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Burglar Alarm Systems and Standard Telephone Lines

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What Alarm Communication Types are Best for your Burglar Alarm Systems?

Many people are selecting to drop their standard telephone lines for newer, more robust services presented through cell or Internet providers. However, do these modern telecommunication technologies work with home alarm systems?

In short, yes, new communication systems can easily work with residence alarm systems. However, every service has trade-offs. Prior to you pull the plug on your existing phone system, check out these frequently asked questions regarding alarm systems and phone lines from buyers like you.

Alarm System FAQ’s

I’m thinking about modifying my phone service. What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact your security alarm company. Talk to your company about the approaching switch and talk about communication systems that are compatible with your alarm system.

Right after you select a new phone service, make another call to your alarm company to make certain the new service is operating correctly with your alarm.

What communications technologies are obtainable for use with security alarm systems?

Thanks to advances in technology, security alarm systems are designed to work with many different kinds of communication services. The most popular services include traditional phone lines, mobile radio, Voice over ip and Web. Let’s investigate each service a little deeper by looking at the pros and cons.

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

Standard Phone Lines for Burglar Alarm Systems

Standard Phone Jack for Alarm Monitoring

Pros of a Standard Phone Line

Conventional telephone lines are known as the most reputable of the solutions.

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

Cons of a Standard Phone Line

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

Burglar cutting phone lineSince standard telephone lines count on dial up, the connection is slower than other solutions.

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




Cellular Communication for your Burglar Alarm Systems

Cellular Communication for Alarm System

Pros of using Cellular Communication

In comparison to other telephone services, mobile radio can carry more data at higher speeds.

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 Alarm System Connection

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for your Burglar Alarm Systems

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 conventional home alarm panels can connect to a Voice over ip phone system without improving any of the panel’s hardware.

Voice over ip is usually more cost-effective and feature-rich than other telephone solutions.

Cons of Using VOIP Communication

Some Voice over ip companies 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 utilizes a managed facility voice network (MFVN). MFVN does not use voice compression and is the most compatible with alarm systems.

When using a Voice over ip system, power to the telephone line will be dependent upon power at home. Depending on your provider, you may lose telephone service if the Internet or power is out.

Internet Communication for your Burglar Alarm Systems

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, traditional telephone lines still offer the most trustworthy service for alarm communications but it lacks the speed and features of newer technologies. Mobile and VoIP can provide nearly the same level of reliability as traditional telephone lines if battery units are well-maintained at your residence. 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.


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