Like it or not the title of this post is the truth. Many customers I work with are interested in using CLEAR's Voice (VOIP) service with their current analog alarm system, but I always strongly state that CLEAR does not support the use of VoIP with analog alarm systems. Now that you have the straight answer, allow me to explain in a bit more detail and also provide a possible solution.
The Analog-Digital Dilemma
Most older "analog" alarm systems rely on a standard telephone line to dial-out to the monitoring station. Meaning, when your alarm goes off the security system uses your telephone line to dial the company that monitors your house. The system does this by using an old computer modem. Do you remember the last time you used your modem to connect to the Internet? Yeah, I can't remember either. My point here is that most alarm systems are using OLD TECHNOLOGY. And that older technology works great if you are using an old telephone line. The Internet and VoIP are digital technologies and there are some fundamental issues in getting them to play nice with each other. Here are a few things to keep in mind about dealing with VoIP and your alarm system:
- Older technology simply won't work with VoIP because the security system operates on older formats.
- Line seizure capability is lost with VoIP technology.
- VoIP requires its own additional battery back-up to maintain communications in the event of power failure.
- If the router becomes unplugged or malfunctions, the alarm signal cannot be transmitted.
- On average, the Internet experiences more service outages than regular phone lines. The security system cannot communicate during these outages.
- Alarm signals are more susceptible to loss or distortion when sent over the Internet.
Solution: Radio Monitoring
A possible solution to this whole analog-digital issues is to simply convert your system to what is called Radio Monitoring. Even that name is a bit misleading. Radio monitoring means that instead of using a telephone line, the security system uses a wireless data transmission to send the alarm signal to the monitoring station. Similar to the way you would send a text SMS message to another mobile phone. But, in this case the radio monitoring system was designed specifically for the security industry and offers a reliable and affordable solution to loss of phone service. I am personally getting a Radio Monitoring system installed this week and plan to update this post with more information about what to expect with this type of service. The radio monitoring equipment usually costs a little bit more to install and run than the older phone line systems, but you are gaining additional security and features. So you go get what you pay for.
Next Steps and Special Offer!
WiMAXATL has teamed up with Ackerman Security Systems here in the Atlanta area, so if you are interested in learning more about Radio Monitoring or if you are just looking to get setup with a new security system please contact Amy Ash with Ackerman Security Systems. Tell Amy that you were referred by WiMAXATL or William Higgins and she will provide you with your first month of security monitoring for FREE!!!
Amy M. Ash
of Ackerman Security Systems