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Alarm System and Telephone Lines

Alarm System and Telephone Lines

What Type of Alarm System communication is best?
Many people are selecting to drop their conventional telephone lines for newer, more robust solutions offered through cell or Internet companies. But, do these modern telecommunication technologies function with residence alarm system systems?

In brief, yes, new communication systems can work with home alarm systems. However, every service has trade-offs. Prior to you pull the plug on your existing phone system, check out these often asked questions regarding burglar alarm systems and telephone lines from consumers such as you.

Alarm FAQ’s

I’m considering about changing my phone service. What should I do?

The very first thing you should do is contact your alarm system company. Talk to your company about the impending switch and discuss communication systems that are suitable with your alarm system.

After you select a new phone service, make another call to your security alarm company to make certain the new service is working properly with your alarm system.

What communications technologies are obtainable for use with security systems?

Thanks to advances in technology, security systems are designed to work with many various kinds of communication solutions. The most popular solutions consist of traditional phone lines, cell radio, VoIP and Web. Let’s explore each service a little deeper by looking at the pros and cons.

Conventional phone lines make use of a copper line to send the communication signal to the alarm system monitoring company. The telephone line is typically used by both the household and the security alarm system.

Standard Phone Line Communication for your Alarm System
Pros of a Standard Phone Line

Conventional phone lines are known as the most reputable of the services.

Monitoring service connected by a conventional telephone line can operate during power black outs via power from the phone company.

Cons of a Standard Phone Line

Conventional phone lines utilize copper lines, which are vulnerable to both natural and strategic black outs. (Burglar cutting phone line)

Since traditional telephone lines depend on dial up, the connection is slower than other solutions.

Mobile radio signals use wireless digital transmission, just like your cell phone, to transmit alarm signals to the monitoring station.

Cellular Communication for your Alarm System
Pros of using Cellular Communication

In comparison to other phone services, mobile radio can carry more data at greater rates of speed.

Since the connection is wireless, cellular radio is generally tamper-proof, so deliberate outages are rare.

Cons of using Cellular Communication

Cellular radio devices require power at home to operate. During a power outage, the alarm relies on a back up battery for operation. Back up batteries generally last between 2-4 hours.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for your Alarm System
This is a newer communication service that takes analog audio signals, like what you hear when you talk on the phone, and turns them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet.

Pros of Using VOIP Communication

Most traditional residence alarm panels can hook up to a VoIP telephone system without upgrading any of the panel’s equipment.

VoIP is usually more cost-effective and feature-rich than other telephone services.

Cons of Using VOIP Communication

Some Voice over internet protocol providers use voice compression to reduce the amount of bandwidth needed to transport the voice traffic, which can cause distortion of the signal coming from the home’s alarm system, effectively disabling the remote monitoring of the system. Choose a provider that makes use of a managed facility voice network (MFVN). MFVN does not use voice compression and is the most compatible with alarm systems.

When utilizing a VoIP system, power to the phone line will be dependent upon power at home. Depending on your provider, you may lose phone service if the Internet or power is out.

Internet Communication for your Alarm System
The Internet offers some of the greatest features for alarm users by connecting your alarm to the monitoring station via DSL, cable or wireless Internet connections.

Pros of Using Internet Communication

Internet services are feature rich-you can access cameras, entry systems, lighting, thermostats and a number of other devices in the home from any web browser.

An alarms connected by an Internet service is always on and connected to the central station.

Cons of Using Internet Communication

The Internet lacks reliability for security applications as it also requires power and Internet connectivity at the home to operate.

Alarm systems monitored via Internet require specific hardware to enable the connection, so an upgraded panel will be necessary.

Many Internet providers use throttling during peak hours to allow for adequate usage for all of their customers. Throttling can cause unpredictable problems with alarm signals.

How reliable are the services?

Ultimately, standard phone lines still offer the most dependable service for alarm communications but it lacks the speed and features of newer technologies. Mobile and VoIP can offer nearly the same level of reliability as traditional telephone lines if battery units are well-maintained at your house. Internet, while it offers the most feature rich design, is the most unreliable communication method and should only be used as a means for supplemental communications and features, not as the sole alarm communication method.

For the most reliable and secure alarm communication system, consider combining two services in one unit. You can use a traditional phone line or VoIP as the primary method of communication and cellular radio as secondary communication. In the event that the primary communication goes down, the system will still communicate with the alarm monitoring station through the cellular radio.