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.


11 comments on “Wired Vs. Wireless Home Security Systems
  1. Nick says:

    When to choose a wireless alarm

    On first impressions a wireless alarm sounds the obvious choice but there are several factors to consider, as an installer I would only advise the use of them in certain scenarios.

    The main reason I would advise a wireless burglar alarm would be in a brand new home that has no easy way of concealing cables, many new homes built within the last 15-20 years in the UK have large chipboard sheets for flooring.
    A quality installer would normally install burglar alarm cables under floor boards, this done by cutting small sections of floor board around 18 inches long, cables are then “fished” under the floor from one detector to another. This is not possible in newer homes.

    Another reason I would advise the use of a wireless Burglar Alarm would be where a customer lives in a rented home or when a customer plans to move home in the near future.
    A wireless burglar alarm can be removed and refitted in a new home within a few hours at a fraction of the cost of a wired system.

    As many wireless burglar alarms come with built in speech dialers (they connect to your phone line and dial your mobile) they can be cheaper than their wired counterparts if a speech dialer is one of your requirements.Wireless systems can become more expensive if you require more than two detectors.

  2. Zak Avnon says:

    In South Africa, the outdoor intruder detection is the most important part of an alarm system.
    What we use is hybrid panel that have hardwired zones on-board and wireless zones.
    The reason for this choice is that in some instances, the intruder managed to cut the outdoor cables and short circuit the power cores and by doing that he disabled the zones or the all alarm panel.
    This type of sabotage takes place during daytime while the alarm system is disarmed.
    As a result we now insist on wireless outdoor detectors.
    The range can be extended with wireless repeaters to suit large homes.

  3. Ed says:

    Looks like the wireless system is the way to go. One thing for sure, the company I choose WILL NOT be ADT! They are the least customer oriented company I have ever dealt with.

  4. Gene D'Amour says:

    I agree with Ed re ADT. Terrible customer service. one third of my system doesn’t work and very difficult to get customer service to respond. I’m going to install another system.

  5. commercial security systems Gauteng says:

    This website definitely has all the information
    and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  6. pj says:

    I would like to go to a wireless telephone system which would render my wired security system inoperable. If you require a land line and you have an existing wired security system, the cost to convert to wireless negates the savings of the wireless phone.

  7. Zanj says:

    great post! :) very informative :) http://buynannycamera.com/

  8. janice says:

    Most alarm companies today offer a wireless security option, which is no surprise – wireless technology is better, has multiple communication backup options, and you can install and control the alarm system yourself. You’ll save money and maintain your privacy, because you can avoid having strangers into your home for estimates and costly installations.
    Wired security systems require you to set up an appointment and invite a pushy salesperson into your home before you can even get a price quote for how much it will cost for installation and monitoring. Once you agree to service, you’ll need to take another day off from work to wait for the installer to put in your system.

  9. kenn says:

    wireless is an advantage but managing is another way.

  10. XLVT says:

    “wireless technology is better”? Wrong.

    Hardwired is ALWAYS better, whether you’re talking about security systems, computer networks, telephony, or anything else. Higher quality signal and more dependable, in every case.

    Wireless is a good option if you need the few advantages it offers (no drilling, portable, do-it-yourself, etc.), but you’ll never choose it because it’s “better technology”.

    Plus, more possibility of false alarms is a MAJOR problem, because many police & fire departments will slap you with a big ol’ fine for responding to a false alarm.

    “Multiple communication backup options” is also BS, because you’re talking about 2 different things. The way the sensors communicate with the control panel has nothing to do with how the system communicates outside the home. Hardwired systems can and do have cellular backups (or main wireless lines for people who don’t have a wired telephone connection).

    With a wireless system, you’re actually MORE likely to be limited to a certain kind of connection or monitoring service, because wireless systems tend to be proprietary and have more limited features.

  11. Rochelle says:

    Wireless is the way to go. For a great GE wireless system through Protect America contact me for great service and even better monthly monitoring rates.

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