Do I Need a Phone Line for a Security System?

No, you do not need a phone line for a security system. In fact, we recommend that you don't use a phone line with a security system. Phone lines are often unreliable, and telephone service provides slow communication speeds. There are many superior options for alarm monitoring service.

In the past, it was commonplace to use plain old telephone service (POTS) communication for a security system. But with the rise of internet protocols (IP) and cellular service, alarm monitoring through a phone line is now a relatively outdated practice. Today, most security systems will use IP connectivity and/or cellular connectivity for alarm monitoring.

There are a few general disadvantages to using POTS communication with an alarm system. For one, telephone communication is often unreliable. There have been many instances where a central monitoring station failed to receive an alarm notification that was sent through a telephone line. POTS connectivity is also very slow, and it will take a central monitoring station longer to receive an alarm notification through this type of communication. Using a POTS-only connection will also make the system incompatible with an interactive service platform like or Total Connect 2.0. Finally, a POTS connection is relatively easy for an intruder to tamper with and disable.

Instead of using a POTS connection it is a much better idea to use cellular and/or IP communication for alarm monitoring. Please note that this may require installing an appropriate communicator in the alarm system. We recommended using a cellular connection in particular. Cellular connectivity offers the best reliability for an alarm system. Unlike WIFI, cellular service almost never goes down, and a cellular connection is not affected by typical power outages. Cellular connectivity also provides relatively fast speeds, making it a great communication path for alarm monitoring. But remember, a cellular alarm monitoring plan will be needed in order to use cellular service.

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