Honeywell has a separate subsidiary that concentrates on the remote management of security systems for residential and commercial customers. Total Connect lets users watch live or archived video footage or camera images, control your sensors and detectors and program reports and notifications. Remote management is possible on your smartphone, tablet or through an Internet portal.
Total Connect also has GPS tracking that lets you receive a variety of status notifications about your vehicle or another asset. You can program virtual perimeters too that will give you even more accurate information according to your needs over the movements of that car or item.
First Alert Professional dealers provide this service for a monthly fee. The cost varies depending on local dealer pricing and offers.
Total Connect Toolkit Overview
Downloading the Total Connect app is free. Honeywell has Android, iPhone and Blackberry versions available. Consumers have given the app very high ratings in terms of ease of use and functionality. You can get the app in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese.
You can learn how to use the system through the online/on-app tutorials or by merely clicking the various icons on the home screen and following the step by step instructions.
Total Connect will automatically sync with any of the touchscreen control systems used by First Alert Pro: the LYNX Touch 7000, 5200 and 5100. It can also be synchronized manually with VISTA control products.
Total Connect has a biometric fingerprint recognition feature as part of the download for iPad and iPhone users. You will need to access the Total Connect Internet portal, however, for the initial systems setup. You must do this on a laptop or PC before you can activate the smartphone or tablet controls.
Your home console stores all security events for 90 days. This includes any arms/disarms, low battery records, loss of power, any sensor or detector activation and other events associated with your system. With Total Connect, you can access these events at any time.
If you desire notification of particular sorts of events, you can program the notifications on your smartphone or remote device too.
GPS tracking through your smartphone will allow you to keep tabs on the location and status of any vehicle or item equipped with a tracker. Total Connect uses the GPS function on your smartphone to determine exact coordinates of a car, truck or possession.
The GPS on Home Connect permits virtual perimeter programming so that anytime your car is within a certain distance of your home or wherever, or goes to a specific location; you receive an immediate alert.
Total Connect sends an e-mail or a text message for systems notifications. You can program the First Alert Professional panel to send whatever type of message regarding whatever type of condition or occurrence that you want.
To create an event notification, you first assign a group name for message receipt. This way, you can have individual notifications sent to only one person and others sent to a messaging group.
To create a notification through Total Connect, you must ensure first that the keypad or console is not in use. The simplest way to do so is to log off and then log back on again using the app.
Once you do this, you click on “setup” on the home screen, the click on the security icon. There will be a large list of notification types such as sensor open/close, arm/disarm, video activation, and more.
Once selected, click “+ Notification” and “Save” to activate the alert for that particular condition.
Finally, you need to select the user group that you should have already established and choose where to send the text and/or email.
The Total Connect app has a separate section to manage Z-Wave smart appliances and schedule notifications. You tap on the Smart Scenes screen which opens up the Z-Wave controls. Through these controls, you then go through the step-by-step process change a setting or turn on or off an appliance.
Total Connect lets you tailor each user code not only by user but also by permission. Only the one Master Code provided will permit the programming permissions by user code.
The first thing you what to do when creating a user code determines what sort of user you want to add. There are three categories:
- Panel User
An Administrator can create as well as manage other user codes. A User can access the panel and use Total Connect services, including apps and Internet portal. A Panel User can only access the panel and has no remote capabilities.
Once you determine the category of user, Total Connect allows you to set limits on what the user can and cannot do. You can also add the users to any email and text notifications that you program.
You will see a series of boxes displayed that you can check or leave unchecked that will allow that particular user access to certain system devices, including sensors, detectors or smart home appliances. This allows you, for example, to give a babysitter an access code to permit disarming the system, but not allow him or her to turn off a camera or sensor.
You also can access the event log through the Total Connect app or portal and view the activities, including times and dates, associated with a particular user code.
GPS uses the position data sent to your smartphone by GPS satellites. The smartphone then communicates the information to the GPS tracker and back to the keypad or console. You can access the data through Home Connect.
You must have Home Connect 2.0 for the GPS service to work. You can connect and monitor using Home Connect in all fifty states including Hawaii.
GPS Tracking Devices
The GPS tracking service can be part of your home security system or can also be bought and managed by Total Connect separately. There are three models of tracking devices:
All three models are water resistant. You can have up to twenty trackers per Total Connect account.
The TCVT2 will plug directly into the OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics) port built into car engines manufactured after 1996. The TCAT will work with older, classic cars or trucks or in boats that are not OBD II compliant. The TCAT-EB is primarily used in shipping containers or with heavy machinery.
There is a limit as to the number of times per month you can receive tracking notifications. You can “locate now” up to sixty times each month.
Features and Status Reports
The trackers will provide you through Total Connect different types of information:
- Low Battery
- Vehicle Status (Moving or Stationary)
- Virtual Perimeter Alerts
- Tracking Event History (for the Past 90 Days)
- Notification of Tracker Removal or if Unplugged
A Geofence is a virtual boundary. You can set the borders through your Total Connect app, online portal or on your home console. You define an area or a particular geographical point and receive notifications whenever the vehicle or asset leaves that boundary.
For example, perhaps you have a vacation home where you store your jet skis. With a tracker and Geofence, you can set a virtual perimeter around your vacation home. You can set one so that if the jet skis cross the boundary, you will be notified as well as be able to track the location.
Total Connect has many features and allows any remote management you desire. Designed primarily for First Alert Professional and other Honeywell users, you can not only manage but can also input and change any function on your home security system.
The GPS tracker addition adds another feature along with Z-Wave control to make using a home security system more than just arming and disarming the alarms. The convenience of smartphone management makes paying slightly extra to add Total Control services something most homeowners should seriously consider.
To learn more about how Total Connect works with First Alert Pro check out my First Alert Pro review.