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Nelly's Surplus, Video Survellance Systems - Install, Claremore, OK
Call 855.340.9999
For tech support or general inquiries: customerservice@nellyssecurity.com
For sales questions or sales inquiries: sales@nellyssecurity.com
customerservice@nellyssecurity.com

The Advantages of Using 2GIG products and Alarm.com

Why aren’t you selling the Alarm.com service and 2GIG products?

So you install security cameras? Great! But you are you installing home automation and alarm equipment using 2GIG controllers and an Alarm.com service? If you are, you are genius!!

If you aren’t, why not!?!?! This is a great selling tool to allow you to expand your service offerings! Not to mention it allows you the opportunity to make monthly income from your clients.

Now if you saw the world “Alarm” in Alarm.com and immediately got turned off because either you are not interested in installing alarm equipment or you do not have an Alarm installers license, DO NOT STOP READING! There are still opportunities for you and that’s why I am writing today.

Alarm.com is way more than just an alarm cloud service. In a matter of fact, out of all the things it can do, that is just one small piece.

What is Alarm.com and How does it work with 2GIG products?

First lets explain what Alarm.com is so you can get a better grasp of how it works. Alarm.com is basically the cloud service that lets you remotely manage your alarm and home automation system.

Lets compare it to a surveillance system since you already know how that works. To get a surveillance DVR remotely viewable, you can do one of 2 things:

  1. Port Forwarding: This essentially means configuring your router in a manner that allows you to view your DVR from your cell phone or a PC at a remote location. It essentially makes a direct connection from the remote viewer to the DVR.

    This method was done for years and is still done today, but always has been a technical challenge for some installers. Which brings me to the newest easier method:

  2. P2P: This is a much “easier to setup” method for the user to get their DVR remotely viewable. It basically involves scanning a code on their DVR with their cell phone and they are done! How this works is through the use of a middle man proxy server known as a P2P (peer to peer) server.

Most Surveillance manufacturers have their own P2P server that you must use for their device. Normally it’s a free service unless you want to save some video to the server which usually means a paid monthly account.

So How does the Alarm.com service work?

The easiest way to explain it would be that Alarm.com is like a P2P server on a video surveillance system in the manner that it acts as middle man to allow you to view your Alarm / Home Automation controller remotely. However, Alarm.com doesn't sell alarm panels / home automation controllers, they simply act as the service for 3rd party manufacturers who do make the controllers such as 2GIG.

Lets take the 2GIG controllers for example. 2GIG the company does not have a P2P service, nor is there any way to view the 2GIG controllers remotely from your cell phone or a computer without using the Alarm.com service. 2GIG uses a cellular card to communicate with the Alarm.com service, therefore you do not need a dedicated internet connection at the install site. Look at the illustration below to see how it works.

The Alarm.com service is not free like a Surveillance Systems P2P service. Why??

The reason being is because of the cell service that is involved. With a surveillance system, your DVR uses your home or business internet connection to connect to the P2P server. However, when using a 2GIG controller, that uses a 3G/4G cellular data connection to connect to the Alarm.com service.

To do this, you will implant a cellular card inside the GC3 controller. These cards come in 2 common varieties: AT&T and Verizon.

You can go to Alarm.com’s website and view which carrier has a better signal quality for your area. In most all cases, it is Verizon.

Where do I get the Cellular Cards from and How do I pay for the Cellular Service?

We here at Nelly’s sell the cell cards that go inside the controllers. As far as paying for the cellular service, you do not pay Verizon or AT&T, you instead pay Alarm.com!!! This is why the Alarm.com service costs money. Is everything making sense now?

This will not cost as much as a monthly cell phone bill! Alarm.com has some mega deals worked out with Verizon and AT&T. The Alarm.com service is very very cheap, nothing like your normal cell phone bill. They have various levels of service offerings to choose from but even the most expensive one is very cheap.

How do you make money off of the monthly Alarm.com Service?

