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. 

Compare the best home security systems

Monthly cost Icon Tooltip  Dark
Best for
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ProfessionalBest professional home security$599.00No *Amazon,
ProfessionalMost trusted security brand$0.00YesAmazon,
DIY or ProBest customer ratingQuote required
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No *Amazon, Google
DIYBest budget-friendly pick$199.99NoAmazon, Google, Z-Wave
DIY or ProBest DIY home security$245.00NoAmazon,

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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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