How Perfect Connections Does Security Systems

Security-American Advisors GroupComprehensive security systems are what help maintain a safe and secure work environment or home.  As a consumer it is in your best interest to hire a systems integrator with experience, knowledge, and know-how, but how do you tell the good from the “just okay” or bad?  Any company can spout off how many years experience they have or jobs they’ve completed, that doesn’t really give you much insight into how they operate and solve problems.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our integrators are licensed and provide a more individualized approach to any security problem you may have.  Many competitors will offer standardized solutions that may not fit your specific needs.  They do this simply to increase profits without considering “what is it potentially costing my client?”  Our team at Perfect Connections puts the customer first and we do so through our client services, problem solving techniques, and determination to get the job done right.  We have been providing comprehensive security system solutions to homes and a range of businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our customer loyalty means the world to us, so without inflating our egos let’s look at what makes us stand out.

Some of the larger security systems companies out there will use a “one size fits all” mentality when it comes to system design.  This is not an effective way to protect your business or home.  Every establishment and home is unique with extraneous factors that pose different risks.  Designing a comprehensive security system takes a customized approach.

You likely wouldn’t implement the same system configuration in an assisted living facility as you would a manufacturing plant, right?  Right!  You may use similar system components like a means of access control and surveillance, but their applications would be different and specific to their respective locations.  At Perfect Connections we believe in performing on site risk assessments and listening to our clients’ concerns to help determine the design, layout, and components necessary to provide adequate coverage.

As with any technology, security systems are susceptible to imperfections.  This could be imperfections in system components or imperfections caused by an external factor, like existing infrastructure disturbances.  Often times when there are obstructions or architectural issues alarm system equipment may not function optimally.

In the event a system isn’t operating properly our team of licensed integrators will run tests on the equipment and find the root of the actual problem.  Other companies act in haste and often times don’t look for the actual cause of the issue.  Instead they’ll assume it’s a total system malfunction and tear the whole thing out and start over.  This is a costly and inefficient problem solving method.  Our team does their due diligence to solve the problem accurately and efficiently, and we won’t give up until the issue is resolved.

At Perfect Connections we believe a comprehensive security system includes access control, video surveillance, fire and burglar alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, home automation, and a monitoring service.  These individual components together create a system that provide unmatched coverage for your home or business.  As an independent alarm company we’re not limited to one manufacturer’s offerings, which allows us to use the components that will work the best in your specific application and that are most cost effective.

As licensed security system integrators our team has been providing solutions to businesses and homes throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  Our experience and continued education has enabled us to evolve to meet the changing needs of our clients.  If you’re looking for an alarm system for your home or business know that you won’t be just another number at Perfect Connections.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Why Does an Assisted Living Facility Need a Security System?

Assisted Living FacilityAssisted living facilities are dynamic environments.  You have occupants with varying levels of medical needs alongside administrative, medical, and visiting personnel.  It’s a somewhat complex security issue because residents and staff need to be able to move throughout the facility freely, but unauthorized entrants must somehow be kept out.  The mental health and acuity of residents can also be a cause for concern.  In an aging population medical conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can cause residents to wander off or get lost which is a major concern for staff and resident relatives.  Thankfully by implementing security system solutions many of these concerns can be addressed.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed security system integrators have been providing comprehensive security solutions to healthcare facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our team understands the importance of securing assisted living facilities isn’t solely about protecting physical assets, it’s about ensuring the safety and security of the people that live and work there.  It’s about providing a peace of mind to not only the staff and residents, but resident’s families as well.

Comprehensive security systems should include fire alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, burglar alarms, a surveillance system, access control, and a monitoring service.  One of the most important components that should concern assisted living facilities is access control.  Access control can be implemented in a number of ways and an assisted living facility may require more than one mode.

The on-site staff will likely need access to areas where medication is stored and administrative offices, supply rooms, and medical records etc.  Access not only has to be convenient, but limited to authorized staff.  The reason this can sometimes be challenging is because residents want to be able to roam throughout the facility freely as do visitors.  Fortunately with access control solutions the chances of a resident or visitor wandering into a restricted area are lowered significantly.

By installing readers at entries and distributing credentials (fobs, swipe cards, and proximity cards) to authorized users, access will be limited.  The benefit of using readers in conjunction with credentials vs traditional locks and keys is you don’t have to worry about lost or stolen keys.  Cards and fobs can be remotely disabled whereas a lost key may never be recovered which ultimately leads to changing out the locks and over time that can be costly.

