Monitored Alarm Systems vs. Self-Monitored Alarm Systems: Which Are Better?

If you’re looking to buy a home alarm system, there are no shortage of companies and products you can choose from. Different companies have different value propositions and technical offerings. To make things more confusing, you can now choose between alarm systems that are professionally monitored or products that provide a self-monitored service. The big question though is which type of monitoring provides the best security at the lowest price?

To truly understand the value we need to understand the difference between professionally monitored alarm systems and self monitored alarm systems. A self-monitored alarm system is a system that is installed inside the home, that when triggered sends a notification to the alarm user. This could be a text message, an email or a robo-call. Nest Cam, Canary, Piper and Guardzilla are all examples of self-monitored alarm systems.

Professionally monitored alarm systems are security systems that when triggered, a central station is notified of the alarm transmission. They then contact the alarm user and other emergency contacts. The central station can then notify the authorities if necessary depending on the situation in the home.

Let’s put both types of monitoring into an example which will demonstrate the value. You have a self-monitored alarm system (Nest Cam, Canary, Piper or Guardzilla) in your home. You’re at work in a meeting and have your cellphone in your pocket. There’s a break-in in your home. The Nest Cam, Canary, Piper or Guardzilla unit is triggered and sends you an email letting you know that it has detected an intrusion. The meeting lasts for two hours and during that time you haven’t checked your cellphone or email. You finally pull out your cellphone and see that your Nest Cam, Canary, Piper or Guardzilla system has gone off. What now? The burglar is long gone with your valuables. You now have to call the police, hours after the break-in occurred.

Now lets compare this to a professionally monitored alarm system. With a home alarm that’s monitored by a central station, when the alarm is triggered, someone at the central station is notified. They then call the customer’s contact list. If there is no response or if the occurrence can’t be verified as a false alarm, the central station then notifies the authorities (police or private guards), who can then respond in person. This provides protection regardless of the customer being able to answer the phone.

Self-monitored home alarm systems offer a false sense of protection. This is why insurance companies will not offer a discount on your home owners insurance if you have one of these systems (they will however offer the discount if you have a professionally monitored alarm system).

When you compare the price of self-monitored Nest Cam, Canary, Piper, Guardzilla to a Think Protection professionally monitored alarm system, Think Protection is usually less money upfront (Think Protection is $199.99/upfront – the others range from $199.99/upfront to $299.99/upfront). The technology in your Think Protection system is superior and the system comes with professional monitoring for only $12.99/month. And remember, with your Think Protection home alarm you’ll receive a discount on your homeowners insurance!

When choosing a home alarm system, get a professionally monitored home alarm. Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security with a self-monitored system. Self-monitored alarm systems don’t provide real protection and put the onus on you to respond if there’s ever an actual emergency inside your home. Rely on the experts to provide you with the highest level of peace of mind not a gadget designed for hobbyists.