Voice over IP + Alarm System

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Hoef, May 30, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #1
    After my move I was thinking of switching to Vonage rather than getting a $50/mo land line. However, I might need alarm too (insurance) ... Would such thing work with internet phone. Any Mac heroes out there having tried this? This thread has some info, but not enough for me
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    #2
    make sure you know about 911 service with VoIP... its not the same as with a land line. the ERD will not know your location. Your calls get sent to a different telephone and my go unanswered. your alarm should probably work, unless your internet goes out.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    #3
    Can anyone offer info on quality and limitations on service of voip?
    I was thinking about using Vonage also
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #4
    I suggest keeping the lowest possible landline service in addition to your Vonage as a backup. It's useful for when the Power goes out (a common thing in the summer in SoCal), plus you don't have to deal with any of the 911 problems or the alarm problems.

    Ours costs $9.95/month plus like $5 in taxes. I think of it as an Insurance Policy. It's worth it.


    PS: I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure that even if you dial 911 from a disconnected line, it goes through...am I right?
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    #5
    By disconnected, you mean that the service is just disabled and the line is still physically connected right? In that case, it would probably work, but I'm not sure about that, but it would be worth an expiriment if they didn't fine you for phoning and hanging up *sigh*...
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #6
    Mmm... I am not sure whether I can get a phoneline this cheap here in TX
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    #7
    - no phone when your internet is down
    - no phone when you have no electricity
    - Fax, alarm system or any other devices that requires an analogue line (PSTN) won't work with VoIP
    - Limited 911 service

    In terms of quality, it depends on which codec your provider is using. Most VoIP provider used G.711 or G.729 which has a respectable voice quality.
     
  8. emw
    macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #8
    I agree with all of these points except that alarm systems won't work. We have an alarm system and checked into using it with VoIP a couple of weeks ago, and they confirmed that it would work.

    Of course, that still is predicated on the fact that you have power, which is something that could be accomplished with a relatively inexpensive UPS system on the router/VoIP box.

    Note that many people run exclusively with cordless phones - these won't work in a power outage either, so keep a corded phone handy for those situations.

    Or, of course, just use your cell phone.

    Also note that new legislation requires that by this fall (I believe that's the time frame), all VoIP services must provide 911 access on par with land lines.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    #9
    Most Alarm system company refuse to hook up their product with a VoIp for reliabilty. What happen is someone rob your house and your internet is not working ? I strongly suggest to have a plain old PSTN line for Alarm system ( I work for a VoIP Provider so we come accros that question quite often )

    The 911 legistlation is a neccessary step for any VoIP Provider and i'm glad they have rules that it is now mandatory. Company like Vonage offer really basic 911 services. Make sure you ask all the question regarding 911 functionnality when you order VoIP. You will be suprise about the fine print.
     
  10. emw
    macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #10
    Perhaps, but our alarm provider (ADT) said they were perfectly willing to hook up to VoIP.

    Also, I think the largest deterrent to theft is the alarm going off - they're not going to know your internet service isn't working. Besides, if they know anything about alarms, they'll have already cut the phone line - but probably not the cable line feeding your internet service.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    #11
    I'm wondering how much the VoIP Provider is liable for a non-function of the alarm system cause by the VoIP not be avaible due to Internet Shortage.
     
  12. emw
    macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #12
    I don't know, but I think it would be fairly limited. The VoIP providers aren't the Internet providers. Is the phone company liable if service is out while you're being robbed? I would think they aren't, but these days it seems that everyone is liable for something. :rolleyes:

    Besides, alarm systems should use some sort of "Nextel-like" functionality where they can "walkie-talkie" to the main hub when the alarm goes off, using a private cellular network, not rely upon third-party phone or internet service providers.
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #13

    FYI: if someone knows what they are doing they will cut the outside line of the house before they enter it anyways.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #14
    Actually this is untrue. My office has flipped over to Vonage and we routinely fax using a VOIP phone line. I also have 2 co-workers who have flipped at home and have hooked up their alarms without any troubles.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    #15
    It depends on the provider. They have to implement a special codec for Fax/ VoIP. I think if I remember correctly, to be able to use a Fax @ maximum speed transmission with Vonage , there is a cost of 12,99$ / month additional to your regular VoIP line.

    A fax that transmit @ less then 5300 baud will function correctly on a regular VoIP transmission without any additionnel codec.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #16
    We're having ADT as well .... I check again with the company to know their stance.
     

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