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Pros and Cons of Hard-Wired and Wireless Home Monitoring Systems

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 | 466 views

This is a brief explanation of the pros and cons of both hard-wired home security compared to wireless home monitoring security systems. Traditional hard-wired home security systems have been the mainstay for decades, but since wireless systems started exploding in popularity, a comparison will be helpful in making a decision as to which system to install.

Before reading on, note that the majority of home monitoring security systems are installed with wireless technology while typical business security systems are hardwired throughout the site infrastructure.

Hard-Wired Monitoring Systems

In hard-wired home monitoring security systems, the equipment is physically connected to the control panel through wiring that is fed through the walls. This type of setup has been used since security systems were invented, and they have proven to be extremely effective.

The Pros

If a previous owner of your home had a security system installed, it’s now yours. All you have to do is call a security company, connect the system to a new account, and activate your monitoring. If the hardware has been removed, you can use the existing wiring and equipment ports in the new system. This will help save your installation costs.

Security camera monitoring in the garageHard-wired systems are also very reliable. Since everything is physically wired together and connected to the power supply, you don’t have to worry about signal issues. You also don’t have to worry about replacing batteries.

You also may not have to worry about anyone cutting connective wires depending on the type of system you install. For instance, if someone cut the wires for a security camera, the lost signal will trigger the alarm.

You may not catch the person on camera, but you’ll be alerted to an intruder and the alarm will scare them off. Many wireless systems also have this feature and it’s become standard across the board.

The Cons

Hard-wired security systems rely on the power source of the home to function. If there is a power outage or the power lines to your home are cut, the system can fail. Some security companies may be alerted when your system power is cut off. The reality is that most systems become useless when the power is out. Some modern hard-wired systems have battery backups, but many others don’t.

Additionally, hard-wired systems usually use the home’s landline to contact the security company and authorities, which means this functionality may be compromised if the phone line is cut off.

Hard-wired systems are also more costly than wireless systems to install. You need to hire professionals to hard-wired the systems, and the installation process requires breaking open walls, doing electrical work and patching up any damage after the installation is complete.

Installing a hard-wired security system means doing permanent alterations to your home. If you hire individuals who aren’t adept at installing these systems or if you try to do the installations yourself, you could be doing irreparable damage.

If you move, you can choose to uninstall the system and take it with you, but you’d have to do the construction, electrical work and installation all over again in your new home. Doing this is a lot of work and virtually never happens. Most people just leave the system behind to the new owner.

Wireless Home Monitoring Systems

Unlike hard-wired systems, wireless security systems utilize Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to send signals to and from the sensors and control panel. They don’t use the home’s power supply and instead use batteries. These batteries are placed in each piece of equipment using the system.

Wireless smart security exampleWireless security devices are a recent advance in alarm system technology, but they’re some of the most popular options on the market. Wireless is quickly increasing in popularity and is usually the first option home monitoring companies introduce to their customers.

The Pros

Since wireless systems are reliant on battery power, they will stay active even during a power outage or if someone cuts the power lines to your house.

You don’t have to worry about anyone cutting the feed wires to camera equipment or sensors. They’d have to break the equipment and cut the internal wires, or destroy the equipment entirely. Both are nearly impossible to do without triggering the sensors or getting caught on camera.

Even if the landline is cut, it will still be able to alert the authorities.

Wireless systems are very easy to install and cost-effective as a result. There’s almost always no need to open up walls or tap into the home’s electrical wiring. This is especially good for owners of expensive or historical homes.

If you decide to move, you can simply deactivate the system, pop off the equipment and pack it up to be used in your new house.

The Cons

The wireless signals used by these systems may experience interference by nearby electrical devices. Wireless systems are more susceptible to hackers than hard-wired systems.

The batteries used in wireless systems need to be regularly replaced. Most control panels will show the battery life of each piece of equipment, and alert you if battery power is reaching low levels. It’s up to the home owner to stay on top of it.