Keep Your IP Examined

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Nov 08, 2012

Moving intrusion alarms to IP has not been without challenges. The downside for many installers is they lose the ability to switch monitoring companies without costly field changes. However, a new company named "Keep Your IP" is taking an old concept for alarm companies - phone number portability - and is selling a service to make it possible with IP alarm systems. In this note, we examine the offering and analyze its value proposition.

Monitoring Companies: Backing Installers into a Corner

Most intrusion and fire alarm systems are monitored by a 3rd party central station. After the system is commissioned, a monitoring company receives notifications from the system and dispatches response. In most cases, the monitoring company is the one actually making the call to police and fire departments. Every alarm system that is monitored by one of the companies must have a phone number programmed into its panel, so that it 'knows' where to send alarm notifications. That number (or numbers) is programmed during the installation at the customer's premise.

Since this is required, making changes to these numbers is potentially very costly and can mean travelling to thousands of locations. The net result: even if a monitoring company does a poor job or raises its monitoring fees to an installing dealer, changing over all the alarm panels to a better option can be a significant cost. Installers can find themselves locked into a monitoring company for logistical reasons, not good service.

Analog Solution: Toll Free Numbers

One strategy to sidestep being 'landlocked' in this way by monitoring companies, installers often purchase their own toll-free numbers and program all panels to dial that number for monitoring. Since toll-free numbers can be purchased by private entities and ported to any phone number, the installer gains the ability to change where the number is ported at any time. If a monitoring company does a poor job, the installer simply find a new company and changes where their toll-free number transfers.

An IP Problem

Keep Your IP aims to provide the equivalent of toll free numbers for IP systems. Instead of hard-coding a monitoring company's IP into every panel, Keep Your IP wants to sell you an IP address that can be redirected as needed.

By being the 'middleman', Keep Your IP allows an installers alarm panels to be programmed with an IP that the installers 'owns' and has free reign to redirect. The image below shows where Keep Your IP fits into alarm call paths:

keep your ip overview

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Pricing

Keep Your IP sells you rights to use an IP address for ~$20 per month. This cost is per IP address - and thousands of alarm panels can be programmed to use the same IP address. However, each type of alarm system requires its own IP address - Honeywell/Ademco requires a different IP from a DSC system, for example. In addition, often each panel is programmed with 2 different IPs - a 'primary' and 'backup' one.

The company says that most installers buy between 4 to 8 sets of numbers system wide (including primary and backup), so the average cost of 'Keep Your IP' to installers is between $160 and $320 per month.

Do It Yourself?

From what we understand of their service, doing this yourself is possible for the technically inclined. One can buy static IP addresses from a hosting provider or ISP, run a shared Linux host and use that to do IP forwarding/routing between the IP addresses you own and the ones for your monitoring company. You will need to have someone with solid IT admin skills and you will still pay ~$5 per month for each IP address as well as a small fee for hosting a linux VM. Instead of $160 to $320 per month, DIY may only cost $100 or less per month.

What to do?

It is a good idea to avoid entering the monitoring company's IP address directly into one's panels as the cost to switch can be severe and the price to avoid this problem is modest.

The bigger question is whether one should do it themselves or use a service like Keep Your IP. Since it is only a modest premium over the direct cost of DIY and since many alarm dealers are uncomfortable with IT, Keep Your IP may be the best option for those who want the comfort of a service provider to avoid any issues and handle any headaches in setting up forwarding. However, if one wants to control their setup directly and has the skills, doing it oneself may work better.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Monitoring

IndigoVision Control Center VMS Tested on May 30, 2019
IPVM's last test of IndigoVision's VMS was in 2010, which found enterprise VMS features and a simple client interface. but no 3rd party camera...
NJ Law Requires Apprenticeship For Public Works Integrators on May 24, 2019
Few integrators do a formal apprenticeship program. However, now a NJ law is requiring any integrator on public works projects (such as state...
Security / Privacy Journalist Sam Pfeifle Interview on May 24, 2019
Sam Pfeifle is best known as the outspoken former Editor of Security Systems News. After that, he was publications director at the International...
ASCMA / Monitronics Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan on May 22, 2019
Monitronics is entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, also called Ascent Capital Group Inc., aka ASCMA, aka Brinks Home Security,...
China PRC Government New National Video Surveillance Standards on May 14, 2019
The People's Republic of China (PRC) government has released a new set of overarching standards for authorities to follow when they install video...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
Amazon Marketing Pro Installs of Amazon Security Systems on Apr 25, 2019
Is Amazon a threat to conventional providers like ADT, Vivint and Brinks Home Security? Many say no. Now, Amazon is advertising free in-home...
Alarm.com Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 15, 2019
The once dot com startup has evolved to become a core provider for home security and is now expanding into commercial. In their first entry in...
Hikvision AI Problems Criticized By Chinese Publication on Apr 09, 2019
Hikvision's facial recognition works poorly, causes delays and worsens learning, according to a new investigation by one of China's leading...
Casino Security Consultant Carl Lindgren Interview on Mar 26, 2019
For more than 20 years, Carl Lindgren worked as a casino surveillance pro, while being active (and sometimes outspoken) on various online video...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Startup Vaion Launching End-to-End AI Solution Backed with $20 Million Funding on Jun 17, 2019
An EU / USA video surveillance startup, Vaion, founded by ex-Cisco Senior Directors is launching an end-to-end VSaaS platform with $20 million in...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 17, 2019
While face and fingerprint recognition are used regularly for smartphones, it is not as common in physical security. In this note, we examine...
The Scheme Hikvision and China Importers Use To Avoid Tariffs on Jun 17, 2019
Hikvision and numerous China importers are avoiding 25% tariffs by including an SD card slot in their IP cameras to claim they are 'digital still...
Sighthound Transforms Into Enterprise AI Provider Profile on Jun 14, 2019
Sighthound is now rapidly expanding its R&D team, building an enterprise AI service. This may come as a surprise given their origins 6 years...
ADT Eliminating Acquired Brands, Unifying Under 'Commercial' Brand on Jun 14, 2019
ADT is eliminating the brands of the many integrators it has acquired over the past few years, including Red Hawk, Aronson Security Group (ASG),...
NSA Director Keynoting Dahua and Hikvision Sponsored Cybersecurity Conference [Canceled] on Jun 13, 2019
The technical director for the NSA’s Cybersecurity Threat Operations Center will be keynoting a physical security cybersecurity conference that is...
Farpointe Data Conekt Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jun 13, 2019
California based Farpointe Data has been a significant OEM supplier of conventional access readers for years to companies including DMP, RS2, DSX,...
Embattled $400 Million China Funded Philippines Surveillance System Proceeds on Jun 13, 2019
An embattled 12,000 camera surveillance system project that will cost ~$400 million will proceed.  The project contract was awarded, had its...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact