Comparison of IP Intercoms

Pros and Cons of Different types of IP Intercoms

Intercom Door man in field concept

There are two types of intercoms.  The first type connects many intercoms to a number of central computer stations, while the second type connects one intercom to many smartphones or VoIP phones.

In general, IP intercoms can be used to notify you that someone is at the door or provide communication between many locations (like schoolrooms) and a central office.  The intercoms are all wired to the local area network.

These complete systems enhance your total security, assuring a safe environment in this uncertain world.  Here is a comparison of the different systems available.


Intercom to Central Station:

IP audio intercom system diagram
IP audio intercom system diagram

This Digital Acoustics IP intercom connects to the network and provides two-way audio.  The system requires one or more central command computers that are attached to the same network.  It is used in two types of applications.  It can be used at doors to control access, or it can be used in various locations around an organization to provide general communication.

In the door control application, the intercom can be wired directly to an electric lock to control door entry, or it can be connected to an IP door access control reader.  This network-attached intercom system is usually used by large organizations that have a designated person(s) to control access to the facility.  You can also have more than one person (and computer) controlling entry.  When a person pushes the call button, a sound at the computer notifies the control person that there is a person at the door.  The control person can talk to the visitor, and make a decision to grant entry or not.   Authorized people can gain access using their credentials or even using biometrics (like a fingerprint reader), while visitors can be monitored for controlled entry.

In the centralized communication application, the intercoms are used to communicate back to a central office.  For example, classroom teachers can communicate with the administration office.  When the teacher pushes the call button, an alert sound occurs at the office computer.  The intercom system can also be used to listen to a specific classroom at any time.  This type of intercom system can also be part of a central emergency alert system. Take a look at our network attached PA systems for more details about paging systems.  

Audio-Video Intercom to Central Station:

IP audio video intercom system diagram
IP Paging System

This audio-video intercom system is an extension of the audio-only intercom.  It adds the ability to display video, from an IP camera, at the central intercom command station.  This system is best for small organizations that have multiple people responsible for controlling door access.  The IP camera can be located near the door so you select the best viewing area.   These are best used when you need to view large areas around the door.  It can integrate with an existing IP camera system.

Smartphone Intercom:

IP Intercom System Diagram
IP Intercom with Mobile Connection

Smartphone IP intercoms are wired to your router and provide access to remote wireless smartphones.  You just provide power and a single network connection to your router.  It allows you to answer the doorbell from anywhere in the world (that has a cellular connection).  The camera is integrated into the panel to provide a live video of the person at the door.  It includes options for WiFi, network connections to VoIP phones, as well as communication through the Cloud to your smartphone.  

This intercom is best used when you need to answer the door from your smartphone or another mobile device.  It works with iPhone and Android devices.

Multi-apartment Intercom:

Multi-apartment intercom

The larger IP intercom includes a touch screen and can be used to contact people in an apartment in a large building. It uses cellular communication to connect to smartphones.

This multi-tenant intercom system is designed for use in a large complex.  It communicates with multiple mobile smart devices.  It allows each person to use their smart-phone, iPad, Android, and other mobile devices to answer a call from the intercom at the door.  This multi-dial unit allows you to reach many individuals in the organization. It is a complete system that includes a built-in IP camera so you can see who’s at the door. It can also allow you to view the video from all your remote IP cameras. more …

This intercom is best used in multi-tenant facilities when you need to answer the door using your mobile device and would like to see a person’s face.

Need help selecting the right intercom? Don’t hesitate to contact us.  We have a lot of experience with these systems and can help you select the right one for your application.  We can be reached at 800-431-1658 in the USA, or at 914-944-3425 everywhere else, or just use our contact form.