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What You Need to Know Before Installing a Home Security System

Posted: January 09, 2017

Technology is a fantastic thing. In today’s advancing world, you can change the temperature in your house when you’re 30 minutes away. You can tell your refrigerator to add an item to a shopping list. You can even verbally tell your remote the TV show you want to watch. Seconds later, the TV will spring to life, granting your wish at a moment’s notice. Around the world, people have traded in their landline phones for an iPhone or Android. With ADT Pulse(R) you can check your home security system online or with an App.

With all this progress, do you still need a landline in your home to get a home security system? Of course not!

Phone service options today are like the 31 flavor choices of Baskin & Robbins. That is to say, there are quite a few phone options in the market. And, for the most part, you aren’t limited to a single service provider.

If you want to install a home security system, you have three primary options:

  • Traditional landlines
  • Digital phone providers
  • Cellular uplinks

Home security systems must have phone service for monitoring. During a break-in or emergency, the security system notifies the monitoring service of a problem. Without phone service of some kind, your home has no way to contact the people to keep your home safe.

So, how do these options differ and which one is right for you? Here are a few tips to consider:

landline and security systems

Traditional landlines

Traditional landlines can be used if you have one available. This is a cost-effective solution for those who keep a phone connected through their local phone company. Those who don’t use a landline may want to consider a different solution. Because traditional landlines are hard-wired, the connection could be severed by someone trying to gain entry to your home. Without a connection, your home will not be able to communicate with your monitoring service.

Digital phone providers

Many cable and broadband internet providers also offer digital phone service. These are often part of a bundle from companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Spectrum who are digital phone providers that offer packages at monthly rates. These services are also hard-wired into your home, but use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to transmit your call using the internet as opposed to a landline. Like a landline, you can use digital phone providers to connect security monitoring for your home. These connections could be cut and require electricity to function.

cellular monitored security

Cellular uplinks

With mobile technology you can use a cellular uplink. The cellular uplink is a single device that houses all of the components necessary to communicate with your security monitoring company. In the event of a break-in, the device uses cellular technology to alert your monitoring service on a problem at your home. No outside wiring is required for the cellular uplink and your system comes with a 24 hour battery backup. Without a hardwired connection it will not be affected by an accident or inclement weather taking down a nearby phone pole. In addition, there is an extra layer of security because the device is located inside of your home, which is being protected by the security system. The only requirement for this system is a strong cellular signal. Don’t be deterred if you receive poor reception on your mobile phone. Your installer will run a test to ensure the signal is strong enough to provide appropriate monitoring.

Protect Your Home Security Advisor Trainer, David DiMartino, believes that the cellular uplink is a solid system because consumers don’t have to pay for a phone service in addition to the security monitoring. Customers “only have to deal with one point of contact and they are provided with a dedicated unit.”

phone lines and home security systems

If you still have questions, don’t worry. With each of the above systems, you can have a professional security installer verify that your phone service will work prior to having a system installed.

Some people ask if they can get home security monitoring using a portable VoIP phone service like MagicJack, Ooma, or Vonage. The answer is no and will be for any reputable home security monitoring service. Why can’t you use MagicJack, Ooma, or Vonage for home security? These services are portable. So, you can take them with you on-the-go. Home security services need to be tied to a physical address. When you have security monitoring they may need to dispatch emergency personnel to your home, but if you have a portable phone, it is possible the responder would be sent to the wrong address. If a company tells you that you can use these services, you should be skeptical and make sure you know what you are getting into.

Overall, make sure you choose a solution that best fits the needs or your home and your family. Contact a reliable security expert like our Service Advisors here at Protect Your Home to walk you through every step of the way. The wellbeing of your home, and more importantly your family, are worth it.