Can Cellular Phones Be Used for Home Security Instead of a Landline?


A home alarm can make the difference between life and death. Security systems traditionally link to a landline home phone for operational purposes. As society moves to cellular phones, many people are discontinuing their landline service. Home owners who wish to protect themselves without a home phone can explore security options available for cellular telephones.

Phone Integration

  • Monitored home security systems traditionally hook up to your landline so the security company can call you in case of emergency. For example, ADT's Two-Way Voice feature takes over your phone and calls you in case your alarm is tripped. The monitoring personnel can then talk to you through the security system's intercom and control panel to confirm an emergency and call law enforcement.

Technology Changes

  • Realizing that many people are getting rid of their landline phones, security companies have come up with new technologies to meet modern demands. Some security systems tie in to your broadband modem or router instead of a landline. The other type of system uses cellular technology to transmit signals directly to the security company through regular cell towers. This way, if you only have a cellular phone, you can still use a monitored security system that alerts the company in case of emergency. Examples include ADT CellGuard, Protect America's Cellular Monitoring Solution and LifeShield Security.


  • If you do not have a landline at all, models that function through cellular or Internet communications are your only choice for instantly alerting the security company in case of emergency. However, some landline owners also use this newer technology as a backup system. If your home phone goes down, you can still communicate with the security company through these newer types of transmission systems.

Monitoring Fees

  • Monitoring companies tend to charge a little more for security systems that do not need a landline. For example, at the time of publication, Security Choice charges about $35 per month for landline service without two-way voice, $40 with a landline that uses two-way voice and $45 for security with cellular service.

Ordering Tips

  • If you are buying a used security system or a home with an existing system, it might not have the functionality to handle security with only a cellular phone. In that case, you may need to upgrade or replace your system. If you are installing a new system, make sure you discuss your need to purchase a system that uses cellular technology. The time to confirm this is before installation. Otherwise, you may incur additional installation fees if the security company installs the wrong system.

Auto Dialers

  • Security systems with an auto dialer automatically call numbers you have programmed into the alarm. Modern auto dialers can typically call a cellular phone, as well. Many of these systems work without company monitoring if you do not want to pay a monthly fee for home security without a landline. At the time of publication, prices start at about $30 for this type of alarm system.

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