The technology behind home security systems has improved a great deal in the years since such systems were first introduced for residential use. One area in which these technological advances are particularly noticeable is in the evolution of wireless alarm systems. As recently as a decade or so ago, wireless systems were considered less reliable and overall inferior to their traditional wired counterparts. But now, the two types of systems run practically neck-and-neck to be the best.
To help settle this home security debate, here is a look at some of the differences between modern day wired and wireless alarm systems, as well as some of the pros and cons that accompany each type of system.
In order to function, wired home alarm systems depend on something called a “closed” electrical circuit. As the name of this type of system suggests, these circuits are made up of a network of wires that run from each sensor in the system to a main control panel. The circuit is completed when you turn your alarm system on. If something happens to interrupt this circuit-for example, if someone cuts the wires or triggers a sensor-then the alarm will sound.
Wireless alarm systems, on the other hand, tend to run on battery power, not electricity. Likewise, wireless alarms are set off using magnetized sensors that send signals to the alarm. One plus of having a wireless home alarm system is the mobility it allows you. You can arm or disarm your wireless system using a small remote control, similar to what you might use for keyless entry to your car. A lot of people use this remote as a panic button, which can be kept by the bed or anywhere else throughout the house.
Traditional wired alarm systems generally cost less than wireless alarm systems and are the “tried and true” option. However, because of the complicated wiring they require-it needs to be complicated to keep potential burglars from easily disarming or sneaking past it-, if you choose to go with a wired alarm system, you will most likely need to have a professional technician come and install your system for you. Wireless systems, on the other hand, can be quite manageable for you to do yourself. For this reason, wireless is also a great option for people who plan to move sometime in the near future, since you can take it apart and put it back together in your new home without much hassle.
Both wired and wireless alarm systems can be hooked up to security cameras for added protection. One downside to wireless cameras, though, is that, since they take up a lot of power, the batteries that they run on can run out very quickly and need to be replaced frequently, which can end up costing you a lot of money.
One last home security thing you will want to take into account before deciding on a wired or wireless security system is what your 24-hour monitoring options are for each type. Both types can be connected to such a service, but a wireless system may require a cell phone to do so, since you might not be able to connect your system using land telephone lines.