In the past couple of years, VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has become an ever increasing presence in so many residences, and businesses. A good deal of those customers have monitored alarm systems. Along with that there has been a great deal of confusion over how VOIP interfaces with monitored security systems. These pages are designed to try to help clear up some of the confusion.
Currently, not a day goes by that our office doesn’t get a call from someone that has concerns about having VOIP service in their home or office, and how that affects their alarm. Most customers in our area either have ATT uverse, Surewest digital voice, Comcast Digital Cable, or Vonage. These four typically comprise of over 90% of non-traditional phone services that we see. If you have one of these services, please read carefully.
The modems that security systems are engineered with, are analog, and were built to work with POTS lines (plain old telephone service). When these modems were engineered and built into security systems, digital phone service had not even been invented yet. These same modems are still being manufactured today, and found in over 98% of all security systems. Whether you have an ADEMCO/HONEYWELL system, a DSC system, or a GE system, the modems are pretty generic, and are prevalent in all of them.
Each of these manufacturers has released statements, either as a technical release, a public newsletter, or both, stating that their products were never designed to work with Digital Voice products, and that they simply are not going of offer any kind of guarantee of service. Note that they did not say that it wouldn’t work, simply that they were not designed to work with them, and that they do not recommend connecting a VOIP service to their security system.
This is important to understand. No one is saying that they will never work, just that it is unreliable. I have heard from customers for the past two years now saying that their phone service provider said it would work fine with their alarm. No it doesn’t…You’re asking a phone company about a product they do not sell, install, or service, and furthermore, you are asking a salesperson, who is trying to sell you a phone service about compatibility.
Our techs troubleshoot these systems every single day. Our conclusion is that of the engineers and manufacturers. It may work, and it may not. I have seen signals go through just fine, and literally 2 minutes later, not work at all.
Another important note: Our best success rates so far have been with Comcast Digital Voice. So far, our testing has led us to over 90% success rate with this carrier. It is important as well to note that River City Alarm Inc is in no way partnered with Comcast, nor do we receive any benefit, financially or otherwise whatsoever for making these claims…Its simply our testing has shown that their protocol for digital voice seems to work very well with analog alarms systems.
What to do about it?
If you do have one of the above listed Digital Voice services, and you are experiencing failure to communicate problems with your alarms system, there is something you can do. Currently our company is using the Teleguard TG-1 Cellular radio, for exclusive transmission of alarm signals. There are other manufacturers of Cellular radios for security systems, but for cost, ease of install, and reliability of the unit, we have chosen the TG-1 as our go to unit. These cellular radios wire right into the alarms system, and provide dial tone to the alarm so the alarm can send signals. Signals are sent from the Cellular radio, to the satellite, and retransmitted back to the central station in a format that the receiver at the Central Station can understand. The only limitation we have seen on these products is cellular reception area the customer may live in. It is our understanding that all security cellular radios use the ATT wireless network for signal transmission, so if you live in an area that is not covered by
ATT, you may not be able to get relief as of yet by incorporating a digital radio into your security system. However, our results of installation have shown at least a 90% success rate for cellular broadcast. For more information on obtaining a cellular radio for your alarm, see our contact page.
There are other means of getting signals through via the internet, and we are currently exploring these and testing for reliability. When we have more conclusions, we will update this page.
For more technical information on this subject, please review the technical documents attached. These documents come straight from the manufacturer, so when your phone company says your analog alarm will work VOIP, and your central station says it will work…rest assured it’s the folks who engineer the product, and service the product who are really in the know.
One final note. We provide this type of knowledge to try to resolve some of the confusion, because we truly want you to have adequate security. We are very well known for being an honest, up front business with no hidden agenda, and no sales and marketing schemes to get you to buy product. We simply want to be known by our level of customer service, and our genuine concern for everyone’s safety.
Surfing the internet at home used to be the stuff of science fiction movies and television shows. The idea that any home would even have or need a computer used to be laughed at, much less a computer that connects you to the rest of the world! But as the use of the internet at home become more common, the concern for home network security has as well.
Many people are concerned about identity theft, viruses, and a host of other problems that they invite into their home through their own computer. And of course those with children who use the computer and the internet are also concerned about what danger they could be facing. Improving your own home network security is not that difficult or complicated; you don’t need to be a software engineer or computer wizard to do so. Some simple steps are all that’s needed and they can do a world of good in protecting you, your identity, your computer itself, and even your own family’s safety. Let’s take a look at some of those basic home network security steps you can take.
Many persons today are opting for a wireless modem to connect them to the internet rather than a phone line or cable. One of the biggest mistakes people make toward home network security is not locking their signal. When you have a wireless signal, it is just sort of floating out there in the air and can be easily pirated by anyone with a wireless adapter. However, by locking your signal, you are telling your computer and the wireless provider that no one can use that signal without a password set up by you.
One of the reasons this is important with home network security is because while someone can log onto the internet using your wireless signal, they may also be able to trace everything that goes on in your computer through the wireless signal. If you do any type of banking or personal finance on your computer, it’s not difficult for someone with a bit of computer knowledge to keep track of your keystrokes and therefore learn your user I.D., password, and all other financial information.
Setting up a locked wireless signal is not that hard and should be part of the installation process. Your program should prompt you for a password to lock the signal. If you’ve already installed your wireless router and receiver and need help with setting up a password, don’t hesitate to call your service provider and ask them to walk you through the process. This can be one of the best things you can do for your home network security, so don’t delay.
Using parental locks, monitoring your computer’s history, and keeping passwords safe are all common sense ideas, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore their home network security by neglecting these things. Computers are like cars – if you use them safely, you’re chance of a problem is greatly reduced.
2013 Internet Security Smackdown!
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What’s more, just installing a security product on your Windows PC won’t allow you to just sit back, smoke a stogie, and bask in the imperviousness of your fortified computer. There’s a LOT more to Internet security and that’s what this site is all about.
You need to learn how to LOCK DOWN your computer from the dark side of the Force Internet. Check out the Best Internet Security pages for more information.
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I only list the top three suites here under the Platinum, Gold, and Silver award titles. How do I decide the winners? Well, you need to visit the Top Internet Security Software page for that explanation. It’s simple but intriguing reading.