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Intercoms

About Intercoms

The word intercom is an abbreviation of “intercommunication device”. You will find them in places like hospitals, offices, residential apartments and even in regular homes. It will let you communicate with a person outside the door or in a different room with just a push of a button.

The earliest form of intercoms was speaking tubes and peepholes. Both of these helped people look at and talk to the person who is outside the door who is outside the door without actually opening the door. But in the latter part of the nineteenth century, Kellogg invented a way to speak without using a speaking tube. It was called the ‘interoffice telephone system’. That was just a crude form of telephone. Today’s systems have come a really long way since then. You can do a whole lot of things using them these days. Read this article to get a better understanding of them.

Everything you need to know about intercoms

Basically, an intercom is any form of a stand-alone communication device for offices, a building, or even a collection of few buildings. Although they are similar to regular telephone networks in some ways, the main distinguishing factor is that they are not connected to the public telephone network. Therefore, once set up, you don’t have to pay for using it. That is why even today systems are popular for intra-office communication. It can help businesses significantly cut down the cost of operation. This article will tell you about the various types of intercoms and how to choose between them.

Analog vs Digital

If you have ever seen a character using an intercom in the movies from the 80s and 90s, then you have seen the analogue systems. The way they worked was pretty basic. The audio and video signals from the speaker end move to the receiver end over electric wires. And at both ends, there will be transducers. Digital systems are more advanced than that and offer more features and flexibility. They use Cat 5 cables for the transfer of voice and picture and offer multiple interfacing options and face recognition. It is also possible to integrate such systems in mobile devices.

Fixed vs Portable

Fixed or permanent intercoms usually go on the exterior walls of offices or homes. These systems are best for office and home entrances. They offer more features and functionalities than portable systems. You can connect fixed intercoms to the front door to enable remote unlocking. But portable intercoms have a few advantages too. For example, you can use portable intercoms at other places than the doorway. Portable intercoms can work as baby monitors and even walkie talkies. But one obvious benefit of portable intercoms is that you can use it for temporary installations.

Wireless

Another category of intercoms is the wireless ones. These types of intercoms are getting pretty popular these days. There are various types of wireless intercoms. The first type is the one that uses low-frequency radio waves. These intercoms convert the audio and video into symmetrical radio signals that travel over air. However, such models will not give you much range. Another option is IP based systems. You can connect them to a LAN network and access it from anywhere in the world. Using these systems, you can have access to the intercom even when you are away from the house.

Pros and cons of wireless intercoms

The obvious benefit of wireless systems is that they are ultra-portable. You can access the intercoms from literally anywhere in the world if you have access to the internet. Secondly, wireless systems are extremely easy to install and setup. However, it might take you a bit of work to get it online. But the downside is that the data goes through public frequency bands. Even though such systems use encryption, there is still the risk of hackers getting access to your intercom. Furthermore, wireless intercoms that use radio frequencies are highly susceptible to interference from other radio signals.

Tips on how to buy Intercoms Online

Trying to find a good intercom that also suits your budget is a pretty hard task, especially if you are shopping for them the first time. Because intercoms are not something that anyone would consider cheap, there isn’t much room for trial and error. So, you have to nail it in your first choice. But how do you find the right one? You need to know what to look for in them and what features to prioritise. Here are some tips that will help you find the best systems.

  • Specifications and features – It is obvious that anyone would consider the features and specification of an electronic device before making the actual purchase. But the real question is what the things are to consider in an intercom. The first things to look for are video and audio quality, and whether or not can you integrate it with your existing devices, etc.
  • Connectivity – Different intercom models vary from each other in a lot of ways. One of the major differences is in the way the connection works between the speaker end and the receiver end. Some of them connect over Wi-Fi, while others use cables, radio waves or analogue methods. While you choose the mode of connectivity, consider your range and convenience.
  • Ease of use – How easy it is to set up the intercom in your house? That depends entirely on the model. Most of the time, the installation of a permanent intercom will require professional help. It will require running a lot of wires and a bit of work on the software side. If it is a portable intercom, all you need will be a mounting option on the wall.
  • Consider the price – Intercoms come in a wide range of prices. The price can go up or down depending on the features, built quality, and brand. Luckily, you will find some pretty affordable models as well as the higher-end variations that offer better support and features. So, it is better to fix your budget first before you start shopping for them.

Intercoms are one of the incredibly useful door accessories. However, there are a few other similar door accessories as well that will make your life a lot easier and safer to live. These include doorknobs, house number plaques, doorbells, and door knockers. Use our shopping search engine to easily find the products that you want. You can also compare the features and prices of them to pick the best one among them. Also, don’t forget to check out other products from the DIY category.

Question & Answer

How does intercom work?

They are basically stand-alone devices that people can use to communicate using audio and video. It is also a two-way communication device. Intercoms are different from mobile phones because they do not require an external service provider to work. So, the whole system will be self-contained and only requires electricity to run. These systems are extremely useful in both office and apartment buildings so that people can communicate with the person who is outside the door without having to open it. And when you want to open the door, you can do it with a press of a button.

When to use a video intercom?

Video intercoms are more effective and useful than regular audio-based intercoms in a lot of different regards. For one thing, they are excellent surveillance devices. Not only can they do real-time surveillance, but some of them also offer the feature that supports video recording. Being able to see the person who is outside your house without having to open the door is a huge advantage. That way, you don’t have to compromise your safety. Another benefit is that you can open the door remotely using wireless video intercom systems.

Can you talk to the intercom from anywhere in your house?

Unsurprisingly, intercoms use mics to pick up your sound. That means, if you want your audio to be audible to the person standing at the other end of the system, you should be talking into the mic. However, you can install a mic in all the room if you want. Similarly, connecting the system to an inbuilt speaker in the house, you can hear when somebody speaks into the intercom from outside. But it will be a significant expense to integrate the intercom with such a system unless you have the mics and speakers installed already.

If you are looking to buy intercoms online in the UAE, look no further as you are in the right place. There are more than 500 brands and shops offering them here on Shops.ae. These include brands like Aiphone, Hikvision, Commax, Videx, Fermax, Elvox, and Kocom.

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