Is a wireless home alarm system right for you? In the past, hard wired security systems were considered a better option for home security. However, new options and more advanced technology are making wireless systems a lot more popular today. Whether you choose to go wireless or hardwired – there are advantages and disadvantages to each.
The Benefits of Hard Wired Systems
Hard wired systems require a number of wires to be placed inside the walls of the home to connect the security components. This is difficult if the home has already been built. Because of this, hard wired systems are usually best for preconstruction houses. Many newer homes today are building in hard-wired systems that the owner can choose to activate or not. A hard wired system is less vulnerable on several different levels. For example, some wireless systems are easily yanked off the wall and disabled. It’s harder to do this with a wired system.
A hard wired system is also less vulnerable to interference (from other radio frequencies or other wireless devices) than a wireless system. It can also serve as a great backup or starting point to a hybrid system (where you have both wireless and wired components of the security system.) If you buy a home with a hard wired system in it and you want to use a monitoring service like ADT, you may pay less because the system is already in place and there’s less to do (each situation however is unique).
If however you want to install a hard wired system in a home that’s already built, you’re looking at drilling and probably a pretty hefty cost. Plus keep in mind that things like drilling through walls, exact placement of devices, and upkeep of components, really need a professional’s input. So while there are some people who install a hard wired system themselves, it’s probably not recommended unless you really know what you’re doing. One final benefit to having a hard-wired system is that when you go to resell your home, this can be a great selling feature.
The Benefits of A Wireless Home Alarm System
Unlike the hard wired systems, wireless home alarm systems do not use wires throughout the house. They use radio frequency signals from sensor transmitters. Each of the components has a transmitter that sends the signal to the main unit when the sensor is triggered. Wireless home alarm systems can be less expensive to install – particularly for homes that are already built. They can also be easier and faster to install.
Some homeowners even choose to install wireless systems themselves (although consulting a security professional is still recommended to ensure your home is properly covered). Hard wired systems run on electricity and never need to have batteries replaced. While wireless systems often use an electrical outlet, the sensors run on batteries that will need to be replaced.
Owners of wireless systems claim that replacing batteries is never a problem as the batteries for these systems last for over a decade before they need replacing. Many homes and types of construction will not allow hard wiring. For example, you probably can’t run a hard wired system in a condo – especially not if you’re renting. In these situations, wireless home security systems are the only option. Another plus to wireless systems is that you can often pack them up and take them with you to a new location.
Both types of home alarm systems have advantages and disadvantages. You should consider your needs first, evaluate your home, and then determine which type of system is best.