How to Choose a Security Monitoring Company

May 14, 2019

A home security monitoring company is a company that specializes in monitoring your alarm system. If the system detects an issue, such as a fire, break-in, or another emergency, it notifies a response team at the central monitoring agency, and sometimes, it will even inform emergency responders such as police or firefighters.

Most reputable monitoring companies can monitor your alarm system no matter what company installed it or what manufacturer made the equipment, provided they can monitor the type of connection you have.
 

how to connect your security system to a monitoring center

3 Ways to Connect Your Security System to a Monitoring Station


Landline 

This is your basic phone connection. Many households no longer have a landline, but if you do, it’s one of the most cost-effective options. If you live in an area with spotty cellular coverage, you’ll want to consider a landline option. The downfall of a landline is that a burglar can cut the phone wire into your house to disconnect your security system.


Broadband

Broadband monitoring uses your Internet connection to notify the monitoring company of an emergency. If you have reliable Internet service, this is a good option. If your Internet connection is slow or spotty, so too will be the reliability of notifications getting to your monitoring company.


Cellular

This is one of the most reliable methods of communicating with your monitoring company and least susceptible to tampering, but it is also the most expensive.


Other Considerations

If the monitoring company can communicate on the same connection as your equipment, start to do some additional digging.
  • Make sure the central monitoring station providing your monitoring service is on the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certified list.
  • Check out sites like Consumer Reports or other review sites to see what people have to say about the monitoring company’s service.
  • Call up the company for yourself and talk to a customer service representative. Are the representatives friendly, patient and helpful?
  • How will their company handle things like false alarms?
  • Is there a back-up monitoring station that takes over if the central monitoring station is disabled for some reason?
If you are considering a package deal, and the company monitoring your home security system also is going to be the company installing your home security system, ask some specific questions up-front:
  • Will the equipment they are installing work with other alarm monitoring vendors? Some home security companies only provide proprietary alarm systems, so the only way your system will function correctly is if the company that sold it to you monitors it.
  • Do I have to sign a contract and pay for monitoring for a specific period (often up to three years), or can I pay for monitoring on a month-to-month basis?
  • Is the price of my monitoring guaranteed for the entire term or can it be increased?
  • If I cancel my monitoring contract, will I owe you money for the home security equipment or any other fees?  
  • How up to date is the home security equipment? Is it the most recent version?
  • Are there maintenance fees if the equipment malfunctions?
  • Is there a separate installation fee?
Don’t feel pressured into entering into any contract for home security monitoring services. Learn about your options. If you would like more information or advice about home security monitoring, give us a call.
 

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