Security Monitoring Options

There are three standard monitoring options for security systems: Landline, Internet, and Cellular.

Landline monitoring was the standard way alarm systems were monitored. A security system would communicate with the monitoring station through the homeowner’s or businesses landline. In the case of a break in, the security system would be triggered and then dial out to the monitoring station to inform them about the break-in.

Internet monitoring is a monitoring method that has become more frequently used in recent years. This involves connecting the security system to the internet. The security system would then communicate with the monitoring station directly through the internet. Internet monitoring has grown in popularity because of the interactive features that can be offered to homeowners and businesses.

Different security brands have different apps that allow homeowners and businesses to remotely access and monitor their security system. Two of the most commonly used systems are Honeywell’s Total Connect and DSC’s These options allow homeowners to arm and disarm their security systems remotely. Individual user codes can also be used. This allows users to know who is interacting with the security system. The apps even have the ability for smart home automation control.


Cellular Monitoring is the most secure option for monitoring. This requires additional equipment which enables the security system to communicate with the monitoring station over a cellular network. The cellular providers charge a small fee for use of their network which is reflected in the price of the monitoring. Cellular monitoring historically was primarily used by businesses due to costs; however, as the costs have come down, many homeowners are choosing to go with cellular monitoring. In addition, it allows homeowners to cancel their landlines as their security system is able to be monitored over the cellular network.

Cellular monitoring helps increases the reliability of the security system by maintaining a connection with the monitoring station over the cellular network. Landlines and internet monitoring have some limitations. For example, if the power goes out or a thief cuts the phone and internet lines, the security system will no longer be able to communicate with the monitoring station. The alarm would go off, but the monitoring station would be unaware of the break-in. As a result, they will not be able to dispatch help. The cellular unit runs off a backup battery and communicates independently with the monitoring station, so it will continue to work.