Home Alarm Systems & VoIP

Systems that place a phone call can work over VOIP (pretty obvious) but other systems that test the phone LINE (wire continuity) will not (also obvious because the phone wire is not in use).

Reply to
Rick Merrill
Loading thread data ...

An alarm system working over VOIP is a very hit and miss thing. The combination of the various alarm protocols (4x2, Contact Id, SIA) combined with the inherent problems of VOIP(latency, compression) are causing many problems for alarm monitoring stations. You will find very few monitoring stations that will guaranty alarm devery over VOIP.

Having said that many of the newer alarm systems from most of the manufacturors have TCP/IP addons and the more progresssive monitoring stations will be equipped to handle this.

Reply to

Can a Home Alarm System work over VoIP? If so, how? My home's alarm system is monitored by a company that requires phone connection. I've been attempting to come up with a solution, but without success. Any assistance you can provide would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance! Dan

Reply to

Theoretically it can work, assuming that the power is on, that your Internet connection is active, etc.

Problem is that VoIP circuits do not have the track record of POTS lines yet. What if there were a real emergency, such as a fire, and your power lines were out? What if your Internet connection was experiencing temporary down time?

The most secure type of phone connection is called "Derived Channel," and is a supervised connection. I do not know if the service is still offered, because it involves piggybacking a signal on top of one's phone line. The phone company thus knows if the line is cut, and can notify the alarm monitoring station of a possible problem.

Burglars often would cut the phone line before breaking into a home, thus making it impossible for the alarm systems to report to the central station.

I know of some alarm manufacturers that offered a cellular backup. The alarm would first try to dial out on the POTS line, and would use the cell as a backup. Unfortunately, the subscriber had to pay a monthly cell bill, and the cell service was virtually never used.

The best circuits are called McCullough Loops, which are supervised

24/7. Underwriters Labs certifies these for banks, jewelry stores and other critical applications, where there must be assurance that the line is working.

FOR THE MONEY your best bet is to keep the alarm hooked into a regular POTS line right now. It may be relatively primitive, but POTS lines have the best overall reliability record, over cellular and VoIP. If you can accept the higher risk associated with a VoIP connection with your alarm company, you might save a few bucks, but how much would it cost if you kept a POTS line, dumned down to only the most basic service, used only for the alarm? In an emergency, it could also be used if your VoIP line went down.

Reply to

I appreciate your time and full analysis. This is good info. Just wanted to also let you know that since my recent addition of fiber to the house Verizon has already connected by POTS line to the same terminal as my computer, etc. Everything goes through the fiber now. That being said, I'm sure some conversion takes place before it's converted over to fiber connection. Basically, Verizon took a pair of copper wires, ran from the fiber terminal over to the POTS terminal and that's how I remain on my "same" phone.

it just seems odd for me to pay $50/month for a copper phone line that actually goes through my fiber line anyway. I may actually contact the company that monitor's my alarm system to see if they have any IP type system that might work.

The battery backup system will work for "a while" with the fiber, but eventually turns it off so phone over fiber can be used for 911, etc. The battery backup unit does have a terminal for a secondary power source. I may actually find a way to use a real UPS to provide the "long term" backup solution for that unit.

Again, this is in the future. I'm not converting this over now. Just getting plans and knowledge so I can make an informed decision. I certainly appreciate the time everyone has put into their responses. VERY much good food for thought.

Take care! Dan

Reply to

Cabling-Design.com Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.