Let’s face it; communication is important! Have you ever been on a very important call, just to have your cell phone drop the call? Aggravating isn’t it? Having a security system with the wrong source of communication, can be not only aggravating but scary.
Peace of mind is very important. The main reason to invest in a security system is to protect the things you value: your family, employees and assets. There are so many options on the internet that can sound simple, but in fact are unreliable. One of these “simple” options, is how YOUR security system will communicate with the monitoring station. So, let’s break down the forms of communication to find the one that best fits your circumstances.
There are 3 ways a security system communicates:
1. Telephone line
– your security system communicates with a central station through a land line. Since the beginning of the security system, this has been the most common form of communication.
CON – As people become more dependent on cell phones for communication, land lines are becoming an unnecessary cost in the household. However, if you already have a security system, discontinuing your land line will cut communications with your central station. Call your provider to see what options they have for you. The cost to convert, may be less expensive than continuing your phone line.
2. Cellular communication
– your security system communicates using cellular towers in the area.
CON – Cellular communication is only as good as the cell phone service in your area. If service is bad in your area, this option is not for you.
3. High speed internet
– your security system communicates using your high speed internet. Most people have internet at their house. This form of communication uses very little bandwidth so it will not interfere with the speed of your internet surfing. It also communicates faster and more regularly with your central station.
CON – If your internet provider likes to continuously test your service, at 2 am in the morning, your system is going to notify you that there is a problem with communication at that time, every time.
Can there be a lapse in any of these communication? Yes. Your phone line can go down, cellular communications can be dropped, and there is the “ever-bothersome” loss of internet service for some unknown reason. Without one of these forms of communication, your security system will not send an alarm to notify the central station. And, if the lines of communication are disabled, your provider will not know it until they send a test.
But a good provider will not leave you without options. First, a proper functioning security system will alert you on your keypad if there is a break in communications! Next, a provider serious about keeping you safe will test their lines of communication a minimum of every 24 hours. High speed internet communications can send a test every 5 to 15 minutes. If the test comes back as a failure in communications, your provider should be contacting you to resolve the issue immediately.
Burglars Beware: We have back up!
To minimize any lapse in communication, consider having a back-up line for your system. For instance, if you choose to use your high speed internet, and it goes down, your system can switch to a cellular communication to transmit any alarms.
Perhaps the most important aspect of all these communications, is <insert drumroll here>…your provider. Because, let’s be honest, “you get what you pay for”! Let me share a story to illustrate my point:
We received a call from a wonderful lady who is now one of our awesome customers. When she first called in, she had been having problems with a system that she had with another provider. When she dialed the providers number to get the problem fixed, the phone number had been disconnected. She went online and found, that her provider was no longer in business. Since her system was no longer working, she called us in, we took out the old non-working system and replaced it with a new system. Three months later, she receives a call from another company stating that they were trying to collect on a bill for her security system. This “new” company stated that they took over the old company and she was three months behind on her payment to them. My question to them was: Why was this the first call she received from them, and I don’t mean for collections? We took out a non-working system three months before they ever contacted her about her bill!!!
A provider that takes the time to program these communication tests, seperate the companies that call themselves security providers from those that actually provide security. Remember, the best security system isn’t just the devices!