Have you had your home security system for a long time? If so, you may be surprised that your paying a monthly payment to an alarm monitorng company that may not be able to get you the help you need when there is an emergency. This could be because of the type of communication that your system has been using.
If you’ve had your security system for more than a decade, you probably use a traditional phone line for the connection. If you used cellular technology that hasn’t been upgraded, you may also have an issue in the near future. This is because of the advancements in phone and cellular technology.
Most people today don’t have land lines. Home phones are starting to disappear. Even if you do have a home phone line, it doesn’t mean you’re using a traditional land-line. With all the different services available today, most folks have bundled their phone service with either their cable or internet. That may be great to save some money on your utilities but it may cause an issue with your alarm system.
If you’re using services like ATT Uverse, or a cable service for your phone, your phone service works through new digital technology. VoIP, or voice over internet protocol, is a less expensive way to keep a phone line in your home. The problem is that this type of communication isn’t what you may have started with. If your security company hasn’t upgraded your system then you may be at risk.
How Do You know Yor Alarm System Works?
One way to find out if your security system is working is to call your provider and have them walk you through a system test. This is where you would trigger your alarm and make sure your monitoring company is able to receive these signals. If your central station is able to get the signal they will let you know without dispatching the authorities. If not, you’re probably using a digital service that isn’t compatible with older security systems. Many people pay a monthly monitoring fee for years for a service that they aren’t receiving.
If you are lucky enough to find out before there is an emergency don’t expect a refund. However, what if you have an emergency and you can’t get help? That’s a worst case scenario but it can happen. Many people find out by having a false alarm. When they don’t get a call from their alarm monitoring company they usually think that there is something wrong with their system. Depending on your provider’s customer service, a technician will eventually come to your home and let you know that it’s time to upgrade some of the security equipment in your alarm panel.
Digital Phone Lines and Security Systems
Some security companies are compatible with today’s digital phone lines. However, some aren’t. With phone lines that use your internet as the primary source of communication, you will need a different type of panel to communicate these signals with your central station.
The good news is that this type of technology has come a long way. Even though cellular communication is the safest method for security, digital phone lines are still considered a safer method of communication than old traditional phone lines.
2G Cellular Communication and the Upcoming Sunset
How about the cellular technology that you’ve had for a long time? For the past few years, the security industry has been scrambling to upgrade older wireless security systems. ATT has said they are going to shut off older 2G cell communication in 2017. There are thousands of homes that still need to have their systems upgraded. Even if your home security is working today, you still want to make sure it will be working in the near future.
Home security systems that are over five years old are probably using older technology. Cellular communication for alarms is much safer than any other type of connection but they still need to be using a 3G, or higher, cellular module to ensure the proper connection. If this is the case, it may be a good opportunity to upgrade your security system.
Upgrade to Cellular Connections that Work
If you have an older system, call your security provider to see what they can do to help bring your protection up to date. Monitored alarms can help you and your family when there is an emergency. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use the service but you want to make sure it work if you do.
Depending on your service and the type of equipment in your home it may be more affordable than you think. Some security dealers have price increases on all their services while others don’t. If you want to make sure your security is never out of date, upgrade your system to a smart home security system that is updated regularly. Some systems don’t even need to have a technician come to your home. They can be upgraded remotely. That’s just one of the many benefits of smart security.
There's no point in having an alarm system that doesn't work. Even if your system makes noise when it is triggered it doesn't mean your security is working. If you're paying a monthly monitoring fee then you want to make sure you have the service your paying for.
If you have questions about upgrading your security system, you can call us at 317.559.3500. One of our security consultants will be happy to walk you through the process to see if your system is working correctly.
Until next time....stay safe and informed Indianapolis!