Best Security Systems Without Monitoring

The best “unmonitored” security systems are more accurately described as self-monitored. These systems let owners monitor activity anytime via smartphone or tablet computer, plus they can trigger text alerts in case of possible system breaches.



SimpliSafe builds its own security equipment to let customers avoid big markups. SimpliSafe security systems are high quality, wireless and designed for easy DIY installation. Customers get 60-day trials and can choose month-to-month monitoring of alerts (no annual contracts).

System Features

  • Wireless & Cellular
  • DIY Installation
  • Intrusion Protection
  • Environmental Protection
  • Remote Control


  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Pet Owners
  • Military
  • DIY


Below we consider pros and cons of unmonitored home security systems (see here if you’re looking for companies with the fastest monitoring response times). Keep in mind that some security equipment can be used with and without professional monitoring, giving you month-to-month flexibility.


Sometimes paying for professionally monitored home security isn’t practical. Maybe you live in a secure apartment building, for instance, but would like a personal security camera for remotely checking in on your children, pets and service providers. Or maybe your budget is very tight and you can’t always afford monthly monitoring. If you’re confident that you or others would respond to an alarm, then an unmonitored security system could be effective. A high-decibel alarm can sound for a few minutes if sensors are triggered, and lights can be set off too. With smartphone-compatible security, you can also receive text alerts about possible intrusions.


If an alarm sounds but nobody responds, is that alarm truly useful? The biggest drawback of unmonitored security equipment is that it won’t notify dispatchers. A second drawback is that unmonitored systems often rely on broadband Internet to send text alerts to the owners. Internet connections aren’t as reliable as the cell radio connections used with monitored systems. Also, some equipment only runs off of mains power; look for security equipment with powerful backup batteries. People are becoming increasingly dependent on their smartphones, so it’s nice to have a good mobile app which the companies with the best monitoring provide. Not paying for monitoring can be expensive if it allows for theft or bodily harm. Considering the peace of mind that monitoring provides, it seems like a good investment.


Unmonitored home security systems are much like their monitored competitors,

but minus emergency connections to dispatchers. Here are some common features.

Wireless or Hardwired

When people set out to buy unmonitored alarm systems they typically choose wireless equipment for its easy set-up and flexibility. However, many unmonitored hardwired security systems can also sound alarms.


Wireless unmonitored security systems are designed for easy set-up. No tools are required and you won’t need to wait around for a professional. DIY security also lets you choose just the components you want with kits and add-ons.

Mobile Alerts

To keep connected with wireless security equipment you can get automatic text alerts if sensors are triggered. Keep in mind though that alert systems using WiFi connections aren’t as stable as monitored systems using cell radio.

Remote Control

Control your alarm system from anywhere! Wireless systems are available with mobile apps that let you monitor activity as well as arm/disarm the system. Keychain remote controls also work with unmonitored systems.

Entryway Sensors

Setting up home security, your first task is protecting entryways. Monitored and unmonitored security systems feature magnetic sensors that guard windows and doors.

Motion Detectors

Infrared motion detectors provide backup to entryway sensors. Some motion detectors use pet-friendly technology to minimize false alarms. Some have short ranges but others detect movement hundreds of feet away.

Special Features

Essentials in a DIY security set are a control panel, entry sensors and motion detectors. Sets can be expanded with special features such as glass break sensors, environmental sensors and keyring remote controls.

Specialized Alert Zones

Besides protecting a home in general, a security system can guard micro-areas of a home. For example, you can get text alerts when a certain room is entered or when a liquor cabinet is opened.


Self-monitored security equipment is owned by the user. In contrast, typically the security equipment that’s provided with a long-term monitoring contract is owned by the monitoring company.