Self-Monitored vs Professional Monitored Security Systems – Which is Best for Your Home?

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Featured Post, Home Security

CPI Central Station Operator

Traditionally, home security systems have been professionally monitored, as the technology for self-monitoring was less available to the everyday consumer. But times have changed. Self-monitored security systems are now more affordable and accessible than ever, allowing homeowners to take monitoring into their own hands. 

But is this the best option for you and your family? 

In this blog post, we break down some of the critical differences between self-monitored and professional monitored security systems. Home security systems are ideal solutions for people looking for an effective and practical way to protect themselves, their family, and their valuables. 

Modern home security systems are more robust than their predecessors, providing more advanced functionality such as video surveillance, intrusion and threat detection, and safety alerts to help improve your peace of mind. Plus, it can be integrated with your smart home automation devices for a seamless, single-app experience.  


What’s the Difference Between a Professional Monitored System and Self-Monitored System? 


A professionally monitored security system is one where you hire a company to monitor the security system they’ve installed or provided for you to install yourself. The company will respond to any break-ins, fire or carbon monoxide alarms, or medical emergencies.   

With a self-monitored security system, the end-user must monitor the system independently. They have to keep track (often through the app) of the video feed, motion detector, and any triggered safety alarms. 

If an alarm is triggered in a home that is professionally monitored, perhaps by someone breaking into a window, then the security company will try and contact you. If you can’t be reached, they’ll contact the appropriate authorities, like the police or fire department. This extra level of monitoring can provide additional peace of mind. No matter what happens to your home, someone else is looking out for you and your family and is ready to contact the authorities at a moment’s notice. 

In this same situation, a self-monitoring homeowner would receive a notification of the broken window and then would have to actively resolve this issue themselves – whether they were in the home, on vacation, or at the office. If the homeowner doesn’t see the alert, your chances of stopping the crime or catching the perpetrator are significantly reduced. 


Pros and Cons of a Self-Monitored Vs. Professionally Monitored Security System 


Real-Time Response℠ 

When it comes to the safety and security of your home, professionally monitored security systems offer unparalleled protection. Professionally monitored alarm systems are connected to a central monitoring station staffed 24/7 with experienced personnel who can respond quickly and efficiently to any alarm activation. With CPI Security’s Real Time ResponseSM , central station operators communicate with whomever is in the home via the security system’s two-way speaker. In burglary situations, this communication has been known to scare intruders away. In medical emergencies, the central station operator can be the voice of comfort to the homeowner while they wait for help. Real Time Response is different than most security systems which often require the customer to answer the phone. With Real Time Response, central station operators can communicate with whoever is in the home, even if they can’t get to the phone.  

As the central station operator is communicating with whomever is in the home via the two-way speaker, they are also communicating with local authorities, to ensure the fastest response possible. With a self-monitored system, it’s up to the homeowner to call 911 to get help. 


CPI Security Central Station


It’s challenging to beat the technological features of a professionally monitored security system. Companies like CPI have decades of home security experience to lean upon, making them especially skilled at using the best security technology. 

From motion detection to night vision and 24/7 video recording with remote support, it’s easy to see why folks prefer the features of professionally monitored security systems. There’s a lot to choose from, all designed to keep your family safe. 

While some of these features may be available in cameras bought off-the-shelf, not everything may be available – especially if the company has created propriety technology or software.                        

CPI, for example, has its proprietary IVAN℠ technology that utilizes artificial intelligence to automatically discern between people, animals, and vehicles in your video feed. It then provides you with real-time video alerts that allow you to view suspicious activity. 



Another key difference between self-monitored and professionally monitored security systems is the cost. Self-monitored systems are typically more affordable up front, as they don’t require an ongoing monitoring service contract – though many self-monitoring providers do offer a professional monitoring service for an additional monthly fee. 

Professionally monitored systems, on the other hand, often require a monthly or annual service contract to account for the 24/7/365 monitoring service provided. But we encourage you to get a free quote, because the services offered may be worth the extra few bucks a month, especially when it comes to your family’s safety. 



If you’ve ever tried to put together a piece of furniture you ordered online, you know how difficult it can be to follow obscure instructions – especially if you don’t have any experience with the product. Now imagine adding in electronics, cameras, alarms, and an app to track it all. Doesn’t sound fun, does it? As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. 

 Security companies that provide professional monitoring also tend to provide professional installation. When you pay for a professional security company to install their security system, you’re paying for the ease of not having to do it yourself, along with the knowledge that it’ll all work correctly – and if it doesn’t, they’ll have to come out and fix it. 


Overall Winner: Professional Monitored Security Systems 

With so many home security options available, choosing which is best for your family can be an important decision to make. Still, it’s better to have any security system rather than none. 

While the cost of a self-monitored system may be cheaper, a professionally monitored system offers a more reliable way to keep your home and family safe. 

If you want true peace of mind and 24/7 monitoring, along with the most up-to-date technology and a stress-free installation, there’s simply no beating a professionally monitored security system. Professionals like those at CPI have been in the security business for decades, and it shows.   

Learn more about our award-winning security, fire, and life alarm monitoring by calling us at 877.731.3717 or visiting us here for a free quote. 

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