Member Discussion

Napco Vs Honeywell Vs Interlogix Vs DSC For Commercial Burglary

Does anyone have feedback on which manufacture they like more for Commercial Burglary platforms? And why?

We have been using Honeywell. My biggest problem is support. Today I had to wait 30 minutes then leave a message for SALES, not even tech support (that was a couple of hours ago and I'm still waiting for a call back). With tech support I have had to wait over 1 hour, get someone then have them rush me off, and need to call back for another 1 hour+. That seems to happen every time. 

We do mostly access control and security camera system, with only a few alarm systems sprinkled in. With access control and cameras there is a UI that everything is programmed in. What you see is what you get, easy.

With alarms everything wants to be programmed at the keypad. Honeywell has "Compass" which is software based but it's not very user friendly and if you call tech support for any questions when using that forget about getting help.

Thanks in advance for your input. 

For commercial burg, I'd suggest looking at DMP and Bosch too.  Those brands have a commercial bend with regards to features, technology, and support.  We tested both:

The other brands you mentioned, ie: Honeywell/DSC/Napco/Interlogix are certainly used in commercial installs too, but are also heavily installed in residential applications. Honeywell Vista, DSC Neo, Interlogix NX-8, Napco Gemini, etc.  They all are dated compared to the type of client interface and programming you're used to seeing on access and video.

Thanks Brian. 

I do like DMP. We don't use their access control. As a result I don't know that we would have enough just in alarm to keep the business relationship going. 

I will reach out to Bosch.

Now that Bosch has opened the B Series panels (B3512-B6512) to distribution, i think they would be a safer bet than DMP which is still dealer only for everything. At least if you don't like those panels, they wont throw you off as a dealer like DMP would and won't have access to parts.  DMP might force you to sell their access control line too.

DMP might force you to sell their access control line too.


Can we do that? I didn’t know it was that simple... I thought we needed to convince you our solution was better, cheaper, faster... 😂😂😂 

Forgot to mention to Ty that DMP is more arrogant and obnoxious too. 

Undisclosed #1.

Sorry if that came across arrogant and obnoxious.That was not my intent. I was simply pointing out that we don't force anyone to use any of our products.

Its true that we have large minimums and there are legitimate business reasons for that approach to business. 

Please forgive my attempt at humor.

No offense taken. Just making sure he knew it was a strict dealer only line with a bigger commitment compared to Bosch. I agree business must be a 2 way partnership benefiting both parties. 

Question would DMP be more willing to take him on as a level 1 or level 2 dealer if you knew that was his only line or are their more factors involved?

The volume requirements from DMP are enormous. You have to sell a lot of intrusion in order to be a dealer for them. Yes Bosch has their B series panels in distribution but that is in order to compete with the Honeywell's and Interlogix of the world. You still have to be authorized to sell the Bosch G series panels which are rock solid. We don't sell a lot of intrusion but we do use Bosch when we do. I used to be a Honeywell house in the past. I do know that the Turbo series panels helped them compete with the likes of Bosch which made their V-Plex circuit much faster instead of the open the door and the keypad chimes a few seconds later. Unfortunate there is a long wait for support though.

We are not an everyday intrusion alarm company. We are an integrator and install video, access, wireless locks paging & intercom and intrusion. Typically intrusion is part of an integrated solution. For this reason Bosch and DMP generally are the two systems that access control systems integrate with. We spoke to DMP a few years ago and the local rep wanted to provide the lines to us but his bosses denied it since intrusion is not an everyday item for us. So I contacted our Bosch rep and they added we were brought on as a dealer. The B9512G / B8512G are the panels we typically use and can integrate into S2, Avigilon, Feenics, Genetec and RS2 among others.

I actually used to ask the tech who managed the internal Honeywell system at my job why he didn't just keep a serial adapter online and pop open Compass to make changes when needed (new hires, code changes, quick programming changes, etc.). And he told me it was quicker to use the keypad... I watched him one day and he wasn't kidding. 

