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IP Reporting: offsite monitoring moves online 

Alarm monitoring is a crucial aspect of any security system. For many years, the only way to monitor alarms was through traditional copper phone lines – often known as POTS (plain old telephone service). However, with the advent of IP technology, alarm monitoring has undergone a significant transformation. This article explains what pre-IP alarm monitoring was like, what benefits IP reporting provides, and shows how an ICT monitoring solution can help.

Before IP Monitoring 

Before IP monitoring, alarm systems were primarily monitored through traditional phone lines. A signal was sent from the alarm system to the monitoring center via a physical phone line, and the monitoring center would take appropriate action. While this process was reliable, it was limited in terms of its vulnerability to phone line outages and potential tampering by intruders.  

Additionally, only a limited amount of information could be transmitted, which meant that monitoring centers had to rely on a predefined set of codes to interpret the signals. This made it difficult for monitoring centers to quickly and accurately identify the nature of the issue, which could lead to delays in response times, and cause security risks. 

The Benefits of IP Reporting 

IP reporting has revolutionized the way alarm systems are monitored. IP reporting sends signals over the internet, which makes it more reliable than traditional phone lines. The internet is less vulnerable to outages and interference, which means that signals are less likely to be disrupted. 

One of the key benefits of IP reporting is that it allows for the transmission of large amounts of data. This means that monitoring centers can receive more detailed information about the nature of the alarm, such as the exact location of the sensor that triggered the alarm. This enables monitoring centers to respond more quickly and effectively to any issues. 

Another benefit is that IP reporting is also more cost-effective than traditional alarm monitoring. Because it uses the internet, it eliminates the need for expensive phone lines, which can save both installers and customers money in the long run.

ArmorIP – ICT’s certified solution 

The benefits of IP monitoring are easy to see, but we have taken it one step further. Our ArmorIP protocol takes a ContactID message and encapsulates it inside a TCP/IP message. This means the data transmitted to the monitoring station can now include panel name, event time, serial number, username, and more.

By using the ArmorIP software, receiving operators can now see the same information as people on site – no more mismatches or confusion as to what ‘Input 8 activated’ means. Simple, complete information leads to better security outcomes.

ArmorIP is more secure than traditional alarm monitoring. You can select a level of encryption to protect data as it is transmitted over the internet, which makes it much more difficult for hackers to intercept and decipher signals. It’s also one of the only systems in the world to meet the ULC Level A4 active communications standard for burglary and fire monitoring (CAN/ULCS304).

A computer monitor displaying the ArmorIP logo

And finally, for extra peace of mind, you can deploy our ArmorIP monitoring solution with the Protege 4G Cellular Modem for back up using a 4G network in case your standard internet connection ever fails.

The recent release of ArmorIP version sees enhancements to the user interface and automation settings. Find full details in the ArmorIP Release Notes, and download the latest version from the Software page (you must be logged in to your MyICT account).


IP reporting protocols have transformed the way alarm systems are monitored. It provides a more reliable, secure, and cost-effective alternative to traditional alarm monitoring. An ArmorIP solution provides the best possible security for your customers and can be implemented in minutes, so they can start to enjoy the benefits of this innovative IP monitoring technology straight away. 

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