I get asked all of the time, what is the difference between all of the different Intercoms on the market?
It can be very confusing if you are new to all of this as there are many different options for you to try to sort through.
This is where I step in to help… Hang on in there and i will take you through all of the differences and explain in plain English just what does what.
There are many different types of Intercom out there but they all fall into one of two main categories, and that is HARD WIRED or WIRELESS.
Hard wired intercoms are the cheaper option, these have to be physically wired from the outstation (usually a gate or door) back to your handset.(usually in your house or office)
Wireless Intercoms are more expensive than the hard wired option, but often the cost will be offset by you not having to pay for and dig in many meters of cable.
Wireless Intercoms can be analogue wireless (old but still used) Digital Wireless, WIFI or GSM.
Analogue Wireless – These suffer badly from interference and have very limited range.
Digital Wireless – These are more widely used than analogue these days as they have much grater range and have very clear audio.
WIFI – These will connect to your Broadband router via the wifi password and will route the calls through the internet to an internet enabled device which is either connected to wifi itself or which has a 3g or 4g connection.
GSM – These Intercoms will have a SIM card inside the outstation which it uses to make and receive calls. This is the only system with an ongoing cost.
How many buttons do you need? This refers to how many different offices or properties need to be contacted separately from the outstation. A GSM intercom with one button will do what is called a progressive dial, so for instance, if your mobile number is in position 1 it will dial this first, If you do not pick up within the set number of rings, the intercom will divert to position 2, which may be your partners mobile… and so on until answered.
This however is all for just one property or office, if you need to service multiple properties you will need multiple buttons on your outstation. Remember when using a hard wired intercom that you will have to hard wire each handset to each property… This is where wireless becomes much more cost effective.
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Keypad or Not
A Keypad on your intercom will allow people (such as a postman or a gardener etc..) to punch in a code and let themselves in.
If you have a GSM intercom, these are equipped with a GSM dialer which will allow you to dial the intercom with your mobile to open the gates… This removes the need for a keypad and also reduces the cost of multiple keyfobs as once you have programmed someones number into the intercom they will be allowed access when they dial in.
When buying an intercom for your gates or for an office building you will need to decide what it is you need from your intercom before making a decision.
For instance, If you are rarely at your property with gardeners coming and going and also need to be able to let delivery drivers in to drop parcels in your porch, then you will need a GSM or WIFI intercom with a keypad. But if its an office that you are in all of the time and the office is not too far from the gate or door in question, then the best option for you will most likely be a hard wired intercom without a keypad.
Now you have more information than you did before… It’s time for you to make a decision…