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Home alarm system - 6 things you should know by now

Home alarm system - 6 things you should know by now

Security industry mainly includes alarm monitoring, video surveillance, access control, video intercom etc sectors. Undoubtedly, video surveillance contributes more than 70% market share. Nowadays, it becomes the fast growing business in global security market, video surveillance is evolving from analog standard definition to digital high definition. Consequently, numerous manufacturers and startup companies flock into this big market. On the other hand, alarm monitoring is relatively small/medium scale market, the entry level of alarm monitoring in the residential sector has been witnessing a steady growth since the last few years. 

According to the recent market research, between 2015 and 2020, the global home security systems market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.7%. The total market was valued at more than $28,000 million in 2014.  Despite the many advantages offered by home security systems, the growth of the home security system solution market still encounters some restraints from technological encroachments and a high installment cost of security solutions.  Unifore has been in the security industry for many years, we intend to share you some valuable information regarding to the home security system. 

1# Network alarm system is far too flawed to be reliable

WiFi or Internet connectivity technology can allow security system to transmit alarm signals through your home Internet connection. Unfortunately, the current technology is far too flawed to be reliable.  Alarm connection is crucial important for home security system. Once an alarm occurs, the system should instantly send alarm signals to alarm monitoring centre or key holders. Currently, there are three main technologies have been used in alarm communication, they are telephone line, GSM/3G/4G cellular, Internet. 

Each methods has pros and cons:

  • Telephone line: wired connection, vulnerable to be cut by a smart intruder, not portable, connection speed is slow
  • GSM/3G/4G cellular: wireless connection, portable, connection speed is medium
  • Internet / Network: wired connection, likely to fail when electricity/network outage and router stops working, or IP address has been changed, connection speed is fast

In order to get ahead in alarm monitoring market,  after several months researching and development by our engineer team, we released X8 home security system. The X8 alarm system has built-in WiFi module to support TCP/IP connection, also a Quad band frequency GSM communicator. Until now, we sold out for less than 100 units. We received many complaints regarding to the unstable connectivity of WiFi/Internet. Although X8 system still can work properly with GSM after WiFi/Internet is disconnected. Customers are still unhappy to this new product. Many customers choose to buy this product, because of WiFi connectivity. So far, X8 alarm system is a big failure. From our deep understanding in this technology, unstable Internet connection is a common problem for most of WiFi/Network alarm systems. It's related to the existing restraint of hardware and software design. If you are not a technician, you may not want to try a unreliable WiFi/Network alarm system. My advice to you - don't buy/use WiFi/Network alarm system.

If you want to know more about the disadvantage of WiFi/network alarm system, you can read this article:

Reference: http://www.hkvstar.com/technology-news/disadvantages-of-ip-communication-alarm-system.html

Certainly, you may still find many network alarm system that succeed in the market. But most of them adopt 2-layer (GSM cellular + Internet/Network) or even 3-layer design (Telephoneline + GSM cellular + Internet / Network).

2# How does a home security system communicate with ARC?

It seems the communication between alarm system and alarm receiving center is still a myth to many residential users. To understand the working theory, you ought to know ADEMCO CID. CID stands for Contact ID, it's an universal protocol for alarm system to communicate with central monitoring station. In addition to CID protocol, SIA is another protocol used in alarm monitoring industry. Keep in mind that only alarm systems support CID or SIA protocol, it can be centrally monitored by remote ARC. A tip when you select a home security system, ensuring the selected system supports CID or SIA protocol, so that the system can connect to local security companies for alarm monitoring service. Generally, the system will auto-dial monitoring station's phone number either through conventional telephone line or GSM cellular network / Internet. 

3# Should I choose the alarm system has Z-Wave/Zigbee Integration?