According to Mark Jarman, President of Inovonics, “…the assisted living market has changed from one of simply providing clinical care, much like hospitals, to sprawling campuses which are often a blend of independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing services.”  This creates a more complex environment that requires increased safety and vigilance.  Assisted living facilities are full of activity, the constant coming and going of staff, residents, and visitors, it can be challenging to keep an eye on everything, that’s why having a surveillance system is vital.  It’s a helpful tool that allows staff to keep track of patients that might have the tendency to wander and it gives residents a peace of mind.  In the event an intruder is able to gain access to the facility, surveillance will help authorities catch the perpetrator and depending on the type of system, it can even be setup to send real-time alerts to staff members on their mobile devices.

Aside from surveillance and access control solutions it’s imperative and likely required by local and national laws to have a fire alarm system and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Fire alarm systems and detectors are lifesaving components that when tied to a monitored security system become even more effective.  With a monitored system, when an alarm sounds, a signal is sent to the monitoring station which then immediately alerts emergency responders, and in unpredictable situations it is imperative to have the quickest response possible.  This is critical in an assisted living facility as residents are likely slower moving and may have impaired hearing or eyesight.  Some fire alarm systems can even indicate which detectors or alarms within the facility initiated the alert which is helpful to responders as they’ll have a better idea where to start when they arrive on site.

The reasons why an assisted living facility would need a security system are evident.  There is a need to protect residents, staff, visitors, medical records, physical assets, and facility property.  A comprehensive security system that includes access control, surveillance, fire alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and a monitoring service is essential.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators can help design a custom and comprehensive system that is tailored to the specific needs of your facility.  Every organization is unique and should be treated as such, especially when it comes to matters of security.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by U.S. Department of Agriculture-Flickr-Creative Commons

Can Central Monitoring be Replaced by Self-monitoring?

Traditionally in any monitored security system, the individual security devices are installed by a systems integrator and when an alarm sounds or something looks suspicious a signal, and sometimes a video clip, is sent to a central monitoring station which then either contacts the end-user or the local authorities to initiate an emergency response.  This system still exists today and is considered an effective means for preventing disaster and catching criminals.  However, in light of recent technological advancement, the end user now has the capability to “monitor” their own property via their mobile device.  One has to wonder, how effective can self-monitoring be and could it actually replace a central monitoring service?

Our licensed team of integrators at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We have seen how technology can affect not only individual security devices but the system as a whole.  There are pluses and minuses to every situation, but its understanding which methods and devices provide the most benefits that make the difference, and monitoring services are no exception.

As a business owner it’s nice to feel in control of your facility and what goes on within it.  This is where the idea of self-monitoring comes into play.  If you have a security system installed at your facility, it can be set up to send notification directly to your mobile device.  This means that when there is a disturbance, maybe an intruder walks in front of a motion sensitive video camera, a video clip can be sent directly to your smartphone or mobile device so you can act.  The same is true of a tripped alarm.  This all sounds great, right?  However, it’s not without its limitations.

One of the major drawbacks of monitoring your own alarm system is failure to initiate an immediate and adequate response.  This could happen for a number of reasons.  One being your mobile device is turned off or not on your person.  Another could be a missed notification.  As a business owner you likely have enough on your plate to occupy the full 24 hours of the day, never mind trying to keep an eye on your facility at all times.  It’s a feat not likely met by any independent business owner, you have to sleep at some point.  Self-monitoring can also become a nuisance, receiving excessive notifications throughout the day.  The constant interruption would be enough to drive anyone mad.  It’s for these reasons central monitoring services continue to prevail.

The goal of monitoring an alarm system is to create a proactive response versus a reactive one.  In the recent past, surveillance footage was primarily being utilized in “after the fact” scenarios where local authorities would try to catch a perpetrator or solve a crime based on recorded footage.  Today, with real-time video verified notifications and improving communications, local authorities stand a better chance of catching someone red-handed.

There are essentially four different types of monitoring that can be implemented, including self-monitoring.  There’s onsite monitoring which typically consists of paying someone to sit and stare at TVs or computer monitors.  According to a study from Sandia National Laboratories the attention span of a person viewing surveillance footage for just 20 minutes will be “significantly diminished.”  It’s not a very reliable or economical method to ensure the security of your facility.

