Do I Need to Sign up for a Service to Make My Alarm System Work?
Technically no, you do not need to sign-up for a service to make your alarm system work. You can still have your system work as a local sounder without monitoring service. Some panels can also support local Z-Wave control. But you will need monitoring service to have your system report out.
Honestly, there's very little point in having an alarm system without any monitoring service. You need alarm monitoring to have your system report out in any way. In other words, alarm monitoring is required if you want your system to communicate with a central monitoring station or an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. Basically, without alarm monitoring service, you cannot receive automatic emergency dispatch, and you cannot be notified about an alarm event when you are off-site. Remote access to the system will also be impossible.
The only thing you can do without alarm monitoring service is have the system operate as a local sounder. The system can still chime when sensors are activated, and it can produce sirens when audible alarms occur. If you are on-site and your system activates, then you will be around to hear it. But if you are off-site, then there will be no way of knowing that any activity occurred. You might have a neighbor that will hear the siren, but you will not receive any alerts or notifications directly from the system itself.
If the system supports local Z-Wave control, then you will also be able to operate Z-Wave devices directly from the panel. Some alarm panels will even allow you to create smart scenes and rules to have Z-Wave devices activate automatically based on a predetermined schedule or with certain system events. Simply put, your system can still operate as a Z-Wave hub for your smart home devices. However, you will not enjoy the ability to operate these devices remotely using a robust and reliable interactive service platform.
If you are going to invest in an alarm system, then you should absolutely get alarm monitoring service to go along with it. While you can technically use an alarm system without monitoring service, its features and functions will be extremely limited. Fortunately, Alarm Grid offers excellent monitoring services that are great for pairing with almost any new or existing security system. We encourage you to check out our monitoring page for more information about the plans we offer.
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