GE Security or Honeywell Equipment – Which Is Best for Residential Security Systems?

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As Peter Rogers mentioned in an earlier blog, alarm companies don’t manufacture the equipment they use in their security systems. Manufacturers are usually B2B companies that focus on parts and inventory. Security companies, on the other hand, (if they’re any good) focus on the customer, with excellent technical support, professional monitoring and convenient interactive features. When both the alarm company and the manufacturer are allowed to focus on their own core competency, the consumer benefits. The end result is a better alarm system, and a higher level of security and service.

Peter’s blog explains how recent acquisitions have given us a “Top Four” list of security manufacturers – names that many Americans are familiar with: GE Security, Honeywell, Tyco and Bosch. Most of the top residential security system providers, however, use either GE Security or Honeywell.

So which equipment is best, and why? We did some digging, to see what the industry experts had to say.

Home Security Systems Reviews

Alarm System Report and Home Security Systems Reviews are two of the many online resources that review and rank the best residential security systems. They concur that the top two equipment manufacturers are GE Security and Honeywell. Home Security Systems Reviews takes their commentary a step further, stating that GE Security is the better of the two.

The number one reason Home Security Systems Reviews recommends GE Security is their “Crash-and-Smash” feature. They also cite the robust quality of the GE Security components, and the alliance with Alarm.com, which gives residential consumers many popular interactive features, such as remote access, text alerts, etc.

“Crash-and-Smash”?

Crash-and-Smash is an odd-sounding feature for a home security system. But it’s also a vivid description of what often happens during a burglary. The crook crashes through your door and immediately locates and smashes your alarm system control panel. If he finds the control panel fast enough, he can not only silence the audio alarm, but also disable the panel before it sends an alert to the monitoring station. At that point, your alarm system is worthless.

So what does GE Security do to solve this problem? They designed a feature called “pending alarm,” more widely known as Crash-and-Smash. Here’s how it works:

Residential security systems have built-in delays, in order to avoid false alarms. If the homeowner happens to trip the alarm himself, he can go to the control panel and punch in the disarm code, before an alarm goes out to the monitoring station. No one wants our police resources wasted on false alarms.

GE Security equipment has a built-in delay, too, but it can also send a “pending alarm” signal to the monitoring station right away, before the burglar can smash the controls and disable the system. The pending alarm puts the monitoring team on stand-by, waiting to receive a disarm code. If they don’t receive the code, they assume there’s a security issue at the home, and they dispatch the police.

This Crash-and-Smash feature is an important safety advantage of the GE Security Simon alarm control panel, over the Honeywell Lynx system. Note that only a few of the top alarm companies support the Crash-and-Smash feature, so make sure you find one that does. FrontPoint Security, with our #1 focus on safety, offers Crash-and-Smash with both our Interactive and Ultimate monitoring plans.

Cellular/Wireless Residential Security Equipment

For decades home security equipment was hard-wired, meaning that technicians ran wires through your walls to connect the equipment in your home. Communication with the monitoring station was established by integrating the control panel with your home phone line.

Recent advances in wireless technology have given consumers the option of wireless equipment and a cellular connection to the monitoring station. Industry experts agree that the cellular connection is safer, as well as perfectly suited for homeowners without landline phone service. Wireless equipment is also easier to install and use.

GE Security manufactures a wide range of wireless security sensors and video cameras, as well as cellular control panels. The equipment has a stellar reputation for robustness and durability, and comes with a warranty. Customers can install the equipment themselves, usually in less than 30 minutes, and save on hefty installation charges. In addition, since the equipment is not wired into the wall, you can change its location within your house and add more at any time. You can even take it with you when you move to a new home.

Interactive Residential Security Systems

Another extremely popular feature of today’s best alarm systems is “interactivity,” giving customers a higher level of control and awareness, and keeping them connected to events at home. Alarm.com is the recognized leader in this field, and GE Security teams up with Alarm.com to offer these wireless, interactive features in their security systems.

Interactive features include mobile apps for your smartphone, as well as online portals, so you can access your security system from any computer, anywhere in the world. Your system can alert you via text or email any time there’s security-related activity at your home, such as when someone disarms the system, or triggers a security sensor. Other more advanced features include video monitoring, home energy management and home automation.

FrontPoint Security is proud to offer robust GE Security equipment in all our alarm systems, as well as a wide range of advanced interactive features.

