Alarm Grid Plan Pricing
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Self-Monitoring Vs. Professional Monitoring
With Alarm Grid, you have three options. You can use your alarm system as a local alarm, pay for self-monitoring, or avail professional monitoring.
Using the system as a local alarm means relying on your alarm panel, sirens (if you have any), and strobes (if you have any) as your means of getting alerted should an alarm event occurs. This setup is not ideal, so we recommend getting either a self-monitoring plan or professional monitoring. Which one is right for you?
What Is Self-Monitoring?
Self-monitoring means alarm notifications go straight to you and the burden of calling for help if needed is on you. What makes it different from a local alarm setup is that you can get alerted whether you're at home or on the other side of the globe. If you pay for self-monitoring plans, Alarm Grid will set you up with a smartphone app that you can use to access, control, and monitoring the status of your system. Via the app, you can remotely arm or disarm your security system. receive alert notifications, and monitor the status of your devices any time. The only requirement is that you connect your phone to the internet via Wi-Fi or 4G. For the times when you're not connected to the internet, Alarm Grid's self-monitoring service also provides email and text alerts to your phone number.
Here's what happens if you have a self-monitored security system and an alarm is activated.
- The alarm panel sends a notification to you via email, text, and app push notification.
- You verify if the alarm is real.
- If it's a false alarm, simply cancel it via the smartphone app or alarm panel.
- If it's a real alert, contact the proper authorities or call 911.
The downside of self-monitoring is that it requires your involvement. For example, if you miss the email or text alert, you might not be able to call for help on time. Also, what if you were involved in the alarm and you can't use your phone to call 911? That's where professional monitoring comes in.
What Is Professional Monitoring?
Professional monitoring is a setup where your security system is linked and monitored by an alarm company. In this case, Alarm Grid partnered with Criticom to offer professional monitoring services.
The primary task of monitoring centers is to respond to alerts and if needed, dispatch the right authority to the customers address. However, there's a process that they follow before sending help.
- Your alarm panel sends an alarm signal to the monitoring center.
- An automated system forwards the alert to a live agent.
- The agent calls you on the phone number you provided and verify's if the alarm is real.
- *Optional* If you have security cameras paired with your alarm panel, the agent will check the footage and look for video verification.
- If it's a false alarm, the agent will ask you for a verbal password to verify your identity.
- If the alarm is real, the agent will dispatch the right authority to your address.
Compared to self-monitoring, professional monitoring is more secure. However, it's also more expensive, costing around $5/month more than self-monitoring plans.
Mixing Professional & Self-Monitoring
Alarm Grid's unique contract-free setup allows you to use either professional and self-monitoring depending on what the situation calls for. For example, if you expect to spend more time at home this month, you can self-monitor your system. If you're planning to go on vacation the following month, you can switch to professional monitoring.
Cellular Vs. Landline Vs. Internet Monitoring
Another choice you have to make is whether to use cellular, landline, or internet monitoring. This has nothing to do with who monitoring your security system, but with how your alarm panel sends alert signals to you or the monitoring center.
Landline monitoring takes advantage of your existing phone line. A phone line will have to be connected to the alarm panel so that it can communicate with the monitoring center. Internet monitoring uses your existing internet connection. You will have to connect your alarm panel to Wi-Fi or to an Ethernet cable. Cellular monitoring uses the built-in cellular chip in your alarm panel. This uses cellular signal, the same signal used by mobile phones when sending texts and placing calls. The cellular chip doesn't require any call or text plan from a provider.
Of the three, cellular monitoring is the most reliable. Landline can be cut and internet connections are not always stable. Cellular signal, on the other hand, is impervious to line cutting and is a stable and proven technology. You can also mix and match these technologies. For example, you can use landline as the primary communication method and have cellular monitoring for backup. However, adding cellular monitoring whether as primary communication method or as backup requires a higher tier plan (Gold or higher) for both professional and self-monitoring.
Which Plan Offers The Highers Security Value?
Monitoring is important, which is why it's only necessary that you choose the right plan. However, with Alarm Grid, you have the freedom to switch to a higher or lower tier plan anytime you want. If the plan you originally subscribed to doesn't pan out for you, you can try another one until you find the perfect match. Still, having an understanding of which plan offers the highest security value can help you make an informed decision from the get-go.
Of the four professional monitoring plans, Gold and Platinum offer the highest security value. Both plans offer cellular monitoring. which is, as already discussed, the most secure and reliable communication method. The same applies to self-monitoring plans.
If you have security cameras, go with the Platinum plan. It offers video surveillance features. If you're on a professional monitoring plan, it also lets the monitoring center use video verification. If you don't have security cameras, choose Gold, which is $10 less expensive than Platinum. Both Gold and Platinum offer 24/7 professional monitoring, the use of cellular signal, remote arm/disarm via the smartphone app, email and phone alerts, remote Z-Wave control, and image verification using an image sensor (motion sensor with camera).