The growing number of smartphone and tablet users make home automation products become very popular. There are many different types of home automation products based on WiFi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, DECT-ULE etc. Actually, it's not a wise choice to buy a home security system with complex home automation add-ons. In my opinion, home automation system is still very complex to setup and use. On the other hand, users need to use/operate home security system daily, if the system is too complex, it will keep users away to use it. Furthermore, alarm systems combined with home automation are still expensive, only cater to upper class consumers. Home automation is still dispensable feature if you mainly consider security & protection of home or business. 

ZigBee Z-Wave DECT-ULE Bluetooth AllJoyn
ZigBee Z-Wave DECT-ULE Bluetooth AllJoyn

4# Alarm system works with multiple network cameras

Consumers are looking for a complete home security solution that combined with alarm monitoring and video monitoring and recording. Security manufacturers are striving to provide such a solution. In the past, network cameras with Alarm I/O can connect to alarm system. Unfortunately, this requires inconvenient hardwired connection. Current, Unifore security alarm systems (G60-Ultimate, X8, G10) can work with Erobot cameras (D1301, D1201-A/B, D1001, D1000) through RF communication. 

The integrated security solution can offer:

  1. 1. Wireless integration, no cable wiring required
  2. 2. Alarm monitoring + HD video monitoring
  3. 3. Alarm notification includes SMS, push notification, email attached with pictures
  4. 4. Start to record video when an alarm occurs. 

"Wireless is the No. 1 catalyst for new installation opportunities in 2014, The potential of wireless is only limited by a dealer’s imagination. It’s easy to install, delights customers, offers good margins and can be a real money-maker." bluntly states Helen Heneveld, owner of Bedrock Learning.com, who offers worldwide consultation on the covering home systems industry.

End user expectations are absolutely crossing over between residential and commercial systems. Everyone is now expecting total connectivity of their systems, and remote access through smartphones,” says Michael Flink, president of ADI Americas, Melville, N.Y. One additional source of growth for the commercial market is integrating access control and IP video surveillance,”  he adds.

Reference: http://www.unifore.net/home-alarm-system/smart-ip-camera-wireless-alarm-system-integrated-solution.html

5# Many users uninstall alarm because of high false alarm rate

"While the way we measure success differs, we can all agree that something that correctly works only 6% of the time is broken. Yet this is how well traditional home security systems perform. They have a 94–99% false alarm rate according to a Freakonomics report from 2012." states Martin Refsal, the marketing manager at Canary. "Ultimately, false alarms are an expensive, frustrating issue, and it’s time to eliminate them from our homes and communities. The long term data shows that the industry needs a global shift in its approach to safety, but for now, educating friends and family about your home security system can be a key step in saving time and making sure you’re not throwing away your money or your local community’s." he emphasizes.

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Unifore offers you a new approach to home security. The alarm monitoring + HD video monitoring integrated solution allows user to control system - such as arming or disarming, checking system status and watch HD video, controlling lights and home appliances - from mobile devices. Our latest integrated home security monitoring lets you see what’s happening at home and take action. HD video monitoring allows you to verify alarm when an emergency occurs. The video verification feature can greatly reduce the false alarm rate caused by normal household activities or human error. When buy home alarm system, it's recommend to choose system that has HD camera integration.

6# What's difference between magnetic contact and PIR motion sensor?

A typical home security system will include one alarm control panel and some security sensors. Users can choose diversity security sensors that used to detect different events. Magnetic contact, has many different names such as Door/Window sensor, reed switch, entry-point sensors etc. Magnetic contact is suitable for all open/close cabinet objects including doors, windows, drawers, wardrobes, safety deposit boxes, gun boxes etc. Magnetic contacts are inexpensive, very reliable, and in most cases out of sight. Magnetic contacts are inexpensive, very reliable, and in most cases out of sight. They are suitable for perimeter protection as the first line of defense in the burglar alarm system. While PIR motion sensor is widely used in interior motion detection. It adopts passive infra-red detection theory to sense moving objects. PIR motion sensors can protect a large space area. While PIR's and other interior detectors are an excellent back up, it is the contact that immediately triggers the alarm system when the door or window is open. Contacts should be used on all entry sights because a PIR will pick up the intruder after they are inside.

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