Wired Vs. Wireless Home Security Systems

Deciding between a hardwired alarm system and a wireless alarm system requires research in order to understand the pros and cons of each. After gaining a better understanding of how both systems work, homeowners should review a home security checklist. Upon doing so, homeowners will have a better idea of how secure a home is versus the areas where a security breach is most likely to occur. With this information, homeowners are better prepared to make an educated choice on whether to install a wired or a wireless home security system.

Hardwired Home Security Systems

A wired home security system involves sensors which are placed on doors and windows and are individually wired to the alarm’s main panel. When properly installed, wiring is shielded from view by being placed behind walls, baseboards and under carpeting. Other security systems, such as motion detectors and surveillance cameras, can also be wired to the system’s main panel. Often referred to as a hardwired system, these types of alarm systems also come with keypads and a variety of accessories which can be integrated into a system at a later date and greatly enhance a home’s overall security.

Wireless Home Security Systems

A wireless home security system, on the other hand, sends signals from sensors placed on doors and windows to the main panel via a wireless transmitter. This type of system doesn’t require extensive wiring and, therefore, does not require much drilling through walls or floorboards and some systems may not require any drilling whatsoever. Wireless home security systems also feature keypads and can be used with other security devices, such as motion detectors and surveillance cameras.

In order to decide which system is best, homeowners should carefully study the pros and cons associated with both types of alarm systems.

The Pros and Cons of Hardwired Home Security Systems

Pros:

  • A hardwired home security system does not receive interference from other nearby devices, such as baby monitors or a neighbor’s wireless devices.
  •  A hardwired home security system sounds an immediate alarm whenever wiring is cut.

Cons:

  • A hardwired home security system takes more effort to install.
  • A hardwired home security system involves making holes in a home’s structure in order to insert the appropriate wiring needed for all of the sensors and the alarm’s main panel to work.
  • A hardwired home security system takes more effort to relocate to a new location when a homeowner moves.

The Pros and Cons of Wireless Home Security Systems

Pros:

  • A wireless home security system is relatively easy to install with some who own the SC100-Skylink Home Security System reportedly doing so on their own in two hours or less.
  • A wireless home security system is fairly easy to relocate to a new location whenever a homeowner moves.

Cons:

  • A wireless home security system can pick up interference from other nearby wireless devices and, thus, trigger false alarms.
  • A wireless home security system can be disabled easier than a hardwired system can.

Which Type of System is Best?

While a hardwired system is considered to be the most reliable of the two different types of alarms, it is difficult to identify it as being the best for each individual homeowner. For example, people with older homes may not want to drill multiple holes into a house’s structure in order to install a hardwired alarm system. However, newly constructed homes often come pre-wired for a hardwired system or, if a homeowner is having a home built, pre-wiring can be requested so that additional holes do not have to be drilled into the structure after construction has been completed.

Although a wireless home security system is easier to disable, most thieves are deterred by the mere presence of an alarm and are not interested in taking the time (or the risk) to attempt to disable a system. Unless a thief is a highly trained and experienced professional (which most burglars are not) and is specifically targeting an item of great value, she or he is unlikely to want to put forth the effort of disabling an alarm system. Another major drawback often associated with a wireless system is that false alarms may be triggered by other wireless devices. The strategic placement of sensors, however, can significantly reduce the likelihood of false alarms.

On the other hand, wireless systems may not be the best choice for large homes since sensors that are located too far from the system’s main base may not carry a signal strong enough to communicate a security breach. It is for this reason that a hardwired system may be best for homes with a large square footage.

The pros and cons for each should be carefully weighed before making a decision to purchase a home security system. Each, however, can be self-installed by a homeowner, which can significantly reduce the cost associated with either system. Also, both types of systems can be monitored for a minimal monthly fee, which means that security personnel and local law enforcement officers can be notified within minutes of an alarm being triggered.

The final decision in choosing a hardwired versus a wireless home security system should be made based upon a home’s total square footage and whether or not wiring will cause too much damage to the home’s existing structure. While price is a consideration and a wireless system can, in some cases, cost more money, this should not be a homeowner’s primary consideration. Obtaining the best and most reliable home security should always be a homeowner’s top priority even if the best system may cost slightly more.

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