Alarm Broadband Network (ABN)
by NextAlarm.com

In January of 2005, NextAlarm.com introduced ABN, the industry's first low-cost broadband solution for security system monitoring.

To find out if the Alarm Broadband Network is compatible with your security system, please check the ABN Compatibility Page.

The Problem

Do you use Voice-over-IP for telephone service, such as Vonage or AT&T CallVantage? Customers and industry experts agree, Voice-over-IP service severely impacts the reliability of your security system by interfering with its ability to report alarms to your monitoring station.

Although Voice-over-IP services are excellent for voice communication, they are simply not suited for transmitting alarm system data to your alarm monitoring company. In fact, many alarm monitoring companies simply do not accept customers who use Voice-over-IP.

The Solution

ABN by NextAlarm.com was built to solve these problems. ABN allows customers to enjoy the benefits and cost savings of Voice-over-IP service, while still allowing their alarm systems to accurately communicate with our monitoring centers.

ABN operates over your standard Cable Modem or DSL Broadband Internet connection, and works with any alarm system capable of sending signals using the Contact ID format (including the Abbra Professional Series by NextAlarm.com).

ABN requires no changes to your existing alarm system, other than a one-time purchase of a ABN Broadband Adapter from NextAlarm.com. Simply plug the ABN Broadband Adapter into your home network, and plug your alarm panel into the ABN adapter (rather than into your regular telephone line), and NextAlarm.com will immediately begin to monitor your security system over Broadband.

ABN even offers Line Security, a new security measure not available with standard telephone line hookups. Our servers are in constant communication with our ABN Broadband Adapter installed at your home or business. If we should lose contact with the device, our E-Notify service can alert you in a matter of minutes. This extra security measure is only possible through the always-on, always-connected nature of ABN.

Common Questions

Q: With ABN, when my alarm system places a call to your central station, does it go through my Voice-over-IP service?
A: No. ABN operates directly through your Broadband Internet Connection, and does not use your Voice-over-IP service. It runs alongside, rather than through, your Vonage, AT&T CallVantage, or other Voice-over-IP service.

Q: My security system lets me call into it and do things like arm it, disarm it, or listen into the room using my telephone. With ABN, will I still be able to call my security system?
A: Yes. ABN provides a special phone number - the ABN Outside Access Point - which you can call at any time, enter your customer number (and a private PIN code), and be dialed into to your security system as if it were connected to a regular telephone line.

Q: I don't have Voice-over-IP service. Can I still use ABN?
A: Yes, as long as you have Broadband Internet. Even for customers who have regular telephone lines, ABN offers the additional convenience of event reporting (such as opens and closes) in real-time without seizing your telephone line. In addition, ABN offers the additional protection of Line Security, not available with standard telephone hookups.

Q: Why is it unreliable to send alarm signals through my Voice-over-IP provider, and how does ABN make it better?
A: When your alarm system tries to transmit a signal through your Voice-over-IP telephone service, it is handled like any other voice phone call in the following fashion:
  • A hardware device (VOIP Modem) at your location captures the audio from your panel and translates it into data.
  • This data is sent over Broadband Internet to servers operated by your Voice-over-IP provider.
  • Your Voice-over-IP provider then re-transmits this data to a regional data center located in the city you are dialing (where your alarm monitoring company resides).
  • The regional data center will "pick up" a standard telephone line in the destination city, and dial your alarm monitoring company.
  • Once the alarm monitoring center answers the call, your Voice-over-IP company continues to be a middle-man for the entire alarm reporting event.
In the standard Voice-over-IP scenario, the data sent by your security system goes through so many "hops", and is translated back and forth between Internet data and audio so many times, that the reliability of the conversation is reduced to almost zero.

ABN is better because it handles alarm event reporting in the following manner:
  • The ABN Broadband Adapter at your location captures the audio from your panel and translates it into data.
  • This data is sent over Broadband Internet to NextAlarm.com's ABN servers.
  • NextAlarm.com's ABN servers immediately hand this data over to our alarm monitoring equipment, with no further re-transmission necessary.

The main reason why ABN is more reliable, is that there is no re-transmission of your alarm panel's information back out to a standard telephone line. Once it is transmitted from your home or business to ABN, the alarm signal data is received by, and immediately processed by, NextAlarm.com's servers.

More questions? E-Mail us at info@nextalarm.com
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