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National Alarm Monitoring Companies for DIYers

joek

New Member
I was recently looking as well, so thought I'd add my two cents. I did as much research as I could, but it still seemed to come down to AlarmRelay and NextAlarm. And NextAlarm doesn't seem to have the best reputation these days. Plus their website's SSL certificate is messed up at the root domain name. If they can't get something simple like that working, I'm a little hesitant to use them for alarm monitoring (I realize they aren't exactly related, but it's security, after all, and I'd be using their website to manage some things, presumably). 
 
So I've decided to use AlarmRelay for now. I have a setup call next week to get everything hooked up. They have been very friendly and knowledgeable so far. I have an Elk M1 and they recommended I get a C1M1, which I did. The monthly price is quite a bit more than I was hoping to spend ($23.95/mth). That includes cellular service, though. I have this feeling there must be somewhere with more competitive pricing, but it's really hard to find reviews beyond these few major players. So I'll see how this goes but I'm feeling pretty positive about it so far.
 

rexwilson

Member
"joek"... thanks for that info. I was just exploring NextAlarm... it looks like they require me to buy their ABN4A IP adapter, and they aren't set up to talk to the M1XEP. I'm hoping to do IP based mointoring, not cellular. (I have very reliable internet service, not-great-cell reception, and am not sure the C1M1 is worth the money). The ABN4A seems a little strange to me and I'm not sure I want to introduce this into my system. I already am happy using my M1XEP for sending me various email alerts, and also using the M1's built in RJ11 jack and POTS for various rule-based calls to my cell-phone. I want to be able to keep both of those, and still have remote monitoring.
 

diyhomeowner

New Member
The list is helpful though a bit old.  When going through the list I saw that one of the (Geoarm) has raised their prices a bit since 2013.  The key for me was finding a no contract company which is how I found this thread.  You should probably add safehomecentral.com to the list since they also offer no agreement monitoring at $8.95 when going landline.  I used these guys for cellular alarm monitoring with my Honeywell Lyric and they were helpful programming the panel for free (didnt buy it through them) and the monitoring using Total Connect 2 remote control was $17.  I previously had a Lynx Touch L5100 and was paying $32/month for the same thing.  Pays to look around.  Thanks for making the hunt easier!
 

MSG56

Member
joek said:
I was recently looking as well, so thought I'd add my two cents. I did as much research as I could, but it still seemed to come down to AlarmRelay and NextAlarm. And NextAlarm doesn't seem to have the best reputation these days. Plus their website's SSL certificate is messed up at the root domain name. If they can't get something simple like that working, I'm a little hesitant to use them for alarm monitoring (I realize they aren't exactly related, but it's security, after all, and I'd be using their website to manage some things, presumably). 
 
So I've decided to use AlarmRelay for now. I have a setup call next week to get everything hooked up. They have been very friendly and knowledgeable so far. I have an Elk M1 and they recommended I get a C1M1, which I did. The monthly price is quite a bit more than I was hoping to spend ($23.95/mth). That includes cellular service, though. I have this feeling there must be somewhere with more competitive pricing, but it's really hard to find reviews beyond these few major players. So I'll see how this goes but I'm feeling pretty positive about it so far.
I'm new to all of this, but will soon be installing an ELK M1 and was considering the C1M1.  However, when reviewing the ELK C1M1 training video is says you must have a Telguard account to use the C1M1.  I just got off the phone with Telguard and they say they only deal with alarm companies.  Would AlarmRelay work that out for me?
 

MSG56

Member
I just called AlarmRelay to ask the same question I just posted and they were quite helpful.  They did state that they would handle the Telguard issue and with the setup of the C1M1 comms to their system.  They did state that the "cell towers" were no longer allowing 3G or 4G connections and to be sure to use the LTE version of the C1M1.  With that I guess I'm ready to order my ELK M1 and get started with it and the rest of the home automation in my new home.  Been waiting a long time for this.
 

joek

New Member
MSG56 said:
I'm new to all of this, but will soon be installing an ELK M1 and was considering the C1M1.  However, when reviewing the ELK C1M1 training video is says you must have a Telguard account to use the C1M1.  I just got off the phone with Telguard and they say they only deal with alarm companies.  Would AlarmRelay work that out for me?
 
I think technically the C1M1 does require a Telguard account, but this is all seamless and should be handled by the CO. AlarmRelay took care of all of that for me. They made an install appointment with me - and at that time they called me and set everything up while I was on the phone with them. I assume they roll the Telguard costs into my yearly fee. But they were the only folks I had to deal with to get the C1M1 setup. It was very simple.
 

lanbrown

Active Member
MSG56 said:
They did state that the "cell towers" were no longer allowing 3G or 4G connections and to be sure to use the LTE version of the C1M1.
 
LTE is 4G.
 
3G is still a supported technology on "cell towers" as well.
 
1G was analog and carriers have sunsetted that
2G was the start of digital; most carriers (but not all) have also sunsetted this
3G is still used as many vehicles still have that technology in them and it is used for roaming; mainly for voice
4G is LTE and is what most phones use for data and voice services
5G is the next standard that is starting to emerge but coverage is limited
 

MSG56

Member
Where can you buy the C1M1 without being a dealer?  When I spoke to Home Controls they said they wouldn't sell me the unit because I was not a dealer.
 

joek

New Member
MSG56 said:
Where can you buy the C1M1 without being a dealer?  When I spoke to Home Controls they said they wouldn't sell me the unit because I was not a dealer.
 
I bought mine from JMAC. I bought the LTE version (https://www.jmac.com/Elk_C1M1LTEV_p/elk-c1m1ltev.htm), but they also carry the GSM version (https://www.jmac.com/Elk_C1M14GSM_p/elk-c1m14gsm.htm). I've bought a handful of ELK products from them and they have decent prices and shipping is generally quick (it says 7-10 days but never takes that long - but I'm on the East Coast, relatively close to them) . I wasn't able to find the C1M1 any cheaper. You can also check out the list of "official" ELK retail distributors to see if you can find it elsewhere: https://www.elkproducts.com/retail_distributors.html
 

MSG56

Member
Thank you joek.  Just placed my order.  Let the automation (and custom security) begin!  Actually, it began when we fist took over the new house and I replaced all of the deadbolt locks with Medeco's.  I was shocked to learn that the builder didn't even install a deadbolt, or any lock for that matter, on the doors from the house to the garages.  
 

Linwood

Active Member
MSG56 said:
I was shocked to learn that the builder didn't even install a deadbolt, or any lock for that matter, on the doors from the house to the garages.  
 
I think it may be something of a regional thing.  I was surprised when my new home had a deadbolt there, I had never seen that done before.  I've had interior locks (like you might have on a bath or bedroom) but the last few houses never had an exterior door type lock.  This house has a nice exterior deadbolt but an interior quality door that opens in (i.e. one medium duty kick and it would open, deadbolt or not). 
 

Linwood

Active Member
@LarrylLix is a door from an attached garage into the house considered "outside"?
 
A door into the garage from outside certainly is, and I've always seen them with deadbolts.
 

ano

Senior Member
Linwood said:
@LarrylLix is a door from an attached garage into the house considered "outside"?
 
A door into the garage from outside certainly is, and I've always seen them with deadbolts.
Not only that, but usually the door between a house and a attached garage has to be fire rated and has to have spring closing hinges.  (A few locals have overridden this, but these rules are there for good reason, and I would have them even if not required by local code.
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
Is alarm.com the only one with the "smash and crash" offering?  That seems like a worthwhile feature to have.
 
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