Hardwired vs. Wireless: Which is the Better Choice for Your Home Alarm System
Today when you buy a security system, you have to choose between hardwired and wireless. You’ll actually have to make this decision twice. Your control panel and sensors can be hardwired or wireless. The same is true for the home monitoring system, as it can also be hardwired or wireless.
Is one type better than the other? It depends on your situation. We help you decide which option suits you best below.
There’s one word that describes hardwired systems – reliability. You don’t have to rely on a wireless connection to ensure that your system is working properly. Most hardwired systems are installed when you build the home due to the complexity of the wires that make up the system and the sensors. If you have an existing home, expect the installer to drill holes in certain walls to install the wiring and hook up the system.
The hardwiring we discussed above has to do with the system in your home itself. All sensors are connected to the control panel via wires. There’s still the type of monitoring to consider too. You can opt for hardwired or wireless monitoring.
Hardwired monitoring requires the use of a landline phone. If you are among the homeowners that plan to keep your landline rather than switch to cellular, you can use this phone to hook up your monitoring system. Keep in mind, in some areas, the landline connection may take longer to get to the security company or police. This could mean extra seconds while you wait for help – in emergency situations, every second is important.
The downside with hardwired systems, both monitoring and the system itself, is the risk of the wires getting cut. Intruders that know what they are doing may come and cut your outside cord so that the monitoring component of your system doesn’t work. They may even go as far as ripping the control panel off the wall and cutting those cords. This would mean your security system might not work.
So what are the benefits of the wired system? They include:
– Low maintenance requirements
– No risk of batteries dying and the system not working
– A variety of available features to enhance your security
Wireless systems use radio signals to communicate with the control panel. You don’t have to worry about holes in your wall or cords getting cut. But, you may have to worry about interference with the connection. Because the connection relies on radio frequency, if you have a lot of interference, the system may not be as accurate as you would hope.
Something else to consider with wireless systems is the need to monitor battery life. You may have a control panel that is plugged in, but the sensors will be wireless. In other words, they run on batteries. If you aren’t aware that a sensor’s battery is dead, you will have a non-working sensor without realizing it.
If you choose wireless monitoring, you choose a cellular connection to the security company. Essentially, your security system has its own cellular system that communicates directly with the security company. Many people believe that the signal to the security company in an emergency moves much quicker with a wireless signal than the wired/landline signal.
The plus side of the wireless connection is there is less risk of a burglar cutting the wires. There aren’t any wires to cut. As long as your cellular and/or Wi-Fi connection stays strong, your system will work in the face of an intruder.
What are the benefits of the wireless system? Read below.
– Simple installation
– You can take the system with you if you move
– Easy to upgrade or change
– Remote access
The Best of Both Worlds
Are you torn between a hardwired system and a wireless system? You can choose a hybrid system to give you the best of both worlds. A hybrid system consists of a hardwired control panel and sensors with a wireless connection to the security company.
This reduces the risk of the phone cord being cut prior to intrusion but gives you a faster connection to the security company in the face of an emergency. If your home was prewired for a security system, installing the new system will be less complicated than if you start from scratch. Because hardwired systems have less interference, they are often the chosen method for homeowners. Choosing wireless outside connections gives you access to today’s technology with remote access to your alarm and other areas of your home.
Talk with a security company to see which system would suit your home the most. A professional will be able to tell you how hard it would be to hardwire your home and if you are better off with a wireless connection for simplicity’s sake.