Then you have remote monitoring where surveillance footage is monitored off site by streaming footage over the internet to a remote location.  However, this doesn’t mean someone will be vigilant 24/7.  This could mean streaming it to your home computer and that would only be effective if someone were there to monitor it.  Lastly, there’s professional remote video monitoring.  This type of monitoring typically employs operators that are trained on how to interact with local authorities and respond to different security scenarios.  These types of monitoring stations are typically staffed 24/7.

Professional remote video monitoring is an advantageous service because the operator on duty can interpret live video footage and provide useful information to the local authorities.  Information that isn’t necessarily transmitted to a mobile device in a 5-10 sec video clip; things like a perpetrator/s physical description, maybe the license plate or make and model of their getaway vehicle, what the suspect is doing, how many people are present, and whether or not the suspect/s is armed.

This type of monitoring can also help filter our false alarms and fees incurred by false dispatches by validating on site activity with the end user via real-time footage.  As the end user you can also request that the operators perform occasional virtual tours throughout your facility or parts of it.  These routine surveys of your property would help detect any disturbances but also help in general maintenance of your facility.  An operator may notice  things like loose wires or a piece of equipment that looks out of place.  Depending on your facility’s capabilities, monitoring operators can sometimes interact with suspects or people on site through speakers on a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) system.

While new technology continues to usher in the desire for self-reliance it also fosters further development of security system components and the way monitoring services are able to interact with them.  Many industry professionals agree that having a professional monitoring service is still the preferable method of watching over your facility.  There’s simply too many holes in trying to self-monitor your own business.  According to Simon Morgan, director of Technology, SureView Systems, “The central station remains the first line of defense.”  Matthew Riccoboni, director of Marketing, OzVision, says, “There truly is a value in 24/7 monitoring by the central station. Customers like to know someone is keeping an eye on their assets whether they are awake or not.”  With a central monitoring station you can rest easy knowing someone is always there to initiate a response.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators have been providing comprehensive security systems to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We understand the value our customers place on their business that they’ve worked so hard for; we work to provide the best solutions to fit their specific needs.  If you live or run a business in central or northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Check out this video on actual events that highlight the differences between monitoring stations that have video verification and those that don’t.  The last scenario is what everyone wants to avoid. Link: What is Video Verification?

Image Credit: Image by Bosch Service Solutions-Google-Creative Commons

Why Should I Have a Home Security System?

Burglar-JohnImplementing a home security system can seem like a daunting task, but it’s an investment you won’t regret.  People typically visualize the home break-in scenario where the masked intruder breaks a window setting off an alarm, ultimately sending the perpetrator on the run.  A home security system is so much more than a triggered alarm, it’s a potential life saver in a variety of situations.  We all like to imagine our homes are impervious fortresses of safety, but the reality is there are too many uncontrollable factors that could affect our daily lives.  Home security allows you to be more prepared for those unpredictable situations.

Our licensed integrators at Perfect Connections, Inc. design and install comprehensive home security systems.  We have been providing custom security solutions to residents in northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our systems protect people and property, offering a peace of mind that can’t be obtained from anything else.  It is our belief that a comprehensive home security system should include a burglar alarm, video surveillance, home automation, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and a monitoring service.

Burglar alarms are likely the first thing that come to mind when thinking about home security.  This is because they are a vital system component that helps keep you and your family safe from intruders.  Not only do burglar alarms alert you and your monitoring station of a potential disturbance, they can deter would be thieves from even attempting a break-in or burglary.  In a study by the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation (AIREF) 422 convicted burglars were asked about their decisions to burglarize.  They found that approximately 60% would not make an attempt on a home or commercial property that they knew had and alarm system.

Having a surveillance system is an essential component of a comprehensive home security system.  Cameras keep eyes on your property even while you can’t.  The recordings can also help during an investigation after the fact if necessary.  In the burglar study conducted by AIREF approximately 60% said cameras would be factor in their target selection with more than 40% reporting they would choose an alternative if cameras were present.  Aside from being a deterrent and a forensics tool, home surveillance systems can often be remotely accessed via an app on your mobile device.  This would allow you to check-in on specific parts of your home, see that your pets are okay during the day, or check-in on a loved one.

