Monitored Vs. Unmonitored Home Security Systems

So, you’ve decided that a home security system is the best way to keep you and your family safe, but who will be monitoring your system? When it comes to security, there are two monitoring options: monitored systems and unmonitored systems.

Monitored Home Security Systems

Monitored systems are professionally monitored by a third party 24/7. Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean that someone is constantly watching you and your family through your security camera. This simply means that a professional home security company will get alerted when your system detects a break-in, smoke alarms, and other sensors. From here, the monitoring company will notify emergency responders.

What Are the Advantages of Monitored Home Security?


Monitored systems are ideal for individuals who are frequently out of the house and want peace of mind. If you are on vacation with the family or just running to the grocery store, you won’t have to worry about checking on the house. With a professional monitoring service, you will feel comfortable traveling worry-free.


Professional monitoring companies do not work 9-5; they will work around the clock to provide you the protection you need.

Fast and Efficient:

Since professionals constantly monitor your motion detectors and alarm systems, they will instantly get notified of an issue. Once they identify the problem and rule out false alarms, they will quickly contact the appropriate emergency services.


In an emergency, the monitoring center will keep you in the loop and handle every call needed to resolve the issue.

Insurance Discounts:

Many insurance companies recognize the advantages of professional monitoring and offer discounts on homeowner’s insurance.

What Are the Disadvantages of Monitored Home Security?


If you’re looking for “security on a budget,” this might not be the best option for you. While monitored systems are a very safe and reliable option, that convenience comes with monthly monitoring fees.


The cost of a monitored system depends on the tier or level of coverage. Professional monitoring plans range from $15-$70 per month. Citywide offers a basic monitoring solution starting at $35/Month, which can be paid quarterly, semi-annual, or annual.

Unmonitored or Self-Monitored Home Security System

Unmonitored systems, also known as self-monitored systems, can be professionally or self-installed. Once installed, it is up to the homeowner to monitor the system (or not). These systems can be made up of the same components as a monitored system, such as motion sensors, window sensors, glass-break sensors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and even a video doorbell. Newer self-monitored systems are equipped with a smartphone app that shows a control panel to make monitoring easy. These newer systems also work with smart home equipment like thermostats or other smart devices.

What Are the Advantages of a Self-Monitored Security System?


If you’re looking for a cheap, DIY, monitoring. While this is cheaper in the long run, the installation fees upfront will be the highest cost. If you are tech-savvy and want to give DIY installation a shot, then this option may be for you.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Self-Monitored Security System?

Decreased Safety:

While the low costs are a big plus, a self-monitored home security system is not as safe. As much as humans are attached to their phones these days, there is still the chance you are away from your phone for even a short amount of time. The reality of self-monitoring is that no one has the time to monitor their home constantly.

You have no access to a phone app for unmonitored security systems, and you only have alarms to scare off criminals. In this situation, you may not even be notified unless your neighbors get annoyed.

Less Convenient:

In that chance that you get an alert on your phone about a break-in, you will have to contact law enforcement on your own. This also means that you will need to be by your phone 24/7 to call the authorities in a timely manner.

Self-monitored and unmonitored systems are not always a practical option. While it’s a better solution than having no system, there are many gaps. What if you are sleeping? Or you drop your phone in the hotel pool? There will be few backups to ensure your house is being protected. These reasons are why some people decide to spend a monthly rate for professional monitoring.


The cost of self-monitoring is whatever you value the time and energy you will need to dedicate to ensure your home is safe.

The cost of setting up the security equipment itself will range between $800 and $1200 depending on the size of your house and the number of security devices you need.


There are several options to keep your home safe, and there is no “right” choice. The right choice depends on what you are looking for, your budget, and how much time you are willing to spend. If money isn’t an issue or you want the safest setup, professional monitoring is the way to go. If you want cost-effectiveness, and you don’t mind spending time while you’re away, then you might be able to get by with a self-monitored system. If you just want an alarm system to scare off intruders, unmonitored systems are perfect. People have success with all systems, but it’s all about making you and your family feel the safest.

Citywide Solutions provides home security and monitoring services in Columbus, Ohio.