Landline vs. Cellular Security Systems: An Atlanta Tech Explains the Difference

Landline vs. Cellular Security Systems: An Atlanta Tech Explains the Difference

"Landline" and "cellular" describe the two methods in use today for connecting home security systems to professional monitoring companies like Ackerman Security. Without a landline or cellular connection, a home's alarm system has no way to "talk" to the monitoring station or to other individual sensors within the home's security network.

Here's a brief definition of landline and cellular monitoring:

  • Landline monitoring is a hardwired system which uses the home's phone line to connect to a monitoring provider.
  • Cellular monitoring is a mostly-wireless system which uses a cellular signal to connect to a monitoring provider.

In this article, we'll look at some of the key differences between landline and cellular monitoring. We'll also share our opinion on which one is best for your home.

Not sure which security system is right for you? We're happy to answer any questions you may have about landline and cellular security systems.

Call us anytime at 800.552.1111, or schedule a consultation online today.

What Are the Main Differences Between Landline and Cellular Security Systems?

Cellular and landline security service can be broken down into three main differences:

  • Connection
  • Installation
  • Price

Let's look at each of these differences in more detail.


The most important difference between landline and cellular monitoring is how each type of system "talks" to other sensors in the home and to the monitoring agency its connected to.

  • With a landline security system, the connection between the home and the monitoring provider is the telephone line. Every camera and alarm is routed through the home via a network of wires to a central control panel. From there, the signal leaves the home via the home's landline.
  • With a cellular security system, the connection between the home and the monitoring provider is a wireless cellular network. Within the home, various security alarms and devices (such as cameras) send information to one another wirelessly through the home's WiFi network.

Another factor of connection is speed. As you may have guessed, cellular security connections are slightly faster than landline connections. If an alarm goes off in the home, a cellular security system will reach the monitoring station slightly quicker than a landline system.


Because landline security systems are wired together, a professional installation is recommended, if not required. Cellular security systems, meanwhile, don't require nearly as many wires, and are infinitely easier to install.

Cellular technology has kicked off a new age of easy-to-install DIY security systems. These DIY systems have pros and cons associated with themthat every homeowner should be aware of when selecting a new system. Long story short, it's easy to install a DIY system, but it may not be the safest option for your home.

The price of the installation may also vary between these two systems. Running wires behind walls and throughout the home tends to make landline security systems more expensive to install.


The price gap between landline monitoring and cellular monitoring has closed in recent years. Today, landline monitoring averages around $10-$30 per month, while cellular monitoring averages $40-$60 per month.

In other words, you can expect to pay about $10 to $20 more per month for cellular monitoring.

Our Recommendation: Cellular Service Is the Better Bet

Percentage of adults and children with only cell phones

We suggest pairing a professional monitoring service with a cellular security system, and here's why:

  • Landlines are vanishing from homes across the U.S.If trends continue, just 1 in 4 households will have a landline phone by 2020. Within a few short years it may become difficult to find a company willing to install and monitor landline security systems.
  • They're not as secure as cellular security systems. A burglar can disable a home's entire security system with a pair of wire cutters if they know what they're doing. A cellular system, meanwhile, has no fail point of that magnitude.
  • Landline systems aren't compatible with home automation.Home automation is a fascinating trendwith huge potential for homeowners. Landline security systems make it impossible for homeowners to take advantage of convenient new products like smart doorbells, smart locks, automated lighting and more.

Our goal here at Ackerman is to give you the best home security system for your money. We still sell landline security systems in Atlanta and we have no plans to cut these services anytime soon.

But we also want to inform our customers of current trends in home security and monitoring. From our perspective, installing a landline service now would be like buying a BluRay player. Do movies still come out for Blu-ray? Sure they do. Will they be coming out much longer? That's more debatable with every passing year.

Speak with a Security Expert About Landline vs Cellular Monitoring

Sometimes it's just easier to speak with an expert face to face. If you're on the lookout for a new security system or monitoring solution and you aren't sure whether to choose landline or cellular, then give our team a call today at 800.552.1111, or schedule a free consultation online.

We'll share our thoughts on which system is best for your home and then give you a free quote for installing and monitoring each type of system while we're at it.