Homewatch Group

Monitored vs. Unmonitored Home Security Systems – How Do They Compare?

When considering installing home security, it can be overwhelming to choose from the myriad of options, and one of those choices is whether you get a monitored or unmonitored system. So, what is a monitored system? Simply put, a monitored system is one that is managed by a third-party security provider, who is connected to your system and are notified when an alarm is triggered. The third-party will automatically action an appropriate response, whether that be in the form of an audio warning, their own response unit or the police. In comparison, an unmonitored home security system is one in which you and your household are solely responsible for dealing with alarms and calling the police.

Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, so we’ve compiled a clear comparison of the two, making it easy to choose the right type of monitoring for you and your home security.


Response Times

The speed at which action is taking between an alarm being triggered and the police being called and arriving is imperative to stopping a burglar in their tracks or even bringing them to justice.

With a monitored system in place, this is all automatically and immediately actioned within a matter of minutes. In contrast, with an unmonitored system, it is up to you to realise your alarm has been triggered, which can be difficult and time consuming if you are not at home. You then need to call the police and explain the situation. Although the process isn’t complicated, it will take you significantly longer than a monitoring third-party, especially with high emotions and stress from knowing you have a home intrusion. By the time the police arrive, it’s likely the burglar and your possessions are long gone.

Therefore, you’ll achieve the fastest response times from a monitored home security system.

Winner: Monitored Home Security


 System Cost

The cost of your security system depends on what elements and features you have installed, for example, intruder alarms, CCTV cameras, security lighting or sensors.

However, choosing to have monitored or unmonitored home security will make no difference to the initial cost of the security system. Adding monitoring to your system is an add-on service and requires no extra cost when you have your system initially installed.

Draw: No Difference!



Monthly Cost 

Only a monitored home security system will add an additional monthly cost to your outgoings. This cost will include the 24/7 monitoring carried out by your chosen security provider as well as the actioning of any responses if a break-in occurs.

In contrast, an unmonitored system will not have any monthly cost attached! This is because it is up to you to monitor your own security system. Therefore, if you are looking for a system with no monthly cost, an unmonitored system could be the one for you.

Winner: Unmonitored



A monitored security system acts as an extra layer of protection, safety and security to your property. Therefore, insurance companies often count this as your home being of less risk and will reduce their security premiums. This is a great way of reducing costs long-term. The money saved from your insurance could also act to balance out the monthly monitoring costs.

Comparing this to an unmonitored system, your home insurance is likely to be higher than if you had monitored home security in place. From their perspective, a human is more of a liability in reporting a burglary quickly than an automated monitoring system.

Therefore, for lower premiums on your home insurance, a monitored system wins.

Winner: Monitored



Convenience is often an overlooked factor when choosing between monitored or unmonitored home security, but its impact on you and your life is immense.

A monitored system eliminates the responsibility, worry and stress of your home’s security. You will not need to respond to notifications and action responses, as this will be taken care of by the security monitoring provider. This is especially advantageous when you are away from home or on holiday, especially within a different time zone.

With an unmonitored system, you will need to drop everything and sort the intrusion of your home immediately, no matter where you are, the time or location. This can be a particular issue if a false alarm sounds when you are at work on holiday. With a monitored system, the monitoring team can identity this and sort out the issue without inconveniencing you.

Winner: Monitored


Overall Safety & Security

Overall, both monitored and unmonitored home security systems are safe, secure and will act to protect your home from burglaries.

However, because of the automatic alarm notifications, fast response rates and the ability to identify false alarms, a monitored home security system will always be more secure and improve the safety and security of your loved ones, possessions and home.

Winner: Monitored


Need help choosing?

Homewatch offers a home security Monitoring and Maintenance Package from just £9.99 per month. Get in touch for a no-obligation, free quote on 0330 094 7404 or via our online contact form here.


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