While your control panel is the “brains” of your home security system it requires a way to communicate to a central station, or yourself when using interactive services such as remote Arm/Disarm. Older panels had on-board POTS dialers built-in which was the main way alarm systems talked to the central station receivers. Today however few modern panels use POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) as a communication path and instead rely on faster and more reliable cellular and/or broadband connectivity.
ALARM MONITORING COMMUNICATORS
Interactive Service Partners
While the central station is what makes the dispatch to your local authorities, Interactive Services (IS) is the component in the middle which talks directly to your alarm panel (if using Internet or cellular) and relays almost instantly the alarm signalling to the central station. It is also responsible for all remote control features of your security, home automation, and video. For example arm and disarm from any device, from anywhere, control lights, locks, thermostats, view streaming video from cameras inside or outside your home. Interactive services is what makes this possible. Selecting what IS partner to use really depends on your alarm system, or more specifically, the alarm communicator. This device can be internal to the panel, or external as is the case with most hardwired panels. Interactive Services can only be used with broadband Internet or cellular connection. Landline will work for standard central station monitoring, but not interactive services. Self-monitoring requires interactive services since there is no central station operator dispatch in the loop. The homeowner will make the call to local authorities as appropriate. Use the following as a guide for IS selection as well as add-on communicator if required.
- SecureNet – Supports Helix and 2GIG GC2 (only) wireless controls and most hardwired control panels
- Honeywell AlarmNet (Total Control 2.0) – Supports all Honeywell hardwired (Vista series) and wireless panels (LYNX Plus, LYNX Touch, Lyric)
- IPDataTel – Supports most major hardwired panels such as Honeywell/Ademco Vista, Napco, DSC, etc.
- Telguard – Supports most hardwired panels such as Honeywell Vista, Napco, DSC and also 2GIG GC2 (only) wireless
- Alarm.com – Supports all 2GIG wireless panels (GC2 and GC3) and Qolsys IQ Panel 2 (communicator built-in)