In addition to the initial install, you can also make monthly service income. An end user cannot setup an account with Alarm.com. Only professional installers can setup accounts with alarm.com.

You do not have to be a licensed alarm installer to setup an account with Alarm.com. However, they do require you to have a professional business installing equipment such as home automation, A/V, or security related items in the hopes that you plan on setting up and reselling several Alarm.com services.

Your customer does not pay Alarm.com the monthly service charge. Your customer pays you the monthly service charge and you turn around and pay Alarm.com. This is where you get to make a profit.

You can make a spread between what your customer pays you and what you pay Alarm.com. You would need to check your market for whatever is an acceptable monthly fee. Of course one account isn’t going to make you rich, but several accounts over time start to add up. This is how Alarm dealers make money. This is called RMR, which is short for Recurring Monthly Revenue.

So does Alarm.com call the cops if the alarm is triggered?

Nope. Not directly anyways. The service that calls the cops when the alarm is triggered is known as a “Central Station Monitoring” service. Alarm.com does have an optional feature in which you can connect the service with a 3rd party central station. In a matter of fact, this is what all alarm dealers do when using the Alarm.com service.

However, this is not required if you do not plan on selling the system as a strict alarm system. Alarm.com works with many different central station companies. The way it works is, let's say your alarm system is triggered, your controller would send a signal to Alarm.com, which would in turn send a signal to the central station. This would all happen very quickly.

This type of system is called a “Monitored System” in which a professionally licensed central station is monitoring your system for you. The central station service is an additional fee on top of the monthly Alarm.com service. Fees vary among different central stations.

Depending on the state you live in, you may need a security license or an alarm license of some sort to setup a central station service for your client.

Again, Alarm.com and Central Station companies are 2 totally different companies, but have the ability to work together.

My state requires me to be a licensed alarm dealer to sell monitored alarm systems, can I still sell 2GIG and Alarm.com?

I will stop you right here and let you know that I do not claim to be a legal expert at all so please do not take this as legal advice and consult with your state authorities for the final word on this issue. However, most state laws only require you to be a licensed alarm dealer if you are selling “Monitored Systems” that are monitored by a central station. However, when selling “Self Monitored” systems, the law usually becomes more gray.

What is a self monitored system?

A self monitored system takes the central station out of the equation and lays all the burden of monitoring the system on the client. Alarm.com will send you text and/or push notifications when your alarm is triggered with specific info on which particular alarm was triggered (example: Backdoor Open). This is very handy and depending on the severity of the alarm, the user can decide which appropriate action they need to take on their own, whether it be to call the cops or whatever.

Of course this system is a little more risky for the user. Lets say that Alarm.com sends a notification to your clients phone but they do not have their phone with them, therefore no ability to take appropriate action. The advantage of using a central station in this case is that the appropriate action will always be taken regardless if you are around or not because there is a real human monitoring the system 24/7. Some customers are okay with this and you would clearly need to let the customer know about this risk.

As said before, the Alarm.com service and 2GIG products are way more than just an alarm service as you will soon find out. I would say they are more of a home automation and home awareness service now than they are an alarm service. If you intend on selling this without an alarm license, you should be marketing this as a home automation/home awareness type package that just happens to have self monitored alarm capabilities, as opposed to simply marketing these as an Alarm System. Marketing these as a straight alarm system without an alarm license will get the authorities attention and honestly is probably unethical.

However, marketing these systems as a home automation systems would be much more allowable as most all states do not require a license for this type of system (Again, I am not a legal expert, so check your local laws). And I'm not just saying this to sound like someone who is trying to get around the law. There are customers who would genuinely be interested in the products and services that this type of system has to offer that has nothing to do with the basic alarm features.

Lets talk about what all you can do with 2GIG and Alarm.com in the next segment.

All The Cool Stuff you can do with a 2GIG system and Alarm.com

First off, I will let you know that there are 3 different 2GIG panel (controller) types. However, for the remainder of this blog, I will mainly be referring to the GC3 which is the high end model. If you plan on just getting started with 2GIG, I totally recommend that you start with this model. It is the most expensive model but it's not by a huge cost difference, but the performance and ease of use is totally worth it.

