Can I Have My Existing Security System Equipment Monitored

Probably, but you’ll need to do a little research on available providers to find out whether they support your existing security system.

Security systems and remote monitoring are two distinct parts of a whole home security package. Most home security companies offer both parts, and things tend to work best when they’re matched and integrated from the start. However, many security systems are technically compatible with various alarm monitoring services. This can be good news if you’re happy with the existing security system in your home but dissatisfied with the monitoring service, or especially if you’re moving into a home with a pre-installed system.

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In any home security system, the essential equipment is largely self-contained. There’s a central control panel that registers the state of various sensors throughout your home. When a sensor changes state, such as when a door is opened, a window is broken, a smoke detector or motion sensor triggered, the control panel is programmed to respond by producing emergency alerts. Even if the system is not connected to remote monitoring, it will function properly by setting off loud alarms in the home.

security camera and house

However, connecting your system to remote alarm monitoring greatly increases your security options. When the control panel senses a potential emergency, an alert is sent to the central monitoring facility for immediate action. This may include contacting you at home or away, and relaying your address and the type of emergency to police, fire, medical or other appropriate authorities. In order to do this, the signal sent by your control panel needs to be “understood” by the equipment at the alarm monitoring facility.

Light Bulb

The simplest way to add remote monitoring to an existing security system is to go with the company that originally installed it.

Although there’s a certain amount of standardization in the home security industry, in some cases the signal sent by some home systems can’t be properly interpreted by another company’s remote monitoring equipment. To address this problem, companies such as Protect America offer converters which adapt nearly any existing security system to their remote monitoring facilities.

Some systems have specific advanced features that are only supported by the company that installed them. For example, FrontPoint does not support existing security systems but instead uses wireless systems that are easy to transport from one home to another. Vivint also offers wireless systems as standard, but provides monitoring which supports several types of pre-installed and hardwired systems.

If you’re moving into a home with an existing security system, there’s a good chance that you can get the name and contact information of the company that installed the equipment, either from your realtor or written right on the control panel itself. At the very least, the control panel should give you a make and model number to assist with your research.

If you have an existing security system but don’t know who to call to set up alarm monitoring (or would prefer alternatives to that company), we can help. The SafeWise system finder helps you compare the best providers and find one that supports pre-installed equipment.

Compare the best home security systems

Brand
Best for
Lowest monitoring price
Starter equipment price
Contract required
Installation
Smart home compatibilityIcon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
Read review
VivintVivint
Best overall$599.00
Icon Yes  LightNo *
ProAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
FrontpointFrontpoint
High-end DIY pick$99.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
DIYAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
SimpliSafeSimpliSafe
Reader favorite$229.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
DIYAmazon, Google
CoveCove
Best customer experienceQuote required
Icon Yes  LightNo *
DIYAmazon,
Google
ADTADT
Most experienced $0.00
Icon No  LightYes
ProAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave

Info current as of 04/12/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*$0 due up-front with consumer financing.
†No-contract options available with outright equipment purchase.
‡Landline monitoring only. Some restrictions apply. (Full disclaimer)
**With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See full disclaimer for full offer details, terms, and conditions.

Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help people find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She continues to report on local news as a volunteer with the community paper. For the last six years, she’s led a Girl Scout troop, teaching girls about safety and preparing for whatever life throws their way.

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