home security monitoringWhen it comes to protecting your home, loved ones and valuables, you can never be too safe. That’s why many people opt to use a home security system for extra protection. While it seems like all security systems are the same, they actually differ greatly by the type of monitoring they use, as it relates to the way the system contacts the homeowner, the provider and/or the authorities if there’s a break in at the home. Although the type of home security monitoring you need depends on a number of factors, such as you home, location and budget, there are some benefits that certain types of monitoring have that others don’t. We break down the difference in landline, broadband and cellular monitoring and the drawbacks with each to help you decide the best type of protection for your home.

What is landline monitoring?

Before nearly every household in America had access to the Internet, a landline connection through a home phone was the standard in home security monitoring. Although a landline connection is seemingly more solid, as it isn’t susceptible to mishaps with more advanced technology like Internet connections, it can easily be bypassed if a burglar cuts your phone lines. That’s because doing so will deactivate your security system and leave your home and valuables at risk, with no protection from your security system.

What is broadband monitoring?

As a solution to the threat of burglars cutting landlines, broadband monitoring was created. This form of monitoring uses an Internet connection to sync to your security system and alert you to home invasions. It’s preferred over landline monitoring for two reasons: one, most people have done away with landlines as they’ve gotten more expensive and opted for other options (such as switching to VoIP) and two, this type of connection is usually stronger than a landline connection. The main drawback here is that broadband monitoring isn’t always reliable when Internet speed is slow or during a power outage, which could render your security systems essentially useless.

What is cellular monitoring?

Next, cellular monitoring entered the home security arena. Because there is no need for a landline or an Internet connection (nor the issues that come with these types of monitoring) cellular monitoring is more favorable when it comes to home security because it uses a wireless connection — just like the one your phone uses — to contact the monitoring system. It is generally the most expensive type of monitoring, however, it is also the most secure, unless you live in an area where the signal from cellular providers is weak. If your cell phones don’t always get the best signal in the area you live, you might want to opt for landline or broadband monitoring, as there’s no point in depending on a home security service that won’t function correctly. All of the security systems we review offer a cellular monitoring option in their plans, which you can read more about by visiting our home security reviews.

What if my security system’s control panel is destroyed?

Although an intruder could still smash and break the control panel for your alarm system once inside your home, which would disable your security system no matter which type of monitoring you have, one of home security systems we review has a way to help. Frontpoint offers Crash and Smash Protection, so that a signal is still sent to the monitoring station even if the control panel is destroyed. Alternatively, if the service you’re using doesn’t offer this kind of protection, choosing to install window and motion sensors in addition to door sensors can help, as your system will be triggered if any of these sensors are set off through forced entry — meaning it won’t matter if your control panel is destroyed.

Want to find the best security system for your home? Check out our home security comparison chart to learn more about each system’s additional features to help protect your home.