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Customer Questions Answered: Cellular Edition

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By: Editor
February 18, 2014

Customer Questions Answered: Cellular Edition

We are asked a lot of questions about FrontPoint Security. Everything from information about our company and our security system, to home automation and integration with existing equipment. Some questions are from long-time security system users, while others are from prospective buyers who are learning about home security for the first time.

What’s interesting is that we found that the questions asked were often very similar, regardless of a user’s experience with a home security system. With that in mind, we decided it’d be helpful and useful to provide a platform where some of these common questions are answered.

So here it is, the very first blog edition of our customer’s most frequently asked questions! Here we’ll answer the most popular questions we are asked. And every few weeks, we’ll have a new edition focusing on a new set of questions!

This week, we’re answering your questions about a very important component of our security systems: the cellular connection. Here we go!

What does a “Cellular System” mean?

A cellular security system is one that uses a cellular chip to send its signals and alerts. Traditional wired security systems use landlines, such as phone and cable lines. Burglars can simply cut the wires to disable these kinds of systems, making them unsafe options. A cellular system communicates in a similar way to your cellphone. No wires, no worries.

It should be noted that a cellular system is NOT the same as a wireless system. Some companies will try to sell you a wireless system where the sensors may be wireless, but the control panel still requires a hardwired connection. Always make sure to ask for a cellular connection.

What if I have no/bad/spotty cell service in my area?

While the cellular chip in FrontPoint systems are similar to a cellphone’s, they are not exactly the same. The chips we use need only a low-frequency signal to reach our Monitoring Center. It’s a much lower frequency than what’s required for a voice conversation over a cellphone. So despite the weak signal in your area, chances are the connection will be strong.

In addition, we use several cellular networks to maximize coverage. We do tests to ensure that you receive the provider that will give you strongest signal and coverage before you complete your order.

What happens if a cell tower goes down in my area?

A single cell tower that stops working for any reason will not have a noticeable effect on a FrontPoint security system. Another cell tower will be able to pick up the signal, so you won’t experience an interruption in protection.

If someone has a cell jammer, will that affect my system?

It’s very unlikely. All FrontPoint systems use a military-grade frequency, ensuring a secure and reliable connection at all times. In addition, the control panel is equipped with jam detection, so any interruption in sensor communication would be interpreted as an alarm. If a burglar did attempt to use a cell jammer on the system, it would be treated as if they had tripped a sensor.

Another thing to consider is that cell jammers are illegal to buy, sell, or use in the US and Canada. Burglars are trying to remain incognito, and buying illegal products is not the way to do it.

Submit Your Questions!

We encourage you to submit your questions in the comments below. We will answer them as soon as possible, as well as consider any common questions for the next edition. You can also visit the FAQs on our main page.

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Keith Martin
February 18, 2014
I'm buying a weekend cabin in the woods. I ready have sensors and cameras in my main home in the city. Can I extend sensors and or cameras to my cabin without incuring extra monitering fees? There is no internet in the cabin.
Peter M. Rogers
February 26, 2014
Keith - thanks for your excellent question. I am sorry to tell you that the cameras do require an Internet connection to communicate. In fact, the video services are the only aspect of our interactive monitoring features that do require Internet in the home, since all of our other interactive services operate over the cellular connection that is built into every FrontPoint system. If you do not have an Internet connections at the cabin, then I am afraid our cameras are simply not going to be able to communicate video clips to you, or allow you to view live video at the cabin from a remote location. As for your other question, regarding extending the cabin sensors to your existing system, they are too far away for that. You would need a separate system (with separate monthly fees) at the cabin. And you would need cell coverage there, of course, for the system to be operational, since we do not use a vulnerable phone line for any form of communication. Please feel free to speak with our Security Consultants or the Support team on these and any other questions you may have - thanks thanks again.
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