One of the most important aspects of a security system is how it communicates with the outside world. Without a way to communicate with a monitoring station or police and fire, a security system that’s triggered would just be very loud and not very effective. The reason being, a security system is not only meant to scare off a would-be intruder or alert homeowners that there is a fire in their home, but it’s also designed to alert local authorities who can ultimately help you.
Today, the three most common ways a security system communicates with the outside world are through the phone line, through the internet, and through cellular monitoring.
Phone Line and Internet
Communicating through the phone line and internet are somewhat similar. Though the phone line probably experiences less interruptions than your internet, protocols that are built into the security system enable the internet to be a reliable form of communication. As the internet may face more interruptions than the phone line, when a communication failure occurs with your phone line, it is likely a much bigger issue and therefore your security system would more than likely need service.
The Problems with Phone and Internet
Although using the phone line and internet as routes of communication for your security systems are certainly suitable options, the rate of interference is significantly higher than through cellular monitoring.
Firstly, anytime you lose power, you are going to lose the ability to communicate with the local authorities. Not only does that become a safety concern, but it also becomes a serviceability concern. For instance, in October we had a wind storm and received about a dozen phone calls from clients who needed to schedule a service call for their security system.
Secondly, whenever you decide to switch cable or internet providers, your security company is going to have to come out to reconnect your security system to your new routers and modems. From the time Optimum or Verizon switches the equipment till the time your security company comes out to reconnect your security system, you will be without communication to your local authorities.
Thirdly, and perhaps the most prevalent problem we run into is the failing infrastructure of telephone lines. A new client had called us looking for service on a competing companies’ security system. When we asked him why he might need service, he expressed to us that his communicator was down. When we asked him how that might have happened, he answered, “the plow guy knocked down a telephone pole last year and I've been without my security system since then”.
What is Cellular Monitoring?
Cellular Monitoring works independently of your phone line or internet provider. To simplify it, a cellular or radio is a cell phone that sits on your security system. The Cellular Backup works independently and regardless of if you have power or a phone/internet provider. When Jake the Plow Guy hits a telephone pole down the road, your security system will still work. When you decide to switch from Optimum to Verizon, your security system will still work. When the next Hurricane hits, your security system will still work. Not only will it still work, it is actually a stronger and more reliable signal than the phone or internet signal.
Are there any Con’s to Cellular Monitoring?
Yes. The Cellular Radio is like any other Cell Phone. It needs to have a cell signal. Thankfully, as cell technology has grown there are very few places a Cellular Backup won’t work.
If you’d like to know more about Cellular Monitoring for your Westchester Home or would like to update your communicator please feel free call KNIGHT SECURITY SYSTEMS at 914.232.0003