Wired vs wireless security systems, a significant consideration when designing a system suitable for your home. There are many different factors to think about that might make you decide one system over the other, or maybe even a system that has both. It really depends on what you need to achieve with your security system including the area you need to cover, whether you are installing it yourself or getting in a professional, or maybe it just isn’t possible to run wiring through your house. The main thing to understand is that every situation is different. In other words, a system that the house down the road has might not be suitable for your home.
The aim of this post is to highlight the factors you should consider when buying a security system and to highlight the pros and cons of a wired vs wireless security system.
What options are available?
Alarm Systems – Wired alarm systems are where sensors are placed throughout your home and are all wired back to the control panel. On the other hand, the difference in a wireless system is that the sensors are connected to the control panel using wireless technology, usually by radio frequency.
Security Camera Systems – A wired security camera system includes placing cameras in and around your home which are then connected to a digital video recorder by cabling. A wireless security camera system usually involves connecting the cameras and digital video recorder to a WiFi network and the vision is recorded via the wireless network.
Both of the alarm and security camera systems have further functionality depending on their setup. For example, an alarm system can be hooked up to your landline to notify you are the security company of the alarm being triggered. Alternatively, it could be connected to the cellular network. Or sometimes both in cases where the landline is not functioning.
For security camera systems, most of the monitoring is done over the internet, whether it is via a security company, or directly to your smartphone or tablet, giving you the ability to monitor your home wherever you are in the world.
Wireless systems are usually easier to install and therefore can be installed without the need for a professional. As an added bonus, a wireless system can easily be taken with you if you move to a new home. All you need to do is pack up all the components, then install them again in your new home. Wired systems, on the other hand, are a little more difficult to install. In most situations, I would recommend using a professional installer to put in your wired system. Unless you are really keen on drilling holes around your home to feed the cabling through. Keep in mind, any errors will result in you making your own repairs.
If you are constructing a new home and are looking at installing a security system, then I suggest you get your wired security system installed at same time as all other electrical work is done. The downside of wired systems is that they are more difficult to take with you to another home. More often than not, the system will stay where it is.
Reliability is a big one in my mind. Wired systems are most reliable as they are directly connected to the control panel or digital video recorder. With wireless systems, you may be prone to interference or the wireless network having connection issues. As soon as your wireless network is down, your wireless security system will also be down.
In addition, wireless systems become less reliable than wired systems over larger distances. Whilst this can be resolved be adding wireless network repeaters or extenders, this would then add to the cost of the system.
The upfront cost can vary significantly depending on the system you purchase. Generally, wireless systems will cost more due to the technology involved. In saying that, the cost of a wireless system has dropped over time. Wired systems will be more cost effective unless you need to run long lengths of wiring all over your property. The more wiring needed, the greater the cost.
Other factors to consider in the cost are
Installation – If you choose to get a professional to install the system, it may inflate the costs. But you will be sure that it is installed properly.
Ongoing maintenance – Again, depending on the system you install, if it is a completely wireless system where the devices run on batteries then replacing the batteries will be another added cost. However, there are wireless systems that can also be connected directly to a power source.
Subscription based monitoring services – This is where you sign up with a security company that will continually monitor your system from a remote location and respond to alarms being triggered or unwanted motion being detected.
Which system is right for me?
Ultimately, only you can answer this. Based on your circumstances, I can point you in down a path that may suit your needs. For example, if you are building a new home, getting a wired system installed when the house is being built could be the best option. Whereas if you are in an existing home and want to keep installation costs down, a wireless system might be your choice.
There are many security companies out there that can provide assistance in system design. Most of them will even provide free quotes. Or it could be worth seeking the advice of a security consultant to guide you to the best system for you. The most important thing is whichever system you choose, it must be the one that makes you and your family feel safe and secure in your home.
If you have any questions regarding a choosing a wired or wireless system, or if you want to get in touch, please feel free to leave me a comment below.