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Communication Options

This article describes the different options available for connecting your VOLO controllers to the VOLO cloud.

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Please review the article below and consider what is most appropriate for your VOLO installation, based on your needs and the features you will be using.

Background Info

Many aspects of a VOLO installation will continue to work perfectly well if the internet connection drops briefly, or even if it frequently loses connectivity.

Configuration changes will be queued in the cloud and will be pushed down to the relevant controllers when they are online and communicating.

If you have sites which are rarely updated with new users or configuration changes and where it is acceptable for the changes to be synchronised at some point after they are input into the website (but not necessarily immediately), then you can consider this when specifying the communication equipment required on site.

However, if your sites must always be available and have frequent configuration changes that must get synchronised straight away, then it would be prudent to ensure you have the most robust communication channels available to the equipment, with backup options also in place.

Additionally, you should consider whether any of the VOLO features you are using require live input through the website, for example:

  • Fire Alarm Integration - resetting the fire alarm requires communication with the cloud
  • Lockdown - setting or releasing the lockdown status requires communication with the cloud
  • Remotely Unlocking Doors - unlocking doors through the website requires communication with the cloud

Modem Connections

VOLO master controllers are designed to work with the VOLO modems to provide an easy and convenient option for communications.

There is no configuration required - simply provide power and the VOLO controller will establish a connection to the internet and communicate with the VOLO cloud through the VOLO modem.

This can be the quickest and easiest way to get up and running with a new controller and avoids any challenges from the IT team looking after the local network on site.

However, cellular networks vary in their reliability and availability across the country and so you may find that some locations are not well suited to running exclusively from a VOLO modem.

Ethernet Connections

VOLO master controllers can also use a local network connection or Ethernet connection.

This option is likely to provide you with a more responsive and faster experience when making changes to your controllers. Sometimes this will require negotiations with the IT team responsible for maintaining the local network(s) on the site.

Often, there is no configuration required - the VOLO controller will use DHCP by default and most networks will not require any firewall rules or configuration changes.

To configure a specific, fixed IP address or to make changes to other related settings, you will need to connect to the controller using the VOLO Installer tool.

Please refer to the relevant troubleshooting page if you are having difficulties with Ethernet configuration.

The Best of Both Worlds

The most robust option is to use both the local network AND the VOLO modem. This gives you fast, reliable communication over Ethernet most of the time and if/when the network ever goes down, you have the backup option of automatically switching over to the VOLO modem for seamless continuity of service!

Each VOLO master controller comes pre-configured to work in this way, so all you need to do is connect power and connect Ethernet and you system is ready to go.

I Can't Use the Local Network!

What if you want to have the redundancy of using both Ethernet and the VOLO modem, but you don't have a local network available or the VOLO equipment is not permitted to use it?

In this case, we would recommend investing in a cellular router and connecting the VOLO controller into one of the available Ethernet ports. This will then provide the controller with two communication options.

You can extend the level of redundancy here by:

  • Using multiple SIMs in the cellular router
  • Using a different SIM than is used in the VOLO modem
  • Using a 5G cellular router

Or, alternatively, you could also connect the VOLO master controller into a Wi-Fi adapter to allow it to communicate over a local network when there just aren't any network ports available.