A Wired or Wireless Alarm System: Which Is Better?

07/17/2018
by Scotsman Shield
Wired or Wireless Alarm System?

Before most break-ins, home intruders and burglars check to see if a home is properly secured before they make their next move. In the majority of these cases, if there is evidence of an alarm system, they will go to the next house.

A member of the family is in the house for 30% of home invasions. And that 30%, 7% of those break-ins result in violence against the person or people.

Not only do break-ins leave emotional damage and PTSD for members of the household to deal with, the average value of property and cash were stolen in a burglary is $2,185 according to the FBI.

Purchasing a home alarm system is the best way you can do to protect your family and property. Now the question is, do you choose a wired or wireless alarm system?

Keep reading. We'll help you settle the debate.

Burglar Alarms Vs. Home Security Systems

Do you know the difference between burglar alarms and home security systems? The two are often used interchangeably, but they aren't the same thing.

Both devices share the common purpose of protecting homes, their residents, and the items in them. However, there are some significant contrasts between the two.

Here's how you can tell the difference:

Burglar Alarms

  • Only guard the windows and doors of the home
  • Will Alerts your and law enforcement when an invader enters
  • Utilizes electricity and a backup battery
  • Don't detect motion
  • Are installed by professionals
  • Use loud sirens, sometimes with flashing lights
  • Will alert police
  • Intruders usually cut wires to disable the alarm

Home Security Systems

  • Sends alerts for floods, fires, and carbon monoxide
  • Have indoor and outdoor motion sensors
  • Uses cameras, some with night vision and motion sensing
  • Can protect specific assets like jewelry boxes and paintings
  • Many have personal security settings for falls and other injuries
  • Can be linked to smartphones and tablets
  • Portable and inexpensive
  • Apps have automated control of the home

Burglar alarms essentially warn of intrusions while home security systems protect your home on several different levels.

Wired Security System Pros and Cons

Hardwired security systems have been around for a long time. And while many people think they're outdated, the reliability of these systems is what keeps them on the market.

With that said, there is still a fair amount of pros and cons to using a wired system to arm your home. They're all listed here.

Con: The Installation is Difficult and Time-Consuming

Installing a wired alarm system requires a lot of work. In the majority of cases, you have to schedule an appointment to have a professional come and set your system up.

This can possibly mean having to take time from work to be home for your appointment. The technician will also have to do some drilling, which can cause problems if you want to remove the alarm in the future or if you're renting your home. Those holes will have to be filled it.

Additionally, the installation usually comes with a price.

Con: They're Easy to Break

We've all seen the movies where a criminal cuts the wires on an alarm system before breaking into a place. Well, this happens in real life too with hardwired security systems.

Professional intruders know how to find and cut the wires within a few seconds. They'll also wait a few minutes to make sure a silent alarm wasn't triggered.

If the police don't arrive, they'll proceed into your home.

Con: Distance Limitations

Some wired alarm systems have a maximum amount of square feet they can protect. So, if you're home is large or you have multiple building on your property, a wired system probably won't do you much good.

Wired systems also usually only guard the perimeter of the home, while wireless systems secure the inside too.

Pro: Reliability

Wired security systems have a great level of reliability. There's a misconception that they won't function without electricity, but that simply isn't true.

These systems us a very low voltage, so they won't make your electricity bill skyrocket. Also, they typically have batteries that back them up in the event there's a loss of power.

Pro: Pricing

The equipment for a hardwired security system is usually cheaper than wired ones, given that you're not in a larger than average house.

Pro: Professional Help

When you purchase a hardwired alarm system, you usually receive two visits from qualified personnel. The first is during your consultation where someone can essentially hold your hand through the decision making process. This way, you won't end up choosing a system that's too big or small for your home.

The second visit will be from the technician to do the install. This gives you another opportunity to ask questions. It will give you extra insurance if something goes wrong.

Wireless Alarm System Pros and Cons

Thinking about jumping onto the wireless security system bandwagon? Before you make any decisions, read this first.

Here's a full list of the pros and cons of going wireless.

Con: They Can Become Compromised

There have been some definite improvements in wireless technology, but you can't go wireless without a little interference. The radio signals that power a wireless security system can get blocked and reflected by objects in your house.

There can also be dead spots. Think about the instances where your cell phone drops a call or your internet connection is wonky.

Con: Less Security

Another con of the radio signals in a wireless system is that they can decrease your overall security. It's possible for an intruder to disarm your system by using a remote control.

This even includes disabling the function that automatically calls the police.

Pro: Life Protection

Wireless alarm systems come with more features than basic alarms. Most of them have functions that sense things like fires, flooding, and carbon monoxide in your home.

This functionality is especially important if you go out of town often. Additionally, some have keypads you can carry in your pocket or wear around your neck in case of a fall or another health emergency.

Pro: Smart Technology

Most wireless alarm systems come with mobile apps that support a full list of smart technology. This includes controls you can use in your home when you're away. For instance, you can turn the lights on or off, set your thermostat, and lock or unlock your doors.

The apps also have the functionality view live security footage of your home and they store videos for you to review at later times.

Pro: DIY Installation

You can easily install your wireless alarm system in your home on your own. This cuts back on expensive installation costs and the need to adjust your schedule for a technician.

Also, the installation process doesn't require any drilling or much complication. Basically, if you can hang a framed photo, you already know how to install a wireless alarm system.

Because of this, you can easily bring the security system with you if you were to move to a different house. This also makes it a great option for renters.

Which One Should You Choose?

The alarm system you choose really depends on your needs and comfortability.

For instance, wired systems tend to perform better in rural areas where it can be difficult to pick up on cellular signals and radio waves. Going the wired route is also great for smaller homes, but they aren't great for renters.

Overall, wireless alarms systems will give you the biggest bang for your buck. You have many more safety features that go beyond your typical alarm chimes.

They work better in larger homes because of the various options for motion sensors and cameras that usually come with night vision too. The equipment doesn't usually take up much room in your home and they don't damage your walls.

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