Monitored vs Unmonitored Security Systems
Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, while unmonitored security systems are less expensive than monitored systems, only monitored systems have professionals to help look out for your home or business and respond to emergencies 24/7.
Monitored security systems
Monitored security systems are systems that are actively monitored by a professional home security company. When the system detects a break-in, fire, or other emergency, it notifies the security team and, in some cases, emergency responders.
Professional monitoring is convenient
One of the biggest advantages of a monitored system is you don’t have the burden of monitoring the system when you’re away from home. Leaving the monitoring to the professionals may give you additional peace of mind.
Another advantage to monitored systems is if you purchase a monitored security plan, the same company that monitors the system can usually install it for you (though there’s often an extra installation fee). If you’re not mechanically inclined, having a professional set up the system may give you more confidence than if you did the work yourself.
Professional monitoring is comprehensive
In many cases, signing an agreement for monitored service means the security provider will supply security equipment free of charge. And the system you get is often more comprehensive than one you’d purchase and install on your own, unless you spend a significant amount of money at the outset.
The disadvantage to monitored systems is the cost. You pay for the convenience of having someone else keep an eye on your home security and, while many monitoring plans are affordable, even a modest fee is more than unmonitored systems that charge no monthly fee.
Unmonitored security systems
Unmonitored (or self-monitored) security systems consist of equipment you can have a professional install or install yourself. Equipment can vary greatly between systems, but typical items include a control panel, motion sensors, door and window sensors, glass-break sensors, smoke detectors, and sirens. Some systems are smartphone compatible, meaning that you can monitor the system remotely, even when no one else is.
Unmonitored is economical
The primary advantage of unmonitored security systems is cost. Even if you pay a professional to install your system, it will still be less expensive than a monitored system because most of the cost is in the monitoring service, rather than the equipment.
Unmonitored systems won’t provide the same level of protection for your home, either. Even if your system links to your smartphone, there are times when you may not be in a position to do anything about an alarm going off, like when you’re on a plane, in an important meeting, or in an area without phone reception.