If your home security system is not using cellular technology, there’s reason for concern. A non-cellular alarm system is much more vulnerable to being compromised. Why are cellular security systems safer? Cellular security systems work similarly to your cell phone. A cellular module is installed in your control panel and it sends signals wirelessly to the monitoring station using cellular towers. There is no need for a landline or Internet connection for the security system to work, which makes it nearly impossible for intruders to defeat them.
What’s the best cellular security system?
Our number one pick for home security system with 100% dedicated cellular support is Frontpoint Security. They offer cellular monitoring for all of their packages, have competitive prices, and an exception customer service record. Frontpoint also took home the top award in our home security system comparison. Visit our individual review of Frontpoint if you’re curious about their packages, pricing, and features.
Crash and Smash Protection
Crash and smash protection is patented by alarm.com, which Frontpoint uses. This technology makes it so if an intruder barges into your home and destroys your alarm panel, an emergency signal is still sent to the monitoring station. This is possible because once a sensor is triggered, a signal is sent to the monitoring station immediately and your alarm is placed in a special status to keep an eye on it. If the system is not disarmed, the monitoring station will know that something is going on and an intruder may have attempted to disable your system. Frontpoint treats these situations like any other intrusion and alerts you immediately and dispatches law enforcement if necessary. While this Crash and Smash technology is not unique to Frontpoint, it is unique to alarm.com, so if you like the added security of this feature be sure to look for alarm.com as the interactive provider.
Which Security Companies Offer Cellular?
There aren’t many systems that are fully cellular without some type of extra charge for it. Many companies have cellular available but be sure to ask for it specifically or you are likely to get a less secure system since cellular technology comes at a higher monthly cost to you and the provider.
Here’s a list of what some of the bigger, national carriers offer if you’re looking for cellular safety:
- ADT Security: Cellular is only offered on their highest tier package
- Alarm Force: It’s used as a backup on some packages
- Frontpoint Security: Cellular is standard with all packages
- Guardian Protection Services: Cellular comes with every plan
- LiveWatch: Every plan comes with Cellular (In early 2018, Brinks acquired both LiveWatch and Moni. Current LiveWatch and Moni customers can expect the same equipment and services. However, monitoring plans, pricing, and equipment charges may have changed from when this article was originally written.)
- LifeShield Home Security: Available on higher end packages
- Protect America: You must specify that you want cellular and it costs significantly more
- SimpliSafe: Similar to Frontpoint, cellular monitoring is their only option (SimpliSafe also offers a non-monitored plan)
- Vivint: Cellular monitoring comes with all plans
Pros Of Cellular Monitoring
There are tons of pros to having a cellular security system versus a broadband or landline system. First, you don’t need to worry if you lose power with a cellular system because in the case of a break-in your system will still alert the monitoring station – assuming your control panel has a battery backup, which most do. During a power outage with a broadband system, your monitoring goes down with your Internet.
Beyond this, here are a few additional pros for investing in a cellular security system:
- Still protected even if the burglar cuts your phone or broadband line
- 24/7 monitoring via a cellular communication
- They’re safer and more dependable so you have more peace of mind
What about my cell service?
Don’t worry about the strength of your cell service at your home. As long as you can make phone calls and send texts you should be able to setup a cellular security system. If you do struggle with certain cell carrier coverage, you can sometimes request which provider inserts the cellular module. Common carriers include AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. So if AT&T doesn’t have the best service in your area but Verizon does, you may want to request Verizon.
Also, the channel that most alarm companies use to communicate with your alarm’s control panel is a dedicated channel so that it cannot be disrupted by consumer cell phone outages. A dedicated cellular network also prevents jamming which is a burglar’s tool that is growing in popularity. Jamming essentially scrambles the communication channel so burglars can break-in when your monitoring station cannot be made aware of the intrusion. This would be a high-tech but very sad outcome for not having just known the right question to ask up front. Be sure to ask whether the carrier you are considering offers a dedicated cellular communication plan to prevent this burglary hazard.
Questions and Comments Are Welcome!
If you have any questions about cellular security systems, feel free to ask! We’ll try to help in any way we can!
Do you currently have a security system? Is it broadband or cellular? Who’s your provider and are you happy with your system?