When you call Honeywell tech support on a Compass question, they just tell you to do it through the keypad. At first I got mad, then I got glad.

I think it's important to standardize on a brand.  It appears your frustration is not with the product itself, but is actually frustration with not being familiar with the product.  If you've been using Honeywell, have a number of those systems to support and change to another manufacturer's panel, you'll aggravate your problems by needing to know multiple programming protocols and operation procedures, not to mention compatibility issues, etc.  I speak from experience in this area.  I now standardize, using Honeywell, and have less of a need to call tech support because I'm more familiar with their product.  In commercial, I use the Honeywell Vista series panel. 

I recently installed a Vista 250BPT, with six 6160PX keypads, using 3 partitions, for a company with 70 employees using unique user codes with various authorities coming and going at all hours of the day, and their administrators use Total Connect 2.0 remote services.  The system self arms, per a schedule, when someone forgets to arm.   This system was commissioned several months ago and there have been less than five user error alarms, no other false alarms and no questions or complaints on how to operate the system.  I'm quite pleased with the system.

I use Honeywell Compass for remote programming and I don't find it intimidating at all.  Like any other programming software, you need to become familiar with it to achieve a degree of confidence. 

I wish I could change out all of my other brands to Honeywell, that way I need to know few programming protocols, wouldn't need to stock so many other brands of equipment, and would have fewer questions for technical support.  I try not to call tech support because I know I'll wait on the phone, sometimes I email them, and they are very good at returning emails.  But, when I do contact them, by phone or email, I find them quite helpful.

I'm not saying Honeywell is the best, I'm just saying try to stick to one manufacturer's product and your life will be less complicated.

I love the concept of standardizing for so many reasons. And try to practice is as much as possible. In fact we do want to stick to one manufacture for an alarm platform. We thought that would be Honeywell.

As far as Honeywell goes I do have a problem with their platform beyond support. (Oh and day two no call back from sales...which is awesome) In my opinion, that Honeywell has not done a good job of standardizing programming between different panels. This panel you need to do this but in this panel you need to do that. However if you use compass then ALL of those options are still available you are just supposed to not use them if you want it to work.

If you are being honest, there is no way that you open up Compass and say wow this software is real designed well. LOL I found out after adding 100 users in compass that their names will not appear in total connect. You need to manually add them there. Really?!?

With that said there is no better feeling for just knowing a system. When you can just jam through programming and troubleshooting. No matter the system this just comes with experience on that specific system; which is where standardizing comes into play.

However we also have to train new techs. When you have a platform that is not well documented and has a lot of exceptions (oh yeah because your using this panel you have to do X&Y but on that panel you do A&B, even though its the same function) is extremely difficult to train and document. And frankly it's just poor engineering/programming on Honeywell part. It shouldn't be so simple a 2 year old could do it but could have some some common logic applied, no?


I think you'll find these same issues with all the other manufacturers, you'll just find out when you're in too deep.  If you think these problems are not present with other manufacturers, you might be in for a lesson learned.

I have some legacy ITI (now Interlogix) with learn mode sensors and needed to replace some sensors.  When I called their tech support they did not want to help me because "the legacy product was no longer supported."  They suggested I replace the entire system because their new learn mode sensors may or may not work with the CTP+.  They suggested I try it to see if it works with the panel's receiver.  Honeywell told me how to add a new sensor to a non QED panel some years ago.

I have some accounts using legacy DSC products and I'd rather scratch my eyeballs out than try to remote to those systems with their DLS.  I have legacy Napco panels in the field and their Quickoader software is okay, but I need to remember so many things just to connect so it takes a few tries.  With legacy Radionics (now Bosch), better have a D5100 programmer with you or you're not programming at the site.  And, the Radionics programmer was not fun to deal with.   ITI, now Interlogix, keypad programming was good with CTP+ and Ultragard. With my legacy Moose products, remote upload/download is not even considered now that their software will not work with the latest Operating Software.  Since I standardized on Honeywell, I now have legacy panels of other manufacturers and not their latest products.  Moose had a very good remote software in the RPM2, but that had some anomalies too.