The cool thing about 2GIG systems is that they are designed as wireless systems. Most of the peripherals such as the door contacts, PIR's, etc, are all battery powered. I was very skeptical of this when I first started dealing with these products, however, the batteries can last up to 3 years and I have had 0 reliability issues with the wireless devices. I have spoken to many installers who used 2GIG well before me who have also stated the same.

Honestly, I don’t see why anyone would ever install a hardwired system for a home or small business after installing a wireless system such as this. It cuts installation time by more than half and the technical know how needed is very low.

Lets take a look at the 3 different panels:

The Rely Panel

This is sold as a kit and is simply a basic wireless alarm system only. It does not have home automation features that the other 2 high end models do. This is great for Alarm Dealers who sell to budget type customers or apartment complexes. Another cool thing is that it is designed in a way in which you can simply give this to your customer and they can install it themselves if you wish.

This is our only panel that does not work with Alarm.com. This works with Securenet. You will need to have this connected to a central station that has integration with Securenet. This device is specifically designed for alarm dealer sales.

Click Here to View

The GC2

This was a groundbreaking alarm panel when it first came out and is still very relevant today. In a matter of fact, this is our top selling panel. This was one of the first panels to come on the market that added real value to an alarm system by adding the wireless home automation protocol “Z-Wave”. This made your alarm system way more than an alarm system. This allowed you to adjust your thermostat, lock your doors, turn on/off lights, turn off power to appliances, etc. Oh yeah and it happened to be an alarm system.

Everything is super easy to operate and utilizes a touch screen to navigate through the different options. Even cooler is the audible notifications the panel gives you when a device is triggered. For example, if someone walks thru the front door, you will hear “Front Door”, or “Back Door”. Here at the office we have many doors and I always know when someone is coming in a specific door such as this one “Back Right Shop Door”.

Click Here to View

The GC3

The GC3 is basically like the GC2 but on steroids. As you can see its mainly taken up by the large 7” screen. Adding devices and managing menu options on this device are made even easier than the GC2. You can literally pick this up without any instructions and learn it in a matter of minutes. It also has wifi capabilities which enables a feature called “Dual Path Connectivity” which allows the panel to connect to Alarm.com through the fastest route available, whether it be the home internet connection or through the cellular connection.

This device adds so much value to what would otherwise be a basic, boring alarm system by adding so many sleek features that your customer won't think they just got an alarm system, they got a home automation / awareness / convenience system. If you plan on starting out selling these devices, do yourself and your customer a favor and choose the GC3.

Click Here to View

See how Insanely Easy Setup is:

Setup is so easy, quick, and painless. If you know how to use double sided tape, then you have all the skills needed to install this high end alarm system.

As said, the 2GIG system is a wireless alarm system. With a few clicks of some icons on the screen, you are up and running in seconds. The GC3 uses 2 wireless frequencies to communicate with various devices.

  1. 345 Mhz: This wireless frequency is usually used for the alarm type devices such as door sensors, PIR Motions Sensors, Key Fobs, Smoke Detectors, Etc. Most of these devices are all battery operated which means you simply need to “learn” them into the panel and install them in your desired location. Let me show you how insanely easy it is to add 345mhz device such as a door sensor.

    Now your next step is to simply tape it to a door or window of your choosing with the included double sided tape and you are done.

  2. Z-Wave: This is a wireless frequency that is very popular among home automation products. Consequently this is the frequency that the GC3 uses to communicate with the automation type products such as light bulbs, door locks, light switches, etc. This is also super easy to setup and takes little to no technical knowledge. Check out this video of me adding a light bulb to the system:

As you can see, configuring a 2GIG system is way easier than configuring a security camera system. What are you waiting for?

