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Alarm system monitoring options


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#1 Apu

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 04:33 PM

Verizon is discontinuing copper phone service in NJ. Still works fine but they don't want to maintain it any longer. I can do voice over FiOS or, since I don't use the line for anything else, maybe its time to switch to something else entirely.

 

What are you using for monitoring your system? Cellular, Internet, POTS? What monitoring company are you using?

 

I have an Elk M1 Gold panel with the Ethernet module already installed. Alarm Relay/Watchlight wants to increase my monitoring fee to $15.95 per month (plus a $60 setup fee) to switch from POTS dial-up to Internet which seems like a lot of money for less infrastructure on their end.



#2 pete_c

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:44 AM

Here switched over from copper to VOIP Ooma and a wireless failover with Next alarm.  Works fine for me.  I have been using Next alarm now for many many years.

 

I have a grandfathered Next alarm account.  Not sure what new contract prices are.



#3 ano

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:43 PM

I'd vote for just cellular. Using the Internet is just not reliable enough. If you go the Internet route, make sure you have 8 hours of battery backup for the modem, router, and every switch you use leading to the alarm. Its not worth it.



#4 mikefamig

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 08:26 AM

I'm sure that I'm in the minority here but I self monitor. I get text and a phone call when the system is violated.

 

I've heard several times that the police do not respond very quickly to an alarm service and usually get there in time to confirm that there was indeed a break-in. This is important to document the incident for your insurance company but I've never heard of the police catching the thieves. An alarm system forces the thieves to grab what they can and get out of there fast and rarely gets the bad guys caugh (I've never heard of it). I figure that I can call 911 as soon as I confirm that there is a real break-in which I can do with my cameras and I'm told that the police are more responsive when the home owner calls compared to when the alarm service calls. I can tell them that I am actually looking at the thieves in the cameras.

 

I believe that the real value in my alarm system is the noise that it makes, it turns on lights in the house and garage and it talks to tell the bad guys that the police have been called. I'm betting that this will make them want to get out in a hurry becasue they don't know that the police were not really called yet.

 

Mike.



#5 Apu

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:47 AM

Thanks, everyone.

 

For the moment, I ended up with "voice" over FiOS and kept my existing $10.95 per month monitoring plan. Once I factored in all the costs, it was the least expensive option. Granted, it is reliant on the FiOS network but that did stay up and running even when my house ran on generator for 10 days after Hurricane Sandy.

 

I think cellular or Internet is probably better -- more redundancy -- but I don't see why it should cost so much more on their end. The hardware (and redundant hardware/connectivity, if I choose to have it) is an extra expense to me but, to them, it should be negligible to add another customer and likely cheaper or at least the same cost as managing banks of modems and toll-free numbers.

 

Matt, when this house was built, I made the decision to go with the Elk M1G system, with more sensors and detectors than were strictly required by the building code. But, since the building code requires 120V interconnected smoke detectors in a single-family home, I had to agree to maintain central station monitoring or was going to be required to install those detectors along side my alarm system.



#6 ano

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 01:27 PM

I'm sure that I'm in the minority here but I self monitor. I get text and a phone call when the system is violated.

 

I've heard several times that the police do not respond very quickly to an alarm service and usually get there in time to confirm that there was indeed a break-in. This is important to document the incident for your insurance company but I've never heard of the police catching the thieves. An alarm system forces the thieves to grab what they can and get out of there fast and rarely gets the bad guys caugh (I've never heard of it). I figure that I can call 911 as soon as I confirm that there is a real break-in which I can do with my cameras and I'm told that the police are more responsive when the home owner calls compared to when the alarm service calls. I can tell them that I am actually looking at the thieves in the cameras.

 

I believe that the real value in my alarm system is the noise that it makes, it turns on lights in the house and garage and it talks to tell the bad guys that the police have been called. I'm betting that this will make them want to get out in a hurry becasue they don't know that the police were not really called yet.

 

Mike.

The average burglary takes 10 minutes with a lose of $2,600.  So alarm really won't help much here.  But a fire can take time, usually will destroy your whole house. A fire really doesn't care much is an alarm is sounding. Also most fires really don't care if your lights turn on. If your house is on fire, your cameras might not show much as power will usually go out.

 

Against robbery, just having a lawn sign probably gives you 90% perfection you'll get from an actual alarm, which isn't a whole lot. Most people spend more on an alarm than the amount that anyone will actually steal. That isn't true with a fire alarm, which could easily pay for itself if the fire department is actually called.



#7 mikefamig

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 01:55 PM

The average burglary takes 10 minutes with a lose of $2,600.  So alarm really won't help much here.  But a fire can take time, usually will destroy your whole house. A fire really doesn't care much is an alarm is sounding. Also most fires really don't care if your lights turn on. If your house is on fire, your cameras might not show much as power will usually go out.

 

Against robbery, just having a lawn sign probably gives you 90% perfection you'll get from an actual alarm, which isn't a whole lot. Most people spend more on an alarm than the amount that anyone will actually steal. That isn't true with a fire alarm, which could easily pay for itself if the fire department is actually called.

 

Agreed on all counts, I really should get hooked up with the fire department.

 

Mike.






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