Remote access to your home security system is part of the abilities you are afforded when you have home automation.  With home automation you can setup customized alerts so you receive notifications to your mobile device when your children arrive home from school, when an alarm is triggered, you receive a package, or there is a drastic temperature change in your home.  Having remote access to your system helps you control certain parts of you home as well.  Maybe you go on vacation and you forget to close your garage doors, if you have home automation it’s not a problem, you simply login to the app on your mobile device and close the doors.  Depending on your system configuration you can arm or disarm your system, lock or unlock doors, control the temperature, turn lights on and off, and sometimes control appliances.  Home automation offers convenience and connectivity you can’t get from anything else.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the most important life safety devices every home should have.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that every year more than 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning unrelated to fires.  Carbon monoxide is a “silent killer” that is colorless and odorless, that is why it is so important to have working detectors in the home.  Based on past data, in 2014, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in homes that didn’t have working smoke alarms.

Statistics alone should be enough to convince any home owner to invest in these life saving devices.  What makes them even more effective is if they are tied into your security system.  That way when they go off or CO levels rise the central monitoring station will be alerted and if necessary they can send help right away.  In situations where you might not be home or a loved one is home alone, it’s nice to know someone is still vigilant.

Monitoring services are the catalyst in security systems that initiate emergency responses.  They are a key component that shouldn’t be passed up because of cost.  You can’t put a cost on the lives of the ones you love or yourself for that matter.  What good is an alarm if no one is alerted when it goes off?  It might scare off an intruder, but do you really want to take that chance?  During a fire or unpredictable disaster you want the fastest response you can get, right?  That is where having a monitoring service proves its worth.  It provides quick response times even when you are not home or incapable of responding.

Whether you’re new to the world of home security systems or have been considering one for a long time, it’s always a worthy investment.  A comprehensive system will help protect not only your property but your life and the lives of your loved ones.  Our team of licensed integrators at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security solutions to homes throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We realize no two homes are identical and each one has individual security risks and concerns, which is why we custom design our systems to fit your needs.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by John-Flickr-Creative Commons

Storing Surveillance

Surveillance playSAN-Dennis van Zuijlekoms a vital role in any comprehensive security system.  It helps authorities catch criminals and provides helpful insight into your business operations by collecting and analyzing data on a daily basis.  Where and how is all of this visual and analytical data being “collected?”  That is the ever pressing question for system integrators and end-users alike.  Storing surveillance data can be as important to the efficiency of your security system as having the surveillance equipment itself.  We are catapulting ourselves into the future with the constant evolution of technology in all aspects of life including security system components, and surveillance storage solutions are no exception, but not all are created equal.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators are dedicated to providing comprehensive security system solutions that protect people and property.  We have been installing security systems at business facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our team designs system solutions that meet the needs specific to your organization.  Surveillance storage is a security system component that will vary project to project and should be treated with an individualized approach.

In the not so distant past, video recordings weren’t as advanced as they are today in terms of image resolution, clarity, and noise distortion.  Recordings would often be deemed unusable due to their lack of clarity and they would typically be discarded freeing up storage space for new recordings.  Today, with the advent of IP cameras (internet protocol) and more advanced camera technology the recordings have become critical data sources that are considered valuable.  This means more and more end-users are interested in keeping recorded data for longer periods of time.  The obvious consequence is the need for more storage space.

There are many factors that affect what kind of surveillance storage solutions can and should be implemented at a facility.  The size of the project, existing infrastructure, and client budget are all critical determinants as to what type of storage should be implemented.  The camera type, camera quantity, compression standards, frame rates, motion detection, desired length of storage, and overall estimate of desired resolution all should be taken into account as well.

When it comes to storing surveillance data it is paramount that the integrity of the footage is not lost.  Traditionally surveillance footage would be stored on a DVR (digital video recorder), but it’s limitations within a networked system make it less than ideal.  With so much of the surveillance world developing around IP and network solutions it’s only natural that network storage solutions should arise.  NAS (network attached storage), SAN (storage area network), and DAS (direct attached storage) are all potential methods for storing surveillance data.  All have different installation requirements.  Some may call for extensive cabling and a large closet to store servers, but it all depends on the size and type of project.  According to Justin Schorn, vice president of product management for Aimetis, “The critical decision is choosing between a storage area networks (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS).”

The different storage devices vary in how they present information to the user and how data is accessed.  The NAS devices present data in a “file system” same with DAS, whereas SAN is presented in what is referred to as “block storage.”  DAS and NAS either attach directly to an existing network or the NVR (network video recorder).  SAN is essentially an extension of a DAS, but provides a higher storage capacity.

