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lestat99

join:2000-08-04
Piscataway, NJ

VoIP Alarm Panel Monitoring

There has a lot of discussion in the past regarding problems with alarm monitoring and VOIP.

I have had my panel monitored by NextAlarm for a few years and am happy with their service. Right now I have Vonage and keep a regular POTS for backup. My alarm panel is still connected to the POTS.

Just noticed that AlarmPath now supports VoIP alarm monitoring. Esstentially, they will ship you another SIPURA that's sole purpose would be to connect to the panel. This would be in parallel to whatever ATA you have for voice. Decent price, $8.95 per month for monitoring.

This may be an interesting option for those that want to using their broadband for panel monitoring.

»www.nextalarm.com

What's more interesting is that they are probably using the Asterisk PBX to receive the panel info. Asterisk does have an application to receive ContactID info. Notice the IAXy in their product page.
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garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

I wonder why they're bothering with the Sipura/VoIP system and not just using a direct Ethernet monitor. It ought to be as simple, and more reliable, to NOT convert the signals to "telephone" just for what is essentially a digital monitor. Setup a box in the alarm circuit to ping their monitor with a "Connected and all clear" packet every fifteen seconds or so, to change to a "Fire" or "Intrusion" packet stream in the event the alarm is tripped.

Seems like they didn't consider what was really going on and missed the bigger picture.


chsteiger
Premium
join:2003-10-03
Pasadena, TX

1 edit

said by garys_2k:


I wonder why they're bothering with the Sipura/VoIP system and not just using a direct Ethernet monitor.
You would be hard pressed to find a alarm panel that could communicate this way- the supra is used to create a connection directly to NextAlarm and your alarm panel thinks its a phone connection with dial tone. Your faking the panel out and it is communicating the only way it knows how- via the built in modem.

NextAlarm is getting ready to roll out a polling system that will poll your supra every 8 mins to make sure it has a good network connection. Very interesting.

lestat99

join:2000-08-04
Piscataway, NJ
reply to lestat99

It appears from their product page that if you purchase their system they will offer an option of direct internet connectivity shortly. Interesting they also have an option of reporting via wireless GSM with a GSM card for the panel they sell.

The SIPURA option is to support existing panels.

You are correct, newer panels do have internet reporting. Problem is that there is no standard for internet reporting. For example, I have a GE/Interlogix CADDX panel along with a NX-590E card which provides ethernet connectivity. I can theoretically report with this card. It just uses a proprietary GE format. Likewise the other manufactures are also doing their own thing. However, there is a reporting standard format for regular dial-up, CONTACT-ID. Looks like they are supporting the transport of CONTACT-ID using the SIPURA.

Providing an ATA solves a lot of problems for those that have been having problems getting their panels to work with Vonage and the like. So long as you own your panel or can log into it you should be able to use the NextAlarm option.

While not perfect, these guys are eons beyond the reset of the Alarm monitoring industry who seem to be stuck in the 1970s.
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garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to lestat99

I understand, I just think they'd be more progressive if they abandonded the "over a phone line" paradigm completely and took a fresh look at what they're trying to accomplish. Perhaps the alarm companies are waiting for an equipment supplier to do that for them.

I guess if I was an alarm equipment supplier I'd be thinking long and hard about it, as it could be an opportunity to provide much more worthwhile monitoring (real time video, relaying of floor plans, embedded audio, etc.) than is possible via an analog phone line.

The company that does this could make a fortune with sales of head end and customer equipment. Mostly software, of course, but the customer box would take some hardware smarts. You could build it around a stripped down PC without too much trouble.


lestat99

join:2000-08-04
Piscataway, NJ
reply to lestat99

I think that you are correct. Problem is that the alarm industry in general is very resistant to change. Maybe understandbily so since we are talking about life safety. With that being said, IMHO, broadband reporting of alarm signals is ready for the marketplace. As long as the monitoring company actively polls the panel and has wireless fallback I don't see a problem with risk. Any panel that truely secures a residence should have some sort of wireless backup anyway.

All in all I totally agree. Just not sure how much sway a company like NextAlarm has with companies such as General Electric, Honeywell and Napco.

If you read the Alarm industry trade rags they are all touting VoIP as a major "problem" and are encourging alarm installers to advise their customers not to install VoIP. Very short sighted, I agree... I was just excited to see at least one alarm monitoring company embracing VoIP rather than avoiding it...

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