Wireless Home Security Systems – Pros & Cons (Part 1 of 2)

The main thing to remember about a wireless home security system is that its greatest advantage is also its greatest weakness — there are no wires.

On one hand, it means that you can place your control panel and any or all of your sensors, cameras and keypads anywhere you please. It also means that it is very easy for an intruder to disable the system…and there is also a greater likelihood of false alarms.

First let’s take a brief look at the science

Wireless home security system does not use wires to connect the control panel to hit any of the door or window switches or any other device in the system. In a wireless system, the devices send radio signals to a receiver in the control unit, which then processes that signal.

Advantages of wireless

A wireless home security system is generally easier to install. You can put the devices anywhere you want — you have ultimate flexibility. Also, there is no labor time spent in stringing wires. Lastly, if you already have a hardwired system, you can even add a wireless receiver at any time, which will give you a double layer of protection.

Disadvantages of wireless

A wireless home security system is not always as dependable. Copper wires will always be more reliable when sending a signal from point A to point B. For example, if a burglar snips the wires on a door or window sensor, that is usually enough to set off the alarm. The same situation does not necessarily apply with wireless systems. For example, if a wireless transmitter is knocked out of commission, you may never know that something is wrong.

Be aware that a wireless system is more expensive than a hardwired system. This is because each device has a radio transmitter built into it or attached to it so that it can send the signal back to the control panel.

Because of this extra expense, some consumers tend to cut corners to save costs. Don’t do it. If anything, spend some extra money to get the highest quality radio transmitter available.

After all, you know what it’s like when you buy a cheap cordless phone. You save some money but you get some problems in return: interference, static, dropped calls, and you might even pick up your neighbor’s calls — and vice versa.

The same things apply with wireless home security systems. By spending more money you get better quality and reliability. The high-end wireless equipment is very dependable, and so you should be prepared to spend some more money to make sure that you get that reliability. After all, who needs a lot of false alarms?

(End of Part 1 of 2)