Help! I'm Switching To Time Warner
Mass marketing by telecommunications companies have prompted many homeowners in Buffalo to inquire about Time Warner Security Systems. Time Warner promises reduced monthly bills by bundling internet, phone and cable service through “Voice Over IP” technology. Voice Over Internet Protocol or “VoIP” is becoming more common as traditional (analog) phone lines are being replaced by digital technology. Enticed by lower rates and the convenience of consolidating internet and phone service, alarm service customers need to be aware of the limitations of such a switch. Your alarm system with VoIP line can still work, but some adjustments need to be made to your system.
VoIP technology is certainly more mainstream today than it was five years ago. We all see technology changing at (what seems like) the speed of light. Adopting this technology is perfectly fine - your alarm system can still offer you dependable protection; however proper precautions must be taken to ensure that your alarm system continues to operate faithfully. Before we examine how your alarm system is affected, let’s first understand what VoIP is.
Changing Your Phone Service - What To Know
What Is VoIP?
VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol which means, in more common terms: phone service over the internet or a "lighter digital way of sending messages." If you have a good quality internet connection, you can get phone service directly through your internet rather than through your local phone company.
Why Is VoIP Attractive?
Saving money is probably the biggest reason that customers switch to VoIP phone service. By using VoIP, customers can save themselves hundreds of dollars per year in traditional phone bills. Plus, many people enjoy the convenience of a consolidated bill for cable, internet and phone service. Additionally, VoIP allows for added functionality with regard to location. Where it is difficult, if not impossible, to route traditional phone lines (have them follow you), VoIP phone calls can easily be routed wherever you can plug into the network (i.e. wherever you can connect to the internet).
How Does VoIP Affect Your Alarm System?
Your security system needs a vehicle (phone line) to communicate to our central station. Traditional phone lines have typically served this purpose. Unlike traditional phone lines, digital phone lines work by compressing signals in order to transfer information (signals) from one party to another.
In the event that your alarm needs to communicate with our central station, your alarm panel sends a compressed digital alarm signal to the central station. When you switch to a VoIP phone service like Time Warner (which is digital) the signal is compressed again. This means that Time Warner Security Systems leave your security system vulnerable because the signal is so compressed that, by the time it reaches the other end (our central station), there is nothing to decompress. In short, the double compression of the signals may deliver an indefinable message to the central station - leaving you at risk.
Power Outage - Another Security System Risk
Furthermore, a power outage would prevent communication between your security system and our central station. Despite the back-up battery power to your security system, without working phone lines, communication between your security system and our central station is impossible. Since, during a power outage, there is a lack of power to your phone, there would be no working phone line to send a signal to us.
Let Us Know If You’re Switching!
Despite the risks of VoIP, it makes sense for many customers to make the change. Letting us know that you’re considering this change to your phone service is key. In most cases we can service your existing security system and / or add a dedicated cellular radio to ensure dependable communication. While there may be additional costs involved to modify your security system, those costs are generally far less than the average annual phone bill. In most cases, adopting VoIP while adding a back-up communication unit is far more affordable than paying for a traditional phone line.