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Landline vs Cellular Monitoring: A Chicago Tech Explains the Difference

Landline vs cellular monitoring, When installing alarm monitoring services for your home, you have 2 options for how your system connects to the monitoring provider:

  • Landline: A hardwired system that physically connects to the phone line.
  • Cellular: A wireless system that connects via cellular signal.

Not sure which one will be best for your home? At Alert Protective, we recommend cellular monitoring to Chicago homeowners because it’s:

  • More affordable in the long run
  • More reliable
  • Compatible with home automation

We’ll go over how landline and cellular alarm monitoring differ, so you get a better idea of why cellular monitoring will work better for your home.

Want to talk to an alarm monitoring expert? Our team is here to answer your questions. Call (855) 433-6700 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation quote.

How landline and cellular security systems are different

Cellular and landline alarm systems have 2 main differences:

  • Cost
  • Reliability

We’ll cover each difference in more detail.


When getting quotes for installing a home security system, you’ll want to ask about 2 different costs: labor and ongoing (monthly) monitoring.

Some companies will also charge an activation fee, a one-time charge to get your system up and running, but these fees usually don’t vary between landline and cellular systems.


Landline monitoring usually has higher labor costs because it’s hardwired. You’ll need a professional to connect the security system to your phone line and possibly run wires throughout your home to ensure it’s protected.

Meanwhile, many of today’s cellular systems come with easy-to-install instructions that allow you to save on installation costs by installing the home security system yourself.

That said, a professionally installed security system is usually the more secure option because you’ll get a system that’s customized to your home and installed by a trained expert.

Plus, since cellular systems don’t require any hardwiring and can be installed almost anywhere, a professional won’t have to spend as much time installing your system.

Ongoing monitoring

Cellular systems typically cost more to monitor.

Today’s cellular monitoring services typically cost $30–$120 a month, while landline monitoring runs a little less around $15–$40 per month.


Overall, cellular alarm systems are more reliable than landline ones.

Because landline security systems connect to a physical phone line, they will be more vulnerable.

Landline systems can be disconnected simply by cutting the phone line. Landlines can also be damaged by Chicago’s severe weather (wind, ice, snow and such). If the landline is cut or damaged, your security system won’t be able to send a signal to the monitoring company, making it all but useless.

Cellular security systems, on the other hand, are wireless, which means:

  • Faster monitoring responses. When an alarm triggers, wireless systems don’t have to navigate the networks and switches that landlines do. This means wireless systems can transmit an alarm signal to the monitoring provider quicker.
  • There aren’t any wires to cut. Unlike landline systems, intruders won’t be able to cut a wire to disconnect your cellular security system. Even if your WiFi goes out, your security system will still be able to communicate to the monitoring provider via cellular transmitters.

Our recommendation: Cellular monitoring is the better choice

  • Cellular systems work with home automation. Cellular systems connect to your home’s WiFi, allowing your entire security system (surveillance cameras, alarm sensors, smart doorbells, etc.) to sync with other automation features of your home like door locks, lighting controls and more.
  • Landline systems are becoming a thing of the past. Each year, fewer people have landlines. As a result, many of today’s security companies don’t even offer the option to install a landline system. So going with a landline could soon make it hard to find a company that can monitor your system.

Need a quote for home monitoring services?

If you’re interested in a free quote to install alarm monitoring for your home, call us today at (855) 433-6700 or schedule an estimate online. Try out our DIY services today!

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