VoIP (VOICE OVER INTERNET) WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
We have lots of clients looking for ways to save money at their home or business.
Many folks are considering VoIP products from the Internet or cable provider as a means of seeking some of this savings.
Here are some critical thoughts that you should consider when choosing a VoIP product to run critical devices like your intrusion or fire alarm system.
IF YOU HAVE UL REQUIRED BURGLAR ALARM OR A BUIDING CODE REQUIRED FIRE ALARM, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE A VOIP SOLUTION UNLESS YOU HAVE 24 HOURS of BATTERY BACKUP on your ENTIRE VoIP system (router(s) and necessary switches).
If you lose “dial-tone” during a power outage, that is a potentially scary situation, as we know that 50% of fires will take out power early in the process.
Folks forget that good old ma-bell kept traditional telephone lines working during building or home power outages as a safety need for critical 911, emergency and alarm services.
IF you have made provisions (UPS Battery Backup) on your critical infrastructure (routers and switches) so that you can keep your VoIP, LAN and WAN networks operating, then VoIP maybe an option.
VoIP has no universal industry standard. In particular, we see folks like Comcast adjusting/updating their voice codex system periodically. It his HIGHLY recommended that you TEST your alarm to INSURE its compatibility with the VoIP system. We find lots of issues that some older alarm systems, in particular, don’t behave in a consistent way on the VoIP system.
There are three considerations that you may not have thought about that may be GREAT alternatives to a VoIP option.
A – DIRECT ETHERNET NETWORK attachment
Many of our alarm systems allow us to plug into your computer network, just like a computer and talk to the central station. While this is a PREFERRED method over VoIP, as this is DIRECT communication, rather than translation of signals several times, e.g. Analog to Digital and then Digital back to Analog, Ethernet is digital - all the way. While we like this…. Again it is recommended that you install adequate UPS, Battery Backup gear on all your critical routers and switches. This is the MOST cost effective solution, as it does not have ANY service provider cost impact!
THIS SOLUTION IS UL LISTED FOR INTRUSION AND FIRE USE.
B - Cellular attachment
Many of our alarms systems allow us to plug a cellular module that allows your alarm to talk to us via the cellular network. This is a nice option in that the alarm panel is powering the cellular module and this battery backup and full supervision of the cellular module is being monitored. There is a minimal cellular package/fee required for this option, starting at $9.00 per month. In many cases these costs are more than off set by the saving of not paying for a phone line from either ma-bell or your VoIP provider.
THIS SOLUTION IS UL LISTED FOR INTRUSION AND RESIDENTIAL FIRE USE.
C – Mesh Network Radio attachment
Many of our alarms systems allow us to connect to a radio module that allows your alarm to talk to us via our mesh radio network (not available in all markets). This is a nice option in that the alarm panel and radio systems are fully supervised and has battery backup. There is a minimal radio package/fee required for this option, starting at $14.95 per month. In many cases these costs are more than off set by the saving of not paying for a phone line from either ma-bell or your VoIP provider.
THIS SOLUTION IS UL LISTED FOR INTRUSION AND RESIDENTIAL and COMMERICAL FIRE USE.
If you have additional questions regarding voIP contact us at (503) 472-6439