Home Security Systems Using Cell Phones

Home Security Systems Using Cell Phones

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These days, we’re glued to our cell phones for much of the day. It makes perfect sense for a home security system to be linked up to a device that we look at constantly. If alerts appear on the phone, we can take action immediately, which is why home automation systems like the Insteon Hub are so popular. 

Home security systems linked to cell phones seem like a perfect modern solution to keep our homes safe – but can we really trust these systems to be safe and efficient?

How Do Cell Phone Home Security Systems Work?

Home security system consoles or panels are all able to link to a cell phone. You can program your console to call any phone number you want.

Cellphone-home-securityIf you have a monitored system, a triggered alarm will send a signal to the phone number programmed into the system by the technician. This will be the number of the monitoring station. The monitoring station will then call the authorities, or any number you have designated in the terms of your contract.

Some homeowners prefer to have a trusted friend or neighbour receive the calls from a monitoring service. They can go over to your property and check it over to see what triggered the alarm. This way, you can avoid false alarm calls to the police.

Avoiding false alarm callouts isn’t to be taken lightly - you can be charged hundreds of dollars if police come to your property and there’s no emergency!  In some cities, a few false alarms can mean your system will be declared illegal, and you’ll have to disarm it for good.

If you have a self-monitored or unmonitored home security system, the alarm will trigger a call to your own cell phone number, which you would have programmed into the central console when the system was installed.

Integrating your home security system with your cell phone allows you to monitor and keep track of your home and property at all times.  It even works when you are traveling for work.

Pros and Cons of Home Security Systems That Use Cell Phones

While smart home security systems can’t be beaten for convenience, there are some other issues to keep in mind. Below are the main pros and cons of smart home security.

Pros

  • Alarms connected to landline phones can be disabled by cutting the line – this can’t happen to cell phones.
  • With your cell phone, you can monitor your home from wherever you are.
  • You receive alerts and push notifications on your phone whenever your alarm has been set off.
  • If you have security cameras installed at home, you can set your system to send you a text notification if the cameras detect visitors.
  • Your system can be configured to send you fire and carbon monoxide alerts. Many homeowners aren’t aware that 4000 Americans a year are hospitalized from carbon monoxide poisoning at home.
  • You can access your home security cameras from anywhere in the world.
  • Your system can upload audio and video clips to the cloud, where they are stored for as long as you want.

Cons

  • While you can get alerts on any cell phone from a modern home security system, you’ll need a smartphone to take advantage of the more advanced features.
  • If you’re not too tech-savvy, learning to operate the features can be a steep learning curve.
  • There are set-up costs for all the home security systems – and monthly monitoring costs, if you choose that option.
  • Home security systems using your cell phone need you to have your cell on at all times – what happens if an alarm is triggered and you’re in a meeting, or a movie theater, with your phone off?
  • The smart home security market is booming – which increases the chances that the products or software will no longer be supported by the manufacturers, if they drop out of the marketplace. This is exactly what happened to the Iris home security system.

Features of Cell Phone Home Security Systems

Here are a few convenient features you can enjoy with a smart home security system.

Smart Burglar Alarms

Depending on your system, you can arm or disarm your burglar alarm from your smartphone. You don’t have to worry about forgetting to set up your alarm when you leave the house.

Smart Smoke Detectors

smart-smoke-detectorsSmoke detectors and alarms have been around for a while – but the new smart versions can communicate with each other, so you’ll be notified faster if a fire has broken out.  Some models also use voice alerts to let you know exactly which room the smoke is in.

Smart Door Locks

Have you ever left your house, then spent the rest of the day worrying about whether you forgot to lock the front door? Smart door locks make that kind of stress a thing of the past, as you can lock your doors from anywhere. No more fumbling with your keys on the doorstep, either, as certain door lock models can unlock automatically when you get close.

Cell Phone Home Security System Costs

Here is our overview of upfront and monthly costs for the top-rated smart home security companies in the business including ADT, Vivint, FrontPoint and SimpliSafe

You can choose whether you want a DIY system or professional installation, and whether you want to monitor the system yourself or pay monthly for 24/7 professional monitoring.

PRODUCT

ADT Pulse

Vivint Smart Home

FrontPoint Safe Home

SimpliSafe Home Security System

Upfront Costs

Start at $49

Start at $549

Start at $99

Start at $229.96

Monthly Fees

Start at $28.99

Start at $39.99

Start at $34.99

Start at $14.99


Conclusion

It’s fair to say that cell phones and smart technology have radically changed the home security industry. You can monitor and control your system at the touch of a button (or a swipe). You can feel secure knowing that you’ll be alerted straight away if anything happens that triggers one of your sensors.

Needless to say, there are downsides to this technology – not the least of which is that it’s just another reason to keep staring at your phone. It doesn’t come cheap, either, but home security has always been considered a nice-to-have rather than a necessity.