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Telephone Line Alarm Monitoring Versus Cellular Alarm Monitoring

old telephone

Telephone Line Alarm Monitoring

Telephone line alarm monitoring basically means connecting your security system’s communicator to your existing telephone line and the alarm signals are sent to the central monitoring station using that phone line. Your telephone service could be the old standard telephone service (PSTN or POTS) or the newer VOIP or digital service offered by some cable companies.

Either method works well and uses some form of exterior wire or cable connection to your home or business, whether from the phone company or an internet provider.

Glossary of Alarm Related Terms
  • PSTN: Public Switched Telephone Network
  • POTS: Plain Old Telephone Tystem
  • VOIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol

The pros of using phone line technology to monitor your security system is mostly cost. If you already have and need a phone line or digital phone service for your business then using this existing line to communicate will probably save you about $10 a month off your security monitoring cost.

Why cellular alarm monitoring is better than telephone line alarm monitoring:

The downside to using hardwired phone lines to send alarm signals to the central station is twofold:

  1. First, it is less secure than using a wireless cellular communicator. There are wires that a burglar can cut. Once that happens, you system won’t communicate with the central monitoring center. We recommend using cellular monitoring as your primary source for security monitoring. At the least, we recommend attaching a cellular backup communicator if you choose phone line monitoring as your primary communicator source.
  2. The second downside consideration is that using your phone line (PSTN) to communicate restricts the options you have available with today’s feature rich security systems. These features include interactive functions like remote access and control of your security system using any web based device. This can’t be done over your phone line. Another feature that uses cellular over phone line is live and recorded video streaming and remote access to view and control your video images from any web based device.

The decision to use phone line monitoring or cellular monitoring is personal and needs based. What level of security do you need, do you need video or remote access and control and how much do you want to spend a month on your security alarm monitoring.

The good news is that there are affordable solutions regardless which level of security you need.

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3 Responses to “Telephone Line Alarm Monitoring Versus Cellular Alarm Monitoring”

  1. The rise in the technology of controlling and managing your home security system with your mobile device is growing and growing. You bring up some great points in the post but also the convenience of controlling everything from any where in the world is amazing. I love this technology and your points are a 100% correct.

  2. I chose the cellular approach with my home security system needs because of the reasons above, plus I wanted a diy home security alarms system that didn’t require a traditional ‘land line’ telephone service because I don’t have a home phone. With the cellular home security system I was able to get a prepaid SIM card from a company called AlarmSIM that doesn’t charge monthly fees and my balance rolls over- I only pay for each call or SMS which are only $0.15 each.

    Another reason I like the cellular approach is the SMS function. I love being able to send a text message to my phone to arm and disarm. It’s awesome when you forget to set it on the way out the door LOL 🙂

    That link to those SIM cards is:

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