When we install any security system, we almost always connect it to our central station for monitoring. Doing so ensures that an alarm activation will also create a central station response and, if necessary, a police dispatch. In fact, this service represents one of the first things our potential customers ask us about. However, we often surprise our customers with the amount of quality monitoring options they can utilize. In this post, we look at some of our most effective monitoring add-ons for your alarm.

First, we will explain what our monitoring service entails, and how we “traditionally” set it up. This will greatly increase your understanding of how the rest of our add-on options represent an upgrade. Then, we’ll look at some specific monitoring options to increase your alarm’s overall security. Specifically, we’ll start with a look at a couple devices we can install for the most consistent monitoring possible. From there, we’ll turn our focus to both interactive and smart-home related monitoring options. Now, let’s dive in with an explanation of how traditional alarm monitoring works.

Traditional Alarm Monitoring

As we pointed out earlier, a monitored alarm can call out for help and set in motion a visit from the police upon detecting a burglary. In order to create this response, we must connect your alarm to our central monitoring station. Traditionally, this process involves tying your property’s existing phone lines to your security panel. In turn, this allows your alarm to dial out to the central station after detecting trouble. Upon receiving a signal from an alarm, a central station dispatcher attempts to contact the premises. If they fail to do so, they will then call the police to pay a visit to the site. At this point, the central station also calls a customer-created list of individuals to alert them to the alarm event and emergency dispatch.

Unfortunately, phone-line based monitoring comes with some serious shortcomings. Since this service relies on a working phone line for its monitoring path, any phone outage effectively negates your alarm monitoring. Of course, events such as severe weather and traffic accidents involving telephone poles can affect phone service. Furthermore, burglars often cut phone lines before attempting a break-in. Doing so can keep residents from calling for help in addition to disabling alarm monitoring. For these reasons, we offer some monitoring add-ons that can address these issues. In the rest of this post, we will detail these add-ons. Let’s get started!

Adding Alarm Services for More Effective Monitoring

While the first several decades of the alarm monitoring business relied mainly on phone lines, we have quite few more updated options now. After all, the issues we mentioned above put monitored alarm customers at risk. Moreover, many homes no longer even have traditional phone lines! Therefore, we recommend the following services to our customers to make their alarm monitoring as effective as possible. In this section, we’ll share these alarm monitoring add-ons that create additional security, convenience, and peace of mind.

Cellular and Network-Based Monitoring

For starters, we no longer need to rely on phone lines in order to create communication between your alarm and our central station. Instead, we prefer using dedicated devices that create a secure, direct connection between our central station and our customers’ security systems.

A Wifi logo with text reading "WiFi"

Network-based monitoring utilizes our customers’ existing network connections for alarm communication with our central station.

For example, cellular dialers communicate over a cellular network “talk” to our central station dispatchers. These devices allow you to add monitoring that works even during phone outages. Adding these devices usually involves paying a bit more for monitoring due to the cellular data involved. However, they also allow customers to cancel their phone service, which can save them money in the long run. Moreover, cell dialers add some extra advantages that we’ll discuss in the next couple sections.

Similarly, network-based communicator use your existing internet connection to call out for help upon an alarm activation. Because they use your existing internet communication abilities, these devices often do not come with an extra fee! This makes for a great option as a budget-friendly monitoring addition. Let’s now turn our focus to exploring the benefits of “interactive” alarm monitoring.

Interactive Monitoring Services

As we mentioned above, installing a cellular dialer provides superior alarm monitoring. Additionally, installing our cellular dialer, powered by Alarm.com, provides a truly unique level of security and control over your alarm. The Alarm.com cell dialer equips our customers with “interactive” monitoring services. This service allows you to arm and disarm your security system remotely. Forget to arm your security system on the way to work? No problem! Simply use the Alarm.com mobile app to secure your home with your smartphone.

Additionally, interactive monitoring customers can create alarm activity notifications for additional security. For example, you can receive an alert when someone arms or disarms your security system. Moreover, you can also create alerts for when expected activity does not happen. Expect the kids home from school by 3pm? Now you can receive an alert if this does not happen so you can check on the situation. For more info on this powerful monitoring add-on, check out our post on Interactive Residential Alarm Monitoring. Let’s wrap up with one of the most recent additions of the security monitoring world in the form of smart home control!

Smart-Home Based Monitoring Add-Ons

Our Alarm.com customers can install smart devices that connect to our cellular dialer’s Z-Wave smart home receiver. The term “Z-Wave” refers to a mesh network providing communication between our Alarm.com dialer and smart home devices that operate on this network. As one of the most popular smart home platforms, Z-Wave technology gives you many options to add smart security devices. Our customers control these smart home appliances with the same Alarm.com app that they use to control their security systems.

Several smart phones with Alarm.com apps open, showing security system and smart home controls

Our cellular dialer customers can use the Alarm.com smartphone app to control their alarm systems, as well as their smart home devices, remotely.

For example, these devices include appliances such as Z-Wave light bulbs that you can control remotely to make your home look occupied while you are away. Additionally, Z-Wave locks allow you to let contractors or house sitters into your home without providing a key. Installing smart cameras around your property can even provide you both live and recorded video footage that you can access on any internet-connected device at any time!

Moreover, the universal Z-Wave outlet allows you to turn any appliance into a smart home device! For example, customers often plug coffee pots, hair curlers, or other potentially dangerous devices into these outlets. This allows them to ensure they’ve powered down any electrical appliances that may start a fire. Of course, if they’ve forgotten to do so, they can fix the issue with the push of a button. Adding alarm-connected smart home security has quickly become one of our most effective and popular alarm monitoring add-ons.

Finding the Monitoring Add-Ons for Your Alarm that Work for You

We hope that this post helps you find the alarm monitoring add-ons that work best for you! Additionally, we encourage you to contact us with any security-related questions you may have. We will happily answer any inquiries that this post brings up for you. Furthermore, we invite you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We offer complimentary security consultations and equipment quotes for both new and existing customers alike. While on site, we can address all of your security concerns. Moreover, we can use our own observations to make suggestions during our visit.

Perhaps you have a monitored alarm and want to take advantage of some of the additions mentioned here. Or, maybe you don’t have an alarm yet, and want to build one from the ground up with the best monitoring services available. Either way, we are happy to help! Together, we can create a complete security plan that keeps you, your property, and everyone on it as safe and secure as possible.