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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.

Broadband IP Internet connection such as Cable, Fiber, DSL has a faster connection to a central station than POTS. Keep in mind that line tampering by an intruder like with POTS is still possible. Also unless you use battery backup on your internal LAN equipment (modem, router, switches) a power outage could comprimize signalling to the central station.
Cellular transmission (Verizon and AT&T) provides a fast, lower risk connection to the central station. Line tampering by an intruder is virtually eliminated! Since cellular communicators are either internal or wired directly to security systems they are powered and battery backed up by the alarm panel. This is important since LAN devices are generally NOT protected against power failure.
The best and recommended transmission is with broadband as primary and cellular as backup.  We offer several combo units or available as separate cards depending on security panel/control. 
Home Security Communicators - IP Internet and Cellular

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 must make the call to local authorities as appropriate which is why we are against such as setup.

Use the following as a guide for Interactive Services selection:

  • SecureNet (SmartLink) – Supports Alula Connect+ (Helix) and 2GIG GC2 and Rely 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)
  • Alula– 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 wireless
  • Connect24 - Supports all DSC hardwire and select wireless panels
  • UpLink - Supports GE/Interlogix Simon XT/XTi wireless panels
  • – Supports all 2GIG wireless panels (GC2 and GC3) and Qolsys IQ Panel 2 (communicator built-in)

Compatible Internet and Cellular Communicators

Our add-on communicators work with a variety of security panels and have options for broadband IP Internet (Ethernet or WiFi) and/or Cellular in both AT&T (GSM) and Verizon (CDMA) flavors.  They also vary by interactive service provider (ISP) compatibility. Be sure to match the communicator to your security panel brand/system (ex. Honeywell Lyric), Interactive Service provider (ex. AlarmNet), communication path to the central station (AT&T cellular, Verizon cellular, Ethernet, WiFi). The product filters can help sort out your communicator options.  Take me to Alarm Communicators...
Call us if you have any questions! 
Note:  If upgrading from ADT, they have been using Honeywell/Ademco equipment for years.  The older hardwired panels used landlines which can still be used with our central station (basic POTS monitoring only), but if you want to upgrade to a more reliable communication path, and save on the monthly landline charge, you can use any of the following with your Vista series ADT panel: If not using one of the communicators shown below give us a call (or chat) to confirm compatibility with the interactive service provider.  Any landline based panel will work with our central station.  Call us if you need help!