Security Alarm Communication Device Types: PSTN, GSM or IP Module?

Security Alarm Communication Device Types: PSTN, GSM or IP Module?


In the past alarm panels relied on PSTN (phone line) for communication. However, this method is now obsolete due to implementation of the NBN network. At present, there are two main types of communication devices:

3G/4G GSM module reporting via SIM Card $

  • Connectivity based on the mobile/GSM, using 3G, 4G or 5G technology
  • Permaconn is the most widely used product on the Australian market
  • Requires a SIM Card with data plan
  • An additional cost for most alarm systems and generally the most expensive option
  • This option required for professional back to base monitoring

Ethernet / IP Module $

  • A module that is added to the alarm control panel which allows your alarm to create a connection to the internet
  • An additional cost for most alarm systems, but generally no ongoing costs as it relies on an existing internet connection at the property
  • Less reliable than a GSM module and can be susceptible to drop outs and is impacted by any issues with your internet connection
  • Preferred option for Self Monitoring

Both GSM and Ethernet modules connect to your alarm panel to provide two-way communication. This communication is what allows you to remotely control your alarm system and enables your device to alert you when an alarm is triggered. 

Both modules are at a similar price point, and offer similar functionality. 

If unsure of which communication device to go for, we’d generally recommend a GSM module as they tend to be more reliable.

In the case that the power is cut or drops out, Ethernet Modules are often rendered ineffective as they rely on an internet connection to operate. Conversely, alarms with GSM modules are able to maintain connection throughout blackouts.  

Here at Jim’s Security, our interactive alarm package including an IP Module starts from $1095 (including installation). We also offer premium packages including multiple zones, perimeter detection and remote monitoring from $2000. To find out more about the alarm systems we supply visit our Security Alarm Systems page.  

For help finding a Security System tailored to your home or business give us a call on 131 546 or book a free onsite quote. Or for more information about choosing an alarm system, have a look at our Alarm Buyers’ Guide

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