DAS is typically implemented in situations when expansion is not an option, the system performance requisites are static, and shared access is not necessary.  The reason being is DAS devices are limited to singular DVR or NVR applications.  SAN solutions are typically used in larger camera applications that may later require scalable options.  According to Lee Caswell, founder and chief marketing officer at Pivot3, “Many archivers can share the storage and the SAN platform introduces more reliability over NVR/DVR systems because there is no single point of failure.”  Common applications for SAN storage include airports, casinos, and prisons.

NAS devices are typically used in smaller surveillance applications as its performance isn’t as robust as SAN.  One of the advantages to NAS solutions is data can be easily accessed by anyone on the same protected network.  Lee says, “The advantage of the file system on the NAS platform is that it is easier to support a hybrid storage case as some storage occurs locally on self-contained NVRs/DVRs and extended storage is sent to a specific file on the NAS.”

Keeping high quality recorded data for longer periods of time can help local authorities with investigations and it can provide insight into your business that you otherwise wouldn’t observe.  While storing recorded footage from your surveillance system is critical to your overall security, it’s important to remember that the type of storage necessary will vary depending on the project parameters.  It is imperative to work with a licensed security system integrator to help evaluate security risks, the quantity of cameras needed, and how a surveillance storage system can be implemented to meet your requirements.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. we are committed to providing security systems that suit your specific needs.  We have been designing and installing comprehensive security systems at businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Dennis van Zuijlekom-Flickr-Creative Commons

What is VoIP and how will it affect my security system?

Telephone-Billy BrownWe live in an exciting time where it seems every day a new technology is being born.  Everything from our computers to our phones to our everyday accessories are advancing at a rapid pace.  The implications of a technology may not be fully realized until after the fact, and it may not always be an issue with the technology itself, but how it interacts with existing components of our already complex systems.  This is especially true of security system components.

In a comprehensive security system there are access controls, burglar and fire alarms, video surveillance, a monitoring service, and sometimes motion/glass break detectors.  With all of these moving parts security integrators have to understand the functions of each component and how they will affect one another.  As licensed security systems integrators our professionals at Perfect Connections, Inc. we deal with the changing technological environment by being educated and thoroughly evaluating what technologies will actually benefit our clients.  Our integrators have been providing comprehensive security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.

Many, if not most, security systems are migrating to a network based solution where system components are tied to an internet network.  This is where VoIP technology may come into play.  What is VoIP?  It stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.  Essentially VoIP technology allows voice signals to be transferred over a network versus the traditional POTS (plain old telephone service).  How does this tie into security systems?  In the not so distant past security system components were hardwired and heavily relied on traditional phone lines for communication capabilities.  Even with the surge of wireless components available there are still many hardwired systems that rely on the dependability of a phone line connection. VoIP technology essentially replaces the traditional phone line and can be used to bundle all communications, like cable and internet, into one service.

Sounds convenient, but like any technology there are bound to be issues, particularly with how it can potentially interfere with security systems.  Where you might run into trouble is when an alarm is triggered.  Typically, when an alarm is triggered a signal is sent to the monitoring station prompting them to alert the proper authorities.  Depending on the installation and the service, it could cause unpredictable or failed communication of alarm signals to the central monitoring station.  Some VoIP services can’t connect directly to 911 and on the dispatchers end they might not be able to see your phone number or address when you call, which is problematic when a response is needed.

The reasons why VoIP can cause unreliability are not always obvious especially to the end user.  According to Kenneth L. Gentile, a senior consulting engineer for Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc., “Digital alarm communication transmitters (DACTs) and other alarm transmitters initiate tones designed for transmission over POTS.”  Sometimes these tones meant for the monitoring station do not translate properly over VoIP lines due to signal distortion.

Installation error can be a factor in the reliability, or lack thereof, in VoIP services as well.  If the initial alarm wiring was installed on the existing telephone service it could prevent the alarm from transmitting properly and it’s up to your security systems integrator to recognize that. Alarm system tests can typically be run to ensure its operability, but according to Gentile, an on-site test with a VoIP service can’t always determine proper function or what the problem may be.  Instead he suggests VoIP service providers and the alarm monitoring service should be asked to conjointly demonstrate transmission of alarm signals under normal circumstances, when there is a power failure, and when VoIP is in use.  Doing so should help point out any potential issues with alarm signal transmission.  Gentile says, “VoIP service must be engineered so as not to jeopardize the essential emergency communications upon which public safety depends.”

