First, it’s important to realize that wireless does not always mean that this alarm system will not use wires. Usually, systems which are advertised as wireless have sensors that don’t require wired connections. The sensor can still use a phone line to call outside of your property, unless you get a unit with cellular monitoring capabilities (usually connected with an additional fee every month).
With that said, here’s a short report on the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Wired home alarm systems
- May be more reliable since sensors as well as their connections towards the central unit are less complicated and less prone to false alarms.
- No battery changes are required for sensors.
- Usually are not susceptible to spoofing (hacking) or jamming.
- Usually are not a good fit if you move often and would like to take the system along with you.
- Installation fees into existing homes can be high.
- You may not want a lot of holes drilled in your doors, walls and windows and floors. Maybe your 100 year-old home still has the original plaster hardwood and walls floors.
- Cannot be utilized with no owner’s permission in rentals.
Wireless home security systems
- Just about anybody can perform a DIY installation with no cost.
- Installation doesn’t require drilling and running wires through crawlspaces and attics, etc.
- May be easily removed and transferred to an alternative apartment or home.
- Are suitable for most rental/leasing agreements.
- Depending on the firmware in the controller and the protocol utilized to get in touch with the spoofing, sensors and jamming the system could be relatively simple for any technically-minded burglar.
- Marginal installations and hardware (long distances from central unit) may cause unreliable sensor connections and false alarms.
- Sensors require new batteries periodically. Usually, their life is around 6 months, your mileage may vary.
In general, wireless home alarm systems are more popular and recommended for most residence.
Self-monitored vs. Unmonitored Alarms
Which is the difference. When there’s a security alarm, you’ll be notified. You’ll be the one to call the authorities or fire dept.
A typical myth in home security systems is that if you might have professionally monitored alarm system, you’ll need to stick to it without the freedom to include additional systems. Wrong. When you can, why not. Security has no limits.
Monitoring via smartphone or cellular networks
Do you wish to use a smartphone to observe your home yourself, or do you like the satisfaction of a fully staffed, 24/7 monitoring facility?
You should also consider the existence of battery backups if a burglar can simply disconnect power to your house. And, some systems connect via land line, while others connect via cellular networks and WiFi. Some do multiple as backups. What exactly you need will depend on your degree of paranoia.
What additional alarm sensors are useful?
Entry and motion sensors are pretty standard on all systems, unless you are thinking about only a camera-based alarm system. But, you may also want
- a panic button to carry at home
- carbon monoxide sensors
- smoke/fire alarms
- glass break sensors
- a remote to arm and disarm your computer
The smoke alarms and glass break sensors are the very useful of these. The glass break sensors are important for me since I have sliding glass doors within my home.