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An Alarm Panel That's Also a Smart Home Hub

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By: Editor
September 15, 2021
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An Alarm Panel That's Also a Smart Home Hub

Wondering how to make your home a smart home? It all starts with the hub

Home automation is catching up with science fiction. The nonprofit Marketplace reports that more than 375 million smart home devices shipped in the US last year alone. And getting started is easier than ever: a smart home hub lays the foundation of a futuristic residence in a matter of minutes.

A hub enables access to all sorts of technologies that make life easier and safer. Plus, you'll be able to manage and automate devices using keypads, smartphones, tablets, or laptops as an all-in-one alarm panel and smart home control panel.

Let’s explain how the Frontpoint Hub and Keypad work, how they install, and why they make it easy to add and manage the devices that make a home truly "smart."

Start the automation journey with an app, a smart home hub, and a security keypad

A smart home hub is the must-have middleman of home automation. It connects everything, allowing appliances like smoke and heat detectors, intrusion sensors, smart lights, and thermostats to "talk" with the system. With the right hub, you'll be able to manage your entire smart home from your smartphone, tablet, or computer—or through specialized interfaces like home security keypads and touchscreens.

Here’s how the Frontpoint Hub and Keypad provide a powerful starting point for do-it-yourself (DIY) home automation. The hub makes it easy to add any item in the Frontpoint catalog, as well as a massive selection of third-party devices that communicate using Z-Wave signals. With Frontpoint, you have access to intrusion sensors, thermostats, smart bulbs, and any home automation technologies that connect to your hub almost effortlessly.

Smart home hub and keypadSmart home hub and keypad

This hub and keypad pack just about everything needed to manage a smart home and security system into two small, sleek devices.

Once you've set it up, the hub “talks” with all of the devices—and a security keypad gives you a straightforward way to control the system. This alarm panel is totally wireless: just two AA batteries provide roughly anywhere from two to four years of keypad use.

You can add unique access codes to give kids, house sitters, and others exactly what they need to enter, exit, and secure your home. And with some easy home automation tips, this compact keypad can even turn various devices on and off throughout your house.

How a hub makes a home smart

A smart home hub enables you to manage all devices through several interfaces. The most extensive control of a Frontpoint system is through our secure online portal or the Frontpoint App.

You can control each device individually or several of them at once: home automation "scenes" give you the power to control multiple appliances simultaneously with the press of a button, upon an event, or on a schedule. For example, you could press a button to turn off every smart bulb in your house, engage the smart locks whenever the security system arms, or program the smart thermostat to change the temperature on a schedule.

With scenes, you make the rules. And with a powerful hub, they can control a considerable number of devices. Frontpoint's Hub can connect to 80 security and environmental sensors, 232 Z-Wave Smart Home Devices, four security keypads, and four touchscreen control panels.

The system also supports an unlimited number of Frontpoint’s Wi-Fi security cameras. You'll be able to view live and recorded footage from motion-sensing, night-vision cameras from almost anywhere. Even better, the rules you set can even trigger recordings at key moments, such as a door opening or upon detecting motion. And cameras automatically start recording if the alarm goes off.

Wireless indoor camera with audioWireless indoor camera with audio

Frontpoint's Premium Indoor Camera is a fusion of smart technologies—a networked camera, Bluetooth speaker, and two-way audio device.

Almost any device that has Z-Wave—a powerful home automation communication technology used worldwide—can connect to your hub. When you build a smart home with Z-Wave equipment, it creates a "mesh" network that helps wireless signals travel further than Bluetooth while using very little energy. This wireless communication protocol gives you access to a world of water shut-off valves, garage door openers, automatic blinds, and more, in addition to the entire Frontpoint catalog.   

Again, you’ll have the most control through the online portal or app—and that’s where you can program scenes and rules. But these features also combine to make the security keypad more than just a basic alarm panel. When you change the system's status—to disarmed, away (armed), or stay (armed)—rules kick into gear.

You could, for example, turn on your intrusion sensors, turn off all of your smart appliances, and arm your system just by pressing the "away" button. The keypad is a simple control panel for everyday events: You'll be able to leave for work, get home, and go to bed simply by pressing a button. It can also call for assistance in an emergency.

And don’t forget, you can also do all that from a smartphone.

How a smart home hub acts as a home security control panel

The hub and alarm panel have two essential functions: arm or disarm the security system and manage smart equipment. Color-coded LED lights on both devices give you an at-a-glance view of the system's status, while the hub's built-in audio provides important notifications. You'll know when your system's arming or when something triggers an alarm—and can even hear changes in sensor status by name (like "front door open").

When something unusual happens, Frontpoint's hub and security keypad can do more than just make noise. Signals from Frontpoint's monitored security systems are watched 24/7 by professionals tasked with keeping you safe. If sensors detect an intruder—like a door or window opening while your system's armed—the hub sounds an alarm and sends a signal to the monitoring center if it is not disarmed within 30 seconds. Monitoring professionals will call you twice to verify an emergency and, if necessary, contact emergency services on your behalf.

The alarm panel can make this process even faster: Two-button combinations on the security keypad can quickly let the monitoring company know there is a fire, medical situation, or another emergency that requires help.

Broken windowBroken window

With a Z-Wave glass-break sensor installed, your hub can trigger a notification of vandalism or an attempted break-in—and professional monitoring can send help if necessary.

The system’s efforts to keep you safe don't stop there. Frontpoint’s smart home hub features a 4G cellular backup and 24-hour battery to ensure signals reach their destination—even when there's a power or internet outage. And if a burglar tries to outsmart the hub by destroying it, they're in for a surprise. The absence of expected signals (like "disarm" after an intrusion sensor activates) is enough to get the attention of the monitoring service. This makes the system effectively "smash-proof."

How to install a hub and alarm panel—and build a DIY smart home

It's not hard to install the Frontpoint Hub: just install the Frontpoint App on your phone, plug in the hub, and follow the instructions in the setup wizard. Be sure to place the hub in a central location within range of your wireless router. Choose an outlet without a reset button if you can. And keep it at least five feet away from electrical equipment, appliances, and metal objects.

Once you've set up the hub, it's time to add your alarm panel keypad. Open the Frontpoint App, choose "Equipment Setup," and select the keypad. The app walks you through every step, from activation and mounting to testing. We've included an adhesive that makes mounting easy—simply stick the security keypad on a wall or surface within 100 feet of the hub. Entryways like the front door, back door, or garage are ideal.

Expanding your smart home is equally simple: Frontpoint's devices are designed for out-of-the-box integration with the system through the "Equipment Setup" menu. For third-party devices, press "+ Add Device" followed by "Other." You can give your sensors unique names by visiting MyFrontpoint.com and clicking the right arrow beside the word "Sensors." That makes the equipment easy to identify—and you can even change the names spoken by your smart home hub during audio notifications.

The Frontpoint Hub is the gateway to a smart home. It provides access to Motion Sensors, Smoke and Heat Sensors, Smart Door Locks, a Smart Thermostat, and more. And Frontpoint’s Wireless Light Control can even make just about any “dumb” old plug-in device “smart.”

You can build a DIY system that does exactly what you want—all with professional security features that keep you and your loved ones safer.

To learn more about how Frontpoint is revolutionizing home automation and security, check out our security packages, smart devices, or blog—or get a quote today by calling 1-877-602-5276.

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