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Home Security System Without Phone Line? No Problem!

by Joe Bellanti

Jul 15, 2014 9:15:00 AM

no_phoneAs tablets and smart phones have changed the way we communicate, signal transmissions for security systems have also changed. As landline phones give way to more convenient mobile communication, traditional POTS (plain-old-telephone) lines (once, the only method used for security system communication) are being replaced at a rapid pace. Surprisingly (for some), a home security system without a phone line is extremely effective.



Security System Without Phone Line Gaining In Popularity

This post will explain how traditional alarm systems are using cellular technology for more efficient and reliable alarm monitoring and answer the question:

Will My Security System Work Without A Phone Line?

One of the most common questions asked of alarm companies is: "Will my security system work without a traditional phone line?"... The answer is pretty simple: No, not without a back-up plan.

In order for any security system to work, the signal needs to be sent, and then received at the central monitoring station. Traditional security systems relied on “POTS” (plain old telephone) lines. Today, since 7 out of ten people own a cell phone, home phone lines are being eliminated in droves. It’s no surprise, then, that alarm monitoring via cellular is becoming the primary means of communication for security systems.

Cellular Alarm Monitoring: The Traditional Back-Up Plan...

Traditionally, cell backup units were installed to thwart threats of phone lines being cut or power outages. Now, cellular technology is taking over the industry, and it's saving former landline phone subscribers lots of money and providing some pretty cool features that traditional phone lines couldn't offer.
NOTE: Most folks are not aware that traditional phone lines will be eradicated  in the next few years. Therefore, old security systems without newer digital technology will not be able to operate. Homeowners will need to update their security systems with new technology in order for their security systems to work.

Understanding Cellular Monitoring

"Cellular Monitoring" is a wireless network that allows security systems to communicate with central monitoring stations, even when a traditional phone line is not available.  In this case, "cellular monitoring" should not be confused with "cellular phones."

Traditionally, "cellular alarm monitoring" was most often used when:

    No land-line service was available, or
    Additional protection was needed (in the event that a phone line was cut during an intrusion).

Now, however, the "typical" situation is changing as people choose cellular as the primary means of communication for their security system.

Cellular is a more direct and effective communication system. Through this type of communication, signals are instantly transmitted to central station operators. Cellular provides a direct link for alarm signals to reach the central station.

Will I notice A Change in My System?

If you're a traditional land line user, you won’t notice a change with cellular because the operators who receive your signal possess all the information necessary to deliver immediate help, regardless of the communication. If necessary, the authorities will still be called, and you will get the help you need.

Added Benefits Of Cellular Monitoring

In this digital age as technology changes at the speed of light, it's no wonder that new models of anything technical debut about every six months. Beyond the aesthetic appeal of custom text keypads and LED displays, newer, smarter, cellular technology allows for some pretty cool options when it comes to home security and home control.

  • Cost: Eliminating your home telephone line saves $35-$70 per month in landline phone bills. Without a traditional phone bill to pay, it's a reliable, cost-effective solution. Even considering the cost of an upgrade, it's an affordable option that pays for itself in about six (6) months.  Plus, with cellular, your system may be serviced remotely - potentially saving the inconvenience and cost of a service call.
  • Reliability: Your system will be more secure due to the reliability of GSM (cellular) technology.  The threat of severed phone lines or power outages is a reality that no family wants to face. In both of these instances, traditional land line security systems would be compromised. 
  • Smart Technology: Cellular technology allows for remote management of your security system. Apps for mobile phones, tablets and computers allow for access and control from just about ANYWHERE!
• Get text messages whenever the system is armed or disarmed (such as kids arriving home)
• Internet & smartphone access to your system
• Optional remote access video services
• Optional internet monitoring services

How To Add Cellular Monitoring (Technology) To Your Security System

There are two ways you can add cellular monitoring to your security system:
  1. Retrofit your existing system with a radio by adding an LTE or GSM radio to the existing equipment. At SHIELD, the cost for this conversion is about the cost of a nice family dinner and you would continue using the same equipment you currently have.
  2. Replace (upgrade) your existing control panel and keypad with a newer model (radio communicator included). The cost for this solution is slightly higher .
        
Bottom line: Your home or business security doesn’t have to be compromised just because you don’t use a landline phone. With cellular technology, your security system is as dependable as ever. At the very least, even with land line systems, it is recommended that cellular communication is utilized as a valuable back-up preventative measure.

For more information about home security and cellular technology check out our Ebook: How Phone Lines Affect Alarm Systems.

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Topics: Phone Lines / VoIP / Cellular, Monitoring

blog author

Joe Bellanti

Joe Bellanti is the Service Manager at SHIELD Security Systems. With more than 25 years of experience in the security industry, he is focused on system design and installation and has become known as the "master problem solver" for SHIELD customers. Joe enjoys family time, bowling, softball and coaching in his time off.