Home Alarm Monitoring Options


Cellular Monitoring

Many control panels are moving to cellular/GSM technology to transmit signals to monitoring stations.    In a similar method to traditional phone lines,  alarm notifications are transmitted via cellular signal.

Cellular Advantages:

  • Lower cost monitoring for houses that wish to drop or do not have a phone line
  • Phone lines cannot be cut, can still function on battery backup unlike most Broadband solutions
  • Cellular technology is now very stable

Cellular Disadvantages

  • Hardware in slightly more expensive
  • Poor weather and location can cause weak cellular signals

Using a Phone Line

Also known as POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) monitoring, this is the traditional and tried and true form of monitoring. Most alarm companies still offer monitoring by phone line, and existing alarm equipment is more likely to be designed for your phone line.

Phone line Advantages:

  • Compatibility with a large number of monitoring devices
  • Alarm seizes line to transmit signal
  • If the control panel has a battery back up,  the system will operate during a power outage
  • Very stable technology,  panels are likely to be more reliable

Phone line Disadvantages:

  • Costs:  a POTS is required to use phone monitoring.   For households that are now exclusively using cell phones this is an added monthly expense.
  • Phone lines can easily be cut

Broadband Monitoring  (High Speed Internet)

Everything from your cell phones to your day planner has moved to your broadband connection,  why not your alarm monitoring?   Connect directly to your monitoring station using the internet.

Broadband Advantages:

  • Bundling with home automation products becomes practical
  • No phone line required

Broadband Disadvantages:

  • Only as stable as your internet connection is, anything that can interrupt your network can now interrupt your monitoring
  • Some control panels are still more expensive than POTS models

VOIP Monitoring

Voice-Over-IP monitoring combines POTS technology and Broadband for an alerting system.  Adapters transmit a voice signal over the internet to monitoring station.  This method is only recommended if you ownership of legacy hardware and desire to not pay for a phone line are import  factors.

Unmonitored System : Going without a Monitoring Package

The easiest way to save costs is to completely abandon monitoring.  Your alarm will still work,  but there will be no notifications.  This is the least secure, and least expensive choice for your home security system.


  • No monthly costs or contracts
  • No false alarms
  • Sirens and other alarms still work
  • Deterrents such as stickers, cameras and signs are still valuable tools


  • Obviously,  that fact that it is no monitored
    • You will not be notified if you are not within earshot of the alarm
    • No monitoring company agents will be contacted
    • The police will not be contacted if the monitoring company needs to escalate the alert