Issues aside, VoIP service promises to be a beneficial technology.  Apparently it comes with great cost savings.  According to Eduard L. Telders, director of enterprise information security at T-Mobile, “VoIP can eliminate the entire expense stream of establishing and maintaining a circuit-switched network for telephone connections.”  Being able to bundle all communications into one service is appealing to end users and vendors alike.  It makes maintenance and service calls more convenient, having to call only one provider versus one for each service.  Facilities that employ VoIP technologies in conjunction with their security systems have the advantage of real-time response to criminal activity.  With VoIP, central monitoring stations can actually speak directly to an intruder caught on camera, transmitting a voice message through speakers installed at the subscribers on site location.

While it may have yet to be perfected VoIP technology seems to be a leading change in communication capabilities.  The implications it may have on security system transmissions and emergency responses are critical issues that need to be addressed by VoIP providers, security system integrators, monitoring services, emergency responders, and industry professionals.  Keep in mind that just because something is available, doesn’t make it the best option for your specific needs.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators believe in providing comprehensive security solutions that will enhance the safety and security of your facility, not hinder it.  We have been installing comprehensive security systems at businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992, we have the experience and knowledge to design a system that will work best for you.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Billy Brown-Flickr-Creative Commons

Defining Edge Technology

Todd Huffman-SurveillanceWhen it comes to security systems you may have heard the term “edge technology,” “edge analytics,” or “edge devices.”  What exactly do these terms mean and why are they important?  When talking about security systems “the edge” is typically used when referring to video surveillance components.  Every security system integrator and industry professional will likely have their own definition of what it means, but in summary “edge technology” refers to surveillance devices that operate, analyze, and record at their source versus transmitting all that information over a network to the system’s core.  In traditional surveillance systems there is a central server where recorded data from peripheral devices is stored and analyzed.  In an edge-based system cameras perform these functions locally.

Why is this pertinent information?  Depending on your specific situation using edge-based technology can provide more efficient surveillance processes and enhance the overall effectiveness of your security system.  As every situation is subjective a licensed security systems integrator should always be consulted when determining what type of components will serve your business best.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed security system integrators are committed to providing comprehensive security systems that exceed your expectations.  We have been installing comprehensive security systems at businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We know how to assess your security needs and implement relevant technologies that will help keep business running as usual.

Surveillance components that can be considered on “the edge” are IP cameras, video encoders, and network attached storage (NAS) devices.  These devices have recently become more advanced and their capabilities that were once unique to the central server of the security system continue to improve.  According to Steve Gorski, general manager at Mobotix, “Edge-based surveillance solves the bottleneck problem by using the camera to decentralize intelligence and video data.”  This means the cameras themselves are more intelligent and effective.

Edge-based technologies allow for higher image resolutions and the ability to compress them without the loss image quality.  Even with the use of high resolution IP cameras becoming more commonplace, in a traditional system, the images still have to travel to the central server to be stored and typically compressed; this is where image quality can be lost.   Edge technology helps reduce the need for exorbitant storage space on the central server as many edge devices are capable of storing data locally on SD memory cards or NAS devices.  Traditionally these types of storage options were primarily used as backups for the system, but they can now be implemented as the main recording devices in smaller applications.  Cutting down on the need for centralized storage will reduce the need for high bandwidth consumption, ultimately cutting costs.

According to Fredrik Nilsson, general manager for Axis Communications, “It’s estimated today that a staggering 99 percent of all recorded surveillance video is deleted before it’s ever seen.”  How does that make surveillance useful?  It really doesn’t except for use in forensic investigations or after the fact viewing, but with edge-technologies providing intelligence and analytics at the source, detection capabilities increase which creates a more effective system.  With smarter edge devices that can detect patterns, motion, facial recognition, license plates, camera tampering, and people count, you can avoid potential catastrophe that could be caused by deleting recordings to free up space.  These types of analytics provide a platform for real-time viewing that can even be streamed to mobile devices, which are also often considered part of “the edge” realm.  The ultimate goal always being prevention and proactive approaches rather than delayed after the fact reactions.

