Can I Control My Home Security from My Phone?

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Yes, you can control most modern home security systems with a smartphone app. Systems with app compatibility are known as smart home security systems.

Just don’t confuse a system’s smart capabilities with the method of professional monitoring it uses—the two are different. You can, for instance, have a smart security system and still get professional cellular alarm monitoring.

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What can you do with a home security phone app?

Although the exact functionality of a home security app varies from brand to brand, here's a list of what you can typically do:

  • Arm and disarm the system
  • View live footage of security cameras
  • Get alerts for various events, such as when the alarm goes off or when the camera detects motion
  • See a timeline of events, such as when the system was disarmed
  • Control smart home devices, like outlets, locks, and thermostats
  • Set up smart home automation routines
  • Upgrade and manage your account

Some home security brands don't let you use the app to cancel your monitoring subscription or modify payment details. Others do. 

Can I create multiple app logins for my family?

Again, it depends. SimpliSafe, for example, doesn't allow you to set up any guest permissions on its app. Vivint does. 

Do I have to pay extra for a home security app?

Most home security companies include the app in all plans—including free self-monitoring plans, if applicable. But there are some exceptions.

Cove, for example, doesn't include app access in its most affordable plan, so you'll need to upgrade to the top-tier option. Ring also recently announced that it will restrict its app to subscribers, making it virtually impossible to use a Ring system without paying a monthly fee.

Can I still use my home security system without my phone?

Yes. All home security systems can be armed and disarmed through a touchscreen control panel, a keypad, or a key fob. 

Which security company has the best app?

We like Vivint's app best. Check our comparison of the best home security system apps to learn more. 

Looking for a security system?

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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,, 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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