Intercom systems can provide a facility with a significant amount of security and control, enabling users to effectively communicate with other individuals through a building and manage the flow of visitors. Over the years, this technology has evolved considerably, from a voice only intercom solution to now incorporate multiple technologies such as IP cameras and integrations with access control badge readers.

When selecting an intercom system, end users have the option of deploying either a SIP based system, one that relies upon a central server in order to communicate between devices, or a peer-to-peer system which leverages a direct communication structure.

There are many reasons that a facility executive may decide to invest in a peer-to-peer system, from reduced cost of ownership and a simpler system design to unlimited system size and the ability to adjust the system as needed. Here are five benefits of a peer-to-peer intercom system.

Easy design and system growth capabilities 

Security systems installed today also need to be able to expand as a business’s needs change, whether that involves installing additional surveillance cameras throughout a building or expanding the company-wide intercom system. Because a peer-to-peer intercom system does not require a dedicated, centralized server, end users do not need to worry about the overhead cost and the technology-know how required to connect an intercom to a server. A peer-to-peer intercom system also eliminates licensing fees that are required with a SIP-based system, as each device would require a license in order to reside on the network. 

In addition, a peer-to-peer intercom system does not have any distance limitations between connected devices, whereas a SIP-based system can lose signal strength the greater the distance between devices. The direction connection provided through a peer-to-peer intercom system reduces latency and also ensure that messages are transmitted more efficiently.

Devices connect using common components 

When installing an intercom in an existing building, it’s important to understand the network structure between the walls. Is the building equipped with copper wire, coax, fiber optics or Cat5 cables? Regardless of this a peer-to-peer intercom system can leverage the existing infrastructure, eliminating the need to fully upgrade the wiring and network building-wide. 

Peer-to-peer based systems also do not require any specialized network drops for connection, enabling intercom devices to be connected using existing and standard connection drops typically found in a corporate office, school or doctor’s office. This also makes adding or relocating an intercom device easier to manage.

Plug and play devices reduce installation time, costs

Time is money and this is especially important to understand when it comes to installing an intercom system. A plug-and-play system pre-programmed to include call transfer rules, call station names and the ability to call multiple stations at once can save a considerable amount of money traditionally spent on system configuration.

An added benefit is that devices can automatically discover and connect to one another, simplifying the installation process by reducing time and the possibility for errors. Maintenance fees are also less in peer-to-peer intercom systems because they take a decentralized approach and do not rely upon a centralized server, which can be expensive to maintain.

Flexibility to combine sites using cloud technology 

Cloud capabilities remain relevant in peer-to-peer intercom systems, enabling facility managers to connect multiple locations using cloud technology. By taking this approach, facility executives can reduce staffing costs by using a single point of contact to manage intercom systems for multiple buildings, regardless of where that individual is located. 

This can also help a business ensure coverage for an intercom system during dark business hours when the majority of employees may not actively be on site, but a reliable communication source is still needed to accept deliveries or to screen after hour visitors.

Enhancing cybersecurity

Without a central server, a peer-to-peer based intercom system is less vulnerable to cyberattacks and security breaches that can compromise data or the entire system. Intercom messages are directly routed, reducing the risk that someone may gain unauthorized access to the system itself. 

When evaluating what type of intercom system to install, facility executives should keep in mind the benefits of a peer-to-peer intercom system. With a decentralized communication protocol, a peer-to-peer intercom system is highly beneficial for various applications that demand dependable, scalable and a cost-effective communication solution.