Home Security And VOIP
Security Systems and How They're Affected By VOIP Service
Having a home security system can be something that not only adds value to your home, but provides your entire family with peace of mind. However, there are some instances where the effectiveness of your home security system can be compromised by your telephone and internet connection. This is a problem, with so many people changing their phone services from land lines to VOIP service.
In fact, it's become so much of a problem that many alarm companies have resorted to simply refusing to connect any of their alarm services to a home with these kinds of connections.
How VOIP Affects Home Security Systems
A VOIP connection uses the same connection as your internet line. Voice-over internet protocol then allows for the making of voice calls over the internet. You may have VOIP if you have DSL internet, as this type of connection splits the signal in your existing phone line to allow for both phone and internet services.
This type of connection poses a problem for home security systems because they are designed to transmit their signals over the same traditional phone line used by DSL service. The issue occurs due to the fact that the signal sent from an alarm system, in order to be transmitted properly over VOIP must be converted twice: from analog to digital, and then from digital back to analog.
At the alarm company's end, a signal that has encountered errors during this conversion may not reach a monitoring station, or will do so with errors.
Power Failure Operation
Although most panels for home security systems include some kind of back up so that they continue operating when the power goes out. But while this will work fine with a traditional land line which isn't affected by power outages, a VOIP line won't be able to respond. That's because it's attached to a modem which is powered by electricity.
Another issue with VOIP lines as they relate to home security systems is the dropped calls and other technical issues which seem to plague them. A security monitoring company needs to be able to constantly monitor your home, something it simply cannot do if the signal isn't strong and clear.
What You Can Do To Increase Compatibility
One way to minimize interference between a VOIP line and home security systems is to simply not run your DSL line near to any cables which are also responsible for sending signals.
Something else to check is whether or not your alarm system contains a dialer. Dialers are responsible for calling law enforcement when an emergency has been detected by your system. For this reason, you should never run your DSL connection through the panel of your alarm system.
Interference in your DSL line can also be prevented by ensuring that it's been wired correctly. As mentioned above, ensuring that your DSL line does run parallel or intersects with any wiring from your alarm system can help.
Companies Increasing Compatibility
The exponential growth in the popularity of VOIP is leaving alarm systems companies little choice but to how to figure out how to make their systems more compatible. Although no permanent solutions to VOIP transmission issues may yet exist, there are solutions that can be investigated by homeowners.
One of these is to transmit alarm signals by using radio monitoring. This type of monitoring allows the backup signal to be sent by radio waves. Unfortunately, the radio monitoring option won't send detailed information to the alarm company, such as when or where the signal was transmitted.
Similarly, cellular monitoring allows the monitoring station to be contacted by cell phone should it try to transmit the signal through a phone line and fail. But this system is not 100% effective either, as dropped calls can and do occur. But it can be very effective in areas with strong cellular signals.