How good are wireless home alarm systems?

When you are trying to decide which is the correct home alarm system for your house it can be slightly overwhelming.

Due to the constant advances within technology. There are now so many on the market to choose from and each one will claim to be the best.

From one end of the spectrum with audible only alarms to the other end of the spectrum with monitored alarms. Now we also have the option of wired or wireless systems. With so many options how do we know which is the right one? 

When looking between wired and wireless alarms there are obviously advantages and disadvantages for both. 

Although having a burglar alarm will not guarantee that your home will never be broken into, it can go a long way to bringing you a sense of security and peace of mind. 

What exactly is a wireless alarm though and how does it work?

A wireless home alarm system is similar to a traditional burglar alarm. Rather than being connected through wires. It instead uses your home Wi-Fi to connect all the different components of the alarm

There are two main types of sensors –

  1. Open/close and
  2. PIR.

Open/Close sensors are placed on windows and doors. The two parts create a connection when the door or window is closed. When this connection is broken, the alarm is triggered and the siren will start.

PIR sensors are there to detect motion and should be placed at entry points within your home. 

Some alarms will also come with the option of Wi-Fi security cameras. Allowing you to see what is happening in your home whilst you are not there.

If the alarm is activated. You will quickly be able to see if this is a false alarm or something that quickly needs your attention. 

Can an alarm system be both wired and wireless? 

It is possible to have both wired and wireless components within your one system.

For example, you could have a wireless sensor network, but the control panel is hardwired to a landline connection or vice versa. 

As with any type of system there are both advantages and disadvantages and you will need to weigh these up before making your decision. 

Advantages

  • Installation

Installation is much easier and there is no drilling or holes required. This makes it an attractive option for those people who rent their home. 

  • Portability

For those that move house regularly the portability of a wireless option is attractive. You simply disconnect the system and reconnect it in your new home. 

  • Expanding

It is easy to add extra sensors should you need them, for example if you extend your home or add a conservatory. There is also the option of having pet friendly sensors.  

  • Aesthetics

Although both a wired and wireless system typically look very similar a wireless system does have a neater finish. 

  • Performance

The control panel will alert you to any system maintenance needed or low batteries before they become an issue and cause your alarm system to fail. 

Disadvantages

  • Connectivity

You are obviously reliant on your Wi-Fi to keep your system connected at all times. If there is a fault or interference with your Wi-Fi then your security system will not work during this time. 

  • Expense

The initial outlay for the system, PIR’s, door contacts and batteries is more expensive than its wired counterpart. 

  • More upkeep

Batteries in the PIR’s, door contacts, keypads and sirens will need replacing every two years and the main control panel will require a back-up battery change roughly every five years. 

How do I choose which one is right for me?

Which system is the best fit for you will depend on your own personal circumstances and what you are looking for in an alarm.

If you want the peace of mind that even if you are without Wi-Fi due to a fault. Your alarm system will still work then a wired alarm system is probably the best one for you.

However, if you are looking for a system with an easy installation process and one that you can take with you if you move home. Then you may get on with a wireless system better.

The size of your home should also be taken into account. Those with very large houses may find that the Wi-Fi coverage is not enough to cover your whole system. 

Although the choice may be overwhelming it is important to not put off installing your alarm system.

Although having a burglar alarm will not guarantee that your home will never be broken into, it can go a long way to bringing you a sense of security and peace of mind.   

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