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Post new topic   Reply to topic  Vonage® VoIP Forum - Vonage News, Reviews And Discussion » Fax - Tivo - Alarms
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born4soc
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Joined: Aug 25, 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

someone asked if nextalarm had all the features of alarm.com. i've been debating which one to get. it seems to me that nextalarm has the lower price point but it just replaces the phone line with another landline. alarm.com is more expensive monthly but has more features. there is no landline used, it has what they call "normal activity" monitoring, you can turn the system on and off through the website, turn on lights and thermostats, and one that is important to me is that even if someone cuts your phone line or cable/dsl or power it still works. i think nextalarm is good if you are really on a tight budget but it seems alarm.com is the better and more reliable service for people who can afford 25-35 a month.
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BrewTown
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Joined: Aug 23, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I think there might be a bit of misunderstanding on NextAlarm's service and the inferred bullet-proof-ness of Alarm.com. I don't think Alarm.com is as bullet-proof as you might think and NextAlarm can do all the same stuff anyway.

Both can monitor without using a landline. NextAlarm can monitor most alarm systems using a broadband connection (DSL or Cable) - with or without Vonage. There is a $100 US device that plugs into your network on one side the alarm panel on the other. It's just a network device so it does not use Voip at all - this is a good thing in this situation. Check their web site to see if you alarm system works with the device.

Also, no alarm system/service, neither NextAlarm or Alarm.com, will notify dispatch if someone cuts your phone line (DSL) and cable UNLESS you have a cell-phone based back up. Again, that's an equipment thing. As far as I know, both Alarm.com and Next Alarm support cell phone back up if your alarm system does. And most alarm systems should have a battery back up so power is not an issue either way. Again, check your system.

The same thing goes for the lights and thermostat stuff (x10 interface features). It all depends more on your equipment then on the alarm monitoring service.

So, I would say, pick your alarm system with these capabilities in mind and then go with NextAlarm and save yourself the $150 + per year.
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hewinutah
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Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

BrewTown,

I think when the other poster said land line, they were talking about pots/dsl and cable for internet service. (there is always sat and wireless too). I agree that the alarm will not call in a problem is some one cuts your line, but alarm.com does not use a phone line or internet connection.

So even it they cut / disable your internet / phone connection. Alarm.com should call once they break into the house.

I went with alarm.com because my internet connection is not as reliable as I would like to monitor my house / family. So far I like it, it is about the same as i was paying with ADT, plus i get the interface. yada yada yada.

Go with who you feel the most comfotable with, that's all i'm saying.
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BrewTown
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Joined: Aug 23, 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

hewinutah - you make a great point, the one that you feel comfortable with is the one to go with. After all, what we are really paying for here is peace of mind.

I suppose no one can say one is better than the other for certain because it depends on your circumstances. For us, using our broadband (cable) feels more secure than using a wireless signal. Even in the heart of one of the biggest metro areas in the country, our wireless coverage is much less reliable than I would trust. Regardless of carrier, the old all-brick houses seem to keep a reliable signal out of reach. So, I'll stick with NextAlarm.

Let's just hope we never have to really put these things to the test anyway.

Cheers
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hewinutah
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

BrewTown wrote:

Let's just hope we never have to really put these things to the test anyway.


Could not have said it better myself Very Happy
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MRN
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Joined: Sep 16, 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:37 am    Post subject: experiences with actual alarm situations Reply with quote Back to top

I have been thinking about alarms too and I am wondering if anybody can relay a story about an actual break in and the response they got.
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grizzley
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Joined: Jun 05, 2005
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Responses will vary from place to place depending on what your city does. For example, some cities will respond faster to PANIC alarms than they will "normal" fire or burglar alarms. It's all about their protocols.

Every time I have set my alarm off (by accident) NextAlarm.com has always called within 30 seconds "ARE YOU OK SIR?" (No.. I need a beer.) and then give them my pass code.

