The phone system played an integral role in early alarm systems. Each system was connected directly to a dial up phone system. If an alarm was tripped, the system would call the central station and give information. That is when high-fidelity copper lines ruled the day. In that world, analog calls were crystal clear. But the world has moved to digital, and while everything is cheaper, some things have changed, which we’ll cover in a little bit.
For those hyper-concerned with the safety of their family or possessions, skimping on security is the last thing you should do. At one time, landlines were the best thing you could use to send signals from your alarm system to the central station. Nowadays, there are simply better ways to get that signal out. And it’s time to stop skimping on the monitoring and update your system to get with the modern age. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and the advantages to using new technology are out of this world.
Which is why you should...
Switch to Cellular & IP Alarm Monitoring
The advantages of switching are innumerable. In some ways it is how you breathe new life into a security system that has grown old. These new communication pathways will overtake your current system’s old, tired over-the-phone communication, and turn your system into the modern system that you want. And, most of the time, it will cost you very little.
In other words…
Save a ton of money. Most Systems Can be Retrofitted to Work with Cellular Alarms Easily
Most old systems can use a new communicator. These systems are simple units that tell you whether a zone is opened or closed. This simple function is no different in new systems. Generally the difference between an old system and a new system is in the slick design. But now, even old systems have gotten some great updates. For example, if you have an old VISTA-20P, you can bring your system up to date with a
- PROM replacement (about $50)
- a communicator (about $120)
- and if you’re really concerned about the way the keypad looks on your wall, you can get one of the new Tuxedo Touch keypads to make your system look new, modern, and sleek.
Regardless of how easy it is, there is really only one great reason to switch from a landline security system to a wireless (cellular+IP) security system: IP Monitoring & Cellular Monitoring provide better security than old landlines.
Thieves Can No Longer Just Cut Your Phone Lines
When phone lines were analog, all a thief had to do was cut your phone line. This would prevent your system from calling the central station. No wire, no signal. No signal, no one will know you were robbed.
While the advantage of the analog phone lines was the crystal clear communication from the panel to the central, the disadvantage of having exposed wire is obvious. Fortunately, cutting the line doesn’t work when your system is able to communicate wirelessly.
This is why we don’t recommend IP systems exclusively. IP is great! It’s the fastest communication pathway alarms have. But, generally, IP is still connected via an exposed wire. The solution to the problem of the exposed wire is cellular monitoring. And the fact that most modern systems allow you to connect your system to both IP and cellular communication paths at the same time means that you can get all the advantages of IP monitoring (at no extra cost) with the connectivity of cellular.
The wireless, over-the-air cellular communication path means that this attack vector is something you will never have to worry about again!
Phone Lines are No Longer Analog
Phone lines don’t really work anymore like they used to. Old phone lines were made of copper. Their analog signal was extremely high fidelity. Nowadays, things are different.
First, a lot of our customers have switched to Voice Over IP (VOIP) phones. These phones are notoriously poor quality. They work pretty well, but the quality is nothing like analog. While this might not be terrible for calls to friends or family, it poses a problem in sending signals to a central station.
Second, most phone systems have digital switches. What that means is that even if you never got rid of your old copper line phone, your phone likely still uses digital signals at some point. This poses the same issue for alarm companies as VOIP.
For us, this means that wires get crossed a lot. The result is that central stations occasionally receive bad signals, these VOIP accounts are prone to false alarms, and occasionally, the bad signal will cause signals to get crossed in such a way that signals are dispatched to the wrong account. Phone lines just don’t work like they used to.
Since signals are being sent over wireless communication pathways, this is one of those instances where embracing modern technology will save you a lot of headaches. Where VOIP fails, cellular and IP monitoring pick up the slack.
Because of these issues, we think that
Cellular Monitoring Is Simply Better Than Landline Monitoring, and IP Monitoring Creates a Great Backup for When it’s Needed.
Cellular monitoring provides amazing connectivity. Because it is a wireless connection, a thief can not cut any wires to disable it. The cellular modules connect directly to the nearest cellular tower.
And most modern systems also include monitoring for any system whose signal is blocked by someone using a device that disrupts cellular signals.
Up time for these systems is as close to perfect as it can be. While an IP signal is a great way to make sure your system is able to quickly send signals, cellular monitoring enhances monitoring over the internet by making sure that your system can communicate signals even during those times that your IP provider is down (and we all know that happens occasionally).
Cellular Monitoring is the most reliable monitoring you can buy. And with our dual path IP + cellular monitoring options, it’s made even more reliable.