Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Reload this Page >

Considering switching to VOIP - alarm system options??

Considering switching to VOIP - alarm system options??

Old Mar 29, 07, 4:43 am
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Department of Homeland Sincerity
Programs: WN Platinum
Posts: 12,073
Considering switching to VOIP - alarm system options??

Howdy all.

Being a frequent traveler means I've gotta leave the house locked up and secured.

I have a traditional alarm system with landline monitoring (POTS), but want to switch to VOIP due to the cheaper cost and portability of the service it provides.

My main concern has been how do I make sure the alarm system work with VOIP? There are some cheap options like nextalarm.com which only does monitoring via broadband.

Since I have loved ones to protect, I've been looking at switching over to ucontrol.com - they do 3 concurrent modes of monitoring: telephone line (VOIP ok), broadband, and cellular, so there is triple redundancy.

The cost seems comparable to traditional monitoring providers, and you get cool remote alarm management features like turning on / off, event logs, and you can be alerted by email, SMS, and calls.

This seems like a dream solution for frequent travelers like myself.

Anyone here using it or has experience with it??
UALOneKPlus is offline  
Old Mar 29, 07, 7:46 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: US CP, *wood Gold, Marriott gold, Hilton something
Posts: 1,454
Analog adaptors have come a long way. With the right VoIP codec (depends on provider) then the alarm system may never know.
That being said, when we started looking, I wanted cell-based only...seemed more reliable.
SpaceBass is offline  
Old Mar 29, 07, 9:12 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Programs: Lifetime AA Gold-1MM
Posts: 4,909
There's an active Vonage community at http://www.vonage-forum.com/forums.html with a whole forum devoted to connecting alarms and TiVo systems.
BLI-Flyer is offline  
Old Mar 29, 07, 9:22 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
Programs: HHonors Silver
Posts: 4,030
Originally Posted by UALOneKPlus View Post
they do 3 concurrent modes of monitoring: telephone line (VOIP ok), broadband, and cellular, so there is triple redundancy.
Not quite triple, since a loss of broadband would bring down your VOIP as well.
pdhenry is offline  
Old Mar 29, 07, 11:08 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: MEL/LAX
Programs: AAdv GLD(MM), QF LTS, UA MP_nada, HH Gld, SPG, GoldenCircle Jade
Posts: 4,471
Check out :

http://forum.homesecuritystore.com/i...?topic=11466.0

and the forum it is in - just search for VoIP.

basically, either you can test it and see if it works - although cannot be relied upon and most monitoring services will not expressly support you if you tell them VoIP. or you can get an IP/ABN adaptor at $100-$300.

Also don't forget that if all you have is VoIP then you also will need UPS to make sure your phone is up during a power outtage.
alect is offline  
Old Mar 30, 07, 12:38 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Department of Homeland Sincerity
Programs: WN Platinum
Posts: 12,073
I'm aware of NextAlarm and DollarAlarm but I don't consider them the equivalent of traditional alarms.

The Vonage Forum has a lot of complaints about NextAlarm incompatibility with their Broadband setup, and NextAlarm only uses Broadband as the communication path.

For me it's worth having redundancy for the safety of my family. I have smoke alarms and perimeter sensors that I want to have constant contact with a central monitoring unit all the time. NextAlarm is cheaper at $8 or $9 per month but the lack of redundancy and the noted compatibility problems with broadband is not attractive to me.

This is where I believe money spent wisely can save a life.
UALOneKPlus is offline  
Old Apr 12, 07, 4:26 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Department of Homeland Sincerity
Programs: WN Platinum
Posts: 12,073
uControl installed and in service!

I received my uControl self install kit a few days ago and have installed it.

I'm super anal retentive when it comes to doing things right and documenting the whole process with digital photos, so the 20 minute install took me 40 minutes.

It was super easy!! I immediately had telephone and cellular communication. The only snag I hit was that my router did not want to communicate with the wifi dongle.

I resolved it by using powerline ethernet adapters.

It's amazing how user friendly and easy to use this service is. I can log on from any internet browser and see virtually anything I want - ARM/DisARM, zone activity, automatic alerts, emails, the last time Cellular, Broadband, and Telephone synced up, any type of disconnects, etc etc...

I also have to say TECH support was way way above expectations. I had the problem with the wifi part and I sent an email. Tech support called me back within 2 minutes, and spent over an hour with me on the phone to discuss potential config problems. It turns out that my router may just not be compatible with the USB wifi dongle, so powerline ethernet adapters work just fine. This was the best tech support experience I've EVER had with any service.

If anyone is looking to enhance their alarm system and get more flexibility and control, I HIGHLY recommend this service!! I know now that when I travel I won't have to wonder if my alarm is secure, or if I forgot to arm it I can log on remotely to arm the device and view all activities.