NextAlarm let's you setup your call list. For example:
1) Call the house.......If no answer:
2) Call my cell phone....... If no answer:
3) Call wifes cell phone ....... If no answer:
4) Call my neighbor ....... If no answer:
5) Call Police

And the latchkey feature NextAlarm gives you is really cool also. You say set it to send you an alert to your cell phone if you child does not disarm the system by 3:30 (after school).

So, with that said, your response times will vary greatly depending on your local police protocols as well as your list of people to call. If Police are FIRST on your list, you can safely say that NextAlarm will call them within 30 seconds. After that, it's all about YOUR Police department.
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squale
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Joined: Feb 01, 2005
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

this is a good thread, I recently just hooked up with Vonage, and I have an alarm system in my house that used to be monitored by Brinks via a landline telephone. Because Brinks would not give me the codes to reprogram the system unless I paid for their service, I got mad and ripped it out of my wall, and went out and bought the GE Concorde Ultra alarm system, this thing is really nice (same system Alarm.com uses). Anyhow, I can't use the Alarm.com service in my area because I don't have cell reception there, so I was thinking of going with NextAlarm.com. The problem is, now that I have ONLY Vonage, how do I go about hooking the alarm system up to the Vonage line to be monitored by NextAlarm? I am not sure if my alarm system will be able to 'seize' the Vonage phone line if the line is in use and the alarm goes off?

any help is much appreciated, thanks!
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grizzley
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Joined: Jun 05, 2005
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The alarm will use your house phone line (Vonage). It works like any old POTS would. When the alarm is tripped, it picks up the phone and dials out to nextalarm.com's monitoring station.


To seize the line, you need to hook it up just AFTER the Vonage box; so it will be the first line in the series. At least that is what I was told by my alarm installer.
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ChrisFix
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Sep 06, 2005
Posts: 282
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

squale wrote:
this is a good thread, I recently just hooked up with Vonage, and I have an alarm system in my house that used to be monitored by Brinks via a landline telephone. Because Brinks would not give me the codes to reprogram the system unless I paid for their service, I got mad and ripped it out of my wall, and went out and bought the GE Concorde Ultra alarm system, this thing is really nice (same system Alarm.com uses). Anyhow, I can't use the Alarm.com service in my area because I don't have cell reception there, so I was thinking of going with NextAlarm.com. The problem is, now that I have ONLY Vonage, how do I go about hooking the alarm system up to the Vonage line to be monitored by NextAlarm? I am not sure if my alarm system will be able to 'seize' the Vonage phone line if the line is in use and the alarm goes off?

any help is much appreciated, thanks!


I just looked into NextAlarm since they are 1/3 the cost (annual pre-paid) of my existing local monitoring service. There "requirement" for Voip customers is to use a separately purchased Broadband adapter that is attached on the one side to the dial output of the alarm panel and on the other side, is connected directly to your home LAN. The Broadband adapter converts the tones to data and then routes directly to their monitoring server over your LAN and internet - never going through your Vonage of Voip at all. They claim that Voip is too unreliable in delivering data packets because of the multiple analog to digital conversions and delays.

I am currently using my Vonage to a traditional monitoring center and I never told them I changed from POTS to Voip. I connected the Vonage adapter so that it was correctly wired to the alarm control panel, and did test calls to the monitoring company and they received the alarms. This is the same as using your computer modem to send a fax. I have found that in testing the alarm a few alarms weren't seen by the monitoring company, which is consistent with some fax transmissions failing - not often, but every once in a while. Because of this, the broadband connection that NextAlarm is using to connect to Voip customers is probably better. From a reliability point of view, you're still dependent on your broadband connection, but you eliminate the variables of a "data call" over Voip.

If you didn't tell NextAlarm that you were Voip, I don't know if they would ,or could, tell that you're not POTS, similar to how I'm currently connected to my traditional monitoring service.

For what it's worth, I just ordered the NextAlarm ABN Broadband adapter for $100 (includes 3 free months of service) so I will soon be able to tell you how it works. My wiring is set up such that it will be easy for me to connect it to both the alarm control box and my LAN. I think that could be a pain for a lot of folks however.
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