The Internet provides more than just entertainment, e-commerce, and a way to convey thoughts and ideas to others. In fact, Allied Fire & Security uses the Internet to monitor alarm systems of all types, such as security and fire alarms. We also use the Internet to send video images from camera systems in homes and businesses to our UL-listed central monitoring station where our operators determine whether alarms are valid or false. These same images also are sent to home and business owners for review via a smartphone or by e-mail. In a word, the Internet is a relatively inexpensive, practical way to send digital signals.
There are two significant reasons why Allied and the security industry in general have chosen to use the Internet for this purpose. The first and foremost is the gradual disappearance of ordinary telephone lines. Because of the proliferation of cell phones and now smartphones, the need for cabled telephone lines into the home or business is greatly reduced. Add to this the fact that major telephone companies earn more money with cellular than traditional phone service and you now have an equation for the total disappearance of conventional telephone wires.
“The use of the Internet as a means of sending alarm and trouble signals is increasing by leaps and bounds as the industry seeks new and innovative ways to transmit alarm data to central monitoring centers. In addition to its low cost, there is an abundance of wireless access points and hardline connections available, both of which connect to Local Area Networks that move data over the Internet.”
(The ABCs of Security Alarm Signaling, Security Sales & Integration Magazine, 2014)
The second reason relates to the fact that, as a technology and signal transport system, the Internet has become a fairly common means of communication. According to “Internet World Stats,” in the year 2000 there were 108,096,800 people using the Internet. By contrast, in 2015, that number had risen to 310,322,257 for a total increase of 287.1 percent.
The True Nature of the Internet
The Internet, of course, is nothing more than a huge, global-size computer network that reaches out using wired connections as well as WiFi. Besides alarm signals, the same Internet connection will facilitate telecommunications. Voices are converted into digital signals, which are then carried from the home or business to anywhere in the world over the Internet. Along with these signals it’s common to use the same connection for browsing the Internet using a laptop, desktop, or a smartphone programmed to use WiFi. Cable and telecom companies commonly bundle all of these services together into a nice, neat package.
Not all alarm control panels are capable of reliable communication over your local Internet connection without Allied adding a module called an IP communicator. Those that appear to operate properly over an Internet connection without the addition of this device may do so unreliably. In other words, when you need your security system the most, it may or may not communicate the problem to our central station.
Do you currently have an alarm system but are getting rid of your telephone line? Are you looking to purchase a new alarm system and need more information on Internet monitoring? If you, like so many, are planning to do away with your regular telephone service, replacing it with a Internet connection; or if you already have done so, please give your local Allied branch a call today and let us know so we can assist you.
Spokane: 800-448-8338 | Seattle: 888-333-3921 | Portland: 800-729-3925
Allan B. Colombo has been a trade journalist and copywriter in the physical security and life-safety markets for more than 30 years. His award-winning work has appeared in Security Sales & Integration, Security Distributing & Marketing, Security Dealer & Integrator, and many other print magazines as well as Web-wide. You can send questions or comments to him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.Tpromo.Com.