If the Power Goes Out, Does My Security System Still Work?

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Most home security systems switch to backup battery power during a power outage. If the system usually relies on Wi-Fi, it may also switch to cellular backup during an outage. Some brands only offer cellular backup in their premium plans, so be sure to double-check a system's capabilities before you buy.

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Traditional landline systems

If your alarm system operates over traditional phone lines, it will continue to communicate with the monitoring center in the event of a power outage. The phone lines remain operational and the main security control panel in your home will likely continue to operate on battery power for a period of time—typically up to 24 hours.

We recommend ADT or ADT Self Setup for landline-based home security.

Cellular security systems

Like cell phones, cellular security systems are unaffected by localized power outages. The only limitation is the life of the control panel's backup battery. 

Nearly all of our favorite home security systems communicate with cellular data, but some restrict this perk to premium subscription packages. View the comparison table on our internet outage FAQ page to learn more. 

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

VoIP home security systems are vulnerable to power outages, as they draw their power from home phone lines. While they do include battery backup, should a power outage also result in an Internet outage these types of systems can stop communicating with monitoring centers.

Some home security companies have solutions for VoIP systems to maintain connectivity with their monitoring center in the event of a power/Internet outage.

Ooma and ADT are your best options for VoIP-based home security.

Wi-Fi or Ethernet

Internet-dependent home security systems are the most vulnerable in power outages because Internet routers are affected by power outages. Without an Internet connection to a monitoring center, these systems stop communicating until power is restored and the Internet is up and running.

Security systems that rely on Wi-Fi or Ethernet are super common, but most offer cellular backup to maintain the system during a power outage. 

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Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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