Cellular-based home security systems: what you should know
Posted on Jan 30, 2013 by Jeffrey Davidson
Reviewing the range of options available for cellular-based home security monitoring products and services and some leading providers who support cellular-based systems.
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Home security system have benefited from the advance of technology, especially as it pertains to managing and monitoring these systems. Nearly every home security system provider offers some form of cellular-based home security and monitoring feature. Many of the cellular-based home security options can easily integrate with older, hard-wired security systems, either to compliment them or to work as an effective backup.
Next-gen home security facts
An important distinction to make is that cellular-based home security and alarm services are not the same as wireless home security system (though there is often overlap). The cellular aspect of a home security system refers to the way the alarms placed in or around your home communicate with the monitoring system.
In older, more traditional home security systems, alarms were tied into your hardwired telephone system. Communication to your monitoring services was handled over these phone lines, making them susceptible to any interruption in that phone service (such as a simple snip of a home’s main phone wire by a clever criminal.)
Cellular alarm systems communicate to the monitoring system (and sometimes, directly to you) using the network of cellular signals designed for your cellular and broadband phone services. While this may limit some folks in extremely rural areas and can sometimes present the same challenges as “spotty” cellphone coverage in some areas and through some carriers, in general, cellular alarm systems benefit from the strongest cellular network connections.
Some of the advantages of choosing or adding cellular-based home security components include:
- More flexibility in expanding features.
- Lower installation and upgrade costs.
- Multiple contact points for monitoring.
- Off-site monitoring options.
While not all home security providers offer cellular-based features, most of the leading providers do, including:
Select any provider from above to find out more details of what products and services they offer.
Internet, cable broadband providers
In recent years, a growing number of Internet, cable and broadband service providers have been expanding into the home security, home monitoring and home automation sectors. These services are almost exclusively wireless and almost all require some cellular-based connection for communicating alerts and monitoring security systems. Many of these providers advertise home security, but merely provide expanded monitoring systems (leaving you to buy and/or install full security systems.) In all cases, Internet and broadband providers require you to subscribe to one or more of their services and to add or select them as your Internet service provider.
Some of the leading Internet and broadband-based home security and monitoring providers include:
The thing to remember about Internet or cable-based providers is that not all areas of the country are covered by all of these providers. In fact, many cable companies purposefully avoid certain sections of the country and a full investigation into just where coverage is provided is highly suggested.
The range of costs associated with cellular-based home security and monitoring system is so wide, it is impossible to generalize or even offer succinct comparisons. Some providers offer free equipment or do-it-yourself kits when you sign up for a long-term service agreement. Some providers only allow their technicians to install equipment, but offer it to you free-of-charge with a small installation fee and/or a service contract. Nearly all providers require you to sign up for a service agreement of some length.
If you are considering adding cellular-based features to your home security and monitoring system, things you should understand that would affect your overall costs include:
- Equipment charges (will you own it or be renting it?)
- Installation charges.
- Set-up or service initiation fees.
- Repair or maintenance charges.
- Service contract terms (monthly fees, length of term required, cancellation penalties.
If you’re considering adding the convenience and security of a cellular-based security or monitoring system to your home, Reply! can help you find local home security professionals who can help you.