Impassa w/ Z-Wave Ready, AT&T Cellular Communicator

Average rating:

(based upon one review)

The DSC Impassa with AT&T Cellular Communicator provides everything a new user needs to get started with home security. Cellular connectivity is very important for a modern alarm system, as it provides fast speeds and great reliability overall. Buy the DSC Impassa with AT&T Communicator here.
  • Alarm.com
  • Z-Wave
  • Amazon Alexa

This product is not sold by Alarm Grid at this time. As an alternative, we recommend:


The DSC Impassa is a wireless all-in-one alarm system that will provide a home or business with basic monitoring service. With its integrated AT&T cellular communicator, the system can receive cellular monitoring and access the Alarm.com interactive service platform. Also included is a plug-in AC transformer for powering the system. Overall, this setup includes everything a new user needs to get started with basic alarm monitoring.

The factor that separates the DSC Impassa from other wireless all-in-one panels is its ability to support Alarm.com and allow local installer-level programming. Local programming is necessary for adding, removing and configuring security sensors without involving an alarm company. DSC released another system, the DSC Iotega, that is touted as their high end panel. The Iotega supports the robust PowerG sensor lineup (Impassa does not support PowerG, just Legacy 433MHz DSC sensors) However, the Iotega does not support local installer programming similar to the Honeywell Lyric Gateway. That means that a customer will need to involve their alarm company to make any programming adjustment. That does not fit the mold for DIY customers. This gives the Impassa a great niche in the industry. Although the Impassa does not support PowerG sensors, the combination of Alarm.com integrations and local installer programming make this the ideal DSC panel for DIY oriented home and business owners.

The DSC Impassa provides support for up to 64 wireless zones and 16 additional key fob zones. For most residential and light commercial users, this is perfectly adequate. But it may be lacking for larger properties that use a large number of wireless sensors. The Impassa is controlled using an integrated touch-button keypad that is used for both daily system functions and programming. This can be a downside for some users, as they may prefer a system with a touchscreen display. Most of the newer systems from companies like Honeywell, 2GIG and Qolsys support a larger number of zones, and they also include touchscreen controllers. While there is an optional touchscreen controller (WTK5504) that works with the system, it does not provide support for local installer programming. That means all local hand programming is push button style instead of icon oriented on a touchscreen. Not a deal breaker in most cases but something to be cognizant of before purchasing the Impassa.

For users who want to integrate DSC 433 MHz sensors, the Impassa can be the best option. The 433 MHz sensors have proven to be extremely reliable, and they are very effective for monitoring a wide array of environments. Many users with existing 433 MHz sensors will purchase a DSC Impassa so that they can continue to use these robust and reliable devices. Once a DIY user has figured out the somewhat unique programming process for the Impassa, they will be able to enroll sensors with ease.

The other standard features for the DSC Impassa include its ability to support up to 4 external keypad devices, 17 unique user codes and 500 different events in the system event log. Additionally, the panel's integrated AT&T cellular communicator cannot be overlooked. This module is necessary for allowing the panel to receive cellular monitoring service via Alarm.com. Cellular connectivity is excellent for alarm systems, since it is extremely reliable, and it provides very fast speeds that are on par with WIFI. Cellular connectivity will also allow the system to connect with the versatile Alarm.com ecosystem. Alarm.com service includes an interactive app that a user can access to arm and disarm their system, check the status of sensors, control Z-Wave devices and more. By using the Alarm.com Mobile App on an Android or iOS device, a user can access this service from nearly anywhere in the world.

Please note that this is the AT&T 3G version of the DSC Impassa with a plug-in AC transformer for powering the device. There is also a Verizon version of this same system, SCW45TVZ . The integrated communicator will determine which cellular network the system can connect with. This has nothing to do with the user's standard cellular service, and we generally recommend choosing whichever network has a stronger signal at the site of the panel. So even if you have a Verizon smartphone, you can still use the AT&T Impassa for monitoring. The cellular data is bundled into the monthly monitoring cost.

Brand: DSC

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Submitted on 06/05/2020 Alarm Grid

The DSC SCW45TAAT is a DSC Impassa Security System with a built-in AT&T 3G Communicator. This system has been discontinued, as the 3G communicator can no longer be activated for monitoring service. This is because AT&T is in the process of shutting down their 3G network. If you happen to have an Impassa System with an AT&T 3G Communicator that has already been activated, then you can continue to use that communicator until the network is shut down. However, we recommend being proactive and replacing the 3G communicator with an LTE communicator before that happens. All cellular communicators for the DSC Impassa have the same firmware requirements, so you won't need to upgrade the system to add an LTE communicator. But since the communicator can no longer be activated, and the fact that we are not big fans of the DSC Impassa in the first place, we can only give the DSC SCW45TAAT a 2 Star rating.

There are not many aspects to like about the DSC SCW45TAAT. The system can still technically be used for monitoring, but you would need to swap out the 3G communicator with an LTE module. The communicator allowed for Alarm.com service, and it also doubled as a Z-Wave controller so that you could build an automation network around it. The Impassa System is functional, and it does support local end user programming.

But the downsides to the DSC SCW45TAAT should not be ignored. The Impassa is a rather clunky system, and it isn't exactly the most user-friendly. It also lacks the features of a newer, more modern security system. The best way to describe it is "outdated". The communicator included with this system can no longer be activated, and it must be replaced if the user intends on setting up the system for monitoring service. There is also the fact that the system has been discontinued, and it can no longer be purchased new. With these downsides in mind, we give the DSC SCW45TAAT a 2 Star score.

Good: System is Still Usable, Alarm.com, Z-Wave, Functional System, End User Programming

Bad: Clunky System, Not User Friendly, Lacks Modern Features, Communicator Cannot be Activated, Discontinued

Bottom Line: 2 Stars

* Based on a 10% APR with 12 months financing. APR's will vary between 10% - 30% based on credit score and various factors.