The DSC Impassa is a self-contained wireless alarm system that will provide basic monitoring service for a home or business. Although the Impassa isn't quite as advanced as other systems, it can still be a great option for those who want a wireless panel, without necessarily all the bells and whistles. But it should be noted that the Impassa can be upgraded to perform virtually any function of a modern and reliable alarm system. Overall, this is a fine panel to build a security system around, especially if the user wants to use legacy DSC Sensors, and they don't mind not having a touchscreen.
A total of 64 wireless zones and 16 separate wireless key zones are available on the system. While this isn't as many as most newer wireless systems, it is still plenty for most homes and small businesses. Having capabilities for many zones is always a plus, but it isn't really needed for users who just want a basic setup. In fact, a user who only needs to monitor a small building could very realistically only use a fraction of these zones.
It is important to remember that the DSC Impassa features an integrated touch-button keypad for controlling the system. This includes any daily functions, such as arming and disarming. Some users may feel comfortable getting a system with a touchscreen, as they usually provide a faster learning curve. However, other users will not mind using key commands to operate their system. Again, for basic monitoring and control, the Impassa will typically work very well. It should also be mentioned that there is an external touchscreen keypad available for the Impassa, but it must be purchased separately.
Other standard features of the DSC Impassa include support for 4 external keypads and 17 different user codes. The system also provides an event log that will display up to 500 different system events. While installer programming is not always user-friendly on the Impassa, wireless sensors can still be learned-in locally with relative ease. And once the system is setup, a user will rarely need to access these menus moving forward. So if a DIY user doesn't mind a slightly more challenging programming process, the DSC Impassa might be for them.
The main reason to choose the Impassa is that it will readily provide support for legacy DSC 433 MHz Sensors. Some users, for whatever reason, may already have existing 433 MHz sensors, but no alarm system. In this type of situation, the Impassa is a quick and easy purchase that the user can make to get their home or business monitored. That way, the user won't need to replace any existing sensors. We have found that the DSC 433 MHz Sensors work very well, and they can be fully trusted to keep a building safe and secure.
Additional features can be obtained with various system add-ons. Theoretically, a DSC Impassa System can do almost anything possible with a modern alarm system. It will just need some help to get there. For instance, the Impassa can receive cellular monitoring if a cellular communicator is added and the panel is running firmware version 1.3 or higher. Alarm Grid also sells the Impassa with this type of communicator already added. We recommend purchasing an Impassa with a pre-installed communicator if you are new to monitoring. Without a cellular communicator, the panel will be forced to rely on a phone line for monitoring. This is strongly discouraged. But if a user intends to only use the system as a local sounder, and they don't plan to get monitoring service, then this Impassa without the pre-installed communicator is actually quite ideal.
But for users who do plan on receiving monitoring, cellular service is a very important add-on. Most security experts agree that cellular monitoring is the optimal communication path for an alarm system. It is extremely reliable, and it is not affected by power outages. This type of communication is also very fast, and it will provide speeds that are on par with most WIFI connections. Cellular communication will also allow the DSC Impassa System to work with Alarm.com. This is a remote interactive service that allows users to arm and disarm their system, check the current status of sensors, control Z-Wave home automation devices and more. And with the Alarm.com Mobile App, these actions can be performed from virtually anywhere using an Android or iOS device. We strongly recommend using an LTE communicator with your DSC Impassa System. Alarm Grid offers a Verizon LTE and IP dual-path communicator for a DSC Impassa System. This communicator is sold separately and can be purchased here.