Home security monitoring is a lot like it sounds—basically watching out for alerts from your system. For most systems, you can choose professional monitoring, where a data center is alerted to any changes in your system, or self-monitoring, where you’ll be alerted via SMS text alerts, app notifications, or in-home alerts (like sirens, lights, etc.).
While the security data center may be alerted to which sensors went off (i.e. a smoke alarm), they will still contact you to verify. If they can’t reach you, they will call the cops on your behalf.
Can I self-monitor my home security system?
Your security system sends signals to your hub, and depending on what type of monitoring plan you have, either self-monitoring or professional monitoring, those signals can be monitored by you or a data center.
You can save money by self-monitoring, but ultimately professional monitoring is safer and more reliable. If you’re having a problem at the house and you’re either unavailable or unable to assist, then professional monitoring ensures that the problem will be addressed.
Another problem with self-monitoring is many systems are severely limited when you don’t opt for professional service. For example, many companies won’t give the customer mobile app access or video surveillance options, which severely affects the usefulness of the system (lame, we know).
If I get home security monitoring, who is watching?
No one is “watching you.” Remember, home security monitoring is not video surveillance.
Although monitoring seems synonymous with watching, the only things the security center agents “see” are triggered events; otherwise, they just see that your security system is online.
If you do install video cameras, your security monitoring center will not watch your home via video feed, and it won’t store your feed unless you specifically request that. In that case, the agents have access to the feed only with your permission. Plus, most security systems encrypt their streaming video data to prevent hackers from accessing the video.