I have some legacy Honeywell panels that use an earlier version of Compass, VIA30 for example, and I have a separate computer for the legacy panels of all manufacturers.  I have no worries using Compass on these old panels.  However, when dealing with other manufacturers it gets worrisome.

I too found out that adding user names in Compass does not transfer to Total Connect.  I had a  customer set me up as an Admin User and I added users for them in Total Connect, then had the Master User Sync the panel and the users.  I tried to do this through Security Professional Access, but if you inadvertently close out the customer will need to get you back in.

I found, many times, that my call to tech support was due to my lack of understanding and failure to thoroughly read the documentation coupled with being unfamiliar with the product.  Also, I find that directly emailing the Honeywell District Rep gets a quicker response than calling Honeywell Sales.

Again, I'm not saying Honeywell is better than others, I'm saying that you can easily trade one set of problems for another, and compound your frustration.


Most of the new Interlogix sensors will not work on the CTP+ panel. The CTP+ uses a crystal- based receiver which has a narrower bandwidth than the SAW-based sensors sold today. You would need to check sensor specifications if the sensor is "crystal" such as the 60-362N-10-319.5. The crystal sensors used with the CTP+ will work on the newer panels (Ultra Sync, Concord and NX). Unless the sensors are 58-bit crystal sensors, which were manufactured for a very short time in the early 90's.

We are extremely new to intrusion and chose the ADC path. We have installed several DSC panels with no issues. Tech support wasn't bad, and we have 2 local reps who have been outstanding in helping us when we ask some pretty dumb and basic questions.



I agree about Honeywell being stuck in the dark ages. We are somewhat new to burg, and coming from an IT background, the Compass software is hilarious. 


The honeywell panel / keypad programming is also a joke. I understand that it is all based on phone programming as it was designed to work over POTS lines     

Every “upgrade” they’ve done is simply bolt more features on top of an archaic programming system. I have taken the time to study it, learn it and can program a system quickly. However, I feel that the learning curve was unnecessary.  So much more can be done with a web interface and modern menu system. 

I too too have been subjected to incredible wait times with tech support. If you move enough product, you do get access to a priority queue. 

We have switched to Bosch and ICT and been much happier. Although I do think that commercial burg is ripe for disruption from a new player. The whole industry is very set in their ways. I understand the don’t fix if not broken but cmon. 

The new DSC Iotega is all web portal driven. No keypad programming, no software to load on one pc, just go to a browser and log in. Trouble shoot, program, add, delete, everything from the portal. It is very new and has bugs of course and I dont think it is commercial approved but they are going in the right direction.

Well good finding a better provider !!

I work with one of the Biggest companies but Can't disclose it for contractual reasons BUT 

THE WHOLE INDUSTRY (Burglar/Surveillance )Right now feels to me very uncertain!!

I can see there's an evolving war between Asian manufacturers and US based manufacturers, and this latest trump speech at the UN is not helping either.

We use Honeywell as the main provider if you think your having trouble with them, in terms of tech troubleshooting support, just imagine trying one of the lesser well known companies. I'm not 100% sure if Honeywell does it,  but sometimes you gotta pay extra like a PREMIUM membership in order to get full access to troubleshooting services I've seen it with other companies like DMP.

DMP is good but they tend to charge for every little thing !! Plus when it comes to contracts  they want to keep as long as possible. I work in NYC and at least  once every 2 months we get this DMP guys come to headquarters supposedly talking about training with certain central station receivers and the similar devices; they give mini classes on how to be complaint with the NYC fire codes,and stuff,  but after 10 minutes they change the topic and you can see the sales pitch starts to come in and then criticizing and bragging how their equipment is much better than the rest.  don't get me wrong DMP is a really good solid company I'm not gonna come here and say otherwise. 

