IP doorbell intercoms are a high-tech entry solution. Connected to the internet, they use Internet Protocol, (IP) to make sure the data exchanges between devices and hardware routes to the correct location.
The cloud is already a part of our lives—from retrieving emails and taking photos on our phones to streaming and binge-watching television shows. The files—emails, photos, videos—do not live on our devices, but instead on a server that is located elsewhere. We call devices that are connected to the internet “smart.” And they’re getting smarter every day.
This article walks you through what you need to know about IP technology and how it’s relevant to the safety, security and convenience of access management for your property.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is an IP Doorbell Intercom?
- How does an IP Doorbell Intercom Work?
- Key Features of IP Intercom Systems
- Advanced IP Intercom Systems, including Smart and Wireless Video Intercoms
- Features to Look for in an IP Intercom Solution Provider
- The Benefits of the myQ Community IP Platform
What is an IP Doorbell Intercom?
IP doorbell intercoms are a high-tech entry solution. Connected to the internet, they use Internet Protocol (IP), which is like traffic control for data exchanges. IP makes sure that the data shared between devices and hardware routes to the correct location on a cloud server.
The problem with legacy technologies, such as a telephone intercom entry system, is that they are analog rather than digital. Analog technology is discrete in that the software programs or hardware stand alone and do not easily connect with one another.
How Does an IP Doorbell Intercom Work?
An IP doorbell intercom works by allowing a visitor to request access at a building’s entrance or at the gate to a property. From the doorbell intercom panel, a visitor can look up the resident’s unit number in the system’s directory, then press the corresponding number. This sends an alert to the resident’s smartphone entry app so they can talk with the person who wants in before deciding to grant or deny entry to the building. If the system has a door lock release mechanism, the resident can remotely unlock the door with the push of a button.
An IP intercom can either connect directly to a Local Area Network (LAN) or to a computer server in the cloud. The internet makes it possible for IP intercoms to transmit and receive larger volumes of data. IP intercom video systems can even transmit and receive streaming video—something that older entry management systems cannot do.
Key Features of Most IP Doorbell Intercom Systems
All door entry systems need outdoor hardware, which is often installed at the entrance. This hardware is called the base station. Some doorway entry systems also require hardware installed in every unit throughout the property. Those devices are called substations.
There are two ways in which substations and base stations exchange information within a door entry system.
Wired system: The data exchange happens via wiring. This wiring is the copper-based plain old telephone service (POTS) lines that major telecom companies have begun to phase out of service. Over time, the cost of maintaining POTS lines will increase, and if they should need repair, the telecom provider will be under no obligation to do so.
Wireless system: Door entry systems can also exchange information wirelessly. This means that instead of connecting people and devices with copper wiring, the connection happens in the cloud. The cloud refers to web-connected servers and software that users can access and use over the internet. If the intercom system is transmitting and receiving video data, that’s known as a wireless video intercom.
Innovative access control systems live in the cloud and exchange information using a language referred to as Internet Protocol (IP).
Features to Look for in an IP Video Intercom System Provider
The cloud and connectivity of the internet of things has created the smart access control market and introduced a host of new products. Property owners and community managers will be well served to partner with best-in-class access solution providers—providers who offer robust and scalable systems with seamless integration capabilities. Here are some questions to consider when looking for a trusted partner and product.
Are the IP Video Intercom Systems User Friendly?
Ease of use is typically the key factor to take into consideration when updating your phone intercom to a smart IP video intercom. A reliable cloud-based access control system should come with an intuitive interface for residents, as well as easy programming capabilities that allow managers to add or update data from anywhere.
Additionally, your wireless video intercom system should automatically install software updates to eliminate the management of multiple software licenses and the confusion of running different versions of the software. Updates happen seamlessly without requiring any action on the part of the management staff.
Are the IP Video Intercom Systems Customizable?
It’s important to select a wireless smart video intercom door entry system that aligns with your community’s needs. The system should be scalable and flexible to allow users to specify the level of control they need now and have the ability to add features like access control solutions for elevators, parking structures, gates and garages later. The IP video intercom access control system should also come with robust diagnostics that can be customized to issue alerts and notifications that are relevant to the community’s needs.
Are the IP Video Intercom Systems Versatile?
Smart IP video intercoms should provide digital amenities that streamline an owner or manager’s workflow and fulfill resident expectations. Potential amenities can include a smartphone app with voice-controlled entry, the ability to issue virtual passes to guests and service people from anywhere and the sense of security that comes from being able to see who is at the door before granting access.
LiftMaster’s IP Video Intercoms Powered by the myQ Cloud
Looking ahead at the rapidly expanding home technology market, Jenny Lytle, General Manager of Access Controls and Community Services at LiftMaster® emphasizes the importance of a simple-to-use, integrated smart-home experience for residents in small apartment buildings and large, multi-family communities alike.
Lytle concludes, “myQCommunity products are installed in residential communities around the world and the systems are used by a variety of consumers. The platform itself is enabled in over 250,000 units today in over 30,000 gated communities with over four million residents operating on it.”
The Benefits of the myQ Cloud Smart Access Controls Platform
Touchless access control
Create a contactless entry experience for residents and a work-from-anywhere experience for employees.
Remote lockdown capabilities
Open or close any/every door in case of an emergency, even when offsite, with LiftMaster’s award-winning smart access controls.
Enable software integration
Get open API architecture that offers seamless integration with property management software.
Mitigate risk across locations
Set up automatic security alerts, use video camera entry logs to conduct audits and rely on built-in video intercom features to prevent vandalism.
View all entry activities, track and manage occupancy, update or cancel access privileges on the fly and respond to real-time alerts from your device, or have your security professional monitor it for you.
Frictionless, secure mobile access
Rely on the mobile app to offer both managers and residents the ability to grant limited access virtual keys for guests, service people or deliveries with visual verification, automatic entry detection and remote access features.
24/7 customer service
LiftMaster’s field sales representatives often walk the property with the dealer who will be installing your smart access control solution. After purchase, a customer success manager will be available to answer your questions, in addition to onsite or virtual training, plus an on-demand library of helpful resources. We provide 24/7 customer service with an escalation protocol for rapid resolution of problems should they occur. Our field services analysts do everything in their power to break our products before they are sold, exposing them to extreme heat, cold, physical abuse and more, so that LiftMaster products perform as promised.
For more than 50 years, LiftMaster® has created entry control solutions from garage door openers to award-winning smart video intercoms, powered by myQ. As a trusted entry management brand, LiftMaster controls multiple points of entry, from gates, entrances and elevators to package rooms, parking structures and more. LiftMaster smart video intercoms provide safety, security and convenience to nearly 500,000 multi-family residents, monitoring 20,000 entry points across North America.