A few years ago, we created a post answering the always-popular question: “Should I Have My Security System Monitored?” In short, we do generally recommend that you connect your security system to our monitoring services. Doing so creates a police response to an emergency at your property when needed. Furthermore, adding monitored fire detection to your alarm can also activate a fire department dispatch. This can save your home, or even the lives of you or your family an in actual fire emergency! Traditionally, we connect a customer’s alarm to their phone lines to create communication between the property and our central station. However, many customers no longer have land lines. Furthermore, we now offer monitoring options that are more effective than traditional alarm monitoring. In this post, we share how alarm monitoring without phone lines works, and how it can benefit you.

To start, we’ll explain the benefits of using a cellular dialer to monitor your security system. We use these dialers to monitor the majority of our customers’ alarms at this point in time. Moreover, we’ll explain your options when installing a cellular dialer. We have both “better” and “best” options when it comes to cellular alarm monitoring. Then, we’ll look at how internet-based monitoring works. This fairly new offering can provide both effective and cost-efficient monitoring for your alarm. Now, let’s get started with a look at how our cellular monitoring works.

cartoon image of black cell tower with blue signal lines being emitted

Cellular dialers use cell towers, rather than traditional land lines, to provide monitoring for your security system.

The Benefits of Cellular Monitoring

The term “cellular monitoring” often confuses customers to some extent. Some customers assume that this service involves utilizing their physical cell phones to monitor their alarm systems. However, this service does not depend on anyone’s actual cell phone. Rather, we install a dedicated cellular dialer inside our customers’ alarm panels. In turn, these dialers use a cellular network (generally AT&T or Verizon) to communicate with our central station. This creates efficient alarm monitoring without phone lines. Moreover, it allows your alarm to call out for help even when local phone lines go down! Therefore, we recommend cellular monitoring even for customers with traditional phone lines. Now, let’s take a look at the two types of cellular monitoring we offer, beginning with our most basic.

Signal Forwarding

As its name suggests, this type of monitoring involves simply “forwarding” alarm communication from your security system to our central station. In short, this type of monitoring mimics a cell phone “call” to our central station, originating from our dialer. Because these dialers do use cellular data, they create a small additional monitoring charge. However, this additional charge generally comes in at quite a bit lower than a monthly landline bill. Therefore, customers who elect for signal forwarding can often save some money by cancelling their landline.

In addition, they receive a better monitoring service, since their alarms no longer rely on the often-spotty performance of a landline for monitoring. However, these customers’ overall experience using their security system remains the same. For our more tech-savvy customers, we offer a more advanced form of cellular-dialer based monitoring. Next, let’s take a look at how interactive alarm monitoring offers an extra level of security and experience.

Interactive Alarm Monitoring

Interactive monitoring represents the “next step up” from our standard signal forwarding cellular monitoring option. The “interactive” comes as an option with our unique cellular dialer powered by Alarm.com. Customers with this dialer can use the Alarm.com mobile app to control their alarm system remotely. So what exactly does this entail? For starters, interactive Alarm.com monitoring allows you to arm and disarm your security system with a smartphone. Additionally, you can check on the system at any time to make sure you remembered to arm it on the way out the door.

Furthermore, this service allows you to customize alarm alerts. For example, you may wish to know when someone arms or disarms your security system. Now you can receive an alert immediately when this happens. Moreover, you can assign names to different alarm codes. This allows your Alarm.com alerts to tell you exactly who has used your alarm, and when!

A smartphone with an open Alarm.com app.

Alarm.com allows you to control your security system, receive instant security alerts, and operate connected smart devices through one streamlined app.

Finally, our interactive alarm acts as a Z-Wave smart home hub. This gives you the option to connect smart devices to your security system. In turn, you can then control these smart devices from your phone’s Alarm.com app! Installing smart lights, locks, thermostats, and other smart appliances provides a solid measure of both security and convenience. For this reason, Alarm.com interactive services represent out most popular option for alarm monitoring without phone lines. While this type of monitoring also costs more than its signal forwarding counterpart, many customers find it well worth the additional expense. Now, let’s take a look at a unique monitoring option that does not require phone lines or a cellular dialer!

IP-Based Alarm Monitoring

We’ve introduced IP-based monitoring as a fairly new option for customers just over the last few years. Customers have a couple different options to receive IP-based monitoring. Often, we take our Alarm.com cellular dialer and connect it to a customer’s network. This allows us to provide wifi-based cellular monitoring in areas of poor cell service. Therefore, customers in these areas can still receive the benefits of both signal forwarding and interactive cell dialer monitoring services. Furthermore, customers who experience temporary cellular outages can still receive monitoring without interruption.

Additionally, we can also install dedicated IP dialers that provide alarm monitoring without phone lines. These dialers do not allow customers the option of interactive monitoring or smart home device connectivity. However, they also provide a unique monetary benefit. Unlike a cellular dialer, a dedicated IP dialer does not rely on cellular data for monitoring. Therefore, customers do not have to pay an additional fee for their IP-based security monitoring. This allows us to provide phone line-free monitoring at the same low rate we charge for traditional alarm monitoring. For customers looking for basic alarm monitoring free of phone lines, but without all of the “bells and whistles” that we can offer, this type of monitoring provides exactly what they need!

Using Alarm Monitoring Without Phone Lines For Added Security

We hope that this post has explained your options to experience the security of alarm monitoring without phone lines. Furthermore, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material in this post. We regularly help our customers find the monitoring option that works best for them. Both homes and businesses have steadily started getting away from traditional landline-based phone service over the past several years. This makes it all the more important to understand your options to continue monitoring after “cutting the cord” with your old phone company. Even if you are not cancelling your phone service, many customers wish to upgrade monitoring services to receive additional benefits such as the ones described in this post.

Additionally, we offer free site surveys to both new and existing customers alike. This allows us to meet with alarm customers and discuss their monitoring needs with them in order to create the best solution for every application. Perhaps you have an alarm in place and wish to choose a different monitoring option due to cancelling your phone service or due to the desire for a more secure or dynamic type of security monitoring. Or, perhaps you’re looking to install a brand new security system and want to make sure your alarm monitoring does everything you want right from the start. Either way, we encourage you to reach out! We can address any monitoring-related concerns you have and create a plan that helps keep you, your home, and your family as safe and secure as possible.


All photos used under the CC0 Creative Commons License.