That's like asking should you buy a chevy, ford, or ram. Everyone will have a preference and all have pros and cons. Personally I like DSC. The programming seems more installer friendly then Honeywell. The Neo has a very strong wireless range and like everyone else a lot of add on options. Tech support is fairly quick and rarely am i holding more then 30 minutes. Usually within 15 minutes I have a rep. There is a language accent barrier but they are never condescending when working with you. I like to stay mainly with one system and become very efficient with it. Nothing is worst then fumbling on a system in front of a client trying to program. With that we have other systems we work with mostly from acquisition a few we have put in while finding what we like. . Honeywell, 2GIG, Bosch, Napco and yes ALOT of old FBII systems. 2GIG has some features I like that is useful in certain environments and will install them and programming is pretty simple. 

But to circle back to the question you asked, I like DSC have good support from my regional sales rep and tech support is good. I don't need an engineering degree to program and the remote software is decent. So all that combined I stayed with DSC as my main product and became efficient with it.

DSC PowerG wireless range has no equal. Their expansion modules are 1/5 the physical size of Honeywell's and Napco's (zone expanders etc.). They have more programing options than Honeywell. DSC DLS software is like the Wright Brothers (Compass) vs. a fighter jet (DLS). I was a Moose guy turned Honeywell guy that got sick of coaching customers at all hours of the night how the re-enter their code and the off key because they had an alarm and couldn't get the ready light back. DSC- is it disarmed? Punch in code and it arms. Armed? Punch in code and it disarms. No code plus Away, Stay, Instant, whatever-easy for customers, easy for us. Great tech support, patient, willing to bump up to tier II tech if required, all panels program the same vs. Honeywell always trying to graft on features to an outdated platform which leads to too many gotchas- oops, can't do that with this version of panel xxx, have to use this add on module or that one. Honeywell is coasting on their legacy products. If I hadn't of programmed Honeywell panels for 20 years prior to using DSC, I'd be lost with their outdated offering.

Are DMP minimums really that much? It’s like 10k a month right? If you sell access control, doorbell cameras, zwave, Fire etc on a few projects you can hit that pretty easily it’s not 10k solely of panels. It’s 10k of spend.

You are correct. We look for dealers that would have a $10K spend a month. Your pricing is determined by your average 6mo spend. We have pricing columns that go down to $2500 a month.

Not that we look for those dealers, but it’s pretty rare that someone would not have access to service parts for their installed base, even if their business fluctuates down that far. I’ve been here 25 years, can’t think of a time. I’d be happy to introduce you to the correct person in your area.

I would take Interlogix off that list if I were you.

I have installed many DMP systems. They are rock solid and DMP is a great company to work with. I have installed a few Honeywell. Pretty much everyone knows what they are getting with Honeywell. Bosch G series panels rock. As far as all manufacturers go I agree with the comment of "the devil you know." They all have strengths and weaknesses. You have to dive in and learn all the nuances. Oh yeah then retrain yourself when major software or hardware revisions come out. That is our life.

If I was looking to change manufacturers to a truly integrated Access Control and Intrusion manufacturer I would tread extremely slow. Interview the company from top to bottom. Find out who owns their code and hardware. I would also test drive it and ask for end user references.

I am sure there are others however I would take a look at ICT. It does conventional burg however it is an integrated database between access control and intrusion with an enterprise offering.

ICT | Intrusion Detection

I've been working with Napco, Bosch, interlogix, Honeywell and DSC. They all have their positives and negatives. Interlogix has an extremely easy menu driven keypad programming but is very limited by lack of customization. Bosch has a solid product but can only be software programmed. Napco is has extreme flexibility in configuration but has a dated product line. Honeywell is Honeywell, it feels like every modern advancement on their systems has a back door tweak just so they can make it work. DSC is from my experience the most versatile. It can be easily programmed via keypad and through DLS with easy transitions between them along with clean and modern devices.