Using Voice Over IP for Alarm Monitoring

Using VoIP to replace an existing landline, or supplement a cell phone is becoming a standard consumer approach to reduce monthly phone bills costs. Landlines that cost anywhere from $20-50 a month can be replaced with an under $10 monthly cost with a VoIP system.

Deciding to cut the landline has real impact on your home security system. Compatibility and reliability must be addressed.

How does using VoIP impact Alarm Monitoring?

Monitoring Station and Panel Compatibility

Traditional alarm panels are tied to your standard phone line. When using a VoIP system the signals must be converted from analog to digital and back before arriving to the alarm monitoring company. This can be accomplished with a VoIP adapter in many cases. But not all companies will support a VoIP monitoring system:

  • Confirm with the alarm monitoring company that they:
    • Support VoIP
    • Support your VoIP Provider
    • Run tests to confirm that signal tests are successful

Monitoring Reliability (Quality of Service)

A more fundamental issue with VoIP monitoring is the reliability of the system. Will you be able to contact the monitoring station when the alarm is tripped?

  • VoIP is dependent on your broadband internet connection
  • If your internet connection goes down for any reason, signals will not be sent. Issues could be:
    • Technical issues with your connection
    • Issues with your router
    • Power outages
    • Additional connectivity problems

This breaks down to the level of security the homeowner wants. You will be sacrificing connectivity with your monitoring station. But if the purpose of your alarm is large deterrence and audible alarms while you are away it may be worth the savings of not having a phone line.

Will I still get a Homeowners Insurance Discount?

Probably. We spoke to 4 major home insurers, none of the companies spoke to considered VoIP to be an issue. Simply having a monitored solution provided the homeowners insurance policy discount.