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How will changing to VOIP affect my alarm system?

Over the next few years, an estimated 24 million people will switch to VOIP telephone services. VOIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol. It simply uses your broadband internet connection to place voice calls digitally over IP based networks. Generally, a customer will pay a flat monthly fee for local and long distance calls. This is an evolution from POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) where calls are placed over an analog connection using telephone lines.


Switching to VOIP may put your older alarm system in danger because the system won’t be able to reliable report an alarm during an emergency.


An alarm system is designed to send its signals over an analog phone line. To transmit emergency signals properly using VOIP, the signal must be converted to digital then converted back again to analog. It is during this conversion that problems develop. Usually the signals arrive at the central monitoring station with errors, or not at all.

Your alarm panel comes equipped with a backup power supply in the event of a power failure. Because traditional phone lines will still work even if your power is out, your monitoring station will still receive the proper signals. With VOIP, your phone service (specifically your IP router and/or modem) will not operate during a power failure, preventing any kind of signal transmission from your alarm to the monitoring station. You can prevent this with the purchase of a UPS (Un-interruptible Power Supply) for your PC.

VOIP services tend to be more prone to “mysterious” technical issues and dropped calls. Your alarm panel may be communicating vital data to your monitoring station, and a dropped call will obviously interfere with this. Or, your alarm’s signal may go through without a problem on one attempt, but will fail on another for no apparent reason.

Similar to a land line, your VOIP line (specifically your cable connection) can be cut or disabled by a potential intruder, severing your link to the monitoring station.


It is important that if you are switching to VOIP that you notify Triad Security right away so that we may arrange to test your panel. It may be prudent to add an additional or alternative alarm transmission method such as a cellular or radio.* Please feel free to contact  your account manager at (908) 964-5252 if you have any questions about your alarm panel or how your system may be affected by a change in your telephone service provider.


*Additional charges may apply


For 25 years, Triad Security Systems has offered security systems to commercial and industrial clients. Triad Security Systems offers state of the art security solutions for clients in a variety of industries. We can help your business reduce inventory loss and loss due to employee or vendor theft or error. Call us today at 908-964-5252 to have a security expert review your security plan and offer quality, technological solutions. Triad offers mechanical and electronic access control, video surveillance with analog or IP video cameras, licensed locksmith services such as key management, commercial lock maintenance and repair, intrusion alarm & fire alarm/detection and central station alarm monitoring and audio/video intercoms. Triad security experts can help you to deter criminals, prevent loss, detect illegal entry and report on daily activities in secured areas. Triad is a complete security solutions provider. Don’t hesitate to call us today! The investment you make today could not only help you save today but protect your assets, facility and employees in the future.