Comments (11)

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  1. S. Green

    I have an old 8 zone wired system. I want to reuse the sensors and wiring because they are top of the line. Can I use a hardware to GE wireless translator? It is mounted in place of old hardwire panel to convert your existing hardwired zones to wireless. Compatible with the GE Simon XT and GE Simon XTi this provides you with 8 Zones inputs and transmits each zone to new wireless panel… wherever it is. Expand to 16 or 24 zones by adding additional translators.

    Are there other options?

    • Valerie Saponara

      I apologize for my delayed response, as I was double checking with our Support Team to see if this device would work with our system. At this time we do not support a GE wireless translator because this is something we do not sell or have ever used. This is not to say it would never work, however, we would not have enough knowledge of the device to assist you with using it or getting it to translate your wired sensors into our wireless system.

      To answer your other question, you can have up to 39 of our sensors in your home at one time. Please let me know if you have any other questions or want us to have someone from our Sales Team to reach out to you and figure out what kind of system setup would best fit your needs!

  2. Andrea Davis

    The ‘Crash and Smash’ features really sounds to be promising. I’ve been very worried about the security of our house, especially because we stay is a rather isolated neighborhood, and sometimes during the winter months the places almost converts into a deserted island. After reading the comparison, I think I’ll give the GE Security system a try.

  3. Jon G

    Hi,
    I am trying to design a system for my new home that incorporates basic but robust security as one part of a broader z-wave automated environment. Is FrontPoint compatible with any non-GE manufactured z-wave devices? I realize you will not be able to guarantee compatibility and so on. For example, I would like for my window and door sensors to be visible to my SmartThings platform. I would like to use your GE light dimmers in most of the house, but there are a few places where I would prefer Leviton Vizia for certain reasons, and of course I would like to control my light scenes via both SmartThings and FrontPoint / Alarm.com. I would also like a garage door open/close solution, which I see available from some vendors, but not listed on your site. I know I can do it through SmartThings. Am I going to be able to get these systems to inter-operate given they are both z-wave based, or am I asking for trouble?

    • Jamie Botzer

      Hi Jon, great questions! It’s awesome that you’re shopping around and know exactly what you’re looking for. You can integrate a variety of Z-wave technologies with a FrontPoint security system. The full listing is available at http://www.alarm.com/overview/empower_devices.aspx. Unfortunately, some of the devices you specifically mention are not compatible with our system at this team. Thanks for asking!

  4. Jon G

    Hi,
    I am trying to design a system for my new home that incorporates basic but robust security as one part of a broader z-wave automated environment. Is FrontPoint compatible with any non-GE manufactured z-wave devices? I realize you will not be able to guarantee compatibility and so on. For example, I would like for my window and door sensors to be visible to my SmartThings platform. I would like to use your GE light dimmers in most of the house, but there are a few places where I would prefer Leviton Vizia for certain reasons, and of course I would like to control my light scenes via both SmartThings and FrontPoint / Alarm.com. I would also like a garage door open/close solution, which I see available from some vendors, but not listed on your site. I know I can do it through SmartThings. Am I going to be able to get these systems to inter-operate given they are both z-wave based, or am I asking for trouble?

  5. Eric Otto

    At my studio we have an ADT/Tyco alarm system. It’s a new building and a new system so I can understand why Tyco sells such a primitive interface? It is hard to understand and hard to use. The iPhone has been out since 2007 and it is 7 years later and ADT/Tyco have an interface that would make the early 90s proud. It looks like a hold over from UNIX.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Eric. In general this industry has not been the most fast-moving, either in equipment design or services. That’s one reason why we started FrontPoint – and when we launched in 2007, we were already years ahead of ADT. They are trying to catch up, but unfortunately they chose the wrong platform – and are having a tough time converting many of their existing customers to change over. We think it’s a good example of why bigger is not always better. By the way, our customers love our iPhone interface (developed by Alarm.com, the leader in interactive monitoring services). Thanks again.

  6. Eric Otto

    At my studio we have an ADT/Tyco alarm system. It’s a new building and a new system so I can understand why Tyco sells such a primitive interface? It is hard to understand and hard to use. The iPhone has been out since 2007 and it is 7 years later and ADT/Tyco have an interface that would make the early 90s proud. It looks like a hold over from UNIX.

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