Home

  • Your system can now listen for your local smoke and co detectors if you do not have monitored ones already added or for an extra layer of safety
  • Your system can now have a glassbreak detector in every room (since each echo device can now be turned into a glassbreak detector)
  • Even easier integration with ADT where you can just say “Alexa, I am leaving” to arm the system or “Alexa, I am home” to disarm the system.
  • Lighting schedules can be applied easily and based off of sunrise and sunset times.

Alexa Becomes an Extension of the ADT Mobile App

  • Ask Alexa to perform tasks you can perform through the ADT mobile app.
  • Alexa recognizes specific names you assigned your devices in the ADT mobile app.
  • Extend Alexa and the ADT app by adding more Amazon Echo devices around your home.
  • Use your voice to control multiple functions of your ADT smart security system.
  • You get the hands-free convenience of Alexa with peace of mind from America’s leading security company.
How do customers pair Amazon Alexa Guard with their ADT smart home?
  • Once the customer has their Echo device installed and enabled the Smart Home Skill, the customer will setup Alexa Guard.
  • Within the Alexa app, select the Devices Icon (icon on the bottom far right). Then from the menu icon, select “Alexa Guard can help you keep your home safe”.The Customer will then walkthrough the specific set up for Guard.
  • The customer will need to select to add Carbon Monoxide, Smoke Alerts and Glass Break Smart Alerts. (Note, ADT will not be dispatching for glass break at this time.) Then the customer will select to Add for the ADT Security System.
  • At that point, the customer will choose Automatic forwarding or Manual forwarding all Smart Alerts to ADT. It is highly recommended that the customer selects to Automatically forward the alerts to ensure the fastest response possible.
  • The customer will then add their Away Lighting options. When using the feature, the customer will enter their zip code for Alexa to know when sunset occurs and when to start the randomizing of the lighting. Important note – the customer will need to remove any lights or appliance modules that they don’t want to be part of the Away Lighting in the Guard Settings.
  • Finally the customer will be directed to the Confirm Guard Setup page to get a quick glance at their designated setup. If all looks good, select Confirm followed by Done on the next page to complete setup.
Follow the steps depicted below when connecting Alexa guard through your app.

The post Learn How to Enhance your ADT Smart Home with Amazon Alexa Guard appeared first on Zions Security Alarms - ADT Authorized Dealer.

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