With any technology “the edge” is a work in progress and will continue to evolve.  It seems edge devices are primarily implemented in smaller applications where the camera need is less than 20.  One of the reasons being a server-based surveillance system can run more analytics per camera because of the CPU power, so the more cameras you have the more processing power you’ll likely need.  For smaller facilities and businesses with remote locations that need surveillance, edge devices are a viable option as they provide real-time analytics, can store footage locally, and don’t require a ton of bandwidth consumption.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. we are committed to providing security system solutions that fit your specific needs.  Our team of licensed integrators has been providing comprehensive security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We realize that just because a new technology is available that doesn’t mean it is the appropriate solution to every problem.  Our integrators work with you to learn your needs and will design a custom system that addresses your subjective security risks.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Todd Huffman-Flickr-Creative Commons

NFC Technology-How Mobile Are We?

Access-ErvinWe use our smartphones and other mobile devices for many functions in our daily lives.  It’s almost impossible to go through an entire day without seeing someone tapping, scrolling, or swiping through their phone, never mind using your own phone.  We’ve created a mobile environment where convenience lies in the palm of our hands.

Technological progression has taken us so far in a short amount of time; we can pay our bills on our phones, we can chat with someone a world away, we can make everyday purchases, and now they can be used as an extension of our security systems.  In particular as a means of access control and authentication in commercial applications using near field communication (NFC).  According to Jeremy Earles, Readers and Credentials Portfolio Manager for Allegion, NFC technology, “provides simplified transactions, data exchange and wireless connections between two devices that are in close proximity to each other…”  This is essentially the same technology you may have seen advertised by Samsung where two phones can be tapped together to share information, see HERE.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our team of licensed professionals provide comprehensive security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey.  We have been helping a wide range of businesses secure their facilities for over 20 years.  As with any technology, progression in the realm of security components shows no signs of slowing.  At Perfect Connections we realize it is our responsibility to stay on top of these changes and provide our clients with solutions that are current but practical as well.

NFC technology is an exciting new venture in access control applications.  However, it has yet to become as ubiquitous as traditional access controls like key fobs, swipe cards, and proximity readers.  One of the many reasons being NFC technology has yet to become an innate feature in the spectrum of devices in circulation today.

In theory NFC access control would work by allowing your employees and authorized users to utilize their mobile device, likely their cellphone, as their access credential.  The user’s phone would have an embedded NFC chip that would wirelessly receive an authorized credential from an administrative control.  This process can be similar to how you would download an app or retrieve information stored in a cloud service; or it could be easily managed by plugging the phone into an administrative device via a USB cord.  Once the phone has the proper credential it can be used in the same fashion as a fob or proximity card, simply tap the phone or be within range of a reader that will grant or deny access.  Imagine the convenience!

With 5.9 billion, or 87% of the world’s population, being mobile subscribers it’s no wonder NFC technology is creating buzz among end users and security integrators alike.  Of those mobile subscribers 91% keep their phone within and arm’s length throughout the day and night.  It only makes sense that phones would become part of integrated security protocols.  With younger generations the desire for new and streamlined processes is endless, especially for those now entering the workforce.  They don’t want to be bothered with having to search through their pockets or purses for badges or fobs when their phone like an extension of their hand.  While NFC technology may not be the universal method for access control yet, the case for it exists today.

One of the many benefits NFC technology offers is no longer having to print or buy new ID badges which can be costly and time consuming.  It also allows you to change credentials on and as needed basis.  This would be helpful if you have a contract or temp worker who needs provisional access.  You would simply send or upload a temporary credential to their phone and when their job is done you can delete access from the administrative network.

According to Ron Oetjen, president of Intelligent Access Systems (IAS), NFC technology saves money by not having to replace lost or stolen card credentials.  Oetjen argues that security may be even better when using smartphones than cards or fobs considering how obsessively people guard them, and the fact that in order to use it as a credential the phone first has to be unlocked using a PIN or biometric identification.  So many companies already employ a BYOD (bring your own device) policy at work that the transition would be easy for the user.  If a phone is lost or stolen it can be remotely tracked, disabled, and/or wiped preventing an unauthorized user from gaining access.

Like any other developing technology, NFC is not perfect and consumer perception is still evolving.  Currently one of the major drawbacks is that it’s not universally integrated in mobile phones and access readers.  Certain manufacturers like Apple and Google have yet to include NFC technology in their devices making the user purchase external accessories that can be bulky and unattractive.  Then there are some businesses that don’t want to lose the traditional ID badge that displays a photo of the user for security reasons.  The issue of existing security infrastructure can be tricky too as it may require the removal and reinstallation of new system components which adds cost.

