Home Security Systems: Phone vs Internet vs Cellular Radio vs VoIP

Picture of different types of alarm gear

Not long ago there was only one way to connect your home security alarm system to a central monitoring station, now there are many. The original home phone line connection has been joined by various new communication technologies, such as cellular, radio, VoIP, internet and others. Here we discuss the various technologies you can use to connect your home’s security for alarm monitoring as well as the pros and cons of each.

Traditional Phone Lines

With traditional home phone lines, a communication signal is sent via a copper line. Often, this phone line is used by both the household and the security alarm company.


  • Most reliable communication signal for alarm monitoring
  • Power from phone company keeps monitoring station signal going even after power outages


  • Vulnerable to outages—both natural and deliberate
  • Slowest connection, due to reliance on dial-up

Cellular Radio

Like your cell phone, cellular radio employs wireless digital transmission to communicate with the alarm monitoring system.


  • Faster speeds compared to traditional phones systems
  • Resistant to most deliberate power outages


  • Backup battery only lasts between 2-4 hours

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

VoIP is a recent technology that turns analog audio signals into digital data, which can be transmitted over the internet.


  • Connects to most traditional alarm systems without upgrading panel hardware
  • Affordable and feature-rich


  • Uses voice compression, which can cause distortion of the signal
  • Depends on your home’s power and internet

The Internet

The internet provides wireless home security alarm users the most exceptional selection of features. To operate, simply connect the monitoring station with DSL, cable or wireless internet connection.


  • Allows access to cameras, entry systems, lighting, thermostats and other home devices
  • Always on and connected to the central station


  • Relies on home power and internet connection
  • Requires hardware upgrade to enable connection
  • Throttling causes unpredictable problems with alarm signals

To ensure your home security system is the most reliable, try combining 2 services in 1 unit. Other available communication technologies for your home security alarm system include wireless mesh-radio technology and analog radio devices.

Want to learn more? Check out this article to find out your various options for setting your home security alarm system

UncategorizedJames Stein