Very very very COOL.
UALOneKPlus is offline  
Old Apr 12, 07, 5:08 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: LON
Programs: Miles and More
Posts: 454
Glad you've got the thing working but I do have one question:

Originally Posted by UALOneKPlus View Post
Since I have loved ones to protect
If the aim of the game is protection, why would you have a monitoring system rather than an alarm linked to the local cops/security company who could come and help?
meiji is offline  
Old Apr 12, 07, 9:40 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Department of Homeland Sincerity
Programs: WN Platinum
Posts: 12,073
Originally Posted by meiji View Post
Glad you've got the thing working but I do have one question:



If the aim of the game is protection, why would you have a monitoring system rather than an alarm linked to the local cops/security company who could come and help?
I've never heard of an alarm system that is linked directly to the police, have you?

This alarm system is linked to a 24 hour call center, not to mention my own email / phone / browser, and the call center contacts the police if they can't reach the contacts I've designated or detects anything suspicious.
UALOneKPlus is offline  
Old Apr 12, 07, 3:05 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 7,422
Originally Posted by UALOneKPlus View Post
I received my uControl self install kit a few days ago and have installed it.

I'm super anal retentive when it comes to doing things right and documenting
It was super easy!! I immediately had telephone and cellular communication.....

If anyone is looking to enhance their alarm system and get more flexibility and control, I HIGHLY recommend this service!! I know now that when I travel I won't have to wonder if my alarm is secure, or if I forgot to arm it I can log on remotely to arm the device and view all activities.
I did run in the VOIP problem some month ago when I installed Vonage. The only solution was to use my last landline for the security system, which I still have for fax, and will have in the future for local calls and security reasons, my cell phone coverage is bad. BTW, the security company told me, that FCC will allow in the future only digital systems, mine is an analog system. Don't know, if this is true.

Now my question. How do you connected your traditional alarm system with landline monitoring with VOIP/PC/ROUTER? My "central security box" sits in a closed, far away from my VOIP/PC/ROUTER....is it a wireless connection?

Thanks.
USAFAN is offline  
Old Apr 13, 07, 1:45 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Department of Homeland Sincerity
Programs: WN Platinum
Posts: 12,073
Originally Posted by USAFAN View Post
I did run in the VOIP problem some month ago when I installed Vonage. The only solution was to use my last landline for the security system, which I still have for fax, and will have in the future for local calls and security reasons, my cell phone coverage is bad. BTW, the security company told me, that FCC will allow in the future only digital systems, mine is an analog system. Don't know, if this is true.

Now my question. How do you connected your traditional alarm system with landline monitoring with VOIP/PC/ROUTER? My "central security box" sits in a closed, far away from my VOIP/PC/ROUTER....is it a wireless connection?

Thanks.
Hi - my uControl box is connected to the router via ethernet, through Powerline adapters. I have not switched my landline over to VOIP yet because I'm starting to do a lot more conference calls from home, and I can't have VOIP be down like I keep hearing about these day long outtages with Vonage and other providers.

So I'm not quite sure how the uControl box would connect with VOIP router - whether it's through WIFI, ethernet, or some other mechanism. However, you can call uControl and ask them that question and I'm sure they would be able to tell you how their other VOIP customers are doing it.

Hope that helps.
UALOneKPlus is offline  
Old Apr 13, 07, 7:47 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 7,422
UALOneKPlus:

Thanks!
USAFAN is offline  
Old Apr 13, 07, 8:50 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Nashville, TN
Programs: AA 35% to 1MM; MR Silver Elite
Posts: 236
Thanks for posting the information. I've been battling between alarm.com and UControl. I don't have VoIP or a landline. Good to hear the reviews
majikTib is offline  
Old Apr 13, 07, 8:58 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: SIN
Programs: AA-LT Plat; BA-CCR & LT Gold; SQ-SolitairePPS; DL-Plat; SPG-LT Plat; HHonors-Diamond; Hyatt-Diamond
Posts: 155
The wife and I have been using ADT for over 5 yrs now. We each have cell phones and have never had a homeline. ADT offers a dedicated cellular unit that is linked to the alrm system and auto-checks every 6 hours or so. I t has worked like a charm since we installed it and has had no reliability issues even in thunderstorms or NE winters.
traveltot is offline  
Old Apr 13, 07, 9:12 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: A Southern locale that ain't the South.
Programs: Bah, HUMBUG!
Posts: 8,012
My units operate over cellular and are battery backed. FAR better than landline. Our alarm co charges $10/mo extra for this but vs. trying to sort out massive in-house wiring issues it's a steal (1934 original build, wiring nightmare from kludges added 1956,1964,1987 and 1995).
kanebear is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: