Do Window/Door Sensors Work Over WIFI or Cellular?
Door and window sensors communicate to an alarm control panel using an RF frequency, not WIFI or cellular. Each alarm manufacturer has an RF frequency, assigned to them by the FCC, that their wireless devices use. WIFI and/or cellular signals are used to communicate to a central station.
Both 2GIG and Honeywell systems can use wireless devices that operate at 345 MHz. These devices usually have a range of about 200 feet, with some being slightly less and others being slightly more.
These relatively short-range RF signals are used by wireless sensors in order to communicate with the alarm system. These signals are generally very reliable, but there can be external obstacles that might prevent the signal from reaching the panel. A large amount of metal, thick concrete or heavy wiring within the signal path can all disrupt an RF signal. When this occurs, the signal may never get to the panel, causing an RF supervision error to be displayed for the particular wireless zone.
Many RF supervision errors can be solved by installing a Honeywell 5800RP wireless repeater, which is essentially a RF signal extender. The device works similarly to how a WIFI extender would work. The repeater grabs the signal it hears at the expected frequency, then repeats it as a way of doubling its range.
The presence of other signals can also cause disruptions for RF communication. Just like any device that uses some type of wireless signal, RF sensors can have interference when placed in a "loud" area with many different types of signaling filling the space. A wireless repeater might also be helpful in these situations, due to the fact that it will only repeat signals that are of the same frequency used by the alarm panel.
Alarm panels can use WIFI or cellular in order to communicate alarm signals to a central monitoring station. These communication paths are also used to send signals to a remote interactive service, such as Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0. WIFI and cellular communication are both types of RF signal, but they both use a very different frequency and signal type from the wireless zones of an alarm system.
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