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Free phone line and Grand Alarms

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[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 16, 2003
139 posts
7 upvotes

Free phone line and Grand Alarms

Hi guys,

Just wondering if anyone has experience with Free phone line and got it working with Grand Alarms.. Any experience will be appreciated. If freephoneline doesn't work what are my next alternative.

I tried doing a search but didn't come up with much.

Thanks!!
19 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 27, 2003
1610 posts
443 upvotes
Well, I can't speak for using it with Grand Alarms, but just keep in mind that FPL is free and the service doesn't have 100% up-time. This may cause issues with your monitoring when FPL has outages for several hours at a time, which has happened in the past. When the service goes down, your monitoring system may interpret this as a severed phone line and trigger the alarm. Also, as with all other VOIP solutions, it is dependent on your internet connection. So any interruption of service from your ISP or power outages will also affect your phone line. A UPS is a must if you plan on using a VOIP solution. Hope that helps.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 16, 2003
139 posts
7 upvotes
Thanks. UPS is definitely something I will get. If I don't FPL what are my other options that you would recommend?
Deal Addict
Aug 27, 2003
1610 posts
443 upvotes
I haven't used it before, but many people have had success with voip.ms. They are not free, though. But cost is low enough to be used as an alternative to FPL. And seeing how it's a paid service, I would assume their up-time is better than FPL.
Member
Apr 29, 2007
222 posts
9 upvotes
ShinNoodles wrote: I haven't used it before, but many people have had success with voip.ms. They are not free, though. But cost is low enough to be used as an alternative to FPL. And seeing how it's a paid service, I would assume their up-time is better than FPL.

I use voip.ms with Grand Alarms. Note that alarm monitor connection problems over VOIP in general is
a well known problem with VOIP service.
I found that I keep getting the "cannot connect to office" warning until I switched to premium service.
Since then I have only gotten the bad connection warning once.

When you do get the connection problem, call Grand Alarms and they will instruct you how to reset
the warning. (They have to do it at their end as well. It is quick and easy.)
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 16, 2003
139 posts
7 upvotes
Thanks guys this helps a lot!!

If anyone come across this post and uses FPL.
Jr. Member
Feb 16, 2007
134 posts
164 upvotes
Has anyone tried FPL and Grand Alarm?
Jr. Member
User avatar
Apr 14, 2009
174 posts
19 upvotes
Vaughan
Just do yourself a favour and stay away from Grand Alarms. Google it for they why.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 18, 2007
3494 posts
570 upvotes
Valleywood
I use FPL and The Monitoring Center with an old DSC PC3000. I have two FPL numbers - one for the house phone system and one for the alarm.

I connected the DSC directly to a dedicated VOIP ATA. I did not want the DSC seizing my phone line and for $40 the extra ATA isolates any problems. If I needed to tweak the DSC ATA, I did not have to change my house phone ATA.

I had some problems initially with the useless Cisco SPA112, but have not had any problems with the Obi100.

(Disclaimer: I assume all risks in using VOIP for my alarm system. Thanks to everyone that is worried about my well being.)
Member
Dec 19, 2011
300 posts
128 upvotes
fastlayne wrote:
(Disclaimer: I assume all risks in using VOIP for my alarm system. Thanks to everyone that is worried about my well being.)
lol :)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 28, 2007
1743 posts
121 upvotes
I'm not well versed when it comes to telephony and VOIP, but I'll just share my experience with Grand Alarms.

In 2007 we purchased a newly built home and Grand Alarms was partnered with the builders to offer buyers alarm system installations and smarthome wiring. We took the bait. But prior to signing up with Grand Alarms, we asked the rep repeatedly if they support VOIP. At the time, we had decided to sign up with Vonage and wanted to be certain that their system would be compatible. They said yes, and we got hooked into a 5 year contract.

In 2010 we decided to move. The folks buying our old house didn't want alarm monitoring, so they didn't buy out our contract. And Grand Alarms was a PITA when it came to transferring the monitoring to the alarm system that was already built in the home that we were now purchasing. They made us sign a new 3 year contract (even though there should have only been 2 years left) with the threat that we would be penalized for breaking the contract.

THEN, we noticed that our trouble light kept showing up on the alarm system. When we called to ask what's up, they said that they no longer support VOIP... or at least, they don't support it from certain companies (Vonage being one of them).

They sent a tech over to f around with our wiring and he made a complete mess of everything.

It was a nightmare but we're finally rid of them.
Newbie
Dec 7, 2011
35 posts
4 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
Who has Grand Alarms and has had a relatively stable connection through VOIP for at least a year? Which VOIP? Thanks in advance.

Grand Alarms suggests iTalkBB but online reviews are horrible. Looking to dump Bell home phone, however, because of the exorbitant prices of a service we barely use.
Member
Apr 29, 2007
222 posts
9 upvotes
I live in Vaughan and have had trouble-free service using voip.ms premium with Grand Alarms for the last year. My ISP is Rogers Cable internet.
Deal Addict
May 26, 2011
1804 posts
474 upvotes
Vancouver
jacobins wrote: Which VOIP?
The service provider is not really relevant because everyone uses the G.711u codec. Setting up your equipment correctly will make the difference.

AcroVoice offers support for alarm systems, and they will preconfigure your device so that it is ready to go as soon as you receive it. If you want to DIY your VoIP setup, the OBi200 and OBi202 ATAs allow you to configure a fixed jitter buffer, which is crucial for reliable data transmission. Look in the admin guide for $NOJI1 and also $NOEC1.
Deal Addict
Jan 6, 2015
2860 posts
778 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I called Grand Alarm before and they sounded sketchy and so pushy. You don't even own the system and you have to pay $30+ a month. The contract was 4 years LOL.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
8824 posts
667 upvotes
foodyforlife wrote: I called Grand Alarm before and they sounded sketchy and so pushy. You don't even own the system and you have to pay $30+ a month. The contract was 4 years LOL.
Same as the other company I used to have. I signed a 3 years contract with them and thought I own the equipment at the end like those cell phone contracts. But they told me at the end of 3 years saying I don’t own it and I have to uninstall & return the whole equipment if I stop using their service. At the end, we negotiated back and forth, and they had me to stay on for another 2 years to own it (Total 5 years to own hardware). When I finally switched to TMC (which I should have used it from the beginning), they still gave me a hard time saying they are not going to give me the master passcode for the control panel. TMC had to replace the circuit board.

Personally, I think everyone should just use TMC by paying $10 per month, which I have been using for two years now and don’t feel a difference. Or even have self monitoring by using the EnvisaLink 3 and save the $10 TMC fee AND cancel the stupid Bell landline ($30).
Jr. Member
User avatar
Apr 14, 2009
174 posts
19 upvotes
Vaughan
Just stay away from them. They have even threatened legal action for posting negative things about them. Ruthless and horrible to deal with.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 24, 2004
1904 posts
589 upvotes
Ottawa
Here I confirm freephoneline + Grandstream Ht486 works with ADT ( ex-Protecton).

Voip modem does make difference. Tried on linksys ata. Doesn't work.
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