Thinking of  “Voice Over IP”

Voice Over IP (VOIP) - is the newer method of communication available to compete with phone line services offered by companies such as Telus or Bell.

Are you considering a move to Voice Over IP?

Do you have a security alarm system installed in your home or business?
Before switching services there are some IMPORTANT things you NEED to know and you need to make sure of the following:

1) Advise the VOIP provider: You have a security system and before they leave your home, contact the station and test your security system.

2) Since your security and phone system would be dependent on the Internet - How will VOIP compare to the stability of your current phone services? I.E. Telus

3. Does the VOIP Provider have a module or unit that will allow your alarm system to continue to transmit its information to your monitoring station? (Analogue Interface... sometimes called an ATA or a DPT device)

4. Does the VOIP unit have a battery backup that will provide power to the unit when the power goes out? Some Providers have a Battery Backup Unit that will keep your phones working for 6 - 8 hours even if the power is out, others do not. Make sure you ASK about this because if the power goes out and you don't have a backup for the unit, you will have NO phones and NO alarm system.

5. Who is going to install the device? Make sure YOU test to ensure that the alarm system is communicating with your monitoring station!

6. You DO NOT have to go to THEIR monitoring station. This is a sales trick to get you to leave your present security company and move to theirs!

7. What kind of up time is the provider willing to commit to? Is this service going to be as reliable and as dependable as your current telephones? Will it work when you REALLY need it to?

8. Does using the Internet WHILE you are on the phone degrade your call quality or make it impossible to make a call? The Internet is a shared medium and isn't always 100% reliable. When your kids connect their Playstation or XBox to the Internet to play games with their friends, you may not be able to make a VOIP call. When your Internet provider decides to do maintenance on their system, will you have a phone that works?

9. Does the provider offer "Improved 911 Service"? Will Emergency Service know WHERE this call is coming from or will someone have to tell them where you are? Your current phone service tells Emergency Services EXACTLY where you are using various technologies. Will your VOIP and Internet provider be able to do the same?

Most of all... ASK QUESTIONS. It is a typical case of BUYER BEWARE and if you don't ask, they may not volunteer information and you may be left with a service that does not meet ALL of your needs.


What is an IP camera?

An IP camera (aka Internet Protocol CCTV camera) is a type of digital video camera that is used for surveillance and uses an internet-based network connection in order to store the data that it records.

IP cameras have fast become the best method through which to carry out security surveillance in both the home and in business. Cheaper, more versatile, and simpler to install than traditional analogue CCTV systems, the technology has advanced to such a point that a small system can be set up for as little as a few hundred dollars, and with a range of utilities and features that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. They function in much the same way as a typical webcam, however, they are far more versatile and powerful than the camera used in your average Skype conversation! You can install as many cameras as you need in a single system, and have them both send and receive data due to their digital nature, meaning you can have a truly 'smart' security system that's fully catered to your needs. The cameras are typically connected to an NVR (network video recorder) via a network cable or a wireless connection, which serves as the central hub of the system and facilitates both the storage of data and an array of other utilities. However, for smaller systems, the cameras can use onboard flash storage (via an SD memory card), meaning that you can easily scale the solution to the size of your needs.

What benefits do they offer?


Modern cameras typically boast resolutions of up to 1080p, however, we are now seeing the first 4k cameras now hitting the market and becoming available for the ordinary user.

Remote Viewing

There are plenty of software packages available that allow you to access and control your cameras via your smartphone or tablet, meaning you can check up on your home or business from wherever you are.

Pan, Tilt, Zoom

For those who need a more dynamic system that can regularly change its area of focus, there are plenty of cameras with pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) options to do just this. There is even software that easily lets you set up cameras to ‘patrol’ a chosen area, giving you further flexibility within your system.

Triggered Alerts

Easy and simple to set up, many cameras come with support for highly customisable alert software - you'll be able to receive text, email, or phone alerts for movement your camera detects, wherever you are, any time of day or night you choose!

Vandal Resistant

Cameras that come with tamper-proof housing are readily available and mean that you're able to securely place them wherever you need without worrying about having them switched off or easily broken by any would-be-criminals.

Recognition Software

There are even new developments in recognition software, meaning that some high-end modern cameras now come bundled with the ability to recognise, capture, and store individual faces and license plates along with a timestamp. This means that they are better than ever at capturing the details that matter, and recording the necessary information should the worst occur.

How easy are they to set up?

Modern IP camera systems are very straightforward to set up. The big manufacturers have continually improved their lines of plug-and-play cameras in recent years, meaning that many now effectively work out of the box and require only some basic additional steps to get them up and running. With a little bit of pre-planning, installation is also very straightforward, both interior and exterior.

Power over Ethernet (PoE)

capability means that modern cameras only require a standard network cable for both power and their network connection, further reducing the fuss of installation and meaning you don’t need any existing infrastructure except for an ordinary network connection. Further to this, once installed, IP cameras require little-to-no maintenance, letting you monitor them at your convenience without needing regular costly inspections or repairs.


Know what you're looking for? We have a great range of IP cameras and accessories at our webshop - have a look for yourself! Any questions or need to know more? Have a look at the use-IP forum for answers to commonly asked questions, product information, and other technical support! If you're a first-time buyer, we have an ongoing forum series to help you build your first home security system.