With many people now no longer having a dedicated landline VOIP is a way you can still communicate using the internet and is seen as a cheap replacement for a landline.
The landline had been the way home security systems notified the numbers programmed that there has been a security event. But these days it isn’t the only way they can communicate with many systems not needing a landline at all to get those important notifications out. See more here.
As well as notifications it was the way you could monitor the system from anywhere you could phone up the system using a landline or cell phone.
Do They Work
So as to whether DIY wireless home security systems work with VOIP is dependent on a couple of things. The first being that not all alarm systems need or use a landline so there is no requirement for them to work with VOIP.
When a system uses a landline the message is carried using analogue (sound) whereas along VOIP it is converted to digital to be sent using the internet.
Each VOIP system does this using slightly different technology and not all of these are going to compatible with each home security systems model. So it is important to check with the supplier of alarm system if a VOIP provider is compatible before buying.
There is also an issue to take into consideration with using VOIP. If there is a power outage most security systems will continue to work because they have a back up battery. The landline is not affected by power outage so communication continues.
This is not the case with VOIP. When the power is out the internet connection stops working and so does VOIP as it requires power to transmit the signal. Therefore if there is a power outage you won’t be notified of any security events during this time. See my post on how system cope with power outages.
Systems That Use VOIP
With the advent of systems using the internet and cellular networks instead of as well as landline for communication, the ability to use VOIP is already becoming less important but there are still some very good wireless DIY home alarm systems that still use the landline. Here is a list of 6 systems that either just use a landline or use one combined with a cellular network with information as to whether they can be used with VOIP and which ones.
PiSector PS03-M – As with the GSM-B this can be set up cellular network only or landline only or both using cellular as backup to landline so if you don’t have a landline it is not necessary to use with VOIP. It does work with OOMA, OBI and usually with MagicJack. The company does need to make some adjustments to the settings for it to work properly which they do for you when contacted..
PiSector GS08-M – A landline only system that can be used with VOIP. As with the PS03-M it is compatible with OOMA and OBI but only has limited capability with MagicJack.
Fortress GSM-B – This system can be set up to use just a landline or just a cellular network or both. Therefore a connection with VOIP is not needed if you don’t have a landline and if you do use it you have a backup with the cellular network as backup. It does work with MagicJack and should work with other suppliers too.
Fortress S02-B. This works only with a landline so you will need VOIP if you don’t have a landline and want to be notified when there is a security event or control the system remotely. It does work with MagicJack and should work with most other suppliers too.
Skylink SC-1000 – This just works with your landline or you can use a VOIP connection from MagicJack or Vonage when I checked.
Mace Wireless – Again this only has landline and limited VOIP capability with it only appearing to work with MagicJack when I checked.
It is a good idea to check with the supplier of the systems if you are considering using these systems to ensure they are still compatible with the VOIP suppliers
As home security systems leave behind the landline and use the cellular network or internet more and more there is less requirement for them to work with VOIP because people stop having a landline in their home. There is already an alternative way of monitoring and being notified.
The systems that do use a landline are a good budget DIY solution as you get more entry sensors and motion sensors to give more coverage at an affordable price, you do lose out on some features such as being able to control with a smartphone App, but they are still worthy of your consideration.
If you do intend to use VOIP be sure your VOIP supplier works with the security system of choice and be aware of the issue that it can’t communicate in a power outage or internet outage, you can still do this when using a landline with your system.
Filed under: Buying Advice
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