Using the System is a Breeze for the End User

Not only will you love installing these systems, your customers will also love using them. These things are so incredibly easy to use. Check how easy it is to arm/disarm the system:

Voice Notifications from the panel give the user an audible awareness of when a sensor is triggered. There are tons of different voice descriptors that you can choose from. Check out the video below in which we configured a door sensor to tell the panel to say “Baby’s Gate” when triggered:

Using Alarm.com to Control the System

Of course you can control all your home automation devices as well as view your notifications right from the panel, but what about when you need to view and control your panel when you are not at home? No problem, this is where Alarm.com comes in.

Super Sleek and Easy to use App and Web Interface:
You can tell that Alarm.Com is an American Software company simply by viewing their interface. Its sleek, simple, and just makes sense. Take a look at some screenshots below from the app.

Here is what it looks like from the main page. An easy arm / disarm toggle along with the weather forecast. Looks like I need to bring an umbrella:

Of course you can control all of your home automation equipment through Alarm.com as well. Here is a video of me turning on / off the light we installed earlier:

Of course you can also view and control your system thru a web browser on a PC. Check out their beautiful and easy to understand web interface:

Just a quick video of me arming/arming the panel and turning and messing with the light again.

Of course these are just some basic things you can do with Alarm.com

Some Very Cool Alarm.com Features

  • Add Security Cameras to your Alarm.com account
    Alarm.com has several security cameras that you can add to their platform. You can choose to save the video to their cloud or use one of the SVR’s to record locally.

  • Create Automation Scenes & Schedules
    Would you like to turn on your alarm, lock all your doors, make sure your garage door is shut and turn down your thermostat all with the push of one button? You can do that with Alarm.com’s scene feature.

    Create several different scenes for various different scenarios. You can also create schedules to make things turn on/off during certain parts of the day.

  • Create If / Then Rules:
    Lets say that your smoke sensor detects smoke, you can set a rule to turn off your AC unit’s fan off. Or lets say if a baby’s gate opens, you can program the system to sound an alarm. Countless and useful things to create:

  • Use GeoFencing to Activate a scene or rule:
    This is really cool. Let's say you are driving home and you are within 1 mile from your house. Using your phones location settings, Alarm.com will automatically activate a scene or trigger of your choosing without you having to touch a button or anything.

    For example, you can set it to open the garage door, unlock the door to the house, and turn down the AC, etc. once you are within a predetermined distance from your house. You can also use this service to let Alarm.com to remind you to arm your alarm. It will detect if you have left your house but forgot to arm the alarm and will either ask if you want to arm the alarm or you can choose to have it do it automatically:

  • More, More, and More:
    Alarm.com keeps adding cool features to their platform. For example, you can also operate your sprinkler system. You can use it as a wellness system (think: “Ive Fallen, and I can't get up”).

    They also have started to dive into the business field as well by offering access control options and video analytics. We haven’t even touched on everything that Alarm.com has to offer, and they keep building better features all the time!

Jump on the Bandwagon:

As you can see, if you have not been using 2GIG products paired with the Alarm.com service, you and your customers have been missing out. If you are an alarm dealer but you are using a system that is subpar to 2GIG / Alarm.com, don’t be left behind, contact us and we will help you get setup so you can give your customers more value!

If you are not an alarm dealer but you are interested in giving your customers some very nice home / business automation features, this is for you as well!

The best way to start out with these is to buy a small system for yourself so you can learn it and grow to love it. Whenever you sign up as an Alarm.com dealer, you are given 2 free demo accounts that cost you nothing each month but allows you to use the service to its full extent.

The following are some items that I think would make a great starter kit for you to dive into this exciting field of products:

2GIG GC3 3-1-1 Kit

Click Here to View

Verizon LTE Cell Card

Click Here to View

Alarm.com Thermostat

Click Here to View

Kwikset Door Lock

Click Here to View

Go Control Light Bulbs

Click Here to View


Need help putting together a security camera system? We understand that some businesses will have special needs and different scenarios, please contact our experts to get a customized security system that is tailored specifically to your business.

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sales@nellyssecurity.com

1-855-340-9999

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