Home Security Systems:
Wired vs. Wireless
Here at Supreme Security Systems, many of our customers have been asking us a simple question:
“Should I replace my hard-wired burglar alarm system with a wire-free setup?”
It’s a great question, and since our team fields this question so often, we decided to put together a blog post that highlights the top things you need to know about wireless security systems.
Hardwired Alarm Systems
First thing is to understand the correct terminology. A hardwired alarm system describes a number of sensors throughout the home that are connected to a control panel, via a network of wires that run inside the walls and under the floors. The system is then connected to the alarm company typically via a line shared with the telephone service provider, or wireless communication, such as GSM (cell) or RF (Radio Frequency).
Wireless Alarm Systems
With a “wire-free” home alarm setup, the individual sensors communicate with the control panel through radio frequency signals. However, the control panel transmits to the outside word – either using wireless technology (same type which enables your cell phone to communicate), RF (Radio Frequency) or over traditional phone lines.
Quick note: a lot of homeowners who are researching alarm system options are confused about what “wireless” means. To clarify, a “wire-free” security system means no wires are used to connect the sensors (which we place around the house) to the main control panel; and “wireless” more accurately describes the communication over the cellular networks that takes place between your system and our monitoring center. So as you can see, (the title of this article notwithstanding) its not quite semantically correct to characterize it as a “wireless vs. wireline” debate.
At any rate, our approach here at Supreme Security Systems has always been to carefully review each customers’ individual situation…. and then recommend the best solution, one that that is tailored specifically for them.
“But aren’t wireless alarm systems the latest and greatest technology?”
Sure they are, and we are more than happy to discuss with our customers all of the exciting innovations in the security systems industry. However, we wouldn’t necessarily advise replacing a hardwired system with a “wire-free” one…just for the sake of doing so. The reality of the situation is there have been a lot of recent newcomers into the home alarm industry who only offer wireless alarm solutions, so of course they’re collectively spending a great deal of money on promoting their so-called “wireless-only” systems.
But all the marketing in the world doesn’t change the fact that as long as the burglar alarm system that you have in place is in working condition, the contacts are good; and the wire is still firmly in place…often there isn’t a very strong case to be made for installing a wireless system.
If you live in a house constructed in a way that makes installation of hard-wired sensors an extremely difficult (and costly) process, or the home does not have any security system pre-installed, it may make sense to opt for a wire-free system.
The majority of established, reliable providers offering custom designed burglar alarm systems – Supreme Security Systems included – will consult with the customer to determine their specific needs and provide options that include hardwired, wireless and hybrid setups.