The world of security systems is constantly evolving.  This requires integrators and end users to be aware of changes that will affect and potentially enhance their systems.  NFC technology is an exciting addition to the access control component of a security system that will likely become more ubiquitous in the coming years.  It will provide a new level of security and convenience that has yet to be fully realized.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators are constantly educating themselves on changes in the industry and how they may benefit our clients.  We provide comprehensive security systems that include access controls to businesses and facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey, and have been doing so since 1992.  Our experts will help guide you through the process from an initial security assessment to final installation, implementing technologies that are not only effective but make sense for your specific situation.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Ervins Strauhmanis-Flickr-Creative Commons

What Sets Us Apart

logoWhen you’re starting any kind of project, what’s one of the first things you do?  In all likelihood you go to your computer, smartphone, or mobile device and open up a search engine.  You run search after search to find what you’re looking for.  In our connected world of the IoT (Internet of Thing) we are, at least partially, reliant on what we can find online.  You can find information on virtually anything.  This includes anything from how to properly stain a deck to how to choose which security system integrator is the best.

Entering almost any search will draw up a slew of options, so how do you choose?  Any company can toot their own horn and sound good on paper, or online for that matter.  That’s where customer reviews, testimonials, a personal reference, and researching the business comes in handy.  When it comes to installing a security system at your home or business you want to feel confident that who you hire is experienced, licensed, knowledgeable, and trustworthy.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our team of licensed integrators design and install comprehensive security systems in homes and businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey.  We’ve been providing detailed and professional service for the past 23 years.  We specialize in custom designed security systems that typically include fire and burglar alarms, video surveillance, access control, alarm monitoring, and interactive services.

As a commercial and residential security system company, our team at Perfect Connections prides itself in providing systems and service that exceed your expectations.  Unlike other security system providers we’re confident we can create solutions to almost any issue you may have.  This includes thinking outside the box, literally, when it comes to designing a comprehensive security system.  Many integrators will limit themselves to the specifications of a security component and won’t get creative to manufacture a solution.  The same is true about structural obstacles, some companies will not even attempt to solve an installation challenge if they perceive it to be too difficult.  At Perfect Connections we’re problem solvers.  We exhaust all options before accepting defeat, and more often than not come up with a creative solution.

With Perfect Connections you know what you’re getting.  When we quote a job for specified work the price you’re quoted is the price you will pay, no added fees or upcharges.  Typically the only time you would end up paying more is if additional work is requested after the fact, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be charged more because of an unanticipated structural or component issue.

While we can’t necessarily prove the authenticity of an internet comment, we can present the facts about our company.  As a commercial and residential security systems provider in northern and central New Jersey, our team at Perfect Connections has the expertise and customer loyalty to prove our professional status.  Aside from offering quality products and installation, we truly value our customers and their needs.  Our typical customer base covers a wide range including homeowners, hospital and healthcare facilities, assisted living facilities, recycling and salvage yards, office buildings, and manufacturing facilities.  Nobody, and nothing, is perfect, but we are constantly working our hardest to ensure our clients’ needs are being met.  What sets us apart from the competition is what we offer, our commitment to quality service, and our ability to problem solve designing customized systems.

Available ONLY at Perfect Connections

  • We offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you are at all dissatisfied, no questions asked
  • There is a one year warranty of EVERYTHING we offer
  • We have a 98% customer loyalty rating
  • Perfect Connections has been in business since 1992 with more than 1,200 customers in Central and Northern New Jersey

What Else Do We Offer?

Perfect Connections The Other Guys
Live 24/7/365 support available Most expect you to call during business hours
Technicians on call 24/7 There is no standard
Immediate response in case of emergency (typical response is 45 seconds) Typically respond within minutes
Service & maintenance contracts available Only available at large security companies
Leasing & financing available Standard for most
Customers save 10-20% on L & P insurance Standard for most


With the level of service and products we provide, our team of licensed professionals will ensure the security of your home or business.  Our specialty is comprehensive customized security systems that include fire and burglar alarms, access control, video surveillance, alarm monitoring and interactive services.  If you live or run a business in Northern or Central New Jersey, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-369-3962 and visit our website for more information HERE.  Let us help you connect and protect what matters most.