Untangling the Web of Internet Monitoring

Most alarm control panels use analog telephone lines for communication with the remote monitoring office. However, the proliferation of the internet has seen the introduction of new and more secure communications technologies that offer many advantages over analog formats. To see if you are savvy enough to make internet monitoring work for you, take the following quiz.

What’s Wrong with This?

In an effort to reduce his operating expenses, one of Wally ‘Larman’s customers changed his telephone service to a VoIP system. He had the VoIP provider install the necessary equipment, as shown in this diagram, and configure the telephone adaptor. All of the telephones and computers seemed to be working properly, but when the security system was tested it was unable to properly communicate with the remote monitoring office. Can you see what caused the digital communicator to fail and what must be done to correct the problem?

1. Which of the following may be used to provide broadband service?

a. DSL

b. Cable

c. Satellite

d. BPL

e. Any of the above

2. Some internet monitoring equipment is listed by UL for

a. Central Station Burglary.

b. Police Station Connect.

c. Fire Protective Signaling.

d. All of the above

e. None of the above

3. All alarm system information sent over the internet is in an analog format.

a. True

b. False

4. Which of the following can be an advantage of using the internet for alarm monitoring compared with using other high-security transmission techniques?

a. Transmission speed

b. Cost

c. Availability

d. All of the above

e. None of the above

5. A traditional RJ-31X jack should be used to connect an alarm panel to a LAN.

a. True

b. False

6. Which of the following internet connections offers the highest transmission speed?

a. Cable

b. Satellite

c. DSL

d. They all have the same speed

7. An internet monitored system can be susceptible to

a. local power outages.

b. server down time.

c. changing the ISP.

d. All of the above

e. None of the above

8. All internet monitoring systems use port 2001 for communication.

a. True

b. False

9. A static IP address is required for all internet monitoring.

a. True

b. False

10. TCP and UDP are identical protocols.

a. True

b. False

11. VoIP is a term used to describe

a. verification of alarms.

b. using the internet for

voice communication.

c. spoofing of IP addresses.

d. high-security

communications.

e. None of the above

12. Which of the following is used to connect multiple devices to a LAN?

a. Modem

b. HUB

c. Router

d. Any of the above

e. None of the above

13. Which of the following is used to connect a LAN to a corporate WAN?

a. Modem

b. HUB

c. Router

d. Any of the above

e. None of the above

14. You cannot use an internet connection to remotely pro- gram alarm control panels.

a. True

b. False

1. e – Broadband service can be provided by any of these systems, as well as by using dedicated data lines such as T1.

2. d

3. b – In an internet monitored system the data is sent in digital format, because the internet is not designed to transport analog information.

4. d

5. b – When connecting an alarm control to a data network, such as a LAN, you should use an RJ-45 jack.

6. a – While actual speed may vary depending upon line quality, number of users, and node performance, cable generally provides much higher data transmission rates.

7. d

8. b

9. b

10. b – User Datagram Protocol (UDP) does not divide a message into packets and reassemble it at the other end, as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) does.

11. b

12. b

13. c

b – Depending upon the manufacturer and configuration you may be able to remotely program a control panel using the same internet connection that is used for monitoring.

Answer to:

What’s Wrong with This?

Wally’s problem can be caused by a couple of issues. First, the in-house telephones are not connected after the burglar alarm control panel (BACP). This eliminates the line seizure feature of the BACP. In addition, some digital communicator formats may experience communication problems on VoIP systems. To correct the problem Wally can rewire the telephone connections as shown in diagram 1 to allow for line seizure, but this will not address any communication incompatibility issues. To overcome any communication problems, the customer can either maintain a standard POTS hardwire line for the BACP or Wally can install an internet-enabled BACP that will allow it to communicate over the internet, as shown in diagram 2, option 1 and option 2. Also remember that the internet equipment, modem, router, and telephone adaptor are generally not equipped with standby batteries so install a UPS.