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Changing to VoIP telephone service will disrupt the communication of your traditional Burglar/Fire Alarm with our Monitoring Station!



- VOIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol (i.e. Uverse, Xfinity Voice, Vonage, Magic Jack, OOMA, etc.)


Your alarm system is designed to send signals to the monitoring station over an analog phone line. In order for your alarm system to transmit any emergency signals properly over VOIP, the signal must be converted from analog to digital at the VOIP modem then converted back to analog along the phone network. During this process is where problems may develop. It is possible for data to be lost through this conversion process resulting in errors in the signal at the monitoring station or simply not reach the monitoring station at all.

Your alarm panel comes equipped with a back up battery to power your alarm system in the event of a power failure. Traditional analog land lines will still work during a power failure and the monitoring station will still receive signals properly. With VOIP your phone service will not operate during a power failure, as both your internet router and VOIP modem rely on a constant power source to operate. This prevents any type of signal transmission from your alarm system to the monitoring station.

VOIP services are more prone to "unknown" technical issues and dropped calls. Your alarm panel may be in the process of communicating vital data to the monitoring center when the call is dropped. This will obviously interfere with the communication of the data, or your alarm may communicate data successfully at one time, but will fail at another time for no apparent reason. Some possible explanations of this are fluctuations or low bandwidth from your VOIP provider, inconsistencies with your internet or caller ID blocking which hides your alarm panels' identity from the monitoring center. Also your VOIP signal quality could possibly be set too low and/or the data package wasn't turned on.

Similar to a conventional land line your VOIP or Cable based phone line can be cut or disabled by a potential intruder. This stops your alarms ability to communicate with the monitoring center.

At Barnes Alarm Systems we encourage our VOIP customers to add a cellular unit to your alarm system. This unit will provide a direct link to the monitoring center. Call today for a free quote!



The following statements have been taken from the websites of companies offering VoIP:


Taken from AT&T U-verse Voice


  • Prior to your AT&T U-verse Voice installation, AT&T strongly recommends that you notify your alarm company of your switch to AT&T U-verse Voice service and your scheduled U-verse installation date in order for your alarm company to test and check the status of your alarm system with you prior to installation and once installation is complete. If your telephone number has changed, you will need to notify your alarm company to update your account with the new telephone number. Failure to notify your alarm company of a change of service or new telephone number could potentially impact your home alarm contract.

  • You will be responsible for testing your home alarm system with your alarm company after installation of AT&T U-verse Voice is complete, and on an ongoing basis.

  • If your alarm company determines that your existing alarm panel does not work with AT&T U-verse Voice, your alarm company may be able to install an alternative alarm panel that will work with AT&T U-verse Voice, or a panel that uses cellular phone service, or an IP-based panel that uses your Internet access service. (Talk to your home alarm company about these alternatives and any additional equipment and/or monitoring service charges). Note: If your alarm company installs an IP-based panel that will use AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet as the communications pathway, you must ensure you have functioning battery backup power for your Residential Gateway (and your Optical Network Terminal, if you have one) for your high speed Internet service to work with your alarm panel during a power outage. See learn more about AT&T U-verse Voice and Residential Gateway with Battery Backup.


Taken from Comcast Xfinity Voice


Q: How does Comcast Digital Voice service work with monitored alarm systems?


A: Comcast Digital Voice works with most modern home alarm systems that use tone dailing and standard data protocols. Comcast does not guarantee that  Comcast Digital Voice (including, without limitation, the feed between the alarm panel and the Comcast supplied eMT A) will be uninterrupted or compatible with each and every make or model of home alarm systems.


Taken from Verizon Voice Wing


Verizon Voice Wing, as a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service, differs from regular telephone service.... Voice Wingwill not work if the power is out.... Voice Wing will not support home security systems.


Taken from Vonage.Com


A telephone based monitored alarm system uses a phone line to contact a central monitoring center in the event of a fire or break in. The monitoring station usually tries to contact the home owner to verify the event prior to contacting the police, fire department, or ambulance. "Vonage does not support the use of a telephone based monitored alarm system, and recommends against using a telephone based monitored alarm system with Vonage."




Reasons why VoIP may not work with your alarm system


• VoIP providers use different internet communication methods, depending on cost savings, to carry their internet or cable phone service. The customer will not be aware of any alarm incompatible change until it is discovered that the alarm is no longer able to transmit signals.

• VoIP requires continuous power. If you lose power, you will not be able to use any phone equipment connected to VoIP. More importantly, the alarm system will not be able to send signals to the monitoring station.

• Traditional telephone line providers are required to have their own power supply and will always work in a typical power outage. VoIP is not currently required to have a backup power supply and may not work during a power outage.


There are several different options to consider in dealing with these issues, .ie keeping a traditional phone line active with a minimal plan to keep costs low, and/or Cellular backup technology. We usually recommend a combination of technologies working in tandem, so that in the event of failure in one path, there is another communication path for your alarm signals to take. Please call or email us if you have any further questions regarding your current alarm monitoring design.

Call Us today for a free quote on your Cellular Communicator

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